Five to Watch – 3B

FANFOOD_FB2014_5toW_3B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are hundreds of websites where you can get information to help you prepare for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft and season. It seems like every one of them offer rankings, cheat sheets and draft guides.

In order to dominate your league you need to be familiar with a few of them. Check them out, pick your favorites and have fun with your research. We will help you with our FANFOOD Fantasy Baseball Tools and new features, the FANFOOD 5 to Watch and FANFOOD goes 2 for 2.

During Spring Training, we offer 5 players from each position for you to watch and consider for your FB team. They will be ones that you may be able to find later in your draft or even off the waiver wire as the season progresses.

Once the season begins, FANFOOD goes 2 for 2 and discusses two upcoming starting pitchers scheduled for two starts. They will be our weekly picks for your team to stream (if that is your strategy).

So who are the FANFOOD 5 to Watch? Are they ones to target? Are they sleepers, studs or duds? The answer is yes and the answer is no. Simply put, they are the players that we find interesting at each position, ones you need to keep an eye on this spring before your fantasy baseball draft.

 

That all said, let’s get to it with our first 5, and start things off with the third basemen, followed by some helpful links and a great sauce recipe, Tomatillo Cilantro Cream Sauce

 

5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

FANFOOD 5 to Watch – 3B

 

No longer can third base be considered a shallow position. Along with first base, the hot corner is the deepest in the league (not considering the outfield, more on that later). So the power potential is there for your team. It’s so loaded that you can probably fill your UTIL or CI position from the third base position late in your draft instead of drafting two first base players earlier on.

 

1. Carlos Santana

ADP #75

 

Carlos already has C and 1B edibility and there is a possibility that he could add 3B in 2014. Because of this he is the first player to watch at this position as he tries his hand at the hot corner. Santana will get a look at third base in spring training, but nothing has been decided as of yet.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

The Indians haven’t decided whether or not Carlos Santana will play third base full-time in 2014. But they’re committed to trying out the experiment in spring training. “Carlos offered to go play third base in winter ball, which we all thought was terrific,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And it sounds like he’s improving. But we don’t need to make any kind of decisions today, nor will we at the beginning of spring training.” Now that Yan Gomes is Cleveland’s regular catcher, Santana could move back to the position he played eight years ago in the Dodgers’ farm system. A shift to third would open up the DH slot for Francona to use as he pleases. “If he can handle playing third — some, a lot, little — we’ll see. That’s all part of spring training. If he can handle it, it gives us another option with our middle-of-the-order bat,” Francona said.

source | rotoworld
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The Indians will have versatile catcher Carlos Santana play some third base in winter ball in the Dominican Republic this offseason, possibly adding another position to his repertoire. Santana has doubled as a part-time first baseman for the past few seasons, but that position now belongs primarily to Nick Swisher. That forced Santana to work as the Tribe’s main DH during the team’s second-half push to the playoffs. While he accepted the role to help the Indians’ postseason quest, Santana expressed in September that he did not like being a DH.

source | MLB.com
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While Carlos Santana seems pretty confident he could handle playing third base regularly, Indians manager Terry Francona isn’t ready to rush to any decisions about who will be the team’s primary third baseman in 2014. “We don’t need to make any kind of decisions today, nor will we at the beginning of spring training,” Francona said, per MLB.com. “I’ve never even seen the guy play third. … We’ve got a lot of time to let that play out.” Carlos Santana told ESPNDeportes.com if the season started today, he believes he would play regularly at third base. Santana, who hasn’t played at third base since 2008, is also expected to see playing time at first base and DH as the Indians hand the starting catcher duties over to Yan Gomes.

source |  Michael Hurcomb | CBSsports.com
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Cleveland Indians C Carlos Santana is still adjusting to third base in the Dominican Republic Winter League, and he’s hitting .350 (7-for-20) with three errors in five games so far. Two of his errors came in one game. “It’s still very early in the process,” said general manager Chris Antonetti. “Sarbie has been down there for a few days with Carlos. He’s made a couple of errors, but so far the reports have been encouraging.” Santana is expected to be the Indians’ main designated hitter next season. Cleveland would prefer if 3B Lonnie Chisenhall won the third base job in spring training.

source | KFFL
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Santana will get a look at third base in spring training, but nothing has been decided as of yet, MLB.com reports. “Carlos offered to go play third base in winter ball, which we all thought was terrific. And it sounds like he’s improving. But we don’t need to make any kind of decisions today, nor will we at the beginning of spring training. If he can handle playing third — some, a lot, little — we’ll see. That’s all part of spring training. If he can handle it, it gives us another option with our middle-of-the-order bat,” manager Terry Francona said.

source | rotowire
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
5357614021754.262.366.447.813

source | KFFL
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2. Kyle Seager

ADP #90

 

Kyle Seager entered the league as a second basemen in 2012 hit 20 bombs drove in 86 and swiped 13 bags. He is entering his prime now at the hot corner in Seattle. Last season, he hit .290 with 21 HR, 39 doubles and 8 SB. He is one to watch this spring to see where he hits in the batting order. He could easily be your starting 3B all year.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager finished the 2013 regular season with a .260 average, 22 home runs, 69 RBIs, 79 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Seager, who burst onto the scene when he batted .259 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs in 2012, seemed well on his way to shattering those totals before he hitting a wall in the second half. In fact, after batting just .194 in August, Seager put up even worse numbers in September (.172, 1 HR, 7 RBIs), causing his average to plummet from .277 to .260. Still, Seager’s 20-homer power should come at a very affordable price in ’14, making him a player to target in his age-26 season.

source | MLB.com
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Kyle Seager settled in as a full-time third baseman in 2013, and while no longer having positional flexibility is inconvenient, he remained a top option at the hot corner.

A year after ranking 14th at the position in overall value, Seager pushed forward to be a starting caliber third baseman for 12-team leagues, ranking 12th in overall value.

His final fantasy lines were very similar:

2012 – .259, 20 HR, 62 R, 86 RBI, 13 SB
2013 – .260, 22 HR, 79 R, 69 RBI, 9 SB

But Seager actually made some improvements this year that make it appear there could be even more in store in his age-26 season.

Unfortunately, some of the improvements Seager seemed to make disappeared in August and September, as he followed up an incredible July with below average months to close the year.

There are conflicting signals as to whether he went backwards in those months or simply had a rough couple of weeks. While his September ISO fell off a cliff and his strikeout rate spiked in August, his walk rate also climbed in those months and his BABIP cratered.

source | fangraphs
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
6088716520738.271.333.436.769

source | KFFL
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3.  Brett Lawrie

ADP #148

 

Lawrie finished last year with 11 homers and a .254/.315/.397 slash line, one of many disappointing campaigns amidst the epic fail that was the 2013 Blue Jays season. Assuming that Lawrie can avoid the injury bug and general malaise that has plagued the Jays franchise over the last two seasons, he stands as a strong fantasy breakout candidate for 2014. He is definitely one to watch this spring and consider drafting as your backup 3B.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

The native Canadian hit safely in his last four games and reached base eight times in 10 attempts on Saturday and Sunday. Lawrie, 23, slashed .254/.315/.397 with 11 homers, 46 RBI and nine steals in 107 games. He could be a popular post-hype selection in March fantasy drafts.

source | rotoworld
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Lawrie started the season on the 15-day DL, and he later admitted to rushing his return to the lineup. The results were predictably poor, as Lawrie hit .204 in the first half. He returned to form by hitting .283 after the All-Star break, but his six second-half dingers show that he still hasn’t totally found his groove at the dish. It’s far too early to give up on this 23-year-old, and he could break out next season if he stays healthy and regains his power stroke.

source | MLB.com
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
49859137145612.275.332.426.758

source | KFFL
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4. Nolan Arenado

ADP #180

 

On the surface, there’s not much that excites a fantasy owner about a .267-10-52 batting line for a corner infielder, especially coming from someone playing half his games in Coors Field. But considering the 22-year old produced that line after basically making the jump straight from Double-A ball (he played just 18 games at Triple-A to open 2013), he deserves another look as he enters 2014 with the job in-hand.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado ended the 2013 regular season with a .267 batting average, 10 homers, 52 RBIs, 49 runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Arenado played in 133 games in his rookie season, and he’s now locked in as the Rockies’ third baseman of the future. But despite having Coors Field at his disposal for half of his games, the 22-year-old didn’t post impressive offensive numbers in 2013. Arenado managed to hit .298 in the second half, but he lacked power, as he hit just three homers and drove in 25 runs in 61 games. There is a good chance that Arenado will make strides next season, and smart fantasy owners will be ready to pounce if his mediocre ’13 totals cause the right-handed slugger to fall too far in ’14 drafts.

source | MLB.com
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Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado won a Gold Glove in his rookie season last year, but he’s hoping to become more of an impact bat in the team’s lineup in 2014. Arenado had a tendency to swing at a lot of pitches during his at-bats. “Nolan has impeccable hand-eye coordination and he’s probably going to be a low-strikeout guy, but slowing down his at-bats is the next step,” manager Walt Weiss said. Arenado said he often shortened his stroke early in counts to put the ball in play.

source | rotowire
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Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is working on slowing down his at-bats, according to MLB.com.
Arenado is trying to develop into a more complete hitter, and realizes there are things he has to do in order to reach that level. “I’m working on staying back, driving through the baseball,” Arenado explained. He said he got caught out on his front foot too much last season, which prevented him from getting on base more often. Arenado hit .267/.301/.405 in 486 at-bats last year.

source | CBSsports.com
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
5045814016671.278.317.458.775

source | KFFL
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5. Matt Davidson

ADP #275

 

Depending on who you read Matt Davidson will be the starting third basemen for the White Sox or he will open the season in Triple A. Either way, he is one to watch this spring.  If he gets the gig, he could make a nice last round flier for your squad. Sit him on the bench and start him when he gets on a roll.  The 22-year-old acquired from Arizona in an offseason trade has the tools and could surprise this season. Tempter expectations though.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Matt Davidson will have to show improvement to break camp with the White Sox, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. ”It certainly is possible he breaks with us Opening Day, but if that’s not the case we’ll see a lot of him this season once we feel he truly is ready,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on MLB Network’s ‘Clubhouse Confidential’ Tuesday. “There’s still a few areas he’s going to improve in and we need to see some refinement.” We have Davidson penciled in as the White Sox’ starter at third base, but Hayes said both Jeff Keppinger and Conor Gillaspie slot ahead of him on the depth chart. It’s clear that Davidson offers the most upside — both in fantasy and in reality — of the three, but the team won’t just hand him the job to start the season. It’s a position battle to minor closely this spring.

source | rotoworld
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Matt Davidson certainly appears to be the White Sox third baseman of the future. Whether that future begins for Davidson at the open of the 2014 season has yet to be decided. The 22-year-old acquired from Arizona in an offseason trade for closer Addison Reed sits in the Spring Training mix for the starting job, but manager Robin Ventura wouldn’t go as far as classifying the job as Davidson’s to lose. Davidson, who checks in at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, possesses the classic power of a corner infielder. Ventura watched the right-handed-hitting Davidson during last week’s minicamp at Camelback Ranch and came away thinking he was physically bigger than he imagined and moves around better than the previous reports indicated. A logjam already exists at third base, with Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger in the mix, not to mention Marcus Semien. The White Sox like Gillaspie’s easy left-handed swing and expect Keppinger, who is under contract for two years, $8.5 million, to have a better performance than his White Sox debut.

source | MLB.com
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White Sox first baseman Matt Davidson is facing long odds in his bid to make the teams’ opening day roster, CSNChicago.com reports. ”It certainly is possible he breaks with us Opening Day, but if that’s not the case we’ll see a lot of him this season once we feel he truly is ready,” Hahn said on MLB Network’s ‘Clubhouse Confidential.’ “There’s still a few areas he’s going to improve in and we need to see some refinement.” Among other areas, Davidson needs to improve his footwork at third base. A good spring-training performance will be crucial for his opening-day status. Davidson hit .237/.333/.434 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 76 at-bats with the Diamondbacks last season.

source | CBSsports.com
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
398399415531.236.307.422.729

source | KFFL
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Let’s finish things off with some helpful links.

 

FB2014 Player Links:

 

FANFOOD Fantasy Baseball Tools

 

FANFOOD 5 to Watch

 

5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

 

FANFOOD Goes 2 for 2 (starting week 1)

 

 

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Tomatillo Cilantro Cream Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS

3 Tomatillos, husked and chopped
1 bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cheese, shredded (I used a 4 cheese Mexican Blend)
2 tablespoons sour cream
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Make sure you drain as much juice from the tomatillos before putting them in the food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Pour mixture in a saucepan and reduce until thick over low to medium heat.

 

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