Rankings Review: Rhys Hoskins Over Cody Bellinger? You’d Better Believe It!

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When we originally ran our first base rankings (click here to view) one of the biggest questions was why we believed in Rhys Hoskins (ranked #6) more than Cody Bellinger (ranked #8).  Most of the fantasy world believes in Bellinger more than we do, but at the time we noted:

Many are going to have Cody Bellinger slotted in the Top 5 of their rankings, and after hitting .267 with 39 HR last season it makes sense. We’ll dive into why he fell short of those rankings in the next few weeks, but he’s one of the prime overpays we are expecting heading into ’18.  Part of it is a potential power regression (19.4% HR/FB in the second half may be more realistic, which would make him more of a 30-35 HR threat as opposed to 40+) and his average may be capped due to the risk of strikeouts as well as a propensity for fly balls.  Could you argue him up a few spots?  Absolutely, but keep the risks in mind.

So with that being said why is it that we believe in Hoskins and his ability to maintain the splash he made in ’17 (.259 with 18 HR and 48 RBI over 212 PA)?  Let’s take a look: Read more

2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 15 Shortstops: Maneuvering Through A Group Full Of Risk/Questions

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to point towards the top tier shortstops and assume that the position is loaded, and there is value up and down our rankings.  However after you get past the top tier or two, despite there being some intriguing names the risk grows tremendously.  There are breakouts to be found and players to stay away from, so let’s take a look and determine whose who:

 

1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
2. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
3. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals
4. Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners
6. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
7. Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies
8. Orlando Arcia – Milwaukee Brewers Read more

Is The Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz A 2018 Post-Hype Sleeper? Not So Much…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz was one of the more hyped pitchers entering 2017.  He was supposed to be a high strikeout, breakout candidate available late in your drafts but at the end of the year the results didn’t back it up:

154.0 IP
10 Wins
4.79 ERA
1.48 WHIP
143 Strikeouts (8.36 K/9)
59 Walks (3.45 BB/9)
39.4% Groundball Rate
.324 BABIP

The numbers aren’t terrible, as both the strikeouts and control were at least “decent”.  That doesn’t mean that they were good or numbers that we’d go out of our way to acquire, but they continue to show the upside that was seen heading into last season.  Unfortunately there were two key stats creating far too big of a concern moving forward: Read more

Draft Day Decision: Is Jay Bruce Currently Being Undervalued?

by Ray Kuhn

No respect… Whether or not that changes after Jay Bruce signed with the New York Mets remains to be seen, but the outfielder is a nice value selection so far this draft season.

Whether you are looking at ADP from the NFBC (170) or Fantrax (166), Bruce is being under drafted. Even though it feels as if he has been around forever (since 2008), he is still relatively young; he will turn 31 during the season. He is past his true “prime” seasons, but Bruce has shown no signs of slowing down and has shown the ability to stay healthy.

So just because Bruce isn’t the next “big thing” doesn’t mean we should ignore him on draft day. While he does have some warts, he is just 2.5 category contributor, he also isn’t a liability. Read more

2018 Projection: Will Manuel Margot Emerge As A Top 30 Outfielder? It’s Highly Possible…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Manuel Margot was generally regarded as one of the better prospects in baseball dating back to his days as a member of the Boston Red Sox.  So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he posted a strong rookie campaign, flashing his speed while showing growth in the power department:

487 At Bats
.263 Batting Average (128 Hits)
13 Home Runs
39 RBI
53 Runs
17 Stolen Bases
.313 On Base Percentage
.409 Slugging Percentage
.309 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Speed had always been considered his carrying tool, though 17 SB isn’t going to blow you away.  He stole 32 bases between Triple-A in the Majors in 2016, and had posted 30+ SB in four of five seasons from 2012-2016.  With experience and maturity seeing a jump in the number should be expected.  While an expectation in the 25-29 range is fair, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go 30+ this year. Read more

Draft Day Decision: Does Domingo Santana Warrant A 5th/6th Round Selection?

by Ray Kuhn

Decisions… You are constantly forced to make them in fantasy baseball and the greatest onus is placed on the ones you make on draft day. In a recent draft I had a decision to make about whether or not to select Domingo Santana. Ultimately I passed and he was selected two picks later, which meant I wouldn’t be able to consider him in the next round.

Will I regret not drafting Santana? For these purposes, this is less about the alternatives and more what we think about the Brewers’ right fielder. For the record I could have selected him with the 71st pick of a 12 team draft. Instead I selected Dallas Keuchel (building a strong pitching staff along with Jacob deGrom and Carlos Martinez), and after Santana went off the board I went with Whitt Merrifield for my next turn and followed it up by taking Yoenis Cespedes to be my second outfielder, behind Mike Trout, with the 95th pick of the draft.

Currently Santana’s NFBC ADP is 68 with his earliest selection coming with the 49th pick of the draft. Over at Fantrax Santana has an ADP of 73. The question then is will his 2018 production warrant that draft position? Read more