Sky…I haven’t heard that name in years.  It’s true, it’s been a hot minute since I last saw all your beautiful, shiny internet faces and by beautiful, I mean awful and by shiny, I mean oily.  You know it’s 2019 and you can take your iPad outside, right?  Sunlight kinda helps with that problem, my peeps.  But whatever…whaddup, my Beaches!  I’ll be the Barbara Hershey to your Bette Midler today as we do some exploring about Ji-Man Choi for 2019 fantasy baseball today cuz gee man, Ji-Man is thee man, who’s kinda built like He-Man if He-Man were Babe Ruth, you see man?  I promise that wasn’t rapping and I also promise to never, ever do that again for everyone’s sake, but only if you promise to read on.  Here’s my take on why Choi is my boi this year and a great 2019 fantasy baseball sleeper…

To understand why I’m all Psych Popcorn gif – google it, I’m not giving you no links – about Ji-Man Choi this year, you have to understand the opportunity and the juxtaposition.  Firstly, let’s cover that oppo we got going.  Over the winter, the Tampa Bay Rays traded Jake Bauers to the Indians in exchange for Yandy Diaz.  Insignificant, you say.  So what, your mom bellows down to you in the basement.  Who fawkin cays, your Italian Uncle Francesco yells.  Well, the only thing truly preventing Choi an opportunity at getting 1B eligible at the start of this year was Bauers, and that competition now resides in Cleveland.  This argument obviously isn’t the biggest most important part of it all, but it’s a good lead in to the juxtaposition.

Player A: 47 GP, 161 PA, 15 HRs, BABIP .365 with a 9%/44%/47% split for soft, medium and hard contact, an ADP around 190, and will be 28 in February.

Player B: 61 GP, 221 PA, 10 HR, BABIP .315, with a 13.9%/42.3%/43.8% split for soft, medium, and hard contact, an ADP around 513, and will be 28 in May.

Yeah, you already went and searched so it doesn’t matter but Player A is Luke Voit and Player B is my boi Choi.  I bring all this up not to thrash on Voit, but to point out that a lot of what makes Luke a sexy sleeper pick for 2019 can easily be said regarding Choi.  The reality is, their storyline – and their statline – are about as similar as you could get.  Both came out of nowhere in 2018 to become fantasy relevant and at an age no one fully expects to see a breakout from players who were viewed as nothing more than organizational depth for years.  Sure, Luke’s numbers are eye popping but every article you read about him for 2019 says to pull back hard on the reins in terms of expectations, like Grey’s Luke Voit 2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper post.  Neither are promised a starting job coming in to spring training, neither field the ball particularly well, and neither player will respond to my twitter DMs.  The same I tell ya!  The one minor stipulation I’ll add is if they both pan out, Voit will still likely finish the year with more ABs than Choi simply because Ji-Man can’t hit lefties.  But bench him on days where it’s a lefty on the mound and enjoy .260 with 25 to 30 bombs when he’s in.  By the power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWERRRRR…to draft Choi in all my deep leagues this year.

  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    I also enjoy Beaches and will answer your DMs, please reply within. I didn’t say within what! What?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Grey: well you enjoy nudist beaches and the DMs you sent me came from one so the cat is out of the bag on that one, as is the gerbil!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Sky: Just glad the cat didn’t chase the gerbil!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha, a fellow WWE wrestler debuted as a writer for us yesterday…

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Grey: Ooooh, I’ll have to go read it…assuming I don’t I get bodyslammed, correct? New Razzball office policy?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Yeah, and kayfabe or die

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  @Grey: I will begin working on my rendition of Macho Man’s ‘Cream of the Crop’ tonight!

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    I just ripped my shirt off, Hogan-style

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      @Grey: And I just ripped out my eyes thinking of such a thing!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, sorry!

  2. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    out of the taco bell toilet and ready to fly baby! (or was it arby’s). hehehehe. i was not present for this but i did meet you right before it when you went to a sports bar to football draft with nick in either late august/sept of whatever year that was in the razzball party van city to city extravaganza (bits posted to nick’s tv on the radio show). this was in STL (county) and about 9-12 people showed up, about 7-10 of them didn’t stay long. i got there late, missed the draft, but stuck around longer for more drinks (then had to leave by cab to catch breeders show that night just as youse guys were leaving).

    this tour was also the first time pretty sure that grey was actually spotted and we found out that his avatar does in fact resemble him.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: hahaha, I remember, it was at The Post! That trip was a blur but STL stood out. It was great meeting Razz readers in person.

      • Montezuma's Revenge ... right now says:
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        @Sky: wow, really, as that stop only had the 12 max or so. when nick had done like a pre-tour months earlier by himself (razz by himself, he had brought a non-razzball related friend with him) at a s.city bar there were like 3-4 total people who came out. just realized how wild that trip might’ve been if say guru was on the entire run AND tehol had come along.

          • Montezuma's Revenge ... right now says:
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            @Sky: yeah i only break balls on the fast food restaurant bathroom stuff as i get it free drinks, what ya gonna do right. had i been along on that it’d have probably been more than once ending night similar if free booze was given out often. i didn’t actually witness any of the crazy stuff plus eventually if that keeps up most/every night you don’t get any real sleep, which sucks.

  3. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    that tour also spelled the end of (at least at this site) of the hilarious guru (won’t reveal details here).

  4. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Sky! Great to see(read) you man!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Mike: MIKE glad to see you back in the game as well. Still getting my sea legs. Gonna try and run a pre-season series out of this.

  5. Anodyne says:
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    I’m with you on Ji-Man; I think he’s going to be a solid deep league contributor (though the lack of 1B eligibility hurts his value a little bit in my league). Where are you taking him in drafts? I understand every draft is different, but his ADP is 410 in ESPN, and even later in NFBC and Fantrax. How late are you waiting to grab him?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Anodyne: Depends on the league, but my general opinion is that you’re gonna get him in the last rounds of pretty much every draft because of the DH only status…for now. I do think he’ll get a shot to play 1st so it’ll just be a question of how long it takes your league to give eligibility. At least, that’s my theory.

      Back to the ADP, though. 410 puts him in about rd 34 over at ESPN. I do think he’ll see some rise as Spring gets closer and if the Rays don’t make many moves. I could see him creeping up into rd 23-25 territory if the roster stands pat AND there’s talk of him being the Rays 1B.

  6. J-FOH says:
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    *blushes*

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @J-FOH: *belches*

  7. The Eye of Horus says:
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    No thought that Lowe might start the season at 1st?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @The Eye of Horus: Not impossible, but I’m pretty sure any time there would be his first time there.

      • The Eye of Horus says:
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        @Sky: we’re talking Nate Lowe here, right? Roster resource has he and Choi splitting nearly equally, and Lowe can hit lefties while Choi cannot. I just think that Lowe will provide plenty of competition for Choi, even with Bauers gone.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @The Eye of Horus: we’re not, too many dang Lowe’s on that roster. Surprised they haven’t signed Rob and Chad Lowe at this point.

          I’m not sure ‘split’ is the right word. Rays bringing a rookie straight on board to start the season hasn’t been their MO and that would be a huge change in course if they did. I’m postulating that he has the opportunity to gain 1B status and retain a job before Lowe is brought up. The roster as constructed leads me to this idea.

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