Author Archive

Will the Dark Knight Rise in Southern California?

Once upon a time, Matt Harvey was good. Awesome, in fact! Then the Mets overused him. Harvey suffered through Tommy John surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome, and just general ineffectiveness before the former draft day darling was essentially forgotten this year. Right now, the erstwhile Dark Knight of Gotham is being drafted outside the top 120 pitchers and top 400 players. That’s for good reason; last year’s 4.94 ERA and 4.57 FIP don’t inspire much confidence. But it also makes the Dark Knight someone who makes a remarkably good sleeper, especially in a traditionally starting pitching class. Harvey might have the most upside of any undrafted pitcher this year – because we know what he can do at his best, and that’s a top-5 pitcher in baseball.

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Bold Predictions: Sheryl Ring

So here it is – my first bold predictions piece. I love making bold predictions, and all of these will probably turn out to be wrong, but here goes.

1. Yasiel Puig finishes in the top-5 of the MVP Voting.

Expecting Puig to break out in the friendly confines of the Great American (Launching Pad) Ballpark isn’t bold, but I think this is. Last year, Puig posted his best wRC+ since 2014, and the best major league .ISO of his career. Even better, his strikeout (19.6%) and walk (8.1%) rates stayed pretty much in the range of his career marks (19.2% and 9.2% , respectively), meaning he wasn’t selling out for power. Puig also raked at a .270/.329/.546 rate in the second half, suggesting that he might have even more power than what he showed this year. Moving to a hitter-friendly ballpark in a division with weaker pitching, a deceptively good lineup, and in a contract year, I expect Puig to obliterate his career highs in just about every counting stat except stolen bases. I expect 30 homers, 100 RBIs, and an OPS better than .900, and a .300/.400/.500 season with 40+ homers wouldn’t surprise me.

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On Being A “Tryhard” and Hoarding Assets

Last week, Brad Johnson talked about being a “tryhard.” Brad described one way of being a “tryhard” as hoarding assets in the draft.

Sheryl decided to roster not one, not two, but FIVE catchers. As a reminder, ottoneu is a two catcher league with a 162 game cap for the position. So you need about 1.5 catchers. A total of $34 was spent on these backstops. She openly shopped her depth during the draft. While it sounds like fun to corner a market, have you ever seen it work? I haven’t.

I don’t doubt that Brad hasn’t seen it work. But just because he hasn’t seen it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Here’s proof: after the draft, I had spent $34 on 5 catchers.

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