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5 Backups That Could Help Your MLB Fantasy Team

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The opening day of baseball season has now arrived and MLB clubs have set their final 25 man rosters and depth charts. With your fantasy team now drafted and underway, now is the time to look at these rosters to see what might be available should you need to find a replacement. This article will look beyond the super subs like the Chicago Cubs Javier Baez, who is listed as a backup for many positions but in reality is almost a starter as he does play frequently and did amass over 450 at-bats last season. The focus will be on the almost true backup, who does not have a regular job but may find one and be a productive fantasy asset for your team.

Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

[the_ad id=”567″]Adams is currently the backup to Matt Carpenter at first base. However, the Cardinals have been so impressed with the spring performance of Adams, that they started having him workout in the outfield during the last week of spring training. Adams lost 30-pounds in the offseason in the hopes of allowing the 28-year-old to bounce back from last season’s .249/.309/.471 line and reduce his 24.8 strikeout rate. He probably won’t be ready for playing time in the outfield early in the season, but it is possible his improved mobility could allow him to contribute as the year progresses. It appears that the goal remains to have him serve as a viable enough option in the outfield so as to have him see at-bats on a more regular basis.

Jedd Gyorko, INF, St. Louis Cardinals

Many had drafted Gyorko with the idea that he would win the third base job for the Cardinals this season.  That didn’t happen. Jhonny Peralta won the third base job, and that left Gyorko back as the super sub. That is not a bad thing, as Gyorko had 30 homers last year, including at least one as a starter at all four infield positions. However, there is also a feeling around St. Louis that Gyorko should start ahead of Kolten Wong at second base. Regardless, the less than secure positions that both Peralta and Wong have at their positions should give Gyorko the opportunity for plenty of bats, with the opportunity to take over one of those positions if one of the two players ahead of him on the depth chart fall short of expectations. (Gyorko did start at 2B in the Cardinals season opener vs. the Cubs)

Ben Revere, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Revere has been on an absolute tear this spring, batting .405 (17-for-42) with a home run and four stolen bases. Despite these solid numbers, Revere will remain the fourth outfielder for the Angels, being the main backup for Cameron Maybin. The speedster, coming off three consecutive seasons hitting .305 or .306, disappointed at the plate and on the basepaths for Washington. This might be why the Angels are hesitant to give him a starting job. However, Maybin has played over 100 games in the majors just once in the past four seasons, and if he ends up on the DL, Revere could be looking at regular playing time. Revere would become a valuable fantasy asset for speed if he were to be named a starter at any point this season.

Daniel Hudson, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Hudson is currently the “backup” for Tony Watson and the closer job for the Pirates. However, the Pirates didn’t give Hudson a two-year, $11 million deal because they’ve extra cash to spend on setup men. Hudson was sporting a 1.55 ERA as deep into the middle of last season, but he was rocked for 26 runs over his next 15 appearances. At the end of the season, Hudson allowed just four runs in 21 1/3 innings. The Pirates are clearly banking that the dominant form with which Hudson finished his 2016 season is a true representation of his skills. In PNC Park’s more forgiving confines, Hudson and his 95 mph fastball and solid slider, could mount a serious challenge to Watson, who has struggled this spring.

Hernan Perez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

[the_ad id=”693″]Hernan Perez has and is now proving beyond all else, that he is no fluke. His 2015 performance convinced manager Craig Counsell to slot him into the lineup as much as possible in 2016. While many of those starts came at third, Perez continued to play all over the field and he finished the season strong, slashing .272/.302/.428. Combine that with 13 home runs, 56 runs batted in and 34 stolen bases, Perez could be considered a “poor man’s Javy Baez”. Perez will enter the regular season without a regular starting spot barring an injury, but he still figures to see several starts per week as others need days off and gets a boost in fantasy value thanks to his eligibility at multiple positions. Combine his multiple position eligibility with the fact that many on the Brewer’s depth chart ahead of him do not have solid holds on their positions, Perez remains a player to keep an eye on.

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