MLB News: Spring Training Baseball News and Notes: 3/17/14
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Spring Training News and Notes
March 17, 2014
MLB News: Spring Training News and Notes:
March 17, 2014
Billy Hamilton is quietly having a great spring as his OBP now stands at .410 and he is also batting .303 in his 33 spring at bats. Hamilton put his skills on display Sunday night as the Reds beat the A's because of his speed. Hamilton was able to get on base with a bunt in the 7th inning and he then stole 2nd and 3rd base. He scored on a Brandon Phillips home run, which eventually led to the game winning run. Hamilton has been impressing his coaches and teammates, but he is not getting too much fantasy attention so far this spring. With the start of the season just around and Hamilton having a very impressive spring, fantasy owners should expect Hamilton to be taken early in drafts then his spring average draft positions would suggest.
James Shields has been one of the top performers this spring and he looks poised to have a big year. In 14.2 innings Shields has struck out 18 batters and only given up one earned run. Shields will be very motivated this season since he is in a contract year, and he could have a monster season if the Royals offense finally puts it all together.
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Justin Masterson is another pitcher that is having a fantastic spring training. Masterson has not allowed a run in 13 innings and he has struck out 14 batters as well. Masterson had a career season last year as the ace of a playoff team, and now he is looking to improve this year. Masterson is right in the middle of his prime and that means it is very reasonable to expect another solid season from Masterson in 2014.
Archie Bradley, the Diamondbacks hyped pitching prospect, may be able to earn a spot in the rotation due to an injury to Patrick Corbin. Bradley has not been very strong this spring as he has walked six batters in only 8.1 innings, but he has struck out 10 batters. Bradley is a player fantasy owners should monitor the rest of the way, because he definitely has deep sleeper potential if he is able to earn a spot in Arizona's starting rotation.
It appears the Cardinals prospect, Oscar Taveras, is not going to make the Cardinals this spring. Taveras has not been able to play this spring due to injuries and now the Cardinals are ready to start the season without him. He is a player that should stay on the fantasy radar over the course of the season, but he should not be drafted in leagues this spring.
Grady Sizemore continues to impress his coaches and teammates, but he is not a lock to earn every day at bats. Sizemore is becoming a very intriguing draft day sleeper because of the positive news coming out of the Boston camp, but the reports are also suggesting that Jackie Bradley will be the starting center fielder and not Sizemore. It is possible Sizemore could earn his way into the starting lineup, but at this stage, it is better to leave Sizemore on the waiver wire.
The Rangers closer battle is in full swing as Neftali Feliz tries to get back his old form. Ron Washington has stated that he prefers a set closer over a closer by committee approach, and that is good news for fantasy owners. This is a situation that will produce a great draft day bargain since the Rangers closers are being drafted in the very late rounds. Fantasy owners need to keep a close eye on this situation and they should feel confident in drafting whoever wins the closers job.
The biggest news so far this spring has to be the injuries to Braves the pitching staff and their signing of Ervin Santana. Now that Santana has a home in the National League, he makes for interesting fantasy option. Santana has been able to pitch well in the American league and now he will get the chance to improve his free agent stock in the National League. Santana only signed a one year deal, so he should be motivated to have a big season and lead the Braves to the playoffs.