As fantasy baseball goes, the infield offers a few players in the elite category, and then a whole lot of filler. It’s a simple concept: there are a smaller number of valuable infield players than outfield players. Offensive monsters at premium positions are exceedingly rare, and the Marlins don’t look to offer anybody to prove otherwise. However, there is a little (very little) fantasy value within Miami’s infield.
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Morrison is only 25-years old and put up pretty good power numbers in 2011, batting .247/.330/.468 with 25 home runs. Last year, Morrison had a terrible time from May through July batting only .210/.292/.395 before sitting out the rest of the year for knee surgery. Despite his power numbers taking a dip, (.52 point drop in ISO and .69 point drop in SLG) he still managed 11 home runs with limited at bats.
First base is a pretty saturated position for an all-MLB league and Morrison won’t be highly ranked in an NL-only league, especially if he misses games at the beginning of the season recovering from knee surgery. Look for a healthy Morrison in late rounds or off the waiver-wire, as he could be primed for a bounce-back season.
Newly acquired Figgins will compete for a spot in spring training and will likely lose that competition. You have no business drafting a 35-year old infielder with hip problems and a line of .227/.302/.283 for the last three years.
Polanco is the likely starter at third, and will be a low-tier draft pick, even in NL-only leagues. He’s bound to make contact and keep his strikeouts low, and could have a lucky, high-BABIP year in Marlins Park which could translate into a nice AVG boost for your team. Other than that, Polanco has never been a power threat or a base stealer and should probably be a plan-B third baseman rather than your team’s offensive mainstay.
In 2013, where the best analysis is done by advanced sabermetric-slanted research, the terms “hustle” and “grit” are basically punch lines. They’re still punch lines here, but you have to admire a guy like Solano: undrafted international signee who has clawed his way into the majors from the age of 18.
Hustle! Grit! Playing the game the ~right~ way!
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Solano earned a pretty high BABIP of .375 last season, and will likely regress from that. But I don’t think we’ll see an all-around implosion for the projected second baseman. Solano will likely beat out close plays and take extra bases, all the little “hustle” plays your dad and color commentators love. Solano doesn’t offer a ton of fantasy value, but he’s an all-around .300 hitting, 20 stolen bases type guy who won’t particularly damage your team either.
Scouts have raved about Hechavarria’s glove, but have very little to say about his bat. This is no good for you, the fantasy owner. He managed good numbers in AAA Las Vegas last season, batting .312/.363/.424 in 490 PA. But dial the numbers back as he adjusts to major league pitching, and then dial them back some more because those numbers were put up in the Pacific Coast League, and you’ve got a sub-.250 guy batting 7th or 8th. At the very least, he will play every day because of his defensive prowess and could go on a week-long slap-hitting tear, but for now, avoid Hechavarria as he develops.