Now that we have completed our series on fantasy baseball tiers, it is time to start looking at some of the players who have seen a jump in their average jump position in the last week over at Mock Draft Central. Here is a look at some people to keep an eye on that have been rising up draft boards in preparation for your 2013 fantasy baseball draft.
Julio Teheran (+69 spots) – a combination of better mechanics, a better slider and more two seam fastballs have been paying dividends for Teheran thus far in spring. He has a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings with 18 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .087 batting average. This comes on the heels of his encouraging performance in the winter leagues where he posted a 3.23 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with 24 strikeouts. He looks locked in as the number five starter in the Braves rotation and makes for an interesting upside pick late in fantasy drafts
Wade LeBlanc (+63) – with several spots open at the back end of the Miami Marlins rotation, LeBlanc looks ready to claim one with nine scoreless innings so far this spring with no walks allowed and seven strikeouts. More of a NL-only option still at this point unless you play in an extremely deep mixed league.
Andy Dirks (+27) – the Detroit Tigers released outfielder Brennan Boesch which further strengthens Dirk’s grip on the left field job. Dirks is batting .301 this spring in 29 at bats with a home run and two stolen bases. I like him late in mixed leagues as an upside play with the potential for double figure home runs and steals.
Joaquin Benoit (+27) – from his stats, it would have looked like Benoit would have been given the opportunity to close for the Tigers, but rookie Brice Rondon has been given the first shot. Given Rondon’s struggles and the lack of closing options in relief, Benoit has a good shot to own the closer role full-time at some point this season.
Erasmo Ramirez (+23) – pitched better in 16 games with Seattle last season than he did in the minor leagues with a higher strikeout rate and less hits allowed per nine innings. He has worked six scoreless innings so far in spring with five strikeouts and he has some late round appeal in mixed league formats given his low WHIP ratio potential.