Howdy all. Let’s take a glance at a few guys who could still be some draft day bargains heading into your drafts (for those of you who like drafting after the season starts. Thanks, MLB).
The end of spring training moves never cease to fascinate me. Eloy Jimenez being sent down wasn’t much of a surprise, but then the news of his contract breaks. Now there are no service time considerations to be made, so he should be up as soon as the Sox feel he is ready. I can’t speak for if that’s now or not, but I don’t see how it isn’t. Pence had a hot spring, but I can’t believe that transcended into Willie Calhoun being sent down. I feel Willie has shown what he can do against minor league pitching. He’s struggled in the majors, but I think the best thing for him is to continue to cut his teeth at the big league level. Maybe Texas believes Pence can bring a nice deadline return this summer, I guess?
At the end of spring training, it’s a bit easier to pick your spots on who may produce this year (or even all year). Here’s 5 guys I think you should be drafting in re-draft leagues. Two of them are going to cost you picks in the single digit rounds. I have something I now call the “Haniger-line.” I had the same thing for years for pitchers back in the day, the “Wandy-line.” Any pitcher worse than Wandy Rodriguez was cuttable/replacable, any better was a guy I had to hold. The Haniger-line is where I need to get to in the draft before I start taking risks. I can’t turn down 25+ homers, 170+ R/RBI and a good BA to boot. Any worse than that, though, and I won’t lose sleep on missing out. So if Haniger is on the board, I won’t be taking Jimenez or Robles. After that, fair game.
I haven’t seen ADP data changes since news of Jimenez’s contract came up. Most were expecting him to be up in short order anyway, but I’d expect an opening day assignment at this point. He’s been drafted at 119 overall this winter (and now spring). I wouldn’t hesitate to draft him over fellow outfielders Nicholas Castellanos, A.J. Pollock, or David Dahl. I think Eloy is worth a pick around pick 90, just before those guys. That’s only a difference of about ~30 picks, and he very well may not last that long in your league.
It feels like Robles has been around forever. Funny how baseball can do that to a guy. He’s still only got 34 MiLB games to his name and he was pretty darn good in his 21 game sample in 2018. There is room to start with Harper being gone, and with what Robles has done this spring (.341 BA, .451 OBP, 2 HR, 6 SB) there’s no reason for the Nationals to not plug him in right away. I would take Robles before Jimenez. Robles’ ADP is around 123 so far, but I’d slide him in to just 1 pick before JImenez. I do this because his ability to run keeps his floor high. A 10-15 homer season with 30 stolen bases will be pretty valuable in centerfield.
Going into spring training I never dreamed Pache may crack the opening day roster. He’s no shoe-in to be there, but even if he isn’t, he shouldn’t be down long. Pache has played the minor leagues as a young player (he’s been around 4 years younger than his competition at every level, on average). Pache doesn’t walk a ton, he doesn’t strike out much (but more than I like to see for a guy who walks so little). That said, I still like him. But, I wonder how much he can contribute immediately. Pache doesn’t have a ton of power (and wasn’t a guy that was necessarily expected to) but he’s flexed some muscle this spring, slugging .719 in 32 ST at bats. The thing Pache can do pretty well is run (32 stolen bases in 2017, they were down in a huge way in 2018, but I expect them to be there again). He isn’t being drafted in most standard leagues, but he’s a guy I’d throw a dart at in the last two rounds and let him be an early season cut if things aren’t panning out.
Many may be familar with Alford from the time he spent on top prospect lists (as high as 25th overall in 2016). Things haven’t went well for Alford since, between injuries and poor play in the majors. Things are looking slightly better this spring, but not much. Alf has managed to swat 4 long-balls this spring, but he’s striking out too much and isn’t doing much else. However, it’s worth putting him on notice as it all may be starting to come together for him. He was bad, real bad, in 2018. I don’t have high expectations here, but he’s a freebie. He’s a draft day “bargain” that I wouldn’t draft, but I’d keep him on notice. Pillar is pretty solid in center, but Hernandez and Grichuk have a real knack for missing things while wielding the bat, which may present a chance for Alford again this summer. The 4 homers are a little bit of an eye opener, but let’s not get crazy with expectations here.
It’s going to be a real shame if Mercado isn’t starting for Cleveland on opening day. Luplow is the only other RH hitting OF on the roster, and his spring has been terrible. It’s not like he’s a guy who has proven he can stick in the bigs or ever wowed people in the minors. Mercado, on the other hand, is killing the ball right now. 3 homers and a .300/.415/.750 line is quite nice. He’s been a good, not great, hitter in the minors. He’s not especially young, but he’s only 24. His double-digit pop and 40+ stolen base speed would be huge for fantasy owners, and he’s on no radars right now. I’d roster him in leagues that roster at least 300 players.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday March 17th, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #145 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Our topic this week is Bullpens and Catchers.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday March 24th, 2019 from 7:30-9:45pm EST for episode #146 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. This will be our first LIVE Major League Fantasy Baseball draft show. The boys will be doing a play by play while Kevin Bzdek is drafting in MLFB1. We will be taking live calls from the league owners as well.
Our guest this week is Kevin Bzdek. Kevin is a writer, editor, league mate with majorleaguefantasysports.com, and will be the live drafter.