Third year is the year pitchers break out. Conventionally. Sometimes you’ll have the Braves make a Touki out of a rookie, who will as quickly disappear. A Quicki, so to speak. Usually, though, pitchers come up and struggle. It’s just a mess. Then they settle in a bit more in their 2nd season with fewer ups and downs, hinting at promise and things to come. Then their third year happens and everyone is like, “Hmm, where did this come from?” It came from the guy becoming comfortable in the majors. Hunter Greene will be that next year. I thought it would be this year, but there were still ups and downs, and a very long injury. Next year, Hunter Greene will be a 2024 fantasy ace. A guy that will throw some of the most dazzling numbers you’ve ever seen. This won’t be free in drafts. Everyone, I imagine, will expect it. Although expected, he will still surprise how good he is. Yesterday, Hunter Greene (7 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 1 walk, 14 Ks, ERA at 4.24) showed you what he will be in 25 of 30 starts next year. Taking a playoff-bound team yesterday, and just doing an utter flummox. A fluttermox. Hunter Greene’s entire 2024 fantasy season will be a fluttermox. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Our Fantasy Football Rankings last week were 4th best out of 200 rankers, according to Fantasy Pros. Get a free trial today and it’ll cover you through Sunday. Anyway II, the Buy/Sell:
Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 1-for-3 and his 9th homer, and 3rd homer in four games, and Dumb Bell removing him for Nick Senzel in the middle of the game is a chef’s kiss that echoes over the purple mountains majesty.
Bailey Ober – 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners (3 walks), 3 Ks, ERA at 3.66. Good to see him back, but three walks makes me think he’s still not right, or just overworked. Prolly a mix of both. Baldelli would be an Obermensch to shut him down.
Willi Castro – 2-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (9) and legs (32). He was last week’s lead Buy, and the elephant in the room (or ocean) is Willi’s still free. For the back of the room that needs things pointed out, he’s going 10/30 this season.
Aaron Nola – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.57. I saw he had a no hitter through three innings and I was like, “Aw, isn’t that cute? He’s trying to get me to believe again.”
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer. I could do a Greek God of Hard Contact goof right here about his mother’s thick mustache, and 18-page diner menu, but why is Castellanos hitting 7th? Brandon Marsh is hitting above him? Is this serious? Bohm is hitting cleanup and Castellanos 7th? Yo, is Rob Thomson pulling names out of a hat? Is that why he tried to hit “New Era” second?
Lucas Giolito – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.60. I will say this for Giolito, he is masterful at being crap when you expect him to be good.
Nelson Velazquez – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer, and his third homer since last Friday. I’d say schmotato, but he’s hitting a homer every third game for the year. Can anything stop Velazquez? Find out during his next game!
Alex Cobb – Hit the IL with a hip impingement, and backdate that to July when everything went pear-shaped for him.
LaMonte Wade Jr. – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in five games, which is right on the borderline of schmotato. “Borderline of Schmotato” is also Madonna’s fantasy team name.
Corbin Carroll – 4-for-5, 3 runs and a slam (25) and double legs (49, 50). He became the first rookie in history to go 25/50. Where to rank Carroll next year is already giving me fits.
Merrill Kelly – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.37 vs. Logan Webb – 6 IP, 3 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.35. Both of these guys could be Team Grey next year when I unveil my new “Just draft pitchers who don’t walk guys.”
Ketel Marte – 1-for-4 and his 24th homer, and 2nd homer in three games. Instead of studying how bouncy the baseballs are, we can just look if Ketel has 20 or more homers.
Brendan Rodgers – 1-for-5 and his 1st homer. That draft pick of Rodgers in December of last year in my Draft & Hold is really paying off!
Aaron Civale – 3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.43. *Lisa Simpson grumble*
Brandon Drury – 3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 22nd and 23rd homer. Went looking at where Drury was on the Player Rater, and randomly catchign my eye was Kyle Gibson above Kenley Jansen. Drury’s around 200th overall, for what it’s Cronenworth, or about the same as Brandon Lowe.
Mark Vientos – 2-for-4 and his 6th and 7th homer, and, going off memory, they said he was something like 12 for his last 32, i.e., I before E, he’s hot.
Brett Baty – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer, and first homer since July 19th. Wanna see why he could be so exciting? Go search out his homer yesterday that went a country mile. He is now one of four Mets in the Statcast era to hit a ball 440 feet and 112 MPH (Alonso, Yoenis and Ronny).
Kodai Senga – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.96. Hope he finishes with a sub-3 ERA. It’s good for the brand.
Brandon Nimmo – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 24th homer. Let’s go Brandon! I sure hope that doesn’t mean anything else.
Joey Meneses – 3-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, hitting .281. Meneses seems like the type of middle-of-the-order bat a team uses when that team is not trying to compete.
Lane Thomas – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 26th homer. No one is going to draft Lane Thomas high next year. Not as high as he should be drafted, at least. He’s a 30/20 guy with a .275 average. That’s pretty good!
Tyrone Taylor – 2-for-4 and his 8th and 9th homer, and 3rd homer in the last week. Believe he also stole a bag the day before, but going off memory, because I’m being lazy, but I also roster him in an NL-Only league, where he’s interesting, and that’s about it.
Michael King – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.66. *sits up straight* Tell me more. Wow, that changes everything. Could one start actually get the Yanks to take him serious about their rotation next year? One start and he just went from barely being ranked next year to maybe top 80 starter? One start and now he might get a sleeper post? Yeah, color me intrigued. His peripherals look gorge, and now it’s in the Yanks’ lap. They cannot sign four terrible starters this offseason and bury him.
Joshua Palacios – 2-for-6, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. By decree of Major League Baseball, at least one Palacios has to homer every day of September.
Justin Steele – 3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.00. Someone had money on a Snell Cy Young.
Ian Happ – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 19th homer. He has nine homers in the last roughly seven weeks. Now I’m trying to figure out if that’s a compliment. I think it is.
Christopher Morel – 1-for-4 and his 24th homer, 2nd homer this week, as he bats 7th. David Ross is one of those managers who is so dumb that he thinks he’s being smart by changing his lineup every day. Morel has 50 or more ABs in four lineup spots, and 10+ in five. Ross is either doing the devil’s dandruff or he can’t leave well-enough alone.
Bobby Dalbec – 2-for-4 and his 1st homer. Damn, the prospect guys were right, Dalbec is great! I kid, kinda. Dalbec fell out of favor with the Sawx, but he did have a 33/18 season in Triple-A. The problem is he’s 28 and striking out 34% of the time in the minors. Swiss cheese makes better contact.
Adam Duvall – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 20th homer. He never hits just one homer, so get ready for him to go off. And, yes, I understand the logic fallacy to saying a guy never hits one homer. At some point, he’s gotta stop, otherwise he’ll hit 162 homers a year.
Mitch Garver – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 18th homer. Mitch don’t kill my vibe!
Jonah Heim – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer. Rangers have two top catchers. On a related note, the humidors in every stadium had a hilarious effect to some stadiums. “Don’t want offense here and need to suppress homers there, so let’s do one blanket thing across all stadiums that actually doesn’t do the same thing in every stadium” is some impressive galaxy-braining.
Julio Rodriguez – 1-for-4 and his 31st homer. JRod going 40/40 next year. Book it, Paul Dano!
Cal Raleigh – 2-for-5 and his 29th homer. “Why are people cheering? I can’t see anything around this giant butt.” That’s the people in the front row after the homer.
Brent Rooker – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 27th homer. Draft Rooker next year, then trade him on April 30th, then pick him up in August when he’s dropped.
Zack Gelof – 2-for-4 and a slam (13) and legs (13). He feels like a 2024 trap. People are going to draft him and think, “Prorate out his numbers last year and, woo daddy, Gelof’s a steal!” Then he’s going to go 13/13 over a full season with a .220 average and there’s gonna be a lot of wha’ happened’s.
Cristian Javier – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.64. So, now he’s fixed? Did we ever hear what was wrong with him? I know baseball writers are more interested in things like, “The Padres’ clubhouse was toxic and this is why they lost” but I never saw anything about Javier. I searched through the Astros’ beat writers for any word, but it was a cursory glance, so maybe I missed something. All I saw was his fastball was at 89 MPH at moments in August, but I didn’t see if it was a dead arm. Any hoo! Yesterday was a good sign, Javier might just be a steal next year.
Kyle Bradish – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.01. This start was in Houston and Bradish was like en bee dee. Has not got enough pub this year for how great he’s been.
Ryan Mountcastle – Hit the IL with a joint inflammation. Who is he, Bob Marley? “Hey, it’s Ryan Moncastle.”