Short Season Strategy: Multi-Positional Hitters
There are many strong theories on how to tackle the unique format of a short baseball season. Versatility in your lineup may be one area to help push you to the top because it can maximize the number of at-bats on your roster. There is much uncertainty with the season and the health of players, so it could be a benefit to target multi-positional hitters you can move around within your roster..
Using Fantrax data, I have gathered a list of multi-positional hitters up and down the draft with ADP between 1-1000. Leagues may vary with the number of games to qualify at a position, so it’s important to review your league settings while reading this list and before you draft. This list assumes 10 games needed from the previous season for a player to qualify at the position. Some leagues may be more or less than that, so make sure to double-check before you hit “draft” on these multi-positional targets.
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Multi-Positional Hitters for 2020
The Cream of the Crop: ADP 1-60
Using ADP, picks 1-60 captures the first 5 rounds of a 12 team league and the first 4 rounds of a 15 team league. Below is the list of premier players who have multi-positional eligibility in most formats.
Cody Bellinger represents the top player on all draft boards to have multi-positional eligibility. In a shallow 1B pool, and with dual eligibility in the OF, he’s a great target. Bellinger may go as high as 2-3 in drafts as we near Opening Day, so you’ll want to be ready to pounce. Alex Bregman provides great value in both corner and middle infield slots and makes for a solid mid-to-late first-round pick.
Ketel Marte played 11 G at SS in 2019, so he’s one that you’ll want to check your league settings before pressing draft. But regardless, he can help you in the middle infield and outfield positions in most leagues. Whit Merrifield also played 5 G at 1B last season which could potentially make him one of the more versatile players out there depending on the format. Each player in this range represents a key roster spot that you’ll be counting on to anchor your lineup.
Roster Stabilizers: ADP 61-120
Picks 61-120 capture rounds 6-10 of a 12 team league and rounds 5-8 of a 15 team league. Below is the list of key multi-positional hitters after the first wave of picks to target when constructing your offense.
The duo of DJ LeMahieu and Max Muncy has identical eligibility and go right next to each other in most drafts according to ADP. Both are also valuable in OBP formats. Jeff McNeil is superb for 2020 but may lose some of his glorious versatility after this season depending on how the Mets construct their lineup.
Jonathan Villar should be high on your list if you need speed and may pick up OF eligibility during the season. Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal will be beneficiaries of new teams and good home ballparks. It’s viable to fade catching in the short season, but Grandal is one of the exceptions to that and should be drafted with confidence especially with the added versatility. He may lose 1B after the season, as he played 20 G at 1B last year to keep his bat in the lineup with no DH in Milwaukee.
Solid Starters: ADP 121-240
Picks 121-240 captures rounds 11-20 of a 12 team league and rounds 9-16 of a 15 team league. Depending on your league size, these multi-positional hitters could be starters or provide your roster with near everyday playing time.
In the least restrictive eligibility leagues, many of these players could pick up even more versatility. Yuli Gurriel scores 2B eligibility playing 4 G there in 2019. Danny Santana played 9 G at SS for even more versatility in some leagues. Hunter Dozier netted 7 G at 1B in 2019.
Scott Kingery is one of the more league-specific players and you’ll need to check him out before your draft. In leagues with less than 20 G of eligibility, he loses both 2B (10 G) and SS (18 G). Kingery’s value should, therefore, be adjusted accordingly depending on your own league format.
Garrett Hampson, Michael Chavis, and Starlin Castro should be good producers when they’re in the lineup but may not get everyday at-bats given roster crunches in Colorado, Boston, and Washington. Chavis also gains 3B eligibility in some leagues with 5 G there in 2019.
The most notable omission in this range is Shohei Ohtani (ADP 124.6). Ohtani did not pitch last season so he will need to gain pitching eligibility in some formats during the season in order to be slotted as a pitcher. Certainly a frustrating scenario for many Ohtani owners and a hit to his value in 2020.
Roster Depth: ADP 241-480
Picks 241-480 captures rounds 21-40 of a 12 team league and rounds 17-32 of a 15 team league. Most of these players in the 250-300 are at least strong-side platoon players. As you continue to make your way down the chart below, you’ll find some lower end starters that are more appropriate for your CI/MI/UTIL slots, or strengthen your bench in shallower leagues.
|Tommy La Stella||LAA||2B,3B||300.8|
|Shed Long Jr.||SEA||2B,OF||446.3|
Christian Vazquez and Travis d’Arnaud should be on your radar for your catcher slot(s) by carrying C and 1B eligibility. Ian Happ‘s versatility varies greatly based on league. Happ is more interesting if he has at least 2B eligibility (13 G in 2019), and even more so with 3B (8 G in 2019) or 1B (7 G in 2019). If Happ has only OF eligibility in your league, he would take a backseat to a similar ADP player such as Trent Grisham (ADP 303.6).
Outside of the deeper leagues, many names here provide versatility and boost your ratios but contribute less in the way of counting stats. Players such as Luis Arraez, David Fletcher, Luis Urias, and Jose Peraza are better fantasy bench options. You may want to take players in this range with more power (Yoshi Tsutsugo, Tommy LaStella); speed (Jon Berti, Nick Madrigal); or job security (Mauricio Dubon, Howie Kendrick, Shed Long, Brandon Belt).
Niko Goodrum is one of the more underrated players in this range, producing both power and speed with a chance to play regularly in Detroit. Goodrum is especially valuable in leagues where he has 1B eligibility, though you’ll need less than 20 G as the cutoff (18 G in 2019).
Bench and Deep League Specials: ADP 481-1000
This is a group to keep up on the latest news during Summer Camp and could gain bigger roles with their respective teams. They are especially worth getting to know if you’re playing in daily versus weekly formats.
These are players who work best in the last few rounds of drafts and round out your squad. Some of these players are not yet on 60-man rosters, are non-roster invites to camp, or have delays in reporting (Derek Dietrich, Chris Owings, Cheslor Cuthbert as of date of publish), so it’s critical to do a quick search before pressing draft.
Johan Camargo may be in line for a boost in playing time in Atlanta and one to draft earlier than ADP would suggest. The Mariners have an interesting duo that can provide good depth and versatility in Austin Nola and Dylan Moore. Nola’s value gets a boost if you’re able to gain eligibility for C (7 G in 2019), or 3B (4 G in 2019). Moore is a solid play in deep and daily formats and can provide both power and speed.
Jeimer Candelario and Rio Ruiz are eligible at both corners and may get close to every day AB playing in Detroit and Baltimore. Ryan Mountcastle hasn’t been added to the 60-man for Baltimore as of date of publish, so they may want to see what they have in Ruiz who is a good defender at the hot corner.
If you’re mining for catching depth in 2C leagues or formats over 20 teams, you’ll want to hone in on the group here (including Nola). Have modest expectations for contribution as you work your way down the list though.
Versatility Wrap Up
Maximizing versatility is one of many possible tools to use in preparing for one of the most unusual baseball seasons imaginable. This article covers all players with ADP inside of 1000 who have multi-positional eligibility with 10 games in 2019 as the cutoff. As soon as your redraft league is created, search your player pool, or check your favorite stats website, to see which players may carry multi-positional eligibility in your league.
Also check out our favorite under the radar pitchers!
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