Fantasy Baseball 2013: Backups 1 Injury Away from Being Starters
If you’re an avid fantasy baseball player, the dream is to buy low on a star that will take your team to the holy land and proudly display your trophy and brag to the lower-class peasants in your league.
Unfortunately, these players are difficult to accurately predict, thus a list is the best measure to hedge your bets. So who exactly will be the Mike Trout of the 2013 MLB season once given the chance?
All prospect statistics coming from CBS Sports.
6. Shelby Miller
Cardinals’ Shelby Miller may have already been given his chance with the news of Chris Carpenter's season-ending injury.
The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher may not have the flashiest minor league statistics, however, he commanded a 2.88 ERA in his final 10 starts in 2012. Prior to Carpenter’s injury, Miller may have been fighting for a rotation spot and likely starting in the bullpen or a second-half season call up.
Miller’s spring training will still determine a lot of his 2013 fate, however, I think he’ll start this season and be a big factor for any fantasy team.
Bold Prediction: 14 wins, 3.25 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
5. Billy Hamilton
If you’ve been under a rock the past year you probably don’t know of Billy Hamilton’s crazy insane speed and his knack for stealing bases whenever he feels like it. Yeah, in 2012, he stole 155 bases.
His 2012 stolen bases total would have beaten nearly every team in baseball last year (Padres 155 and Brewers 158).
The only thing stopping Hamilton from gracing us with his top-tier speed is the lack of a spot in the roster. He may have been poised to become the Reds’ starting center fielder, however, that was before the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo to the lineup.
I suspect he’ll make his way into the MLB sometime this season either due to injury, or the lackluster play of Zack Cozart.
Bold Prediction: .266 BA, 56 SBs
4. Jedd Gyorko
Jedd Gyorko is an incredibly underrated and unheralded prospect, maybe due to being in the San Diego Padres organization. However, the kid can pure hit and is sure to help any fantasy team when he finally makes the MLB roster.
A big problem for Gyorko is his position, as the Padres best player, Chase Headley, preoccupies thirdbase. The Padres have been testing Gyorko out at secondbase because they realize his bat is definitely needed in the lineup.
His play at second this spring training will determine where he plays on opening day. The Padres have a few players who are much better defensively than Gyorko, so if he can be mediocre in the field, he could make the MLB roster. If not, he should get called up sometime this season.
Bold Prediciton: .274 BA, 18 HR, 58 RBI
3. Wil Myers
Will Myers may be the 2013 version of Bryce Harper or Mike Trout in terms of hype. Time will tell if he can produce like they can though.
After getting traded to the Rays this offseason, Myers may have a better chance of entering the MLB in a timely matter. The Rays may be too reliant on Luke Scott, so any injury or under-performance and we’ll see Myers do some damage, hopefully on your fantasy team.
Bold Prediction: .259 BA, 22 HR, 78 RBI
2. Travis D'Arnaud
The fact that d’Arnaud was traded for Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey should speak volumes on his potential, the Blue Jays wouldn’t have traded him otherwise.
The 24-year-old, newly crowned Met, will definitely see playing time this year as the team needs to be looking towards their future at this point. John Buck is the lone guy standing in d’Arnaud’s way. However, due to the high-risk catcher position, an injury is as likely as ever.
Bold Prediction: .287 BA, 11 HR, 41 RBI
1. Jurickson Profar
This list can’t end without Profar’s name once again at the top. Profar was the top prospect on nearly every list this offseason and he is definitely a star in the making.
The only problem with Profar is his position and team.
Unfortunately, Profar mans secondbase, which is currently dominated by three-time All-Star, Ian Kinsler. CBS Sports’ Scott White says, “of all the players on this list, he's the most likely to develop into a first-rounder.” I’m inclined to agree.
If you’re apart of any deep league or with keeper settings, target Profar in the mid to later rounds and have him ride your bench until his time.
Bold Prediction: truly too hard to call for 2013, but someday he may be a 30-30 player.