In this article, we discuss Fantasy Baseball Surprise Players that many fantasy owners may be missing if they are only reading the headlines from week to week. These are players that may be overachieving and may deserve more attention, or they could be players that are surprisingly underachieving. Fantasy owners are making moves every week and are always on the lookout for the free agent pickup that will carry them to the title. Additionally, fantasy owners may be overlooking players that are currently in their lineups, yet they are not producing.
Josh Reddick, OF, Oakland Athletics
There may not be a hotter hitter in baseball right now than Reddick. Over the past two weeks, Reddick is batting .429 while scoring 12 runs, and driving another 15 runs. Reddick is a player that has proven the ability to perform in the past as he belted 32 HR in 2012. He is also taking what the opposing pitchers are giving him this season as thus far he has produced a 12.4% BB rate, which thus far is a career high. There are concerns that he may be peaking at this point however as his .362 BABIP is not likely to sustain, and he is only striking out 5.6% of the time year to date vs. a 20% strikeout rate over the past 3 seasons.
Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati Reds
Cozart has been a hot waiver wire addition across most fantasy leagues over the first month of the season. Thus far this season he is batting .304 while hitting 5 HRs and scoring 13 runs. He has also managed to steal 2 bases, and drive in 12 runs. Owners have to keep in mind that Cozart has averaged a .241 AVG, 10 HRs, and 45 RBIs over the past 3 seasons. This season he has a poor 4% BB rate, and is still striking out 16% of the time, and has a grossly elevated .324 BABIP on the season. Cozart is currently hampered with a wrist injury so it is difficult to say whether or not he can keep up his surprising performance.
J.D. Martinez, OF, Detroit Tigers
On the season Martinez has 6 HRs and has scored 16 R, which at first glance may make fantasy owners feel like Martinez is on pace to repeat his 2014 performance. However, over the past 2 weeks he is only batting .174 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. On the season, his AVG has dropped to .226 with a massive 33.6% K rate. At this point, he is simply not getting on base season to date with a 6.2% BB rate, and he is missing opportunities to drive in runs with a .188 AVG with runners in scoring position.
Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox
Entering his 2nd season in the majors many fantasy owners had high expectations for Abreu. On the season Abreu has a .277 AVG with 16 RBI and 5 HR. Unfortunately, over the past 2 weeks Abreu has fallen out of the groove and is hitting .256 with 0 HR. Surprisingly, Abreu is only batting .182 vs. left handed pitching this season, and 23% of his at bats have been against lefties. Last season he carried a .353 BA and hit 10 of his 36 HRs vs. left handed pitchers.