Temperatures are rising and that means one thing for baseball fans: baseball season is right around the corner. Spring training is now in full swing, and rosters are beginning to take more definite shape. With opening day right around the corner, fantasy baseball leagues should be finishing up their drafts and gearing up for the regular season.
Traditional fantasy leagues have a draft at the beginning of the season that you modify throughout. However, there are also one-day fantasy sites that allow you to re-draft a new team every day. These one-day fantasy sites also bring in more potential payouts, instead of just one at the end of the regular season. Regardless of what site you use to play, you can get a DraftKings promo code and other offers to help win more money.
In order to get those payouts however, all fans want to know who the big fantasy contributors to their teams will be. Picking good fantasy teams isn’t a perfect science though. In addition to superstars that can be counted on for strong performances, there is also sure to be a mix of new arrivals, the emergence of young talent, and bounce-back performances.
Here are a few players from the Grapefruit League that fall into each category:
Same Face, New Place
One big factor that could affect fantasy performance is the movement of players across the league. Depending on where the player is from, where he will hit in the lineup, and what position he will play; players can have varying levels of success in different uniforms.
Two players to highlight here are Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller. These two players were swapped by their respective teams in a February trade that saw a minor leaguer exchange hands, as well. While Heyward struggled for the braves at times, he has immense potential and has performed at all-star levels. Look for Heyward to thrive in an already potent Cardinal Lineup, and shine in the field as well.
The other side of that trade, Shelby Miler to the Braves, should work out well too. Miller won 15 games as a rookie in the cardinal rotation and pitched well last year, too. Unfortunately, Miller has been denied big opportunities in the past and should have a steadier role in the Braves organization. Expect Miller to flourish has a top Starter for the Braves.
Youngsters that could Surprise
Baseball is becoming a young man’s game. Every year there are more and more young players that take over significant roles at the major league level. Two players that fit that bill this year come to us from the Boston Red Sox.
Outfielders Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts figure to be a big part of the Sox plans heading into the season. Castillo, a 27 year-old from Cuba saw success in a brief stint in the majors last season. The Red Sox made a major investment in him, so he should expect opportunities early.
Betts’ success could be even more likely than Castillo’s. He spent more time at the major league level than Castillo last season, and was successful hitting at the top of the order. His speed along with the health concerns of Shane Victorino, could spell more playing time for Betts.
Bounce Back Years
Fantasy help can also come from players that have bounce back years to regain all-star form. Over the course of a career players experience dips in performance based on Injuries and problems with technique and mechanics.
One such player dealing with coming back from an injury would be Michael Wacha of the St. Loius Cardinals. After a successful run in the playoffs during his rookie year; Wacha started only 19 games last year due to a stress reaction in his shoulder. However, he has been healthy this spring, and shown the ability to pitch like his old self.
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers is looking to bounce back after a season where he struggled to find his form throughout. Although his record was above .500, his velocity dipped late in the season and his ERA rose to over 4.50; a full run higher than his career average. Verlander has been a CY Young award winner and should be able to regain his form.