By this time most people are ready for their draft, but the most important time in all fantasy baseball years comes soon after most drafts. Your “dream team” isn’t going to last and the choices you make to fill those holes will make or break your season. Here’s five players to possibly make filing those holes easier.
5. Nate Jones
Jones will likely be drafted in some leagues if the Nationals get off their ass and get a closer, but if he’s not you have to keep an eye on him. One of the most underrated relievers in baseball had a great season in 2016. He posted an ERA in the low twos and a strikeout rate around 10, but where his upside lies is in his ridiculous pitch selection. He has sinker that averages 97 mph, a Greyson Allen dirty slider and a change up/curve combo that can buckle hitters. Imagine that as a closer and then you can start imagining what he can do for your fantasy team.
4. Josh Hader
Another pitcher on this list, but in a completely different role. Hader threw just nine innings last year in the big leagues and he may not start the year with the big league club. Lets be honest the Brewers aren’t going to compete this year let the kids get a chance. Hader is young and has control issues at times, but there is no doubt he could be special if he can pound the strike zone. By June or July his great strikeout rate may be worth a look to fill some sort of hole on your team if the Brewers give him a opportunity.
3. Ryan Zimmerman
Okay, before you laugh Zimm still has a chance to be a big league contributor. He needs to stay health, but if he can get a little more lift on his swing that 94.1 mph average exit velocity will result in more home runs. He won’t likely be drafted to start the year and will have to prove that he can stay health to earn a spot on most fantasy teams. With that being said if he’s batting .270 with 10 home runs entering June I am sure he wont still be on the waiver wire by the time you get around to take a look.
2. Robert Gsellman
This guy will require an injury or trade to make any sort of real impact this year, but it’s the Mets. One of those mustachioed pitching studs is going to have some sort of weird arm problem and Zach Wheeler may be starting that train early. Gsellman has a strong four pitch arsenal and ended last year with 2.42 ERA in eight appearances with the Mets.He could be a solid piece to fill in for a bit if you need that extra pitcher. I wouldn’t keep him on my team for long, but the Mets haven’t had a bad pitcher in a while.
1. Manny Margot
This may be a Roto specific add or he could be the 2017 Trea Turner for the whole year. Hes got 65 grade speed and has never stolen less than 30 bags in a year and in 2014 and 2015 he had 39 bases per year across levels. If he does nothing but steal he will be a valuable piece for Roto, but he can hit too. A solid bat, plus speed and a clear opportunity points to future fantasy star. This year will be the last year that you may find him on a waiver wire and you can do MUCH worse than Margot to fill a hole on your team.
Some of these players may get drafted in some leagues, but these guys could easily keep your team stable if you end up fucking your draft up or if injures do the job.
* Pitch speed stats from Brooks Baseball and other stats from Fangraphs.