From the 30,000 foot view, it’s hard to see imperfections. This applies to corporate jargon (I’m a customer-facing, solution-oriented go-getter), this year’s Lollapalooza lineup, and even Chicago Cubs outfielder Junior Lake. As an aside, I was impressed with how unimpressive this year’s Lolla lineup is. Maybe it’s just me, but this will be only the second year since it’s been in Chicago that I won’t be going (last year was the first). But there’s no use crying over spilled neutral milk hotel. Instead, let’s always look on the bright side of life. The Fantasy Baseball God(s?) have provided us with many late-round and even waiver wire options this year that can bolster our team in OPS and OBP leagues, beginning with Mr. Lake.
Junior Lake produced a .284/.332/.428 line across 254 at bats last year in his first taste of the majors as a 23 year old. I think he’s likely to maintain that slash line with 15 homers and 20 steals over a full season. A .760 OPS isn’t amazing, but it’s certainly helpful if it’s cheap and if it doesn’t hurt you in any other areas. Grey recently told you to buy Lake in standard leagues and I’m chiming in for OPS leagues because, you know, peer pressure works.
Carlos Quentin is a favorite of mine, as evidenced by him being my infatuation pick. Quentin always has a great OPS and nobody wants to own him because he’s not the nicest guy and he consistently gets injured. The first concern should be disregarded in fantasy baseball and the second concern doesn’t matter because he’s productive when healthy and can usually be had for next to nothing. He’s been remarkably consistent over his past two seasons with the Padres, so I’ll confidently project him to approach a .270/.370/.500 line, which is obviously great in OBP leagues as well.
Daniel Nava is a tremendous asset in OBP leagues and the recent news that he might bat leadoff for the Red Sox will further enhance his value. I heavily weigh his numbers from last year since he received regular playing time and believe he will produce a .270/.370/.430 line with a ton of runs scored if he continues to hit atop Boston’s lineup.
Dexter Fowler is another leadoff man worth targeting in OBP leagues. He’s consistently produced an OBP at or above .360, so I don’t see him falling much below that level, even with the move away from Coors Field. Sure, the Astros lineup has no business being mentioned in the same sentence as Boston’s (too late), but that helps by suppressing Fowler’s perceived value. The nice thing about him being on the Astros is that he shouldn’t have a real threat to his playing time, so he may be especially of use in weekly leagues.
Nate Schierholtz and Matt Joyce are both guys to target in daily leagues and use exclusively against right handers. This isn’t anything groundbreaking, but they are still worth mentioning because they are generally undervalued due to their stats against lefties weighing down their overall numbers. Schierholtz is better in OPS leagues due to his high slugging, while Joyce is a better all-around player for OBP leagues.
You can find Tom Jacks on Twitter @votetomjacks. He spends far too much time praying for the Cubs, planning his next concert, and wondering if there’s an instrument that could ever rival the theremin (there isn’t).