FAAB Top Targets (Hitters): 4/10/2014
This week’s FAAB top targets focuses on youth and upside. These players are sometimes overlooked in leagues where owners are less focused on the future, but they make great plays in keeper and dynasty leagues where buying in on a player before they peak is a key to success. Included are a pair of Astros power hitters, a Cub finally getting his chance to play in a full-time role, and one of the biggest surprises on the Mariners not named Justin Smoak.
Catcher – Welington Castillo, Chicago Cubs
$2 (CBS 13% / Y! 3% / ESPN 1%)
The Cubs have turned to 26-year-old Welington Castillo as their everyday catcher. He showed power potential in 2013 with eight home runs in 428 plate appearances. That mark should continue to improve as his power develops with age and he adjusts to the responsibilities of a primary backstop. Castillo’s walk rate decreased a tick in 2013, but his strikeout rate improved by four percentage points. Steamer sees increased power as well, projecting him for 12 home runs in just 388 plate appearances this season. As the Cubs’ lineup improves, so will Castillo’s counting stats. He’s a buy-low candidate thanks to a sluggish (2-for-23) start to the season.
First Base – Chris Carter, Houston Astros
$5 (CBS 53% / Y! 35% / ESPN 24%)
Carter has power and he strikes out too much. These things we know. Over the past two seasons he’s hit 57 home runs and has struck out 369 times in just 287 games. It’s easy to say Carter has power and we’ll just have to stomach his terrible batting average. Digging deeper into the stats reveals an interesting split. Carter hit .164/.277/.328 at Minute Maid Park last season. He hit .279/.360/.565 everywhere else. Platooning Carter in a fantasy lineup and starting him on the road yielded 19 homers, 57 runs batted in, and a .279 batting average in 2013. That’s great value for a player acquired in the last round of the draft or off the top of the scrap heap. The dual eligibility at corner infield and outfield adds to his appeal.
Second Base – Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
$7 (CBS 76% / Y! 28% / ESPN 6%)
Wong offers fantasy owners balanced offensive production. Much like last week’s pick, Chris Owings, Wong has a nice mix of power and speed for a middle infielder. Panic has already set in over his .153 batting average to start the year. If Wong has been left for dead, scoop him up. In three minor league seasons, Wong hit .302/.366/.447 with a 12.5% strikeout percentage and 8.4% walk rate. He’s capable of 10 homers and 20 steals in the major leagues with strong counting stats in a solid Cardinals lineup. Those numbers translate into a top-12 fantasy second baseman as soon as this year. He’s a great target in keeper leagues at age 23 and one of our FAAB top targets.
Third Base – Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros
$5 (CBS 51% / Y! 12% / ESPN 3%)
Dominguez is off to a fast start with two home runs in just 9 games. He’s going to bring raw power to your third base slot, albeit with an average that likely won’t go north of .260. Drafted 12th overall by the Marlins in 2007, Dominguez was a quality prospect that the savvy Astros acquired in the Carlos Lee deal. Dominguez is just 24 years old and has no real threat to his post at the hot corner in Houston. His power should continue to develop as he enters his prime and that could mean a consistent 25 home run threat. This year, Dominguez is capable of 20 homers and 70 runs batted in. That’s solid production from a player that was overlooked in many drafts in favor of a more well-known name like Mike Moustakas. In terms of FAAB top targets, we prefer the Astros third baseman.
Shortstop – Adeiny Hechavarria, Miami Marlins
$1 (CBS 45% / Y! 14% / ESPN 26%)
A hot start for Hechavarria has gotten him some attention since he started several games hitting lead off for the Marlins. Hechavarria is a deep league or NL-only play over the long haul, but if you are streaming a bat or playing the latest hot hand in a shallower league Hechavarria is interesting. He isn’t a burner, but double-digit steals are in the cards as well as a handful of homers. He gets a great match-up this weekend against A.J. Burnett of the Phillies, who is prone to giving up stolen bases. Obviously he won’t continue to hit .400, but if he can continue to get himself on base at the top of the lineup there is a good chance he could eclipse his runs projections (45) by a wide margin. Mike Newman saw something in Hechavarria that made him worth drafting in the Dynasty Guru Experts’ League.
Outfield – Abraham Almonte, Seattle Mariners
$3 (CBS 20% / Y! 5% / ESPN 2%)
The Mariners have been one of the great stories to start the 2014 season. When Lloyd McClendon opted to go with Abraham Almonte as his leadoff hitter, many in the general fantasy public had never even heard of him. He’s making a case to be 12-team mixed league worthy with his performance. One week into the season and he’s already notched a homer and a steal. While Kole Calhoun got most of the sleeper buzz, Almonte could put up 10 homers and 20 steals just as easily. He’s still widely available and should continue to hit in front of Brad Miller and Robinson Cano. That will translate into a lot of runs scored as long as he doesn’t run into too many outs. Like Dominguez, he’s just 24 years old and could prove to one of this season’s big surprises. You can read a brief scouting report on Almonte by Mike Newman here at ROTOscouting.
FAAB Top Targets: Finding Keepers On The Wire
Some of the most satisfying players to own are the ones that reward us with their play after we saw something in them that our league mates overlooked. Taking the time to look for young, high-upside players on the waiver wire can be demanding but it’s time well spent in competitive keeper and dynasty leagues.
10 Apr 2014 / Mike Buttil /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?