I was between writing a sleeper post for Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers. Not Lance McCullers Jr., he’s a bum. Kidding. At a certain age though, drop the Jr., junior. It’s like being a thirty-year-old Bobby. Put on your big boy pants, Bobby, and call yourself Robert! I’d even accept Rob. No freakin’ Robbie! Any hoo! I didn’t love everything I saw on Lance McCullers’s peripherals. Enough to like him at his current ADP? I think so, but it might be a game-time decision when I’m doing my rankings. Framber Valdez, how’sever, a chef’s kiss echoing through the caverns of your mind, which sounds like a Yacht Rock song, making it even more special. Special like the guy who opens the door at thirty seconds into this video. Yes, I could’ve just embedded right to that part, but you really need the lead-up to brace yourself for the door-opener. Oh my God, that guy is Jose Alvarado, i.e., The Opener.

Damn it, that will never get old. I want to read a 15,000 word essay about Jose Alvarado from the Benny Mardones video. “Skim read,” not read read, but still. So, what can we expect from Framber Valdez for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Framber Valdez sleeper, just wanted to announce all my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now. So II, the Framber Valdez sleeper:

Framber Valdez’s stats over the last two years are so fun, I just gotta tell you. In 2019, he threw 70 2/3 IP with a 8.7 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and 4.31 xFIP. Then in 2020, he threw, wait for it, oh my goodness, it’s so great, wait, where is it…*checks pockets, pulls up sleeves, finally, checks under top hat* There it is! He threw exactly 70 2/3 IP in 2020 too! (And if it’s in 2022 too or 20222, I’ll lose my mind.) Only this past year Framber Valdez started to put together the why and what we’re doing here: 9.7 K/9, 2 BB/9 and 2.94 xFIP. The big difference was the command. The worthwhile note is, after he settled into a new level of pro ball, this is his pattern. Framber has male pattern commandness. After he settles in, the command shows up.

His repertoire includes a sinker, curve and change. FanGraphs classifies his sinker as a fastball, but, with five inches of movement down, it’s likely better classified as a sinker. That movement was up (uh, down) two inches year over year, and gets kinda hit. It’s not the best pitch, but a bit better than league average. Similar to his change, in that respect. It doesn’t matter a ton, though, they’re meant to setup his curve, which is the pitch that carries his value from solid to dynamite. He had the 4th best curve last year, and only one of three with a positive on two other pitches, him, Shane Bieber and German Marquez. *sits up in chair, places hands under chin* Tell me more, pop-pop. As we all know (or should), Shane Bieber is a God, and German Marquez is a sexy em-effer if it wasn’t for Coors. To give you an idea of how important just a boring old ‘just above league average change or sinker’ is, Framber had a great curve in 2019, but his other pitches were terrible, so he wasn’t good. With just a little bit from the sinker and change, the curve will carry him to top 20 starter value.

Finally, this is all assuming he’s simply as good as last year, and doesn’t take yet another step. Remember, in Benny Mardones’s voice, “He was just 26 years old…” He’s flashed 10 and 11 K/9’s at different stops in the minors. If his sinker or change, just get a hair better, Framber Valdez is gonna be a top seven, if not top five starter. For 2021, I’ll give Framber Valdez projections of 12-9/3.39/1.09/181 in 168 IP with a chance for more.

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tank1
tank1
1 year ago

Hi Grey and a belated Happy New Year! Have a very early keeper question which I know is subject to change as offseason progresses and we learn more about the upcoming year. For now though my keepers are as follows:

Acuna
Buehler
Olson
Arozarena

My final choice is between Betts and Bellinger (unfortunately per league rules I can only keep one of them). I’m leaning Betts but Bellinger is better value (he will cost a 20th round pick as compared to Betts costing an 11th round pick – both great value overall). Who would you select? As background, this is a 10 team mixed league that counts OPS and holds as the 6th category.

Thanks!

RoarOf84
RoarOf84
Reply to  tank1
1 year ago

Why not keep both and let either Olson or Randy walk? Even if they had insane value, I’m not sure I’d keep them over elite options like Betts and Bellinger.

tank1
tank1
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Thanks for the responses. The reason I can’t keep both is that per league rules in order to keep either Betts or Bellinger they must be “franchised” (which is based on previous year’s keeper status) and we can only franchise one player. One other factor that might come into play, each year a franchised player’s keeper status increases by three rounds so next year (2022), Betts would cost an 8th round pick and Bellinger a 17th round pick. Still great value for both but, as you can see, there is a longer window for Bellinger than Betts. Unfortunately Acuna requires franchising after this year as well and will cost a 4th round pick in 2022. So next year I will be weighing either keeping Acuna in the 4th round or Betts in the 8th or Bellinger in the 17th. Obviously not a bad problem to have but could weigh in favor of keeping Bellinger this year given the significant draft value for the next 3-5 years. This decision would be much easier if Bellinger had not had such an off year in 2020 (as much as that matters at this point).

J-FOH
J-FOH
1 year ago

Whats up little homie.

This song is so creepy. And Ive heard it at probably every backyard cholo BBQ late into the night

whats the good word? Big Magoo or Oaktown been around?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

I miss the videos that acted it out in song

This song is on yacht rock! I love that channel!!!!

They always played it on the oldies/jams/lowrider shows

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

they probably get into steely dan. Im all in

VinWins
VinWins
1 year ago

Maybe you are looking at a replay on Wednesday. Game is definitely tonight, 7:30 in Edmonton, 6:30 PT, 9:30 ET, and 8:30 here in Saskatchewan.

Russia – Finland are playing for Bronze right now.

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  VinWins
1 year ago

Or I suppose you could be in Europe or some other part of the world where it will be Wednesday.

Rick Brown
Rick Brown
Reply to  VinWins
1 year ago

Yeah,my bad.Game is 10:30 Atlantic time where I am.

Rick Brown
Rick Brown
1 year ago

Game is Wednesday the 6th. Go Canada!!
RICK

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Hope you got a good deal, Grey!

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

I was wondering what happened to that.

VinWins
VinWins
1 year ago

Yes, I imagine it just automatically saves all hockey games for you.

VinWins
VinWins
1 year ago

World Junior Hockey Championships: Canada v USA in the Gold Medal game tonight!

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
1 year ago

Grey,

I just received a trade offer where Igive up COrey Knebel/RP/LAD/$26 for a minor league prospect either Ethan Small or Carmen Mlodzinski. WHat are your thoughts? and if you like it which minor league prospect would u want? I am leaning towards Mlodzinski.

herschel
herschel
1 year ago

@Grey: happy new year! is it still within a reasonable window to say that to people? anyway, how long til rankings drop? gettin itchy…..

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
1 year ago

Does it matter where Springer signs between Mets or Jays? I mean other than the Mets curse of course.

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

I guess more lineup and where he might hit in that lineup. Probably stays leadoff on either team maybe it doesn’t matter.

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Yeah, for sure if in Buffalo

Smitty
1 year ago

Framber will grind. Love his competitive fire. Dude can run his fastball away from RH’s, and elevate for effect. Definitely pounds away with that breaking ball as he piles up those K’s. Hoping he doesn’t get too much hype, want him at a reasonable cost. Thanks Grey!

Dave D
Dave D
1 year ago

I’m glad you finally got on the Framber train, Grey, but dont let Hernan read this. He mIght start to realize his ultimate fate in the early Razz DC.

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Just wait until I sick my other Valdez on him, and he stuffs 20 SAGNOF SVs down his pipe. Then he will be really feel the Valdez burn not felt since the Exxon Valdez wrath of yesteryear!!!

Hernan
Hernan
Reply to  Dave D
1 year ago

Plus not worried about renfroe, Red Sox are in talks with every cheap outfielder that breathes, renfroe is platoonee to help benintendi and verdugo against lefties, at least when he was with Rays he could feast on Red Sox pitching, not anymore

Smitty
Reply to  Dave D
1 year ago

Hahaha, DD you sniped Strasburg, Framber, and Luzardo you dog!

Hernan
Hernan
Reply to  Dave D
1 year ago

Lol, I was waiting for you Dave, don’t mean to rain on Grey’s parade , but looking at statcast page tells me regression for Framboise is inevitable, hard contact on him is insane, followed by a meh whiff rate, SwStr % of 10, no way that KRate is sustainable, sure the ground balls are there, still , pitched way over ha head, another decent arm with apocalyptic angels that will disappoint… Urquidy >>>>>Frembo

Hernan
Hernan
Reply to  Dave D
1 year ago

Frember reminds me of Folty, one big run, great surface numbers, meh underlying, everyone in on him, then hitters adjust…, problem solved…

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Hernan
1 year ago

He sure looked good in the playoffs against the best. I sense some serious self-doubt in your retort. Long live Framber!!!

Funny Name
Funny Name
1 year ago

So I signed up for Patreon yesterday because I am an impatient man and need your ranking now, so thanks, tons of reading material. Is your too 500 available? Just curious of where certain guys from different positions are ranked in comparison. Also the downloadable to excel option would be great, I’m a big excel guy. Thanks and keep up the great work.

thehombre
thehombre
1 year ago

I get the Framber love. It’s sweet, but what about his rotation mate Louis Garcia??? He seems like a January Grey post.

Smitty
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Got Garcia with pick #452, late flyer

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
1 year ago

If the guy opening the door is Jose Alvarado then Benny Mardonas must be Felipe Vasquez. Jeez, the guy was 34 when he recorded that song and he’s trying to get with a 16 yr old.
As for Framber, it’s kinda hard to believe he’s so poorly regarded in fantasy. I’m thinking by most drafts he’ll climb up on draft boards don’t you?
Mahle from yesterday I can see being lower but at his price-basically free- why not take a flier.
Houston has a few rotation guys that could produce.

NUX
NUX
Reply to  Sweatpants Nation
1 year ago

Mahle won’t be as cheap as you might think, especially come March. He’s getting hyped a decent bit in the fantasy community in general. He’s not gonna be one of those free/flier types as you describe it. Will be cheaper than Framber though of course. But since December 1st, Mahle has an ADP over on NFBC of 170ish. So like 14th round or so in a 12 teamer.

NUX
NUX
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Great point. Didn’t think about that part.

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

Yeah, I haven’t really looked at ranking yet. Going more with what I expect in my league. Auction draft I’d expect Mahle to go for $1-2 which makes him an easy drop if he flops. Framber will be more but that fits with your 30 SP. a couple of years ago Pivetta was the big must have guy in the fantasy world. Maybe Mahle will be this years. (Except for those of us that would like to forget we all remember how the Pivetta thing worked out, haha)

Donna G. Ellaby
Donna G. Ellaby
1 year ago

I tend to like Cristian Javier’s future more than Valdez’. Am i crazy ?

DonnieB
DonnieB
1 year ago

Are you picking Framber over Burnes or Fried? How are you ranking those three? Can you join Patreon with an annual payment? Thanks.

DonnieB
DonnieB
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

How about Framber versus Fried or Burnes? How would you go?

Llango15
Llango15
1 year ago

Grey,
What are your thoughts on JD Martinez? is he on the decline?
Im in a 12 team H2H keeper league where we keep 10.

Would you trade JD Martinez for Julio Rodriguez and a 2022 #2 pick?

Current 10 Keepers:
Olson
Hiura
Moncada
Bo
Alvarez
Betts
JD* / Julio Rodriguez (if i trade JD)

Buhler
Sixto
Plesac

Potential 10th Keeper
Paddock
Urias
B.Lowe

Llango15
Llango15
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Thanks Grey!

150th next year..so that’s about the 2nd -3rd round for us. If we keep 10 players and there are 12 teams the first pick is number 121. I say 2nd – 3rd round because someone will reach.. it always happens with prospects.

Llango15
Llango15
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

He will get kept or drafted first rd this year along with Torke, Kenelic, and probably Vaughn.

Would it make more sense to trade Plesac for Grisham?

NUX
NUX
1 year ago

We still have 6 spots left, who wants to draft with January Grey!

$10 NFBC Bestball, you never have to set a lineup

2 OF and 4 Pitchers start

$75 to 1st, $20 to 2nd, $10 to 3rd

https://bestball10s.shgn.com/signup/baseball?for=0;728,82,6787,7200&private_code=9daefi

The password is “ Bobby ”
Not Rob, Not Robert, it’s BOBBY! Deal with that, Grey!

NUX
NUX
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

5 spots left now!

I will post this in other places to fill it up this afternoon. But wanted to try for a full Razz group if possible.

thehombre
thehombre
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

TheHombre is in. TheHombre will win.

thehombre
thehombre
Reply to  thehombre
1 year ago

Where’s CoolWhip?

Dave
Dave
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

I’m your Huckleberry

NUX
NUX
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

I’m not sure he has drafted with us yet, but hope he joins. I sent the bat signal out in a few other places a minute ago. So this thing should fill within the next couple of hours. And I’ll ping when it does

Coolwhip
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

okay i’m in

NUX
NUX
Reply to  Coolwhip
1 year ago

Awesome, look forward to drafting with you brother!

League only needs 2 more and than it will fire. You should get an email when that happens. Prob within next couple hours.

NUX
NUX
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

11/12 draft will start when next person joins! You have been warned/pinged sir!

What’s the deal, is everyone scared to draft with Grey?? It’s January, let’s go!!!!!!!

Whitt23
Whitt23
1 year ago

Anyone have thoughts on a $6 LeMaiheu for a $10 Woodruff and $5 Grisham. It’s 12 team 6×6. I get 8 keepers and the rest of the league gets 9 so the quality of keeper is paramount. I have sufficient pitching to choose from I think. Cheap money pitchers I have are Sonny Gray, Maeda, Plesac, Price, Bassitt so I think I could move Woodruff. Thanks.

Phil
Phil
Reply to  Whitt23
1 year ago

Why do you only get to keep 8 and the other 11 teams keep 9? What are the other two stats (I imagine it’s typical 5×5 and the other two cats are OPS and holds?)?

Who are your hitters and how much are they each?

Also, in my opinion, I’m really high on Woodruff. You have some quality starters there, but I have Woody ranked slightly above Gray, Plesac and Maeda (although Plesac’s upside is tantalizing). David Price is garbage.

Whitt23
Whitt23
Reply to  Phil
1 year ago

I love the Price is garbage comment. It warms my heart. I won the league this year so the penalty is 8 keepers vs 9. QS and OPS are the other stats. For hitters I have Realmuto, Swanson, Tim Anderson, Freeman, Grisham, Kyle Lewis, Ozuna and then I can keep 3 minor leaguers for free. I have Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, Andrew Vaughn, and Arozarena. I am trying to package one of them with a couple other guys to get a top tier hitter.

Uncle Salty
Uncle Salty
Reply to  Whitt23
1 year ago

I’m all over the Woodruff and Grisham side for DJLM. We’ve probably seen the best of DJ, the other two are on the rise.

Whitt23
Whitt23
Reply to  Grey
1 year ago

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the feedback.

Phil
Phil
Reply to  Whitt23
1 year ago

Sorry for the late reply…I would also take the Grisham and Woody side. DJ’s stock will fall if he leaves Yankee Stadium, and I do think he has hit his ceiling already at 32-33 years old, and I personally feel as though he’s outperformed the expectations I had for him two years ago. You also need Grisham considering the crop of other hitters you have, and your rotation looks solid with Woody, Gray, Plesac, and Maeda.

Since you have two SS, unless your league uses a MI slot, perhaps you can flip one of your SS and package with a prospect or another player for a top tier hitter better than DJ? Your prospects are straight dope though. I’d keep Kelenic and J-Rod and perhaps move Arozarena since his stock is sky high and you can get a pretty good hitter that is more valuable.

Sorry about the Price comment. I just really don’t like him anymore.

Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
1 year ago

Grey!!!

Awesome report.

a. Grey, Framberis is so awesome!! Some early trends from mock drafts with 11 robots.

1. CBS is giving .270/35 or similar to Soler, Franmil and Sano, yet the bots don’t like Franmil as much as they like Soler or Sano. Weird, right? Track record maybe but for a bot?

2. Biggest trend of all is the fact that intelligent predictions for 2021 are missing for many players / pitchers. Of course, it’s early and things will crystalize out by May 1 but if you’re drafting right now, it’s a psychological advantage to have your predictions for 2021 over any other site out there, to wit.

i. CBS, mock drafts check but player predictions for 20% absent.
ii. FantasyPros, no mock drafts available yet and the same CBS problem for predictions.

So, for instance, Jordan Hicks will be good to go in 2021. He sat out 2020 because he had that option and the COVID scare and all. He still throws the fastest fastball and is a steal for 2021 only because there is no prediction for him. Well, the astute reader (aka 100% herein) will set up his / her draft room 30 minutes before the draft and move Hicks into the queue for a later round pick but apart from them…

3. Lastly, the fantasy teams produced by the 11 robots is made up of guys that are tried and true rather than good but risky. Basically 2020 turned our fantasy world upside down and backwards.

b. MLB quote of the day for January 5, 2021

1. Ron Kittle, born January 5, 1958

‘It was hard to give up on Ron Kittle – because he never gave up on himself. The right-handed power hitter won the Rookie of the Year Award with the White Sox in 1983. Five years earlier he had been released by the Dodgers after having part of his spine fused, one of several injuries that limited Kittle to only two full seasons in a 10-year major league career.’

Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia (Matthew Silverman, Total Sports, May 2000, Page 611)

2. Danny Jackson, born January 5, 1962

‘(Danny) Jackson can be an effective, seasoned power pitcher – good fastball, hard slider, and a change up that I’m sure has imrpoved under the tutelage of Phillies pitching coach Johnny Podres, who had one of the best ever.’

Former Player / Author Keith Hernandez in Pure Baseball: Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan (1994)

3. Bob Dernier, January 5, 1957

‘We try to live good, clean lives, but whether or not we do is for our wives to judge.’

Bob Dernier

4. Juan Nieves, born January 5, 1965

‘He (Juan Nieves) was the best student I had in my clinic. He played the outfield and first base and pitched. He had the ability, and he was very intelligent. He could assimilate the game good. Like, I’d show him how to bunt, and he’d do it right the first time. Most kids at that age (14-15), it takes them a while, but he could pick everything up right away. Plus, he liked to work. He liked to practice. Other kids would want to go to the beach or just hang around with their friends, but Juan, his first stop was always the ballpark.’

All-Star (4x) First Baseman Vic Power in The Boston Globe (Bob Duffy, Baseball comes calling on Avon: Nieves has major-league arm … and major-league smarts, 04/08/1993, Page 29)

5. Tug McGraw, died January 5, 2004

‘The reason I love baseball so much is because when I come into a game in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, no one out, and a one-run lead; it takes people off my mind.’

Tug McGraw in The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture, 2001 (William M. Simons, Alvin L. Hall, Mcfarland Publishing, 04/2002, Page 240) [Tug McGraw Quotes]

Cheers,
Ante