Every few years a farm system develops to the point that it’s busting at the seams with talent. An organization builds  and before you know it they’ve cultivated more talent than they can possibly use, and therefore have reached what I call the “embarrassment of riches” phase. This time is now for the Atlanta Braves farm system, long thought to be propped up by the organizations pitching depth, that is no longer the case. So far early in the 2017 campaign the Braves have produced two of the breakout stars of the young season in Ronald Acuna, and newly (re)converted catcher Alex Jackson. To call Acuna a breakout star is probably a bit disingenuous, as he was well within my Top 100 in the pre-season, ranking 42nd overall. This is how I described him then, “Could be this season’s Victor Robles. Five tool player, that tore up Australia this winter, poised for a big jump in the mid-season list. Trade for him now.” I hope you listened to my advice and traded for him then, because after his entrance to AA on Tuesday he might be tough to wrangle from his owners. What exactly has the 19 year old outfielder done since his promotion on Tuesday? How about going 6/8 with 2 homers, 2 steals, 4 runs, and 4 RBIs. It’s funny how Acuna has exploded the last few weeks after initially struggling to start the season. After slashing .209/.261/.349 in the season’s first 11 games, Acuna is hitting .355/.398/.605 with 4 homers and 10 steals in the 18 matches since. As I said calling him a breakout is disingenuous, but he looks to be rising into another tier of prospects. As for his former and future teammate Alex Jackson the story is quite different. As the former 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft struggled for 2 1/2 years in the Mariners organization, before being traded to the Braves this offseason for a pair of fringe major league starters. Jackson at one point in time was one of the more decorated high school players in recent memory. Having been named a three time Baseball America All-American, a two time Under Armor All-American, and even winning Baseball Prospectus Prospect of the Year before even being drafted. A catcher in high school, the Mariners decided to move him to the outfield, where Jackson struggled. Slowly his body and skill set deteriorated, and many minor league experts, myself included had written him off. Bad move on our part. Since joining the Braves organization and being moved back to catcher, all Jackson has done is take siege of the notoriously pitching friendly Florida State League, hitting .296/.348/.592 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in 31 contests. He seems to have abandoned some patience in lieu of power, but when the results are good I’d take it every time. It’s getting to the point with Jackson, that if this continues into the summer he could easily rank within the top 5 fantasy catchers in the minors. Here’s the other happenings in the MiLB over the last few days.

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Scott Schebler (41.6% owned –  increase of 13.3%) is batting .248/.322/.550 on the season with nine home runs and 20 RBI in 109 at-bats. He’s also sporting a 23% strikeout rate with an 8% walk rate. I thought Jay Bruce was on the Mets! The Reds be loving their lefty-whitey right fielders that can bop ’em out of the park. Unfortunately, they often send the crowd home unhappy like what happened after mighty Casey’s last at-bat. Me thinks that Carl Henry Lindner Jr., the owner of the Reds back in 2000, used to cry when he read Casey at the Bat as a child. It was during those times that his brain began to hatch the master plan. Bring his family’s dairy business out of the doldrums of the Great Depression. Become one of the richest men in the world so that he could buy a baseball team. Acquire a “Casey” on his team, thereby creating a parallel universe where mighty Casey does in fact not strike out. It would be in those moments when tears of joy would flow down his face, instead of the tears of sadness experienced in his youth. Lindner bought the team in 2000 and Adam Dunn, the original “Casey” was acquired in 2001. After Dunn left, Bruce took his place. So, bascially Schebler is just the most recent cog in the “Casey” legacy. Usually, I shy away from these types of players, as they are very streaky and you have to endure some rough cold streaks. With that said, he’s entrenched in the sixth spot of the Reds order, against both lefties and righties, and that power is so enticing! Also, that ballpark where he plays half his games is amazing for left-handed power to right field, which is the direction he hits to 44% of the time. Lastly, have you seen some of the pitchers in the NL Central? I imagine this is how Carl Lindner would look if he were still with us today. TREASURE (Beware: could become a donkey at any moment)

Here are a few other players that caught my eye on the most added/dropped list:

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Jackie Bradley Jr. Pitch Breakdown. Click to zoom.

See what I did there? His name is Jackie Bradley but I capitalized B-A-D because, you know, he’s bad at baseball. Well, I shouldn’t say that. He’s bad at hitting baseballs, but he is an elite defender. The latter means nothing to the fantasy world except that it is the only reason some schlubs get to stay in the lineup sometimes. That is certainly the case for JBJ sometimes.

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Cincinnati Reds are squaring off vs. the measly Ty Blach of the San Francisco Giants, stacking the Reds could prove to have a good return on investment. Blach is carrying a very pedestrian 2.18 K/9. Meanwhile, the Reds are one of the hardest teams to strikeout in the MLB. He already got lit up against them last week (3 IP, 11 hits ,8 ER), so batters like Joey Votto ($4,500), Zach Cozart ($3,300), Adam Duvall ($3,700) and Eugenio Suarez ($3,300) should all be on your radar. Now lets take a look at the rest of the picks.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! 

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If players are going to break out in a season, they don’t always break out the first week of a season.  I’m reminded of another Phillies player, Dominic Brown.  The year he broke out, it didn’t happen until June of that year.  Of course, in subsequent years, his swing got long like Don Johnson’s in The Harrad Experiment and rather than working his way back in the cages, Brown was preoccupied with avoiding his stalker, Tehol.  This brings us to another potential breakout, Aaron Altherr.  Or as Mystikal calls him, Altherr.  You don’t have to be scurred, he’s doing his thang.  Altherr hit two more homers yesterday (2-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .351), and is one of the hottest players in the majors this week.  Of course, this won’t continue, but to what degree will this tail off?  By the way, I want to be a judge at a twerking competition called a Tail Off.  In the minors, he’s shown speed (20-ish) and power (teen-ish).  With his Ks and BABIP, his average will come down a long way (maybe .250), but I see no reason why he can’t be a 17/20/.250 hitter on the year, and definitely a must own.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Much like in real baseball, in fantasy, timing can be everything. On Monday, Grey mentioned that he’d like to find a term for a guy who does what Tommy Pham did this past Sunday – that is, a guy who goes off on Sunday afternoon, driving up his Sunday night FAAB price. I need a slightly different way to describe this phenomenon in my deepest NL and AL-only leagues, as both have weekly waivers that get processed on Saturday night. I’ve been in one of the leagues for years now, and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know why the founding fathers of this league thought it was a good idea to run waivers on Saturday when everyone and their dog knows that Sunday evening is the proper time to be thinking about one’s FAAB budget (hell, I half expected my computer to auto-correct when I typed the phrase “waivers on Saturday.”) I can only assume it’s to put those of us who might be extra busy/drunk/etc. on Saturday at a disadvantage, and I’m afraid that this particular strategy works on occasion. The week in 2014 that Jacob DeGrom and Anthony DeSclafani were called up, it was hardly my fault that I wasn’t sober enough to rank DeGrom ahead of Disco in my waiver claim list! It haunts me to this day, as it’s a keeper league where I would still have DeGrom at a bargain-basement price… as opposed to the three weeks of bargain-basement pitching I received before I unceremoniously dropped DeSclafani.

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This is getting out of hand! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen my share my process of how I keep track of which players are getting mentioned in injury reports. By the end of Thursday night there were 25 players listed in my Google Doc. Luckily for them (and me) some have returned to play since they were first mentioned as possibly being injured.

Normally I am not someone who would recommend changing your league’s rules mid-season, but due to this new 10-day disabled list we are seeing a lot more players being placed on the DL. You might want to talk to your league commissioner and other owners about having an emergency vote about adding 1 more DL-spot to your rosters if at all possible.

As always, if you’ve got any questions regarding injuries that are specific to your league — please drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

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How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Speaking of Alex Wood, he’s got my sundial pointing a high noon. Maybe that’s because I picked him up this week in every one of my points leagues and started him for Monday’s 11 strikeout win. Do you know what I call it when you start a pitcher from the Dodgers in a late game and wake up to find out that he struck out 11 batters? Morning Wood! Click here to see my woody.

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Greetings and salutations!  The Collector here once again welcoming you to a amazing Wednesday slate over on FanDuel.  We have quite a few pitchers to use today, but I’m going to focus on my boy Yu Darvish at $11,200.  He’s one of my favorite pitchers in the game right now, as I love his stuff and wish/hope he’d stay healthy.  Darvish’s K/9 is down a bit this year, but I expect it to start rise back to his career norm and this is the start it begins to do so.  Today he gets the really good San Diego Padres… San Diego let AJ Griffin get a complete game shut out yesterday, that’s how good they are. This seems very easy to me and even though it’ll be popular, I think you need to go with Darvish today.

Now on to the picks…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! 

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Francisco Rodriguez was removed from the closer job, because he was being sued by a dumpster fire for trademark infringement.  A portion of the deposition transcript follows:

“Is it true that you were passing an alleyway behind a Subway sandwich shop in late-March when you remarked to your friend, Nicholas Castellanos, that you thought it would be cool to also be a dumpster fire?”

“Leading the witness.”

“I’ll rephrase.  What did you say to Nicholas Castellanos when you saw a dumpster fire?”

“I could be that.”

That dumpster fire?”

“Yes!  It was aglow like E.T.’s finger!  I am the Icarus of refuse!”  So, Francisco Rodriguez is out, and Justin Wilson is in as the Tigers’ closer.  I’d guess the Tigers will try to go back to K-Rod at some point, but I’d also think it won’t turn out any better, and Wilson will end up being a solid closer, maybe even a Donkeycorn.  I’d grab Wilson in all leagues.  Then, there’s the case of Mark Melancon, who was DL’d due to an injury near his forearm.  “But I just learned it’s not a Hard C!”  That’s a Giants fan.  This might be me overreacting, but an injury near a forearm for a closer sounds like trouble.  There’s been some disagreement about who will take over, and I grabbed Hunter Strickland and Derek Law where I could, but I’m also like Pookie for SAGNOF, fiending for saves.  *smacks veins*  Give me more setup men!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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