Fantasy sports: Looking for midround bats

Jason Heyward is coming off a typical sophomore slump.

When searching for midround bats, we’re not looking for those sturdy
ceilings. We’re on the hunt for Sistine Chapel kind of high ceilings.

The outfield and first base positions are so deep that we should be reaching for the stars. If we come up short, there are always options on waivers as the season moves along.

Blip on the radar
Jason Heyward burst onto the scene in 2010 with incredible promise. He crashed back to earth last year as he dealt with weight issues, shoulder problems and a plain old sophomore slump. The scary part is that Heyward is still only 22 and has lost 20 pounds. He’s a strong bet to bounce back as he begins to enter his prime both mentally and physically.  

Injury bounce-back
Kendrys Morales hasn’t played since May 2010 thanks to a devastating ankle injury. Now he’s nearing full strength and has Albert Pujols in his lineup. Remember that Morales swatted 34 homers while hitting .306 in 2009.  

After the hype   
Brandon Belt was one of the biggest hitting prospects in baseball heading into last season. He flopped, managing just nine homers and a .225 batting average in 187 big-league at-bats. Now he’s back battling for a job in spring training after destroying minor league pitching. Watch Belt closely.

Top NBA pickups

Bismack Biyombo
C, Bobcats
A raw yet dominant shot-blocker that is locked into a starting role and 30 minutes the rest of the way.

Ekpe Udoh
C, Warriors
Andris Biedrins is out as the starting center and Udoh is in. He’s similar to Biyombo, with a little better touch.

Kenneth Faried
PF,?Nuggets
Known as the “Manimal,” this rookie has earned 25 minutes nightly with amazing energy.


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