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Sleepers fall into a few categories.  Guys who disappointed last year who could bounce back; players who have a solid pedigree who just haven’t broken out yet, and the ones that have broken out who no one trusts to repeat.  The last group is usually the least interesting.  You’ve presumably seen their best.  Seems like the only mystery there is is their (palindromic stutterer!) downside.  It’s prolly why 50% of marriages end in divorce.  The first category of those that could bounce back are the relationships where you’ve broken up a dozen times, walked in on your ex while she was sniffing Ambien off some guy’s chest named Bob and Bob is hung like Bojack Horseman.  But, ya know what, you’re gonna give her one more chance to bounce back to some of those fun times you had eighteen months ago.  The 2nd group is the rando you met at the bar who was doing shots of Tito’s, who seems like she’s gonna be so much fun, but you really don’t know why her and her friends keep calling you, “Door Number Three.”  The third group is the one you’ve had fun with it, you don’t see anything wrong with it, but there’s gotta be some downside so you’re going back to the “Bob boffer” or being “Door Number Three.”  It never occurs to you that maybe a solid, safe bet who you already had fun with is worth just sticking with.  The third group is where Paul DeJong resides.  Last year, he had 25 HRs and hit .285 in only 417 ABs.  Okay, but how about the “Bob boffer?”  So, what can we expect from Paul DeJong for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Boring isn’t bad is the biggest takeaway from the Paul DeJong sleeper.  A straight repeat of last year gives Paul DeJong 25 HRs and a .260 average (because his BABIP was high; we’ll get to that).  If he had a full season last year with 25 HRs and .260, he would’ve had 75 runs and 80 RBIs.  Give or take, probably, or thereabouts.  The preceding sentence contained three hedges in six words, can you spot them?  75 runs and 80 RBIs would’ve gave DeJong nearly identical stats to The Gregorius D.I.D.  On our Player Rater, Didi ranked ninth for shortstops.  So, Paul DeJong would’ve been a top ten shortstop in his rookie year, assuming he didn’t hit one more home run in 70 more at-bats (Didi missed time too).  It’s also assuming DeJong wouldn’t have hit one more home run or had more runs or RBIs, if he would’ve had 150 more at-bats (a full season).  None of this is even mentioning his speed.  No, he’s not a burner, but he did have 13 steals one year in the minors, and seems closer to a three-to-five steal guy than a zero-to-one steal guy.  There’s little to pass on with DeJong or for Grey to poop on, but can he be Colonel Mustard?  He hit 16 HRs in only 289 post-All-Star Break at-bats, but he did hit a bunch of ‘Just Enough’ homers.  I’m not confident in saying he’s going to hit a ton more homers with an extra 150 ABs in 2018.  He did hit 13 homers in only 48 Triple-A games, so he does elevate the ball, and gets to his power.  My guess is his strikeout rate (28% last year) will come down a little, he’ll hit for a little less BABIP, and his 20% HR/FB% will come down a hair.  Which makes him a push-push-push in the Busch.  So, is his last year repeated good enough for you or do you want a Bob boffer?  Play it smart and go for last year again.  For 2018, I’ll give Paul DeJong the projections of 74/26/82/.267/3 in 561 ABs.

   
  1. The Liquidator says:
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    It’s lucky I don’t have to worry about any of this. I’ve got 3 Cards fans in my league, and all of them are homers. I haven’t owned a Card in years.

      • McNulty says:
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        @Grey:

        You wouldn’t believe how cheap he got Jason Heyward!

  2. Wu Tanguay Clan says:
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    Funny you uplaod a DeJong sleeper article same day this popped up at FanGraphs: https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/a-potent-odor-rougneds-return/

    1. The article is about Odor.. <3?

    2. DeJong note at the bottom – slow runner, high BABIP.

    Makes me a lil nervous, but 3-5 steals, 25 homers in a MI spot works for me!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wu Tanguay Clan: Yeah, of course, Odor will do this year what I wanted from him last year, it’s bound to happen…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Wu Tanguay Clan: You’re buying DeJong for the DeDongage though.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Or for Sisqo’s DeJongDeJongJongJong

  3. Cheese says:
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    I feel like I’m going to stay far away from DeJong this year.

    The rest of this comment is for anyone that has input. I’m looking for a more competitive fantasy baseball money league this year that I can sign up for online. Any suggestions would be great!

      • Cheese says:
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        @Grey: I don’t get it :(

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t get why you’re staying away from him…

          • Cheese says:
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            @Grey: I think its mainly the low walk rate, inflated BABIP last year, and not great K rate. I guess it depends on where he is being drafted in the end. Your projection for 2018 isn’t that far out of expectation, but I just worry about his profile as a hitter.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I hear ya, but if he has a 26% K-rate, then a .255 avg is easy to see…

  4. Fungazi says:
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    Cards seem to always have a bunch of breakout 28 yr olds one season that become sleepers the next year, only to give way to a whole new crop of unknown 28 yr old rookies that dominate the league.

    • Fungazi says:
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      @Fungazi: Has anyone outside of Carpenter been there for more than 3 yrs?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Fungazi: Yeah, they do seem to do that from year to year

  5. Tweak says:
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    I’ve voiced my love for DeJong here, so I’ll try to be succinct. Between AAA and MLB, he had 38 HRs and 99 RBI (156 games, 633 PA). At 24, with about 1000 total minor league PAs, I’m pretty happy holding him into next season. For some reason, he reminds me of a Josh Donaldson type, but at SS.

    Comparing likely draft values, I’m taking DeJong over a guy like Corey Seager.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You had up until the last line, I think Seager’s likely going more than 100 spots before DeJong

      • Tweak says:
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        @Grey: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Other than Avg, I don’t think they’ll be that different in overall value. And I think the difference in draft spots lets me grab DeJong late and feel pretty good about it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, agreed on that!

      • SadKeanu says:
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        @Grey: Is it just me or is Seager rather overrated? .295/.375/.479 with an OPS of 854 is good. But for fantasy reasons his 22 hr, 77 rbi and only 4 sb is pretty lackluster. I would take Bregman over Seager at SS (assuming your league gives Breg the SS elig.) Bregman .284/.352/.475 with an 827 OPS. Plus 19hr 17sb. Similar HR and RBI production. Seems eerily similar production for 2 guys who are going around 40+ spots apart from one another. (from what I have seen.)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Seager’s wildly overrated for fantasy… He’s not bad, per se, but the lack of steals makes him very similar to someone like DeJong who is going 120 picks later… Of course, Seager does give AVG, depends how much you value that…

          • SadKeanu says:
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            @Grey: Keeper league question. Whit Merrifield or Amed Rosario for next year?

  6. This is a surprise sleeper from you Grey. I didn’t think DeJong was your type of guy. Although the power does look legit with his FB% and hard hit%. and projections have him hitting 25-30 HRs.

    He walks that fine line (pun intended) with high K rate, low BB rate. If the strikeouts go over 30% and BABIP down to .300 he’s probably useless, maybe .240 23 HRs with no speed. Then again .275-30-90 is a possibility.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, agreed, not super sexy, but he’s being drafted where he has value

      • @Grey: Yeah if he’s going after 150-175 and afer Story, then there’s value for sure. A lot of late value at SS next year.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Totally, agreed

  7. Jack Deth says:
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    Im not sure if I’m defending you here but I kinda agree with your optimism even if I’m looking at it through anecdotal eyes. As we all know or at least should, year two is a big year for adjustments (either how the league adjusts to you or you to it). He needs to clean up that plate discipline to even get up to league averages across the board but even if he doesn’t the power is real. He is a pull hitter so if we see that spread out to more fields early then we might have an indication that he’s made adjustments. (man I’m stretching over here) One of my major concerns though is the Cardinals as an organization the last couple of years. Pham was an anomaly wrapped in an aberration blanket. Look at how poorly Piscotty, who obviously doesnt know, can’t correct his issues and Grichuck too. Why Piscotty, WHY!!!!!!!!

    I would like to see Lance Romance come weigh in on PDJ being he’s the numbers nerd and a huge Cardinals fan and no that’s not a commentary on his height.

    Okay off to East Los homie

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, agreed, there’s not a ton to point to that the power isn’t real. He seems to have proven that… Of course, the Cards hitters seem to struggle in their sophomore years, but that’s anecdotal… Shouldn’t kill his power… Tho, yeah, his Ks are a little wonky…

      Good luck in East LA!

      • Jack Deth says:
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        @Grey: I have to drive through the hills and take pictures of houses….ugh. I’d come see you but I have to get back. We will break bread soon. Well probably not bread

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Maybe bread, but with tomato sauce and cheese on top of it… Be safe with the life-like fire emojis…

          • Jack Deth says:
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            @Grey: No way. old Jews like us need to go try Langers

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Oh, man, how have I not been there?

              • Jack Deth says:
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                @Grey: All the goy’s got a step up on you

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Thanks for having my back, honorary Jew

                  • Jack Deth says:
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                    @Grey: Its our little secret…and the 12 off season readers

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Shh, don’t wake anyone

    • Lance

      Lance says:
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      @Jack Deth:
      Lots of ways I can go with this, I’ll leave a smattering of thoughts and you guys can pick and choose what might shed some light as to my opinion on him (probably some bias as I am a fan).

      To toot my own horn, preseason, I submitted a deep dynasty sleeper to somebody at the dynasty guru site and chose DeJong. Am I failing to find this at the moment? If a tree falls in the forrest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Absolutely. Saw DeJong during Spring, thought there was something there, but didn’t think it turn into this, I’ll admit that.

      Power is legit, love his swing path, don’t think the FB rate or hard contact dip much which sets up the floor Grey is kind of talking about.

      His contact %s in and out of zone aren’t good and he’s reliant on pull-side fly balls for the majority of his pop, but I’m fine with that, especially at SS. That’s where all the value from PDJ is. His profile is that of a corner OF or 1B and he’s up the middle, with a passable glove, it’s hard not to like it from a fantasy perspective.

      He went around 200 in early ADP mocks on Fangraphs which had some Razzball reps in them (me!). Tim Anderson went 40-50 spots ahead on average and the difference is 15 bags (if that ADP is legit). I ain’t paying 50 spots for 15 bags, even if Anderson was efficient in doing so.

      SAGNOF.

      It feels like everybody thinks this is Aledmys 2.0. It’s not, they have very different skill sets.

      In sum, I agree with Grey’s projection on DeJong. He’s a sleeper in the sense that nobody thinks he’ll repeat this, but he probably can.

      Side note too, I have irrational hope for Piscotty. Last year was weird for him, not to bring in sob stories, but his mom was diagnosed with ALS and that was a rough year in literally every way. I’m most intrigued by his discipline, cut in swg strk. I think there is .275/.365 ish value there. No role? I agree, but STL isn’t going into the season with 1,00,000,000 OFs for three spots.

      Piscotty wasn’t drafted once in those Fangraphs mocks (~300 picks). That’s a free roster spot with some upside, love him in draft and holds, deep 15 teamers, NL only.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Love Piscotty if I’m getting him around 300 overall, that’s insane value, and I imagine he won’t even be drafted in shallower 12 team leagues… As for DeJong, good to hear it sounds like we agree…

        • Lance

          Lance says:
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          @Grey:
          I have a feeling Piscotty will only appreciate in value as clarity starts with the Cardinals outfielder, I agree that 300 overall is nuts if that sticks, esp. with his discipline and lack of any extreme issues at the plate.

          Really nice value if the positives aren’t reflected in early ADP once NFBC data starts trickling in.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I think what the ADP is reflecting with Piscotty is the general consensus that the Cards have lots of options and if Piscotty gets off to a tough start, he might be the odd man out…

      • Jack Deth says:
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        @Lance: I like to hear those kinda of things about players (players) .I mean it’s awful but it gives us an understanding of what MAY be the cause. Like I said above and I’m glad you said it DeJong has some plate discipline issues for sure. Can you really toot your own horn?….Hey Now!!!!

        • Lance

          Lance says:
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          @Jack Deth:
          I like the understanding even if we can’t attribute all the issues to that one variable. It’s important to know and shed a little light.

          Another one: Miguel Cabrera’s wife filed for divorce right before the season. Sure, he kinda sucked last year, but could some of that suckiness have been mental? I’d consider it.

          *no comment on tooting my own horn*

          • Jack Deth says:
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            @Lance: I wonder if she boned Avisail Garcia because he looks like Miggy (slimmer version) and had a better year?

            Mrs. Fielder knows all about that

              • Jack Deth says:
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                @Grey: glad someone gets that joke

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  It’s a good one!

                  • Jack Deth says:
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                    @Grey: Never gets old. Like the tales of Pat Burrell the violent swinger

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yes! Haha

  8. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    What do you think about the Chatwood signing by the Cubs? 3.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, this year outside of Coors. Walks too many batter though, and not enough Ks for 12 team leagues. Might be a worthy flier in 16 team plus or QS leagues.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Really interested in him in NL-Only, but streamer in mixed leagues…

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: Yeah, NL only for sure, and a nice little value pick in deeper formats. I think he fairs better than Montgomery and Butler as their 5th starter.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ya think? I don’t know, I think I prefer Montgomery for 150 IP vs. Chatwood for 150, but they might be close. Butler’s garbage…

  9. Q says:
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    Dee Gordon to the Mariners. To play CF I assume?

    Will it change his value if he’s OF only next year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Don’t see why it’d change his value

      • Jack Deth says:
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        @Grey: Because people believe fucktard wastes of time like Lawr Michaels and their positional scarcity bullshit…I agree with you

          • Jack Deth says:
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            @Grey: you know if I wasn’t all geeked up about being at Spring Training with you guys I would of beat the shit out of him.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Maybe next time, right?

              • Jack Deth says:
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                @Grey: Oh yeah, I’d really try to go to that party again

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