Fantasy All Stars (5×5, on-base leagues)
C – Buster Posey, SF – Has 3 titles in 5 years and is putting up solid numbers again. I thought where he was going in the draft was too high, 3rd round, but so far he’s been worth it.
C – Derek Norris, SD – He was the 2nd choice in OAK, because Vogt is amazing, but now he’s 1st in SD. He’s been the consolation prize for fantasy players everywhere who missed out on Vogt.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt, AZ – the #1 rated player on Yahoo! for good reason, maybe people will finally start talking about him in real baseball. I can’t not see him going 1st overall next year.
1B – Anthony Rizzo, CHI – Theo’s poster boy, but for some reason ESPN only seems to mention Kris Bryant. The Cubs made out on that deal, but I’m still hoping for Cashner to put it all together. The SBs have been a pleasant surprise, proving that any smart player with an aggressive manager can get to 20 SBs easily. Continue reading
So the first month of baseball is technically over, but because the season started so late the first month hasn’t really finished yet. I looked into some players off to great starts to the season and I used fangraphs for all the stats mentioned in my post.
Nelson Cruz – Well it’s official, I was dead wrong on Cruz. Seattle is where hitters go to die! Cano couldn’t even get to 15 HRs last year and Cruz moving from the hitter friendly Camden Yards to Safeco was supposed to reduce his power, not increase it! He’s hitting fly balls 14% more than last year and his ground ball rate is down by 8%, so the spike in HRs makes sense. Those rates usually don’t stabilize until ~170 PAs and he’s only half way to that mark. His HR/FB is high, but if he can keep generating this many FBs then he might even eclipse last years 40 HRs…he only needs 30 more to go. His walk and strikeout rates look right around career average and he’s swinging a little less outside the strike zone while increasing his contact rate. His age, injury history, and home park gave me concern going into the season, but the stats show there’s little to dislike.
The Cubs and Cardinals start off the season and I was a little too excited to watch 2 teams I don’t care about, but today is officially Opening Day! Part IV of my 2015 frugal fantasy baseball goes over some underpriced SPs and RPs. Obviously depending on how competitive and deep the league is many of these recommendations will be owned already. Depending on how well pitchers do during their first outing will obviously determine how well they’ll perform the entire year. Even if you’ve drafted already I value these pitchers higher than they are currently valued, go trade for them! Add them on the waiver if you’re lucky enough.
A lot of sites will tell you not to draft pitchers early, to draft hitters instead because they’re “safer,” but the better advice would be to draft the correct players. Last year instead of drafting Felix Hernandez in the 2nd round you could have drafted Corey Kluber in the later rounds and got the same production! In 2014 reliable hitters didn’t bust (Prince Fielder, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Jason Kipnis) and it’s so much harder to find hitters that out perform their ADP drastically like pitchers so often do (Michael Brantley, Victor Martinez, Jose Abreu, Anthony Rendon). Sarcasm! Clayton Kershaw finished as the #1 overall player last year and he didn’t even pitch the whole season. If you want to draft pitchers early there are plenty of hitters that you can draft late. There seems to be an epidemic of Tommy John surgeries, but there are plenty of pitchers that remain consistent throughout the years, so just draft the players that won’t get Tommy John! It’s that easy. H2H formatting deflated aces because weekly performances are so fickle, and quantity usually beats quality in daily leagues, but having a strong ace can anchor a fantasy rotation, especially in roto leagues. Here are some guys that could help with the quantity side of things though.
Today I’m going over frugal options for the catcher and first base positions, this isn’t exactly a sleepers article, just guys I’d target at those positions later in the draft. Fantasy Pros average the rankings from 6 other sites and it’s what I’ll use for player ADP (average draft position) here. I feel like most people draft on Yahoo! and ESPN so I’ll be giving those rankings precedence over the others.
I usually target catchers late, I know, this isn’t exactly ground breaking advice. Buster Posey finished in the top 50 twice during the Giant’s even year dynasty, but it’s 2015 now. Even if the year was 2222 and Posey was 22 years old I wouldn’t draft the guy at his current 2nd round price tag. Players like Devin Mesoraco and Yan Gomes weren’t drafted in most leagues last year but still finished in the top 5 at their position. Catcher is one of the weakest positions, you can’t screw up your draft by selecting a catcher too late.
Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler are both young RFs with a ton of potential. Heyward seems to be on the cusp of truly breaking out every year and Soler is primed to break out after an impressive summer call up. In keeper leagues I feel the debate is closer, but let me go over who I think is a better pick.
ESPN Keeper Rankings: 45
Razzball Keeper Rankings: 41
Fantasy Pros: 66
ESPN Keeper Rankings: 84
Razzball Keeper Rankings: Unranked or <59
Fantasy Pros: 85
Special thanks to contributing writer James Boyce.
Potential Waiver Wire Adds
C – Derek Norris and John Jaso – Last month we highlighted a couple of Twin backstops, this month, a couple of Athletics. It’s a time-share, but both Norris and Jaso have provided quality fantasy numbers in ½ the ABs that some regular catchers are getting.
Well, um, yeah, it looks like there will be no bounce back for the Prince Fielder.
As a guy who has believed in Prince Fielder since the start of the season…and drafted him everywhere…and recommended buying low on him everywhere…and bought him everywhere, this is a prettay huge blow for all of my teams. The healthiest and most consistent player in baseball has succumb to an injury. CURSE YOU DAVE DOMBROWSKI! Sorry about that guys, I shouldn’t have doubted the magician of MLB trades. I would still wait until Prince officially confirms he’s going in for season ending surgery, but there’s a 91% chance he’s done for the year, and it’s probably closer to a 100%…but I’m just still hopeful for a miracle. Prince Fielder will probably end up being the most disappointing pick this season…
Somehow Clayton Kershaw is the 135th ranked overall player on Yahoo! After only 3 starts…which is somehow higher than Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee, and Madison Bumgarner. I know Kershaw is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but come on, he hasn’t been the one of the most valuable players in the fantasy game when he’s been sidelined for most of it. Give him at least a couple more starts before we crown him the prince of baseball again.
What a great start for Justin Morneau, good thing I recommended him as much as I could on this website that nobody reads! I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that one. Todd Helton was able to play 1B for the Rockies for 40 years, Morneau should be able to do it too. Also those two studs on the left look like twins…too soon?
I’m really glad I held on to Rajai Davis in all my leagues I drafted him in and didn’t drop him for let’s say either Matt Lindstrom or Jose Valverde because I needed saves. I couldn’t have been that stupid right? Right?!
Elvis Andrus has 9 SBs already, he’s so fast because of all those peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches he eats. The King and the Prince are roaming around the Texas infield.
Chris Colabell-who? Somehow he has 27 rbis playing for the Twins and I’ve never heard of him before this year. Somehow the Twins have one of the best offenses in baseball, if only they had just one major league level pitcher…