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Chris Owings (SS, ARI) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target as High-End MI

ANALYSIS: With only 393 career plate appearances (PA) in the majors, Chris Owings has won the Diamondbacks' starting shortstop job. Naturally, this will increase his fantasy value significantly in 2015, as will his eligibility at both SS and 2B. In 332 PA last year, Owings showed decent speed with eight stolen bases, a year after posting 20 SB in Triple-A. In 2014, only nine MLB shortstops had 20 or more SB – and only six of those were also eligible at 2B. If Owings can flash the same speed, is 44.9% ground ball percentage will allow him to get on base a lot.

Owings hit six homers last year and had a .145 ISO. These numbers do not blow anyone away, but they do provide a boost in fantasy relevance. Only 10 shortstops and 15 second basemen hit 12 or more home runs last year. Owings could eclipse that number in a full season. His impressive 89.3% Z-Contact%, which calculates the percentage of times a batter makes contact when swinging at pitches in the strike zone, is furthered by the fact that 43.9% of pitches thrown to Owings were off-speed pitches.

Owings has the potential to be a top 10 player at both SS and 2B. His speed and power combination brings needed value at two shallow positions, especially in leagues with a middle infield slot. He’ll also come with the new-guy, fantasy-unknown discount.

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