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My last two articles profiled AL-only position players and pitchers who were hovering near the bottom of our preseason sheet prices or were off our draft-day radars entirely, but proved to be fantasy assets in deep formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to the senior circuit to recognize endgame and FAAB position-player finds that provided substantial dividends for their owners despite accounting for a fraction of auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets.

Matt Duffy, IF, San Francisco Giants

Expert league auction values: Undrafted
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $24
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $27

Duffy was the beneficiary of a banged-up Giants infield and ineffective Casey McGehee during the early season, and he took advantage of his opportunity. While little was expected from the 24-year-old infielder heading into the 2015 season, Duffy was a mainstay in the San Francisco lineup and posted a .295/.334/.428 triple slash over 612 PA. Despite hitting only 13 home runs over more than 1,000 PAs in parts of three minor-league seasons, Duffy flashed unexpected power for his fantasy owners this year, smacking 12 bombs to go along with 77 RBI. The rookie was also impressive on basepaths, going a perfect 12-for-12 in SB attempts, and his positional versatility was also an asset, as Duffy qualified at second, third, and short in standard roto formats. All told, Duffy proved to be the cream of the crop in 2015 for NL-Only hitter FAAB finds.

Cameron Maybin, OF, Atlanta Braves

Expert league auction values: CBS –$1/LABR – $3/Tout Wars – $2
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $21
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $24

The expert-league auctions take place before the season begins, so these bids represent Maybin on a Padres team with a loaded outfield and rumors he would be dealt. For those who rolled the dice and took a chance on Maybin being shipped to an NL team, you were rewarded handsomely. The nine-year veteran was shipped to Atlanta in the blockbuster April deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to San Diego, and he became an everyday player for the Braves. Maybin posted career highs in HR and RBI in 2015, and his 23 stolen bases were 10th-best in the NL. In keeper formats, Maybin should prove to be a solid, undervalued keep heading into 2016.

Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Expert league auction values: CBS –$1/LABR – $1/Tout Wars – $2
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $18
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $22

Here was my profile of Turner this past March in The Only Landscape – NL Third Basemen article:

“Guess who tallied $17 in NL-Only 5×5 earnings last season? This guy did, and he accumulated that in only 288 AB. Re-signed by the Dodgers this offseason, expect Turner to be used in his utility role again, and see time across the diamond. With Uribe scheduled to be the Dodgers primary third baseman, Turner should see his share of playing time again at the hot corner, where he appeared in 59 games last season. His career line of .281/.344/.395 over six bi- league seasons shows Turner can produce when given the opportunity and makes for a decent endgame corner play.”

Turner proved his 2014 season was no fluke, as he posted career highs in HR (16), RBI (60), and runs scored (55) while putting up a .294 AVG in 439 PAs this past year for the Dodgers. Turner is a viable fantasy option again heading into 2016, so don’t let him get away again at these prices.

Justin Bour, 1B, Miami Marlins

Expert league auction values: Undrafted
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $15
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $20

Another player who was on very few draft-day radars, the slugging first baseman was called up from Triple-A in April and slowly worked into Miami’s lineup. Following a May in which he slashed .322/.365/.627 with five home runs, and with Michael Morse on the DL, Bour began seeing regular starts at first base and proved to be waiver-wire gold from then on. Bohr finished the season with 23 home runs and 73 RBI, and was especially valuable to his fantasy owners over the last month of the season, when he put up a .308 AVG with nine home runs and 27 RBI.

Randal Grichuk, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Expert league auction values: CBS –$2/Undrafted in LABR and Tout Wars
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $15
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $17

Despite only registering 323 AB last season, the Cardinals rookie outfielder made his mark in NL-Only formats by blasting 15 home runs from June 1st on. The 24-year-old Grichuk netted $15 in NL-Only 5×5 standard formats and is looking to be a fantasy force as we head into 2016.

Gerardo Parra, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Expert league auction values: CBS –$1/LABR – $4/Tout Wars – $3
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $18
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $19

Parra was dealt to the Brewers at the deadline in 2014, and the expectation was that he would settle in as a fourth outfielder after agreeing to a one-year deal in the offseason to remain in Milwaukee. However, by June, Parra became a regular in the Brewers OF and remained there until he was dealt to the Orioles at the trade deadline this past season. Despite only playing in 100 games for Milwaukee, the veteran outfielder amassed $18 in NL-Only earnings in standard 5×5 formats by posting a .328 AVG with nine HR and nine SB. While his trade to the AL was a crushing blow for his NL-only owners, Parra still proved to be a bargain during his half-season stay in the senior circuit.

A.J. Pierzynski, C, Atlanta Braves

Expert league auction values: CBS –$1/LABR – $1/Tout Wars – $2
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $14
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $16

Coming off seasons of 27 and 17 HR, Pierzynski’s offensive production was nonexistent in 2014, as he slumped to a .251/.288/.337 slash line with only 5 HR, all career lows. However, the 38-year-old backstop rebounded in 2015, slashing .300/.339/.430 with nine home runs to the delight of owners who tossed a buck on AJP in the endgame as a second catcher in deep NL-only formats

Michael A. Taylor, OF, Washington Nationals

Expert league auction values: Undrafted in CBS and LABR/Tout Wars – $4
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $14
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $18

Ranked as the 57th prospect on our Top 101 list heading into last season, Taylor was uncertain to make a fantasy impact this past year. With multiple injuries in the Washington outfield to begin the season, the toolsy outfielder was pressed into action in early April and provided early returns for his fantasy owners, slashing .260/.302/.480 with two home runs, eight RBI, and two SB over his first 13 games. While Taylor struggled with his contact rates much of the season and was a bit of a batting-average drain (.229 AVG over 472 AB), his season totals of 14 HR, 63 RBI, and 16 SB made Taylor a double-digit earner in standard NL-only formats, so he proved to be a nice end game flier.

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Miami Marlins

Expert league auction values: CBS –$3/LABR – $3/Tout Wars – $2
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $14
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $15

Hechavarria has been a personal favorite of mine in NL-only leagues the past three years. He is what he is, and that’s by no means a fantasy staple, but he will always come cheap and will help with the counting stats without killing your batting average. Hechavarria went for an average salary of $2 and $3 the past two seasons and has brought home $11and $14 in earnings, respectively, in standard 5×5 NL-only scoring formats. He plays every day and even runs enough (42 SB attempts the past three years) to steal a few bases. Hechavarria continued his reputation as a solid endgame play to fill your MI spot this past season.

J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins

Expert league auction values: CBS –Undrafted/LABR – $1/Tout Wars – Undrafted
NL-Only 5×5 earnings – $12
NL-Only 4×4 earnings – $14

Our no. 3 prospect in the Marlins organization heading into this year, Realmuto was called up from Triple-Ain early April to split catching duties in Miami with Jarrod Saltalamacchia after Jeff Mathis landed on the DL with a broken finger. It did not take long for the rookie backstop to become the primary catcher for the Marlins and become relevant in NL-only leagues that roster two catchers. While Realmuto did not excel in any one category, he posted solid numbers across the board, and his eight stolen bases were a notable bonus.

Honorable Mention (with AL-Only 5×5/4×4 year-end earnings): Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($16/$19 earned); Freddy Galvis, SS, Philadelphia Phillies ($14/$15 earned); Addison Russell, SS, Chicago Cubs ($11/$12 earned); Danny Espinosa, MI, Washington Nationals ($10/$11 earned); Jeff Francouer, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($9/$12 earned)

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mblthd
11/04
I would have figured the Doober had made this list
jonjacoby
11/04
Odubell Herrera and Ben Paulsen.
mblthd
11/04
Yeah, Paulsen too, you would think
Slyke18
11/04
Hey mblthd and jonjacoby,
Thanks for checking out the article and the feedback.

Yep, I dropped the ball not including Odubel Herrera on my listing.

Herrera was undrafted in CBS, went for $4 in LABR and $2 in Tout and earned a cool $20 in NL-Only standard 5x5 formats. My bad I missed that one.

As for Paulsen, I had him on my short list, but should have included him in my Honorable Mention listing. Paulsen went undrafted in the Expert Leagues, but still earned $12 in just 325 AB's in standard NL-Only 5x5 formats.

Thanks again for comments!