AL Value Picks: Hitters

Sep 12, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun (56) dives in for the score off of a double hit by center fielder Mike Trout (not pictured) against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

1B/3B Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles

In 2013, Chris Davis was a top three fantasy baseball player, but last season was an absolute disaster for the first round fantasy draft pick.  The consensus seems to be that Crush Davis will be between those two seasons next year and he will be a good value if he goes outside the top 70 picks.

1B/OF Steve Pearce of the Baltimore Orioles

Steve Pearce was quietly dominant at the plate in 2014.  His 161 wRC+ and .930 OPS are right up there with the best sluggers in baseball.  In 102 games, Pearce crushed 21 bombs for the Orioles.  There is almost no way that Steve Pearce can repeat his pace in 2015, but he is certainly worth the risk at an inexpensive price tag.

SS J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles

J.J. Hardy’s lack of power in 2014 was quite surprising to me.  I am definitely going to draft Hardy in 2015 because he will be a cheap source of power at a very thin fantasy position.  Here is an article on why I believe that Hardy will return to normalcy in 2015.

C Brian McCann of the New York Yankees

Brian McCann was one of the most unlucky players with a .231 BABIP despite his solid 22.2% line drive rate.  Despite the fact that he was a relative disappointment, McCann still managed to hit 23 home runs.  He should be a top five catcher next year at a below market value price.

1B Adam LaRoche of the Chicago White Sox

In November, Adam LaRoche signed a $25 million deal.  The number 25 is meaningful for Adam LaRoche because it seems like he hits that HR total year after year.  From 2008 to 2010, LaRoche hit exactly 25 homers and he hit 26 last year with the Nationals.  He will continue to hit for nice power at a great value at age 35.

1B/OF Brandon Moss of the Oakland A’s

I have highlighted the fact that Brandon Moss was awesome in 2014 before his hip injury shut down all of his productivity.  You can read the article here, but all you need to know is that Moss had 21 homers at the All-Star Break.

C Yan Gomes of the Cleveland Indians

I have Yan Gomes higher than most people as my #2 catcher behind only Buster Posey.  Gomes won the AL Silver Slugger with his 21 home runs and a .278/.313/.472 slash line.  He will be one of the premier fantasy catchers for years to come.  It would not surprise me in the slightest to see Yan Gomes finish as this year’s top catcher in fantasy baseball.

OF Rajai Davis of the Detroit Tigers

Rajai Davis will provide cheap steals if he gets enough plate appearances.  I think the Tigers will find a spot to fit Rajai Davis in the outfield most every day, which means he should steal 30+ bases.

OF J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers

I have written before about why J.D. Martinez will still be a great value even if he regresses.  His batting average is almost a lock to decline, but his power is legit.  Martinez should go right around pick #100 on average, but I think he has the chance to be a fringe top 50 player in 2015.  Here are some of my thoughts on why he could be a good option for 2015 and beyond.

2B Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins

At this point, I have probably referenced Brian Dozier more than any other player.  He is the new and improved Ian Kinsler, but he is going two rounds later.  Even though Dozier broke out in 2014, he still is a nice value next year.  I have more optimistic thoughts on him in this article.

OF George Springer of the Houston Astros

Another one of the players that I have harped about for the 2015 season is George Springer.  In my eyes, Springer was the most impactful and best rookie when he played.  He has jaw-dropping power and wheels even if Springer did not utilize his base-stealing much in his rookie campaign.  I think George Springer is easily a top 50 player in 2015, and here is an excerpt on him.

C Evan Gattis of the Houston Astros

What can I say?  I like pop in my fantasy lineup.  Evan Gattis has 20 to 25 home run power with catcher eligibility.  I have Gattis as a top five catcher this year because of his rare power and ability to put up a very strong slash line.  The lineup in Houston is chock full of guys who are three outcome players, so it will be a fun team to watch even though they will be wildly inconsistent.

OF Kole Calhoun of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Even after a breakout 2014 season, Kole Calhoun still projects to keep improving for the Angels.  While Calhoun is now a top 75 pick, he could produce way more than that because of his intriguing plus R/HR profile in a high octane offense hitting a spot or two before Mike Trout.  Kole Calhoun should be one of four Angels to hit 20+ homers and improve upon his 2014 if he plays in more games.

OF Seth Smith of the Seattle Mariners

Seth Smith has always been a favorite of mine for his ability to get on-base and his knack for timely home runs.  I swear that I see Seth Smith hitting a pinch hit homer every other week.  While Smith is more than likely a fantasy bench bat, he offers steady production for your team.

3B Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners

One of my mentioned players during the offseason has been Kyle Seager.  I have pointed out repeatedly that Kyle Seager is just a cheaper (more in fantasy than real life) and younger version of Evan Longoria.  You can view those thoughts here.  A repeat of Seager’s 71/25/96/7/.268 sounds quite nice for my third baseman.

OF Justin Ruggiano of the Seattle Mariners

The odds of Justin Ruggiano having much fantasy relevance are pretty unlikely, but he has always been a favorite of mine.  If Ruggiano works his way into the lineup, then he is a good bet for some production in all of the counting stats categories.