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Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Gunnar Henderson, Eury Perez, Dairon Blanco

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Gunnar Henderson, Eury Perez, Dairon Blanco

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means.

Each and every Wednesday, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking either for answers to during the week or questions that may help fantasy managers navigate the week-to-week grind of their team.

Let’s get to it.

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions

Here are the top questions around fantasy baseball.

Is Gunnar Henderson here to stay?

Patience. It’s a tough line to walk in fantasy, as we don’t want to fall too far behind in the standings waiting for a player to come around. But when it’s a player who has Henderon’s pedigree, sometimes the wait is worth it.

In the month of June, Henderson is slashing .458/.480/1.000 with a 20K% and four home runs.

Welcome to the party, pal.

The line drive rate is way up from past months, and so are his pull rate (57.9%) and HardHit% (63.2%).

What we are seeing with Henderson is him actually decreasing his launch angle as the season goes on, but improving his Sweet Spot%, which is leading to more line drives and more success for him. Another aspect of his success is that he’s handling fastballs better than he did earlier in the season, as he’s reduced his Whiff% from 54.8 to 46.5, resulting in a .364 batting average compared to a .214 last month.

I’m buying high on Henderson, and you should, too.

What should we do with Eury Perez?

What a wild month May was, right? Seemingly every other day, a new rookie pitcher was getting promoted. Among them was Perez, who has been one of the better options for fantasy managers.

But we are reaching an interesting point with Perez, as he’s going to be on a strict innings limit of around 100-110, per Craig Mish.

Across Double-A and MLB, Perez has thrown 60 innings this year, leaving him with about 40-50 left in the chamber. If he continues to average five innings per start, we will have eight to 10 starts left for him this season.

But where — and when — will those come?

The Marlins find themselves seven games over .500 and in second place in the NL East. So let’s start by saying that if they waste even one of those innings for Perez in the minors, it’s severe malpractice (as far as baseball is concerned).

Trevor Rogers was on his way back, which would allow Miami to go with a six-man rotation and Sandy Alcantara to go every fifth day still. But he had a setback, which pushes that potential plan back.

What I’m doing in a straight redraft league is looking to flip Perez for a less exciting or talented arm who I don’t have to worry about his innings limits moving forward.

Who is Dairon Blanco?

The Royals, historically, have been a team who will run and run and run. While Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield are no longer in town, perhaps they’ve found their latest speed demon to entice fantasy managers.

Enter Blanco, the 30-year-old outfielder who had a cup of coffee with the big-league team last season. Blanco was just called up by the Royals, and he offers some eye-popping speed.

He stole 47 bases in 49 games in Triple-A this season, being thrown out just six times. In his 2023 debut, he attempted a steal and was thrown out.

He’s going to have the green light each and every time he’s on base. He’s a — cover your ears for the overplayed term — rabbit, offering speed and little else, but when players are stealing more and more bases, that means you, too, need to steal more and more.

If he can maintain a .250 batting average, you’ll be thrilled to pair that with the 15-20 bags he’ll give you.

Are the A’s … good?

I mean, no, they aren’t. But six in a row is six in a row.

What’s more, they are doing this leading to the protest from the fans who are looking to buy as many tickets as they can to Tuesday’s game (I’m writing this ahead of time) to show the ownership that the fans aren’t the problem but it’s the ownership, instead.

It’s fun to see, truly. Watching the A’s take down the Brewers and then win the first game against the Rays behind Ken Waldichuk is good for baseball.

Keep the A’s in Oakland. Sell the team. The people there deserve better.

Who are some players rostered in 50 percent of leagues or fewer I should target?

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers who you should add to your watchlist who are available in 21-50 percent of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).

Hitters:

Pitchers:

What about 20 percent?

Like above, here are 10 hitters and pitchers rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer who should be on your deep-league radar.

Hitters:

Pitchers:

Who are you encouraged by?

Here are some players I’m encouraged by.

  • Bobby Miller (SP – LAD) – He’s looking like the real deal in Los Angeles, and of the three rookie Millers, he’s the one I want moving forward in redraft and dynasty.
  • Gary Sanchez (C – SD) – I mean, I don’t expect it to continue, but he’s tied for the third-most home runs in baseball over the last 14 days.
  • Nolan Jones (1B/OF – COL) – It’s almost like your best hitters will produce if you play them. Jones is hitting the ball hard and is hitting .349 with four home runs over the last two weeks.
  • Blake Snell (SP – SD) – Good Snell is back, as he has a 0.47 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts over his last 19 innings, which includes a start in Coors Field.

Who has you concerned?

Any random findings?

A few, actually. Thanks for asking, Michael.

Is Ke’Bryan Hayes turning the corner?

Hayes has talked about making some changes at the dish, and so far, so good. He’s hitting .486 in June with two home runs, an 18.9K% and a .486 OBP.

What’s more, in June, he’s been pulling the ball 40 percent, and he’s doing it while hitting the ball hard as he always has done — with a spike in his breaking balls and offspeed exit velocities.

We’ve been waiting for Hayes to put it all together, and while I don’t think he’ll ever be a 25-homer guy, I think, if the adjustments stick, he can get to 18-22.

CTAs


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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