Angels are a bad team. Doesn’t matter for sleepers. Their home park doesn’t help. Oh em gee, I just thought of something:  Mike Trout as a Rockies player for his career. He’d be wearing a SpongeBob Nascar jacket during his 2nd year with the team as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. “Today, we welcome the 23-year-old Mike Trout into the Hall of Fame, on the back of the 680 homers he hit his rookie year.” Oh, who am I kidding? If Mike Trout were on the Rockies, he’d still be platooning with Raimel Tapia. “I’m looking forward to giving Trouty a chance out of camp,” says Bud Black as he doesn’t give Trout a chance. Any hoo! What I was saying is Jared Walsh is on a bad team in a bad park. The bad team thing actually could help, because who’s bumping him from the lineup? Albert Pujols? Pujols has been shite, British pronunciation, for five years now. Taylor Ward? I just jotted his name down, and even I think I made his name up. I.e. Jared Walsh will have playing time. So, what can we expect from Jared Walsh for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Jared Walsh has one of the bigger differences between FanGraphs’s Line Drive, Fly Ball and Ground Ball rates and Statcast, so, if you’re wondering, I’m using FanGraphs’s. The difference seems to come that Statcast takes pop ups (>50°) out of the fly balls, and FanGraphs has infield fly balls, which I think is more useful. Statcast seems to think all pop ups are made equal. I don’t see how this makes sense, since (almost stutterer!) pop ups are bad and fly balls can be good. Infield flies are bad, but outfield flies can be good, in theory. Okay, this is a long way of saying Jared Walsh’s batted ball profile numbers are 48.3% GB, 36.8% FB and 14.9% LD. Not the best numbers I’ve seen, but far from the worse. That was also in 99 ABs, so take those numbers as far as you’d like. I’d take them to dinner, but ask to split the check, if you follow, and, if you do, you’re paying your own way too.

Surprising (to me, at least), his BABIP was only .256 and he still hit .293. Helping float up his numbers are a solid contact rate (13.9% strikeout rate) and 79.2% Contact rate with a but of a slap-and-dash approach without that much of a dash (he’s not fast). Walsh could suffer from a willingness to swing at everything (4.6% walk rate) and contact. See, contact is good to a certain point. If you hit everything, there’s a chance you’re gonna hit some weak-sauce grounders and pop ups. Like doing number two in a public bathroom:  You can hover above unwanted territory for a while, but your Contact rate is high for unwanted contact. So far, or at least last year, he avoided dragging his jeans on the ground through a puddle of urine. I’m still in the last metaphor. In other words, he hit the ball hard. 42.5% Hard Contact, and that would be top 15 in the league, right above Juan Soto. In fact, everywhere Walsh has played he’s hit the ball hard.

To muddy the urine puddle, on Statcast, he had a 10.2 barrels per plate appearance rate, which was top 12 in the majors. So, A) Don’t strikeout. B) Make hard contact. C) There’s no C. Circling back on A, there is a chance pitchers just had no time to adjust to Walsh in under 100 at-bats, and his K% could go up to minor league levels — near 27%. At his current ADP (around 190), Jared Walsh is well worth the flyer. One thing quite a few of my 2021 fantasy baseball sleepers have in common so far is they ain’t got a lick of speed. I will change that going forward or my name isn’t Grey Braciole Albright, the 3rd. The 3rd because that’s what the number on my deli ticket says. For 2021, I’ll give Jared Walsh projections of 79/24/71/.281/1 in 487 ABs with a chance for more.

 
  1. pinkman says:
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    Whew, this article comes as some relief to me after I took Walsh at pick 211 in Donkey Teeth’s league over Christian Walker. Felt like I grabbed him too soon when I noticed afterwards that his NFC ADP was 273 (!). But I settled on him after noticing CW’s launch angle was flattening, and that seemsno bueno for a 30 year-old 1B (unless you’re John Olerud).

    I love the idea of Walsh hitting behind Trout and Rendon, and let’s hope the power keeps trending up! Could be a league leader in RBIs if the Angels finally make good and give Trout a consistent winning team.

    • pinkman says:
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      Woops, actually pick 196 is when I took him. So I guess I better be pretty bullish on Walsh to take him there :)

      • hot corner says:
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        Both Walsh and Walker went earlier than that in Grey’s league. If my math is correct, Walker went #161 and Walsh went #171.

        • pinkman says:
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          Hell yeah, now I feel even better!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I would’ve taken either at that spot

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        196 is good value still

        • hot corner says:
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          I had to take Walker earlier than desired but I had a hole at 1B and picking were getting slim. I went Walker over Walsh because the Pujols

          • hot corner says:
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            …ohtani, Walsh playing time issues

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Not concerned about Ohtani playing 1B — Pujols might for a handful of games

            • Dave D says:
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              What draft slot are you in ours, HC?

              • hot corner says:
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                #11 under my last name – Dopp

                • Dave D says:
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                  Your team looks well rounded. You could have a sneaky-good staff with those picks of Bassitt and Means. Good work so far.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, looks good, HC!

                    • hot corner says:
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                      Feeling pretty good about my team.

                      I am also higher than most on Brady Singer. After a tough stretch of 5 straight games against the Twins (3) and White Sox (2), he finished strong.

                      4GS / 24.0IP / 3W / 25K / 1.50ERA / 0.71WHIP

                      AND, if he stays healthy, Franchy Cordero is this year’s Teoscar!!! No proof. Just a gut feeling.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Shh, don’t give away my love for Franchy yet

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Makes sense

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I saw that on CW, but hopefully it’s not alarming

      Behind or in front of Trout/Rendon — I’d take either, kinda hope in front tho

      • pinkman says:
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        True, Fangraphs roster resource projects he’ll hit 2nd. I’d be into that

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I’d take that gladly

  2. Dave D says:
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    I do like Walsh as well. Good write-up as well. With this write-up and your draft picks of Trout, Adell, Canning and Iglesias, I officially submit this motion to name your team the Los Angeles Albright’s of Los Angeles.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I know, I don’t know what I’m doing…I draft Trout for 1st time and suddenly I want everyone around him to do well

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Congrats on getting the big fish! Walsh was cut in my league, scooped him up soon as he cleared waivers. Like him more after your writeup.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Wish he had more speed, but I think he could a solid producer, nice grab!

      • Dave D says:
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        I think Iglesias is a fine pick as a MI for somebody that lost out on Wong ;-)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Honestly, I just felt so weak on AVG that I almost took Arraez

          • Dave D says:
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            I dont think your AVG will be too bad. You have likely pluses in Trout, Albies, Arenado. Minuses really only seem to be Adell, Dalbec and maybe Muncy. The rest of your guys seem mostly typical .260-.270 types:

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I prolly can pull back on trying to go too hard for AVG now, after I Naylor’d

              • Dave D says:
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                Maybe he can Naylord Perry you some spitballs for more IP?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha, nice

                  • Dave D says:
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                    BTW, guy was remarkable.

                    When I was 7 years old in 1978 and really getting into MLB and collecting Topps cards, he won his second Cy Young at age 39 with the following numbers:

                    GS: 37 W: 21 L:6 ERA: 2.73 IP: 260 CG:5

                    His first Cy in 1972:

                    GS: 42 W:24 L:16 ERA: 1.92
                    IP: 342.2 CG:29 (that’s not a typo).

                    Pretty incredible?

                    What does that say about how pitchers of today are developed handled?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      They thought pitching had changed dramatically by the 90s, and it has changed even more so from 90s to now…Won’t ever see anything like Perry again…Closest comp is guy like Lance Lynn who throws 100 pitches per game and that’s considered remarkable

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Id draft him 5th or 6th round for sure!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      In those days, he might’ve been a 10th rounder

      • Dave D says:
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        Too bad 2-category David Fletcher overvalued this year.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, agreed…I looked for him 1st, but saw he was taken way before

      • Will says:
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        Took me 10 years to get Trout back on my team after I foolishly dropped him after his .220 BA rookie season in 2011 (major league OOPS!). Worked out well as he helped bring me the league title in 2020. Don’t talk to me about no asterisks…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

  3. Cobleone says:
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    I have Walsh at $5, Walker at $4 and M Olson at $15b (meaning one more year at $15 or two at $20). It is a bit of a rebuilding year for me which makes me want to take a chance on Walsh and the possibility of a 900+ OPS from him, but at his and Walker’s current ADP, most players don’t go for more than $5. I will likely keep two of the three. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      How deep is this league?

      • James Canigia says:
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        It’s a 12 team with a 5-deep bench and unlimited IL (MI, CI, UT and 5-OF). Looking at past drafts, a few players ranked just inside the top 200 go for up to $15, some for $1. It seems like there could be a lot of buzz for a guy like Walsh.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Walsh and Olson for me

          • James Canigia says:
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            Thanks Grey, I was definitely leaning towards Walsh. Hopefully Olson can get his Avg back to respectability.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I love Olson still

  4. Will says:
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    How much playing time is Joe going to give Pujols in the last year of his (albatross) contract? First ballot HoFamer and all but he hasn’t hit over .300 since 2010 nor slugged over .450 since 2016. He’s a shell of his former self. I’d think Walsh gets more than the 487 at bats you’re giving him (if the Angels are smart).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’m not sure Pujols being a terrible contract or way past his prime is going to stop Joe from playing him for at least 200 ABs, maybe not at 1B, but if Ohtani is healthy, maybe he sees 20 games at 1B…I agree with your sentiment tho, Pujols should not see any ABs, but he will

      • Dave D says:
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        Pujols should greet fans coming in at the gate once they return and he should not set foot on the field again…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, that’s actually a great idea!

  5. Dan says:
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    Good write up! Targeted Walsh in a startup draft but others seem to be bullish on him too.

    How do you feel about Willie Calhoun this coming year and onwards? Any chance he makes the sleeper list or do his struggles worry you?

  6. Ace of Spades says:
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    Grey

    My first of my way too early to ask these questions question.
    Before that, just want to thank you, Rudy and the rest of the Razzball crew and commenters for being the best at what you do. Not to be overly dramatic, but you guys ( and five girl readers ) are a beacon of light in these dark days.

    Ok, on to the question.
    14 team mixed auction league ( $260 ) standard 5×5 cats . Keeper league can keep up to 11 ( although you can keep less ).
    I wont list everyone. But here are the guys I am thinking of keeping and their dollar values.

    Bieber $17
    Buehler $12
    Gallen $10
    Abreu $25
    Vladdy Jr. $12
    Albies $14
    Treat Urner $20
    Machado $36
    Biggio $10

    These are others on the cusp that may or may not be worth keeping for the reaming two spots.

    C. Walker $10
    Kingery $10
    N Cruz $22
    B. Buxton $20

    My question? which , if any, of these two would be worth keeping and which, if any , of the first 9 I listed would you maybe not keep. Manny at $36 I wondered about, but if he puts up a full season of 2020 he is obviously worth it.

    Anyways, as always, thanks in advance and keep up the great work. Love the sleepers so far.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Appreciate you! Thanks!

      Walker, Buxton seem like best, but Walker and no one really great value wise…Maybe Kingery if you just want to save $

  7. The Great Knoche says:
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    Really liked that corner with Piscotty and Kremer.

    You think Carlos in rotation again?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      If he’s healthy, I’d be shocked if he’s not, but might only be good for 75 IP

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        I’m sure you have a queue, but ya got ten minutes.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks! I hate that it goes to an hour…we have 4 months to draft!

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            Haha. Same. This is the fastest slow draft I’ve ever been in, and not just because of the two hour clock.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Right? We already cut the time in half, can we at least have two hours for the whole thing?

              • Dave D says:
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                Ha! It has been fast indeed. How are you guys feeling about your teams?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I have too many Angels…I feel low on speed and average, but overall solid…you?

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Ha! Fortunately I have resisted temptation to take Halos. Marsh just went. I really like him but doubt he gets any serious PT with Trout, Upton, Adell around.

                    I like my team. As long as my stars stay healthy I think I’ll have a shot. My biggest potential weakness is probably SV’s but hopefully ok with Mayers and Holland. I feel good about my power. I dont have any speedsters but plenty of 15SB guys I hope.

                    Quinn was a nice pick. He could really help you there. I’d maybe grab another speedster if I were you but yout team looks solid to me.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Thanks! Yeah, Quinn’s speed was the goal there…I like your hitting a lot…your pitching would worry me, but if Strasburg is fine, you should be fine there…I’m not overly confident my pitching either tho

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Thanks. Yeah, you’re right about my pitching. I do need 25 healthy starts from Stras to have a shot. I’m higher on Framber and Luzardo than I’m sure you are. I think I have good depth, but nothing spectacular. I think Davies, Eflin, Pineda, Walker will be a good bunch of vet 3-4 type SP’s to get me lots of IP’s and W’s. Hopefully at least. We will see.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I like Framber and Luzardo a lot, but there’s some risk there…

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Indeed. I took Framber over Wheeler because I think he has more upside. Wheeler is safe but I gambled for more. Framber pitches above his stature. He impressed me a lot in Sept and Oct.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yup, makes sense

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Nice pick on Wade (snipe!!!).

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Surprised he lasted so long, and Wick tbh

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, could be a cheap source of SV’s.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Not like Kimbrel is any good

                  • Dave D says:
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                    I’ve got just one Angel to go to match your five. I’m making a late comeback.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, better turn it up quick!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Well, I had to double up on 47/48 to catch you. I watched a few tapes to Detmers before drafting. Does He remind you of anybody? He seems real polished. He could very well be an impact arm in the 2nd half of 2021, much like the guy he really reminds me of in his rookie season:

                    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DQDVc5xKMYk

  8. Coolwhip says:
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    Ay Carumba! How of all people did I miss this post??? LOL

    *zip*
    Okay now I’m ready.

    footnote: *scrolls through other comments* Well hello there Grey! welcome to the Angels Fan Club! we have coffee and Prozac in the back.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, but seriously, Felix Pena is a steal after 500 overall

Comments are closed.