Last year at this time, nobody owned Milwaukee Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar. Having washed out of Houston under a slew of poor batting averages and overall disappointing results, Villar made his way to the rebuilding Brewers who gave him a shot to salvage his career. Salvage his career he did as Villar had arguably the most valuable (in relation to draft cost) of any hitter in 2016 fantasy baseball in hitting .285 with 19 home runs and a massive 62 stolen bases. The tools were always there but Villar just needed another chance to let them come to the surface. So why are we talking about Villar when the subject of this piece is Arizona D-Backs infielder Chris Owings? Because the similarities are startling.
Owings of course has been a hot pickup in 2017 fantasy baseball this past week as he got off to a decent start in batting .345 with a home run and 4 stolen bases. Always blessed with above-average speed, Owings is running every chance he gets and he also has shown the ability to offer up some power as well. Unfortunately Owings has battled injuries and inconsistency at the dish previous to this season and that is why he went undrafted in many fantasy baseball leagues. Keep in mind though that Owings did hit a decent .277 last season with 21 steals but just 5 home runs in 466 at-bats. On a team that likes to run, Owings should easily pass 20 steals and 10 home runs is not out of the question either to go with a bunch of runs scored. Throw in the shortstop eligibility and Owings makes for a nice pickup this early.
Remember that post-hype sleepers such as Villar and Owings sometimes make for the best values and that could be what we are now seeing with the latter. The opportunity is certainly there and so far Owings is cooperating.