In a post last year titled, Good Luck Storming The Castillo In 2018 Drafts, I wrote, “Watching Luis Castillo is officially an ASMR trigger.  *insert onomatopoeia of satisfied exhale, picks up invisible fork and knife, mimes cutting up satisfied exhale, eats exhale*  Do you see how Castillo’s got me?  I’m eating satisfied exhales.  Can I write the 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper post right now for Luis Castillo?  TFW you see Castillo:  Insert Oprah’s o face around Gayle King.  CASTILLO MAKING ME CRAZY!  And not eating sugar for six days isn’t helping.  This Whole30 Diet got me like:  insert crazy-googly eyes.  I got Biggie Smalls eyes right now.  *smacks face*  Be coherent, Grey!  Sorry, about that.  Luis Castillo’s surface perfs:  9.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.40 xFIP, averages 98 MPH, and now I’m lightheaded again.  Okay, need to save something for his 2018 sleeper post.”  And that’s me quoting me!  So, guess what this is?  The Luis Castillo sleeper post.  Frank Voila!  Am I little concerned he’s not really a sleeper anymore?  Yeah, he’s being drafted a little high.  He might only be a sleeper, if everyone in your league is actually asleep.  So, what can we expect from Luis Castillo for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Here’s what Prospect Ralph wrote before Luis Castillo was called up (while still on the Marlins), “Castillo is one of those players where I’m not really sure I like him, as much as I like the idea of him. He’s 24, throws an upper 90’s fastball that touches triple digits, mixes it with an above average slider, and the numbers were good. Here’s the thing, he doesn’t strikeout that many batters for a guy with a big heater and a solid breaking pitch. He’s also old for the levels he’s played in. So is he the second coming of Nathan Eovaldi? Maybe, but he’s a back of the rotation arm. I suppose I shouldn’t write a blurb about Castillo without mentioning that he was traded to San Diego in the Andrew Cashner/Colin Rea deal, only to be returned to the Marlins when it turned out Rea’s arm was made of straw and overcooked spaghetti. Gotta respect A.J. Preller’s gangster.”  I say if Preller was such a gangsta, he’d spell his name, Prella.  Listen, we all make mistakes, but I gotta think Preller would’ve sent about six more arms to replace Rea if it meant getting Castillo.  Also, how about them Marlins?  Making head-scratchers for a decade now, no matter the management.

Prospector Ralph then redeemed himself, texting me this yesterday, “Luis Castillo started throwing a two-seamer on a whim during a game late in June. Worked it into his arsenal in July and August, found feel for it in September and his SwStr% jumped to 10%+ w/ an elite ground ball rate (like 75%+).  Tucker Barnhart asked him to throw (the two-seamer), and all of a sudden in a month it was his second best pitch.”  Ralph then texted me some nifty Jay Pegs.  His SwStr% per pitch by month (courtesy of Brooks Baseball, which is a good site to lose eight hours in):

His ground ball rate:

Then Ralph continued, “He’s got four pitches that drive grounders and swinging strikes. I didn’t expect to like him this much when I started digging in. I actually was working under the premise he was overrated.  By the way, this info is all for your eyes only, don’t share.”  And that’s me quoting Prospector Ralph!  Obviously, I wouldn’t share if I didn’t agree with Ralph.  Plus, I allowed him to redeem himself after that Eovaldi comparison.  However, Ralph wasn’t finished, “Castillo made some mechanical tweaks with the Reds. He busted out of nowhere.  I think he always had ability, he was just in a crap organization (Marlins). He was working on a changeup grip last year.  Now it’s a top 10 changeup.” At this point, I muted Ralph.  When I unmuted him ten hours later, he wrote, “…And that’s the story of how I met your mother.”  Last year, Castillo only pitched 89 1/3 IP in the majors (3.12 ERA, 9.9 K/9), but he also threw 80 1/3 IP in Double-A, so around 170 IP, which was about a forty inning jump from 2016.  Would’ve liked if he came about ten short of that, but tomato-tomato with a different emphasis.  Castillo can throw 200 IP this year with a 9 K/9.  That alone makes him a contender for a top 20 starter.  If that was alone in a forest, does it not make a sound?  Maybe.  Oh, and Castillo ranks number one in the majors with a 97.5 MPH fastball velocity.  Last year, we witnessed a breakout in Castillo.  This year, we’re going to see the next level.  Like a lactating breast, I am pumped.  Damn, already broke my resolution for stopping terrible similes.  I’ll give Luis Castillo the 2018 projections of 12-8/3.54/1.09/194 in 189 IP with a chance for more.

   
  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Loving him this year. To bad the reds will still blo. Happy new year ole buddy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: Happy New Year, AL! Did you get drunk for NYE?

      • AL KOHOLIC says:
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        @Grey: yes sir i did,but we called uber

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          So responsible!

  2. Tigres says:
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    Grey! Happy new year and thanks to you and RB team for all the great off-season content!

    I am totally imagining the Razzball TV miniseries ending with you holding up a blue french horn, standing underneath Giancarlo’s apartment window.

    Keeper Q: Castillo or McCullers? Different risks perhaps (injury vs inexperience) but they feel about in the same tier.

    • Hawk says:
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      @Tigres:

      “Keeper Q: Castillo or McCullers? Different risks perhaps (injury vs inexperience) but they feel about in the same tier”

      I’m facing the same decision and leaning McCullers. They feel like the same tier to me too.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Hawk: They are the same tier

      • @Hawk: Castillo without a doubt. McCullers likely doesn’t eclipse 140-150 IP, he has 1 plus pitch (yes, it’s his amazing curve) but he’s so boom or bust and likely won’t pitch deep into games.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Happy New Year! You watch Godless? I wanna pull on Giancarlo’s hair and lay him down like Roy Good… Castillo vs. McCullers are tomato-tomahto

      • mthom42 says:
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        @Grey: Guess I either have McCullers too high or Castillo too low, currently have Castillo #81 over all

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Too low

  3. Jim Wiser says:
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    AL, it’s too bad you typed to bad!

  4. Tweak says:
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    Castillo is the perfect guy to target in an RCL this year, I think. He feels like Stroman going into last season. I’d be happy to snag him as my #2/3 late after a decently high team ace. I think something like Severino-Stroman-Castillo is achievable and a solid way to draft a rotation for good value.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tweak: Agreed, will be decent value

      • True and Correct says:
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        @Grey: He already went pretty early in my 1st draft, which I’m currently in round 11, 15 teamer, 50 rounds. Gets me familiarized for the season when those teams matter. Went #73 in my league, with an a.d.p. of 102. I took Wood @74. Pitchers flying off the board. Kluber, Ray, and Wood for me, with Vizcaino. Freeman, Ozuna, Murphy, McCutchen, J. Turner, and Acuna round out my 1st 10 rounds. Very happy baseball is alive and well. Castillo goes ahead of Berrios, Weaver, Stroma, Hendricks. My intent was to take 3 s.p.’s in the 1st 5 rounds, if necessary, and address the ratios and k’s early on.

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Ralph right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgxyWMn7SHg

    Really appreciate your and Ralph’s deep dive . . . I was planning to ignore him given the hype, but now I’m planning to treat him more seriously, price permitting.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: Another good one!

  6. CO Jason says:
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    Happy New Year Grey! I just got invited to join a 12-team, H2H keeper league and I have a big rebuilding job to do. I can keep six. I’m keeping Greinke, Severino, Lindor, and Benintendi, but choices stink after that. One owner has offered two players from Hoskins, Bellinger, and Ray for my #1 pick. Which two would you take to build around? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @CO Jason: Happy New Year! Hoskins, Bellinger

  7. Jeff P says:
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    Castillo or Jake Faria (or both?)

      • Racehorse says:
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        @Grey:

        Does Clevinger “all three”?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Huh?

          • Racehorse says:
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            @Grey: [email protected]Grey: oops, sorry …

            Do you see Clevinger in the same tier as Castillo and Faria?

            • Racehorse says:
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              @Racehorse: wow suddenly I can’t work my damn phone, do my healthcare day job, and post on a cool fantasy baseball blog …

              Grey — sorry for the visual discombobulated meanderings!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                No worries!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Not close, Clevinger isn’t in the rotation right now according to some depth charts

  8. Last Living Nate Dogg says:
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    Keeper question: I have to choose two out of the following guys to keep:

    Ian Happ
    Michael Fulmer
    Luis Castillo

    I’ve ranked them above based on who I think has the highest ceiling (it’s a dynasty league where we can keep guys up to five years, and I’ve had each for one). But I also think Happ might only start 81 games this season given the stacked Cubs lineup, even though he might return the best future value over the next four seasons.

    What do you folks think?

      • Last Living Nate Dogg says:
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        @Grey:

        I also have Logan Morrison, Corey Dickerson, Scott Schebler, Jameson Taillon, Sean and Manaea as options here, but I considered them less appealing than my top three. Any of these stick out to you?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sean and Manaea? He’s Samoan but only one person — they don’t stick out…

          • cmutimmah says:
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            @Grey: Happ at 31% K rate…

            Upside is one thing.. but there’s a reason he plays part time…

  9. Swfcdan says:
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    Feliz ano nuevo amigo. Here’s to a better fantasy year than my last!

    What do you make of David Dahl aka Daddy Dick? I was as excited about him as a nerd getting his first porno mag last offseason, and then goes and throws up a total 0 after I promote him. Do you see him being a regular and staying healthy/producing, and which of this contracts would you give him (max of 8 each year so limited contracts): Renewable year ($6), 1 year ($3), 2 years ($6), 3 years ($8)? Lots of IF’S with him! Take the renewable year and see what happens? Alternatively I have an offer of 1.10 in upcoming prospect draft pick for him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy New Year! Dahl doesn’t have a starting job right now…

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Grey: Then dump him for 1.10 pick?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I guess, who would that be?

  10. The Great Knoche says:
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    Think Teoscar Hernandez gets an everyday gig in Toronto? Think he’s legit 40 HR power if he does?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      40 HRs?!

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Grey: I’m optimisitic. 26 HRs across all levels last year. Scary K rate in majors and not so realistic FB %, but looks like the raw power could be there.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like him (late), but 40 HRs I think might be a bit too optimistic…

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            The Castillo Hype Machine says:
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            @Grey: Want to laugh? CBS has him projected for 40…

            Of course Delino is projected by CBS for 103 runs and 42 steals soooooooooooo… perhaps not the most reliable.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Projected him for 40 what? Wins?! Innings?! Ks?!

              • @Grey: How is that possible? Does CBS project him for 1000 PA this year?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Who, Cousin Sweatpants?

              • The Great Knoche says:
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                @Grey:Yeah, late power source if he get a full time job. He will have forty Ks in April, but maybe it comes with 7-8 HRs.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, could be… Feels aggressive

              • Ralph Lifshitz

                Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                @Grey: CBS has Teoscar at 40 homers! EL OH EL

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  That’s effin crazy… God bless Scott White, but CBS is dumb

                  • cmutimmah says:
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                    @Grey: 40 HRs + Steals might even be aggressive there…

  11. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    In my keep-7 league (12 team roto), the Rhys owner has him for the not very cheap price of $18 and will probably keep him.

    Would you try to pry him away with a $15 Schoop or $11 Devers (or something like one of those guys, plus a cheap SP I’m not keeping like $3 Sonny Gray)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Seems a bit much

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: My thoughts as well . . . $18 eats away a lot of his value. Think I’ll just hope that he doesn’t keep him and instead set my sights on snagging Acuna wherever I can!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I want Acuna everywhere!

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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            @Grey: Yeah, he’s my “get everywhere” guy this year. I thought it would be Ohtani, but I’ve cooled on that + think Acuna will be cheaper.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, Ohtani’s injury is scary and he’s not going to hit much…

  12. Ralph Lifshitz

    The Castillo Hype Machine says:
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    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Castillo!!!! Go Castillo! Castillo number 1!

    Nice job Albright!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice job to you, Ralph! The Wolf would tell us to stop sucking each other off…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: Wolfy?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Keitel said that, no?

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: Wilhelm Keitel the german field marshal?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, that’s the one!

              • Matt says:
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                @Grey:

                “I’m Winston Wolf, I solve problems.”

                “Now, you got a corpse in a car, minus a head in the garage. Take me to it.”

                Hahaha!! Classic!!!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha

  13. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
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    Castillo does seem like the classic sleeper/not sleeper, like Jose Peraza last year. He’s ranked all over the map right now, but will likely climb higher and higher as March rolls around. Nice deep dive by Ralph, impressive stuff and given the changes made and the results, it seems repeatable for Luis.

    Happy New Year Grey, it was -31 at my house the other day, so there’s that. BRING ON SPRING!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy New Year! I saw someone throw boiling water into the air in Maine and it immediately turned to snow. Holy Jesus, stay warm, man… And, yeah, Castillo is going to be a full awake sleeper by March, but felt I had to write the post…

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
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        I saw that too, it’s insanity.

        Totally had to write it, I mean, right now he IS a sleeper.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup, bet he creeps into the top 100 overall everywhere by March…

        • J-FOH says:
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          @MattTruss: I wore sliders, shorts and a T-shirt to the store yesterday

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey: I dumped a cup of water out of my driver’s side door, took said cup to throw out, promptly wiped out on water I just poured on the ground because it immediately turned to ice.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Haha, that visual is pretty hilarious, no offense

          • Cram It says:
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            @MattTruss: Oh, I was cursing myself at what an idiot I am! It just doesn’t get this cold without snow being on the ground.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha… A Mets trainer threw a pot of boiling water on Syndergaard’s elbow and it immediately turned to ice, and was said to feel great…

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph L says:
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          @Cram It: This is classic!

          Did you get your Bichette info? He’s got a pretty serious bat wrap, but enough bat speed to cover it. Bat to ball skills are other worldly. Go check out the story about him getting an appendectomy during the GCL. It’s some Chuck Norris ish…

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: Woke Sleeper* add it!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Soros Sleeper

    • True and Correct says:
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      @MattTruss: He just went #73 (5th round) in my present slow draft- 1st 1 of the year. He may end up in the 4th round if he looks sharp in s.t.

  14. The Ghost of Oaks says:
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    Some early drafts from the NFBC have Trea Turner going 2 overall. You like the lil’ speedster as a top 5? On related note, seems odd that Steamer predicts 46 steals in 616 PAs for him when he had 46 in 447 last year. How many runs plus steals does Turner need to justify a #2? Over/Under 70?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I love Trea Turner… 110/15/60/.305/45? Yeah, I like that top 5…

  15. Cram It says:
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    Archie Bradley…I assume you’re going to rank him as a closer? For keeper purposes, he’s probably going to be a closer for the near future anyway, it seems?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Cram It: Im bearish on him being the closer. Rational thought says yes but he also has that multi-innings flexible kinda thing ala Andrew Miller. Between Boxburger and the Japanese guy they brought in we may see him go back to being what he was….maybe

      • Cram It says:
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        @J-FOH: Yeah, I could see him being a multi-inning guy in the Miller mold.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I have a feeling he’s gonna be their 7th and 8th inning man, but I will project him for around 20 saves anyway

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: He’s that guy that either fills the Miller role or he ends up being the closer and some jack ass in your league looks like a genius because he drafted him as the 5th closer off the board.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, he should be good either way, but I’d guess he’s in the Miller role…

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: Bradley will likely be a starter/multi-inning or setup guy because he’s still arb eligible for three years after 2018. Saves are the most important stats/leverage for relievers in the process, so the team likely avoids giving him any negotiating power.

        I would love to see Bradley close, but my read is he won’t, and that’s why they added two guys with closing experience (one of course in Japan).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Agreed, could see Bradley getting 10-20 saves depending on how much other relievers fail, and have a valuable season, just not a strictly closer one…

        • True and Correct says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz: He can ask to do whatever Iglesias does. Seems to have worked almost to perfection. Iglesias was 1 of my anchors last year.

  16. FantasyAssets says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Happy New Year! I am doing my second Whole30 in a year, trust me, it gets better on day 31.

    I took over a struggling team last year and filled it with a ton a prospects. I have to keep 9… which ones do you suggest. Acuna, Devers, Hoskins, Correa, Mc Cullers, Castillo, Albies, Justin Turner, Merrifield, Mejia , Mancini, Baez, Robles, c Fraizer , Kingery, Verdugo, Brinson, Fisher, Schwarber, Torres, Tapia, Darvish, Weaver, Knebal and Hand.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I hate the Whole30! Cougs wants to do it every September… The article above quoted me from this past September… Acuna, Devers, Hoskins, Correa, Baez, Castillo, Albies, Merrifield, Mancini

  17. Curious George Springer says:
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    Man. does this mean I am keeping 4 pitchers out of 8 keeper slots in a 10 teamer?

    Trout
    Springer
    Freeman
    Albies
    Ray
    C-Mart
    Darvish
    Castillo

    Other option would be Thames (or Souza, I guess, but come on).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, seems that way, Thames and Souza aren’t better choices

  18. JoeG414 says:
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    6×6 roto , Who to take /Rank with the 5th pick : Harper , Blackman or Bryant?
    Also , who do you like better for 2018: C.Seager or Springer ?
    Thanks.

    • JoeG414 says:
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      @JoeG414: 13 Team Mixed

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Harper — Springer

  19. Dubs23 says:
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    Need to keep 9 of the following: S Perez $15, Schoop $7, K Davis $7, Bruce $12, Olson $2, E Rosario $2, Simmons $2, Castillo $7, Godley $2, Degrom $30, Grienke $32, Peacock $3, Wacha $1, Weaver $1. 6×6 12 team league. I have Guererro, Puk, and Gohara as free keepers on top of my 9.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Schoop, Rosario, Olson, Davis, Castillo, Greinke, Peacock, Wacha, Weaver

      • Dubs23 says:
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        @Grey:

        And would you trade DeGrom for Syndegard?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sure, pretty close tho

          • Dubs23 says:
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            @Grey:

            Who be your preference going in to 18’?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Noah

  20. jack florida says:
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    9th pick in a keep what you draft league , no adds or drops or trades

    betts, turner or bryant?

    thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Turner

  21. Lougle says:
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    14 team league keep Paxton at $19 or Castillo at $14? 5×5 except W+QS.

    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Castillo

  22. Raoul Duke says:
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    14 team keeper league. Keep 7. Players I am planning on keeping are Trout, Betts, Machado, Sale, Moncada. With my final two spots I can pick from Castillo, Verlander and Braun. Which two players would you keep between those three?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d toss back Braun

      • Raoul Duke says:
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        @Grey: That is what I was thinking because I have Acuna in my minor league system. I don’t necessarily like the idea of keeping three pitchers, but I will if I have to. I would like to package Verlander and Braun together to try and get another bat, but it is hard to find a trade partner for a 2 for 1 trade sometimes. If you were seeking to trade a package of Verlander and Braun what player or caliber of player would you expect in return?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d want a top 40 bat…

      • Raoul Duke says:
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        @Grey: Thanks for your time.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No worries

  23. Boof Henderson says:
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    Nick Williams or Margot in dynasty league, my team is stacked for power

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Margot

  24. Higgins says:
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    Hey Grey,

    How do you value Julio Urias going forward? Where would you rank him on a top prospects list?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s out for 14 months from last July…

  25. Matt says:
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    Now wait a second! I’m confused Grey!!!

    I asked you last week, or the week before, or sometime recently in December, whether you thought Luis Castillo would be a “sleeper” candidate and you said no! You said there was much awareness and that he’d probably be drafted accordingly.

    Now, today, I come to my favorite fantasy baseball site to read my fantasy baseball scribe and I see “Luis Castillo, fantasy sleeper” … WTF???? Grey??? How could you???? Were you leading me astray on purpose? Did you change your mind the more you thought about it???? Are you getting senile and forgetting what you said already???? Hahahaha!!!

    Love it Grey!!! Keep up the great work. Love reading about my guys!!!! Now let’s get a piece on Mitch Haniger done and both our lives will be complete!!!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ralph convinced me I should write it, I thought Castillo would be overrated…

      • Matt says:
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        @Grey: Thanks Ralph!!! NIce worth Grey!!

  26. Andrew Brennan says:
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    Could you be a kind sir and rank Castillo, Calhoun, Margot and Honeywell in a dynasty (standard roto). Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Castillo, Honeywell, Margot

  27. Matt says:
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    Grey – awesome article and Castillo’s 2nd Half last year is extremely promising for 2018! I’m definitely planning to keep him.

    Can you give me your Keeper thoughts on my deeper 12 man league (where you keep 5 for unlimited years with no pick detriment and get to tier a rookie batter and a rookie hitter over 4 years each, with escalating pick compensation cost). Roster 26 players total, 4x OF, extra infielder, 1 Utility, 11 pitching slots. Here are my options, listed based on my personal rankings. I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

    Choose 5 Normal Keepers:
    1. Mike Trout (duh)
    2. Bryce Harper (duh)
    3. Paul Goldschmidt (duh)
    4. Max Scherzer (duh)
    5. Freddie Freeman (1B and 3B eligible)
    6. Luis Severino
    7. Marcell Ozuna
    8. Wil Myers (1B and OF eligible)
    9. Trevor Story
    10. Corey Knebel

    Choose 1 Rookie Hitter:
    1. Rhys Hoskins
    2. Byron Buxton (rookie tier applies – lose mid/late pick)
    3. Matt Olson

    Choose 1 Rookie Pitcher:
    1. Luis Castillo
    2. Jake Faria
    3. Carson Fulmer

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      1. Mike Trout (duh)
      2. Bryce Harper (duh)
      3. Paul Goldschmidt (duh)
      4. Max Scherzer (duh)
      5. Freddie Freeman (1B and 3B eligible)
      Hoskins
      Castillo

      • Matt says:
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        Thanks for the quick response! My real hesitation was Freeman vs. Severino as I have a solid hitting base and top tier pitching is pretty scarce.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          As long as Hoskins is OF, Freeman’s my choice

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