Each and every week, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking for either 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.
10 Burning Questions
Umm … what got into Lance Lynn?
Sure, he gave up three runs and walked two hitters, but Lynn’s outing was fantastic Sunday against the Mariners, as he struck out 16 batters.
Yeah, just when I was ready to quit him – you probably still can, to be honest – he pulls us slightly back in with a performance like this.
Looking at what Lynn did, he didn’t mix up his pitches or added any velo. He just took advantage of a Seattle lineup that has the second-highest K% in the league and the third-highest mark against right-handed pitching.
Every Mariners hitter struck out in the contest, aside from Cal Raleigh. Way to go, Big Dumper.
We’ve seen these flashes from Lynn throughout this year, as he’s had stretches of looking like the pitcher of old only before blowing up.
For now, I’m chalking this up as more of a fluke than anything else.
How high would you draft Corbin Carroll next year?
The bust rate of top-rated prospects is pretty low. The research before – it may have changed since 2019 – was that top-10 prospects had a success rate of 82 percent. After that, it gets iffy.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carroll is absolutely dominating in his first full season in the big leagues. Since we can’t ever just enjoy what we have in the moment, let’s look at where Carroll should be drafted next year.
And yes, the underlying numbers back up what he is doing, too.
So, if we are looking at the same format for the 2023 season, here’s where I would slot Carroll in, given the power/speed/average that he provides.
Yeah, he’s that good. What a player, and it’s so great seeing his power develop to this level, too.
Who has the best City Connect jersey?
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been teasing their City Connect jersey reveal, and I hope you’re ready for the endless discourse on Twitter, baby!
They always seem to disappoint baseball Twitter, but it could be that the expectations are just too high. After the Baltimore Orioles revealed their Great Britain WBC-inspired jerseys, the bar is really low for Pittsburgh to clear – even if they go with the all-yellow PGH jerseys that have leaked.
There are some, though, that absolutely hit the nail on the head.
Here are my top five City Connect jerseys.
- Miami Marlins: I love bright colors. It’s a nice change of pace from the typical black-focused jerseys that we get. It’s perfect in every way.
- San Diego Padres: I told you – I like bright colors. The Padres sea foam to go with the bright pink just stands out in the best possible way.
- Washington Nationals: The cherry blossom is synonymous with D.C., and the Nats infused it perfectly with charcoal gray.
- Chicago White Sox: The South Side lettering on the black jersey reminds me of the N.W.O. and as a wrestling nerd, I love it.
- Boston Red Sox: I love the connection to the Boston Marathon with them. Such a change from the traditional jerseys we have seen for so long.
Who are we sleeping on?
I set the bar at 50 percent on the sections below, but there are players who are rostered in more than 50 percent of leagues who I still think are under rostered.
He’s rostered in 78 percent of leagues, but it should be higher. He’s been recording holds, but it’s a matter of time before he gets the ninth-inning role
Everyone needs starting pitching, and Miller put those two terrible starts behind him to continue his stellar season. He should be universally rostered.
Don’t look now, but Abreu is getting hot. Well, hotter than he was. He has three home runs over the last two weeks while hitting .269.
I get it. I’m hesitant, too. The injury history is a huge red flag. However, he has at least 16 Whiffs (h/t Frank Stampfl from CBS for the note) over each of his last four starts. He has a 2.33 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over the last two weeks. He’s rostered in just 66 percent of leagues.
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 to 50 percent of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).
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.
Who are you encouraged by?
Here are some players I’m encouraged by.
Bryan Woo (SP – SEA) – It’s almost like we shouldn’t hold his first start against the red-hot Rangers against him. The strikeouts have been there over the last two games, as he has 16 over his last 10.1 innings.
Michael Harris II (OF – ATL) – Harris has turned things around after a brutal start of the year, hitting .440 over the last two weeks with four home runs.
Craig Kimbrel (RP – PHI) – Kimbrel has six saves with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP over the last month. He’s far exceeded expectations.
Andrew Abbott (SP – CIN) – In 17.2 innings, Abbott has yet to allow a run – earned or unearned. The walks aren’t great, but it’s been a solid debut.
Who have you concerned?
- Gary Sanchez – Well, that was fun while it lasted. He’s hit .050 over the last week.
- Luis Severino – Why is he rostered in 80 percent of leagues? He has a 6.30 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP over the last month.
- Zach McKinstry – McKinstry was useful earlier in the year, but he’s been brutal so far in June, with all three legs of his slash line under .230.
Any random findings?
A few, actually. Thanks for asking, Michael.
- Elly De La Cruz is already the fastest player in baseball – at least by sprint speed. He’s first (30.9 feet per second) with Bobby Witt behind him.
- Matthew Liberatore has a 6.12 ERA, but his xERA is actually 7.64. It hasn’t been pretty.
- Is there a quieter superstar than Bryan Reynolds? He has the seventh-most Barrels in the league and the sixth-most hard-hit balls this season.
Joey Votto or Spencer Torkelson?
Joey Votto returned to the Reds’ lineup Monday night, and he did so with a big fly. What’s more, Votto had three balls hit 102 mph or harder.
Meanwhile, Torkelson has shown signs over the last month, as the power has started to play up, and his hard-hit rate and xwOBA have been up from the low levels that they’ve been throughout his career.
But are rostered in fewer than 25 percent of leagues, but both are able to provide a spark at first base or corner infield, at least.
But who should you prioritize? While my gut says Votto, I’m worried about the promotion of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and what it will mean for Votto and the Reds’ lineup as a whole.
For that reason and that reason only, I’m going to Torkelson, as there’s more upside but also the security of guaranteed playing time to fall back on.