FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Hitters): 6/19/2014
This week on FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets we’re going deep, looking at players who could be in line for playing time in the second half of the season. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all major fantasy platforms. In recent weeks, our top hitting targets have included Pirates Josh Harrison who is eligible just about everywhere on the baseball diamond and Tommy La Stella who’s batting .343 for the Braves.
Catcher: Christian Bethancourt, Atlanta Braves
$1 – Yahoo 1%, ESPN <1%, CBS 7%
Rumors are flying in Atlanta. Are the Braves ready to call up Bethancourt to play catcher and move Evan Gattis to Left field, Justin Upton to right field and Jason Heyward to Center field? This would push B.J. Upton to the bench. As much as it stinks of rampant speculation, Bethancourt’s monthly batting averages have risen each month. A .203 April took the wind out of his sails, but a .271 May and .375 June have the catcher at .278 for the season. In person, the FAAB fantasy baseball target puts on an impressive power display in batting practice and has the raw tools of an All-Star catcher. Take advantage of the lack of production and stash the catcher in keeper leagues now.
First Base: Christian Walker, Baltimore Orioles
$1 – Yahoo NA, ESPN NA, CBS 1%
One may think it’s a stretch to look at a prospect in Double-A as a second half option — especially one behind Chris Davis on the organizational depth chart. However, a .232 isolated power is enticing when Delmon Young is listed as the primary designated hitter and 20-home run catcher Matt Wieters is out for the remainder of 2014. It’s a perfect opportunity for walker to push through to the MLB level and gain meaningful at bats. With a .982 OPS against right-handed pitchers. FAAB fantasy baseball free agent is much more than a right-handed hitting platoon piece.
Second Base: Jace Peterson, San Diego Padres
$3 – Yahoo 1%, ESPN <1%, CBS 2%
Peterson did little filling in for Chase Headley earlier this season, but the infielder spent all of 2013 in High-A. After a demotion to Triple-A he hit 64% better than league average including a 1.016 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Plus, Peterson is a burner, averaging 44 stolen bases per season in MILB. He’s splitting time at second base with Alexi Amarista while Jedd Gyorko is out, but will the Padres deal Headley, move Gyorko and anoint Peterson its second baseman of the future in the second half? He’s worth stashing now as an FAAB fantasy baseball free agent just in case.
Third Base: Adam Duvall, San Francisco Giants
$1 – Yahoo NA, ESPN <1%, CBS 1%
Deep sleeper alert!. Duvall is a third baseman with pop (.638 SLG in AAA), currently blocked by Pablo Sandoval at the MLB level. The oft-injured third baseman is in the final year of his contract and has seen his wRC+ fall from star level (149 in 2011) to league average (105 in 2014). The opportunity may not come till next season, but keeper league owners can stash Duvall now in case he really is the late bloomer the power numbers would indicate.
Shortstop: Eugenio Suarez, Detroit Tigers
$4 – Yahoo 15%, ESPN 10%, CBS 36%
Detroit has spent the year cycling terrible veterans at shortstop to fill the void left by the injury to Jose Iglesias. With a hot start in Triple-A, Suarez earned a shot and has been stellar for the Tigers, but he’s the best internal option the Tigers have had all year. He won’t continue to produce a slugging percentage of .667, but quality shortstops are in short supply and a league average hitting shortstop with a handful of steals and home runs is anea asset in 12-team formats. Consider this an APB since Suarez has been featured previously.
Outfield: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
$1 – Yahoo 2%, ESPN NA, CBS 15%
FAAB fantasy baseball followers read about Brock Holt here last week. Owners who struck fast have reaped the rewards. But should he regress, or return to super utility status, Mookie Betts will receive the call. Just 21, Betts was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago after tearing up Double-A. And while he hasn’t maintained his .994 OPS from Portland, Betts’ .886 OPS in Pawtucket is just as impressive. With as many walks and strikeouts, along with a .400-plus OPS, he’s a complete hitting prospect who’ll do some of everything at the MLB level. Yes, he’s a natural second baseman, but Betts has the athleticism to make an easy transition to the outfield.
FAAB Fantasy Baseball: It’s Never Too Early To Plan Ahead
Fantasy baseball owners make moves for today and not next week, month, or year. Taking the long view can mean substantial FAAB savings and being the one other owners envy when taking to the waiver wire only to find the coveted player is already owned. It’s better to be first to the dance than left spending an entire FAAB fantasy baseball free agent allocation on a single player in a pinch.
19 Jun 2014 / David Kaleida /