By orleanscardinals at 29 March, 2009, 6:23 pm
Many fantasy baseball leagues have finished their drafts, so here’s to hoping your draft went as planned. If that was not the case and you’re looking for potential free agent pickups, here are five players worth checking out that may still be available in your respective leagues.
Travis Snider (OF – Toronto Blue Jays)
Travis Snider is probably not under the radar as a prospect but may have gone undrafted to start the season. Currently hitting .386 with 3 HR’s and 8 RBI this spring, Snider will begin the season as the Jays’ starting left fielder and could provide a solid source for HR and RBI if he can keep the job.
Chris Ray (RP – Baltimore Orioles)
Even though Mike Trembley insists that George Sherrill will begin the year as Baltimore’s closer, it may only be a matter of time before Chris Ray resumes the role he lost two years ago. Ray has yet to give up an earned run this spring, striking out 9 in 10.1 innings thus far.
Felipe Lopez (2B – Arizona Diamondbacks)
Bob Melvin is giving Felipe Lopez a chance to hit leadoff for the Diamondbacks. If he can stick in the role, maybe Lopez can regain the form that allowed him to steal 40+ bases in 2006. At the least, in Yahoo leagues, Lopez can be used as a super substitute since he is eligible at 2B, 3B, SS and OF.
Elijah Dukes (OF – Washington Nationals)
Elijah Dukes may pose injury and behavioral risk but did hit 13 home runs and stole 13 bases in about half a season worth of at-bats. He’s projected to hit 5th in an improved Nationals lineup and will have solid RBI opportunities behind Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn.
Kelvim Escobar (SP – Los Angeles Angels)
Originally not projected to be back until midseason, Kelvim Escobar was clocked at 94 mph during a minor league start this weekend and could be back in the Angels’ rotation before May. Escobar won 18 games in 2007 and pitching for a team that contends annually, could be a nice free agent pickup.
Other Drafted Players to Watch
A lot can happen in Spring Training, including injuries, demotions and hot streaks. Based off of recent player news, here are some more players to watch that most certainly were drafted but may have been dropped by a frustrated manager.
- Carlos Marmol – He just lost the closer role but stands a good chance to pick up saves and post solid numbers throughout the season
- Matt Wieters – Recently sent down to Triple A to start the season but probably back up in May
- David Price – Similar circumstances as Wieters
- Brandon Morrow – Likely moving from the rotation to a closer role for Seattle