Mark Reynolds
Rockies' Mark Reynolds: Healthy ahead of 2017
Mark Reynolds, 1B, COL
2/21/2017
News: Reynolds (hand) took live batting practice off Rockies pitchers Tuesday and is healthy heading into spring training, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.

Reynolds broke his hand after being hit by a pitch in mid-September, but he seems to be back to full health after an offseason of rest. Barring any extraneous circumstances, the veteran seems to be in line to compete for a job to back up Ian Desmond at first base.

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Adrian Gonzalez
Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez: WBC status unclear
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD
2/21/2017
News: Gonzalez (elbow) will know if he can play in the World Baseball Classic after being examined the first week of March.

Although he initially committed to playing in the Classic with Team Mexico, Gonzalez may not be able to participate if he isn't cleared by a doctor beforehand. He's been dealing with elbow inflammation, but if cleared, he won't have any restrictions on swinging the bat. More will be known after his early March evaluation.

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Paul Goldschmidt
Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt: Looking forward to World Baseball Classic
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI
2/21/2017
News: Goldschmidt is looking forward to competing in the World Baseball Classic in March, the Arizona Republic reports.

He'll leave for Florida on March 6 and begin participating in Team USA workouts March 7. Goldschmidt is expected to anchor the Arizona lineup again in 2017, while his overall production may increase if A.J. Pollock and David Peralta can avoid the injuries that plagued them throughout 2016.

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Josh Bell
Pirates' Josh Bell: Goes through light baserunning
Josh Bell, 1B, PIT
2/21/2017
News: Bell (knee) participated in light baserunning drills Tuesday, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Bell continues to slowly ramp up his activity as he works back from knee surgery earlier in the month. The top prospect was hitting off of a tee and taking part in soft toss drills over the weekend, and the expectation is that he'll be back up to full speed before Opening Day.

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Ryan Zimmerman
Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman: Working to improve launch angle
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, WAS
2/20/2017
News: Zimmerman has been working with Daniel Murphy and hitting coach Rich Schu to change the launch angle of his swing, The Washington Post reports.

The 32-year-old first baseman could end up being a poster child for the use of newer stats like exit velocity and launch angle if he can find a way to elevate the ball more in 2017. Zimmerman produced the worst OPS of his career last season due to his inability to get consistent loft when he made contact, but his elite exit velocity suggested he's still got the juice in his bat to do some damage if he can make the necessary adjustments. Murphy turned his career around a couple of years ago by changing his launch angle, and the Nats are hoping he can pass on his secrets to Zimmerman. Even so, he's got a lot to prove this year, and remains an endgame or reserve round dart in most fantasy formats rather than a player you can rely on to contribute.

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Adam Lind
Nationals' Adam Lind: Too pull-happy in 2016
Adam Lind, 1B, WAS
2/18/2017
News: Lind says his struggles at the plate last season came from stubbornly trying to pull the ball through infield shifts rather than going the other way, The Washington Post reports. "He said he's gotten a little pull happy so perhaps we can get him back to the center of the field, the big part of the ballpark," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Friday.

While Lind did pop 20 or more home runs in 2016 for the sixth time in his career, he also slashed .239/.286/.431 while pulling the ball 39.5 percent of the time, a far cry from his 2014 performance when he hit .321/.381/.479 with a pull rate of just 31.4 percent. Ryan Zimmerman remains the Nats' starter at first base, but his own health issues and declining offense make him far from a sure thing. If Lind can get back to his 2014 form at the plate, he could force his way into a much larger role.

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Dominic Smith
Mets' Dominic Smith: Sheds 24 pounds in offseason
Dominic Smith, 1B, NYM
2/17/2017
News: Brown said Friday that he lost 24 pounds this offseason, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports.

The Mets have to be pleased that one of their top prospects will be entering the 2017 season in much-improved physical shape than in previous years. The 21-year-old first baseman has always projected to be a strong hitter, but his slimmed-down figure should now allow him to be more agile defensively as well. He'll likely begin the season with Triple-A Las Vegas, and could eventually earn a big league promotion with a strong performance.

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Joey Votto
Reds' Joey Votto: Expected to hit third
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN
2/17/2017
News: Votto is expected to bat third according to manager Bryan Price, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The batting average and OBP dynamo was made for the three-hole, and he hit 29 home runs in each of his past two seasons. Votto deserves fantasy consideration in the first round of OBP leagues.

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Wil Myers
Padres' Wil Myers: Eyeing 40-40 season
Wil Myers, 1B, SD
2/16/2017
News: Myers is targeting a 40-homer, 40-steal season in 2017, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Myers' former teammate, Matt Kemp, infamously made a similar prediction in 2012 and fell short of his lofty 50-50 goals. It certainly would be quite the jump in power and speed for the 25-year-old first baseman after he put up career-highs in both homers (28) and steals (28) last year. Fantasy owners would be content with a repeat performance of last year and a clean bill of health, but the statement from Myers shows that he feels he is capable of bringing more to the table. The 40-40 mark seems outlandish, but it's actually more plausible than it seems at first. Last year was the first time Myers surpassed the 100-game mark in a season and his body's lack of conditioning to that sort of workload could be a big reason why his performance dropped off significantly in the second half (.286 with 19 homers and 15 steals in the first half). He even cited that his ego (after becoming an All-Star) got in the way of his consistency and contributed to his post-All-Star slump. No one is going to project Myers to reach the 40-40 mark this season, but this is a good sign for his fantasy prospects that he is not content with the tremendous growth he experienced last year.

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Brock Stassi
Phillies' Brock Stassi: Will see time in outfield
Brock Stassi, 1B, PHI
2/15/2017
News: Stassi will see playing time in the outfield during spring training, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Stassi, who primarily plays first base, has emerged as a real shot to make the roster as a bench player. The 27-year-old hit .267 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI for Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season and could provide a formidable left-handed bat in the Philadelphia lineup. With the offseason departure of Ryan Howard, Stassi may land a backup role to Tommy Joseph, but could also be flexed into an outfield spot.

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