Our long national nightmare is nearly over. No, not that one…here we’re referring to the lack of baseball. Opening Day is right around the corner, and not a moment too soon.
After last week’s look at the busts, let’s end draft season on a happy note with the 2017 All-Bargain team.
Catcher: Brian McCann, Houston Astros
McCann has hit at least 20 home runs in nine straight seasons, and has averaged 135 games played over the last three years. Even paired with a low batting average, that’s a rare blend of useful offense and high volume from behind the plate. Yet McCann is just the 10th catcher off the board, per NFBC ADP.
First base: Greg Bird, New York Yankees
Bird was a popular sleeper last year, but shoulder surgery cost him the entire season. This spring, he’s flashed the same enticing power that he showed as a rookie in 2015. He’s in the perfect place for it to play up – Yankee Stadium is very friendly to lefty pop, as are three of the other four AL East parks. There was some trepidation over his playing time when the Bombers signed Chris Carter, but Bird has been confirmed as the starter. That’s the word, at least. (Sorry.)
Second base: Logan Forsythe, Los Angeles Dodgers
Forsythe was quietly good in Tampa, and now appears to have the inside track on the leadoff spot for the Dodgers. That should provide a big boost to his runs scored, and with his pop, the RBI total won’t be a complete zero. Much like another former Rays player, Ben Zobrist, Forsythe is an unsexy but reliable, high-floor asset. His all-around contributions will easily earn a profit on the piddling investment required to roster him.
Third base: Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
Moustakas enjoyed a long-awaited breakthrough in 2015, hitting .284 with 22 home runs. Through the first month of last season, he looked well on his way to an even better follow-up. Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended his season prematurely, but he’s expected to be 100 percent before the start of the upcoming season.
Shortstop: Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics
Semien strikes out a bit more than you’d like, but he was third among all shortstops last season with 27 home runs, and only four players at the position managed 20 homers and 10 stolen bases. The others: Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and (somehow) Freddy Galvis. The former two are going to cost you a pick in the first two rounds, and Galvis is not actually good. You can get Semien after pick 200.
Outfield: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays
Kiermaier is primarily known for his ridiculous defense in center field, but before a hand injury derailed things, he was pacing toward a 20/20 season in 2016. Plus, he nearly doubled his walk rate. Kiermaier finished strong, hitting .296/.384/.490 with five home runs and eight steals in the final month. The Rays don’t have many other options for top of the order hitters, so Kiermaier should bat first or second regularly, giving him plenty of run-scoring and stolen base opportunities.
Starting Pitcher: Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
As I’ve said previously this winter, Nola’s ratios last year shouldn’t scare you off. They resulted from elbow issues and a run of incredibly rotten luck – prior to the injury, Nola was looking like a true ace in his sophomore season. As the 53rd pitcher off the board on average, you’re not breaking the bank to buy into that version of Nola.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles and Fantasy Baseball Rankings are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.