2013 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: OF Justin Maxwell
On Monday afternoon, Maxwell crushed a bomb against the Detroit Tigers. Maxwell hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning off Detroit’s Jose Ortega, who watched as his first pitch of the day left the ballpark. Maxwell hit the 94 mph fastball a country mile and it was very promising to see heading into the upcoming fantasy season.
The center fielder did manage to hit 18 home runs and drive in 53 more in an offensively-challenged atmosphere. Maxwell is the one bright spot in Houston’s lineup and is possibly the only fantasy relevant option on the entire team besides Jose Altuve.
Maxwell also stole nine bases in 2012, which won’t win the category for fantasy owners, but it means that he won’t be counterproductive on the bases either. Look for Maxwell to run more this season, as he will finally be entrenched into the starting lineup.
Maxwell did have a rather awful .229 batting average last season and at times looked confused at the plate. He also struck out a staggering 114 times in just 315 at-bats, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives with this kid.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of Maxwell’s game is that he can play all three spots in the outfield. This will only ensure him the chance to play everyday and will keep him from getting benched or demoted back to the minors. His position flexibility will allow him to put up numbers game after game and will keep him active in fantasy lineups all year long.
Maxwell will be a great third or fourth outfield to target this season. He will fall to the last couple of rounds of the draft, and will provide fantasy owners with a cheap outfielder that will finish 20-plus home runs.
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