Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Team Preview - Boston Red Sox
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Team Preview - Boston Red Sox
March 9, 2014
Team Previews - Boston Red Sox
The World Series Champs lost a few players this offseason, but they are still loaded with fantasy relevant players. However, most of the players on the Red Sox roster with not be drafted in the first 10 rounds of fantasy drafts, and that means there are some good bargains on this team. Fantasy owners that are hoping to snag a few Red Sox for their fantasy rosters will have a lot of choices in the latter rounds between several consistent veterans and highly regarded prospects.
Can't Miss Picks: Dustin Pedroia has been one of the top fantasy second basemen for over half a decade and there is no reason to think he will start slowing down anytime soon. In fact, fantasy owners should be bullish on Pedroia this year as his numbers should improve from last year's injury riddled season. Pedroia admitted he played hurt all last year and he fought through pain every game. Now he is fully healthy and that means fantasy owners should be excited about drafting one of the most reliable players in the game today.
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Sleepers and Value Picks: Clay Buchholz has a long injury history, and that is why his value is so low this year. Given the risk around Buchholz, his absolutely dynamic seasons are reasons enough to take a chance on him. He represents great value in drafts this year as a 19th round selection that posted a 12-1 record with a 1.74 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He was arguably the best pitcher in baseball last year till he got hurt, and he was also very good when came back in September. Buchholz is a very risky pick for sure, but fantasy owners are not losing much by spending such a late pick on a 29 year old that has shown the ability to be absolutely lights out.
Breakouts: Xander Bogaerts gave fantasy owners a reason to be excited about drafting him this year because of his spectacular play in the playoffs last year. Bogaerts showed the ability to handle postseason pressure, and now he has to show that he can endure a long regular season. Bogaerts is one of the top prospects in baseball and it is looking like he will be an everyday player for the Red Sox this year.
Busts: The biggest knock to Napoli's fantasy value is that he is no longer eligible at catcher, and he does not rate well compared to the depth at first base. Last year the Red Sox led the Majors in on base percentage and Napoli used that to his advantage by producing a career high in RBI with 92. Napoli also had career highs in hits and runs which can be attributed to the fact he moved to first base and therefore he had a career high in at bats. The problem with all these career breakthroughs is the fact that only three players struck out more times than Napoli who managed to K 187 times. The loss of Ellsbury should have an impact on the number of RBI chances Napoli gets this season, and there is a risk of his batting average dropping again because of his high strikeout rate. Napoli is still hitting in the heart of a solid Boston lineup, but fantasy owners should wait till the later rounds before taking a chance on him.
Bounce Back Candidates: Will Middlebrooks was down right awful last year despite his sporadic showings of power, and his poor hitting carried over to the postseason as well. However, it appears the Red Sox have enough faith in the young slugger to trust him as their starting third baseman for another season. Middlebrooks is not a lock to have a rebound season, but he does have the potential to be a solid major league power hitter.
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