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2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit


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Infield Breakouts

Zack Cozart - Reds - Cozart spent the offseason recovering from two significant surgeries, trying to get his elbow and ankle to work properly again. He is at 100% now and he is ready to compete for the Cincinnati Reds’ shortstop job with Paul Janish.

zack-cozartCozart was plugged in as the starter in 2011 and played very well in his 11 games before the injury batting .324 and hitting two home runs.

Before his call-up he batted .310 with seven home runs and nine stolen bases in in AAA Louisville with 350 at bats. In 2010 he batted .255 with 17 home runs with 610 at bats.

The pop in his bat is legitimate, although this has often come at the expense of his batting average. His walk rate isn’t that impressive, so his on-base percentage may be low, but with that said he has very solid plate discipline.

Cozart will never be a fantasy stud, but he plays very good defense and therefore will likely be a starter for a long time. With the decent power he has he is a legitimate 20-home-run-threat and that makes him a worthy low pick gamble in this years fantasy baseball draft.

Dee Gordon - Dodgers - Gordon was a June call-up for the Dodgers and was plugged in at shortstop for the rest of the season minus time spent on the DL for a right shoulder contusion. He finished the season batting .304 with 24 stolen bases and 34 runs with 224 at bats. Dee-GordonThat is what you can expect from Dee Gordon: .300 average, stolen bases and runs. In 4 years in the minors Gordon batted .303, stole 176 bases and scored 498 runs. The Dodgers have a questionable offense at best, but you can guarantee that Dee Gordon will be leading off, stealing bases and scoring runs. While he has no power (4 career home runs in the minors) Gordon can fill your need at shortstop with a late pick and he can help you win runs, average and stolen bases.

Paul Goldschmidt - Diamondbacks - Goldschmidt got the late call-up from AA Mobile and looked like a pro hitter from day one. He helped Arizona’s run to win the NL West by batting .250 with eight home runs, nine double and four stolen bases with just 156 at bats. In addition, he batted .438 with two home runs in the playoffs.

Goldschmidt, one of the top hitting prospects in the Arizona farm system, batted .306 with 30 home runs with 366 at bats in 2011 before his call-up. The previous year in A Visalia he batted .314 with 35 home runs with 525 at bats.

Paul GoldschmidtThe one consistent point here is power. He has the ability to be a 30-40 home run hitter in a full season in the big leagues, and though he is a couple years away from his full potential, he should provide very good power numbers in 2014.

Manager Kirk Gibson currently has Goldschmidt batting 7th, but that could easily change if he continues to show his power. If Goldschmidt is batting in the middle of the Arizona line up that includes newbies Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel as well as the returning cast of Stephen Drew, Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Ryan Roberts, he could be one of the breakouts of the 2014 fantasy baseball draft.

Mike Moustakas - Royals- The big-time prospect did little in 2011 to make believers out of him in the fantasy world, but their is hope for 23-year-old Moustakas. He still has the ability to be the .300, 30 home run hitter every fantasy owner wants at third base, but he did Mike Moustakas struggle in his rookie debut to show he had that ability, and many owners will stray away from him in the 2014 draft.

The second-overall-pick in the 2007 draft batted .290 in AAA Omaha between 2010 and 2011 and hit 25 home runs with his 547 at bats in that time. He got the call midway in the 2011 season and was handed the starting job at third base for the Royals. He did very little to excite fantasy owners batting just .263 with a mere five home runs with 338 at bats.

So where is the hope? Well, it was his rookie season, so patients is needed here. Furthermore, Moustakas played his best ball at the end of the season in September when he batted .358 with four home runs. This was the Moustakas we had all been waiting for.

With a young improving Royal offense (Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Salvador Pérez) Moustakas could be in for his much awaited breakout season. While .300 and 30 home runs are a bit lofty aspirations, around .290 and 20 home runs should be attainable.

Jesús Guzmán - Padres - The line on Guzman is simple, he can hit and can’t field. He has spent time in the minors and in Venezuela and the story stays the same, great hitter, bad fielder. You would have thought he would have made his way to the American League , but no such luck for Guzman. Instead he had his contract purchased by the San Diego Padres and while that is usually bad news for hitters, Petco Field is perfect for Guzman’s line-drive hitting style.

The early evidence shows this to be true as Guzman hit .312 with five home runs, two triples, 22 doubles and nine stolen bases with 247 at bats in 2011 for the Padres (batted .347 at home).

Guzman will hardly be handed any starting position because of his awful defense and now the Padres have acquired prospect Yonder Alonso from the Reds. The two will battle it out for left field or first base. It will be a great battle to watch in Spring Training, but if Guzman hits like he did in 2011, he will find starting time somewhere in major league baseball and help many fantasy owners.

Yonder Alonso - Padres - The Reds 2008 first-round-pick was acquired by the Padres in the Mat Latos trade. He has seen some time in the Bigs including 88 at bats last year when he batted .330 with five home runs.

yonder alonsoAlonso has been very consistent in his two years in AAA Louisville hitting .296 with 12 home runs in both years. While not eye-popping stats, you have to love the consistency.

Alonso is a patient hitter who has shown to have an above average BB% and his relatively low K% for a slugger. He has always struggled to hit LHP (2 for 13 in ’11) and has below average defense. So questions remain about his everyday ability.

Alonso will be battling another young bat, Jesús Guzmán for first base and possibly Chase Headly at third base and with his struggles against lefties it is possible that he will platoon quite a bit in 2011. It is also possible that Alonso improves his hitting against lefties and has a big 2014 season.


Outfield Breakouts


J.D. Martinez - Houston Astros - He will be the Astros starting left fielder after starting the last third of the 2011 season there. Martinez played well in that short time period batting .274 with six home runs and 35 RBI's with 208 at bats.

Martinez didn't play AAA, but showed his potential in AA Corpus Christi where he batted .338 with 13 home runs and 78 RBI's with 370 at bats before being called up at the end of the season.

In his short minor league career (3 years) he batted .342 with 43 home runs with 1261 at bats which shows he is an excellent , consistent hitter at all minor league levels.

Martinez has an excellent flat, line-drive swing and he is able to drive the ball well. This should help generate a good batting average, but his power is questionable (20 home run ceiling at this point). What isn't questionable his his knack to knock in runs. He is been a clutch hitter at all levels, and this is a hallmark of a good major league hitter.

Actually Martinez's biggest weakness is he can't seem to hit at night. He batted just .151 with zero home runs (58 at bats). So if you want to micro-manage, just bench Martinez during night games and start him during the day when he bats .311 with six home runs (150 at bats) and you might have a Fantasy-All-Star.


Logan Morrison - Miami Marlins - With all rebuilding the Miami Marlins have done this year, it seems more and more likely that they are going to be winning and doing it with both hitting and pitching. Thus, it makes sense that all Miami players should have increased fantasy value in 2014 and Logan Morrison is no exception.
Morrison was on the fantasy radar in 2011 and played very solid fantasy-ball, smashing 23 home runs with just 462 at bats, but batted just .247 and even withstood a mid-season demotion to the minors.
Injuries bothered him for much of the season culminating in arthroscopic surgery in December. He is healthy, but is likely to be slow coming back in March.
A healthy Logan Morrison can bring huge numbers as he has the potential to be a .300, 30 home-run-hitter. He has excellent plate-discipline and he uses the gaps instead of always swinging for the fences which should lead to good double and triple numbers.
All things considered, Morrison is still a top prospect on a very talented team and he has the potential to play at the level of a fourth-round-pick, but at a ninth-round price.


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