Eric Karabell's 'Do Draft' fantasy baseball must-haves

Should you be drafting Max Muncy for your fantasy baseball teams? Eric Karabell certainly thinks so. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There are two middle infielders coming off consecutive seasons of 35 or more home runs. Only two. One of them, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, is a second-round selection in most ESPN leagues, and for good reason. He is awesome. The other found himself dumped and forgotten only two springs ago, then shocked the Dodgers and everyone else when he turned his plate patience, power potential and defensive versatility into someone that correctly earned NL MVP votes. Then he went and did it again in 2019. What more does Max Muncy need to prove in order to earn some draft-day respect?

Well, he has it from me after he smacked 70 home runs over the past two seasons. No, Max Muncy is not a fluke. He qualifies at three infield positions in ESPN leagues and somehow remains underrated. The power is real and so is the plate discipline. Some argue that he either platoons or does not play enough, but more than 1,000 plate appearances in the past two seasons says otherwise. Sure, Muncy will not win a batting title anytime soon, nor does he steal many bases, but he is also available in the 10th round of most drafts, according to ADP numbers. I do not understand why.

Welcome to the latest chronicle of the "Do Draft" list, focusing on players that keep ending up on my teams because I find I continually reach the extra round or spend the extra dollar for their statistical services. Sometimes I simply get them where I value them because others do not agree. Muncy is one example. He shockingly broke out in 2018, after the Athletics cut him, and the Dodgers saw his value -- and reaped the benefits. While Muncy duplicated the home run output in 2019, other aspects of his profile did slip a bit, though not by much. This is a stable starting infielder with not just modest power but significant power. I rank him considerably higher than others do.