2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper First Basemen: Mitch Moreland

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJanuary 27, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24:  Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers watches the ball after hitting a solo home run in the third inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After hitting .103 in the postseason for Mitch Moreland, one wouldn’t think he could have ended 2011 on a worse note. That is before he had wrist surgery.

While it will eventually prove to help Moreland, it does put him a little behind on his preparation for the 2012 season. He’s expected to be ready for Opening Day, but he could be limited in spring training.

The Rangers were rumored to be sniffing around at Prince Fielder, but every team should have at least considered adding the big slugger. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that. 

Obviously if Fielder was in the mix, that would be an issue considering they have Moreland, Mike Napoli, Michael Young and Adrian Beltre to fit into C, 1B, 3B and DH.

Moreland was solid during the first half of last year. He hit .272 with 38 runs, 11 HRs, 24 RBI and a .783 OPS in 264 at bats before the All-Star Break. Not rock star numbers by any means, but solid.

In the second half, as he dealt with the wrist injury, his numbers trailed off. He hit .241 with 22 runs, five HRs, 27 RBI and a .667 OPS in 199 at bats after the break. The numbers obviously took a hit, but it was nice to see the RBI numbers actually improve.

So he’ll enter the year as the Rangers’ primary first baseman, which is a good position to be in. I guess after his first half of 2011 and his 47-game stint in 2010 when he hit .255 with 20 runs, nine HRs, 25 RBI, and a .833 OPS in 145 at bats, he deserves a shot.

His current Mock Draft Central ADP is 323, which would put him in the 27th round of 12-team fantasy drafts. At that rate, he’s definitely worth a look.


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