We are two games into the Australian baseball season and Yasiel Puig is already making the right kind and the wrong kind of headlines.
The Good: Puig goes 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI in a 7-5 Dodgers win, helping the NL West favorites improve to 2-0.
The Bad: Puig makes two baserunning mistakes and leaves with a mysterious injury in the 9th after striking out. His manager - Don Mattingly - says Puig "grabs something every time he takes a swing and misses." So this injury seems like the equivalent of the Cornerback grabbing his hamstring after the Wide Receiver burns him for a touchdown, or when I grab my ankle and hobble around after I pop out in kickball.
But anyway, it made me think, "wow, Yasiel Puig is going to be an interesting Fantasy player this year." Of course I should have better things to do/think about on a Saturday night, but that's a topic for another blog post.
So with that said, here are my five most interesting Fantasy players of 2014. I know I'm going to miss a bunch, so please chime in with your thoughts.
1. Ryan Braun (Average Draft Position: Round 2 in Points, Round 1 in Roto): At his best, Braun was clearly one of the top players in baseball. His 2013 season featured injuries and a PED-related suspension. I'm optimistic about Braun and I think he'll give you first round value, but with so much risk I wouldn't draft Braun until Round 2.
2. Albert Pujols (ADP: Round 5 in both formats): In 2012 Pujols hit .285 with 30 HRs and 105 RBIs. The HRs, OBP, Slugging % and Batting Average were all career-lows at the time (before his injury-plagued 2013 season). And yet Pujols still finished as the #3 First Baseman in Fantasy in 2012. So are those numbers unattainable? I don't think so. Give me Pujols in Round 5.
3. Yordano Ventura (ADP: Round 16 in Points, Round 19 in Roto): ... And those ADPs are rising. Ventura throws 150 mph changeups, apparently, but he has only thrown 15.1 innings in the Big Leagues. But could he be a star for your Fantasy team? Sure, why not? He could be. Round 16 seems about right to me. If he's a total bust in Round 16 it won't hurt your team that much. BONUS: He gives you some good Ace Ventura team names to play with.
4. Mike Moustakas (ADP: Round 16 in Points, Round 19 in Roto): Same ADP as Ventura and rising like Ventura. He's interesting because Spring Training numbers can be so misleading. But Moustakas is having a big Spring (1.437 OPS through 19 games) and if he meets his potential he could provide great late-round value. Or he could teach us a valuable lesson about buying in to Spring Training stats.
5. Jose Abreu (ADP: Round 10 in Points, Round 9 in Roto): If you have faith in Jose Abreu you can pass up the elite First Basemen and wait nine rounds for this guy. There is one major drawback to drafting Abreu: Having him on your team might force you to watch more White Sox games on TV. You'll have to decide how much "he gone" and "YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOOOAAARRRRDDDD ... YYYYEEEESSSS!" you can stomach. Hey, some people love it.
Let me know who interests you this season!