Drafts are over and the season is officially here. We are looking at the teams we drafted with pride, believing that this will be our year. We have forgotten about those poor souls that were left behind. Yes, I am talking about the undrafted players. The guys that sit on our waiver wires untouched, hoping for a chance to enter our lineups. They are praying that an owner may sign them to a deal.
I understand how it feels to go undrafted. Growing up, my dream was to play professional football. I spent countless hours envisioning what it would feel like to hear the NFL Commissioner call out my name one April day. Throughout high school and afterwards I would spend three to four hours per day in the weight room, on top of practice, to help make up for my lack of ideal size. I was accepted to Sacramento State University and was ready to walk on to their Division I AA program.
Fast forward three years later. I sat on my couch, watching the rounds on the draft go by. I hoped against hope that somehow I would hear my name get called. Alas, it was not to be. I never heard my name. Was it because I was too small? Was I not good enough? Was it the fact I had stopped playing football two years before? Probably all of the above coupled with the fact I never filed paperwork to enter the NFL Draft. It doesn’t mean I don’t know what it feels like to go undrafted. It is a pain that never goes away.
So, look to your waiver wires and grab some of these guys that are widely available in many of your leagues. Give them the joy of playing that I never received. Ownership percentages are based on ESPN then Yahoo then CBS.
Joey Rickard, BAL (3.2% ESPN/Yahoo 2%/CBS 11%): The Orioles couldn’t talk Hyun-soo Kim into going to the minors, but either way this is Rickard’s job to lose now. A Rule 5 pick, Rickard swiped five bases in the spring along with hitting .397/.472/.571 to steal the job away from Kim. With the job in hand, Rickard now is primed to be a huge asset in the speed department for fantasy owners. If he continues to hit well and walk almost as much as he strikes out, he could find himself batting much higher in the Baltimore power packed lineup.
Avisail Garcia, CWS (8.5% ESPN/Yahoo 10%/CBS 25%): Spring stats don’t matter, but when you are trying to secure your job in an organization that appears to have lost faith in you, it sure helps. Garcia hit five home runs with a .361/.409/.705 slash. He only struck out ten times in 65 plate appearances. If he can continue this trend and regain some of the HR/FB% that he lost last season, he could be in for a big year. He is only 24 years old.
Michael Saunders, TOR (ESPN 2.9%/Yahoo 6%/CBS 12%): Saunders is another guy that had a nice spring. Coming into last season, he was one of the most trendy sleepers, but a weird spring injury set him back and he never was able to recover from it. So far he is healthy and will be in arguably the best lineup in baseball. He is a high risk/high reward pick up. Could be a 20/20 player if things go right or could be back on the DL for something like trying to take off a shoe.
Leonys Martin, SEA: (ESPN 2.3%/Yahoo 2%/CBS 11%): In spite of struggling this spring, Martin swiped six bases and looks to at worst hold the strong side of the platoon in centerfield. Unless Martin is straight garbage, he will at worst be valuable for his speed as his platoon-mate Franklin Gutierrez can no longer hold up in the field everyday. Martin is worth the gamble as another cheap source of speed in leagues where you can afford to platoon him when he isn’t in the lineup.
Daniel Nava, LAA (ESPN .6%/Yahoo 1%/CBS 3%): Nava doesn’t offer in the power or speed department anymore, but he could accumulate enough counting stats if he is to bat in front of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Kole Calhoun on a regular basis. He is probably best served as a short-term injury solution as you’d have to think that the Angels will address their weakness in left-field at some point via trade.
Reymond Fuentes, KC (ESPN .2%/Yahoo 0%/CBS 1%): Fuentes may appear to be another short-term solution, however he could maintain a stolen base threat off the bench similar to his predecessor Jarrod Dyson. Not to mention, while Dyson is expected back soon, oblique injuries can sometimes linger which could potentially open the door right back for Fuentes.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, writes for Fantasy Alarm, and can be heard on the FNTSY Sports Radio Network Sundays from 2-4pm EST. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.