Nick Swisher underrated in fantasy

Updated: March 22, 2012, 3:41 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Every regular hitter on the New York Yankees finished the 2011 season with a final batting average worse than his career line, except one. We all know how good this Yankees lineup is and should remain, with top fantasy options Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira going in the first few rounds of drafts, Alex Rodriguez showing up in Round 6, and need-based choices Brett Gardner (steals) and Derek Jeter (shortstop scarcity) earning potential top-100 consideration. But those six players, plus catcher Russell Martin and now-retired DH Jorge Posada, all lowered their career batting averages compared to where they stood one year ago.

Congratulations to outfielder Nick Swisher, underrated slugger, rejuvenated walker and a beacon of batting average in a dark place.

OK, so that's not truly accurate, but I do find it interesting that Swisher is barely a 15th-round pick in ESPN live drafts despite the fact his 2011 numbers -- which are in line with most of his seasons -- warrant more attention. Most people probably would say they disregard Swisher earlier because of the batting average risk, and I admit it's tough to tell with him what to expect. In his first season in Yankee pinstripes, Swisher hit only .249. Then he hit .288. And last season he aimed to split the difference with a workable .260 mark.