While a lot of fantasy hype might be around young prospects like Jason Heyward and Mike Stanton, don’t forget about some of the proven veterans, especially at some thinner positions.

A player like Chipper Jones is normally going between the 18th and 22nd round in most drafts. However, during the spring he has a batting average close to .388. While Chipper used to be one of the staples at third base before injuries caused him to miss time. If he can stay healthy, Jones could be a steal like Paul Konerko was last season.

Another veteran for fantasy owners to keep their eyes on is J.J. Hardy. Hardy is playing with a greatly improved Baltimore lineup, and having players like Vlad Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and Derek Lee hitting behind him, look for Hardy to score a lot of runs this season. Also, look for a high average as pitchers would rather pitch to him than the power bats behind him.

One final veteran to keep an eye on is Manny Ramirez. Everyone knows about Manny being Manny and his steady decline in his time with the Dodgers. However, Manny reported to camp 15 pounds lighter this spring than the past two seasons and all reports have been he’s really been working to get back to his old form.

Despite Tampa Bay’s lost players, the Rays offense is not as weak as everyone thinks. There will be plenty of RBI and home run opportunities for Manny. Also, playing several games against the Red Sox should give Manny the extra motivation not to embarrass himself and get back to his old form.

By Trey Nelson


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