Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/14/14

Most, if not all, of these players went a lot later than they should have in 2012. It just goes to show that the most active fantasy baseball owners are usually the ones left standing at the end of the season. And they say playing fantasy baseball isn’t a full-time job… 10. Chase Headley, 3B, SD Headley was on the fantasy radar last year, but who would’ve predicted that he would lead the NL in RBI? His numbers for 2012 on a team that wasn’t laden with offensive power were amazing — .286 BA, 95 R, 31 HR, 115 RBI, 17 SB. He’s been on the trade block for about two years now and his value can only go up if he leaves San Diego. 9. Josh Reddick, OF, OAK Reddick had some success with Boston before departing for the opposite coast, but what followed in 2012 was a surprise. He blasted 32 homers while driving in 85 for the AL West champions. He only hit .242, but had 85 R and 11 SB for a pretty useful fantasy season. Much like his team, we’ll have to wait until 2013 to see if both were flukes. 8. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B, TOR Encarnacion had the 2012 that Jose Bautista wish he had. The multi-position player hit .280 with 93 R, 42 HR, 110 RBI, 13 SB. He had flashed power in previous seasons, but injuries have always held him back. If he stays healthy again in 2013 he could approach these numbers once more, but that’s a big if. 7. Alcides Escobar, SS, KC In a year where very few shortstops were safe options, Escobar was a good source of average and stolen bases, and he even managed to drive in a career-high 52 runs. His stat line for the year — .293 BA, 68 R, 5 HR, 52 RBIs, 35 SB — looks like it could be useful in the coming years. If you miss out on the top shortstops in 2013, Escobar could be a nice consolation prize. 6. Chris Sale, SP, CHW Sale followed the C.J. Wilson path to becoming a starting pitcher. For most of the 2012 season he was in the AL Cy Young race and with a record of 17-8 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .235 BAA, 192 Ks and 51 BB he deserved to be. Sale can be one of the next young studs in the AL, but much like Oakland, we’ll have to see if he can put up a repeat performance. 5. Lance Lynn, SP, STL In his first full season as a starter, mainly “filling in” for the injured Chris Carpenter, Lynn had a great rookie season. He finished 18-7 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 180 K and 64 BB. Now while it would be nice to have the WHIP a little lower, he wasn’t too bad for a waiver-wire add. He did have a few hiccups midseason, but he rebounded nicely, even helping the Cards make the playoffs and nearly another World Series. 4. Wilin Rosario, C, COL We’ve talked about Rosario a fair amount so far, but we’ll continue it here. He only had 396 at-bats, but Rosario made an impact nonetheless with a .270 BA, 67 R, 28 HR, had 71 RBI for one of the worst teams in the league. He even hit 10 of his 27 homers on the road and will be one of the sexy candidates at catcher going into 2013, but make sure he doesn’t bite you like Alex Avila did this year. Draft him, but don’t reach too far. 3. Wade Miley, SP, ARI “Smilin’” Miley was the ace that Ian Kennedy should have been in 2012. He was 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 144 K and 37 BB. He’ll likely be useful as your third or fourth starter next year, but he might have a little more trouble next season with the improved Dodgers’ and Giants’ squads in the division. 2. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU Altuve, like Headley, was one of the few bright spots on his respective team. The Astros were the worst team in the MLB, but Altuve was productive — .290 AB, 87 runs, 7 HR, 37 RBIs and 33 SB. He might be shipped out of town to a contender much like his other teammates the last couple of years, but with a new logo, maybe he stays and becomes the next big thing in fantasy at 2B. 1. Kyle Seager, 2B/3B/SS, SEA Seager wasn’t even a blip on the radar when the season began. He wasn’t even ranked inside the top 200 but delivered a great value. On the season, he batted .259 with 62 R, 20 HR, 86 RBI and 13 SB for a decent Seattle club. He was the most productive batter in a lineup with Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley. Did I mention the fact that he was eligible at 2B, 3B and SS? Those are the types of guys I love to grab.

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