Hey guys, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted but I’m knee-deep into Scoresheet season and thought I’d bring you the yearly update.
I’m in the BP Kings Scoresheet league — loosely affiliated with Baseball Prospectus — and it’s both leagues with a soft-10 keeper setup. You can keep up to 10 major leaguers, with each player sacrificing a pick atop the draft, and as many minor leaguers as you want, counting rounds back from 35.
The short explanation is that you build a full MLB roster — utility players, middle relievers, the whole gamut — with up to 30 players active at any given time. I’ve had some good seasons and some bad seasons, but I think we’re lined up to be fairly solid this year.
Also, it’s a 24-team league — so keep that in mind.
2017: Panik at the Sisco – 78-84
2016: Jedd, Ed and Eddie – 88-74
2015: Wasted Aces – 95-67
2014: Ricky Nolasco is not very good – 95-67
2013: new Warne order – 76-86
2012: Warne – 76-86
2011: Warnhardt Dynasty – 68-94
So yeah, last year didn’t go great — though we finished nine games out and were in the mix late into the season — but we’re looking to get back over .500 and into contention.
First, let’s dive into the keeper portion of things. A lot of times I have trouble figuring out who I’m going to keep — usually due to quality, which I swear is not me bragging — but this time around I was looking at who everyone else was dangling in trades prior to the deadline, and ended up making a couple moves to use up my last two slots of 10.
Marcus Stroman, SP – Toronto Blue Jays
Masahiro Tanaka, SP – New York Yankees
Yasmani Grandal, C – Los Angeles Dodgers
Xander Bogaerts, SS – Boston Red Sox
Andrew Benintendi, OF – Boston Red Sox
Jose Abreu, 1B – Chicago White Sox
Danny Salazar, SP – Cleveland Indians
Joe Panik, 2B – San Francisco Giants
I realize not all of these are popular picks, but with Salazar I’m gambling on the talent and with Panik, I just felt like second base was going to be super shallow.
Fernando Romero, SP – Minnesota Twins
Chance Sisco, C – Baltimore Orioles
Isan Diaz, IF – Miami Marlins
Brendan Rodgers, IF – Colorado Rockies
Brent Rooker, 1B/DH – Minnesota Twins
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF – Minnesota Twins
Lewis Brinson, OF – Miami Marlins
Trevor Hildenberger, RP – Minnesota Twins
Couple things here….first of all, I never keep relievers, but Hildy was just under the innings threshold, so as a minor-league keeper he’s easily defensible as using a 28th-round pick on. I like to prioritize talent in the middle of the field, but Rooker will give me the chance to have a masher who is almost MLB ready, Brinson will start for the Marlins and I’ve heard good things about Kirilloff’s swing and polish despite his age and having missed all last season.
And I’ll be honest, these aren’t the weirdest MiLB keepers in the league. Here are some I’ve seen: Tyler Beede, Mitch Garver, Dan Vogelbach, Bobby Bradley and Lourdes Gurriel, to name a few.
I would say those are both net wins for me in the trade department.
Rd 11: James McCann, C – Detroit Tigers
Catchers are in rare supply in this league, and I have two guys who’ll start, which is a luxury. McCann also crushes lefties (.928 OPS) which is the perfect platoon partner for Grandal (.790 v. RHP last year, .824 the year before). I don’t know what to make of Sisco as a prospect, but I always like to have a catcher in that group since up-the-middle talent reigns supreme. I think this was a fine pick. (Players selected before and after, in order: Adam Duvall, Sean Newcomb)
Rd 12: Jorge Polanco, SS – Minnesota Twins
I’m a huge Polanco fan. He never looks rattled at the plate, makes a ton of contact and is getting better defensively at short. He had a super rough start last year — coinciding with the death of his grandfather — but was insanely good in the second half (.293/.359/.511). Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think he’ll be a keeper for me. It’ll be dicey with Bogaerts on the team, but nobody offered me anything reasonable for him. I was hoping to get a stud third baseman, but the best offer was Travis Shaw. I like Shaw, but if I’m moving up-the-middle talent that’s still just 25 years old, I need more. (Mike Foltynewicz, Kevin Pillar)
Rd 13: Carlos Rodon, SP – Chicago White Sox
I know he isn’t fully healthy, but since I went into the draft with four keeper starters, I felt I could take a gamble like this. Getting a potential long-term keeper in the 13th was huge for me, and I have backfilled the rotation to allow me to wait out this injury. (Jhoulys Chacin, Matt Harvey)
Rd 14: Jerad Eickhoff, SP – Philadelphia Phillies
I don’t think Eickhoff is a stud, but if he simply repeats 2017 he’s a decent enough No. 5 starter and if he repeats 2016, he’s more like a No. 3-4. He doesn’t do anything spectacularly, but he’s good enough to round out my rotation — for now. And for crying out loud, wait until you see who I selected him after. (Jordan Zimmermann, Luis Perdomo)
Rd 15: Ben Zobrist, UTIL – Chicago Cubs
There’s certainly a chance Zobrist is washed, but if he’s not, I’m more than happy to give him a shot as my top utility guy with no pressure to start him. He’s good Panik and Brinson insurance, if nothing else. (Jed Lowrie, Keibert Ruiz)
Rd 17: Derek Dietrich, 3B/OF – Miami Marlins
I didn’t want to wait this long to add a third baseman, but none of the options were really that great earlier in the draft so I kept letting the spot drift. I had my eye on Eduardo Escobar, but he went a round earlier to Mike Gianella, and two rounds before that was Matt Davidson. To me, it really came down to Dietrich and Chase Headley. Neither hit lefties, but I decided to go with the guy I felt had a stronger grasp as a full-time player plus fewer age concerns. It’s a low ceiling, but whatever. (Hunter Pence, Jorge Bonifacio)
Rd 18: Matt Joyce, OF/DH – Oakland A’s
I ran to the podium to make this selection. I had Zobrist penciled in as my DH for the time being, but I’ll happily grab a guy who hit .243/.335/.473 last year. It’s an obvious platoon situation — he had a .855/.537 split last year — but there just were not many DH-type quality bats left at this juncture. (Keon Broxton, Enrique Hernandez)
Rd 21: Jarrod Dyson, OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
I did some moving a dealing to grab a couple extra picks late — this is how I build a bullpen on the fly — and as a result have two 21s in the span of three picks. Dyson doesn’t offer a ton with the bat, but has insane defensive range in this league, which makes him a terrific backup option. I had my eye on him for about 3-4 rounds prior to this. (Brandon Moss, Heliot Ramos)
Rd 21: Adam Conley, SP – Miami Marlins
Blech. But with that said, there just wasn’t anything interesting available as far as starters are concern. The previous starter picked was Seth Lugo, who I like but has no firm path to innings in the rotation, and the next starter taken was James Shields. So yeah, I’ll take a shot on a guy one year removed from back-to-back sub-4.00 ERAs with some strikeouts and no real competition for his job. Scraping our head on a low ceiling, but it’s what you gotta do. (Ramos, Garrett Cooper)
Rd 22: A.J. Cole, SP – Washington Nationals
He’s penciled in as their No. 5 starter, and I made sure to wait out the Jake Arrieta and Lance Lynn signings. They could still sign Alex Cobb and mess this up, but in the meantime, he’s fine as a No. 6-7 starter. Better than the vaunted ‘Triple-A starter’ that Scoresheet saddles you with if you don’t have a player for that spot. Last year, I had enough pitchers that I only had 2.1 (scoreless) innings thrown by “Triple-A pitcher.” One team had 84.2 innings thrown by him last year — with a 9.57 ERA. Another had 288 innings from him (!) at a 10.44 ERA. So yeah, we’ll go with Cole, here. (Cheslor Cuthbert, Nick Goody)
Rd 23: Victor Martinez, DH – Detroit Tigers
All I’m hoping for here is some dead-cat bounce so I can have a bench bat or maybe a starting DH v. LHP. Anything more is a huge bonus. After a rough year last year both health-wise (heart) and on the field (.255/.324/.372), is it too much to ask for any sort of bounce back from a 39-year-old hitter? Probably. But I don’t like any of the relievers enough to prioritize them over one final bat. (Junior Guerra, Tony Cingrani)
Rd 23: Darren O’Day, RP – Baltimore Orioles
Time to build a bullpen. Hildenberger and O’Day have some fun similarities in how they deliver the ball, but nevertheless, both have stable roles in their ‘pens. Do I love that O’Day is 35? Not necessarily, but he’s never been a velo guy, fixed his homer issue in a year where everyone else’s rates got screwed, and he’s fanned 11-plus batters per nine in each of the last three years. I’ll also gladly take O’Day here as opposed to some of these guys, and where they went: Juan Nicasio (Rd 18), Justin Wilson (Rd 18), Blake Parker (Rd 19), Blake Treinen (Rd 19), Tony Watson (Rd 18), Brad Brach (Rd 20), Anthony Swarzak (Rd 20), Andrew Chafin (Rd 20), Emilio Pagan (Rd 20), Brian Duensing (Rd 21) and some others, too. (Miguel Gonzalez, Cory Gearrin)
Rd 23: Jacob Barnes, RP – Milwaukee Brewers
What I love about Barnes here is that he has no real splits (.299/.277 wOBA) and an insane swinging-strike rate (15.4 percent). He’s not super deep on the team’s bullpen depth chart, but should have a chance to repeat last year’s 72 innings, which is more than enough. I also like that he induces grounders at a 50-plus percent rate, and with some normalizing of his HR/FB rate could be a real bullpen beast. He averaged nearly 97 mph on his fastball last year and the whiff rate on his slider was an insane 24.4 percent. I think this is a sneaky good pick, personally. (Wade Miley, Matt Adams)
Rd 24: Matt Barnes, RP – Boston Red Sox
With three picks between Jacob and Matt, I actually wrote up an entire Matt blurb to post here before taking it down and grabbing Jacob first. There are lots of guys who can get you a 3.80 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning and three-plus walks per nine, but Matt has back-to-back years of 65-plus innings — important, since Triple-A reliever looms — and is relatively safe with just Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith ahead of him in the Sox bullpen. As much as I’d like to grab someone else maybe a bit more risky with a higher ceiling, right now I’m starting the year with a seven-man bullpen, so I need to nail each of these picks — as much as possible. (Greg Holland, Drew Robinson)
Rd 24: Jake McGee, RP – Colorado Rockies
I feel like McGee showed us last year that he can hang in Coors after a rough first season, as he had a 3.61 ERA (2.93 FIP), 9.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 while keeping the ball in the yard (0.6 HR/9), somehow. Either way, I’m sprinting to the podium to make this pick, as McGee is a truly elite reliever when he’s right — a rare find at this time of the draft. (Chris Rusin, A.J. Ramos)
Rd 24: Ryan Pressly, RP – Minnesota Twins
The home run problems were inexplicable — though I think they may magically vanish across the league this year — but the secondary numbers were markedly better for Pressly. Also, as a fifth or six reliever, who wouldn’t love to have a guy throwing 96 mph cheddar with a nasty curve and a good slider? Process > results, my friends. (Ramos, Wilmer Difo)
Rd 24 (acquired in trade for next year’s 22, this year’s 41): Joe Biagini, SP/RP – Toronto Blue Jays
I don’t love Biagini, but I need the backup in my rotation — for Stroman and the inexplicably sent-down Conley — and when he was a reliever, he was really good in 2016 (3.06 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 52.2% GB rate, 11.5% swinging-strike rate). I’ll take it.
Picks remaining (I’ll come back and update as they’re done):
I’ve already put in a request to trade for at least one more pick — we’ll see if it’s answered — but I’ll have a cobbled together bullpen. I still think it’ll be fairly solid.
C – Grandal
1B – Abreu
2B – Panik
3B – Dietrich
SS – Bogaerts
LF – Benintendi
CF – Hicks
RF – Brinson
DH – Joyce
C – McCann (will start v. LHP)
IF – Polanco
IF/OF – Zobrist
OF – Dyson
Bat – V. Martinez
SP A. Cole
RP J. Barnes
RP M. Barnes
To me, that’s maybe an 86-88 win team. Thoughts?
Why do we do this to ourselves?
We’re back again to savage my terrible preseason 10 Bold Predictions. Without further ado:
1. Robbie Ray finishes as a top-10 starter in the NL
I’m pretty proud of this one. ESPN’s player rater in 5×5 has him as the No. 10 pitcher overall, and No. 6 among NL starters behind Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Ray has been terrific this season in 160.1 innings, as he’s fanned 217 batters with a 1.16 WHIP, 2.86 ERA and .200 BAA.
Batting: 1-for-1 (1.000)
Read the rest of this entry »
The season numbers aren’t great but we’ve picked up some steam over the last few weeks and hopefully will finish strong. As always, if you have any suggestions or tips, please feel free to mention them in the comments section, and thank you for reading.
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 23). Since this is the last column of the year, find me on twitter or on the #2xSP hashtag for end-of-season results:
45 quality starts
Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):
RHP Jake Junis – 20.1% ESPN – v. DET (99), v. ARI (94)
Junis gets a couple nice offensive matchups here, though the numbers are certainly deceiving in that the Diamondbacks will be tougher than the true-talent Tigers. But nevertheless, it’s two nice matchups for Junis before considering how good he’s been lately. Since more or less moving back into the rotation — save for one relief appearance — to begin August, he’s been terrific: 3.02 ERA, 41-6 K/BB ratio in 50.2 innings and an OPS against of .632. Four of the 17 earned runs he’s allowed in that time frame came in one relief appearance, which is worth noting as well. I’ve already grabbed Junis in my deep keeper for safe winter storage — you might want to do the same. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 22)
44 quality starts
RHP Dinelson Lamet – 36.6% ESPN – v. ARI (95), v. COL (86)
Lamet dueled with Ervin Santana at Target Field on Wednesday night, and while his team came out on the short end of a walk-off loss, it was a giant step forward for the 25-year-old righty who has put together an intriguing season, to say the least. He’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last 10 starts, and that’s good for a 2.44 ERA, .553 OPS against and 66-28 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. However, this week he not only has matchups against two teams with so-so or worse offenses, but he’s also pitching at home, where he’s been markedly better (3.59 ERA) than on the road (4.73).
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through most of Week 21)
41 quality starts
RHP Marco Estrada – 47.8% ESPN – v. BAL (100), @MIN (100)
He’s either been really good or really bad of late, but over his last nine starts has a respectable 3.98 ERA and .709 OPS against in 54.1 innings. He won’t get much offensive support, but he also feels relatively stable among pitchers who are owned under 50% — a tough lot to crack at this point of the year. If you prefer, go with one of the guys at the bottom.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez – 34.6% ESPN – v. OAK (101), @TBR (98)
I’m just gambling on the talent here. Rodriguez has fanned more than a batter per inning this season (9.7 K/9), and his ERA (a so-so 4.33) is supported by a better FIP (4.04). His second half has not been particularly pretty (5.22 ERA), but he’s still got 53 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 50 innings, and both of these matchups are OK, though not great.
RHP Kyle Gibson – 18% ESPN – v. SD (85), v. TOR (90)
A move on the rubber has helped Gibson be absolutely terrific over the last month-and-a-half. Since then — he told me he made the change after the start in Houston on July 16 — he’s posted a 3.19 ERA, .682 OPS against and 38-11 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. Not only is he inducing grounders at a solid rate — like always — but he’s also got an 11% swinging-strike rate over that stretch. Grounders plus a swing-and-miss slider against two awful offenses? Sign me up.
Last men out: Hyun-jin Ryu (@SF, @WAS), Brandon Woodruff (v. PIT, @MIA)
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 19)
37 quality starts
RHP Jhoulys Chacin – 35.5% ESPN – v. SFG (83), v. LAD (109)
It’s easy to love the Giants matchup and really hard to get on board with the Dodgers one — they’re the second-best offense in the game — but Chacin has been really, really good since an up-and-down start to the season. Since posting a 5.77 ERA through the first two months of the season, he’s gone 3.00, 2.51 and 3.58 in the three months since. On the whole, what does that look like? It’s a 3.02 ERA, .667 OPS against and a K/BB ratio of 72-39 over 89.1 innings/15 starts. Those numbers over what’s basically half a season would certainly garner a higher ownership figure. He’s faced the Dodgers twice in that stretch as well, allowing just one earned run over 10 innings. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 17)
35 quality starts
RHP Jerad Eickhoff – 14.9% ESPN – @SD (85), @SF (82)
Oh man, this is a great week for Eickhoff. The talented righty who has had a bit of a rough season gets two of the bottom-three offenses in the game. Of course, he plays for the fourth-worst, but we can’t get too tied up in that, can we? Since his ERA peaked at 5.22 a couple months ago, Eickhoff has been really, really good, too: 3.10 ERA, 38-17 K/BB ratio in 40.2 innings and a .240/.324/.380 line against. I’ll always bet on talent like this. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 16)
31 quality starts
RHP JC Ramirez – 19.5% ESPN – v. BAL (95), @SEA (101)
I just can’t quit a guy who throws this hard and at least seems to have pretty great stuff. Ramirez routinely sits in the mid- to upper-90s with his fastball (technically a sinker), and is heavily reliant on his slider (32.9 percent) with a curve (16.8 percent) as well. The slider comes in at 88 mph on average, which is pretty stellar velo for a secondary pitch. He gets plenty of grounders, but I’d really like to see more strikeouts from a guy with this raw stuff. The slider has potential (16 percent whiff rate), but the curve doesn’t do much for me (8.2 percent this year, mirroring his career rate). As far as matchups go….meh. It’s not like he’s facing the Phillies or Padres, but as long as we can stay away from the Yankees, Astros or Dodgers it’s not too worrisome, either. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m not one to make excuses, but man this has been rough this year. With pitching injuries, the fluctuation of even moderate starters and the advent of the 10-day disabled list, trying to find viable candidates for these kinds of columns has been…..let’s just say a bit difficult. Thanks for hanging in there all season, as we’ve picked up some steam lately. Be sure to check out the #2xSP hashtag on Twitter if you don’t see this column, as I’ll list my recommendations there as well.
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 15)
28 quality starts
RHP Mike Foltynewicz – 36.3% ESPN – @PHI (85), v. MIA (96)
I’ve been a big fan of Folty’s all season long, as he’s taken a really nice step forward as a key cog in future Braves rotations. He’s improved every year in red and blue ERA-wise, and has stayed fairly consistent with strikeouts and walks while tightening up most other aspects of his game. The WHIP is still a bit concerning at 1.39, but he’s been prone to some really strong streaks this year. The best part here is that Folty also misses out on the mid-week series against the Dodgers — the No. 2 offense in baseball (111 wRC+). Read the rest of this entry »
Well, we’re moving ever so slightly back in the right direction as we sliced nearly two-tenths of a run off the ERA — nearly under 5.00! — and are at least trending in the right way rates-wise. As reminder, there’ll be no column next week due to the All-Star Game festivities. Enjoy!
Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 12)
22 quality starts
RHP Aaron Nola – 43.9% ESPN – v. PIT (89), v. SD (81)
I’m just licking my chops over these matchups for Nola, an immensely talented righty who I think is criminally under owned at this point. Sure, his ERA isn’t great (4.13), but his FIP is pretty solid (3.82), he’s fanning nearly a batter per inning and isn’t giving up a ton of homers (1.1 per nine) despite the league having gone crazy in that respect. He was really, really good in June, too: 3.24 ERA, 35-11 K/BB ratio in 33.1 innings and .633 OPS against. Read the rest of this entry »