We’re now about three weeks into the season, obviously still a very small sample to work with but it’s worth taking a look at current trends around the league.  Some young guys around the league are having a great start helping their long term value while others are on the opposite side of the spectrum.  On the other side of things, there are some older players who are showing signs of decline that you’ll need to make a decision on.  In this article, I’m going to look at these players and talk about their current stock and what I’d do from here.  Let’s get right to it:

Stock Up

Taijuan Walker – Despite spending a long time in the spotlight as an elite prospect, Walker is still only 23 years old.  His first 37 starts over 3 seasons were subpar on the whole.  Walker started to come on strong at the end of last season and it’s carried over to this year.  In his three starts so far, he has a 1.50 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 14 K’s in 18 innings.  While we’d like to see the K’s up, only have 2 walks in 18 innings is outstanding for his future.  Walker’s FIP is also 2.70 meaning despite the big strikeout totals, this isn’t really luck.  I think at the end of the season, Walker will end as a #2 starting pitcher with the upside for more down the line.  I’m holding him where I have him and looking to buy him if I can.

Vincent Velasquez – Yes, I know that his three stars have come against the Padres and the Mets twice.  However, there’s no denying his upside if he can keep the walks down.  Between AA and the Astros last season, Velasquez’s BB/9 was in the mid 3’s.  After walking 3 in his first start against the Mets, he hasn’t walked anybody in his last two.  That, along with simply staying healthy, are the two concerns here.  As much as the Astros like Ken Giles, they wouldn’t have moved Velasquez for him if they didn’t have injury concerns over his arm.  It’s likely that the Phillies shut him down late in the season which makes things a big difficult in keeper leagues for people contending this season.  I’d hold him where I have him and in regards to buying, it depends how much I want to gamble.  I’d be much more inclined to get him on a rebuilding team.  Personally, I’d take the gamble because there’s ace potential here.

Trevor Story – Everyone knows about his insane start (insert fire emojis here) but there are some reasons I’d look to sell high here.  One, his K rate is through the roof; in 71 plate appearances Story has struck out a whopping 27 times.  That’s 273 times over 162 games which puts a massive cap on what Story can do, especially with his on base percentage (currently sitting at .310).  His ISO right now is .470 which we can simply say is unsustainable.  The other worry (short term only) is that if he slumps later on and Jose Reyes is on the roster, they’ll probably give Reyes his fair share of games to try to give Reyes some semblance of trade value. I’d look to move Story to somebody who thinks Coors magic will keep him crushing homers while at the end of the day, he’s probably only a little more than a 20/15 guy with a .250 average.  That carries plenty of value but nowhere near where his stock is right now.

Dexter Fowler – Fowler is remarkably #9 on the Razzball Player Rater so far (link to player rater here ).  He’s done his part and the team is mashing behind him.  That said, I think we know what Fowler is at this point no matter what team he’s on.  The runs should continue to be outstanding, in fact he’s a good bet to lead the league there.  That said, the average, home run and RBI pace are all surely to come down.  The thing is that I suspect he doesn’t have much value in keeper leagues anyways.  If I owned him, I’d just hold and let the good times roll unless somebody made you a real offer for him.  I wouldn’t target him in a trade unless his owner isn’t overvaluing his start.

Bryce Harper – I’m only including him here because he’s probably in his own tier now long term.  As good as Mike TroutCarlos Correa and Manny Machado are, Harper is mashing and proving last season wasn’t a fluke.  He’s still only 23 years old too.  If you own him, don’t trade him.

 

Stock Down

Albert Pujols – It’s been a rough start for Pujols and it’s only gotten worse lately as he’s in the midst of a 0-19 slump.  Pujols is 36 years old so could we be looking at the end?  I’m saying no because he slumped at the start of last season as well and he’s been working the count well allowing him to maintain a decent walk rate.  If I owned him, I’m probably holding unless you can sell him based on name value alone.  Last season’s .244 average should be repeatable and if he provides 30ish home runs again, then you’re getting plenty of value, especially if you got him in the 9th round like Grey.

Carlos Gomez – Gomez has been atrocious to this point with no home runs, only 1 RBI and a .237 OBP.  He’s 30 years old now and the steals disappeared last season.  After 3 seasons of 34+ steals, Gomez had only 17 last season and had his worst success rate of his career getting caught 9 times.  He’s currently batting 7th in the lineup which is also going to hurt his counting stats quite a bit.  With all of the talent the Astros have, it’ll take an injury for him to move back up.  I don’t own him anywhere but if I did, I’d be looking to sell immediately to somebody paying for his past.

Jose Abreu – In his last 11 games, Abreu is 4 for 40 with 2 runs, a home run and 3 RBI’s.  On the season, he’s only hitting .180.  Am I concerned?  Not really.  He’s walking at a normal rate and more importantly, he’s 29 years old.  Abreu should be in his prime or at least still close to his peak so this should just be a normal downswing.  I still expect him to get 30/100 and a .280+ average at the end of the day so hold if you have him and make some buy low offers if you don’t.

Corey Kluber – I feel like everybody who has owned Kluber last season hates him even though he was extremely unlucky to post a 3.49 ERA.  Even with the horrible start this season, his FIP is sitting at 3.35 meaning it should turn around.  The strikeouts are terrific and is usually is accompanied by a strong BB/9.  I’m buying everywhere I can.

Luis Severino – I was down on him to start the season and I see no reason to change now.  The biggest bright spot is that he has only walked one batter in 16.2 innings.  Unfortunately for him and the Yankees, he’s given up a whopping 25 hits and only has 11 strikeouts.  The division is full of top notch lineups and that’s not going to change any time soon.  For the long term, I’ll also concerned about him staying as a starting pitcher with that delivery.  I think that he’ll eventually have to go to the bullpen and with all of the horses the Yankees have, he won’t be closing.  If I had him in a dynasty, I’d look to trade him as soon as possible and I’d probably just drop him in standard 12’ers.

That’s all for now guys.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  I’ll be back next week with a new post on something else from a keeper perspective.  Take care!

 
  1. Sasquatch slugger says:
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    I like this post..not just because I own Walker and Kluber everywhere! Keeper forever league.
    My ?’s are:
    Who to keep(better upside) Lindor or Trea Turner?
    Who to keep(better upside) Manaea or Berrios?
    Thanks..keep it up!.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Sasquatch slugger: I would go with Lindor somewhat closely long term and Berrios by quite a bit. I love Berrios’ upside. Thanks!

  2. Phil B.

    phil says:
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    I have Story for cheap in a keeper. He was a bonus basically. But what are theoretical, ceteris paribus, guys you would think would be acquirable? The guys on the sell list? Buy low on a guy like Archer? My team doesn’t have any holes and I don’t want to bore you with my league settings.

    A lot of people are saying sell high on Story, I just don’t know what’s worth getting. Like would you offer Story for Walker and feel good about it? Thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @phil: The fact that he’s a bonus and not a key component of your team makes it a bit unclear. It wouldn’t bore me with the league settings, it would probably help actually, especially how many teams are in the league. Generally, I defer to the batter over the pitcher and those guys are in the same ballpark. If you don’t have any holes, I might just let it ride with Story and see what happens.

  3. Matt says:
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    Keep forever league (no cost) 5×5 OBP H2H

    CI is Rizzo, Machado, Freeman, Pujols, Sano (for now 3b)
    MI is Forsythe, Castro, Semien, Baez, Kang

    I do have Aledmys Diaz and Ozzie Albies in Minor/Rookie slots right now but MI is a little weak, CI is strong
    Would you look to shop Pujols or Freeman(still young) and if so what kind of MI return would we want?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Matt: Yeah it makes sense to consider moving one of those two. What makes it difficult is you have the elite guys at MI and then a big dropoff. I’m not sure you can get a Lindor or Seager type for say, Freeman and one of your MI (Baez maybe?) but I would be all over that if you could. Being an OBP league also hurts Pujols quite a bit so I’d try to move him first unless you’re getting a bigger piece.

  4. Tom says:
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    What are your thoughts on Anthony Rendon? Hasn’t done much of anything. Was 2014 a fluke and this is more the real Anthony Rendon?

    Also, what about McCutchen? Do you think he turns it around?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Tom: I think 2014 was quite fluky at this point. I still think he can be a top 100 fantasy player but it’s obvious to me at this point that being a top 10 player was an outlier. I tend to believe this is the real Rendon.

      In my first keeper article, I said that I was lower on McCutchen than most. I do think he will turn it around to some extent, he should end up a top 25 player this year still, but this is the beginning of the decline in my opinion.

      • Tom says:
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        Thank you!

        I want to believe Rendon can turn it around, but would you look at a guy like Tomas or Lamb instead? Or I could move Bryant from OF to 3B and pick up a guy like Burns. Would they be a better option than Rendon?

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Tom: Hmm. I think I would stick with Rendon for another couple weeks and if it doesn’t get better, then I’d look to make a move. Those three guys all have their own problems as well.

  5. The Situation says:
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    Stock Down

    Francisco Liriano… Any thoughts?? Sell or hold? (Minor caveat- have him in a H2H, so will need him most in August/September, during the playoffs).

    Nice article Viz!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @The Situation: Thanks! I’m still holding Liriano, he’s prone to some duds but he also has monster games on a semi-regular basis. It makes things a bit frustrating in head to heads but Liriano generally settles as a #3 in 12 man at the end of the year.

  6. David says:
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    Would you trade Trout for Rizzo and Belt in a keeper league? Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @David: Wow that’s a tough one but I think I’m holding Trout. He’s actually 2 years younger than Rizzo and I don’t think Belt moves the needle enough.

  7. Rusty Arms says:
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    Speaking of sleeping Giants. What about Stanton? Will he awake from his sleep? I was offered Stanton and Stroman for Arrieta. I could use a bat would you do this deal or let er sleep? Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Rusty Arms: I think he will turn things around, I was high on him going into the season and he just needs to stay healthy. If you need the bat, I would do this deal. As good as Arrieta is, I’ll take the bat over the pitcher if it’s comparable and Stanton can mash.

  8. jb says:
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    My pitching ratios have been horrendous so far this year…would you do this trade in a 12 team 4×4 league (no runs no k’s)
    Harper, Franco, Archer, DavidHernandez, and Tyson ross(odorizzi is DL replacement) for JD martinez, Lawrie, Kershaw, Cishek and sonny gray??

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @jb: I think I’m taking the Harper side and would just drop David Hernandez for somebody on the waiver wire. Archer and Odorizzi won’t stay this bad and I couldn’t bring myself to trade Harper, even getting Kershaw back.

  9. Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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    trade Souza for Adam Jones in a keeper league?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry: It’s close but I think I’d hold. I’m not a big Jones fan and I think the decline is already starting. I think your league settings and the rest of your team also matters though to the point where it could swing things.

      • Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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        @Viz: outfield is strong with Bautista Betts Upton Piscotty Dickerson Souza and Souza can be kept for $6 next year

        OBP league where pitching is stronger as there’s no MI or CI position and only 3 OF spots, but 2 utility

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry: Damn that’s a nice group. Being an OBP league, I’m holding, that hurts Jones quite a bit while boosting Souza.

  10. alps88 says:
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    with francisco rodriguez down
    who is a better option for saves
    wilson or lowe

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @alps88: I would guess that they turn to Lowe.

  11. Dustin says:
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    I just traded grichuck and severino for fowler tonight. Hopefully it works out.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Dustin: I like it, even though Fowler won’t be this good all year, I really don’t like Severino and the Cards are jerking Grichuk around.

      • Montezuma's Revenge...right now says:
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        @Viz: STL recently stopped (seemingly) jerking grichuk around, he got the real fear of being benched and learned how to BB, something that he NEVER has done, at any level.

  12. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    I’m liking this Viz – have Lord Taijuan and Vincent on several of my keeper/dynasty teams.

    Quick question(s) for a 10-team (5 OF + MI,CI, etc.) – would you:

    Drop David Peralta (5th OF) or Schoop (Util) for any of:
    Khris Davis, Kendrys Morales, Yasmany, Span, Souza?

    and for the pitchers. drop Hendricks or Odorizzi for:
    Pomeranz, Roark, Estrada, Jaime Garcia

    thanks man

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Of that the available batters in the group, I like Khris Davis the most despite the slow start. That said, I like Peralta and Schoop too. I really think you could go either way on those three and you’d be fine.

      For the pitchers, I’m holding for now. Hendricks’ numbers don’t look good but he’s been pretty unlucky, his FIP is 2.65. Same goes with Odorizzi who’s at 2.74 and I expect the WHIP to come down. I do like Estrada and if you can stream, playing the matchups with those guys could work. That said, Estrada’s k rate went way down last year so that still concerns me a bit and that’s why I’m holding.

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Viz: thanks man. the trouble with streaming is it $.50 a waiver move, so kind of a deterrent.

        Right now my staff (all P positions) is:
        Arrieta
        Scherzer
        Salazar
        Walker
        McGee
        Ramos
        Rodney
        Gomez
        Odorizzi
        Hendricks
        Glasnow

        With Darvish and E-Rod on the DL.

        should I just hold tight with all, including Glasnow (instead of the Pomeranz, Roark, Estrada, Jaime Garcia types)? it is a keep-10 league. even the gausman/eickoff types are rostered…

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @SheriffMcRawDawg: Yeah I’d just hold with what you have, that rotation should be really good in due time. I’d rather have Glasnow’s upside for later than holding somebody fringe.

  13. Steven says:
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    Would you consider keeping walker in a points league over archer after this year?
    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Steven: There’s a long way to go but I can definitely see a scenario where you keep Walker over him yes.

  14. PepStreebek says:
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    Good stuff Viz, thanks!

    But really curious about the lack of Severino love? ~.400 BABIP, 2.87xFIP/3.14 SIERA, microscopic walk rate, and 95+mph gas. And all that at only 22 years old! Obviously not a fan of the low Swstr% so I get that, but he had tons of swing and miss throughout the minors so he’s at least shown the ability before.

    If I was in a keeper league seems like that’s a guy you buy hard, rather than sell hard.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @PepStreebek: There’s a few things here. First, his FIP last year was 4.37 and it sits at 3.51 this year so not sure where you are getting that from. Right now, he’s so worried about keeping his walks down that he’s grooving stuff down the middle. He can surely adjust but there’s a lot of growing pains in the process here. Most importantly for me, and as someone with a statistics background it pains me to go by feel, but I just can’t see his arm holding up as a starter with that delivery. It hurts me just looking at his delivery and I don’t see how he can repeat that in the long term. There are exceptions to the rule e.g. Chris Sale but more often than not, those guys end up bullpen arms.

      • PepStreebek says:
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        @Viz: Well I referenced xFIP, not FIP, that’s why those numbers are different. Great point on his delivery though, that’s always something to consider at least in the back of your mind.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @PepStreebek: Ah okay, sorry that’s my fault. He laid another big egg today and while it’s still a small sample, I think my concerns are clearly justified at this point.

  15. Chad Donaldson says:
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    Dynasty league, I’m looking to move McCutchen for Walker/Braun? Like it or love it?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chad Donaldson: I’d say it’s more like / I’m okay with it than love. While I do expect the Cutch decline from this point, he’s still a few years younger than Braun is and is better going forward. It’s obviously great to get Taijuan which is why I’m fine with it but it’s not a slam dunk.

  16. Bosox says:
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    Hanley or freeman ROS

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Bosox: Depends a bit on the scoring system and I’m down on both but I’d go Freeman.

  17. Tigerzz says:
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    which side do you like in a dynasty? both teams looking to win now and in the next couple of years.

    Polanco/Benintendi
    or
    Pollock/Kemp

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Tigerzz: Wow that’s tough. I think I’d go with the first side. For this year, I doubt Pollock is coming back and Polanco > Kemp, even ignoring the chance Benintendi comes up at some point. Long term, I’m a huge Polanco fan and Kemp is clearly on the downside of things. Benintendi is a very good prospect and I’d take Polanco over Pollock long term given age difference and Pollock’s injury history.

      • AU! says:
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        @Viz: Thanks!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @AU!: No problem! Hope it works out.

  18. Bill Lumbergh says:
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    Followed your advice and traded Severino in a 16 team dynasty, where I took over a roster. Turned Severino and Al Escobar into Semien and Gleyber Torres. How’d I do?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Bill Lumbergh: I like it. Again, I don’t want to base things off this small of a sample but my concerns are definitely justified after Severino was smacked around again. I like Semien too, he could move up in the A’s lineup soon.

  19. Schwab says:
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    Great Stuff,
    Was offered Goldy, Strasburg, Jose Fernandez and Castro for Harper. It’s an 8 team H2H Point Based League. We all keep 15 every year. Thoughts?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Schwab: Wow that’s a crazy offer. I think I’d have to do it, that’s the #3 overall player for me right now plus 2 young aces, just so much for one player. I guess it depends who you have in your 15 keepers but you probably have to do it.

  20. TommyBoy says:
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    Can you look at my farm team and let me know if I can make any improvements, I am a franchise team, any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    1B A.J Reed
    1B C.Bellinger
    SS J.Pelanco
    3B C.Moran
    OF B.Phillips, B.MckInney

    P J.Flaherty, T.Glasnow, B.Johnson, J.Kaprielian, M.Kopech, R.Lopez, J.Musgrove, C.Rea,
    J.Sheffield.

    Available are: OF A.Verdugo, SS R.Giron, SS G.Wilkerman, OF L.Taveras, 2B/SS I.Diaz, SP R.Davis

    Thoughts on who I should pickup and drop, thanks :)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @TommyBoy: Wow that’s quite a deep farm system, even to the point that I don’t even recognize some of the guys. I like Verdugo quite a bit although I’m not sure where he plays in L.A. with Joc in the way. Perhaps he’s used as a trade piece. I’d probably just one of the backend pitchers you have although it depends on the state of your roster; if you’re stacked with hitters, then keep the extra pitchers. Conversely, if you’re strong on pitchers, I’d drop a few of the bottom end pitchers for hitters.

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