You know how I know that Bobby Witt Jr. is going to be a stud? It’s simple. Because his name ends in Jr. The same can be said for three of the top four hitters in the game. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Ronald Acuna Jr. Can you image if Juan Soto was Juan Soto Jr! I think being a Jr. is worth an extra 100 fantasy points. Ok, so maybe I don’t have enough conclusive evidence, or an explanation for Jackie Bradley Jr, but it sure does seem strange to see so many Juniors at the top of the charts. I sure do miss watching Ken Griffey Jr. play the game. Let’s see if Lourdes Gurriel Jr. gets the memo.

In Spring Training Bobby Witt Jr. has two home runs, seven RBIs, two walks, three strikeouts, a stolen base, eight runs scored and is sporting a .407 batting average. His 37 points puts him in the top ten amongst hitters. And guess what, it has been announced that he has made the Royals Opening Day roster. Watch out baseball fans. Witt is going to play 3B to start the season. That means he will eventually have dual eligibility at SS and 3B since he currently has SS eligibility by default in most leagues. I packaged up Austin Riley in a trade that netted me Marcus Semien last week since Witt will soon occupy my 3B spot. To hold me over until he gains 3B eligibility I drafted Yoan Moncada in the later stages of my draft to keep the position warm for Witt. “Warm for Witt” sounds like a tee shirt females might be wearing during this season.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Kyle Higashioka leads Spring Training with 7 home runs and 11 runs batted in. He has homered in just over 30 percent of his at bats. Move over Salvador Perez!  Actually, don’t go anywhere because I don’ see Higashioka being a legit fantasy catcher in one-catcher leagues.

I said this to a few people over the last two weeks. Francisco Lindor is going to have a solid bounce back season. He’s off to the right start in Spring Training with four home runs, 10 RBIs and a .400 average. Fantasy managers are certainly noticing as Lindor’s ADP has slowly risen over the last two weeks. Let’s not forget that between 2017 and 2019, Lindor averaged 34 home runs, 85 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and batting average around .275.

I’m guessing that by this point most of you have had your points league drafts, but if you are like me and prefer to draft as close to Opening Day as possible, then you are still looking for some last minute tips. I’ve got an auction draft tonight. Wait, I mean salary cap draft, “auction” drafts have been canceled.

Aaron Ashby is on everyone’s radar at this point. There’s even been some chatter of a six-man rotation in Milwaukee. Regardless, he is likely to start at some point this season and when he does he’s going to be eligible to do so from an RP spot. We all know how valuable those SP in the RP moves can be. Especially in two-start weeks.

Another SP/RP that will start the season in the rotation is Michael Kopech. Kopech has top of the rotation talent. Last year he struck out 103 batters over 69.3 innings (13.37 K/9). There’s a fair amount of uncertainty around Kopech, but I’m buying.

Eduardo Rodriguez has an ADP of the 15th round. He is definitely worth drafting in the 15th. Probably a few rounds earlier. He’s actually tied with Corbin Burnes for the Spring Training lead in strikeouts with 19 (albeit with 3 extra IP).

Looking for a prospect to stash in a keeper league. I grabbed Anthony Volpe. It’s not like he’s any sort of secret, but very glad to have drafted him. I also have C.J. Abrams. Just a couple of SS prospect studs. I actually drafted Oneil Cruz as well. I will likely have to move a shortstop at some point in the season considering I own Lindor and Witt Jr.

Don’t get sucked into the Byron Buxton vortex. Does he have tremendous talent? Absolutely. Will he get hurt? Absolutely. His ADP is late 5th/early 6th round. Don’t take the risk. Here are a few players being drafted after Buxton that I would take instead. Ketel Marte, Charlie Morton, Corey Seager, Freddy Peralta, Tim Anderson, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Carlos Rodon, Jose Abreu, Logan Webb, Eddie Rosario, Mitch Haniger, and many more. Let Buxton be someone else’s problem. Otherwise don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cody Bellinger leads Spring Training with 17 strikeouts and has -9 fantasy points. I’ll just leave it at that.

If you use my Points League spreadsheet you will see that it recommended drafting A.J. Pollock even before the recent trade to Chicago. After the trade, that recommendation only got stronger. Hopefully, you drafted him already because now he is on a bit more managers’ radars.

Another player that was highlighted before a big trade by my spreadsheet is Randall Grichuk. Now that he will play 81 games in Colorado you’re getting a better player. Well maybe not better, but one that will produce more fantasy points.

Other draftees that I think will pay off in draft round value are Max Kepler, Austin Hays, Trent Grisham, Nate Lowe, Keibert Ruiz, Sean Manaea, Alex Verdugo, Josh Bell, Jon Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, Yuli Gurriel and Dalton Varsho.

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

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Dan B
Dan B
5 months ago

Love the articles Malamoney! I’m in a weekly points league (Locks each Monday) and wanted to know how your strategy would change if any? Certain players to seek or avoid? Any advice you’d give?

C/1B/2B/SS/3B/MI/CI/LF/CF/RF/OF/UT
6SP/2P
5BN/4IL

Innings are worth one each and SOs are -1. Other than that mostly standard settings.

Thanks!

Butthole Surfers USA
Butthole Surfers USA
5 months ago

How do you access your spreadsheet. I could not get it to open on the rankings page…it was missing an underline like the other links have.

Saint
Saint
5 months ago

Hello Malamoney,

12 Team 6×6 H2H OPS Dailey

Great stuff on Witt. I also drafted Moncada to keep 3B “warm” until Witt gains eligibility there. My current SS is Bichette. When I drafted him another manager stated I sniped him from him as he then drafted Devers. Your thoughts on leaving Witt at SS and offering Bichette for Devers? Obviously I would be shorted on SB’s, but a gain on power and OPS.

I also have Freeman, Teoscar, O’Neill, Badoo, B.Lowe, and Devers who will all contribute to SB’s, and on a weekly basis I’m OK with semi punting the category to gain an increase in the HR, RBI, and OPS categories.

Thanks in advance for your reply

Saint
Saint
Reply to  malamoney
5 months ago

Thanks, Bichette fell to the second round in ESPN where their rankings of some players are wonky. Couldn’t pass up the value. Appreciate your opinion

johnnyhobbes
johnnyhobbes
5 months ago

Hey! Take Pollock, CJ Abrams or Aaron Ashby ? Drop jazz Chisholm for any of them?

johnnyhobbes
johnnyhobbes
Reply to  malamoney
5 months ago

Cristian Javier is out there, pretty valuable SPARP- Javier over Ashby? if possible id probably pick up both and see how they do the first few weeks.

packers2018
packers2018
5 months ago

Thank you.