Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Non-roster invitees to consider

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

If you're going to use the crop of 2013 non-roster invitees to just tell friends that there's a second Jesus Montero, or tweet out that there's a player in the Royals organization whose birth name is Sugar Ray Marimon, then there's probably no place for you in a deep Fantasy league. You don't even deserve a kind-of deep league.

Get your Custom Draft Kits!
Download your Draft Kit for Draft Day 2014 that's customized to your specific league scoring system, format and player pool!
Download your Draft Kit today!

Non-roster invitees are a thing of beauty -- a collection of veterans trying to find a home with another team, injury returnees, former speedsters looking for third chances, and a host of familiar names trying to make some sort of impact -- all coupled with some of the organization's most prized prospects. Last year, an astute NRI follower might have pegged Juan Pierre as a player to watch; he was vying for a role on the Phillies against Scott Podsednik and able to take advantage of a hole in the roster and turn it into what eventually became almost full-time at-bats.

This year, there are a handful of players who could make an impact, from Chone Figgins to Erik Bedard. There's no guarantee they make the team, or will even play a major role if they do, but if there's room for a little risk-taking in your Fantasy-playing life, here are some names you may want to consider on Draft Day 2013.

Two formerly successful high-strikeout starting pitchers

Erik Bedard (Astros) and Rich Harden (Twins): Bedard had a nightmarish 2012, finishing with a 5.01 ERA before being released by the Pirates in August. But he actually got off to a nice start -- a 2.65 ERA through five starts -- before back issues in May sent him on a downward spiral. Bedard is far from a young fireballer (he's 35 years old), but it's interesting how quickly people forget that he has a career 3.85 ERA with just about a strikeout per inning. And in the five seasons prior to 2012, Bedard had a 3.44 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with a strikeout per inning. The Astros have plenty of holes in the rotation, and Bedard can slot nicely at No. 5. Where you want to take him: At the end of an AL-only draft.

Harden, 31, has a career 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, with a K/9 over 9.0. This is even more impressive considering he put up a career-ERA-damaging 5.36 ERA in 174 2/3 innings over his past two injury-plagued seasons. Harden missed all of 2012 after undergoing rotator cuff surgery and manager Ron Gardenhire has made comments that suggest Harden isn't ready for the rotation just yet. But the Twins are hurting for back-end pitching, and if Harden can prove worthy, he could be a nice boost to a deep Fantasy team by midseason. Where you want to take him: In the final reserve round of AL-only leagues.

A former speedster looking for a shot at redemption

Chone Figgins (Marlins): From 2005 to 2010, Chone Figgins hit .285 and averaged 46 steals per year, topping out with 62 stolen bases in 2005. But after three ugly years in Seattle -- the last two of which he hit .185 -- Figgins was cut loose. Now 35 years old, Figgins has joined the Marlins, a team decimated by unpopular trades and full of roster holes, in hopes of making a comeback. Figgins can play third base, second base, or any of the outfield positions. He gets a fresh start on a team from which nobody is expecting much. He's just two years removed from stealing 42 bases. There's not a lot of hope for Figgins to make a widely-felt Fantasy impact in 2013, but there is a chance that he at least makes the team and plays enough to steal 20 bases, making Figgins an asset in NL-only Roto leagues. Where you want to take him: At the end of an NL-only draft.

A pair of outfielders who could crack their teams

Rick Ankiel (Astros) and Marlon Byrd (Mets): Ankiel, 33, was no longer needed in Washington last year after the arrival of Bryce Harper. While his .244 lifetime average isn't the prettiest of numbers, he does have a 25-home run season under his belt (in 2008) and could snag a starting outfield spot as a veteran presence on a very young team. Ankiel may benefit from the smaller home stadium with the Astros, and could return the value of a reserve bid in auction leagues (although I wouldn't pick him there unless he absolutely has a starting role). Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in AL-only leagues if he wins a starting spot and gets off to a hot start.

Byrd, meanwhile, took a 50-game PED hit last year while hitting a career-low .210 in 143 at-bats. While he put up miserable numbers with the Cubs over his first 13 games, a trade to the Red Sox seemed to give Byrd a boost -- he hit .270 over 100 at-bats before the suspension. The Mets have a handful of younger and more exciting outfielders, but Byrd could sneak his way into the mix, knocking down someone like Mike Baxter in the process. Even if he makes the team, though, Byrd will probably not do enough (think a .265 average and seven-ish home runs) to justify a spot on all but the deepest of NL-only teams. Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in NL-only leagues if he wins a starting spot.

A player I'd really like to see start at second for the Royals

Brandon Wood: If you paid any attention to the minor leagues or prospect rankings over the last eight years, the name Brandon Wood means something to you. He tore apart pitching on his path to the majors, at one point ascending to a lofty ranking as the No. 3 prospect in baseball. Wood hit 43 home runs and 53 doubles over two levels in 2005 at the age of 20. He followed that with seasons of 25, 23, 31, and 22 home runs. He's gotten to double-digit steals three times. He has a .281 career minor league average. And then, when he saw the majors for the first time in 2007 ... nothing. He hit .152 in that first season. Over 55 games in 2008, Wood hit .200. He also has seasons of .195, .146, and .216. But he did see somewhat erratic playing time, and the constant failures had to have messed with his head a little bit.

Wood is now 28, and he has a legitimate shot at making the Royals as a utility infielder. He has played shortstop, first, and third base so far this spring, but with Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella doing a lesser-of-two-evils battle at second, it didn't seem totally out of the question to think Wood could have worked his way into that battle. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Royals have much interest in crafting a spring training redemption story for a once-prospect. But with the way Chris Davis -- another former top prospect -- came into his own last year after being all but left for dead, there's at least a glimmer of hope that Wood can stick around as a utility player and work his way into some playing time, possibly delivering on the potential that has been long forgotten. Where you want to take him: Off waivers, but only if and when Ned Yost pulls that whole, "we're going to try Wood at second base," line when things go awry for his starter.

That random guy who could stumble into playing time

Kensuke Tanaka (Giants): San Francisco's middle infield is pretty much locked down, with Marco Scutaro at second and Brandon Crawford at shortstop, but Tanaka is a slick-fielding product of Japan's Pacific League, who gave up a contract that would have paid him around $3 million to come and essentially try out for the Giants. He doesn't have the most exciting stats, but if injury strikes -- or if Crawford stumbles and Scutaro is asked to play shortstop -- Tanaka can slide right in, hit about .275, and steal a handful of bases. Don't expect a lot of power here, but Tanaka could score a decent amount of runs and be a cheap source of steals. Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in NL-only leagues when the above scenario plays out.

A quick assortment of less-interesting players who still could make an impact

Kelvim Escobar (Brewers): The Brewers have enough holes in their pitching staff for Escobar to find a spot somewhere..

Kevin Slowey (Marlins): He'd be NL-only reserve material if he finds his way into the rotation. Slowey is a smart pitcher who could put up a decent line.

Kevin Kouzmanoff (Marlins): Kouzmanoff has hit 16 or more home runs three times in the majors, and the only thing really blocking his path to playing time is the oft-injured Placido Polanco.

Casey Kotchman (Marlins): With Logan Morrison out early, Kotchman could grab hold of that first base job and make an early impact.

Freddy Garcia (Padres): Garcia had interesting starter (5.93 ERA/1.48 WHIP) versus reliever (2.42 ERA/0.94 WHIP) splits last year, but his value will come as a starter. Don't expect much better than a 4.40 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, but as a starting rotation filler in a deep NL-only league, there may be something there to use.

Shelley Duncan (Rays): Given fewer than 235 at-bats in each of the last three seasons, Shelley Duncan still managed 11 home runs and at least 10 doubles per year in that span. Granted, his average has suffered, but Duncan has flexed some nice power. With the Rays employing a "moving parts" system, Duncan could actually see an at-bats increase, slotting in at first base, DH, and the corner outfield positions. With more at-bats and consistency, Duncan could see his average jump a little, as well.

Miguel Tejada (Royals): If Brandon Wood can't make the Royals, this would be a solid consolation prize.

Juan Rivera (Yankees):, 1B, New York Yankees : Fun fact! Juan Rivera has averaged 15 home runs per season over the last four years and has hit .263 in that span. He's also only 34 years old. And he has the inside track to start in left field for the Yankees, being one of the few right-handed power bats in the lineup. Rivera is AL-only fodder, and you can't wait on him to see if he'll produce -- with Curtis Granderson coming back, Rivera's going to be useful early, then probably settle into a role as sometimes-first baseman until Teixeira returns, eventually becoming a part-time DH in a platoon with Travis Hafner.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Angels 3B prospect Kaleb Cowart back to switch-hitting
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:24 pm ET) The one-time Angels top prospect Kaleb Cowart is done with his experiment of being a left-handed batter only. 

According to the Orange County Register, Cowart will resume switch-hitting again, most likely in an attempt to spark his once promising career. Cowart is coming off of two poor seasons in the minors, which led to the Angels not inviting him to big league camp this spring training. 

The Angels are also discussing the possibility of converting Cowart into a pitcher if his hitting doesn't improve. Cowart hit just .223 with Double-A Arkansas a year ago. 


Cubs' Kyle Hendricks allows five earned runs Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:24 pm ET) Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks surrendered five earned runs on seven hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings while striking out five in Monday's 8-5 win over the Giants.

Hendricks had tossed seven scoreless innings in his first two Cactus League games, but Monday's action was his first in a major-league game since March 14. He's expected to open the season in the team's rotation.


Diamondbacks considering Archie Bradley for bullpen role
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:18 pm ET) Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said Monday that pitching prospect Archie Bradley is in the mix for the team's final bullpen spot, MLB.com reports.

General manager Dave Stewart said earlier in March that he believed Bradley wasn't ready to pitch in the majors, though he appeared to be speaking about a rotation spot when he made his remarks. The prospect has posted a 2.20 ERA and 12:3 K:BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings this spring.


Padres outfielder Matt Kemp rips fourth home run of spring training
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:11 pm ET) Padres outfielder Matt Kemp continued his march through spring training pitching Monday, ripping his fourth home run in Monday's game against the Reds. Kemp went 1 for 3 with one home run and two RBI, boosting his average to .375 in 48 spring training plate appearances.

Indians' Trevor Bauer strikes out seven vs. White Sox Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:09 pm ET) Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer allowed one earned run on four hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven in his team's 4-1 win over the White Sox Monday.

Bauer's only damage came in the third inning when he served up a home run to White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. He has posted a 4.57 ERA and 18:1 K:BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings this spring and is set to open the season in the rotation.


Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy goes six scoreless innings Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:08 pm ET) Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy went six scoreless innings, allowing six hits with seven strikeouts against the Reds Monday. Kennedy, who is projected as the No. 4 starter in the rotation, gave up just one walk and brought his ERA down to 3.78.

Kennedy is now 1-1 this spring in five starts with 15 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings pitched.


White Sox SP Hector Noesi strikes out five in loss Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:06 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi surrendered three earned runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out five in his team's 4-1 loss to the Indians.

Noesi had allowed a total of three runs on four hits and two walks in 9 1/3 innings coming into Monday's start, but the Indians were able to plate three runs on two fourth-inning homers in the game. The pitcher is expected to open the season in the rotation.


Hinch: 'Getting tough' for Josh Fields to make Astros
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:05 pm ET) Astros pitcher Josh Fields missed another day with a strained groin and is running out of time to make the team. 

"It's getting tough," manager A.J. Hinch said, per MLB.com. "At some point, we're going to run out of time. Now that we're a week away from Opening Day and he hasn't been on the mound for a long time, it's getting dangerously close. At the same time, we have to make sure that there are no setbacks and no length into the season that he wouldn't be available."

"We've got the depth and quality people that can fill in if he can't make it," Hinch added.


Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani ripped for three home runs Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani gave up six runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in six innings of work Monday against the Padres. 

DeSclafani, who went six scoreless in his last outing, added four strikeouts and pushed his ERA to 3.51 this spring. 


Phillies prospect Zach Elfin sees extra time in start Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:56 pm ET) Phillies pitching prospect Zach Elfin started Monday's game against the Pirates, surrendering four runs (one earned) on three hits with two strikeouts in three innings of work. 

Elfin, who is considered a top-5 prospect in Philadelphia, saw more time than pitching prospects normally do this late in spring.

"This year is more about our future than our present," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "This is about finding out, frankly, and this sounds strange, but I'm more interested in the development of the guys in Triple-A and Double-A and A ball than I am necessarily the guys on the [Major League] field."


 
 
 
Rankings