My 2014 Fantasy Baseball preview continues with a stop in Denver to take a look at the Colorado Rockies left field battle in spring training.
After the trade of Dexter Fowler to the Houston Astros this offseason, the Rockies will get a long look at Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians this offseason.
Fantasy owners need to keep an eye on who has the edge in this competition simply for the fact that the winner is more than likely going to be the Rockies leadoff hitter this season.
With the likes of Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer batting behind them, whoever wins will have a good chance to help your team by scoring a good bit of runs and swiping some bags, providing they get on base enough.
I will start with Dickerson, who I am very high on.
Dickerson had always been regarded as a quality prospect in the Rockies’ system during his previous seasons in the minors, but it wasn’t until he compiled an outstanding .371/.414/.632 line at Triple-A last season that he became a serious option in the Colorado outfield.
He got a promotion to the big roster late in the year and had a decent showing, hit .263 with a .316 on-base percentage in 69 games. In 197 at bats he hit five homers, drove in 17 runs and stole a pair of bases.
Blackmon is also an interesting candidate, hitting .309 with a .336 on-base percentage in 82 games on the big roster in 2013. In 246 at bats he hit six homers drove in 22 runs and swiped seven bags.
Then there is Stubbs, who didn’t perform well in a leadoff role for the Cincinnati Reds, prior to hitting only .233/.305/.360 in 430 at-bats last season in Cleveland.
Fantasy owners should hope that Stubbs doesn’t win the job as he has given enough of a sample size throughout his career that should give you an indication as how he can hurt your team overall.
Prediction: It would be nice if this competition comes down to Dickerson and Blackmon. I’m giving a slight edge to Dickerson as I like the complete package a little bit better. I also own him at $1 in a couple of keeper leagues so maybe I’m rooting for him a little more.
His ADP in CBS Sports Leagues is 273.5, which a little bit insane, but he is definitely a guy who I would target as a sleeper late in drafts. I’ve seen mocks where he has gone undrafted, so Dickerson is a guy who you could target easily late for your fifth or sixth outfielder. In NL-only formats, I have to think he is a must grab.
As for Blackmon, the same thing applies. His value is higher in NL-only leagues, as he is going undrafted in most leagues. But if he gets off to a good spring and Dickerson struggles, Blackmon could be a guy worth targeting late as he could be a decent source of production as a fifth or sixth OF.
Finally there is Stubbs, who has an ADP of 410 in CBS Leagues. He is also a guy I see going undrafted in many mocks.
The Rockies intend to use Stubbs in all three outfield spots as a top sub off the bench in 2014, according to The Denver Post. That being said, I don’t think he has that much value, but if you draft early you could snatch him late and stash him to see how the situation plays out.
At the end of the day though, all eyes should be on Dickerson and Blackmon as they could turn into sleepers that you can get late who by the end of the season could give you middle round production.