There are some talented DH-only hitters this season but do they provide enough to be worth drafting on your team?
Fantasy baseball leagues are constructed in a lot of different ways. Teams, player pool, roster size, positions. All of this determines your draft strategy and how to construct your roster. Then again, one wrong pick and that goes out the window. One thing to question is if the DH-only hitters are valuable enough to be drafted?
I will be basing this off of ESPN standard fantasy position eligibility. That means, 20 games played at each position to qualify for the following year. Every league and website is different, so check your position settings before drafting.
There are some good hitters at will qualify at DH only. They can still provide counting stats in the hitting categories. Some may help with your ratio stats. The downside is that they will be locked in as your DH or UTIL until they gain eligibility elsewhere. With the way these players’ respective rosters are looking, that may not happen.
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The hitter atop the list is veteran Albert Pujols. He’s been relatively healthy over the last few years, playing in an average of 154 games with 30 home runs and 105 RBI per season. The negative was that he hit .251 in that span. Pujols hit .241 in 149 games last season.
The addition of Shohei Ohtani creates a problem for the Angels and fantasy owners. The Angels announced that they plan on using Ohtani on both sides of the ball. With CJ Cron and Luis Valbuena at first base, Pujols and Ohtani will split time as the DH. That will cut into Pujols playing time. The odds of him playing in another 149 games are slim. Expect 20 home runs and not 30 this season.
The second name on the list is Nelson Cruz. The Seattle Mariners were in on the Ohtani sweepstakes too but lost out to their division rivals. The team went elsewhere by trading for Ryon Healy and Dee Gordon. With Gordon likely playing the outfield, this will keep Cruz away from the field.
Cruz is another veteran that continues to stay healthy, playing in at least 152 games over the last four seasons. The Mariners offense looks good on paper. Healy, Gordon, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura just to name a few. Cruz will hit in the heart of the order. I think he will be my No. 1 DH this season.
A few others are Hanley Ramirez, Kendrys Morales, Brandon Moss and Matt Holliday. The latter is currently a free agent. Outside of Ramirez in deeper leagues, I wouldn’t want to draft any of these players. They don’t provide more than what a position player can. You can slot your backup infielder in the utility spot to get the most from your whole lineup, not just one position.
There are two or three DH-only players worth drafting in most leagues this season, Cruz, Pujols and Ramirez. Your best bet is to add depth to your team by drafting multiple position players. It helps for performance and in case of injury.