Every season, fantasy baseball surprises everyone with some players who weren’t expected to be major performances. The 2015 season won’t be any different in that aspect. There are some players that are down on draft boards that will make their owners very happy that they made the late selections. Here are five players that owners should be targeting in the later rounds of this year’s draft when it comes up in the next few weeks.
Jose Quintana– The stats don’t make him look like someone who can be trusted after going 9-11 with a 3.32 ERA last season. There is going to be less pressure on him to be a top of the rotation pitcher since he is likely going to end up being the White Sox’s No. 3 or 4 starter. A season with 11-15 wins and an ERA of 3.20 is going to happen. Make the effort to go after Quintana later in the draft.
Javier Baez– Here is a place where the hype and what Baez did last season comes into play. It is very true that Baez had huge struggles in 2014 with 95 strikeouts in 213 at-bats. However, he is the kind of player you want if he gets 500 at-bats for the Cubs. He will hit 25-30 homers and knock in 65-70 runs. The average won’t be there but in a league where power is harder to find, a run at Baez isn’t a terrible idea.
Brian Dozier– It isn’t normal to have someone with 23 home runs as a sleeper but being in Minnesota, Dozier can be forgotten in a big way. He is going to put up big numbers again this season with 20-25 home runs and 75-80 RBI likely. The average may not be there but from a middle infielder, the power numbers like Baez are worth the pick in the later rounds.
Henderson Alvarez- This boils down to how low some draft boards have Alvarez. He went 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA last season. The win totals are going to go up because of an improved Marlins offense. He continues to become one of the best young pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. He can be that No. 3 starter on a fantasy team that is a leader week after week.
James Paxton– Here is another example of a player who will benefit from the offense around him in 2015. Paxton went 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts last year. The Mariners are better this year and that means more wins. A season with 14-16 wins and an ERA of around 2.88 sounds about perfect and something that could very easily happen.