Yesterday, we examined some of the most popular players that no doubt were draft in almost 100 percent of all formats of fantasy baseball leagues, are known quantities, and were expected to perform for your fantasy roster at an elite level. The problem with the players we discussed yesterday, is that none of them are playing anywhere near where they should be, some are injured, but all should be mass dropped if you have any prayer of competing in your league the rest of the way.
Today, as promised, we are going to look at the players who flew under the radar, and have made huge impacts for the owner’s who were smart enough, and had the forethought to not buy into reputation, but rather performance. As with yesterday’s column, we will talk about three hitters and three pitchers that one-quarter of the way through the season, appear to be the real deal fantasy-value wise.
Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers-A season ago, the Brewers were employing a handful of guys, experienced veterans and unproven youngsters to attempt to solidify the shortstop position in Brewtown, USA. With no clear cut prospect leading the pack coming into 2013, somewhat touted prospect Segura took hold of the job and hasn’t looked back since. He is playing so well, that if he got more pub with the media, could find himself starting in July’s all star game. Segura is hitting .354 with eight home runs, 22 runs batted in, and has 15 stolen bases. If someone isn’t buying, go try and get him.
Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Giants-The valuable middle infielder who happens to have position eligibility at both shortstop and second base has continued his offensive production that was apparent during the Giants’ World Series run last October. Scutaro is hitting .330, and has already scored 30 at the one-quarter point of the season.
Sterling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates-Another of the Pirates minor league gems, Marte showed flashes of brilliance during his second half call up to the big club in 2012. Undrafted in more than 90 percent of leagues format wide, Marte is a triples, sacrifices, and stolen base machine. He is hitting in the .280s, and can project to be closer to .300 by season’s end. He is one of the most stat versatile outfielders in the game today, and should be universally owned.
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox-One of the early favorites for the American League Cy Young Award in 2013 was basically an afterthought for most fantasy owners. Injuries and inconsistency had proven the right hander undraftable in many formats, and figured to be nothing more than a plug and play option throughout the season. He’s now 7-0, with a brilliant earned run average of 1.73, and the strikeouts are there too.
Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians-Another former Red Sox pitcher who was given up on too early in his career, Masterson has settled into underrated ace status, Masterson like Buchholz, went primarily undrafted due to his struggles during 2012. He now sits at 8-3, with an earned run average of just over 3.00. For owners that took the plunge early on, they are reading the rewards of snagging an ace without having to use a top round draft pick on him.
Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates-A career set up guy that inherited the closer’s job when former closer Joel Hanrahan was dealt to Boston, Grilli was a personal target of mine heading into my own league’s fantasy draft. He’s now converted on 22 saves and is on pace to record well over 50. As Matthew Berry always says, “Don’t overpay for saves.” I drafted Grilli late in my live draft, and he has proven to be worth every penny and more.
I will be returning Monday with my normal daily advice column. Enjoy the games this weekend and best of luck with your teams!
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