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September 25, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: Starting Pitchers

1

BP Fantasy Staff

These hurlers aren't widely owned, but they might be useful fliers for keeper-league owners looking ahead to 2015.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
“In most years, Gausman's 3.57 ERA would be enough to advertise on its own, but in 2014, it was barely above league average, and he didn't have a ton of peripheral value, which probably explains why he's unowned in the vast majority of leagues despite a ton of prospect hype. Still, there's a lot to like here, and it's based mostly on pedigree and raw ability more than it is borne out in the numbers.


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September 18, 2014 9:51 am

They Hold No Quarter: Outfielders

2

BP Fantasy Staff

These players aren't widely owned, but they might be useful fliers for keeper-league owners looking ahead to 2015.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye towards a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within). —Bret

Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins
“Arcia’s slash line doesn’t look pretty, but it belies two important factors: (1) He owns a .249/.324/.520 slash line against righties with a .271 ISO, and (2) only three hitters have connected with as many home runs as Arcia, 13, in the second half of the season. Furthermore, to illustrate his legit power, his average batted-ball distance ranks 50th in baseball. He has limitations to his overall profile, but if you’re a fantasy owner who can utilize the platoon advantage, he’s a great source for power. Also, I’m not convinced he’s useless against lefties. He just hasn’t shown it to this point and needs to develop that part of his game. I was huge on Arcia coming into the 2014 season. That will continue heading into the 2015 campaign.” —J.P. Breen


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September 3, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: Shortstops

2

BP Fantasy Staff

These players aren't widely owned, but they might be useful fliers for keeper-league owners looking ahead to 2015.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Wilmer Flores, New York Mets
“Flores is owned in a hearty 0.2 percent of ESPN leagues, and it's not terribly difficult to see why. The 23-year-old is hitting just .237/.271/.312 in 182 PA this season, knocking out just two homers and driving in only 16 runs in the process. Even for a player with shortstop eligibility that's pretty bad, but there's reason for optimism moving forward. Flores hit .323/.367/.568 in Triple-A this season after being similarly effective last year, and while Las Vegas is a hitter-friendly environment, some of the underlying skill here is real. The fear with Flores has long been that he'd be relegated to a position much lower on the positional value scale, but the Mets are still running him out at shortstop we're he'll be eligible in all formats at least for next year. Flores won't challenge for a top-10 fantasy SS finish by any means, but if he's given 500-plus PA next year it's not crazy to think he could hit .270 with 10-plus homers and around 60 runs and RBI apiece. That's starting to look like a pretty valuable player in deeper leagues, and I prefer him to the likes of a Yunel Escobar, Stephen Drew, or a Jordy Mercer, as uninspiring as those names may be.” —Ben Carsley


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August 27, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: Third Basemen

3

Baseball Prospectus

These hot-corner players aren't owned in many leagues, but they might hold keeper value for 2015 and beyond.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Garin Cecchini, Boston Red Sox
“Garin Cecchini has had a down year. His much-vaunted walk rate is down and his strikeout rate is up. Trading walks for strikeouts is not good. The good that might come of this is that his poor performance has potentially made him acquirable. We know that owners hate selling low, but if he has not been claimed or if he has been dropped, then I still think he is worth a shot. Since he’s still only 23 years old, 2014 might prove to be an adjustment year for Cecchini. Of course, it might not. But if it does, you are looking at a cheap third basemen that gives you a little bit of everything while playing half his games at Fenway. On top of that, opportunity is not unforeseeable as only Will Middlebrooks and Brock Holt stand in front of him on the depth chart. Cecchini could also very easily be traded, potentially in a package including Boston’s many outfielders and number five/six starters. The advantage here is that the acquiring team probably likes Cecchini, meaning playing time would be likely. It is not a sexy gamble, but it is a gamble that (depending on your league) might just be cheap enough to be worth the risk.” —Jeff Quinton


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August 20, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: Second Basemen

4

BP Fantasy Staff

Part two in the position-by-position look at players who might be worth stashing in keeper leagues.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues and who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs
“It's been a debut befitting a hyped 22-year-old prospect for Alcantara, which is to say he's struggled mightily to adjust to big-league stuff. His .213/.280/.346 line and .240 TAv have barely produced value in even the deepest of leagues to date. But none of this should be of any concern to managers with an eye on 2015 and beyond. The pedigree is still that of a perennial top-10 second baseman, and his double-digit pop and 30-plus-steal potential has already flashed in the majors despite his overall struggles. While there is a possibility that the Cubs' surplus of organizational depth could land him in the outfield it's all but certain he'll be in Chicago's starting lineup on Opening Day next spring, and he'll be there with 2B eligibility. He's one of the best flyers around for a Rendon-esque leap in value in his first full season and he makes for a strong end-game waiver claim or FAAB target if he's available in your keeper league.” —Wilson Karaman


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August 13, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: First Base

7

BP Fantasy Staff

In the first edition of a weekly series, the fantasy crew picks little-owned first baseman who might be worth grabbing for 2015 and beyond.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season. They’re more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres
“There was a point, earlier this season, when Alonso was just about the worst player in baseball. It’s not that hard to pinpoint either. On May 8, Alonso went 0-for-4 against the Marlins to sink his batting line to a cringe-worthy .157/.183/.217. That’s terrible for the best fielding shortstop you’ve ever seen, and Alonso is certainly not that. However, what he’s done since will probably surprise you, since he’s been left for dead in just about all fantasy leagues (including Mike and my LABR team) for the last three-plus months. In the 48 games he’s played in since that fateful day that his OPS touched .400 (he was sidelined for over a month with a wrist injury, Alonso has been exactly the player the fantasy owners who drafted him in the pre-season had hoped—hitting .303/.353/.533 with seven homers, 20 extra-base hits and four steals in 152 at-bats. Project that out over the course of a full season, and you get a little tingly inside when you hit the “add” button in your deeper mixed league.” —Bret Sayre


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