I believe I wrote a Brandon Woodruff sleeper post last year, or maybe I just told everyone to draft him and ranked him way higher than everyone else. Either way, I win. I will be sanctioning a steel worker to fashion me a giant “I knew Brandon Woodruff was good before everyone else” trophy in the shape of a giant cup, which I will fill with Hong Kong milk tea and boba. For the clubhouse celebration, I will put on goggles, insert a giant metal boba straw into my mouth and spray myself in the face with milk tea and boba while slurping up…The Fallen Boba Soldiers. What a terrific clubhouse celebration I’m having in my kitchen that I’ve covered with a plastic tarp so Cougs doesn’t yell at me. I’ve reached the pinnacle of the fantasy baseball industry! Or I’m having a fever dream. Tomato-tomato-said-with-a-different-emphasis. Last year Brandon Woodruff went 11-3/3.62/1.14/143 in 121 2/3 IP, which was essentially a top ten starter with how great pitching was last year. Okay, I kid. Kinda. But if he didn’t miss two months with an oblique injury, we might not even be here because Woodruff would’ve been a top ten starter. Thank you, oblique! Whatever the hell it/you is/are. Not only do I not know an oblique’s pronoun, I also don’t know if it’s singular or plural. So, what can we expect from Brandon Woodruff for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Brandon Woodruff’s 143 strikeouts came with a 10.6 K/9. I love strikeout rate because it stays fairly consistent until it starts to tail off with age, and, even then, Charlie Morton would like you to look at his K/9. Woodruff’s career mark prior to last year was below 10 though (still damn good at 9.5-ish). So, wha’ happened? His velocity went up nearly a full mile per hour to 96.7 MPH, which is the seventh best velocity on a fastball in the majors. Fastball velocity is not everything, but the top ten for fastball velocity is not a shabby bunch, or shaggy bunch if you subscribed to Disney+ and can’t stop watching their dog detective movies. Imagine how much ass Don Knotts and Fred MacMurray used to get. Wow! Any hoo! Brandon Woodruff’s sinker went from a nothing to a plus-pitch that he threw 23.2% of the time. So, yes, more velocity on his fastball, but the sinker is attributing to his fastball and slider and cutter and curve’s success. You can see his strikeouts went up for a reason, so there’s no argument to not trust the better stuff. Also, his walk rate went from 3 BB/9 to 2.2 BB/9. That’s a huge difference that can also fuel success. Is it maintainable? Yes, and it’s even a better story than just yes, which is a bit of a one-note story. He elicited a top ten rate of swings in the strike zone. So, that means, he’s around the strike zone and he’s generating swings and misses. About the best recipe for success. Debatable if it’s better to get someone to swing at terrible pitches, but Woodruff is challenging hitters and defeating them. Dude should get a giant metal cup filled with boba too. Finally, Woodruff has been the apple of my eye for a while now — I’m a Standon Woodruff, if you’re a millennial — but I originally decided to write about him, not because of his sinker, better strikeouts and command or missed time due to a non-arm injury that would’ve brought him into top ten last season, but because he had the 7th best FIP last year between Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Woodruff isn’t just a sleeper; he’s an ace! Which brings me to my final point, he might actually not be a sleeper in all leagues. But, in ESPN, where they have him down around 125, that’s a sleeper, which is good enough for me. For 2020, I’ll give him the projections of 15-6/3.43/1.12/207 in 184 IP with a chance for more.

 
  1. Dave D says:
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    Nobody is sleeping on him in NFBC. He was the next pitcher taken after Morton in my most recent draft. Sleeper in ESPN leagues is about right. Ironically enough as I post this most of you are probably literally still sleeping!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      He gets that multi position eligibility boost in NFBCs

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Watch yo mouth, Donkey!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Notice Donkey has to allude to Ohtani any chance he gets, such a Donkey!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          That’s OHHHHHHHtani to you!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Dohtankey?

            • Dave D says:
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              Lol. Ohtani will have better multiplayer #s than Jared Walsh pitching but I’d rather draft Walsh in the bottom 100 than Ohtani in the top 100.

              What happens when Ohtani is bumped from the rotation and is in a mop up long relief only role?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’d personally want Ohtani as the lights out closer and DH all year, not sure why no one is running with that

                • Dave D says:
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                  Yeah, I don’t see this experiment as having long term success. It dilutes his greatness on either side of the ball. Maybe bullpen could work. I’ve seen some quotes from Maddon about him that give me some optimism, not that it’s healthy to have much as a Halos fan.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Quotes like what?

                    • Dave D says:
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                      Yeah, what Ohtani is saying in the video is that he’s open to hitting and having no DH, but that if he gets pulled basically his spot will be in middle of lineup but the next pitcher would hit there. Maybe he should leadoff then…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Hunh, interesting… There’s something to unlocking Ohtani’s full potential and us not seeing it yet

                • Smitty says:
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                  I’d be inclined to just let him hit. Another consistent everyday bat is badly needed and O looks awfully good behind Rendon and Trout. If the Angels took that approach I think his value would be much higher.
                  Continue throwing bullpens, building arm strength and save his bullets for a possible playoff run in Sept – I do like him as a closer out of the pen.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, completely, but if they don’t put him in the rotation this year, he’d be even further behind on a timetable

                    • Smitty says:
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                      Yup, too complicated

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yup

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wow, up early today, Dave D! Yeah, he’s not a sleeper in NFBC, but all the way in ESPN, giddy up!

      • Dave D says:
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        I had to give you some mild pushback for the day-old donuts ;-)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, fair enough!

  2. big league wood says:
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    Woodruff is a good call. What do you think that Jays defense and ballpark due to Ryu? Didnt see that in your analysis. I think Woodruff > Ryu

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think Woodruff over Ryu bc of Ks, but close… Jays’ defense and ballpark are gonna hurt him a little… will never get as purdy as Dodger Stadium

  3. packers2018 says:
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    Grey,

    I want to resubscribe for add free and some of the tools, umm….

    Just wondering about the 250 day subscription, which wouldn’t take me to the end of the baseball season. I’m thinking Razzball would make sure if we renew now we would be good but wanted to make sure. Am I right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, you’re good now, just remind me and I’ll extend you for 2020 season

      • packers2018 says:
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        Thanks, i wasn’t to concerned, but wanted to reach out.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  4. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    I think I might have discussed this with you before, but dude wants Wander Franco, instead of Kyle Hendricks, with McCullers and Civale for Stanton..No way, right?

    I would love to get Stanton, but do not want to overpay for him, especially with the recent injuries..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wander, McCullers and Civale for Stanton? Sounds fine form 2020, could beat you in ass as soon as next year

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        I think ill just keep Wander, sure getting a lot of offes for him..

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, better off holding

    • FrankGrimes says:
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      Stanton is trash. Don’t do it!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Grimey!

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Lol, thanks Grimey!

  5. bigbear says:
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    Just to clarify, “a chance for more” or “a chance for much more”?

    His career path is definitely unique. NCAA he had a 44/56 K/IP. Minors 420/463 K/IP. MLB 222/207 K/IP. Flip it for BB/IP. Significant improvements each step of the way!

    His IP project looks fairly aggressive no? 121.2 in 2019, 113.2 in 2018, 120.1 in 2017, and 158 in 2016. I suppose it’s doable. He’ll be 27 after all. Never mind. Carry on.

    • Smitty says:
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      Increased velo and advanced command have the Brewers (and some fantasy owners) optimistic he can stay healthy and take a big step forward. Grey’s lofty projections are what I love about him, not afraid to put his b*lls on the line

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, yup! I’m being optimistic but think it’s doable…

  6. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Lorenzen or Pomeranz, who gets the most holds and has the better season.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Pom

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’ll take Lorenzen

  7. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Trade Corey Seager and Roberto Ozuna for Manny Machado

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d want Machado

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Thanks Donkey, I made the deal.

        I have working all day to try to land Stanton, and Machado just came out of nowhere!!

        I still want Stanton, just not going to give up Wander Franco for him..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Works for me

  8. Dan says:
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    Thanks for all your sage advice on off season trades.

    Offered $10 FTJ for my $22 Conforto and $10 Pham

    It’s a H2H points league. Do I take that and run or should I be worried about the k rate with Tatis for points league?

    It’s keepers so 2 years left on Conforto contract and final year for Pham. 2 years left on tatis jr.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d take FTJ

      • Dan says:
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        Thanks!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  9. Gigorilla says:
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    Woody should anchor the Crew — knock on Woodruff (is that he is still learning)
    Or if he is not that good, he is Driftwood.
    Either way he should peck away at batters.

    There could be a new entry in the Razz names somewhere there.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Something to driftwood, not sure what yet

  10. goodfold2 says:
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    yeah i can tier my bids such that i’d win one at most of these guys assuming the expensive set. soler would clearly be cheaper, but i don’t know what somebody might go to either. think trying 20-23 for lindor/torenado/rendon (obv just winning one max) and around like 14-17 ish on soler? as far as term like 3ish years on these. mookie should go in the lindor/torenado/rendon group, except long term i have a LOT better OF prospects than CI/MI so targeting CI/MI makes more sense for my roster.

    2. what about hendricks/w.smith/chapman bid price (obviously at most one of them, since they’ll all be expensive for their position). 12ish maybe, might not get any of them for that price, might though.

    3. what price/term is doable on sale though, like 20 per for 2ish? i’m not messing with any kind of long term on SP at his age of course.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You think 20-23 on them and 17 on Soler gets it done? Feels light… Guess you can try, but you should get at least one of them

      2. Was gonna say 12ish — Smith may not close (though he prolly will), so I wouldn’t bother going above 7ish for him

      3. 22 for 2?

      • goodfold2 says:
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        3. 20 per year for 1-2 max years i mean on sale, that’s what sounds possibly doable to me, seeing what you think (earlier you said “let sale go” but i didn’t know if that was mostly you assuming he gets bid up crazy (like 25+ per) or longer term (like 3+ years). either of those seem just bad, esp the longer term if somebody bid that). obviously if i INTEND to “let sale go” no matter even if he’s like 18 mil 1 year i could just scrap the budget in intended to use on him and even do something like… bid on degrom, darvish, bumgarner, kershaw, or kluber. i doubt it’s legal to do something like say in the bids: ” i bid X on degrom, .65X on bumgarner …… but these bids ONLY count at all if sale gets bid up to 23 or more mil per year at more than 2 years so i let sale go and these bids count”. that’s the bitch on these since i have no idea what sale would cost before i have to make other bids.

        2. true on smith possibly not closing, but he’ll likely have elite ratios + holds OR saves regardless. that saves fear might even lower his ceiling price, meaning 12 might near guarantee to get it done, whereas 12 for chapman probably just doesn’t win at all. my guess is hendricks goes for less than chapman too, shorter track record and all that, NYY is a big draw also. in case this wasn’t mentioned this is 6×6 OPS/holds added. sometimes those weird saves guys just fall through the cracks or are cheap (melancon last year when he started year like what 3rd or worse for saves was super cheap in bidding, and bass was WW’d at league min; after i started year with no saves at all. of course other years i might end season with like 5 total saves doing that kind of thing when i refuse to shell out money for closers in bidding so that doesn’t always work out well)

        1. this line here: “You think 20-23 on them and 17 on Soler gets it done? Feels light”
        you mean soler at 17 is light or 20-23 on lindor/ torenado/rendon seems light. 20-23 on the lindor group probably is light. maybe you meant both are though.

        holy crap, your response is at a time i don’t think i’ve seen in a LONG time, making me think you aren’t in LA at all (back at NY with family stuff, or ohio with wife family stuff (if that was ohio, think so))

        • goodfold2 says:
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          oh wait, yr family stuff (if there) is probably more likely NJ than NY, forgot that.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I’m actually in London for a week

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          1. I don’t think $17 gets it done on Soler or 23 for Lindor group but I guess you can try it

          2. Ah Holds too, then $12 gets it done but you don’t need to spend that much if there’s Holds too

          3. I guess $20 gets it done if you think it will…you know your league better than me… if $20 gets it done, you should get Sale for that… if you can bid on the others, you should but I’d go hitters big before pitchers

          • goodfold2 says:
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            oh so it’s like 4 PM or so over where you are then. yeah ok, 17-23 simply isn’t likely to win any of the lindor-soler at all. got it. almost certainly true on lindor-rendon 3 and it could be right on soler power too (good god the CUBS do funny shit eh).

            3. sale: others bid on him then i either match or don’t (and if don’t get an end of 1st and end of 2nd round supplemental pick if it’s over 15 per year, which it will be). and i’m guessing anything longer than 2 years i shouldn’t worry about, just worry about getting either greinke or ryu in feb bidding if that happens. i certainly don’t want to bid like the 26 or more degrom could easily cost (kershaw was i think like 32 mil per a few years ago, just came off that deal. and i’m pretty sure our budget was only 100 mil, not 115 like now when kershaw was bid up to 32 per year) when that money should go into getting a top notch hitter, even if said hitter is near 30 million. also i’d assume even on the hitters that i should NOT be bidding more than what 3 years (even lindor who’s younger?).

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, it’s early here still… 3. I wouldn’t go longer than 2 years with Sale… or over 23… not more than 3 years on any of them… wouldn’t bid that high on deGrom, or high enough to get him…

  11. Garrett says:
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    Hey grey can’t wait for me sleeper pitcher posts!

    Have a trade offer in keeper league. Can keep Player for max 4 years. 1st year $ value stays the same 2nd year increase by $5. 3rd year Increase by $8. 4 year increase by $10. My other keepers are: FTJ, Eloy, Robles, Soto, Story.

    Trade my $3 meadows For $3 Kyle Tucker and 2 draft picks. Draft picks would help me build my farm system and potentially yield a stud or solid contributor for 2021-2022

    I won the ship last year thanks to you. So having trouble evaluating this trade since it makes my roster worse heading into draft but helps future especially since Tucker could maybe yield meadows like stats this year . therefore debate is if I should pull trigger or continue in win now mode with better player who is only improving and gives me better chance of dynasty. Was wondering if you have any thoughts on either player which could help me

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, hold

      • Garrett Sher says:
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        Thanks for this do you see meadows expanding on LY performance?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I think he can match it over more games, so exceed the performance and Tucker is a 4th outfielder

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