Brad Johnson Baseball Chat 1/30/2018 by Brad Johnson January 30, 2018 Here’s today’s chat transcript featuring lots of keeper and Acuna talk. 2:55 Brad Johnson: Hey folks 2:55 Brad Johnson: Looks like the post didn’t publish as scheduled, so I’ll wait a few minutes for people to join 2:57 Daniel Castro Fan Club: We are forever indebted for your words getting Daniel Castro signed yesterday! When Castro mashes, it will be in your honor. 2:58 Brad Johnson: That was a really weird thing about a weird thing – https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/the-weirdest-thing-that-is-happening… 2:58 Brad: You discounting hitters in chase field because of humidor talk? 2:58 Brad Johnson: A few like Chris Owings and Brandon Drury, but they were already in the end-game roster patch bin 2:59 Brad Johnson: It’s more that I like their pitchers slightly more 2:59 Brad Johnson: it should be noted, that the humidor still isn’t guaranteed to be operational 2:59 Brad Johnson: I know it was installed last April/May, but the league has not yet approved its use 2:59 Minty: Would you trade Rizzo for Paxton or Hoskins for Ray in a shallow OBP with a good lineup and Kluber/Thor/Castillo/Nola? 3:00 Brad Johnson: Even in a shallow format, those are potential OBP gods 3:00 Brad Johnson: Sounds like you have a good foundation of pitching, I’d probably just keep the elite bats 3:01 DCFC: Did you perchance happen to look at who sponsored the Daniel Castro baseball reference page when you wrote your recent article? 3:01 Brad Johnson: I did not 3:02 Brad Johnson: But not surprising 3:03 Steve Caimano: 8 team NL only dynasty league. I’m an expansion team. 4 OF. Hunter Renfroe at $6 worth keeping? 3:04 Brad Johnson: I think so, but it’s marginal 3:04 Brad Johnson: So your league is starting 32 OFers. NL has roughly 65 actual full time OF. On second thought, that’s a cut 3:05 Brad Johnson: Should be able to get empty HR for $1 these days 3:05 Tommy: Is Chris Archer really an ace or a guy with great underlying numbers who just can’t quite make the leap and put it together? 3:05 Brad Johnson: The latter 3:06 Brad Johnson: I don’t really have anything to add. Part of the problem from a fantasy perspective is his place on the Rays in the AL East 3:06 Brad Johnson: You don’t get the wins you need from an actual ace 3:06 Brad Johnson: the other stats would be ace-worthy if he won 15 games 3:07 Steve: Need to pick a 5th keeper: Conforto (21st rd) Schwarber (22) Desmond (21) Nola (9) or Paxton (6)? Keep forever in designated round- points format 3:07 Brad Johnson: I’d do Schwarber. Decent chance he eventually figures out how to be a full time masher. 3:08 Brad Johnson: And even if he doesn’t he’s a very useful platoon bat. The pitchers are interesting, but they’re priced pretty close to their round. Nola’s the better value of the two. 3:08 Bill: I have to keep one RP in a keep forever league, but I’m really only concerned about this year as it’s rather fluid with RP drops and pickups. Would you rather keep Roberto Osuna, Brad Hand, Sean Doolittle or Ken Giles? 3:08 Brad Johnson: Those are all really great options 3:09 Brad Johnson: Doolittle seems to have a recurring shoulder injury, so let’s drop him 3:09 Brad Johnson: Giles seems to suck every April 3:09 Brad Johnson: Osuna had some red flags last year but fought through them. He’s super young and could be the next great long term relief ace. Or he could wind up hurt. 3:10 Brad Johnson: Hand is really good too. I’d lean Osuna though 3:10 FreeAgentsGalore: I’ll have the first pick in an obp keeper league. Options are Votto, Stanton, Blackmon, and Rizzo (who has 2b eligibility)….Is it a slam dunk to pick Votto and move on or does the added 2b eligibility make Rizzo the guy here with Altuve, Dozier, and co being kept already? 3:10 Brad Johnson: I can only offer my instinct here, I haven’t delved into OBP values recently. 3:11 Brad Johnson: Votto is VERY tempting because of that elite OBP with non-trivial numbers in the other categories. However, all of those alternatives have merits and are much younger. 3:12 Brad Johnson: I think you have to look down stream to the other 1B, OF, and 2B options 3:12 Brad Johnson: But yes, if I’m just making that one pick, it’s probably Votto 3:12 Steve Caimano: My thought too. Thanks. 3:12 Brad Johnson: re: Renfroe 3:12 Jay: Would you be comfortable with Zack Godley as your 2nd best SP in a league that starts 3 SP per day? 3:13 Brad Johnson: Yes, I’m a huge believer of his though 3:13 Chucky : Branch Rickey once said, “ I’d rather trade a player a year too early than a year too late”. Should I listen to Mr Rickey and put Max on the block? 3:13 Brad Johnson: Yea, see what’s out there. 3:13 Brad Johnson: Don’t convince yourself that you MUST trade him though 3:14 Brad Johnson: the goal is to sell high 3:14 Yikes: Is this the year to FINALLY pay for pitching? I generally refuse to but the difference between the aces and the non aces seems large. But they are old… 3:15 Brad Johnson: I think you have to be prepared to go both directions. Some leagues, pitching is going to be at a premium. In those settings, grab one ace and hope it’s enough. In others, you’ll see aces going consistently below their value. Load up and dominate the pitching categories. 3:15 Brad Johnson: Strategy will vary wildly between snake and auction 3:16 Brad Johnson: You’ll probably see a lot more early/expensive pitchers in snake and it’s much easier to ensure you get some of them 3:17 Slapshot: Question regarding a 10 team, 5×5, keep 16 forever dynasty league. Given position scarcity, would you keep either (or both) of Evan Gattis or Mike Zunino (this is a 2 catcher league) over someone like Jackie Bradley Jr, Avi Garcia, or Gregory Polanco? 3:17 Brad Johnson: Definitely not over Polanco 3:18 Brad Johnson: I’ve always been an Avi hater, so I’d probably take Zunino over him. I’m concerned about Gattis’ playing time. 3:18 Nick: This season who is the player you believe makes the jump, from good player to superstar? 3:19 Brad Johnson: Yelich isn’t far. If he adapts his approach for the new ballpark, it could be him 3:19 Brad Johnson: I like Eugenio Suarez a lot too. That ballpark is perfect for him 3:19 Pat: Would you keep Mike Trout at $57 in a 10 team AL only? 5×5 standard roto, $260 budget 3:19 Brad Johnson: Yes. 3:20 Hannah Hochevar: Jessie Hahn going to be a good $1 ALOnly this year? 3:20 Brad Johnson: Good? Probably not. 3:20 Brad Johnson: A fine flier though 3:20 Brad Johnson: Maybe the Royals can coax some value out of him 3:20 Brad Johnson: I’m not holding out much hope 3:21 BigBaconBurger: Do you think Jesus Sanchez is likely for a .345ish OBP 25hr type with rbi potential depending on lineup slot in MLB? ETA like mid 2019 and any OF depth worry you for him ascending to a corner OF spot? Thank you 3:21 Brad Johnson: I like Sanchez’s profile, but I see a lot of potential for early career hiccups. He’s the kind of guy I count on getting cheaply as a post-hype sleeper. 3:23 Brad Johnson: He’s an aggressive hitter with minimal plate discipline. Batted ball profile was a little like Pham/Yelich last season. Big swinging strike rate though. 3:23 Brad Johnson: Not sure he can carry the high BABIP AND below 20% K rate 3:23 Brad Johnson: Needs to hit fewer GB to access his power 3:24 Brad Johnson: He’ll probably get there, but maybe around 2021 after a couple false starts 3:24 B: Is this the year that Carlos Martinez joins the elite NL arms and is a top 5 CY Young guy? I just keep waiting for the next level out of him. 3:24 Brad Johnson: Last season was the next level, it was just hidden in the home run surge 3:25 Brad Johnson: There isn’t much if any growth potential remaining – beyond discovering something new. 3:25 wadz: How much would Realmutos value be boosted if he gets dealt to DC? 3:25 Brad Johnson: Quite a bit, but only relative to right now 3:25 Brad Johnson: compared to last season, he probably gets a slight bump down 3:26 Brad Johnson: He’d be batting near the bottom of the Nats offense. 7 or 8 hole I’m guessing 3:26 Edison: Will Nick Williams be worth rostering? 3:26 Brad Johnson: I think so, but it definitely depends on the format 3:26 Brad Johnson: In a 12 team, 3 OFer league, he’s a bench bat 3:26 Brad Johnson: for example 3:27 Brad Johnson: I do think the Phillies will prioritize him over Altherr. I expect a platoon of Altherr facing hard lefties and righties with Williams facing the easy ones 3:27 Don: Can Michael Taylor fend off Robles for the entire season? If he does are we looking at a potential 20/20 from him? 3:28 Brad Johnson: No, but I don’t think that’s what he has to do. He just needs to be the guy who doesn’t suffer an injury. One of them will hit the DL, then you’ll see Robles 3:28 Desperate, confused Marlins fan: starting to freak out with JD not signing yet, should I still hold him as my 5th keeper or should I keep ONE of Madbum, Bellinger or Hoskins? (its an OPS league 5×5) 3:28 Brad Johnson: JDM 3:28 Slamboni: Should I keep a $4 Acuna over a $26 Kluber in my standard 10 tm 5×5? I feel like if I let Acuna go, the Braves homer in my league will grab him and never let him go 3:29 Brad Johnson: That is a really difficult position to be in. As much as I like Acuna, there’s reasons to expect some early-career scuffles. Kluber is elite now. Acuna may someday be elite. But for a shallow format, will you really miss a 2nd outfielder? 3:29 Brad Johnson: If he happens to go full Trout, then yea, you’ll be pissed. But it’s more likely to be Buxton-ish. 3:30 Daniel Castro Fan Club: What address should we send your shirt to?https://imgur.com/a/dxXG1 3:30 Brad Johnson: oh god… 3:30 Sonny: Not finding much a market for my 3y of Posey. He’s a borderline keep right now but I’d be taking a risk of pulling a Zunino out of the draft where no other C will be available 3:30 Brad Johnson: Just stick with Posey. He’s been the best for so long. He’s still top 5. 3:31 Turp: 5 keeper forever, 12 team, 6×6 league (ops). Benitendi or Acuna? Not sure Acuna would make it to me in the first round of draft (11th pick). Fair to say acuna has a higher ceiling? 3:31 Brad Johnson: Definitely a higher ceiling. 3:31 Brad Johnson: But… the median outcome is probably Benintendi with more power and less OBP. 3:31 Brad Johnson: Another really tough Acuna decision. 3:32 Dusty: What can you tell me about Twins SS Prospect Wander Javier? 3:32 Brad Johnson: Not a whole lot off the top of my head 3:32 Brad Johnson: I don’t have any scouting reports for him internalized. 3:33 Brad Johnson: by the stats, looks like a future power hitter with plate discipline. Don’t know if he’s athletic enough for SS 3:33 Brad Johnson: Big whiff rate, but that’s not uncommon with teenagers 3:33 Nick: After seeing ZiPS projection for Derek Fisher he’s got to be the eventual starter for Houston right? 30% K rate seems a bit drastic, so maybe that projected .243 average seems like a floor right? 3:33 Brad Johnson: I don’t know. I think he’s an injury backup only at this point. 3:34 Brad Johnson: I like him a lot for a year or two from now though 3:34 FreeAgentsGalore: To give you a little more info on my obp question above, I’ll be keeping Trout, T. Turner, Bellinger, and Bregman. I feel like 2b might be the hardest position to fill in this league. Votto is such an OBP monster though. Is Albies safe enough to plug in a forget about 2b? 3:35 Brad Johnson: Going back to a previous question. Don’t worry about 2B too much, it may be the deepest position this season. 3:35 Brad Johnson: Go Votto to complement those guys. 3:35 Erlich Bachman: Does Senzel actually get the job this year? The Reds lineup is unspectacular, but has no holes. Can he possible win the job from Eugenion Suarez? If so, what time is he up? 3:35 Brad Johnson: He’ll play his way onto the roster, role unknown 3:35 Brad Johnson: Suarez is going to play, he’s their best non-Votto hitter 3:36 Brad Johnson: but he could slide back to being a bad defense SS, bump Scooter, or go full super utility mode 3:36 Brad Johnson: Senzel may get bumped around a little too if they don’t want to upset Suarez 3:36 Tom : First overall pick in keep forever draft: Acuna, Ohtani, or Hoskins? 3:36 Brad Johnson: Ah!!! 3:37 Brad Johnson: You didn’t say OBP so I’ll go Acuna 3:37 Pepper: Philosophical question. You have dominant team and three consecutive league titles. Run this team again OR take Bryce Harper from that team and take over horrible team that we can’t get an owner to adopt. Which would you prefer? 3:38 Brad Johnson: I guess it depends on the league quality. If this is a home league where you’re just levels above the others, grab the bad roster for a challenge 3:38 Brad Johnson: With some college friends, I once auto-drafted my team alphabetically. (took Nick Adenhart about a week after he died 🙁 3:39 Brad Johnson: Wound up finishing second with waiver wire adds 3:39 Brad Johnson: I think Bobby Abreu was my only real player 3:39 Brad Johnson: So yea, that can be fun against weak competition 3:39 Brad Johnson: If it’s a harder league and you’ve just happened to succeed, then keep the good club 3:40 Brad Johnson: Gonna skip from 3:20 to 3:40, sorry folks 3:40 E: When does Ronald Acuna debut in ’18? 3:40 Brad Johnson: April 12-ish 3:40 Slamboni: I look at Healys numbers last year and I feel like he was underhyped, but I remember watching him last year wanting to puke. Is he worth a spot in a 10 tm AL only at $5? 3:40 Brad Johnson: Yes and yes and yes 3:41 Brad Johnson: Healy is one of them 3:41 Brad Johnson: Some guys get there without looking like they should 3:41 Brad Johnson: had a technical error there, those last two comments got reversed 3:41 eli: hi brad, looking for some last minute cut advice in sabr points. I have peacock and gennett for $6 and $3, respectively. is peacock’s role too unclear and gennett’s expected regression too heavy to keep? thanks! 3:42 Brad Johnson: For SABR points, I’m not concerned about the role uncertainty for Peacock. 3:42 Brad Johnson: He was always going to be a 100 to 130 innings guy anyway, with health 3:42 Brad Johnson: if you drop him, it’s because he’s never healthy for long 3:43 Brad Johnson: I think Scooter’s a pretty safe utility guy for $3. I’m not expecting a ton of regression aside from the lack of 4 HR games 3:43 E: If you played in 12 team, 14 category, h2h league would you consider punting a category or 2? 3:43 Brad Johnson: Even then, I’d still hate to punt. I would definitely figure out which categories are easiest to ignore. 3:44 Brad Johnson: For example, if OPS is one of the stats, I can focus on HR and probably get both 3:44 Dungeon Master: I can keep Jimmy Nelson for very cheap, but have to commit to rostering him 2 years. Worth it? 3:45 Brad Johnson: If he’s very cheap both years? Sure. Is that in place of being able to roster somebody else? 3:45 Brad Johnson: I’m convinced he’ll return to the level he flashed this year 3:45 Brad Johnson: At Miller Park, there’s a very thin line between good and fantasy dud 3:45 Go birds: 12 team OBP $260 budget. Who to keep. Conforto ($3) or Moncada ($7)? 3:46 Brad Johnson: Well, this would be easy if Conforto was healthy. I might just bet on Moncada since so much is unknown about Conforto’s recovery outlook 3:46 Diego: Does Jorge Bonifacio get 500 MLB ABs this year? 3:46 Brad Johnson: God I hope not 3:46 Brad Johnson: but maybe 3:46 Brad Johnson: I’ll look more closely 3:47 Brad Johnson: Barring several signings, Bonifacio appears to be an everyday outfielder 3:47 Brad Johnson: what a terrible roster 3:47 Brad Johnson: I mean, I knew, but I didn’t KNOW 3:47 Brad Johnson: http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=7 3:48 Brad Johnson: It’s Salvy, Whit, and a bunch of awful 3:48 Brad Johnson: why are they thinking about signing Hosmer? 3:48 Zach: McCullers vs Ohtani who ya got? I see them as being similar in terms of expected output but looking at ADP there’s a huge gap 3:48 Brad Johnson: Yea, probably safe to expect comparable output 3:49 Brad Johnson: Better pitching stats from McCullers if he can stay healthy, with the usual caveats about short outings. Kinda figure Ohtani may be a short outing guy too. 3:49 Brad: Best keeper option in 8 Keeper H2H Points – $6 Chris Taylor, $34 Robbie Cano, $24 Darvish? 3:50 Brad Johnson: Taylor or Darvish, depending on what you make of Taylor’s breakout 3:50 Brad Johnson: It’s very hard to draw any conclusions from that season 3:50 McD: How do you account for expected inflation? First year of keepers with a new system (kept indefinitely, inflation assigned by arbitration) and I’m expecting inflation to be big (~25%). Guys who are expensive, but not a keeper value wise (e.g. Machado with a salary $3 above his FG auction value), but become great values once you factor in that big inflation. But, if you did that for everyone, the inflation rate drops a bunch, since you’re doling out more salary than value. 3:51 Brad Johnson: So when considering players between their actual and inflated cost, I look for a few things 3:51 Brad Johnson: 1. Are they elite – I keep those 3:51 Brad Johnson: 2. range of likely outcomes 3:51 Brad Johnson: 3. Alternatives/Opportunity cost 3:52 Brad Johnson: So yea, I’m probably keeping a $45 Machado but not keeping a $20 Polanco 3:52 Brad Johnson: That’s actually a real scenario on one of my teams. Now they know. 3:52 Jim-Bob: Fast forward to May 1. Who’s the odd man out in Milwaukee: Thames, Santana, Braun? 3:52 Brad Johnson: Whoever got hurt 3:52 Brad Johnson: Or else it’s a very large rotation 3:53 Merv Throneberry: Mixed opinions about Zack Godley in my keeper league – am about to trade him straight up for Ozzie Albies (both are $4 in a 22 player $130 league). Who’s your daddy? 3:53 Brad Johnson: I love Godley. That’s still a fine swap. 3:53 Brad Johnson: Never hurts to get long term positional value for a pitcher 3:53 Gavin: Correa listed among 2018 HR/FB decliners today. Do you buy it? 3:54 Brad Johnson: Sure, but even that decline included a good home run total. 3:54 John Doe: Do we think Braun is moving to 1B? If so, is Eric Thames value kaput? Really liked that Thames/Aguilar platoon 3:55 Brad Johnson: Not really. I think they’re trying to figure out how to best shuffle their assets while getting them reps. If they want Domingo to play some, getting Braun starts at 1B over Aguilar makes sense. 3:55 Brad Johnson: Then the rare off days for Cain/Yelich can also work them all into the lineup 3:55 Brad Johnson: Aguilar loses big, but you don’t go out of your way to play a guy like him 3:56 John Doe: What’s going on with Jean Segura? His sprint speed last year was pretty slow, getting slower. He is not that old, but he seemed to gradually decline in 2017. 3:56 Brad Johnson: He had injuries 3:56 Brad Johnson: That said, I’m not counting on many steals 3:56 normie daniels: you still keep conforto at $1 right? 3:56 Brad Johnson: yep, unless he’s bumping a better keeper 3:56 Cubs Fan (clearly): OBP Keeper League (12 team, One C, $260) Is Wilson Contreras a good value @$14? 3:56 Brad Johnson: Very good 3:56 Brad Johnson: Like a $25 catcher 3:56 Brad Johnson: oh wait, that’s 2 C 3:57 Brad Johnson: Maybe more like $20 3:57 John Doe: Saw Pod’s HR/FB rate decliners – Matt Olson obviously was inflated, but does the xHR/FB rate discourage you at all? Does the juiced ball make you discount HR/FB rates in the MiLB? 3:58 Brad Johnson: Like Pod, I’m more concerned with FB/GB rates than HR/FB rate. I’ll use a scouting report to learn if a guy has pop and the ability to get to it in games. 3:58 Brad Johnson: I wrote about Olson a couple weeks ago. Came away with a positive impression if not quite as high as his current ADP 3:58 Royalty: Any chance Moustakas signs in MIL? The draft cost is almost a non-issue after the Cain deal. 3:58 Brad Johnson: Pretty close to zero 3:58 Brad Johnson: Travis Shaw is a better player 3:58 FreeAgentsGalore: Are you sold on Albies in a 10 team league? 3:59 Brad Johnson: Sure, but that’s shallow enough that you can ignore 2B entirely, assuming you don’t land Altuve 3:59 Brad Johnson: so many good 2B 3:59 CW: $30 Rendon in otto 5×5? 3:59 Brad Johnson: Not sure, might be between his actual and inflated value 3:59 Brad Johnson: depends on your roster makeup 4:00 John Doe: How much more value do closers have in 16-team format? Auction calculator gives them some ridiculous values (maybe 15% of budget) 4:00 Brad Johnson: You can tinker that. The aux calc does some wonky things with innings. Make sure it’s not setting replacement level at a 880 IP per team rate or something 4:00 Wander Javier: Am I going to be better than Carlos Correa? 4:01 Brad Johnson: Way too early to say things like that 4:01 Brad Johnson: Mike Trout wasn’t likely to be better than Mike Cameron when he was a prospect 4:01 tacopocket: Not sure if you skipped my question so I apologize for asking twice. Do you prefer drafting 1 stud this year (Kershaw $630 or 2 semi studs (carlos Martinez and verlander for $73). The difference would be spent on a GLOB pitcher like Morton, Santana, rodon, cobb, pomeranz). 4:02 Brad Johnson: I tend to prefer Kershaw, especially because it’s hard to know if you’ll actually get 2 second tier guys 4:02 Brad Johnson: you never know when leaguewide panic will make it impossible 4:03 Waldo: Godley or Castillo in 2018 and beyond? Both are same cost… 4:03 Brad Johnson: Godley by miles 4:03 Brad Johnson: Time for me to wrap it up. I’ll take a few more. 4:03 Shaggy: Villar’s potential increase with all the Brew Crew’s moves? 4:04 Brad Johnson: No. If anything, they’re going to be less patient with him 4:04 Brad Johnson: Also, I really like Eric Sogard’s plate approach 4:04 Brad Johnson: If he was an elite defender (he’s definitely not), he’d be one of the best 2B in the league. 4:04 99: What happened to Justin Wilson? Any chance he closes in CHC this year? 4:05 Brad Johnson: Not sure but no, almost no chance 4:05 Andrew: Which Dodgers catcher should I target? 4:05 Brad Johnson: Barnes 4:05 Brad Johnson: Though Grandal should be a steal now 4:05 Jay: Would I be crazy to make Trea Turner my most expensive position player? 4:05 Brad Johnson: No, he’s a consensus top 5 draft pick 4:05 Brad Johnson: the steals 4:06 Sircharles: You expect Pham to keep up that many HRs (23) with such a low FB rate (26%)? 4:06 Brad Johnson: No 4:06 Brad Johnson: But he’ll get close enough 4:06 Brad Johnson: Maybe a 16 to 20 projection 4:06 Brad Johnson: And he could adjust too. Look at his home/road splits. A lot more fly balls on the road. 4:07 ottoneu: Zack Cozart … is he good? 4:07 Brad Johnson: Yes he is. 4:07 Brad Johnson: Goodbye everyone!