The number one Google suggestion for Max Fried is max fried chicken, which made me giggle, so I’m passing it along. What’s more American than trying to figure out how to fry chicken to the max? Makes me want to go to a Popeye’s Chicken, stand outside in a trench coat, and ask someone to go in to purchase me a max fried chicken like I’m fiending for the crack rock. Then, when they invariably ask me why I don’t go in myself, I’ll tell them that due to my cholesterol Popeye’s has cut me off, then grab them my the lapels of their shirt and scream, “Get me that max fried chicken, man!” Or perhaps this is a fever dream I’m having while pressing keys on my keyboard. Last year, Max Fried (pitcher, not the chicken) had a top 40 starter year (28th, mansplainingly), going 17-6/4.02/1.33/173 in 165 2/3 IP. Obviously, he was lifted in the end-of-the-season rankings due to his wins, but there’s more to Max Fried than just his ability to fry chicken to the nth degree. So, what can we expect from Max Fried for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

There’s many different types of sleepers. Some sleepers are draftable in all leagues and others are not. As to which category Max Fried falls: in former. A licky boom-boom down! I’m not claiming Max Fried is some crazy unknown, but he’s not being drafted as high as he should. He almost completely abandoned his change and began to throw a new pitch, a slider, which he threw 16% of the time. His slider produced a 34% strikeout rate with a .200 BAA. I.e., he went from not having a pitch, to it being a top 20 slider in baseball. P to the erhaps as important was his newfound command. His walk rate went from regularly 4-plus to 2.6 BB/9. He had the 29th best BB% and only nine of them had a better K/9. The nine are exactly as elite as you’d imagine. Stating the obvious:  If you’re not walking anyone and you’re striking them out, good things will happen. Something I don’t mention much in these pitcher sleeper posts is WHIP, because shizz happens and BABIP can mess up well-laid plans. Fried, though, had a 1.33 WHIP, as mentioned above, but how do you think that tracks with improved command and Ks? Yeah, he was unlucky. There was only three WHIPs worse than him in the top 29 of BB%. Fried’s .336 BABIP was the 2nd most unlucky BABIP in the majors, and he had the 5th most ground balls in the majors. His teammate the Thai rooster sauce, Soroka, had the 7th best ground ball rate, and had a .280 BABIP. To spell it out to you, they had the same infielders, and Soroka’s BABIP was almost sixty points better! Of course, bingos-off-the-bat were hit harder from Fried’s hand, but not by much 38% vs. 36% Hard Contact on Fried vs. Soroka. To beat this dead horse further — sorry, PETA! — Soroka’s average exit velocity was 87 MPH and Fried’s was 88.3 MPH. Fried also had 4.4% barrels per batted ball event, which was 10th best in the majors (Ryu was 13th and deGrom was 16th, to grab two names that are meant to impress you). Spelling out again what I just spelled out to you, Soroka was lucky to have a 2.68 ERA; Fried was unlucky to have a 4.02 mark. One concerning thing for Fried is his innings jump, going up 54 IP one year over the other, but he’s going to be 26 years old in 2020, so unless he needs Tommy John surgery in March, I’m not concerned. For 2020, I’ll give Max Fried projections of 14-9/3.77/1.27/184 in 174 IP with a chance for more.

 
  1. SteveNZ says:
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    He won 17 games? Yikes. Old Hoss Radbourn would have done that before the All-Star Break, but still.

    Happy 2020!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thank you, SteveNZ! Happy new year to you too!

      • SteveNZ says:
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        How are we to pronounce his name? To rhyme with ride? Or reed?

        • Jbona3 says:
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          Pronounce it like “fried food”. “Ride” to answer your question.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It’s ‘freed’

  2. Snacks Zillion says:
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    Just moved Strasburg and Brian Reynolds for Soto. I need to grab a few SP ‘ s off the wire. Any guys you like between Roark, V Velasquez, J, Lyles, M. Leake, D. Bundy, etc.? As always thanks!!

    • Tom says:
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      Bundy for sure.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      They’re all fliers. I like Bundy and Lyles most.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with others

      • Snacks Zillion says:
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        awesome, thanks guys!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  3. Whatever says:
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    Hi,

    In a 12 team keeper using OBP and W+QS.

    $24 Cole/$17 Ozuna for $18 Verlander/$34 Harper?

    Thanks

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Verlander side for me, it’s fair.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with DT

  4. Just curious says:
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    What round is fried going that makes him a sleeper? The projections make it look more like a nice progression than anything else.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      145 ADP

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup, around 150

  5. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    I agree on Fried. His full year stats are not anything great but a lot of that has to do with a really awful June/July and the end of May wasn’t too good either. His walks went up so maybe old habits or tipping. By August he started to figure it out again. Also, not overly concerned about innings. Braves wouldn’t let him go past 6 trying to get him to stay in the rotation and only used him out of the pen in the playoffs.
    Good pick for the price.

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      ^ this… plus on top of the slider his curveball got better, which has always been his best pitch

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Get it, ‘whip!

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:
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          part 2… also in scrapping the change he went back to a power sinker (93.5mph) which got a lot of groundballs (76% off BIP), thats pretty damn effective.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yup! Exactly!

          • Coolwhip

            Coolwhip says:
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            part 3… Max Fried = Extra Crispy. change my mind.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Won’t try to!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup! Agreed, Sweatpants Nation!

  6. Brian says:
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    Got our big keeper league draft early this year on Feb 8th. Will you all even have rankings out by then? Hoping so. Thanks for the help!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup, rankings start Monday

  7. bsquash says:
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    Congrats on the LABR invitation Grey!

    Who is your arch-nemesis in NL only? Cockcroft is in AL so I assume he’s off the hook.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’m coming for all of them!

      Root for me hard!

  8. Chris says:
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    H2H points league

    Which SP to keep for next year?

    Beiber or J. Flaherty

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bieber

      • WhiteRabbit says:
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        How close?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Close

  9. Dave D says:
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    If you’re going fried do you prefer Panko, Tempura, Buttermilk or Beer Battered?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Has to be panko, right?

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        depends on what we are frying ;-)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

        • Dave D says:
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          Well, sure. Any favorite fried foods? Im partial to calamari. I like but tempura is solid too.

          • Coolwhip

            Coolwhip says:
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            well… tempura shimp and chicken katsu at fav japanese soulfood place is on point, fried catfish at fav cajun place is amazing (not even sure what they are using, its like a hybrid of awesomeness), spicy chic at popeyes is great, beer-battered fries are great, i could go on. LOL.

            hmmm, maybe i should eat less fried food. haha, its a miracle i’m not fat yet.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Katus is the bomb dot gov

            • Dave D says:
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              Yeah my doctor doesn’t like me eating calamari because cholesterol but I’m lean and mean in my late 40’s so can’t complain. But the fried food is a nice treat about once a month for me. Calamari is the highest of all foods in cholesterol but supposedly that doesn’t necessarily have impact on blood cholesterol.

  10. Cyler says:
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    Grey my man. Love the offseason articles. Thank you for getting me through the winter.

    I wanted to see if you could advise me. I am in a 10 team 6 X 6 OPS league dynasty league where we keep 10. I currently have Yordan Alvarez and I am thinking I should avoid players who are zeroes in SB. Who do you think I could move him for who is a little more power and speed. For reference here are my current keepers.

    Trout
    Rizzo
    Trea Turner
    Whit
    Yoan Moncada
    Victor Robles
    Austin Meadows
    Bregman
    George Springer
    Jack Flaherty

    Some guys I have I could add to a deal with Yordan that I am not keeping are:

    Benintendi
    Aaron Nola
    Conforto

    We also have 5 Milb reserves so I could sweeten the with one of:
    Wander Franco
    Brendan Rodgers
    Carter Kieboom
    Kristian Robinson
    George Valera

    I was eyeing something like Mookie or Story but not sure if I have the pieces for one of them.

    Thank you sir!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Mookie or Story for Yordan and any of those sweeteners works for me

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d try Yordan with Benintendi or Conforto for either Mookie or Story and see where that gets you. Don’t mind adding in Kieboom or Rodgers…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Agree with DT, but any of them really for that upgrade

  11. Ozone Ranger says:
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    I’m in a 12 team NL-only auction keeper league. This will be year 20 I’ve been in this league. And the league is about 26-27 years old now. Same core group of 7-8 owners with a rotation of new owners here and there. Use to be a live in-person auction, which I find is the greatest form of any draft there is. The gamesmanship, the trash talking, the head games we would played upon one another. But after the great scattering of the owners across the country, we converted to online draft in 2013, which coincidentally, the last time I won was 2012, the last live auction. Which is not coincidental. Anyway long story short (too late), I finished 2nd last year, two points out of first, my best finish since I won it last. Also last year was the first year I discovered this website. Another coincidental non-conincidental.

    I do have a question. We can keep players for only one year. I have Max Fried for$1 whole dollar. Obvious keeper. We have a rule where you can opt to keep a player for two years at a +$5 premium, so I can lock Max up for 2020 and 2021 at $6. Would you consider this? None of my other potential keepers I would consider this with, but Fried intrigues me. And to state my bias, I am a lifelong Atlanta Braves Fan. Anyway, any and all advice is welcome and appreciated. I will eventually list my keepers later on and ask advice on those, but the hot stove needs to cool off before I’ll go there.

    Again, Razzball is the best site I have found. Period.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, agreed! In-person drafts are the best… think you have to lock Fried up for $6, that’s too good to pass up…

      Thanks!

      • Ozone Ranger says:
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        Thank you, Grey. My thinking was the same, but my “I watch every Braves game” bias always makes me question if I’m seeing things through Tomahawk-colored glasses.

        I’d put Fried’s curveball in the top-5 curveballs in all of baseball. And he throws several curveballs. High fastball pitchers with great curves are K machines waiting to happen. He has double-digit K’s per start potential written all over him. And he did suffer from bad luck last year. Cheap HRs, weak hits, etc. I’m an older ex-baseball long time pitcher, so I still use older lexicon as I adapt to the new fangled advanced metrics terminology.

        Best wishes, and I’ll get off my cheap butt and subscribe to y’all’s (southern boy, I am) services at some point.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Great info and I can understand old-fangled still!

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:
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          Yep, you are absolutely right. that’s the same philosophy the Astros used to redeem Cole, Verlander, etc. high fastballs with overarm curves etc, part of what they are calling Pitch Tunneling these days. He was drafted 7th overall by Padres prior to TJ surgery. So there is a chance for a Corbin-esque post-TJ growth.

  12. McGaffer12 says:
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    Hey Grey- happy new year! needs some keeper input, 12 team auction league, $260 budget shallow old school starting lineups (no Corner or MI, only 3 OF) Can’t decide which 2 to keep out of:

    Kyle Tucker-$6
    Aquino-$5
    Soler-$5
    Laureano-$11

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy new year! Aquino, Soler

  13. Daniel Gonzalez says:
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    Need help..Pick 8 keepers
    E jimenez
    L Robert’s
    Y alvarez
    J soto
    F tatis
    J Ramirez
    J degroom
    L severino
    C paddock
    J hader
    M clevinger
    Thank you

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Eloy, Roberts, Yordan, Tatis, Soto, deGrom, Clevinger, Jo-Ram…pretty sweet keepers!

  14. Bill Menezes says:
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    SO I guess my $3 Fried is a max keeper in Ottoneu, eh?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  15. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    Grey – have an offer on the table in an AL only dynasty

    I receive Danny Santana $10

    I give Nick Solak $1 and Casey Mize $5

    What’s your thoughts on Santana? A little old for a breakout or do you love him?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Dannys, but Mize might be special

      • 183414 says:
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        I’m in my 1st and only Draft champions. My least favorite (play 1 every year for prep) venue.
        Where /when do I draft Mize, for his 1-3 months on the Tigers ?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thinking around 300-350ish

          • Dave D says:
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            Ha! No love for DC, Andrew?

            Grey, that seems a little high. ADP is 437 on Mize and 445 on Matt “Chelsea” Manning (who we both like slightly better). It seems like there are much better options in the 300-350 range IMO.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Really? I saw Mize at 401 ADP, figured shave 20 picks off that to make sure they got him… Whatever he’s at on ADP, I’d shave 20-30 off that to get him (if you want him)

              • Dave D says:
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                Any relationship to Johnny Mize? I still have a 1951 Bowman of him in my old card collection.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  If you have a 1951 Bowman of anyone, I’m impressed

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah I got it at a baseball card show in 1982 or 1983. Those were some fun times!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I used to go to baseball card shows every weekend back in the day… it was the best!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    My oldest card is a 1933 Goudy card of Wally Berger. It’s an interesting story about why. Around that same time 1982/83 I learned an elderly neighbor of mine was a former MLB player. I learned his name and looked him up in the old Baseball Almanac. I found out he did not just play but was a star and held an MLB record (NL HR by rookie) at the time, made several all star teams. So I found a card through Sports Collectors Digest. When I got it, I went over, introduced myself and talked to him, got his autograph. He was pretty old and not 100% but nice and it was super cool.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      That’s amazing! I feel like I know his name from that home run record being broken

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Very cool!

            • 183414 says:
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              Dave, that’s an understatement. I’ve play essentially 1 (played 2 in the past) the last couple of years just as preparation for my 12 team drafts (in OL Championships and Supers). Can’t believe I’ve actually won 2 of these in ’17-’18.
              Neither a fan of 15 teamers (hence, no Main Events, 50 rounders, and no FAAB.
              Btw, I replied to your positive comment about me a couple of days ago. Appreciate your compliments.

              • Dave D says:
                (link)

                No worries, Andrew. That is interesting on 12-15 teamers. I’m kinda opposite these days, although I’m participating in the inaugural NFBC Online Championship which is a 12 teamer and its great. I think since Im so busy with family and career/providing I like less FA’s and more draft and hold in baseball now.

                Thanks for the Padres game offer. That is very thoughtful of you. I lived in SD from ‘97-‘99 and went to tons of games to see Tony G at the Q. Those were some great times. I saw the juice ball Sosa/McGwire HR race, playoffs and WS there all before the move to Petco. I’m in CT now, but if I’m ever in SD I’ll get in touch.

                • Dave D says:
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                  Inaugural Hockey NFBC I mean.

                • 183414 says:
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                  Cool. Please do. My career days (trial attorney) are gone, and so I have enough time for fantasy baseball to be competitive.
                  Good luck to you.

          • 183414 says:
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            Thanks, Grey.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              No problem

  16. Cram It says:
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    Happy New Year, Grey Grey. Baseball is coming!

    I came across this thing about ex-Yankee minor leaguer Garrison Lassiter, who tried to sue the organization for his failed career. You should read about it if you want a good head-scratching laugh.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      NiceHappy New Year, Cram! Good to see you… Like Winter is coming, “Baseball is coming…”

      Will read about it, thanks for the heads up!

  17. Dave33 says:
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    Grey, need a trade opinion in a points keeper league. Lindor (9th round keep value) for Yordan (15th round value), which side do you prefer?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Lindor

  18. 183414 says:
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    Gray, I’m playing my yearly Draft Champions and heading into the 19th round, with 6 s.p.’s, 2 r.p.’s, and needing a 2nd catcher, m.i. or c.i. (grabbed Chavis in the 17th), and 2 o.f.’s.
    Read your comments on Peraza, and wondering how long I can wait. a.d.p. 393 (after 40 drafts, and went as low as 293). I can use s.b.’s, and like the o.f./2b./s.s. coverage.
    Hate these 15 teamers w/ no faab.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I wouldn’t wait much past 300th overall… Some of those ADPs are from before he had a job with the Sox

      • 183414 says:
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        Thanks again. I’m up at 290, then 311. I’ve been missing out on almost every s.b. player in my queue. Have Bichette, and went Mercado at #101. Other than Buxton, who I got right at his adp, I’m s.b. needy. If Adames is still there, I’d prefer him over Hays, Dickerson, Canha, ….I’m on deck at #281, and unless T.Murphy is available as my 2nd catcher (Ramos is my #1), I’d lean to Adames, as I can usr a m.i.
        What do you think.
        Last question of the week.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup, Adames

      • 183414 says:
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        I’m up at #281. Riley(o.f.) or Adames. I’ll heed your response, buddy. Saw that you grabbed Riley at #279.

        • 183414 says:
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          Murphy gone, and the way Riley ended the year, and I foresee Adames playing almost every day, and at 24 yrs. old, with untapped speed, I’ll slot him at m.i., and consider Peraza at #290.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d want Riley

  19. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Hello 911, yes I am having serious withdrawals, from BASEBALL!! Help me!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Have you tried watching a replay of last year’s All-Star Game Home Run Derby?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Great idea, thank you DR. Grey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

  20. Rodeo21887 says:
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    Playing a first year dynasty H2H pts, never played one before. Each Official AB costs -.25, batter Ks are an additional-.25 whereas pitchers it’s -.5 per BB/hit and 1 pt per inning pitched. The difference between the top 3 bats (580 pts avg) and 20th bat overall is 140pts. The difference between Verlander/Cole (750pts total each) and the next pitcher Bieber is 140 pts and the 20 SP is another 110 pts (250 pts from Cole).I know JV and Cole have some regression coming, but should I be grabbing one of them at no.3 instead of Bellinger/Soto/Yelich? Seems crazy to me… who do you like at 3?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d go Yelich

    • Rodeo21887 says:
      (link)

      Oh yeah 16 team team league, so I won’t pick again until 30 overall, 35.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        That’s when you should take an SP

        • Rodeo21887 says:
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          K thanks, My Slow draft starts next week. Just wanted to make sure I’m not losing an edge at the first pick.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            No problem

  21. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Grey! Which side in this keeper trade do you prefer in a keep forever roto?

    $15 Lindor

    or

    $19 JDM + $8 Villar

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Lindor

  22. 183414 says:
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    Thoughts on Austin Hays. Just noticed he was still available @281. Between him, Riley, and Adames.
    Sorry for the multiple posts.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Prolly go Hayes if you need SBs but I like Riley for upside… Adames just feels safe

      • 183414 says:
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        Thanks Gray. Forgot I won the OL Championship last year, and looking to you for my decision making. Might as well get it out of the way now, before the 55 second drafts commence.
        If you’re still around. 7 picks before my 20th round (#290), and as of now, Riley, Canha, Adames, Peraza, still out there, along with Roberto Perez and Suzuki, as possible 2nd catcher. Still need a 7th S.P., but with deGrom, Giolito, Ryu, Ray, Stroman, and Yarbrough, Rogers, Melancon….no rush for a pitcher.
        Still short a c.i. or m.i., depending where I slot Chavis, an o.f., catcher, and s.p.
        I’m sick as a dog, and would appreciate your take.
        Thanks buddy.

        • Malicious Phenoms says:
          (link)

          Riley

          • 183414 says:
            (link)

            That’s who I took. Missed your response, but appreciate it.
            Dealing with some medical stuff, which hopefully will be addressed before the “real” drafts begin. Couldn’t conceive of doing 1 of those drafts at this time. As good as Riley looked for about 6 weeks, he looked worse the 2nd half of the year. He has pedigree and hopefully he and his hitting coach will figure it out, and he can learn to hit a curve ball, and cut down on his k’s.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Riley

  23. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Was just offered Jorge Soler for Yu Darvish..thoughts.

    • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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      I’d take Soler – he looked really great last year and I feel like a lot of people don’t believe it.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Soler side

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Done deal, thanks guys!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  24. Max Fried went 7th overall in the 2012 draft and his teammate, Lucas Giolito went 16th! Pretty amazing two pitchers from the same H.S. (Harvard-Westlake, Los Angeles) went in the 1st round that year. When Giolito had Tommy John during his senior year his stock fell, otherwise would’ve went higher. All in on Fried to the Max!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That is pretty awesome!

  25. Crazy J says:
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    Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen? … don’t make me wait! Julio Urias with a a starting job? Come on April!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  26. ChrisL says:
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    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

Comments are closed.