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Andrew Seifter

FantasyPros
David Peralta (LF - ARI)
Thu, Mar 14
Player Note on David Peralta (LF - ARI)
Peralta is a .293 career hitter, so it wasn't exactly a surprise that he hit .293 last year. What was shocking, however, was that he hit 30 home runs after never hitting more than 17 in any of his previous four Major League seasons. The power spike was backed up by a ton of hard contact, but his ground ball rate remained high, making a repeat quite unlikely. Buy Peralta for the batting average, and consider anything more than 20 home runs to be a bonus.
Whit Merrifield (1B,2B,CF,RF,DH - KC)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Whit Merrifield (1B,2B,CF,RF,DH - KC)
Merrifield followed up his breakout 2017 campaign with another excellent fantasy season in 2018, hitting .304 with 12 homers and a league-leading 45 stolen bases. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to hit .300 again -- his .352 BABIP was among the league's highest -- but he should settle in at around .280-.285 and again produce 10-15 HRs. His run and RBI totals may not be great in a weak-hitting Royals lineup, but you're really paying for the steals, and Merrifield should again have the green light on the base paths early and often for a team that will need to manufacture runs.
Danny Jansen (C - TOR)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Danny Jansen (C - TOR)
After batting .323 across three minor league levels in 2017, Jansen hit .275 with 12 homers and five steals through 88 games in AAA in 2018 before earning an August call-up to the Blue Jays. He hit .247 with three homers over 31 games in Toronto, and it's reasonable to expect him to maintain a similar pace over his first full Big League season with the potential for more. Given the sorry state of the catcher position, it could make sense to take a chance on Jansen's unknown upside once the seven or eight surefire starters at the position are off the board.
Welington Castillo (C - FA)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Welington Castillo (C - FA)
Castillo was a top-eight catcher in 2017 and was off to a good start in 2018 before receiving an 80-game PED suspension in late May. He returned from the suspension and a brief DL stint in September, but didn't do much down the stretch. He's unlikely to match his career-best 2017 season, but barring a dramatic decline in production post-PEDs, Castillo should be able to hit around .260 with 15-20 home runs and be a serviceable starting catcher in 10- and 12-team mixed leagues.
Alex Reyes (SP - STL)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Alex Reyes (SP - STL)
Reyes threw all of four innings in his return from Tommy John surgery before suffering a shoulder injury that knocked him out for the rest of the 2018 season. He enters 2019 as a total wildcard who isn't likely to be in the Opening Day rotation, but the talent is obvious. He could easily be a huge difference-maker for fantasy owners in the season's second half, if not earlier.
German Marquez (SP - COL)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on German Marquez (SP - COL)
Marquez had a terrific strikeout-to-walk ratio last season, but still finished with an ERA of 3.77, which feels like a best-case scenario for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. Marquez should provide plenty of innings and strikeouts and his fair share of wins, but he's not likely to be of much help when it comes to ERA and WHIP.
Brad Peacock (RP,SP - HOU)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Brad Peacock (RP,SP - HOU)
Peacock has been very effective as both a starter and reliever for the Astros over the last two seasons and looks likely to open the season in Houston's rotation this year. While it's possible he's eventually pushed out by Josh James or Forrest Whitley, Peacock can be nearly as valuable as a reliever, particularly in innings-capped roto leagues. He's well worth drafting.
Collin McHugh (RP,SP - FA)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Collin McHugh (RP,SP - FA)
McHugh was terrific in relief for the Astros last season and is now slated for a return to the starting rotation. This is a pitcher capable of helping in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts, and the win potential is certainly there as well. He's a nice sleeper.
Robbie Ray (SP - ARI)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Robbie Ray (SP - ARI)
Ray was an obvious regression candidate coming off his phenomenal 2017 season, and regress he did. While his strikeout rate remained elite, his walk rate ballooned to over 5.00 per nine innings, inflating his WHIP back up to 1.35. Ray is really hard to hit, so he's capable of keeping his ERA under 4.00, but the WHIP isn't likely to be pretty, which makes him hard to rely on as a weekly starter in standard mixed leagues.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP - FA)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP - FA)
Ryu was terrific when healthy last season, posting a 1.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 9.73 K/9 across 15 starts. You can never expect more than around 100 innings from Ryu, but they'll be good innings -- think a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 9+ K/9.
David Peralta (LF - ARI)
Thu, Mar 14
Player Note on David Peralta (LF - ARI)
Peralta is a .293 career hitter, so it wasn't exactly a surprise that he hit .293 last year. What was shocking, however, was that he hit 30 home runs after never hitting more than 17 in any of his previous four Major League seasons. The power spike was backed up by a ton of hard contact, but his ground ball rate remained high, making a repeat quite unlikely. Buy Peralta for the batting average, and consider anything more than 20 home runs to be a bonus.
Whit Merrifield (1B,2B,CF,RF,DH - KC)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Whit Merrifield (1B,2B,CF,RF,DH - KC)
Merrifield followed up his breakout 2017 campaign with another excellent fantasy season in 2018, hitting .304 with 12 homers and a league-leading 45 stolen bases. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to hit .300 again -- his .352 BABIP was among the league's highest -- but he should settle in at around .280-.285 and again produce 10-15 HRs. His run and RBI totals may not be great in a weak-hitting Royals lineup, but you're really paying for the steals, and Merrifield should again have the green light on the base paths early and often for a team that will need to manufacture runs.
Danny Jansen (C - TOR)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Danny Jansen (C - TOR)
After batting .323 across three minor league levels in 2017, Jansen hit .275 with 12 homers and five steals through 88 games in AAA in 2018 before earning an August call-up to the Blue Jays. He hit .247 with three homers over 31 games in Toronto, and it's reasonable to expect him to maintain a similar pace over his first full Big League season with the potential for more. Given the sorry state of the catcher position, it could make sense to take a chance on Jansen's unknown upside once the seven or eight surefire starters at the position are off the board.
Welington Castillo (C - FA)
Mon, Mar 11
Player Note on Welington Castillo (C - FA)
Castillo was a top-eight catcher in 2017 and was off to a good start in 2018 before receiving an 80-game PED suspension in late May. He returned from the suspension and a brief DL stint in September, but didn't do much down the stretch. He's unlikely to match his career-best 2017 season, but barring a dramatic decline in production post-PEDs, Castillo should be able to hit around .260 with 15-20 home runs and be a serviceable starting catcher in 10- and 12-team mixed leagues.
Alex Reyes (SP - STL)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Alex Reyes (SP - STL)
Reyes threw all of four innings in his return from Tommy John surgery before suffering a shoulder injury that knocked him out for the rest of the 2018 season. He enters 2019 as a total wildcard who isn't likely to be in the Opening Day rotation, but the talent is obvious. He could easily be a huge difference-maker for fantasy owners in the season's second half, if not earlier.
German Marquez (SP - COL)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on German Marquez (SP - COL)
Marquez had a terrific strikeout-to-walk ratio last season, but still finished with an ERA of 3.77, which feels like a best-case scenario for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. Marquez should provide plenty of innings and strikeouts and his fair share of wins, but he's not likely to be of much help when it comes to ERA and WHIP.
Brad Peacock (RP,SP - HOU)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Brad Peacock (RP,SP - HOU)
Peacock has been very effective as both a starter and reliever for the Astros over the last two seasons and looks likely to open the season in Houston's rotation this year. While it's possible he's eventually pushed out by Josh James or Forrest Whitley, Peacock can be nearly as valuable as a reliever, particularly in innings-capped roto leagues. He's well worth drafting.
Collin McHugh (RP,SP - FA)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Collin McHugh (RP,SP - FA)
McHugh was terrific in relief for the Astros last season and is now slated for a return to the starting rotation. This is a pitcher capable of helping in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts, and the win potential is certainly there as well. He's a nice sleeper.
Robbie Ray (SP - ARI)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Robbie Ray (SP - ARI)
Ray was an obvious regression candidate coming off his phenomenal 2017 season, and regress he did. While his strikeout rate remained elite, his walk rate ballooned to over 5.00 per nine innings, inflating his WHIP back up to 1.35. Ray is really hard to hit, so he's capable of keeping his ERA under 4.00, but the WHIP isn't likely to be pretty, which makes him hard to rely on as a weekly starter in standard mixed leagues.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP - FA)
Thu, Mar 7
Player Note on Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP - FA)
Ryu was terrific when healthy last season, posting a 1.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 9.73 K/9 across 15 starts. You can never expect more than around 100 innings from Ryu, but they'll be good innings -- think a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 9+ K/9.
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Andrew Seifter

About


I grew up in the Boston area, and worked in the Red Sox ticket office during the magical 2004 championship season. Since then, I've been a professional writer and editor in Washington, DC. Writing about the news has paid the bills, but covering fantasy sports has always been my passion. Prior to joining FantasyPros, I was a baseball columnist at Bleacher Report.


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