A big part of 2021 fantasy baseball drafting is going to be not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The “baby” being a player who had a terrible 2020 season, and the “bathwater” is the player who had a great 2019, and was primed for a breakout before we entered the crazy two month nonsense of last year. Ramon Laureano is a prime example. His 2019 was 24 homers, 13 steals, .288 average and was ticketed for great things, then the 2020 season happened and no “great things” happened in the 2020 baseball season. Some good things happened if you’re a Dodgers fan, and willing to overlook the giant asterisk on the top right of your World Series banner, but great? Great, I don’t know about. I just googled “great” and it said, “Can I interest you in ‘just all right?'” In fairness to “just all right,” Ramon Laureano can’t make that claim. He was awful last year. No way around that little factoid. In 54 games last year, he went 27/6/25/.213/2 in 183 ABs. Wait, it gets worse! His average exit velocity was 87.7, which was in the bottom third of the league; his line drive rate fell, and his ground balls went up (not literally). You hit a WAP (weak-ass piddler) to the 2nd baseman, and you’re not going to get many hits. So, his .270 BABIP was low for him, and a sizable drop-off from his .342 mark the previous year, but can’t just say unlucky since his hits were so weak sauce. His strikeouts also went up, too, and not in a way that would lead one to believe he was overaggressive. His O-Swing% went down and his Swinging Strike% went way down. In other words, he was waiting for his pitch, and waiting and waiting and…Anyone have eyes on Ramon Laureano right now? I’m wondering if he’s standing at the plate somewhere watching a pitch. So, what can we expect from Ramon Laureano for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

What kind of hitter would suffer the most from a delayed start to a season and a 60-game sprint? If you answered, the type that starts slow. You’re correct and you win nothing. Well, you get an imaginary pat on the back. Hope that carries you through the day! Ramon Laureano starts slow. That means he’s a fast runner, and a slow starter. Like he’s half tortoise and half hare. Call him Herr Pistachio Disguisey. Or not. Your choice! In 2019, Ramon Laureano went 18/3/12/.199/3 in 136 ABs through his first 35 games. That’s from the end of March to roughly mid-May. Then he turned it on, and had a great season. Sure, he never turned it on this year, but he only had fifty extra at-bats from that start in 2019, or roughly ten games.

Breaking pitches were especially tough for Ramon Laureano last year. He had a .168 xBA on breaking pitches, and he was never a strong hitter on the junk. The previous year shows a .238 xBA. However, that’s usually rescued by how much he pounds fastballs. In 2019, he .306 xBA and .607 SLG on fastballs, but, in 2020, he was .269 xBA and .452 SLG. Fastballs runs above average went from 16.3 to 3.5, and his entire struggles can be traced directly back to his fastball-hitting ability. If he just returns serve to his previous marks on the fastball, there’s no way he’s less valuable than his current ADP, which reminds me: He has an ADP of 136. Ha, okay, but, wait, WUT? Not that late with 20+ homer power, and 10+ steal speed. He could hit .240 vs. .260 and he’d be worth that draft pick. I’m all-in, but if Ramon Laurean-slow comes out of the gate like Herr Pistachio Disguisey, my biggest concern for him is the A’s will hit him at the bottom of the order for April, and into May and it might damage his confidence. The good news is his glove is otherworldly, and there’s no way he’s platooned. For 2021, I’ll give Ramon Laureano projections of 83/25/68/.266/13 in 537 ABs with a chance for more.

 
  1. David Niven says:
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    Grand Poobah, thanks for keeping up the standard chief and hope you and yours are well.

    Would you throw Gallo or Donaldson for him in an OBP?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Appreciate you!

      Gallo or Donaldson, that order

  2. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    Sleepers are back!
    Laureano is a fine choice for your #1.
    The A’s as a team were terrible with no regular hitting above .247 (Tony Kemp so meh)other than LaStella who was there less than half the year.
    Semien, Olsen, Chapman blah. Gotta believe 2020 was an aberration if that means what I think it means.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A’s didn’t have a great offensive 2020, but it was a weird year, I’m not too worried, tho, Olson and Chapman aren’t .300 hitters

  3. Smitty says:
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    ZZZZZZ…oh sorry nodded off for a sec. Solid choice to kick things off, 2020 results will provide many discounts and Ramon is one. Let’s get this party started!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, don’t be nodding off on me!

  4. Dan says:
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    Love Laureano in 2021! I have him in a 14 team keeper.

    I just joined a 30 team H2H points dynasty with 155 million cap (actual mlb contracts)

    First 3 picks were Bellinger, Alonso, Darvish

    I was offered Mondesi for picks. Any idea what would be a fair offer? Never been in a league like this one.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What would they do it for? I’d start by offering to send a 4th rounder for Mondesi, then up to 3rd and 2nd

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, next pick if going in order right now

  5. The Great Knoche says:
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    I’d give up your next pick right now.

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      That was to Dan.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Ah

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      For Laureano?

    • Dan says:
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      Thanks to both! Will give a try, though probably have to add something else. He took Mondesi with his 3rd overall pick, so I’d be giving my round 4 pick. Maybe my next pick and a later round pick?

      My first 3 picks were bellinger, Alonso, darvish.

      Appologies for the lack of clarity.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        4th pick and 7-10th pick? Start at 10 and work backwards

        • Dan says:
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          Thanks! He wants 4 and 6 which might be too rich for my blood.

          With 4th pick looks like skubal and Matt Chapman May both be there. For dynasty would you lean one way?

          • Dan says:
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            Laureano and franmil also there

            • Dan says:
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              Robles too. Sorry

              Matt Chapman, Laureano, Franmil, Robles, Skubal is what I’m looking at. Dynasty format.. leaning Chapman. Would
              You take someone else?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’d take Mondesi

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Mondesi for Chapman and Skubal sounds fine, I’d push for 4/7 but take 4/6

  6. The Great Knoche says:
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    Draft Day!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Are you in my league or Donkey’s?

      • Dave D says:
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        He’s in ours and picking right before you at #4…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah, crap — You better take Laureano in the 1st then!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            You meaning Knoche

            • The Great Knoche says:
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              Yup. Got Ramon Laurencio all cued up.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Perfect!

              • Dave D says:
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                Put German Marquez and Tommy Pham in right behind him too…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Smart thinking!

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Looking at Ubaldo, just in case rumors are true that he comes out of retirement, you might want to queue him up

                    • Dave D says:
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                      I’m personally using a “Placeholder” in round 50 for “Fernando Valezuela”…I bet he can still pitch…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Good idea! I might just go Jeter and Mattingly in the later rounds, in case they decide they want to field themselves

                    • The Great Knoche says:
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                      Speaking of rumors. Reds looking at possible trade for Lindor or Story. That would take a big package.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Hey now! Yeah, it would — I’d like to see the Rockies get Aristides Aquino then not play him

              • Hernan says:
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                Good luck in draft!!!, may the better burrito get the best players!!!! 12 spot for me…, Laureano or Arozarena???

                • Dave D says:
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                  Buena suerte, amigo. Arroz y arena con muchas rocas y espinas. No roba mis selecciones, por favor!!!!

                  • Hernan says:
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                    The burritos demolished the competition in donkey’s late NFBC…, time to step up and beat the pros!!!!

                    • Dave D says:
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                      This ain’t the B-league however ;-)

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Randy! Good luck!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Good luck, Troutfarmer!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, didn’t have the bravery (stupidity?) to pass him at 5

                  • Dave D says:
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                    I dunno. I thought you’d take Dr. Pepper if he got to you but…. solid pick. Trout or Trea would both be good there.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Oh, I would’ve taken Soto, 100%, but didn’t have the choice — couldn’t pass Trout for Trea, but I can’t disagree with it if someone did

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, totally. I had the manager at #15 in another draft. I just took Lindor.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      You got Lindor? Nice! Then Machado? Also, great if that was you

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, that’s me. I’m pleased. Kinda wanted Bauer but didn’t sip the Kool-Aid.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, took exactly who I would’ve taken…Very solid

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Thanks!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      No problem

  7. The Great Knoche says:
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    Thanks for taking Tarenado. I had him and Xander up in my queue and was in a big debate with myself. Made it much easier on me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not really sure why Torenado is suddenly falling into the 3rd round of drafts

      • Dave D says:
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        Yeah, thats a solid value there… not sure why… unless maybe he’s being traded to the Tigers!!!!???

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Wouldn’t be ideal, but I think he’s more or less fine if he’s traded too

          • Dave D says:
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            Eur-ope

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha, yeah, took Albies, pretty happy so far!

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, nice pick! I’ve seen him go as early as 18. He should be great after burning me in 2020. I think he’ll go 20/21 in 2021.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Love me some Albies! Happy to have someone who might contribute 10+ steals too, after my 1st two picks might chip in less than 5

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, totally. I grabbed a second SS. Didn’t intend to, but having T. Anderson fall to me at 44 was too much to pass on.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, I would’ve done the same — two much of a 5-cat beast to pass up

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Damn, Alonso!

              • Dave D says:
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                Ha! Sorry. I needed some power and 4th round for him Im happy with. Last year going 21 ADP. Kinda same reasoning for me as you with Arenado.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, I love Alonso again…No reason he should be that late either

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Nice Lynn pick!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Figured getting at least one guy who might throw 200 IP is good

                  • Dave D says:
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                    No doubt!

                  • The Great Knoche says:
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                    Only Alonso concern is will DSmith steal ABs at 1st.

                    • Dave D says:
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                      Haha. NO!

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        Yeah, felt the same about Xander. People want that rookie nookie I guess.

  8. slimjim13 says:
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    Wonderful fantasy guru!!

    Which side would you prefer

    Sal Perez or Sonny Gray both $1 in 5×5 mixed league using OBP

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Gray

  9. Harley Earl says:
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    Yeah, I’m going to pass on this suggestion. You seem a little TOO optimistic here.

    I like Laureano but after he cratered this past season, I think he’s not quite as good as we initially thought. You do seem to sniff out sleepers pretty good, so no disrespect to you at all Sir. I’m just going to find somewhere else to invest.

    Even you acknowledged what a slow start could do for his batting order spot and confidence. I don’t want to be dealing with that in May or possibly June. No thanks!

    Now, let’s find another Teoscar!!!

  10. DonnieB says:
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    Stanton,Yaz or Laureano? Lots of Yaz love but that park scares me. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Laureano

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