The Game Haus presents you with its third installment of fantasy baseball tips and tricks: the value of versatility. Having versatility within your team is key, as it simplifies decision making and roster adjustments.
Drafting a player with multiple eligibilities allows you to have flexibility when building the rest of your team. It also makes daily roster moves easier, as you can set your lineup in multiple different ways each week. Finally, players with multiple eligibilities can quickly fill the spot of an injured player, allowing you to quickly adjust your roster without a hassle.
The following players offer extra value through their versatility, as they will be eligible at three or more positions in 2017.
Matt Carpenter STL 1B, 2B, 3B
After three consecutive seasons with at least 650 plate appearances, the thirty-one-year-old had his 2016 campaign cut short due to hand and oblique injuries. He looks to bounce back and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a playoff-birth in 2017.
Carpenter will retain eligibility at first, second and third base, as he started at least forty games at each position in 2016. He offers similar levels of value at each position as he ranks top fifteen in all three.
According to yahoo.com, Carpenter is currently being selected as the thirteenth first basemen and ninth second and third basemen.
The three-time all-star will be the Cardinals primary first basemen and bat third this upcoming season. He offers great value as he is a player who can hit for power, average and will have the opportunity to score and drive in runs. I believe Carpenter will have a great year, surpassing his career high home run and RBI totals.
Carpenter’s productivity and versatility give him huge value come 2017.
Sean Rodriguez ATL OF, 2B, SS
Rodriguez may be more known for his fist fight against the water cooler last season than his performance on the field.
The thirty-one-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, where he will begin the season as their primary second basemen and will bat at the bottom half of the order.
Rodriguez will be eligible at three positions, second base, third base and outfield, after playing the utility roll for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season.
In 2016, the utility man batted .270 with eighteen bombs in a mere 342 plate appearances. At this pace, in 600 plate appearances, he would have finished the year with thirty-one home runs. If Rodriguez can maintain his starting job at second base, he will offer tremendous value as he is currently being selected as thirtieth second basemen and shortstop, and the eightieth outfielder off the board.
Rodriguez’s versatility, opportunity, and average draft position give him respectable value come 2017.
Howie Kendrick PHI OF, 2B, 3B
Kendrick finished 2016 with career lows in batting average and slugging percentage, although his career averages suggest that he will return to form in 2017.
He will move from west to east as was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Philadelphia Phillies in November of 2016.The veteran utility man looks start the year as the Phillies left fielder, although will also be eligible at second and third base.
He will slot in at the top half of the order, batting ahead of young sluggers Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, giving him ample opportunities to score runs.
Kendrick offers solid value as he is being selected as the twenty-ninth second and third basemen, and the seventieth outfielder off the draft board.