Bryce Harper (OF, WAS)
The All American phenom was optioned to AAA today. This was by far the best move that Washington could have made regarding Harper. He didn’t exactly set the AA world on fire last season. There were some rumblings of Harper breaking the Nationals’ starting lineup come opening day, and I fear that may have led to some fantasy owners drafting him in their drafts that have already occurred. I’m high on Harper’s talent, but even if he played all year in the big leagues, I don’t think I would draft him in standard leagues. He simply has too much to learn and there are better options out there. If desperate, I can see him being picked up by a team if/when he is called up. I think the time Harper spends in the minors will only increase his long term value in dynasty leagues.
Joakim Soria (RP, KC)
With Soria looking like a Tommy John candidate, the big question is who will take his spot at the end of games. They brought in former Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton, and I would expect him to get the first chance as the closer. Injuries slowed him down considerably the past two seasons, but if the elbow surgery he got in September returns him back to pre-2010 form, he could stick as the closer. If he falters, I would expect Greg Holland to get the next chance. Holland excelled last season posting a 1.80 ERA in 46 appearances, while saving 4 out of 6 chances. Aaron Crow had his ups and downs last season as the Royals’ primary setup man and was being stretched out to be converted back to a starter. It looks like he won’t claim a spot in the rotation and will most likely head back to the bullpen. If the Royals still intend for Crow to be a starter down the line, I doubt they will try him out as the closer, but they may if both Broxton and Holland struggle. I would avoid taking a Kansas City closer if it can be helped, but if the price is right I would definitely handcuff Broxton with Holland.
Yoenis Cespedes (OF, OAK)
I have no problem admitting I was wrong when I suggested that Cespedes would start the year in the minors. He was announced to be the Opening Day centerfielder for the Athletics. Obviously, this gives his value a boost, and I can see him being a small-risk, high-reward outfielder, if he falls in drafts to where I would rank him (~180). More likely someone will grab him early which limits the return Cespedes will give. He could be a star but he could also be a bust, especially as he continues to adjust to the best pitchers on the planet. Drafting him in later rounds makes some sense, as if he doesn’t pan out, it’s not too hard finding a replacement for an outfielder. I don’t think I would reach for him though as I’d prefer to get a proven player until the later rounds where I don’t mind swinging for the fences.
Humberto Quintero (C, KC) and outfielder Jason Bourgeois (OF, KC)
The Kansas City Royals were in need of another catcher following the injury to Salvador Perez. They acquired Humberto Quintero to compete with Brayan Pena from the Houston Astros and also received Jason Bourgeois. I don’t expect Quintero to have any fantasy value as he’s mostly a good defensive catcher, but I would keep an eye on Bourgeios. Right now he is the Royals’ fourth outfielder, but when he got an opportunity last season in Houston he made the most of it. In 238 plate appearances he had a slash line of .294/.323/.357, which is rather pedestrian. The key with Bourgeois is that he’s one of the few players in the league who you expect to steal a base every time he is on (31SBs in 37 attempts). I would definitely keep a close eye on the KC outfield situation and scoop up Bourgeois if it appears he is in line for more at bats.
Written by Ilyn Yeh exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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