Any fantasy owner whose done their homework knows who Adam Eaton is at this point. In three minor league seasons the Arizona outfielder has posted a .355/.456/.510 triple-slash, including a whopping .375/.456/.523 line between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno in 2012. He has averaged nearly 50 SB per 162 games played, walked 166 times against 196 strikeouts, and despite a lack of home runs has exhibited extra-base power that should translate well to the hitter-friendly environs of Chase Field. In 103 PA following a late season promotion to the big leagues, Eaton registered a solid .794 OPS with a 14:15 BB:K ratio, and was projected to be the Diamondbacks’ starting CF and leadoff hitter before suffering a two-month elbow sprain last week. Don’t let his absence until the end of May temper your enthusiasm, however; if anything it means that his ADP of 228 should drop even further, making him a terrific DL-stash who upon returning could be a nice low-end outfielder or quality depth depending on league format.
UPSIDE: .285, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 65 R, 25 SB (based on ~100 games played)
ROTOBALLER.COM BREAKOUT RATING: 7/10 – Eaton should slot nicely at the top of Arizona's order once he returns, and has the ability to be an immediate fantasy contributor.
Marco Estrada isn’t going to blow you away with his velocity, but he possesses swing-and-miss stuff thanks to his excellent control and solid fastball/curveball/changeup mix. The 29-year-old RHP has quietly been a good-to-very-good pitcher for Milwaukee the past two years, logging a 3.82 ERA and 231:58 K:BB ratio in 231 innings. In fact, his strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 5:1 was second only to Cliff Lee among pitchers who made 20 starts last season, and his 3.35 FIP suggests he pitched even better than his 3.64 ERA indicates. Slated to be the Brewers’ number two SP in 2013, Estrada offers significant value for a player with a 174 ADP.
UPSIDE: 11 W, 3.7 ERA, 1.2 WHIP, 170 K
ROTOBALLER.COM BREAKOUT RATING: 8/10 – Estrada has shown enough the past two seasons to prove his performance is more trend than anomaly. He projects as a quality back-of-the-rotation fantasy arm.
Once one of the game’s most promising pitching prospects, Julio Teheran saw his fastball velocity decline and his home-run rate skyrocket to the tune of a 5.08 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 1.2 HR/9 over 131 innings at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2012. Some of that ugly performance may have been due to pitching mechanics, though; the Braves had grown concerned about torque on his elbow and knee and made the righty adjust his delivery. While the results weren’t there last season, Atlanta remains convinced that Teheran, still just 22 years old, will adjust. So far-- and while fully aware it’s spring training-- there is reason for cautious optimism, as Teheran has featured a sinking two-seam fastball and meathook curve while posting a 1.04 ERA and 35:9 K:BB ratio in 26 IP. Whereas Teheran was most likely ticketed for the minors prior to camp, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is now saying that “barring something crazy” the Colombian will open the season as Atlanta’s fifth starter. With an ADP of 221, Teheran is certainly worth a flier based on his previous potential and age.
UPSIDE: 10 W, 4.50 ERA, 1.4 WHIP, 130 K
ROTOBALLER.COM BREAKOUT RATING: 5/10 – Teheran is getting his chance to show he belongs in the Majors but this year is all about consistency and holding a rotation spot, so temper expectations despite his strong preseason.