Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Team Preview - Cincinnati Reds
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Team Preview - Cincinnati Reds
March 15, 2014
Team Preview - Cincinnati Reds
The Reds came up a little short last year, but they are set to make another playoff push in 2014. The Reds core is the same as last year with the exception of a their leadoff hitter. The Reds lost Shin Soo Choo and have replaced him with the fastest man in baseball, Billy Hamilton. If Hamilton can get on base then he will be a nightmare for opposing teams and a savior for fantasy teams in rotisserie leagues. This is a team that will be a serious playoff contender and produce some great fantasy bargains, if the Reds' players can stay healthy.
Can't Miss Picks: The Reds have two big hitters that are not known for disappointing fantasy owners and both those guys are can't miss picks. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce are the heart of the Reds' offense and both them make for excellent fantasy selections. Joey Votto has been one of the best hitters in baseball and he should continue to be one of the best for some time to come. Jay Bruce is one of the NL's premier power hitters and the 26 year old will only get stronger over the next few years. Bruce in not going to hit for a high average but he is a lock for 30+ home runs and 90+ runs and RBIs. Both Votto and Bruce are solid hitters that will give fantasy owners exactly what is expected of them.
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Sleepers and Value Picks: Brandon Phillips is a player that has fallen out of favor with fantasy owners despite the fact that he knocked in 103 RBI last season. Phillips will turn 33 this year, and perhaps his age is one of the reasons his fantasy stock has fallen. Whatever the reason that has caused Phillips to drop down draft boards, fantasy owners need to realize that Phillips has been a very consistent hitter for his career. Phillips should be able to hit for a decent average providing some power and good run production which makes him a great bargain in the 10th round. Tony Cingrani was part of the sensational rookie class that joined the majors last year, and he will be an absolute draft day steal if he can improve on his numbers from last year.
Breakouts: Billy Hamilton is one of the most popular players in the world of fantasy baseball yet he is only being drafted on average in the 8th round. That is actually a fair price for Hamilton considering the risk that surrounds him. Hamilton has the potential to be an absolute fantasy star, especially in rotisserie leagues. Hamilton has the ability to steal 100+ bases and there is a good chance that he can get close to that number this season. Fantasy owners, especially roto owners, should find a way to incorporate Hamilton into their draft strategy as he can single handedly win the stolen bases category.
Busts: Johnny Cueto has become one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he could not stay on the field last year because of injuries. Cueto has stated that he will change his delivery if he has trouble staying healthy, and that is exactly what happened to him last year. If Cueto can stay healthy and pitch like he has in the past, he will an absolute draft day steal. The problem is that there is a lot of risk around Cueto and that is why his fantasy stock is so low. It is hard to consider any player a bust that can be drafted in the 16th round, but Cueto is a player with a lot of risk and fantasy owners must not jump to get him.
Bounce Back Candidates: Ryan Ludwick is a great bounce back candidate and a potential deep sleeper. Ludwick missed most of last season because of a shoulder injury, but he appears to be fully healed up heading into this season. Ludwick should bat in the middle of the Reds lineup and that is great place for him to hit some homers and drive in some runs. Ludwick is a player that could produce 25+ homers with 80+ RBI and he can be had for the discount price of the last pick in the draft.
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