Fantasy Baseball

Halpin: Five players to watch

Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
Can Cain bounce back in 2014?
Share This Story

John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for FOXSports.com since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for FOXNews.com, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on FOXSportsRadio.com and follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
   
 

Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
The Sox signed the hulking Cuban to a six-year, $68-million deal, and will put his power bat in the middle of their order. Abreu’s Serie Nacional stats suggest a good eye and big-time power – he swatted 79 homers in his last 195 games there, and had a 1.583 OPS in 2010-11 – but will those skills translate to the major leagues? Opinions are mixed, but the fantasy first-base pool isn’t so deep this season. Abreu’s upside can justify a top-15 pick at the position.

FANTASY 15 PODCAST

John Halpin hosts his fantasy baseball podcast throughout the 2014 MLB season on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Matt Cain, SP, Giants
After four consecutive seasons with ERAs of 3.14 or better, the dependable Cain stumbled to a 4.00 ERA with a still-solid 1.16 WHIP in 2013. What happened? Cain’s control eroded a bit, and he (finally) got unlucky with his HR/FB rate, but otherwise his peripheral numbers didn’t change much. A bounceback is likely, and if you can get Cain as a low-end SP2, he should be a bargain.

Adam Eaton, OF, White Sox
The speedy Eaton missed more than half of the 2013 season due to a sprained elbow, and didn’t hit or run as much as hoped after his return. However, he’s set to assume the Sox’ leadoff role and be a crowd-pleasing Scrappy McScrapperson.

What’s that? Scrappiness isn’t a fantasy category? Fair enough. Eaton’s 2012 stats across the minors and majors - .359 BA, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 149 runs, 46 SB – offer reason for optimism, even if the batting average was inflated by the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Eaton is likely to make you very happy as an OF5 in mixed leagues. Ten homers and 30 steals are in play.

Wil Myers, OF, Rays
If you like Myers, you’ll need to grab him early, as he’s been pushing the top 20 outfielders in early drafts. Is he worth it? There’s a lot to like, but exuberance about Myers’ successful MLB debut (.293 BA, 13 HR, 53 RBI in 88 games) seems likely to make him too expensive for you. His high strikeout rate suggests a BA drop, and he hit an awful lot of ground balls last season – too many for a power hitter.

I don’t mean to nitpick about Myers, as I think he’s going to be a very good player. But would I draft him ahead of guys like Alex Gordon, Matt Holliday or Jayson Werth? Probably not just yet. Temper your short-term expectations.

FOX Sports Team Report

Fantasy editor Ryan Fowler hosts his MLB and NFL podcasts weekly on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers
The trade of Ian Kinsler opens up an everyday role for Profar, who was widely regarded as baseball’s best prospect before the 2013 season. The 21-year-old was just OK (.234 BA, 6 HR, .644 OPS in 286 AB) while receiving inconsistent playing time during his rookie year, but every rookie doesn’t immediately become Mike Trout, so let’s not start calling him a bust.

Most projections have Profar pegged as a solid if unspectacular fantasy performer this season – think a dozen homers and a dozen steals, which can be fine for a back-end middle infielder on your mixed-league squad. However, this FanGraphs article on Profar’s lack of speed is worth your time. He might be a better real-life player than fantasy player.

Tagged: White Sox, Rangers, Giants, Rays, Matt Cain

More Stories From John Halpin

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

Trending Now

MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..