Dusty: Thoughts on Twins prospect Wander Javier? Do you like his upside?
Paul Sporer: Oh hey, Dusty
John: As I’ve started immersing myself in fantasy baseball information, I’ve been surprised to see how low Matt Shoemaker is on everybody’s list. Is it simply the injury risk that has everyone down on him or more based on his talent? Also, would you keep him at $6 in an 11-team $260 AL-only league? Thanks!
Paul Sporer: It’s definitely the health piece. I think ranks are kinda punting on him until we see him in Spring. I had him 92nd, but I’ll quickly boost him up the list if we see him looking strong in ST
Lazzaro Da Fietta: What’s up with Wasserman and Puig? Does it usually take something significant for an agency to dump a client, especially a successful one approaching free agency in a couple of years?
Paul Sporer: Ya it’s kinda weird that they dumped him without any sort of news out about him. Maybe it’s coming or maybe it was some sort of attitude thing internally and they were just fed up. I’ll guess we see in the coming days/weeks
Ribs: Any reason for Charlie Morton owners to fear him losing his rotation spot?
Paul Sporer: I mean, I guess if he flops. But I think he’s earned himself a nice leash
Snid: Is it likely that Chad Kuhl’s 2nd half success continues? What are your expectations?
Hank: Would you be so kind as to rank the following relievers based on most likely to become closer at some point this season: Kela, Reed, Bedrosian, N. Jones?
Paul Sporer: Reed, Kela, Cam, Jones
Jay: Bout freakin’ time Paul! – Kidding! Anyway, saw your NFBC post included Musgove as a potential sleeper. I’m interested in getting some Musgrove shares but I’m a little concerned they’ll do to Musgrove what they did to Cole, where they’ll push him to use that sinker that didn’t miss any bats last year in favor of more sliders/changeups that kick butt for him. Makes me a tad leery in investing too heavily in Pirates SPs because of that two-seam/sinker thing. Thoughts?
Paul Sporer: It’s not completely unfounded, but I’d be willing to trade some Ks for fewer HRs. I could still see the slider getting enough whiffs to keep the Ks strong AND curb the HRs via the sinker, though. I’ll be interested to see what they do with him for sure. Loving the price regardless
George is Curious: How do you approach spots like IF & UTIL in an auction league? Do you hope to fill them with solid $10-$15 players or set aside only a few dollars for them late in the auction when bargains are aplenty?
Paul Sporer: It just really depends. If I’m loaded up at a position to where UT is my only spot open for a guy I like earlier than I’d normally go, I’m not afraid to fill it. I think sometimes ppl are TOO precious about those spots assuming they must keep it open for a late bargain. A mid-auction bargain works, too!
Rich: Trying to decide on which pitchers to keep in a 12-team 12 keeper league. Which 2 of Fulmer, Stroman, and Castillo should I keep?
Draft dodger: Does Holland end up a closer somewhere, and does he sit until after the draft in hopes of getting such a role?
Paul Sporer: I feel like he’ll aim to sign somewhere where the job it as least up for grabs. This market is so whack
Big Tuna: Need to keep 1 in OPS: Domingo (10th rd), Margot (15th), Albies (17th), Andrelton (20th). Thanks.
Paul Sporer: Albiessss!!!
Big Tuna: In Contreras the #2 C in OPS leagues?
Paul Sporer: I’d still go Posey, but I don’t crush anyone who goes WC over BP
Jim: Hi Paul! I have an offer to trade CMart for S. Marte and Wil Myers. The auction calculator says I need to do it but I love CMart. Keep forever league, 5×5 with OPS+TB and QS.
Paul Sporer: I love CMart, too, but you gotta pull the trigger on that. Hell, CMart for just Marte would be tough to turn down
Joe McGrath: Is Fangraphs for sale?
Paul Sporer: What’s your offer?
Erik: I inherited a dynasty team in an 18-team league with only one closer: $18 Mark Melancon. The auction calculator says he’s worth less than $9. Do I throw him back and hope to pick up a few closers in the auction, or do I keep him even at a high price just cause I don’t want to leave myself without a closer? We can keep most of our rosters, so he wouldn’t be stealing a spot from someone else.
Paul Sporer: Even with inflation, I feel like there’s a good chance to get him below that so throw him back with the intention of reacquiring him cheaper. Worst case, he goes back to $18 and you’re fine with it
Jim: Devers for Pollock. Who wins in a keep forever OPS?
Paul Sporer: It’s a pretty fair deal. Pollock person wins short-term, but long-term definitely favors Devers recipient. Even as someone who doesn’t love Pollock, I his speed will be enough to keep him ahead of Devers this year
Yants from Fort Myers: Heard you and Mason talking up Polanco a good bit on the last pod. Care to put an over/under on homers+steals he gets this year? I think he’s getting criminally overlooked.
Paul Sporer: 14… let’s keep him overlooked
Paul Sporer: jk 🙂
Paul Sporer: I’ll say 35
Snid: Any “Best shape of my Life” stories about Yasmany Tomas or just “I can’t drive 55” ? Fulltime or platoon player this year?
Paul Sporer: I think he’ll get a full look in left. I’m not a huge fan, though
Left-Handed: The 1B position looks pretty weak in the American League right now. Does it make sense to prioritize Abreu or Encarnacion as a top target when playing in an AL-only?
Big Tuna: Which injury-prone arm are you most likely to take another chance on (Hill, Richards, Matz, Taijuan or A.Sanchez)?
Paul Sporer: Richards. BTW, I don’t quite have Taijuan at the same level of injury worry as the others. He had the bone spurs in ’16 and a blister last year, nothing arm-related that has me concerned long-term
Please Don’t Leave Us, Paul: Are you opposed to coming out of a draft with only 2-3 starters you absolutely trust, and pairing them with 5-6 solid relievers, just to establish a strong foundation for your ERA/WHIP in the first month? Whether it be via trade or the waiver wire, you’ll always be able to beef up the rotation as you go, as opposed to drafting a few other riskier SP and finishing April with a 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Please set me straight if I’ve gone astray!
Paul Sporer: I could only really see that in an 8 or 10 teamer, though. I wouldn’t want to be working the wire for THAT many SPs in-season. Yes, the wire can bear fruit, but that’s asking a lot. Especially since it’s not like you can just get every waiver gem that pops up as your opponents will be chasing those guys, too
CubFan: Everyone has Severino listed as an ace. I get that he had a great 2017 but it’s the first time he’s been this good in the majors. Is this nothing more than hype? Shouldn’t we wait another year to make him prove that 2017 wasn’t a fluke before we annoit him as an ace?
Paul Sporer: I wouldn’t say “nothing more” than hype. His skills were tremendous and he was a heralded prospect. You’re not out of bounds to have some skepticism given the dearth of track record, but looking at the arsenal, skills, and pedigree, I understand why he’s been propped up and can see taking him inside the top 20
Big Tuna: Who’s the guy everybody is high on that you’re most likely to stay away from?
Paul Sporer: Probably Hoskins. Not *against* him per se (in that I don’t think he’s going to be a total bust), but top 50 is just too much based on 50 games
Luke: I miss Estevao 🙁
Paul Sporer: No you don’t
Snid: Any favorites for Holds other than the obvious ones?
Paul Sporer: Is AJ Minter in ATL obvious? I wrote him up in the Baseball HQ Forecaster and I’m really excited about him this year
Corey Seager: Is my back injury deflating my draft cost? I was on a video game cover after all!
Paul Sporer: To a degree I suppose, but I think you’re just being drafted more appropriately this year after the hype train running wild last yr
Rookie: If possible, can you name a few prospects in each league that will not start the year in the majors, but will have the biggest in-season impact? Much appreciated.
DB: Listened to the pod on OF tiers, really enjoyed it. More of a comment than a question but I completely agree that Rhys Hoskins is going way too high in drafts thus far. This is for all the reasons you guys mentioned, plus you can have Matt Olson 70 picks later who is basically the same guy without the sexy name. Is there any reason to not pass on Hoskins and take Olson a few rounds later if I want a young, power bat with risk but upside?
Big Tuna: What do you expect from Matt Olson in a full season?
Clay Achin’: Keep Matt “Neither Mary-Kate nor Ashley” Olson at $10 in a standard mixed?
Paul Sporer: Ya between Hoskins & Olson, I can see passing Hoskins and just taking Olson – https://goo.gl/sziRHQ – as far as a full season, I think .245/35 is a good start and that’s a stat line I could keep at $10
Paul Sporer: Russell from a cost standpoint bc Desi is still pretty expensive, but that’s also bc he’s very likely to perform better than Addy. Big fan of both and really hoping they have good seasons
Matt: Am I crazy for continuing to believe in Mike Foltynewicz? I want to keep him in my dynasty league, but I know his numbers have never caught up with his stuff.
Paul Sporer: I just don’t see it as a starter. He can’t navigate through lineups multiple times with any regularity
Yopapa: Just finished the pod, was fantastic! Big up, keep the pod goinggggggg (y)
PS: Will always miss Eno
Paul Sporer: Thanks!! We will all miss Eno!
Slamboni: Do you think Kingery will be up this year? Being “blocked” by Cesar Hernandez
Paul Sporer: If he performs about, he’ll be up. Hernandez is no slouch, though, so Kingery will have to force his way up and then maybe Hernandez would move to SS is Crawford isn’t performing
Newton: I love Joey Gallo. Is there a chance for a slight uptick in OBP/Batting average to make him not such a liability in those categories in fantasy? HR’s/RBI’s should be adequate
Paul Sporer: He was SO bad in AVG last year that ya I could see an uptick, but I think it will continue to be a liability for sure
Vic: Please rank: Kershaw, Bryant, Stanton, Sale
Paul Sporer: KB, Stanton, Kershaw, Sale
Bad for business: Is doubling up on Billy Hamilton & Byron Buxton in the same OF a mistake for fantasy? I feel like I’d be losing out in too many categories with this duo.
Paul Sporer: Ya you’re really putting yourself behind the 8-ball in power and AVG by getting both and probably have an overkill of SB that you will NEED to trade which just adds more work in-season, espec. if your league is tough to trade in
Bones: Hi Paul, thanks for the weekly chat. Keeper question, which side you take: Lindor at $11 with Kyle Tucker as a minor league at no cost for Corey Seager who is $1 and won’t count against my keepers. 11-team, 5×5, $280 league with 6 keepers.
Paul Sporer: Ooh damn, that’s tough. I think I gotta Seags at a buck but I can see a case for either side so the margin isn’t MASSIVE
Clay Achin’: kakie baker won’t leave my house
Paul Sporer: Stop inviting him over, you know he never leaves without overstaying his welcome
Vic: Do think Chris Sale is just going to remain healthy like Buehrle did? This ability to avoid serious injury is impressive.
Paul Sporer: It’s a little trite, but you’re only healthy til you’re not as a pitcher. I don’t tag any EXTRA injury risk on Sale the way many did throughout the early part of his career, but all SPs have real injury risk
toki: Player to keep Senzel or W. Calhoun?
Paul Sporer: Calhoun for me
Big Tuna: What is ATC on the projection page? Thanks
Slamboni: How do you approach a draft with so many unplayers left unsigned? Ex: I know that Darvish should be good next year regardless of where he goes, but would him ending up in Texas change his ranking if he ended up back in LA?
Paul Sporer: It’s a little unsettling for some of the guys, but most won’t have their outlook vastly changed by their eventual landing spot. It creates some value in the market in the leagues where they are pushed down out of fear
Bones: You’re awesome, thanks Paul
Paul Sporer: Hey thanks!
Deep league: Thoughts on Mike Minor as a bench add late in an auction?
Paul Sporer: Mehhh. I’m not super stoked on him returning to the rotation given his health and generally underwhelming performance there before. I’m open to adjusting my thoughts after we see some spring, but I’m tepid on him rn
Pat: Has FG announced how they will handle Ohtani yet?
Paul Sporer: Whattya mean?
Ryan: What in the world is going on with the steamer Stanton projection?
Paul Sporer: Bananas, right? And projection systems are always conservative by nature
T Walker: Will my bone spurs keep me from being drafted?
Paul Sporer: They were removed in the offseason *last* year
Mad Max Scherzer: Is it possible I am actually underrated for this year?
Paul Sporer: Probably not. Pretty firm first rounder
Clay Achin’: i changed my launch angle at work. I work at nasa
Paul Sporer: lulz
Clay Achin’: Any truth to the rumours that Jharel Cotton bought a $215-million Hollywood mansion last year based on all dat helium???
Paul Sporer: double lulz
Estevao: MLB Network (Shredder) said, Trevor Story and Tim Beckham are(were) top 10 SS, 9th and 1oth to be exact, your thoughts on that, i disagree
Paul Sporer: I like both players, espec. Story, but I thought it was bananas. DeJong, too. Shredder had a rough one with SS, IMO
Will Myers: If I stop stealing bases, am I borderline waiver fodder in an obp league?
Paul Sporer: I mean, I guess if you zeroed out in SBs and it was an 8 tm league, sure. But 30 HR/.330 OBP would still be useful in most leagues even without the SB. Can’t see him just NOT running at all, though
Paul Sporer: Estevao, you’re putting the EXACT same comments you put last week
Trevor: Would you rather own Hosmer or W.Myers as your first baseman in 2018 fantasy?
David: Do you consider Kinsler’s 2017 to be a fluke? Do you think the move to LAA will help him in the counting stats?
Paul Sporer: I do think the AVG was a bit fluky. I really like him as a cheap option this year in LA
Pat: Re: Ohtani – Will he be one player with P/Util eligibility, will there be two versions of Ohtani, will he only be a pitcher?
Paul Sporer: Ohhh do you mean Ottoneu?
Paul Sporer: I thought you meant like our player pages
Paul Sporer: I’m not entirely sure how Ottoneu is handling him yet
Phaith in Pham: Keep Jonathen Schoop in 19th round or Tommy Pham 25th round. Can keep for 3 years before round moves up. Not sure if Pham will be good for 3 years (and the eye thing) or if i should bank on Schoop improving in his prime years….thoughts?
Paul Sporer: Big fan of both, but I’m not sure I feel super confident about projecting either 3 yrs out. I’d just play it year to year. I’d go Pham
Paul Sporer: OK y’all, I gotta roll. A little shorter this week bc I had to start later. We’ll be back next week! Follow me on Twitter (@sporer), Snapchat (psporer), and Twitch (psporer24). Have a great weekend!!
Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. He is the purveyor of the SP Guide (on hiatus for '17). Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer, on Snapchat at psporer, and on Twitch at psporer24.