The day after Opening Day can be brutal. It’s the comedown after an incredible and long-overdue high from baseball returning. In the fantasy world, it’s National Jump to Conclusions Day as everyone tries to look for the positives in the results from the players they own. Here, I’ll be looking at the super early results from players I wasn’t especially fond of before the season to see where I might’ve gone wrong.
Back in February, when I ran down the American League shortstop landscape, I listed Iglesias as an option for deep AL-Only leagues. He was lumped in with some guys you don’t really want on your team and I almost completely dismissed his fantasy value, noting that in the past he hasn’t been a threat to hit for power or steal bases and his .330 AVG with Boston came with an unsustainable BABIP (.356). Then Iglesias, who missed all of last season with stress fractures in both shins, had himself a day in the Tigers’ home opener. The slick-fielding shortstop looked very healthy as he went 2-for-3 with two singles and two stolen bases. It’s possible that I overlooked a decent asset here. If Iglesias can stay healthy while recreating some of that BABIP magic and steal some bases in Detroit, he’ll be a nice little player. Of course, Iglesias was part of Larry Schecter’s AL LABR strategy. We should’ve known.
Okay, okay, I know it’s only one game and he was facing the Phillies, but you kind of have to admit Buchholz looked pretty good on Monday. He’s no one’s favorite pitcher to own in fantasy because of his inconsistency, but he’s capable of throwing a great game every time out and that gets overlooked. He’s also capable of blowing up, but everyone knows that.
I didn’t even mention Smith in my AL outfielders piece. He’s a power hitter, but he’s going to be used as part of a platoon, which will limit his playing time, and Seattle’s Safeco Field isn’t a good ballpark for home runs. What this line of thought ignored was that Smith will still hit second between Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano against right-handed pitching. While not playing against left-handers limits his playing time it could be good for his AVG as the Mariners aren’t sitting him against southpaws for no reason (his career TAv against left-handed pitching is .258). Smith went 3-for-3 on Monday with two doubles, a triple, a run scored, and two RBI. He’s not flashy, won’t steal bases, and has never hit 20 home runs in a single season, but I’m back aboard the Smith train in deeper formats.
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