Singing a’la Ethel Merman, “I……saac Paredes!” You ever wonder if Ethel Merman was an actual merman, the fabled marine creature with the head and upper body of a man and the tail of a fish? Well, I do. It keeps me up at night, actually. Cougs rolls over in the middle of the night, and sees my eyes are open, as I stare at the ceiling. Finally, she asks, “Are you thinking about Ethel Merman again?” Sullenly, I nod my head, then I turn to her, “She was so…fascinating.” Any hoo! Isaac Paredes is brought to you by me, after Podcaster Ralph brought him to my attention. True story alert! I woke up yesterday at 7 AM from a text message that read from Ralph, “I have your next Dart Throw.” Groggy (after thinking about Ethel Merman all night), I replied, “Who…?” And thus began a back and forth of Ralph telling me Jeimer Candelario wouldn’t be starting at 3rd base this year for the Tigers, and I……saac Paredes would. Back in January, which was approximately 18 months ago in real time, Prospect Itch said Isaac Paredes was a solid pick in 50-round draft and hold leagues, i.e., Draft Champion leagues. With no minor leagues this year, and Paredes on the 40-man roster, and a Latin 21 years old, and every team having a chance in a shortened season, why, I ask, not? He’s definitely going late (NFBC ADP 748), and is a guy who will be available in the deepest of leagues, even your 12-team AL-Only whosie-ma-jigs. So, what can we expect from Isaac Paredes for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a great dart throw?
First off, there seems to be a disconnect with projections systems and Isaac Paredes. Steamer projections (every rookie’s projections are at that link) for Paredes has him hitting .264. It also projects him for 13.1 K% and 7.6% walk rate. That’s got me with my hands on my knees, squinting, massively confused. Steamer’s not the only one either. ZiPS has him down for 15.5% K% and 7.5% walk rate with a .253 average. Looking at Paredes, he does appear on first glance like a little dump truck, so he’s not exactly going to beat out many infield worm-killer-dinkers to third. Luckily, he doesn’t hit on top of the ball into the ground. He averages a near-37% ground ball and, for those that don’t know, that’s not a lot of ground balls. Last year, he produced a 20.4 LD% and near-40% FB rate. Ready for your eyes to really pop from your sockets? He had a 4.6% SwStr%. That’s ludicrous. “But you gotta know that’s-that’s my fantasy.” That’s Ludacris drafting Paredes. He’s Nick Madrigal with actual power. You know who Isaac Paredes reads as? A baby Rafael Devers. I will call him, Rafael Natal. Why do the projections think nothing of him? They don’t see him. I think they’re underestimating his contact combined with his developing power. He takes walks, hits strikes and hits them hard. It’s a bit bizarre he’s going after 700 overall in NFBC, but the fantasy community hasn’t pushed Paredes yet, because the Tigers seemed to be tanking in 2020, during Preseason 1.0. When a shortened season is revealed, it will be obvious no teams will be tanking; there’s no reason to anymore. Any team (besides the O’s) can win 45 games in an 82-game season and stay in the mix. Isaac Paredes is still a dart throw because we don’t know the Tigers’ exact plans, but if they include him, he’s going to zoom up in people’s sheets, which is not to say he’s going to be in a group video chat with his teammates where everyone is saying, “Make sure to mute yourself,” and you can’t hear anyone.