With the regular season just a few weeks away, fantasy owners are flocking to play Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball, the Official Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball. And in the current fantasy landscape, power is king. Owners who come out of their draft without a large contingent of power hitters
With the regular season just a few weeks away, fantasy owners are flocking to play Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball, the Official Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball. And in the current fantasy landscape, power is king. Owners who come out of their draft without a large contingent of power hitters are likely going to lag behind the back in homers, RBIs and possibly runs scored. But the good news is that those who compare the Yahoo Average Draft Position (ADP) with the MLB.com Player Preview can nab a few of the following value-based sluggers on draft day.
Aaron Judge, outfielder (Yankees): Just a few spots between the rankings and ADP can make a major difference during the initial rounds of a draft. And owners who are picking near the end of Round 1 would be wise to start their selection process by pairing one of the Big 4 starters with Judge, who should produce at least 45 homers and triple-digit totals in runs scored and RBIs for a second straight year. Although prone to whiffs, the imposing slugger led the Majors last season in average exit velocity (94.9 mph, min. 200 balls in play) and total barrels (87), per Statcast™.
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MLB.com ranking: 8
Yahoo ADP: 15
J.D. Martinez, outfielder (Red Sox): While replicating his astonishing 2017 pace (45 homers, 104 RBIs in 119 games) will be a tall task, Martinez can be counted on to make another run at 40-plus long balls and rank among the AL leaders in RBIs as part of a talented Red Sox lineup. And even with a surplus of power options available to '18 fantasy owners, players who can produce 40 round-trippers and a .300 average continue to be in short supply, making the 30-year-old a fine option in Rd. 2.
MLB.com ranking: 16
Yahoo ADP: 19
Willson Contreras, catcher (Cubs): Beyond producing 21 homers across 377 at-bats in his sophomore season, Contreras posted improved marks in BB:K ratio (0.46) and hard-contact rate (35.5 percent). As the cleanup hitter in a talented Cubs lineup, the backstop -- who spent 30 days on the disabled list last season -- has the potential to produce more than 25 long balls and 85 RBIs by enjoying better health and improving on his lifetime 28.7 percent fly-ball rate.
MLB.com ranking: 60
Yahoo ADP: 69
Rougned Odor, second baseman (Rangers): Having ripped 63 round-trippers across the past two seasons, Odor has undisputedly arrived as one of the premium power sources at the keystone position. And with better batted-ball luck this time around (.224 BABIP in 2017), the slugger -- who should also contribute 15 swipes -- could match his 2016 production of 88 RBIs and 89 runs scored.
MLB.com ranking: 85
Yahoo ADP: 102
Yasiel Puig, outfielder (Dodgers): After teasing fantasy owners for parts of four seasons, Puig put together his most complete campaign when he posted career-best marks in homers (28), RBIs (74) and steals (15) last year. And the native Cuban may not have peaked from a power perspective, as his pull-heavy approach could lead to more than 30 long balls this year.
MLB.com ranking: 75
Yahoo ADP: 113
Matt Olson, first baseman (A's): Olson went bananas after the 2017 All-Star break, producing the third-highest OPS (1.089) of any player who tallied at least 50 plate appearances. All told, the slugger finished last season with 24 homers across 189 at-bats, which extrapolates to roughly 60 long balls across a full campaign. And while Olson is highly unlikely to repeat that power pace (and his 41.4 percent HR/FB rate) this season, he could slug 40 long balls by logging elite rates of hard contact (40.3 percent) and fly balls (46.0 percent) for a second straight year.
MLB.com ranking: 107
Yahoo ADP: 135
Steven Souza Jr., outfielder (D-backs): Although the addition of a humidor to Chase Field negates some of Souza's appeal, he is unlikely to find Arizona's home venue any more challenging than Tropicana Field. And by being part of a lineup that ranked eighth in runs scored last year (Tampa Bay placed 25th), the power-speed threat (30 homers, 16 steals in 2017) could reach the 90-mark in both RBIs and runs scored.
MLB.com ranking: 116
Yahoo ADP: 194
Mark Trumbo, outfielder (Orioles): While fantasy owners are within their rights to ignore Trumbo after he hit .234 with 23 homers last season, those who have a longer memory will see the value in using a pick in the second half of their drafts on a player who led the Majors with 47 long balls in 2016. The 32-year-old has proven to be a streaky slugger, but he has produced at least 32 homers and 95 RBIs on three occasions and is the type of boom-or-bust option that can put owners over the top.
MLB.com ranking: 141
Yahoo ADP: 216
Eugenio Suarez, third baseman (Reds): Suarez continued a multiyear transition into a power source when he compiled career-best marks in homers (26), RBIs (82) and runs scored (87) in his fourth big league season in 2017. While he may be largely dependent on the offense-inducing qualities of Great American Ball Park (21 homers at home last year), the durable 26-year-old is well-positioned to produce 25-30 long balls again in '18.
MLB.com ranking: 165
Yahoo ADP: 224
Mitch Haniger, outfielder (Mariners): A popular sleeper for 2017, Haniger sandwiched a pair of DL stints around a spectacular start (1.054 OPS in April) and superb finish (1.021 OPS in September) last year. With 21 long balls across 478 career at-bats, the burgeoning power hitter could ride improved health to a 25-homer, 80-RBI breakout.
MLB.com ranking: 169
Yahoo ADP: 249
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.