Get a load of how many lefties that Cleveland's Brandon Guyer is slated to see next week.
Big thanks to Mike Gianella for putting together last week’s Deep League Report while I was on vacation in Ireland. I’m well rested and ready to go, so let’s get started and see if I still have my fastball.
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Jose Quintana moving from the AL to the NL is the rare case when players in an -only league discover "found money" in FAAB free agency. Those who saved can prosper. All-too-frequently however, it can be shrewder to use FAAB money earlier, incrementally, because "big-fish" free agents simply never come.
Taking a deep dive to check out Ji-Man Choi, Alex Presley, Miguel Montero, Anibal Sanchez, Steve Cishek, Trevor Hildenberger, Miguel Gomez, Tommy La Stella, Chris Heisey, Jhoulys Chacin, Nick Wittgren, George Kontos.
It’s a short week in roto, with no games for four straight days. I suggest that you take advantage of the break and spend a few days thinking about things other baseball, reconnecting with friends and family and getting a little rest so you can come back to the game refreshed in a few days.
Sam Dyson and Clint Frazier deserve much of your attention, along with your FAAB dollars.
Happy belated Fourth of July, everyone. America’s birthday also marks the halfway point of the fantasy baseball season, or close enough to it, anyway. The midway point is a good time to take a long look at your roster and figure out what you can feasibly do to improve your team. The dramatic additions will usually come from trades with other owners, but newly minted closers, players switching leagues and promoted prospects picked up from the free agent pool can make a huge impact, too. It’s not all about the big moves, though. You’re not going to win a deep AL-only league or a deep NL-only league if you make a few big moves but don’t put in the weekly work of managing your entire roster, including the back end of it. The Deep League Report mostly spends its time on players that will occupy the back end of deep-league rosters. There’s plenty of that this week, too, but there are also three guys worth a substantial chunk of your FAAB dollars. Big week for America, big week for the Deep League Report.
Allow me to set a scene. In my deep NL-only league (a fairly standard 5x5 NL-only roto league with 12 teams, 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a $260 auction budget and weekly transactions) we had a bit of an incident over the weekend. On Sunday June 4, Randal Grichuk’s owner (let’s call him Chris) released him to acquire Atlanta Braves utility infielder Danny Santana with a $0 bid in our FAAB processing. The context for this move was that the Cardinals had demoted Grichuk on May 29 to work on his approach after a rough month in the majors. Chris was trying to fill a dead spot in his lineup with a warm body who might actually get some plate appearances the following week. If you read my weekly column, the Deep League Report, you know how slim the pickings can be in the free-agent pool in deep NL-only leagues. Sometimes, Danny Santana is the best you can do.
The last piece of the Yankees' Tyler Voltron has arrived.
The Situation: Starlin Castro tweaked a hamstring, so the Yankees have called on their swiss army prospect, Tyler Wade, to give them some additional flexibility in the infield.
The Background: The Yankees selected Wade in the fourth round of the 2013 draft as a SoCal prep shortstop, signing him for a little over $370,000. He got a somewhat aggressive assignment to Charleston in his first full pro season, considering he wasn’t a highly-touted prep pick, and both his raw athleticism and his general rawness showed up there. He progressed to Tampa in 2015 and prospect team member Jeff Moore saw a future big leaguer whose “contact skills, left-handed bat and ability to play two up-the-middle positions [gave] him a chance to play a nice role on a big-league roster.” I got eyes on him in 2016 in Trenton and saw much of the same, although I thought his athleticism was starting to show up more in the baseball skills now. He faded a bit down the stretch in Trenton, but overall put together a solid performance for a 21-year-old in Double-A. With the acquisition of Gleyber Torres at the trade deadline, the Yankees sent Wade to the AFL for the second straight season, this time to get some reps in the outfield. This year in Scranton he has played all three outfield positions in addition to shortstop, second, and third. He’s in the midst of a bit of a breakout season, adding a bit of pop to the profile and improving his efficiency on the bases.
A few weeks ago, we finished a month-long market-research project here at Deep League Report headquarters. We figured out that the people love Yankees named Tyler and Cincinnati Reds starting pitchers, so we covered the hell out of those two beats. Pretty confident that we’ll triple our readership numbers this week working those angles. Plus, a no-name Angels reliever, since this column just isn’t itself without a no-name Angels reliever. Can’t ignore the regular readers while trying to draw in new ones. The Deep League Report: something for everyone, as long as “everyone” means “people in AL-only and NL-only leagues deep enough that non-closing relievers and guys on the bad side of a platoon are valuable.”
I’m not really sure what’s going on in the Deep League Report this week. Decent starting pitchers don’t show up here very often, but this week there’s one in each league. There might be some East Coast bias in play, too, since three of the six NL-only players featured this week are Mets. But enough with the prologue—on with the show.
In a new season, don't be haunted by old ghosts. Try fresh tactics.
There’s an old saying that “generals always fight the last war.” The origin of the saying is unclear, but the idea behind it is not. During their current engagements, people tend to do the things that has worked well and avoid the things that didn’t work well during their previous engagement, rather than choose their course of action based on the current circumstances. And it’s not limited to war—a variation on the statement insists that “economists always fight the last depression.”
In my deep AL-only league keeper league, I’ve had the same issue the past few times I’ve had a contending team. I didn’t trade away my prospects and/or cheep keepers to the teams that dumped early because I didn’t like the prices I was paying. Each time, I felt like the contenders who made those deals overpaid and that I would overtake them when I made subsequent deals at better exchange rates. Each time, I was wrong.
Hello, Bourjos! In the AL, Peter Bourjos returns to relevancy with the Rays—perhaps—and Alen Hanson gets an opportunity with the White Sox—maybe. On the NL side, Kirby Yates might be the "right" man for the job in the Padres bullpen, and Jose Pirela has a chance to play without much competition.
Week 11 is a good week at the Deep League Report. There are a lot more innings to go around on the pitching side and a lot more playing time available on the hitting side. Four of the six featured pitchers are starters and at least three of the hitters should get more playing time than someone on the bad side of a platoon. It’s a good week to be active in the free agent pool and on the waiver wire in deep AL-only and NL-only leagues. Get to work.
Eric Young is getting old, but he remains fast—so he's worth your time.
Last week, the Deep League Report was on hiatus due to the positional re-rankings that my Baseball Prospectus fantasy team colleagues and I completed. It makes its triumphant return this week, satisfying your cravings for platoon outfielders and non-closing relievers. I’m sure you missed it terribly. I missed you, too.
Jose Altuve is as elite as they come—at any position.
Welcome to the Baseball Prospectus in-season rankings update to our preseason positional tiers article. As we did before Opening Day, players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by a “star” rating. In addition, unlike with the preseason “star” ratings, these lists can also be viewed as a straight ranking. Here's how to define the stars:
Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players who will provide first or second round draft value and will be worth $30 or more in auction formats. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will earn more than $20 in auction formats. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are the types of players who provide back end roster value. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of what has happened year-to-date but rather try to offer some insights into what we expect will happen the rest of 2017.