The 2015 Major League Baseball season is approaching giving fantasy owners less than two weeks to prepare for the upcoming season. The first day of action gets underway on Sunday April 5th as the St. Louis Cardinals open up the season at Wrigley Field taking on the Chicago Cubs. This game features some new key pieces including Jon Lester making his first career start in the National League for the Cubs.
The question that many fantasy owners have during the spring training games is how much stock do we put on a players performance. This is one question that could make or break a fantasy owner’s team during a full season league as you have a tendency to put to much stock on a players performance during this time. One thing to remember is these players see limited action making it difficult to put to much stock in.
Here are some key players that have increased their fantasy values this spring.
Matt Harvey, New York Mets: Every good fantasy team is built around starting pitching and Harvey could be the answer coming off Tommy John surgery. While many fantasy owners might be afraid to take him high he posted his top outing of the spring this week going 5 2/3 innings allowing just two hits while striking out four against the New York Yankees. In four games this spring Harvey has pitched in 14.1 innings allowing just two earned runs while striking out 12.
Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds: Sticking with starting pitching another gem this year could be Mike Leake for the Cincinnati Reds. Leake finished last season 14-7 with a 3.37 earned run average and has looked brilliant this spring. In four games this spring Leake has pitched in 14 innings allowing just one run while striking out 10 hitters while commanding a .71 whip.
Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers made a fleury of moves this off-season including departing with former All-Star Matt Kemp. The move looks to be a positive one for Pederson who is expected to get his chance to start every day. Along with the roster spot being opened Pederson has performed well this spring hitting .436 over 39 at bats with four doubles, three home runs and eight runs driven in.
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs: Bryant stock was high entering the spring especially for fantasy owners playing keeper leagues. That being said it will be hard pressed to imagine the Cubs sending him to the minors to start the season after hitting eight home runs this spring in just 25 at bats. Bryant is still a great pickup even if he finds himself at the minors it will be for a short time.
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers: The Tigers outfielder emerged last season hitting career high 23 home runs to go with 76 runs batted in. His stock continues to gain ground this spring as he has posted five home runs to go with three doubles in 43 at bats. Martinez is posting his best spring training numbers of his career making it more likely he is becoming an everyday ball player.
Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles: The once journey man of the Baltimore Orioles continues to prove critics wrong. While many might not view him as an everyday player, Pearce continues to be productive at the plate. Last season Pearce finished with a career high 21 home runs in 102 games played. That production has shown up this spring as he has four home runs in just 10 games played this spring.
Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins: Gordon who has shown his ability to swipe bases over the past few seasons has struggled to consistently get on base. That has not been the case this year as he has posted a .400 average over 13 games along with a .432 on base percentage.
Others players who have increased their fantasy values this spring include Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Chris Carter.