Today, I want to talk about several players that are intriguing going into the 2013 baseball season; all of these players are of interest for different reasons. Some of them are young, others are old, but you should be taking a second look at all of these guys going into your fantasy drafts.
Brandon Beachy, SP, Atlanta Braves
Prior to undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery, Beachy was well on his way to a career year. He sported one of the best ERA's in baseball at an even 2 and his WHIP was under 1 (0.96). Beachy also had eight quality starts, five wins, a shutout of the Marlins and he also tallied 68 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched. Beachy only threw 15 innings in 2010, finishing with a strikeout per inning, an even 3.00 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. He showed more progress in 2011 and as expected the ERA took a hit, but otherwise his numbers were very solid (7-3, 141.2 IP, 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP).
At just 28 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 25 percent owned in CBS leagues and 24.4 percent owned in ESPN leagues, Beachy is worth stashing on the DL during your drafts.
Jonny Gomes, OF, Boston Red Sox
Gomes is a player blessed with huge natural power and he has shown that ever since he started playing regularly for Tampa Bay in 2005. If you look at his career numbers, every time he plays 100 games or more he usually finishes with around 20 home runs.
2005 (101 games) - 21 HR
2006 (117 games) - 20 HR
2007 (107 games) - 17 HR
2010 (148 games) - 18 HR
Gomes is slated to be the starter in left field for Boston and does not have much competition behind him. Minor League journeyman Daniel Nava is second on the depth chart at that position, followed by Mike Carp. Both players have some upside, but not nearly as much as Gomes presents.
Gomes is currently owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues, 4 percent in CBS leagues and less than 1 percent owned in ESPN leagues. You could do worse than Gomes with a late-round selection.
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland Indians
Chisenhall was once regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball, but he simply hasn't lived up to the hype just yet. Chisenhall spent two full years in the Minors and that's always a good thing for a young guy to be able to mature. "Lonnie's development is huge," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It got short-changed a little bit last year, because he got hit [by a pitch]. But he's got as good of bat speed as anybody in camp."
Chisenhall also showed some maturity when he spoke to the media about his status coming into camp. "I can just focus on doing the work," Chisenhall said. "In the past I put too much pressure on myself to try and impress the people that made the decisions. This year, I'm coming in with a little different look at it."
Chisenhall is now 25 and the Indians are committed to him at third. He is 7 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 10 percent owned in CBS leagues and 3.4 percent owned in ESPN leagues.
Darin Ruf, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
This might surpise you, but 26-year-old Darin Ruf led the Minor Leagues in home runs in the 2012 season. He was rewarded with a late September call up and now is battling for a regular position in left field with the Phillies with fading prospect Dominic Brown. What's impressive about his numbers in the Minors is that they are not just all home runs, he actually finished with very good overall numbers in the 2012 campaign (93 runs, 38 home runs, 104 RBIs, .317 AVG). With 38 home runs, he finished ahead of now Rays uber-prospect Wil Myers, and that is impressive to say the least.
Ruf flashed some power in 12 Major League games with the Phillies, tallying three home runs, 10 RBIs and a .333 AVG.
Ruf is just 4 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 5 percent owned in CBS leagues and 3.8 percent owned in ESPN leagues.
Some other players to consider later on in fantasy drafts include: Garrett Jones, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Jurickson Profar, Chris Nelson, Andy Dirks, Matt Carpenter, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Bruce Rondon, Erasmo Ramirez, Tyler Skaggs, Wily Peralta, Trevor Bauer, Bobby Parnell, Wade Davis and Chis Tillman.