Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt had a huge breakout season in 2013, totaling 36 home runs, 125 RBIs and a .302 batting average. Goldschmidt finished the season second in MVP voting, and was named an All-Star, Gold Glove Award winner, and Silver Slugger. All this after a 2012 campaign that was nice – .286 batting average, 20 home runs, 82 RBI – but certainly not elite.
With fantasy baseball draft season approaching, owners are now looking for a first baseman that, like Goldschmidt, could crash the party in 2014. While SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio’s Craig Mish was careful not to promise another Goldschmidt, he did offer a name that owners can target in the middle of their drafts as a slugger sleeper.
“To try to predict a Mike Trout or Goldschmidt is nearly impossible,” Mish said. “But one of the names that I think is most intriguing to me, just because he is a bit of an unknown, is Jose Abreu, the Cuban defector first baseman that the White Sox signed to a huge contract.
“I think that first base position is one that if you don’t get Goldschmidt, or you don’t get Fielder, or Chris Davis, or Edwin Encarnacion, or maybe even Pujols,” Mish said, “you know, at that point, you might just want to wait and take [Abreu] a little later, and take a shot with him.”
One of the reasons Mish is confident in Abreu, who has been projected by some as a 30-to-40 home run threat? The fact that he last played ball in Cuba.
“The other thing going for him is the fact that these guys that have come over from Cuba – Puig, Cespedes – they’ve kind of set the tone here. You can come over from there and compete at a very high level,” Mish said. “Why not Abreu being the next guy? I buy it.”
You can hear Craig Mish and Kay Adams on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio’s Livin’ The Fantasy, Sirius channel 210 and XM channel 87.
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