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Thomas, Wade and Perdomo solid leadoff men

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The rookie crop of MLB players continues to flourish, and we are seeing more and more players being called up prior to the All-Star break.

That should be exciting for all fantasy baseball managers.

The Reds have led the charge with the promotions of Elly De La Cruz and Andrew Abbott, and several teams have joined in, with players such as the Cardinals’ Jordan Walker, the Dodgers’ Bobby Miller and the Giants’ Luis Matos joining the MLB ranks.

But what happens when you don’t have enough FAAB or a high enough waiver priority to acquire such highly coveted commodities? You have to find cheaper alternatives who seem to be routinely flying under the radar, and a great place to start is among some of the underrated leadoff hitters.

The beauty of grabbing as many leadoff hitters as you can is that you will start to dominate at-bats. Though at-bats aren’t a fantasy category, a simple glance at your league standings over the past few seasons will show you how winning teams dominate in at-bats.

The more times your players step up to the plate, the more opportunities they have to add to their totals, and for every spot in the order they move down, they lose at-bats. The concept is so simple it will blow your mind how few people grasp or follow it.

Though all the marquee names who bat leadoff are already owned, there are still a few who are surprisingly available in many leagues.

The Nationals may not be a strong team and they don’t have too many players you would want for your fantasy team, but leadoff hitter Lane Thomas should definitely be rostered.


Thomas has a .341 on-base percentage with a .360 wOBA (weighted on-base average) this year.
Lane Thomas has a .341 on-base percentage with a .360 wOBA (weighted on-base average) this season.
Getty Images

On the season, he is batting .293 with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs, 50 runs scored and seven stolen bases, but more importantly he has a .341 on-base percentage with a .360 wOBA (weighted on-base average) this year.

With every extra opportunity out of the leadoff spot, you gain the probability of adding more offensive stats. And best of all, Thomas is available in 60 percent of leagues on Yahoo and 30 percent of ESPN leagues.

You should also take a look at Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr., owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues and 26 percent on ESPN.


Wade is on pace to reach career highs in in both runs scored and RBIs.
LaMonte Wade Jr. is on pace to reach career highs in in both runs scored and RBIs.
Getty Images

The lefty-swinging Wade owns a .415 on-base average thanks to a 17.3 percent walk-rate and a significant drop in strikeouts.

He has had a nice spike in his isolated power numbers and is on pace to post career highs in both runs scored and RBIs.

Need one more? How about the Diamondbacks’ underrated Geraldo Perdomo?


With a .406 on base percentage and a locked-in position as the leadoff for the season, Geraldo Perdomo is a stellar addition to a roster.
With a .406 on base percentage and a locked-in position as the leadoff for the season, Geraldo Perdomo would be a stellar addition to a roster.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

He is hardly a household name, rostered in just 40 percent of Yahoo leagues and 16 percent on ESPN, but he has nine stolen bases and is rocking a .406 on-base percentage.

He has been a high-OBP guy at every stop in the minors and showed that last year’s struggles were just rookie growing pains. He is the full-time shortstop in Arizona and, as a switch-hitter, is expected to be locked into the leadoff spot for the duration of the season.

Those who win fantasy championships understand it is strictly a numbers game.

Name recognition means nothing. So while your competition remains focused on whichever flavor-of-the-week is being called up from the minors, there are a bevy of players who are routinely overlooked.

And if those overlooked players are batting leadoff or hitting somewhere in the top half of the order, your advantage is only going to grow.

Howard Bender is the head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to Fantasy-Alarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.



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