Like a kindergartner who just discovered boogers, I was digging into exit velocity and launch angle, because, ya know, these are important things now. Is it me or does it feel like sabermetricians think they’ve reinvented the wheel every six months only to abandon all the new stuff in six months for something else? “This is Marvin! Marvin Berry, your cousin! Yo, put down your ERA+ and VORP, I need you to hear about exit velocity!” So, Nick Castellanos is regularly talked about when exit velocity and launch angles are brought up. His average exit velocity is 90 MPH. The top is Aaron Judge at 95 MPH, and Castellanos looks to be about 40th on the list (it wasn’t numbered, and I’m too lazy to count). The top 40 is filled with hitters who are excelling at ghosting faster than others, but is also littered with disappointing names: Machado, Gallo, Sandoval and Miggy, to name a few, and there is at least half you don’t want. I could make a case that Adam Lind is as enticing as Castellanos using just exit velocity, which I guess is my point. It’s a fun new metric (not that new, not that fun), but, in my estimation, it’s like a piece of evidence found at a crime. It’s got the victim and suspect’s DNA on it, but if it doesn’t fit you can choose to ignore it. Granted, that doesn’t rhyme quite as well. Castellanos is 2nd in the majors for Hard Contact%. Right in front of Miggy. Again, you can read into that anything you want. I still believe the Castellanos breakout is coming one of these years (he’s still only 25), but if you watch him hit, he has a line drive stroke, not a home run one. The launch angle data is even less compelling for Castellanos because he drives balls the opposite way. You can mollywhop, but if you’re going the other way, it’s not going to do as much damage unless you are Giancarlo or Judge, i.e, a giant living amongst Lilliputians. The Greek God of Exit Velocity pulls line drives and hits fly balls the other way. It might be the leg kick, it might be his natural swing tendencies, but it’s obvious if you look at his spray charts. With all that said (here’s where Grey throws everything out), there’s no one hotter right now and it’s silly he’s only owned in 40% of leagues. Okay, enough of Grey’s impersonation of Fangraphs… Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
C.J. Cron – For 1st basemen Buys this week, it’s round pegs in square holes. We had a good three months where there were about ten 1st basemen to pick up per week, but those days have dried up quicker than…Yuck, everything I can think that’s dried up is gnarly. Makes it even more amazing how well the Lobby of Shriveled-Up Grapes did with the 1980’s Heard It Through A Grapevine dancing raisins campaign. By the way, if you watch that commercial now, you’re like, “Damn, without internet, we were easily amused.”
Danny Valencia – He has two homers this week and…*raspberries lips* That’s about it. Hey, raisins to raspberries, can’t wait to see what fruit is next!
Paul DeJong – I’d grab him for a hot bat, or I’d even trade for him so you can include the note, “Please pass the DeJong.” That note-leaver prolly wants to slather their April-cot toast.
Yoan Moncada – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Moncada looks about as can’t miss as Spin Doctors’ Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong even if his career looks like the Spin Doctors’ in reverse with the valley coming early. A guy that can hit 20+ HRs and steal 30+ bases should get your under-nethers tingly. This past year in the minors he had 16 HRs and 45 SBs as a barely only 21-year-old.” And that’s me quoting me! In Triple-A this year, it was pretty much Henry the Eighth, second verse, same as the first with 12 homers and 17 steals in only 80 games. I’m gonna be so aggressive for Moncada next year it’s going to turn your head into a fidget spinner. You might be like, “Yo, Grey, Fantasy Master Lothario, your handsomeness knows no bounds like a blind forest ranger, but aren’t you worried about Moncada’s Ks?” Yeah, we were worried about Judge’s Ks and how’d that do us? Everyone strikes out now, I’m not sweating it.
Jose Reyes – Really should be Amed Rosario we’re talking about, but, in fairness to the Mets, they would prolly be ten games under .500 even if they promoted Rosario in June. But why are we being fair to the Mets? In what looks like a lost season, Rosario could’ve been given an opportunity to get major league at-bats, so next year if the Mets are in it, Rosario wouldn’t be as raw.
Gerardo Parra – It was between Castellanos and Parra for the lede. I went with the guy who doesn’t have three guys breathing down his neck for playing time, and isn’t reliant on home games. Someone right now, “Which team plays in Reliant Field again?”
Nick Williams – I made the analogy the other day that Nick Williams is like a latch-key kid because no one is around on the Phils, so it’s up to Nick to hit third and make dinner, and I’m going to keep running that allusion into the ground. Hey, Nick, only two hours of TV, then put your brother, Maikel, to bed. Also, don’t look in mommy’s dresser that has a sticker with a giant green leaf that reads, “Herbivore.”
Rajai Davis – The King of SAGNOF only has a couple hundred ABs this year, then, when he ordered one of his subjects to feed him grapes, Mallex Smith put on white gloves first, which caused Rajai to lose it, “You would be blessed to get The King of SAGNOF’s saliva on your paws!” And, through all of this hardship, Rajai is still tenth in the majors for steals, and one good game away from being top five.
Bruce Rondon – Something few people, if any, talk about is how many new closers come into the league around the trading deadline. Then again, I don’t read what others write about fantasy baseball so maybe everyone’s talking about this. Damn, had one good sentence, then refuted it just that fast and I can’t argue with the rebuttal. Marriage is a sentence, and now my sentences are like marriage.
Tyler Clippard – I’ll never be as clever as that one moment in my Rondon blurb, so why even bother? Damn, now I’m bumming myself out!
Sam Dyson – He’s actually been good so far on the Giants. I know, I know, I just jinxed him, but what if now I just unjinxed him? Hmm, did I just jinx him again? Okay, but what if now I’ve unjinxed him again? Damn it! I just jinxed him again, didn’t I? Well, not so fast, sucker! I just unjinxed him! And jinxed again! And just that fast unjinxed! Jinxed! Unjinxed by saying jinxed! Jinxed by saying unjinxed! AHHHH!!!!
Jerry Blevins – Could Reed get moved? Would Leave It to the Blevins really become the closer? I don’t have answers for these questions, but the 2nd one made me shudder a little and I shart a dingleberry.
Sean Doolittle – The Nats’ closer could also be Ryan Madson. I’d say the only one that truly knows is Dusty, but that would be assuming Dusty knows. Dusty knows A) His toothpicks are stored in his pear-shaped vase. B) There’s no B. C) There’s no C. D) And there’s no motherf***ing D!
Keone Kela – This is more complicated than what Jeff Banister knows. He sure as hell doesn’t know where the other N is in his last name; that shizz is confusing, yo. Alex Claudio has been fine as the closer, but Kela returned from the DL and could take over the closer role.
Zack Wheeler – This is a strictly Stream-o-Nator call like the call it makes out its window, screaming, “Rick Springfield said, ‘Jesse is a friend!’ I want friends! I’m a peach!” Yo, Stream-o-Nator sounds lonely.
Jerad Eickhoff – I nearly listed Rafael Montero, but I gave you one Mets starter, so I figured I’d mix up my Stream-o-Nator recommendations. Kinda tomato-tomahto though. (Can you count all the fruits mentioned in this post? Yunel Escobar can.)
Corey Dickerson – Sells are legit the hardest thing I write all week. I don’t like being wrong, and Sells are consistently being graded on most recent performances vs. long-term. For unstints, I’ll say to Sell Michael Conforto or Miguel Cabrera in May (I did), and they will hit a home run within three days and people are like, “Yo, Grey, you is dumb! I’m going to send you a male passenger pigeon, please eat its D!” If you are selling a player, it is not for what they do in the next week. It’s what they do for the rest of the year and what you can get for them. So, I don’t know what Corey Dickerson can get you in a trade, but his ROS projections say around 10 HRs, 1 SB and .270. Um, Gerardo Parra could get you that in the next two weeks. Not saying to trade Dickerson for a lap dance from Pablo Sandoval’s even larger cousin Pablo Reallyoval, but I would explore options.