Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Chat

3:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Good afternoon. Time to light this fire.

3:00
Harry: My 12 team H2H league is struggling to figure out a format that fits if there is a 12 week season. Any suggestions on how to play this one?

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: If the rules allow, allow the same three (or four) teams face off. The number of games increases and the smack talking can still be enjoyed

3:02
Joe: Hi Jeff, have you ever seen a study done on height/weight of players and post-hype breakouts?  I wonder if CHW took a flyer on Mazara due to his great baseball body–6’4″/215.  In general I wonder why the NFL places a lot of value on combine metrics and height, weight, strength, etc, but baseball doesn’t seem to as much.  Maybe there’s an inefficiency to be had there.

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t seen a study done to that level.

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Being big isn’t going to help Mazara put the bat on the ball. He just doesn’t make the needed contact.

3:05
Mallex Bregman: Who are some players (hitters and pitchers) that would benefit from the proposed plan (NL DH, bigger rosters, shorter season)?

3:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I wrote a series on pitchers who go longer into games. These should be targets to help with wins. I’m buying into good teams and pitchers in the Central since most of the weak teams are in it.

3:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ll dig into the DH once teams start ramping up

3:07
pepper: Random fantasy question/questions.  15 team roto.  28 man roster.  unlimited keepers/no costs.  major rebuild.   Would you prefer Heaney or Lodolo?   Would you rather Ronnie Mauricio or Heliot Ramos?   As to Heaney, I wonder if holding him, hoping he pops, and then flipping him for more than Lodolo is warranted.

3:08
Jeff Zimmerman: No idea … I’m not big on prospects any more. I need to pick my battles

3:08
Adam Dawson: Last keeper Eduardo Rodriguez or James Paxton?

3:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Paxton but it could really back fire. When Paxton is on the mound, he’s easily the best pitcher.

3:09
Mike Tyson: Designated Hitter: So, a hot dog is not a sandwhich?   What if I take a hot dog and bun, smash them flat, and place the hot dog flatness between two slices of loaf bread.  slather with mayo and cheese.  Would that be a sandwich?

3:09
Jeff Zimmerman: It was a sandwich before wasting your time cutting it all up.

3:10
Ethan: If the league ends up going with the super division plan where all the games are within the same geographic area, are there any platoon players or guys with wide splits that would have value changes? At first glance the combined Central only has 12 left handed starting pitchers so that could make typical platoon playing time different.

3:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Simply, I ignore platoon batters since I only play weekly leagues. The lost AB’s can destroy any edge.

3:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Now, platoon bats can be useful in in daily transaction leagues

3:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure who could see a boost. Keep your eye on the Brewers, Reds, and Yankees. They have a plethora of bats and the extra spots could mean more platoons.

3:13
Mike Tyson: Designated Hitter: Let’s say in a future age that cloning the dead becomes possible and is used for its absolute best purpose of bringing back to life old baseball players.   In a hypothetical baseball league where players of any time period could be playing and at their peak……how would a team of only Negro League all-stars fare if placed into the regular rotation.   How would that team fare in the 1970’s or the 1990’s, for example?  Hold its own?  Dominate?  who knows, but more tequila is mandatory to contemplate this issue?    FYI:   in this future hypothetical, please say hello to my wife Marilyn Monroe……

3:15
Jeff Zimmerman: With just the Greats, I think they’d be somewhat competitive. The key IMO, would be catching up today’s velo. It might take them a year or so to catch up with today’s game.

3:15
Astros fan: What are your expectations of McCuller’s next year? Do you think he can throw 140+ innings?

3:16
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d never count on McCullers throwing many innings. I usually project him for half a season and bake in a replacement level pitcher.

3:16
MILB: Do you think organizations like More Than Baseball can get Minor Leaguers a place at the bargaining table? Minor leaguers have such poor conditions and certainly could use representation when the MLB union and owners negotiate.

3:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Not anytime soon. I’m interested to see if an independent team would step up and offer out >20K to some players to build up their status and sell their rights to MLB teams.

3:18
Zach: Can you think of RPs who could see an uptake in saves in a condensed season?

3:19
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see the number of Saves going up but I do think the number of pitchers getting Saves will. they will be spread out.

3:19
Zach: Are Dickerson and Garrett Cooper two of the guys most likely to benefit from proposed DH rules changes?

3:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe for a bit. At some point, the Marlins may want to start giving at bats to prospects (e.g. Harrison).

3:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Also, it’s the Marlins so they be scoring much to start with.

3:21
Kevin: In a standard 5X5, who do you prefer on offense: Cespedes, Hilliard, Swanson, Akiyama, Braun, Carlson, or Castro?

3:23
Jeff Zimmerman: All but Castro and Braun. They are safe with the others having more up side. If one of the five falters, just add Castro or Braun.

3:23
Brian: Clint Frazier impact this season will be _______?

3:23
Jeff Zimmerman: filling headlines at MLBTR on rumored trades.

3:24
Kevin: In a standard 5X5 which pitcher do you prefer this season: Bundy, Pearson, Richards, Eovaldi, Canning, Lindblom, or Gausman?

3:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Bundy or Pearson. Bundy right now but if Pearson is starting with the MLB team, I’d go with him.

3:24
Bob: Hey Jeff! Thoughts on Cron vs Smoak as a starting 1b in a 14 team obp league? Does the universal dh skew things in Smoak’s favor?

3:25
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m still a Cron guy.

3:25
Brian: Yes or No, Luis Severino can still be a top 30 fantasy starter once he comes back from injury?

3:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes he could be but it might be in his second or third season back.

3:26
VampireWeekendAtBernies: What effects does a shortened season have on the importance of stolen bases?  Does it make it any more or less sense to punt them?

3:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Depends on the league. In roto, I could see an uptick with teams trying to win every game. In H2H, ignore with the increased volatility.

3:28
VampireWeekendAtBernies: In a dynasty league in which I’m willing to trade Mike Trout for only prospects, who are the prospects I would need to receive in order to justify it?  Obviously it starts with Wander Franco, but who else would need to be included to balance things out?

3:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I think it’d take ~10 of the top guys for me and do I have the roster spots for them? I think you’d have to go for something like Tatis, Corbin, Fanco, and Pearson

3:30
Quadrangular: Is there anything particularly exciting about Mike Yastrzemski? Also, who do you like most from this group of starters: Lucchesi, Quintana, Desclafani, Archer, and Matz

3:32
Jeff Zimmerman: On Yaz, nothing exciting but stable at bats. I just ran my comp tool and Clint Frazier came up.

3:33
VampireWeekendAtBernies: Who are your under-the-radar rebound candidates?

3:33
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t make grabbing Alex Wood and Matt Carpenter. Zero is expected from either one but could be top-100 players.

3:34
Randy: Who do you think gets the majority of the saves for the Giants?  Any under-the-radar candidates for saves on other teams with unsettled closer situations like the Marlins, Mariners or Cardinals?

3:34
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m Gott fan with the Giants. Best talent.

3:35
Jeff Zimmerman: I like the top guys with the other three teams and gladly roster them. If the playing time doesn’t work out, I spent nothing for them and they can be dropped.

3:36
Guest: Who do you think is the more desirable asset long term between Soto and Acuna in a league with HR, TB, BB, OBP, SLG, and NSB as categories?

3:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Soto. I think Soto is an elite bat while Acuna’s current value is tied up with his steals.

3:37
Derek: how valuable do you think Cespedes will be in a season with the Universal DH?  Does he get the bulk of the PA for the Mets or would it be someone else like Dom Smth?

3:38
Jeff Zimmerman: The Mets should go with Smith but why not take a shot on either one. Also, it needs to be seen if Cespedes is healthy

3:38
Guest: How would you rank the Reds’ DH/OFs for 2020? Nick Castellanos is obviously #1, so who’s 2-5 in a 12-team re-draft?

  • Jesse Winker
  • Nick Senzel
  • Aristides Aquino
  • Shogo Akiyama
3:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Akiyama, Senzel, Aquino, and Winker

3:38
Adam Dawson: Just worried about Paxton’s health risk, may go Rodriguez because of it.

3:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Just last season Rodriguez was the health risk.

3:39
Ed: Hey Jeff! I got too pitcher happy in my dynasty draft. I gotta drop/trade one – Cease, Urquidy, Civale, Manning, Gilbert or Boyd. Who do you recommend?

3:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Gilbert … find out if these other arms are good first and then move on.

3:40
Ham Porter: If Aaron Hicks is healthy where do you draft him this upcoming season?

3:41
Jeff Zimmerman: No for now … the Yankees have so much depth. That depth could be gone in a week or week once half the team goes on the IL

3:41
Shoot for the stars: How likely do you think Puig will find a team before 7/1?

3:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Good, especially since it’s a short season. I think he would have signed if teams could add him.

3:42
Jeff Zimmerman: None can right now.

3:42
Ham Porter: Where do you draft/how many spots do you move up Cavan Biggio in an OBP League?

3:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t remember how much it was in OBP auction. I’d use our auction calculator to see the difference.

3:43
I Used to be Mel Clarke: If you were to map the 80 grade scale to fantasy baseball, how many players would fall in each 10-point range?

3:45
Jeff Zimmerman: 80: 3, 70: 15-20, 60: 50, 50: 100

3:45
Jeff Zimmerman: That over the first 10 round in a 12 team league as being average or better.

3:45
Bob: Howie Kendrick, Cesar Hernández, or profar in an obp league? What’s your order of preference?

3:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Hernandez …………Kendrick………….Profar

3:47
Jeff Zimmerman: The most talent pitchers lead the league in Holds+Saves

3:49
Bob: Any under the radar save+hold relievers you like?

3:49
Jeff Zimmerman: In The Process, I found that the easiest way to predict Holds is to get good pitchers. Sometimes this works too well and the pitchers start getting Saves.

3:49
Jeff Zimmerman: Just work your way down with table:[color: red;]https://www.fangraphs.com/projections.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&type=fang…[/color]

The most talent pitchers lead the league in Holds+Saves

3:49
Jeff Zimmerman: Sorry, I answered the question before posting it.

3:49
Shoot for the stars: How much does Austin Riley’s stock increase with universal DH in 12-team mixed league?

3:51
Jeff Zimmerman: A little. He’s just not that good of a hitter. It’s going to be an empty 25-30 home runs. Comparable to Balt’s Nunez

3:51
Brian: In leagues that hold minor league drafts for players currently in the minors (not on an MLB team), if MLB teams get expanded rosters and call up some of their top prospects to fill out those expanded rosters before the season starts, should leagues alter their minor league draft rules?

3:52
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d not change the rules. Everyone has the same set and enjoy the change of pace this year.

3:52
IBB: I read your (great) article about the intentional walk and thought of a follow up question. Do you think the mental impact on intentionally walking a player multiple times can cause him to press in other at bats to “do damage” when he has the chance? Harper was walked like 7 times in one game in a season that saw him struggle greatly compared to his previous season.

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: It probably depends on the player. It never bothered Bonds

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Or Pujols in his prime.

3:53
VampireWeekendAtBernies: If the over/under on Trevor Bauer’s ERA is 3.80, which one are you taking?

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s a good number.

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Over based on the home park in the summer.

3:53
Joe: Will Carlos Carrasco benefit from the time off?

3:54
Jeff Zimmerman: He should but I’d like to see him throw healthy before buying back in.

3:54
Crowd noise: 10-team H2H dynasty league with a 4-team playoff normally. How would you handle the short season? Cancel, roto year, expand the playoffs?

3:55
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d go 2 weeks for final, 1 week for the semi’s and double up on your weekly opponents.

3:55
Quadrangular: Crystal ball time: which player drafted in the top 50 for this season won’t be drafted in the top 100 next year?

3:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Adalberto Mondesi

3:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he goes the path of Mallex Smith

3:57
Quadrangular: More crystal ball time: which player drafted outside the top 100 for 2020 will be a top 50 player for 2021 and beyond?

3:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Ohtani

3:57
VampireWeekendAtBernies: In a typical year, where does a catcher who hits .250 with 20 HR, 60 RBI, and 60 R rank among all catchers?

3:57
Jeff Zimmerman: at .250 from catcher, nice

3:58
Jeff Zimmerman: He should be in the 8-10 range, maybe higher.

3:58
VampireWeekendAtBernies: In a dynasty league, are there any minor league relievers who look destined to becoming future closers? In other words, who are some candidates to be the next James Karinchak?

3:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I never bet on closer prospects. It’s better to bet on failed starters.

3:59
Quadrangular: good answers! thanks

3:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks

4:00
Dave: Will Jake Rogers get much/any playing time this season (if there is one)?

4:01
Jeff Zimmerman: He might towards of the end. He was lost last season and he needs to take step forward

4:01
Ex Expos FKA Senators: I just want to recommend best ball drafts, and especially auctions, for killing countless hours with fun activity.

4:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure if you can get the people together, but Shandler’s and Zola’s retro drafts are great. I’m in it tomorrow. It’s the fun of the draft and season all wrapped up in 3-4 hours.

4:03
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s 1999 again. Such a crazy offensive season.

4:03
Randy: Do you think Knebel gets the closer job back with the Brewers which would let them move Hader to other high leverage situations?

4:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Knebel will get 10 or so Saves since the Brewers want Hader to go every night but can’t.

4:04
VampireWeekendAtBernies: AL-only dynasty league question:  do you see anyone’s value increasing significantly following an extension?

4:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Franco?

4:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I went a little over. It was great talking baseball and see everyone next week.

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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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