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Player Debates: Eloy Jimenez, Charlie Morton, Chris Paddack, Aaron Nola, Yoan Moncada

Apr 26, 2020

All signs point to Eloy Jimenez not really letting you down at his draft price and having the upside to be a near first-round pick next year.

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It is now late April and we still have no idea when baseball will start. We are doing our best to keep you occupied here, and today we have five more player debates. We have a couple of huge upside White Sox bats in this post along with three starting pitchers of varying ages. Check out the rest of our series at the links below.

Bookmark this page to follow along for our complete player debate series.

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Get expert advice during your draft with our fantasy baseball draft software >>

51) Eloy Jimenez (OF – CWS)

Case For
“If you checked out early for fantasy football, you may have missed how Eloy Jimenez finished the season. He hit .325 with 12 home runs and a near 1.000 OPS in his final 40 games of the year. It gives renewed optimism for those invested in Jimenez after he had a solid – not great – rookie campaign, though injuries cut short a mid-season hot streak. It’s smart to bet on a pedigree with prospects like Jimenez and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. When you see a long stretch of success, it gives you a reason to push them up and remain optimistic in their present and future value. ” – Michael Waterloo

Case Against
If you follow prospects, then you have undoubtedly been tracking Eloy Jimenez for quite some time. Therein lies the problem. Everyone has been tracking Eloy Jimenez for quite some time. When he emerged as a member of the Chicago White Sox, we finally had the opportunity to reap the expected rewards. Objectively, it’s too early to determine how said rewards aligned with industry expectations, but this leads us into dangerous territory for 2020. That is, people are going to anticipate a much better sophomore season and, as a result, raise his price. If we’re buying, it’s likely at a name-value premium for a player whose largest significant contribution in 2019 was his home run total.– Mario Mergola

Draft Approach
“Are you playing for upside or for safety? If it’s the former, Eloy is a great guy to look at in rounds 4-6. He was a streaky hitter last year, having a very slow start to the season but really finishing strong. There is, of course, no way to know how 2020 will go for Eloy, but all signs point to him not really letting you down at this draft price and having the upside to be a near first-round pick next year. This is around the point of the draft where I want upside, so Eloy is a great guy to roll the dice on this year.” – Jon Anderson

52) Charlie Morton (SP – TB)

Case For
“Another senior discount here. Over the last three seasons, Morton has pitched like a true ace. He threw 194.2 innings last year with a 3.05 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and a ridiculous 11.1 K/9. What’s not to like? The shortened season helps his chances of pitching a full year, so why wouldn’t you want him? He’s a legitimate ace caliber pitcher for a 5th round pick – draft him and say thank you.” – Jon Anderson

Case Against
“He’s no longer Ground Chuck, as the Astros and Rays were able to tap into the electric stuff that Morton has. It’s hard to argue with the success that he’s had over the past few seasons, but what hurts Morton – and fantasy managers – is that the breakout came late in his career. He’s 35, and he said he “fully expects” to hang up his cleats at the end of his current contract. If he’s the same pitcher as he has been the past few years, you’re getting a steal here. But age and durability concerns have to be on your mind if you draft him.” – Michael Waterloo

Draft Approach
“It’s clear that the Tampa Bay Rays unlocked something with Charlie Morton, but the reality is that he had been trending in the right direction for years. Still, Morton posted the best ERA, FIP, and strikeout rate of his career. The odd irony is that Morton suggested this might also be the last year of his career. If that’s the case, then we should expect as close to a full workload as possible — any fears of the Rays suddenly using Morton as an opener should instantly be erased. Overall, Morton should remain an excellent source of wins and strikeouts, even if his ERA creeps up from his career-best of 3.05.” – Mario Mergola

53) Chris Paddack (SP – SD)

Case For
Chris Paddack was easily one of the best pitchers in the league in the first half of 2019, but he eventually drifted toward the mean. While he still ended the year with above-average numbers, Paddack will have to fight the threat of further regression while also being asked to deliver for a San Diego Padres team with higher expectations in 2020. The good news for Paddack is that his season split wasn’t as concrete as it looks on the surface. Overall, his second-half featured a decline, but it was weighed mostly from a terrible August — 7.50 ERA — and below-average June — 4.87 ERA. He was flat-out dominant in July — five total earned runs in four starts for an ERA of 1.90. This roller coaster of a season is typical for a rookie, but the fact that he made 26 starts with his 3.95 FIP fairly close to his actual 3.33 ERA gives us the perfect opportunity to buy while there’s still potential for growth.– Mario Mergola

Case Against
“I can’t find too many bad things to say about a guy who posted a 27% strikeout rate and a 5.5% walk rate as a rookie to go with a 0.98 WHIP and a 3.33 ERA. However, you are paying the price for those numbers here as you would need close to a repeat of that to justify the pick he’ll cost you. Also, the possible move to playing a bunch of games in Arizona would be bad for his stock, as he will not get the benefit of Petco Park for half his starts. I’m much more interested in Charlie Morton at this point in the draft in a redraft league.” – Jon Anderson

Draft Approach
“The Padres actually managed to have Chris Paddack on an innings limit that didn’t totally drive fantasy managers mad. He showed that he could hold up over the course of a full season, and he more than performed to the lofty expectations that were thrust upon him when he made the Padres Opening Day roster. Paddack is working on developing his curveball, and if he’s able to throw that with more regularity, he’s going to have three plus-pitches. We haven’t even begun to see his upside. Don’t hesitate in taking him here.” – Michael Waterloo

54) Aaron Nola (SP – PHI)

Case For
“Aaron Nola is one of the more polarizing players in fantasy baseball, but if you’re looking for a dependable pitcher who can give you not just volume, but good volume, you shouldn’t be too quick to discount what Nola brings to the table. He consistently goes six and seven innings, and he’s one year removed from being a legitimate Cy Young candidate. If the baseball returns to its normal form, you should see Nola return to that Cy Young level, too. ” – Michael Waterloo

Case Against
“Unless Aaron Nola was going to trim another full point off his ERA for back-to-back years — a near impossibility given the math from 3.54 to 2.37 — we should have always expected a slight regression in 2019. It happened, but we now need to actively consider if the 2018 season was an outlier or if Nola is going to deliver his third consecutive season with at least 200 innings while avoiding any further decline. The problem is that his FIP of 4.03 is not inspiring and, the last time he finished a season with a FIP over 4.00, the following year featured an ERA over 4.50. Nola is still one of the better starting pitchers in the league, but there are enough red flags to proceed with caution” – Mario Mergola

Draft Approach
“If you are looking for a safe, solid option at starter at this point in the draft, Nola probably takes the cake over the other guys we are talking about. Even after having a pretty rough beginning to the year in 2019, he finished with a 3.87 ERA and a strong 27% strikeout rate. The WHIP is a worry as his walks ballooned to 9.4% last year, but he’s now thrown 200+ innings in two straight years, which makes him a bit more durable than the other options here. I think the walks will improve and Nola will be a very strong pitching option this year in fantasy. Picking him is really about your risk tolerance though, as there are much higher upside options around.” – Jon Anderson

55) Yoan Moncada (2B/3B – CWS)

Case For
“Steals and batting average are tough to find, and Moncada provided a bit of both last year. The ten steals were a bit disappointing, but he did only play in 132 games, leaving some room for growth there. The 27.5% strikeout rate might make you not believe in his ability to hit .300 again, but he makes really hard contact and is a very fast player so he should always provide a high BABIP. The upside is outrageous for Moncada, and that’s exactly what I am looking for in these mid-rounds, especially at second base.” – Jon Anderson

Case Against
“Yoan Moncada is going to have a high BABIP, but a .406 BABIP even for Moncada is high, and it’s a big reason for his .315 batting average in 2019, which is the clear outlier of his albeit young career so far. Moncada saw his strikeout rate go down in 2019 to 27.5%, but his walk rate also decreased from 2018. For a player who has a 70 speed tool, his high for steals in a season in the big leagues is 12. The way the White Sox are with their approach to steals is a reason that you shouldn’t expect Moncada, Luis Robert, or Tim Anderson to carry you in those categories. At a deep position, you can easily pivot away from Moncada at this price point.” – Michael Waterloo

Draft Approach
“I am driving the Yoan Moncada hype train in 2020, but it picked up additional steam with the suggestion that he might bat leadoff. For a player that has sneakily stolen double-digit bases in each of the last two years, Moncada could be a rare contributor in all categories. His upside is also aided by his team’s offense, as the Chicago White Sox — with new additions in Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion — should have no trouble scoring runs regularly. Moncada’s walk rate is down, however, so he’s typically a better play in standard leagues compared to ones that use on-base percentage. He also translates well — albeit, not league-winning — to points leagues where back-to-back seasons with at least 30 doubles helps offset some lack of power.” – Mario Mergola

2020 Draft Kit: View printable cheat sheets, sleepers & mistakes to avoid >>

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