And we have have our first stupid team decision!  Don’t worry, there will be more.  Or maybe I should say Willie be more.  Or maybe should say Willie be less now.  The Rangers decided to send down Willie Calhoun to start the year.  I’d laugh if I wasn’t so horrified by this terrible decision.  Talk about blatantly thinking about a bottom line vs. what’s best for the team.  On one hand, Willie Calhoun was ready to help the team win right now.  On the other hand, the Rangers are as cheap as my Jewish grandmother who used to order three free lemon wedges, two sugar packets and make lemonade at the table.  Hey, she escaped Nazi Germany in the middle of the night.  What’s your excuse, Texas Rangers?!  In my Willie Calhoun fantasy from way back in October, I predicted Calhoun could be in the minors until June.  Looks like I didn’t underestimate the Rangers’ boneheadedness (big word of the day!).  Now the Rangers will go with a blahtoon of the Asian lion, Ryan Rua, and Drew Robinson.  I’ve updated my top 100 outfielders, top 500 and War Room.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Neil Walker – Signed with the Yankees, so the Mets would be totally jealous.  Here’s the Mets, “Giancarlo?  Okay, whatever.  Sonny Gray?  La di da!  Gary Sanchez?  We’ve got d’Arnaud!  Aaron Judge?  I said, ‘we’ve got d’Arnaud!’  Neil Walker?  YOU’VE TORN OUT OUR HEART!”  Walker will play 2nd until Gleyber is officially ready, and fill-in for Bird if/when he gets hurt.  I updated the top 20 1st basemen.

Stephen Vogt – Experienced a setback with his shoulder.  *moves Vogt from 467 to 468 in top 500, rethinks, moves him to 469, shakes head, moves him back to 468*  Do you see how much phony deliberation goes into these rankings?!

Marcus Stroman – Won’t be ready for Opening Day.  I haven’t touched him in my top 40 starters, because I already wrote there I wasn’t drafting him, so he can get ruled out of the 1st half of the season and doesn’t change my outlook on Stroman.

Josh Donaldson – Dealing with a calf injury, which is the same general area of the injury that made him useless for three months last year.  If you drafted Donaldson after I gave you a Josh Donaldson overrated post, I’m going to log into my eBay account, bid one penny for the world’s smallest violin, then, in three to five days after it’s sent to me, I will play it for you.

Troy Tulowitzki – Officially ruled out for Opening Day due to a heel injury.  2008 Grey is shocked!

Nelson Cruz – Diagnosed with a strained quad.  Or as Mariners fans are now exclaiming, “Whoa Nelly!”  If you already drafted Nelson Cruz on your fantasy team, then, for $35, you can get the rapper Nelly to put a Band-Aid on your fantasy team.  I’ve docked Cruz two weeks of regular season at-bats and moved him into my top 40 outfielders, but obviously there’s cause of concern now.

Rob Whalen – Has been pitching well this spring training, and could be the guy who replaces the often injured, never duplicated, Erasmo Ramirez in the Mariners rotation.  Or Whalen is this year’s Sal Romano, a guy I like for about a second in March, only to never speak of again.  Though, a one-year aged Romano sounds delicious!

Anthony Santander – You, “Santa-who now?”  Santander is a Rule 5 guy who has to make the Orioles.  He also happens to be ripping the cover off the ball this spring — Guatemalan baseball seamstresses, “Well, that’s not frio.” — and who is in front of Santander on the O’s?  Colby Rasmus?  So, Santander might be a preseason washout, but worth keeping an eye on him.

Michael Conforto – Sounds like he’s aiming to return mid-April vs. May, which would be ahead of schedule.  Another feather in the cap of Mets trainers.  Ow, eye roll headache!

Yoenis Cespedes – X-rays were negative after he hurt his wrist on a swing.  A combo platter of brittle player and the Mets trainers is a Molotov cocktail.  Now the Mets trainers will attempt to rehab Yoenis.  This is like that old idiom, the cure being worse than the sickness.  I just realized something, the Mets training staff is like watching an improv troupe reenacting the TV show, The Knick.  “Are you sure this will relieve my headache?”  “Definitely!”  *moves person into position, drops anvil on their head*  To unconscious, possibly dead, person, “Does that feel better?”  I haven’t updated my top 40 outfielders over this news, but here’s a hypothetical for you, is Yoenis really that different than Nomar Mazara?

David Wright – Out for eight weeks with “being David Wright.”  Imagine after all this time of Wright struggling to get on the field if he were traded and seen by another team’s trainers. “Wow, my back feels 100% better.  What did you do?”  “It seems that you just had a pumpkin seed under your toenail.”

 
  1. Marti says:
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    Had my first rcl draft last night. Thoughts please. I had the 4th pick in the draft

    C REALMUTO
    1B. EE
    2B MURPHY
    SS T TURNER
    3B LONGORIA
    MI DEJONG
    CI MYERS
    OF SPRINGER UPTON CUTCH HANIGER CARGO
    U FRANCO

    P KERSHAW
    P TANAKA
    P WEAVER
    P MAEDA
    P TALLION
    P CORBIN
    P MORROW
    P VIZCAINO
    P LEONE

    BENCH ZEIGLER, STROMAN TODD FRAZIER

    Did not expect KERSHAW to fall to pick 21. Wasn’t planning in taking a pitcher that early

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Marti: I can understand wanting to take Kershaw at pick 21, but it’s still hurt your hitting… I’d be concerned about your hitting, you really need Edwin to come through… Your pitching looks fine

      • Marti says:
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        Yeah really threw-me off. If I had known, I would have taken arenado in 1st round

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Gotcha

  2. Savoy Special says:
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    14 Team H2H redraft auction league:

    Choose 1: Matt Chapman, Maikel Franco, Todd Frazier, Solarte for 3B

    Please rank: Miles Mikolas, German Marquez, Marco Estrada, Dan Straily, Jason Vargas

    Thanks!

    • Savoy Special says:
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      @Savoy Special: Jason Kipnis or Jonathan Villar for 2B?

      • MARK says:
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        @Savoy Special: Kipnis is back. Villar was a fluke.

    • Savoy Special says:
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      @Savoy Special: along with Mikolas, Marquez, Estrada, Straily, Vargas, please also include Sean Newcomb. Thanks!

      • Savoy Special says:
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        @Savoy Special: and throw in Vince Velasquez too please

          • Kris says:
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            @Cram It: Lol

          • Old School Brother says:
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            @Cram It: See above post referring to checking rankings

  3. Savoy Special says:
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    14 team H2H redraft league – auction free agents. QS instead of Wins. K/9. Saves+Holds instead of just Saves… OPS league.

    C: JT Realmuto
    1B: Josh Bell
    2B: Jason Kipnis
    3B: Maikel Franco
    SS: Francisco Lindor
    OF: Mike Trout
    OF: Steven Souza
    OF: Mitch Haniger
    UTL: Carlos Gonzalez
    Bench: Jonathan Villar

    SP:
    Clayton Kershaw
    Max Scherzer
    Sean Manaea
    Patrick Corbin
    Joe Musgrove
    Mike Foltynewicz
    Miles Mikolas

    RP:
    Kelvin Herrera
    Addison Reed
    Shane Green

    So I tried a new strategy this year by going for broke in the auction draft with Trout, Lindor, Kershaw and Scherzer.

    Did I do alright with my “value” picks? The reason why I finally went this route was because by the end of each season, my lineup at the end looks nothing like Opening Day.

    I could just “stream” hitters if I need to and hopefully find that next breakout star.

    Thanks!

    • Mikey says:
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      @Savoy Special: From the famous words of Lloyd Christmas “I (We) don’t care!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Savoy Special: Your hitting and pitching look solid, just a lot riding on those big names, fwiw, your hitting looks worse than your pitching, which isn’t the best thing

      • Savoy Special says:
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        @Grey: I just dropped Maikel Franco for Matt Chapman. Been hearing about Franco’s batting stance changes and being mentored by Carlos Santana, but the video just shows him pulling off and stepping in the bucket on all pitches I’ve seen. He’s got a bad approach. Chapman might be a batting average risk but he also has a decent eye and just looks like he has somewhat of a game plan.

        I also dropped Musgrove for Vince Velasquez because Musgrove’s ranked 100 and Velasquez is ranked 62nd in your rankings. Hopefully there’s finally a VV breakout

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t mind that, I drafted Chapman already and am worried about Maikel… I like VV too

  4. Scott says:
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    Which catcher do you prefer out of the following: grandal, chirinos, hedges, ianetta, mccann (hou), mccann (det), avila, martin, Barnhart, pina, barnes, i.e., the usual suspects who are left after the top options are gone (gattis is owned). Stats are obp, ops, r, hr, rbi, tb, sb. Please rank top 3 from the list since i have a feeling the catcher run is about to happen. Thx

    • Cram It says:
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      @Scott: *see rankings

  5. bbboston says:
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    Grey,

    12 team AL-Only 5×5 league with 9 keepers allowed, resulting in pretty high price inflation/oddities. Which 9 should I keep?

    THANK YOU!

    Fullmer $13
    Berrios $8
    Clevinger $8
    Giolito $8
    Parker $8
    Betts $25
    Merrifield $5
    Hicks $2
    Polanco $10
    Abreu $32
    Kiermaier $18
    Moustakas $19

    PS: The argument for keeping Abreu is that in this league: 1) his average stats and consistency will make it so he owns the position, with E5 a somewhat distant second; 2) all better 1b, except E5 will be kept due to attractive pricing. The argument for the pitchers is that all the “aces or arguable aces” will be kept along with many 2,3 and 4s, so I’ve decided to try to compile a really good staff of 2/3s.

    • bbboston says:
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      @bbboston:

      One other guy I forgot to throw in the mix: Ryon Healy at $15

    • Cram It says:
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      @bbboston: All of the hitters and Clevinger

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @bbboston: Perhaps all hitters and Berrios, but that’s a personal choice

  6. Great Bambino says:
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    would you drop Cargo or Villar to stream pitching? thanks!

    • Great Bambino says:
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      @Great Bambino: Carlos Gonzalez*. stream or hold*

    • Cram It says:
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      @Great Bambino: Season hasn’t started yet, do you need to stream?

      • Great Bambino says:
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        @Cram It: to rephrase, I meant hold Cargo and Villar or drop one to use spot as an SP streaming slot

        • Cram It says:
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          @Great Bambino: You can drop one to stream if you need. They’re probably just bench bats anyway and not very good ones at that.

      • FrankGrimes says:
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        @Cram It:
        Yet you’re in mid season form ha.
        BSOYLN!

  7. Great Bambino says:
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    drop Mikolas, Musgrove, or Folty for Sean Newcomb? or hold. Thanks!

    • Cram It says:
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      @Great Bambino: Folty. Or see rankings.

      • Great Bambino says:
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        @Cram It: Musgrove is ranked like 15+ spots behind the others according to Grey’s 2018 rankings. Folty has failed enough/learned and is entering his age 26 season. Musgrove is getting over a shoulder injury and has a lot to prove too. anyway, I don’t think the answer is as clean cut as “see rankings”

        • Cram It says:
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          @Great Bambino: I didn’t look at rankings for these guys. So you’re saying Musgrove is the drop, which coincides with the rankings. Then drop Musgrove.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Great Bambino: Why are you dropping guys before the season starts?

  8. Justin says:
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    Hypothetically Is cespedes really that different from Mazara? Even hypothetically, yes.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Justin: Did I have a typo?

      • Justin says:
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        @Grey:

        No, it’s just Cespedes and Mazara are so different it seems like a strange comp. Cespedes injury-prone, way better average and power numbers.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          27/5/.280 vs. 25/3/.275

          • Justin says:
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            @Grey:

            My projections say this:

            Mazara: 150 games, .265/25/2, Age 23, Fav Ninja Turtle Rafael
            Yoenis: 130 games, .285/32/4, Age 32, Fav Ninja Turtle Rafael

            Now, my projections have never been wrong because I have never made any… but it’s safe to say they both like the same ninja turtle. And if you disagree on with them on TMNT then you clearly don’t understand how useful a sai can be.

            Other than that, I think there should probably be 50 spots between drafting the two. Incorporate a waiver wire replacement to compensate for Yoenis’ inevitable DL stint and your counting numbers are even better. I think ESPN has them ranked accurately, which is like urinating in your tea, I know, but I think they got them in the right spots this time.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I have them ranked with Yoenis 60+ spots before Mazara, I’m just saying if things break right (or wrong for Yoenis), one can see how close they could be…

              • Justin says:
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                @Grey:

                Glad you didn’t argue me on the Ninja Turtle point. I figured you as a Michaelangelo guy but maybe you’re deeper than I’m giving you credit for.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  How dare you!

  9. Great Bambino says:
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    drop Joe Musgrove for Vince Velasquez or Sean Newcomb? thanks!

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Cram It: I think you live to wake up each morning and type see rankings.

        • Cram It says:
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          @The Great Knoche: See rankings. I mean, it seems especially fitting today.

          Lemme see your starting lineup in NFBC.

          • The Great Knoche says:
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            @Cram It:

            C Chirinos
            C McCann
            1B Abreu
            2B Odor
            3B Castellanos
            SS Turner
            MI Dejong
            CR Zimmerman
            Of Hoskings
            OF Rosario
            OF Calhoun – Kole (Was both Calhpun’s until yesterday)
            OF Deshizz
            OF Markakis or Nick Williams
            U Asdrubal – I think

            P Paxton
            P Hendriks
            P Richards
            P Gio
            P Roark
            P Davies
            P Gohara (Now will be Chacin, Stratton, Fried)
            P Kenley
            P Ziegler

            Like my hitting, Pitching is OK but I’m in trouble on saves if Ziegler struggles. Injuries/Calhoun already biting my ass.

            • Cram It says:
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              @The Great Knoche: Yeah that’s a really good offense, but at the expense of your pitching, naturally. Back end OF/Util might be troublesome. Hopefully Hoskins, Rosario and Cast don’t fall on their faces.

              • knucks says:
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                @Cram It: Lemme jump in on this chatter…? Is this rude? Drafted this NFBC squad from the end of January to mid Feb.

                C- Alfaro
                C- Christian Vazquez
                1B- Hosmer
                2B- Dee
                3B-Arenado
                SS-Lindor
                CI-Rendon
                MI-Tim Anderson
                OF-Puig
                OF-Castellanos
                OF-Mazara
                OF-Mancini
                OF-Brinson
                UT-Pence

                P Verlander
                P Tanaka
                P Bauer
                P Pomeranz
                P Wacha
                P Snell
                P Osuna
                P Treinen
                P Ziegler

                Thoughts?

                Got Acuna on the bench till he plays. And figure I’ll use Ziegler now, while there appear to be saves for a few months maybe. But have Clevinger and Straily as my top SPs off the bench to swap in whenever.

                • Cram It says:
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                  @knucks: Nice. 15 teams? I really like it!

                  • knucks says:
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                    @Cram It: Oh shit my b. 12 teams. Its one of those $50 leagues, no overall winner. Just be the best of 12.

  10. Nick says:
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    Will He call Houn soon?

    don’t tell me he’s droppable at this point ,,,
    Dynasty team, blocked on my bench !!

    if so, would you rather add:
    Yusmeiro Petit / AJ Mint / Keone Kela
    or Pivetta !.?

    Nick

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Nick: Those names don’t jump out at me right now

  11. Chris D. says:
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    So yesterday I asked you, Grey, about trading David Price for Puig in a dynasty league which you told me to do and run. Well it’s a good thing the guy who wanted that trade didn’t respond right away because I got a text 20 mins after your recommendation, and ended up trading Price for Albies.

    Needless to say I took that one and ran as fast as Albies 70 grade speed.

  12. Kwoox says:
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    In GREY WE TRUST……….Our keeper league has 27 rounds 5 keepers per team. We are locked in with our keepers below (thoughts). We got 12 picks in first 8 rounds. and the 5th overall pick which looks like we should land either Manny or Freeman. WE LOVE your feedback and any suggestions. It’s roto, 5 OF, 2 UTL spots the normal INF plus CI, MI and cather and the normal pitching spots.

    Here are our keepers……please tell me the honest truth
    hoskins 27th (obvs great value but I’m not sold on him. can you talk me into it)
    Acuna 27th
    Chris taylor 26th
    jake lamb 24th (thoughts on trading him for yoan moncada?????
    Buxton in the 7th

    • Pocket Prospector says:
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      @Kwoox: As a Phillies fan, I can give you a good report on Hoskins. First of all, you don’t have to be sold on him for 27th round value. That’s insane (paired with Acuna that’s just filthy stealing from your league mates). Anyway, Hoskins has done nothing but mash pitching at every level of his development. Last year that included a healthy stint in the bigs. Now Hoskins won’t hit like that for an entire season, but he doesn’t have to. If he did, he would be a top 5 pick. I’ve been watching Hoskins play for the past 3 years and I can tell you he is a professional hitter. He studies, rarely gets fooled, knows the strike zone, waits for his pitch, and hammers it when he gets it. For a guy with great power he doesn’t strike out a lot, and also knows how to work a walk. He won’t run, and doesn’t provide great defense, but in fantasy, he’s someone you want.

      Now this is a lofty comparison, but as a life long Phillies fan, I can tell you that Hoskins at the plate reminds me of Mike Schmidt. Without the gold glove defense of course and with less swing and miss. He rarely slumps, he wants to be great, and works at it. And that is something that is true of all star athletes. You’ll be happy he’s one of your keepers.

      • Seth Swirsky says:
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        @Pocket Prospector:

        i had hoskins last year: he was very awesome until the last 5 weeks–when all he did was K. i fear pitchers figured out some of his holes and may be rated too high in drafts this year. comments?

        • LenFuego says:
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          @Seth Swirsky: You are misremembering somewhat. It was only the last 2 weeks or so of the season that Hoskins slumped. He had 19 Ks in his last 65 plate appearances (29.2% K/PA), which is not good, but hardly cataclysmic. Any power hitter is going to have a few two week slumps over the course of a season.

  13. Tim Leary says:
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    Mets’ training staff! bwaha!!!!!

  14. Cram It says:
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    Have any thoughts or feelings about the Giants OF? I’m reading they don’t want to go with Austin Jackson in center. And assuming Pence gets hurt…you’ve got Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker competing. See any of these guys as sticking out?

      • Cram It says:
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        @Great Bambino: Heh. These guys aren’t even in the top 500!

        • Justin says:
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          @Cram It:

          Create rankings, then see rankings

          • Cram It says:
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            @Justin: Only a mad man would create a top 750.

            • Justin says:
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              @Cram It:

              Hehe, top 2000 at least. How else am I supposed to know where to place Miguel Gonzalez?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      @Cram It: I think with the early spring Duggar is having he will at least be in contention for strong side of platoon in CF with Jackson/Gorkys. I think Shaw is the long term answer (in a Corner outfield spot) replacing Pence, but won’t start season on roster.

      • Cram It says:
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        @The Great Knoche: Blech, you think Gorkys is in play? Yeah they seem to be grooming Shaw for LF only, so it will take a Pence injury.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Cram It: good lord enough people don’t talk about just how horribly that franchise has been run lately. last year i’m pretty sure they had more games played by rookies than any other team, and like not one of them ever had any real prospect status nor did anything remotely last year. duggar does though, seems odd he’d start this early (hope so)

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          @Cram It: I think so. I don’t think anyone but those 3 can play defense in that big outfield. Unless they move Cutch back to center and put Shaw in RF which I think is doubtful.

          Best bet for ABs is Duggar.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Cram It: Duggar went in my draft about 8 rounds ago, prolly a bit early, but he’s the stand out… Parker would be my 2nd…

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey: Yeah that’s early. I’ve done a hell of a job staying away from AAA guys. I have maybe 1 to 3. But in round 45, that’s really all that’s left.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, same… I took Dahl and Adames for minor league upside, and Dahl was an accident due to CarGo not signing prior

          • Cram It says:
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            @Grey: I only have Anthony Alford who’s slated for AAA. Hopefully can provide some mid-season SAGNOF. I guess Andujar will be in AAA or a bench guy? I tried cornering the Yankees 3B market with him and Drury.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I like those two, cheap with a path to PT

              • Cram It says:
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                @Grey: Plan on doing a write-up of your team/draft? I can’t remember if you have prior, or if it’s just too big of a roster to cover.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I’ve already written it up, I just need to finish the final seven rounds

                  • Cram It says:
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                    @Grey: Nice.