Predicting rookie call-ups is a lot harder this preseason than in past, because of the previous year shizzshow. Usually a team calls up a guy in September, lets them play for a few weeks, then they appear ticketed for an April call-up in the next season. Or a guy isn’t called up, but you know there will be minor league teams playing in April so you can sorta gauge whether or not a guy will be playing in April in the minors and called up by May, June or later. We might know by mid-March if there will be a minor league season, and what it will look like: Will there be Single, Double and Triple-A? Will there only be Triple-A and camp? Will there just be an alternate camp? I have no idea. I’m flying blind right now, like Howard Hughes with undiagnosed syphilis. Every time someone mentions minor league baseball, I mimic Little Carmine with, “Your minor league baseball, whatever happened there?” If there’s only a Summer Camp again, Wander Franco might start the year with the Rays. If there’s relatively normal minor league baseball, and we can remember what relatively normal is, Wander Franco might not be up until June. It’s worth saying that I think we start the MLB season on time. So, what can we expect from Wander Franco for 2021 fantasy baseball?

This is going to be an annoying post of “Look what we’ve said previously,” but I mean, golly, a lot has been said about him previously, and, yes, I used “golly” to make this even more annoying. Here’s what I wrote last April, “I didn’t even rank Wander Franco in my top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Don’t suddenly love him now that his first name sounds like a glorious day outside. Won’t now start calling him Shelter-in-Place Franco. How’sever, the minor league season is not happening. I still firmly believe the major league season will happen. That’s because of TV money. Revenue. The cha, and the ching. If they play minor league baseball, no one makes money. Not even the players. There’s no reward for the risk. Was talking to Marlins beat writer, Craig Mish, the other day about this and he agreed. He hypothesized that the major league clubs would have an extended roster in case they need guys, due to injury. Minor leaguers who aren’t on the roster but are getting workouts at the major league facility and if someone on the major league roster is broken, i.e., in case of emergency, a minor leaguer steps in. They might even rejigger what service time means this year. So, a larger than normal roster at the major league level, say 35-man rosters (with ten guys sitting in the stands to work as replacements and cheerleaders), then another five to ten minor league prospects, who the major league club doesn’t want to lose an entire year of development, will be allowed to workout at the major league park and will be promoted if needed. For minor leaguers, it will come down to this:  Does the major league club want them not playing baseball at all this year? My guess for Wander Franco is absolutely 100% no.” And that’s me quoting me! Other than getting team size slightly larger, that was pretty spot-on.

Now, here’s what our prospect writer, Hobbs, previously said, “Franco comes equipped with an 80-hit tool, 55-legs and 60-power on the 20-80 scale. Although he hasn’t truly tapped into the power yet, there’s no reason to doubt that it won’t continue to develop even through the early stages of his Major League career. As a lifetime .336/.405/.523 hitter in two minor league seasons, Franco batted .327/.398/.487 last year at Single-A And A-Advanced with nine home runs (43 XBH) in 495 plate appearances. With that, he produced a minuscule 7.1 K% against an 11.3 BB%, walking 21 times more than he struck out. Franco has a mature approach and as the top prospect in the game, should be contributing as a Big Leaguer in 2021 and be a potential star by 2023. He’s a sleeper to be the best shortstop in the game come 2023. Speaking of sleepers, I’d like to put Grey to sleep with a forearm smash.” What the hell, my dude!

Wander has for some time been the #1 prospect in the game. He still is. He’s numero uno on the top of the top 100 prospects for 2021 fantasy baseball. His value for this year will one-hundred percent come down to when Wander Franco is promoted. If it’s in April (it won’t be), he’s the number one rookie to own and should be drafted in the top 100. More than likely, he’s up some time in the middle-to-late summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still a rookie for 2022. I love him, but his ETA is wildly unclear. For 2021, I’ll give Wander Franco projections 19/4/16/.291/4 in 110 ABs and not up until the end of the year. It’s worth noting I’m way more conservative than other projections I’ve seen for Wander, and he’s currently going around 175th overall in early NFBC drafts. Wouldn’t be me. Speaking of NFBC drafts, take on the super-easy-to-beat Donkey Teeth in his league which is under this long, drawn-out sentence.

 
  1. Robert H. Tock says:
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    I love reading your analysis. I do think your Howard Hughes comment was trashy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I am from Jersey, so that checks out

  2. Donkey Teeth

    Donkey Teeth says:
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    Come play in the Super Easy To Beat Donkey Teeth NFBC league! It’s a free money giveaway!

    • Dave D says:
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      Where will you be drafting Wander, DT, round 1 or 2?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Wander’s a 2nd rounder for Donkey

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        I’m just praying he makes it to me in the 1st

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Even before Ohtani? Wow

        • Dave D says:
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          Splendid! Will you be taking Sixto or Ian A. as your ace in round 3? Sixto went #63 in a draft I did, and Ian #66 in another, so consider yourself warned. Round 4 could be too late!!!!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha, poor Donkey, you draft Chris Sale and Ohtani in every league last year and you never live it down

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Donkey’s trying to hustle you into playing him by finishing no higher than 13th any other year — a very long con

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        I think I need to draw it out a couple more years

        • Hernan says:
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          I’m so used to Donkey’s Donations…, I’ll let other people take that candy…, dynasty, 15 teams roto, Flaherty or Sale/Paterson(Mets)??

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha — Flaherty

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Edging with Donkey, coming up later

  3. Joe says:
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    Great post. Assuming an adp of 175 would be a redraft league, is Franco worth keeping in a 12 team league where each team can keep up to 10 players forever?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Depends who else you have, but he’d be in consideration

      • Joe says:
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        Keepers: Trout CF, Tucker RF, Abreu 1B, Story SS, Arenado 3B, Alonso UT, Y. Alvarez UT, C.Burnes SP, Z.Plesac SP, T.Glasnow SP.

        Those are my tentative ten. Would you replace any of those with:

        W.Franco, G.Stanton, S.Strasburg? Again, can keep 10 forever.

        Thx!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Burnes or one of the other three would be the only thing I’d toy with…Maybe Giancarlo, but prolly not after being burned 4 of 5 years

  4. Rebar says:
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    Where would you rank Wander for a start up dynasty draft? Is he in the top 25?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Top 25, yeah

  5. The Great Knoche says:
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    Think better chance we see Kelenic before Franco. I like him better for this year for sure. I won’t own him either though at 203 ADP

    • Dave D says:
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      He may be 203 ADP but in my first two DC’s he went 155 and 175. There are a lot of valuable players available in that range that are pretty much a guarantee to be more helpful for roto cats. There is an absolute 0% chance the thrifty TB Rays bring him up earlyand lose a year of control, not even if Adames starts dating Madonna and goes AWOL.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, agreed w/ Knoche — They’re fun stuff, but won’t be fun stuff on my teams

      • Dave D says:
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        Just for comparison, the position players that went right after him in his range were Gallo, J.D. Davis, Santander, Brantley, Scharber. Right before him were Franmil, DiDi, Kepler, Solak, Soler.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, I’d want literally ever single one before him, and I don’t ‘like’ some of them

          • Dave D says:
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            Yeah, agreed. They’ll reward more #’s. Not as “cool” though.

            BTW, my 2nd DC team that you liked also got a major endorsement from FantasyPro’s:

            “Grade: D Overall Points 66 Rank: 14 Strengths: None Weakness: R, RBI, W, K, ERA, WHIP”

            Can anybody top that?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, the team I really liked? Nice! That’s impressive…I will be going for a F grade

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, apparently Abreu, Tatis, Machado, Gurriel, Rizzo, Yaz won’t get me many RBI’s or R this year.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha, they’re so bad, and they steal everyone’s content

                  • Dave D says:
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                    I’m not sure why NFBC has them involved at all. It seems like Williams Sonoma featuring Kmart brands or something like that…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Prolly getting some $$$

                    • Dave D says:
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                      They should feel dirty for that!!! They should be careful, they might end up in Ed Buck’s apartment eventually…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha

  6. Squat Cobblers says:
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    Golly, a 20/20/.290 pace from the jump??!?! Humina!

    Currently in an NFBC draft around pick 310…and Wander still on the board. Would you pick him up now or finish filling out starters first?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh, yeah, I’d take him at 310, for sure

      • Dave D says:
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        Plus, since it’s the Rays, he might be in the mix for some SV opps too.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, was thinking maybe an Opener

          • Dave D says:
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            Good point, could go either way some weeks. Maybe he’ll even relieve Snell after he hits 63 pitches.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Should have a contest, like a jellybean counting contest, for who is closest to Snell’s IP total in 2021 — prolly guessing under 130, but over 110

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, only way I draft him is if he’s traded. He should be throwing 110-120 pitches per start at this point in his career and 200 IP. I wish the Angels would trade for him and do that…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  The crazy thing is there’s no proof that if they save his arm now, they’ll get more from him in 5 years…He’s just going to always be unreliable, and on another team eventually

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, use him like the Rays didnt. He’s great when healthy. Have him throw 8-9 innings every playoff start until he shatters. If that nets even one WS title it’s worth it.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Totally, but he’s been babied so long I’m not sure he can even go that long — not that Cash ever tried it tho

  7. Pretty Ricky says:
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    Working on keeper league trades and wanting some input – currently in an 8 team, 6 keeper league so it’s pretty shallow. Which of the following combinations would you rather have in a keeper league?

    A – Betts & Bichette
    B – Tatis & Luis Robert
    C – Tatis & Kyle Tucker

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      B, A, C — that order

  8. Gator says:
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    Get to keep a player for 3 years. How would you rank W Franco, Soler, Gallo, Semien & Villar? Thanks and have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wander, Semien, Soler, Gallo

      You too!

  9. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    So dude is not going for France for Soroka, would you trade Lourdes for Soroka?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nope

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        I agree and I really like Lourdes. Tryin to add an inexpensive SP as I have Verlander and Clevinger both out for awhile. What is Carassco worth right now or stay.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Carrasco’s worth a decent amount, he had a nice 2020

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            he wants Gore. I asked him who his 2nd choice is lol

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, yeah

  10. The Spruce Goose!

    So timely since I’ve been shut in for eight months now…wiping everything down with wet wipes…dipping my foot long finger nails in milk…Wanderlust still Wanderlust

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, I went as him one Halloween – wore tissue boxes on my feet and arried around a milk jug of urine

      • Wake Up says:
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        I did that this Halloween in fact I’m still wearing it right now on a zoom !

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HAHAHA

  11. dill says:
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    Love those rookies reports. Can’t wait for the sleepers.

    Would you do my Giolito vs Wander in dynasty ? What about Giolito vs Kelenic ?

    Thanks !

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeehaw! I’d take Giolito and Giolito

  12. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    You like Pablo Lopez?

    Also these free agents are available, Smyly, G. Richards, Wacha, Cueto, Justin Dunn, Matz, Disco, Alzolay

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I like Lopez — those others aren’t very interesting…Maybe Smyly or Cueto

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        I traded a pair of Justins, Turner and Upton for Carassco, I added Alzolay, only 25, who was a top prospect and pitched well in 2020 and with 3 Cubs SP’s FA’s he should have a mid rotation spot in 2021.

        Thoughts

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Alzolay does little for me, but I like the trade a lot!

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Thanks on the trade. I like Alzolay a lot, his numbers are solid from last year, BUT if he flops He’ll be the first to go for the next big thing out there lol

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Just looked up his 2020 numbers, yeah, he was decent, but those walks

              • Malicious Phenoms says:
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                Not many hits though, he fixes those walks and he could be at least a 3 behind Yu and Hendricks. I like he is young with some upside, plus Theo is gone, Cubs not spending money and want to give in house guys a chance to make a diff. I’ll keep him for now and see how it goes. Still like to get Soroka, but owner is tough to trade with, always wants the trade in his favor, don’t we all. lol

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, that all makes sense, can’t hurt to sit on him for a few

  13. John Pacca says:
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    NFBC league- that starts 11/30? Is there a promo code?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, just click the link

  14. goodfold2 says:
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    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ah, nice! Thanks, goodfold!

      • goodfold2 says:
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        no problem, when one of the best comedy writers writes a book finally i figured you’d know or be interested. wonder how MF’ing long he’s been working on this, based on a lot of the at least partially seeming semi-biographical movie characters written by him it could be a very long time.

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