1. Aledmys Diaz will be a top 30 fantasy player
Aledmys ended up running away with the starting job last year in an impressive manner. Taking advantage of a thumb injury Johnny Peralta suffered last year, he ran away with the starting shortstop position. Last year he hit .300 with 17 home runs, 71 runs, 65 RBI’s with an OPS of .879 over 404 AB’s. His underlying metrics show this is no fluke. Striking out only 13% of the time, posting a hard hit rate of 31%, and an impressive ISO of .212.
2. Charlie Morton will be a top 20 fantasy starting pitcher
Morton has all the tools to be successful this coming season. This spring his fastball has looked electric topping out at 97mph. He has posted a 27% strikeout rate and a 12% swinging strike rate. The spin rate on his curve ball is ranked top 5 in all of baseball among those that have thrown at least 50 curve balls in the whole league. Morton has always been good at preventing the long ball thanks to his patented sinker. Morton’s sinker will also continue forcing ground balls, helping him get out of jams and get double plays behind the elite defensive skills of Bregman, Correa, and Altuve.
3. Kendrys Morales will be a top 15 Fantasy player
Kendrys just came off of hitting 30 home runs playing half of his games in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the major leagues (Kauffman stadium). With him heading to a stacked lineup and the hitter friendly confines of Rogers Centre, his stock is trending way up. His strikeout rate jumped from 16% to 19% last year. I believe that is because he traded contact in exchange for power. Last year he posted a 19% home run per fly ball rate & 41% hard contact rate. This spring in 43 AB’s he has hit .372 with 2 home runs and a .994 OPS. Obviously this is just spring training but it proves he is seeing the ball really well. If he can get off to a hot start he can wreak havoc on the AL East and the rest of the league while becoming a fantasy baseball star in the process.