This happened during the holiday season in my house: Me, “Do you know what not winning the Cy Young did to your mother? I don’t care, personally, if you throw your life away being an ace while never bringing home the postseason hardware, but your mother, she told all of her friends at her Wally Lamb book club for three straight months that you were going to win the Cy Young. She even made me go to Costco, on a Sunday during their busiest time, and buy burgers and buns for a Sonny Gray Cy Young party. Then you only receive one 2nd place vote and no first place votes. I’m disappointed, and you giving your mother and I Billy Butler BBQ sauce for Christmas doesn’t really make up for it.” Sonny, “Sorry, Pops.” “Did you even buy this or did you get it free?” I then threw Billy Butler’s BBQ into the fireplace and screamed, “Did you?!” It was an ugly scene. He’s my boy, Sonny Gray, and I love him very much, but it’s time we look at him through a non-familial gaze. Last year, he had a 2.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 208 IP while breaking out as a number one fantasy starter. Or did he?! Ah, Reversal Question, you are quick…Or are you?! I am!…Or am I?! Anyway, what can we expect from Sonny Gray for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?
Right from the jump, I can say he’s overrated because of how goofy high people are ranking him. He’s in the top 60 overall for almost everyone and a top 15 starter for some ‘perts. Man, I wish I could’ve seen how people ranked Brady Anderson that one year after he hit 50 homers. I, of course, was only five years old in the 1990s (during the whole decade) because I’m barely a millennial, but people sure do overrate the previous year. What’s weird (not weird) I swear to Allah or whoever you stop three times a day to pray to that the same people who rank my boy, Sonny, that high also think he’s overrated. That’s confusing, right? People rank someone high, then say out the other side of their mouth that they don’t like him. It’s almost like the entire fantasy baseball ‘pert community is scared of what others will think of them, so they rank how they think you want them to rank rather than how they really want to rank. This shouldn’t be that surprising since most of the fantasy baseball community spent somewhere from five to six hours of their life trapped in a locker in gym class. Perhaps I’m just so damn cool that I never experienced bullying like that so I don’t succumb to how others want me to rank. You think I’m kidding, but I’m dead serious. There’s some serious psychological stuff going on with fantasy rankings. Last year, I said something to Tristan Cockcroft like, “Don’t you like Nolan Arenado?” He replied, “Yeah, I do.” So, I followed with, “Then why do you rank him down in the 80s?” And he says because that’s where he’s going. Why do people rank players where they are going rather than ranking players where they should be going? Seriously. This drives me crazy every year. So, with that psychological scarred thinking in mind, remembering that half of the ‘perts are ranking because they are afraid of bullying, people are only ranking Sonny Gray as high as they have him because they think YOU want him there. Everyone knows Sonny Gray is overrated. His K/9 fell last year to 7.3 from 7.5 and his xFIP was 3.69. He has a low BABIP, which is somewhat understood due to his home park, but not entirely. Gray is perfectly acceptable as a number two fantasy starter, but he’s being drafted as a number one, which he is not. Contrary to what the media wants you to believe, the A’s aren’t a good team. Their lineup of Lowrie, Reddick, Khris Davis, Vogt, Valencia, Moobsy Butler, Yonder, has real problems. Steamer projects Gray for a stat line of 12-12/3.74/1.30/174. That’s a little harsh, but it’s not far from where it could be. Last year was a terrific year, but you’re not drafting for last year, even if most ‘perts want you to believe you are. You’re drafting for this year.