Fantasy Baseball Chat With Jeff Zimmerman

11:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Good afternoon and congrats on blowing off your real work for the important stuff.

11:01
BringBackDeSpanielHair: MLB actually owns up to changing the ball for ’21. First thoughts on which hitters will see the biggest drop off with shorter fly balls? Obv, mammoths like Stanton and Alonso won’t see much of an effect on their HR totals.

11:02
Jeff Zimmerman: This is the million dollar question after the news broke yesterday. From what I got is that about a 1.5 ft drop in distance.

11:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m guessing the Doubter leaderboard at Savant is the best place to start: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/home-runs

11:04
Brian: Thoughts on how Chris Archer going back to the Rays impacts his fantasy value? Does being in that org devalue him in a league that scores quality starts?

11:06
Jeff Zimmerman: In the Launch Angle Pod yesterday, Todd Zola, Van Lee, and I dug in. I think he’s a perfect reserve round dart where he can be dropped if things are clicking.

11:06
Guest: Victor Robles – are we thinking he’s not going to live up to the hype?

11:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think so. He needs to be a better hitter.

11:07
Scott: Would you keep Story at full value as a keeper in a NL ONLY league?  I’m afraid if I keep him he will be hard to deal during the year due to the “threat” of him being traded.  If he goes to a AL none of his stats would count after the trade.  This league does have 7 keepers by the way.

11:07
Jeff Zimmerman: This is a tough one. First, I’ve looked at previous trades and there is nearly a 50% chance he ends up in the NL

11:09
Jeff Zimmerman: It really depends on that last keeper because a possible half-season from Story could be better than other options.

11:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Also, would you still want to keep him if he gets traded in the NL

11:10
TOM: Where do you think Clarke Schmidt settles in terms of LT value? Top, middle, or backend of the rotation?

11:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Top in AAA

11:10
Charles: thoughts on some last season additions last season for me…Trevor Rogers and Pavin Smith.  I can keep them this season for minimal cost.  thank you

11:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Really? I guess Rogers but both should not be taking up a roster spot. They are too precious

11:12
kevin kronicsted: Rank Rizzo, Goldy, Olson, Walsh, and C Walker for this year pls.  Thanks much as always!

11:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Goldy ….. Olson, Rizzo, Walker…. Walsh

11:12
BringBackDeSpanielHair: Soto as first pick this year in redraft leagues? Or is Trout still the greatest?

11:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Depends on format. Trout in points and neither one in a standard roto league

11:13
Thanos: Hi Jeff — can’t wait to get back to baseball. I am torn for the last keeper spot in my keep-forever points (no strikeout penalty) league. The three options are Meadows, Altuve, and Gallo. Any strong feelings?

11:13
Jeff Zimmerman: No on Gallo

11:14
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s really close on the other two. Go Meadows but I could be wrong.

11:14
Thanos: Also, thank you for the ‘mining the news’ series. It has been a great way to identify targets and land mines that would otherwise be too hard to keep track of.

11:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks. I was working on the next one right before the chat

11:15
Dynasty Rebuild: When you’re evaluating prospects, how much stock do you put into things like exit velocity data in prospects otherwise putting up good stats?  Is it important, or less so because the players are still growing?  Thinking in particular of a guy like Brujan who has low EV data, but solid stats and scouts think he can grow into a bit more pop — does EV data scare you in situations like that?

11:16
Jeff Zimmerman: The only EV number I care about is Max EV. The rest have way too much noise. I just want to know if the player can hit the ball hard.

11:18
Justin: Is Ke’Bryan Hayes really this good offensively or does someone like Isaac Paredes have the same offensive ceiling?

11:19
Jeff Zimmerman: A lack of power held Hayes back, but he showed he can hit for power so his stock is way up. The same thing happened with Lindor.

11:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Paredes needs to hit the ball hard. He’s in the bottom half in the league in MaxEV: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/statcast?type=batter&year=2…

11:21
Derek: Thoughts on Austin Riley for the coming season.  Made some progress on K%.  Any hope that he’ll be a good sleeper pick at 3B?

11:21
Jeff Zimmerman: He’s interesting and did take the steps forward, but can he keep them? I really don’t know.

11:21
Justin: What are realistic expectations for Nate Lowe this season?

11:24
Jeff Zimmerman: He’s a strikeout machine (32% K%). He doesn’t have Gallo like power to have such a high rate

11:25
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not going to be counting on him.

11:26
Brendan Rodgers: How many games will the Rockies let me start this year?

11:26
Jeff Zimmerman: No clue. I can’t guess their plans

11:26
Johnny5Alive: Villar to mets – I know he had a down year, but as a guy who can essentially give the entire team a day off, a good NL only play? At the right cost, that is?

11:27
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d only roster him in a daily lineups league when he starts

11:27
Jeet: Hi Jeff – Haven’t seen a late round valuation on Edward Cabrera.  Anything in particular you like or dislike with his profile?

11:28
Jeff Zimmerman: How the hell is anyone supposed to have an opinion on someone they haven’t seen throw in a year. About 99% of all prospect reports are the same as last year.

11:28
Guest: Eno Sarris had an interesting article about SP value, which utilized injury risk as a percentile compared to other pitchers. In an auction league, would you rather come away with Scherzer/Kershaw or Hendricks/Maeda? I understand there may be context, but in a vaccuum, assume you buy them at their projected statistical value. Max and Kersh are better, but Kyle/Kenta have much lower risk factors (according to Eno)

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: I wonder who created those rankings for him????? IMO, I’d grabbed the second pair and you’re likely to save enough to add a third pitcher (Carrasco or Lopez).

11:31
LB: Nick Senzel a good buy-low candidate? His periods of struggle have been really explainable (ill-fated stance change that he dropped, COVID), and in a small sample in 2020, he was hitting the ball harder and in the air more…intriguing

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: I like him in a shallow waiver wire league. If healthy and hitting, great. If not, he can be dropped for someone who is.

11:32
Tyler Durden: $1 Lamet or $42 Degrom in an NL only keeper? Most of stud hitters likely will be kept (at below market) so don’t know how id spend those degrom dollars elsewhere if i set him free

11:32
Jeff Zimmerman: deGrom

11:32
Isolated Thinker: Around where would you have Jeff McNeill in your 2B rankings?

11:33
Jeff Zimmerman: I have him pretty high and give him a small boost with the IF/OF qualifications.

11:33
Jeff Zimmerman: I seem to be adding him in the 6th to 7th round

11:34
Underrated Players: In fantasy baseball generally, are there particular ‘types’ of players that you think are consistently underrated (either in drafts or trades) by the fantasy community?

11:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Players with no above average trait. McCutchen is that player now. He’s good across the board and helps a little here and there but won’t carry a trait.

11:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I love to have a team full of these players. If one gets hurt, it’s easier to replace their stats. If a 25 SB rabbit goes down, there are no 25 steals on the waiver wire.

11:37
Texas CF: Hi Jeff – Thanks for the chat!  With the Rangers’ DeShields signing and the Khris Davis trade, there have been more mentions of Leody Taveras potentially being sent down for more seasoning.  I am wondering: (1) do you think service time is a factor; (2) What does your gut tell you about whether Taveras breaks camp with Texas and/or gets significant MLB ABs this coming season; and (3) his bat has lagged, but he was 20 years old in AA and 21 in MLB last year.  How do you weigh his being young at each level in your own assessment of his offensive ceiling?  Thanks!

11:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I think this question will be answered once Spring Training games start. I think he’ll play a ton because he’s the better hitter.

11:39
Guest: I enjoy daily transaction and weekly FAAB in a 5×5 Points league. I thunk in-season management is as important as the draft. What are the best online platforms where I should be playing?

11:39
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Yahoo Cast leagues have this setup. Maybe Fantrax.

11:40
Keepers: 10 team keeper league – each team can keep 7 players (and their value goes up $5 each year)
Locks:
Bregman 24
Flaherty 14
Devers 14
Mondesi 7
Need 3 players from the following list:
Torres 14
Corbin Burnes 7
Meadows 10
Soler 9
Soroka 9
Brandon Lowe 14
Sixto Sanchez 9

11:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Lowe, Torres, and …. Burnes or Meadows … Meadows but depends on available pitching

11:41
Guest: Would now be a good time to buy low on Nico Hoerner?

11:41
Jeff Zimmerman: The price should be free but it’s tough to know if he’ll play.

11:42
Guest: You play dynasty?

11:43
Jeff Zimmerman: No, just one keeper league. I had to narrow my focus to start winning my leagues.

11:43
Guest: Luzardo or Valzdez in 2021?

11:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I leading the Valdez train

11:44
ScottTINSTAAPP: Hey Jeff…in 50 round D&H leagues, what breakdown of hitters versus pitchers do you aim for? I’ve been around 22-23 arms against 27-28 hitters but not sure if I should be leaning more into pitching

11:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Here is my strategy that I’ve modified just a bit: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/league-retrospectives-draft-hold-breakdo…

11:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m taking 24 hitters in the first 32 and then all pitchers for the last 18 picks. I found all the regular hitters are gone at round 32 so I just stop. I’ve gone one or two more if a guy slips through.

11:47
Al Gone Quinn: Do the Mets have a headache (or Fantasy players owning Mets players have a headache) if there is no DH season, esp with the Villar signing?

11:48
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s a mess and I’m not drafting Alonso or Smith because there is a good chance they end up in a platoon or one is sitting.

11:48
Al Gone Quinn: Does Framber’s value go down with a more dead ball? That is, g-balls less valuable.

11:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure. I need to dive in at some point

11:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m hoping someone else does and I can “steal” their findings

11:49
Chucky: Kyle Lewis worth a keep in a twelve team, keep 10 w/o contracts? The other options are Muncy, Rizzo or Bohm. Position eligibility notwithstanding. Thanks. Hard not to keep a ROY winner, even if was only for two months of work.

11:49
Jeff Zimmerman: It would be Bohm for me and it’s not even close. Just a better hitter

11:49
Jeet: Any extremely late D&H dart throws for 1st base you would take a stab at?  Ronald Guzman, Seth Beers, Seth Brown, Lewin Diaz… other prospects?

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Seth Brown with Davis gone. It’ll be in Mining the News once I get done.

11:50
Al Gone Quinn: Loved the video summary of Mahomes’ Superbowl experience you posted on twitter. How many currently designated closers would you assume will grab the lion’s share of their teams’ saves, assuming no injuries, as well?

11:51
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s about time I dive into closers. I’ve been holding off until everyone signs but I might need to go through them

11:54
Torres: Does my season last year scare you?  Or am I still ultimately going to be a stud?

11:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Last season is the expected norm. 2019 might be a career season for him.

11:54
Eduardo: Would you keep Buxton or Plesac at the same price? ($3)

11:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Plesac

11:55
Color me puzzled: Do people ever get you and Jeff Erickson at Rotowire mixed up?

11:55
Jeff Zimmerman: No, but it can cause problems. In one league, there is even another Jeff.

11:55
Al Gone Quinn: Pablo Lopez is a great groundballer like Framber but couldn’t pry him in an off season trade. Anything to like about Adrian Houser? Your write up on him wasn’t so good.

11:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m a little higher with Wong in MIL. I groundball pitcher needs a good defense behind him.

11:57
Guest: RE: Eno Rankings Sorry about that I just realized you were the brains behind the injury percentiles! Have you posted that sort of content before? I know I’ve read phrases like “the injury warning lights are blinking” but don’t recall seeing a binary posting like that. Would be super interested in a deeper dive, and some thoughts on guys that are overvalued/undervalued because of it

11:59
Jeff Zimmerman: You can back follow all my links from the article, but no. Eno asked, The Athletic paid, so that is the first time for them. I might backtest them more next offseason.

11:59
jimcanuck: Your thoughts on Benintendi?  Prime rebound candidate or lost cause?

12:00
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he’ll be better but he just doesn’t seem able to adjust to the league. I do think his draft cost is reasonable.

12:00
Keep-Forever League: 15 team dynasty.  Can pick one of these three in a keep-forever format: Eric Hosmer, Andrew Heaney, Alex Reyes.  Who do you keep?

12:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Hosmer but I feel dirty about it

12:01
Nate: Is Paddack worth acquiring in dynasty at a small discount? I’m nervous to pay up even at that price point cuz I think the first month and a half of this season will see him regain his prior peak value, or the bottom will fall out on his value. Also, smaller question for a shorter answer, is Mahle worth acquiring for dirt-cheap?

12:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Get Mahle, I like the upside

12:02
Jeff Zimmerman: As for Paddack, he needs that third pitch or he’ll continue to get hit around

12:02
Aceman: Where do you stand on drafting bats that had down years with no video allowed and other than the obvious names are there any others you have heard about?

12:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m staying away from them. There is no video this year and I’m not going to invest in a player who can’t adjust (or just makes excuses). Other hitters were fine, I’ll roster them.

12:05
Jeff Zimmerman: That will end this chat as I go cry in the corner. I knew I wrote about it at one time.

12:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe I should update it at some point.

12:06
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s it for this week.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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TheBabbo
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TheBabbo

@12:03, “There is no video this year and I’m not going to invest in a player who can’t adjust (or just makes excuses).” But there is, according to the new health and safety protocols for 2021: “Use of any communal video terminals is prohibited. During games, players will have access to tablets under the Dugout iPad program that can be loaded with content before and after games, and will have access to in-game video in a format that cannot be used to steal the catcher’s signs.” (Have read elsewhere that the catcher signs will be blurred out.)