Fantasy baseball stock rising: Javier Baez, Dee Gordon, Mike Moustakas – The Patriot-News

A look at three players whose stock is on the rise in fantasy baseball leagues:

Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs: Yeah, Baez was sent back to minor league camp, but not without first sending a message. He appeared as ready as ever for a Major League audition with a .310 average and five home runs in just 42 spring training at-bats.

Baez is one of baseball’s highest-rated prospects, checking in at No. 4 on’s preseason prospect rankings and No. 16 by Baseball America and The No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Baez has peaked at Double-A, where he hit 20 of his 37 home runs last season.

Baez is a key cog in the Cubs’ rebuilding plans with an impact bat and plus-plus power. He could get a call-up anytime in June or after, second base or shortstop but potentially at third base or in the outfield. If Baez gets off to a hot start and makes headway on his plate discipline, the Cubs would be wise to find a way to incorporate him in their plans.

Dee Gordon, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers: Gordon was a surprise winner of a position battle at second base, beating out Cuban defector Alex Guerrero at the end of spring training. With a starting spot in hand, Gordon emerges as a cheap source of steals.

Gordon is a potential two-trick pony in fantasy leagues, where his lineup spot — he hit leadoff in the Dodgers’ season opener — and speed can produce big numbers in steals and runs. But make no mistake, he’s no impact hitter with a .259 career average and two home runs in three seasons.

As long as the at-bats are there, Gordon will be a factor in stolen bases, even in the short-term if Guerrero gets acclimated and takes the job later. Gordon has averaged 59 stolen bases per 162 games throughout his career, including 32 (on 42 attempts) in 87 games in 2012.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals: No player in baseball has more spring training RBIs (17) than Moustakas, who’s approaching a make-or-break season after sluggish across-the-board numbers in 2013. A former first-round draft pick, Moustakas hit just .233 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs last season.

Moustakas is seeing the ball at the plate and hitting it hard, which he could use to fuel a hot start to the regular season. Once known for his power potential, Moustakas has made weak contact and hit too many pop-ups, resulting in a 7.2 career homer-to-flyball ratio.

But there’s hope for a turnaround at a low, low price in fantasy baseball drafts. A late-round flyer has the potential to pay off with 20-plus homers, which Moustakas has accomplish three times in his pro career, including 36 between Double-A and Triple-A in 2010 and 20 in his first full-time Major League action in 2012.


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