Any reasonable man (which, technically, I am not, alas…) would tell you Jake Lamb is not a 2017 sleeper. Last year, he had a line of 81/29/91/.249/6. That alone should mean he isn’t a sleeper. On our Player Rater, he was a top 15 3rd baseman last year. I’ve seen him drafted after 200 overall already, so some have forgotten about him. I’m not pointing any fingers, which is difficult because I’m wearing a giant, pointing Hulk Hogan foam finger. Perhaps Lamb was too closely associated with Passover and, hence, ignored. I think this is religious mores or less inaccurate. If you think it has something to do with Lamb’s 2nd half, you’re getting shawarmer. But his 1st half had us screaming, “Shanks, Lamb! You’re my gyro!” When the summer hit, Lamb was baaaahd in August and September, but wasn’t he mint in the sprig? So mint, he was making others jelly. All right, I’m gonna eat lunch and come back for the 2nd paragraph. So, what can we expect from Jake Lamb for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Wanna handle the 2nd part of that first, on what makes Jake Lamb a sleeper. That will also will inform what to expect. I’m gonna guess in some leagues, Lamb won’t be a sleeper. In some smarter leagues, he’s going to be ignored due to his 2nd half, and, in some more casual leagues (casual leagues is like when the real estate agent calls a house with plumping problems ‘rustic’), Lamb is going to be forgotten. Let’s talk about the so-called smarter leagues first, and those disqualifying Lamb due to his 2nd half. These people aren’t smarter. I mean, they might be, I haven’t seen all of their individual Sporcle test results, but they consider themselves smarter, so we will too. In the 1st half, Lamb had 20 HRs and hit .291. In the 2nd half, he hit 9 HRs and .197. Maybe Lamb is a 1st half player. I’d contend this is fine for 12-team leagues. By the end of July, you can find someone else to replace Lamb in 95% of leagues. 95% is totally representative of no actual math, but there’s guys on waivers in most leagues. Maybe Lamb was a 1st half guy because he’s young and wore out in the 2nd half. Maybe Lamb was a 1st half guy because pitchers didn’t know how to attack him, then they adjusted, and, since he’s a major league hitter, he can adjust back. Maybe his .240 BABIP in the 2nd half vs. his career .312 BABIP hurt him. Maybe when he missed four days at the end of July with a bruised hand it was more serious than he let on. Maybe he just sucks. The last ‘maybe’ is the only bad maybe. Yes, I’m partially waiting for balloons to fall from the ceiling notifying me that I’ve won the contest for using ‘maybe’ the most times in one paragraph. So, we have one bad maybe and a bunch of whatever maybes. Maybe we should look at a 26-year-old and ignore a bad 2nd half. Yes, I like that maybe too. As for the rustic leagues, they’re just not going to think about Lamb because they’re going to follow the ‘smarter’ players’ leads. So, Lamb is the terrible player from August and September when he was getting unlucky and might’ve been injured because…? Because he was terrible then? I don’t buy it, and, as previously mentioned, if he’s bad in August and September again, doesn’t matter if he’s great again April thru July. Will he sit against tougher lefties? Yeah, likely, but that’s fine, you want him to sit vs. them because he’s not great against them. I’m buying back into Lamb. For 2017, I’ll give Lamb the projections of 76/26/81/.258/7 in 495 ABs with upside for more.