Is it just me or does it seem like the St. Louis Cardinals have a prospect tree growing somewhere in Memphis? Last week I had a beer with Tim Lincecum at a dive bar in northern New Jersey. Turns out he’s a coach/umpire for the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Bergen county. According to Tim, he shared a spliff with a dude that once toked with Alex Reyes, and he told Tim that Alex told him that John Mozeliak admitted to combining Oscar Tavares’ ashes with a seed and soil mixture to grow a prospect tree. Apparently the process is becoming quite popular. How long until we start smoking people? Inquiring minds, like Seth Romero and Jon Singleton, want to know.
In my last points league post I was singing Tommy Pham’s praise. Since then I have been inundated with St. Louis Cardinals. There’s the “use the force” Luke Weaver vs. Jack Flaherty debate. I’ll leave that for another post, but needless to say, both are having tremendous successes in the minor leagues. Weaver is averaging 9.4 strikeouts per nine, 1.9 walks per nine and just a 1.91 ERA in Memphis. Flaherty’s numbers are rather similar at 9.15 strikeouts per nine, 2.1 walks per nine and a 2.24 ERA between Memphis and Springfield. Weaver is now playing in St. Louis, and while he struggled in his first start, I certainly would be willing to give him some more time. I don’t see him helping you this year in points leagues as he likely won’t pitch deep into games, but you should keep both of these Cardinal prospects on your radar. And don’t forget about Harrison Bader, who was just sent back to Memphis to make room for Piscotty.
With that said I’m not about to sit here a wax poetic about prospects. That’s Ralph’s sweet spot.
Instead let’s talk about the soup DeJong. For those of you that don’t speak malamoney, that’s the player of the day. Paul DeJong is versatile, available at 2B, 3B, and SS. He’s all over the menu. In the last 28 days DeJong has been a top five shortstop in points leagues, hitting 8 home runs, driving in 16 and batting .322 on his way to 65 points. Those numbers make him a top ten 2B and a top twelve 3B during that same span. In daily lineup leagues he seems like a solid player to have on your roster.
Paul “I love you DeJong time” didn’t join the Cardinals until the end of May. Since then he has 111 points. On the season that gives him a 0.56 points per plate appearance in a little over 200 plate appearances. Let’s see who he measures up against. Miguel Cabrera is averaging a 0.54 PPPA. We all know he’s having a career worst year, so let’s not use him. Here are a few other notable players with a similar PPPA. Manny Machado (0.56), Brian Dozier (0.56), Willson Contreras (0.55), Hanley Ramirez (0.55), Billy Hamilton (0.55), Adam Jones (0.55), Matt Kemp (0.54), Jackie Bradley Jr. (0.54), Xander Bogaerts (0.53) and Wil Myers (0.53). All of these players are owned in at least 86 percent or greater of CBS points leagues. And as I made reference to above, in the last 28 days “Everybody Wang DeJong Tonight” has a 0.78 PPPA. That’s Mookie Betts territory. Last week when I decided to write this post his ownership was in ESPN and CBS was not much above 50 percent. He’s now closing the gap on 70.
With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline having come and gone, so are many fantasy leagues’ deadlines. Why does that sound a bit like a mashup of The Walking Dead and a porno. And if you weren’t thinking that when you read it, I’m sorry for putting it into your head. Here’s what I want to say about making trades. Don’t be afraid to overpay. There’s a lot more I can say, but that’s the bit I’d like to say today.
Maximize your league rules. I’m in a lot of leagues, but in one of them the prospect of making the playoffs is looking bleak. In said league we can only keep five players. Last week I traded Francisco Lindor, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager for Yu Darvish. I practically gave up an All-Star caliber starting infield, but here’s the thing. I already have four guaranteed keepers in Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto and Stephen Strasburg, so Lindor was really the only one of those three that I might have kept. In this league where the points system heavily favors pitchers, Darvish is a much better keeper than Lindor. He and Cano should have been enough to make the deal, but since I had no use for Seager and he guaranteed me the deal, why not overpay and get what I came for.
See you next week.
Author’s note: In case anyone thinks the numbers are a bit off, this post was written on Monday (8/1)
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