Guess what, snitches? We’re done with the fantasy baseball rookies and onto the 2020 fantasy baseball sleepers! Can I get a what-WHAT?! No, the 2nd what is louder, not from the standing position. That’s what caps mean. No, it’s not said while wearing a baseball cap. Forget it! I’m moving on! So, I just had a flashback that scared me. Can I share it with you? Thanks for being so kind. Okay, I was looking at Oscar Mercado and his minor league stats and how he stole 50 bags one year in the minors and is capable of hitting 20+ homers and I was like, “Hey, it’s nice to see Michael Saunders reemerge,” then I shot up in bed in a panic, ran to the sink to splash water on my face, realized I don’t trust sink water so I splashed Evian on my face and had my maid, Graciela, cry for me, then I realized I don’t have a maid or Evian and this was a dream within a dream and I woke up again in a fright only to wonder if I was still asleep. The moral of the story, don’t fall asleep while watching Inception. Now that I’ve got the comparison to Michael Saunders out of the way, and have blotted Graciela’s tears — “You want chiclets, Graciela, they always make you feel better?” — let’s look at Oscar Mercado after this awkward sentence of us saying we’re going to look at Oscar Mercado. So…So!…So… So, what can we expect from Oscar Mercado for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

The Oscar Mercado’s got power and speed. Tell ’em what we think of that, Lil Nas X — Yeehaw! Last year in 438 ABs, Mercado went 15/15/.269. His 5.8% walk rate was a little bit low for him, since he had 10-plus percent figures in Triple-A, and, speaking of A3, if you combine his stats between both levels last year, he had a 19/29 year. At 24 years of age, Mercado looks like he’s just starting to come into his own for power and speed. Prior to last year, and through maybe a little juiced-ball coaxing, his power seemed to blossom. Mercado seemed like an under-10 homer guy, but now there’s no such thing. By the by, I’ll prolly say this a few dozen times between now and next year, but about that juiced ball. As some of you know, MLB apparently used a different ball in the postseason, and homers cratered. So, which ball will MLB use in 2020, the rocket balls or the Dead Ball Era balls with polio? I don’t know. Logic — my logic, not the rapper — tells me they’ll use the juiced ball again, but I don’t know, which, honestly, makes it fun. Not sure it matters either. It’s not like, say, the Indians will use a rocket ball and everyone else won’t. So if everyone gets 35 homers or 15 homers, it doesn’t matter because everyone’s dealing with the same unknown. Back to Oscar Michael Saunderscado! He had a top fifteen Speed Score, and would’ve been top three if his minor league score carried over. His Sprint Speed (ft/sec) is 29.5. To give you an idea, Mallex Smith, who I think we agree is fast, had a 29.4. Trea Turner is 30.3; Victor Robles is 29.3; you get the point. Mercado is inherently fast. Even if the rocket balls continue, speed was declining. Jonathan Villar being a top 11 overall guy last year on the Player Rater shows you how valuable speed is. (Villar is only 27.9 ft/sec, by the way.) Anyone who gets power and speed is a legit candidate for a top 50 overall season. If Mercado can sneak into a 15+ homer season with 35 steals (honestly, I don’t think this is outrageous), then he’s a top 25 overall candidate. Will he be drafted anywhere near any of these numbers? Not. At. Wait for it…here it comes…ready…or not… All! Not at all! Is what I was saying. Then. Before. Suddenly, Yoda I’m talking like. Cause I’m the poor syntax man, yeah, the poor syntax man. For 2020, I’ll give Oscar Mercado projections of 78/17/63/.261/31 in 564 ABs with a chance for more.

  1. Dave D says:
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    What’s the market for Oscar?

    Good write up. Shhh…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Currently going around 120th overall, nice value

  2. Hernan says:
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    Yes!, yes!!, YES!!!!, The Most anticipated OFF Season Series is Back!!!, Grey’s SLEEPER Posts!!!!, hopefully Tito doesn’t throw a monkey wrench on this one with his “platoon” , keep everyone “happy and fresh” mentality and gives The Oscar 600 PAs at the top of that lineup…, no Naquill, or Allen or Bradley Zimmer, no more Cargo or Leony Smartin type experiments, Cameron Maybin nonsense, etc…., Sleeper Posts RULE!!!!!!, can’t wait to start Drafting Friday!!!!!,

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      You’re lucky you drew the easy league, Hernan.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Donkey, the league with you is a 14-teamer plus you — snizzap!

      • Hernan says:
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        Lol, DT, I was planning on setting up a camera in your War Room, se which players to stay away from( your queue)…,, and looking forward to the guarantee of not finishing last, but, I’m also happy for the other 14 fellas that will get the chance to kick your booteeth…, good luck!!!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Hernan’s setting up camera’s in my barn! Always trying to sneak a peek at my Donkey D!

      • Hernan says:
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        Damn, replied to wrong post….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, Naquill — That is a different type of sleeper — Should be fun on Friday, what pick did you get? I’m at 9, boo

      • Hernan says:
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        Lol, FML , I got the coveted #2, where I probably gonna have to “settle” for “best player in baseball “.., and as for Dee Tee…, read above…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, nice snag on the #2 slot, can’t go wrong there… I don’t even know who I want at 9, what a terrible draft slot

          • Hernan says:
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            The middle is always dreadful, guess the Gods of KFC want to give the Top Dogs the canned Salmon( Masterchef Style)…, good luck!!!!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, thanks! Yeah, I would’ve even taken 15th overall for the double pick

              • Donkey Teeth

                Donkey Teeth says:
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                The middle isn’t all bad with 15 teams…players you’re considering with the previous pick will make it back to you much more often than on the ends.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, don’t you can’t tune out for 30 picks like at the end… Plus, the difference between the top 3 overall and 9th is like 2 whole picks — What pick do you have in my draft? Are you still in my draft? It’s my draft.

                  • Donkey Teeth

                    Donkey Teeth says:
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                    Nope, got removed when Greg created mine. Wish he’d left me, your league is really lacking in donkey.

                    • Hernan says:
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                      I knew Donkey loves the middle as he’s always in between the ditka sausage festivals, uff, but he might be right, you have to reach a lot near the wheels, although it helps when you already have the Acuna/Yelich /Trout in the fold

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Aw, boo, we need more Donkey!

                    • Smitty says:
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                      Send the Irishman

          • Dave D says:
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            Holy sh*t, I got the #1 slot. My first time ever in an NFBC 15 teamer.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I know, nice snag… I wonder what I would’ve got if I ranked my stupid picks

              • Dave D says:
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                It wouldn’t have mattered. It lists your choice order as #9 so you could have gotten lower but not higher.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I would’ve taken earlier, I didn’t list any preference and got…9. Bleh!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Just stay away from one-dimensional, injury prone sluggers in the first round and you’ll be fine ;-)

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, but if Judge is there in the 2nd!

        • Smitty says:
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          I see Dave D#1, Hernan#2, Knoche#5, Grey#9 and some other tough hombres in our league. I got #11 and a 40 hour wait.
          DT bailed? Hey Donk good luck in the easier league!

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            I got the boot. Too good looking for League Albright, I guess.

          • Dave D says:
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            Amazing. It’ll be so weird picking 1st. I’ll enjoy the rare opportunity. Who should I take?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              This is like the 1st time in five years it actually could be more than one guy at #1

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah. It’ll probably be Acuna or Yelich for me. I love Trout but he’s kinda injury prone and aging.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  That’s what I’m sayin! Was a no brainer for 5 years prior

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Pretty much, yeah!

                    9 is pretty solid this year. 21 will be a nice spot for your 2nd.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Maybe Giancarlo will still be there!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Ha! He will be so maybe the rest of us can have an intervention with you so you don’t!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha

                • andrew edenbaum says:
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                  Yelich with back problems on and off last year.

              • The Great Knoche says:
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                If I had it I think I’d take Acuna. I’ve got a dilemma at 4. Not a Belly guy there. Lindor/Betts/Turner. We shall see.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I kinda love Bellinger, have for a few seasons — check out his xBA

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yeah, Smitty! Give it to him!

        • Dave D says:
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          Nice, Hernan, we can l picks from each other’s queues for 50 rounds.

          • Hernan says:
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            yup Dave, good luck!!!, , plus leave me a good player for #2…., by the way, Were You in that Grey NFBC draft late last(2019) year ?, the one BeastMan won??

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              He was

            • Dave D says:
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              Yes, I placed 2nd. Were you?

              • Hernan says:
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                yeah, i was part( with fantasy partner(gross)) of Better Burrito Boys, 4th place, fun draft, lol, we were the contrarians drafting JRam at 8th and Verlander and Jerry Tomato early, and freaking Taillon , instead of Flaherty…, I blame Donkey Teeth….for being right on Flaherty….., i guess the most stupid strategy in FB (when you have a lot of teams) is “diversify”, “don’t have too many shares of a certain players”…, at that point I had Traded for Flaherty in a Keeper and a Dynasty leagues, drafted him in 2 Fantrax’s D&H…, decided to put our”‘eggs in different basket”…, It’s gonna be fun drafting this early…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yes! Diversify always kills me, that’s one of the reasons why I’m doing this draft… So, I don’t even remember it in March so I don’t have to diversify…

              • Hernan says:
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                lol, You were “Turdstad” , ain’t that Donkee Teeth’s middle name?

                • Dave D says:
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                  Oh, ok, the Burrito Boys. I remember. Yeah, as a lifelong Angels fan I like to play off some of the Halo themes sometimes.

                  No, I think it’s “Donkey Dung Teeth”, hehe…

                  I have to imagine a good name. I have lots of time for that.

                  • Donkey Teeth

                    Donkey Teeth says:
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                    Hey now, c’mon!

                    • Dave D says:
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                      Well, I’ll stick with Hernan’s Spanish version if you don’t like that one.

    • bill says:
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      More like a colonoscopy, me thinks!

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Yeah it didnt like the projections so much in the end.

      • Squat Cobblers says:
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        This FG comparison is like…if Don Jr was in charge of the investigation…only, instead of Don Jr, it was actually Don Sr.

        • Dave D says:
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          Keep the dumb political stuff on the dumb political sites.

    • bigbear says:
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      Interesting read and quite the ambitious undertaking.

      Only 40 of the top 50 players would be drafted. I imagine it has to do with the price points and initial assumptions of the ‘draft’. But I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere. Plus the difference in the number of top 50 players ZIPS users are shown to have drafted compared to the rest of the field (18 vs. 2-6) could skew some numbers. At some point the ZIPS drafter would have run out of money to bid with in the top 50…

      Questions for Rudy: What ‘holes’ do you see in how he pulls the data together? Any lessons learned regarding the modeling? Does this change anything for how projections are done? Other than the normal year to year stuff (like more HR/less SB)… I’m not suggesting it should. Just wondering if there was any ‘aha’ type moments.

      • LenFuego says:
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        I thought what I understood is that Rudy uses Steamer’s projections but makes his own playing time adjustments. If that is right, I do not see Rudy making any drastic changes in his method.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Well, he got mentioned a few dozen times, that’s for sure

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        He meaning Rudy

        I haven’t read it, tbh

  3. Phil says:
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    I’m glad your first sleeper post is Oscar Mercado. I like this kid a lot. If Tito makes him play and has a shot at around 600 ABs (and his walk rate improves slightly, which I think it will), he will be, at the least, solid…if not a bit more.

    You have a maid named Graciela too?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Anyone giving speed and power can be valuable, think Mercado can be more than just basic speed/power and be special

      Graciela’s cheating on me?!

  4. The Great Knoche says:
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    I was hoping for Willie Calhoun first, but I like Oscar

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Willie too, he might be coming at some point soon

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        Post, post hype.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Get him now before he pulls a Lawrie and adds 12 more posts

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            He’s been working out with Buxton

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Noooooo! The kiss of death!

              • The Great Knoche says:
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                Side note, you forget to set your KDS for Friday?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, I didn’t think it had to be set until right before the draft, or at least the day before… Why was it set so early?

                  • The Great Knoche says:
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                    No idea. I set it pretty much right away when I signed up. I didn’t look at the due date. Have fun at 9.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ugh… Should’ve set it immediately too

                    • Donkey Teeth

                      Donkey Teeth says:
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                      I hacked Grey’s account and set his KDS for him: 9,9,9,9,9,9

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Perfect

                  • andrew edenbaum says:
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                    Absolutely nothing wrong with #9. Whether it be a 12 or 15 teamer.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HAHA, that is a terrible rendition of her, I might buy for Cougs as a gag gift

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        And by gag I mean what did they do to Patrizia?

  5. jiggy nits says:
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    i know its early and youll be making a post about this but i got 6th pick in my slow draft starting friday. 5×5 roto 15 team mixed

    what do you think of this order?
    trout – acuna – yelich – betts – bellinger – arenado

    3 im wondering about are lindor, bregman and soto.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I have Arenado a bit lower due to lack of speed.

      I’m sure Grey can’t divulge his super secret top 10 yet but here’s where I’m at right now:
      Acuna, Yelich, Trout, Bellinger, Story, Betts, Lindor, Turner, Soto, Tatis

      It’s a fluid November list but seems I’m a lot higher on Story and Tatis than consensus and a little lower on Bregman who’s right there with Tatis at 10/11 for me.

      • Dave D says:
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        I thought you preferred Alvarez over Tatis?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t disagree with Donkey… Looks about right for now, but I don’t have a set ranking yet

  6. Smitty says:
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    ZZZZZZ……1st Z goes next to Mercado. Those capital Z’s carry a lot of weight.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  7. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Would you deal Mondesi in a trade to get Giancarlo..

    10 team 6 x 6 roto dynasty with OBP.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d want Mondesi

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with DT

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Thanks guys.

        Would you trade Spencer Howard or Aaron Civale for Alex Bohm?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Meh, I guess Civale

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Better to just hold the pitchers?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Meh, like I said, you can send Civale for Bohm if you like, it’s fair

  8. Harley Earl says:
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    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see Mercado as a “sleeper” at all. After his fast start and strong numbers in only 450 at-bats last year, I think most people are aware of Mercado. I actually, I think they’re more than aware of him. I expect him to get drafted anywhere from 80-110. But, yeah, if he’s returning Top 25 or Top 50 value, it’s still a great return on the investment. I just don’t consider him all that sleepy lol.

    Good write up though. Glad to see we’ve moved on to the Sleepers. One step closer to 2020!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      About same as Austin Meadows last year

      • Harley Earl says:
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        I’ll buy that. I was just thinking “Sleepers” were more or less guys that have an ADP of 200 or beyond. I mean, if a lot of people already know about them, they’re not really sleepy lol.

        Trust me, in the leagues I play in, Mercado is well known and coveted.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Meh, there’s all different types of sleepers at different stages of a draft… Don’t need to be after 200

          • Harley Earl says:
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            Where has Mercardo’s ADP been during early drafts? I haven’t done any myself, so I honestly don’t know.

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:
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              Showing 127 in early NFBCs

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Around 120, I think

              • andrew edenbaum says:
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                Won’t be 120 in march.

          • Smitty says:
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            Exactly. Much respect for expanding who you’re high on, regardless of ADP. Everyone knew who Bieber was last year too

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, exactly

              • andrew edenbaum says:
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                Took Bieber at pick 149 in my 1st draft last year. In my last draft (Super lg.) 117. 3 round difference. Could see similar differences with Mercado. Not the picks per se, but difference in rounds.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, that could happen in ‘smarter’ leagues… I’m sure there will be some friends and family leagues where Mercado goes as late as 200th

  9. Cram It says:
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    Grey, your fly is open!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha *blushes* thanks

  10. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Grey, I got a keeper league question.

    Who would you keep of these three SP : Strasburg in the 2nd round, Luis Castillo in the 6th round, Hyun Jin Ryu in the 10th round, Max Fried in the 19th round or Brandon Woodruff in the 20th round?

    Trying to get the best value here. I don’t like spending a second round pick on any pitcher. But I’m not sure who I should go with after that.

    It is a keep-six keeper league with 14 teams. Pitching categories are: Wins, Quality Starts, ERA, WHIP, Saves, Holds, Ks, Home Runs allowed.

    • Harley Earl says:
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      I’m sorry, I miss-worded that. I can only keep one SP of the five that I mentioned there. Sorry about that.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Castillo

  11. Curious George says:
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    Value check: slow drafting a 10 team points league/best ball right now. Mondesi has fallen to the 10th round due to injury risk (not very helpful in a best ball), strikeout rate, and the fact that it’s a points not a cats league. Is the upside too much to pass at this point though?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes, draft him

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Looks filled

  12. Brian Fawcett says:
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    Well, that was about 150 words of real analysis, and a whole lot of poor-quality creative writing.
    Still, it’s a better ratio than we get from Baseball Prospectus these days.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      • Dave D says:
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        Maybe you should hire Brian since he seems to know really well what quality writing is…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Everyone’s a critic

          • Dave D says:
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            Usually the most critical are the most afraid of their own personal failure. Just sayin’.

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            I’d say the creative writing is excellent, the best around. It’s the real analysis that I sometimes question!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha, thanks for the…compliment?

  13. Curious George says:
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    Hey grey (and DT or anyone else with an opinion!) – I chatted with you the other day about how people are way overvaluing ohtani/are one year early (due to likely innings limit this year, etc). Follow up question – is there any point in drafts this year where you would grab him? He is a good hitter (albeit with some questionable/variable splits). Smada data has his early adp at 54, fantrax has it at 72. I’ve got pick 13.8 (128) and he is still available… thoughts?

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