First base is traditionally a position where a lot of power is derived, and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Adams is no exception to this rule.
Adams will be playing just his second full season in the majors, and because of that, he’s getting passed over in many fantasy drafts, making him a “sleeper” candidate for 2014.
» Matt Adams, 1B (current ADP: #124):
Matt Adams isn’t hard to miss.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, the 25-year-old native Pennsylvanian is a big boy — and Cards’ officials are probably being a tad lenient with the weight, there.
And remember, with great size comes great power (okay, so I took some liberties with the Spiderman quote).
Last year with the Cards, Adams didn’t even crack 300 at bats, and still finished with 17 HR and 51 RBI. With Carlos Beltran now playing for the Yankees, Allen Craig should move to right field full-time, giving Adams the first base job outright.
If Adams were to get at least 500 plate appearances, man could he be dangerous!
While in the minors, Adams showed what he’s capable of when given more opportunities. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he averaged 511 PA, which led to a combined 54 HR and 189 RBI. His minor-league slash line of .318/.364./.563 is outstanding, and fantasy owners taking him in drafts know the kind of upside they’ll have with him.
Last year’s HR/FB ratio of 21.8% is obviously unsustainable, but his line drive rates over the last two seasons (17.7% and 19.4%) shows he’s not just all pop and no substance — he’s in fact driving the ball well, whether it’s a home run or not.
As of Friday, fantasy owners are spending $20 on the likes of Albert Pujols, when they should be saving money and spending $12 on Matt Adams, who is far less of an injury risk and hitting in a better lineup.
Last year’s BABIP of .337 suggests a drop in batting average, but if Adams can get the necessary plate appearances, 30 home runs is not out of the question for the Cards’ powerful young first baseman.
2014 Projections: .279/.320/.477, 26 HR, 86 RBI, 74 R, 1 SB
» Missed any of my earlier picks? Please click here for links to all the sleepers I’ve have covered from each team so far.