2017 Fantasy Sleeper – Jose Peraza

It’s been a strange time for Jose Peraza these past couple of seasons. For the beginning years of his professional career he was lauded as a future superstar second basemen for the Braves. Then, Peraza was included in a three way trade with the Marlins and Dodgers that landed him on the Dodgers AAA team. After the season ended Jose was yet again included in a three way deal with the Reds and White Sox. Word is that players like Peraza that offer no power tend to be expendable. Being labeled a “slap” hitter does usually make teams shy away as the look for those ” 5 tool” players.

Lets go over what Peraza can do for the Reds and our fantasy teams. At the moment he is in the super utility spot on the Reds. Last season seeing time at shortstop, second base, Left field and center field. With Brandon Phillips and Zack Cosart healthy the middle infield seems set. The Reds are trying to move both players but have not found a match. Center field is owned by Billy Hamilton and Left field to Adam Duvall. Giving a player one day off per week is absolutely possible and could net Peraza 400+ AB’s.

What can Peraza bring to your team? Power wise as i mentioned he is not strong suited for. It seems at his peak he may provide 10-12 hr’s but for now don’t count on HR’s from him. Hitting…he is an excellent contact hitter making contact on swings inside the strike zone at a clip of 93.9% His total swing and misses is at 6.6% Crazy low. Its because of his contact skills and his speed that his .324 batting average last year may not be as much of a mirage as most think. There are a lot of doubles and triples in that bat as well. Now for the best part. How many 40+ base stealers do you think there were in MLB this past season? There was only 4. J. Villar 62, B. Hamilton 58, S. Marte 47, E. Nunez 40. Peraza playing for half the season in Cincinnati amassed 21 SB’s. This looks as if 40+ for Peraza would not be a leap of faith to expect. Batting in between Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto at the top of the lineup is a great place to be.

Jose Peraza will be a very smart late pick in a snake draft or a great low $ option in an Auction if you have waited on a MI spot.A guy with his talent for swiping bags and can hold his own in batting average is hard to find.

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11/25/16 – Today’s Take

So by now we have all heard about Seattle and Arizona’s Thanksgiving swap:

Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the Diamondbacks

Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners

First thought is that the Diamond backs finally have a GM that knows what he is doing.

With Walker and Ketel the D-Backs have acquired  two talented players that have upside and likely have not reached the ceiling of that upside.

Segura is a buy high and Seattle hopes he will continue to produce. Haniger has an interesting power, speed combo but the jury is out on his batting average being high enough to become a starter. Curtis has promise but should be considered a throw in at this point.

Lets talk some Jean Segura for a moment. Dude had a great season. There were not many bright spots on the Diamondbacks team last year but he was one. Segura had 203 hits batted .319 with 20 hr’s 33 sb’s but lets look at some of the underlying numbers. Segura had an wOBA (weighted on base average)of .371. In 2015 his wOBA was .268.  Hmm seems like the giant bump. Now in BABIP Segura benefited from was .353 compared to .298 in 2015. The latter being more of an MLB average so there seems to be some luck there. I’m not going to be so quick to label this a career year for Segura as he is only 26. You have to applaud the new Arizona GM for selling high on Segura though.

Taijuan Walker has it all, he is a 6’4″ 24 year old and had an avg fastball speed of 94 mph. This is complemented by 3 more pitches (curve, cutter,change) to to go with his fastball. Now that I’ve discussed the talents of Taijuan’s throwing arsenal his main focus now is learning how to pitch. Due to injuries over the past few seasons Walker has amassed a total of 357 innings in the majors. We have seen glimpses of games where everything clicks for Taijuan. Its these games that remind us that he is capable of being an ace caliber pitcher. Now that he will pitch in the National League it should result in a bump in strike out totals. Having Walker in a rotation of Grienke, Miller, Bradley & Corbin is scary. If everything clicks for this rotation then Arizona will challenge the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West.

 

 

 

11/24/16 Today’s Take

  • Aroldis Chapman “I would love to be a Yankee again”. Brian Cashman “we would love to have Aroldis Chapman back”. Hmm sounds to me like it all depends on the ability of the Yankees to “make it rain”. With the caliber of teams fighting for his services next year being at least the Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and Nationals. There are probably others but with the payroll abilities these teams have I could see Chapman ending up with a contract that pays him between 20 -30 million per season. The years will end up being whatever Chapman wants. When you are a hard throwing lefty closer who regularly hits 100+ mph and many hitters don’t want to face. Chapman will be able to get what he really wants. It just depends which GM panics first. I have a feeling it will be the Dodgers who send a dump truck full of cash to the Chapman residence. The other teams will likely fight over Kenly Jansen and to a lesser degree Mark Melancon. Personally I’d be trying to zig while others zag and scoop 3 of the top non closers like, Neftali Feliz, Greg Holland, Drew Storen, Koji Uehara and Brad Ziegler to name a few. Make a deeper bullpen for a 1/4 of the price by scooping up these effective relievers while everyone else is looking at the bright lights someone could scoop up the back up plans.  

11/21/16 – Today’s Take

  • It seems that the Toronto Blue Jays offered Edwin Encarnacion a 4 year 80 million dollars contract. Now supposedly this was before the signing of Kendrys Morales. I wonder if this shuts the door for Edwin to return. Also, He really turned that down? That is a great offer for a guy who will be 34 years old on opening day.Despite the Morales signing Toronto GM Ross Atkins insists that team is still interested in bringing Encarnacion back. Seems like Encarnacion and Cespedes are going to be looking for closer to $25 million per season. Given age and worry about production value to warrant that type of money, I believe both guys will end up with a 2-3 year deal worth $25 mill per season.
  • This may be the worst free agent class for starting pitching that we have seen in a long time. Still, there is talent out there after Bartolo Colon…:) Rich Hill has looked as dominant as Cliff Lee was a few years back. The two things that make GM’s cringe are his age (37 on opening day) and his injury history (mainly those pesky blisters) Still Rich Hill spins one of the nastiest curve balls I’ve seen in a while. Would Rich Hill sign a 2-3 year deal loaded up with some very attainable bonuses?
  • Jason Hammel is also available at the moment and he is a  valuable middle of the rotation arm Hammel tends to wear out come the second have of a season but he seems to give his team a chance to win every time he is handed the ball.

11/20/16 – Today’s Take

Happy Monday all,

The hot stove for baseball has been warming up and we are seeing some transactions prior to the busy Winter Meetings that begin December 4th.

  • The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed on a contract for the services of  RP Brett Cecil at the cost of 4 years for a guaranteed $30.5 million dollars.  Oh and there is a full no trade clause. Hmmm….every high end middle reliever has now seen the bar set for 7.625 million per year. A four year deal for a middle reliever ends well every time, right?
  • The Yankees seem to be stockpiling funds. At this point only Brian Cashman and his brain trust seem to know the master plan of how to spend it. Not sure if they are going to panic and give Chapman 5yrs/100m then Cespedes at a 3or4yr/100m or are they going to be committed to developing the kids all year and then integrate some superstars in during the 2018 crazy loaded free agency pool.
  • After all the build up of A.J. Reed being the next big thing at first base it seems that the Astros have a glut of talent and Mr. Reed has no path to a spot on the team. With Gurriel moving to first base to accommodate Alex Bregman taking over third base duties. Heck, word is the Astros have just taken Jon Singleton off of the 40 man roster. Yet another star that flamed out for the Astros.
  • Garret Richards it still sounding pretty confident that he will anchor the Angels rotation in 2017. We’ll see if he is ready for spring training with velocity and control. If he does he is one of the hardest throwing starters out there, May be a great buy low candidate.
  • Word is the Brewers really want to cut ties with Ryan Braun. Thing is he has a list of only six teams he can be traded to without his approval. The Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Angels, Daimondbacks or Marlins. Anybody else would probably have to kick in a nice extension to his contract.
  • The Dodger are kicking the tires on Logan Forsythe. They are speaking to the Rays to see would it would cost to get him. Forsythe is one heck of a hitter.Dodgers would probably bring Utley back as well just because they can.

Kendrys Morales to the Blue Jays

It seems that Toronto is bracing for the inevitable loss of Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista. There is a possibility both will leave for that matte. Morales is a 33 year old who most of the time fits into a DH role He is capable to play First Base as well though they might want to keep that in small doses.. The thing Kendrys brings to the table is his ability to flat out rake. Morales had some impressive success hitting in the middle of the Royals lineup for the past couple of years. The Royals are going to miss the 30 home runs 100 RBI and a hard hit rate of 41.1%. That hard hit rate proves that he has the ability to square up many pitches in “his zone” much like David Ortiz did for the Red Sox over the years. Morales will surely be a force in the middle of a Toronto lineup playing in the launching pad they have in Toronto.  The counting stats will likely prove him to be a very good value player in a points league format.

Bartolo Colon

Looks like the Braves are wasting no time at all in restocking their starting rotation. Bartolo Colon was sighned to a One year $12.5 Million dollar deal. The 43 year old (44 in May) might have been the 4th, 5th or 6th best pitcher in the Mets rotation but he was very  Effective at turning in quality efferts time and time again. In all Bartolo had 19 quality starts which was 24th overall in the big leagues. Colon along with RA Dickey who was signed a few days ago totaled a combined 32 quality starts in 2016. These pitchers although getting up there in age are proof that experience counts for something and that they may see a decline in velocity/skills but they have learned the art of pitching. As the Braves transition with a trio of Tehran, Foltynewicz and Wisler taking the reigns, there is quite a bit they can learn from these salty vets.  Amazing job by the Braves in there game plan to target these two veterans and to pounce before anyone else had a chance to open their wallets.