2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

2019 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Infielders


Often times we see owners have fun at the end of their fantasy baseball drafts, picking their favorite prospects, or even Jesus Sucre! But what if I told you that some players you have heard of before are still on the board and can prove to be solid bench players all season long?

Even better, what if I told you those players all have infield eligibility!

We know that drafts usually begin with a run on outfielders, position scarcity players and MLB Aces. If you prefer to draft among the crowds, the players listed below can help you feel better about possibly reaching for a potential breakout middle infielder (2B/SS) or dare I say even punt a corner infield (1B/3B) position.

Using March NFBC ADP and converting Steamer projections into fantasy points, below I highlight players that are projected to be the top scoring infielders at their average draft position.

Click here to read 2019 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

2019 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Infielders

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Carlos Santana, 1B/3B, Cleveland Indians

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He’s back! After a year with the Philadelphia Phillies and a cup of coffee with the Seattle Mariners this winter, Carlos Santana is back home in Cleveland. I wrote about him in my preview of the first base position last month.

Santana’s batting average plummeted in Philly to .229, the lowest of his career but he still managed to keep his OBP above .350. That’s where he can help.

Sure, I added him to the Player(s) on the Decline section of the article, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a place in fantasy baseball!

Carlos Santana is coming off draft boards as the 19th eligible first baseman, after Yuli Gurriel and before Marwin Gonzalez.

Steamer projects him to be one of nine first baseman to hit 25+ doubles and 25+ home runs. Four of those guys have an ADP in the top 50!

Hitting cleanup in the Indians lineup means the potential for 80+ RBI.

Despite that poor batting average on the 2018 season, Santana hit .256 in the second half and if he can hit .250 this year (.247 career BA), he will be a steal at his current ADP.

Ketel Marte, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

Marte is converting to become the Diamondbacks center fielder, but hopefully, he will not lose his infield eligibility. The way Arizona’s roster is currently constructed, there are plenty of ways I see Marte will end up playing 2B/SS throughout the season. He has even played SS and CF this week in Spring Training.

With Paul Goldschmidt traded in the offseason to the St. Louis Cardinals, this DBacks lineup looks weak on paper. Last year with Goldy, they ranked 19th in runs scored. That being said, Marte is looking like their leadoff hitter, with Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta behind him in the lineup. Steamer projects him to score 78 runs, hit 31 doubles and even 13 home runs. I just wish he was more of a base stealer.

You are looking at a guy who can hit .280 with a .340 OBP as a bench player who should have MI/OF position eligibility, making him a nice utility player to stash on your bench.

Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins

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Polanco missed the first half of 2018, serving a PED suspension. Only Willy Adames (.305) and Xander Bogaerts (.296) had a higher batting average than Polanco (.293) after the All-Star break. Jorge even ranked 7th in RBI totals in the second half. Chris Taylor was the only SS to hit a higher percentage of line drives.

The Minnesota Twins look very different this year on paper with Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop and Marwin Gonzalez in town. Jorge Polanco should bat leadoff this year.

You are drafting Polanco as a safe play SS should your draft strategy lead you away from the position, or a solid bench bat who won’t hurt your batting average. Steamer even projects him for 15 stolen bases in 2019.

He is a slightly better hitter away from Target Field and crushes right-handed pitching.

Polanco is currently being drafted as the 23rd eligible shortstop, after Ketel Marte and before Marwin Gonzalez.

Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

After hitting 26 home runs in 2017, Bell only hit 12 last year in 148 games. He did just about everything right in becoming a better hitter, but his HR/FB went from 19% down to 9%. That can be accounted for when you look at his Pull% dropping nearly 10% as he hit the ball up the middle more last year.

According to Statcast, he finished 2018 in the 73rd percentile in exit velocity and 68th percentile in xwOBA.

Bell had the third best OBP among first basemen in the second half of last season, behind only Anthony Rizzo and Paul Goldschmidt.

Steamer projections currently have him hitting 19 home runs with 29 doubles and a 120 wRC+ (Joey Gallo – 119).

Bell is currently being drafted as the 27th first base eligible player, after C.J. Cron and before Tyler White. Players are going to stay away from Bell because they got “burned” last year thinking they had a 25+ home run hitter. Even if he hovers between 15-20 this year, he is a great option off the bench in OBP leagues and his .260+ average won’t kill you.

He is a slightly better hitter on the road, but if you are looking for him to hit a home run, it will probably need to come against a right-handed pitcher. 31 of his career home runs have come off RHP versus just 10 against lefties.

Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

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Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to draft a piece of this new look Phillies lineup?! Sure, it slides Franco down to the bottom of the order but there will be plenty of RBI and run-scoring opportunities for everybody in the Philadelphia lineup. He has hit 20 home runs in three straight seasons and is projected to hit 25 in 2019. He hit .270 last year and among 3B with 450 PA last year, only Alex Bregman and Jose Ramirez struck out less often. His 6% walk rate is what it is, but if you play in a league that tracks AVG over OBP, Franco should be drafted to your bench.

He is coming off draft boards as the 25th eligible 3B, after Miguel Sano (who is going to miss at least the first month of the season) and before Jake Lamb. He has proven to produce similar numbers to Mike Moustakas and yet Moose is going at pick 137 on average compared to Franco’s 263 ADP.

Franco hits a lot of soft groundballs and a bunch of infield pop-ups but I get the feeling because of his high swing and miss rate, that he gets defensive with two strikes and just puts the ball in play. Good news is that when he does hit a fly ball, they go out of the park at a decent rate. He also hits as well for power and average away from home, as he does at Citizens Bank Park. However, his L/R splits are not great.

He is a career .260 hitter with 60 home runs against right-handed pitching (1576 PA) while hitting just .230 with 24 home runs vs LHP (535 PA). Keep that in mind when placing him in your lineup for the day!

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2019 Fantasy Baseball Position Previews
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldStarting PitcherRelief Pitcher

Check out the rest of our great Fantasy Baseball content as the 2019 season approaches.

About Keith Lott

We have one goal, to help you win your league. It does not matter if you are a fantasy rookie or a veteran. Everyone has questions, and we have opinions. Lot(t)s of them! How I Went Undefeated In Fantasy Football

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