Welcome back to the next edition of the fantasy baseball injury report where we take a look at players who have suffered injuries in spring training and have red flags all over them heading into the 2017 season. These are impact fantasy players who may see their draft value slip so they can provide great value if you are patient enough to grab them when the time is right in a draft. So without further ado, here is the next installment of the MLB pre-season walking wounded.
Ian Desmond (1B/OF-COL)
Injury – He underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his left hand after he was hit by a pitch during a spring training game on March 12.
2016 Season – Desmond had a stellar fantasy season batting .285 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored and 21 stolen bases as a member of the Texas Rangers.
Reason For Optimism
- Desmond had successful surgery and is already on the mend as the Rockies expect him back by the end of April.
- He had a huge bounce-back season in 2016 and now will get to play half of his games at the hitter-friendly Coors Field.
- The Rockies have a potent offense in which Desmond figures to be a huge part of and should produce excellent statistics in all Roto categories.
- Desmond already qualifies as an outfielder and is slated to play first base for the Rockies which will give him eligibility at multiple positions.
Reason For Concern
- Desmond had to settle for a one-year deal before 2016 and put up huge numbers which secured him a lucrative long-term contract. He may not have the same drive and motivation now that he has earned the big bucks.
- He will primarily be a first baseman in 2017 so a fractured bone in his glove hand could impact his ability to play if it does not heal properly.
- Any lingering issues from this injury could also affect his mechanics swinging the bat.
2017 OUTLOOK – Desmond was an absolute bust in 2015 but rebounded tremendously in 2016 giving fantasy GMs great value for a late round draft pick or early season waiver wire acquisition. Now expectations are significant for Desmond after signing with Colorado where his power and run production are likely going to soar. Unfortunately, he suffered a fractured bone in his hand which is going to keep him sidelined for most of April. This will have an effect on his draft value because GMs are not going to want to spend a 3rd or 4th round pick on a player who is injured and will miss several weeks. This means that Desmond can be drafted at a bargain if you are both patient and aggressive enough to pounce at the right time. Even if Desmond misses most of April, he will still provide solid production across the board for the next five months. He is one of the few players in the league who can be counted on for production in all five Roto categories which makes him a very valuable commodity. Do not be scared away by this injury, but also do not overreach for him too early in a draft. Desmond’s power and speed combination along with multiple position eligibility makes him a unique fantasy option to incorporate into the heart of your roster. You should expect very similar numbers this year as he had last year, and that takes into account missing almost a month.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),