Examining players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
We are making a change going forward, and The Deep League Report article will appear on Wednesdays starting next week; the Free Agent Watch will take its place on Fridays, beginning today, and will cover any midweek transactions that might impact your interest in available players.
With that out of the way, here are the players who might pique your interest this week:
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If these players are available, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.
Welcome to Week Eight of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent answer to Dear Abby. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process. In case you missed the news last week, based on popular demand*, we decided to move this column from Monday to Friday.
The outcomes offer recommendations on 10 players in each league, then mock draft the 38th round on the podcast.
While the June supplemental draft is one of the annual highlights of the Scoresheet calendar, as the top Rule 4 draft picks get picked over by teams, May is probably the best chance to pick up some early breakouts and respond to trends. Here are our recommendations for the upcoming supplemental draft, again looking only at players still available in a majority of leagues. You may also want to review our April recommendations, as we still stand behind… well, most of them.
Helping you set your fantasy rotation for next week with a look at the two-start pitchers.
After a week of scarcity, this week our two-start cup runneth over. No clubs will play short schedules, which means a bump back up into the mid-40s for two-start options. American Leaguers will have significant advantages in both quality and quantity, while managers in NL-only leagues will be stuck pecking through a bunch of uncertain options after a shakier-than-you’d-like top five of startable hurlers. Personal pick of the week: Atlanta’s Williams Perez, whose nasty secondaries and bad-ass histrionics last week highlighted one of the more entertaining big-league starting debuts I can remember watching.
As far as the nuts and bolts guidelines for what lies within, the pitchers will be split by league and then by categories:
One of the top pitching prospects in the game has now made two starts in the bigs. He's been pretty impressive, but how does he grade mechanically?
Prior to the season, Noah Syndergaard placed as the no. 9 overall prospect in the game and ranked third among pitching prospects, trailing only Lucas Giolito and Dylan Bundy on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101. Both Giolito and Bundy are working their ways back from Tommy John surgery (Giolito in particular has a lot of ladder still to climb), but Syndergaard beat them to the bigs in 2015. The Mets needed a pitcher to fill in when Dillon Gee hit the disabled list, and Syndergaard got the call.
On January 24, 1848, a man named James W. Marshall changed America forever. While working on his sawmill in Coloma, California, he spotted a speck of gold in a stream below. This small discovery soon reverberated throughout the country as Americans trekked West in hope of profiting from the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush transformed the demographics of America as hundreds of thousands of people made California their home. Families courageously gave up everything they had for the promise of a better future out West. These pioneers were admirable, brave, and true representatives of the spirit of the American dream.
To understand Harper's breakthrough, look at what he's done to the breaking balls pitchers threw.
Bryce Harper hit one of the more ridiculous home runs Tuesday night against the Yankees, one of those “oh my goodness I love baseball” ones, on a fast-sinking slider that was about five inches below the strike zone. With what seemed like just a flick of the wrist, Harper had his 10th home run in 12 games. He has as many opposite field homers through 40 games as he did in his first 40 games last year to any field.
Don't forget the forgotten heroes of the sport's past.
My birthday was May 3rd. I'm 33 now. As I always do on my birthday, I turned dark. To quote Mitch Hedberg, “I bought a pack of carefree gum but it didn’t work, so I went back to pondering my own mortality.” So, while in Baltimore—I was cleared to travel in April—my wife and I went on a tour of cemeteries that included the grave sites of Edgar Allen Poe and John Wilkes Booth. When I Googled to see whom else was buried in those cemeteries, to my surprise many former ballplayers were laid to rest there, and long forgotten. It's amazing to me how long the lineage of baseball really goes. I went to the grave of Steve Brodie. Brodie was an outfielder for the Boston Beaneaters, St Louis Browns, the former Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The guy was a .300+ career hitter in 12 years and nobody on earth in my estimation has ever heard of him. Imagine what kind of attention a guy like that would get today. What kind of life would he have had if he'd been born a hundred years later, hit .300+ a hundred years later? The rotten luck of being born in the wrong century sucks. But to be there, to be reminded again that baseball's story began well over a century ago, blew my mind. It’s a fact we're all well aware of, but to actually physically touch a gravestone of someone who played a game that I work in is mind boggling. It made it real. It made me appreciate my own life even more.