Looking forward to the 2014 season, there are a lot of players waiting in the minor leagues that can provide fantasy owners with big-time numbers. These players are great candidates to to be drafted in dynasty or deep-roster leagues because they will most likely not be in the major leagues on Opening Day.
With most leagues working with five outfield spots, there is very little risk in drafting at least one of these players to sit on your bench for a month. The three players listed showed great promise in the minors and are prime options for Rookie of the Year.
George Springer, HOU: Springer played an outstanding first full-season in 2012. He finished with a .908 OPS with 24 home runs and 87 RBI. He hit 61 home runs in two years and just missed making it into the 40-40 club. He had 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases in 2013. Along with his power, he can get on base a significant amount with a .411 on-base percentage.
Springer has the combination of power and speed. While he won’t start the season in the majors, he will provide monster numbers once he’s called up. He’s played at all three outfield positions and can easily replace L.J. Hoes or Robbie Grossman in left or right field. The Houston Astros can use all the offensive help they can get.
Billy Hamilton, CIN: Hamilton may be one of the most exciting players to watch. When he received the call-up last September, he took the MLB by storm. He had a stolen base in his first four games. As a result, the Cincinnati Reds gave him three starts in the final month of the season. He went 7-for-14 with six bag swipes.
Hamilton is a switch hitter and does well from both sides of the plate. He can provide owners with a good average, hits, runs and, most importantly, stolen bases. ESPN’s Tristan H. Cockcroft has Hamilton ranked ahead of Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton and B.J. Upton. If and when he becomes an everyday starter, Hamilton will be a top-25 outfielder.
Oscar Taveras, STL: In 2012, Taveras dominated Texas League pitching with hit 67 extra-base hits, including 23 home runs. It was his third consecutive season with a plus-.300 batting average. However, a high ankle sprain shortened his 2013 campaign to just 46 games in the minors. The surgery was a success and he should be ready for the 2014 season.
This is a good thing because there is a vacant spot in the St. Louis Cardinals outfield. Carlos Beltran left for greener pastures, and by greener I mean more money. He should be a contender for an Opening Day spot and with his power numbers, he should have a great rookie season.