I think I did too many fantasy baseball sleepers that were outfielders.  I should’ve braked earlier and did more starting pitcher sleeper posts.  On Monday, I start the rankings, so individual posts from moi will be on hold until I get out all the rankings.  This was a clumsy way of saying there’s more pitcher sleepers, but they’re gonna have to wait until I’ve finished the rankings.  Actually, that last part was clumsy too.  Any hoo!  Vince Velasquez, or as I call him, Vince Velasquez!  Does he have another name I don’t know about?  VV looks too much like a W, which is like how an inverted W is really just an M.  I think I just did a tangent from my tangent, if my trigonometry knowledge is ack-ewe-rah-teh, which is the pronunciation of accurate according to my bootleg copy of Rosetta Stone.  Ah, we had some good laughs, didn’t we?  Wait, we didn’t?  Aw, man.  Last year, Velasquez had a 10.4 K/9 with a 3.67 xFIP.  His ERA was 4.12 due to an inflated BABIP, a lower LOB% and giving up four-baggers like he was late-starting Catholic schoolgirl.  So, what can we  expect from Vince Velasquez for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

You know what gets my pulse beating like the Tell-Tale Heart in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror?  A 24-year-old kid that can strike out all kinds of motherfrakkers.  His fastball velocity dipped a mile last year from the previous year, but it was still 94 MPH and it came with better control.  His walk rate was down to 3.1 from 3.4.  Control is always the last thing to come (which is true for urination too).  Some pitchers don’t control their stuff until they’re 26 or 27 years of age.  If Velasquez is already headed that way, imagine if he gets to a 2.7-ish BB/9 this year, then we’re talking about him in the same breath as Carrasco.  Yes, even your hot, halitosis breath.  Better command could also show itself in other ways:  less homers, more ground balls, more Ks.  He’s similar to Robbie Ray in that everything is working off the fastball.  His slider, curve and change feed the knockout fastball.  What was interesting (to me, your interest may vary), Velasquez allowed the fourth highest percentage of balls hit the opposite way for starters with 130+ IP.  Let’s just say, if hitters are hitting everything the opposite way, they’re not doing much damage.  Velasquez was tied with Scherzer, Kluber and Duffy.  If I could DeLorean you back for a second, Velasquez K’d 16 and walked none against the Padres last April.  That’s obviously not expected every start (though I wouldn’t kick it out of bed!), but that shows you what he’s capable of.  Velasquez doesn’t induce many swings on pitches in the strike zone.  That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing.  If someone is throwing hard, a hitter may not have time to react to a pitch.  The AL Cy Young was dead even with the number of swings he induced on pitches inside the strike zone, and, let me just say, Velasquez does everything else better than Porcello except command.   Where it matters, Velasquez really excels.  The percentage of times a batter makes contact with a pitch when swinging inside the strike zone?  Now remember I just told you not many swing at his strikes so they’re fooled.  Well, they’re so fooled only 83% of the time contact is made on swinging strikes.  That’s tenth best in the majors.  The top twenty is a who’s who of guys you want:  Scherzer, Kershaw, Duffy, Price, Jo-Fer (RIP), Verlander, Chris Sale, Syndergaard, Salazar, Bumgarner and Velasquez.  Seriously, can you think of a better barometer than “The ball is in the strike zone and I’m gonna swing and I’m gonna hit it and this is so awesome” and then the ball is swung at and missed 17% of the time.  For 2017, I’ll give Vince Velasquez the projections of 11-11/3.54/1.23/177 in 155 IP with a chance for even more.

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    Great article and really nice one before the rankings!!

    a. VV is also what The Volkswagen company uses for their logo!

    b. Thanks for reminding me of Vinny! I was the only guy to have even heard of him in some of my H2H CBS leagues in 2016 (please don’t comment Cram!). He was great as a SP in the RP slot in H2H while he was starting. Hopefully he stays healthy in 2017.

    Cheers,
    Ante

  2. Swfcdan says:
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    Great timing as I just traded for Vinnie V recently in a keeper league! Now have the choice of signing him to a 2 year contract ($6 a year) or 3 year ($8 a year). You sound like a big fan so would you giddy up and go the whole hog with the 3 years cowboy? Yee-ha VV!

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Grey: That was Yee-Ha(VV) VV for Vince Velasquez in case you missed the pun. Gah maybe next time, thanks anyway.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, no problem

  3. Count de Monetball says:
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    Nice wright G. Yeah, I hate to say it, but I agree with you about wanting more SP sleepers! That is generally what makes the biggest difference to me since I always draft offense early and start drafting pitchers around the 10th round. I need sleepers!!! Although between your rankings, the war room, and the “thank you’s/no thank you’s” it’s obvious who the best sleepers are!!! Thanks Man and looking forward to catcher Monday!!!

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        Best Week(s) of the Year! I can’t wait, have a great weekend!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ewe too!

          • Count de Monetball says:
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            HAHA, hey, what does it mean to be a “Fox Sports Engaged Network”?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              We have ‘Cowabunga’ in our letterhead

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Count de Monetball: Catcher monday can’t wait! Even the snooze-fest position sounds mildly interesting now!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        It’s not catchers on Monday

        • Montezuma's Revenge...right now says:
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          @Grey: i don’t think i remember you ever starting with catchers.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I never have, I start with top 10 then into top 20 then catchers

            • Pooponyaface says:
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              @Grey: yay catcher Monday!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Haha

  4. The Great Knoche says:
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    Love Saint Vince. Can’t wait for Monday.

  5. Rudy says:
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    I love when January Grey blesses us with his rankings!

  6. JoeG414 says:
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    Vinny V or Nola in a 6×6 mixed roto ?

    • JoeG414 says:
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      @JoeG414:
      Also, add Matz as a choice to rank. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @JoeG414: My rankings start Monday… They’re all close

  7. Thanks, Grey! V.V. is one of my faves for next year. But he’s on an enemy’s roster so I can only ogle V.V. from afar. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide between the following SPs for my last roster spot & my most cunning choice is to ask you who I should choose: Jason Hammel, Jake Odorizzi, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Finnegan, Brandon McCarthy, & Nathan Karns. (Hammel’s arm issues concerns me. And Odorizzi seems like the safe but very boring choice. Am not against gambling with my last spot.) THANKS!!!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          How’d you know I sneezed?!

  8. Warren says:
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    Pumped for Rankings to start Monday! Which 6 keepers from the below list? OBP 10 team League. The first 4 seem like locks for price/value reasons.

    Harper $21
    Donaldson $20
    Rizzo $19
    Correa $10
    ———–
    Betts $37
    Machado $40
    T. Turner $2
    Polanco $12
    Syndergaard $15
    Britton $14

    Leaning Thor and Trea. Thoughts?

    • Cram It says:
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      @Warren: I’d go Betts and Machado for pure stats, but I don’t know how much of a $ hole that puts you in.. 10 teamer should have plenty of pitching available.

    • PEDs3 says:
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      @Warren: Go with Betts and Turner since you already have SS & 3B locked up. Turner could give you $30 value and would cost you nothing, way too cheap to pass up.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Warren: Betts, Turner

  9. Mookie says:
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    Can keep 3 of these 4 SP. What would you do? I’m high on Gausman (and other things)

    Vince Velasquez, Marcus Stroman, Jon Gray, Kevin Gausman

    Thanks!

    • Cram It says:
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      @Mookie: I’d take the first 3. But I’m not high on Gausman, mainly because he’s an Oriole.

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Cram It: Luckily Jon Gray plays 1/2 his games outside Coors in the NL West. Gausman has to visit AL East.

        • Cram It says:
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          @The Great Knoche: Yup, I’d like Gausman on another team. And it’s not just that he pitches in Camden in the AL East. The Orioles have no idea how to develop a pitcher.

  10. Hawk says:
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    Hey guys,

    Keep forever, 6×6 with OBP and Holds being extra categroies
    I have to protect 3 of these 4 pitchers (or all 4 and drop Nomar Mazara which I don’t want to do :) )

    Jake Arrieta
    Chris Archer
    Aaron Sanchez
    Carlos Carrasco

    Please help!

    • Copperhead Road says:
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      @The Great Knoche: Not [email protected]Hawk: I’d drop Archer even though he should be better. Others seem safer. Wait a week and a half and pitchers will be ranked :)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hawk: Not Sanchez

  11. Joebobsays says:
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    He’s up for trade in 10 team NL only keeper league but he’s at 14. Worth pursuing at that price?

    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Joebobsays: There’s no value there, that’s about his cost, maybe a little less even

  12. ChiCitySox23 says:
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    Maddon talking about putting Schwarber in the leadoff spot. Change his projections much?

  13. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Very excited about V for Velazquez this year! Nice write up.

    Anyway, in a keeper league with annual inflation, $30 Kershaw or $4 Villar (what a difference a year makes!).

    Hoping to get more than $4 Villar for that Kershaw offer (likely a top 10 pitcher added ) but wanted to see if the 1:1 still did it.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Kershaw

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: thanks! Holding out for an $18 darvish or $25 scherzer to be added.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Darvish would be nice for that price

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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            @Grey: yea that’s who I’ve got my eye on too

  14. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    The other offer that Villar guy just made was:

    My $30 Kershaw, for

    $18 Darvish $16 Maeda $5 Nunez $9 Justin Turner AND $19 Cruz (or $21 Joey Bats)

    The wrinkle is that this is a keep 7 league, and my only borderline keepers are $6 Khris and $10 Dahl. So if I moved Kershaw and kept Darvish…would Maeda, Nunez, Cruz/Bats, or J Turner beat out Khris and/or Dahl?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Doesn’t sound bad for Darvish and Maeda, I’d try to do better

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: thanks. If he’s willing to give that much, and doesn’t want to do Darvish/Villar, then maybe I could convince him to do Darvish/$25 Scherzer if he’s so willing to dump all those guys to me.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, totes

  15. CMUTimmah says:
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    I feel like his knickname is easy… ViVe! ViVe LA VELASQUEZ!

    Love Velasquez this year. I worry they continue to “kid gloves” him… but I think he should be allowed at least 175 innings this year. His BIGGEST concern is pitches per inning for me. If he can refine that, his ceiling is something I want. If he can trust that his 17% swinging strikes will continue, then he’s going to be the Hendricks of this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think he might not be Hendricks due to walks, but he should beat Hendricks in Ks

      • CMUTimmah says:
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        @Grey: Sorry – I wasn’t saying that as a direct comp. He’ll also be missing a lot of wins in a direct comp sense…

        I meant the guy that came out of nowhere to be a top pitcher.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah…yeah, totally!

  16. kwoox says:
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    Awesome!!! By far the best site/information out there.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the “my guys team” the 2017 (Odor, Springer etc. type players)

    Live by this, What GREY says GOES!!!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, thanks!

  17. Juan says:
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    Grey,
    Inserting column on Velazquez – i have him in my keeper league and im not to sure if ill keep him.
    12 team H2H keeper league. We keep 10 players. Our draft starts in the 11th round (obviously)

    I am trying to move todd fraizer for edwin encarnacion.
    He wants fraizer my #1 pick round pick, and next years 1st pick.

    should i make this trade?

    Also, as of today here are my keepers (i have 11 dont know who to drop).

    Frazier
    Devon
    M. Franco
    Bregman
    Moncada
    Mazara
    Cespedes
    Trea Turner
    Odubell Herrera
    Matt Harvey
    Vince Velazquez

    Also,
    i can get Cueto and Lester for picks.
    If i do that what 2 players should i drop?

    thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Frazier and one number one should be enough — Harvey and Odubel are droppable if you take Cueto and Lester

      • Juan says:
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        @Grey:
        that would leave me with 11 players.
        would devon be the next drop?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah

  18. M says:
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    Who is more valuable a $7 Velasquez or $2 J.Ross in a 6×6 roto k/9 league?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Velasquez

  19. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Update! He’s on board with $30 Kershaw for $18 darvish and $25 Scherzer. Thanks, Grey!

    As a moonshot I suggested my Kershaw for his $15 altuve, but he balked at Kershaw’s salary being $10 more than he’d like for a trade like that.

    Do you take that Max/Darvish offer and be happy with it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That works for me

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: thank you kindly

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  20. Brian says:
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    Finished 4th in a 16 team dynasty last year. 6×6 that uses OPS. roster is:
    C Derek Norris, WAS
    1B Kendrys Morales, TOR
    2B Scooter Gennett, MIL
    3B Manny Machado, BAL
    SS Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    OF Gregory Polanco, PIT
    OF Josh Reddick, HOU
    OF Nomar Mazara, TEX
    UTIL Carlos Gomez, TEX
    UTIL Rajai Davis, OAK
    BN David Wright, NYM
    BN Alex Gordon, KC
    BN Matt Adams, STL
    BN Alex Dickerson, SD
    DL Trevor Story, COL

    SP Chris Sale, BOS
    SP Drew Smyly, TB
    SP Junior Guerra, MIL
    RP Hector Neris, PHI
    RP Nate Jones, CHW
    P JA Happ, TOR
    P Adam Wainwright, STL
    P Danny Duffy, KC
    BN Mike Fiers, HOU
    BN Jim Johnson, ATL
    BN Luis Cessa, NYY
    BN Daniel Hudson, PIT
    BN Chris Tillman, BAL
    BN Jeremy Jeffress, TEX
    DL Matt Harvey, NYM
    DL Carter Capps, SD

    Minors:
    POSTION1: Domonic Smith, NYM
    POSTION2: AJ Reed, HOU
    POSTION3: Rafael Devers, BOS
    POSTION4: Eddy Julio Martinez, CHC
    POSTION5: Brendan Rodgers, COL
    PITCHER1:
    PITCHER2: Matt Strahm, KC
    PITCHER3: Carson Fulmer, CHW
    PITCHER4: Francis Martes, HOU
    PITCHER5: Brock Stewart, LAD
    FLEX1: Jeff Hoffman, COL
    FLEX2: Trent Clark, MIL
    FLEX3: Alec Asher, PHI
    FLEX4: Kolby Allard, ATL
    FLEX5: Isan Diaz, MIL

    I have 2 picks each at the end of the 1st and 2nd rounds in our prospect draft. I’m looking for a MLB 2B and have been offered lemahieu for a 1st and 2nd. would you do it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I would

      • Brian says:
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        @Grey: thanks grey. would you even do it for the 2 1sts? they’re the 13th and 16th picks of the round in a 16 team draft. would leave me with 2 2nds and a 3rd

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I would

  21. Chris says:
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    hello Grey,

    Hope all is well.
    Here is DOm Rep enjoying some Winter Baseball. Got to see Hanley, Villar, Nelson, Rodney, among others!

    Which of the below would you keep in a 7 player keeper league, 14 teams:

    Wilson Ramos
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Robinson Cano
    JD Martinez
    Mark Trumbo
    David Price
    Chris Davis
    Corey Kluber
    Jose Quintana
    Julio Teheran

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You’re in DR taking in baseball? That’s amazing! Not Ramos, A-Gon, Teheran

  22. Jason says:
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    In a 10-team, H2H keeper, I’m holding onto Trout, Betts, Arenado, Rizzo, and DeGrom. Who should my last 5 keepers be?

    Polanco OF
    Villar SS
    A. Russell SS
    K. Davis OF/DH
    Kinsler 2B
    Kepler OF
    Rendon 3B
    Duffy SP
    Teheran SP

    Thanks and have a great weekend!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Do you have a corner infield slot? Villar, Polanco, Rendon, Davis, Duffy, maybe not Rendon though

      • Jason says:
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        @Grey: No CI slot, but 2 utility slots.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Then I’d still go Rendon

  23. Cram It says:
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    I’m going to have a doozy of a keeper question for you before the season starts. My first keeper league. Inherited a shitty team and drafted/picked up rookie nookie all over the place. I ask that you spend much time thinking about your response, which will inevitably raise counterpoints and much debate by me anyway, leading you to conclude, “Whatever, just do whatever!”

    • Big Odio says:
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      @Cram It: as long as it doesnt lead to “just give me your login and password”

      • Cram It says:
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        @Big Odio: You can drop the mic with that if need be.

        • Big Odio says:
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          @Cram It: I honestly hope you do this as a parody. Art imitating comments?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like the anticipatory comment preparing me for a future question… It’s like Trump saying he will have a press conference a month before he does… Builds the excitement!

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey: You feel my game. It IS exciting. More for me, but I like the arguing.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Can I have the league details when you ask or will it be in piecemeal questions so my first five answers become irrelevant cause I like when people do that…

          • Cram It says:
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            @Grey: C’mon, you’re talking to the guy that calls everyone out for doing that very thing. The question will be well-prepared!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, just checking

              • Cram It says:
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                @Grey: Although it is one of those points leagues that tries to mimic “true” baseball value, so it might not work. I’ll probably just ask which young guys do you see having long terms sustainable studliness in general. Like Piscotty and Odor had the same point total for the year and I can’t figure out how,

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Wow, those two guys are so different… That’s weird already

                  • Cram It says:
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                    @Grey: Yeah it’s skewed towards obp stats without an obp cat. Pisc had a lot more walks so that was a factor. But this will all be covered in the question briefing ;)

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha

  24. Big Odio says:
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    Did you ever check out those tiny house shows? I had an idea for a reality show where 4 to 6 people have to live together in those houses for as long as they can. The winner gets the house. We can call it little brother

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I love it! Hahahahaha… Little Brother, best idea ever

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: book the meeting

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I already stole it, pitched it and set it up with TLC

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: that’s my show *said like Stan Gable*

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

  25. Big Odio says:
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    Show idea number two. This is a cooking show. Each week they visit a farm and the contestants have to make a meal from an animal they slaughter. We’ll call it farm to table

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      This I don’t get, but the 1st one was good!

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: the cooks kill, butcher, and cook live animals on a farm…farm to table

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I understand it, I just don’t know if it’s more than a challenge in a bigger show vs. its own show… Maybe… It’s no Little Brother!

  26. Jimmy Bond says:
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    Great stuff per usual Grey.
    Where does ERod fit in this mix of sleepers – will see the SP rankings soon I know, but would you be flipping him for either Velasquez or Pineda, or hold?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! I rank Ed-Rod in my rankings… He doesn’t have a starting rotation job

  27. swaggerjackers says:
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    Alright Grey, here are my predictions for your top 10 on Monday:

    Trout
    Betts
    Goldy
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Arenado
    Machado
    Altuve
    Donaldson
    Harper

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Looks pretty good…

  28. Tiny Timmie says:
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    I was offered Rodon for T Walker in a dynasty league…. do I take it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Coin flip, they’re relatively the same

  29. Jon says:
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    I was offered Polanco + Marte for Arenado + Tapia in a dynasty league. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Arenado side

  30. Frank says:
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    Currently dithering on an offer, I get arrieta give posey. In a keeper league where I have Sanchez at catcher. Cheers

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Works for me

  31. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Grey,

    I have the 10th and 11th picks in my minor league draft. My choices are:

    Nick Senzel, 3B, CIN
    Jason Groome, LHP, BOS
    Francisco Mejia, C, (CLE)

    which two should I draft?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nick Senzel, 3B, CIN
      Jason Groome, LHP, BOS

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        thanks

  32. Hometown Heroes says:
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    My AL only 12 team keeper league trades so far this offseason. We were out of it last year and rebuilt and had a ton of assets this year to trade. Did we give up too much?

    Traded
    Tim Anderson $1
    Hyun soo Kim $1
    Carlos Rodon $1
    Profar $10
    Kyle Lewis ML
    Frankie Montas ML
    Mitch Moreland $1
    Charlie Tilson $1
    Alex Cobb $1

    For

    Devon Travis $1
    Carlos Correa $16
    Cole Hamels $14
    Victor Martinez $20

  33. Mike

    Mike says:
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    ah…Diorama-rama. My favorite school event next to Hearing Test Thursday.

Comments are closed.