Who couldn’t get their friends in time to do a draft before the season started? Doing a draft this weekend, like me?
Well, after completing a few drafts, I came up with three hitters that are not being noticed enough by Fantasy owners. These three hitters are being undervalued and available deep into drafts. Circle these players on your cheat sheets or place the players in your Que on your drafting software. You will thank me later.
Good Luck to all in your Fantasy drafts and auctions! We finally get to hear the two words that baseball fans love to hear—
3 Mega Undervalued Hitters In Fantasy Baseball 2018
Tyler Flowers, C, Atlanta Braves (FantasyPros C ADP: 27, Overall ADP: 337)
The catcher position is the hardest position to rank. Thanks to health-based platoons, there were only four catchers who played enough to qualify for the batting title last season.
Veterans Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki shared the catcher position for the Atlanta Braves. They formed one of the best catching tandems in baseball last season. Tyler Flowers posted a .283/.378/.445 slash with 12 homers and 49 RBI along with a career-high .823 OPS. Suzuki hit .286 with 19 homers and 49 RBI.
A swing change in mid-2016 enabled Flowers to drive the ball like never before. He had a slash line of .270/.357/.420 with eight homers, 18 doubles, 41 RBI and 27 runs scored. He followed that solid season with a more impressive one in 2017 by posting a 117 OPS+ and a 120 wrC+. FanGraphs estimated his value at 2.5 wins above replacement. Flowers benefited from a BABIP of .342 but produced solid contact. He was second on the team behind only Freddie Freeman in average exit velocity at 89.4 MPH.
Tyler Flowers is basically free in fantasy drafts. He makes a great value pick in two-catcher leagues, especially in formats where you can adjust your lineups daily. He should be among the league leaders in catcher value in 2018.
I would draft Tyler Flowers ahead of Russell Martin (FantasyPros C ADP: 23) and Travis d’Arnaud (FantasyPros C ADP: 19).
Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland A’s (FantasyPros 1B ADP: 15, Overall ADP: 122)
Matt Olson hit 20 home runs in the span of 36 games last season after an August 8th call-up. What can he do for a full season?
That type of power production put him on pace for 68 home runs in 162 games. While it’s highly doubtful that he could keep up that kind of pace in 2018, he should still hit for a ton of power. Olson played in 59 games last season. In that span, he hit .259/.352/.651 with 24 homers in 216 plate appearances. He recorded a solid 10.2 % walk rate. In addition, he struck out in almost 28% of his plate appearances, but still managed a .411 wOBA. Lastly, he posted the best wRC+ in the second half!
Olson is a legitimate 40-homer threat and will challenge for home run titles in his career. His batting average won’t kill you either and has an ADP of 15th among first baseman. Olson projects to hit .250-.260, 40+ homers, 90-100 RBI with a 900+OPS. At this price tag, Fantasy owners need to jump in on Olson now before he produces his breakout season.
I would draft Matt Olson ahead of Miguel Cabrera (FantasyPros 1B ADP: 12) and Wil Meyers (FantasyPros 1B ADP: 10).
Randal Grichuk OF, Toronto Blue Jays (FantasyPros OF ADP: 75, Overall ADP: 295)
The Blue Jays acquired Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals to take over for in right field this season. Grichuk batted .238/.285/.473 with 22 homers, 25 doubles and 59 RBIs and a 1.o WAR rating through 122 games with the Cardinals last season. The issue in St. Louis was playing time which was attributed to a surplus of outfielders which made constant pressure to perform in order to remain in the lineup.
Grichuk contributed in part to his lack of playing time due to his on-base percentage being just .298. This was largely due to striking out approximately 30% of his plate appearances. He will likely hit in a run-producing spot of a fairly potent lineup. The opportunity for Grichuk will be there for him to produce, he needs to answer the call and I think he will.
He has surpassed 20 home runs during each of the last two season. According to Statcast™, Grichuk had the second-highest barrel percentage among all NL hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. The only player who squared up more balls was Giancarlo Stanton. The higher number of at-bats should result in a higher number of home runs. His move to a more hitter-friendly ballpark and hitter-friendly division should also improve his overall stats.
My expectation is that Grichuk puts it all together and hits 30-plus home runs and 80-plus RBI. That is a great lottery pick as one of your last picks of the draft. He is basically free based on having a Overall ADP of 295 and will be worth the minimal risk.
I would draft Randal Grichuk ahead of David Peralta (FantasyPros OF ADP: 70), Josh Reddick (FantasyPros OF ADP: 68), and Mitch Haniger (FantasyPros OF ADP: 61).