Justin Mason’s Baseball Chat – November 21st, 2022

First chat back in years! Join me every Monday! Here is today’s transcript:

9:16

Justin Mason: Sorry about the late start, but it’s been a while since I did one of these and I had some difficulty setting it up. Will start soon so get your questions in!

9:26

Jb: How high will your guy Cedric bounce back ?

9:27

Justin Mason: Bounceback? I think what we saw in 2022 is who he is. A double digit power guy that steals 25+ bases with a decent average. As the Orioles get better, so will his counting numbers. I still think he gets underrated

9:27

Gregg: Do you plan to do more or fewer leagues in 2023 that you did in 2022? Seems like 16 is a lot to manage.

9:28

Justin Mason: I will probably play in more leagues this year, but will do more shallow espn and yahoo leagues as that is what more of the readers/listeners are playing.

9:28

Tom S.: What do you think about Shandler’s notion that there are too many variables to project rankings so we should just give that up an assess skills?

9:29

Justin Mason: I think you should definitely care more about skills, but I don’t think that projecting ranks is wrong a waste of time.

9:29

Erick: Do you plan to participate in the 2023 Main Event?

9:30

Justin Mason: I do, but I will probably only do one as opposed to multiple like I have done in recent years and I likely will do it online again. Even though I enjoyed the live ones, they have a tougher field IMO.

9:30

Paul: Where is Bellinger going to sign?

9:31

Justin Mason: Difficult to figure out but I think he will have a plethora of options considering his upside and defense. What is a team with money that needs a CF? Philadelphia. So, he can kill my Marsh shares.

9:32

Kyle: Our long wait has finally ended! I think everyone wants to know the 2023 version of Mullins. Last year’s pick by you of Cole Tucker went as poorly has it could have so time to redeem yourself.

9:33

Justin Mason: I am still working my way through my projections but as I said last year, there won’t be another Cedric Mullins for me. He was a once in a lifetime call. That being said, Lars Nootbar, Brandon Marsh, Zach McKinstry, and TJ Freidl are guys I have been looking at in that vein.

9:34

Gregg: When will we be getting livestreams of you in your freezing cold garage draftin’ and rippin’ cigs? That’s sort of my signal that draft season has started.

9:36

Justin Mason: I hope by the time I have started doing my live drafts, I will have quit smoking again, but those usually start in February, but I am hoping to start doing more YouTube stuff soon as well. Definitely make sure you are following me at

9:36

Justin Mason: *

9:37

Justin Mason: Well the chat wont allow me to give my youtube, but it justinmasonfwfb like my twitter lol

9:37

Kyle: Do you think you become biased towards players you end up taking in Nov/Dec drafts?

9:38

Justin Mason: I really try to diversify as much as I can so not really. In early drafts, I am trying to learn the pool and take advantage of weak points in the ADP. That being said, there are guys that end up on a lot of my teams (i.e. Cedric Mullins in 2021 which was good, Nelson Cruz in 2022 which was bad.)

9:39

Dave: Christian Javier is a top [fill in the blank] fantasy starting pitcher in 2023.

9:39

Justin Mason: 40

9:39

Jj: Luis Patino and J Kelenic ??? Will they ever be what we thought ?

9:40

Justin Mason: I think they both can be. Patino needs health and a real starting role. Kelenic needs to get out of his own head. I am not out on either to be honest, but I don’t know how much I’ll draft either this season. Probably more Kelenic since I will likely fade Patino as an injury risk.

9:40

Tim Scandling: How often should we expect your chats during the regular season? Weekly like Paul? His chats are great FYI if you’re looking for inspiration.

9:40

Justin Mason: Every Monday!

9:41

Dewey: Where does elvis andrus sign?

9:42

Justin Mason: Any place that needs a shortstop and doesn’t want to spend a ton of $$$. Angels? Twins if they don’t get Correa back?

9:42

Damian: Is witt Jr a first rounder or a mirage

9:42

Justin Mason: Absolutely. You don’t fake 20/30

9:43

Randy: Wondering if J. Mateo Steamer/DC are high on his SB and home runs in your opinion

9:43

Justin Mason: Definitely on the home runs

9:44

VIshma: Last year was my first time playing fantasy baseball and I finished in last in my league – any tips that you could provide to help me evaluate players better. I think that’s my biggest weakness.

9:45

Justin Mason: Welcome to the best game ever! I think new players struggle with playing time and risk aversion. Volume is key to winning competitive leagues. Too often we combine risks especially early and that can be disasterous.

9:45

Kyle: re: Mullins. You should totally do an article on Fangraphs with your evaluation of who *could* be this year’s Mullins. Would be fascinating to read your thought process.

9:45

Justin Mason: I will definitely be doing that this year in Feb/March

9:45

Randy: What do you usually do when players have or had wrist injuries in the past year or two>

9:46

Justin Mason: I used to be a guy that took on injury risk. I am now the complete opposite. If a guy has reoccurring injuries, I am out

9:47

Jeremy: How much player profiling/analyzing do you do after the season ends before you start drafting? Or do you kind of just have a mental profile and roll with those?

9:49

Justin Mason: I am starting my prep for the season in August/September of the previous season. I start a lot earlier than most because I want to have my ranks done before the ADP and other ranks come out and then I spend all draft season (which starts for me in October) tweaking things a lot.

9:49

Art: I just saw Tyler Anderson go in the 30th round of a draft (I was not in it). Thoughts??

9:50

Justin Mason: Man, I don’t know what to think of him this year. That feels like a nice value compared to what he did in 2022, but I still struggle pulling the trigger on him now that he is not a Dodger.

9:50

Jeremy: If you could do a Sleeper and the Bust episode with anyone (dead or alive), who would you choose?

9:51

Justin Mason: A regret I have is that I never had Lawr Michaels on the pod before he passed.

9:51

paul: can Christian Arroyo get regular Abs ?

9:51

Justin Mason: Probably not.

9:51

Skip: Will your Better half do Chats ? Sources say she’s beat you !

9:52

Justin Mason: She does her chatting on twitter. Definitely follow her there if you like people who troll me @MrsDSalinger

9:52

Jake Mr Snake: Fantasy baseball is a marathon. How often during the season do you just like to step away for a break? Once or twice for a few days at a time or do you power through?

9:53

Justin Mason: I power through until the All Star Break and then take those days completely off except for maybe a pod or two. Then I take a week or two off in October before getting back into draft prep. Fantasy Baseball is a year long thing for me.

9:53

Howards: Giants and Orioles meet in the 2023 World Series and it goes to a Game 7 – who are you rooting for?

9:53

Justin Mason: Giants of course but man, that’s the dream!

9:54

Simione: I miss your face.

9:54

Justin Mason: I miss your face! Lets get on a pod together soon!

9:54

Howards: I think Hunter Greene will either be awesome or terrible next year – what’s your read on him?

9:55

Justin Mason: I think that is a pretty good read on him TBH. Can he harness his stuff like he did late in the year, especially in that park? Man, I don’t know that I like that bet considering the price.

9:55

Howards: Mondesi – 50.5 games played in 2023 – over or under?

9:56

Justin Mason: I am going to take the over, but I am ready to be hurt again. Though I haven’t pulled the trigger yet in a league.

9:56

Guest: How many at bats next year for Alek Thomas?

9:57

Justin Mason: 450 is where I am leaning. I actually hope they trade him considering their depth.

9:57

Damian: Am I wrong to put too much hope in Tyler mahle with a full season as aTwin?

9:57

Justin Mason: I think a lot depends on his health. If he is healthy, I like him a ton in Minnesota.

9:58

Randy: MJ Melendez struggled mightily against the shift, do the new run changes bring his average closer to .245?

9:58

Justin Mason: I think I would project him between .235-.245 so that sounds about right.

9:58

Jenny: What’s one thing at FPAZ you learned that you’ll be keeping in mind this upcoming season?

9:59

Justin Mason: I talked about this on pod yesterday with Kevin Hasting, but he pointed out to me at FPAZ the Rockies schedule is perfectly set up for NFBC hitters this season.

10:00

Justin Mason: Other than that, FPAZ is always a blast and well worth going to if you have never been. One of my favorite weekends of the year!

10:01

Guest: JD Martinez has been rock solid for years, but there’s been a noticeable drop off in power. He tends to use excuses, valid or not, to explain away his difficulties (lack of video access, change of baseball, etc). Even with his advancing age, do you think 2023 will be a bounce back year or not for him?

10:02

Justin Mason: I think that a lot of that depends on where he ends up. Will he be a full time player? What kind of a park does he have? His swing slowed in 2022, but that doesn’t mean he cant be good or bounce back depending on his situation

10:02

Damian: Why is your wife so much funnier than you?

10:03

Justin Mason: Probably genetics. Her father was a standup comedian. Or it is because I give her so much material to rip on me for.

10:03

Whaaa?: Give me a 2022 comp for 2023 Kiriloff

10:04

Justin Mason: How about 2022 Kiriloff? I don’t believe he can stay healthy yet.

10:04

Nelly: You mentioned Nelson Cruz was on your target list last year – are you in or out for 2023? Underlying data doesn’t look too bad.

10:05

Justin Mason: I am not out on that price, but I want to see where he lands. He’s a super old DH and that won’t have a huge market.

10:05

Jessica B: Would you ever consider taking your fantasy expertise and using it to work for a MLB team full-time?

10:05

Justin Mason: Any team that wants me can have me lol. I don’t think there is a market for my skills in MLB.

10:06

Matt: Your recent column on Steamer pitching projections made me wonder something: why are projections for pitchers so much worse than those for hitters? While I know there is less linear progression or predictable aging curves when it comes to pitchers, it seems like that . . . should be built into the projections more than it is. Like does what a pitcher did in 2019 have any bearing on what a pitcher will do in 2023?

10:07

Justin Mason: That is a great question, but I don’t have a great answer. Pitching is hard and there is just so much variance in the position is probably the answer. This is why I take other’s projections with a grain of salt and question everything.

10:07

Yuni B: Who’s your favorite objectively bad player who inexplicably got tons of run in his career? Mine is Yuniesky Betancourt.

10:08

Justin Mason: Great question. I was a huge Chone Figgins guy. I also loved Garrett Richards for too long

10:08

Tommi R: If you won a hundred million dollars in the lottery, how would that affect your job and your fantasy baseball hobby?

10:09

Justin Mason: I would create the world’s greatest fantasy baseball site and be doing fantasy full time. That is the dream

10:09

Randy: Jeremy Pena transposed an imperfect regular season with a stunning post-season.  Who is he going to be more alike in ’23, and do you expect the Astro’s will put him near the top of the lineup?

10:09

Justin Mason: Probably a mix between the two. I like Pena a lot, but I do worry that his price will be inflated a bit.

10:10

Justin Mason: Thanks for joining me in my first chat in years! I ‘ll be back each Monday moving forward.

10:11

Justin Mason: You can follow me on twitter and youtube @justinmasonfwfb!





Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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