Please see our player page for Kyle Isbel 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.

Welcome back everybody! I hope your week was awesome and you were able to cash a few bucks and maybe even take down a tournament or two this week. How about those lesser-owned players right? Vogelbach was huge on Sunday and was in the winning lineups on quite a few tournaments I saw, I hope you had him yesterday if you played. It’s a six-game main slate today so stacking is going to be the play. The trick is going to be getting to that lesser owned stack than everybody else is going to be on so I’ll go give my insight on that a little later.

Based on my title above you probably figured out who my target pitcher is and that’s indeed the Duffster. Danny Duffy ($8,300) will face the Rays on Monday who although their record is 8-8 and coming off a sweep against the Yankees didn’t look that special and a lot of that seemed to be on the Yankees not playing well defensively and shooting themselves in the foot rather than the Rays playing great. I think there will be a letdown in the Rays going on the road to Kansas City and having to face a hard-throwing lefty such as Duffy. Duffy is 2-0 and has only allowed 1 ER in both of his starts against the Angels and Indians respectively. Duffy is limiting hard contact as his hard hit% and barrel % look good so far and he has faced some good right-handed lineups in the Angels and Indians batting order and has shut them both down. Duffy has a four-pitch mix and commands the ball well similar to Carlos Rodon’s profile who I mentioned here last Monday (Start moved to Wed due to illness) and we saw what Rodon was able to do against the Indians. I don’t think Duffy will quite live up to Rodon’s start obviously but I do think he will be successful in limiting the Rays to weak contact hits and won’t hurt you in the BB department. I think Duffy’s floor is 6 IP 3 Hits 2 BB 7 K 1 ER which is what you need on a limited slate today.

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We’re less than two weeks in to the 2021 baseball season, and already player values have been changing all over the place.  Deep-league names that we were talking about weeks ago — and who were completely off the radar for most fantasy owners then — have shot up ownership charts.  Guys that weren’t even drafted in many or even most NL or AL-only leagues suddenly have medium/mixed-league numbers.  In CBS leagues, Yermin Mercedes is now an 80% owned player.  Akil Baddoo went from 18 to 68 percent in one week, Cedric Mullins from 20 to 60%.   And in perhaps in the most extreme deep-league rags to standard-league riches story of the young season, Tyler Naquin’s ownership went from 1% to 82% in one week.

So, what’s a deep-leaguer in need of lineup reinforcements but facing a picked-clean waiver wire to do?  I’d say re-group to the changed landscape, and keep looking in case more hidden gems emerge.  There may not be anyone out there who’s going to give you a first-week Tyler Naquin level of production (he’s on pace for 90 homers, 252 RBI, and 18 stolen bases, by the way… so, uh, pretty sure there’s a bit of a cool-down coming at some point), but let’s look at a few names to see if there may be someone who can fill a temporary hole or give you a small deep-league boost.  We’ll go from most to least owned, starting with those that may be available in medium-deep leagues and finishing with some ultra-deep league 1-percenters.

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Yabba Dabba Baddoo! Big Bad Baddoo Daddy! He’s a Baddoo Baddoo man! Who? Akil Baddoo, that’s who who. Whatchu gonna doo doo when Akil Baddoo comes for you you? You you have no answer because Baddoo makes the rooroo-ules. Don’t you you see see I’m Greybot3000 and and I am am malfunctioning…please oil my joints. Steam pours out of Greybot’s ears, slowly he falls over and puns mutter out onto the floor. Yikes, I might need a mechanic. So, Tigers have Grossman, the two outcome player leading off, then it just gets progressively worse until the 9th place hitter and Andre 3000’s ex namleganger, Baddoo. If I’m the Tigers, I’m staying the hell away from Joe Exotic, and I am not leaving Baddoo in the nine hole. Let my man sink or swim, and move him up to the three hole. He might be a hot schmotato, but he had a year at the tender age of 19 in Class A, where he hit 11 homers, and stole 24 bags. He’s never struggled with strikeouts, and actually could have a .360-ish OBP. With a 55-grade power tool and 60-grade speed, you might just sneak into a 25/20/.260 guy. Whatever the case, I grabbed him everywhere. Now let’s put on our pinstripe suit, patented leather shoes, and watch Big Bad Baddoo Daddy swing with their hit song, You & Me & Baddoo Makes 3. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yermin Mercedes looks like he’ll offer a smooth ride for the lucky few fantasy baseballers (Grey’s mom’s term) who paid up for him on the first faab run. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see him hit yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough. He’s got a high leg kick and a loose bat waggle that settles late and gives off the vibe that he’s going to be behind on every pitch. Instead, he generates good bat speed and pairs that with excellent barrel control to the extent that he’s pulling pretty much everything so far (55%) but has shown an ability to go oppo (just 10% this year) throughout his professional career. 

Whether he can keep up against premium velocity when a pitcher is hitting his spots remains to be seen, but the middle of that White Sox order is as cozy a lineup spot as there is in the game. If he can hold his own there, he’ll drive in a ton of runs. His sprint speed puts him in the 26th percentile, which is actually a little faster than I would’ve guessed, and he looks it on the field. It’s pretty fun to watch him scoot, where he appears to have pretty good baserunning instincts. Makes sense considering he’s been on base half the time for about a decade now. If you missed him in a league with trades, I suggest checking in with the team that got him. We’ve all seen this type of player flash and then fade like a Chris Shelton or one of the Duncans, so you’re taking on a good deal of risk in making legitimate offers, but those guys–and most who flame out–are power over hit who get hot for an early stretch before pitchers figure them out. The Yerminator is an amorphous being, at least in terms of barrel control–the T-1000 of the early-season face melters–and Judgment Day is coming for us all.

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Just like that Opening Day has come and gone in a flash.  Well, a thunderstorm in Boston and COVID testing in Washington DC reminds us that we still live in one crazy world.  But regardless, we have baseball and with baseball we have Fantasy Baseball to keep us occupied.  Whether you have one or five or even ten teams, early in the season is when we search for those hidden gems.

In today’s article, we are going to review three young hitters that broke camp with the big league club due to strong springs.  While spring training stats are generally useless to project into the regular season, they sure can help win a starting role.  The real question we need to answer is:  Does spring success mean it is time to invest?  Do we have a Mike Olt on our hands or did we discover the next Mike Trout?  While I am pretty certain we have not discovered the next Mike Trout, we need to dig in and see what type of value might be sitting on the waiver wire to add that young spark to your fantasy clubhouse.  Because if we know anything, it is extremely important to have fantasy clubhouse chemistry!

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It’s finally time, baseball is back. Drafts are done and you all won your leagues already. Wrong, you don’t win at the draft. Now the real work starts. Working the wire and staying on top of matchups is what brings home the trophy. So how do you do that? I’m glad you asked. Don’t over react to the way a guy starts the season, hot or cold. Too often we are tempted to put way more stock into the first two or three weeks of the season than we do for any other two or three week stretch. Don’t be that guy or gal. This is especially important with “stud” players who struggle out of the gate. You drafted them highly for a reason so don’t be too eager to cut bait. Baseball is a beautiful, weird, fluky game where tenths of a second or an inch can be the difference between an out or a hit. In a few weeks or so we’ll take a look at who’s start is legit and who isn’t. But basically it will boil down to the process behind the results. Don’t panic if one of your top guys puts up a couple zeros to open the season. If a guy is crushing the ball but always right at the defense, you just have to be patient. Eventually those will start turning into hits and hits are points. Now I know that this isn’t specific to points leagues, but the general principle still holds true. 

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“Hello, Proprietor of a Milliner, I understand your trade is hat-making. I was wondering if you could make this Dairy Queen sundae helmet into a normal-sized head helmet…Right, right, I get that. Yes, I guess I could just buy a helmet from the John Olerud collection, but I’d like this exact Kansas City Royals sundae helmet. It’s for Opening Day for the 2021 baseball season, Mr. Milliner–Wait a second, I’m seeing news come across my ticker…Adalberto Mondesi has an oblique strain? Forget it, Opening Day is called off. Goodbye.” How do you strain your oblique on the one day without baseball between now and July? Was he reaching up to get a suitcase out of overhead baggage? Well, I too have baggage, but I push my baggage down until I randomly start crying at red lights! Why, why whywhywhy…Well, I guess, Happy Opening Day! It feels less happy now with Mondesi news. The Royals recalled Nicky Lopez, which is objectively just funny. If you have late drafts, like after Opening Day, I updated top 500 for Mondesi, conservatively removing 100 at-bats, which is roughly three weeks to a month. It seemed like a big stretch to have Mondesi hitting 3rd in that lineup. Obviously too big of a stretch for his oblique. Hopefully, he can get back soon, because it’s Opening freakin’ Day! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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Happy holidays! For your present this year, I’m pushing out the Top 50 First Year Player Prospects. I chose those words precisely because rankings to me are like childbirth. Painful. Everybody wants to see. And then your in-laws complain about the name you picked out. Wonderful! For reals though, these specs are the most unsurest of an unsure bunch, so tiers are chunked in tens. I won’t put up much of a fuss within tiers, but if you want to talk about a player being in the wrong tier altogether, I think that’s a discussion worth having. I’ve already gone over my Top 10 First Year Player Prospects, and in that intro I talked a little about where my head’s at when I do these. (Insert “up my ass” joke here). Enjoy!

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We might be standing on the precipice of a seemingly non-stop string of Braves hurlers to emerge from their system. We’ve seen bits and pieces of Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint, and Kolby Allard. Both 2017 first rounder Kyle Wright and my favorite Braves arm, Bryse Wilson, are at AAA. While another rotation worth of arms stew below; players like Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Joey Wentz, Huascar Ynoa, Freddy Tarnok, Etc. There’s reinforcements coming, and Bryse Wilson, after last night’s performance, might be squarely on the callup radar. In his third AAA start Wilson went 8 scoreless innings, allowing  1 hit, walking none, and striking out 13 batters, facing the minimum amount of batters for a 99 gamescore. A few weeks ago I discussed Wilson’s transition from a two-seam fastball to a four-seamer, and the subsequent results following a rough stretch early in AA. There’s obviously a great deal of credit that goes to the Braves staff, but ultimately it’s on the player. The fact that his transition was so swift and seamless, speaks to the intangibles of that prospect. While it’s somewhat unlikely, seeing Wilson in the bigs for some pen work or a few spot starts wouldn’t surprise me.

Every single time I spend weeks sweating over my rankings a player emerges as under-ranked by yours truly almost immediately. The current thorn in my recently released rankings side is one Wander Franco. Ranked 82nd on my most recent Top 500, an uber-talented middle infielder with a highly touted bat. I figured being 20 spots or so into the Top 100 on a 17 year old was a pretty big statement. I was wrong. Since the final look over of my list, Franco has gone bonkers, 15-for-33, with 3 homers, 2 doubles, a triple, and 14 runs driven in. Oh, and by the way, over that period he’s struck out once. “Yeah, yeah Ralph that’s great, but it’s rookie ball!” Sure, but it’s advanced rookie ball and he’s the second youngest player in the league, and one of two 17 year olds (the Yankees Everson Pereira is the other). After last night’s game he’s sitting on a 24 game hit streak, and has nearly as many homers (6) as he does strikeouts (8), all this while he hits .384/.418/.652.

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