Available Today, Rostered Tomorrow
C. J. Abrams, SS, SDP (CBS: 32% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): 11-for-30 with a pair of homers and stolen bases is a pretty good Spring. Whether he breaks camp or not, the Padres have been very aggressive in the past in promoting their younger players. If Abrams can help them now, they’ll turn to him. Buying in now will save you a bundle compared to the price you’ll pay down the road.
Matt Brash, SP, SEA (CBS: 25% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The high-90’s fastball combined with some nasty breaking stuff have been responsible for a stellar Spring from the 23-year-old righty. It was impressive enough that Brash broke camp in the Seattle rotation. The 142 strikeouts in 97 1/3 IP last season were a good indicator of his future potential. That future is now, so be prepared to spend a sizeable amount of that precious FAAB to get him rostered.
Bobby Dalbec, 1B, BOS (CBS: 49% rostered, ESPN: 20% rostered): Yes, I’m surprised. Dalbec had a solid second half last year and has followed it up with a strong Spring. He has a full-time job in a potent offense. Triston Casas is still lurking in the shadows, but until Dalbec proves he can’t get it done, it’s his job to lose.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS, NYY (CBS: 39% rostered, ESPN: 15% rostered): Texas-to-Minnesota-to the Yankees all in 48 hours. He’s going to play every day, and he definitely takes a step up with the move to the Bronx. Cheap speed isn’t easy to procure at any time, and after the 20 thefts last year, I’m surprised at his current level of availability.
MacKenzie Gore, SP, SDP (CBS: 48% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): This Spring, Gore has tossed nine innings of four-hit ball, allowing only one walk, one earned run, and has struck out 11 batters. It’s time to get back on the Gore bandwagon, and with each solid outing, the price will rise.
Randall Grichuk, OF, COL (CBS: 47% rostered, ESPN: 48% rostered): Grichuk has hit 24, 22, 25, 31, and 22 homers in the past five full seasons. Now that he’s calling Coors home, how many homers can we anticipate in 2022?
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, CWS (CBS: 17% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): Not only does Harrison bring that multi-eligibility to the table, but he also now has the full-time job at 2B, where he can flash that solid hit tool.
Nate Lowe, 1B, TEX (CBS: 45% rostered, ESPN: 52% rostered): It was a solid first season in Texas for the 26-year-old Lowe, one that will only improve this season with the addition of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. A 90 RBI season is within reach.
Jeremy Pena, SS, HOU (CBS: 48% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): In only 122 at-bats last year at Triple-A, Pena hit ten homers and stole five bases. The 24-year-old has big shoes to fill, but the outstanding glove and offensive potential should lead to a smooth transition in the ‘Stros middle-infield.
Kevin Smith, 3B, OAK (CBS: 5% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): After a down year in 2019 that caused his stock to plummet, Smith bounced back nicely in 2021 posting 21 homers and 18 stolen bases to go along with a great .370 OBP. The Fantasy relevance was still limited in Toronto, but with the trade to the Las Vegas A’s, Smith will be a highly sought-after player this weekend.
Brian Anderson, 3B, MIA (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): He showed a solid uptick in the power department in 2019, hitting 20 home runs. He built on that in the Covid-shortened 2020 season with 11 homers in only 200 at-bats. In 2021, injuries took their toll, limiting Anderson to only 233 at-bats. Health permitting, there could be a 25-homer bat waiting to find a home.
Elieser Hernandez, SP, MIA (CBS: 22% rostered, ESPN: 19% rostered): He doesn’t get the love that many of his fellow Marlin starters receive, but that doesn’t mean he should be ignored. In fact, it creates a great buying situation. In deeper Leagues leaving him in the Free Agent pool for another week could prove a mistake.
Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): That double-digit power and speed potential have a lot more appeal now that Justin Upton is no longer part of the equation. A moderate bid could secure a solid fifth outfielder with upside potential for your Fantasy squad.
Tommy Pham, OF, CIN (CBS: 31% rostered, ESPN: 46% rostered): Even in an off-year, Pham found a way to hit 15 home runs and steal 14 bases. He’ll get plenty of opportunities to better those numbers as a Red this season.
Bryson Stott, SS, PHI (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Heading into camp, Didi Gregorius was looking over his shoulder at Bryson Stott. It should have been Alec Bohm, as he’s now lost his job to the 24-year-old Stott. A little power, a little speed, and an outstanding hit tool. Bump him up in OBP formats.
Lane Thomas, OF, WAS (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Hitting behind Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, Josh Bell, and Keibert Ruiz should give Thomas plenty of opportunities to pad those RBI numbers. Toss in the double-digit speed potential and Thomas makes for a solid #5 outfield option.
Cheap Options…. for Now
Reid Detmers, SP, LAA (CBS: 33% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The final spot in the six-man Angels rotation has been won by Reid Detmers. A rocky debut in 2021 poses no concern about his potential for long-term success.
Bryan Lavastida, C, CLE (CBS and ESPN: not rostered): If you’re looking for an inexpensive catching option to fill in until Adley Rutschman arrives, Lavastida could be your guy. The injury to Luke Maile has bought him a month-trial as a backup to Austin Hedges. In 287 at-bats last year across three levels, he hit nine homers, drove in 51 runs, swiped 16 bags, and posted a .380 OBP. Intriguing numbers!
MJ Melendez, C, KCR (CBS: 18% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The Minor League home run leader in 2021 (41 HR) is enjoying an excellent Spring. He was sent down to Triple-A Omaha on Thursday, but don’t let that dissuade you from a small bid and stash. His arrival in KC will be sooner rather than later.
Miles Mikolas, SP, STL (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): 7 IP, six hits, one walk, a pair of earned runs, and five strikeouts this Spring brings back memories from that strong 2018 season. A healthy Mikolas could be a strong addition as a #5/6 type starting pitcher.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, 1B/OF, PIT (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Only four percent of Fantasy owners believe he can replicate what he accomplished over the final 43 games of 2021 as a Pirate. For a small price, it’s worth it to find out.
The Closer Carousel
Anthony Bender, RP, MIA (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 7% rostered): Dylan Floro will spend some time on the IL because of soreness in his pitching arm, giving Bender the opportunity to hold down the fort at least short-term. Any level of success from Bender that could be changed to long-term?
David Robertson, RP, CHC (CBS: 6% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): It’s still a three-way battle with Rowan Wick and Mychal Givens, but if healthy, Robertson has a good shot at emerging with the closer gig. He did save 39, 34, and 37 games from 2014-thru-2016 before being derailed due to health issues.
Chris Stratton, RP, PIT (CBS: 9% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Derek Shelton has announced that he plans on running a co-closer system this year in Pittsburgh with David Bednar and Stratton sharing the save opps. 10-to-15 saves for a reasonable price makes for an acceptable third closer option.
Robert Suarez, RP, SDP (CBS: 32% rostered, ESPN: 14% rostered): The former Hanshin Tigers closer brings a solid track record over the past two seasons to the Padres bullpen. Last year he amassed 42 saves with a microscopic 1.16 ERA. That high-90’s fastball and superb control have Suarez in contention for save opportunities in a very crowded Friar’s pen.
Art Warren, RP, CIN (CBS: 24% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Lucas Sims is starting the season on the IL with elbow issues giving Warren, Luis Cessa, and Hunter Strickland first dibs on saves breaking camp. Manager David Bell prefers to go with his “rule of two,” and I’ll give Warren a good shot at being one of his two preferred high-leverage arms.
Garrett Whitlock, RP, BOS (CBS: 31% rostered, ESPN: 48% rostered): Whether in a starting or relieving capacity, Whitlock will provide value. The fact that incumbent Matt Barnes’s velocity is reportedly down this Spring offers a solid incentive to toss a dart in the direction of Whitlock.
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