2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Undervalued Players: Hitters

by Tim Heaney and Nicholas Minnix on March 25, 2014 @ 12:00:00 PDT

 

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1B Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

What did fantasy owners expect from The Machine? Duct tape lasts for only so long. At some point, persistence becomes stubbornness. Pujols, 34, finally went under the knife, however; he's nearly as good as new. A .285-30-100 player is uncommon these days, and refurbished models come discounted. -NM

1B Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs Breakout Player

Detractors assert that he can't master LHPs. But he can hit their pitches out of the park; he sat among the leaders in HR against them by a LHB. He's shortening his swing and should gain more RBI opps with an improving club. He's no .300 bat, but he's not a .233 stick, as his K and chase temperance since 2011 have shown. With legit 30-homer promise, Rizzo is the next breakthrough first-sacker. -TH

Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Arenado in great situation

3B Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers

In a volatile hot-corner group, you know what the 35-year-old offers: a long injury history, but, when healthy, reliable BA and RBI. Don't expect 30-HR territory, but he's a desirable value play. -TH

3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies Breakout Player

For someone who has grown up in a hitter-friendly organization, his fence-clearing abilities haven't yet blossomed. Many have written him off as BA-centric. What's wrong with a disciplined approach for a nearly 23-year-old? He hasn't yet repeated a level of professional ball. Doing so in the bigs may push him toward 20 homers and a surprising spotlight at a risky position. -TH

3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals Breakout Player

Moose, 25, hasn't put it all together at the major league level yet, but he's been close. Sounds like his farm career before he exploded in 2010 (.322 average, 36 bombs). The Show has presented a similar challenge. Moustakas is meeting it with an improved swing and a phenomenal, foretelling spring. -NM

1B/OF/DH Corey Hart, Seattle Mariners

He missed last season because he had surgeries on both knees. Those and a move from Miller Park to Safeco Field will reduce his 30-homer potential (20?), maybe even availability. But Hart isn't washed up. He's one of few RHBs at the M's disposal, and the club appears ready to make him the starter in right field. Looks like a good buy. -NM

1B Jon Singleton, Houston Astros

The Astros won't open with Singleton, 22, at first base, but they should promote him in the summer. He has 25-homer power and can hit southpaws (in due time in the majors). In mixed leagues, he's a better FAAB target than draft one. -NM

OF George Springer, Houston Astros Sneaky Sleeper

GM Jeff Luhnow has already stated that he expects Springer, who nearly went 40-40 between Classes AA and AAA last year, to spend most of 2014 with the parent club. What's the downside? He may struggle to bat better than .250, but the counting stuff (HR, SB) should be worth any low-risk investment. He's an even better bet in OBP leagues. -NM

OF Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies

His stock is bound to rise. People don't like to pay for two-category players. But if Revere plays in 140 games, then the numbers in his two categories (40 SB, 85 R) will be quite good. As long as he avoids freakish, injurious events like foul balls to the feet, he should. -NM

OF Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

This 5-foot-10, 190-pound dynamo is no roto secret, but his skill set is probably underrated in terms of its reliability. The Halos will bat the patient Calhoun in the leadoff spot, where he seems to fit very well. -NM

OF Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox Sneaky Sleeper

Viciedo faces the prospect of a platoon with Alejandro De Aza in left field this season. The ChiSox are shopping De Aza, however, and they'll listen to offers for Viciedo, who may also get time at DH. The 25-year-old possesses the power to put up 20 homers -- and more if he stays on the South Side. -NM

OF A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks Breakout Player

Though Cody Ross (hip) may start 2014 on time, he alone might not derail Pollock, whose hot start to spring may help justify the Snakes' decision to trade Adam Eaton. Pollock, 26, has 20-20 potential and isn't a significant platoon risk. Gerardo Parra is best used as a complementary tool. The athletic Notre Dame alum, conversely, could break out in a big way. -TH

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Undervalued Players: Hitters | Pitchers

2014 Fantasy Baseball Busts and Overvalued Players: Hitters | Pitchers

About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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