Lorenzo Cain, Morales gaining popularity 

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
5:40
PM ET
Some of the names rising of late in ESPN live drafts are obvious ones, such as new potential closers Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton. Their situations have changed; thus, their value has. But when it comes to hitters, what makes them suddenly move up in drafts? Sometimes it's about opportunity, but in general, if one of the hitters in a spring position battle was truly attractive to fantasy owners, he probably wouldn't be in a battle! Here are 10 hitters who have risen significantly in average draft position over the past seven days in ESPN snake drafts; I'll try to come up with an explanation as to why their ADP has risen:

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Cain
Christopher Hanewinckel/US PresswireLorenzo Cain has proved he's ready for the bigs with a big spring.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals (up 35.3 spots): Cain is having a terrific spring -- entering Wednesday, he was hitting .431 with four home runs, two stolen bases and 14 runs scored -- and the somewhat surprising demotion of young second baseman Johnny Giavotella has nearly secured the No. 2 lineup spot for the righty-hitting Cain. Acquired in the Zack Greinke trade, Cain spent last season at Triple-A Omaha, even though it appeared he was big league-ready. Cain hit 16 home runs, stole 16 bases and batted .312 there. Knowing that Cain likely will hit right in front of the great Eric Hosmer, and not really the fact that he's raking this spring, has led me to place Cain among my top 50 outfielders, and take him in the top 18 or so rounds of my mixed drafts.

Neil Walker, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates (up 9.7 spots): I suppose there are two reasons for Walker rising in drafts. One is that fantasy owners are finding that by the 14th round of drafts, there's not much out there in terms of middle infielders. The other is that the Pirates seem settled on Walker batting cleanup for their underwhelming offense. In theory, this is good news, but then again, Walker spent the majority of his at-bats batting fourth last season, and knocked in only 83 runs in 159 games. I really don't expect a better season, though he is perhaps a bit undervalued.

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