Number one reason why I think you can punt top starters is there’s just so many starters you can draft later. Exhibit A: All these fantasy baseball sleepers. Subsection A in Exhibit A, or AA, as my uncle calls it, is Joe Ryan. Last year, Ryan went 13-8/3.55/1.10/151 in 147 IP. He’s being drafted around 147th overall. If you were to draft five Joe Ryans, a hand of Ryans, as they say in Moroccan markets, you’d have One Full Joe. One Full Joe is all you need to win your fantasy league. A hand of Ryans or One Full Joe gets you in the top three for ERA, Wins, WHIP and Ks. You need a few decent relievers — let’s call them a Sprinkling of Holmes. A Sprinkling of Holmes plus a hand of Ryans or a One Full Joe, and you have all the pitching you need. See, if your hand of Ryans were to fall a little, then you could grab onto an invisible strand of Holmes, and have a Sheer-Lock Holmes. Woof, you walked right into that nonsense. No, seriously, all you need to win your fantasy league is pitchers who do as well as the 30th best starter, give or take. Not saying they have to do better than their ranking, but, let’s be honest, I’m writing them up because I expect them to do better. Think about this with, I don’t know, outfielders. If you get a hand of Castellanosses, would you do top three in your league in hitting? I grabbed Castellanos, because he’s currently going about a dozen spots before Ryan. Or, what if you had a hand of Blackmen — uh, multiple Blackmons? He was ranked 39th overall last year for outfielders on the Player Rater, and Ryan was 39th for starters last year. You might be saying, “Sure, but you need the Sprinkling of Holmes, so not the same as only a hand of Blackmons.” Fine, fill the rest of your hitting with great hitters off waivers, which is what Holmes was last year, a waiver wire pick. You really think your hitting will be good enough with a hand of Blackmons and top waiver pickups at all other hitting spots? No, of course not. Pitching is just easier to figure out later. So, it would be nice to have a Sandy Alcantara, but you really only need him if your hand of Ryans turns into a hand of Berrios. A hand of Ryans is all you need. You can’t say that about any other position. So, what can we expect from Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Joe Ryan sleeper post, Rudy’s got his 2023 fantasy baseball subscriptions up, and get an ad-free to get these ads the heck out of here. On Monday, my rankings start, if you want all of them now, that’s at the Patreon. Anyway II, the Joe Ryan sleeper:

Joe Ryan has a 92 MPH fastball. *yawns* Someone hit the snooze button. I’m going back to sleep. I’m announcing this to you because when I’m going to sleep I get very histrionic. What did you just say? He had a .174 batting average against?! *falls out of bed* What?! I need to look up how good that fastball is vs. everyone else in the league, one second. He’s third?! Behind only Justin Verlander and Aaron Nola?! What on earth?! Wait a minute, the fourth best fastball in the league is Nestor Cortes? He doesn’t throw very fast, either. Hold up, are we to believe a guy can be great without a lot of velocity? My goodness, I’m seeing colors I’ve never seen before. What is that, a green-ish purple? It’s beautiful!

So, of course, velocity can be important, but it’s not everything. You know what’s more important than velocity? I just named four top fastballs, any guesses what they have in common? They all play baseball? Yes, that’s right, but I was looking for ‘They all have upper echelon command.’ If you can pinpoint a ball on the outer edge of the plate, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s going 98 MPH or 91 MPH. If you can command your pitches and throw fast? Then, you’re likely being drafted in the top five overall. Though, Joe Ryan’s fastball jumps at hitters like it’s going faster with a high ride.

Joe Ryan’s secondaries are, uh, secondary and why I always say, “A two-pitch pitcher isn’t bad if one of the pitches is getting a .174 batting average against.” Okay, I don’t always say that, and not with .174, but you get the drift. Joe Ryan throws his fastball 60.1% of the time and only throws his slider 20.7%, his change 12.1% and his curve 7.1%. If Joe Ryan repeats last year, he’s well worth the draft pick, but as said previously, we’re here because we think he can be better. The slider is where the untapped potential lies. Double slider is better than a double rainbow. Double Slider? Call Joe Ryan the Burger King:

Last year, Joe Ryan’s slider produced .245 BAA, and a ton of homers allowed (8 in only 20.7% of his pitches vs. 9 off fastball in 60.1%). That alone feels very unlucky. If Joe Ryan just slices the homers allowed on his slider — stop hanging ’em, Joe! — we could see a nice step forward. That’s just one small possibility. If Joe Ryan’s slider takes a step forward on just staying down in the zone (his fly ball rate on the sliders was 45% and that’s high for him), then that’s another path forward for an improvement. If Joe Ryan just stops throwing his slider in the zone as much, that could be an improvement. I’ll explain. See those sliders in the video above? They’re outside the zone. He actually threw his slider in the zone 46.3%, and I think if he does that less, he’ll see better results. The fastball is in the zone; the slider doesn’t need to be as much. For unstints, his slider was only in the zone 42.4% of the time in 2021, and his slider BAA was .200, down .045. If I can come to this conclusion while drinking boba in my track pants, Twins’ coaches can figure this out for him. I have faith. Well, I need someone to hold me but I’ll wait for somethin’ more. Gotta have faith faith faith. That slider improves just a hair and his fastball stays as good, and Joe Ryan’s gonna be a sub-3 ERA pitcher. For 2022, I’ll give Joe Ryan projections of 14-7/3.21/1.07/181 in 177 IP with a chance for much more, especially on ratios.

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DonnieB
DonnieB
10 days ago

Help me understand the Cubs.They have Mervis ready to go and then go out and sign Mancini AND Hosmer? Seems like overkill. Thanks.

leon
leon
10 days ago

Hey grey,

Loudes Gurriel or Yelich for 2023. 15 man dynasty. walks as a category. 6×6

thanks

Los locos
Los locos
11 days ago

Grey, 5*5 OBP 5*5 QS K/9 10 team Keeper League.

Awful year in fantasy last season I have the first overall pick this year.

However, below is players I picked up last season. Can you pick 4 offensive keepers and 3 pitchers for upcoming season.

Team was getting old. I was still contending but last season battled injuries. Last year kept Freeman, Arenado, Story and Teoscar. Bieber, Nola and Ray.

1B Freddie Freeman 1B | LAD
2B Trevor Story 2B | BOS
3B Nolan Arenado 3B | STL
SS Oneil Cruz SS | PIT
OF Tyler O’Neill OF | STL
U Vaughn Grissom 2B | ATL
RESERVES
1B Triston Casas 1B | BOS
1B Miguel Vargas 1B | LAD
3B Gunnar Henderson 3B | BAL
3B Josh Jung 3B | TEX
3B Jordan Walker 3B | STL
SS Anthony Volpe SS | NYY
OF Corbin Carroll OF | ARI

PITCHERS
SP Shane Bieber SP | CLE
SP Edward Cabrera SP | MIA
SP Logan Gilbert SP | SEA
SP Michael Kopech SP | CHW
SP Jesus Luzardo SP | MIA
SP Aaron Nola SP | PHI
SP Kyle Wright SP | ATL
SP Grayson Rodriguez SP | BAL

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
12 days ago

Reposting here because I just posted the sane thing in an older thread. Sorry.

Is it too late to wish you a happy new year? I was just in LA visiting my family,, and would’ve liked to take you for a thank you drink or Boba, but understood your need for a safety net from random grateful readers.

Anyhoo, do you subscribe to your notion of not paying for SP in only leagues with $260 team salaries?

For example, in the AL I retain the rights to Shane Bieber for 19, Nestor for 9, and Ohtani for 28.

In the NL, it’s Wheeler, Kershaw, and Musgrove for 19, Smyly and Drey Jameson for 5. 

Would you keep any of the $19 guys or Ohtani? There’s inflation in these leagues because other teams retain rights to good pitchers too.

Snacks
Snacks
12 days ago

In a 12 team H2H 5×5 redraft league, is it too early to snag a RP before the 6th rd and when do you start stockpiling SP’s? I always try for bats in the first 5 rds. Thanks .

Snacks
Snacks
Reply to  Grey
11 days ago

Thank you!

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
12 days ago

Happy new year Grey! Keeper trade offers starting to flow in, which must mean baseball is finally coming soon! Would love your thoughts on a couple offers I’ve rec’d (2023 keeper prices, $260 budget, $3 keeper inflation to keep).

Current keeper situation (keep 8):
Acuna $38
Alvarez $21
Adolis $12 (I know no one else besides Razzball likes him, so maybe he wouldn’t be too expensive in drafts, but he still feels like a steal at that price)
Harris $11
Strider $4
C Javier $3
O Cruz $11 (seems like I’ve gotta hold for upside alone)
Last Keeper: one of Gunnar $7, Devers $25, Eloy $16 (strongly leaning Gunnar, if only for trade piece since I got a bunch of offers when he was listed as the #1 dynasty prospect on the CBS list). Devers I think I could redraft for $30 + Eloy in the low/mid 20s.

Offers:

1. My $38 Acuna + one of $7 Gunnar, $25 Devers, or $16 Eloy for $26 Ohtani and guy I prob wouldn’t keep (weekly lineup league, so just the hitter). Feels like an overpay unless you think Ohtani is far more valuable than Acuna at the $12 discount (he won’t be $38 for 4 years).

2. My pick of $25 Devers or $7 Gunnar for his $4 Andres Giminez. He also has Corbin Carroll for $3 and Vlad for $20.

3. In general lots of teams asking about $7 Gunnar. What sort of bat would you be looking for in exchange? Wondering if I should try and capitalize on him being the shiny new toy on prospect lists.

Thanks!

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Thanks – yea I’m thinking of holding. Managed to snag a lot of the new hotness last year, so leaning towards rolling with them all + coming out of the year with hopefully some nice staples to balance out my increasingly expensive (but keepable) Acuna.

Excited to see what Gunnar brings on speed this year.

Ryan741
Ryan741
12 days ago

Grey, need some keeper opinions in a H2H league. Right now these are my potential keepers:

Yordan (12th round keep value)
Tatis (12th)
Witt (13th)
Wander (13th)
Burnes (12th)
O’Neill Cruz (15th)
Corbin Carroll (15th)
Devers (6th)
Luzardo (15th)
Singer (15th)
Lodolo (15th)

Right now Yordan, Tatis and Witt are my locks. I’m trying multiple different trade scenarios where I can get a pick(s) back for some of the better guys who I wouldn’t keep to recoup some value. Right now I’m keeping those 3 plus 2 of Burnes/Cruz/Carroll/Wander. Tons of SP are always kept, so I’m leaning Burnes and either Carroll or Cruz, but honestly I’d like to trade Burnes and Wander and keep both Cruz and Carroll. Each year your keep round moves up 2 spots, so I always try to keep better value vs someone who is better like Devers. What are your thoughts?

Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
13 days ago

Grey

Sent out a comment earlier today and it strangely told me it was ” awaiting approval ” because I was possible spam. I have never eaten spam in my life. Nasty stuff. So I am sending this out ( not my original comment ) just to see what happens ( if it goes thru ) and if the issue is on my end for some reason.
thanx in advance either way.

Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

Thanks. your the best. Will try to keep it shorter next time. I thought it may have been a Friday the 13th type thing.

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

DDA25390-CDF2-450E-8710-DD62FDDAFB0E.jpeg
frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

Could be wrong but I have Wheeler as a top 10 pitcher is that cockamamie?

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Possible 200 ip 200 Ks not too many fools have a chance for them apples

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

I knew you’d say that lol
#Injurieshappen
This guy just sniped Kwan from me!

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
13 days ago

Great piece on Ryan. Grabbed him last year on your recommendation.
Question- I have him for 2 more years at $5 each year and wanted to keep him before reading your sleeper post but can’t seem to fit him in. These are the guys I’m planning to keep with years and cost. Can only keep 12. Do you see anyone I should drop for Ryan? (pretty standard Roto but 6×6 with OBP and IP as other two cats)

1B Goldy 1yr $17
SS Witt 1yr $5
3B JoRam 1yr $34
OF Adolis 2yr $2
OF JulRod 1yr $3
CI Devers 1yr $21

SP Urius 1yr $10
Valdez 2yr $4
Castillo 2yr $17
Javier 2yr $5
Manoah 2yr $18
Cortes 2yr $5

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

Ok, Thanks. That’s at least a confirmation. As I said I really think Ryan could be close to top 25 but the others seem more predictable. I’ll just throw him back and try to get him at the draft.
Your still liking Cortes? For some reason I’m having trust issues- complete gut feeling, nothing else.

Steve Vachon
Steve Vachon
13 days ago

Grey, how many games required for player eligibility for ESPN? 20?

ray
ray
13 days ago

Hi Grey…dumb question.
Rhy Hoskins in the 6th round, or Joe Ryan in the 10th?

ray
ray
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

14 teams…3 keepers per team. I am keeping Cristian Javier for a 28th RDer (lol) and Devin Williams a 19th RDer.

Other possibilities include Paxton for a 27th, Eflin for a 23rd. M gonzales for a 22nd and J Polanco for a 4th.. Biley Ober for a 16th, Chad Greene for a 20th (S+H league)

I have been leaning Hoskins with some thought to Ryan.

ray
ray
Reply to  Grey
13 days ago

Thanks.
Looks forward to your stuff this season.

Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
13 days ago

Grey

It’s been awhile so apologize in advance for the length of this post.

First off, an observation.

All12 of the Grey’s are very cool and necessary in their own way, but January Grey may be the most important one of all. Why is that ? Well, January Grey exists smack in the middle of when baseball season ends when and baseball season begins. In fact, January Grey will be releasing his rankings to the general ( non Patreon ) public almost exactly in the middle of these two events. Almost by design your top ten will be released at the winter solstice of fantasy baseball. Perfectly timed to warm up the cold and damp moms basements across America as Fantasy baseball players put on their brand new sweat pants that they got as Christmas presents. Thank you January Grey for shining a light in the darkest time of the fantasy baseball year.

Secondly, a question.

Thanks to your rankings and sleepers I have made a series of trades with multiple teams in the past week to rearrange my team in a keeper league.
The league is 14 team mixed auction ( $260 ) with standard 5×5 cats. We can keep up to 11 players. Here is a list of the 11 I would be keeping if I had to do it today ( I have until mid March to decide ) and their dollar amounts for this season.

Sexy Dr. Pepper – 28
Jake McCarthy – 10
Taylor Ward – 10
Harrison Bader – 7
CJ Cron – 18
Jazz Chisolm – 12
Boba Chette – 10
Rowdy Tellez – 10
CJ Abrams – 5
Kevin Gausman – 20
Nasty Nester – 10

These are some other guys I have:

Bednar – 12
Montgomery – 8
Tovar – 10
T Estrada – 10
Sandoval – 12
MJ Melendez – 10

My question is, are their anyone from the ‘ other guys ‘ list that you would put in the 11 keepers list and if so, who would you take out? In this league , most teams keep their closers and in drafts they are often, for my taste anyways, overpriced. For this reason I tried to have Bednar in the top list, but couldn’t find the room. I thought of dropping Cron and just redrafting him again for probably a few more $$$$, but , as you can see, this team has plenty of speed and it made me clutch a little tighter to Cron and Tellez. FYI , Devers will be available to draft this year and I plan to snag him as my third baseman even if the bidding gets to $40.

second question.

How was your visit to NJ? I believe you were here when we had that mini cold snap. Not your favorite weather I know, but hope you had a good east coast visit.

As always, thanks in advance for your insights and thanks to January Grey for being so cool that he was available on Patreon in December. Also thanks to Scarlett Johannson for no particular reason other than existing.

Last edited 13 days ago by Ace of Spades
silky johnson
silky johnson
13 days ago

Grey, love your guys’ stuff. I may go total Sleeper staff in one or two leagues this year. I’ll report back.

Speaking of Joe Ryan, keeper question.

Roto 5×5, OBP and QS. $260 Auction keeper, with $5 increase to contract in following seasons.

Can keep four of the following:

Witt ($23)
Swanson ($12)
O. Cruz ($4)
Manoah ($16)
Joe Ryan ($6)
Lodolo ($5)
CJ Abrams ($3)
Gonsolin ($1)

Cheers

Phil
Phil
13 days ago

Hey Grey, in a 12-team Yahoo roto league that is 6×6 (OPS and holds), you get to keep three players straight-up. I’m already keeping Kyle Tucker. Which of the following two (2) would you keep:

Matt Olson
Daulton Varsho (C eligible in Yahoo)
Shane McClanahan
Jazz Chisolm

Jimmy
Jimmy
13 days ago

Thank you for making morning coffee better than it already is! Keeper question…13 team dynasty 5×5 keep Trevor Rogers and drop Bader…pretty stacked in CF…Harris-Springer-McCarthy-Adolis….Thanks for all you do!

Phil
Phil
13 days ago

Hey Grey, I hope you can answer a keeper question, and apologies in advance for the wordy explanation. Since it’s the offseason, there are not as many comments as in-season, so hopefully this doesn’t annoy you much.

I’m in a 12-team Yahoo roto league, 7×5 (the two added “batter” categories are OPS-great-and ERRORS-I hate it but it’s a category). You must keep 4 players in exchange for a draft pick. The value of the draft pick depends on how long you’ve kept a player (each year you keep a player, you half-life it from the round you drafted him…so if you drafted Julio Rodriguez in the 17th round last year, you keep him for the 17th round pick this year, a 9th round pick next year, a 5th round pick the following year, etc…free agent pickups are attached 24th round value).

I am currently planning to keep Mookie Betts (1st round value but is eligible for 2B in my league and remember that errors are a category, so Betts has added value here); Lindor (3rd round), and Cease (6th round). Not much draft pick value here relative to some other competitors, but it is what it is…my quandary is my 4th pick, and I can’t comfortably settle on who…right now it’s between Corbin Carroll (24th round), Schwarber (7th round) or Ty France (10th round…I know it seems weird, but he is 3B eligible and if he plays 1B he will add value for the Errors category, and I hate how shallow 3B is this year, especially in a keeper league). Some other options are closers (Duran and Bautista with 24th round value each) or Kirk in the 23rd, or Matt Olson in the 2nd round, but I don’t like them as much as the first three I’m waffling on.

WWGD (what would Grey do) if he had to decide on the 4th keeper?

llango5021
llango5021
13 days ago

Grey,
please rank these guys in a keeper league – Joe Ryan, Kirby, and Logan Gilbert.

Will we see a sleeper column on Kirby or Gilbert? hmmm

have a great weekend!

galica1234
galica1234
13 days ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!!

a. To quote Brand Nubian ‘you’re the first thing when the telephone ring!’

b. As much as I love these sleepers, love just the idea of you talking about how Correa went from SF to NYM and then home again to Minny! Just can’t wait!

c. Have a nice weekend!

Cheers,
Ante