Take just a moment to look at the calendar and you will realize that exhibition baseball is just a few weeks away. With the season creeping closer that give serious fantasy baseball owners a little time to do some advanced research for the upcoming baseball season.
Call to the Pen
As you are combing through all the teams looking for the player that will give you the edge this upcoming season you should take some time to look at the roster for the Arizona Diamondbacks. You wouldn’t think that you would be able to find any gems on a club that lost nearly 100 games last season but the Diamondbacks are chucked full of them. Like snakes in the grass these D-backs players could help your team sneak up on the competition.
So with a keen eye lets look at Arizona Diamondbacks keepers and sleepers you need to have on your fantasy baseball roster this season; along with the duds you want to avoid.
Paul Goldschmidt – Keeper
Goldy missed the stretch run of the 2015 season with a broken hand. All reports indicate he has completely recovered and will be 100 percent healthy for the start of spring training. Goldy’s return to the lineup will mean a return of his elite power. If you can nab Goldie in your player auction he could be the cornerstone of your fantasy team’s power statistics.
Overvalued Alert – If you are in a keeper league and already have Paul Goldschmidt on your roster you may have paid top dollar getting him in the auction last season. Before you consider keeping him look at his value. If you paid a premium last season you might want to let him go back into the auction draft to see if you can get an injury discount for 2015.
Josh Collmenter – Keeper
Depending on the number of keepers you are allowed in your league, Josh Collmenter may deserve a slot. In his first full year as a starter in 2014, Collmenter was solid. He nabbed 11 wins for a terrible Diamondbacks squad while posting a respectable 3.87 ERA. You can expect that and more from Collmentor in 2015 as he will probably get a chance to be the ace for a rebuilt Diamondbacks starting rotation. His career WHIP of 1.149 suggests he has the stuff to be a successful middle rotation arm this season.
Super Value: If you got him for a good price in last years Auction try to lock him for this season if you are in a large keeper league.
A.J. Pollock – Rising Star
Pollock had 7 HR and 19 SB in 75 games for the Diamondbacks in 2014. As the probable starting center fielder for Arizona you could expect him to go 15/60/25 this season. If you are worried about Pollock staying in the line-up don’t worry. His solid defensive ability will prevent new manager Chip Hale from erasing his name off the line-up card.
Chris Owings – Sleeper
Owning had a solid season in a back-up role for the Diamondbacks last season. His youth (23 years old) and 6 HR, 26 RBI and 8 stolen bases performance in 2014 made Didi Gregorius expendable. Expect Owings to get most of the time at shortstop for the D-backs this season, playing time that should result in at least 15 dingers and double-digit stolen bases.
Mark Trumbo – Sleeper
Trumbo had an injury shortened season in 2014 but still managed to hit 14 home runs. After surviving trade rumors this offseason, the Diamondbacks are counting on Trumbo to provide some protection for Paul Goldschmidt in the line-up this season. If he can stay healthy he could be a threat to hit 30 round-trippers a mark he has achieved 3 times in his major league career.
Injury discount Special – By all accounts Trumbo will be healthy this season. That could give the smart fantasy owner a chance to nab him at a discount at the expense of owners who are too squeamish to take a risk.
Jeremy Hellickson – Sleeper
Hellickson is one of the newest additions to the Diamondbacks roster. He was a rising star for the Tampa Bay Rays but after an inflated ERA in 2013 followed by an injury riddled 2014 season, the Rays lost patience. Hellickson is healthy coming into training camp is primed to have a breakout season for the Diamondbacks. He a still has great stuff and could be the signature transaction of Dave Stewart’s young administrative career.
Super Value – After struggling the last couple of seasons, Hellickson could be a cheap player in your auction this year. He will probably get you 12 or 13 wins for the price of a back-up infielder.
Aaron Hill – Dud
Hill signed a huge contract with the Diamondbacks in 2012 after a couple of monster seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. He produced another 26 HR season that year but has been a bust ever since. Hill doesn’t have anything left in the tank and despite his past track record will probably not return to the line-up. If you get stuck with Hill good luck trying to get production out of him with his frequent trips to the DL.
Cody Ross – Dud
Ross has never lived up to the 3 years $26 million deal he signed with the Diamondbacks before the 2013 season. injuries and declining skills have transformed this once productive outfielder into a fantasy baseball after thought. Ross is scheduled to make $9.5 million in 2015 with a team option for 2016. Look for the Diamondbacks to try to get him going early in hopes of trading him at the deadline. But don’t expect them to give him playing time if it means sacrificing the developement of their younger players.