You ever draft, like, twelve teams and have eleven teams that are all very similar and one team that is nothing like the other teams? This, here, is that other team. In theory, this team could be my one good team and the other eleven could be garbage, but I sure hope that’s not the case. I started this draft like every other league this offseason — by taking Pete Alonso in the 2nd round. At that point, this team veered into a different direction to never return. For those not in the know, it’s a weekly, 15-team, 5×5, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. NFBC has decided to cut off new slow draft leagues like this one, so I don’t think we’re doing another one this year. Sorry, I wanted to do one more league too. I will now put on The Knack and change the words in my head to My Corona. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Drew Pomeranz 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.
The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.
Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The end of the 2019 fantasy baseball will be no easier than the rest of it. Pitching is imploding all around us. Do what you can to stem the tide of disaster and consider an effective middle reliever over a volatile starter.
- The Brad Hand saga continues. More positivity from the team (shocker!) as they say Hand “looked like himself” in a bullpen session. I guess that’s better than looking like Willie McGee? We’re still locked in the downward spiral of news, shaky outing, rest, repeat. The bullpen usage in Cleveland hasn’t sent any clear message about saves in Hand’s stead. Oliver Perez earned a save of the one out variety while Nick Wittgren is getting used in leverage spots but not getting the final out. Call ups James Karinchak and James Hoyt are also in the mix with Nick Goody and Adam Cimber as other possibilities. Fun times.
- Turns out Felipe Vasquez is an asshole and a pedophile. Can’t say it was nice knowing you. Enjoy federal pound me in the ass prison. As for the shipwreck that is the Pirates Keona Kela is the lead candidate to close given his stuff and closing experience. Richard Rodriguez could see the ninth if Kela is shaky or gets hurt, as he tends to do.
- Kenley Jansen blew his eighth save, just after a stretch of solid outings. The Dodgers seem to be committed to him as their closer and want him to get right for the postseason. When you thrive with only an elite cutter the end comes fast when the pitch loses some bite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jansen retire this offseason when you consider his 2018 heart issue.
- Matt McGill returned to the head of the closer committee in Seattle notching his fifth save Wednesday. He’s the favorite to finish as their primary closer if he remains healthy.
- We all roasted the Brewers for acquiring Drew Pomeranz. Who’s laughing now? He’s been an excellent reliever and just picked up his second save. Only having to face batters once clearly suits him with 36 Ks in 21.1 IP.
- Hunter Harvey is being shut down for the rest of the season with bicep soreness. File his name away as a late dart in the 2020 saves chase. Please, blog, may I have some more?
A bunch of bullpens have undergone reseeding after a flurry of deadline moves. It’s not a bad time to grab a speculative arm in an uncertain situation. As the ultimate standing climber, Petr Baelish, once said, “Chaos is a ladder.” Just be careful who you trust your ratio’s with…Please, blog, may I have some more?
MLB teams were whistling 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover yesterday:
Just slip out the back, Zac, make a new plan, Tanner,
Don’t need to be coy, Greek God of Hard Contact, just listen to me,
Hop on the bus, Jesus, don’t need to discuss much,
Just drop off the key, Greinke, and get yourself free.
The deadline seemed to be lulling people to sleep, then the Diamondbacks stepped up and decided they were contenders, be-bopping Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins for Zac Gallen. But it turned out they were Indiana Jones, when he would replace an ancient artifact with a sand bag by switching one Zack with another Zac, so the booby trap wouldn’t expose them to trouble. See, and I always thought the idea of the outfield hot tub was to expose booby traps. Incredibly, the Cardinals announced the Zack Greinke to Astros deal hours before the Diamondbacks. The Astros rotation is now, as they would’ve said in the 20’s, bona fide. In good spirits, Justin Verlander tweeted out, “As long as we don’t get Bauer, we good.” I hear that, JV. I don’t trust home/away splits much at all, unless it’s Coors vs. non-Coors, but, if you must know 2.96 home ERA vs. 2.80 away. Usually it’s the inverse, but Greinke is a 15-year vet; you really think he’s going to pitch that differently in Houston? The answer you’re looking for is no. He’s a control artist whiz like you’d want from your child when they’re doing the pee-pee dance. Speaking of which, did every team relieve themselves of their relievers? Let’s find out! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jordan Hicks sounds headed for Tommy John surgery with a torn UCL. This sucks; don’t get me wrong, but it’s amazing all the people shocked by this news just because the Cardinals said on Sunday it wasn’t serious. I wish I could be that uncynical. I wish I could see the birds chirping and not a bird nagging another bird to take out the trash, or see the flowers and not think, “I wonder who’s buried under there,” but alas…So, with Jordan Hicks out for the next 14-18 months, who will close? Carlos Martinez has the makings of a two-inning closer, I guess, but, man or five women, it seems super dumb to continue Carlos Martinez down the closer route. Don’t they want him to start again at some point? John Gant’s been great until he defecated the sheet out of my fantasy bed on Sunday. He might still get some looks. Then there’s wild cards, Andrew Miller (if he were great like years past; he’s no brainer) and Tyler Webb, who is only in discussion because he got one save look the game where Hicks was hurt. I’d go C-Mart and Gant at 55% vs. 42% chance and everyone else at 3%. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Zach Plesac was on the attack again Friday night holding the New York Yankees to just two earned runs on six hits in seven innings, he walked one and struck out five for his first career win. All this coming after another seven inning one-run gem last week in Chicago where he struck out seven. I’ve now learned to have blind faith in whatever young starting pitching prospect Cleveland brings up. Zach is now rocking a 1.86 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 14/3 K/BB through his first three starts, two of which came against fairly potent lineups (Boston and NY). Yep, I’ve seen all I need to see here. Where do I sign? I want to own the next Bieber/Clevinger before anyone else gets wind of this. Fun fact! Zach’s uncle Dan also won his first start against the Yankees in 1986 and even lost his first against White Sox! How cool is tha-ZZZZ. I mean, way cool! In nine starts in AA/AAA this year, Plesac was 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 56/7 K/BB! Uhh, yes please! Batters hit just .185 against him. So this isn’t exactly coming from nowhere. Sure, he has a bit of a limited arsenal which could catch up to him his second time through the league, but for now it’s all hands on deck. Uncle Dan gives him his full endorsement! He gets the weak Cincinnati Reds line up next week and I’d own him wherever I needed starting pitching help.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Friday night, Milwaukee Brewers’ newest phenom/heartthrob/infielder Keston Hiura went three for four with his fourth home run and three RBI. Keston case you were wondering, Hiura is slashing .296/.345/.537 with four homers a steal and seven RBI through his first 15 games in the majors with two of those dingers coming in the past week along with a .353 batting average in that stretch. Did I mention he has a four game hitting streak as well? Well yes. I just did. Hiura has arrived, folks. Grey gave you his Keston Hiura fantasy a few weeks ago, and when he didn’t Austin Riley rake out of the gate, excitement seemed to cool a bit for the 22 year old 2nd baseman. But now’s your chance. He hit .333/408/.698 in 37 games at AAA San Antonio with 11 home runs, 26 RBI and four steals. I liked everything about that last sentence. Of his 43 hits, 24 went for extra bases. Sure, the 40 strikeouts in just 129 ABs is a bit concerning but when you’re fishing for rookie upside you casually ignore little warning signs like that. Here’s what Grey said about Keston, “He was striking out way too much in Triple-A to hit .333 in the majors, but 18/7/.270 sounds about right from this point forward with a chance for more. Maybe he could even be the NL MVP.” Methinks Grey just likes him because of his mustache, but honestly, what’s not to like! He should only be better when Milwaukee comes to their senses and moves him into the heart of the lineup. Hiura/Yelich sammys anyone? He’s currently criminally under owned in many leagues and I’d add him everywhere he’s available. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Minnesota’s resident bad boy Miguel Sano continues his triumphal return to crushing baseballs and dinging dongs Friday night with his fifth home run (a solo shot) off Reynaldo Lopez in the third inning. Let it Sano. Let it Sano. Well, you get it. It seems like everyone on the Twins is having a career year so far, and Miguel has returned from the IL just in time to get on this sweet 2019 Twinkie action. He’s now slashing .250/.333/.857 with five home runs and nine RBI through seven games. Yes, you read that correct, five home runs in seven games. Extrapolate that. Calculating….calculating…calculating. Let’s see he’s on pace to hit 76 home runs from now until August. Hmm, wait that seems wrong. Irregardless! He’s 7-for-28 in the past week and five of those seven hits have gone yard-o, folks. If that doesn’t make your happy memorial day I don’t know what can. Sure, he’s got 11 strikeouts already, but he’s also slugging .857. This is Miguel Sano. This is what you’re signing up for. He swings and misses with the best in and biz but when he connects *kisses fingertips* mmm, grazie. He’s available in over 60% of leagues, but that number should shrink quite a bit once the Minneapolis die-hards wake up. He was a BUY and he’s definitely worth a flier if you need power, especially while he’s sending every baseball he touches to the moon. Pick him up, Sano you want to!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kinda obsessed with our Top 100 Fantasy Starts tool (not a tool as much as it’s a free list). Since I’m writing this on Sunday, I’m not sure yet where Shane Bieber and his 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 15 Ks will rank, but my guess is 1st or 2nd overall. (The tool (list?) updates after this is posted.) Pretty deep into the season to have Shane Bieber throw possibly the best start of the year. Bieber was the youngest Indians pitcher since 1987 with 12+ Ks — wow! — the last to do it was Greg Swindell — um, all right! Bieber was the 4th youngest since 1908 to have a 15-K, zero-walk game, the other three: Gooden — crazy! — Kerry Wood — nasty company! — and Vince Velasquez — well, um, he had a good game. Only two Indians starters in history with a shutout, no walks and 15 Ks are Bieber — damn! — and Luis Tiant, who at 78 years old just beat up my autocorrect for changing his name to Luis Taint. Sunday’s start shows why I wanted to draft Bieber in every league. Hopefully, he keeps it gong…gong…go I ng–Sorry, my autocorrect is scared to change anything now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?