If you’ve been following along with my fantasy baseball sleepers (not clickbait at all), you could’ve seen a Kenta Maeda sleeper post coming. I only mentioned him in nearly every sleeper post so far, or sofa if a furniture salesman is reading. Here’s Kenta Maeda with the Swinging Strike leaders:

Here’s Kenta Maeda with the weak contact leaders:

Trying to find the difference between Kenta Maeda and elite pitchers is like being in Trader Joe’s and seeing this:

This has become a Bleacher Report slideshow. Here’s what Kenta Maeda does to me:

Thank you for joining my Ted Talk, please subscribe to my Soundcloud and sign up for my Patreon and download my LinkedIn and get me a job. So, what can we expect from Kenta Maeda for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Last part first, I think Kenta Maeda is a sleeper because it’s unclear how Dave Bobs will use him. The assumption is because Maeda finished the year in middle relief that he will somehow not be a starter. He always ends up in middle relief at some point. Maeda also finds his way into the rotation every year too. In 2018, 20 games starter and 19 appearances in middle relief. Then last year, he had 26 games started and 11 games in middle relief. He also ended the year as the 34th best starter last year. If he’s getting 150 IP, which he did last year, I don’t think it matters how he gets there. The Dodgers can go with a 10-man rotation of Jimmy Nelson, Ross Stripling, Dustin May, Rick Reuschel, Rick Rhoden, Ravishing Rick Rude…I don’t care, Maeda will get 150 IP. Last year he had the 22nd best strikeout rate for pitchers with 150 IP, and seven of them had higher walk rates (Maeda’s was 2.99). At his current ADP, he’s not a sleeper, he’s a steal, yo. Honestly, I dug through him with a fine-toothed comb like the giant afro pick in Spaceballs and I couldn’t find any reason to not draft Maeda. You have the swinging strike and weak contact above in screenshots. In addition, he has the sixth best slider in the majors, above Jack Flaherty and Kershaw, to name two. Out of the five guys above him, the only guy with a changeup better than Maeda’s is Jacob deGrom. The next closest is Justin Verlander. It’s seriously hard to find a category where Maeda is not surrounded by the best pitchers in baseball. Maeda’s expected batting average was .216. Now commence hysterical laughter. Average expected batting average in all of the majors was .251. His xBA was 10th in the majors, between Lucas Giolito and Chris Paddack. Seriously, he’s always sandwiched between great starters! He had the 8th best expected SLG, right behind Mike Clevinger. Okay, I guess if you really twist my arm to find a peccadillo, his fly balls were a little high (literally), and it could make him prone to home runs. But he’s in a great park, goes to Petco and San Fran so much, and you bench him in Coors. Speaking of which, his ERA last year would’ve been 3.92 instead of 4.04 (he gave up 8 ER in 13 1/3 IP in Coors). Not saying 3.92 ERA is elite–Wait a minute, have you seen pitching? Maeda would’ve been top three for the Cy Young without Coors. Okay, I kid, but Maeda is a solid bet for a mid-to-high 3 ERA with great Ks. For his current price, he’s someone I’m targeting in every league. For 2020, I’ll give Kenta Maeda projections of 10-9/3.67/1.10/162 in 152 IP with a chance for much more. Oh, and barring something crazy, rankings start on Monday. You’re welcome!

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Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
2 years ago

Hey sunGrey!

1. In a keep forever league, I can trade my $5 Villar for a $8 Meadows (roto league). Would you do it and is it close?

FWIW I should be good for SB, as I’m also keeping Acuna yelich story.

2. In the same league I might be able to get a $1 Soler instead of Meadows. Any preference?

Thanks!

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks again!

Ben
Ben
2 years ago

Hard to have seen myself asking this question before last season, but how do you rank Muncy, Goldy, Carlos Santana for a 1B?

And are you taking Semien or Tim Anderson if you have to pick one? I’m guessing both are in your top 100.

Thanks Grey.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

Hi Grey- I know rankings start soon, but any chance I can get a top 100 preview of Aquino? Debating trading Muncy or Semien and keeping Aquino instead in a 12 team keep 10. Thanks!

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks! They are all well within the top 100? And all better keepers than Eduardo Escobar, right?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks Grey- I’m considering making a trade before your rankings all come out to move extra keepers… I know, I know, big risk on my part. Hopefully I don’t mess my team up too badly.

Powdered Toast Man
Powdered Toast Man
2 years ago

Grey- José Urquidy? Is he worth keeping over Matt Boyd in an AL only or are both these guys so meh it’s better keeping a Wily Adames. In guess I’m asking- is Urquidy a sleeper?

Powdered Toast Man
Powdered Toast Man
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks January Grey- looking forward to the rankings.

Kutty
Kutty
2 years ago

Anybody got any of them Grey’s 2020 rankings?

ChrisL
ChrisL
2 years ago

Keep 5 with OBP and no picks lost:

Rizzo
Matt Chapman
Bregman
Rendon
B Reynolds
G Cole
S Bieber
T Glasnow
J McNeil
T Anderson
Benintendi

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

I need to commeserate, I got kicked out of league for protesting (vehemently, I might add) a trade I made that was vetoed. 10 team league. My team had Acuna, Yelich, Soto, Schrezer, Tatis, Jordan on it. I’m going to miss that team, I’ll probably never have one like it again.

Chris
Chris
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

That I did! Lol Looking forward to new team, your advice is invaluable

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
2 years ago

Hey Grey – Luis Robert is the only high end prospect available for drafting in my keep forever 12 team roto league (rest are rostered). Around how high would you bid on him in the auction out of $260?

Two years ago I snagged Acuna for $23 in this league and that’s by far the Highest a prospect without mlb time has gone.

SwaggerJackers
SwaggerJackers
2 years ago

I”ve enjoyed owning Maeda the last couple seasons. Just need to move him before it gets too late in the season.

I’m trying to decide if I should stick around in a 10 team roto daily league for one more season. There are seven keepers but it’s a fairly pricey league that I don’t particularly enjoy. Based on these potential keepers, do you think I should stick around?

Lindor
Soto
Bryant
JD Mart
Suarez
Soler
Snell
Berrios
Bauer

LOLmets
LOLmets
2 years ago

Pitching feels as deep as it’s ever been. How many starters will you draft in the first 10 rounds of your drafts on avg?

Tbone
Tbone
2 years ago

Who do you prefer long term? Machado or Ohtani

Donkey Teeth
Admin
Reply to  Tbone
2 years ago

It’s Ohtani by a mile for me long term

Tina Turner
Tina Turner
2 years ago

Need my 6th keeper…what do you think? Shallow dynasty league.

Acuna
Vlad
Tatis
Bellinger
Mondesi

Adell or Paddack

Tina Turner
Tina Turner
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks Grey

Squat Cobblers
Squat Cobblers
2 years ago

Good work Grey!

Not sure why the resistance to Kenta. Last year, he ranked 150 or so on the EOS, 15-team, player rater with 154 IP. His 15-team ADP over the last month is 195 or so. If he does what he just did….he’s a bargain.

Also, I believe his public complaints in November will carry some weight. He’s not a rookie. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see 165-175 IP. If so, he’ll be an absolute steal.

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
2 years ago

You in or out on Dahl this year Grey?

Got a counter in my offer of my Eloy for his Olson and Mack Gore in a 15 team keep 11 obp. He wants me to throw in Dahl with my Eloy

JP
JP
2 years ago

Happy New Year Grey. 6×6 roto AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB, and OBP. 14 team league. I need a MI and have an abundance of outfielders. I like Edman and was thinking of offering Benintendi for him, what say you? Thank you and have a great weekend.

JP
JP
Reply to  JP
2 years ago

In looking at the two of them I was surprised how close a deal I think it might be. Thanks for profiling him and making me take a second look at Edman

DonnieB
DonnieB
2 years ago

In a 12 team auction keeper, I plan to keep Yelich at $33 for one year, Buehler at $10 for one year and Corbin at $4 for one year. I can keep 8 players. Who are my other 5 from this group:
Springer at $33 for 2 years
Grandal at $3 for one year
E. Escobar at $2 for 2 years
Laureano at $10 for 2 years
Arenado at $58 for 2 years
T Bauer at $16 for one year
Soroka at $10 for 2 years
Gallen at $10 for 2 years
R Osuna at $10 for one year
L Hendriks at $10 for 2 years
Will Smith,C, at $10 for 2 years
Thanks always. I know this can be a moving target throughout the off season but it helps if you might be considering trades. Thanks again.

Donkey Teeth
Admin
Reply to  DonnieB
2 years ago

I’d go Soroka, Escobar, laureano for sure. The other two depend a little on league inflation and maybe format.

How much would you expect Arenado and Springer to go for at auction? If you think they’re both discounted then go with them. Osuna and Hendriks are nice prices if it’s roto, Grandal at 3 is a good option too.

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
2 years ago

Think I just received my first trade offer to acquire trout that I would have to turn down…

his $27 trout for my $29 Acuna and $16 story

(Keep forever)

Acuna side by a long shot, right?

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks

Will
Will
2 years ago

I used to draft Maeda every season until I finally read his contract and realized the Dodgers have absolutely zero incentive to let him get beyond 25 starts / 160 innings in a season. They’d have to pay him nearly $5.3 million in contract incentives if he reaches 32 starts and 200 innings (look at the breaks, they’re insane):

https://www.truebluela.com/2016/1/7/10733574/kenta-maeda-contract-details-dodgers-risk-bonuses

So LA moves him to the bullpen every year right about at the 150 innings mark due to his poor (for him) contract language. Dude should have fired his agent.

Ranking next week! Next you’ll tell me the Cubs are actually going to sign a MLB free agent this offseason. Can’t wait for the ranking, Grey!

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Inorite? What a concept, trying to get better in the offseason. My buddy the White Sox fan on the other hand is positively giddy at all their moves.

Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
2 years ago

January Grey

Today is my birthday. I would like to thank you in advance ( as always ) for my birthday present which I will begin to open ( barring something crazy of course ) on Monday and will last into February. BTW, Happy next week birthday to you as well.

My question for today is, 14 team auction ( keep up to 11 ) standard cats , mixed league, $260 . Out of these 14 players ( complete with their current dollar values which increase each year ) which 11 would you keep. Or to make it easier, which 3 would you throw back into free agency. fyi, I am guessing, because they are now too expensive to keep, that these will be some studs that will be available to bid on come draft day, just to add a little more to the equation: Trout, Mookie, Bryce, JD Mart, Freeman, Rizzo, Goldy, Story, Lindor, Arenado and quite a few ace pitchers that I will not be bidding on.
As always, thanks in advance. I now go into my weekend of anticipation for my second Christmas morning ( Jan 13th )

Anyways, here are the 14 that I am trying to cut to 11.

A Meadows – $9
O Mercado – $10
W Calhoun – $10
S Kingery – $10
Treat Urner – $20
Vladdy jr. – $12
O Albies – $ 14
J Abreu – $25
N Cruz – $22
L Urias – $10
W Buehler – $12
S Bieber – $17
R Yarbrough – $10
A Colombe – $11

Smitty
2 years ago

Rick Rhoden, Rick Reuschel…hahaha. Doesn’t matter Kenta will get his! I recall him saying he wasn’t happy with the way he was being used a month or two ago, calling D. Rob out. Being on the hotseat I think Robber-ts accomodates and Maeda gets his wish. I believe he responds with a career year, regardless. BTW happy to see Snell & L. Castillo joining Kenta on those lists!
Where’s Buehler?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Buehler has the day off!

Smitty
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

LOL MP – Grey happy birthday party in advance!

Smitty
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Gonna be great!

TualatinTwoStep
TualatinTwoStep
2 years ago

What’s up Grey?

What do you think of Jose Martinez’ move to Tampa? Seems like a perfect fit to me.

Also, in a super deep 2 catcher dynasty league, do you like Roberto Perez and/or Tom Murphy more than the pitchers I am currently planning on jettisoning for them: Keller, Lucchesi, and Odorizzi?

TualatinTwoStep
TualatinTwoStep
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

You think the Rays gave up one of the best pitching prospects in baseball for a platoon player? Man, I think he has a clear path to regular AB’s at DH with a sprinkle of OF and 1B starts.

Thanks for the reply, my leaguemates are catcher whores so I am hesitant to drop Murphy or Perez. Also own Mejia, and was thinking between the 3 of them I might actually have a reasonable amount of catcher appearances lol.

Looking forward to the rankings as always!

The Great Knoche
2 years ago

Rankings Start Monday! I feel just like the Pointer Sisters except fat and bald.

Can’t wait to argue over only 10 of the 750ish players you will be discussing over next 4 weeks.

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  The Great Knoche
2 years ago

Haha! So true! Sorry in advance, Grey!

Gator
Gator
2 years ago

How much does Mondesi’s injury worry you for 2020? Is he a Top 50 overall still?

Snacks Zillion
Snacks Zillion
2 years ago

My only points league is on Fantrax, its a semi – public league and I traded Strasburg and Brian Reynolds for Soto to a team that was light on pitchers but deep on out fielders and it got vetoed. Question is, isnt “value” a team needs based speculation? I know Soto is ranked higher than Stras but this trade helped both teams. I never veto unless someone was obviously taken advantage of but is this trade honestly that lopsided? Thanks. and btw, my prick adult fratboy brother in law who got smoked last year (thanks to DT and Greys early crystal ball predictions on Yordan, thanks guys!!) was the first dipshit to veto.

Snacks Zillion
Snacks Zillion
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks Fantasy Master Lothario!!

treat earner
treat earner
2 years ago

love ken tomato

unfortunately the Doyers screw with his IP and starts to avoid the escalators in his contract. Cant rely on consistent starting innings from him which hurts value in most scoring formats

The Red Onion
The Red Onion
2 years ago

Grey, I’m looking for some keeper advice please!

12 Team Weekly H2H Points Keeper League

Scoring for Batting: 1B/BB/HP = 1 pt., R/RBI = 1.25 pts., 2B/SB = 2 pts., 3B = 3 pts., HR = 4 pts.
Scoring for Pitching: W/Sv = 10 pts., BBI/HA/HB = -0.5 pt., ER = -1 pt., INN = 2 pts., K = 1 pt.

$300 auction budget and player salaries indicate years remaining before facing a $5 increase.
Each team keeps 7 players so inflation can get pretty crazy (the top guys available in the draft typically go for $45-65.)

Who should my 7 keepers be?

C – Vazquez (1 yr @ $15)
1B – Olson (2 yrs @ $17)
2B – Chavis (1 yr @ $15)
3B – Chapman (2 yrs @ $21)
SS – Bogaerts (1 yr @ $16)
OF – Soto (1 yr @ $15)
OF – Robles (3 yrs @ $1)
OF – Schwarber (1 yr @ $15)
U – Bichette (2 yrs @ $1)

P – Bieber (1 yr @ $15)
P – Paddack (3 yrs @ $1)
P – Luzardo (2 yrs @ $15)
P – Lester (2 yrs @ $28)
P – Mikolas (1 yr @ $2)
P – Anibal (1 yr @ $15)
P – D. German (2 yrs @ $1)

Thanks in advance!

DonnieB
DonnieB
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I would do Bichette over Chapman at those prices even though I like Chapman a lot.

The Red Onion
The Red Onion
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

This is what I was thinking too. Thanks, guys.

Silent Heat
Silent Heat
2 years ago

Kenta means Healthy, Strong, Thick and Big in Japenese. Do with that whatever you think is (in)appropriate.

Rudy
Rudy
2 years ago

“Oh, and barring something crazy, rankings start on Monday. You’re welcome!”
No, thank you. You made my day. Always look forward to January Grey and rankings. Happy Birthday FML ! (oops I abbreviated)

Curtis Jones
Curtis Jones
Reply to  Rudy
2 years ago

OMG it’s January Grey! He’s almost here! I was too excited this year and am in the middle of my 4th and 5th Cutline drafts even without January Grey (but of course with lots of sleeper posts), but I can rest easy now knowing that I’ll be going into #6 and Roto drafts with January Grey at my side.

Thanks as always!

PoorWalt
PoorWalt
2 years ago

What about his home / road splits? Is be worth owning simply to start at home?

Beat the Bots
Beat the Bots
2 years ago

Great article, Julio Urias could have easily been a sleeper post as well (same situation 150IP, the starter/bullpen hybrid role)

toolshed
toolshed
2 years ago

I almost forgot or did I subconsciously try to erase it from my memory — remember when hill got hurt, they created a half of a starting pitcher to replace him with 2 guys. Urias/maeda/stripling/gonsolin, etc. 2 of the 4 combined for starts at certain points in the year to fill a starters spot where they each went a couple of innings instead of saying player x is now in the rotation. That’s way worse than using an opener. At least some guy for tampa will be in the mix for the win consistently. I wish I was making this stuff up. But owning the back end of the dodgers staff requires some patience and possibly some free space on your bench and is better for daily lineup leagues.

toolshed
toolshed
2 years ago

I’ve owned Maeda over the course of the last 2 years because of his peripherals. The one variable in the equation that I thought would be removed this year is D-ouche Roberts. Seriously, how did he keep his job again? I thought his F ups last year in the post season were unrecoverable even for him. Besides managing the LAD out of the playoffs, I thought he finally managed himself out of a job. Well, here we are again. Besides shuffling maeda in/out of relief, he pulls him out of games way too early even when he is pitching well and hasnt thrown alot of pitches. This kills him in qs leagues. He only had 9 qs in over 153 innings. He had 10 wins last year but 8 as a starter and the dodgers scored runs. As sexy as his peripherals stats were, his manager severely limits his fantasy value. Oh what could have been. Not saying I wont own him again, but the the dodger pitching staff is managed by a moron

MarkusJ
MarkusJ
2 years ago

Another guy I decided to move on from in my 14-team 15-keepers (plus 45 minor leaguers) league. This time via trade, but I still like his upside for the price.

Sorry for asking the same question as previous post, but the thread died since you keep posting new stuff all the time (great job!):

In the same league, I’m being offered Corey Kluber for Orelvis Martinez, seems like I should go for it right? After a few seasons of rebuilding I am contending starting this year, but will be even better in a few seasons with guys like Adell, Luzardo, Hiura being the core of the team.

Donkey Teeth
Admin
Reply to  MarkusJ
2 years ago

I’d want Kluber

goodfold2
goodfold2
2 years ago

do you know what’s going on with prospects live’s pages? they open still but the player list doesn’t load (i’m speaking of the team prospect list pages and the mock 1st year players draft page). been going on for a few hours, not my computer as i’ve tried a few and i cleaned my main one completely. tried different browsers, all that. pages don’t load. hopefully just an updating issue, not a great time for me here if this lingers. i’m guessing you don’t know about this but could probably ask ralph, i tried to find any contact info on the site, couldn’t find any. the pages themselves load but not the player data in the middle of the pages (so pretty much the only useful part of the pages). did work maybe 5ish hours ago, since.

– this note shows up where the info normaly should be: “data.prospectslive.com took too long to respond.” (that’s in chrome, in firefox it just shuts down)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
2 years ago

it’s back now. scratch this.

Al KOHOLIC
Al KOHOLIC
2 years ago

Yes. I’m more excited this year than normal. Thank to u and all the staff for keeping us going during the off season

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I imagine having completed three drafts to date I can throw myself in with the two of you. I like this second list. Hell, I own Flaherty, ERod, Wheeler each in 2/3 leagues. Maeda looks mighty impressive being on both lists. The biggest question is how he’ll be used. He definitely has some big upside!

Are you doing any other NFBC leagues, Grey?

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I’ve got two DCs and a ME Qualifier. I’ll probably do two more. Maybe one $125 Auction and possibly the new Solo Shot. If not that maybe a $500 Satellite. I’m going to limit it to two DCs and three others. Undecided on specifics.