There’s some legit pitfalls to avoid this year. Maybe it’s like that every year, but this year feels more so than other years. With the juiced ball, how do judge people’s power? As I’ve said before, there’s one angle here where we just don’t worry about it, because if the ball is not juiced in 2020, it will not be juiced for everyone, so the very high plateau for power will just readjust for everyone. The one issue with that is the guys who we’re targeting who might’ve only looked good last year because of the juiced ball. For unstints, if Marcell Ozuna hit 29 homers last year, and, guess what, he did, he could hit 29 homers again in 2020 with a dry ball because the supposed ten feet extra on fly balls provided by juice is irrelevant for Ozuna. So, when you look at Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and his 20 homers in only 84 games, and start commiserating with Mr. Prorater about how Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could now hit 40 homers, you have to wonder if Gurriel only hit 20 homers because of a juiced ball and is really a 20-homer hitter across 162 games, as well. So, what can we expect from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Would it shock you (and it should if you still have the ability to be shocked, you cynical bastard) if I told you Marcell Ozuna, on average, actually hit shorter home runs than Lourdes Gurriel Jr.? It’s not completely analogous because Lourdes hit fewer home runs, so there’s fewer in that average distance number. For unstints, Roman Quinn has a higher average home run distance than Hunter Renfroe and no one is confusing Roman Quinn for having more power. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. might not be the small-ball player you thought he was, though. He averaged 409 feet per homer. Even if the dry ball costs him ten feet, he’s hitting a lot of home runs. His wOBA of .363 is actually one point behind his daddy, Yuli, and just outside the top 40 overall. (Top 40 overall in baseball, not top 40 Gurriels.) Lourdes’s .264 ISO would be top 20 in the majors. Maybe we should start thinking of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as a power threat, huh? Rhetorical, over-the-internet friend, that’s what this post is pretty much talking about. His 42.9% fly ball rate (35.7% is league average) would produce roughly 175 fly balls and if his 20% HR/FB holds, well, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for more home runs in 2020? Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a pain in the ass because I feel like I have to write his whole name every time, but how much of a PITA is he gonna be for pitchers when he hits 35 homers? Looking for this year’s Ketel Marte? Think we’ve stumbled onto him. He has some swinging strike tendencies, which might cash out around a .250 average, but he’s also not an absolute zero on speed either. This feels like one of those sleepers, where you draft him, your leaguemates think you’re nuts, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ends up a top 50 bat. Remember, he’s only now entering his peak power years and his third year in the league. If he gets 550 at-bats, he’s going to have a huge year, juiced ball or not. Oh, and right now he’s penciled in as the three-hole hitter for a Jays lineup that could be sneaky good. For 2020, I’ll give Lourdes Gurriel Jr. projections of 78/28/84/.252/7 in 569 ABs and a chance for much more.

  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    I really like LGJ for 2020. I think he can hit 40 “dry” ball homers and still hit for average and steal some bags.

    Solid sleeper post for LGJ.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        LFG?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Let’s f****** go LGJ

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Lol nice one!

    • andrew edenbaum says:
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      Sounds like a 3d round pick. haha

  2. Hernan says:
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    That Blue Jay offense is definitely a gold mine for fantasy stats, even fringe guys like Grichuk/Teoscar/Danny Jensen etc seem bound for sneaky productive seasons…., in other news, Damn , Freaking Albright steps in the way and totally steals Ian Happ and his 30/10 potential in 24th round, yikes!!, I doubt he would’ve been there for me at 359 overall, but wow, so young, Cubs have no CF, statcast loves him, plus this late????, championship caliber move…, , damn, lol

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You had me until Grichuk — I kid — I I don’t mind some of the back half of the lineup for straight power, but lots of BA drains and not much else

      I’m loving Happ this year, I don’t get the hate on him, but my assumption is people still think the Cubs will sign someone else

      • Dave D says:
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        I like the Happ pick. I would have taken him over Dickerson if still available.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Pretty pumped about him, but as alluded to, the Cubs could still sign someone

    • Dave D says:
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      That’s lots of .230 hitters, Hernan. Are you conceding BA then?

      • Hernan says:
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        Lol, not yet Dave, I’m using the only projections available (steamer) to count my stats, it comes out to a collective.263, so far…, obviously it’s ball park figure as projected stats can be all over the place…., I’m hopeful for my analysis on some of these guys to come true…, we’ll see, at least it seems I’ve reached my goals, except for saves ……..

        • Dave D says:
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          Draft Wade Davis.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Prior to Vogelbach, I don’t see any huge average drains on Hernan’s team

          • Hernan says:
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            I’m gonna use vogelback in weeks where he faces a lot of righties, and if any of my corners go down, hopefully Madrigal hits .320, lol help mitigate vogues’, it’s Grey’s fault cause I wanted Happ

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I don’t mind him this late, just saying you don’t have huge AVG drains

          • Dave D says:
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            DeJong .233, Biggio .234. Ahmed could hit .225 again. Rojas is iffy. Just sayin. Who knows, but I was referring to him drafting more BJays who love .233 hitters.

            I don’t love Enciarte or Dickerson, but in a platoon they can probably get me a .285 75/15/65/10 player. Average is such a crapshoot but I wanna try to stay above .270

            • Hernan says:
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              Well, I think those guys will hit better than last year, Batting Average fluctuates a lot from season to season, mookie Betts being a perfect example, I think dejong’s babip will correct itself towards his career average (close to 300,), seems .259 is too low..even with the fly balls and pul heavy profile, I’m convinced Biggio, due to plate discipline, will make the adjustments to increase his batting average, we’ll see, it will help if yelich and jd hit closer to .320 than their projected.302….

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Dickerson and Ender are decent on AVG, but I worry about everything else with them… Though, you know I always have a soft spot for Ender… I hear ya on DeJong but Biggio should hit for higher AVG

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah its all banter at this point. Hopefully I draft 50 players that all produce and create some value. No punting for me after 35th round. I got Hansel, Garrett Cooper, Dixon late last year who all did something decent for me.

                • Hernan says:
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                  Yup, hopefully I can snipe some of those late gems….

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, hoping for the same… In my December mind, Peralta has top 40 SP potential (or top 10 closer), but ask me again in July if I feel that way

                  • Hernan says:
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                    Agreed, underlying numbers say he’s better than results, if they trade Hader , he can be in the mix to close

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I’d take it, tbh

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Definitely added to my list – thanks!

    Hijacking for Villar chatter a sec… Marlins is a weird fit, but maybe actually one of the better landing spots? He’s not going to hit 20 HR….but should have full PT guaranteed, at leadoff, and a green light whenever he’s on base…

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      It’s a great place for him to be. His counting stats won’t be as good as last year, except maybe runs if he leads off, but he could still hit 20 HRs and now I could see him as a 50 steal guy because he is running every time he is on base.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Agreed, great landing spot

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem!

      Seems about as good a place as Villar or his owners could’ve hoped he landed

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        For sure – one of the few teams (besides Orioles) where playing time due to poor defense won’t be a question. COL would have been fun, but you know that would be 4 days Villar, 2 days hampson, 1 day mcmahon or something weird like that. As a $5 Villar owner in keepers, phew!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yup, $5 is still great price for him

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Actually, more concerned what this does to Berti

      • M says:
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        Great spot for Villar…til he gets traded and he’s a sper-sub for some contending team

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, exactly… Villar is so gone in July

    • c says:
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      yeah, but what about Isan Diaz? I was sort of hoping he’d be a rosterable option as a 2B in a 10 team league this year, but with Villar around it seems he’s destined for AAA.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Villar will be 3B/OF, Isan is at 2B

  4. TC says:
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    Which 3 guys would you keep in a standard categories keep forever league? These are my options and the round they’d count for in the draft. I won last year and still have the core of that team to go with these guys, so I’m not as concerned about contending 5 years from now as I am winning now. Benintendi is my biggest conundrum. Not sure what to think of him anymore. Thanks!

    Benintendi 10
    E. Escobar 8
    Conforto 14
    Muncy 13
    Tim Anderson 18
    J. Abreu 11
    Castellanos 22

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Abreu, Muncy, Anderson for me

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with DT

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      2 hour per pick clock

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      League has filled. Stay tuned for the next one.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Damn, that was fast

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Bunch of addicts!

          …I don’t have a problem though. I can quit anytime I want!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Uh, Donkey, you’re chewing on the part of the computer screen that says “Sign up for a new draft”

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:
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              Mmmmm computer screen

  5. Harley Earl says:
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    You know, you gave me an idea with this post. By the way, good stuff, gotta like Gurriel here. I think you’re onto something as usual. And a 20% HR/fly ball rate with 175 fly balls equals exactly 35 HR. So yeah, I think you make a great point.

    But back to my original thought. I like the pitfalls to avoid lead used and it gave me an idea.

    Maybe you should do a 5 or 10 player series called “Fantasy Pitfall Players to Avoid in 2020.” Might save some of us a few season-long headaches!!! Haha!

    I know you’ve done the “Schmoehawk” posts in the past so maybe they are one in the same. Anyway, good stuff as usual!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm…Schmohawk posts feel pretty similar… Plus, in my rankings, I mention tiers I’m avoiding in drafts for each position, sometimes multiple tiers in a position…

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Yeah, I think the Schmohawk posts are probably the same. But still good stuff. I like reading them too!

  6. Smitty says:
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    Yep yep yep, had him lined up. Waxman broke my heart when he vulched me on that one.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, I’ve had my heartbroken a lot in this draft

  7. Dave D says:
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    I’m glad you finally drafted a legit closer, Albright!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HA, damn, that stings

      • Dave D says:
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        Yeah, well, I do think he will get you more saves post all star break than your first two RPs.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Don’t agree, and I’m praying you’re wrong, ha

  8. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Better value for 2020, Tyler Oneill or Avasail?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      I’m not crazy about Dee Gordon, but at pick 370ish that’s great fill in speed value.

      Really liked your Matz, Cueto combo. I needed a catcher around there and ended up waiting for Shark and Hudson.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Thanks, Knoche! I don’t mind Shark and Hudson, they were on my queue… I think Gordon is worth that flyer, but I don’t have high hopes for him

        • Malicious Phenoms says:
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          Thanks guys!

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Sorry MP didn’t realize I was replying. Like Avi.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Tough call, prolly say Avisail

  9. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Grey,

    Was offered a minor league deal. I give up Tristan Casas and I get Adley Rutschman. Would u make it

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Works for me

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        sweet. now my next question is what SP would be considered fair trade value for Justin Turner?

          • Scott Kimmel says:
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            can you give me a list of SP’s that would be fair trade value for him?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Urias? Minor? Boyd?

              • Scott Kimmel says:
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                i’ll try for odorizzi.

    • c says:
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      I love Casas, but that seems like a massive win in your favor. I think may people thought Rutshman was going to hit like Bryant did when he was in the minors. There seems to be a bit of negative backlash on him at the moment.

  10. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Trade Justin Upton for Johnny Cueto?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        You think that Cueto will be better than Upton going forward?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Upton looks done, Cueto might still have some life on his career (good park)

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Thanks. I made the trade. Now, your thoughts on Grenke for 2020, as I may try and get him too.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Greinke about to fall off the ledge

              • Malicious Phenoms says:
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                Best days behind him?

  11. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Did you ever do a sleeper or rookie post on Josh Rojas? I can’t seem to find one. Anyway, I wonder about him regaining infield position eligibility? He can play 2B, 3B and SS but the Dbacks only used him in the OF last year, so he’ll only have OF eligibility in most leagues this year. Any chance he gets some IF playing time? The reason I ask is because I can’t use another damn OF.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      *wink, wink* Not yet

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      I think he starts in Right Field for them. Likely not much time in the dirt unless there’s an injury.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Well damnit. I can’t add another OF prospect. I’m full to the max.

        I’ll be looking forward to your Rojas piece Grey!!! I know it’s coming soon!!!

  12. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Nice! I see you like him too. I was pretty high on him in my post. Main take away from that is that he figured out how to hit the slider, and realllllly well. He basically IS the next Marte because Marte had many of the same issues, and Lourdes made similar adjustments to approach.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup! Great call!

  13. The Great Knoche says:
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    Third base just got real thin with Longoria and Mountcastle going. I only have 2 on Rooster so far.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Was surprised Mountcastle hung around as long as he did

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