2018 – Early Sleepers – Second Base

After finishing my projections stats for second basemen, there were 2 players that I believe will greatly increase their value in 2018. These are early rankings so as we’ve been seeing with the likes of Dee Gordon moving to Center Field this information can change by the day. That being said there are two players i’d like to bring up as early we can never do enough studying to perfect next years wish lists for your fantasy teams in 2018.

Javier Baez – Cubs –  After showing off his stellar defense at the WBC early in 2017 Baez went on a bit of a slow start with the bat in Chicago. Once it became apparent that Ben Zobrist had begun to show his age it was only a matter of time till Javier was handed the reigns to a starting gig at second base. His lightning quick bat speed has already shown glimpses of that “light tower power”. If Baez is to receive a bump in plate appearances we will surely see a spike in his power numbers and that would likely mean a promotion from batting eighth to somewhere around 5-6 in that prolific Cubs batting order. This means an increase in counting stats. Strike outs will likely always be part of his game but, even in points leagues his PPG avg will still be top 5 at the position. My projections for 2018 are: .270/90/28/90/12

Jonathon Villar – Brewers – Villar had a breakout 2016 season when he produced a .285/92/19/63/62 stat line. A lot of fantasy owners took notice and took Villar early in their drafts to lock down the stolen base category while showing he could produce in all other categories at a middle infield position. 2017 was the second year in a row where his stats showed a decline on a Brewers team that does not excite as many owners as it did in years past. Here is a chance to buy low on a player that is only 25 years old and has not shown a decline in any peripheral hitting stats. My projections for 2018 are: .275/71/15/52/43

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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

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.

Week 19 Hitters & Pitchers to Add

As we coast into week 19 most people know if their team will make or has a chance to make the playoffs. there are people who are collecting keepers in those formats and unfortunately there is usually a few owners who have checked out and have completely lost interest in their underachieving team. I you are reading this you are likely in a different mood. We are close to 5 months in and you are still trying to soak up information and gain an edge wherever you can to stay ahead of your league mates.

Below I have compiled a list of some of the most under owned players who are also under 50% owned in most leagues. If these players are available in yours than you might want to grab them to ride that streak while it lasts.

The format i base this on is H2H  Points leagues. Some are better in this format but a streaking player is usually universal.

Catchers: % Owned Team
Christian Vazquez 7.10% BOS
Tyler Flowers 19.30% ATL
James McCann 10.50% DET
First Base:
Lucas Duda 19.40% TB
Steve Pearce 6.80% TOR
Josh Bell 31.70% PIT
Second Base:
Cesar Hernandez 34.40% PHI
Derek Dietrich 1.30% MIA
Ben Zobrist 44.20% CHC
Third Base:
Joey Gallo 33.10% TEX
Matt Chapman 2.50% OAK
David Freese 4.30% PIT
Short Stop:
Marcus Semien 27.40% OAK
Tim Beckham 14.20% BAL
Freddy Galvis 24.30% PHI
Outfield:
Bradley Zimmer 44.60% CLE
Manual Margot 29.00% SD
Brian Goodwin 3.80% WSH
Ben Revere 3.70% LAA
Matt Joyce 2.60% OAK
Nick Markakis 21.60% ATL
Jarrod Dyson 13.40% SEA
Derek Fisher 14.10% HOU
Rajai Davis 9.40% SEA
Carlos Gomez 33.60% TEX
Starting Pitcher:
German Marquez 43.20% COL
Jhoulys Chacin 36.20% LAA
Zach Davies 46.40% MIL
Matthew Boyd 4.00% DET
Kyle Freeland 36.10% COL
Mike Foltynewicz 39.40% ATL
Trevor Bauer 28.90% CLE
Parker Bridwell 39.10% LAA
Luis Castillo 27.20% CIN
Patrick Corbin 27.10% ARI
Relief Pitcher:
Shane Green 32.10% DET
Trevor Rosenthal 49.10% STL
Sean Doolittle 43.00% WSH

 

 

 

 

 

Points League Advantages

When trying to decide which player(s) you want on your team for week #17, here is a look at how many games each team is scheduled (as of today). In points leagues this is one of those advantages you can use to gain some extra points. As shown below there are 15 games playing seven games this week. Conversely 1 team (Padres) plays only 5. You might want stay away from their hitters and relievers this week.

7 Games – Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Royals, Astros, Athletics, Mariners, Rangers, Braves, Phillies and Giants.

6 Games – Blue Jays, Twins, Angels, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Cubs, Reds, Brewers, Pirates, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Dodgers.

5 Games – Padres

Week 17 – A Look Ahead to Stay Ahead.

AS we are entering the final stretch trying to make the playoffs in our head to head points leagues. No longer can we afford to sit on the pedigree of stars supposed to flick a switch as soon as the second half starts.

Below I have compiled a list of players by position and their ownership percentages.

These  guys are owned in less than 50% of point leagues. Bottom line is that if we don’t act before others do to get these guys then others in the league will reap the rewards.

Week 17
Catchers: % Owned Team
Hector Sanchez 9.20% SD
Cameron Rupp 2.10% PHI
Mike Zunino 22.10% SEA
First Base:
Lucas Duda 9.10% TB
Mike Napoli 18.40% TEX
Steve Pearce 2.20% TOR
Second Base:
Cory Spangenberg 15.80% SD
Asdrubal Cabrera 15.80% NYM
Ben Zobrist 45.20% CHC
Third Base:
Nicholas Castellanos 40.90% DET
Jose Reyes 31.70% NYM
Matt Chapman 2.40% OAK
Short Stop:
Marcus Semien 13.90% OAK
Freddy Galvis 15.70% PHI
Orlando Arcia 27.10% MIL
Outfield:
Nick Williams 34.40% PHI
Odubel Herrera 40.40% PHI
Bradley Zimmer 26.40% CLE
Jabari Blash 2.00% SD
Shin-Soo Choo 24.30% TEX
Gerardo Parra 45.00% COL
Ben Gamel 21.50% SEA
Jorge Bonafacio 6.10% KC
Brian Goodwin 2.30% WSH
Mikie Mahtook 2.70% DET
Starting Pitcher:
Mike Foltynewicz 38.10% ATL
Kevin Gausman 43.20% BAL
Jhoulys Chacin 28.00% SD
Zach Davies 31.80% MIL
German Marquez 24.80% COL
Patrick Corbin 29.60% COL
Brent Sutter 18.80% MIL
Ian Kennedy 27.80% KC
Charlie Morton 44.30% HOU
Relief Pitcher:
Brad Hand 31.40% SD
Tony Zych 0.70% SEA
Alex Claudio 25.70% TEX

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