We’re back! Returning in 2015, is the 10 Under 10% series. The idea is simple: I pick my 10 favorite players that are owned in less than 10% of Yahoo leagues. I try to keep it to 5 hitters and 5 pitchers every week, and I try to mix up the positions. My picks are based more on current opportunity and my suggestions, unless otherwise stated, are for a short-term basis.
Chris Owings - Arizona, 2B/SS (7% Owned) - Owings recently won the starting 2B job for Arizona and joins Nick Ahmed in the middle infield. He’s an offensive-minded player and should slot into the top of the Arizona lineup. The opportunity will be there for Owings to hold the spot all year and could rack up some nice counting stats playing out the in NL West. There’s a few options threatening his playtime in Aaron Hill and Cliff Pennington, but Owings has the headstart and I’m on board until he stumbles.
Seth Smith - Seattle, OF (2% Owned) - Similar to Owings, Smith’s spot on this list is dependent on his current role as the potential #2 hitter on a potent Seattle offense. Saddled between Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager is a great spot to be in. The catch with Smith is that he’ll probably get platooned and sit against left-handed pitchers so owning him will require a little work to make sure you swap him out when he's not playing.
Michael Bourn - Cleveland, OF (5% Owned) - An injury-riddled 2014 hurt Bourn’s stock, but he’s still Cleveland’s leadoff hitter and still going to be a solid source of SBs. If you left your draft short on SBs (which I seem to be on all of my rosters) Bourn could be a nice temporary add to keep you on pace.
Everth Cabrera - Baltimore, SS (5% Owned) - The riskiest name on this list, Cabrera is a great speculative add in almost any format. If he returns to 2013 form, you’ve got a steal of a pick at the most shallow position. I wouldn’t recommend hanging on to Cabrera long if he doesn’t start off hot, but take a two week-long gamble on stashing Cabrera.
Odubel Herrera - Philadelphia, 2B/SS/OF (7% Owned) - Herrera will quickly get OF eligibility and thanks to a hot spring, has won the starting CF gig for Philadelphia. He isn’t surrounded by a ton of talent, but he’s a top-of-the-order candidate behind Ben Revere and should provide solid SB numbers.
Dan Haren - Miami, SP (8% Owned) - Yeah, this one bums me out too, but he is a starter in a great ballpark and still getting solid strikeout numbers. Another advantage is that he gets an underwhelming Tampa Bay lineup in his first start, so he should have a great opportunity for a W. I doubt you’ll end up hanging on to Haren for the entire year, but he’s going to have some great spot starts pitching in Miami with an offensively inept NL East.
Tom Koehler - Miami, SP (2% Owned) - Koehler’s blurb reads exactly the same as Dan Haren. The only difference is that Koehler gets a gutted Atlanta offense in his first start. I like his shot at getting an early win. Koehler is also more firmly planted in the starting rotation and can withstand a few shaky starts.
Jon Niese - New York Mets, SP (7% Owned) - Niese gets a crack at the starting rotation for New York and like Koehler and Haren, will face a ton of weak offenses in the NL East. Niese also benefits from getting Atlanta in his first outing, which is a team I suspect we’ll be streaming against the entire season.
Dillon Gee - New York Mets, SP (2% Owned) - Another NL East pitcher, another SP slated to get Atlanta in their first start. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but Gee is another guy who got a late insertion into the rotation and is set up with a nice opportunity out of the gate. New York’s offense should be above-average this year, and set Gee up for a shot at a few wins.
Chris Hatcher - Los Angeles Dodgers, RP (1% Owned) - Hatcher is going to fill in as one of the temporary closers while Kenley Jansen is injured. I’m not crazy about him, the job won’t be his for long, but he could sneak you a few saves early on. He’ll cost you nothing to add and could net you some saves while the rest of the MLB bullpen situations work themselves out.