The 2012 regular season is over, and it's time to focus on next year's planning. Regardless of the type of league you play in, eligibility factors are always important for deciding which players to target.
Reggie Von Bartles
2013 Fantasy Baseball Player Eligibility
Monday October 15th, 2012
Depending on the player and the rest of your team's roster, a player you draft for an alternate position could maximize your team's counting statistics.
You may value a player higher in the draft knowing that you can use him in another slot, freeing up another position for you to target. The biggest positive is when a fantasy owner can draft a player listed from a deep pool of players (outfield) and have that player play another position that has a weaker talent pool (middle infield position).
Not only does Baseball Press capture lineup information, we also have a lot of data running behind the scenes. One of those pieces of data is starting positions for every player. Today, we'll examine some numbers for players based on their starting positions. While each fantasy league is different in regards to eligibility, the data provided today will give you a good idea of what's available for next season. Again, this data is based upon starting field position, and doesn't include total appearances at that position.
I'll highlight a few of the notes, but you can view the entire sheet (with MLB Player ID) by clicking this link. If you want to make a pivot table or change/edit the data, simply download/copy the spreadsheet out from Google Docs.
Notable Multi-Position Eligible Players
Adam Dunn - 1B/DH, Chicago White Sox
Adam Dunn started 51 games at first base and 94 games at the DH spot. More importantly, he had five starts in the outfield for the White Sox in 2012, and in some leagues, that qualifies him for an outfield roster spot. Keep an eye on that outfield eligibility for your league.
Buster Posey - C/1B, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey had a terrific season and will likely collect many National League MVP votes. Although he was back to catching full time in 2012, he had 29 starts at fist base over the course of the season. No matter where you play him, he's a producer.
Allen Craig - 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Although Allen Craig started the season on the disabled list, his bat found a way into the Cardinals lineup. After Lance Berkman went down, the obvious choice was to play Craig at first base. Prior to the first base move, Craig had 26 starts in the outfield. There have also been rumors of Craig possibly playing a few games at second base, but that doesn't help you at this point in the season.
Martin Prado - OF/3B/SS, Atlanta Braves
Atlanta's Martin Prado has always been a valuable commodity for fantasy owners, and 2013 will be no different. In addition to outfield and third base eligibility, Prado picked up shortstop eligibility during the season after starting 11 games at the position. In addition to shortstop, Prado also started eight games at second base and four games at first base. If you draft Prado, you're likely guaranteed three positions, with the possibility of second base as a fourth.
Ben Zobrist - OF/2B/SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Viewed as one of the most underrated players in baseball, Ben Zobrist will have eligibility at both middle infield positions in addition to outfield eligibility. He started a total of 47 games at shortstop towards the end of the season. He's always a good pickup for owners.
Danny Espinosa - 2B/SS, Washington Nationals
Danny Espinosa was locked in as the second baseman for most of the 2012 season, but started 34 games at shortstop when Ian Desmond went down with an injury. Although he has important eligibility at both middle infield spots, he won't be drafted because of his strikeout totals and inability to take walks.
Todd Frazier - 3B/1B, Cincinnati Reds
Rookie Todd Frazier started a bulk of his games for the veteran Scott Rolen at third base, but also saw time at first base with Joey Votto on the disabled list. In addition to the corner infield positions, Frazier also started seven games in the outfield for the Reds in 2012. Moving forward, Frazier will likely be the everyday third baseman with Rolen hitting free agency.
Joe Mauer - C/1B/DH, Minnesota Twins
The Twins did a good job of limiting the abuse on Mauer's legs in 2012, as he started 74 games at catcher, 30 games at first base, and 42 games as the designated hitter. Although he likely had first base eligibility in your league headed into 2012, it's good that he will retain that status in 2013.
Hanley Ramirez - 3B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Many fantasy owners rejoiced when HanRam was traded to the Dodgers. Not only did it present a hope for an increase in production, but it also meant that Ramirez would see starts at the shortstop position. With Jose Reyes entrenched at shortstop for the Miami Marlins, Ramirez would have lost his shortstop eligibility, becoming strictly a third baseman.
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Prior to the the trade from Boston to L.A., the Red Sox were trying to jump start the offense, which included Gonzalez starting 18 games in the outfield. In some leagues, AGon will have that outfield eligibility kick in at 15 games.
Jordan Pacheco - 3B/1B, Colorado Rockies
Rookie Jordan Pacheco was one of the few bright spots for the Rockies in 2012 and has corner infield eligibility headed into 2013. As an added bonus, Pacheco started 5 games at the catcher position, which could be worth something in your league.
Ryan Doumit - C/OF, Minnesota Twins
When Joe Mauer wasn't catching, Ryan Doumit started 57 games behind the plate in 2012. In addition to catching, he also started 22 games in the outfield and 50 games at DH. He's worth a roster spot as a late round catcher with some power, but can also be slotted into the outfield and designated hitter's spot.
Billy Butler - DH/1B, Kansas City Royals
In 2011, Billy Butler had 11 starts at first base, and was likely not eligible at the position in your league in 2012 to start the season. However, the slugger was able to start 20 games at first base in 2012, and will have no problems being eligible at the position in 2013. Draft with confidence.
Kevin Youkilis - 3B/1B, Chicago White Sox
The Greek God of Walks had 14 starts at first base and 108 starts at third base in 2012, but will likely end up as a third baseman next season. However, there's a shot he's a free agent and could land back at first base for his new team.
Mark Reynolds - 1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles
Mark Reynolds spent a majority of his season at first base for the Orioles, but was still able to collect 15 starts at third base early in the season. If he's not eligible at third base in your league, he only has first baseman eligibility, as the Orioles won't be moving him back to the hot corner.
Mark Trumbo - OF/DH, Los Angeles Angels
I didn't expect Mark Trumbo to play much in 2012, but he was able to start 97 games in the outfield for the Halos. In addition to the outfield, Trumbo also started 16 games at first base and 8 games at third base.
Kyle Seager - 3B/2B, Seattle Mariners
Kyle Seager started 14 games at second base, but ultimately played a bulk of his games at third base for the Mariners this season (137 starts). If your league has a 10 game start rule, you won't have any issues drafting Seager as a second baseman.
Chris Davis - 1B/OF/DH, Baltimore Orioles
In addition to DH eligibility, Chris Davis also started at first base and the outfield. When Nick Markakis went down with a season-ending injury, Davis became the everyday right fielder. With 39 starts in the outfield and 38 starts at first base, owners can mix and match when to play Davis.
Corey Hart - OF/1B, Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart started the season in right field, but after Mat Gamel was lost to an injury, Hart slid from the outfield to first base. He started 49 games in the OF in addition to the 97 starts he had at first base in 2012.
Notable Players Losing Eligibility
Jose Bautista - OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Not only did the slugger lose his season to an injury, he also lost his third base position eligibility in 2013 after starting 90 games in the outfield in 2012.
Miguel Cabrera - 3B, Detroit Tigers
Miggy moved from first base to third base after the Prince Fielder signing, and is likely staying put at third base after 158 starts at the hot corner. He loses first base eligibility, but that doesn't matter at all when drafting him.
Michael Morse - OF, Washington Nationals
Michael Morse filled in at first base when Adam LaRoche went down in 2011, but moved back to the outfield for the entire 2012 season. However, LaRoche has a $10 million team option ($1 million buyout) and if for some reason, he doesn't negotiate a new contract with the Nationals, Morse could move to first base.
Edwin Encarnacion - DH/1B, Toronto Blue Jays
With the emergence of prospect Brett Lawrie, the Jays no longer needed E5's services at third base. In fact, Edwin had more starts in the outfield (2) than he did at third base (1) in 2012.
Remember, if you want to see all of the results, simply download the spreadsheet from Google.
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