Updated: Mar 20, 2018
Giancarlo Stanton will hit a lot of home runs. Jose Altuve will just hit alot. Trea Turner will steals lots of bases. Max Scherzer will strike alot of people out. Clayton Kershaw will win alot of games.
As an avid fantasy baseball fan, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that these are players you should probably try to draft. That's like saying when you wake up tomorrow make sure you remember to breathe! Personally I find that after 14-16 rounds of drafting, everyone should give or take have a pretty similar team in terms of quality which consequently puts a huge emphasis on the late rounds of drafting. This is where you will either win or lose your league. So sit up and take note of these select names which we believe at Four Bases will hold the key to your eternal fantasy glory.
Here are 30 players you probably shouldn't draft, but keep a very keen eye on them whilst they are on the waiver wire....
Arizona Diamondbacks - Brad Boxberger (RHP)
Acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay, the strikeout machine arrives in the desert looking to win the closer job for the Dbacks. Having saved 41 games for the Rays in 2015 before losing both the 2016 and a large part of 2017 season to injuries, Boxberger maybe arriving in Arizona with something to prove, but dont for one minute think he can't or won't.
Atlanta Braves - Luiz Gohara (LHP)
I wont put up Ronald Acuna, despite it being blindingly obvious the kid is a super talent, instead i'll go with Luiz Gohara. Having gone from AA to the Majors last season, Gohara pitched perfectly respectably in his 5 starts in the show. Owning a 1-3 record with a 4.91 ERA it would be worth noting 2 of his 5 outings came against Max Scherzer in a pennant race. Currently recovering from an ankle injury, expect Gohara to be a mainstay in the Braves rotation this season.
Baltimore Orioles - Ryan Mountcastle (3B)
It seems pretty when not if the Orioles decide to part ways with Manny Machado. The O's have already moved the all-star from third to shortstop in a positional swap with Tim Beckham, a position he has only played 9 Major League games at. With Beckham's inexperience at the hot corner, expect for the Orioles to promote their second top prospect, Ryan Mountcastle (287/.312 /.489 in 2017 minor league ball) as when they pull the trigger on potential league MVP, Manny Machado.
Boston Red Sox - Jackie Bradley Jr (OF)
Many teams are now trying to get funky with their line up cards. None more so than baseballs more forward thinkers such as the Cubs and Red Sox. If Jackie Bradley Jr doesn't lead off, then expect him to be hitting 9th in the pre lead off slot. The idea of having 2 speedsters atop of the line up who specialize in getting on base in front of a combination power and contact in JD Martinez, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Boegarts and of course Mookie Betts, then you're going to score ALOT of runs.
Chicago Cubs - Adbert Alzolay (RHP)
With Jake Arrieta and John Lackey gone, there is a slight air of uncertainty with the Cubs 2018 rotation. Mike Montgomery looks to be assured of starts on the mound instead of being the long relief bullpen guy. However if Montgomery were to return to the bullpen, then next in line could be Alzolay. With good velocity and even better slider, Alzolay progressed from A to AA in 2017 with a combined record of 7-4 with a 2.99 ERA.
Chicago White Sox - Eloy Jimenez
Having arrived with the South Siders courtesy of the trade which sent Jose Quintana to intercity rivals, the Chicago Cubs, Jimenez is arguably the best White Sox prospect within recent years. Having been optioned to AA ball already, MLB pipelines no.4 prospect will more than likely get his taste of Major League ball this summer, and when he does get ready to pick him up off of the waiver wire.
Cincinnati Reds - Jesse Winker (OF)
The Reds this past off-season tried to shop Billy Hamilton and I think will continue to do so as we move closer to the trade deadline. With a ready made replacement in Jesse Winker waiting in replacement, the future of the Reds outfield is in good hands having hit .298 in just 121 at bats, Winker could well be the lead off hitter of the future for the Reds.
Cleveland Indians - Greg Allen (OF)
Brandon Guyer and Micheal Brantley are expected to miss the beginning of the 2018 season with injury rehabbing and when combined with the recently departed Austin Jackson and Jay Bruce the only lock in the Indians outfield is center fielder, Bradley Zimmerman. With the profile of a guy who can play all 3 outfield positions and his ALDS call up in 2017, the chances of Greg Allen beginning on the Indians 25 man roster are large. The outfielder hit .295/.416/.413 with 45 steals, 77 walks, between High-A and AA so he can certainly play the position well.
Colorado Rockies - Ryan Castellani (RHP)
If you are a pitcher at Coors field you want to be good at one thing. Well you probably want to be good at a lot, but this is more important than everything else. Inducing ground balls. With a sinker as good as they come, Castellani should thrive in Coors field. Although probably starting the season in AAA, expect for the righty to be called up midseason and contribute to the Rockies right off of the bat.
Detroit Tigers - Franklin Perez (RHP)
The center piece of the trade which sent Justin Verlander to Houston, Perez is certainly Detroit's number 1 prospect. I would be of the view that it could be touch and go as to whether we see Perez in 2018, but we do then his 3.33 ERA in 203 minor league innings would certainly put fans into Comerica park come September.
Houston Astros - Yuli Gurriell (1B/OF)
In 2017, the Cuban finished 4th in AL Rookie of the year voting, arguably a huge injustice to the incredible mature talent that graces Minute Maid park. His rookie season was exceptional, and here is why.....
- 37.60% of balls faced were put into play. (Mike Trout 26.10%)
- 11% of his plate appearances were strikeouts (Corey Seager 21.40%)
- He advanced 52% of thirdbase runners with 2 outs or less (Anthony Rizzo 51%)
- 16% of his AB's with baserunners resulted in an RBI. (Justin Turner 15%).
Kansas City Royals - Hunter Dozier (3B/OF)
Having only logged 33 games in 2017 courtesy of a broken wrist bone in June, Doziers progression to the Royals everyday line up was put in hold last season. Following his call up to the Majors at the end of the season prior, Dozier should expect to see significant time in the Royals line up this summer, whether that be in the outfield, third base or even first. With 54 minor league home runs and a 6'4 frame, Dozier could even spell at DH.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Griffin Canning (RHP)
Shohei Otani. Will he hit? Will he pitch? The huge question mark over Ohtani starting more than 10 games this season would make me sky high on Canning alone. Throw into the fact Garret Richards has started 6 starts in both of the last 2 years. The Angels need reliable starting pitching in 2018 to compliment their underrated offense and with a 2.34 ERA in 111 innings in 2017 with just 30 walks. That's exactly what Canning provides.
Los Angeles Dodgers- Walker Buehler (RHP)
Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich hill. The Dodgers need a top of the line right arm starting pitcher. If they don't go out and get Chris Archer or someone of the like, expect Walker Buehler to be called up right awayt. I however do imagine he will take to the mound donning Dodger blue at some point this season regardless.
Miami Marlins - Sandy Alcantara (RHP)
The main prize in the trade which sent Ozuna from South Beach to the Brewers. With a 100mph fastball and 1.43 WHIP in AA ball last year (despite being 3 years younger than the league average player, the chances of the righty making the bigs are relatively good this year. Having pitcher for the Cardinals last year, Alacantara is no stranger to the lights of the show and should continue with his progression to potentially be the new ace of the ball club.
Milwaukee Brewers - Corbin Burnes (RHP)
Corbin Burnes became the Brewers minor league pitcher of the year in 2017 going an impressive 8-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 140K in just 26 starts. With a slight question mark at the back end of the rotation, Burnes could easily see himself pitching at Miller Park should the Brewers decide to dip into their minor league affiliates.
Minnesota Twins - Stephen Gonsalves (LHP)
Gonsalves is MLB pipelines number 9 left hand prospect entering the 2018 season and the Twins number 3 prospect. Having reached AAA for the first time last season, the 6-5 lefty has a career ERA of 2.39 ERA in the Minors. Despite the offseason additions of Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi somewhat hindering the Gonsalves path to the Major League mound, expect the lefty to be called up sometime this year when the inevitable perils of a 162 game season take their tolls on the Twins rotation.
New York Mets - Amed Rosario (SS)
After years as the Mets top prospect, Rosario will begin the 2018 season as the Mets starting shortstop. Having slashed .328/.367/.466 with the Mets AAA affiliate in Las Vegas the former #7 prospect hit .248 over 46 games upon his promotion to the Majors. With just 67 strikeouts in 393 plate appearances the chances of Rosario having a very good season this year are high, given the promise of playing time.
New York Yankees - Greg Bird (1B)
Having battled both shoulder and ankle surgery over 2016-2017, Bird only played 48 of 324 possible regular season games, so forgetting about Bird can be forgiven. Having led the minors in walks in 2013 Bird's plate discipline is second to none, which can only be a good thing batting behind Giancarlo Stanton. Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. If he stays health and that's a big IF, Bird is going to get a tonne of at bats. And a tonne of at bats with runners in scoring position.
Oakland Athletics - Franklin Barreto (INF)
Barreto has sat in the A's minor league for 3 seasons following his acquisition in the trade which sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto. Since then, the infielder has hit .311 (2014), .302 (2015), .284 (2016) and .290 (2017). Having been called up at the end of last season Barreto should expect to be called up as and when Jed Lowrie moves on, whether that be via trade this summer on free agency next year. With 15hrs in 2017, Barreto could be the source of some nice middle infield pop off of the waiver wire.
Philadelphia Phillies - Scott Kingery (2B)
Someone who may well attract trade interest from the Phillies is Cesar Hernandez. The second baseman hit an impressive .294 with 85 runs and 15 stolen bases in 2017 and would look sure to provide a contender with some solid middle infield depth in the middle of a play off push. This would in-turn allow the Phillies to promote their third top prospect, Scott Kingery to the majors. The second baseman was a former Pac-12 player of the year and should see decent time in the majors this summer.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Austin Meadows (OF)
Long seen as the replacement for Andrew McCutchen in the Pirates outfield, Meadows should see increased playing time this summer following a call up to the bigs. Having hit .294 in his 5 year minor league career with 54 stolen bases and 34 home runs he certainly looks to have the right tools to go about filling in for the huge vacated hole in the Pirates outfield.
San Diego Padres - Cal Qunatrill (RHP)
I don't know whether he will make it to the Majors League's this year, however if he does. He is certainly one to keep an eye out. Operating with a 3.80ERA between A and AA ball last season, the righty struck out 110 and only managed to walk 40. Whether this a year early for the former first round pick remains to be seen, but should appear this season- monitor him closely.
San Francisco Giants - Chris Shaw (OF)
Despite the Giants going out to get Austin Jackson and Andrew McCutchen to boost their outfield depth, there should still be somewhat of a place for Chris Shaw to get regular at bats this season. Something that Shaw has in his favour is that he is the only left handed hitter out of Pence, McCutchen, Jackson and fellow prospect Steven Duggar, With Longoria another right handed power source, it may be that Bruce Bochy opts for another left handed power bat to complement Brandon Belt in 2018.
Seattle Mariners - Max Povse (RHP)
Having been originally called up as a relief pitcher in 2017, Povse will return to starting in 2018 although its exceptionally unlikely he begins the season on the Major League 25 man roster. Given the question marks over Paxton's health and the fact the Mariners used a record number of starting pitchers in 2017, I would rate the chances of Povse getting a string of starts for the M's considerably high this summer.
St. Louis Cardinals - Jack Flaherty (RHP)
Seen as an internal option against dipping their toe into the free agent pool of Arietta, Lynn and Darvish, Jack Flaherty together with Alex Reyes are the future ace's of this rotation. With one of the best sliders in baseball according to fangraphs, Flaherty is without doubt the first man up in the event of one of the rotation going down. Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the St Louis Dispatch has also reported that Flaherty may be in the running for the closing job in St Louis. One to watch for sure.
Tampa Bay Rays - Willy Adames (SS)
The shortstop came to Tampa in exchange for SP David Price on the trade deadline in 2014 and has since sat atop of the Rays farm system. Having slashed .277/.360/.415 with 10HRS from short in AAA ball last season except Adames to become the Rays everyday shortstop in the not so distance future.
Texas Rangers - Jose Trevino (C)
For the second straight year, Trevino won a Gold Glove as the minor leagues top defensive catcher with just 3 errors, 3 passed balls in 857 innings of work. With a question mark over starting catcher Robinson Chorinos's health and the fact the Rangers are carrying 4 catchers on their 40 man roster, the chance of Trevino seeing playing time in the Majors relatively high. Particularity with his evident defensive brilliance.
Toronto Blue Jays- Anthony Alford (CF)
With Kevin Pillar currently blocking Alford's progression to the Majors, the chance of the Blue Jays 3rd top prospect getting called up before the July deadlines are relatively slim. However with teams placing an emphasis on both base running and premier defense when in a pennant race, the chances of the Blue Jays parting ways with Kevin Pillar maybe significantly higher come July. If that is the case, expect Alford to be promoted to the Majors and having slashed 299./390/.406 in 2017 he is sure a talent to follow.
Washington Nationals - Erick Fedde (RHP)
Having been called up in July last year the righty went 0-1 in 3 starts. Despite struggling with the long ball (5 in 15 innings), Fedde managed to strikeout 15. With a few very good spring outings under his belt there is no reason to think that he couldn't compete with AJ Cole for the fifth spot in the rotation, especially with the Nats missing out on Jake Arrieta.