Austin Jackson

Fantasy Baseball 2013: Value Picks

Austin 3:16 says "I just saved your ass!"
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The title says it all. After the jump, we'll run through a list of dudes who represent value picks based on their Yahoo! ADP:


Value Picks Within Yahoo! Top 150

Evan Longoria (19)

Pretty black and white situation here. Longo is a perennial first round pick whose propensity for getting injured has dragged down his ADP. I’m not telling you he will stay healthy this year, but the price is right and the risk is well worth the reward.

I prefer him over an equally as injury prone Troy Tulowitzki and over Giancarlo Stanton and Adrian Beltre as well. Stantbeast is, well, he is a beast, but the phenom won’t steal bases and the rest of the Marlins won’t be creating many runs, so I will be passing on the price tag for an outfielder. But I digress, buying Longoria is like going all in with a Royal Flush draw on the river. 


Jose Reyes (30)

My boy Jose is one year removed from a batting title, and will find himself leading off for a potentially dominant Toronto offense. Reyes will provide supreme production in the stolen base department as well as runs and average, and won’t exactly hurt you with mediocre power and RBI numbers for a leadoff hitter. My favorite ex-Met had more walks than strikeouts last year, which goes to show he is a natural with a bat in his hands (and is primed to put up massive stats).


Allen Craig (53) 

The stars have aligned and Craig is ready to bust out, as long as he can stay healthy. Yes that is a big if, but you have to assume some risk. Sitting at a prime 28 years old, Allen is fertile and fucking ready to put it all together. He will provide a pimp .300-plus batting average, 28-plus bomb potential, and run production that comes with hitting in the heart of an always imposing St. Louis lineup. 


Chase Headley (64) 

Before you go any further, I am only recommending Chase to those in leagues that take OBP and/or OPS into account. A 28 year old in the peak of his career, Headley absolutely busted out last season. With the fences moving in I don’t expect heavy regression. Before you jump down my throat, I do believe a drop in home runs is coming, but doomsday prophecies are overblown. While the strikeouts are a bit heavy, he also draws a ton of walks and it feels like he finally got comfy in the big show. Would I reach? Not really. But if he falls in your lap, lick your chops and fearlessly draft the man. 


Aaron Hill (67) 

For those of you living under a rock, Hill had a surprisingly dominant season last year and finished up as the second most valuable 2B in the majors. Power, speed, average, and run production with solid peripherals, I am a believer especially with the Diamondbacks offense on the rise. Love him in the low-to-mid 60s this year.


Freddie Freeman (73) 

The injured left index finger that slowed him down the end of last season is supposedly healthy, and this beast of a man could do beautiful things in 2013. The Braves have a studly lineup and Freeman is the power first baseman of the future.  From what I can tell, there will always be somebody drafting Paul Goldschmidt super early this season, and I’m a big fan of Freeman as a value pick. I do like Goldy, but he is everyone's sleeper pick. Would rather get Freeman, Ike Davis, or Mark Trumbo later on. Shit, even Paul Konerko is a great buy at his ADP.


Austin Jackson (91) 

Coming in to his fourth season in the bigs, A-Jax has proven to be a steady contributor. After a rough 2011, he improved upon his BB/K ratio, saw a boost in power, and finally crossed that .300 threshold in batting average. If he swipes more bags, as Leyland is hoping for, Jackson could turn into a top 75 player with ease. 


Mark Trumbo (135)  

You will not get Trumbo this late unless you are drafting against a bunch of scrubs. He is a lock for 30-plus bombs as he enters his prime years. Underrated power bat, and will help you out with multi-position eligibility.


Carlos Santana (79) 

I have been a Santana fan ever since he entered the league. With a substantially improved Cleveland offense, this could be his breakout season. He has an incredible eye, and don’t forget about those 27 taters he hit in 2011. Super stud, especially in OBP leagues. I am a sucker for solid BB/K ratios and all the hype over the years wasn’t a bunch of hoopla. 


Ike Davis (107) 

Dude started off ice cold in 2012 but still ended up with 32 bops. He is a steal at the price although he has gone somewhat earlier in most drafts I have done so far. Nothing else to say here. Just cop an easy 30-plus home runs and thank me later. 


David Freese (113) 

Assuming the bruised ass bone is not a big deal, Freese could be a great mid-round option. He just signed a one-year deal, so he is playing for a contract as well. D-Free is a cheap third baseman whose price has not been inflated. So what can you expect? A .295 batting average and 25 four baggers. He is a less sexy Kung Fu Panda. 


Carl Crawford (116)

He's a huge question mark as he is dealing with nerve irritation steming from the Tommy John surgery. If he can eventually brush it off and get healthy, Crawford could return to the five-cat producer we used to know. He won’t be putting up Tampa Bay numbers, but the Dodgers are stacked, he is only 31, and he is still an incredible natural athlete. Carl took live batting practice for the first time recently, but should still start the season off on the DL.  


Dan Uggla (125) 

Regression. Sometimes it burns you trying to chase the dragon, and other times it allows you to snag a heavy lumber swinger on the cheap. Uggla has stayed remarkably healthy in his seven years in the league, never logging less than 619 plate appearances. The 2012 numbers are alarming there is no doubt about that, but he is built like an ox and I am willing to bet that those HR/FB rates will grow once again. Considering the imposing lineup in Atlanta, Uggla could put up monster numbers if he transforms back into the streaky, but dominant, Danny boy we know and love.


Salvador Perez (130) 

Still a baby, but Sally can stroke and is an even better buy if you think the Royals offense will bounce back. Eric Hosmer is having a great spring, Moose Tacos (Mike Moustakas) got hit with a terribly unlucky BABIP in the second half of 2012 and will improve, and Lorenzo Cain might even stay healthy. Perez has the skills to be a steady .300 hitter, and is an elite buy in keeper/dynasty leagues considering the success he had at the not so ripe age of 22. 


Ben Revere (144)

The Phillies made one of the most underrated moves in the offseason with Revere. He is a young speedster with a very solid glove. While most people warn you against paying for steals, Benny is a lock for 40-plus swipes and could even boost your batting average. He is a no-no in leagues that use SLG or OPS, having never hit a home run in the bigs and lacking in the other XBH departments as well. I’m buying at this price though.


Alejandro De Aza (140) 

Slurped De Aza last year, slurping him again this year. Alejandro won’t carry your squad, but he is a perfect glue guy who can provide a little bit of everything. Maybe not so much power, but I respect the man’s game and he is peaking at a plump 28 years old as well.


Value Picks Outside Yahoo! Top 150

Wil Middlebrooks (155) 

Another popular sleeper pick this season, every league will have a Wil lover who takes him too early. However, if he hangs around, then gobble the youngster up. Safe option? Not particularly, especially since the recent wrist injury is a bit unsettling. He mashed in his first trip to the show, but the sample size is too tiny to really get all worked up. Solid risk/reward buy.


Jonathan Lucroy (170) 

I fucking lust over Johny Loocs. In a season where it seems like there are countless catchers on the rise, Lucroy might be my favorite for the price. He has improved every season and if it weren’t for broken hand in 2012, people would be all over his nuts with me. A Ryan Braun suspension could put a damper on his production, but Lucroy in the mid-to-late rounds is a gem. Expect well-rounded stat production.


Lorenzo Cain (192) 

Zo is the definition of injury prone, and is already dealing with a hand injury this spring. However, he is supremely talented and coming into his prime years. Don’t complain to me if he misses a substantial amount of time again, but if he can put together a full season, 20 bombs and 30 swipes is doable. 


Justin Morneau (198) 

Recently got J-Mo for $11 in a 20-man auction league and people were ragging on me. Apparently, I joined a league with a bunch of morons. The lefty’s brain is healthy for the first time in years and there is a very good chance we see 30-plus home runs out of the man. While it is never a good idea to read too much into spring training numbers, he is on a roll so far. Dirt cheap tag for Morneau this year. Feel free to reach as well if you need a 1B later on. Fuck it, plan on having Morneau as your starting first basemen.


Everth Cabrera (205) 

Yes the potential PED suspension is a bit worrisome, and unfortunately I don’t have any additional light to shine on the situation. All I know is when he hits the field, you are getting one of the most dangerous base runners in the game. Everth blew everybody out of the water last year in regards to SB/PA including the chosen one, Mike Trout, and Michael Bourn


Brandon Belt (239) 

Who are we to shun this man for not living up to his hype when he is still only 24 and has not been given a true full season of opportunity? He has power and speed and is locked in as the starting first baseman for the Giants. The stars may finally be aligning, and the cherry on top is the fact that he is mashing this spring. 


Andrelton Simmons (240) 

The buzz is out there, so don’t think you are the only one who is eyeing this young SS. The Bravos are planning on batting him leadoff, so serious run production is on the horizon. The sample size for his somewhat respectable stats during his first run in the show is small. Am I going to get all giddy starting Simmons? Not particularly, but if you are deep in a draft and still missing a SS, then he is a godsend.


Starling Marte (253) 

Speaking of young stud muffins, Marte is a very solid late-round speed option. He might not do your batting average any favors, but has some decent pop for a leadoff hitter and also has the potential to swipe 30-plus bags. The 24-year-old may hit some rough patches while adjusting to the bigs. Still, I envision an exciting 15/30 campaign and the Pirates are excited to see what he can do as well.


Colby Rasmus (260) 

I have always been a sucker for sleepers after the buzz dies down. Rasmus had countless fans, but has been pretty quiet since entering the league. He is going to damage your batting average, but showed some flashes of power last season and could be serviceable if he puts it all together and contributes in that Blue Jays lineup I love oh so much. A major roadblock is on the horizon, as he has shown absolutely no comfort or power at the plate since returning from a shoulder injury. With Anthony Gose an Rajai Davis waiting for a shot, Rasmus could miss out on an incredible opportunity if he doesn’t pull his shit together. Monitor the situation, but I still think Rasmus is a smart buy late in the draft. You need a couple roster spots open for streaming/waiver pickups anyway, so if he turns out to be a bust, it won’t kill you. 


Domonic Brown (322) 

Let’s keep going down the rabbit hole. Dom Brown is making a case for more plate appearances this spring and could be a solid contributor in deeper leagues if given a shot (even after Delmon Young returns). His batting average will burn a bit, but if given the opportunity, Brown could pleasantly surprise Phillies fans.


Nolan Reimold (324) 

Another injury prone dude who never put up the numbers people expected, Reimold is a solid late round sleeper. Supposedly, Nate McLouth is the starting left fielder, and Wilson Betemit is penciled in as the DH. But if Nolan can stay healthy and swing a heavy oak, then he could surprise us this upcoming season. Granted it was only 16 games, but he absolutely dominated before getting hurt last year. 


Jon Jay (331) 

JJ could be my favorite late-round draft pick of the year. He is not flashy by any means, but has hit .300 in 1,000-plus career plate appearances, and stole a decent hunk of bags last season. Jay will most likely leadoff for the Cards and is the perfect late-round glue guy for those needing some outfield depth.   


Mitch Moreland (532) 

So let me get this straight. Moreland is a 27-year-old coming into his fourth year in the bigs, who has shown solid power and improvement, is slated to be the starting 1B on the Rangers, but isn’t getting much love. Me likey. 


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.