Corner infield targets
Here are some guys that are widely owned but were taken late (or cheap) in drafts which makes them early season trade targets.
- Freddie Freeman – I’m super high on Freeman. He’s young, he’s improved year over year and last year he lost time with vision issues and still put up solid numbers. The addition of The Upton brothers to the line up will give him even more opportunity to shine. Has a chance to grow into a top 5 first baseman this season. He was around a 9th round pick, according to ESPN Live Draft Results, while he could easily out-perform first basemen that are going 30-50 picks ahead of him (Billy Butler, Allen Craig).
- Corey Hart – Most likely, he’ll be out until May. Because of the injury he was drafted in the 21st round. When he gets back, he’ll quietly rake for the rest of the season.
- Kyle Seager – here’s another guy who coming into last season didn’t have a solid position. His 20 HR, 86 RBI, 62 runs and 13 stolen bases have landed him the starting 3B job in Seattle. He was the 14th 3B taken on ESPN, which is too low considering all of the injuries at third. Seager will give you good counting stats in all categories.
- Todd Frazier – He’s right behind Seager in ADP, in the 19th round. He filled in for Joey Votto last year and put up .273/.331/.498 with 19 HR in 422 at bats. He’ll get all the at bats this season at 3B and have the confidence he’s not going to lose his job. I like Seager more than Frazier, but I think he’ll deliver good power production without killing your AVG or OBP.
Now for the guys who are not as widely owned and merit consideration for your squad.
- Matt Carpenter – He’ll get some playing time early in the season with the injury to David Freese. Even when Freese gets back he has the inside line on the 2B gig. In 2012 Carpenter knocked 22 double, had a .294/.365/.463 slashline and an 125 OPS+. With regular playing time and position flexibility (20 games in the outfield in 2012) Carpenter is a valuable asset and could stretch some of those doubles into home runs.
- Yonder Alonso – As he was coming up through the minors Alonso was initially thought to have major league power, but that hasn’t exactly played out that way. He only slugged .393 in 2012. His skills aren’t totally gone and if you’re hurting for a corner spot in a deeper league, Alonso, in his age 26 season, can give you some power and a good average (.273 in 2012). He also hit 5 Spring Training home runs.