FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Hitters): 7/25/14
Welcome back to FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets. In the last episode Travis d’Arnaud was recommended as a pick up. Since he returned from the minors the backstop has mashed an .872 OPS. Today we take another dive into the player pool, looking for players expected to receive increased playing time. As always, bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all major fantasy platforms.
Catcher: Welington Castillo, Chicago Cubs
$2 – Yahoo 3%, ESPN <1%, CBS 12%
Missed out on d’Arnaud while he was still available? Need to fill a hole while Yadier Molina is out? Take a second look at Castillo. The 27 year old Cubs backstop is recovered from his rib cage injury and has started hitting again over the last two weeks. For July as a whole, his 123 wRC+ is 23% above the league average — Good for seventh among catchers with 50-plus plate appearances.
First Base: Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies
$6 – Yahoo 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 4%
The Phillies have admitted Ryan Howard has little left in the tank. Darin Ruf has started to see more time at first base. Injuries have limited his production this season, but his wRC+ was 126 in 2013. This after belting 38 home runs in the upper minors. Expect Ruf to play versus right-handed pitchers down the stretch (134 wRC+ vs RHP). He’s a strong match up play and can be paired with another outfielder or first baseman to form a strong platoon.
Second Base: Emilio Bonifacio, Chicago Cubs
$5 – Yahoo 29%, ESPN 17%, CBS 42%
Just back from a strained oblique, the Cubs inserted Bonifacio back in the lineup. Before going down with the injury, the utility man’s 77 wRC+ on the season was just off his career pace (80 wRC+.) The number will rise if Rick Renteria decides to platoon him (91 wRC+ vs lefties). Bonifacio’s real asset is his speed (13 stolen bases) and versatility (eligible at second base, third base and outfield). In center field eligible leagues, bump Bonifacio up even higher. Stash the 29-year old and save a few FAAB Fantasy Baseball dollars.
Third Base: Eric Campbell, New York Mets
$1 – Yahoo 0%, ESPN <1%, CBS 1%
Campbell is a late bloomer for the New York Mets who enters MLB during his prime years. Listed here as a third baseman, the utility player is also eligible at first base and outfield in most formats. At the moment, Campbell mashes left-handed pitching (139 wRC+.) He’s also been better at home than on the road (133 wRC+ to 119 wRC+). In deep leagues with daily roster changes, Campbell is worth adding for a team with Pedro Alvarez as its third baseman. Historically, Alvarez has struggled against left-handed pitchers leaving Campbell as a $1 asset who can produce strong numbers 30-40 times per season.
Shortstop: Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies
$9 – Yahoo 10%, ESPN 3%, CBS 18%
Fantasy MVP candidate Troy Tulowitzki is out (again) for the foreseeable future. Taking his place is Rutledge, who is finally putting it together in the majors with a 121 wRC+. In his career, he’s been better against right-handed pitchers (87 wRC+ vs. 76 wRC+), but Rutledge has done the brunt of his damage against left-handed pitching this season. (196 wRC+ vs 95 wRC+). Rutledge has proven to be more than a “Coor’s Effect” hitter this season too. The 25-year old has a 149 wRC+ on the road. Given the scarcity of middle infield bats, Rutledge is worthy of FAAB Fantasy Baseball funds. Plus, it never hurts to pick up another Rockies hitter.
Outfield: Rusney Castillo, Cuba
$1 – Yahoo N/A, ESPN N/A, CBS N/A
Deep cut of the week: This one is going to depend on your leagues rules for players not in a major league organization yet. Castillo defected in December and has just been declared a free agent by MLB. There will be a workout for clubs to come see him this Saturday, after which he should soon sign a contract. While Castillo isn’t a power hitter like Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu, reports say he can stick in center field with speed and doubles power. The expectations set by his countrymen are immense, but Rusney doesn’t have to be an All-Star to be a valuable big leaguer. Stash him for $1 now.
Your FAAB Fantasy Baseball Dollars: It’s About The Playing Time
It doesn’t matter how talented a player is, bench players and minor leaguers don’t win championships. When looking for targets to spend FAAB Fantasy Baseball money on, bet on players expected to receive additional playing time. Whether the Triple-A player filling in for an injury or backup with upside receiving a chance to shine, being first to these players will help fill categories.
25 Jul 2014 / David Kaleida /
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