Brian Dozier (2B-MIN): While Dozier is clearly behind the top man at the position, Jose Altuve, he makes for a nice consolation prize if you are not able to land the Astros second baseman. The 30-year-old Dozier comes off a 2017 in which he crushed 34 home runs, swiped 16 bags, and posted a solid .271/.359/.498 slash. The only downtrend I see is potentially in the RBI category, as the Twins lineup projects with him being the leadoff man. His ADP currently sits at 35 and feels to be about right based upon the production he can bring to your lineup.
Jake Arrieta (SP-FA): With the signing of Yu Darvish by the Cubs, the Twins could look to Arrieta to bolster a questionable pitching staff. The former Cy Young winner is coming of a solid season, although his ERA did jump from 3.10 in 2016 to 3.53 in 2017. Both his FIP and xFIP increased by half a point, which is evidenced by his strikeout total dropping by almost 30 as well. Arrieta figures to get some attention, but he may have to settle for a shorter deal at this point, as he will be 32 before the season begins. He makes a ton of sense for a Twins team looking to contend in 2018.
Marcus Semien (SS-OAK): If I told you it was possible to get a 27-year-old shortstop with 20-20 potential at ADP 250, would you target him? Well, you can! Coming off a year in which he played just 85 games, and still hit ten home runs, and stole 12 bases, Semien has been a forgotten man coming into the year. He is projected to leadoff for Oakland, and unless top prospect Franklin Barreto has a spring for the ages, Semien figures to stay atop the lineup. That is not to say Barreto could not challenge him for the spot later in the year, it could mean either Semien or the young phenom could move to second to get both bats in the lineup.
Dustin Fowler (OF-OAK): The stage was set for Fowler to make his debut as a Yankee in 2017, and in his first game a nasty knee injury forced his season to come to and end. After a trade to the A's, the 23-year-old will look to get on the right track. The only projected starting outfielder that will most like keep his job this season for Oakland looks to be Stephen Piscotty. Fowler will look to beat out Boog Powell, or Matt Joyce for a starting gig. Neither looks like too tall of a task. In the minors, Fowler has shown the ability to hit for average pop, and steal double digit bases, which is what I expect him to do as a Major Leaguer. He may not break camp with the big club, but I do not think it will take him long to be a starter in Oakland.
Jose Altuve (2B-HOU): While we know Altuve is as good as they come, we get a far greater appreciation when dig a bit deeper. When factoring in his .405 wOBA along with his 160 wRC+, which ranked him 7th, and 4th in each category respectively, it shows just how valuable he was for his team. While he is clearly behind Trout as the games second best fantasy player, he makes a clear case to hold that spot since he plays a shallow position.
Gerrit Cole (SP-HOU): The veteran moves south and joins the World Series Champs and will look to help bring another one to Houston. Minute Maid Park is overall a pitchers' park but does rank in the top half of the league in home runs. In 2017, Cole allowed 1.37 HR/9, and while he posted a strand rate of 74.6%, the longball could pose a problem for him. The offense that will be behind him will allow him to make a few mistakes, and still could mean a few more wins for him. The move is a positive one, just do not expect a Cy Young campaign.
Around The League
Yu Darvish (SP-CHC): Finally! After a long period of the hot stove running cold, Darvish finally heads to Chicago for six years and 126 million. He will become the ace of the staff and look to get the Cubs back to the World Series. Darvish saw his HR/FB increase to 15.1% in 2017, which lead to an increase in HR/9. Wrigley Field is middle of the road in home runs per game, so this does not look to become a huge issue for him. However, he will need to limit the fly balls on days the wind is blowing out. The move does little to his ADP of 56, and him being the 15th starter off the board.
Logan Morrison (1B-FA): Another victim of the cold stove, Morrison hit a career high of 38 home runs for Tampa Bay in 2017, while becoming an OBP league darling. His 13.5% BB% propped up his .353 BABIP, which was a 34-point increase from 2016. It also helped having a 37.4% hard contact rate, which helped his FB% jump nearly 12%. Morrison has been linked to the Red Sox and could be thrown in the mix at first base, as well as DH in Boston. He will have to improve on his .198 career average at Fenway Park, but five of his 17 hits there have been home runs.
Jake Odorizzi (SP-TB): Odorizzi has been the subject of trade rumors all off season. With the golden goose of free agent pitchers off the board, the market for Odorizzi could heat up a bit. With his 4.14 ERA, 5.43 FIP, and 5.10xFIP, he will not be looked at as a top of the rotation starter, but he still could play an important role as a club's number three or four. While he is not a huge impact fantasy starter, depending upon his landing spot, he is a deeper league target that could give owners solid innings. He has been linked to the Twins, and figures to come cheaper in a trade than teammate Chris Archer.
Francisco Mejia (C-CLE): The Indians' prospect is currently a man without a position, but his bat will force the Tribe to figure out a spot for him. After hitting .365/.397/.476 in the Arizona Fall League, while getting time at third base, the youngster is knocking on the door. A catcher by trade, he does not figure to stay there. If he is moved to another spot full time, it hurts his value. However, in 2017, having catcher eligibility is a huge plus. Where he plays is anyone's guess, but he is worth a stash in most formats.
Michael Kopech (SP-CHW): It is widely known Kopech's fastball hits triple digits on a regular basis. It is also widely known he has a hard time controlling it. The 21-year-old flamethrower is poised to challenge for a rotation spot this spring, and the uncertainty of Carlos Rodon's status only helps his chances. At AA in he sported a 4.53 BB/9. The number dropped to 3 at AAA but is still too many. Having a HR/FB% of 5.2% helps to minimize damage from walks, and FIP shows at 2.07 he was able to pitch his way out of jams. Kopech is another arm to stash and should have a spot in the rotation sooner rather than later, especially if he can show in Spring Training his control has improved.
Scott Kingery (2B-PHI): The Phillies prospect will have to unseat starter Cesar Hernandez at second base, but this could make for one of the more interesting position battles to monitor. Kingery experienced a bit of a power surge in 2017, hitting 26 homers across AA and AAA. His walk rate dropped a bit at AAA to 4.5%, which dropped his OBP nearly 40 points. His ISO also saw a plunge to .155 and his K% jumped to 20.3%. Overall, Triple -A was not as kind to the 23-year-old, and while I expect to see him play in 2018, it will likely take a position move or a trade of he or Hernandez to see everyday at bats. He remains one my favorite prospects to monitor in 2018.
Jose Martinez (1B-STL): Martinez may be a bit of a late bloomer, but the righty slugger did nothing but impress at the Major League level in 2018. Slashing .309/.379/.518 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI. His .210 ISO and 37.2% hard contact % illustrate the power potential. His biggest question mark is playing time. Matt Carpenter looks to be the key to this equation. Even if Martinez does not win an everyday job, his ability to be put in the outfield, as well at first base will allow him to see plenty of plate appearances and could force the hand of the Cardinals to find him everyday time. He is one of my favorite late rounders in 2018 drafts.
Jeimer Candelario (3B-DET): Candelario was dealt to Detroit in a move with the Cubs, who added some playoff depth. The 24-year-old was one of the top prospects in the Cubs' system and has been handed the third base job for the Tigers, moving Nick Castellanos to the outfield. Currently, he is going off the board after guys who do not have the clear shot at playing time like he does, which could lead to huge value. While there is not a ton of speed here, 15-20 home runs, a .270 average, and a .350 OBP are realistic expectations. His 12.4% BB% makes his 21% K% a little more tolerable. He also could hit towards the top of the lineup, which could lead to nice run production if the boppers behind him stay healthy.
Aaron Sanchez (SP-TOR): After starting 30 games in 2016 and looking as though he could live up to the hype, blisters held him to just eight games, where Sanchez looked very pedestrian at times. At just 25 years old, we forget how young Sanchez is, and he still has time to figure his issues out. He was hit hard in 2017 with a .310 BABIP, as well as a 17.1% HR/FB rate. The blister issue can mainly be to blame but heading into 2018 he is coming off the board as the 57th starter, and makes for a nice late round flyer, where the reward could far outweigh the amount invested.
Christian Yelich (OF-MIL): The Brewers currently have six talented outfielders on their roster. It stands to reason someone will be dealt as rumors have Milwaukee in on a number of starters via trade. It is a no-brainer Yelich was acquired to be a starter. I liked him in Miami, even though Marlins' Park hurt him as an offensive player, as it does most hitters. His splits tell the story: .278/.363/.396 with 18 home runs at home. .301/.374/.465 with 41 home runs on the road. He moves to one of the top hitters' parks in the league and will hit in a potent lineup. Yelich is poised to finally breakout, and you need to be on board the train.