Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
I am a big believer in transparency. If I’m going to share my thoughts and analysis on players, I ought to be willing to be an open book and let you know who I have actually invested in for this upcoming season.
Not to share too much information about my own fantasy leagues, but I play in four leagues. One traditional rotisserie league, one H2H league, one AL-only rotisserie league, and a new points league experiment (not H2H, cumulative season-long points) we’re trying here at FBCJ. So please keep in mind that the valuation of each player is slightly different depending on the format, but I own multiple shares of the following:
These are under-the-radar fantasy targets. We start with the hitters.
I am 100% invested in Kole Calhoun, owning him in all four of my leagues. The small major league sample size is the only question mark, in my mind. But it seems like everyone is talking about how the Angels are going to bounce back significantly this year.
A healthier Albert Pujols and some regression toward career averages for Josh Hamilton bode well. Mike Trout, too. Calhoun is currently slated to bat lead off in front of this crew of bashers. And while that major league sample size is insignificant, he’s posted OBPs of .431, .369, and .410 in his last three minor league seasons. If he can stick as the lead-off hitter for the whole season, this will be a HUGE profit.
The investment was minimal, too, so if he flames out, all it cost me was a late round draft pick in most instances.
The secret about Brad Miller was been uncovered as he went for $10 plus in many of the recent expert league auctions, but I snuck him in on the relatively cheap in some earlier drafts. There was a lot of talk about the battle between Miller and Nick Franklin for the Mariners starting shortstop job, but word that Miller is the superior defender and arguably the better offensive player allowed me to invest confidently.
He too displayed very strong hitting and on-base skills throughout his minor league career. He won’t start out the season atop the Mariners lineup, but I think he could get there in-season.
The boost the top of the lineup could offer would be significant (each spot you move up the lineup offers an additional 15-17 plate appearances over the course of the season). But even if he sticks at 9th, 15 HR and 15 SB are within reason.
All Aaron Hill needs to do is stay healthy (I know, I know, that’s not a guarantee) and I think he’s a top five second basemen. Even if he misses some time, he still ought to be a valuable investment, as Matt Schindler discusses here.
Kyle Seager gives me a lot of comfort. I feel like I know the floor I’m getting with him. His production has been very consistent the last two years and he’s even improved his walk rate, allowing him to get on-base more during the year. Whether you believe in lineup protection or not, batting in front of a weapon like Robinson Cano can’t hurt him.
At the very least it should lead to increased runs scored (Cano slugged .516 last season to Kendrys Morales‘ .449). He’s not flashy and it seems to me like he was skipped over in a few of my drafts.
Click HERE to see the pitchers I’m targeting.