Why are we talking about the Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Keepers again? I know, right? I thought we were past this, but then I had a revelation… and an email from Jay. After reflecting on some of the comments, I felt that I owed you guys… and five girls a little more about my evaluations. Got it? Good! Let’s not beat around the bush (TWSS), and jump right into this. When I started the keeper list, I was looking at this through the lens of people already in existing keeper leagues. I think to rank out a first year draft would require 200-plus ranked players and a multi-format strategy guide to compliment it. Then we would need meditation sessions to help conquer the inner conflict of win now versus win later. Pulling off the now and later is a tall task that requires two elements: 1) A hefty haul of young talent that takes a step forward this year and 2) A league of morons that don’t know how to draft… kidding… sort of. My general assumption is that if you are reading this site, then you are already gaining an advantage over your league-mates. We do a damn good job between writers and active commenters to cover anything and everything fantasy related. Now go grow your in-season stache, sign up for an RCL commenter league or start your own, and buy a round of daquiris for your bartenders (that’s us). Hhhhhmmm, does that make Grey Sam Malone?

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

Below, I’ll be going over select players that are on and off the keeper list. Some will reflect my strategic mindset, while others will be right on the cusp and arguable based on keeper pairings. Speaking of keeper pairings, I prefer to do that when I can to maximize all cats to open a draft. Why put yourself in a hole when you think you need to only keep power hitters? Roster construction people!… that reflect format. Speaking of format, everything I write is with roto in mind. Even writing the abbreviated H2H makes me queezy. Great, now I need a ginger ale and some saltines.

Delino DeShields – This omission got my balls busted by Grey more times than when I liked Braun last year (BTW, I was right). I like Delino this year, I actually like him immensely, but it’s because he’s a great VALUE in redraft leagues. Unfortunately, this is a keeper ranking and I have a degree in SAGNOF with a special emphasis in reality. Speed with a meh batting average can always be found like how anything can be found at a truck stop (sorta-NSFW). Like the subject in the video, if she/he/he-she isn’t there, just wait a few minutes and another will be with you shortly… or so I’ve heard. That’s the crux of my argument against this, you can always find these types of guys and they don’t need to be kept. But for funzies, let’s look a little deeper as to why I left him off this year. I’m going to start with the game’s two elite speedsters and how their different paths unfolded and why Delino may be a ways away before he becomes a bona fide keeper. It took Dee Gordon over 600 AB’s across 2011,2012, and 2013 before he broke out in 2014. He opened his career in 2011, when he hit .304 with 24 steals in 233 plate appearances and the future looked bright. As a Dodger-watcher, my chops were salivating. He followed that amazing breakout with a .229 BA over his next 436 plate appearance (2012 & 2013) and was almost forgotten. It wasn’t until 2014 when an opportunity opened up and he literally ran with it. Our resident DFS studmeister Sky called that one. Billy Hamilton came up with lots of fanfare for his speed and didn’t disappoint with his ability to swipe. He stole 56, 70% success rate, in his first full year and 57 (87%) the second, but as we all know, he hasn’t hit for average (.240 between 2014 and 15) and is still a borderline keeper, even though he has proven that 55+ steals is easy for him without a full season of ABs. To get back on Delino, no, not like that,  I think he’s a .260 hitter for now with some room to grow and regress. He had a very average contact rate, high K-rate for a ground ball hitter, and doesn’t usually hit the ball far or hard. Sorry guys who think he gets double-digit dongs this year. It’s not likely. On the positive side, he can take a walk, is hitting atop the Rangers lineup this year, lays off stuff outside the zone, and has the pedigree (I love kids of former players). Enough about his hitting, let’s talk about the steals. For this year, I have him down for 35 stolen bases, yes I said it. 35… with a chance at 40. Before you pop a vein in your neck, consider this for a minute. In the first half (193 PA’s), he went 14 for 16 (87%) and in the second half (299 PA’s), he was 11 of 17 (65%) or 75% success rate on the season for those of you keeping score at home. If he repeats that rate or even improves on it, he will need to have 60+ attempts to get to 5o steals. In the last three years, only three players (Dee, B-Ham, Altuve) have attempted over 60 in a season. Is he fast? Yes. Will he be a perennial 50 SB guy, maybe. Stolen bases are such a situational stat. Look at the Reds, they run like they just stole it and Todd Frazier will never get back to his previous SB totals on the ChiSox. Wait! What does that have to do with this? Oops… Long term Delino has speed, upside, and lots of room to grow, but I need to see that bump across the board before I anoint him. Like Dee, it could take him a few years and while I wait I’ll play SAGNOF like a boss.

Troy Tulowitzki – It would be easy to call him an old guy going into the twilight of his career but that would be too dismissive. What I see is him evolving into a boring steady shortstop that will be an 80/20/80/0/.280 hitter with some home park upside. The move to Toronto should of produced better numbers, and we all expected it, but instead we saw him struggle to the low point of his career. Some feel the shock of the trade got to him while others feel he is hitting the regression wall harder than Sky hitting the local Oregon brew. I’m banking on the former and seeing a steady contributer at the most scarce of positions. The ceiling is lower than his prime but I think the floor is higher than you think… if he’s healthy. I like the change away from turf in Toronto and I’m not ready to throw the towel in yet. You can do it… Tulo!

Rougned Odor – The man that was almost not there. This was a tough one. I had him all over this list as I went cray-cray trying to figure out his long term value. On one hand, he just hit 16 bombs in his age-21 season, while on the other he is projected to hit at the bottom of the order for 2016. After this year, I think his ceiling peaks out in the two-hole. A 20/10/.270 hitter feels safe to me. His contact% is fine, but he chases too much out of zone. As he matures that should correct… I hope. He struggles taking walks and always has. With being how young he is, the career can take two different arcs. To be fair, I’m really rooting for him, but when I see guys like Wong and Russell, and where they are being valued, I have to lump him into that group. With Wong you are sacrificing some power for speed and with Russell I’m seeing similar power upside with a little less speed and better average than Odor. Maybe he should be a few spots higher in my ranks, but nothing higher than the mid-80’s.

Adam Wainwright – This is the one guy I would like to take a mulligan on. But to defend myself, he is so damn close. Few pitchers can provide 200-plus innings, great ERA and WHIP, high win totals and a really really high opinion of himself. Would you want to mess with his crazy a**? To error on the side of caution and avoid regretting that decision, I’m gonna let him be Beltre on the mound and call it a day. Seriously, he’s boring, undervalued, but still pretty damn good. As a second pitcher in a keeper league you could do a lot worse. But still, I get the arguments against, lets call him a preference call of the floor kind. I don’t mind age on certain guys, they will never be what they once were but guys like Waino won’t be going out like a chump.

Closing Thoughts?

Have we had enough about the players yet? I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I could of gone into more depth about players like Piscotty or why I left off Pederson but how long do you want this? I think after 500 words of my drivel, you’d rather turn on foreign language TV. The strategies employed to be successful in a keeper can vary so much from format to format. Just as what works in an RCL is worthless in our Scout.com leagues. Just as your five keepers 12-teamer is vastly different than six keepers in a 16-teamer. I think there is no right or wrong answer about what combination of players is the winning formula. You know your opponents in a keeper, you play against them every year. Use that to construct YOUR roster and win.

Okay, I’ve gotta run, listen to this song and I’ll see you next time!

 
  1. Son

    Son says:
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    Foreign language TV is amazing to watch…especially of the Spanish variety

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Son: Novelas!

      • nick the dick says:
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        @J-FOH: JFoh’s the illest storyteller since Abuela used to beat him with chancletas for staning in front of the TV during novelas

        • J-FOH says:
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          @nick the dick: you leave Abuela Erma out of this

    • Vegans says:
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      @Son: the historical Tokugawa period docu dramas and the food shows on NHK are amazing & entertaining too. BTW great stuff as always Mr. FOH.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Vegans: thanks buddy!

        • de nachos says:
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          @J-FOH: is scrambed Spice still on the air?

          • J-FOH says:
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            @de nachos: Boob lines!

            • de nachos says:
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              @J-FOH: who needs blurred boob lines when I can envision JP Crawford ahead of Tulo on the keeper list by year’s end.

              • de nachos says:
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                @de nachos: pps AZEEM!

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @de nachos: you got my calling card. I thought about a nacho bat signal but a triangle inside a circle is the symbol for AA, and thats not my place to say you have a problem.

              • J-FOH says:
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                @de nachos: are you drunk (rhetorical)

                • de nachos says:
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                  @J-FOH: drunk on over valued fan boy prospects. Do I hear Nick Williams AKA Adam Jones 2.0?

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @de nachos: Nick is slick

                • de nachos says:
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                  @J-FOHdoes the Pope drive a Fiat?

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @de nachos: I thought he sh**s in the woods

  2. Rubik's Pube says:
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    Hey JFOH, I’m the dude in your RCL draft the other night that’s in Afghanistan. Just wanted to say I had a blast and thanks to you, Oaktown Steve, and all the other fellas ( minus ANTEstiltskin) that night/morning for a good time. I look forward to a good season, no injuries, and for the love of god, a steady internet connection! See ya!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Rubik’s Pube: I really enjoyed it too! Great chatter. If you ever get bored over there come into the league message board or the comments. I was telling the new RCL writer, Matt Truss, I want to get an all active-duty RCL going for next year. You think you can get 11 guys who are into FBB to play. We’d make it a featured league and do lots of shout outs. Razzball, the fantasy site the armed forces turns to.

      My email is [email protected] if you want to talk about that.

      • Rubik's Pube says:
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        @J-FOH: Hell yeah, that would be badass. Alas, I have yet to meet any other guys in my unit that are into FB. They’re all into DFS, fantasy football, and watching MMA dudes beat the living piss out of each other. Nothing wrong with any of that none of that stuff is really my cup of tea. I’m sure we could scrape up 12 dudes from throughout the Razzball community though. I’d be all for it. If anything, there would be some pretty epic excuses for not setting line ups everyday or missing out on waiver wire bargains. Best of luck to you guys and I’ll talk to later.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Rubik’s Pube: Lets see what we can get togethe. Maybe we can limit it to armed forces at any point

          • Regan says:
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            @J-FOH: Active and Vets would be cool. I’d be down.

    • Quimmy says:
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      @Rubik’s Pube: I was in that draft too (devon). I thought it was a 845pm EST start and had a hard time staying up through the whole thing. I powered through. Good time. Good luck this season.

      P.S. we caught a break with ANTE not breaking out into his msgbrd shtick during the draft so we should consider ourselves blessed!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Quimmy: be nice to Ante

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    If you remove me from the equation, Steamer has Delino down for 7 HRs, 34 SBs… Steamer who has the best projections every year according to stats people who break these kinds of things down… Fangraphs has him down for 8 HRs, 34 SBs…. When I project him for 10 HRs, 40 SBs, I’m essentially saying he has a slightly better three to five game span one week this year… 10/40 isn’t SAGNOF, it’s a top 25 hitter… Jarrod Dyson is SAGNOF because he plays sporadically and when he does he bats ninth and steals bases… Surprised, thought you knew this stuff…

    Delino DeShizznit!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Grey: we can’t remove you because it’s your argument, you called him a 50 steal player and project for 7/49. He’s not hitting 10 wait, thats right you said 7. I know how this stuff works bro. You’re so cute when you’re mad

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Everyone who reads this, “JFOH thinks he’s making sense by defending Tulo? Yikes. I wonder if JFOH also likes Brandon Phillips. I shouldn’t ask him, he’ll know I’m just mocking him. Plus, he’s defending Tulo, this is not worth my time.”

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Grey: thanks for commenting

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha… Ah!

  4. Micah says:
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    12 team keeper league with 12 keepers and I have the first pick in round 1 (13th round) of the draft. Here’s who I’m looking at: verlander, lucroy, park, maeda, d’Arnaud, Bruce, Desmond, Zimmerman, and Teheran. Who do you like best this year and moving forward?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Micah: That’s not a pretty predicament. I’d take a flyer on Park

      • Micah says:
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        @J-FOH: Thank you!

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Micah: Im always here….no prob

  5. mauledbypandas says:
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    I will leave the keeper/dynasty stuff to you but I couldn’t let this go without commenting since you were kind enough to put two of my favorite Rangers in there!

    Odor – I don’t think he gets nearly as many steals as people think. I do however think there might be 25 HR in his bat. Maybe not this year since he is very young still, but it’s possible. He does suffer in counting stats as you say because there is no way he hits anything better than 7th regularly, but he should get a boost just from more PAs (assuming he doesn’t suck and get sent down)

    DDS – I love this kid! I think he possibly does run 60+ times. With his good eye he should have the OBP to get on regularly and be the spark plug the Ranger offense needs. Expecting a huge year from him. I don’t think the difference is that big from him and a Marte type. Maybe I am nuts, but I could see him going .260 10/45 with over 100 runs scored.

    Ok, can we stop talking about him till after draft season?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @mauledbypandas: Odor needs to work on a few things before he gets to 25, but I think 20 is a reasonable expectation at some point.

      I like Delino a lot this year too, just cautious to call him a top 100 keeper just yet. They have some nice players on the cusp (Brinson and Mazara). Some feel the hit tool is not there yet for him. 45 steals is a lot. I would love to find insight into why he stopped stealing last year. The success rate took a crap in August and September (65%)when he stole 9 bases. Maybe he was dealing with injury? To get to 60 they need to be super aggressive with him. I’m only looking at numbers, if you find something in your Rangers fan stuff, please share. I don’t mind being wrong. Maybe I have too much 2011 Dee Gordon in my head (32 steals in 330 plate appearance)

      Be happy that I traded for DDS in our dynasty before Martin got traded away. Foresight!

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @J-FOH: Yeah it was injury. I think sometime in late june he tweaked his hamstring. I don’t think you are wrong, you are just being cautious. I mean the Astros left him unprotected, you aren’t wrong about his hit tool. They also said he didn’t take instruction well but the Rangers all say he is a wonderful student. Maybe getting rule 5’d opened his eyes.

        The one thing that is certain is his CF defense needs work. Brinson should supplant him there and Mazara has a better overall package and profiles as a corner guy. With Choo stuck in one of the corners by virtue of his contract it could create issues for DDS in the future. The Rangers are very creative when it comes to these kinds of roster crunches, it still doesn’t change the fact that they have a lot of MLB ready hitters and only 7 non P/C positions ready.

        You never know though, projecting prospects is extremely difficult. I will say this though, every time he repeated a level Delino got better, that’s scary!

        • mauledbypandas says:
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          @mauledbypandas: also, he doesn’t turn 24 until August! Odor is 22 all year, Profar is still only 23, which is mind boggling. Maybe more mind boggling is the fact that this is Andrus age 27 season.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @mauledbypandas: you are a fan for sure. we’ll see about that hammy since he is already having issues with it. But like I have said many times over, I love him this year, not ready to make him a top keeper just yet.

            Funny how the old club gets negative and new club throws flowers and a parade

  6. Tom says:
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    am i a bitch. Joined a six man keepee league.
    12 teams.
    Found out, of 3 arms i got jenson rp, gibson and d duffy,.

    Should i have mentioned this was unfair, or is that breaking some fantasy etiquette rule. Advise, btw, they’ll probably drop me.haha

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Tom: I’d talk shizz til the force you out. That’s garbage keepers

  7. Tom says:
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    They dropped me. Appreciate all your insights, This was going to be my first shot at new league, epic fail. Lol

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Tom: at least you went like a gangster!

      Did you sign up for an RCL?

      • Tom says:
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        @J-FOH: alittle intimidating, but I’ll check on it.

      • Tom says:
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        @J-FOH: just sent message for pw. It’ll be fun.

    • Tom says:
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      As for DDS, keeper, no.
      Do I own him yes, in 12 team 10 keeper league. Power has been sucked up for years so I broke basic rules and punted power for runs, low,k’s and sb. I own sp bums,kershaw,cole,richards,scherzer, familia, cody allen to run table in pitching cats.

      Gonna start looking for new league,

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Tom: well if you keep ten players then I would

  8. danny almonte says:
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    I always wondered, when talking about Steamer (and Fangraphs) projections… are they a person? A machine, that spits out projections based on advanced stats? Goose gossage hated harvard nerds?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @danny almonte: machine? Rudy would know

      • Regan says:
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        @J-FOH: Wait, i thought Rudy was a machine?

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Regan: he’s only half machine

  9. highmindedness says:
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    J-FOH,

    I appreciate the more detailed explanation for some of your rankings. Why do I get the feeling that if Dds slips up he gets run over by Brinson next year. Dude’s looking like he’s figured a few things out! Speaking of keepers, how do you feel about this offer that was just made to me in 16 team dynasty (keep 20 every yr):

    His Brinson and a 2nd round pick for My Soler and a 7th round pick?

    Rebuilding my team this year.

    Thanks man.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @highmindedness: I like that deal. Soler needs a trade and I think it’s worth the risk.

    • mauledbypandas says:
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      @highmindedness: I’m guessing you watched Brinson’s walk off bomb last night? I wish the Rangers could get rid of Choo!!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @mauledbypandas: choo makes real world sense and yes I did. I have a feeling that dds could end up being a 4th outfielder at some point. Brinson and mazara bring so much more to the table unless dds goes the route of figgins and odor or profar move to 3rd. But I saw that the are trying to extend beltre. It’s so tough when our fantasy dreams are stomped by stone cold reality.

  10. sliimbo says:
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    Hey buddy, love myself some Archie b but is he worth holding onto in my keeper?

    Could grab Hendricks, Desclafani, Bauer, or Gallardo

    thanks

    • J-FOH says:
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      @sliimbo: grab Hendricks

  11. BringBackPluto says:
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    Razzballers! Help a fellow Razzballer out! An owner will have to miss our auction on Sunday (March 20), putting our $100 Keeper league in a bind. I’m looking for someone to either:
    • Show up for a few hours and put a good-faith effort into the auction. I’ll ship you $10 as a token of appreciation. It’s be a great “real-life” practice auction for you, if you’re looking to do a mock that’s not filled with auto-drafters or that doesn’t fall apart after a round or two.

    OR:

    Take over the team for good! You’d get a significant discount for the first year: 75% off the first season (you pay just $25 for a $100 league) but with no limitations on the percentage of prizes you can win. Keepers include Lindor, Kluber, Carrasco, JD Martinez.

    For those interested in the second option, there are 8-max keepers and 10-man prospect rosters.

    Please help!
    email me at [email protected] for more info. Thank you!

  12. Wheezy says:
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    J-FOH

    In a predicament. Keep 4 guys 1 round before they were drafted last year. Pickups go in the 13th round. Need to choose 4 of these (round they are drafted)…

    Altuve (1)
    Arenado (2)
    Chris Davis (7)
    Correa (12)
    Schwarber (13)

    Really want to keep Schwarber (2 catcher league), but really debating keeping Chris Davis. What do you think? My other strategy was to put Altuve back into the draft, but I do not think he will make past teams with a first rounder (I have 9th pick).

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Wheezy: @Wheezy: throw schwarber back

  13. Howard says:
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    Hi J-FOH, 10 team keeper where we keep 12. Hitters are no problem but having a dilemma with the pitching. Need to keep 6 out of: Kluber, Price, W. Davis, Zimmerman, CMart, McCullers, Samardjiza, Matz and Severino. From a youth standpoint I would tend to go with Kluber, Price, Davis, CMart, McCullers and Matz but from a win-now standpoint maybe Zim and Alphabet soup instead of McC and Matz or Severino. Decisions!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Howard: kluber price matz sever c mart mcullers

  14. Tim says:
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    So with mcullers starting on the dl. Who is the better keeper mcullers for a 26th round pick or tijuan walker for a 16th?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Tim: McCullers

  15. Jensen says:
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    In keep forever leagues can you rank the young SS? Correa, Seager, Turner, Lindor, Arcia, Russell, Crawford, Bogaerts? In a start up draft would you try to snag two of the Turner, Arcia, Crawford, Swanson, Rodgers group?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Jensen: correa seager lindor bogey Russell turner Arcia I would target rodgers and turner

  16. Jose says:
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    J hof i just trade michael brantley for carlos gonzalez do you think i made a bad trade? I just dont trust brantley injury and i needed rbi homeruns and slugging

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Jose: tough call. Brantley looks like he’ll be back sooner than we thought 2 weeks ago. If and when cargo gets traded will determine his future value. If he goes to a lefty friendly park like Yankee Stadium then it may not be that bad. Or a batting coach that can fix some of his issues. His home road splits are not ideal. It’s a gamble play, higher ceiling cargo for higher floor brantley

  17. Sport says:
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    Ranking keepers has to be the toughest job. Thank you for the time you put into this.

    15 team roto keeper league, 2nd year. We keep 2 hitters/2 pitchers (Rizzo,Frazier, Arrieta, Cole). It’s yahoo so no CI/MI and just 3 OF. 1600 inning cap. I drafted the following team: C-Castillo, 1B-Rizzo, 2B-Odor, SS-Bogaerts, 3B-Frazier, OF-Polanco, Belt, Deshields, UT-Ozuna, Duda. SP-Arrieta, Cole, Liriano, Samardzija, Erasmo, Karns, Giolito. Closers-Kimbrel, Giles.

    I know where you stand on Deshields, and I am concerned if Polanco doesn’t get the two spot in the order but should my biggest concern be in power?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Sport: I think Polanco will be fineon power, If e goes lower in the order he gets more RBI ops and shouldn’t affect his speed

  18. endershadow says:
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    12 team H2H 5×5 dynasty. My team can probably compete but is getting old. Trying to put together a trade to deal Tulo away. Is this a reasonable offer and would you do this? I know I’ll have to find a SS replacement for this season.

    Send:
    Tulo, Wainwright, ERod

    Receive:
    Carrasco, Stroman, Profar

  19. Charlie says:
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    Love love love your advice!!! In desperate need of your prospect ‘pertness!

    In a league that counts obp who do you like more long term, Buxton or Maikel Franco? What types of stat lines do you see them putting up?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Charlie: I’m a big franco fan and I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Long term you are looking at a cutch type player in buxton and an arenado type player with a little less batting average in franco. What type do you like to build around?

      • Charlie says:
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        @J-FOH:

        I’m always looking for a well rounded player. Someone that can contribute across the board so it helps mitigate risk elsewhere.

        My league is a 6×5 league including obp. We keep forever. I just worry that my keepers moving forward are power heavy and light on speed. Grey tells me SAGNOF which I get but if I can build a well rounded team then it helps me later.

        We keep 7 and they are Trout, Stanton, Buxton, Goldschmidt, Arenado, Bogaerts and Scherzer.

        But I’m worried if I remove Buxton and put Franco in I’ll be always chasing speed.

        Thankfully our draft was last night and I was able to add Heyward, Deshields and Segura so I have speed this year. But long term I don’t know what to do about the idea of trading Buxton for Franco. Help?

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Charlie: I think long term you wont be holding on to Boegarts . I wouldnt worry about speed, its always there

          • Charlie says:
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            @J-FOH:

            Really? Why is that?

            So based on my team who do you think I should go with Buxton or Franco for now and for the future?

            Also I’d be keeping Buxton at round 21 and Franco at round 8. If that makes a difference.

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Charlie: Bogey is a high floor player who doesnt pop off the page with power or speed and for now he’s benefitting from a batting order slot that will go away down the road. Me personally, I would let Bogey go and hold Franco and Buxton for their higher ceilings

              • Charlie says:
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                @J-FOH:

                Problem is I don’t own Franco.

                My 7 keepers are Trout, Stanton, Buxton, Goldschmidt, Arenado, Bogaerts and Scherzer.

                We had our draft last night and I missed out on Franco. The owner says she’ll trade me Franco for Buxton straight up. Do it or hold tight?

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Charlie: If you are trying to win this year then make the deal

                  • Charlie says:
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                    @J-FOH:

                    Lol what if I’m trying to win this year and in the future?

                    This year you think Franco makes me a better team. But which player makes me a better team a year from now? Two years?

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