Fantasy Baseball News


Sandy Leon is still considered to be the favorite to start behind the plate when Opening Day rolls around in early April. Despite a shaky spring offensively, Leon's rapport with ace Rick Porcello was undeniable last season, which is expected to factor heavily into the decision.

Fantasy Impact: Leon is batting just 2-for-14 (.143) with no extra base hits and no RBI's in spring training thus far. Not exactly ideal. But Red Sox manager John Farrell has repeatedly put an emphasis on the importance of defense, which Leon excelled at last season. Offensively, Leon really struggled to end 2016. He went 4-for-44 (.091) to end the regular season after finishing play in early September with a .356 batting average. Until Leon shows considerable improvement with his bat in spring training, he should not be owned in most leagues.

Marco Hernandez leads all Red Sox players with 15 hits thus far in Spring Training, with six RBI's, two stolen bases and a .405 AVG, including an impressive .488 on-base percentage.

Fantasy Impact: Hernandez is no stranger when it comes to Spring Training success. The lefty had a strong spring training in 2016, but failed to make much of an impact once the regular season rolled around. There have been rumors that Hernandez will be used as trade bait once the regular season begins, as multiple reports indicate that he has little chance to make the team's roster coming out of camp. Red Sox brass will continue to monitor Hernandez's progress throughout the spring, but it sounds as if they will have a hard time stashing him in Triple A if he continues to dominate in Florida.

Jacoby Jones has hit .346 with a .393 OBP over 26 at bats this spring. Most notably his 15% strikeout rate is a trend in the right direction after posting a 43% strikeout rate over 13 games in the big leagues last year.

Fantasy Impact: The Tigers center field job is wide open as a list of unknowns hope to fill the position this year (Tyler Collins, Anthony Gose, Mikie Mahtook). Jacoby Jones has impressed most thus far but the young outfielder still needs to show the consistency of a big leaguer to get the nod for Opening Day.

It was reported earlier this Spring that J.T. Realmuto was working out at first base, and he played in his first Grapefruit League game at first base last week. The rumor, for now, is that Realmuto could play some first base against lefties, platooning with Justin Bour. (Source: NumberFire)

Fantasy Impact: More at bats and some positional flexibility? Sounds good for Realmuto owners. Of course, Realmuto is only really valuable as a catcher, but additional eligibility is never a bad thing. The bigger news here is that this should mean more at-bats for Realmuto, as the Marlins can give him a break from behind the plate without having to take him out of the lineup.

Jim Johnson, the Braves closer to start the 2017 season, has had a somewhat shaky spring thus far. He has appeared in 9 games and pitched 9 innings. During that time, he has allowed 11 hits and five runs (all earned) while walking three and striking out seven. Johnson pitched so well to finish the season last year that the team is rewarding him with the job without competition from Arodys Vizcaino, who is younger and more talented. Viz has had the better spring thus far and the team is opening the season in a new ballpark. They are in the latter phase of a rebuild and want it all to come together as soon as possible and feel they can contend this year. Thus, all signs point to a short leash for Johnson.

Fantasy Impact: If you draft Johnson then you almost have to draft Vizcaino, especially if your league rewards Holds, because it's only a matter of time before he takes over. And I think Johnson will be on a fairly short leash.