Fantasy Baseball: 5 Players You Should Take a Risk on Despite Injuries

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIMay 17, 2013

Fantasy Baseball: 5 Players You Should Take a Risk on Despite Injuries

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    This is the time that numbers start to normalize, giving us an idea of who's for real and who's not in fantasy baseball. But if a player has been injured, there might not be a big enough sample size to paint that picture.

    From former Cy Young winners, to power-happy infielders, the early beginnings of 2013 have seen many fantasy studs mired by injuries.

    This can give you the perfect opportunity in your fantasy league. While others see these DL-mongers as a waste of a roster space, they can be just the thing to give your team an edge.

    Here's a look at five injured stars that you should be willing to take a chance on this fantasy season.

    Advanced stats provided by FanGraphs

Hanley Ramirez

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    If any player is testing his owners' patience it's Hanley Ramirez.

    After tearing a ligament in his thumb during the WBC, Han Ram kicked off his season on the DL. Luckily the third baseman ended up returning in late-April—sooner than expected.

    Now he's back on the DL after hurting his hamstring in just his third game of the season. And while you may be tempted to bail on Ramirez, you'd be smarter to just bide your time.

    The 29-year-old looked great in his return hitting .455/.500/.955, albeit in a small sample size. Not to mention he provides power at shortstop, and should be eligible at third as well.

    The biggest concern here is that hamstring injuries are stubbornly fickle. Hopefully after L.A. had to deal with the same thing happening to Matt Kemp last year, they'll make sure when Han Ram's back he's back for good.

Brandon Beachy

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    Brandon Beachy hasn't been on many radars in 2013, but that could be changing real soon.

    For those who don't remember, Beachy was the Braves' best starter through the early parts of last season, posting a 2.00 ERA and 0.963 WHIP through 13 starts.

    However, he was inevitably shut down for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June.

    A return is nearing for Beachy, who could be making his 2013 debut as soon as early June. While he's sure to face an adjustment period while making his return, once in form he'll be a legitimate fantasy ace.

    It's time to keep your eyes on the 26-year-old.

Andrew Bailey

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    If you're looking for saves, Andrew Bailey could be your biggest steal of the season.

    Bailey is currently on the DL with a bicep injury, but he's expected to return soon. Before getting injured the Sox closer had a 1.46 ERA with five saves and a career high 14.6 K/9.

    And now that Joel Hanrahan is shut down for the season, the closer role is 100 percent Bailey's. If he's not owned in your league, now's the time to make some room on your roster.

David Price

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    David Price has been off to an abhorrently slow start to the season, going 1-4 through nine starts with a 5.24 ERA. As bizarre as his stats have been, we may now know the reason why.

    As reported by ESPN on Thursday, the Rays have officially placed Price on the DL with what's being reported as a strained left tricep.

    Per that report:

    The Rays would not speculate on when the 27-year-old lefty will return, but did stress that the injury is not expected to pose a long-term problem.

    The hope here is that Price's early struggles are just a combination of bad luck (he sports a .345 BABIP) and the injury. Once healthy, he should return to Cy Young-caliber pitching.

    There's no better buy-low candidate in fantasy baseball than David Price right now.

Jason Heyward

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    It's been a tough season for Heyward owners. Not only is he off to a putrid start (.121/.261/.259), he's also been on the DL since April 20th after having to undergo an appendectomy.

    While your first inclination may be to give up on Heyward, that would be way too premature.

    Looking at his stats, Heyward has always been a slow starter. That's been perpetuated this year by a .114 BABIP and .138 ISO, despite career averages of .301 and .184 respectively.

    Once healthy and back on the field, Heyward's numbers should start moving towards his career norms. He's his best in the summer months, so expect big things come June.

    One last thing to keep in mind is that Heyward is currently walking at a higher rate and striking out at a lower rate than he was last season. If those trends continue, the 23-year-old could surpass his 2012 production.