by Will Overton
On Wednesday there was an under the radar move made by the Detroit Tigers as they acquired Mikie Mahtook from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash consideration or player to be named later. While this is a minor move, there could be fantasy implications from it.
The value in this deal focuses on the fact that the Tigers have an opening in center field and not a ton of competition for the spot. Immediately upon acquiring Mahtook the Tigers designated Anthony Gose for assignment, the guy who was previously considered to be the front runner for the job.
As it stands now Mahtook’s competition is Tyler Collins, who the Tigers have never seemed very excited to give a starting role to, and JaCoby Jones, a former teammate of Mahtook’s at LSU, who has a lot of upside offensively but is still raw and may need more seasoning.
So now that we have laid out the potential for playing time, the question is if Mahtook produce if the opportunity does arise? He has had two decent stays in the big leagues the last two seasons and they are contrasting lines in terms of success. Let’s take a look at the numbers: Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
One of the players who fell short of our Top 15 First Baseman rankings earlier this week (click here to view) was the Royals’ Eric Hosmer. Coming off a strong season it makes sense to expect him among the top tiers. So why was he omitted? Before we answer, first let’s look at the numbers from 2016:
605 At Bats
.266 Batting Average (161 Hits)
25 Home Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.328 On Base Percentage
.433 Slugging Percentage
.301 Batting Average on Balls in Play
The home run total was a career high (his previous best was 19 HR), and while the average was down it wasn’t a crippling mark. The numbers justify potential Top 15 production, so why are we down on him? It starts with the power… Read more
by Ray Kuhn
If you weren’t paying attention to the Philadelphia Phillies in the second half of last season you are not alone. The Phillies are in the process of rebuilding, and the product on the field left a lot to be desired. That doesn’t mean that fantasy owners should be ignoring the situation. Even if they might not be trying to win on the field, they are still fielding a team filled with young players and varying degrees of potential, bringing us to Tommy Joseph.
It wasn’t a secret that the Phillies were phasing Ryan Howard out, with his performance not doing him any favors, but Joseph made sure the veteran spent a lot of time on the bench late in the year. He also ensured that he will be opening the 2017 season starting at first base and batting in the middle of their lineup.
In his first professional season, 2010, Joseph hit 16 HR while driving in 68 runs and followed that up with 22 HR and 95 RBI in 2011. Injuries then hijacked the next four years as he fell off the prospect radar while hitting just 25 HR and ultimately being moved to first base. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Michael Saunders has often been viewed as a potential breakout candidate, and in the first half of 2016 he looked the part. The wheels ultimately fell off after the All-Star Break, leaving us to wonder which is closer to the truth:
Now in Philadelphia, Saunders will get an opportunity to help bridge the gap until some of the younger outfielders (like Roman Quinn and Nick Williams) are deemed ready to produce. How much time he affords them is dependent on proving that his production is closer to the first half numbers. It boils down to his average and power, so let’s take a look:
Saunders benefited from an unsustainable .371 BABIP in the first half and while you can argue that he’s better than his .221 in the second half the overall underlying metrics cause concern: Read more
by Ray Kuhn
As we enter the 2017 the Seattle outfield is the land of opportunity for Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger. Both outfielders are the beneficiaries of a change of sceneryr, from Kansas City and Arizona respectively, and with the trade of Seth Smith there path to playing time may have been cleared with Dyson is slated to open the season in left field with Haniger in right (the only potential roadblocks to playing time Seattle’s new additions have is Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia, who are both more of fourth or fifth outfielder types, with Tyler O’Neill also being on radars).
While Dyson has experience dating back to 2010, with a legit role in Kansas City since 2012, Haniger saw his first taste of major league action last summer. The signs, and track record, are there for both and they can be a source of value late in fantasy drafts this spring. Let’s take a look at each player and what we can expect if they receive 500 at bats:
It is not a secret that Dyson possess elite speed and that is the only reason why we are discussing him as being fantasy relevant. In fact, that is the only reason why he has been on fantasy radars for the past five seasons while averaging just 253 AB per year. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
I get it, Joey Votto gets on base. In fact, Votto gets on base at a very high level. That skill has a clear value, even more so for those leagues that count On Base Percentage instead of Batting Average (though that’s not the case in the majority of leagues).
He is a career .313 hitter so we shouldn’t take his plate skills lightly, but I need more from someone I am selecting towards the end of the second round in 15 team leagues (current ADP is 28.57, with a range from 20 to 41) as the sixth first baseman to come off the board (which I don’t necessarily disagree with). Based on his ADP 41st appears to be the outlier, but that is where I would be comfortable selecting him.
We are talking about just one round, but my first two selections need to be studs. There aren’t many five category contributors on offense, but in the first two rounds I’m looking for impact pieces. Votto is very good player, but I believe we have seen his ceiling and there isn’t room for all that much value. Plus first base is a relatively deep position and this year is no different, considering the resurgence we have seen in the power department across baseball. Read more