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7 High-Floor Safety Picks (Fantasy Baseball)

Mar 31, 2020

Carlos Santana’s high floor makes him worthy of a mid-round draft pick

Some of the most important draft-day selections are the high-floor players. These guys are usually solid veterans who have been overlooked for younger, more sensational athletes and can help limit your roster’s overall risk. While a talented, young upstart may give you some stellar production in spurts, they usually carry more inconsistency with them and may hurt your team as a result. An extra benefit of safer vets is that they can be used as trade bait, especially since they have larger sample sizes that can be evaluated. To help you anchor your roster and lower your squad’s volatility, we’ve asked our featured analysts to give you their favorite low-risk players that can be nabbed after the early rounds.

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Q1. Which hitter outside the top 70 is your favorite high-floor target to help stabilize your team and why?

Carlos Santana (1B/DH – CLE): ECR – 75th Hitter | 109th Overall
“Santana is too good to be dropping into the 70s for overall bats. Some things get better with age and the superb plate discipline paired with the knack to square up a baseball makes me wonder why others fade him. Sure, the soon-to-be 34-year-old is getting up there, but so is his average exit velocity of 91.8 MPH, which was good for the top 7% overall in 2019. If he gets slotted in between Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes, he’s a potential fantasy goldmine.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Carlos Santana was outstanding last season, setting career highs in nearly every relevant category, but it’s his high floor that makes him a great mid-round selection. Over the last four seasons, his worst combined numbers would be 23 home runs, 82 runs, and 79 RBIs. Yes, the average doesn’t help, but there aren’t that many hitters who offer that solid of a floor each and every year. Plus, as he showed last year, there’s always the potential for more.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Danny Santana (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF – TEX): ECR – 94th Hitter | 152nd Overall
“Remember when Santana won all of us a fantasy championship last season? Now we are just acting like he didn’t hit 28 homers with 21 steals, 81 runs, 81 RBIs, and a .283 BA in just 112 games last year. Folks, he was legitimately a top-five fantasy outfielder per game played last season, yet we are drafting him in Round 13? I’ll take all five categories and a better version of Ramon Laureano to round out virtually every position on my roster, thank you very much.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Justin Turner (3B – LAD): ECR – 89th Hitter | 134th Overall
“Turner may be 35 years old, but the guy can still rake. In fact, he matched a career-high with 27 home runs last season in just 135 games. He isn’t much of a threat on the basepaths, but Turner’s solid power output should again come alongside a plus batting average and strong run/RBI totals while hitting in the heart of a Dodgers lineup that is as stacked as ever. Sure, he’ll likely miss a stretch of games at some point, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find a decent fill-in at the hot corner. He’s a strong bet to again provide 130+ games of reliable four-category production, which can really help solidify just about any fantasy roster.”
– Andrew Seifter (FantasyPros)

Edwin Encarnacion (1B/DH – CWS): ECR – 87th Hitter | 139th Overall
“Encarnacion fits this perfectly. Did you know he has hit for 32 or more home runs in each of the last eight seasons? I know he is getting older, but his floor for a full season is still 30 HRs and around 85 runs and RBIs each. I don’t care if the batting average is slipping a bit. That is a great floor.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Q2. Which starting pitcher outside the top 30 is your favorite high-floor target to help stabilize your rotation and why?

David Price (SP – LAD): ECR – 37th Starting Pitcher | 127th Overall
“Price’s ERA ballooned to over 4.00 last year for the first time since 2009, but that was due in large part to a career-high .336 BABIP and the 14.4 percent HR/FB ratio against him. Meanwhile, his strikeout rate was the best of his entire career and his walk rate remained better than average. Price would have been due for quite a bit of positive regression even if he had stayed in Boston, but by moving from the hitter-friendly AL and Fenway Park to the pitcher-friendly NL and Dodger Stadium, improvement is virtually certain as long as he can stay healthy. He’s a terrific option as a third or fourth starter in a fantasy rotation.”
– Andrew Seifter (FantasyPros)

David Price should only benefit from his move from the American League East to the National League West and the extra rest/shorter season makes him more alluring. If he can stay on the field for Los Angeles, look for a sub 1.20 WHIP and a mid-three ERA, which are great finds where he is currently being drafted. His 10.73 K/9 in 2019 was the best of his 12-year career. The Dodgers are gonna win a plethora of games and the sneaky veteran will collect pleasing counting numbers at an acceptable discount.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Kyle Hendricks (SP – CHC): ECR – 35th Starting Pitcher | 125th Overall
“I understand that Hendricks’ expected stats and underlying metrics suggest that he should be much worse than he is. Regardless, the fact is, Hendricks has only had an ERA higher than 3.46 once and has never had a WHIP above 1.19. He won’t ever have a ton of strikeouts, but the chances of him hurting your fantasy team are next to nothing. He’s the ultimate high-floor option who you can always get later than you should be able to.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

“Hendricks is about as safe as you can get. His ERA is steadily in the low-to-mid threes and is WHIP is safely in the 1.15 range. He doesn’t strike a lot of people out, but you’re taking him to balance out the risky starting pitchers with high-K upside and he is perfect for that purpose. It also helps that he has a good Cubs offense helping him win double-digit games.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Madison Bumgarner (SP – ARI): ECR – 33rd Starting Pitcher | 122nd Overall
“I love David Price as much as the next person, but as long as Bumgarner, or should I say ‘Mason Saunders,’ is still going outside of the top-30 starting pitchers, he has to be my answer. Yes, his ERA was inflated a bit last year, but that was primarily due to luck according to the underlying metrics. In fact, it was still under 4.00 with a 1.13 WHIP and over 200 Ks. Is that his floor? He moves to another pitcher’s park in Arizona and should win many more games with them too.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their high-floor safety picks. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more advice all season and check out our latest podcast below.

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