Fantasy Baseball Preview

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by Christopher Aquino

April marks the beginning of the 2017 Major League Baseball season and many fans already have completed their drafts for their fantasy league.

With the season in an early effect, it is not too late to finish drafts. Hopefully this will help to guide fans to proper decisions in the 2017 season.

Cash Out on Catching

With a weak catching market this season, it necessary to cash out on a valuable catcher. There are three main catchers to focus on within the fourth to seventh rounds, those names being the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, Texas Rangers’ Jonathan Lucroy and the New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez.

These catchers produced a batting average above .280, along with great leadership skills with two of the following earning starting spots in the 2016 All-Star game. Even with most types of leagues ranking these three past the seventh round, it truly would be a safe route to attempt to draft these prime catchers in this year’s draft.

Steep on Shortstops

Within the first four rounds, there are numerous shortstops that are looking for a good home on your team. With names like Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, Los Angeles Dodger’s Corey Seager and Houston’s Carlos Correa, it would be a smart rout to go in your league.

This young-era of shortstops typically reaches the highlight reels each day, with many of them earning MVP consideration. Even in the late rounds, San Francisco’s duo of defensive wizard Brandon Crawford and utility shortstop Eduardo Nunez, would be a steal with him snagging 40 stolen bases last year, along with a .288 batting average.

The Atlanta Braves top prospect and former number one MLB draft pick Dansby Swanson, will be in his first full-season, picking up the prospect that has been referred to as a young Derek Jeter, is always a tempting pick. With a steep front of shortstops in the beginning and under the radar picks in the later rounds, it is a deep foundation to build in your draft whether if you are in a category league or points league.

Rebound on Rebounding Pitchers

Last year’s season was dark for many of big-name pitchers in this year’s draft. Though it is risky to draft some of these streaky ace’s, don’t be scared to pick the right one.

With an off year last season for the Tampa Bay Rays Ace right handed starter Chris Archer, look forward for a comeback year. Archer, a strikeout pitcher that recorded 233 strikeouts and earned a run average of 4.02 and a league high of 19 losses, Archer is looking to show that last year was a fluke.

Two seasons ago Archer was a top five Cy Young candidate, with an ERA of 3.23, 252 strikeouts and an all-star nomination. With a roller coaster few years, Archer is here to prove last year was indeed a definite fluke.

Toronto’s youngster Marcus Stroman, is in the same shoes as Chris Archer with showing glimpses of greatness, but looking to lower their ERA. This off-season, Stroman showcased his true potential with team USA in this year’s 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Stroman earned the MVP of the whole tournament when headlining to pitching staff that allowed five runs on 25 hits within 36 innings. He did not allow a single run in 17 1/3 runs and 29 strikeouts, or four walks within the tournament. Stroman shows true potential and would be a steal within the mid rounds. In the end, it is a risk to take on these high risk high reward pitchers.

With baseball being a long season, picking your players is unpredictable to say the very least. There are many of options to look at within this year’s 2017 fantasy year, whether if you are looking for star shortstops or rebounding pitchers that are a diamonds in the rough.