Drafting fantasy baseball players with multi-position eligibility has proven to be a worthwhile and winning strategy. The roster flexibility it offers eases the burden when dealing with injuries and it opens the player pool even wider when making waiver claims.
If looking to acquire players with both high-quality production and multi-position eligibility, look no further than third base. The hot corner is so flush with talent this season, you can wait until the middle rounds to fill your needs and still find high-level talent you can move around the diamond.
Take a nice, long look at Scott Kingery of the Phillies. He is your typical post-hype sleeper and someone you should be targeting this season. Kingery is an extremely talented player with 20-20 upside whose arrival was met with some high expectations. Unfortunately, his failure to deliver the offensive totals with consistency last season has pushed his ADP this year as far down as 182, which is somewhere in the 15th round of standard 12-team drafts. But in Year 3 of his fledgling career, Kingery is primed for a breakout.
Through his first two years, Kingery was victimized by an inexperienced manager in Gabe Kapler. The former platooner-turned-manager treated his players in similar fashion, and Kingery was continuously moved around between the infield and outfield. He was forced to focus so much on his defense at the different positions, it hindered his development at the plate. That has kept him off the radar for most this season, but it has also gifted Kingery with fantasy eligibility at both third base and the outfield.
According to reports from Phillies GM Matt Klentak and new manager Joe Girardi, Kingery will not be moved around the diamond this season. But he will also not be playing third. Kingery is slotted to play second base, with Jean Segura moving over to the hot corner. That becomes a huge win for fantasy as Kingery, after 10 games at second base this season, will then qualify virtually everywhere — second, third, corner and middle infield, as well as the outfield — and that is fantasy gold.
If you like that in-season eligibility change for Kingery, then you will also want to take a look at Miguel Sano. The former Twins third baseman will gain eligibility at first base soon enough, as the signing of Josh Donaldson pushes him across the diamond. Sano’s suspect defense at third will no longer be a factor, and manager Rocco Baldelli is working with him on pitch selection which could lower the strikeouts.
With his 131 ADP and new multi-position eligibility, you could even wait on first base and invest your early-round picks on shortstops or outfielders.
Neither Sano nor Kingery is going to cost you a high draft pick or big auction dollars, but the potential benefits could be huge. The ability to focus early picks elsewhere and still have such tremendous roster flexibility will make your in-season work much more efficient. And that, too, is fantasy gold.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays at 4 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy advice, MLB lineups and DFS weather updates.