Sleeper Spotlight: Could Charlie Morton Emerge As A Viable Fantasy Option?

by Ray Kuhn

Who is Charlie Morton? Unless you play in a deep league (more than 12 teams), an NL-only (now an AL-only) league or are in the business of streaming starters, it is very possible you are not all that familiar with the right-hander. After Morton pitched just 17.1 innings with the Phillies last season prior to injuring his hamstring, it is very likely he was not on your radar entering the 2017 season.

To be fair, after a 4.81 ERA and 96 K in 129 innings in 2015, it is highly probable Morton wasn’t an option you were considering for last season either. This off-season the Astros committed two years and $14 million to him in a deal that received some criticism.  Does Houston know something we don’t? Is Morton someone we should be considering for the back of our rotation or as bench option?

Throughout his career Morton has shown flashes of success at the big league level, but he has yet to put anything sustainable together. In 2011 hehad a 3.83 ERA over 29 starts in what has been his best season to date, despite his 1.53 WHIP. He is not a pitcher known for his strikeout prowess, just 6.3 per nine innings across his career. In fact, if you are going to consistently look to Morton as an option in the back end of your rotation, that could end being a liability. Read more

2017 Projection: As The Hype Grows, What Should We Expect From Greg Bird?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Yankees Greg Bird has been one of the biggest stories this spring.  After missing all of 2016 due to injury expectations were that he’d enter 2017 as part of a first base by committee, potentially platooning with Tyler Austin and ceding AB to veterans like Chris Carter and Matt Holliday.  With Spring Training wrapping up that is no longer the case, as Bird has staked his claim on the starting job and the third spot in the batting order thanks to a monster spring (stats are through Tuesday):

.429 (21-49), 7 HR, 13 RBI, 10 R, 0 SB

He hasn’t just been hitting home runs, showing that there’s plenty of power by piling up the extra base hits (7 doubles and 1 triple) and showing a strong command of the strike zone (10 K vs. 9 BB).  It’s Spring Training and we don’t want to draw definitive conclusions, so let’s take a look and see if he can maintain this when the lights turn on: Read more

Order The Rotoprofessor 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Today!!

It’s that time of year again! Spring Training games are upon us and as a loyal Rotoprofessor reader/supporter, we wanted to give you the first opportunity to order your copy our 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide!

The price will be increasing this year to a whole $7.00 (I know, inflation). This may be the best value you get to help prepare for your fantasy baseball season, so make sure to take advantage of it.

For those who have never experienced the guide, it is delivered through e-mail as an Excel spreadsheet and also includes:

  • Over 550 player projections (including some of the top prospects in the game)
  • Top 400 Overall
  • 2-page cheat sheet, perfect to take to your draft
  • The Rotoprofessor Staff’s quick take on every player projected
  • Expanded Rankings (i.e. Top 30 Catchers, Top 125 Starting Pitchers)
  • Top 50 rankings for Corner Infielders & Middle Infielders
  • Projected lineups and rotations
  • Top 50 Prospects for 2017 (Prospects who can make impact in ’17)
  • Top 5 Prospects for 2017 by team (Prospects who can make impact in ’17)
  • Top 40 “New” Dynasty Prospects
  • Auction Values (including NL/AL-Only)
  • Multiple Position Eligibility Chart
  • Closer Chart
  • Top 30 Sleepers for 2017
  • 15 Players Likely to be Overdrafted in 2017

Unlike paper guides our version will be updated every two-to-three weeks, helping you stay as prepared as possible.  The first draft was released on January 16, 2017 and the updates will begin after that.  I want to thank you all for supporting Rotoprofessor and make sure to order your copy of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide today!




Quick Hit: Could Christian Vazquez Make A Fantasy Impact In 2017?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The assumption was that Sandy Leon would be the starting catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Blake Swihart owns the biggest name (despite his struggles and recent demotion).  However, could Christian Vazquez actually prove to be the starter and a fantasy asset?

He is the superior defensive catcher, though it was fair to doubt that he’d get back to that level after losing a year due to Tommy John surgery.  That doesn’t appear to be an issue any more as manager John Farrell was recently quoted by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (click here for the article) as saying:

“You’re always hopeful that the second year off of Tommy John, there’s going to be the less arm-strength swings or the peaks and valleys. That’s been on display. His arm strength is close to where it was pre-surgery. His footwork has been very quick from the first day of camp. He’s come into camp in great shape. He’s doing the things he’s capable of defensively, for sure.” Read more

Why Trevor Story Could Become One Of The Elite Shortstops In 2017

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Prior to his season ending injury the fantasy world was abuzz in regards to Trevor Story.  Could he continue the torrid pace he set over the first few months?  Has he emerged as one of the truly elite shortstops in the league?  The fact that we can’t fully answer those questions leaves a slight cloud hanging over him as we head towards 2017.  With the potential to be one of the elite at his position, there also is a lot of risk.  Let’s take a look and try to pinpoint exactly where his value falls.

 

2016 Statistics
372 At Bats
.272 Batting Average (101 Hits)
27 Home Runs
72 RBI
67 Runs
8 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.567 Slugging Percentage
.343 Batting Average on Balls in Play Read more

Searching For Saves: Archie Bradley, Closer Of The Future?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After failing to earn a spot in the rotation, Archie Bradley will open the year as part of Arizona’s bullpen.  Obviously that eliminates his potential value, in the short-term, though the team doesn’t have a long-term solution for the closer role.  Could Bradley, a former top prospect, be primed for that role?

Control and repertoire have been the biggest questions facing him, though if you believe the quotes the latter is no longer an issue.  Here’s what Bradley had to say recently, courtesy of Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (click here for the article):

 “But I’m so far ahead of where I was even at the beginning of this camp. I came in wanting to lock down a third pitch and although they aren’t set in stone now, I’ve got four pitches now. I’ve got the changeup down, I’m throwing it for strikes. I’m throwing a cutter/slider now, whatever you want to call it. I feel like I’m in the best shape pitching-wise that I’ve been in in my life probably.” Read more