AL Central Fantasy Baseball Preview

Who to draft, who to avoid and where to look for surprises this spring. A guide for the casual fan.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Spring Training is officially underway and I find myself excited yet terrified.

We're getting that much closer to baseball season; I can smell it. Yet, I keep wondering; have I studied enough leading up to my draft? Do I know my sleepers, busts and bargains? How will each team's depth charts shake up?

This article is for the fantasy player that is not me. This is for the guy that just wants the quick stats and advice; the guy that actually has a life and can win a draft by reading over just a few previews from the 'experts.'

Here is what you can expect from the AL Central. Enjoy.


Best Player

Miguel Cabrera, 3B – Tigers – Arguably the best hitter in all of baseball, should go #1 or #2 in all drafts.


Best Bargain

Paul Konerko, 1B – White Sox – It absolutely amazes me people continue to sleep on him year after year. He's just a couple good seasons away from being Hall-of-Fame worthy as he gets closer to 500 home runs. He had a hurt wrist last season and was unstoppable before injuring it mid-summer. He's being taken after the first 100 picks and should easily give you top 40 value with a high average and 25+ homers.


Biggest Sleeper

Lorenzo Cain, OF – Royals – Has the speed and contact ability to be a top 25 outfielder.


Who Will Jump Into Stardom

Chris Sale, SP – White Sox – Dominant first half of '12; the Sox are expecting him to make a big jump this year.

Sal Perez, C – Royals – He's being draft incredibly late and has great potential to hit 20 homers with a .300+ average.


Rookie Watch

Pedro Florimon, SS – Twins – Not much of a hitter, but with decent speed, Florimon is already the favorite to win the shortstop position in Minnesota. Shortstop is crazy shallow, so any excitement here is worth noting.


Ultimate Risk/Reward

Trevor Plouffe, 3B – Twins – He hit .327/11/21 in June but was lethargic the rest of '12. Which player is he?


Worth A Late Round Flier

Vance Worley, SP – Twins – Always reliable when healthy in Philly. Now it's time to see if he can last in the AL.

John Danks, SP – White Sox – If his health is back, could return to near All-Star form.

Michael Brantley, OF – Indians – Not huge upside, but still on the upswing at only 25-years old. Will give you good average and decent speed.

Torii Hunter, OF – Tigers – Sabermetrics say he's not done yet.

Drew Smyly, SP – Tigers – Has ridiculous K rate and is only 23-years-old.

Zach McAllister, SP – Indians – Incredibly reliable in '12 and the Indians believe in him.


Star Ready To Rebound

Eric Hosmer, 1B – Royals – Too good of a hitter to succumb to a third year jinx.



Avoid At All Costs

Justin Morneau, 1B – Twins
Jamey Carroll, 2B – Twins
Gordon Beckham, 2B – White Sox


Players Guaranteed To Make Profit

Paul Konerko, 1B – White Sox
Doug Fister, SP – Tigers
Victor Martinez, 1B/DH/ – Tigers
Sal Perez, C – Royals


Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. He has won his epic League Of Champions fantasy baseball league four out of seven years and has an appreciation for Huey Lewis. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at

Photo Credit: Getty

AL East Fantasy Baseball Preview