Last week, we discussed five overpriced fantasy baseball players. This week, we’re going in the opposite direction and looking at five fantasy baseball players that may fly under the radar in many leagues’ drafts.
Brandon Belt, 1B, OF, San Francisco Giants
Belt is still battling for a starting spot in the Giants’ lineup, but he’s one to keep an eye on during spring training because he has been absolutely destroying the minor leagues. He’s got a nice combination of power and speed, and he qualifies at 1B and OF in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, giving you some flexibility in your lineup. He’s worth a mid- to late-round flier and could wind up being a steal if he gets consistent playing time.
Bryan LaHair, OF, Chicago Cubs
LaHair is listed as an OF in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, but he’s actually going to be the Cubs’ starting 1B to begin the season, so you can expect that position eligibility to be added soon after the season starts. In 129 games with the Iowa Cubs last season, LaHair batted .331 with 38 homers. In 125 games in Iowa in 2010, he batted .308 with 25 dingers. With Tacoma in 2009, .289 with 26 long balls in 121 games. In just 20 games with Chicago last year, he registered a .288 average and sent two over the wall. Should be interesting to see what he can do with some consistent playing time this season.
Cory Luebke, SP, San Diego Padres
The Padres aren’t very good, so Luebke struggles to get wins (6-10 in 17 starts last season). But there are other reasons to target him. Namely, he threw 154 strikeouts in 139.2 innings last year, his ERA was 3.29, his WHIP was 1.07, and he plays his home games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park. As an added bonus, he’s eligible at both SP and RP in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues.
Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Got a need for speed? Dee Gordon may be your guy. In 56 games with the Dodgers last season, Gordon stole 24 bases. Translate that to a 162-game season, and we’re looking at 69 steals. In 206 games in the minors over the past two seasons, he stole 85 bases. He also batted .304 during his time in Los Angeles last year, and he’ll be the Dodgers’ starting shortstop and leadoff batter in 2012.
Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Sticking with the boys in blue, Jansen is one to tuck away in late rounds of your fantasy baseball draft, especially if you pick up Dodgers closer Javy Guerra. Jansen is the eighth inning set-up guy in Los Angeles, and he mows batters down. In 80.2 career innings, he has racked up 137 strikeouts, a 2.12 ERA, and a 1.03 WHIP. As a middle reliever, he’ll do nice things for your stats in those three categories. And if anything happens to Guerra along the way, you could have the next great closer on your roster.
Once you get your fantasy baseball team set up and a great fantasy baseball team name selected, add these five guys to your watch list. You’ll very likely end up with some great bargains for the upcoming season.