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September 26, 2013

Free Agent Watch

Looking Ahead to 2014

by Bret Sayre


With only four days left in the regular season, I’m going to do a slightly different take on our usual Free Agent Watch column before we morph into off-season mode. But speaking of off-season mode, I know even the most loyal BP readers are used to the fantasy section taking a couple of months off when the season ends. So my deepest apologies to those of you who were looking forward to time away from us—under my reign of terror as Fantasy Content Manager, you will be subjected to year-round fantasy analysis. And that includes some new things that I am very excited about.

But back to the task at hand, we are going around the diamond to spot players who are worthy of picking up in dynasty and high-volume keeper leagues with an eye squarely on 2014. And if the names I’m highlighting aren’t deep enough for some of you, I’ll be including a deep sleeper at each position as well (and if those aren’t deep enough for you, then you’re just going to have to be OK with that). In the words of future Poet Laureate Mike Skinner, let’s…push…things…forward.

Catcher: Welington Castillo, Chicago Cubs
Overall, it was a decent season for Castillo, but not one that saw him owned in very many single-catcher formats. In September, however, he shown what he’s capable of, hitting .311/.367/.667 with four homers and nine RBI in 45 at-bats. Of course it is September, so this all must be taken with a grain of salt. The question is whether he can translate the power he has shown in the upper minors. Between his time at Double-A and Triple-A, Castillo had 51 homers in 1,145 at-bats. Given his ability to hit for a decent average, that could be an attractive package for a backstop.

C Deep Cut: J.R. Murphy, New York Yankees
There’s a brief organizational window that Murphy could fill, until the newest Yankee catcher of the future (Gary Sanchez) shows up in the Bronx.

First Base: Ike Davis, New York Mets
If you had told me before the 2013 season that Yuniesky Betancourt would be a more valuable fantasy first baseman than Ike Davis, I would have spent a whole week comparing in-patient mental facilities. Padded walls aside, Davis actually came back from the minors a changed man on July 5. From that point until his season-ending injury, he hit .267/.429/.443 with four homers and four steals in 170 plate appearances, including 38 walks to 35 strikeouts. If he can just bring back more of the previous power he’s shown at the major-league level, he could still become the hitter we though coming into the year.

1B Deep Cut: Tommy Medica, San Diego Padres
He’s old for a prospect (turns 26 in April), but let’s not rule out that there’s something here. Yonder Alonso is still the future in San Diego, but he hasn’t had the greatest time staying healthy recently (only 95 games played in 2013).

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (09/26)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (09/19)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (04/03)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (09/26)

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