By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on March 17, 2014
The Arizona Diamondbacks call one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in all of baseball home, which puts a lot of position players on the radar of fantasy baseball owners each year.
With that in mind, here are my top five fantasy options in the Valley of the Sun for 2014.
A slow start and multiple injuries (back, thumb, index finger) yielded Montero’s worst offensive season since becoming Arizona’s starting catcher in 2013 (.230, 11 home runs and 42 RBI). I don’t see a full return to 2011’s production (.282, 18 home runs and 86 RBI) coming this year, but assuming better health even modest improvement (.270, 15 home runs and 60-65 RBI) makes Montero a potential draft day value.
Prado’s fantasy calling card is multi-position eligibility, and that’s still the case this year since he played 32 games at second base and 30 games in the outfield in 2013. But he finished in the top 10 among third baseman in batting average (.282), RBI (82) and runs scored (70) in 2013 along with 14 home runs, so Prado is also a solid multi-category producer.
Trumbo is a strong two-category producer for fantasy owners, and moving to hitter-friendly Chase Field puts 40 home runs and 100-plus RBI easily within reach in 2014. Add in multi-position eligibility (outfield and first base) and the lineup protection he’ll provide for Paul Goldschmidt (19 intentional walks in 2013), and Trumbo is a suitable option in mixed leagues.
Injuries limited Hill to 87 games in 2013, which held down his counting stats (11 home runs, 41 RBI, 45 runs scored and one stolen base) and may lead to some fantasy owners overlooking his solid slash-line (.291/.356/.462). Better health puts 20 home runs and double-digit steals back in play for 2014, and no second baseman did both last year.
A high-level five-category producer at first base is rare, but that’s exactly what Goldschmidt was in 2013 (.302, 36 home runs, 125 RBI, 103 runs scored and 15 stolen bases). Even with a potential drop in batting average (.343 BABIP in 2013) and steals (68 percent success rate last year), Goldschmidt has 40-homer potential and is entering his age-27 season.
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