(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)
Today, I’m gonna be Mr. Monopoly! I don a top hat and tuxedo. Rolls giant foam dice, and…four! Sweet! Then I move along my office carpeting that is a giant Monopoly board. Ooh, pick a Chance card! Excellent! I put in my monocle so I can read, and the Chance card says, “Pick up a middle infield prospect.” Fun! I could grab Diego Castillo, Jeremy Pena, Bryson Stott, CJ Abrams, or Geraldo Perdomo. No problem for me deciding that! Who says variety is debilitating? *studies the stats for each player, a bead of sweat forms on my forehead, slowly that bead of sweat builds into a giant bucket of water and it crashes down on my face, waterboarding me* Help! Make it stop! I can’t decide who I want! So, let’s make like a gravedigger, and dig in.
First up, Diego Castillo looks like a 15/7/.270 hitter. Prospectonator doesn’t think much of him either, but he’s pounding the ball in the spring, and power can develop late. Maybe Diego Castillo sneaks into a 25-homer guy. Then again, the Pirates didn’t feel the need to manipulate his service time, so how good can he be? Plus, they benched him in the Opening Day lineup, which, ya know, makes no sense.
Next up, Jeremy Pena. I’ve been raving about him since last November. I was talking about Pena before even Pena. I basically birthed Pena. Here’s what I said this preseason, “Jeremy Pena is also — surprise, surprise — good at making contact. I say “surprise, surprise” sarcastically, because the Astros have proven to love contact hitters, and all their prospects coming up are in that mold. I said at one point this year, they’re building future prospects that all look like younger versions of Michael Brantley, and it’s true, the Mini Mikeys. Pena shouldn’t be much worse than a 22% strikeout rate guy, and could grow into much better. He also has speed. Not a burner, but decent 10-15 steal speed. So, like someone putting their skull skin back on after dining with Hannibal Lecter, to recap: Opposite field homers would seem to be off the menu, some pull power though, speed is there and solid contact. It’s hard not to imagine Jeremy Pena being a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper, because 550 ABs should be there immediately.” And that’s me quoting me!
Then, Bryson Stott. I drafted him already, and he’ll be in the city where they drafted the Constitution, and I’m not gonna waste my Stott! He’s the safest guy out of all of these, but also the guy who most makes me want to yawn. Not Byron Yawn, that’s the pastor who stole Ben Zobrist’s wife. Stott could hit .300 this year, which is a accomplishment for any rookie, but with what kind of power and speed? Maybe 20/5? Think the ceiling is lower for this year with him. Thankfully, we’re not talking about Oneil Cruz. Don’t want him bumping his head.
Heading to San Diego and perhaps the sexiest of the bunch, while also being the riskiest is CJ Abrams. LL Cool James Abrams could steal 40+ bags, might shock with a .325 average and, who knows, chuck in 15 homers. How about everything you could ever want and more? You don’t like more? What do you have against more?! Hmm, you’re suspect. Oh, or he might hit .210 and get sent right back down, not even waiting for Tatis to return. Here’s what Itch has said to really whet the ol’ whistle, “He might be right there with Witt and Julio for top spot across the minors if he’d stayed healthy this year. A 6’2” 185 lb lefty bat, Abrams’ best features are a double-plus hit tool and 80-grade speed. He’s flashed extra base power but his swing isn’t geared for home run power at the highest levels. He’ll still pop his fair share, but you won’t really care if he lives in the 15-range. His batting average and stolen bases alone will put him in early-round conversations at his roto peak. And I’d love to kick Grey off a high peak.” Not cool! So, Abrams is crazy upside, and downside.
Finally, Geraldo Perdomo, our good friend from the eastern coast of Italy. Perdomo is where the priests go to sow their oats one last time for what they call Limoncellospringa. He’s also in a good place to get playing time, and maybe 20+steals. Will Limoncellospringa find his way into mixed league teams with nun power? Seems-a unlikely-a, as they say in Italy. Also, before we pick up this orange and squeeze out the juice, just about everyone in my first Buy/Sell is still applicable. If I don’t repeat their names, it doesn’t mean I suddenly don’t like them. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Kyle Higashioka – Was thinking about how he’s in such a great place to break out, then I saw he had a .183 average in a career 139 games, and I spit up a drink umbrella, because I was super drunk.
Darin Ruf – He’s a guy who will be very valuable in deep leagues, and pretty unownable in shallow leagues.
Wilmer Flores – *deep inhale* Ah, yes, it must be baseball season because I’m recommending random Giants players who aren’t that good, but are interesting because they’re getting playing time. It is the most wonderful time of the year!
Tony Kemp – We got a new crappy team in the majors giving a shizzton of at-bats to guys who should be fifth outfielders! What’s up, disgrA’s! They’re still in Oaktown. Well, some stragglers are, at least. Kemp appears like he should have big speed, and get 30+ steals. Oh, he won’t, but he appears like he should, because he weighs a buck-thirty.
Jose Iglesias – Being real with you right now when I say Iglesias could be more valuable than all the shortstops in the opening lede, and that’s Church!
Jorge Mateo – He has 15-homer power, and 50-steal speed. Could he hit .170? Yes, absolutely. For those aware of how well he was hitting in Spring Training, all I’ll say is sometimes guys who have been in the minors for 11 years, feel a bit more pressure to perform in the spring.
Kevin Smith – *opens envelope*…and the winner for “3rd baseman who is getting at-bats and has the same name as a terrible director” goes to…Kevin Smith! Sadly, he couldn’t be with us today, because he couldn’t find fancy oversized jorts to wear.
Joey Wendle – I see Wendle and I think, “Guy most likely to have some value in very deep leagues who you won’t want to roster in any league.”
Cavan Biggio – “They’re not gonna be able to make fun of me anymore!” That’s Craig Biggio talking about other former MLB players who are fathers to players, while Craig has someone pelt him with golf balls.
Josh Lowe – Someone asked the other day why I sounded less excited for Lowe than other ‘perts. I drafted him in my RCL league, which is a 12-team daily league, and as shallow a league I play in, so I love Lowe. Get Lowe. Oh, yeah, from the window to the floor. RCLs are also daily leagues, and I wouldn’t mess with Lowe in a weekly league. You’re absolutely going to have to move him in and out of your lineup, or get ready to scream at your computer, “Cash is not really starting Harold Ramirez over Lowe, is he?!”
Steven Kwan – All this year it’s some day after Christmas and before, like, January 3rd, so Happy Kwan-zaa!
Jo Adell – Y’all gotta get in on Adell, before it’s too late. He has the talent to be a number one outfielder. Fo’serious. Same with Brandon Marsh, kinda. Prolly closer to a number two or three, but he might have Taylor Ward in front of him. I’m not joking.
Domingo Acevedo – While everyone was trying to figure out if Anthony Bender, Dylan Floro, Cole Sulser, or Tanner Scott (that order, by the way) was gonna close in Miami, I’m trying to figure out who’s going to close when Lou Trivino is invariably dealt. A.J. Puk feels better used as a middle reliever than as a closer, so I’ve speculated on Acevedo.
David Robertson – Nothing is more appropriate for SAGNOF than the first save of the year going to a guy who wasn’t rostered anywhere.
Greg Holland – Having Holland on a fantasy team is a perpetual Dutch oven, so shorthand for him and Matt Bush in the Rangers’ pen is Qweef. Also, Holland mentioned in the video at the top of the page (in an offhanded way).
Jorge Lopez – Should be in the lead for the over/under 12 saves in Baltimore. I will say this for the Orioles, they’re not selling off insanely like the DisgrA’s. In Oakland, Means, Mancini, and others would’ve been sold off for prospects months ago. Though, that might mean the Orioles’ front office just doesn’t know how to rebuild.
Jorge Alcala – Just gave you my Twins (and Padres) bullpen breakdowns this morning. The abbreviated takes were Rogers, then Alcala, Duffey, Pagan and a nickel to flip. That order. There is an unexpected consequence to Rogers being named San Diego’s closer that is good news. Before someone asked me a question about R. Suarez, and it was causing me to do 15 minutes of mental gymnastics trying to figure out if it’s Ranger or Robert. Then the Russian judge, in cahoots with the French judge, would give my brain a 9.4 and my mental gymnastics didn’t even medal. Now, that problem is resolved.
Sandy Alcantara – My early Sells are basically, “I kinda screwed up in the early preseason, and I’m making amends.” Not major screw-ups that I completely regret. Just guys who I think I was too high on initially. I do worry about last week’s Sells, Jazz and Belly (by the by, JazzBelly sounds like a cool-ass bar), but Sandy Alcantara isn’t awful. Isn’t suddenly a bad pick. But how he was being drafted this year was Crazytown, population: His Drafters. He’s a 8.5 K/9, solid command, innings beast. Love guys that can go 200 IP. It’s why I always liked Lance Lynn. Can’t discount how much 200 IP matters in today’s game. It truly is helpful, but — and this is a J. Lo-sized but — 8.5 K/9 and solid command isn’t a top 50 overall player, as I saw him being drafted. That was overrating Sandy Alcantara. Don’t trade him for parachute pants, but I would explore options on our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer.