FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Hitters): 5/29/2014
Every week ROTOscouting combs the wire for the best FAAB fantasy baseball targets at each position. Last week’s first base pick, Garrett Jones, paid dividends with a two-homer game. This week will feature multiple prospects with the potential to make an impact. We’ll look at a recent Braves call-up, a Dodgers outfielder expected to debut soon and an Indians prospect whose bat has caught up with his glove. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major fantasy platforms.
Catcher: Nick Hundley, Baltimore Orioles
$1 – CBS 2% | Y! 1% | ESPN 0%
The injury to Matt Wieters forced the Orioles to make a trade for insurance at catcher. Hundley now finds himself in a more favorable ballpark and will be the primary backstop until Baltimore knows the extent of their star catcher’s injury. Hundley hit 13 home runs in 408 plate appearances for the Padres last season. He’ll continue to put up decent power numbers by putting the ball in the air at Camden Yards. The veteran catcher is best utilized at home against right handed pitching, where he has an above-average career wRC+ of 109.
First Base: Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers
$2 – CBS 39% | Y! 9% | ESPN 6%
Moreland’s left-handed bat will see a big increase in playing time with the injury to Prince Fielder. The 28-year-old has already shown the ability to hit for power, blasting 23 homers in a little more than 500 plate appearances last season. That power should play up as the weather warms in Arlington, where he sports a career 116 wRC+ against right-handed pitching (16% above the league average). The Rangers have hit Moreland third in their lineup recently, where he’ll see better pitches and rack up counting stats.
Second Base: Tommy La Stella, Atlanta Braves
$2 – CBS 8% | Y! 2% | ESPN 0%
La Stella [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] was featured as a FAAB target earlier this season, but he’s worth mentioning again with his recent promotion. The Braves clearly needed to improve production at second base. While La Stella doesn’t have elite power or speed, he’ll hit for average from the left side of the plate. Prior to his call-up, the 25-year-old second baseman was hitting .293/.384/.359 for Triple-A Gwinnett. La Stella is a patient hitter who knows how to get on base, making him particularly useful in OBP leagues. His strikeout percentage (7.1%) and walk percentage (12.6%) were among the leaders in the International League.
Third Base: Conor Gillaspie, Chicago White Sox
$3 – CBS 19% | Y! 11% | ESPN 5%
Gillaspie has been on fire since returning from the disabled list earlier this month, posting a 174 wRC+ in May. His .866 OPS is sixth among major league third baseman and the 26-year-old should see plenty of opportunities for counting stats while hitting third in the White Sox lineup. Most of the damage has come against right-handed pitching. Gillaspie has been just as good at home as on the road despite playing his home games at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
$3 – CBS 18% | Y! 2% | ESPN 0%
Mike Newman discussed Lindor’s bat earlier this year, and the 20-year-old switch-hitting shortstop will see time in Cleveland’s infield later this season. Lindor has been regarded as a glove-first prospect to this point, but he’s showing enough pop now to warrant appeal as a fantasy shortstop. Through 46 games with Double-A Akron, Lindor has hit .289/.371/.417 with four home runs and six stolen bases. The Indians are scuffling, so there is no need to rush him to the majors. An opportunity should present itself sometime this summer through a trade or injury to Asdrubal Cabrera. Like Javier Baez, it’s better to make faab fantasy baseball bids early than pay through the nose upon his arrival in the bigs.
Outfield: Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
$3 – CBS 20% | Y! 3% | ESPN 0%
Carl Crawford‘s injury adds to the speculation Pederson will reach MLB soon. Ben Flajole discussed how Pederson could be utilized in a platoon against right-handed pitching. Unless he is traded away, the 22-year-old center fielder should force his way into the Dodgers’ outfield mix this summer. Through 50 Triple-A games this season, Pederson has hit .347/.454/.642 with 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases. With little left to prove in the PCL, he’s a sneaky add compared to Gregory Polanco [SCOUTING REPORT] and Oscar Taveras [SCOUTING REPORT], and he’s been overshadowed by the arrival of Yasiel Puig in Los Angeles. Pederson’s combination of power and speed are huge in fantasy and he shouldn’t be overlooked even in shallower formats.
FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets Emerging From MiLB
As June approaches, more and more prospects will be stashed in fantasy leagues. Prospects who are FAAB fantasy baseball targets can be had at a much more reasonable price if bids are placed ahead of their promotions. As we saw with Tommy La Stella this week, MLB teams will start to fill needs from within their own organization and fantasy players can benefit from these players’ arrivals.
29 May 2014 / Mike Buttil / 1
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