Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I will not have a chat next week as I’m taking a week vacation. It was supposed to be a two-week trip to Yellowstone but the park will still be closed.

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Hopefully when I get back from the lake, a season will be agreed upon and it’ll be time to dig back in.

3:03
Rennie Stennett: In a startup dynasty, my fringe SP is Stephen Matz and I also added Kim because his RP eligibility is key in our points format which values IP, K causing closers to have diminished value. Would you ride with Matz and Kim or grab Cole Hamels or Spencer Turnbull off the wire?   Thanks Jeff!

3:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I like seeing how Kim’s talent plays and would hold him. The other three are replaceable IMO. I might hold Matz until the schedule comes out and see which of the three has the easier initial schedule

3:04
Rich: Hi Jeff.  Thanks for chatting; fingers crossed for baseball this summer.  In a redraft, OBP, H2H league (12 teams), could you please rank the following hitters (assuming a universal DH):  Ryan Braun, Wil Myers, C.J. Cron, Alex Verdugo, Willie Calhoun, Rougned Odor?  Thanks!

3:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Calhoun, Cron, Braun, Verdugo, Odor, Myers

3:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I know Braun will go before Cron so you might be able to trade him and just replace him with Cron

3:06
John: I am in a AL roto redraft league.   What changes would you make to your normal draft plan?

3:08
Jeff Zimmerman: If it’s Central vs Central only, I’d give a nice bump to AL Central pitchers. Hopefully most projection systems will take this adjustment into account.

3:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Also, I’d find pitchers who throw more IP/S (e.g. Lynn). Wins are going to be tough to come by and workhorses will be needed.

3:09
Vern: What should leagues do about next year’s draft order if the season is canceled? Thanks! Stay safe.

3:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Keep it that same

3:09
RMR: Assuming we get ~80 games, how do you see PT shaking out for Senzel?  Kyle Tucker?

3:10
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Senzel should play if healthy. He just seems to miss a game here and there all the time

3:11
Jeff Zimmerman: We’ll see on Tucker. He needs to start out hot to force himself into the lineup

3:11
RMR: Do you think a delayed start to the season changes anything with the White Sox plans for Kopech?  I got the impression they were previously planning to start him in the minors for at least a couple weeks.

3:12
Jeff Zimmerman: I think think the plans for him depend on how he’s throwing when Summer Training starts.

3:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Owners are just going to have to listen to team reports.

3:12
RMR: How would a shortened season impact callup dates for close-to-the-majors arms like Pearson, Howard and Gore?

3:14
Jeff Zimmerman: I heard that someone else heard, that there is going to be no bizarre callup rules. They could be wrong. If a player gets called up, they lose a year of service then teams should just callup who ever they need to compete.

3:15
Jeff Zimmerman: The rules just need to be know first.

3:15
Donnie baseball: I am in a 16 team mixed league that is head to head with 13 keepers. Would you trade Bergman for Franco and Lux.?

3:15
Jeff Zimmerman: 3rd time is a charm Donnie

3:16
Jeff Zimmerman: No because I’m pretty low on Lux.

3:16
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s close and if you have a good feeling about, go ahead with it.

3:17
Magic Kingdome: Are there any players who you have felt better or worse about since the spring training shutdown based solely on your gut?

3:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ve nothing to go off of except Trevor Bauer’s live at bats. Khalil Lee looked good in his swings.

3:19
Curtis: When Mike Trout falls out of the top 10, who will be the players in front of him?  Are they all current major leaguers?

3:19
Jeff Zimmerman: That just way too deep from this chat and I can’t think 10 years into the future.

3:19
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Zach Plesac!   Is he the acorn that grows into a mighty oak?   I generously define mighty oak as a top 35 to 45 range SP.

3:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Out of the various Indian pitchers, he’s the one I’m interested the least about. I like Allen and Civale more.

3:21
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think so

3:21
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Wish it into existence!    Baseball starts in 32 days.

3:21
Jeff Zimmerman: That would be great.

3:21
Frank: Thoughts on how a keeper league should address years of eligibility for keepers if we get a shortened season?  Our league permits players to be kept for 3 years.  Should this year count as an entire season towards keepers status?  Or the opposite that this year shouldn’t count for that purpose?

3:22
Jeff Zimmerman: I think it should be the same if the season is played out by the league. If no season, just skip a year on the keepers

3:22
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Jameson Taillon was considered top twenty SP preseason 2019.   Any reason not to think he can be that next year?

3:24
Jeff Zimmerman: I wouldn’t count on it in his first season back for TJS. I’d see what he does in 21 and buy in 22

3:24
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Has Chris Sales’ ship been sunk permanently or he will return with a vengeance?

3:24
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Would Chris Sale be a pretty cool multi inning closer?

3:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Sale is in Taillon’s boat with 21 being the return year and 22 is the big year. He could 80% of his former self and still be an above average MLB starter. There is no reason to move him to the bullpen especially with the pathetic rotation Boston has right now.

3:26
Jefferson: Did nickey Lopez show anything redeeming in his mlb stretch last year? Or is he just done for at this point

3:27
Jeff Zimmerman: He showed a ton in the minors and it just didn’t translate to the majors. It would not surprise me one bit if he peaked at Tommy Edman. I’ve take a few late round fliers.

3:27
thelaundry: Besides Foley’s (RIP), do you have any other dream venues for a fantasy draft?

3:28
Jeff Zimmerman: While a little weird, I’d love to do a draft in a park with a table at home plate with the bids of the PA.

3:28
$11 Worth of Taco Bell: Any Royals hitters worth picking up aside from Soler, Merrifield, Mondesi, and Perez?

3:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Dozier is all leagues with 3B and OF.

3:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Watch the 1B job and see if one of McBroom or O’Hearn takes off and kills the platoon.

3:30
Vader: Hi Jeff!  
How do you think the Phillies handle Spencer Howard if we only have 100 game schedule?

3:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Hi

3:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he starts the season on the team making regular appearances. I just don’t know how long he goes per start.

3:31
Joe: Have any owners ever, in the history of organized sports, wanted fewer games?

3:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Not that I can think of

3:31
Neal: Garrett Hampson for Dylan Cease in deep 24-team std roto dynasty? Perhaps a year away from competing so the need for pitching isn’t really acute but Cease is intriguing as an upside play.

3:32
Jeff Zimmerman: I like it. I just try to stay away from Rockies. They are just too fustrating.

3:32
Vader: Do you think the Rays will just let Anderson close out the games or will they stick with their committee and pitch Anderson whenever he’s needed?

3:32
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s going to be a committee

3:33
A Tribe Called Kipnis: If the season is only 50 games, do you change any strategy other than maybe punting steals?

3:34
Jeff Zimmerman: I might put Saves also. With so little time for teams to differentiate themselves, I would try try to shove 8 categories during the sprint

3:34
A Tribe Called Kipnis: Best value on AL closers based on current ADP?

3:35
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Robles, Kennedy, and Magill

3:35
Quincy: In a 10 team nl only you.A Buyer of josh Rojas?

3:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes and he could be a league winner …. but if the playing time doesn’t happen, drop and move on.

3:36
$11 Worth of Taco Belld: Avoid KC bullpen except Kennedy if you need saves?

3:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes but Rosenthal looked interesting in Spring Training and if in AL-only he could get some Saves.

3:37
The Gyorko Store Called: Are you on the Ryan McBroom train too?  Choo-choo!

3:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I am but the Royals are showering O’Hearn with praise so I think O’Hearn will start in the platoon for a month or so

3:39
White Sox fan: Can you argue that Edwin Encarnacion is the most underrated fantasy hitter going into 2020?

3:39
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s Choo IMO

3:40
Jeff Zimmerman: I think E5’s skill set is limited and can be found in several OFer’s at that point.

3:40
Compliments to the chef: Super hint re Yellowstone. Break it into center and four quadrants.

3:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks for the hint. I was so mad when I found out I couldn’t go.

3:41
aka22: Are you buying Kieboom as a 12 team bench buy who could become a regular? Or will I want to cut him after a month and never be excited with the late round gamble?

3:42
Jeff Zimmerman: You have to accept he’s a gamble and be ready to move on. I think he’s a fine late round add with nice upside.

3:42
Joe: Is fantasy viable in a 50 game season?

3:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I played the in the NFBC ASG contest (won $500 and Main Event Ticket) and liked it. It was around 75 games. I think MLB will have 81 games.

3:43
Jeff Zimmerman: and that is fine.

3:44
Jeff Zimmerman: If 50 … I’ll play but not will much $$.

3:44
A Tribe Called Kipnis: In AL only leagues, is 1B/3B depth so low that I need to return inquiries offering Yandy Diaz?

3:45
Jeff Zimmerman: I never thought it was but it could vary from league to league. Who is on your CI waiver wire?

3:45
aka22: Does the shortened season and larger rosters make you err on the side of carrying more hitters than a usual season on your bench because offensive guys might get more days off? Am I thinking about that wrong?

3:45
Jeff Zimmerman: No

3:46
Jeff Zimmerman: As usual, i’m going to focus on playing time and add hitters with full-time jobs. I want as many pitchers to start the year hoping to hit on that breakout.

3:47
Bored: Do you think Vlad Jr. will get 1B eligibility eventually and if so when do you see that happening?

3:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think so this year but it could be coming fast. I expect the Jays to go year-to-year at 1B and move Vlad there was he becomes a defensive statue

3:48
Paul: What do you think is the best plan for keeper league inflation if there is no season?  My preference is for no inflation, but that also means that the rosters are likely to be close to static (no limit on keepers other than the salary cap) and the draft will be boring.  What say you?

3:49
Jeff Zimmerman: You have to keep them the same and if you drafted, back it out.

3:49
Paul: I’ve been setting up to compete now in my Ottoneu leagues.  What’s the play if there’s like an 80 game season?  I’m inclined to not push any more chips in because of the randomness that could throw everything out of whack

3:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Figure out the trade deadline and buy-in at it. Many teams will be looking to sell so talent will be cheap.

3:50
Big Joey: Why is it taking so long for Judge to heal?

3:51
Jeff Zimmerman: This injury befuddles me

3:51
Jeff Zimmerman: The team and he had 6 months for it to heal but neither dealt with it. So much BS

3:51
aka22: Saw you mentioned MaGill as an AL low end closer target. Does that mean you’re low on Hirano?

3:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Magill was given the job and made some nice late season changes.

3:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Hirano is a fine option and should be drafted in most leagues

3:52
Big Joey: Keep 2 forever: Eloy, Devers or Wander Franco?

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Devers and  …… Franco. I think Eloy may top out has Rizzo. Good but not elite. I think the others could be elite.

3:54
aka22: Who are the Cubs going to have close if Kimbrel has lost it? Do you expect him to be serviceable?

3:54
Jeff Zimmerman: If I remember right, the Cubs have nothing for backup closers…..

3:55
Jeff Zimmerman: … yep, it’s ugly. I’d not gamble on anyone preseason. At least good back if gambling.

3:56
Vader: Do you think the Jays will unleash Pearson for a shot at short season glory?

3:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I do, I figured he’d would have been up anyway.

3:56
Jeff Zimmerman: With the expanded playoffs, he might make the difference

3:57
Lorenzo: In my roto league that uses wins and QS, my strategy is to take 2 elite SP with my first 2 picks and have my entire 8 man rotation by the end of round 12.  I’m anticipating enough offense will be available at that point plus I don’t target RP until I have to anyway.  Do you agree with this strategy for a short season?

3:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe … I’d drop an offensive category like AVG or SB maybe both. There is no way you’ll be competitive in HR, SB, and AVG with only 4 hitters in the first 12 picks.

4:00
Jeff Zimmerman: there is no reason to finish near the bottom in all the hitting categories. Finish last in one and focus on the others.

4:00
aka22: I owned Berti to end last season and was loving the SB. He’s not showing in the starting lineup on roster resource and doesn’t strike me as a DH candidate. How much do you think Miami plays him?

4:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Not until someone gets hurt. He’s a great bench option for Miami

4:01
Adam Dawson: What middle round outfielders are you high on this year? I’m in a 10 team keeper league and the only OF I’m keeping is Trout.

4:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Schwarber … I think he may be a top-5 round pick next year … if he plays enough OF with the DH

4:02
Kevin: Dylan Carlson or CJ Cron in a redraft this year?

4:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Positional need at that point in the draft. If my Util Pos, Carlson on the upside.

4:02
Big Joey: Do you think a year off may actually help catchers heal up? Could JT Realmuto be better than ever!?!

4:03
Jeff Zimmerman: No, but catchers won’t fall off like they do every year in the 2H

4:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Now, there is a theory if a team as 3 catchers on the roster, elite catcher may work themselves into more AB’s since the team won’t use up the team’s only backup.

4:04
Adam Dawson: Would you draft say a Franmil Reyes or David Dahl type player before drafting Schwarber?

4:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Not even close.

4:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Schwarber first then Reyes and I won’t own Dahl. He’s just a 1/3 time play with his struggles away from Coors and vs LHP.

4:05
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s it for today and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.





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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