Two Orioles for the fantasy baseball rookies series and Grey plants his flag in the Shizzville district of Camden Town. I’m someone sad like Morrissey singing about Camden Town. *places hand on ear to listen intently, another hand on my heart, swaying back and forth singing a song I don’t know so it’s just mumbles* “Blue blue blue, sad sad sad…So sad…” That’s me singing a sad song I don’t know. *climbs fence at the late Boog Powell’s house and places a flower on his freshly dug grave, sniffs around* That smells terrible. Just then Boog Powell comes out of the house, screaming, “I’m not dead! That’s my septic tank!” Sorry, Boog! I’m getting in touch with my O’s love! It’s my O’s face! Okay, fellas and five ellas, I don’t suddenly love the Orioles, but Austin Hays has great defense and an interesting hitting profile for fantasy. Defense doesn’t mean much for us, but it helps pencil in playing time. Here’s him making one of the best catches of last year:
How much does Gorilla Glue have to advertise to get that placement behind home plate and also get Austin Hays to beat his chest like a gorilla? Did every Orioles player beat their chest after every routine catch? Is that all part of the same advertising campaign? What’s that, you don’t have Gorilla Chest-Thumps as a category in your league? Hmm…Can you find a new league? No? Okay. So, what can we expect from Austin Hays for 2020 fantasy baseball?
According to scouting reports I’ve seen, Austin Hays is a 60 for raw power and 50 for speed. 60 is above average. Hello, 30/20, baaaaaaaaabee! Though, that would be the best we’ve ever seen from Hays. By a lot. In Triple-A last year, when, like his teammates Ryan Mountcastle, he spent way too much time in the minors, Hays went 10/6/.254 in 59 games. *insert GIF of Larry David making a meh face* He also had a 23.7% K-rate and 4.3% walk rate. Like any group of people who decided to go hiking in a cave, the deeper we go, the worse it’s getting. Hays seemed nonplussed with MLB pitching (like everyone) and went 4/2/.309 in only 21 games. *chef’s kiss* Samples are best in small sizes. Like an amuse bouche of stats. Austin Hays also hit .419 vs. righties in the majors, which is legitimately hilarious and highlights how small this sample really is. There’s worry he won’t hit .220, so for him to hit .400-anything is pure comedy. What he’s good for methinks, as mebegins to talk like a leprechaun, is a 15-team or deeper weekly league flyer. As I focused on above, he should see everyday playing time, due to his defense, and can go 22/12. The average may be hit or miss, literally, but someone with his speed/power profile and at-bats could even be a deep league sleeper. If he shocks the world and hits .270+, he might be a 3rd fantasy outfielder in all leagues, not just deep ones. For 2020, I’ll give Austin Hays projections of 66/18/51/.244/12 in 507 ABs with a chance for more.