There is no telling just how popular fantasy sports are in the United States right now. The billions of dollars generated from fantasy sport leagues are nearly unfathomable. They are one of the biggest driving forces in the sports revenue stream. With that being said, the people who engage in fantasy sports teams, and in this case fantasy baseball leagues, are always looking for an edge to beat out their friends and be crowned champion. The A’s are going into 2014 as a team poised to make another run at a postseason berth. What A’s players should you draft for your fantasy team?
Before I get into the players there are a couple important factors to consider when picking any A’s position player outside of pitchers. Platoons. This obviously limits the amount of production you’ll get from said player as they see only half the at bats. Another factor to consider is the player’s injury history. If they made an extended trip or more than one 15 day trip to the disabled list be cautious. Lastly, make sure to take into account the format of the league you are playing in. Different categories may carry different point weights meaning players should be valued on the categories they succeed at the most.
And now, here are the A’s you should draft to your fantasy league (depending on league structure).
Yoenis Céspedes: This is a no-brainer. Even with a low batting average last season Céspedes put up big time numbers finishing the season with 26 HR and 80 RBI to go along with 7 stolen bases. He went through a down but he adjusted his swing, added some muscle, and came to Spring Training in full health. Expect a huge year from Céspedes in 2014 with an increase in HR, RBI, and stolen bases.
Jed Lowrie: Lowrie had his best season in the big leagues in 2013. With a triple slash of .290/.344/.446 to go along with 15 HR and 75 RBI Lowrie is a must have at the shortstop position. The one potential flaw with Lowrie is his decorated injury past. Though healthy for all of last season the potential for injury is still there. He is worth the risk however.
Josh Donaldson: Donaldson took MLB by storm in 2013 on the back of a breakout campaign. His triple slash of .301/.384/.499 along with his 24 HR and 93 RBI brought about talks of a potential MVP award. He has always been healthy and should continue to produce near those numbers in 2014. The one potential sticking point is if there will be a sophomore slump.
Sonny Gray: Gray became a cult hero at the end of 2013. He flat out dealt including in the postseason. While he pitched in a little amount of games, he projects to be the Ace of the staff in 2014. Low ERA and high strikeout numbers make Gray a can’t miss.
Jim Johnson: Johnson came over to the A’s for Jemile Weeks. He’ll only be here for the one season (outside of a long shot extension), but his impact will be felt. With over 100 combined saves over the last two seasons Johnson will be an important cog for the A’s postseason chances. Though he posts low strikeout numbers, his consistency will be vital in leagues putting emphasis on saves.
There you go. The A’s fantasy baseball team. Good luck!