Keeper Targets

I am always targeting players I think will improve my keeper teams for this year and beyond.  I know, everyone says don’t make any changes until a month or more into the season.  I agree, you should trust your preparation and see how it all shake out.  However, why not take the opportunity to improve your team when someone else lacks trust in the team they built.  I always have guys that I think will have a significant change in their value each year.  This is how you keep your keeper team stocked year in year out.  I target them whenever I see an opening.  That is, if I was unable to acquire them in the auction or draft.   Last year, I did whatever I could to get Goldschmidt on my teams.  This really helped me out last year and his value as a keeper for this year is the added bonus.  Sometimes you have the opportunity to  trade low for theses players when they are slumping.  Other times, I will trade for them when someone else thinks they are selling high.  Here is a list of the players I am looking to acquire this year in my keeper leagues.


Jonathan Lucroy

Lucroy has flashed a contact rate of 86% and 87% the last two years.  He hit a respectable .280 last year even though his BABIP was 20 points lower than his three year average. Then you add in that he had 18 HRs.  Lucroy was ranked 7th and had an AAV of just $9. per ESPN.  I think he can outperform his projections and have a 70/20 85/5/.310 season.  He will be a top three catcher next year when the ranking come out.

Brian McCann

This pick is easy to prove.  He played 8 full seasons in Atlanta.  In those he had no fewer than 18 HRs .  He now plays for the New York Yankees.  He bats Left Handed.  Turner Field vs Yankee Stadium.   I see a new season high for HRs coming.  I’ll say 27 to be safe but if they find him extra ABs(DH) he could cross the 30 mark.  Also $9 AAV per ESPN.  By the way, he will hit in Yankee Stadium for as many as 81 games next year, too!


Freddie Freeman

He got some love after last years 89/23/109/1/.319 fantasy line.  I think there is more to come.  A lot more.  I think he could be as high as the #2 ranked first baseman next year.  You think I am crazy, right? Check this out, he has improved each of these areas every year of his career; BB rate, K Rate, BB/K rate, Contact rate.  That is impressive and even more so, he is only 24 years old.  He hits the ball to all fields and has 30 Hr power. Everyone is saying he can not sustain the .371 Babip rate or his .443 BA with runners in scoring position he had last year.  These are good points.  My belief is that he is going to continue to develop.  He will be a .300 hitter, with 30 plus HR ceiling.  His value was all the way up to $20 AAV this year.  However, next year you will spend $30 or more to land him.

Brandon Belt

You can see what he is doing this year already.  This is what many of us have been waiting for.  He is reaching his potential and at age 26 he is reaching his prime years.  He was a steal this year at $5 AAV.  Look for the owner that wants to sell high.  Then remind him of what he gave up over the next few seasons.

Second Base

Anthony Rendon

This guy was so far under the radar this year that his AAV was just $1.4.  He was in a position battle for 2B with Danny Espinosa during spring training. I knew from the start that the Nationals wanted his bat in the lineup.  He was a third baseman until they moved him to second last year.  They did that because they have a 3B signed to a long term deal.  This is where I want to rant on the fact that Ryan Zimmerman(now on the DL with a fractured thumb) can not make a throw to first anymore.  In fact he should relay it to the pitcher…  Sorry,  I got off track.  Back to Rendon.  He is a power hitting 2B that will soon have 3B eligibility.  I expect a 80/20/80/4/.280 season.  I also think this is not his ceiling, expect more growth over the next few seasons.  For the record, I think Zimmerman will be a first baseman within a season or two, unless they can fix his shoulder.

Third Base

I will just say this, these are still the guys I have my eye on at Third base.  They are definitely buy low candidates at this point.

Will Middlebrooks

He has displayed that he has power.  Boston, at this point, seems committed to him.  I feel he has 30 Hr potential and could carry a  BA that will not hurt your team.  The fear is the injury bug continues to haunt him and someone gets hot and Middlebrooks loses his hold on the 3B job.  Get him now, stash him on your DL.  He is a low risk, high reward move right now.

Mike Moustakas

Yes, I have seen his .091 average this year.  I also just claimed him off waivers in a keeper league.  We have all heard of the great strides he’s made with KC’s hitting coach.  It is early, they are still writing his name in the lineup.  I have faith, plus I gave up nothing for him.  The ultimate in low risk, high reward move.


Andrelton Simmons

Where did 17 HRs come from last year?  He flashed some power in the WBC.  I admit  that this is a gut feeling from what I have come to know about Simmons.  He was drafted as a hard throwing pitcher, but wanted to play SS.  Atlanta gave him the chance with the agreement that if it did not go well he would move back to the mound.  This tells me that this guy has a true love for playing the game as a fielder.  He is committed to proving what he can do.  He has already proven his fielding prowess. So,  this is where the gut part comes in.  He wants it, and those with his ability and drive tend to succeed.  For the numbers, he has a contact rate of 90% for his career.  Not many of those guys hit .248 as he did last year.  I see a .249 Babip that regresses to the norm this year and jumps his BA up to the .290 range.


Billy Hamilton

This guy will single handedly win you the SB category for years to come.  Ya, not may HR’s or RBI’s.  I think he can carry a .260 average and will score plenty of runs.  Hamilton has been an enigma in auctions and drafts this year.  He will be an enigma for opposing teams this year when he gets on base.  He will steal a 100 bases in a season, soon.

Matt Kemp

We all know this guy.  However, his struggles have dropped his value so far down.  The risk is definitely worth taking.  He will never threaten 40-40 again.  But, a 30-15 from an outfielder is worth more than the $14 AAV he carried this year.  I would not overpay to get Kemp, however if you can sell high on one of your players good starts, go for it.


Never, Never, Never rely on them as a keeper.  Think Tommy John.  Sorry, that was not meant to hurt your feelings Braves fans.


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