While gearing up for a fantasy baseball draft, it is incredibly important to have identified as many players who, while might not be on every drafters’ radar, can still provide you with impressive statistics and exceed value, considering you probably found them in the later rounds. These players can make or break your season and many times, someone you found available in the 15th-round can out-perform someone you found in the eighth or earlier.
In 2013, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer was not highly drafted, but became an excellent waiver wire acquisition. In 23 starts, he went 9-7 with a 3.22 era. His whip was 1.12 and his k/9 was a serviceable 7.5 over 128.2 innings. He features his fastball which tops out at 97 mph and uses a devastating slider as his out pitch; while he lacks control with the slider at times, it should improve throughout his second full season in the majors. Archer’s season was overshadowed by the emergence of his teammate, outfielder Wil Myers, who would go on to win the American League Rookie Of The Year Award. Say what you will about the Rays franchise, they continue to win with young talent.
Currently, Archer has an average draft position of 250th and is ranking as the 66th starting pitcher overall, which means you should be able to take him very late in your draft, and you will be rewarded. There is a good chance you will be put in the spot to choose between him and players like Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy and Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber.
While I like them both, go with Archer. He is on a team that will win more games and does not have the pressure to stand out as the aforementioned players do, making his job a bit easier. Expect him to go 14-8 with a 3.50 era and maintain a k/9 of eight.