Fantasy Reality: Quick fixes for draft-day misses
Run through your fantasy baseball roster after a draft and you might see a couple of players you regret selecting. Fortunately for you, there are productive guys who go undrafted. Here are five under-owned players (ownership percentages included):
Chase Headley, 3B/OF, San Diego Padres
(CBS: 35%; Yahoo! 34%)
Here are three reasons to like Headley. First, he cut his strikeout percentage by seven points (31.4 percent to 24.5) and improved his walk percentage by nearly two points (8.2 to 10.1) from 2008 to ‘09. Second, the 25-year-old’s increased plate patience bodes well for a power breakthrough; his .571 combined slugging percentage in AA-AAA proves he has power potential. Third, his .301 career batting average and .805 OPS on the road make him, at minimum, a valuable platoon option for away games.
Player to drop: 3B Mark DeRosa
Luis Castillo, 2B, Mets
(ESPN: 56%; CBS: 17%; Yahoo!: 7%)
One dropped popup shouldn’t define Castillo’s career. He’s hit .291 or better seven of the past eight seasons. He’s also swiped between 17 and 25 bags in six of seven seasons since producing a 48-steal average from 1999-2002. In fact, Castillo and Dustin Pedroia were the only second basemen last year to hit at least .290 with 20 or more stolen bases.
Player to drop: 2B Rickie Weeks
Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado Rockies
(CBS: 43%; Yahoo!: 20%)
Expect the Rockies’ leadoff hitter to approach 100 runs scored if he can reach base at roughly the same clip (.363) as last year. Even though the second-year player might go through rough patches as big league hurlers figure out his tendencies, his 12.9 walk percentage from ‘09 and his .301 batting average in more than 1,500 minor league at-bats indicate that he should become a sound hitter. Colorado’s powerful offense might stymie his stolen base opportunities, but he’ll still approach 30 steals.
Player to drop: CF Vernon Wells
Brad Penny, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
(ESPN and Yahoo!: 10%)
Forget how bad he was with the Red Sox last year and remember how much he thrived upon returning to the National League with the Giants. His 2.59 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 41 2/3 innings showed that the 31-year-old still has ace-like stuff. He should excel with the Cardinals under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan, who’s the best in the business at resuscitating veteran pitchers.
Player to drop: RHP Kevin Slowey
Franklin Morales, RP, Rockies
(ESPN: 9%; CBS: 31%, Yahoo!: 16%)
Morales is likely to receive most -- if not all -- the save opportunities while Huston Street misses at least the first couple weeks with right shoulder tightness. That means Morales should be owned in almost every format; he could be provided with a slew of save opportunities given his team’s expected success. Considering Street’s lengthy injury history, Morales could see save chances beyond April.
Player to drop: RHP Joba Chamberlain