Hidden Fantasy Baseball Gems

Recently I did a post about the biggest fantasy baseball busts. That made me think I should do one on the best fantasy baseball picks. There is no definition of what a fantasy baseball gem is but, it is a player doing much better than what was expected of them before the season started. These are young guys finally breaking through or guys who have been okay steeping it up and taking it to the next level to be a major contributor to your fantasy team. Most of these players probably didn’t get drafted, or were the last the players drafted on your team. Here are a few fantasy baseball gems from the 2009 season and hopefully my fellow contributors will join in with a few in some follow up posts because I am sure there are others I am forgetting. This list is not in any specific order.

Mark Reynolds-In yahoo fantasy baseball leagues Mark Reynolds was projected to go 197 and he is currently the 15th best player according to them. Reynolds is a power hitter who strikes out way too much. Now for the past 2 seasons he has struck out more than 200 times per season. Last season he did hit 28 homeruns with 87 runs, 97 rbi, and 11 sb, but he only hit .239. This season he is hitting more homeruns when he connects with the baseball for 43 homeruns, 93 runs scored, and 100 rbi’s with 24 stolen bases. His average is a respectable .266 which is good for someone who helps in every other scoring category. A guy who hits over 40 homeruns and has 100 runs (he is close with 93) and 100 RBI’s and invaluable and he does all three plus 24 stolen bases which is great for a power hitter with his numbers. I don’t know if he will repeat next year, but he was probably the best fantasy baseball gem for being someone undrafted or starting on your bench to one of your best fantasy producers.

Aaron Hill-Aaron Hill was injury plagued during the 2008 campaign and only hit 2 homeruns with 19 runs and 20 rbi’s because of that. This is the reason he was projected to go 288 in yahoo leagues. He ended up continuing where he left off in 2007 and didn’t let his injury plagued last season to affect him from getting better this season and putting it together. For second basemen who hit 17 homeruns in 2007 he has put up great power with almost doubling his 2007 homerun total currently with 33. He has also scored 94 runs and 100 RBI’s with a respectable .286 average. The offense numbers he put up for an second basemen is great and there are not many others at this position who put up close to this type of production except for Chase Utley.

Kendry Morales-This season Kendry Morales was given playing time and showed the Angels he has the power they thought he had. He hit 31 homeruns, with 99 RBI’s, 77 runs, and hit .304. For a player who probably went undrafted in all of your leagues, he came out of nowhere and if you picked him up early enough, was a great catch.

Adam Lind- Adam Lind had 290 at-bats during the 2008 campaign and didn’t appear on many people’s radar for having the potential to be a major run producer, but he did that this season hitting 30 homeruns, driving in 106, and scoring 86 while hitting over .300. He turned out to be a nice power threat from a late pick.

Jayson Werth- Werth used to be a fourth outfielder for a number of years who showed last season he as a everyday player. This season he showed it he needed was more playing time to put it together and he hit 34 homeruns and scored/drove in 92 runs so far this season.

Justin Upton-Justin Upton broke into the league at a young age, but had some problems learning his game of baseball using his power and his speed. This season he did batting over .300 with 25 homeruns and 80 runs/RBI’s along with 19 stolen bases. Upton still has a lot of room for improvement and could easily be a 30 homerun 30 stolen bases in the next few seasons.

Jason Bartlett-Many forget that Jason Bartlett hit .286, 48 runs scored, 37 RBI, and 20 stolen bases during the 2008 season. This is why he was ranked 302 in yahoo leagues before the season started. This season despite being injured he broke out and is hitting .322with 83 runs, 64 RBI’s (impressive for a table setter) 14 homeruns (not a homerun hitter), and 25 stolen bases. Imagine next season if he stays healthy and gets a lot more at-bats than 472 while batting second for the Rays.

Pablo Sandoval-I drafted Pablo Sandoval in a few leagues because I thought he would put up decnt numbers and help me out because he was eligible to play three positions including catcher which is sometimes very hard to get decent production out of. After a few weeks or so I dropped him in most leagues because he was barley hitting 200. I learned the hard lesson and didn’t hold on to the rookie long enough. He ended up rewarding those who did hold on to him and is putting together a very good season in which he could win Rookie Of the Year. The best part of him this season was his catcher eligibility, but still helped where ever you played him.

Ben Zobrist- Ben Zobrist was given the chance to be the Rays every day shortstop a few years ago, but he failed to lock down the job because he couldn’t hit. He played a lot at first because of his great glove, but after a while they went with better offensive options in Brendan Harris or Jason Bartlett. This year because of injuries he was given a lot of playing time and showed he can play good defense everywhere, but can also hit the cover off the ball anywhere. He had a solid season and hopes to continue off of it next season.

Marco Scutaro-After being a utility man for a few years he showed he can hit and score runs besides for being a good glove. He has scored 100 runs, with 60 RBI and a .282 average for a guy that you can play at three spots in fantasy. He gives you good flexibility and was projected 308 in yahoo leagues.

Michael Bourn-Every season I am looking for players who came help me with stolen bases. There are very few elite stolen bases candidates and if you miss out on Jacoby Ellsbury (64 SB) and Carl Crawford (59 SB) whom were drafted in the top 30 then you need some other options. Michael Bourn turned out to be this guy if you could pick him up fast enough after he was projected to go 274. He has learned how to hit and get on base this year to steal 58 stolen bases.

Juan Rivera-I have always been a fan of Juan Rivera, but he is usually over passed and not given the playing time. This season he was given a chance after the big three year deal and he has showed what he can do. A few years ago I wanted the Cubs to go after him instead of Fukudome but we didn’t.

That was a few position players who turned out to be fantasy baseball gems for the 2009 season in my opinion because they played much better than what most people thought, and where they were drafted if they were. Hopefully my fellow contributors will post on some other players, especially pitchers which I didn’t get to in this post, but there were a few like Edwin Jackson that I got burned on like I did with Pablo Sandoval.

2 comments:

Sexy Rexy said...

scott feldman

ryan ludwick

adam wainwright

jason marquis

david aardsma

edwin jackson

way-rod

Sexy Rexy said...

* i meant ryan franklin, not ludwick