2018 – Early Sleepers – First Base

When it comes to drafting a first baseman most people try to get one early in an auction or draft. I do think we’ve all had a time where we tried to take the best player available. Its a logical approach for value. All of a sudden you see your outfield spots are full , you secured a great third basemen and you have 3 impressive starters and a big time closer. By that time you realize your first base spot is empty and your league mates have not only taken the top 10 or so but they are also loading up their corner infield and Utility spots. Checking who is still on the board you have to decide between Mitch Moreland or Adam Lind…a tidal wave of sadness enters your brain. The panic sets in so you breath into a brown paper bag for a minute to gather yourself. There are other options that can prove to  great value picks,

Gregory Bird – Yankees – Bird got his first taste of the majors back in 2015. He dominated AA & AAA before an injury brought him up to man first base for a few months, If you add up his stats from 3 levels that year he hit 23 home runs and 83 RBI. Very impressive considering these were levels he had never been to before. There was no adjustment periods just a good hitter who has a very advanced approach at the plate. 2016 for Bird was lost due to Shoulder surgery and he dealt with a frustrating ankle injury for part of 2017. There was some time needed to get on field ready. Did anyone see Bird playing first base during the 2017 playoffs? He was hitting dingers off the Indians and Astros. So for the 25 year old 6’4″ lefty that gets to  take advantage of the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium the power possibilities are endless. Bird has had some success hitting against lefty pitchers so he should log a lot of plate appearances. My projections for 2018 are .265/71/25/73/4

Matt Olson – Athletics – Last season Matt Olson hit a combined 47 home runs between the A’s and their AAA affiliate.  Looks like Billy Beane hit the jack pot again. Olson looks like a lock for being a perennial 40 home run guy for years to come. Too soon? Fair enough. Dude has put together some very impressive video game stats though.  He is very likely the reason the A’s felt compelled to dangle Ryon Healy for other team needs. There are some stats that lead me to believe this might be sustainable. Olson has a very advanced approach and eye at the plate. His BB/K rate was 0.37 for the A’s last season which is actually one of the lowest of his professional career. Also, a power hitter with a hard hit percentage of 40.3 seems to be unlucky to have a BABIP as low as .238. There was a 20 year gap in between Mark McGwire and Aaron Judge having monster rookie seasons but whose to say we have to wait another 20? I’m going to be targeting Matt Olson in every league next year. I’m just hoping the hype doesnt get too out of hand making him a target for the masses. My projections for 2018 are: .259/84/37/101/0

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2018 – Early Sleepers – Catchers

Lets kick off the 2018 Early Sleepers series with 2 catchers that people seem to have moved on from.

Travis d’Arnaud – There has never been a question that d’Arnaud could hit MLB pitching Yet, he has been labeled “brittle”. Health seems to be the main area of concern along with to some degree getting enough counting stats from an anemic Mets offense. Yoenis Cespedes is expected to be healthy along with Michael Conforto and a full season of Amed Rosario. That trio expects to elevate the value of hard hitting run producers. d’Arnaud will be at the age of 29 entering the 2018 season. Now with the experience of 1200+ Plate appearances again major league hurlers. My projections for 2018 are .261/56/18/59/1

Mike Zunino – After being the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft Zunino found himself called up by the Mariners 1 year later. Catchers usually need more minor league training. Seattle felt secure in their decision. Well…we all know he struggled. The power has always been there but, there was just way too many strikeouts. In 2017 he logged 387 AB’s and hit a career high 25 hrs and 64 RBI. Yes he still struck out 160 times but when he make contact its well hit as shown in his 38.6 hard hit rate. My projections for 2018 are .262/55/32/74/0

A look ahead to 2018

The World Series has come to an end and it was nice to see such a great battle between 2 amazingly talented teams.

That being said, its been 5+ weeks since the fantasy season ended. I’ve had enough of a break. I’m getting that antsy, I need my fix. Sure, I play fantasy football. Fantasy Hockey as well they just don’t scratch the itch. Ya know?

I’m thinking it’s time to start analyzing some #’s prior to the Winter Meetings and the “Hot Stove” that will change the value of some players moving to more / less favorable teams. There will be players called upon to replace  those moving on as well. Maybe this is a great time to start going over some players who might be primed for a big step forward in 2018?

While others are looking at top prospects projected to seeing a call up during the season, I’m going to look at players who are already starting on their MLB teams. in starting lineups and i love to bet on top prospects who have all the talent in the world but have yet to produce the amazing stats expected. When these guys get called up everyone is excited. Then, after disappointing beginnings they lose that shine. That’s the best time to buy low!

In points leagues we cant afford to wait on a June call-up while others are producing from day one at the top of the lineup.

Trash to Treasure. The first player will be posted here in the next couple days.