Leody Taveras could’ve appeared in my fantasy baseball rookies series, but I wanted to put some extra shine on him, and, honestly, no one knows what constitutes a rookie this year. Sixto Sanchez received Rookie of the Year votes, and I think he’s eligible again in 2021. I say “I think” because the whole point of the last few sentences is no one knows! Right, so Leody Taveras, Wily’s son, Alex’s cousin, Frank’s brother, Jose’s uncle, Aneurys’s blood brother and Samuel Clemens Taveras, the celebrated frog of Taveras County. The Taveras family — La familiaras. Or not, I don’t know if Leody is related to anyone who’s played baseball before. Getting all the stuff I don’t know out of the way, so here’s what I do know:  Last year in 119 ABs, Leody Taveras went 20/4/6/.227/8. Mr. Prorater runs into a phone booth, tipping it over, but still makes a call, telling us, “Leody was on pace for a 100/20/30/.227/40 season, and if everyone was eating stacked pancakes at the same time, it would cause an eclipse of the sun.” Okay, not sure about Mr. Prorater’s math on either of those accounts, but lordy Leody that was a solid month of baseball. So, what can we expect from Leody Taveras and what makes him a sleeper?

You don’t need me to Mr. Shaibel you through the ins and outs of strategy on how to move your pieces around to win your league, but let me just say the quiet part real loud:  SPEED AND POWER MMM YUM. Got it, all you Normies and five Carlas? Leody Taveras is only 22 years old, so his power could be developing into more goodness, but let’s assume it is what it is as literally everyone said for like five years straight about six years ago. He has a 14.3 Launch Angle, which should lead to roughly a 37+% fly ball rate (it was 32.9% last year, but small samples). A 37% fly ball rate should lead to roughly 178 fly balls. Taveras is not built like a brickhouse. He’s built more like a Shed Long. But he has a 50 grade in raw power and who knows? Maybe he runs into 10% HR/FB. That would give him, you guessed it, 18 homers! We’re rounding. The bases, as it were. I’ll be honest, that feels optimistic. Steamer projects him for 13 homers in 133 games, and that feels optimistic too, but pessimistic on his games played. When all things are equal, 13 homers feels like a solid projection, but in more games.

Next up, his average. Last year he was bunking with Marla Gibbs at .227. (By the way, Leody is fast with a top 10% sprint speed, and why we care about his power and average. Okay, continuing on…) He had a 32.1 K% and if that were what to expect, I would tell you to forget about Willy Taveras Jr. But in the minor leagues, he regularly had a 15-17% strikeout rate and only barely dipped above 20% in Double-A (20.5%). He also had a 10.4% walk rate last year and 10+% at different stops in the minors. Lordy Leody didn’t show great plate discipline last year, but he can. He’s not Billy Hamilton. He doesn’t have 60+ steal speed, but won’t hit .180 either. He should have a .335+ BABIP and easily get his average above .250. If he does that, it’s hard to imagine the Rangers not instilling him as their leadoff man from the jump, and him having a year you’d want from Whit Merrifield, minus 30 points on average. For 2021, I’ll give Leody Taveras projections of 87/13/48/.253/26 in 587 ABs with a chance for more speed. Oh lordy Leody’s a sleeper!

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!!!!

    Great fantasy-sleeper report! Riveting even!

    a. Loved Leody last year, will love him again this year. He looks like he could be Arozarena Lite which could be good if Arozarena doesn’t play this year.

    b. Any news on where McCann landed? He’s asking for 40M for 4 years; many homer Toronto Blue Jay fans are saying that would be a steal. Don’t think it’s a priority (the Catcher position) for Toronto. What do you think?

    c. Today we celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday (well, if he were still alive it’d be even a better celebration!). I was supposed to be in Bonn to celebrate but corona nipped that one in the bud. Great, now I have live off wolfberry juice so I can be there for his 300th birthday!

    d. MLB quote of the for December 14, 2020

    1. Billy Buckner, born December 14, 1949

    ‘The fans like players who go all out, play hard. I do the best I can. I enjoy playing. That’s all I’ve done.’

    Bill Buckner in The Glendale News Press (Grant Gordon. Bill Buckner: Anything but a choke. November 17,2005)

    2. Craig Biggio born December 14, 1965

    ‘I get in that box, and I’m not thinking about moving because if I have to think about moving, I can’t hit like I want to hit.’

    Craig Biggio in Baseball Turf War Focuses on Inner Part of Plate (Baseball Digest : August 1998)

    3. Roger Maris, died December 14, 1985

    ‘When he (Roger Maris) hit it (home run #61 in 1961), he came into the dugout and they were all applauding. I mean, this is something that’s only happened once in baseball, right? And the people were all applauding. They wanted him to come back out. He wouldn’t come out, so the players had to push him back out. They forced him to come out and take a bow. That’s the kind of guy he was. He was great, and I really liked him.’

    Mickey Mantle in The Ultimate Yankee Book (Harvey Frommer. Page Street Publishing. 2017 October 24. Page 231.)

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Agreed

      B. Mets

      C. Wow, I thought he was only 240

      D. 1. Aw, poor Billy

      2. We can tell Craig!

  2. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    b. Mets

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Indeed

  3. Smitty says:
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    Just put a capital Z next to Leody, been sleepin on him. Looks like the Rangers committed to Leody as their leadoff hitter the whole month of Sept. and that should carry over. Like him thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Definitely! Hope you’re well, Smitty!

  4. Phil says:
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    What’s up Grey!

    Great write-up as always. BTW, are you able to provide a link or screenshot to the full draft list from your 15 team, NFBC draft where you picked 5th? Just curious to see your thoughts on who else was available before you picked a certain player.

  5. JayJ says:
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    Clint Frazier or Will smith catcher. 16 man. thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Keeper or nah? I’d go Frazier, it’s close

      • jayj says:
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        keeper. dynasty 16 man

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Oh, hmm, tougher call, 1 catcher league? I think I’d go Smith

  6. Dave D says:
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    Did you see Renfoe to Bosox? Looks like a pretty good landing spot to me. Also it seems to mean JBJ moving on.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Can’t get a better landing spot for your guy than maybe Coors…Might add as much as .20 on his BA

      • Dave D says:
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        Yeah, he might actually be worth playing during his hot streaks. Fortunately I drafted him 2/3 so far. That might turn out to be solid value (rd. 34 & 36). Now all I need is Aquino to Coors and I’m ready to roll…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha…Renfroe could sneak into a .270 average and a .330 BABIP, drilling balls off the wall, gotta love it

  7. The Great knoche says:
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    Chaz Noir, who are you?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What, you don’t like the bounce back in Coors?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Didn’t he hit .400 in August?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m only half joking, btw — I do like him this year for his price

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            He’s gonna hit .300 with bombs and RBIs and between Story and Nolan in the order. Pastrami King why wouldn’t you?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              “A regular season in Coors, and I’m struggling to see a terrible season.” — Pastrami King

  8. Ronald Coyle says:
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    Would you trade Trey Mancini for Leody Taveras?

  9. Subg88 says:
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    Hello. Wondering if I could get any trade advice. 16 team dynasty standard scoring. I give Wander Franco, Austin Martin, Josh Lowe and get Corey Seager and Franmil Reyes. 2 UT spots so Reyes’s position not much of a concern. Would you do it?

    • Subg88 says:
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      Sorry standard + OPS

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t

      • Subg88 says:
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        Thanks! Excellent blog by the way. I really enjoy it

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks!

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