Hey y’all, let me know if you’ve heard this one before.  Brett Lawrie is a fantasy sleeper for the YYYY Fantasy Baseball Season!  In fact, this isn’t even a new post.  I just went back from all the posts between 2012 and 2014 and did a mash-up of them.  It was hard to get them all the same font so be thankful this doesn’t read like a ransom note!  Speaking of notes, it feels like every spot you’ve taken Lawrie the last few years has left you with an I.O.U. almost immediately after leaving the draft table, doesn’t it?  That kind of pain is hard to get over, especially in deeper leagues where your team can falter just on a few bad picks or rise quickly on a few good ones.  So what makes drafting Lawrie in the year of the sheep make me feel like the GOAT you ask?  Well read on.  Here’s my take on Brett for you late round misfit seekers for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

Before we talk about what what Lawrie could do for your team in 2015, let’s discuss what he hasn’t done at the major league level to date.  He hasn’t hit for a great average, despite expectations for a reasonable one with just a .265 average to his name over 1431 plate appearances and ended 2014 with a .247 average so it’s clear he’s not an average guy.  Also, he only has 43 HRs and 29 SB over those PAs so it’s clear he’s not a power nor a speed guy either….ugh, why am I writing about him?  Oh, I know why.  You know what else he hasn’t really done at the major league level?  Stayed healthy.  Pardon me for not being able to write off a talented kid after what amounts to a little over 2 seasons’ worth of games to his name over 4 actual seasons.  Baseball is a rhythm game.  Bouncing on and off DL stints doesn’t make it easy to find such a thing and looking a little further into the stats from his disastrous 2014 campaign, there are some rays of hope.  His .174 ISO was the highest it’s been since becoming a lineup fixture in 2012 while his BABIP of .260 was the lowest.  So amid all things worrisome, I do see something good on the horizon for a guy who turns 25 on January 18th.  Yes, he’s still young.  His first major league at-bat was at the age of 21 when you were all over him like ebola coverage on CNN.  Now it’s like he has ebola and you won’t go near him.  Y’all are fickle, I’m just looking at him and his upside being worth way more than he’ll go for in 2015 drafts.  Lawrie has the potential for a 20/15 season.  Not to get all comp’y on y’all but that season Anthony Rendon just had out of nowhere in 2014 that’s vaulted him to the top of 2B ranks?  Yeah, Lawrie is just 6 months older than Rendon and still has that kind surprise in him; perhaps more.  If you drafted Rendon in 2014, you were doing so off the heels of data that said he’d really done nothing to date but had the pedigree to be something great so I’m asking you to be kind and draft Lawrie with the same notion in mind.  Man, unintended rhyme is the best kind of rhyme (and my only kind).

Honorable 3B Deep League Mentions

Chris JohnsonHe’ll probably be hitting in a good RBI spot in the Atlanta lineup.  That’s good!  Then you actually look at Atlanta’s lineup.  That’s bad…but then you look at his career .283 average.  That’s good!  Then you notice the 55 career HRs.  That’s bad…in the end, you can pray for a return to his 2013 but really, if you draft him you’re probably getting his 2012 with better RBI numbers.  It’s a’ight but he’s no game changer.

Pedro AlvarezSo let’s just say for argument’s sake that Alvarez’ best year or years are behind him.  Let’s say he’s never going to hit 30+ HRs in a season again because he didn’t do it last year.  Ok, fine.  Well then can we say he’s no longer the same profile as a hitter because he cut his K-rate by 5% and upped his walk rate above 10% for the first time in his career?  Maybe he still struggles for average but 25 HRs seems like a reasonable bet.  The only issue is, his name is gonna float him up draft boards even if he’s ranked low because 3B is actually fairly thin this year.  Hrm, I’m talking about how thin 3B is in Pedro’s blurb.  Something’s wrong about that…

Trevor Plouffe – Want to hear something interesting?  On a per game basis, the difference between Plouffe and Evan Longoria last year was bordering on null.  Plouffe had the higher ISO (.165 to .151) while Longoria had the better HR/FB rate (10.8% to 8.3%) but the rest of it is like Alex Rodriguez kissing himself in the mirror.  Granted, 2014 was a down year for Longoria but he was still the 7th best 3B according to the end of season rankings last year.  My only issue is I believe Plouffe’s ceiling is Longoria’s floor.  Hey, keep it down up there!  I can hear Jaime Faith Edmondson squealing!  That’s Plouffe yelling at Longoria through the floorboards.  And also got to learn Jaime Faith Anderson is a squealer.  Who knew?

 

 
  1. Dave says:
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    I’m in a 12 team roto 5X5 OBP keeper league and i’m drafting tomorrow.. Each team keeps 4 players going into this year but next year each team will keep 8 players. I have Miggy and Tulo so i’m looking to grab a high upside young guy with my 2nd or 3rd pick. I love mookie betts and I feel he will lead the league in runs this year if he leads off all season. 15/30 isn’t out of the question as early as this year, and I think he is a future Mccutchen type player. It also makes sense that i’m from Boston and a huge redsox fan. I never value players solely on the fact that they play for my home team but this feels like the perfect situation cause I beleive the value will be fine if I draft him there. All reports coming out of Boston are that Farrell loves this kid and he’s locked in at centerfield and at the lead off position. Do you think that i’d be reaching for him? I have the 2nd pick in the draft so i’d be grabbing him at the 2/3 turn. Thanks!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Dave: You’re drafting Mookie Betts in the 5th round if I’m reading your statement right. If that’s the case, yes, you’re reaching for him. It’s a keeper, not a dynasty. Have to keep things in perspective in that sense.

  2. Dave says:
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    Adding to my last post. I also like Soler and Yelich as keeper options but I think Mookie all around is the better choice. Especially, because our league uses OBP

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Dave: Youth is important but in a standard keeper, reaching for youth doesn’t help and isn’t needed.

  3. Dave says:
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    Thanks Sky!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      No worries!

  4. Baezaworldseries says:
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    I nabbed “El Toro” around 200 in a dynasty. I’m excited to see if he can figure things out. He was swinging at fewer strikes and swinging at more balls. It looks like pitchers were pitching to him differently last year or he was trying to do something different. I actually picked Alvarez as my favorite pick in a blurb for the league. Citing the same reasons you used. Now it’s gonna look like I just regurgitated the brilliant Sky. lol !

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      ‘Brilliant Sky’…now that’s funny! He’s in his prime at his age. Big boppers are usually late bloomers overall. I’ll be happy with 25 and an average above .240 from him this year.

  5. Troy says:
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    Uh, Rendon is six months younger than Lawrie. Not the other way around.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah fix will be in shortly. Thanks!

      • Baezaworldseries says:
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        @Sky: Uh. Totally. Like yeah. That sort of misinformation could of ruined my fantasy season.

  6. Rob says:
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    I am commish of a well established free league in yahoo and I need 1 replacement owner. Live draft is set for Sat Apr 4 at 1PM (day b4 season opens!). It is a 12 team H2H 1win league with no keepers, no funky categories, scoring set up to benefit the owner who makes daily lineups. As soon as last owner joins I will randomly pick draft order. Check it out if interested: https://yho.com/mlb?l=79109&k=d9bd70de093eddb5&ikey=993b37a60d087e9b

  7. J-FOH says:
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    I got Lawrie in the 20th, pick 233 i the FCL, one of my favorite late flyers. I agree on Plouffe, but if you would of read this then you would of known (I’m assuming you didn’t read in my perpetual quest to always make an ass out of you and me)

    https://razzball.com/late-round-flyers-corners-catchers/

  8. Chris says:
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    Nice article Sky,

    I have pedro on on eof my teams so I’m hoping for at least 30 which I think he will exceed which is why I paid $11 for him. Good deal or too high? Seager went for $20 .Lawrie, if he stays healthy I like your 20/15 projection. Speaking of Seager……
    I just traded Seager for Lester who won in your mind? I think it’s pretty even. Without giving both our roster I can tell you he was a touch light on pitching and I was a touch light on power.

    Thanks

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Chris. $11 probably on the high side for Pedro but depends how your draft was going at that point if you needed to pay up. The trade is fair/even. Trust Seager more and would’ve preferred a different reliable arm, but there’s nothing wrong with the trade.

  9. Chris says:
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    Thanks here’s my team what are your thoughts. 14 team 5×5 head to head

    Strasburg 30
    Lester 20 Traded
    Wood 10
    Ross 15
    Fister 10
    Weaver 5
    Salazar 6 AAA I think he’ll be back
    KRod-5
    Cishek 9
    Boxberger res

    This is my offense I think I did fine but I like it a lot better with Seager.
    C-Norris
    1st Pujols
    2nd Panik
    SS-Escobar
    3rd Seager
    CI-Posey
    MI-Peralta
    DH-Pedro
    DH-Aoki
    OF-Trumbo-Marte-Melky-Revere-Pollock

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Chris: I like your pitching overall minus Fister for these reasons: https://razzball.com/draft-day-arbitrage-getting-a-fister-from-a-stranger/

      But other than that, pitching looks solid overall

      There was a talented and deep 2B pool this year that I would’ve liked to take advantage of in your scenario and I’m not sure I want Posey as a CI since that’s not why you paid for him. That said, Seager move does balance out your lack of power. Think you’re gonna want to find a 2B/CI fix in the future unless you have something waiting in the wings on your bench (which I don’t see). It’s a reasonable team but think you’re gonna need to be aggressive on CI/2B that pop up on the FA market to stay in it.

  10. I just commented on Semien/Lawrie in the MI topic….

    I drafted Friday in a 12-team 6X6 and took both with my last two picks. I needed 1 player for MI, and I’m hoping it’s Lawrie.

    I was high on him when he was called up – he was touted as “the next Ryan Braun” type of pedigree – and now everyone hates the kid because he couldn’t stay healthy.

    Despite the ballpark, the A’s have a way of getting the most out of young hitters – I really like his chances at a .270/18/70/70/12 campaign. The 12 SB might drop in effort to keep him healthy (he’s already dinged up “sore” from ST) but otherwise I still like him for those #s. And for the price I paid, I can painlessly drop him if he stumbles out of the gate in April/May. But if he hits, those are pretty solid 2B/MI numbers IMO.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Lucky Dog: Yup, that’s why I like him. Might be up in the RBI/down in the runs department if he hits as low in the LU as he’s expected to. He’s a high twitch guy, energy-wise. He’s overly aggressive on defense as well as just a groundout. If they can curb him just a bit, he should be fine.

      • @Sky:

        And I’ve been reading there’s resaon for optimism – yes, he’s been stinking up ST, but reportedly it’s because he’s working on a more patient approach – similar to his mini-breakout in 2011 when he came out gangbusters for 39 games or whatever it was.

        I think the A’s will be batting him 6th, so I agree – likely +10 EBI, -15 R and likely closer to 5-7 SB, but I don’t see that as much different from the other “sleeper” MIs who will be batting 7th/8th, with putrid batting averages.

        With a little health I could see Lawrie getting into a rythm and having some success. Again, thinking back to 2011 he was very healthy/productive in the minors and that consistent playing time seemed to benefit his production in the bigs.

        Or maybe I’ll dump him for Ahmed or Pederson in 3 weeks. No love lost for a 29th round pick.
        ;)

        • @Lucky Dog:

          *RBI

          Not sure what EBI is. Maybe a Pablo Sandoval stat “Eating Bagels In” or something.

  11. Bas says:
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    Hello fellow Fantasy Baseballers,

    Today I have my draft of my 12 team 5×5 keeper league, but unfortunately I have to work. I wonder if there is anybody of the Razballers who would like to do my draft.I have the 7nd pick in the 8 round. My keepers are Kimbrell, Chapman, Jupton, Cutch, Fielder, Cespedes and Altuve. It is an Yahoo league and the draft is at 1:00pm PDT.

    If you can use the Razzball rankings and strategy I will be gratefull.

  12. Don’t look now, but Lawrie is going on a little tear – homered yesterday & today & appears to be settling into the 6-hole nicely.

    I think he’s a better 5-hitter, and if he keeps it up he might even find himself flip-flopping with Davis in the lineup before long.

    With a little health luck he’s going to be an absolute bargain MI.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Lucky Dog: Yeah, it’s ST but it’s always nice to see a guy you like performing. That lineup puts him around 5 or 6 based on the bats available. Great for RBIs and still a good slot to steal a few. I’m still on board.

      • @Sky:

        Make that 2 today.

        My Lawrie mancrush is rapidly reaching 2011 levels.
        ????????????

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Ha, he should be good, I wouldn’t put much stock into the ST stats, though.

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