Fantasy Baseball 2018: Bargain Buys - Dollar Bin Hitters

Ron Rigney brings his Bargain Buys for helping with your Fantasy Baseball draft prep! Check out the hitters that you should be able to get late in drafts or during dollar days in your auction. Follow Ron on Twitter @therealmaday

We’ve all done it.  You’re ready to leave Walmart.  You have a full cart, and you’re hard charging to the checkout, and there it is, the discount DVD bin.  It sucks you in every time, even though the chances of you finding treasure among the castoffs no one wants is slim to none.  Yet, every once in a while, you find an Anchorman, an Old School, a Beetlejuice, a hidden gem!  I have taken the time to dive into the discount auction bin for you, and find a few gems that will cost little more than a dollar, but have the potential to return huge value.  Let’s find an Anchorman, shall we?!

HITTERS

Jose Martinez (1B/OF - STL) The biggest concern with Martinez is where he will play.  My guess is the Cardinals will find a way to get him in the lineup at first base, but an occasional corner outfield start isn’t out of the question.  In 2017 he appeared in 106 games, and made the most of the time.  With a slash of .309/.379/.518, 14 home runs 46 RBI and four stolen bases, he was a difference maker down the stretch in fantasy.  With his 6’6”, 215 pound frame, it’s easy to see where the 37% hard contact rate came from.  His plate approach was very advanced as well, talking a walk 10% of the time.  The BB% paired nicely with a 19% K%, which is a low number when compared to today’s sluggers.  Even with his path to playing time unclear, he will be in the lineup, and get plenty of AB’s, which equates to a dollar well spent.  

Willie Calhoun (OF - TEX) Calhoun is one of my favorites to break out in 2018.  The former top prospect has been handed the left field job for the Rangers after being the key piece in the Yu Darvish trade, and will hit in a lineup that will score some runs.  So far this spring, Calhoun has raked at a .364 clip, going 8 for 22 with a home run and five RBI.  Pair that with a park known to be an offensive environment, and there is a lot to like here.

Tim Anderson (SS - CHW) Anderson’s 2017 walk rate and OBP are extremely yucky at 2.1% and .276 respectively, so this is one I favor in a batting average format as opposed to OBP. Any time you are able to get 20 homers and 20 stolen bases for a dollar, it is a solid bargain.  Anderson approached that in 2017 with 17 home runs and 15 steals.  The 24 year old also chipped in in the often overlooked runs scored category with 72.  I would like him more if he were to hit towards the top of the White Sox lineup, but until his plate discipline improves, that will likely not happen.  Despite hitting in the bottom third of the lineup, Anderson still provides plenty of upside as a cheap middle infield option.  

Bradley Zimmer (OF - CLE) There are a few similarities between Zimmer, and the previously mentioned Tim Anderson.  Like Anderson, Zimmer will likely hit at the bottom of the lineup, but will most likely have a starting gig.  Also like Anderson, he struggled in 2017 with a K% near 30%, and needs to walk more to make up for the high amount of strikeouts.  The Indians lineup figures to be more potent, so he could score a few more runs.  Overall, the ceiling is higher with Zimmer, making him potentially a bigger return on minimal investment, especially if the Byron Buxton comparisons come true. 

Todd Frazier (3B - NYM) The 32 year old veteran found a home with the Mets, and should see a lot of time hitting cleanup, which could lead to big production.  Frazier is a more productive target in an OBP format, and could produce 25-30 home runs, 80 RBI, and could even approach double digit stolen bases.  In 2017, he increased his career BB% of 8.9% to a whopping 14.4%, and while I don’t see that continuing, if he can finish somewhere around 10%, the OBP should be good again.  He gets knocked down a few pegs in a batting average format, but for a dollar, the counting stats could be worth it late in drafts, just make sure to build your roster to offset the poor average the ToddFather will produce. 

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