Home Sports Five reasons why Rockies’ Sam Hilliard could be ultimate fantasy baseball find

Five reasons why Rockies’ Sam Hilliard could be ultimate fantasy baseball find

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If you learn anything from this pandemic, it should be that time is a precious thing.

We’ve spent so many days, weeks and hours inside our homes, missing time with friends, family and colleagues. Time is something we cannot get back, and it’s something that should be valued.

Time is almost here for MLB’s 60-game season. If you haven’t drafted, time is almost up. Just make sure you make every pick count, it has to. You don’t have 162 games to make up for mistakes. You have to find players, especially late in the draft, who can contribute on any given day.

That is why Roto Rage would like to turn your attention to 26-year-old Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard.

In Hilliard’s first taste of the majors last year (27 games) in Colorado, he went 21-for-77 (.273) with seven homers, 13 RBIs, 13 runs scored, a 1.006 OPS, and he stole two bases.

The fact Hilliard will play half his games at Coors Field is a huge bonus. He hit .318 with five home runs, eight RBIs, 11 runs, two stolen bases and a 1.173 OPS in 16 games. He didn’t fare as well on the road — hitting .212 with two homers, five RBIs and a .782 OPS.

You may be asking yourself: Why is this crackpot wasting my time telling me to draft a guy who hit .212 outside of Coors Field? Here are a five reasons:

Sam Hilliard
Sam HilliardAP

1. In five seasons in the minors, he hit .277 with 89 home runs, 358 RBIs, 124 stolen bases and a .829 OPS. That includes last season, when he hit .262 with 35 homers, 101 RBIs, 109 runs, 22 stolen bases and a .893 OPS for Triple-A Albuquerque.

2. He plays half his games at Coors Field.

3. Though his 26.4 percent strikeout rate (31.3 percent over five seasons in the minors) would have ranked among the highest in the majors, his 10.3 percent walk rate is nothing to scoff at.

4. Not sure if this was mentioned, but he plays half his games at Coors Field?

5. As of Friday, Hilliard had a 270.15 average draft position, according to Fantasy Alarm. That is roughly the 22nd round in 12-team drafts. He might not immediately be a starter on your fantasy roster but is likely to be a starter for the Rockies. Oh, and he plays half his games at Coors Field.

Hilliard is a guy who has shown an ability to hit for power (he had an max exit velocity of 114.1 mph, according to Baseball Savant) and a solid average. He also has shown an ability to steal bases (he never had less than 22 in a minor league season) and score runs in the minors (and ever-so-briefly in the majors). Taking him late in the draft for a 60-game season is most definitely worth your time.

Here’s a look at some other outfielders who can provide value late in drafts:

A shoulder injury ended David Peralta’s (228.52) season after just 99 games last season, but he is just one year removed from hitting .293 with 30 homers and 87 RBIs for the Diamondbacks. He offers inexpensive late-round power along with a steady batting average (career .290 hitter).

Yes, Shin-Soo Choo (229.18) just turned 38-years-old, but the Rangers veteran hit .276 while averaging 18 homers, 62 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .828 OPS from 2008-19. He also is coming off a season in which he hit a career-high 24 homers and stole 15 bases.

David Peralta
David PeraltaRobert Sabo

At the age of 30, Oakland’s Mark Canha (232.63) had a career year — hitting .273 while smacking 26 homers with 58 RBIs, 80 runs and a .913 OPS in 126 games. At this price, it is worth finding out if he can do it again, or do better.

You should also monitor Yasiel Puig’s situation, after testing positive for coronavirus and his deal with the Braves reportedly falling apart. He is a career .277 hitter who averaged 25 homers, 74 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .811 OPS over the past three seasons. His ADP is currently 184.52, but that could fall — and if he winds up playing, it could be a late-round pick well spent.

Fantasy Rankings

Outfielders

1. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atl

2. Mike Trout, LAA

3. Christian Yelich, Mil

4. Cody Bellinger, LAD

5. Mookie Betts, LAD

6. Juan Soto, Was

7. J.D. Martinez, Bos

8. Bryce Harper, Phi

9. Starling Marte, Ari

10. George Springer, Hou

11. Charlie Blackmon, Col

12. Austin Meadows, TB

13. Ketel Marte, Ari

14. Eloy Jimenez, CWS

15. Kris Bryant, ChC

16. Aaron Judge, NYY

17. Victor Robles, Was

18. Whit Merrifield, KC

19. Ramon Laureano, Oak

20. Marcell Ozuna, Atl

21. Nick Castellanos, Cin

22. Giancarlo Stanton, NYY

23. Eddie Rosario, Min

24. Tommy Pham, SD

25. Jeff McNeil, NYM

26. Jorge Soler, KC

27. Franmil Reyes, Cle

28. Luis Robert, CWS

29. Michael Brantley, Hou

30. Joey Gallo, Tex

31. Yordan Alvarez, Hou

32. Michael Conforto, NYM

33. Andrew Benintendi, Bos

34. Max Kepler, Min

35. David Dahl, Col

36. Oscar Mercado, Cle

37. Tommy Edman, StL

38. Kyle Schwarber, ChC

39. Danny Santana, Tex

40. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Tor

41. Bryan Reynolds, Pit

42. Rhys Hoskins, Phi

43. Yasiel Puig, Atl

44. Lorenzo Cain, Mil

45. Justin Upton, LAA

46. Byron Buxton, Min

47. Adam Eaton, Was

48. J.D. Davis, NYM

49. Shin-Soo Choo, Tex

50. Mallex Smith, TB

51. Andrew McCutchen, Phi

52. Kyle Tucker, Hou

53. Alex Verdugo, Bos

54. Avisail Garcia, Mil

55. Scott Kingery, Phi

56. Willie Calhoun, Tex

57. Hunter Dozier, KC

58. Mark Canha, Oak

59. David Peralta, Ari

60. Cavan Biggio, Tor

61. Nick Senzel, Cin

62. Ryan Braun, Mil

63. Wil Myers, SD

64. Joc Pederson, LAD

65. Brian Anderson, Mia

66. Corey Dickerson, Mia

67. A.J. Pollock, LAD

68. Shogo Akiyama, Cin

69. Hunter Renfroe, TB

70. Nomar Mazara, CWS

71. Randal Grichuk, Tor

72. Trent Grisham, SD

73. Luis Arraez, Min

74. Gregory Polanco, Pit

75. Mike Yastrzemski, SF

76. Brett Gardner, NYY

77. Sam Hilliard, Col

78. Austin Hays, Bal

79. Domingo Santana, Cle

80. Brandon Nimmo, NYM

81. Joe Adell, LAA

82. Yoenis Cespedes, NYM

83. Ian Happ, ChC

84. Kole Calhoun, Ari

85. Austin Riley, Atl

86. Jesse Winker, Cin

87. Niko Goodrum, Det

88. Anthony Santander, Bal

89. Teoscar Hernandez, Tor

90. Kevin Pillar, Bos

91. Jon Berti, Mia

92. Aaron Hicks, NYY

93. Brandon Belt, SF

94. Kevin Kiermaier, TB

95. Stephen Piscotty, Oak

96. Jackie Bradley Jr., Bos

97. Harrison Bader, StL

98. Jose Martinez, TB

99. Tyler O’Neill, StL

100. Kyle Lewis, Sea

First Base

1. Cody Bellinger, LAD

2. Freddie Freeman, Atl

3. Anthony Rizzo, ChC

4. Pete Alonso, NYM

5. Jose Abreu, CWS

6. Matt Olson, Oak

7. Josh Bell, Pit

8. DJ LeMahieu, NYY

9. Paul Goldschmidt, StL

10. Max Muncy, LAD

11. Rhys Hoskins, Phi

12. Carlos Santana, Cle

13. Yuli Gurriel, Hou

14. Edwin Encarnacion, CWS

15. Miguel Sano, Min

16. Yasmani Grandal, CWS

17. Danny Santana, Tex

18. Christian Walker, Ari

19. Eric Hosmer, SD

20. C.J. Cron, Det

21. Luke Voit, NYY

22. Daniel Murphy, Col

23. Ryan McMahon, Col

24. Hunter Dozier, KC

25. Brandon Lowe, TB

26. Mark Canha, Oak

27. Joey Votto, Cin

28. Joc Pederson, LAD

29. Renato Nunez, Bal

30. Howie Kendrick, Was

31. Jesus Aguilar, Mia

32. Yandy Diaz, TB

33. Michael Chavis, Bos

34. Wil Myers, SD

35. Miguel Cabrera, Det

Third Base

1. Nolan Arenado, Col

2. Alex Bregman, Hou

3. Rafael Devers, Bos

4. Anthony Rendon, LAA

5. Jose Ramirez, Cle

6. Kris Bryant, ChC

7. Manny Machado, SD

8. Eugenio Suarez, Cin

9. Vlad Guerrero Jr., Tor

10. Yoan Moncada, CWS

11. Matt Chapman, Oak

12. Josh Donaldson, Min

13. DJ LeMahieu, NYY

14. Max Muncy, LAD

15. Mike Moustakas, Cin

16. Jeff McNeil, NYM

17. Tommy Edman, StL

18. Eduardo Escobar, Ari

19. Justin Turner, LAD

20. Yuli Gurriel, Hou

21. J.D. Davis, NYM

22. Hunter Dozier, KC

23. Miguel Sano, Min

24. Ryan McMahon, Col

25. Brian Anderson, Mia

26. Gio Urshela, NYY

27. Starlin Castro, Was

28. Danny Santana, Tex

29. Scott Kingery, Phi

30. Miguel Andujar, NYY

31. Tommy La Stella, LAA

32. Yandy Diaz, TB

33. Austin Riley, Atl

34. Howie Kendrick, Was

35. Luis Arraez, Min

Catcher

1. J.T. Realmuto, Phi

2. Gary Sanchez, NYY

3. Wilson Contreras, ChC

4. Yasmani Grandal, CWS

5. Mitch Garver, Min

6. Wilson Ramos, NYM

7. Will Smith, LAD

8. Salvador Perez, KC

9. Carson Kelly, Ari

10. Omar Narvaez, Mil

11. Christian Vazquez, Bos

12. Yadier Molina, StL

13. Jorge Alfaro, Mia

14. Francisco Mejia, SD

15. Danny Jansen, Tor

16. Sean Murphy, Oak

17. Travis d’Arnaud, Atl

18. Tom Murphy, Sea

19. Kurt Suzuki, Was

20. Robinson Chirinos, Tex

Team Name of the Week

Citizen Cain

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