Jake Odorizzi (SP - MIN) In an effort to boost the starting rotation, the Twins were able to acquire the 27 year old for a minimal price, by sending prospect Jermaine Palacios to Tampa. While it is a solid move for the real life Twins,it lowers Odorizzi's fantasy value. Heading to Target Field, which finished 2017 as the sixth most favorable park for home runs, is not a great move for a pitcher who allowed 1.88 HR/9 in 2017. While he is a good bet for 30 starts, and 150 IP, I am steering clear of the newest Twin.
Addison Reed (RP - MIN) For now, Reed is the setup man, as the closer's job has been given to fellow free agent acquisition Fernando Rodney. While the latter has had success in the past, he is far from a sure thing in the role. Reed has shown he is able to finish off a game as well. Coming off a 2017 season that was not one of his best, Reed could have a grasp on the closer job in Minnesota sooner rather than later. With an ERA nearly 1.5 runs lower than Rodney, as well as a strand rate of 86%, compared to a 61% mark from Rodney, Reed was able to pitch out of jams more effectively when runners were allowed. Add in the BB/9 of 4.23 for Rodney, compared to 1.78 for Reed, the change in the closer's role could happen soon.
Khris Davis (DH/OF - OAK) Davis remains a 40 home run threat, at a bit of a bargain. The 30 year old slugger will be a fixture in the middle of an A's lineup that has the potential to be potent. Coming off two 40 - plus home run seasons, and having a home park that is favorable for offensive production, there is no reason to not expect another 40 bombs in 2018. His 29% K% will keep his average hovering near the .250 mark, but Davis was able to double his BB% in 2017 to 11.6%. If he can continue this trend it makes him slightly more appealing in OBP leagues.
Matt Chapman (3B - OAK) It seems the the Oakland offense is poised to hit bombs in 2018. It also seems as they are primed to be among the league leaders in strikeouts. Chapman provides power value at the third base and corner infield spots. With his current ADP placing him near pick 275, and being the 24th third baseman off the board, he is an excellent late source of homers. However, due to him potentially hitting at the bottom of the order, there will not be much else to be excited about unless he learns to take a walk. His 9.8% BB% will limit his OBP, and he does not project to hit much over .240.
Alex Bregman (3B - HOU) Sitting as a top six option in drafts, Bregmania is still in full swing. Building off a season where he posted a .284/.352/.475 line, with 19 home runs, 82 RBI, 88 runs scored and 17 steals. Oh yeah, and the Astros won the world series. His 120 wRC+ is evidence of his knack for creating runs, and most projections have him duplicating his numbers from the 2017 campaign. If that is the case, it is another solid season.. Anything beyond is a bonus, and I think some growth is possible. His name may force you to reach a bit for him, so draft him only if the price is somewhere around the middle of the third round.
Marwin Gonzalez (OF - HOU) As of right now, Gonzalez is penciled in to start in left field for the defending World Series champs. While I think he begins the year with that spot, prospects Kyle Tucker and Derek Fisher will push for playing time at the corners, which could push Gonzo to a utility role. If that happens, he still should get enough at-bats to be productive. He is currently the 30th OF off the board, and if he can produce a line of .303/.373/.530 with 23 homers, 90 RBI, and eight steals, he proves to be a solid part of your outfield. He figures to be eligible in multiple places as well, which only adds value. Gonzalez is a guy I like, but he will need to produce in order to remain the starter in left.
Around the League
Wil Myers (1B/OF - SD) With the Padres' signing of Eric Hosmer, Myers figures to head back to the outfield full time. Myers is coming off a year in which he hit 30 home runs, and stole 20 bases, which was far more valuable as a first baseman. Even if these numbers come from an outfielder, they are nothing to sneeze at. While those numbers are impressive, the .243 average and .328 OBP were not. His 27.7% K% is partially to blame, and was also a career high. If the lineup features Myers in front of Hosmer, it could spell an increase in production for Wil Myers in 2018.
Rafael Devers (3B - BOS) Devers is a name that seems to be creating buzz in drafts. He is a top prospect, who enjoyed a solid call-up in 2017, and is heading into 2018 with a starting job. What's not to like? While he does not strike out a ton, his BB% of 7.5% and his .342 BABIP need to come up a bit to fix his .338 OBP from last season. If he hits behind newly acquired J.D. Martinez in the Boston lineup, big things could be on the horizon for the youngster.
Mike Moustakas (3B - FA) It was widely expected that Moustakas would cash in his career year and be a highly sought after free agent. Well, things have not gone according to plan. Spring games begin this week, and the 29 year old remains unsigned. Both the Yankees and the White Sox were rumored to be in on him. With the Yankees' acquisition of Brandon Drury to play third base, that ends any chance of a Mous migrating to the Bronx. Kansas City is said to still be interested in bringing him back as well. While his pop is nice at the hot corner in fantasy, his .314 OBP and .263 BABIP combined with his 85 RBI illustrate if the is not hitting the ball out, he is not doing much else for you. He is a target for your corner infield spot, but try to do a little better as your starting third baseman.
Steven Souza Jr. (OF - ARI) With the trade of Souza to Arizona, the Rays' rebuild figures to be in full swing. Coming off a 30 home run, 16 stolen base season, being the 44th outfielder off the board seems like some excellent value. While his 29% K% hurts in an average league, his .351 OBP makes him a nice mid round target. Even if a humidor is installed at Chase Field, he could see a jump in his numbers both from the park factor and hitting in a much better lineup.
Carlos Gomez (OF - TB) Gomez was brought in on a $4 million deal to help man the corner outfield spots in Tampa Bay. After the exits of Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza Jr. the Rays turned to the veteran, who popped 17 long balls in 2017. The biggest knock on his game is health. In 105 games played, the 32 year old stole 13 bases, along with the 17 homers. His 29.8% K% was a career high, so it was clear he was pressing a bit at the plate. Despite the strikeouts, Gomez posted a career high hard contact rate of 39%. There is 25/20 upside here at a discounted price. Even if he doesn't win an everyday job, he figures to get quite a few at bats as a Ray.
Jake Arrieta (SP - FA) The former Cy Young winner is another vet without an address heading into Spring Training. The Phillies figure to be the favorites for his services, and make a ton of sense. While his performance slipped a bit in 2017, Arrieta remains a workhorse starter, and one capable of front line starter stuff. If he signs in Philly, the young offense has the potential to be potent, which is nothing new to the former Cub.
Brandon Drury (INF - NYY) Drury seems to be the forgotten man in the Souza trade, but could have big impact in a few ways. The Yankees get a 25 year old utility man, but he also allows them to bring Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar along a bit more slowly. While he does not post monster stats, he could be a sneaky late round pick due to his multi position eligibility, as well as hitting in a potent lineup.
Kyle Schwarber (LF - CHC) 2017 was a disappointing season for the 24 year old slugger, but to be fair, the hype train was a bit out of control. He did still hit 30 home runs, but his .159 career batting average, along with his 30% K% will limit his other counting stats and most likely keep him in a platoon role. Given his age and the amount of people who are down on him,he is still the 36th outfielder off the board. If he is able to earn catcher eligibility, it will be a big boost to his value. I don't hate his upside potential at that spot, but he will have to be a bigger value to be in my lineups.
Daniel Murphy (2B - WAS) The 32 year old is coming off cartilage surgery in his knee, and is a question mark for Opening Day. While Murphy is participating in some light drills, he maintains Opening Day is his target. We should know more in a few weeks as he does more work. In 2017, he posted a .322/.384/.543 line with 23 homers and 93 RBI. Steals are not part of his game, so there is no concern for the knee there. He remains a top second baseman off the board, and the injury could mean an excellent value here in drafts. Just remember to take a stopgap just in case he does need a short DL stint to begin the season.
Michael Conforto (OF - NYM) The 24 year old is making progress from shoulder surgery, and recently began hitting off of a tee. His 2017 can be called a breakout campaign, after posting a .275/.384/.555 line, with 27 homers, 68 RBI and 72 runs scored. His timetable is up in the air for now, but he will regain his everyday spot in the lineup upon his return. He will need to improve against left handed pitching, as his .212 leaves a lot to be desired. His ADP of 202 is a bit rich for me. Especially when names like Willie Calhoun and Corey Dickerson can be had in the same vicinity.