Preston Tucker, Atlanta Braves - Preston Tucker is fighting for at-bats in the Atlanta outfield until Ronald Acuna is freed from AAA and he had an excellent game Sunday going 2-for-3 with a double. Tucker had 24 homers last year in AAA for the Astros and the Braves are very power starved on paper aside from Freddie Freeman at first base. In 2015 for the Astros Tucker played in 98 games at the big league level hitting 13 homers with a .193 ISO. Lane Adams is the other outfielder likely to make the club and while he hits right-handed, he's been horrific against lefties in his career with a 33 wRC+. Tucker also has had his struggles against lefties with a career 23 wRC+, so if either is able to show that they can handle hitting southpaws at even a slightly below average level there may not end up being a platoon in LF for Atlanta to start the year.
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves - Dansby Swanson's first full season in the majors went terribly by all standards (even if those standards were set too high, to begin with) as he struggled throughout the year slashing .232/.312/.324 with six homers and three stolen bases. Swanson took Max Scherzer DEEP in the first inning Sunday for his first spring training hit and homer. Swanson's first half of 2017 was abysmal as he posted a 58 wRC+, but he rebounded to a (still bad) but better 77 wRC+ while cutting his K% and walking more often. He was also the victim of a .274 BABIP in the first half but he saw it rebound to a .320 mark in the second half of the year. 2017 has led Swanson's preseason value to be at an extremely low entering 2018 and he could end up being a solid value pick in your MI slot. His current ADP in NFBC leagues is 381st overall which in 12 team leagues essentially makes him undrafted and in 15 teamers he's a 25th round pick. Despite the emergence of Johan Camargo last season, the SS position should be Swanson's for the entire season meaning that a .270/10/12-15 line could be in store for him.
Luiz Gohara, Atlanta Braves - I highlighted Luiz Gohara a few weeks back as a potential sleeper arm for Atlanta but groin tightness has gotten his 2018 spring off to a well, non-existent start. The Braves' coaching staff has said that he's a week behind the rest of the healthy arms in camp and have also said that the Braves won't need a 5th starter for the first couple weeks of the season. Sean Newcomb is likely Gohara's top competition for the 5th spot in the rotation so while it's not ideal for him that he's missing this time, the reality is that he was likely to be on some sort of innings restriction anyway this year. Something to monitor as we get towards the end of spring training.
Jacob Faria, Tampa Bay Rays - With the Rays starting the season with a four-man rotation, Jacob Faria looks to be a major part of the team following spring training. While his 2018 spring got off to a rough start Sunday, Faria was solid in his big league debut last year and has some solid skills to build off. Faria generated a 12% swinging strike rate last year to help generate his 23.5% strikeout percentage. Faria struggled in the second half walking almost two more batters per nine compared to the first half of the season. Most of those numbers are wonky because he walked 13.6% of his batters during the month of July but those rates dropped to 9.5% in August and 6.5% in September/October as July just seemed to be an outlier. He's had walk rates higher than 10% in both AA and AAA so we should definitely watch it as he continues to face advanced hitting. While the 29 innings in July are concerning, he did have almost 60 innings of a (roughly) 7% walk rate.
Willy Adames, Tampa Bay Rays - The main piece in the David Price trade from what feels like eternity ago is knocking on the door in 2018. Willy Adames is a consensus top 20 prospect in baseball and he posted a 119 wRC+ with double-digit homers and steals in AAA as a 21-year-old last year. In addition to his hit tool and speed, Adames has shown a consistently good batting eye with walk rates consistently over 10% throughout the minors. The starting shortstop for the Rays currently is slated to be Adeiny Hechavarria who is more of a defensive option at the position posting an 88 wRC+ last year. Adames isn't known for his glove, but it's good enough at short and the bat will be an upgrade the second he gets the call.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels - Shohei Ohtani had his stateside debut Sunday and he struck out two batters in 1.1 innings. The ERA looks crooked at 6.75, but Johnathan Villar led off the game with a double that sure looked like it should have been caught in center. Regardless, Ohtani showed his plus-plus stuff in his brief outing and it was enough to continue the excitement he has going into drafts this spring. NFBC drafts currently have Ohtani as the 22nd SP off the board and if I'm ever going to draft him I'm going to draft him as a pitcher in mind and whatever else I can get is gravy. We'll have to see how they want to manage him at the plate, but with the Angels likely rolling with a six-man rotation it'll give him an extra day each week to possibly play in the field.
Logan Morrison, Minnesota Twins - It's weird that took 38 homers and a 130 wRC+ until now to sign, but Logan Morrison has finally found a home in Minnesota. Morrison is likely going to get some reps at both first base and DH and is being added to a team that was 2nd in baseball in runs after the All-Star break last season. Another thing that this signing could hint as is possible discipline against Miguel Sano for a sexual assault allegation from a few years back that came out this offseason. If Morrison hits in the middle of the Twins lineup he's got a chance to be an impact player once again in fantasy, even if it doesn't amount to almost 40 homers again.
Greg Holland - Greg Holland is still searching for a team after notching 41 saves and a 3.61 ERA last year for the Rockies. A team that has emerged as a potential landing spot for him is the Angels, a team whose bullpen was 5th in WAR among relievers last season. Bud Norris was the closer for a chunk of time last year before a knee injury destroyed his second half but he's left in free agency meaning that Blake Parker has the most saves returning from last year with eight.
Scott Van Slyke, Miami Marlins - Scott Van Slyke finally escaped from the crowded outfield situation in LA to a place where there are no outfielders to be found. Van Slyke has always been a lefty killer with a 130 wRC+ against them and a .210. He would make for an excellent platoon candidate, although it wouldn't be on the strong side of the platoon if the Marlins can find someone worth platooning him with. His K% took a huge jump from 2016-to-17 and it led to significantly weaker numbers across the board. The last time he played a significant number of games was 2014-and-15 and he hit 17 homers and stole 7 bases in those 180 total games.
Rosell Herrera, Cincinnati Reds - Rosell Herrera already has a pair of homers this spring and he's one spring homer away from tying how many homers he hit in 103 games in AAA in 2017. I saw Herrera play in the Sally League back in 2013 and he flashed an excellent combo of power and speed hitting 16 homers for Asheville that year. It's become extremely evident since that the Asheville home park may have had a large effect on his stat line. Considering he's hit 16 homers combined in the four years since I think it's safe to say Herrera isn't a power hitter. The one thing he can do is run as he's stolen 56 bags across the last two seasons.
Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals - Daniel Murphy is still recovering from his knee injury and the Nationals broadcast today talked about how there's increasing doubt around the organization that he'll be ready on opening day. If Murphy isn't able to go to start the season the team has a few options in Howie Kendrick and Wilmer Difo that they could turn to until he returns. Kendrick combined for a 121 wRC+ between the Phillies and the Nats but only played 2B in 15 of the games. He still rated out above average defensively in those 15 games so it's not like he can't handle the position anymore. Difo on the other handle was a well below average hitter but grades out excellent across the board defensively. Only Kendrick would make sense for fantasy purposes.
Matt Wieters, Washington Nationals - Matt Wieters homered for the first time this spring Sunday and he is looking noticeably smaller this year in camp. Wieters hasn't played in more than 125 games in either of the last two years. The Nats have already said they want Wieters to catch fewer games this year, though I'd guess that means that they are planning for him to catch fewer games rather than having him catch fewer than the 123 he played in last year. He hands down had his worst season as a major leaguer with a 62 wRC+ and a .225/.288/.344 triple slash.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies - Aaron Nola's line from Sunday's start against the Yankees look ugly with a 13.50 ERA but he would have gotten out of the inning unscathed if Maikel Franco hadn't lost the weakest of all pop-ups in the sun. Nola struck out three batters in his two innings and induced a lot of weak contact. After returning last year from his back injury Nola was one of the best pitchers in baseball, especially in the second half of the season with a 2.4 WAR (9th among SP). Nola's record was only 6-5 in the second half but he struck out 28.3% of batters while only walking 6.6% of those batters. If Nola can stay healthy for an entire season (elbow injury two years ago, back last year) his ADP is going to be a bargain.
Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs - Ian Happ homered Sunday for the Cubs and is hitting .500 over his first few spring training at bats. Happ is like a lot of Cubs' players as he is extremely talented but the logjam of players the team has makes it hard to pencil in everyday at-bats. In 115 games last year Happ hit 24 homers with a .261 ISO but a 31% strikeout rate is going to need some improvement as he had a .316 BABIP and still only hit .253. Any dip to that BABIP and you're looking at a .230 extremely quickly. His pull rate and hard-hit rate make it seem like the power numbers are legit but the average has me a little nervous is his batted ball luck takes a turn.
Austin Meadows, Pittsburgh Pirates - Well Austin Meadows is taking the Corey Dickerson signing as some motivation (not sure if that's actually true) but the Pirates top prospect has gotten off to a ridiculous start to the spring with a .800 average and 5 RBI through five at-bats. It's being reported that Meadows will start the season at AAA and it's not surprising as he wasn't impressive last year in his time with Indy. He slashed just .250/.311/.359 for an 85 wRC+. Meadows blends a nice combo of power and speed and despite his prospect status slipping a tad bit, he's still at worst a top 50 prospect in baseball and is going to be a name to keep an eye on over the first few months of the season.
Ben Revere, Cincinnati Reds - Ben Revere has signed a minor league deal with the Reds and has an invitation to spring training. Revere spent 2017 with the Angels and swiped 21 bags in 109 games while hitting .275. Revere is nothing at more than a Billy Hamilton replacement that doesn't do what Billy Hamilton does as well as Billy Hamilton. He could plug in and fill that role well though but that's all this move might end up being.