We've all been there.Deep into a draft. Hungry. Tired. Brain rebelling against the constant stress it has been under for several hours.But that is not the time to sit back and relax, or to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you push through a few
We've all been there.
Deep into a draft. Hungry. Tired. Brain rebelling against the constant stress it has been under for several hours.
But that is not the time to sit back and relax, or to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you push through a few more wise selections, you will greatly increase your chances of winning a fantasy championship.
Consider the 10 players listed below with your final-round picks, as they are poised to deliver contributions that greatly exceed their draft-day price tag.
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Trea Turner, shortstop (Nationals): Turner is a lifetime .322 hitter in the Minors, and he swiped 31 bases between the two highest Minor League levels and a brief cameo with the Nats last season. Danny Espinosa is penciled in as Washington's current starting shortstop, but the owner of a lifetime .230 average and 59 career appearances at the position has a tenuous hold on the job. Because he could be a shallow-league lineup fixture by the end of May, Turner is worth a bench spot in almost all formats.
Jose Peraza, second baseman (Reds): Like Turner, Peraza -- who has hit .302 with 210 steals across 461 Minor League games -- can make a mixed-league impact as soon as he is in possession of a regular role. But unlike Turner, Peraza may be able to find frequent playing time as soon as April. The 21-year-old is capable of playing several defensive positions on a rebuilding Reds team that is in desperate need of a table-setter. Those who spend a late-round pick on Peraza may get 30 swipes and a helpful batting mark in return.
Robinson Chirinos, catcher (Rangers): Owners in two-catcher leagues often struggle to nab a productive backstop in the final rounds of their drafts. While he is unlikely to hit for a high average, Chirinos could exceed the 15-homer mark in a role as Texas' No. 1 backstop.
Jarrod Dyson, outfielder (Royals): Dyson has accumulated 126 steals across just 1,084 plate appearances during the past four seasons, and the Royals are expected to reward the speedster with an expanded role this season. Owners who nab Dyson with a late-round pick may come away with the 2016 American League stolen-base champion. He is the perfect target for those who load up on early-round sluggers, and an expected short-term disabled-list stint at the outset of the season will serve to reduce his draft-day price tag.
Eugenio Suarez, shortstop (Reds): Likely to compile 550 at-bats, Suarez should exceed the 15-homer mark and mix in a respectable batting average with several swipes this season. The native Venezuelan is a fine target for those who are looking for a cheap option at the shallow shortstop spot, and he should add third-base eligibility in most leagues soon after Opening Day.
Jimmy Rollins, shortstop (White Sox): Likely to turn a Minor League deal into a starting shortstop gig, Rollins deserves a spot on mixed-league rosters. The veteran hit .224 last season, but a .246 BABIP was a contributing factor. Rollins could record a .250 average with nearly 15 homers and close to 20 steals if he can compile 500 at-bats in '16, making him the best power-speed option of any late-round choice at his premium position.
Jonathon Niese, starter (Pirates): The pattern has been repeated several times -- give Pirates' pitching coach Ray Searage some clay to mold, and then watch him work his magic. And with a 3.65 ERA since the outset of '12, Niese certainly has the skills to take a step forward under Searage's tutelage. To make major strides, the southpaw needs to boost his strikeout rate. But given the success fellow lefty J.A. Happ had down the stretch with Pittsburgh in '15, Niese is worth a late-round pick in mixed leagues.
Josh Tomlin, starter (Indians): Tomlin is susceptible to extreme fluctuations in his performance due to his fly-ball tendencies, but his Major League results since undergoing Tommy John surgery in '12 warrant mixed-league attention. True, his 4.04 ERA across that 171 2/3-inning stretch is not especially impressive. But his 1.11 WHIP and 7.9 K/9 rate in that span offer hope that the right-hander can be a serviceable starter with a late-round price tag. To envision the upside of Tomlin, fantasy owners can look at Marco Estrada. The Blue Jays righty went undrafted in most '15 leagues due to his homer-prone ways before finishing fifth in the Junior Circuit with a 3.13 ERA.
Chris Bassitt, starter (A's): Despite posting a 3.09 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and an 8.7 K/9 rate during his Minor League tenure, Bassitt has never generated significant buzz in fantasy circles. But he could be a successful big league starter if he wins an Opening Day rotation spot with the A's. The right-hander adapted well to the Majors last year, recording a 2.48 ERA over his first 14 appearances (nine starts) before fading while dealing with a minor shoulder injury down the stretch.
Arodys Vizcaino, reliever (Braves): After making his '15 debut on July 7, Vizcaino soon assumed the Braves' ninth-inning role and finished the year with a 1.60 ERA, a 9.9 K/9 rate and nine saves in 10 chances. Expected to share the closer's role with Jason Grilli -- who is coming off a ruptured left Achilles -- Vizcaino is a worthwhile pick in the final rounds of mixed-league drafts. The youngster has multiple routes by which he could gain sole possession of the closer's role, as Grilli may either fail to return to form or perform well enough that the rebuilding Braves can trade him to a contender in the summer.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB