2014 Fantasy Baseball: Potential Late-Round Power Targets
As you may already know, home runs are highly sought after in fantasy drafts. Power comes off the board quickly, so finding those hidden gems in the middle to late rounds is key. In our search, we will likely find many flawed players. This of course is understandable; if they were all around great producers, they wouldn’t be hidden gems. However, what we want to avoid are dramatically flawed players. Adam Dunn may have belted 34 dingers in 2013, but his .219 average is too poor to handle. If he was platoon worthy, that’s one thing, but he’s not, and that batting average will sink your chances of winning a title. With that in mind, it’s time to find the rejected (but more palatable) home run hitters.
Note: This article is simply a preview of content that was originally published in TheFantasyFix.com’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide. Average draft position and other data have not been updated since. This preview does not contain all the content from the original piece. You can find the draft guide here.
1. Brandon Moss (1B/OF, OAK) – ADP 150:
This seems to be a recurring theme, but Moss does one thing extremely well, and that’s hit home runs. Moss likes to hit balls in the air. So much so that he does it more than 50% of the time. Out of hitters who logged at least 200 plate appearances, Moss led the league in flyball percentage by doing it 51.8% of the time. If he keeps doing that, repeating the 30 home run mark for the second straight season is quite possible. Keep in mind, the left-handed Moss is strictly a platoon player. Bench him versus lefties and salvage some batting average damage.
2. Mark Teixeira (1B, NYY) – ADP 192 overall:
Teixeira is making his way back from wrist surgery, so his ADP is understandable. Some may fear the power won’t come back, but in the 20th round, you might scoop up a .250 hitter who can still hit out over 30 and give you close to 100 runs and 100 RBI.
Many will point out the seven year decline in OPS, but assuming the wrist is healthy, Teixeira still has significant power, even if that means a poor batting average. Discounting the 15 games he played last season, he has not finished with an ISO below .224 since joining the New York Yankees. His lowest HR total in that same time span was 24 in 2012, but he missed 39 games. The batted ball profile has been fairly consistent year in and year out as well. There is legitimate concern when it comes to the wrist, but considering the counting stat upside, Tex appears to be worth the risk.
3. Oswaldo Arcia (OF, MIN) – ADP 273:
Arcia made his debut last season for the Minnesota Twins and was able to showcase his raw power. He hit 14 homers over 378 plate appearances, giving him 24 on the season when you take into account his Triple-A numbers. The lefty hitter has always flashed power in the minors, having high ISO’s, including marks of .229 and .281 during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. As for the distance on Arcia’s flyballs and dingers, they flew at 302.50 feet on average, which ranked him 14th in the majors. Looking at Arcia’s ADP, you may be wondering what’s the problem.
Well, Arcia strikes out a ton. During his time in the majors, he struckout at a 31% clip. In the minors, he K’d 24% of the time. His swings too much out of the zone, leading to a very high swinging strike percentage (15.8). Overall, his contact numbers need a lot of work. He also struggled some
against lefties, which happened to also be true in the minors. On the positive side, he posted a below league average IFFB%, which could help balance out some of the K’s. And if his flyball heavy ways turn into enough homers, he may be able to battle the BABIP monster. He did manage a BA of .251 last season, so Arcia could reasonably stay above .240 in 2014. The K-rate has a puncher’s chance of improving considering his low 20’s K% (21.3% career MiLB) in the minors, but don’t put too much stock in that hope. Instead, let’s put stock in Arcia producing 25 homeruns with a .250 BA, which at his current ADP, means you may have found your hidden gem.
Note: This article is simply a preview of content that was originally published in TheFantasyFix.com’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide. If you would like to view the rest of this article, as well as other great content from the draft guide, you can do so by clicking here.