The regular season has yet to begin, but let’s take a look at two players that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues…
Logan Morrison | OF | 48% owned
LoMo’s second half cameo with the Marlins was as productive as it gets, a .283/.390/.447 (.369 wOBA) line with 20 doubles, seven triples, and just two homers in 287 PA while learning a new position (LF). Morrison suffered a fractured wrist during the 2009 season, an injury that traditionally saps power for twelve months or so, but in Triple-A last year he posted a solid .181 ISO. A few years ago he put together a .216 ISO with 24 homers, so the ability is there. His highest value comes in OBP leagues, though he could be in for a very Gaby Sanchez-esque year, meaning a solid AVG, double-digit homers, and 80 or so runs driven in. That’s nothing special for a first baseman, but it’s solid production for a third outfielder or bench piece for your fantasy team, plus Morrison has the talent for much more. The projection systems we have here on the site all call for a ~.280 AVG, ~.370 OBP, and ~.155 ISO.
Jonathon Niese | SP | 24% owned
This 24-year-old southpaw was one of the few bright spots for the Mets last year, producing a 4.10 FIP (4.20 ERA) with a 47.7% ground ball rate in 173.2 IP. He was fantastic for a 17-start stretch in the middle of the summer (3.28 ERA, ~3.80 FIP), a stretch that started after a DL stint (hammy strain) and ended after he eclipsed his IP total from the year before. Niese missed bats at a slightly above-average rate (8.4%) and has consistently kept the ball on the ground, two traits that should keep him from being a disaster at the very least. He’s not an every start kind of guy, but rather a fifth or sixth fantasy starter that you insert into the lineup when he’s pitching at spacious CitiField and/or has a favorable matchup. It really wouldn’t shouldn’t surprise anyone if Niese takes a step forward in his second full season as a big leaguer and puts up a sub-3.00 sub-4.00 ERA and FIP.
* * *
Again, the season hasn’t started yet, so there’s no need to run out and start adding and dropping players before you see how they perform in meaningful games, but Morrison and Niese struck as me two players that should be owned in pretty much all 12-team leagues, especially NL-only setups.