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
by Ray Kuhn
Devin Mesoraco, we hardly knew you… After having what appeared to be a breakout in 2014, the Reds catcher has fallen just about completely off our radars. In the last two seasons he missed a combined 287 games and had three surgeries; two on his hip and one on his shoulder. He’s managed a combined 95 AB over the two years and is essentially a non-factor entering this season.
Given the state of the catcher position, and the fact that some leagues require you to start two, Mesoraco is still being drafted as a starter. With a little less than two weeks to go before the start of the season he is the 21st catcher coming off the board with an ADP of 297.
What can we expect from Mesoraco for 2017? If he is healthy, there is no reason for him not to exceed his ADP in terms of production. However, we also can’t expect a repeat of his 2014 season. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Raw talent and potential… At this point that is all we can say about Jorge Soler. The outfielder’s value is based largely on the intangible rather than actual on the field performance, but could 2017 be the year where we see that situation change?
It will not cost much to see if that happens, as Soler currently has an ADP 288.63 and is the 68th outfielder to come off the board. I am perfectly willing to gamble with my 20th round selection on my fifth outfield spot. Additionally, there aren’t many targets who offer the true upside that Soler provides.
When taking a look at Kansas City’s new right fielder, there are a few things to keep in mind. Soler is 25-years old and, in three seasons, has a combined total of 682 AB. Health has been a factor, as he has dealt with some nagging injuries, as has playing time. The latter has been performance driven, though it is a bit of a catch-22 as Soler hasn’t had continued success, but he also hasn’t been given the chance to truly prove himself. This season that appears primed to change. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
There are some cases in which talent alone is not enough. Generally talent wins out and eventually results in regular playing time, but depth charts are something all fantasy owners need to be aware of. In this scenario Jose Reyes is the beneficiary, as he likely will outperform his current ADP of 302.
Not too long ago hewas an early round fantasy selection. Back in 2012 Reyes stole 40 bases while playing shortstop. He was a dynamic player providing elite production while playing a position in which the talent level dropped off rather quickly. Flash forward to 2017 and shortstop is a much deeper position. It doesn’t necessarily matter for Reyes, as he only has eligibility at third base and his days of 40 stolen bases in a season are behind him.
The plan for Reyes was to be a super-utility player seeing time across both the infield and the outfield, similar to how the Chicago Cubs deploy Ben Zobrist. While he didn’t have a set position, playing time likely was not going to be an issue due to his versatility and the Mets need for him as their lead-off hitter. However not having a set position often makes fantasy owners uneasy. Thanks to David Wright’s latest and unfortunate shoulder issues, Reyes now will be a regular in the Mets lineup batting first and playing third base. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
On an individual level, power is reaching heights we haven’t seen in some time. Last season 118 players eclipsed the 20 home run mark, and one of them was Miguel Sano.
Power never has been an issue for Sano, every thing else has been. In 437 AB last season he battled hamstring, back, elbow and other assorted health issues, though the slugger hit 25 home runs while driving in 66 runs. Aside from the injury issues, it was far from a perfect campaign as he struggled to find a position and showed an inability to make contact.
Neither should have taken anyone by surprise, and that will continue to be the case. Last season he spent 42 games at third base and 38 in the outfield, and he will open the season as Minnesota’s third baseman. From a real life perspective that might not be the best place for Sano as he struggled there last season, but he isn’t the best outfielder either.
It is clear that Sano is around for his bat… At least his power bat. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Just a few short years ago Adam Jones was an early round pick. He was never a true first round stud, but he was off the board by the end of the third round and earned $34 of value for his fantasy owners in ’13. It was hard to argue with his dependability as the outfielder was a true compiler across the board.
Over the last two seasons Jones has slipped ($20 in 2015 and $18 in 2016), and that dip is reflected in his current ADP (117.2). That makes him the 26th outfielder coming off the board with an eighth round price tag. While he is not the player he was, is it also possible that he has fallen too far?
In taking a look at his performance over the past five seasons there are two categories that immediately jump off the page; stolen bases and batting average. However I am not concerned about either. Now that is not to mean I don’t want all of the stolen bases and batting average I can get, but at the same time I am aware that Jones is not Mike Trout or Mookie Betts. Read more