Ian Happ doesn’t even have a starting job, but I’m crazy excited about him.  I think he’s the first player I’ve ever written a sleeper post about without a guaranteed starting job.  He’s going to lack runs and RBIs, because Joe Maddon is so smart he needs to outwit himself to stay one step of himself.  Make sense?  It’s not supposed to.  Last year, he had 24 HRs, 8 SBs and .253 in only 364 ABs.  *fighting urge to prorate*  Ugh!  I’m not mentally strong enough to avoid the Prorating Monster.  Last year, he had 65% of an everyday player’s at-bats, so with a full-time job he would’ve had 32 homers, 11 steals in his rookie year.  *eyes roll up in top of head, faints, Giancarlo catches me in his arms, wiping my brow with his handkerchief*  “Thank you, Giancarlo.  Wait, that’s not your arm you caught me with?”  You might be thinking, as a rational person would, that Ian Happ was platooned because of his huge platoon splits.  Haha, yeah, no.  He’s a switch hitter with no real splits.  Also, you might be thinking he is stuck behind someone who absolutely has to play every day.  Yeah, nope.  He played 145 games last year across five positions.  The Cubs are just kinda stacked and Happ played everywhere.  Last year, he played the most games at center field.  Right now, he’s still projected to see the most time in center.  Guess who’s in front of him.  Go ahead, I won’t laugh if you say the wrong name.  Did you just say Crash Bandicoot?  That’s the worst guess I’ve ever heard.  In front of Happ is Albert Almora Jr.  I’m sorry, Maddon does bonkers shizz, but there’s no way Almora moves Happ to the bench more than a few times a week, and those times Happ can just play another position.  So, what can we expect from Ian Happ for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Member how I said he was a 32/11 guy prorated over the full season?  C’mon, of course, you remember, I just said it 19 sentences ago.  Well, if you were combine his 26 games in Triple-A last year with his major league line, he would’ve had a 33/10 season.  Wow, you’re quick on the uptake, he did hit 9 homers and stole two bases in only 26 Triple-A games.  He also hit .298.  In the majors, he hit .253 with a 31.2% strikeout rate.  That could be a problem, but if I had a dollar for every time a hitter had a decent strikeout rate in the minors, then a poor K-rate in his rookie year only to have a decent strikeout rate his sophomore year, I’d have some dollars.  I don’t know exactly how many dollars since Cougs doesn’t let me look at my bank account.  Ah, marriage.  Steamer is expecting Happ’s K-rate to come down to 27.4% this year, but if you look at his minor league numbers, he has plate discipline.  He had a 10.5% walk rate in the 2nd half last year, that would’ve been the 53rd best walk rate in the majors last year.  He’s a lot more a .360 OBP guy than the .328 one he was last year.  He was only 22 years old when he came up; patience in the majors will come.  When you were 23, you couldn’t even control where you peed.  I’m reminded of Anthony Rizzo’s 1st season when he had a 30.1% strikeout rate and people wrote him off as a .220 hitter.  Yeah, Rizzo now is a .275 hitter with a 13% K-rate.  I think Happ can be this good in a few years, and easily better than he was last year, and ‘better than last year’ is huge value for a guy regularly being drafted around 125 overall.  For 2018, I’ll give Ian Happ projections of 69/29/77/.261/11 in 466 ABs with a chance for much more.  Oh, and yes on Monday, the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings start.

140 Comments
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LeftCoastYankee
LeftCoastYankee
4 years ago

Are the rankings out yet?

Reese
Reese
4 years ago

12 team mixed keeper league, would you trade Myers for pham and Familia?

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

Snell or McMahon in a dynasty startup?

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
4 years ago

Got offered Darvish or CMart for Hoskins in a 15 team keeper…enough ?

Test Kitchen
Test Kitchen
4 years ago

Grey,

In a dynasty format, 10 teams where 25 are kept on each team, who would you prefer: Gerrit Cole or Blake Snell?

My team is built to compete now and for the foreseeable future. Think Snell can be better than Cole this year?

Thanks

Schwab
Schwab
4 years ago

Hey Grey,
Looking forward for the rankings Monday. Trade Sano for Happ? It’s an 8 team, keep 15 every year. Thanks.

Uncle Ernie
Uncle Ernie
Reply to  Schwab
4 years ago

@Schwab: according to TMZ Sano spotted hanging with Weinstein at local restaurant discussing legal strategies.

M
M
4 years ago

Which side for next year: Blackmon ($26) and Happ ($6) or D.Gordon ($22) and E.Rosario ($12)?

M
M
Reply to  M
4 years ago

@M: *Rosario is ($7) if that changes anything

El Marco
El Marco
4 years ago

Can’t wait for the rankings. Thought we might see a sleeper post on Zack Godley. Is he close to Castillo?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
4 years ago

Grey! Sorry, this new job of not sitting behind a desk all day has me interneting much less.

Yes, I got a new chick and met the parents at Xmas. Been with her since the beginning of October. She’s from around my hometown so we only see each other once or twice a week. What’s good with you?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Actually my ex from like 10 years ago hooked me up with her. Never knew her before. She’s cool, going good so far. Nice dating someone normal, forgot what it was like.

How are things?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Nice! Sounds better than the ice and snow I’m buried under now. Plus side, I’m getting paid to not work because of it today.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: You seem to have it down pat. Oh snap!

Uncle Ernie
Uncle Ernie
Reply to  Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
4 years ago

@Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: it’s better to work only some of the time than to not work all the time. Take it from me!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: One of these days I’ll get you caught up on my sneaker purchases too.

Uncle Ernie
Uncle Ernie
4 years ago

I have Trout and might keep him even at $64. It’s an 8 team league with 8 keepers. I think if I don’t keep him he would problebly go for that or more on auction day since the remaining talent would be lacking causing him to get bid up. I offered him and Carrasco for Freeman at only $15. A bargain. Thoughts anyone. Thanks

Mom
Mom
4 years ago

In a dynasty do you want Donaldson or Pollock/Taillon

Rank these guys too
Beltre
Taillon
Godley

Very much in it this year, not “tooling up for 3 years from now” or whatever

Dean White
Dean White
4 years ago

Damn – I was actually hoping I wouldn’t see a sleeper article on Happ this early. Now that you’ve written one, the following plebes at the global leader are sure to copy, er, come up with one of their own due diligence soon enough.

One question – who’ll have a better OBP this year – Happ or Hoskins? Some similarities there.

jack florida
jack florida
4 years ago

st got back from a movie doubleheader

jumanji–found it very amusing and very entertaining

lady bird—-having grown up in the northeast [rhode island] being an irish catholic and going to catholic schools my whole life, i found this to be hilarious and on point for me. my father was a carbon copy of lady birds’ mother. i liked it a lot

jack florida
jack florida
Reply to  jack florida
4 years ago

@jack florida: *****just got back******

E
E
4 years ago

Betts and Brinson for Trout? Dynasty 6×6 roto (obp, slg)

Brett
Brett
4 years ago

I don’t think I saw you write anything on urias? Thoughts on him does he start the year in la rotation?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Brett
4 years ago

@Brett: I dont think he starts the year with the club. He will most likely go into the pen when he comes back.

Tyler
Tyler
4 years ago

Quick trade question:

12 team, 18 keeper league, 9×9 – R, H, SB, BB, K, HR, RBI, AVG, OPS

Keepers:

Lucroy, Belt, D Gordon, Bryant, B Crawford, Trout, Betts, Springer, J upton, Eaton, R Zimmerman, David Peralta, Price, Darvish, Aaron Sanchez, Garrett RIchards, Quintana, Kimbrel

I was offered Jean Segura and Freddie Freeman for Springer. I think it’s definitely a solid offer. I love Freddie, but I also love Springer so I thought I’d shop for some outside input/advice haha.

Also, thoughts on Matt Olson, Keeper?

Thanks in advance Grey!

Chucky
Chucky
Reply to  Tyler
4 years ago

Freeman for Springer alone is a steal. Adding Segura makes it a felony.

Curious George Springer
Curious George Springer
Reply to  Chucky
4 years ago

@Chucky: Hey Now!

Tyler
Tyler
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Thanks! And I like Olson too. I was just curious as to whether you think he’s keeper worthy right now. I picked him up late last season and he obviously went on a tear when he was up. We all know that he has some pop, I’ve just been debating on whether I’m going to keep him or try to get him back in the draft.

swaggerjackers
swaggerjackers
4 years ago

Here’s my guess for your top 10:

Trout
Altuve
Turner
Goldy
Harper
Arenado
Mookie
Blackmon
Bryant
Machado

Curious George Springer
Curious George Springer
Reply to  swaggerjackers
4 years ago

@swaggerjackers: Stanton has to be in there. I’m guessing Stanton over Blackmon. rest looks about right to me.

swaggerjackers
swaggerjackers
Reply to  Curious George Springer
4 years ago

@Curious George Springer: Yeah, I could see Stanton and Judge lingering right around the 8-12 range.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  swaggerjackers
4 years ago

@swaggerjackers: Trea Turner will be in there

swaggerjackers
swaggerjackers
Reply to  J-FOH
4 years ago

@J-FOH: I can’t tell if you’re trolling or legitimately didn’t notice he’s 3rd overall.

Cj
Cj
Reply to  swaggerjackers
4 years ago

@swaggerjackers: he’s way to in love w Stanton to not have him top 8

LenFuego
LenFuego
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I’ll take a crack at predicting Grey’s top 10:

Trout
Altuve
Goldy
Blackmon
Turner
Harper
Stanton
Arenado
Correa
Machado

Crime dog
Crime dog
Reply to  swaggerjackers
4 years ago

@swaggerjackers: trout, altuve, goldy, turner, nado, betts, blackmon, harper, Stanton, Correa

Chucky
Chucky
4 years ago

12 Team, 12 player keeper, no contracts. 6×6 OBP. Happ or Vlad Jr? Have no 2B keeper, was going into draft looking at the #8/9/10 2B available. Including my throwback Happ. Should I keep Happ and let Vlady go? I can pick up a Happ/Albies types

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
4 years ago

Quick trade question. Which side?
Segura and Cobb or Moncado and Berrios

Kinda see it as predictability vs upside. Is it close?

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: thanks, as always. Looking forward to Monday! Have a good weekend

Christian herman
Christian herman
4 years ago

My beautiful dark grey twisted fantasy begins Monday.

Curt C
Curt C
4 years ago

Happ or Moncada?

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
4 years ago

Looking to snag Bellinger ($5) in a 12 team, keep 5 forever OBP OPS league.

Is Goldy ($51) + Severino ($4) too pricey, or about right? Goldy’s price would take him out of keeper territory in 2019.

If I did the trade, keepers would be:

1. Rhys ($5)
2. Bellinger ($5)
3. Harper ($58)
plus 2 of: Domingo/Devers/Olson (all $5 each), Upton ($13), Nola ($7), or Darvish ($23).

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: thanks sir!

Max Freeze
4 years ago

I really hope Happ can find his way to 550 PA, I really think he’s going to be a stud but he needs starting spot. Hopefully it gets figured out this year.

Based on a lot of his number he seems like a similar player to Story. Plate discipline & K rate is a little lower but if you had your choice for 2018 only, who are taking between the two?

Max Freeze
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: That’s fair I think so too. Plus Coors

Darek
Darek
4 years ago

What do you do with Grandal in a keep forever league? Hold to see what his role is? Waivers has the typical bleh catcher fare, although I could drop him for Barnes, assuming the playoff PT is indicative of the direction the Dodgers are going to go. I also could roster both until the season starts, as we have some middle relief slots that I also use for in season roster flexibility, but I hate carrying 2 catchers, even in offseason.

cmutimmah
cmutimmah
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I’m not sure how the Dodgers didn’t move Grandal yet… they are going to be paying 8 million for a backup catcher? That can’t happen.

cmutimmah
cmutimmah
Reply to  cmutimmah
4 years ago

@cmutimmah: “Hey season ticket holders, I know we increased season tickets by 20-30% this year, but just know it’s allowing us to have an 8 million dollar backup catcher, so it’s totally worth it.”

Not really a smart business decision…

Chris
Chris
4 years ago

Edwin Diaz/Paxton. For eloy Jimenez-puk-houck-haniger and 2 minor league picks. Dynasty
Which side

Ben
Ben
4 years ago

Battle of 30-something toolsy outfielders with big question marks — Pollock or Marte? Thanks!

TroutWars
TroutWars
4 years ago

Would you trade my Schoop for his Rendon?

6X6 OPS roto keeper league. Keep forever no costs.

TroutWars
TroutWars
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I was feeling the same way. Worth it if I can get him to add Francisco Mejia? We get a 5 man minors roster.

Simps
Simps
4 years ago

Stoked about rankings eve!

Grey, and really any of you guys, what are your thoughts on the slow email draft? It’s getting harder and harder for our group to get together for a live draft ( year 13 of a keeper league). I hate online drafts. So, thoughts… tips, etc.?

Thanks in advance

TroutWars
TroutWars
Reply to  Simps
4 years ago

@Simps: Agree with Grey. You could also set a precedent for rules. Like make there be a clock and once the team ahead of them picks then they are “on the clock.” If they don’t pick in a certain time limit it goes to the next person.

Dubs23
Dubs23
4 years ago

Would you trade Luke Weaver for Happ? Keeper league.

Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris
4 years ago

10-TM Mixed Keeper League

Currently have this pitching roster:
STARTERS
P Max Scherzer
P Jon Lester
P Brad Peacock
P Luke Weaver
P Jimmy Nelson
P Danny Duffy
P Lance Lynn
RELIEVERS
P Aroldis Chapman
P Brad Hand
P AJ Ramos
P Jeurys Familia
P Brandon Kintzler
P Shane Greene
P Blake Treinen

Thinking of this list for keepers:
Scherzer, Lester, Peacock, Weaver, Nelson…..Chapman, Hand, Familia

Do you agree? Or should I also keep Duffy/Lynn for solid, if unspectacular, production….
Any of the other garbage relievers you high on that you see worth keeping?

LenFuego
LenFuego
Reply to  Chuck Norris
4 years ago

@Chuck Norris: It is not clear to me whether Familia will be the go-to saves guy over Ramos with the Mets, and they might just end up splitting closer duties. I would be tempted to keep Duffy or Lynn over either of them unless and until the Mets announce one of them as having the upper hand.

Jake
Jake
4 years ago

How would you rank Happ, Ozuna, Upton in keeper OBP?

Packers
Packers
4 years ago

Hey Grey,

I’m glad I have Happ in a couple of dynasty leagues. I have a trade question.
I offered my McCullers and M. Taylor for his Benintendi. He said he wants a better SP. I would only only offer Gausman, Faria, or K. Hendricks. What order would you rate those 3 in a 12 team dynasty and do you think I should make this trade?

cmutimmah
cmutimmah
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Hendricks might carry some name cache after being so good two years ago…

McCullers is the best of the bunch though.

Packers
Packers
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: That’s my take too. I’ll give him his choice and let him pick, or no deal.

Fungazi
Fungazi
4 years ago

Grey’s top 10 leaked!

Trout, Altuve, Goldschmidt, Harper, Arenado, Turner, Betts, Blackmon, Machado, Stanton

Huffin Gas
Huffin Gas
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: And you thought the Russian government had no interest in you or fantasy baseball…

Fungazi
Fungazi
Reply to  Huffin Gas
4 years ago

@Huffin Gas: Just wait til we leak his nudie selfies next week

Tweak
Tweak
4 years ago

Nice! Happ looks to be a great addition to the Cubs’ solid core.

He feels to me a lot like Schoop going into the last two seasons (with a little more speed). The numbers are really not all that different. Heck, in a dynasty league (or after the draft this year), you could probably cash in on Schoop’s name value for Happ plus plus.

Q
Q
4 years ago

Without going into “proprietary” details, what do you use to come up with the auction values in your top 500 @ the end of the rankings? Is it super mathematical based on your exact projections (like Pre Season Player Rater) or do you kinda just go with your gut based on how you rank guys?

Reason I ask is that you’re my favorite, but I play in leagues with different categories. So I’d like to take your rankings but switch in OBP for AVG, etc

Thanks–can’t wait for next week!

Old School Brother
Old School Brother
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Grey is secretly George Bush

The Red Onion
The Red Onion
4 years ago

Grey,
I’m looking for keeper advice (we can keep up to 8 players each year + 1 MLR)
12 Team Weekly H2H Points Keeper League (Auction – $300 Budget).

Scoring for Batting: 1B/BB/HP = 1 pt., R/RBI = 1.25 pts., 2B/SB = 2 pts., 3B = 3 pts., HR = 4 pts.
Scoring for Pitching: W/SV = 10 pts., INN = 2 pts., BBI/HA/HB = -0.5 pt., ER = -1 pt., K = 1 pt.

C – J. Realmuto $1/2yrs
1B – J. Smoak $10/1yr
2B – J. Schoop $1/2yrs
3B – N. Arenado $19/1yr
SS – T. Story $15/1yr
OF – M. Betts $33/1yr
OF – G. Stanton $51/2yrs
OF – T. Pham $10/1yr
UTIL – D. Gregorius $10/1yr

P – C. Carrasco $51/2yrs
P – M. Clevinger $10/1yr
P – J. Gray $21/2yrs
P – P. Rivero $10/1yr
P – C. Sale $28/1yr
P – A. Wood $10/1yr
P – J. Faria $10/1yr
MLR – V. Robles

*Years indicate time left at the current contract. (those at 1 yr will go up $5/yr starting next year).

Which 8 should I go with? As always, I appreciate the help!

The Great Knoche
The Great Knoche
Reply to  The Red Onion
4 years ago

@The Red Onion: I’d do Smoak through Pham + Sale

LenFuego
LenFuego
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I like Grey’s picks, but I might try to figure out a way to keep Betts, It would be hard to let Stanton go but if you think he will go for less than $60 in the auction you might do that. If you think Stanton will go well above that, then you should see which of these guys might fetch you something in a trade.

The Red Onion
The Red Onion
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey:

Thanks for the advice, gentlemen. I agree with LenFuego on Betts, as he’ll go for a lot more than $33 if I don’t keep him.
I don’t know who everyone is keeping yet, but based on past auctions, if Stanton is the best player available I could easily see him going in the high $50’s and even low $60s being possible.

sport
sport
4 years ago

Really liked all your Sleeper posts and looking forward to the top ten on Monday. I even am considering giving Gausman another try this year. Never thought I would say that.

What source do you use for early ADP’s?

Rudy
Rudy
4 years ago

Rankings monday! Yes! Double Christmas present!

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
4 years ago

Cracking up at Giancarlo! Looking forward to the rankings!

Happ reminds me of other guys we’ve all steered away from simply because they lack a starting job . . . but as Jeff Goldblum says, “life (and baseball talent) finds a way!).

Racehorse
Racehorse
4 years ago

“Oh, and yes on Monday, the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings start”

Me, my liver, and my dynasty team’s depth chart, all thank you !!!

Dodger Rabbit
Dodger Rabbit
Reply to  Racehorse
4 years ago

@Racehorse: Second Christmas starts Monday! Woohoo!

Old School Brother
Old School Brother
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Odor still in the top 20?

Curious George Springer
Curious George Springer
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: are we still owning Deshizz everytwhere?