In 200 plate appearances, there’s four guys that went above and beyond in speed last year.  In order of fastest to slowest with slowest still being the very, very3 fastest of the fast players:  Jarrod Dyson, Delino DeShields, Rajai Davis and Billy Hamilton.  (Fifth is Jake Marisnick which is a name for another day.)  None of those qualified last year for the batting title.  I mean, even if they did, they wouldn’t have won it, but I mean none of them had a full season of at-bats.  Dyson only had 225 plate appearances, Rajai, the King of SAGNOF, had 370 and Billy Hamilton had 454.  DeShields had the most with 492.  The difference between last year and this year for Rajai, Dyson and Hamilton is a calendar change and nothing else.  The first two guys will be platoon guys and Hamilton has his own issues.  Whereas, DeShields will not only play every day, but he will also bat leadoff.  If he has less than 550 ABs next year, it’ll only be because of an injury.  His Speed Score was 8.3.  Dee Gordon was 7.3.  DeShields gets down the line in 3.8 seconds.  4 seconds is considered to be Cooperstown-type speed.  Maury Wills outrunning a motorcycle that’s being driven by Bob Feller’s fastball type speed.  DeShields is about as fast as a player has ever been or will ever be.  Swish that around in your mouth for a few seconds like you actually consider dental hygiene.  In the time it took you to swish that around, Deshields ran from home to first.  Anyway, what can we expect from Delino DeShields for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

One year in the minors, he stole 83 bases.  Just about everywhere he played in the minors, he averaged about one steal every two games.  Last year on the Rangers in 121 games, he stole only 25 bases.  That feels like the absolute worst possible scenario.  Like if this was Strat-o-Matic, you’d roll your Yahtzee eight-sided die five hundred times and DeShields would only get 25 steals in a season one time.  If that’s how you roll with your nerd die.  It seems that it comes down to him being a poor judge of pitchers, since he was caught 8 times.  With age, he’ll get better at this.  Real World example:  The Miz went on to win a WWE championship.  Wait, wrong Real World.  Okay, another real world example, A.J. Pollock just stole 39 bases, which is more than he ever stole in the minors.  He figured out pitchers and how to run, and he did.  DeShields could steal 70 bases with the smallest of adjustments.  I’d say 45 steals this year would be a conservative prediction.  That’s it then, right?  Not so fast, Jesse Owens.  He had 11 homers one year in Double-A, and Steamer projects him for about ten homers, if he stays healthy.  Yes, a ten-homer guy with 60-plus-steal speed.  It gets better.  Last year, he dropped his strikeout percentage.  He only swung at 20% of pitches outside of the strike zone.  That’s about on par with Joey Votto.  Only DeShields made contact with 85.7% of pitches inside the strike zone, but Votto only made contact with 82.5%.  Why do we care that DeShields has a good eye and makes contact?  Because of the aforementioned 3.8 seconds to first.  DeShields could be the Billy Hamilton everyone expected that they never got.  If DeShields hits .315 with 75 steals and ten homers, it wouldn’t surprise me.  By the by, that’s first round numbers.  Seriously.  I’ll be more conservative in my projections for him, but there’s a chance here for one of the biggest impacts in all of baseball with the smallest of steps forward.  For 2016, I’ll give him 95/7/46/.279/49 and a huge sleeper.

 
  1. J-FOH says:
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    I just traded for deshields in a dynasty for profar. Living the dream grey….Livin the dream.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      wow!

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @J-FOH: I 2nd that WOW!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @J-FOH: So, you’re saying, The Jurickson store called?

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        tomorrow’s post: Jurickson Profar 2016 Fantasy Sleeper

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha… The Jurickson store won’t be calling

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: the Jurickson store called twice

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You picked up, thankfully

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: in prospect land, which is like fantasy land (not the baseball kind) Profar is still kinda a big deal

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              *looking at his stats* Hmm…I guess he could be, feels like a lottery ticket

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: exactly. I cant wrap my head around some of the evaluations of prospects or even former top prospects that never lived up. Its like their owners are touting the players A ball numbers as what we should expect one day. And since I’m feeling a rant come on, WTF is wrong with that league you got me in. They own high school kids and 16 year olds from the islands. Feels wrong

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I didn’t get you in, I just asked if you wanted to join, was your choice

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Grey: you sound like my friend who said “I didn’t force you take the mushrooms, I just waived the bag in front of your face”

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ha

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  don’t listen to him Grey! it’s a crazy fun league

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Mike: we define fun as two completely different

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Christmas break = more time to troll JFOH

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      you are the nicest troll ever

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Haha

  2. Tigres says:
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    Thanks Grey. DeShields is our sleepiest 2016 sleeper to date! I’ve got him in a keeper- would be happy with a full healthy season and 35-40 SB but it does feel like potential for even more is there. Rangers trading off L Martin in offseason is good vote of confidence for Delino.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Yup, big vote of confidence… Here’s to Delino taking down 60 steals

  3. jack florida says:
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    happy holidays to all—-please pick two of these, 14 team dynasty roto
    alexei tamirez, brandon phillips, peralta,brandon crawfotd,alcides escobar

    thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @jack florida: I hope that’s your real name… Crawford, Alcides… Not great names

      • jack florida says:
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        @Grey: not my real name, too many jacks on the board, i am in florida though. as usual, thanks for the advice, hope some of you guys make it to florida for spring training

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d love to get to Florida, but Arizona is such an easy flight from LA

  4. Luvdarooks says:
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    Looking for an auction league Roto keeper format league in NJ NYC area

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @Luvdarooks: Hey you could start a league on one of the fantasy baseball sites and invite people from your area to play..Just a thought..cheers

  5. James says:
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    Sadly, I am betting on the cheapest guy of the 3 who could take the CF at bats. DeSheilds is the easy front runner, and Maraza is the raw guy with huge upside, but in the only dynasty league I have skin in this, I have Lewis Brinson.

    Brinson brings a more across the board skill set, he was a 20/20 guy with good contact skills. The big difference, he was unowned towards the end of last season (in my 12 team, 10 prospects each league), so I got him as part of a trade where I gave up a prospect but did not get one back…. if he breaks camp as the starter, I could see a Jason Heyward type of offensive season out of him (isn’t he now the definition of boarderline 20/20 OF with solid but not great average).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @James: I’d be shocked if he broke camp, he’s too young

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: you and everyone else. He’s 2017

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah

    • J-FOH says:
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      @James: 20/20 across three levels where the bulk came in A+ ball. I would temper my expectations for the first few years considering that his short stops at the high levels (AA and AAA) totaled only 140 AB’s

  6. Friedman for Freeman says:
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    Excellent post Grey! Had Deshields last year and was pleasantly surprised. Didn’t realize the upside was so much higher!! Is it crazy to target him in the mid 50s?

    Also, where do you put C. Seager in keeper ranks in obp format? Thanks!

      • Friedman for Freeman says:
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        @Grey: I don’t mind being a little crazy. That said, where would you feel good nabbing him?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Prolly will shake out around the 110 overall range

          • Friedman for Freeman says:
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            @Grey: Wow that sounds low, especially if .280 and 95 R end up happening, and both of those seem pretty conservative. What’s your concern with him? Underlying reasons to suspect regression?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Figure about 30 outfielders in the top 100 overall… He’ll be around 35-ish

          • Friedman for Freeman says:
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            @Grey: Just saw ESPN doesn’t have them in their early top 250. Lol. Buffoons.

            • The Harrow says:
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              @Friedman for Freeman: don’t even waste your time looking there.

  7. DodgerRabbit says:
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    Grey, how many ABs do you expecting when determining your projections for Shields?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @DodgerRabbit: A full season, for Delino that means 550 ABs

  8. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Can we just start DeDrafting him today?! Looks like he’s going to be one of my “be sure to draft in every league” guys.

  9. GhostTownSteve says:
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    Those are some pretty exciting numbers thrown there, Albright. Kind of tough to figure why Houston would leave him unprotected. My guess is they figured he couldn’t hit and his defense is not great. Doesn’t really have a natural position. Hits lefties a little better than righties. Seems like a player who might get exposed with too many PAs. I like him. Definitely worth a flier at the right price. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk he leads off and holds that spot all season. I do kind of like where your head is at on this one though.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @GhostTownSteve: Yeah, the Rule 5 thing was the only real problem I had…And that wasn’t even a problem I had, that was a problem Houston had… I’m still not sure why Houston gave up on him when you look at his minor league numbers..>Maybe they were disappointed with his .236 in Double-A

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: does Houston get compensated for rule 5 picks. I think they might have been so loaded they didn’t need him and got no trade action for him

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Don’t need him isn’t really an excuse to lose a guy, when people get Starlin Castro for a middle man

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: but is there compensation for rule 5 guys getting taken?

  10. Pickleball says:
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    Just wanted to drop by and say “hey” from a guy who temporarily got lost into that fantasy football crap.. A nice filler of time while I patiently wait for baseball to start again..

    Can I ask which type of league you prefer to play in? I guess I’m not even sure how many baseball leagues you play in but are you a fan of

    1)redraft
    2) keeper (keep a % of your roster)
    3) dynasty
    4) AL or NL only leagues

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I prefer redraft, I play in all of those and they all have their pluses and minuses

      • Pickleball says:
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        @Grey: cool I figured you’d be a big keeper or dynasty guy since you have the wealth of knowledge to spot breakouts, etc over the common player. I haven’t played in a redraft league yet I can definitely see it’s plus side. In fact I think I’d probably prefer it as well but keeper league is all I’ve ever known.

        Thanks have a nice day.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You too!

  11. Pickleball says:
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    Same guy from above.. Different question.

    Have you ever had a league dissolve because one team got too good? I’m kind of worried some of my friends won’t pony up to play in a keeper league this year since there are 3 teams that are hands down better than the rest (10 team league)

    We keep 6 players each year, with 17 starters between position players, pitchers and relievers. What’s your thought on the # 6 too many keepers? Some of the league members are saying they think it’s too much (same league members who probably won’t play because their team sucks after 4 years)

    Kind of frustrating for me since I built my team up slow with rookies etc to get good keepers and because everyone else went big or home ever year and not planning for the future they’re stuck..

    Thanks for everything you do. Great reads as always!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No, I haven’t…6 players isn’t too many… Five players is norm, six is fine

      • Pickleball says:
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        @Grey: yea I didn’t think so either but interesting to hear that 5 is kind of the ‘norm’ for a standard league. Nice to know our league settled in on a number right around there.

        Thanks for the insight. And thanks for the delino post… Dee Gordon is one of my cheap keepers and I might target this cat instead and keep someone like Sano..

        That said.. Miguel Sano or Dee Gordon next year keeper league at the same prices..

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Gordon, but depends what position eligibility you have for Sano

  12. Wilson says:
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    Odor or DeShields for 2B next year? Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      DeShields isn’t a 2nd baseman

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Yes he is!! Oh, sorry. That was his father!

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          “Youse” is in the genes

          • Ante GALIC says:
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            @Grey: Haha! Say hello to January Grey for me speaking of youse. I’ve got time tomorrow on my laptop and then it’s my mobile phone only until I get back on January 8.

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Have a great trip!

  13. Big W says:
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    Morning Grey!

    Greyt write-up!!

    So who do you think has a better 2016 fantasy season… Delino or Soler? 6×6 with OPS… Also, which player has a better overall career?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Soler for both

      • The Harrow says:
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        @Grey: haven’t lost the faith if you take the projections for delino and still pick soler. damn playoffs hitting will probably jack soler’s draft stock up 30-50 or more spots.

        • The Harrow says:
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          @The Harrow: i don’t mean more than delino, more than soler would have had without playoffs.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, could

  14. Scott says:
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    All who choose to oppose DeShields must yieeellllddd!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes!

  15. Zack says:
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    Picked DeShields up for $1 at the end of an extremely deep AL only keeper auction last year. This article is everything I dream for.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, nice!

  16. Alex says:
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    Am I crazy to choose Reddick over Pence in keeper league? Seems like they have similar avg, hr, sb

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah little crazy

  17. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Nice write-up, Grey. I agree that DeShields could be among the league leaders in steals next season. Already had his name circled on my SAGNOF list.

    The thing that impresses me the most about him (outside of the blazing speed) is his 10.8% BB% from last year. That’s an incredible number for a rookie. Highest walk rate by far among all players with 23+ steals last season. He’s the only player who cracked double digits, in fact. It’s roughly double the rate of most of the pure burners.

    Two concerns though. He strikes out a lot for a speedster with limited power. Had a 20+% K-rate at just about every minor league stop. Secondly, he went 11 for 17 in steal attempts in the second half of the season, which would put him on a 25 steal pace roughly. That would make him the Elvis Andrus of the OF in fantasy.

    I think his walk rate will keep him at the top of the lineup as an everyday player though. 90/5/50/.265/35 or so. I’m in.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, Magoo! Yeah, what you said about the walk rate and his contact rate… He could absolute shock with his raw speed…I didn’t mention it in the post but he’s the only player in history to have a 10 HR, 100 steal season in the minors

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Grey: Yeah, his raw speed is ridiculous. 83 of his 101 steals in that 2012 season that you’re referring to came in low A ball though. There are catchers with the throwing ability of Chuck Knoblauch down there. His 11 homer, 54 steal season in AA in 2014 is more impressive to me, though it came with a .236 average. K-rate (and perhaps a touch of bad luck) rearing it’s ugly head…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          If he maintains his contact rate and goes down the line in a touch under 4 seconds, he will hit .260 with ease

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Grey: I think that .260 is definitely in his wheelhouse. His walk rate provides a nice safety net. SAGNOF!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              SAGNOF!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Big Magoo: Magoo!

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @J-FOH: Here! (Is this a roll call?)

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Big Magoo: Buehler?….Buehler?

  18. JE says:
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    Grey, what do you think of Ryan Zimmerman’s chances at the MVP award?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That’s a question for Sky

      • The Harrow says:
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        @Grey: not as funny as Jaywrong’s idea of Laroche being viable 12 team 1B starter.

  19. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    here’s that q again. decision time today for keepers. appreciate any and all feedback!

    12 team standard roto keeper league – Yahoo (2 Catchers’s, CI, MI, + 5 OF)

    Keep 8 (* are those I’m thinking of keeping already). they also suck b/c I made a run last year.

    Rd – Player – Years of control
    3 – Heyward – 4 more
    4 – Hamels – 3 more
    *6 – Cruz – 3 more
    *10 – Keuchel – 1 more
    12 – Russell Martin – 4 more
    *17 – Taijuan Walker – 4 more
    *18 – Crush Davis – 1 more
    *19 – Gallo – 4 more
    *21 – Sugar…Cain – 3 more
    24 – Melancon – 3 more
    25 – Hector Olivera – 1 more, then 1 year in 10th rd
    25 – Jeurys Familia – 1 more, then 1 year in 10th rd
    26 – Peraza – 4 more
    28 – Vogt – 4 more

    (If there are two players in the same round, one moves to the previous round)

    Originally had Peraza and Olivera as my last 2. Really like Peraza (also really pissed at Brandon Phillips right now – just leave dude nobody wants you!!), but starting to think maybe Hamels, Martin (12th too early? 2 catcher league…) or Melancon/Familia would help my team a little more next year.

    Also, I’m pretty sure the Cubbies trade for J-Hey isn’t going to make him keepable in rd 3, but just thought I’d throw it out there.

    Thoughts? Thanks Grey/err’body

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hamels, Jeurys are way above Peraza, it’s not close right now

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Grey: true , true. Hamels makes more and more sense there. with 8 keepers some pretty good pitchers are kept; I drafted Samarzdjia (don’t care enough to proof that) in the 4th last year for comparison. Hamels was 7-1 for the rangers and his walk rate actually dropped after the move. I just need those k’s.

        so you’d definitely take Familia over Melancon (who has more years, later round of control after next season)? I’m assuming bc closing landscape is most volatile and he’s just better? silly to think about keeping both over someone else?

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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            @J-FOH: yeah I feel better about that. listening to any new hiphop this wk? ‘keep dealing’ off pusha t’s album is nice

            i’m also assuming an Olivera sleeper post isn’t coming out any time soon…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I love M.P.A.

              • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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                @Grey: that’s the kanye one? it’s soild

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, that’s the one

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d go Familia

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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            @Grey: cool thanks brew

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              No problem

  20. SteveNZ says:
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    Can you ask November Grey why he didn’t make it to NZ this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think he thought he was October Grey then before he knew it he was December Grey

      • SteveNZ says:
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        @Grey: Yeah, time flies. You can tell May Grey that I’m still planning to come to the US next year. At least I haven’t been told that it’s NOT happening…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You make it sound more tentative now than I had heard… Any reason to think you’re not coming?

          • SteveNZ says:
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            @Grey: A few changes where my wife works (Estee Lauder) – as you may recall, it is a work trip (conference) for her that is my excuse to come to the US.

            Previously the Australian and NZ companies had been reasonably separate, but the GM in New Zealand is going to start reporting in to Australia, so I guess it’s a possibility that it may be deemed unnecessary for my wife to attend the conference if there is an equivalent from Australia going too.

            There’s been no word to that effect though and we’re still treating it as if we’re going…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ah, that does sound more tentative…Shucks… Well, hopefully it’s still on… Come on, Estee Lauder, send Mrs. SteveNZ to the US!

  21. ScreechOwl says:
    (link)

    This article had me extremely excited until I looked up how many innings DeShields played at 2b last year. So, yeah, not even Yahoo is going to list him as a second baseman for 2016. Too bad. I already have four guys fighting for my third outfield spot.

    Maybe we’ll be lucky and Byron Buxton will be just as good. I keep hearing about how awesome he is, but he looked so incredibly bad last year that I’m worried.

    I think the best way to describe how Buxton looked last year was that he looked about like I do when I try to play a game of softball. Now, my eyes aren’t that great, so my strategy is usually just not to play softball at all. I’ll stick to something I actually know how to play, like competitive naptime or Candyland. When circumstances lead me to the batter’s box, I flail about like Rey [last name redacted] having a sword fight against that guy with the hood and the laser broadsword.

    Come to think of it, that new Star Wars movie was the best film that blended templar imagery with Nazi villains since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I can say that without spoiling anything that happens in the film.

    Except for what happens when the hooded guy takes off his mask. You have to know that going in so that you can be mentally and emotionally prepared. Everything you heard about the casting was a ruse.

    See, in one scene, the helmet guy takes off his disguise and reveals that he is not Adam Driver. He’s Rick Moranis.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Spoiler! Rick Moranis is Rylo Ken

  22. SwaggerJackers says:
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    And when someone snipes DeShields from us in snake drafts is Burns an adequate Plan B?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he’s not bad…Less upside/speed

      • SwaggerJackers says:
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        @Grey: Do you have comps between DeShields and Burns? I can’t find speed scores anywhere but I’m curious how close Burns is. I know he stole 74 bases once in the minors and at least 50 during three other seasons in the minors. He also sees to be able to take a walk. No power though…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          DeShields is a potential 60 steal guy, Burns is a potential 40 steal guy

  23. Left Hangs Lower says:
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    Grey!

    Got my draft order for my first ever dynasty draft today.

    Picking #3 overall. 16-team H2H league, OBP and QS instead of their lesser counterparts. ESPN roster positions with an extra Util.

    Assuming Trout and Harper are gone, who do you pick? This is exciting but daunting at the same time.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Goldy

      • Left Hangs Lower says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Got to be honest, thought he was older than 27 years old. Very interesting. He’s definitely helped me to success in the past.

        Is his past success your reasoning of choosing him over Correa or Bryant?

        Also, keep forever, forgot to mention.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          He’s a bit safer, and not old, and great

          • Left Hangs Lower says:
            (link)

            @Grey:

            No doubt. I’m always about winning now and I think Goldie gives me a slight edge over the other two, who might go through some growing pains next season.

            If by any chance Harper falls to me, take Harper or Goldy? (obviously don’t need to ask this question about Trout)

  24. Moneyball says:
    (link)

    Interesting that ScreechOwl said maybe Buxton will be just as good.
    That will be my choice of guys to promote as a keeper: Buxton vs DeShields.
    The other will be dropped back into the draft.

    Supposed pedigree vs major sleeper.
    Buxton is the name value and would go earlier of the 2 so I could keep Buxton and risk someone else nabbing DeShields. But I think I’d have to keep DeShields based on this thread.

    I’ll have very little SB with my “regular” keepers of Bumgarner, Miggy, McCutcheon, CarGo and either Chris Davis or JUpton (damn, my team is getting old).

  25. bbboston says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Who do you like better…. Billy Burns or DeShields?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      DeShields

Comments are closed.