With the fantasy baseball season less than two weeks away, fans in the pacific northwest have only one question on their minds. How Seattle Mariners can I stuff onto my squad?
Alright, maybe this is not fully accurate, but this does raise some questions about the team’s fantasy value. There are a lot of big names on this Mariner squad that are good to put on rosters..
This is not a list of who is better than whom, this is a list showing the best Mariners to target in fantasy drafts for their projected value. Everybody knows that players like Cano, Seager and Felix are gonna produce in fantasy. However, the question is, are they worth their draft value.
Just because a player is hot or not, doesn’t mean owners should draft or avoid them at all in the draft. If their value is good, then go for it. For example, avoid drafting Kyle Seager in the first round, but he is a steal if he is availble past round 10.
For this list, I will be using the average draft position (ADP) from Yahoo leagues and basing the rounds using a 10-person league to keep it fair for everybody.
- Felix Hernandez: Hot
Everybody saw this coming from a mile away, but there is a reason why he is hot on this list. Going back to previous years, Felix has normally been a first round pick in pretty much every league.
This year, his draft value has fallen hard. According to Yahoo fantasy, he is projected to go in the 5th round with an ADP of 45.1.
Personally, I feel that his draft position is way too low. He is an ace who has a revamped offense behind him that should get him more wins. While he did experience a down year last season, he is poised to have a bounceback season.
If teams can snag him in the fourth or fifth round of drafts, he should be a solid pick up to any team.
- Robinson Cano: Not
While he is the star hitter for the team, his draft projections scare me a bit. He is rated as the third best second baseman only behind Jose Altuve and Dee Gordon, according to Yahoo fantasy. With an ADP of 54.0 in the 6th round, his stock has certainly fallen since last year.
Although his value has dropped, I would advise staying away from Cano where he is projected.
Cano has a history of struggling in the first half of the season before picking up the pace in the second half. While the second half is usually very strong for him, it makes fantasy owners scared to start him before he gets hot.
If teams really want him, I would recommend trying to trade for him around the league trade deadline. Otherwise, avoid him until maybe round seven or eight.
- Kyle Seager: Hot
Mr. Hawt Corner has proven himself as a true elite third baseman in the past few years. While he is one of the best in the game, his fantasy projections tell a different tale. According to Yahoo fantasy, he is projected to go in the 10th round with nine other third baseman ahead of him.
I feel that this is something that Mariner fans can take advantage of. We have seen Kyle put up amazing numbers in years past. However, on the flip side, we have seen Kyle slump a lot in years past as well.
This would normally be a concern, but since he is not projected to go until the 10th round, this is worth the risk. If he is around in rounds 9-11, I would highly consider taking him.
- Nelson Cruz: Not
This year’s fantasy draft is extremely stacked in two areas: outfield and starting pitching. This does not help Cruz because of the depth in talent that owners can find going through the draft.
According to Yahoo fantasy, Cruz is projected as a third or fourth round player with an ADP of 33.4. This high of a draft position is his true undoing.
While he is a true home run champion, there is so much OF talent in this draft that passing on Cruz with the third round pick would be alright to do.
However, if he falls to the 4th or even the fifth round, feel free to scoop him up and reap the benefits.
- Hisashi Iwakuma: Hot
As stated earlier, this draft is full of solid SP. While Cruz suffered from the position, Iwakuma will thrive from it.
Iwakuma is rated as the 49th best SP in the draft with an ADP of 159.9, according to Yahoo fantasy. In most leagues, he is projected to go in the 16th round. For 16th round projections, Iwakuma is a solid pick-up that can fill in any starting roster.
There is some risk in drafting the Bear from Seattle. He was supposed to play for the Dodgers this year, but failed a physical making him re-sign with the Mariners. He is an injury risk, but for a late draft pick, the risk will be more than worth the reward.
If Iwakuma is available from the 15th round on, highly consider adding him to the squad.
- Nori Aoki: Hot
This is an odd situation for fantasy owners. Not because Aoki is rated too high or too low, but because he is barely rated at all.
According to Yahoo fantasy, Aoki’s ADP is 244.3 and projected to be drafted between the 23rd and 24th round. However, the biggest stat is something I haven’t talked about yet. Aoki has only been drafted in five percent of drafts.
It is hard to put a value on this because it is very possible that Aoki falls to be undrafted.
Nori definitely has value. He doesn’t strike out that much and he is going to get plenty of at-bats as the lead off hitter for the team. With a good amount of speed and contact, he is a solid fantasy choice.
He is definitely worth a selection in any round after the 22nd. This may be the steal of the draft if Aoki does his job with the Mariners and stays healthy.
- Adam Lind: Hot
Like Aoki, this is an odd situation because of his rating. The only difference is that Lind has been drafted in 95% of drafts, according to Yahoo fantasy.
According to Yahoo fantasy, Lind is drafted at the twilight of most drafts with an ADP of 237.5 and drafted on average in the 24th round. He is worth drafting only for the fact that he will be a great backup first baseman.
The difference between Aoki and Lind is that Lind has a higher chance of being drafted. With him being picked in 95% of drafts, he is more likely to get picked than Aoki, even though Aoki is valued as only slightly lower than Lind.
Lind does have some risk though. He is on a new team and is going to be on a mild platoon situation in Seattle. However, since he will be mostly a back-up, the platooning won’t affect his value.
If he is forced to start due to an injury, another backup first baseman will be needed to avoid losing points when Lind doesn’t start.
Lind is a good decision to draft with a late round draft pick, but if he falls undrafted, it would be an even better decision to pick him up for free. I would recommend drafting him, but if he falls, don’t feel bad.
The Mariners do have good fantasy value this year, but being “Teamist” will not help fantasy owners win championships. These are just the main ones to watch for that could help owners win their leagues.