Minnesota Twins Fantasy Top 5 for 2014
1. Joe Mauer - Lonely at the top, Mauer is poised to be the only Minnesota Twin taken in the first 15 rounds of 2014 fantasy drafts. Recently moved to 1B on a permanent basis, Mauer's value has been elevated to another level. The lack of power is not as much of an issue as it would have been years earlier, as the 1B position has taken a collective step back. The average is still elite and will support above average R and RBI numbers despite the lack of help surrounding Mauer.
Expected ADP: Round 5-6
Worth It?: He's break-even value at this spot. He's slipped a bit in early mock drafts that I've seen, but I expect the positional switch to bump his value up quite a bit.
Keeper Value: Mauer's keeper value gained a lot of momentum with the announcement of his move to 1B. You could argue that this move was baked into his price already and I won't hold much of an argument, but he'll be a quality 1B option for the next few years even without a surge in power.
2. Brian Dozier - Dozier beat expectations in 2013, but it was barely a breakout because he ultimately didn't make a ton of noise in fantasy leagues. He ended up outside of the Top 12 in fantasy 2B - a collection of uninspiring players in their own right. The 18 HR and 14 SB combo was a nice surprise, but he gives all the value back with a .244 AVG and middling counting stats.
Expected ADP: Round 15-16
Worth It?: I won't have Dozier anywhere next season at this price. The 18/14 numbers he put up this year don't have much room for improvement next year, but I will admit the AVG should improve with some BABIP regression and a strikeout rate closer to what we saw in the minors.
Keeper Value: 26 years old, Dozier is entering his prime. I firmly believe 2013 will be his peak season, but he won't fall out to irrelevance. He is a nice MI option in deeper leagues and should stay that way for a little while longer until some of the young guns in the Minnesota system (Rosario, Polanco, Goodrum, etc.) replace him.
3. Oswaldo Arcia - The lone high-upside play on the list, Arcia could push 20 HRs next season. Arcia won't do you any favors in AVG, R, and RBI but a full-time gig should allow him to put up decent numbers. The strikeouts leave me really concerned, and he had some really poor at-bats that I cannot get out of my head. Arcia found him in a ton of 0-2 and 1-2 counts and has a lot of work to do to fine tune his approach. If he gets there in the next couple of years a .275-25 HR season could be in his future.
Expected ADP: Late Round Flier - Round 21-23
Worth It?: Yes. Arcia is a high-upside play that will cost you nickels on the dime. If he contact issues persist, you won't have a problem cutting him loose due to the small price tag.
Keeper Value: High. Arcia's value is only going to rise for the next 3-4 years. As he matures and tones down the aggressiveness Arcia could become a Top 25 OF at peak.
4. Glen Perkins - Closer for the Minnesota Twins, Glen Perkins is currently one of the best in the business. Unfortunately, the Twins don't need much saving so much as they need a revolution. Perkins has two more years and a team-friendly option for 2016 so I don't expect Perkins to last much longer in Minneapolis.
Expected ADP: Round 14-15
Worth It?: Not for me. Perkins is closing for one of the worst teams in the majors and will be a likely trade candidate in June and July. He's an excellent closer and would be in the elite class for the position if he was in a different situation, but given his current prospects, I can't recommend spending a mid-to-late draft pick on this guy.
Keeper Value: None. More of a philosophical thing, but I refuse to give any keeper value to closers. The position is far too volatile and the opportunity cost is far too low.
5. Josmil Pinto - I don't feel comfortable putting faith in a guy with a 21-game sample size, but the state of the Minnesota roster leaves me little choice. Josmil Pinto figures to be the Opening Day catcher in Target Field and is a big question mark for fantasy leaguers. He has a lot of work to do defensively to hold down the position and I think that limits the number of ABs he sees in 2014. 10-12 HRs and a .270 AVG is a reasonable projection for Pinto at this point.
Expected ADP: Undrafted
Worth It?: Depends on league size. Pinto might not be an ownable commodity in standard 12-team leagues. 2-catcher leagues and 14+ Team leagues are where things get interesting. He no longer goes undrafted, and he might become one of the better sleeper targets in this case. His upside is finishing just inside the Top 10 for the position, with the possibility of being irrelevant 4 weeks into the season.
Keeper Value: Higher than standard leagues. At 24 years old, Pinto's best years are still ahead of him. Mauer's shift to 1B and the lack of a standout catching prospect are big points in Pinto's favor. I expect him to take over the full time job quickly and flirt with the positional Top 10 for the next few years.
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