Honestly, I can’t remember the last time a Yankee felt like a sleeper to me. Well, maybe last year with Aaron Hicks, but that became a playing time issue by the time we got to March. It’s also not every day I point out a 1st baseman sleeper. I don’t like punting corner infidels and punting a 1st baseman is especially treacherous. By the by, treacherous there is a negative even though it sounds like a word that would be positive in a rap song. You want big-time production from your 1st baseman, and you should be looking for the same from your corner man. For unstints, I like to take a 1st baseman in the 1st or 2nd rounds and don’t mind grabbing a 2nd one and my corner man before I’m out of the top 100 overall. Do you want Rizzo vs. the guy trying to piece together Chris Carter and Belt? Yes, yes, yes. I want Rizzo over the guy taking Abreu, even if that means having Lindor vs. Altuve. 1st base is sneaky scarce this year. We got middle infielders coming out of ears like potatoes on the guy that never uses a Q-Tip. By the by, you should be listening to the new Tribe album, though I’m waiting for someone to Soundcloud-up a new Tribe album with Jairobi spliced out. Therefore, ergo, vis-a-vis, there’s a case to be made for a sleeper 1st baseman, and specifically Greg Bird. So, what can we expect from Greg Bird for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
You know when a young girl is trying to hop into a swinging jump rope? Well, instead of a young girl imagine it’s “torn labrum” trying to time the rope and the rope is the 1st paragraph. I was trying to fit it in, but it was running long so here we are. Greg Bird missed 2016 with a torn labrum. This isn’t good. It’s not the end as it might be for a pitcher. Hitters can come back from torn labrums and often do. Sometimes it takes longer than a year, sometimes it doesn’t. If there was no torn labrum, Bird wouldn’t be a sleeper. He likely would’ve replaced Te(i)x in May and had 25 homers last year. Remember, Bird hit 11 homers in 2015 in only 46 games, after killing pitchers with his power all through the minors. On the good side of torn labrums, prior to thinking homeschooling meant bringing his son around the major leagues with him, Adam LaRoche hit 33 homers a season after a torn labrum. That was actually his career high in power. On the bad side, Matt Kemp hit six homers in 73 games following his torn labrum and Rihanna was like, “I need an ella ella umbrella to block Kemp from seeing me.” So, what can we expect from Bird? I don’t think anyone knows due to the labrum. Though, without the torn labrum, Bird would’ve been a solid bet to overperform and hit 30 HRs. So, you gotta ask yourself, punk, do you feel lucky? Well, do you? Actually, it’s not about luck, it’s about opportunity costs, and Bird’s got just about nil, which sounds like a Nazi uncle. “Honey, we don’t talk about your uncle, Nil.” You can draft Bird in the last round of almost all drafts and hope he LaRoches his comeback. Steamer likes his prospects giving him 16 homers in only 295 ABs, which is about 23 homers in 420 ABs. For 2017, I’ll give Greg Bird the projections of 59/24/69/.257/2 in 412 ABs with a ton more power upside.