Here's where you're going to see the most changes from two months ago.
I revisited breakouts and busts in recent days and decided to swap out a few players based on what CBSSports.com draft averages told me about their value. Nothing major. For the sleepers, though, I went hog wild, swapping out more than half.
Between the data and my own drafting experience, I now have a better idea which are the best players to target late, and so naturally, I want to highlight the best. It doesn't mean that the seven I removed aren't sleepers anymore, as you'll see when you read each one's "reason for removal," but they're not the ones I'm moving heaven and earth to get.
No, these 12 -- The Newcomers and The Holdovers -- are the ones I'm hoping will set me apart this year.
Note: Average draft position, assuming a 12-team league, is shown for both Rotisserie and Head-to-Head formats above each player's name.
Jung Ho Kang suffered a nasty leg injury late last year -- the kind that could change the course of a player's career -- so in an alternate universe where Fantasy owners are drafting him as if he stubbed his toe or something, I could see how might be too risky.
But in our actual universe where he has made quick progress in his recovery, suffering no setbacks and looking like he'll miss just the first two or three weeks, something tells me he deserves to be going ahead of Lucas Duda, Kole Calhoun and Ben Revere.
You know what that something is? His numbers.
His overall line is impressive enough -- that .816 OPS actually ranked third among shortstop-eligible players with at least 300 at-bats -- but if you eliminate those first few months when he was adjusting to life in the majors and playing his way into a full-time role, you're left with a .316 batting average, 11 home runs and .926 OPS.
That's what he did over his final 57 games -- or roughly one-third of the season -- and it compares favorably to Carlos Correa, who you may recognize from the first round of every mock draft you've seen. He only delivered a .857 OPS, and we've already built an altar for him.
Would Kang have sustained that pace if he hadn't torn his meniscus and fractured his tibia? I'd guess not, but I do think he's closer to being that player than the one we saw during the early adjustment period. And his numbers in Korea would seem to back it up. He was a 40-homer guy there -- and without the crazy-high strikeout rate Byung Ho Park had.
For high-end production at the weakest position Fantasy, I think I can wait a couple weeks. Kang would be a bargain in Round 9, much less Round 13 and beyond.
I think a big reason Joe Panik lasts as long as he does is because we don't really know how to evaluate players with his skill set. Batting average is the least predictable of the five traditional hitting categories. Most come about a high one by happenstance. The one who are predisposed to it are few.
Panik is one of those few.
His .330 BABIP combined with his up-the-middle approach suggests his .312 batting average was as legitimate as a .312 batting average can get (because they're always kind of fluky), and it just so happens that batting average is the most difficult of the five traditional hitting categories to shore up in the late rounds. Unfortunately, it's only one in which Panik stands out.
But that goes for just Rotisserie formats. Head-to-Head points is a different story.
The reason Panik's batting average and BABIP match up so closely is because he so rarely strikes out, and in standard CBSSports.com leagues, the absence of strikeouts actually boosts a hitter's point total. And while Panik isn't a big home run threat, he's no slap hitter either. If not for a late-season back injury, he would have hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 doubles to go along with a dozen or so home runs, which isn't so different from what Ian Kinsler contributes these days.
In fact, Panik actually outscored Kinsler on a per-game basis last year. If you believe those numbers were sustainable, why wouldn't you hold out for him four rounds later?
Clearly, the Head-to-Head points format is the preferred one for Panik, but he's going too late in both. I'm OK loading up at other positions knowing he'll still be available.
You may not remember that before Victor Martinez tore the meniscus in his left knee early in spring training last year, we were drafting him as early as Round 2. And why not? He was coming off a year in which he ranked fourth among all hitters in Head-to-Head points leagues and fifth in Rotisserie. It was an outlier performance -- and at age 35, no less -- but even factoring in some regression, he profiled as a stud.
Now, he's a complete afterthought, getting drafted alongside Yan Gomes and Trevor Plouffe.
A bad year will do that for a player -- particularly one on the wrong side of 35 -- but it seems a little excessive given that Martinez has a built-in excuse: He had surgery to repair his meniscus two months before opening day.
That doesn't sound the alarm for anyone else? He rushed back only to relent about six weeks in and finally go on the DL, but then when he returned, he still wasn't right. He never really got a proper rehabilitation, and because he's a switch hitter, it shows in his splits. From the left side, the one most impacted by the knee, he hit .219 with a .616 OPS, but from the right side, he hit .348 with an .870 OPS.
Meanwhile, his contact rate was still exceptional -- the 11th-best in baseball, if he had the at-bats to qualify -- and he didn't have any of the other usual age indicators. You could sense the excitement beginning to build when he homered a couple times from the left side early this spring.
"I feel stronger this year," Martinez told MLive.com at the time. "I feel I'm able to use my legs a lot more. I'm the kind of hitter that I use my feet in my swing. I'm aggressive and I'm able to do that."
If not for a hamstring strain in mid-March -- by all indications, a day-to-day issue -- I think he'd be getting a lot more attention now. And yes, at 37, he's going to get hurt sometimes. But as likely as he is to deliver elite numbers when he's healthy, particularly in Head-to-Head points leagues where plate discipline counts for something in and of itself, he's a no-brainer choice in the late rounds.
In 2014, Denard Span ranked 14th among outfielders in Head-to-Head points leagues and 21st in Rotisserie. It was a career year for sure, but his .302 batting average, .771 OPS and 31 stolen bases all seemed like numbers he could repeat, judging by his peripherals.
In 2015, he ranked 102nd among outfielders in Head-to-Head points leagues and 96th in Rotisserie, but that was in 61 games rather than 147. He still had a .301 batting average, a .771 OPS and, if he played as many games as in 2014, he would have had about 27 steals.
The Head-to-Head points format, by consolidating all of his contributions into one clean number, gives us the clearest indication of just how productive he was. On a per-game basis, he outperformed George Springer, J.D. Martinez and Charlie Blackmon, among others, and was the 14th-best outfielder overall.
It's true he's better suited for that format than Rotisserie given his extra-base pop and low strikeout rate, but batting average and stolen bases are his two strongest 5x5 categories and two that you wouldn't normally expect to get from any one player late in a draft. It's why you pay a premium for Jacoby Ellsbury -- who, by the way, has been only a .265 hitter over the last two years.
Span, like Victor Martinez, rushed back from surgery, his to his core muscles, and his back, which tried to compensate for the weakened core, felt the impact of that decision the rest of the way. With an offseason of rest, that issue is behind him now. I like his chances of staying healthy better than Colby Rasmus' or Delino DeShield's chances of performing like a top-20 outfielder. That's what you'd be passing up in a Rotisserie league.
Maybe Kevin Pillar isn't as much a sleeper as he is under-appreciated, being one of just six players with at least 10 home runs and 25 stolen bases last year. Of course, those numbers made him only the 28th-best outfielder in Head-to-Head points leagues and the 27th-best in Rotisserie, which is still much higher than he's being drafted but nothing that would suggest he has real upside at age 27.
Then again, maybe he does. Of those five other players to meet those home run and stolen base thresholds last year, four (Jose Altuve, A.J. Pollock, Charlie Blackmon and Starling Marte) are early round picks this year, and the one who isn't, Gregory Polanco, is thought to have that kind of upside as well. And you know where the highest-ranked of the two, Altuve and Pollock, have the biggest advantage over the rest? They make tons of contact, giving them an abnormally high chance of batting over .300. Altuve had the fifth-best strikeout rate last year. Pollock had the 30th-best.
Pillar, at 13.5 percent, was 31st. He was right there with them.
His .306 BABIP, compared to Altuve's .329 and Pollock's .338, is what held him back, and given that he hits the ball on the ground and can certainly run, you have reason to believe it'll be higher this time around. And oh yeah, he's expected to bat leadoff for the Blue Jays -- a team with no fewer than four MVP candidates (including the most recent AL winner) in the heart of its lineup.
With the expected improvement in batting average and runs scored, Pillar has a chance to sneak into the top 20 in the outfield, and even if it doesn't pan out, hey, he's cheap steals in a Rotisserie league.
Full disclosure: When I put together my original sleepers, breakouts and busts columns back in January, I nearly included J.A. Happ among the busts.
I just felt like toward the end of 2015, the hype had gotten out of control, with some pundits making Happ out to be Gerrit Cole's co-ace in a rotation that also included Francisco Liriano. It seemed ridiculous given where Happ was just two months earlier and in the four years prior to that, and my jaded, surface-level analysis concluded that the only reason these talking heads were giving Happ's 1.85 ERA in 11 starts for the Pirates any credit was because he was working with pitching guru Ray Searage. So, hey, it must be a miracle.
But since then, I've come to read more about what exactly Searage did to help Happ, and it wasn't just smoke and mirrors. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Happ was throwing on an indirect path to home plate, so Searage raised his arm slot, helping him to locate his mid-90s fastball better and giving him the confidence to throw it more. It curtailed not only his walks but also his home runs, as crisper location is bound to do.
It's not that Happ didn't know what to do. He finished second NL Rookie of the Year voting back in 2009, remember, and probably should have won it. It's just that he fell into bad habits and needed a pitching coach like Searage to remind him how to do what he knew to do.
More than anything, it's the strikeout rate that signals the legitimacy of his transformation. It went from 6.8 in his 21 appearances for the Blue Jays to 9.8 in his 11 starts for the Pirates and got progressively better during his time in Pittsburgh. This wasn't some BABIP-driven string of good fortune. He flat-out dominated.
The trick will be whether he understands his mechanics enough to maintain them without the watchful eye of Searage or if he'll fall back into the same habits now with the Blue Jays (who must have believed in the transformation themselves, by the way, to have taken Happ back at a higher salary). For a late-round pick, I'll gamble on the former.
You've heard what absence does for the heart, right? Well, it's not so great for the nerve. In the case of Jerad Eickhoff, I lost mine.
I fully intended to hype him as a sleeper after he dominated for the Phillies down the stretch last year. You see the numbers from all eight starts, but he was even better over his last four, delivering a 0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
He was supposed to be one of the lesser pieces the Phillies acquired in the Cole Hamels deal, but he won over his teammates pretty quickly.
"If none of the other guys ever pan out, he's worth it alone," outfielder Jeff Francoeur told the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time.
But then when Eickhoff fractured his right thumb early in spring training, my resolve began to weaken. Nobody else seemed to be hyping him, and it's not like he was some uber prospect. I probably made too much of it, right?
Then I saw him throw his curveball again in his spring debut Tuesday against the Twins:
Oh ... my ... gosh, Becky.
If he locates that pitch, he'll get strikeouts by the bushel, as he already showed last year. And it's not just me saying it. J.P. Arencibia, his battery mate in that start, didn't mince words.
"He's a freaking stud," the journeyman catcher said.
The knock on Eickhoff coming up through the Rangers system was that he lacked a changeup, but the Phillies say he has a good one now. If that's the case, I picked the wrong curveballer when I hyped Rich Hill early on.
It's pretty simple with Raisel Iglesias. Once he shook off the rust from his long layoff and regained command of all four of his pitches, the Cuban defector showed exactly why the Reds gave him a seven-year contract in the summer of 2014.
But it happened in a small enough window before reaching his innings limit that it may not have reverberated throughout the Fantasy-playing world.
Just look at his final nine starts. He had a 3.13 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings, which is impressive just at face value. Then you look at the ratios and see that in addition to that strikeout rate, he kept the walks low. His home run rate wasn't even so bad considering he pitches half his games at Great American Ballpark. Because he's a sinkerballer, it has a chance to go down from here, which would mean he delivers on all three legs of the FIP triangle, excelling in the three areas a pitcher directly controls. That low-threes ERA is pretty much on the mark.
But again, it didn't get much attention at the time it was happening, so he's not going to get the appreciation he deserves on Draft Day. He has a real chance of delivering top-30 numbers with a late-round pick.
One look at Gio Gonzalez's 1.42 WHIP last year will tell you the guy isn't what he used to be. Except every one of his other numbers will tell you he absolutely is.
Particularly those he has the most direct influence over: the walk, strikeout and home run rates. Yup, he's still sub-par at the one but terrific at the other two, bringing last year's FIP -- which estimates ERA based on those three rates -- to a cool 3.05.
You know what it was his first three years with the Nationals? Try 2.82, 3.41 and 3.02. And as you already know, his actual numbers (as opposed to his theoretical ones) were completely in line. He even won 21 games in 2012.
So what went wrong? While I'm of the opinion that the batting average a pitcher allows isn't all luck, Gonzalez's was unusually high last year, especially given how few of those hits were leaving the park, which most likely accounts for the spike in WHIP. Given that he's still a candidate for 200 strikeouts year-in and year-out, his sudden hittability seems awfully suspicious. He did have the highest BABIP among qualifying pitchers last year, after all.
With the walks he allows, he won't be a great source of WHIP, but he could be Francisco Liriano, only eight rounds later.
If Jonathan Schoop is going to amount to anything in Fantasy, it'll be because of his power. Normally, one-trick ponies don't make for the most reliable selections, especially ones who walk as rarely as he does, but this one trick is especially rare among middle infielders. And as late as you'd be drafting Schoop, reliability isn't what you're after anyway.
So how much power are we talking? Well, his ISO -- which is simply slugging percentage minus batting average, neutralizing the impact of singles on slugging percentage -- was .203 last year. Among full-time second basemen, only those of Brian Dozier and Rougned Odor were higher.
In other words, he has 30-homer potential at a position that hasn't seen a 30-homer player since Robinson Cano in 2012, and sure enough, if you project his numbers last year over 600 at-bats, making up for those three months he missed with a torn ligament in his knee, he would have finished with 29.5 home runs.
At age 24, he's still coming into his own, and considering he was also known for his high contact rate in the minors, the one-trick pony label may ultimately sell him short.
Danny Valencia met the Athletics' fabled standard of imperfection (Island of Misfit Toys, anyone?) as a corner infielder with no power, at least not against right-handed pitchers, when they plucked him off waivers from the Blue Jays last August.
But a funny thing happened when they began playing him every day: He mashed. It didn't matter that he was facing righties regularly or playing in a bigger home park than ever before. He homered 11 times in 183 at-bats for Athletics, giving him 18 home runs in 345 at-bats overall.
Project that over 600 at-bats, and you get 31 homers -- or more than all but four third basemen (the ones you'd expect -- Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and Todd Frazier) hit in 2015. And it's not like he stopped hitting doubles during that time. His ISO in 2015, which is simply slugging percentage minus batting average to make sure that the latter doesn't skew the former, was .229. Kris Bryant's was only .213.
No power, you say? Turns out Valencia was one of the best power hitters at his position last year -- and in enough at-bats for you to take notice. It helps that the Athletics don't seem to be making contingency plans, actually unloading one in the form of Brett Lawrie this offseason.
Truth is I was prepared to call Vincent Velasquez a sleeper even before the Astros shipped him to the Phillies in the Ken Giles deal. His opportunity wasn't as clear in Houston, but his potential sure was.
This is a guy who averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in each of his five minor-league seasons -- and without any glaring control problems. He averaged more than nine strikeouts per nine innings in his first taste of the majors last year while throwing arguably his best pitch, the changeup, less than 10 percent of the time.
And best of all, because that first taste came primarily as a reliever, that's where he'll be eligible to begin 2016. In a year when the most notable SPARPs (starting pitchers as relief pitchers) are the kind you wouldn't want in Fantasy otherwise -- hittable types like Doug Fister, Tanner Roark, etc. -- Velasquez actually offers something in the way of upside.
Particularly in Head-to-Head points leagues, where his relief pitcher eligibility is so valuable, you'll want to target Velasquez late, especially coming off a strong spring that has likely secured him the fifth starter job in Philadelphia.
At this time a year ago, Jeff Samardzija looked like he had finally established himself as a no-questions-asked Fantasy ace, coming off a dominant season split between the Cubs and Athletics. So for him to qualify for this list now, he would have had to have suffered a complete meltdown in 2015. That's basically what happened in his one season with the White Sox. He was always vulnerable to home runs, so the move to a hitter's park couldn't have helped. But it doesn't explain his strikeout rate dropping from 8.3 to 6.9 per nine innings. No, something must have happened to his actual arsenal to account for that change, and -- looky there -- he suddenly started throwing a cutter more. It's a specialty for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper -- he basically made Esteban Loaiza's career off it -- but it serves some pitchers better than others because when it doesn't cut like it should, well, it's basically a slower, fatter fastball -- one susceptible to, yup, flying out of the ballpark. Samardzija has also said he was tipping his pitches most of the year and corrected it just before his final two starts, when he allowed two earned runs over 16 innings, so there's another possible explanation. Clearly, major-league teams weren't deterred by his numbers. He had no shortage of suitors and nearly got a nine-figure deal with the Giants. San Francisco is a great place for a homer-prone pitcher like him, too. But the truth is I would have liked him going anywhere that would de-emphasize his use of the cutter, which is hopefully anywhere but Cooper's domain.
Reason for removal: I could see the glass half full when I thought Samardzija would cost next to nothing, but investing a 10th-round pick in him isn't just hoping for a rebound. It's presuming one. None of my little theories are convincing enough for me to the roll the dice at a point when I'm still building the foundation of my team.
Blocking an up-and-comer with an old retread is a typical Yankee move, so if you had any enthusiasm for Robert Refsnyder entering the offseason, you couldn't have been too surprised when the Yankees acquired Starlin Castro from the Cubs. Here's the thing, though: This particular retread is only a year older than the up-and-comer. Forget what that says about Refsnyder for the moment. For Castro, it should kill the notion that his best years are behind him. We forget just how young he was to start out. He made an All-Star team at age 21. Only seven players in all of history have done so at such a young age and then not returned after their 25th birthday. For as much as Castro has disappointed the last couple years, time is on his side, and his performance the first three years was so promising that you have to think the change of scenery -- going to an organization that actually believes in him as opposed to one that treated him like he was in somebody else's way -- could make all the difference. It's not like he has profiled as a different hitter over the last three years. He hasn't struck out substantially more and hasn't been hitting more fly balls, which turn into outs more often than ground balls and line drives do. He just hasn't hit for as high of a batting average, so it really comes down to which three-year period you believe was the fluke. Taking into account Castro's age and pedigree, I'm going to say the last three years were brought about by untimely slumps and diminished confidence. He seemed like he might already be getting back to form over his final 25 games last year, batting .378 with five home runs and a 1.080 OPS in 82 at-bats. Given that he was an early-round shortstop just two years ago, the opportunity to take him with your last-round pick should be an appealing one.
Reason for removal: Castro isn't going as late as I thought he would. It's not that he's a reach in Round 15, but too many high-upside starting pitchers are available at that point for me to take the plunge, especially knowing I can grab a shortstop like Trevor Story, Eugenio Suarez or Marcus Semien later.
You may be thinking we've already done this with Byron Buxton. He already had his chance, and so to continue to pursue him is a fool's errand. But then, you may remember Mike Trout hit only .220 in his first partial season in the majors. Why should we expect any newcomer, no matter how highly regarded, to immediately measure up to the best the world has to offer? In case it wasn't obvious, the learning curve for the majors is steep -- and that's especially true for Buxton, whose brief minor-league career was frequently interrupted by injuries, from a strained shoulder to a sprained wrist to a concussion to a sprained thumb just last year. With those interruptions, he didn't transition smoothly from one level to the next, but with enough time in a new location, his talent would eventually break through. Over his final 143 minor-league at-bats last year, he hit .385 with three home runs, 12 stolen bases and an OPS right around 1.000, looking much like the player who could seemingly do no wrong in the lower levels of the minors, before all the injury troubles. As recently as last year, some publications rated him the top prospect in baseball for a second straight year, ahead of even Kris Bryant. He has that combination of power, speed and plate discipline that often leads to first round-type production, and if this is the year it translates to the majors, Buxton could be the reason you win your league.
Reason for removal: Buxton is going to be a star someday, but the futility has continued for him this spring. He's still likely to make the opening day roster, but the Twins have enough outfield alternatives that it's no guarantee. Given the upside, you have nothing to lose by investing a late-round pick in him, so I'm not removing him so much as downgrading him. Truth is I find myself gravitating toward Wil Myers and Mark Trumbo at that same point in the draft.
If you saw the deal Rich Hill got this offseason, you might have just assumed Billy Beane had a screw loose again, handing $6 million to a player who had gotten mostly minor-league deals the last few years. But that's probably because you stopped paying attention in September, when Hill did his best impression of Chris Sale. Not only did he join Sale in becoming one of just seven pitchers in 2015 with three double-digit strikeout efforts in a row (an especially impressive feat considering he made four starts total), but one of those starts was a shutout and, between the three, he allowed a total of 10 hits over 23 innings. You want to get a penny-pinching data-driven organization to shell out for a small sample size? Have one like that. Now, for a little history. Way back in 2007, a soft-tossing lefty with a wicked curveball took the majors by surprise, striking out about a batter per inning to give the division-winning Cubs the ideal complement to hard-throwing Carlos Zambrano. He lost command of his pitches the following year, turning them into live batting practice when the wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field, and spent the next few years bouncing from organization to organization until one finally realized that he needed Tommy John surgery. That soft-tossing lefty was, of course, Hill, whose squandered opportunity put him back on the Island of Misfit Toys for the Athletics to rescue as only they can. If last September is any indication, the wicked curveball is back, and if his command goes south on him again, he might just survive it pitching half his games at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics' faith should count for something here as well. They usually sign players they expect to outperform their contracts.
Reason for removal: Hill has been a mechanical mess this spring, turning in a 15.26 ERA that again makes him look like he's throwing batting practice. And yes, he could iron out those issues and still well exceed his draft position, but his struggles reminded me what a nightmare he was to own during that 2007 season. He more or less lives and dies with his curveball. It's like the knuckleball was for Tim Wakefield: When it's breaking right, he dominates, but when it's not, he gets pounded. I just can't muster the same enthusiasm with those memories now top of mind.
That may have been setting the bar too low. It didn't seem that way until the Angels gave him a chance to play regularly over the final three months last year. In 263 at-bats, he hit .289 with 14 home runs and an .835 OPS. By comparison, Trumbo's career highs are a .268 batting average and .808 OPS. He has had a couple 30-homer seasons, but he isn't exactly a hot commodity in Fantasy these days, his power muted by his inability to make regular contact. Cron may not be a contact hitter, but he struck out about one every five at-bats last year and had an even lower rate in the minors. In other words, he figures to get some hits of the non-homer variety as well, which is what distinguishes him from the all-or-nothing Trumbo. Whether or not it translates to batting average remains to be seen, but considering he hit .262 with bad BABIP luck, I'm cautiously optimistic. While Trumbo's biggest problem is making enough contact to tap into his power potential, Cron's has simply been playing time. That's going to change with Albert Pujols sidelined for at least a month because of foot surgery, making Cron a sneaky late-round corner infielder in Rotisserie leagues.
Reason for removal: Of course, Trumbo is still a surer bet for home runs, and I find I can get him late enough that I don't have much need for Cron in a Rotisserie league. As for Head-to-Head points leagues, his lack of walks limit his upside there, and those drafts are too short for me to consider him anyway. I'm just not that excited when push comes to shove.
The Nationals acquired Trea Turner from the Padres last offseason anticipating he'd take over for departing free agent Ian Desmond this season. So then why did they spend the winter trying to fill the need some other way, first with their failed pursuit of Ben Zobrist and then with their reluctant endorsement of Danny Espinosa? I'm calling it an overabundance of caution -- or maybe an effort to placate new veteran-loving manager Dusty Baker. In any case, it's temporary. The 22-year-old is clearly more talented than Espinosa and might actually be an upgrade over Desmond as well, at least the version we've seen the last couple years. He won't hit as many home runs, probably, but he's a more complete hitter, having batted .322 with a respectable strikeout rate between Double- and Triple-A last year. Of course, expecting those numbers to translate right away might be unreasonable, but Turner's steals potential at a weak position should help you navigate whatever going pains he endures. For this year, whenever he does take over, I'm expecting sort of a more powerful version of Elvis Andrus, who'll be a middle-round pick in most leagues.
Reason for removal: I'm not retracting anything I wrote about Turner two months ago, and he's actually going later than I would have expected at the time. The problem is I'm contributing to it. I just haven't been that motivated to draft him late, what with the emergence of Trevor Story this spring and my fascination with Eugenio Suarez, Marcus Semien and Javier Baez. So while I still consider Turner a sleeper, he's not a representative choice for me.
Aaron Altherr is exactly the kind of player who can give those who stuck with baseball all the way through September a leg up on those who didn't, coming out of nowhere to contribute something worthwhile for a team going nowhere. The 25-year-old was finally able to get something out of his special tools last year, and at the major-league level, they manifested as a relevant number of home runs and stolen bases as well as extra-base hits galore. His batting average was only .241, which is another reason why he might fly under the radar, but the sum of his contributions gave him more Head-to-Head points per game than J.D. Martinez, Carlos Gonzalez and George Springer. Now obviously, drafting him on the same level of those three would be a mistake, but any player who's capable of that kind of production over a quarter of a season deserves an extended look, and it's not like he'll have to contend for playing time on the rebuilding Phillies. He's the perfect high-reward pick as a fifth outfielder spot in Rotisserie leagues or a final bench spot in Head-to-Head.
Reason for removal: This one is pretty straightforward. Altherr tore a tendon sheath in his left wrist early in spring training and is expected to miss the entire first half, if not longer. As enticing as his tools are, he's not a sure enough thing to stash on your bench all that time.