by Ray Kuhn
Entering the 2017 season there is a considerable buzz surrounding Wil Myers. Formerly a top prospect, he was on the verge of being classified as bust prior to 2016. Due to a few factors (mainly his move to first base and his health), Myers finally lived up to his expectations. His success was enough for a rebuilding Padres team to commit $83 million to him over the next six seasons via a heavily back loaded contract. From a fantasy perspective whether or not that was a prudent baseball decision isn’t relevant but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own questions.
Mainly, is he worthy of the buzz? And by buzz I’m not referring to his new contract, but his lofty ADP in early drafts. At this point in the off-season are we comfortable ranking Myers as our 7th best first baseman?
There is a clear divide in tiers, as we see a large drop from Joey Votto’s ADP of 28.2 down to Myers. By no means am I advocating for Myers to be selected higher, quite the contrary, but this helps make the case that waiting on a first baseman if you miss the first few is my preferred strategy. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
If you weren’t paying attention to the Philadelphia Phillies in the second half of last season you are not alone. The Phillies are in the process of rebuilding, and the product on the field left a lot to be desired. That doesn’t mean that fantasy owners should be ignoring the situation. Even if they might not be trying to win on the field, they are still fielding a team filled with young players and varying degrees of potential, bringing us to Tommy Joseph.
It wasn’t a secret that the Phillies were phasing Ryan Howard out, with his performance not doing him any favors, but Joseph made sure the veteran spent a lot of time on the bench late in the year. He also ensured that he will be opening the 2017 season starting at first base and batting in the middle of their lineup.
In his first professional season, 2010, Joseph hit 16 HR while driving in 68 runs and followed that up with 22 HR and 95 RBI in 2011. Injuries then hijacked the next four years as he fell off the prospect radar while hitting just 25 HR and ultimately being moved to first base. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
As we enter the 2017 the Seattle outfield is the land of opportunity for Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger. Both outfielders are the beneficiaries of a change of sceneryr, from Kansas City and Arizona respectively, and with the trade of Seth Smith there path to playing time may have been cleared with Dyson is slated to open the season in left field with Haniger in right (the only potential roadblocks to playing time Seattle’s new additions have is Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia, who are both more of fourth or fifth outfielder types, with Tyler O’Neill also being on radars).
While Dyson has experience dating back to 2010, with a legit role in Kansas City since 2012, Haniger saw his first taste of major league action last summer. The signs, and track record, are there for both and they can be a source of value late in fantasy drafts this spring. Let’s take a look at each player and what we can expect if they receive 500 at bats:
It is not a secret that Dyson possess elite speed and that is the only reason why we are discussing him as being fantasy relevant. In fact, that is the only reason why he has been on fantasy radars for the past five seasons while averaging just 253 AB per year. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
I get it, Joey Votto gets on base. In fact, Votto gets on base at a very high level. That skill has a clear value, even more so for those leagues that count On Base Percentage instead of Batting Average (though that’s not the case in the majority of leagues).
He is a career .313 hitter so we shouldn’t take his plate skills lightly, but I need more from someone I am selecting towards the end of the second round in 15 team leagues (current ADP is 28.57, with a range from 20 to 41) as the sixth first baseman to come off the board (which I don’t necessarily disagree with). Based on his ADP 41st appears to be the outlier, but that is where I would be comfortable selecting him.
We are talking about just one round, but my first two selections need to be studs. There aren’t many five category contributors on offense, but in the first two rounds I’m looking for impact pieces. Votto is very good player, but I believe we have seen his ceiling and there isn’t room for all that much value. Plus first base is a relatively deep position and this year is no different, considering the resurgence we have seen in the power department across baseball. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
In looking at the catcher position, either you are in or you are out. If paying market value for a Top 5 catcher isn’t how you choose to build your team, and it’s not my preferred strategy, there are options to wait on. Waiting on filling your catcher slot, or slots, means the position is deep, it just means that there isn’t much differentiation once you get out of the top tier. There are obviously multiple tiers and a clear hierarchy, but things even out pretty quickly once you move past the Top 10. When sitting down to compile my catcher rankings, I often find more cons than pros and, in most cases, upside is limited.
In leagues that start two catchers, it is difficult to punt both slots but you also want the most bang for your buck. The key is identifying those few players that you feel a little more comfortable about and that provide some upside. For me, Tom Murphy is one of those players.
Where you draft Murphy, and this is key when searching for value, will likely be lower than where he finishes the season. The reason for that is his power, plain and simple. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
When preparing for your draft and the upcoming fantasy baseball season there are many things you can, and should, be doing. One is reviewing the ADP (average draft position) results from the NFBC; a highly competitive and high stakes fantasy baseball tournament.
While these results aren’t going to directly correspond to your rankings, and they shouldn’t, it will give you the best (early) look at how we can expect drafts to transpire. As you complete your rankings, taking a gander through the ADP’s could prove to be highly beneficial in identifying both values and potential busts.
This brings us to Gary Sanchez. We ran out of superlatives to describe Sanchez over the last two months of the 2016 season, but what can we expect of him in 2017?
Based on his early ADP, the answer appears to be quite a lot. Sanchez is coming off the board as the second catcher with an average selection of 47.33, being drafted as high as 36th while going as low as 59th. With a draft position like this, it will be pretty difficult for Sanchez just to meet his value. Read more