You aren’t winning your 2014 fantasy baseball league without home runs and power stats. However, if you pass on some of the top-tier power guys in favor of pitchers or speed in the early rounds of your draft, don’t panic. There are several sluggers that you can get later in the draft to help fill the void.
Late round power numbers often come from outfield or first base. However, there are several players at the other positions that could yield solid home run totals in 2014. Let’s run through each position and take a look at who could be a good return on investment in terms of power numbers.
You can always target guys like Adam Dunn, Mitch Moreland, or Chris Carter if you are looking for cheap power late in your draft, but what if you don’t want to deal with their terrible batting averages? This leaves you paying a slightly higher price, but you could find this year’s Paul Goldschmidt. The first guy that comes to mind is Brandon Belt, his ADP is currently around 130 and I think he is a guy that could easily produce 20+ home runs this year. Not only does he have power potential, but I think he could flirt with a .300 average as well. Belt could end up being one of the better value draft picks for 2014.
The second base position isn’t typically known for it’s power, so it could be hard to find guys that you can get later in the draft that have some pop. However, there are a few guys that you can consider. Obviously you could get a guy like Dan Uggla, but with his limited overall upside I would suggest going with a younger guy. A couple guys that come to mind are Jedd Gyorko and Brian Dozier. Both of these guys displayed the ability to hit the long ball and they are low risk draft picks that you can get really late.
Shortstop is another position that’s hard to find power, much less cheap power that you can get late in the draft. There are still a couple of guys that I think are worth looking at though. An obvious pick would be J.J. Hardy. With an ADP of about 143, he’s an easy pick for a guy to grab late if you need some home run potential. At 31 his overall upside isn’t that high, but he was tied with all shortstops last year with home runs. Another guy to consider late would be is Asdrubal Cabrera. WIth his ADP of about 180 it looks like most people are thinking his past success was a fluke and that he will not return to his numbers from 2011. I still think he is a great gamble that you can get late and even though his numbers were down last year, he still had 14 home runs in just over 500 at bats.
The third base position normally has a lot of power potential and that’s still the case heading into 2014. Even if you miss out on the top guys there are plenty of solid options that you can draft in the later rounds. If you don’t care much about average then there are guys like Mark Reynolds or Todd Frazier that you could target, however I say you go after guys with bigger overall upsides. Two guys I am a huge fan of heading into 2014 are Kyle Seager and Matt Dominguez. Seager currently has an ADP of about 120 and I think he could flirt with 30 home runs this year. Dominguez you can get even later in the draft with an ADP of about 260 and he could easily be in the top 5 with home runs at the third base position.
There are two catchers that I am excited about for 2014 and they both have high ADPs. Evan Gattis is the first guy I wanted to talk about, I think he could lead all catchers with home runs. With an ADP of around 120, how can you go wrong. WIth McCann out of the way, it looks like Gattis will get a full season of at bats and I am expecting big things. Yan Gomes is the other guy that I like if you are looking for a late round catcher with power potential. In limited at bats last year he proved that he can hit for power and I love his overall value for how late he is getting drafted.
Outfield is one of the easier positions to find cheap power towards the end of your draft, so never feel like you need to panic to find power at this position. With a current ADP of about 165 I think Nelson Cruz is certainly a guy that is worth a look in 2014. He is always an injury risk, but even at 33 I think he will still have solid power numbers this year. Even later in the draft I like the idea of giving Colby Rasmus and Dayan Vicideo a look. Rasmus is a guy that has never lived up to his potential, but at only 27 there is still time. He managed to hit 22 home runs last year in only 417 at bats and I don’t think 30 home runs is out of the question. Vicideo (AKA the Tank) is another young guy that I like when it comes to cheap power. He had 14 home runs in limited at bats last year and this kid hits the ball as hard as anyone in the league. If he stays healthy all year I fully expect around 25+ long balls from him.