FAAB Top Targets (Hitters): 4/24/2014
This week’s crop of FAAB top targets includes a definite add for stolen bases, a talented power hitter with a fresh start and a top prospect thriving in his everyday role. We’ll also look at a couple of intriguing middle infielders – one whose current slump has him being dropped in far too many leagues, and another who is in Triple-A forcing his way into the MLB picture.
Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets
$1 (CBS 44% / Y! 5% / ESPN 1%)
d’Arnaud isn’t garnering as much attention as last week’s pick Devin Mesoraco, but he’s put together a couple of multi-hit games recently. The 25-year-old backstop has had freak injury issues, but is healthy and ready to contribute as the Mets everyday backstop. Mike Newman gave us this scouting report on the Mets’ backstop back in 2009. Prior to being traded to the Mets, d’Arnaud was an offensive force in the upper minors. And while it’s difficult to expect the same in MLB, d’Arnaud is an older prospect capable of producing now. The window for keeper league owners to buy low is closing quickly.
First Base: Ike Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates
$5 (CBS 31% / Y! 13% / ESPN 3%)
Davis is making a second appearance in this FAAB top targets series, albeit at a higher price. Still a favorite sleeper for 2014, the trade to Pittsburgh is a win-win situation for Davis, the Pirates, and fantasy owners. A grand slam on Monday night made a strong first impression and Ike Davis has the power potential to rebound. PNC Park ranks 26th in home runs so far, but Davis’ increased playing time and the positive approach of manager Clint Hurdle will instill new life. Plus, Davis posted strong home run totals in New York, a difficult home run environment too. The 27-year-old is entering his prime years and is worth taking a chance on.
Second Base: Tommy La Stella, Atlanta Braves
$1 (CBS 5% / Y! 0% / ESPN 0%)
La Stella doesn’t have the pop of Braves’ current second baseman Dan Uggla. He’s a contact hitter from the left side of the plate, but that won’t stop him from seeing MLB time this season. Uggla has two home runs and ten RBI, so La Stella isn’t going to overtake the incumbent second baseman…yet. The 25-year-old is hitting .346 with 11 runs and nine RBI for Triple-A Gwinnett. Should Uggla slump — and he will, La Stella’s left-handed bat will be too tempting for the Braves to resist. While not a fantasy stud, he’s a high floor prospect and solid add in NL-only and dynasty leagues.
Third Base: Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
$5 (CBS 68% / Y! 41% / ESPN 22%)
After a year in the outfield, Castellanos has returned to third base. The 22-year-old has slashed .250/.310/.430 with two home runs. While Mike Moustakas is the hot bat right now, Castellanos is the smart play among FAAB Top Targets in keeper and dynasty leagues. An advanced hitter with the potential to hit for both power and average in a strong Tigers lineup, the former first round draft pick had success against both lefties and righties in the minors. Mike Newman provided his take on Castellanos’ offensive potential last winter.
Shortstop: Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners
$5 (CBS 85% / Y! 55% / ESPN 18%)
Miller is mired in a slump with just two hits in his last 24 plate appearances. He’s also been dropped to the nine hole. The classic April panic attack has ensued and owners singing his praises after a strong start are now cutting bait. When identifying trends, it’s important to compare the player to himself first. Miller had a walk rate of 12% and strikeout percentage of 16% in nearly 1,000 minor league plate appearances. Because of this, his current 2.5% walk rate and 29% strikeout percentage are a slump, not a chronic issue. Chances are Miller was acquired cheap on draft day, making him an easy drop. If Miller hits the wire, grab him. Since his debut, Miller has 11 home runs in just 414 plate appearances — good for 13th amongst shortstops.
Outfield: Jarrod Dyson, Kansas City Royals
$2 (CBS 4% / Y! 1% / ESPN 0%)
Dyson will see a significant increase in playing time while Lorenzo Cain is on the disabled list. The outfielder’s asset is speed, so buy now and take advantage of the cheap steals. With 34 stolen bases in 239 plate appearances last season, he had the most SB’s per PA in baseball not counting Billy Hamilton’s outburst in September. The Royals are an aggressive team on the base paths, so look for Dyson and his 86% success rate to have the green light.
Fresh Starts For This Week’s FAAB Top Targets
Whether replacing an injured regular or getting a fresh start with a new team, this week’s FAAB top targets included players who will see increased playing time and subsequent fantasy baseball value. Take chances on players who suddenly find themselves in favorable playing time situations. In deep keeper and dynasty leagues, accumulating games is the key to winning more than having a roster of stars.
24 Apr 2014 / Mike Buttil / 2
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