2014 Outlook: After a miserable 2012 that made him look finished at this level, Uribe bounced back with one of the better years of his career in 2013, particularly on defense. His batting average/on-base contributions, however, were fueled by some good fortune; his BABIP was .322, 40 points higher than his career mark. Nevertheless, Uribe managed to score another deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who effectively lacked an alternative at third base and therefore will allow him to play there regularly again in 2014. His ratios are due to regress, but if you address his shortcomings elsewhere, he's a fine NL-only roster filler in the late rounds.
2014 Outlook: Scary fact: Beckham is the only player to have managed four consecutive seasons of at least 400 plate appearances and a sub-.700 OPS. That's how far his stock has slipped, at a stage of his career during which one would expect significant growth. A wrist issue limited him in 2013, and the Chicago White Sox appear to be forgiving enough to grant him their second-base gig again, but there aren't any hints of an imminent step forward. Even worse: Beckham was a more productive hitter against right- than left-handed pitchers, as well as more so on the road than at home, in 2013; though those career splits have been somewhat balanced. That's not a good thing, because it means he's a weak mix-and-match, and therefore more AL-only than mixed commodity.
2014 Outlook: Reynolds, the owner of baseball's single-season strikeout record (223, in 2009) and three of the six instances of 200-K campaigns in history (also 2008, 2010), finds himself in a fight for playing time this spring, a non-roster invitee battling for the Milwaukee Brewers' first-base role. He's plenty capable of swatting 30-plus homers, and hitter-friendly Miller Park would only help his cause, but his fly-ball rate and isolated power have slipped the past two years, to the point that he might find himself in a platoon. NL-only and deep-mixed owners can take a chance on his considerable power potential, but doing so requires them to address his batting-average shortcomings. Know the risks.
2014 Outlook: A .287/.343/.438 hitter who averaged 16 home runs and 11 stolen bases per 162 games played during his minor league career, Asche might not be a blue-chip prospect, but he's capable enough with the bat to have reached the majors in just two years as a pro, projecting as the Philadelphia Phillies' starting third baseman entering 2014. He managed an OPS 102 points higher against righties (.710) than lefties (.608) as a rookie, so there might be some matchup advantage to owning him, but as his ceiling isn't especially high, he's more NL-only than mixed material.
2014 Outlook: Flaherty entered camp as the favorite to start at second base for the Baltimore Orioles, and he has the kind of underrated pop that might make him a potential bargain in AL-only formats. In 162 games played in the minors, he clubbed 21 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .464, and during the second half of last season in the majors, he hit four homers and boosted his fly ball rate to 43.8 percent in 75 trips to the plate. Flaherty appears to have the kind of left-handed swing that can capitalize on Camden Yards' friendly confines, but track his progress and role during spring training.
2014 Outlook: Despite several short-term opportunities over the years playing in place of injured, aging New York Yankees stars, Nunez has perfected just one skill at the big-league level in four years: stealing bases. His defense is questionable at best, resulting in a utility role that isn't a product of his versatility, but rather illustrates his team's attempts to find him a suitable long-term position. Nunez is in the mix for the starting second and/or third base jobs this spring, but he'd need to show vastly improved defense to land either, and the more likely part-timer role would lock him in as a cheap steals candidate in AL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: Through his first three big league seasons, Chisenhall has looked more the part of third-base platoon man than a future above-average regular, which is why winter chatter that Carlos Santana might see time at the hot corner was taken so seriously. Chisenhall still appears the Cleveland Indians' likely starter, at least against righties, as he has an OPS 102 points higher against them than lefties. AL-only owners can plug him in as a corner infielder.
2014 Outlook: After a year in Japan, McGehee returns to the states on a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, one of the few teams with a wide-open third-base job for the taking. Though his numbers plummeted in 2011-12, he managed .292-28-93 numbers in 144 games for Rakuten in 2013, including a 11.9 percent walk rate that offers the most encouragement for his bounce-back chances. NL-only owners can freely speculate with their corner-infield spot, but McGehee would need to open eyes during spring training in order to warrant greater fantasy consideration.
2014 Outlook: Considered more of a fallback option at third base for the White Sox than a prime candidate to start, Semien nevertheless shouldn't receive the "ho-hum" approach in deeper fantasy leagues. He's capable of chipping in a few homers and steals, averaging 19 and 20 per 162 games played in his minor league career. At the very least, Semien should make the White Sox as a utility infielder, so consider him a back-of-your-roster option in those AL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: Plate appearances for Aviles will be hard to come by, especially if Carlos Santana makes a successful transition to third base. But since he is so versatile with both middle- and corner-infield eligibility, Aviles makes for a cagey late-round play in AL-only leagues, as he is an injury at any of three positions away from happening upon more playing time. And if he gets it, Aviles still makes excellent contact and prorates to teens power and speed if he plays regularly.
2014 Outlook: A Gold Glover every year from 2001-06 before injuries took hold, Chavez has since settled in as a handy bench bat for the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks the past three seasons. Back with the latter, he'll serve as a pinch-hitter and backup third baseman, getting the occasional start when Martin Prado is needed elsewhere. NL-only owners, or mixed daily-league players, might squeeze some value out of him, but understand that Chavez declined badly as a 35-year-old the second half of 2013 (.241/.305/.386 triple-slash rates in 34 games) and he might receive fewer at-bats on a more cluttered roster than last year's.
2014 Outlook: Izturis is one of those guys who may not appear to be in line for much playing time, but his versatility always leads to a few hundred trips to the dish each season. The problem is last year with Toronto, Izturis wasn't nearly as productive in his utility role as he was for so many summers in Anaheim. Most disturbing was a paltry single pilfer in six attempts. The good news is Izturis again qualifies at second, third and short, so he adds flexibility to a deep roster and there could be an opening for some regular playing time at second if Izturis has a solid spring.
2014 Outlook: Callaspo is ticketed for a utility role with the Oakland Athletics this season, a candidate to sneak in starts at any of the four infield positions as well as designated hitter. Considering his career lefty/righty splits, he'll be a handy bench bat for a team that likes to capitalize upon platoon advantages. He's a .300/.346/.420 lifetime hitter against left-handers, so AL-only or deep mixed owners whose leagues afford daily transactions should be mixing and matching only those assignments.
2014 Outlook: Francisco is a handy platoon partner for a team in need of first- or third-base help, slashing .252/.312/.464 in his career against right-handers, compared to .179/.218/.221 against lefties, and the Milwaukee Brewers could have quite the use for that if Mark Reynolds and Aramis Ramirez wind up as their projected corner infielders. First base seems to be Francisco's likelier path to NL-only fantasy value, as despite the competition at the position this spring, he's the most obvious left-handed choice of the bunch. Make no mistake: As an all-power type, he's more real-game bench material than a potential future starter, so don't lock him in assuming a big boost in value.
2014 Outlook: Franco, one of the Philadelphia Phillies' top prospects, could make his major league debut sometime midseason after he batted .339/.363/.563 in 69 games in Double-A to conclude 2013. Though he's somewhat of a free-swinger, he makes consistent contact; he should be an immediate, albeit not necessarily elite, contributor in terms of batting average and home runs. The Phillies might look to him at first base in the event of a Ryan Howard injury, or third base should Cody Asche struggle, and that prospect alone makes him a worthwhile NL-only end-gamer/reserve pick.