(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)
I enter a cave in the coastal region of the Sierra Leone, wearing a pith helmet and other garb you’d see on someone butterfly hunting. Only I’m not searching for a Pussycat Swallowtail. I press my hands to my mouth and call out, “Hey, Buy/Sell column, hey, are you in here!” My echoes reverb back to me with not a sound more. No indication it’s here. Then, suddenly, the Fantasy Baseball Buy/Sell column rises like the WWE wrestler, The Undertaker, and holds a flashlight to its face for great effect, “What do you want?” We need you for another year of fantasy baseball Buy/Sell columns. “Okay, I was bored just laying here under an inch of dirt.” To get in the Buy section of this post, a player needs to be rostered in less than 50% of leagues, and more than 50% for the Sell side, i.e., Welcome back to another year of, “This guy is only owned in 7% of ESPN leagues?! WUT DA WUT!?” Or simply WDW. Okay, enough dinging-a-linging on the side note tip, let’s get down to bidness. Our first buy of the year is Andrew Vaughn. There’s Hobbs’s Andrew Vaughn fantasy, which I won’t be able to supplement in any meaningful way. He covers the stats. The White Sox are on the cusp. They had nothing to wait for in promoting Vaughn, and they didn’t wait. It’s White Boy Summer and Vaughn Chets all the boxes. T. Hanks. The projections don’t love Vaughn — 20/6, .215 average. Yes, that’s 20 homers and six steals in 500 ABs. But there’s not one league where I wouldn’t take a Vaughn flyer. With Eloy going down, the White Sox need all help they can get and they’re not turning to utility man Mendick to starch their socks, so to speak. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Sean Murphy – You could just go back to my catchers sleepers post, but hahahaha, make you work? Am I crazy? That’s like when someone asks me to rank, say, Bichette, Lindor and Story. How could we ever figure that out? Not in the ranks, amiright? To be under 50% owned in ESPN, it has to mean people don’t think Murphy will be a top 12 catcher. Can I bet those people that he will be a top 12 catcher? Where do I place that bet? At Draftduel? Fankings? Someone tell me.
Alejandro Kirk – I’m pot-committed to Danny Jansen across many teams, but unlike some positions, I’m fine with going to pot from pot-committed if it means a more exciting guy plays. Live long and prosper, Kirk.
C.J. Cron – Not gonna waste much time on Curtis Jackson Cron, because him being under 50% owned in ESPN feels more like a quirk of their leagues. He should be 100% owned, even if I’m not 100% sold he’s much more than, say, Carlos Santana.
Bobby Dalbec – You haven’t heard Mr. Grapefruit has 45 homers in the spring. Let me guess, you don’t like power, because it makes you feel insecure. Ooh, poor reader! Let me swaddle you!
Ty France – His name sounds like the best outcome France can hope for in the World Cup. Is that a snap or no snap? I’m gonna take a snap off that. Eat it, France! And I ain’t talking snails. Another snap or nah? Give me the snap! Any hoo! Ty France is pencilled into the Mariners’ lineup, and might hit in front of the young Babe Ruth aka Kyle Lewis, who I will call Baby Ruth. Yo, Kyle Lewis, you Grover Cleveland’s daughter? Someone Photoshop Kyle Lewis’s head on a Baby Ruth candy bar, I’m hungry! Ya know, when he returns from injury. Don’t tease me right now. Any hoo, Part II: Grey’s In Hooville, France shouldn’t kill you in average, and has power (25-ish HRs).
Andres Gimenez – I would start considering drafting Gimenez around 120th overall. Eff off, he’s not owned in more than 50% of leagues.
Jazz Chisholm – In the 12th part of the Ken Burns doc about Jazz, he says, “The Miami Sound Machine was not related to Charlie Sheen’s mother, that is Ma Sheen.” Yo, Ken Burns talked more nonsense than I remembered, huh? Chisholm has an interesting mix of power and speed with average concerns. What is that mucus-y substance on Chis–Oh, Lewis Brinson sneezed “contact issues” onto him.
Enrique Hernandez – It’s crazy that I find myself needing to push Red Sox players on you, especially their hitters. Have you, perchance, ever seen Fenway? A 340-foot doinker goes for a double one way and a homer the other. Hunter Renfroe is about to go 35/.270 and Enrisqué is about to have a career year.
Josh Rojas – Went over him this morning. Use your scrolly finger, you’ll find it.
Gavin Lux – Would pick up Lux if he’s seeing at-bats, but the Hitter-Tron also has a throbbing metal rod for Lux this weekend.
Jonathan India – Just gave you my Jonathan India fantasy. It was typed-up with my pointy elbows.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa – Just gave you some Israel Diner-Felafel info at my shortstops sleeper post. Go there and drape that knowledge over your melon.
Jarred Kelenic – Prefer the Jarred one over Vaughn if they’re both up, but the M’s about to play fast and loose with Kelenic’s service time. I mean, they have to see what they have with Jake Fraley, right? Spoiler alert! Not much.
Kyle Isbel – Here’s what I said the other day, “24-year-old prospect is favorite to see the strong side of platoon in the Royals’ right field, and, since the Royals have very little interesting depth, Isbel could just win the full-time job. By the by, Kyle Isbel sounds like a runner-up to win American Idol. “I always say no one should try Whitney Houston, but, Kyle, you’ve proved me wrong and would’ve made Whitney proud. You’re through to the next round.” Isbel is a some speed, some power, some contact hitter. 50 grades for all three. For now, I’m interested in 15-team or deeper leagues.” And that’s me quoting me!
Taylor Trammell – *Me running to the computer to see if the stimulus hit my account* That’s how fast Taylor Trammell runs. He might also get into a few ding-dongs. He might turn out to be nothing but a few-week pick-up, until Kelenic is promoted and Kyle Lewis returns, or he might have a 7/30 season. Don’t let someone else get him if it’s the latter.
Garrett Hampson – Call me a goofy bastard, but I can’t stop yet with Hampson. He’s a guy who could either go 12/30 or be asked to leave the dugout by Bud Black, when Hampson is confused with the equipment manager. “Hey, skip, I’m a utility man.” “Okay, well, today’s a day game and we don’t need electricity for lights.”
Elieser Hernandez – I love Elieser, did all preseason, but this is also your first Streamonator call of the year. Like the call it makes to Dictionary dot com to have A-Me put in the entry for “AI.” Last year, Elieser Hernandez had a 12 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9, and isn’t being drafted or owned because he doesn’t throw fast but…and wait until you hear this one…Continued in next blurb.
Nathan Eovaldi – …not owned because he throws too fast! I guess, I don’t know. Eovaldi has had a 9+ K/9 for the past 115+ IP, and a 1.3 BB/9 last year. Also, I wrote a Nathan Eovaldi sleeper.
John Means – If we’re doing Goldilocks, and Elieser throws too slow, and Eovaldi too fast, then what’s just right? Somewhere in the middle? Sounds like the Means. Also, I wrote a John Means sleeper.
Tarik Skubal – I’m not the type to boost players in my preseason rankings, because I think it’s unfair for people who draft early, and what’s to boost a player? Off their performance in spring training? I’m sorry, but for every five guys who do well in the spring, four of them flame out almost immediately in April. With all that said, I’m more interested in Skubal now than I was in December when I wrote up my rankings.
Daulton Jefferies – Feels like a guy who will be on every team by end of April, and then next year you’re talking about him as a top 40 starter. As I said with Skubal, I was also close to boosting Jefferies in my rankings, if I were so inclined.
Dylan Cease – Super hesitant to recommend Cease. Though, Cease the day, right? As Anime Grey would say in the video at the top of the post. Sure, and it likely won’t hurt you to try him, but I’m not 100% sold yet on Cease turning any sort of corner, just because he did okay vs. some garbage teams in Spring Training. He has all the makings of a 3 IP, 6 ER incoming.
Jordan Romano – This Romano guy throws straight cheese! Now if the Jays can find a guy named Peppergrinder, they’d be able to coax Alfredo Griffin out of retirement. Besides Romano, Julian Merryweather, who got the save yesterday, is possible for the Jays’ closer job. My money’s on Romano, but I’d guess the Jays don’t even know who will be their closer.
Jake Diekman – If you haven’t heard, Rosenthal is out indefinitely and Diekman is the presumed closer replacement. Well, if presumed is better than assumed, and Rosenthal’s ‘under’ on five saves and Diekman ‘over’ on thirty saves is ten dollars gets hundred, I’d take that bet six out of six times, so presumed>assumed=30/5*6n$10 is 4 $100=Diekman. Might have forgot to carry a one on that equation, but you get the pitcher — Diekman, specifically.
Nick Wittgren – Is he the closer? Can someone please clarify him vs. Karinchak and about 25 other bullpens? Wait, hearing now Emmanuel Clase is the closer. We got 30 closerfudges of epic proportions.
Alex Reyes – No faith that Reyes is actually the closer for longer than a week, let alone the season, but sometimes guys take jobs and run with them, so I’d absolutely grab Reyes. Wouldn’t exactly cut Gallegos in all leagues yet, though.
Mark Melancon – Now closing for the heaven-sent Padres is that devil, Pagan. No, wait! Yesterday’s game went to Melancon, who could be the closer, though it’s appropriate he doesn’t have a hard K in his last name. He might strikeout ten guys in sixty innings. Woof, dawg, woof. Oh, and Drew Pomeranz is there too. Jesus saves, amiright?
Matt Bush – From a possible Pagan to Bush, sounds like Fox News circa 1999. In Texas, there’s also Ian Kennedy. When did anything bad ever happen with a Kennedy going to Texas? Then there’s Joely Rodriguez. Joely, Joely, Joely, Joely, please don’t steal Matt Bush’s saves. Plus, he’s a lefty.
Keston Hiura – Confession time, I wrote up a Keston Hiura overrated schmohawk post, but I didn’t publish it because I wasn’t low enough on him in my rankings — was about on par with his ADP. I did more or less tell you I wouldn’t draft him in my rankings, but I foresaw people saying some shizz like, “You’re saying he’s overrated, while ranking him around 65th overall, and his ADP is 62nd. Whoa, you’re handsome but dumb as well if you think that’s ranking him to not draft him.” That’s tough but fair, and why I didn’t publish the schmohawk post. I will now tell you if you drafted him, sell him immediately, and here is my Keston Hiura schmohawk post, unedited:
You know how hard it is not not write like 35 schmohawk posts with them all being pitchers? Everyone is so out of their mind drafting starters early. I saw one ‘pert put out an article about how everyone should draft starters higher, and I laughed like a loon for forty-five minutes. Their justification was they won their leagues last year by doing that. The ol’ sample size of three leagues, during a 60-game goof season. Incredible. You can go to my top 20 starters, and peruse from there through my top 100 starters all of the guys I’m avoiding. If someone tells you how they do not want to draft Dinelson Lamet in more than 250 words, they deserve a Pulitzer for Best Stretching of the Obvious. Unless they just write the word “elbow” 251 times, that wouldn’t count. So, Keston Hiura has played 143 games in his major league career and has a line of 32/12/.266. “That’s what I’m gonna do this year and every year thereafter until I retire in 2039.” That’s Keston Hiura checking out a calendar while fast-forwarding through the climate change news to get to The Masked Singer. It’s pretty remarkable that we can all simultaneously agree to overlook all warning signs about a player. Hmm, now that I think about it…Could this be a great insight into how long it takes for the average male who lives in his mother’s basement to ignore something? A niche experiment, no doubt. So, what can we expect from Keston Hiura for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?
Warning signs galore, which I pronounce like I’m an 87-year-old Italian man saying amore. That’s gaaaaalor-ay! Let’s see, Keston Hiura had a 30.7% strikeout rate in his rookie year. But things get better, they have to, which they say after living through 2020. Right, but Keston Hiura’s strikeout rate went up to 34.6%. That’s, uh, not better. Could everyone be completely wrong about this guy? “No one’s been wrong about every prospect.” That’s Brett Lawrie trying to keep hope alive. “Hola!” That’s Matt Wieters waving and speaking Spanish, after going into Witness Protection. Guys and five ladies, 70% of prospects missing is a rounding error for young players. Want a good laugh? Go back five years and read some top 100 prospect lists. Out of curiosity, I just went and searched for a 2012 prospect list, and Jurickson Profar is the number one guy. Taijuan Walker was top five. So, yes, Keston Hiura can fail even though he was billed as “can’t miss.” His xBA last year was .210. Sure, small samples as they say about Jose Altuve, but Hiura is bottom four percent in the league for strikeout rates across two seasons.
Keston Hiura hit 13 homers, four of which were no doubters and four of which were very questionable. In an iffier park, he would’ve had eight homers. Prolly nothing to be concerned about because Brewers’ park is homer-friendly, but if he happens to hit his ‘supposed’ bombs on the road, well, let’s just say 30/.230 is a lot more digestible than 22/.230. You know who he’s looking a lot like, sorry if this makes you queasy, but I wouldn’t quickly kick a Hiura/Rougned Odor comparison out of bed. In fact, Statcast compares Hiura to Odor and Chris Iannetta, and I nearly fell off my seat, and I’m standing (on a seat, so I can see my computer screen). Last year, his exit velocity went down, launch angle went down, Hard Hit% went down–okay, only thing that went up for him was strikeouts. I’d overlook all of this if he were being drafted around 120 overall. But, nope, he’s the fifth 2nd baseman off the board at around a 60 ADP. None of this is including that Kolten Wong signing makes Keston easier to platoon too. Hey, maybe you wouldn’t platoon him, but someone might when they see him he hit .202 vs. righties last year. It’s with great regret I must stamp Keston Hiura schmohawk and avoid him.*
*Or in this case, sell him.