I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Austin Gomber to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.
Yesterday, Gary Sanchez went 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .184. As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy on the backend of the site doing year-end recaps for every position, and, yes, even the catchers, which will be released after the season ends. With that said, did good ol’ Gary have the worst season ever for a consensus number one at a position? Was it consensual? “Why ya gotta put the word sensual in consensual?” every man in 2018. By the by, was there a grabby hands discount coupon at GropeOn that I missed? Sanchez’s year makes Cervelli look like a first ballot Hall of Famer. And, if there’s ever a wing for concussions, I hope Cervelli’s CTE is one day in there. Sanchez might be the first person to ever achieve exactly half of his preseason projections. Even his batting average is about half of what was expected. For 2019, I could see him recovering, but I won’t be the one to draft him to find out. In other words, I’ll be bringing out major hedges with Sanchez, while drafting Austin Hedges. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why do I keep hearing in my head Deniece Williams? “Let’s hear it for the boy! Let’s give that ball a hand!” Am I the only one hearing that? Recently, Jameson Taillon mentioned that he always smells the ball before playing catch. What is with guys smelling balls? Don’t pretend I’m the only one! Is that a carryover from our gorilla days? I’m like John Scopes with a monocle! Speaking of evolution, I was recently thinking about how we’ve managed to stand upright, but thousands of years and we’re not using our feet as hands yet? Like you wouldn’t take three hands and hop on one leg all day, please. Any hoo! Jameson Taillon threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.24. I’m going to like him in 2019, as I’ve liked him for the last few years, but I can’t say I’m as excited about his 8 .4 K/0, 2.2 BB/9 and 3.56 xFIP as I wish I were. His fastball velocity of 95 MPH should be producing a tad more. I think there’s a 10 K/9 in there somewhere, but since he’s basically repeated his previous year’s stats, it’s hard to expect that much more in 2019. Still, have to give the ball a hand! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the biz, we call this post, In Appreciation. It’s like In Memoriam, but Jennifer Hudson isn’t singing a song and no one died. What did you just ask? Is your childhodd guinea pig alive again because I just said, ‘No one died?’ Doode, I’m saying no one died in general. No, that doesn’t mean General Tsao is alive again! Shut up! Yesterday, Javier Baez went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 31st homer, hitting .295. That day? For this year? As the pimp told his lady of the night, ho-hum. But, five ladies and gentlemen, Javier Baez is your NL MVP if only Cubs fans vote! By the by, Baez has more 100 RBI seasons in his career than Bryce Harper. I will now drop a 140 WUT. How about we make every post the rest of the year about how much Bryce sucks? Worst 35-homer hitter in the history of baseball ever? Okay, that’s prolly Adam Dunn, but Bryce is real close for useless. When the Nats need a big hit, he Ks or walks. When the game is out of reach and no one is on? Harper’s you’re man. Okay, this is becoming about Harper instead of Baez. On the year, Baez has 31 HRs, 21 SBs, .295 and 90/100 on the runs/RBIs. On our Player Rater, he is teetering between 5th and 6th overall. For 2019, I’m having a hard time envisioning me ranking him any lower than 10th overall, and likely much closer to top five. Now, about that sucker Harper… Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oakland A’s rookie outfielder slash speed demon slash rocket arm slash hot shot Ramon Laureano hit two home runs Friday night including his first career lead off bomb to which even Ricky Henderson nodded in approval. He became the first A’s player with two multi-home run games in his first 30 games and the rook upped his slash to .309/.387/568 with five bombs, 13 RBI, and let us not forget, a perfect 4-for-4 in steals chances. Yes, hashtag SAGNOF. That’s why we’re talking about him for 2018. Ramon lead off for just the second time in his young MLB career (he doubled twice leading off Wednesday) but considering such positive results, it’s likely he’ll see a lot more time there throughout the remainder of the season. Laureano held an .895 OPS with 13 homers and 11 steals in 63 games at AAA before his call up and has done nothing but excel since he got here. Everybody loves this guy! Is it because he delivered a game winner in his MLB debut? Is it because he has the potential to be a real life 5-tool player? Or is it because he plays defense like a gold glover and has an absolute cannon of an arm that would make Tom Brady blush. Sweet sassy molassy! I’m sorry I have to watch that again. And you’re sure I don’t get fantasy points for that? If, like most people, you’ve already moved on to fantasy football and are sad about your Leveons or your McKinnons, try to remember Ramon Laureano for your 2019 sleeper radar. But if you are still with us, and you need some speed and runs and average in the stretch run, go grab yourself a bowl of Ramon while he’s hot!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. sit in the airport, waiting for their flight out to Toronto, trying to make small talk, “How has post-Hall of Fame life been?” “Good, good, how has post, uh, mustache life been?” “Fine, yeah, fine.” Finally, a Cooperstown employee approaches, “Where do you want Dale Long’s sarcophagus?” “Are you not staying with it?” “I was just told to deliver it. Now, if Kendrys Morales breaks the home run record, you press this button on the side of the sarcophagus.” Ken and Don look at each other and decide to try the button. Dale’s sarcophagus opens and what resembles a crypt keeper says, “Wow, I can’t believe he broke our record. That’s outta sight!” And Dale’s mummified eyes spin like a slot machine. This is reenactment of what Mattingly and Griffey are going through as they join Kendrys for the chase of their home runs in eight straight games record. Yesterday, Morales homered in his 7th straight game, going 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, and that was his 21st homer. I actually just picked up Kendrys Morales in my RCL league, after I picked up my jaw from surprise that he was still available. He’s so smooth right now, they call him Kendrys Alba. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Wrist Sprain: After missing most of June with a DL stay, Hellickson finds himself back there again, this time with a more serious wrist injury. Hellickson has had an interesting season — he’s allowed more than 3 ERs just once in his 18 starts, but has also only pitched 6 innings twice. Stash or Trash: The Nationals are being optimistic in their hopes that Hellickson will only miss one start. A pitcher with a wrist injury to their throwing hand? I’d expect a longer stay. I’d still stash him though until we hear more. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, the Mets exploded for 16 runs. Leading the way was Todd Frazier going 3-for-6, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with a slam (12) and legs (7). Actually, Frazier, Jose Bautista (1-for-3, 1 RBI), Jose Reyes (2-for-5, 2 runs) and Austin Jackson (2-for-4, 2 runs) are all starting to click! Wait, that’s their bones and it’s from arthritis. Shoot, my b. The true star, however, Brandon Nimmo (5-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) rose from the depths of the deep, dark water. That’s not a Finding Nemo allusion. He plays in Flushing and we know what water is associated with that. Nimms — Can we call him that? Sure, right? — is hitting near .350 in the last week, and homered a few games ago (precise!). For most part, it’s been dank Nimms but he’s no longer unDeRWaTEr aND HitTinG WeLL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Know why Steve Pearce went off yesterday for three homers (3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 6th, 7th and 8th homer)? Because he’s only owned in 3% of fantasy leagues. That’s spiteful, Steve Pearce. Spite is one of the seven deadliest sins. Right after that soup the fat guy ate in Se7en. Not to be confused with Goop, which is Paltrow’s career after she stopped being harassed by Harvey Weinstein. Allow a gross, sweaty producer to rub his genitals against you in unwanted advances, win an Oscar. Sleep with that guy from Coldplay, do movies with Huey Lewis. Speaking of Coldplay, Pearce has been terrible for the last few weeks, but the Sawx have committed to Pearce in a favorable lineup spot, at least against lefties, which he’s rewarded them with solid production (hitting near-.360 vs. lefties). He’s not quite at a Goop-level bounce back, but he is above starring with Huey Lewis and/or Chris Martin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Every time Max Muncy hits a home run, a little piece of me dies. Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but that’s exactly how I feel these days. It would be bad enough if I’d just read about Muncy and not taken a fantasy flier on him, but given that I was one of the folks actually suggesting him as a pick-up — because his past numbers were better than I thought they’d be after I looked them up, because Dave Roberts was finding a way to keep Muncy in the lineup even as the players he’d been replacing were returning from their injuries, because he just looked like he knew what he was doing at the plate — and STILL not wrapping my head around the notion that he’d be a productive player as the season progressed… well, that just makes a girl feel silly. And a bit sad.
In the deep league world, guys like Muncy can be insane difference-makers. I have a couple NL-only leagues where I’m hovering around 4th place, trying to scratch and claw my way to a money finish. If I had picked up Muncy in those leagues, he singlehandedly would have provided stats that would likely have me in 2nd place, where a strong last couple of months could put me over the top and give me a good shot at winning my league.
I’ll regret Muncy all season – and perhaps beyond in my keeper leagues – but nothing I can do about it now. Time to get back to my Muncy-less NL-only reality, scouring the waiver wire for anyone that might provide a boost between now and the end of September. And speaking of the waiver wire, time to get down to business and take a look at some names who might be available for those looking for help in the deep-league world.Please, blog, may I have some more?