Please see our player page for Daniel Murphy 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.

Greetings all, I’m stepping in for Mr. Pants today throwing on short rest. I went and got loose in the pen and now I’m ready to get poppin’. It’s been a long week so rather than beat around the bush, let’s just dive right into what I saw around the MLB on Friday night:

 

Ryan Weber – 3 inn 7 baserunners 2 ER 3 Ks. He’s bad and so is their bullpen.

Brandon Workman – 1 inn 0 ER and SV. Okay except for him, he’s the only bright spot in that radioactive wasteland.

Andrew Benintendi – 0-4 with BB, 1 run, and the golden sombrero as he continues to bat leadoff hitting .061/.279. I’ve noticed he’s walking a lot yet his contact is atrocious. His eyes are fine, but his swing is way off. I have no idea why Roenicke is keeping him at leadoff. Could be to ensure he has more ABs to help him out of his funk and/or further evidence the Sawx are mailing in this entire season. Just one big extended Spring Training.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Isan Diaz opted out of the season. Someone doesn’t want to sneak out to the strip club anymore. Then, on Sunday, the Marlins said they would bring up Monte Harrison and summon a bunch of journeymen to Baltimore for their next series, starting on Tuesday. I don’t care if they have one player, as long as that player’s Monte Harrison. Outside of Harrison, it sounds like their lineup might be filled with Matt Joyce, Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla. “Bah gawd…it’s Ricky Nolasco’s music!” Last year, Harrison went 9/20/.274 in 56 Triple-A games. *does the robot as I head to my waiver wires to pick up Monte Harrison in every league* Robot voice, “Don’t…mind…if…I…” Damn, I was messing around, and someone got him before me. Stupid slow robot! So, grab Monte Harrison in every league for some power and great speed, though he might hit .210. I’d wait and see on Jorge Cantu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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BABIP is going to fuel batting average this year, which is to say good luck finding lucky hitters. Now one thousand words on how maybe we can pare down the luck. Since 2000, only three players have qualified for the batting title and hit .400+ BABIP. Last year was a particularly weird year. In 123 games and 518 plate appearances, Tim Anderson hit .335 with a .399 BABIP. Like a sushi chef who smells his fingers after handling hirame, “That’s fluky.” Yoan Moncada had 559 plate appearance and a .406 BABIP. (The other two .400+ BABIPs since 2000 were Manny Ramirez in 2000 and his .403 BABIP and Jose Hernandez in 2002 with a .404 BABIP.) Someone this year is going to have a .425+ BABIP and hit .350+. I hope it’s Ketel Marte, because I own him in every league. Pulling focus and moving into a close-up shows that in August of last year there were 15 guys who had a .400 BABIP. I’d el oh el if I weren’t such a serious man. In September, there were also 12 guys who had .400+ BABIPs. Wait, it gets better. In a full slate of games in September, Moncada had a .520 BABIP and hit .412. Yo, Yoan, you Tony Gywnn Jr. Jr. or no? Okay, cool. You might think BABIP is fueled by speed in the short-term, to which I say, Ryan McBroom, Wil Myers and Kyle Schwarber were in the .400+ BABIP group in September. BABIP is going to make batting averages a short-term coin flip, but we still need to figure out some battle plan. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for batting average?

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On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

On Wednesday, we explored next year’s dynasty catcher crop.

Today, we’ll stay on that future theme but continue our position-by-position focus, zooming in on first base.

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This was written before all the craziness this week and nothing has changed. Despite the season being moved back, there’s still a ton of value in drafts. It just blows my mind how many good players there are outside of the Top-150. That’s where all of these guys lie and I truly believe that a couple of these players can be game-changers for your fantasy team. Without further ado, let’s get into some of my late-round values. 

If you have any comments or questions, comment me below or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel 

Also, if you want to see some of my team previews, check out my profile here! 

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Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.

For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

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Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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Murphy’s law states that, “If something can go wrong, it will.” Murphy’s Law of Expectations (made up by me) has a similar theme: Assumptions lead to outsized expectations, which translates to disappointment. Imagine if your significant other comes home one day and says, “Honey, I’m going to get a boob job or penis enhancement procedure done.” Well, alrighty then. You get all excited and start mental masturbating over gazoongas or I___________________________________________________________________I. But what if the procedure was to reduce the size, or there was a complication with the procedure? You’d be pissed because the outcome did not correlate to all the mental masturbating sessions. That is what happened with Daniel Murphy last draft season. Even though he was coming off knee surgery and missed half of the season, signing with the Colorado Rockies had owners all over the land mental masturbating over what he could do in the confines of Coors Field. There’s no debating that hitting in Coors Field boosts hitting, but the outsized expectations led his ADP to skyrocket from 160 overall up to as high as the 36th overall player. Murphy finished the year hitting .279 with 14 homers in 478 plate appearances. As a result, he’s being selected as the 245th player in NFBC drafts according to data from 1/1/20 to 2/10/20. Does Murphy’s Law of Expectations work the other way as well?

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It’s time for my first (and longest) post of the year. My LABR Mixed draft review.

As always, thanks to Steve Gardner at USA Today for the invite.

Last Year Recap (here’s my post-draft writeup)
Yet again, another competitive season (92 points) but outside the top two (6th place out of 15). The last 5 years I have scored between 87-102.5 points and finished between 3rd-7th.

This is not for lack of trying or being too conservative. Sometimes you barrel a ball only to end up with a double off the Green Monster vs a home run.

One year after basically throwing away a 4th round pick (Darvish 2018), I ended up getting absolutely nothing from my 2nd round pick (Stanton). Combine that with a 10th percentile bad outcome with my 5th round pick (Daniel Murphy) and it is a marvel I was in the top half of the standings. The rest of my early picks were solid to very good: deGrom (#1), Rendon (#3), Mondesi (#4), Robles (#6), Vazquez (#7). I hit big on two later picks with Austin Meadows (#14) and Christian Vazquez (#28). I do not recall any major in-season pickups but I imagine I did pretty well in that regard. I traded Mondesi for Hoskins once my SB lead was secure but Hoskins struggled. Traded Robles late for Bryce Harper which worked out okay.

Congrats to Steve Gardner on the win and Zach Steinhorn on the tough 2nd place finish (crazy last week).

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As someone who lives in Colorado and considers the Rockies “My Team,” I’m ecstatic to get to write their team preview. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a fan because how the hell can anyone be a fan of the Rockies? It’s fun to watch these guys mash baseballs in Coors Field but it’s embarrassing to watch these pitchers crap the bed year after year. That’s simply the nature of playing in Coors Field every year and it makes for some weird baseball. That will surely be a major focus of this preview, so, let’s go ahead and get into it!

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