by Ray Kuhn
Todd Frazier also reached his career high in home runs last season, with 40, but what can we expect from him this season?
The easy answer is not another 40 home run campaign. With Frazier expected to regress, and we will get into how valuable he truly is, you should be cautious before investing in him. There is no need to reach based on his current ADP of 73.81, which makes him the seventh third baseman coming off the board.
Frazier’s performance last season was aided by his career high home run to fly ball rate of 19%. In 2015 he had a career high Power Index of 157 (he hit 35 home runs), and last season it fell to 142. What is troubling is that his expected Power Index was just 111, so there is not a lot of room for error. Not only did he see the drop in his power, but his Hard Contact rate also plummeted from 125 to 92 (below average). Read more
by Ray Kuhn
At one point in the not too distant past Nick Castellanos was considered a top prospect. He will turn 25 about a month before Opening Day, so is it too soon to write him off as a player who didn’t live up to his once lofty expectations?
Judging from his current ADP, 207, which has him being selected as the 20th third baseman, fantasy owners aren’t expecting all that much. While he will not challenge to join the rarified air inhabited by Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, at the very least Castellanos has the potential to be a value pick for those who wait to fill their third base or corner infield slot. At a minimum, there is no reason why he shouldn’t outperform is current ADP and provide some upside.
Following the 2010 season he first appeared on Baseball America’s top prospect list, checking in at 65. Over the next two years his ranking improved to 45 and then 21 before falling to 25 after the 2013 season; which would be his final year before graduating to the Majors. Castellanos still possesses the skills that made him a top prospect, so let’s take a look at why he could be labeled a “disappointment” thus far in his career. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
It took a few seasons of being a utility player, but Eduardo Nunez finally got a chance to show what he could do last season. Nunez saw a substantial increase to his at bats, 553 between his time in Minnesota and San Francisco, and there were results to match.
But can we expect a repeat from in Nunez in 2017, and where should we draft him?
Without jumping too far ahead to the ending, I would not draft Nunez at his current ADP of 119. That makes him the seventh highest shortstop being selected and the 14th ranked third baseman. There is an obvious reason why Nunez is being selected at his current price, 40 stolen bases last season, and that part of his game will continue to be an asset in 2017, but it’s not enough to justify an eighth round selection. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
To say we are experiencing a renaissance at the shortstop position would be an understatement. The options seem to be endless, and they are all stocks on their way up that have yet to peak. But depending on your budget, draft strategy, or just the general flow of the draft, you might find yourself without Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, or some of the other exciting options.
And at that point, I say don’t stress. Don’t overdraft someone like Brad Miller or Tim Anderson, and instead utilize an underappreciated veteran to fill out your shortstop or middle infield position.
One of those veterans who I am keeping an eye on, is Asdrubal Cabrera. Currently, Cabrera is the 19th shortstop being selected with an ADP of 274. The main concern surrounding the veteran is his health, specifically his knees, but he appears to be healthy entering the season. New York will take care to ensure Cabrera makes it through the season healthy, and I wouldn’t expect to him end 2017 with more than the 521 at bats he had last season. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Speed. Dee Gordon has it. A lot of it in fact as Gordon is rated as the fastest player per Baseball HQ’s skills leader board.
Perhaps even more importantly, Gordon has shown the ability to translate that speed into results on the bases. In 2014 and 2015, the second baseman averaged 61 stolen bases a season while stealing 30 bases last year in 325 at bats. This production is even more valuable as steals become increasingly rare and difficult to come by in fantasy drafts.
Gordon can certainly be a difference maker in the category, but it is just one of ten. If Gordon comes up with another 60 stolen bases this season, you will still need to find roughly another 80 stolen bases to finish third. That is an average of about seven steals from your 11 other position players (excluding the catchers), and shouldn’t be too easy to manage. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Power. That is what we can expect out of the Designated Hitter position from the Kansas City Royals in 2017. We might not get much else as Brandon Moss and Peter O’Brien each have struggled to make contact in the past, and the latter doesn’t even have a major league track record, but 40 home runs between the two could be a safe projection.
The Royals did not have to spend much to acquire them this off-season, a $12 million commitment over two seasons for Moss and waiver claim for O’Brien, but both could have value for fantasy owners. That is, if they are used and drafted correctly; as end game selections and depth options. Of course in AL-only leagues, both will be likely starting each week (especially Moss), and they could be a good source of power if you spend resources at other positions.
Perhaps one of the best things you can say about Moss, aside from his power, is that you know what you are getting from him. He is versatile enough in the field, first base and both corner outfield positions, and he has averaged 25.5 home runs in each of his last four seasons while driving in an average of 73 runs. Within that time period, Moss has averaged 457 at bats per season, and while there is certainly the possibility for more in Kansas City this season, I wouldn’t go into the season expecting much more from Moss. Read more