What the draft might look like on the strength of moniker alone.
There are lots of MLB mock drafts happening right now. Some variations rely on “MLB Insider” information to try and accurately predict which players will end up where. Others take a more educational approach, teaching fans about players they’ll see years down the line in a fun format. A third type is the classic “here’s what I’d do” mock draft, in which experts essentially roll out a ranking. All are entertaining, all are valuable and all generally tell you something about a player you didn’t know beforehand.
Examining whether now's the time to buy or sell a bundle of prospects who are off to hot starts.
So you’ve missed out on Ronald Acuna, Harrison Bader is gone, Dylan Cozens never loved you, someone snapped up Hunter Dozier in April, and even The Other Cody Reed is owned. It’s been tough sledding for you when it comes to grabbing the hot new talent in the minors this season, and your dynasty league’s MiLB roster is looking a bit thin as a result.
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And so begins the greatest round of "I feel so, so, so old" we've ever seen.
The Situation: The Dodgers’ thin rotation took at least a brief hit with the announcement that, fresh off a 13-strikeout performance in his last start, Alex Wood would have his turn skipped on Friday on account of ominous “triceps tendinitis.” He’s been bumped to Monday for now, and with Ross Stripling procedurally demoted to Oklahoma City in the wake of The 17-Inning Game the Dodgers have elected to turn the ball over to a teenager for the first time since Fernando Valenzuela in 1980. Urias will make his big-league debut riding a streak of 27 innings since allowing his last earned run.
Background: Signed as part of a package deal by the Dodgers on a scouting trip through Mexico in the summer of 2012, Urias is…unique. There just isn’t much in the way of valuable precedent for what he has managed to accomplish at such tender ages in his career to date. He has rung up five and a half strikeouts for every walk this season at Triple-A while pitching eight (that’s right eight) years younger than his average league-mate. His ERA, WHIP, and batting average-against all pace the circuit.
An update on Ben's efforts to restock his dynasty-league squad with future contributors.
Back in early April, I broke down what had been a busy offseason for my #TDGX team and promised to fill you in on updates as the season progressed. Seven weeks later, it seems as good a time as any to review the moves I’ve made through the season’s early days, which include a blockbuster trade and a whole lot of small, unexciting waiver wire pick-ups. Yay rebuilding!
If Only Pittsburgh could Give A Little time to Hanson, we'd know whether he can bridge the Great Divide between Triple-A and the majors.
The Situation: With Starling Marte relishing the joys of fatherhood and a few days on the paternity list, the Pirates braintrust has turned to Alen Hanson. With capable bench bats Matt Joyce and Sean Rodríguez vying for starts, it’s unclear exactly what role Hanson will play in the short term, but it’s certainly possible that Hanson will get significant playing time against the struggling Braves.
Background: In 2009, Pittsburgh signed Hanson out of La Romana, a town in the Dominican Republic made famous by its coral beaches and the famous shipwreck of fellow pirate William Kidd. Hanson quickly built a reputation as a promising young shortstop, boasting a developing hit tool and plus speed. Like many a shortstop prospect before him, Hanson made a splash in Low-A in his 2012 stint, where he slashed .309/.381/.528 with 35 steals as a 19 year-old. While buzz quickly arose in prospect circles, Hanson failed to make similar strides defensively, revealing an ineffective arm and committing 40 errors. The rosy luster faded away as he climbed through the minors; the power never truly reappeared, the strikeouts continued to climb, and the walk rate plummeted. A move to second base in late 2014 felt inevitable, and some opined that it came too late. Hanson handled the keystone well in his 2015 campaign, and it appears to be his long-term position.
It seems that, year after year, David Robertson is one of the most underrated relievers in all of baseball. Heading into this season, he was being drafted as the 11th RP according to ADP data. That’s exactly where he finished among RP-only pitchers on ESPN Player Rater’s last year, the second highest for a pitcher on a team that finished under .500. Robertson’s appeal has never really been the huge upside, but rather the boring consistency. This, however, should be the year he joins the elite class of closers.
Why should Massachusetts be the only state with a weird holiday no one has heard of?
Yesterday was Patriot’s Day. Most people outside of Massachusetts don’t know what it is beyond the day the Boston Marathon is run, if they even know that. The best part about Patriot’s Day, if you don’t get the day off like everyone in the state? Early morning baseball. Because 11 am baseball is such a treat, we decided every fanbase deserves a heretofore unknown holiday to take the day off and watch baseball while drinking their mid-morning coffee. —Craig Goldstein