Fantasy Baseball Chat With Jeff Zimmerman

11:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Sorry for the delay, my heat pump just went up in smoke

11:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I need to call for an appointment

11:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Also, I’m in an area with rolling blackouts so the chat could end at anytime.

11:07
Steals: Favorite late round targets for steals in OBP leagues?

11:07
Jeff Zimmerman: None

11:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Managers need to deal with steals by then because all the options are sad.

11:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Myles Straw and his .650 OPS may be the best option.

11:08
Jefferson: Are you taking a late round flyer on Franchy with the intent this will actually really be the year he is healthy, for real this time?

11:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe … he’s on my redraft list but it all depends on my team’s needs

11:09
Jefferson: There was some chatter about franmil Reyes getting time in the outfield, do you expect him to ever be anything other than util only?

11:09
Jeff Zimmerman: He has at NL parks but those happen well into the season.

11:10
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he’ll have it by the ASG

11:10
Don Von Handburger: Randy Arozarena wasn’t even rostered in my league last year.  But now he’ll be available at around #60 in a mixed league.  If my team can handle some risk, is it crazy to take him at that spot?  I hate being the guy who overreacts to playoff performance…

11:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Someone will take him there with his power/speed mix.

11:12
Curtis: Given all the talk about 6 man rotations and pitch count limits off a shortened season, which SP will wind up pitching the most innings?  Is the over/under 200 innings?

11:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m go with a steady arm like Lance Lynn or Kyle Hendricks.  Trevor Bauer is also a nice bet.

11:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I think a couple will go over 100 IP

11:13
ScottTINSTAAPP: I know it’s dangerous to try to figure out what the Rockies will actually do, but if you had to guess, how do you see the playing time being distributed at 1B for them with Cron there on MiLB deal along with Desmond, Bird and Fuentes (and his sub 2% BB%)?

11:14
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s a waste of time, just see who is playing during spring training

11:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Sorry, on the phone with repair shop

11:18
Buff: Jeff, I loved the injury percentiles you compiled and gave to Eno Sarris. I’m looking for an ace or near ace to front my rotation in an NL-only 3 year keeper league. Would a 14% injury percentile make Jack Flaherty a better buy than Brandon Woodruff (61%), despite Woodruff’s somewhat better stuff and command+ ratings?

11:21
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s all your call. I don’t really rank my pitchers off the stuff and command metric.

11:21
Jeff Zimmerman: With my ranks, I have Woodruff way ahead of Flaherty

11:21
Han: Hello Jeff I have enjoyed your great articles.

11:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks

11:21
TomG: Are you surprised no team has signed Puig yet?

11:22
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s more Puig is after a multi-year deal and no one is going to do that right now.

11:22
Don Von Handburger: Is this a sound draft strategy in a shallowish Yahoo league this year in a snake draft: Get 2 stud hitters (eg Trout and Bogaerts), then assemble the best pitching staff in the league, and then use my last 12 picks on the rest of my position staff lineups?  If not “sound,” can you at least squint and see how it might work if I am active setting my lineups for platoons and using the waiver wire?

11:23
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s not for me. I think SP costs for production are the worst in the middle rounds. I’d go two starters, closers as needed, and then all my hitters, and then backfill with dart throws.

11:24
Don Von Handburger: Every day I like Zac Gallen a little bit more.  I’m gonna take him ahead of Kershaw, Castillo, Woodruff, and Snell – and I don’t care who knows!

11:24
Jeff Zimmerman: My only worry is the lack of Wins in AZ

11:25
Al Gone Quinn: McGee succeeded at LAD for 20 IP’s last season throwing the fastball 97% of the time. Any chance he can repeat with SFG this season? Doolittle seems to be the only comp who has thrown his fb usually in the high 80’s% most of the time. In other words, how far away are you staying away from McGee? Like from Philly to Pittsburgh or all the way to Cheyenne WY?

11:26
Jeff Zimmerman: He’s fine but as a reliever, I’m not staying attached and will churn options like crazy hoping for Devin Williams.

11:26
Al Gone Quinn: What beyond velocity are you looking at in spring training pitching performance? There’s always a lot of experimentation so I would guess pitch mix doesn’t tell us much.

11:27
Jeff Zimmerman: If they are actually throwing any new pitch regularly throughout, not just twice in the first start. Also, how many innings everyone is throwing.

11:27
H: Darvish or Giolito? And Flaherty or Woodruff?

11:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Giolito and Woodruff

11:28
Jefferson: Trevor Williams is one of the expected Cubs starters? And a Jake arrieta reunion? Any interest in the middle to back of this rotation? And why won’t the cubs sign good pitchers?

11:29
Jeff Zimmerman: I won’t own either on draft day in a redraft league with a waiver wire. I shoot for upside.

11:29
Jeff Zimmerman: In a draft-and-hold, they might be ok after round 30 as fill-ins

11:30
Dan: Prospects–anybody from last year’s draft class you’re higher on now that might’ve not been picked up in a FYPD?

11:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with recently drafted players. Ask someone else

11:30
Don Von Handburger: Who jumps out as someone who might be undervalued in an OBP league because most people look at rankings for AVG leagues?  Thanks dude.

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Carlos Santana and Joey Gallo

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Mike Trout

11:31
Pat G: In a 16 team keep forever, shallow offensive roster ( 3 OF, no MI/CI), daily lineups. Would you trade Arozarena for Darvish?

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: No

11:32
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ll take the young hitter for the injury-prone old starter.

11:32
Kevin Finnerty: What are reasonable expectations for Vlad Jr. over the next handful of years?

11:33
Jeff Zimmerman: More of the same until he starts to raise his launch angle and hit the ball in the air. I have no clue if/when the adjustment will happen.

11:34
shach1: I offered Michael Conforto and Kyle Lewis for George Springer. The guy who has Springer currently does not have a fifth outfielder. Do you think that this is a fair deal for both sides at this time?

11:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, but I’d hold Springer and hope to find a breakout like Lewis

11:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably Lowe, but it depends if it’s AVG and OBP or OBP instead of AVG

11:36
Fenway Faithful: When you look at a guy like Rafael Devers, do you think of his plate discipline as ‘he is who he is’?  Or do you think he can get better at drawing walks and become more of an OBP contributor in the years to come?

11:36
Jeff Zimmerman: He’ll likely get better but the odds are just 2% to 3% points at best

11:36
Jerry in Burleson: 10 years from now are there gonna be any unicorn types like Verlander and Degrom who go 7 innings periodically?  Who’s the most likely of the current crop of pitchers to be that guy, Flaherty?  Thanks.

11:39
Jeff Zimmerman: There will be some who go seven, but I think they’ll be groundball types who don’t walk batters. Just so many young pitchers reach pitches limits (Snell) before the 5th. Bieer could still be here. Brady Singer.

11:39
RikkiTikkiTavi: When will Astros sign JBJ?

11:40
Jeff Zimmerman: They need him so bad. I’m guessing JBJ has some offers but his hoping some team will need him more after a ST injury.

11:40
Guest: jeff- is this the year to hoard ace starters and relievers early and worry about everything else later?

11:42
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think some of the pitchers being drafted as aces deserve the cost. The first 10 or so being drafted at their projected value, but others are being bumped up as other managers panic.

11:44
Jeff Zimmerman: The key is to not overpay for a bad starter. As for closers, want one steady guy and then will be take several late darts.

11:44
RikkiTikkiTavi: Rather have 4 beastly starters and a so-so OF … or vice-versa

11:45
Jeff Zimmerman: The starters, but I’d rather have 2 beastly starters with a beastly 2B and SS

11:45
Tim Anderson: What are the chances I beat my projections again?

11:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Not if you hit like you did to end the season.

11:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the AVG might be higher than the projections but everything else seems about right.

11:47
Dan: How happy would you be with an infield of Olson/Altuve/Correa/Bryant in rounds 8-11? Doesn’t that seem like a great bargain in that range? Am I living in the past?

11:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d only be happy with Altuve. I have no desire to roster any of the rest.

11:47
Don Von Handburger: What is “heat pump” a euphemism for?

11:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I wish it was, but it’s going to get cold in my except in one room with a space heater.

11:49
Not Grey Albright: Which fantasy baseball expert do you fear the most and also whose hair do you admire the most? Can be a different person (but prolly the same)

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Fear: Steve Gardner, nicest person on the planet and he just lulls you in and by the end of the season he’s up 20 points on you.

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: It was Eno’s hair, still might be.

11:51
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ll go with Derek Carty’s chest hairs since always has 4 buttons undone

11:51
Hosmer, Intl Man of Mystery: Is Hosmer’s swing change for real and portend higher upside, or do his last few weeks make you think the possibility of a better Hosmer was just a mirage?

11:51
Jeff Zimmerman: I looked into players keeping their launch angle and odds are he’ll end between 2019 and 2020

11:52
Quadrangular: I’m in a relatively shallow 13 team obp league, and I’m mulling over my final keeper. I already have deGrom, Giolito, Trea, Moose, and Yordan locked, and I’m deciding between the following for the final spot: $19 Giancarlo, $5 Myers, $5 Ian Happ, $13 Moncada, $5 Bohm, and $10 Liam Hendriks. Does anyone jump out to you from that group? Thanks and sorry about the heat pump!

11:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Happ, Moncada, or Bohm? I’ll go with Bohm. Also, I may take Moncada over Moustakas

11:54
wes: Rather have Stanton or Olson as 5th of 5 keepers in 5×5 12-team h2h cats? Ceiling vs floor, i guess?

11:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Stanton

11:55
Gym Bros Inc.: We laugh off the ‘best shape of his life’ stuff, but are there any situations in which you pay attention to it?  Or is it always just nonsense for fantasy purposes?

11:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I like to look at why they are in great shape this year. Was it a previous injury or they were lazy.

11:56
I am supposed to be WFH right no: I play in a 10-team keeper league, with 24-players kept. We do OBP and SLG, not BA; and QS and K/BB, not W.
Who would you be offering for Bobby Witt in this league, I don’t have much in the way of MI? I have Lamet, Meadows, Soler, Hendricks and others that I could offer
And could you relate your thinking as to why?

11:57
Jeff Zimmerman: My best advice, go back and look at past trades to get an idea of what is fair in the league

11:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Each keeper league is its own monster

11:57
John: Trea Turner worth a first round pick in a points league?

11:58
Jeff Zimmerman: Towards the end of it. really depends on the system and possibly how much pitchers are pushed up

11:58
Patrick in KC: What are your thoughts on Nick Pivetta’s last 2 starts in 2020 and his prospects for keeping the momentum going into 2021?

11:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I watched the starts and he’s a bad Blake Shell. Some swing and miss, put a ton of walks and homers. Missed the plate a lot.

11:59
Diadem: Diaz in Col  a sleeper?

11:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Shut up

12:00
8675309: Is Conforto and Bogarts for Springer and Semien a fair deal for both sides or not at this time?

12:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Seems like rearranging deck chairs. with the same positions moving back and forth

12:01
kelder23: I need to keep a 1B:  should I do Luke Voit or Goldschmidt?  Roto 6X6.  Worried about both, might just keep Fried as my third starter behind DeGrom and L. Castillo.

12:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d keep both 1B over Fried but I’m low on Fried at his cost. Goldy of the pair.

12:01
Lorenzo: Austin Hays.  Does he get enough playing time to warrant an end of draft pick?  Is the power/speed upside intriguing enough?

12:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t like the cost for a player who might get benched.

12:02
Guest: Hi! Can you name several best SP 2021 not names Cole, Bieber, Darvish or Baurer.  And maybe a surprise pick

12:02
Jeff Zimmerman: There are no surprises. Everyone is picking over the top arms.

12:03
45 blows billygoats: Approach to pitching this year with the ball returning back to normal (don’t call it a dead ball). Why would people pay top $ for the aces when the next tier guys would be better value. Ideally wouldn’t you want guys coming of seasons that are high K/9 and fair to midling high HR/9 thinking those bombs are going to come down?

12:03
Jeff Zimmerman: No way to truly know the ball’s effect until the season starts.

12:04
Jeff Zimmerman: My only change is that I’m favoring flyball pitchers if two guys have similar projections.

12:04
Don Von Handburger: Are you banking on Altuve getting 10+ steals this year?

12:04
Jeff Zimmerman: No, just 5 but at that point in the draft, he’s a fine value

12:05
kelder23: Why are people so down on Bryant?  He was the number 1 3B by WAR for five years until 2020.  And that was 2020.  I’m back in on the discount

12:05
Jeff Zimmerman: WAR isn’t a fantasy stat

12:05
paddack: do you expect a Paddack rebound this year. His 2019 statcast page looks elite, he tinkered with his pitches a lot in the short 2020 season. If he can get his FB back to 2019 numbers can we expect an SP2 type?

12:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I think more SP3. Hitters have adjusted to the two pitches and he needs to find something else to keep them guessing

12:07
Mike: Can Corey Seager be a 1st round player this year without the steals?

12:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Nope, I bet just one or two hitters produce first round value with fewer than 10 steals.

12:08
Stringer: Any NL future closers to stash and hide?

12:08
Jeff Zimmerman: None that I can think of. They are best handle in-season

12:08
45 blows billygoats: Rainey IS out as closer in WAS, right? Best strategy if you own shares…wait to see if injury bug hits in ST and he slots up?

12:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d hope unless you have an upgrade

12:09
Jeff Zimmerman: In 15 team or deeper leagues, his stats could be useful if there are no good starter options

12:10
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s it for today. Talk to everyone next 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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