Fewer players have been more frustrating or more rewarding than St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig. I know because I’ve owned him the past two seasons. At the forefront of my frustrations has been his injury plagued career thus far, which has kept him from breaking the 120 games played barrier. That said, 2013 should be the season he puts it all together for fantasy baseball owners.
It’s important to note his hamstring injury which sidelined him at the start of last season was most likely a result of over-working the muscle by compensating after having sustained a right knee injury the previous season. Once he returned to the lineup, Craig never looked back.
Despite ranking 19th in total at bats among first basemen, Craig finished 11th in hits, 7th in RBIs and 7th in runs scored. If he can stay healthy and total another 30-50 at bats, there is no reason to believe he won’t find himself among elite company by the end of the 2013 campaign. The downside is that he has yet to prove he can stay healthy. The upside is because of that stigma, Craig will likely find himself selected behind nine or more other first basemen in fantasy drafts.
While Craig will be a high-risk/reward player, why not consider pairing him up with other first baseman like Ike Davis, Eric Hosmer or Chris Davis? Doing so could allow owners to focus moving earlier on elite players at thinner positions such as second base and shortstop. All we’re really worried about when it comes to Craig is health and not production, but too many owners will be drafting from fear, which is what will keep them timid from taking the risk I’m prescribing.
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