The ability to hit 25 Home Runs in one season is a special skill. The ability to steal 25 bases in one season is a skill just as special. The ability to do both is exceptionally rare and is a talent that can not be ignored or denied. However players like these somehow find a way to fly under the radar.
How could a player with such rare skills be passed on so long in a fantasy baseball draft?
It's a question that you should ask yourself when drafting your team, and something that you should remember in the latter portion of your draft. Or even the early portion for that matter.
Now without further ado I present you with three guys with big time power and speed who are being drafted leaps and bounds after they should be. (Average Draft position according to ESPN leagues)
1. Chris Young OF, Arizona, ADP 214.8
Young has never really been a batting average guy, but at this point in the draft if your low on steals, home runs or even runs scored you could afford Young that late in the draft. Young is a guy that has been a bit forgotten about. He burst onto the scene as a rookie with 32 HR, 27 Steals and 85 runs scored in 2007. Not bad, huh? He followed that up with another strong season which saw a slight climb in batting average, 22 HR, 14 Steals and 85 Runs scored.
Young was becoming a hot commodity, but then his average dipped all the way to a dismal .212 and so he was demoted by the Diamondbacks. Young will be back in the big leagues this season as the D-Backs starting CF and with him going undrafted in over 50 percent of ESPN leagues, I would definitely take a guy with immense talent towards the end of my draft for a low risk, high reward type of situation.
2. Lastings Milledge OF, PIT, ADP 206.8
People are unfairly critical of Milledge. Most people have already given up on him. I think that's ridiculous! Once a top prospect from the New York Mets organization, Milledge has never really gotten his chance to prove himself at the MLB level. While character problems have played a role in that he still has all the talent that we knew he had a couple of years ago, but have forgotten.
In a four year MLB career, Milledge has played over 100 games just once in a season. In that season he put up a .268 average, with 14 HR and 24 Steals in 138 Games. Now those numbers aren't great, but at that time he was still playing with an inflated ego and terrible work ethic. After Milledge's demotion last season hopefully he finally realized that he can no longer get by without hard work and dedication. If so I think you could be looking at a huge sleeper here.
3. Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE, ADP 31.7
When you hear the name Grady Sizemore you wouldn't exactly call him undervalued. The guy has been a top 10 pick each of the last two years. So how could he be considered undervalued? Well he had arguably the worst season of his short career last year, and he was also plagued with injuries. Not to mention the concern with his batting average which has declined every season since 2006. In 106 games last year it dipped all the way to .248. So here's your chance (especially in keeper leagues) to steal one of the games' elite fantasy players with a late second-early third round pick. Assuming Sizemore can bring his batting average back up, you can already pencil him in for at least 25 HR and 25 SB. Don't pass on Sizemore on draft day as he may just win you your league.
So there you have it, three guys with a whole lot of talent who have all somewhat proven themselves, but are getting no respect in drafts this year.