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The greatest bargains going into 2018 Fantasy Baseball drafts

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Garrett Richards, Matt Carpenter and Mitch Haniger are just some of the undervalued players that could impact your fantasy team in 2018.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels

Projected ADP: 21st Round

Richards has only pitched 62.1 innings the past two seasons, because of this Richards will be picked a lot later than his skill set would suggest. Over that time span Richards has a 8.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9 and a 2.31 ERA. He has decent strikeout potential as he owns a career swinging strike rate of 10.5%, but that is not what makes him valuable. His ability to limit the amount of home runs is what has ultimately lead to him having a 3.06 ERA among the last 4 seasons, this is due to his ability to produce ground balls and limit hard contact. His career 52.8% ground ball rate and 26.1% hard contact rate should help Richards become one of the most undervalued assets in 2018 barring injuries.

Andrew Triggs, SP, Oakland Athletics

Projected ADP: Undrafted

Triggs’ ability to produce ground balls has gone under the radar the past two seasons. He owns a lifetime 50.3% ground ball rate in the majors, and that is complimented by a 26.8% hard contact rate. This should help him limit home runs, which in turn will help keep his ERA. He also has some strikeout potential. No he won’t average a strikeout every innings, but a 8.00 K/9 is not too crazy to predict. He did own a minuscule 6.89 K/9 last season, but his 10.4% swinging strike rate and 75.7% contact rate would suggest that this number should be closer to eight rather than six. With a career 2.37 BB/9, his rise in strikeouts should help him maintain his WHIP throughout the season. The only concern I have with Triggs is if he will be in the bullpen or starting rotation come opening day, but with the lack of innings coming from the starting pitcher position he could prove to be valuable even coming out of the pen.

Joe Musgrove, RP, Houston Astros

Projected ADP: 30th Round

With many teams starting to limit the amount of innings from their starting pitchers, middle relievers could see their value skyrocket in 2018. There were 21 relieve pitchers in 2017 who had less than 5 games saved that ranked in the top 300, and this number will most likely continue to grow in 2018. Musgrove was a top pitching prospect coming up through the minor leagues, but his career numbers are somewhat of a disappointment. With a career 4.52 ERA, many will most likely avoid the Astros’ middle relieve option, but he is more valuable than one may think. Over his career when he faces a lineup the first time around he owns a 3.06 ERA, which is complimented with a 9.2 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 0.9 HR/9. His ground ball rate also jumps up to 46.5% and only allowed hard contact 28.4% of the time. When you look at his bullpen related stats, Musgrove looks like a solid option to come of the pen.

Welington Castillo, C, Chicago White Sox

Projected ADP: 24th Round

Castillo has ranked tenth and eighth on the player rater in 2016 and 2017, and he did that while hitting 34 home runs with only 822 plate appearances. He will be thirty years old going into the 2018 season, but the fact that he has yet to have a hard contact rate below 38.0% the past three seasons means he has shown no signs of slowing down. He also owned a line drive rate of 24.4% last season, which is similar to that of Freddie Freeman’s and Corey Seager’s line drive rate. His 26.6% strikeout rate may concern some, but the fact that he was able to lower his swinging strike rate and raise his contact rate last season is a good sign going forward. With his ability to continually make hard contact, a .265 batting average and 25-30 home run season is very likely as long as the plate appearances are there.

Matt Carpenter, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

Projected ADP: 10th Round

Carpenter is currently being ranked around the the fifteenth first baseman in many preseasons rankings, which I believe is a huge under ranking. Yes, he had a .241 average last season, but I do not see that being the case in 2018. With a 22.3% line drive rate, 6.0% swinging strike rate and 42.2% hard contact rate last season, it would be hard for me to believe that Carpenter is washed up. He also has some underrated power. His 0.53 GB/FB added with his ability to consistently make hard contact will prove vital for any fantasy team going into 2018. It is also worth noting his very patient approach at the plate. His 16.6% O-Swing% ranked second only to Joey Votto, which is pretty good company to be in. A player with his skill set should easily be going ahead of were many have him going in their rankings in 2018.

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners

Projected ADP: 23rd Round

Haniger proved that he belonged at the highest level in 2017 as he hit .282/.352/.491 with 16 home runs. His 8.7% swinging strike rate, 79.3% contact rate and 34.7% hard contact rate would suggest a batting average around the .260-.280 mark. He also has a good plate discipline as he only swung at 27.9% of the balls outside the zone. His hard contact rate should also help him hit around 20-25 home runs, and his decent speed will most likely net him somewhere around 5-10 stolen bases next season. I will again be buying high on Hainger just like last year, and will continue to until he gets the credit he deserves.

Alex Dickerson, OF, San Diego Padres

Projected ADP: Undrafted

Dickerson missed all of 2017 after a bulging disc in his lower back kept him off the field. Although he hasn’t played since 2016, it looks like 2018 could be his breakout season. With a 8.2% swinging strike rate, 82.6% contact rate and 22.4% line drive rate in 2016, it looks like he could be a good source of batting average. His 0.92 GB/FB and 34.1% hard contact rate in 2016 is comparable to that of Anthony Rendon’s and Brian Dozier’s last season. With a 40.5% fly ball rate and good hard contact, Dickerson has 20-25 home run potential. He also has above average speed so we could see double digit steals from the Padres’ outfielder. A 20/10 fantasy player with a .270 batting average is an asset for any team no matter the position.

Poll

Who do you think will be the best bargin in 2018

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels
    (141 votes)
  • 7%
    Welington Castillo, C, Chicago White Sox
    (36 votes)
  • 19%
    Matt Carpenter, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
    (89 votes)
  • 35%
    Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners
    (161 votes)
  • 6%
    Alex Dickerson, OF, San Diego Padres
    (30 votes)
457 votes total Vote Now