FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Hitters): 6/5/2014
It’s an exciting time as more prospects inch closer to a big league call up. Some, like Jon Singleton, have already started their major league careers. Singleton is one of the many FAAB fantasy baseball targets ROTOscouting has covered this season. This week, we’ll expand our focus to a free agent veteran, as well as a few more impact bats still in the minors. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. All players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major fantasy platforms.
Catcher: A.J. Pierzynski, Boston Red Sox
$3 – CBS 56% | Y! 52% | ESPN 47%
Pierzynski has been one of the hottest hitters on the Red Sox recently. Over the past two weeks, he’s hit .373 with a home run and seven runs batted in. The veteran backstop now has four homers and 27 runs batted in on the season and is making a case to be owned as a primary catcher in 12-team mixed leagues. The 37-year-old has posted two straight seasons of 70+ runs batted in and a .270+ batting average. Hitting from the left side, he has a career 105 wRC+ at home against right-handed pitching. That number has been especially strong at Fenway this year, where Pierzynski has a 149 wRC+ against righties, meaning his offensive performance has been 49% better than the league average.
First Base: Kendrys Morales, Free Agent
$8 – CBS 38% | Y! 20% | ESPN 15%
Morales will sign soon after the MLB amateur draft since he’ll no longer be tied to a compensation pick, teams including the Yankees, Royals, Mariners, Rangers and Indians will be interested in signing him. The 30-year-old first baseman/designated hitter has hit at least 20 home runs with 70 runs batted in in 2012-2013. Considering he played them in Seattle and Anaheim, the power is expected to play up even more should he land in a hitter-friendly venue. As a switch hitter, he sports a career 124 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. That number increases to a 135 wRC+ at home. Morales will make an impact as a corner infielder or utility man in all fantasy formats, but it strongest when leveraged as part of a splits strategy.
Second Base: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
$1 – CBS 13% | Y! 1% | ESPN 0%
No other prospect has turned as many heads as Mookie Betts this season. Prior to his receent promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, the 21-year-old was hitting .355/.443/.551 with six home runs and 22 stolen bases in Double-A. Even more impressive were his 7.9% strikeout rate and 13.8% walk rate. He’s recently begun playing the outfield, and he’ll be in Boston by September at this rate. The Red Sox GM said Betts won’t be an option in the near term, but he’s an faab fantasy baseball target owners want to snag now. The dual position eligibility and power/speed combo are fantasy baseball gold.
Third Base: Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies
$1 – CBS 34% | Y! 2% | ESPN 0%
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has said that Franco [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] isn’t ready for the big leagues yet, but the Phillies’ current situation at third base may force their hand. The position has been one of the weakest links for last place Philadelphia. Cody Asche (injured) is the only player at the hot corner this year to post a wRC+ over 70. Phillies third basemen as a whole rank dead last in baseball in fWAR. While Franco struggled out of the gate, he did hit 31 home runs across two levels in 2013. The 21-year-old also improved in May, hitting .282/.358/.445 for the month with three home runs and 13 runs batted in. His strikeout and walk rates also improved by significant margins. The top-50 prospect may not present as an attractive option on paper right now, but opportunity is half the battle when it comes to prospects.
Shortstop: Eugenio Suarez, Detroit Tigers
$1 – CBS 1% | Y! 0% | ESPN 0%
Considering Tigers shortstops had been hitting .178 with only one home run and 11 runs batted in, promoting 22-year-old middle infielder Eugenio Suarez was an easy call. The switch-hitter hit .302/.404/.535 with two home runs and two stolen bases in just 12 games at Triple-A prior to his call up. A 10% walk rate and 19% strikeout rate in his minor league career, paired with a .309/.382/.521 line against left-handed pitching make him a worthy addition to fantasy teams in AL-only formats and 15-team or deeper mixed formats. He’ll provide enough pop, speed, and defense to keep him in the lineup more often than not and the Venezuelan shortstop makes a nice addition to keeper and dynasty league rosters due to his age and a formidable Tigers lineup.
Outfield: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates
$20 – CBS 82% | Y! 40% | ESPN 49%
Polanco has been discussed in this column already this year, but is worth mentioning again with the possibility of a call up during the upcoming home stand. It’s also a great time to check out the FULL SCOUTING REPORT on the Pirates’ number one prospect. The 22-year-old outfielder has little to prove in Triple-A. He’s hit .351/.410/547 with six home runs and 14 stolen bases for Indianapolis with a 9% walk rate and a 16% strikeout rate. The Dominican Winter League MVP has the potential to make an immediate fantasy impact in all five categories and should be picked up in even the shallowest of formats.
Take A Gamble With FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets
While others may take the “wait and see” approach with free agents like Morales or prospects like Franco, savvy fantasy owners will snag these FAAB fantasy baseball targets ahead of the curve. A veteran like Morales has the ability to produce wherever he lands. Don’t miss out just because he may not end up in an ideal hitter’s park. Franco is still considered a top prospect. A bad April doesn’t kill his value.
5 Jun 2014 / Mike Buttil /
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