Below is the the seventh annual installment of my Fantasy Red Herrings post. Like I did in '16, '15, '14, '13, '12 and '11, I'm providing my usual intro before the good stuff...
Since I know some readers of this blog are my comrades who will draft players in our fantasy baseball league this Saturday, I thought I'd post about players that GMs might want to target for the upcoming season.
But my fellow GMs might think this document is simply a list of red herrings.
Maybe players on it are.
Maybe players on it aren't.
Regardless, here are players to target or low risk/high reward players for 2014.
First Base: Matt Holliday, New York Yankees
As much as Holliday has been a suspect outfielder for a substantial part of his career, the dude still can hit. In an OBP league, he's especially valuable because he'll probably cash in a .360ish OBP with twentysomething homers on the season. My only concern would be Bird and Carter taking some of his at-bats.
Second Base: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
Big-time sleeper, right? A couple of years ago people were asking, "What has happened to Cano?" The last two seasons have seen him get back to his hitting prowess. With Nelson "the Boomstick" Cruz and Kyle Seager hitting near him in the order, he has a good bit of protection. He's a veteran, but with fantasy baseballers consistently chasing prospects, Cano might get overlooked. He's steady. He's consistent.
Shortstop: Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals
This guy had a breakout season last year, and then he got hurt. I don't know about the quality of his defense, but who the heck cares about that? This is fantasy baseball.
Third Base: Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
He had a good season last year, and he gets overshadowed by other hitters in the Tigers lineup. The projections I'm using predict he'll hit 25 home runs and provide a respectable OBP. Not bad for a guy you'd select later in the draft.
Outfielder: Roman Quinn, Philadelphia Phillies
I predict 30some stolen bases, a decent average and OBP, and regular playing time. He could be a solid and respectable fourth or fifth outfielder on any fantasy squad.
Catcher: Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres
I normally punt catcher until the last or next to last pick in the draft. This guy apparently has power and comes at a cheap price. Me like.
Starting Pitcher: Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
I was surprised the Nationals traded this guy because he is/was a highly touted prospect. He didn't look that great when he was called up to the majors, but most starting pitchers rarely take the league by storm once they come up. My main concern is that he will have to pitch half of his games in a hitter's ballpark. So there's that.
Relief Pitcher: Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates
I'm a bit of a homer with this pick. He's from Iowa. I'm originally from Iowa. However, he did well as the Pirates' closer once Melancon was traded. Some of the fantasy intelligentsia predict that he'll go back to middle relief and Daniel Hudson will be the close, but I doubt it.