Fantasy Baseball Season Prep

By Travis Taylor
Mar. 09, 2017

After a bit of a lay-off, I'm back writing about my favorite fantasy sport season. With spring training well under way, there's no better time than now to get you prepared for your fantasy draft. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting about potential sleepers, breakout, and bounce-back candidates for you to target. Up first will be some players I believe are great sleeper options to target late in drafts yet will yield value you usually find in earlier rounds. 

Eric Thames, 1B, Brewers - After three extremely successful seasons in Korea that saw him average 41 HR's, 126 RBI, and a .347 BA, Thames is back in the Majors. Much like the Brewers who signed him to a 3-year deal, Thames is hoping he can carry over that success into the big leagues and help supplement what former Brewers first basemen Chris Carter left upon his release. Even though he was successful in Korea, it doesn't mean that it will correlate in the MLB, that being said, I project between 25 HR's, 78 RBI, and a .269 BA. Definitely not eye-popping numbers but I think he's worth drafting with one of your last picks or nabbing him from the waiver wire early in the season. 

Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates - Upon getting called up to the Majors in July, Bell went onto hit 3 HR, 19 RBI, a .273 BA, and was able to post more walks than strikeouts, which is a great developmental sign for a young player. Heading into the regular season, Bell is the favorite to start the year as the Pirates everyday first basemen. If Bell indeed is the starter heading into the season, I see him taking that starting role and running with it. He won't be on too many people's radar so target him late and thank me later. Bell averaging close to a .300 BA, flirting with 20 HR's and 80 RBI are well within this young players reach.

Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Red Sox - With the Red Sox going all-in this off-season in acquiring Chris Sale, they continued that trend by sending shipped Travis Shaw who played in 145 games last year to the Brewers for set-up man Tyler Thornburg. That trade ultimately means the Red Sox are going to give Sandoval another chance to be their everyday third baseman. He's reportedly shown up to camp in much better shape than last year which hopefully will translate to consistent production and a return to his glory days in San Francisco. With the hitter friendly ball park Sandoval is hitting in, he should easily be able to top 20 HR's, 75 RBI's, and an above average BA. With him being a couple years removed from fantasy relevance, targeting him late and getting him shouldn't be an issue.

Yulieski Gurriel, 3B, Astro's - After a successful in the Cuban Baseball League, the Houston Astros signed Gurriel to a five-year, $47.5 M deal to bolster their lineup. He was only able to appear in 36 games last year, but in those games he didn't look out of place. Putting a decent spring training under his belt heading into the regular season will go along way for his confidence. Gurriel will most likely go undrafted so if you have other players your targeting late in your draft, there's a good chance he'll will be available off your waiver wire.  

Until next time,

the wiz