Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/3)
Throughout the postseason, I’ll be sharing my fantasy-angled thoughts on a variety of noteworthy players from each game with the goal of helping you get a jump start on your 2015 draft prep! So keep checking back here every weekday for new posts.
ALDS Game 1 – Tigers @ Orioles
-When I drafted Nelson Cruz to fill my OF3 spot in the Mixed Tout Wars auction this season, I was hoping for around 25 homers and 85 RBI. Instead, I got a career year from him, and if I had to name an MVP of my third place squad, he would be the guy, edging out Jose Altuve. Anyway, Cruz got the scoring started for the Orioles yesterday, taking Max Scherzer deep for a two-run homer. I think it’s safe to say that Cruz will cost more than $10 to roster next season. How much more is anyone’s guess, but it will probably be too much for my liking.
–J.J. Hardy is coming off his most disappointing season in quite some time, managing only nine homers. But the good news is that six of those nine homers came in the second half, including a red-hot month of August in which he posted a .322-5-18 line, and he homered yesterday. An impending free agent, Hardy’s fantasy stock might take a hit should he leave Baltimore, but a middle infielder with legitimate 20-plus home run power is plenty valuable. I like him as a late-round bounce back candidate.
–J.D. Martinez’s breakout season has to be considered one of the bigger surprises of 2014. After hitting a combined 24 homers over his first three big league seasons, he swatted 23 longballs this season before homering yesterday. The natural reaction would be to dismiss this year’s performance as fluky, but he has shown decent power in the past and is still just 27 years old. For now, consider him a fourth or fifth outfielder in mixed leagues. Let’s see if the Tigers decide to bring him back next year.
ALDS Game 1 – Royals @ Angels
-Very quietly, Jason Vargas posted a stellar stat line this season. He’s not a big strikeout guy, but at the same time, he won’t get himself into trouble via the walk (1.97 BB/9 this year). The Royals’ lefty was solid last night and is the perfect middle of the rotation innings-eater type. Unfortunately, his value is greater in real life than it is in fantasy. He remains strictly a Pitch or Ditch option when the matchup is right.
-We’ve been waiting a long time for Mike Moustakas to reach his potential. We’re still waiting. “Moose” batted a miserable .212 this season but did rack up 15 home runs and hit a huge go-ahead homer last night. Is a breakout 30-home run campaign in his immediate future? Maybe. But I need to see more consistency before I can comfortably draft him in a mixed league.