So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Rowan Wick 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.
All in all, the MLB trade deadline wasn’t an all out bullen nuke. We have some spots that need updating but nothing more than 2020 has been throwing at us. If you’re falling behind in a category you need to attack it with an all out assault from multiple angles. See if some of these cheap sources can help you out.
- After trading away Archie Bradley we have an opening for the Diamondbacks closer. Two young names with a shot are Stefan Crichton and Kevin Ginkel. I’d have bet good money Ginkel was the guy prior to the season. He’s had lackluster results, however. Crichton has been solid on the other hand and building trust. Junior Guerra and Hector Rondon probably get the first opps but they should be moved aside fairly quickly.
- Aroldis Chapman has been suspended three games for throwing at Mike Brosseau. Zach Britton gets a little extra life if you were holding him on the chance Chapman stumbled.
- We’re still trying to figure out the Cubs bullpen. Jeremy Jeffress seems to be the flavor of the week after Rowan Wick had some hiccups and Craig Kimbrel is still serving meatballs. I’m still holding out hope that Wick can rise to the top of this foul brew.
- The Padres trading for Trevor Rosenthal makes more sense with them sending Emilio Pagan to the IL. They want a RHP compliment in the ninth for Drew Pomeranz. Pagan’s shoulder fatigue isn’t a great sign for his 2020 prospects.
- Two relievers are getting close to return from the IL and may be worth a stash where available in Nick Anderson and Wade Davis. Anderson is less likely to be out there and may not get saves even upon return. Davis will almost definitely get back into the ninth but may not have great results aside from saves. Pick your poison. Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
Being hearing a lot of gossip about Clint Frazier. That’s healthy. Ya know, some ginger tea. Don’t think the Yankees called Clint Frazier up just for make-up games, though this was overheard: “He’s not a clown?” Aaron Boone continued, “Oh, I thought he was for makeup games.” Then Boone laughed himself out of his mask.
Artwork by our talented writer, CoolWhip.
So, Clint Frazier has struggled to get real playing time with the Yankees, but maybe he’s this year’s spark plug. He does look like he’s fire. He’s a 20-homer, 7-steal, .260 hitter over a 162 games, and that lineup is so great, I’d take a flyer on Frazier. Some might say, “Clint Frazier? I like Mike Tauchman!” Yeah, Tauchman’s projected for 3 HRs, 2 SBs and a .255 average, how can he not be owned?! Dude’s a 20-game hot streak away from one good Trevor Story game! Okay, I’m being unfair and underselling. Projections don’t love Tauchman, but if he gets everyday at-bats, he’s worth a look or whoever is in that lineup replacing Stanton, whether it’s Aaron Hicks, Mike Ford, Clint Frazier, or PTBYankee’dL. So, this is kind of a Yankees’ placeholder in lineup endorsement, but Clint Frazier is the most interesting. Plus, *pinkie up as I sip* ginger tea. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
The following happened last weekend: Bryce Harper laid on the hotel bed, on his stomach, feet up behind him, as he whispered into the hotel phone, “Tell me another story.” From the other side of the line, “I’ve told you all my stories,” replied the Phanatic. Bang! Bang! Against the hotel window, something loudly rapped. The Phanatic asked Bryce, “What’s that?” “Oh, Phillies fans have been standing outside the hotel throwing batteries at my window.” Bang! Bang! Another loud rapping. Finally, Bryce went to the window to politely ask the fans to cut him some slack. Bryce slid the window open and hanging from the side of the balcony was, “…Oh, hey, Spencer Howard? What are you doing?” “They told me I was pitching this weekend, and no one was allowed in and out of the hotel.” “No games, man. I’m just flirting–um, talking to the Phanatic.” With that Bryce closed the window, and moments later, a muffled, “Uh, could you let me in?” And Bryce shut his window’s curtains. So, Spencer Howard is being called up any day now. Prospect Hobbs gave us about 1200 words about him in his Spencer Howard fantasy, but here’s a juicy bit of tid, “Across rookie-level (just 5 1/3 innings), High-A and Double-A in 2019, Spencer Howard churned out 71 frames with 94 strikeouts to achieve a 2.03 ERA/0.83 WHIP/2.62 FIP. In producing those numbers, he cut down on his BB/9 from 3.2 in 2018 to 2.6, also finishing with a 11.2 K/9 in 2019. 30 2/3 of those innings came at the Double-A level, where he produced an equally impressive 2.35 ERA backed up closely by a 2.66 xFIP. For the complete picture, Howard pitched 211 1/3 innings across parts of three seasons in the Minors with a 3.28 ERA/1.14 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9. That’s as good as Grey is bad.” Okay, not cool, but I’m in love with Spencer, and would grab him in all leagues. By the way, regarding the title: You’ve seen one New Jersey joke, you’ve seen a mall. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s always hard to know if a major league manager is being sly or stupid. Guessing stupid gets you right at least 75% of the time, sly is 24%. This time Maddon might be in the 1%. Maddon seemed to indicate Jo Adell was nowhere on the radar. Was he being sly, stupid or the rare 1%? The 1% happens when someone is injured and a prospect just needs to be called up twisting the manager’s arm. Thankfully, it wasn’t Shohei Ohtani’s arm that was twisted; enough has happened to that. So, Jo Adell was called up, seemingly to replace Brian Goodwin (hopefully). Prospect Itch wrote about 1,000 words on Jo Adell at his Jo Adell fantasy (which included Luis Robert — hum-ma-na). I wrote a few Jo Adell preseason outlook posts — one last year, one during shutdown. If you’re the type who doesn’t want to look at long-form writing and prefers a quick, “Give me the Cliff Notes, dude. I ain’t got time for work.” Pick him up. Everywhere. He’s. So. Good. I’m Giving. Him. The. One. Sentence. Treatment. For. Emphasis. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll give the 2020 baseball season credit for this: it’s going to make us feel like it was 26 weeks. Illness, injury, and outbreak have not been in short supply. FAAB periods have been wild. Here’s my corner of the internet to help keep you afloat in this sea of change.
- Turns out Craig Kimbrell is shot after all. Rowan Wick is the assumed closer now, though Jeremy Jeffress has a recent save and will be called on for high leverage spots, as well. There’s more strikeout upside to Wick.
- James Karinchak did, in fact, eat a save opp from Brad Hand last week. Karinchak is going to have to show he can consistently control his wipeout stuff. But if he does… 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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
When it comes to fantasy baseball, there may be no position where player values vary more from shallow league to deep league than that of middle reliever. Even if your league doesn’t use holds, a middle reliever that wouldn’t be draftable in standard leagues — even if roster size doubled — can provide some nice value in deeper leagues. Last year, I drafted Hector Neris and Nick Anderson at the end of all of my very deep and NL-only leagues — both were available for a buck or in the free round of even my deepest, 15-team NL-only auction league. Both pitchers ended up helping me immensely, Neris by pitching well (his season was underrated in my opinion: 2.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 89 Ks in 67 innings) and ultimately assuming the closer’s role and notching 28 saves. Anderson, on the other hand, while pitching in many high-leverage situations, never got that closer gig in 2019 that I thought he might, either with the Marlins or after he was traded to the Rays. He ended up with one measly save — but that didn’t stop him from being a useful part of my NL-only pitching staff; in fact, in at least one league he was one of the only players who was in my active lineup from day one through game 162 last year. The solid ratios, five wins, and whopping 110 Ks in 65 innings were enough to make a difference of a few points for me across those categories, which ultimately helped lead my team to a money finish. If I’d been messing around with junk starters in that spot, I may have gotten some wins and Ks, but that progress would have been offset by the damage to my ratios.
With the current corona timeline that baseball is (hopefully) on track for, I’m guessing that middle relievers who are trusted near the end of games may even have a small spike in value — at least if anything close to expanded-roster teams playing 8 games a week and lots of doubleheaders into November becomes a reality. (Please let it become a reality!) Here are some true deep leaguers to look at, all outside of the top 500 NFBC ADP (with the exception of my first entry, Hunter Harvey, whose ADP is 475 — and probably only that high because of how many times I’ve drafted him!)Please, blog, may I have some more?
We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.
- Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
- Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
- Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
- Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
- Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen. Please, blog, may I have some more?
As pitchers and catchers report we’re beginning to be graced with some reassurances as to who certain teams will use at closer. Those are always nice. Just remember managers don’t feel beholden to what they say in February and situations can change. Not unlike myself and fellow analysts. “I don’t recall recommending Jose Leclerc as a top 10 2019 closer, Senator.” We’re all playing a guessing game. My best advice is to invest lightly and spread your exposure over as many arms as possible.
NL East | NL Central | NL WestPlease, blog, may I have some more?