As the MLB season heads into its second month, managers and owners are starting to solidify players’ roles on their team and making moves to get their team ready for a successful season. As a fantasy baseball owner, you need to make sure you’re doing the same. As we head into the first weekend in May, these are some position players available in over half of ESPN leagues that can help you as they take advantage of the opportunities provided them on their Major League Baseball Teams.
Click here for past editions of this now bi-weekly post (Mondays and Thursdays).
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Brian McCann-Atlanta Braves: (23.4%) McCann is set to return next week for the Braves and is a perennial top-ten offensive catcher. Playing time with Evan Gattis playing well could be hard to come by, but the Braves will find ways to get him in the lineup. The current thinking is that Gattis will play some outfield, but if you can get McCann you should be set at catcher for the foreseeable future barring injury.
1B- James Loney-Tampa Bay Rays: (5.2%) Loney isn’t a typical 1B producer since his power numbers aren’t anything to write home about. What he can do is help you in batting average. He’s gone 15-30 over his past 10 games raising his average up to .375 on the season. He has 13 RBI in his 27 games and should continue to play regularly and continue to be a line-drive specialist. If you need batting average help, Loney is an unconventional 1B who may supply what you’re looking for.
2B- Ryan Rayburn-Cleveland Indians: (1.6%) Talk about coming out of nowhere–coming into this week Raburn as 9-42 with just a single RBI and no home runs. Since then he’s gone 11-13 with four homers and nine RBI and is hitting .364 on the year. Whether he’s worth anything long-term is questionable to be sure, but if you’re looking for the hottest hitter in baseball he’s probably this Indian who doesn’t even have an everyday position. Cleveland needs offense and will ride Raburn as long as he’s hot so feel free to do the same if you’re in need at a position he qualifies for.
3B- Mike Moustakas-Kansas City Royals: (33.8%) A well-known name who started dreadfully and was dropped by many owners, Moustakas is starting to show signs of life for the Royals who have stuck with him at the hot corner. He has now hit safely in five in a row including his first homer of the year on Tuesday against the Rays. He’s still only hitting .203 but has gone 6-13 with two doubles, three runs scored, a home run, and five RBI in KC’s current six-game home stand. If someone in your league (or even you) dropped him, he may be worth an add as he looks to turn his season around.
SS- Stephen Drew-Boston Red Sox: (2.2%) Drew missed much of Spring Training and has taken some time to start hitting at the bottom of the Boston lineup. He had a nice game Wednesday night going 3-5 and hitting his first home run of the season. In fact, over his last four games he’s 6-15 with four runs scored, five RBI, a triple, and the home run. Drew has been a productive hitter in the past and it looks like he’s returning to that form. Boston is committed to playing him at short leaving Jose Iglesias in Triple-A for the time being.
OF- Matt Joyce- Tampa Bay Rays: (6.1%) Joyce has homered in three straight games he’s played in and has four in his last five. Over that five-game span Joyce is 7-22 with eight runs scored and seven RBI. His average is still just .224 on the season, but he does provide some nice pop with six homers in 76 at-bats this season.
OF- Michael Saunders-Seattle Mariners: (17.5%) Saunders returned from injury and homered in his first game back while stealing his first base since returning Wednesday night. He’s gone 4-14 since returning with three RBI and five runs scored. He’ll be an everyday fixture at the top of the Mariners lineup giving him RBI, run, and stolen base opportunities.
OF- Delmon Young-Philadelphia Phillies: (2.7%) Young is back and ready to provide some power for the Phillies. He homered in his first game as well but went 0-3 on Wednesday. He’s another power option who should be able to be a regular in the Philadelphia outfield as the season goes on.
OF-Juan Pierre-Miami Marlins: (9.9%) Pierre isn’t a youngster anymore, but he’s still bringing it if you just need runs, a little average, and stolen bases. He’s 8-9 on stolen base attempts this season and swiped two earlier this week. He also enters play Thursday with a run scored in each of his last four games. Pierre is a veteran presence in the Fish’s young lineup but can offer steals and runs scored especially as he leads off for Miami.