Target these guys late in the draft as potential lottery tickets that could pay off.
Eduardo Rodriguez (ESPN: 247, Yahoo: 239)
Rodriguez has the talent to develop into a solid No. 2 starter for the Red Sox, but he’s being drafted as a borderline starter in fantasy leagues. His 3.85 ERA and 1.29 WHIP were decent as a rookie last year, but those numbers are skewed by a couple of meltdowns that occurred when the Red Sox believe he was tipping his pitches. With that issue now corrected, Rodriguez is primed for a breakout season. The 22-year old delivered a spectacular 2.07 ERA over his final 7 starts and will look to carry the momentum of that strong finish into this season.
Rodriguez is currently dealing with a knee issue that could sideline him to start the season, but it’s not expected to be serious and he could join the rotation before the end of April. News that he may start the year on the DL could scare owners away during your draft, but it shouldn’t. The Red Sox will want to be cautious with his innings given that this is his first full season in the big leagues, so a delayed start may actually be beneficial, as it helps ensure he won’t get shut down early when owners need him for the fantasy playoffs.
Travis Shaw (ESPN: Unranked, Yahoo: 1009)
Need a flyer to take in the last round? Shaw could be one to look at. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball all spring, prompting Farrell to reveal that Shaw may be in line to see regular at-bats this spring. The comments are being taken as a not so subtle warning to Pablo Sandoval that he may have some competition for his starting spot at third base. Whether or not Shaw poses a serious threat or if the manger is merely trying to motivate the Panda remains to be seen. If Shaw were to win the starting job then he would be worth a spot on fantasy rosters. Last season he hit 13 home runs in only 226 at-bats and could easily surpass 20 homers this season if he gets regular playing time. Hard to find that kind of power late in the draft.