Fantasy baseball sleepers, undervalued - 1B

by Nicholas Minnix and Tim Heaney on March 25, 2013 @ 10:00:00 PDT


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Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners

This switch-hitting DH batted a modest .273 with 22 home runs for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2012. Quite pleasant, especially when you consider that he hadn't played since May of 2010 because of the broken leg that required multiple surgeries. Fantasy owners may not be pleased with his relocation to Seattle, however. Perhaps they wonder if he'll ever again resemble the man who hit .306 with 34 bombs in 2009, too.

If either of those reasons is holding you back, don't let it. Morales may be closer to pre-injury form than you realize. Consider the time he spent without playing competitive baseball. Prior to the break last year, he batted .289 with eight home runs and a .431 slugging rate in 246 at-bats. In the second half (238 at-bats), he looked like a hitter who'd regained his strength; he posted a meager .256 average but belted 14 round-trippers and slugged .504.

In his career, Morales hasn't been the soundest hitter versus southpaws, but he's not in danger of losing time yet. He enjoyed a normal offseason for the first time in four years. The M's have a bolstered lineup and hitter-friendlier dimensions at home. If Morales doesn't hit .300 with 30-plus dingers again, he should be a hell of a lot closer, at least. -NM

Lance Berkman, Texas Rangers

Obviously, the Puma's age (37) and propensity to miss time (130 games in 2012) drive his 2013 price. He shouldn't cost much, because you can't depend on him for much. He'll attempt to play on a surgically repaired right knee that isn't even 100 percent yet.

But you can wonder what he'll do if he plays in 120-plus games, something he's done in every year prior to last. You can speculate about what the switch-hitter will accomplish in the heart of Texas' order, with roughly half of his games taking place in one of baseball's best hitting environments. You can figure that Berkman will spend most of his time as DH, so he'll avoid additional stress on his right knee that comes with fielding a position. Just think of this as an endorsement to give him a shot since you won't be risking much. -NM

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Fantasy baseball sleepers, undervalued: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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