This Week in Fantasy Relevant News
- Marlins entering tear-down mode. Marlins owner Jeffery Loria, a generally bad human being and poor hair-plug wearer, is nearing a sale of the club to an investor group led by former Yankees great Derek Jeter. Given the mediocre state of the franchise and its impending sale, expect Loria to direct GM Michael Hill to move financial liabilities off the books. Christian Yelich, who is signed to a reasonable contract but will be making $12.5 million by 2020, seems poised to get the boot. Apparently Marcel Ozuna and JT Realmuto are also on the block. Given the run-suppressing abilities of Marlins Stadium, the fantasy values of Yelich, Realmuto and Ozuna should go up with a trade.
- Yadier Molina leaves Friday’s game with back spasms. You might be saying, “who gives a crap”? Well, Molina is 34-years old and has a lot of tread on his tires. What makes this all the more intriguing is the .301 / .389 / .497 triple slash line that 22-year old catcher prospect Carson Kelly has put up for the Cardinals’ AAA affiliate this season. It will take more than back spasms and a successful cup of coffee from Kelly to supplant Molina and his ridiculous $60 million contract extension from behind the plate, but monitor the situation going forward.
Nicholas Castellanos / 3B / Detroit Tigers (Ownership: 40% ESPN / 34% Yahoo)
Castellanos, the rangy third baseman for Detroit, enjoyed a mini-breakout season in 2016. He hit .285 / .331 / .496 in an injury-shortened, 110-game season. While a lack of plate discipline had always been an issue for Castellanos, and still was in 2016, his hit tool began rounding into form, resulting in lots of hard contact and a resulting .345 BABIP.
With expectations at a fever pitch heading into 2017, the 25-year old Castellanos has largely disappointed. He’s hitting to the tune of a .712 OPS and is on pace for a mediocre fantasy line of 80 R / 20 HR / 80 RBI. But shrouded in that very ‘meh’ production are a lot of reasons for optimism.
Castellanos’ 49.4% hard hit rate is the third best in the majors. He makes soft contact on less than 10.0% of batted balls. That type of batted ball authority should result in a BABIP in the .340-.350 range, while Castellanos’ current figure is at a measly .287. If Castellanos continues hitting the ball hard, expect his BABIP to skyrocket and his fantasy counting stats to go along for the ride.
The impending positive BABIP regression will cement Castellanos’ place in the 2nd spot in Detroit’s lineup, which will enable him to pile up the runs. Expect him to be a top five fantasy third baseman going forward.
It’s a sinking ship! Grab the life jackets!
Avisail Garcia / RF / Chicago White Sox (Ownership: 85% ESPN / 82% Yahoo)
Avisail Garcia profiled as your ho-hum, replacement-level outfielder prior to 2017. A career WAR of -1.4 and a wRC+ below 90 left him off the fantasy radar, save for those weird AL Central-only leagues. Yet, so far this year, Garcia has put up 32 R / 10 HR / 42 RBI to go along with a .329 / .366 / .548 triple slash line. What gives?
The short answer is some batted ball and home run luck. Garcia is currently sporting an unsustainable .395 BABIP and 22.7% HR/FB ratio, while his fly ball proclivity and batted ball authority look largely unchanged from previous seasons. What’s more, Garcia’s plate discipline has gone from mediocre to horrible, with a measly 2017 walk rate of 3.9%.
It’s telling that someone with such a strong fantasy showing to date is less than 85% owned in Yahoo. I don’t suspect Garcia owners will get much for him in the trade market, but it’s worth a shot. If that fails, I would personally drop him for a player like Castellanos, because Garcia’s production from here on out will be middling at best.
Previous Long Picks:
1B, Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 5/6
1B, Yonder Alonso (OAK) – 5/13
C, Alex Avila (DET) – 5/22
OF, Cameron Maybin (LAA) – 5/29
RF, Scott Schebler (CIN) – 6/3
SP, Trevor Cahill (SD) – 5/6
SP, Nate Karns (KC) – 5/13
SP, Luis Perdomo (SD) – 5/22
SP, Josh Tomlin (CLE) – 5/29
Previous Sell Picks:
1B, Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) – 5/6
1B, Mark Reynolds (COL) – 5/13
LF, Corey Dickerson (TB) – 5/22
SS, Zack Cozart (CIN) – 5/29
SP, Dallas Keuchel (HOU) – 5/6
SP, Robbie Ray (ARI) – 5/13
SP, Gio Gonzalez (WSH) – 5/22
RP, Seung Hwan Oh (STL) – 5/29
SP, Dylan Bundy (BAL) – 6/3