Fantasy Baseball 2014: 3 Sophomore Hitters With Huge Upside

By Bill Pivetz
Evan Gattis
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 baseball season saw plenty of rookies make their mark on the game of baseball in a short amount of time. Julio TeheranGerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez lit up the pitching stats while Yasiel Puig and Wil Meyers sent balls all over the field.

There were other rookies that didn’t become household names overnight. These players showed fantasy owners just a glimpse of what they can do in a full season. These three upcoming sophomores are not sleepers, but are not yet superstars. They are solid players worthy of a mid-round draft selection.

Nolan Arenado, 3B: Arenado was one of the first rookies to be called up to the majors. He had a starting spot waiting for him with the Colorado Rockies. While his production varied month-to-month, he was able to provide sound numbers in just about every category. He led all rookies with 130 hits and 29 doubles.

If you draft Arenado as a backup third baseman or a utility player, know that he will give you a good average with a lot of hits. The power numbers aren’t close to what Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout can produce, adding a home run or two throughout a month can only help.

Evan Gattis, C: Gattis entered the major leagues like a bat out of hell. He captured back-to-back Rookie of the Month awards in April and May. The success didn’t last long as he lost playing time to the returning Brian McCann. Now that McCann is with the New York Yankees, Gattis has sole possession as the starting catcher.

Gattis was brought back to the Atlanta Braves roster at the beginning of the September. It was like he never left. Gattis hit six home runs and 18 RBI in 25 games during the final month of the season. Gattis led all rookies with 65 RBI in 2013. Once he gets eligibility at catcher, he has top-10, even top-five upside.

Jedd Gyorko, 2B: Gyorko was one of the few prospects to make the Opening Day roster. He was a nice sleeper second basemen for most of the 2013 season. He would have finished as a top-10 rookie if he wasn’t injured for parts of June and July. He was very productive, providing power numbers while maintaining a decent batting average.

Gyorko finished first among rookies in home runs, second in RBI (behind Gattis) and third in doubles. The second base position is one of the shallow ones in 2014. He isn’t a top 10 option, but could be a good 2B/SS option in standard league. The only thing he needs to work on is being more patient at the plate. He struck out 123 times in 125 games.

None of these players are ranked in the top 10 of their respective positions. They will be drafted in rounds six to eight, based on team needs. Yet, all of these players can support your superstar players with consistent numbers all across the board.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.

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