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The 10: Updating April’s Breakout Hitters

In one of the earlier editions of “The 10”, I wrote about some of the early season breakouts and assessed their viability. It’s time to check in on them and more. I’ll be covering 20 hitters here so it’s essentially a double edition, which is good since I haven’t written a single iteration of “The 10” in the month of June.

Let’s cut to the chase, only two of the 20 have improved their wRC+ since April and truthfully, it’s only one since the other guy has added just two points. However, these guys didn’t need to improve or even maintain their gaudy April numbers to remain viable fantasy contributors.

I’ll break them up into groups according to their performance from May 1st through June 24th and give some thoughts about how they might perform going forward. I’d also like to acknowledge that wRC+ alone doesn’t determine fantasy viability and I’ll be sure to point out those who are still contributing in other fantasy-useful ways despite sharp drops in their wRC+.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 6/25/2019

Sorry folks, JotCast is DOWN. I did manage to squeeze out a few answers to questions before it hard crashed. Most of you couldn’t get in at all though.

Brad Johnson: We’ll get this rolling in a few minutes

Brad Johnson: Something is wrong with the chat app, I’m going to reboot.

Brad Johnson: Ok, so 11 of you have made it past the blank screen of death. Something is wrong with Jotcast unfortunately.

Brad Johnson: Oh, the controls finally loaded, so there are a few questions I can answer.

Noah: Glad you are back Brad! Keeper question here. Keep 4 in a H2H points league. Already have Vladito locked up for 7 years (15-9 rounds) , but need to pick from Yordan (10th round pick – choice of years), Eloy (7-?), Kimbrel (10-?), Hiura (10-?), Dahl (8-?), Robles (7-?) for the remaining 3. Thanks!

Brad Johnson: Alvarez is an easy pick

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Can Jose Ramirez Rebound? History Say No.

In Tout Wars this season, I’ve run Jose Ramirez out every week. I have no issues sitting a struggling star but in Ramirez’s case, I’m basically running out Billy Hamilton which helps with steals.

I’ve been waiting for a rebound but nothing so far. He’s hit .286/.310/.500 this past week but it’s just acceptable. It’s not enough to offset the horrible weeks. The numbers are lower than his preseason projections. Today, I want to determine if any hope exists for an offensive rebound. How often has a hitter been projected to hit as well as Ramirez and then struggled so bad and did he rebound? It doesn’t look good.

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The Daily Grind: A Whole Heap o’ Slop

After returning 25 percent my investment through the first half season, I’ve decided to scale up my entries. Day 1 of the new regime was ruined by Steven Matz.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Disguised

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Bullpen Report: June 25, 2019

Due to all the volatile bullpens across the landscape, Brad Hand could be underappreciated. Last night, he did not convert a save, but did garner his fourth win after a Jason Kipnis walk-off home run versus the Royals. Hand fired a clean top of the 10th with a strikeout and secured 22 straight save chances this year for Cleveland. In June, Hand’s surged with a 17:1 K:BB in 11.2 innings resulting in one earned run against (0.77 ERA) and minuscule 0.60 WHIP in a complete hitter’s environment. Over his last 17 games, Hand’s recorded 26 strikeouts in 17.2 innings with a 0.51 ERA anchoring an evolving bullpen. Nick Wittgren did incur his second blown save allowing two hits and a walk in his two innings and the game tying run. Tyler Clippard yielded a hit in a scoreless seventh for his second hold.

As for the Royals, Wily Peralta absorbs the loss serving up the home run to Jason Kipnis. Peralta’s given up runs in back-to-back outings and four earned runs in only seven innings this month. Jake Diekman worked around a hit and a walk during a scoreless eighth inning and Jorge Lopez did strikeout two in 1.1 innings but also allowed one hit along with a walk in his appearance. Suffice it to say, fantasy owners should only own Ian Kennedy in this bullpen and if he’s traded, hope one of the arms in the minors can take over in high leverage.

Perhaps a rebound outing to get Wade Davis back on track in San Francisco? He logged his first clean inning since returning from the injured list on June seventh. Davis notched his 10th save and moved to three-for-five in save chances this month. However, he’s yielded far too much traffic since his activation giving up 12 hits and five walks over 7.1 innings translating to a 2.33 WHIP, less than optimal for a closer. Davis did turn his season around last year after watching video so hope lies in health and his track record. He could be a speculative buy low from a frustrated owner, but note his performance going forward. Scott Oberg gets his sixth hold striking out two in a clean eighth inning and Jairo Diaz nets his fifth hold working around two hits with a strikeout in the seventh.

Like Hand above, Aroldis Chapman often gets referenced in the Quick Hits portion of this report due to his performance and relative safety of closing for the Yankees. It’s likely Chapman did not think he’d be pressed into duty while his teammates led by eight after six innings, but five earned runs allowed by Jonathan Holder changed things. Chapman recorded his 22nd save allowing a double to Randal Grichuk, with deference to an interesting route taken by Giancarlo Stanton who then bobbled the ball leading to Grichuk reaching third and an error charged to Stanton. A sacrifice fly by Rowdy Tellez resulted in an unearned run charged to Chapman. As for Chapman, he’s secured a save in each of his last five appearances and not allowed an earned run in his last 17 games. In this span, Chapman’s racked up 24 strikeouts against six walks in 16.1 innings.

Meanwhile in Boston, Brandon Workman benefits with his seventh win striking out the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth inning, Tim Anderson. Workman continues to log high leverage events for the Red Sox but predicting who will get the save proves frustrating. Josh Taylor pitched an inning walking one and striking out one. Both Colten Brewer and Marcus Walden tossed scoreless two-thirds innings as well. Boston could receive a boost in bullpen depth with the pending return of Steven Wright from suspension and Heath Hembree from injury as noted in this article by Alex Speier. Wright will fill a huge role being able to absorb multiple innings and Hembree worked into more high leverage before his most recent injury. Stay tuned to as the Cora turns.

For the White Sox, they’ve received a tremendous return so far in their trade for Alex Colome, but his setup pitcher Kelvin Herrera continues to struggle. Herrera gets his second blown save giving up two hits and an earned run. He’s allowed runs in each of his last two outings, a 4.50 ERA in June and 6.83 ERA this season. It remains to be seen if a contract will keep Herrera in his present role or if the team will shift him into lower leverage appearances in an effort to get him on track. Aaron Bummer did record his sixth hold navigating around a hit and a walk during his inning. Evan Marshall coughed up a home run to Mookie Betts during his one-third of an inning. Jace Fry takes the loss loading the bases with two outs prior to an infield hit by Marco Hernandez ended the game. As for any reliever, traffic usually leads to trouble but will not comment on whether or not Anderson should have tried for a force out at third rather than throw to first on the game ending play.

No save opportunity in Chicago, but Steve Cishek tossed a clean ninth striking out two preserving a win. Of course, fantasy owners would like to know when Craig Kimbrel returns, which could be a soon as Thursday with this weekend being the latest according to this tweet:

In Arizona, a meltdown by Dylan Floro of the Dodgers led to a save chance for Greg Holland. Floro served up four hits, four earned runs and a walk in two-thirds of an inning in the eighth. Holland notched his 11th save, and first since the 12th of June getting the last out of the game via strikeout. One out saves prove to be a crowd pleaser in the fantasy community. Holland owners should thank T.J. McFarland who gave up a hit and an earned run leading to the save opportunity. It remains to be seen if the Diamondbacks will hold or decide to sell at the deadline, but saves speculators may stash Yoan Lopez in case they do move pieces in the future. Lopez won his first decision last night after the rally giving up a hit with two strikeouts. He’s worked 8.1 scoreless innings in June with a tidy 7:1 K:BB allowing only three hits in this sample. If he can build upon his swinging strike percentage and continue to blossom as a reliever, more high leverage events could ensue.

Quick Hits: A sad trombone for Jordan Hicks. Reports surfaced on Monday about his injury and the MRI revealed a torn UCL ligament. He will likely undergo surgery to repair the ligament so his owners should plan accordingly. John Gant should assume primary setup duties with Carlos Martinez shifting to the primary closer role. This also shifts Andrew Miller into potential periphery save chances as well due to usage patterns. There’s no word on if the Cardinals will look to bolster the bullpen via trade, much will depend on how the Wild Card and division races evolve for St. Louis going forward…Still no definitive timeline with a return for Jose Alvarado, but his teammate Diego Castillo will miss the next two weeks with a shoulder impingement. This probably puts Castillo on the shelf until the All-Star break.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Bullpen Report — 6/25/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson Anthony Swarzak A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Tyler Clippard
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Ross Stripling
MIA Sergio Romo Nick Anderson Tayron Guerrero Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Vince Velasquez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Carlos Martinez John Gant Andrew Miller Jordan Hicks
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Emilio Pagan Jose Alvarado Chaz Roe Diego Castillo
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Tanner Rainey Kyle Barraclough

Catcher is a Wasteland No Longer!

The catcher position was already weak heading into the season. Then Salvador Perez got hurt and was lost for the year, further eroding the projected total value earned from the group. As we near July and the all-star break, I continue to refer to the position as a wasteland. I should stop it now, given the risk of sounding like a total fool.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 709 – Wild Waiver Weekend


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Who is Being Dropped & Why

One trend I’ve noticed is some owners are starting to pack it in or succumbing to the grind. There is no reason to roster Montas with his suspension but he’s still on five rosters. Since more players are available on the waiver wire, teams down in the rankings can quickly make up ground.

The following players were dropped in more than 10 or more of the 38 NFBC Main Event leagues.


  • Leonys Martin (24): A .620 OPS. Anyone with an OPS under .650 is suspect for demotion.
  • Kevin Cron (20): This demotion was a little weird since Cron was hitting good (.822 OPS). Maybe it points to the return of Jake Lamb off of the IL.
  • Erick Fedde (12): 4.9 K/9 + 4.2 BB/9 = demotion
  • Mike Foltynewicz (11): He’s got to work through several issues which have ballooned his ERA to 6.37.


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Prospect Stock Watch: Third Base Prospects

Major League Baseball is filled with impressive star third basemen. The hot corner is a hotbed for youth MLB stars under the age of 30 from Nolan Arenado to Alex Bregman to Matt Chapman to Kris Bryant… and on and on to include the likes of up-and-coming players such as Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a look at the top prospects at the hot corner, including some that could have an MLB impact as soon as 2020 and represent the next wave of stud fantasy third basemen.

The Stud:

Alec Bohm: Bohm definitely appears to be the top third base prospect in baseball right now. Selected third overall in the 2018 draft after an excellent college career, Bohm has continued to dominate in pro ball. He showed a great approach at the plate throughout his collegiate career and has a BB-K of 30-36 in 63 games this season covering three levels now that he’s been promoted to Double-A. He doesn’t have the raw power of a Jonathan India or Nolan Gorman but he’s a much better hitter who is going to hit for average and produce outstanding on-base numbers. His line-drive rates are a little worrisome right now as he was at a well-below-average 13% at High-A ball prior to his promotion. Bohm needs to continue to get stronger while working to hit balls in the air with more consistency. Owned in just 31% of Ottoneu Leagues (less than underperforming India for some reason), he’s a player you should consider adding before other fantasy managers catch on and his value starts to trend upward.

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Bullpen Report: June 24, 2019

Kirby Yates doesn’t get the attention he deserves in this column, because he has literally been automatic. Entering Sunday’s series finale with the Pirates, he had converted all 26 of his save opportunities this season. Only twice had he allowed more than one hit in an appearance, and he had yet to allow more than two hits in an outing.

Yates entered uncharted territory on Sunday, as he did not protect the Padres’ 7-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. His inning began with Elias Diaz reaching as a result of a Manny Machado error, and he subsequently allowed an Adam Frazier double and RBI singles to Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds. Yates would not allow any more hits, but thanks to Starling Marte‘s sacrifice bunt that advanced Newman and Reynolds, Melky Cabrera’s lightly-hit grounder down the first base line was enough to bring Newman home to tie the game. Cabrera was out at first, and then Yates retired Colin Moran to send the game into extra innings.
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