With spring training right around the corner the time is now to start preparing for your 2017 fantasy baseball league draft. We took the time to look at some potentially underrated value picks that you might be interested in selecting for help in the RBI category. Here is a look at four potential MLB fantasy sleeper picks for RBI in 2017.
IF: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
The majority of fantasy baseball league GM’s know that Carpenter is a talented hitter but he might be a little bit underrated heading in to the 2017 season based on a number of factors. Most importantly, he is eligible to play at three different infield positions as a 1B, 2B, 3B. Second, Carpenter is set to move to the middle of the Cardinals batting order after the recently signed Dexter Fowler. The fact that Carpenter has been the leadoff man in 74 percent of his career starts and 91 percent of his starts last season put a cap on his overall potential in terms of the run-producing numbers. When he’s spending most of his at-bats just trying to get on board, that affects his bottom line. Fowler is a quality lead-off man and that means Carpenter will have more opportunities to punch in some runners. Also, he should see better pitches to hit if there are already runners on board.
He could hit anywhere between 2-4 this season and that should mean a substantial jump in RBI production.
3B: Matt Duffy, Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay’s batting order is a major question mark heading in to the season but what we do know is that the Rays added Duffy to fill a power void while likely hitting fifth on his new team. Duffy struggled big time last season as he battled through an Achilles injury but the potential is there for him to bounce back now that he is healthy and in a new environment. Duffy posted 77 RBI with the San Francisco Giants back in 2015 so the potential is there for him to significantly top that mark with a full season as a key hitter in Tampa Bay.
OF: Matt Holliday, New York Yankees
Holliday is another player that has battled injuries in each of the last two seasons but he is coming off a 20 home run season and could have an even more productive year if he can stay healthy in New York. The move to the Yankees alone should help his numbers since he will play half of his games in a hitter friendly park and there will be some intriguing talent around him with Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez in the heart of the order. And he is getting up there in years, so there is the possibility that he gets an opportunity to DH now that he’s in the American League. That could help keep him fresher longer into the season and make him more productive.
It will be very interesting to see where Holliday ends up in the order but in the right situation, he could be a strong MLB fantasy sleeper pick to produce with a focus on the RBI category.
1B: Tommy Joseph, Philadelphia Phillies
Joseph’s ADP of 215 in the NFBC is an obvious reason why fans are skeptical about his ceiling moving forward but what we do know is that he saw significant time in the heart of the Phillies order. Joseph’s low RBI total relative to his power numbers suggests that there could be an improvement on the way in 2017 if the hitters in front of him can be more productive. Philadelphia isn’t going to be an offensive juggernaut but they do have a handful of intriguing MLB fantasy plays. Joseph is definitely one of them that could be a sneaky good RBI producer this coming season. Remember that the Phillies are a rebuilding team, so they are going to have plenty of opportunity in their lineup for contributions. They should have a full-blown youth movement and Joseph has the opportunity to be a real asset in MLB fantasy.
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