Draft season is finally here for some of us, while others remain prepping. Now that we have flipped the calendar, check out some of my hitting targets, and feel free to give me a Twitter follow here.
Check out my previous hitter targets piece here.
Check out my previous pitching targets piece here.
Some of the following targets aren’t necessarily starters for your NFBC roster, but they are nice players to go for as either bench stashes or late gambles in the Draft and Hold format. All ADP’s are from the NFBC.
C1 – Omar Narvaez, ADP 219
Shifting home venues from Seattle to Milwaukee should prove to be helpful for Narvaez, as the 27 year old looks to build upon a great 2019 (Narvaez was 5th in catcher wRC+, posting a supreme 119 wRC+ in Seattle). Narvaez possesses excellent plate discipline, as he walked 10% of the time & struck out under 20% along with his plus power (for catcher).
C2 – Robinson Chirinos, ADP 325
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2000, Chirinos is no young buck, but he continues to achieve rock solid power numbers, as he’s hit at least 17 HR in 3 consecutive seasons. Texas is a fine spot for Chirinos, taking Chirinos after pick 300 is a no-brainer.
1B – Rhys Hoskins, ADP 114
Heading into his age 27 season, Hoskins is looking to deliver on the prospect promise he carried to Philly. After failing to even hit .230 in 2019 (.226/.364/.454), Hoskins needs to improve some to justify his playing time at 1B. Thankfully his playing time looks to be just as secure as his 16% BB rate (5th best among qualified bats). I like the floor at the top heavy 1B & the potential ceiling if he can improve the BA. The Statcast data leaves plenty to be desired, but Hoskins could compile his way to solid play again.
2B – Tommy La Stella, ADP 282
La Stella is a contact (90% contact rate) maestro who finally got a full time opportunity in 2019 and parlayed that into an All-Star appearance as well as 16 homers in just 80 games. Unfortunately a fractured tibia caused La Stella to miss the 2nd half, but La Stella showed excellent plate discipline (20:28 BB:K ratio) and will get a chance to continue his breakout in 2020. He may even lead off at the top of Angels order, hitting in front of Trout/Rendon. Perhaps he’s a product of the juiced ball, but I will take a chance on La Stella as a floor guy with upside late in drafts.
3B – Travis Shaw, ADP 400
Although Shaw is more of an AL Only or deep, deep mixed league guy, he should remain on your watchlist to start the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season. After getting a full time opportunity to mash in Milwaukee, Shaw bopped 30+ homers in both 2017 and 2018, however he crashed and burned in 2019 (.157/.281/.270 over 270 PA’s). The infield is a little crowded in Toronto, but if Shaw can hit again, he will play.
SS – Kevin Newman ADP 198
Batted ball wise Newman leaves some to be desired for (2.1% barrels), bottom 5% of the league in terms of exit velocity and Newman wasn’t really a highly touted prospect. So what’s the reason top 200-ish price tag? Newman is another contact guy (87% contact) who doesn’t K (12% K rate) and steals plenty of bags. Although Newman may not even hit 10 homers, he has some value, as he should flirt with 20 steals and hit for a useful BA at the top of the Pittsburgh lineup.
MI – Nico Hoerner, ADP 378
If you are looking for a late dart that will receive some playing time, Hoerner is your guy. Horner did fine at Double A Tennessee (117 wRC+), receiving the call when Javy Baez got banged up late in the season. Hoerner won’t fuel stolen bases, but he could provide a helpful batting average and he costs very little in drafts. Additionally, there’s a universe where Hoerner hits well enough to climb high in the Cubs batting order, if that happens he could really provide a nice profit.
CI – Luke Voit, ADP 192
Aaron Boone has already stated that Voit will open up the season as the team’s starting first-base man, and he’s clearly shown supreme hitting skills (career 134 wRC+.) Factor in the lack of high upside 1B options at this stage of the draft and the opportunity to rack up counting stats in New York and this ADP should be far higher — take advantage of this price now.
OF1 – George Springer, ADP 42
Springer’s injury will hide what would have been a crazy good year, Springer was pacing for mid 40’s HR (ended with a career high 39 in 2019.) This presents a buying opportunity for drafters, as Springer is hitting a new level for power at age 30, in addition to all the counting stats Houston should provide. Minimal speed, but this is a floor play with big upside.
OF2 – Michael Brantley, ADP 128
After putting the injury bugga boo to bed by playing 2 consecutive fully healthy seasons, Brantley showed why Houston targeted him in free agency, finishing as the 21st most valuble OF, posting a scorching .311 BA, 22 HR, 88 RBI, 90 runs scored. He should repeat, and as the 36th OF off the board, this is major profit potential.
OF3 – Bryan Reynolds, ADP 196
Another BA guy, Bryan Reynolds continued his long track record of great hitting (usually 25% better than league average based on his MiLB wRC+ numbers) in Pittsburgh and put up a .314/.377/.503 line while hitting in the 2 hole. The BABIP may drop down from the .387 mark, but he’s always been a high BABIP guy, so expect a plus BA, the opportunity to flirt with 20 homers and tons of runs scored.
OF4 – Dylan Carlson, ADP 314
Carlson’s MiLB track record speaks for itself (142 wRC+ in 108 Double A games in 2019, 161 wRC+ in 18 Triple A games) and he should be up in STL before we know it. Carlson may not steal bases, but he will provide power, counting stats and hit for a useful BA given his low K rates for a slugger.
OF5 – Mike Tauchman, ADP 379
Simply put, Mike Tauchman (128 wRC+,.227 ISO, 6-6 on steals in 2019) should be a starter, but given the Yankees’ current depth chart, that is not the case. However some of the OF ahead of him have question marks and Tauchman could be in the lineup if Judge or Stanton were to go down with injury.
Util – Nick Solak, ADP 265
Even though Solak can adequately play 2B or 3B in Texas, Solak played less than 20 games at each and Solak served as the DH more often than any other position after being flipped from Tampa to Texas midseason, thus the DH only tag. Solak showed an impressive 15:29 BB to K rate in his 135 big league PA’s, showing his strong plate discipline skills. Add on his .387 wOBA and the ability to steal bases and we have an interesting 25 year old infield option after he gains either 2B or 3B eligibility. Take advantage of this DH only discount.