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This one feels a year away from fantasy production, but since the Dodgers promoted Alex Verdugo this past September, and let him get at-bats, I’m on a fence with hedges all around me.  Or maybe it’s a hedge maze like in The Shining.  Or the Shinning with Groundskeeper Willie.  Or maybe it’s a fence made of hedges.  Or a fence made of hedgehogs.  Ugh, I’m so indecisive I can’t even decide if I’m on a fence of hedges, a fence with hedges around me, a maze of hedges, or a fence of hedgehogs for Alex Verdugo.  Maybe a nap will help…*dozes off, wakes, sees a young Lea Thompson*  It’s 1955!?   Okay, let’s play out the Dodgers’ outfield.  Chris Taylor is in center, but can play the infield; Puig looks locked into right; there’s not enough screws loose in Home Depot for them to not play Cody Bellinger; Joc Pederson is still looming, but he’s starting to feel like a guy that might need a change of scenery or will be a platoon player and Kiké — not Gabe Kapler — can play outfield, but he’s a futility player.  Not a lot of wiggle room for Verdugo, and Los Angeles isn’t known for autumn, but that changing landscape leaves Alex Verdugo with a chance to play if Taylor plays infield.  So, what can we expect from Alex Verdugo for 2018 fantasy baseball?

There’s something to be taken away that every highlight reel I see on Alex Verdugo, they include a bunch of defense highlights.  Who’s making these highlight reels?  The scout I like to call, Chewtobacca?  The 98% of people interested in prospects are interested in them for their dynasty leagues, the other 2% are the Nation of Islam.  Nah, they’re people who are interested in a prospect for their hometown team, and they just want to see hitting highlights.  Okay, okay, who am I, Grey Hoffa, leading a belabor union?  The hitting highlights I saw of Verdugo, well, they were this:  *swings out of shoes, ball goes 100 feet the other way*  Okay, not all, but a bunch of the highlights were of this variety.  He is only 21 years old, so he could grow into more power.  Last year, he hit 6 HRs in 433 ABs in Triple-A, so I don’t see a ton of power in the recent history of his browser.  He also only stole nine bags, and, from what I saw, he looked like a 12-15 steal guy in the best case scenario.  He did make the top 50 prospects for 2018 fantasy baseball by Prospector Ralph, so there’s gotta be something to be excited about, right?  Yeah, he seems like a high contact guy, with no discernible splits.  So, let’s put it together, maybe ten homers, possibly 15 steals and a .290+ average?  Hmm, well, his defense is good!  What an arm!  He profiles as a number two hitter, due to great contact, so 105/12/62/.310/17 in his prime.  That’s not bad, when I put it that way.  Seems doubtful that way will be 2018’s way, however.  For 2018, he could be up in April, and that would change his projections, but for now I’ll give Alex Verdugo the projections of 43/3/31/.278/7 in 322 ABs.

   
  1. Hunter says:
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    Great Write Up on Verdugo. It’ll be interesting to see how he ends up this year.

    30 Team League

    Been offered M. Margot for A. Hays

    Thoughts? What do you expect Margot to do this year? Speed is somewhat of a need.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! I’d take Margot

    • LenFuego says:
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      @Hunter: Hays v. Margot is a tough call for me.

      I have had Margot for two years, so have followed him pretty closely – as soon as this year he could settle into a .290+ hitter with 25-35 SB speed. The question is how much power that will come with. He basically doubled his minor league HR rate this past season to the 13-15 HR level. Did he squeeze out what he could from his swing and that is his major league level? Or is that an anomaly and he will fall back to the 6-8 HR level? Or is that the tip of the iceberg on his power development and he can get to the 25+ HR level? I have not the faintest idea and I think anyone who says they do is fooling themself.

      Hays on the other hand seems like a poor man’s Rhys Hoskins (w/o the plate discipline to walk that Hoskins has). He hit .340 in the minors last season with 32 HRs in just 128 games evenly split between A and AA, and it did not seem at all fluky as his BABIP was right in line with the average, his K% was just a shade over 15% (which is very good for that much power production), and the production was equal at both levels (almost eerily so). He struggled a bit in a late season call-up, but the O’s skipped him over AAA after only 64 games at AA – it is a rare player that thrives right away with that little upper league exposure at his age (22). He could end up being a year-in, year-out 35+ HR guy, and maybe with a very good average to boot. But if it is SBs you are looking for, Hays is probably not your guy.

      • Hunter says:
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        @LenFuego:

        Thanks. That gives me a lot more of an in depth view of Margot. I like Hays a lot, so it’s been a tough decision since I do think he could be a solid middle order bat. But if Margot can even just stay at the power level from this year that’s a nice mix with that speed.

        Hard decision. Thanks for the analysis!

  2. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    Verdugo is the Dodgers best defensive OF by a mile. I assume they would push Taylor over and start Verdugo in center. Right now his swing is geared toward line drives and contact, wouldn’t shock me if he hit .300 right away. The power will come, the raw power is there, he has the body, and understands hitting. He’ll never be a 30 homer masher, but he could be a .300/20/10 guy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Makes sense, I saw a lot of highlights on him and a ton were defense oriented…. The few swings I saw he looked off balance and like he’d struggle to hit 15 HRs, but he is super young, and appears naturally talented…

      • Jack Deth says:
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        @Grey: or he ends up being Juan Lagares

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That would be the best of both of your two favorite worlds

          • Jack Deth says:
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            @Grey: failure and disappointment. Sums me up in a nutshell

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, hey, watch Firechasers on Netflix

              • Jack Deth says:
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                @Grey: I’ll add it to the list. Ive been playing the new Call of Duty on the Playstation so TV has been zilch. I did have a movie on while I working today from home

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ah, gotcha… Fire Chasers is only 4 episodes, so it’s over fast… A friend told me to watch Goliath on Amazon, I’m not sure about it, have you?

                  • Jack Deth says:
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                    @Grey: I have not but I want to. Feel like I need to be in the mood for it. Have you watched Bosch on Amazon? I loved the first two seasons, just haven’t watched three yet

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Bosch was awesome, 3rd season as well

                    • Jack Deth says:
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                      I loved season 1, 2 I liked

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I loved all three, so results may vary

                    • Jack Deth says:
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                      I have to agree, I just loved 1 more than 2. Jason Iron Eagle Gedrick as the serial killer was awesome

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Damn, you’re so good at recognizing randos from the most rando places

                    • Jack Deth says:
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                      The amazing rando!

                      I hope you get that reference

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I do! This is your superpower, embrace that shizz

                    • Jack Deth says:
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                      They also discovered I have a super power at work. I have a 90% hit rate on calling out bad hires after spending 2 minutes or less with any of them. And yet they never have me meet a new hire before they hire them. One day I hope they’ll learn

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I think I might have a job for you!

                    • Jack Deth says:
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                      I’d be great at casting

  3. Pyne says:
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    Big trade question…. OBP keeper league

    Altuve and one of Lindor/Bellinger/Ramirez
    for
    Goldy and Kluber

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Altuve side

      Altuve = Goldy — Those bats > Kluber in keeper

  4. Tweak says:
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    Verdugo is a solid player. He’s consistently been younger than his competition and moved up one level every year for the last three years. In those same years, his walk rate has gone from 4% in A ball to 8% in AA to 10.5% in AAA – evidence of an improving skillset, even in the face of more difficult competition. He’s similar to Jesse Winker in Cincy (plus hit tool, room to grow with power), but with better speed and defense. I’m all over him where I can find him and can’t wait to see him out there with the big club in an everyday role.

    I think your prognostication on his future numbers are spot on, and with his defense, that makes him an Adam Eaton type. That’s the kind of unheralded OF pick that wins you an RCL, methinks (says the 4th place finisher behind Returning Champ in JB’s league).

    As for playing time this year, I think he gets shafted unless he really forces the issue with the bat. Maybe he’ll blow up with some PCL power and make the Dodgers play him. Also, if the Dodgers indeed end up going out and adding Stanton, that covers the corners and maybe Taylor shifts to 2B with Forsythe on the bench.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree on all points, Winker is an interesting name you mention that I was looking at for a post, but did one last year… Though, that won’t stop me in all instances… Winker also has more of a path to playing time…

      • Tweak says:
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        @Grey: Agreed. I don’t see why Winker doesn’t play the whole season in 2018. No reason for him to go back to AAA.

        Regarding the future, between Verdugo and Winker it should be almost a wash in terms of individual talent (although Winker looks like a lower power Votto in terms of true hitting talent). Winker is three years older and starting on a bad team, while Verdugo has a bigger power ceiling and is joining a pennant winner. Fantasy-wise (dynasty), unless you’re in an OBP league, you’ve gotta roll with Verdugo. However, I don’t expect either to make a ton of noise this coming season.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, agreed… It was my I ultimately decided against writing a Winker post (again)… He looks like he could be a 15/1/.280 hitter which is fine, and I’ll rank him in January but it’s not that exciting, and the ceiling feels lower…

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: He does? Do you buy that they’re not playing Duvall or Schebler?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Too early to say, but Duvall seems to have lost his full-time job… I’d guess Duvall/Schebler/Winker form some kind of platoon with Winker seeing ~450 ABs, but subject to change… Winker is future and the Reds seem to be looking that way…

        • Tweak says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz: Obviously nothing has happened yet, but it also would not be out of the realm of possibility that the Reds move Hamilton. The Giants are desperate for a CF and plenty of other teams could make an offer – Seattle, Texas, Oakland, Philly, Baltimore.

          Also, I didn’t mean to hijack the thread and turn it into a Winker/Reds piece. My bad.

  5. SadKeanu says:
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    What are your thoughts on Taylor Trammell? Do you think he is the 2018 version of Ronald Acuna? Not necessarily in talent but that he will sky rocket up the top prospect rankings? Top 10 prospect by mid-season rankings?

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: I’m ahead of my time like Doc Brown catching bolts.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Is that new Joyner Lucas?

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Grey: No, that’s a PR original.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              And now I stole it, my b

  6. P ORourke says:
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    Yeah and don’t forget about Andrew Toles.. He is not exactly chopped liver…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Feels like a platoon guy for them prolly, but agreed, he’s there too…

  7. Matt says:
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    Saw this kid in Memphis last summer with OKC. Kid can hit,sent rockets all over the park. I get the feeling the power will come. Kid plays the game with passion, has a ton of heart. He’s got a love for the game others don’t. Don’t sell this one short. I think there’s more to him than just the numbers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      My problem is he seems like he could have a great career as a guy who is better in real baseball than fantasy…

      • Matt says:
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        @Grey:

        That’s not unfair.

  8. FrankGrimes says:
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    If you’re on Survivor do you get to bring a toothbrush?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, it’s a personal item… Like glasses and contacts…

      • FrankGrimes says:
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        @Grey:

        Why do they always make a big deal about blindsides?
        It always happens so why the surprise?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It’s what makes it such a great game… You have to trust someone, you throw your faith in with a group of people, then you’re blindsided by those same people…

          • FrankGrimes says:
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            @Grey:
            I get that… maybe it’s the way it’s portrayed

            #EpicBlindside #DUH

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, they might hype it up a little bit but what else are the producers going to talk about? How Lauren would beat Ryan at an arm wrestling match?

              • FrankGrimes says:
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                @Grey:

                Hahha. Shes becoming survivor hot lmao.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, when she was jamming blocks into that contraption last night with her chest, I was a-droolin’ mess.

                  • FrankGrimes says:
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                    @Grey:
                    Ha!
                    I’d like to see a show combination of
                    Survivor Biggest loser and Kardashian’s
                    Tho Caitlyn would prolly win

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Survivor and Biggest Loser are a natural fit. Here’s some coconuts for the next 30 days, good luck! BTW, didn’t even mention that with the whole trust thing, imagine not eating for 30 days and trying to deal with people…I’d want to wring peoples’ necks…

                      I had Ryan to win, so I was bummed how last 2 episodes went.

  9. Curious George Springer says:
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    Anyone here? I’m back!

    Thinking keepers and thought I would start bouncing them off of you.

    here are the guys I’m definitely keeping:
    Trout
    Springer
    Freeman
    Albies
    Davrish
    Ray
    C-Mart

    I can keep one more among Thames, Souza, and Luis Castillo.

    H2H, cats are R, RBI, HR, SB, OBP, SLG and IP, QS, K/9, WHIP, ERA, Sv+Hld

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      CGS! What’s up man? Otani! No? Okay… I’d be between Castillo and Thames… lean Castillo…

      • Curious George Springer says:
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        @Grey: What’s up! I’m just reading everything about Otani that I can find (especially the ones that mention the Twins). I know he will end up in a big market, but I’m holding out hope that the Twins will find a way to land him.

        Also recovering from that whirlwind trip with the boss. Disney was amazing, and the parade. He was so happy, and I’m happy with him! (WS) MVP! MVP!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You had a huge postseason, and you should be very proud… I’d love the Twins to land Otani (Ohtani?) for parity reasons, but I agree with you, it seems unlikely…

          • Curious George Springer says:
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            @Grey: It is Ohtani. You tricked me!

            He would be a fit there. If anyone is credible when they say they can give him a chance to get at bats, it’s the Twins. It’s not like Robbie Grossman is blocking anybody. They get zero power from 1B, so they could use so,me power from the DH spot.

            It’s fun to see them in the mix on Darvish and Arrieta, too. I think they’ll be pretty good if they add a good starter. Anywhoo, that’s probably too much real baseball!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              If the Twins add Ohtani, I’m a little giddy for them… If they add Darvish and Arrieta, I’m worried about those pitchers…

              • Curious George Springer says:
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                @Grey: In any of those three cases, I would automatically get them in the REL if the Twins add them, so I’d be doubly excited.

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