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
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
by Ray Kuhn
While Julio Teheran might be the ace for the Atlanta Braves, by default in a sense, the same should not be said for his status on your fantasy team. It feels like the right-hander has been around forever, but he is still just 26-years old.
After his struggles last season it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to that conclusion that he was overrated entering ’17 (his NFBC ADP was 108, making him the 25th starting pitcher selected). What I have noticed is that per early ADP data from Fantrax (65th starting pitcher with an ADP of 229), the trend has been to over correct for Teheran’s struggles.
Yes, Teheran did end the season with a 4.49 ERA as he had the worst season of his career both from a skill and statistical standpoint (his FIP was 4.95), but are there really 64 starting pitchers better than him? For all of the fantasy owners that decided, after seeing him come up short as compared to his ADP, that they weren’t going to own Teheran in 2018, early trends are suggesting that you take a closer look. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
One game… That is how close Marwin Gonzalez was to being eligible at five positions for the 2018 season. The super-utility man eclipsed 500 plate appearances for the second straight season, 515 compared to 518 last season, and saw regular playing time in the outfield and across the infield (including “just” 19 games at third base).
We note this first because that is where a great deal of Gonzalez’s value comes from. Having a player that you can plug in just about anywhere can’t be understated, especially considering the overall increase in injuries, disabled list stints and players being rested.
That versatility is mportant, but at what cost? Gonzalez received regular playing time last season at shortstop thanks to Carlos Correa’s thumb injury, and then settled in left field. This season I would expect to see Gonzalez return to more of a traditional utility role and a repeat of 500 plate appearances might not be likely; a total between 400 and 450 appears to be more plausible.
So what can we expect from Gonzalez at the plate? Read more
by Ray Kuhn
We are all friends here and there is no need to sugar coat things. At the risk of offending those of you drafted him last season, Jonathan Villar was quite possibly the biggest bust of 2017, and if he wasn’t the biggest he has a place nice and secure in the Top 5.
Following up a season that saw him steal 62 bases while batting .285 with 19 home runs, 63 RBI and 92 runs scored, Villar’s ADP in the NFBC checked in at 19. That put the middle infielder securely in the early to mid part of the second round in most leagues. While some warning signs were there that he wouldn’t live up to those lofty expectations, a .370 BABIP among them, there is no use talking about the past as decisions are always easier after the result has played out.
This season fantasy owners are not making the same mistake, and if anything some might make the argument they have over corrected too much. That is not the argument I will make, but at his current draft position it’s hard to ignore him. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
At this point in the draft preparation process, it is still way too early to try and figure out who the 30 closers will be when the season starts at the end of March. For most teams there will be several players filling that role throughout the season and you certainly won’t end the season with the same closers you began with.
So what should we be doing in December and January?
The easy answer is to look at relievers based on their skill set and evaluate them that way. This brings us to the Chicago Cubs’ new addition in Brandon Morrow. Currently Morrow’s role for Chicago next season is unclear but based on their financial commitment, over $20 million for two seasons, we know he will have a vital role in the late innings.
While there are still too many questions be to answered about whether Morrow will start the season as the closer, we can say with almost certainty that he could hold that role at least at some point in 2018. So what can we expect from the right-hander? Read more