January 20, 2023


Fantasy Baseball Podcast: What Are Sleepers and Busts in Fantasy Baseball Drafts

Hosted by

Colby Conway Matt Selz James Grande
Fantasy Baseball Podcast: What Are Sleepers and Busts in Fantasy Baseball Drafts
Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast
Fantasy Baseball Podcast: What Are Sleepers and Busts in Fantasy Baseball Drafts

Jan 20 2023 | 00:49:56


Show Notes

Matt Selz and Colby Conway are starting their draft prep for Fantasy Baseball and invite you along for the ride. First things to clear up are what are sleeprs and what are busts defined as in drafts and who are some. Secondly what does the latest news on Jordan Walker and Matt Mervis mean for their fantasy values in 2023. Join us the latest Fantasy Baseball podcast from Fantasy Alarm.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:08 And welcome back for the newest edition of the Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball podcast. I'm your host Colby Conway at Colby r Conway on Twitter. And with me here yet again. Matt sells at the Sales Man on Twitter. So Matt, I know we've been talking a lot here as uh, the kind of the hot stove is, pick back up a little bit in a couple days. I had a couple days where you and I weren't updating the MLB free agent tracker. And now we've had a couple sightings in the last couple of days, so I know we've been talking, but I gotta ask you, how's everything been? Speaker 2 00:00:37 Uh, not too bad. It's nice to be playing or uh, talking baseball with you on a day in which it's currently sleeting and or going to start snowing, hopefully eventually here in Lincoln. I don't know. They were calling for four inches of snow and I don't think there's any shot. We get it. So, um, you know, it warms my heart to talk baseball, especially on a day where it's sleeting nonstop outside. Speaker 1 00:01:01 Yep. If it makes you feel any better, cuz I know it's not, but I gotta tell you anyway, it's 70 and sunny here in North Carolina. Speaker 2 00:01:07 Yeah, I know, I know Speaker 1 00:01:09 <laugh>. Not that it makes you feel any better, Speaker 2 00:01:11 But I mean it was 50 here on Sunday and I, and I grilled pizza on the, you know, for the kids for dinner cuz it was 50 in January and I knew this was coming. That's why I did that on <laugh> on Sunday. Cuz you gotta take your nice days when you can get 'em in the winter in Nebraska. Speaker 1 00:01:28 I'll, I'll give you credits cuz if anybody's not following you on Twitter at the sales man on Twitter, I'll throw that out there. Once again, you have a very diversified Twitter portfolio and that you can talk about nascar. You got baseball, you'll chime in on football obviously, and then you have all of your, uh, your cooking expeditions as I like to say. Cause it's all this, you know, sick stuff that looks good, tastes good. It's all stuff. That is way, way, way outta my league in terms of cooking. And if you follow me on Twitter, all you get is talking about crappy sports teams. So I'm, I'm very limited in my, in my Twitter portfolio. Well, Speaker 2 00:02:01 You know, my cooking keeps me away from talking about how terrible the Jets <laugh> second half of the season was, um, for, for football. And, you know, you, you also got a, uh, a case statement's basketball tweet last night cuz my alma mater knocked off Ke. Um, so pretty stoked about that one. But, and then, Speaker 1 00:02:22 Yeah, and then I got the Texans and Pirates. I don't know, I mean I know where I'm, I stand with that. Um, I'm really looking forward to about the end of April for draft season. That's pretty much where my head is at now. So yeah, it's, it's, it, things have definitely been interesting but I'm, I'm glad to say at least that we have been getting some baseball news. You know, we talked about it a little bit, but if you haven't checked out on fantasy alarm.com, Matt and I are diving pretty deep into a lot of free agent science. I started off with, uh, we're gonna do, you know, some of like the bigger name guys and go from there and next thing you know, it's now turned into if you sign a major league contract, you're almost getting written up in the tracker. That's just what has come down to, to it this way. Speaker 2 00:02:59 I mean, you and I love baseball so much that we can't help ourselves. Right, right. Speaker 1 00:03:04 I know it's, it's, I mean it's all in there. Like, uh, we were, we're already updated today. I'm not sure if you caught it yet Matt, but I went ahead and put in the Brian Anderson and Tommy Fam signs as well as Duval, Adam Duval, I should say, heading to Boston. So all of that's updated in the tracker. That is up to date. Check it out. Matt and I, putting our analysis and what we believe the impact of different signings to be. It's all there. But Matt, as the prospect and kind of the young guy here in the terms of like the fantasy, analyzing some of these rookies and stuff, little news came out at Jordan Walker, St. Louis's, I believe he's their top prospect overall is going to get a chance to break camp with the team. We talked about it a little bit beforehand. Uh, we're jumping on here. Speaker 1 00:03:45 So Jordan Walker, incredibly talented prospect. Everybody knows that he's got, I put in the, if you remember from last year on fancy alarm site, when you click on a player for like their profile, there's gonna be a write up there. So we call 'em like capsules. Essentially we're writing those. I ended up writing one on Jordan Walker once this broke, once this news kind of came out. So Matt, I want to ask you about Jordan Walker, his chances at breaking camp with the team. But then I also want you to chime in on this. So, uh, over on FanGraphs, uh, I believe it's Jeff Zimmerman, I have that correct? Yes. He does a mining the news segment and talked about the, uh, the team kind of talking about Jordan Walker a little bit. And they, the quotes about him are insane what they are talking about, calling him almost like a can't miss prospect. Um, another quote from, I believe it's John Maac of the Cardinals. Do I have that correct? Is Speaker 2 00:04:42 It John? I believe so, yeah, he's the think so gm Yeah. Or president of baseball operations. Speaker 1 00:04:47 Yes. So he Basical said mentally mature beyond his years, can't miss Prospect and said quote, when you talk about combining the physical impression with the performance impression, it's an exciting combination to have. Maac said you never wanna put ceilings on players and we certainly won't do that here, but it's easy to dream with the kind of potential that this young man has. So to me it sounds like he's got a pretty darn good opportunity to break camp with the team. But that could be me reading in between the T leaves. Speaker 2 00:05:12 I think as long as he doesn't get hurt, he's going to be on the opening day roster. Um, there is a lot of us that we're expecting him to come up, uh, at the end of last year because we felt even though it was AA that he had basically nothing left to prove. Um, he's 20 still, he'll turn 21 in May, um, of this year. So in his age, 20 season at AA played 119 games. That's not a small sample size of double A, which by the way is considered the upper miners, um, slash 3 0 6 3 88 5 10 with 19 homers a hundred runs, 68 RBI and 22 steals. Um, and you know, a very nice walk rate, double digit walk rate. Um, just over 21% K rate, which is acceptable. That's perfectly fine if you're gonna have that slash line. Um, so yeah, there's not really anything left for him to prove there. Speaker 2 00:06:18 He also got some time, um, in the outfield too. Not a lot. He played most of his games, um, at third base with uh, 70 of them coming at third base. He played 25 games in right field and 18 games at dh. So they kinda, um, you know, on a smattering and center and left. But basically he's a third baseman or a right fielder. Um, you know, at this point because hey, when you have Nolan Anado at third base, you gotta start moving dudes off of third base if you're ever gonna get him to the majors. Um, so yeah. And then how about this call before his, uh, size? He's 6 5 2 20. Speaker 1 00:07:01 Yep. I, like I said in the, in the profile that I wrote about him, that that'll be on his player page. I said, Walker seems to be the type of prospect that you build in a lab. Speaker 2 00:07:10 Yep. He's got, you know, I would put it at 55 grade hit tool, which is above average, which puts 'em about, you know, if you're, if you're figuring that an average batting average right now is about 2 70, 55 puts 'em in the 2 82 90 range, Speaker 1 00:07:28 Where's that raw power grade? Speaker 2 00:07:30 Uh, I put him at about a 75 probably Speaker 1 00:07:33 <laugh>. Okay. Speaker 2 00:07:34 Um, Speaker 1 00:07:35 That's, that checks out. Speaker 2 00:07:36 He's got, he's got pretty impressive raw power. Um, now raw power, I would put it 75 if I'm talking game power, I might put it down about 65. Right. Because there's a difference between if you watch this guy hit in a batting cage and can he make, can he bring it to bear in a game? Yes, clearly. Um, are we going to see him with as much power as say an Aaron Judge or, uh, Pete Alonzo? Um, probably not quite to that level. Does he have a 40 home run? Like does he have a 35 to 40 home run season in him? Yeah, easily. I'm not concerned about that. Um, he's not really gonna steal your bags in the majors. I don't think his speed is a tad below average. Um, so you might get some, but I wouldn't expect this guy to be a 2020 or a 30 20 producer. Speaker 2 00:08:40 Um, and as for where he fits, that's you and I were trying to figure this out before we started recording cuz this is the tricky part, right? You're not gonna move Nolan Anato off third base. We already know that you're not moving Polk Goldschmidt off off of first base so the corners are taken. You're not gonna put a six foot five, 220 pounder anywhere else in the infield cuz that's just too big for either second or short obviously. So that means the outfield well right field is taken by Lars Newbar who's one of the better defensive outfielders at that spot and everybody's fantasy darling this year. So I think Nuke Bar is safe. I think if you're gonna put him in the field, I think you probably have O'Neill and Carlson split center field and you put Jordan Walker in the left. The other option is you just have him get used to major league pitching. You put him in the DH spot and you have Juan y play whenever Walker needs a spell. Speaker 1 00:09:37 I, yeah, I think that is probably what occurs in that quote from the mine in the news thing I'm seeing here on Fan Grass from Jess Zerman. It does say every shot at winning the opening day job in Wright Field. So if they are gonna leave him in, right, that either means Newbar is going to the eighth center or he moved to center or left. Cause here's the thing, Tyler O'Neill there, there's so many things to look at with this Cardinal's team. First off, this lineup is gonna be damn good regardless of who's in there. Like it's Speaker 2 00:10:05 Very deep. Deep is deep and circular. Speaker 1 00:10:07 Yes. It's very, very impressive. But when you look at it, O'Neill, there's been reports this off season that he's been trying to, I, I hate this term, but bulk down a little bit and helps him be more durable. If you're worried about his durability, I don't think you wanna put him in center, right. You probably don't want him covering as much, you know, the ground like that. So you could move new bar to center and then you can leave Tyler O'Neill and left or O'Neill and Carlson maybe split in center. I think what's gonna happen, it almost seems like in most of these scenarios, EZ slash Gorman, whoever you believe is gonna DH for them or Carlson is potentially taking the biggest hit because if Tyler O'Neill's healthy, he's playing like there's so much fantasy goodness with him and reality goodness with that bad of his, he's playing and I wrote about in the capsule, if Walker breaks camp with the team, he is not up there to ride pine. That is just not happening if he's up there right. He's playing damn near every day. Speaker 2 00:11:05 Yeah. We're not seeing an Andrew Vaughan situation here. Speaker 1 00:11:09 We're or at the very least we better not, Speaker 2 00:11:11 Which, yeah, I, I don't think, I don't think we will. I think the Cardinals, um, this is precisely why the Cardinals did not make a move for Juan Soto, um, is because they want Jordan Walker Yep. Up and filling a spot and coming in at cheaper cost with more control. Um, so yeah, it's a very tantalizing piece of news. And if you have Walker in Keeper leagues, well congratulations, you just got a roster spot filled for before the draft day for a very cheap Yep. Uh, cheap price. Speaker 1 00:11:49 Yep. I I ultimately, I think you're right. He's, he's, the thing is going to be like right now if you look over at uh, N FBC dad, I believe right now he's going just within the top like 280 or so picks, um, since December 1st. Once spring training comes around, he hits that first mammoth home run that circulates Twitter. That ADP's going up, we all know it. Um, Speaker 2 00:12:16 Yeah, he's at uh, Speaker 1 00:12:18 2 83 since December 1st. Speaker 2 00:12:20 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:12:20 Basically. Yeah. So, but that's gonna move up on the first moonshot that circulates around Twitter. God forbid they announce early enough that he's a starting spot. I mean, how, Speaker 2 00:12:29 I mean he's already going ahead of Juan Yez and Dylan Carlson and Nolan Gorman, Speaker 1 00:12:35 How much higher can his a d p get? You think like, here's the thing, you have him graded out at these numbers. It might take a little bit for him to reach his absolute ceiling. Not everybody, not even the top. Speaker 2 00:12:46 He's not gonna come up and be and he's not gonna come up and be a holier again from last Speaker 1 00:12:50 Year. Correct. There's gonna be a little bit of maturation, but I mean, Speaker 2 00:12:54 Why Speaker 1 00:12:54 Are to see him go his minick already is 1 71 and this was before, this is recent that it said he's gonna get a chance to break camp with the team. So whoever said that minimum pick knew something that we didn't or maybe is the biggest Walker fan in the world. Speaker 2 00:13:09 I have him as my fifth overall prospect right now in my top 400. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:13:16 I mean do you think, I mean, where can that ADP get, I mean is he, do we, do we see him go in the top one 50? That was gonna be my line. Speaker 2 00:13:23 Like if you, if if we're talking about the week before the season starts mm-hmm. <affirmative> and he's locked down, let's say they come out and say he's played well enough that he's going to be the starting Right fielder. Yeah. What Speaker 1 00:13:39 I mean, how do you not Right. Speaker 2 00:13:41 How do you not like he's had, he's literally had a bullseye on his back for it feels like two years as a prospect. Speaker 1 00:13:50 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:13:51 Like I agree. People started salivate. Like he's only been in the minor since 2021. Right. He started, uh, you know, he got drafted as the 21st overall pick in the June, 2020 draft. Obviously there was no minor league season in 2020. So he did some, you know, instructional work and stuff like that. Right. And then he hit the ground running in 2021. Em played a grand total of 82 games in 2021 in the minors across a and high A and hit like well over 300 hit 14 total bombs, 14 steals. Like it was an impressive debut and now is it double A, um, and basically doubled down on his performance. Yep. So Speaker 1 00:14:46 We'll have to see, we'll have to see how it plays out with, with Walker and St. Louis. I mean mean at the very least, it, I'm glad they're at least giving him a chance because there is so much fantasy goodness to be had there to Speaker 2 00:14:58 St. Louis. I mean, I'm just curious who, what are the outfielders going like around one 50 right Speaker 1 00:15:03 Now? So I was looking at that from December 1st Speaker 2 00:15:06 On Yeah. Hunter Renfro, Stanton's zip basically one 50 Ian half is at 1 53. Speaker 1 00:15:12 And then Jordan Montgomery's best friend Harrison Bader Speaker 2 00:15:15 And then er Nimo Oscar. Like you can't tell me you wouldn't take a shot on Jordan Walker over anybody after Stanton, right? Speaker 1 00:15:30 Of those guys. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:15:32 Badder. Er, Nimo, Oscar Gonzalez Bellinger, Lars Newt Bar is going at 1 91. Speaker 1 00:15:38 Yeah. That won't, that won't last long cuz Newt Speaker 2 00:15:43 Bars everybody, I mean Joey us for God's sakes is going 1 95. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:15:47 Walker going up. We're gonna see him in the top one 50. I'll say it. Speaker 2 00:15:51 I mean Speaker 1 00:15:52 If he breaks camp with a starting role, that is, that's my assumption or that's my, my caveat to the whole operation. Yes. Yeah. So unfortunately another guy Speaker 2 00:16:01 Could he, could he beat your favorite guy in Byron Buxton? Buxton's going one Speaker 1 00:16:08 10. Can you not put me in that situation? Speaker 2 00:16:11 <laugh> Speaker 1 00:16:13 Yeah. Don't, don't slander Buxton's name like mean like that. We'll see, we'll see how it all shakes out. Speaker 2 00:16:20 He slanders himself. Speaker 1 00:16:21 Let me, let me ask you this. Okay. Uh, just more mine in the news here. I see with all these signings that the cubs have done at first base slash corner outfield, mainly hobo and then bringing in Ma Mancini in the mix also occupying dh. Matt Mervi is gonna start the year in the mins scale of one to 10. Are you h where is your heart brokenness, if that's a word? Um, cause I was excited for Mervi coming into the year. I'm still am but this kind of cools puts a little cold water on the flame. Speaker 2 00:16:51 He Yeah, I mean for sure. Look, you're looking at your prototypical corner infielder, right? He's gonna hit for pretty solid numbers, you know, pretty solid batting average. He's got pretty decent pop. He'll be a run producer and then basically nothing in the steels category, which is fine. Don't need that from first baseman. Okay. Um, but I will say the talent place, okay? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if he shows up and he's doing what he did at AAA last year, which was in 57 games, Matt Mervi slash 2 97 3 83 5 93 with 15 homers, 41 runs, 39 rbi Okay. And a 14.6% K rate and a 10.4% walk rate. Okay. He does that again, they will make room for him on that roster. Speaker 1 00:17:40 Yep. I, and I'm excited for Marvis again, Speaker 2 00:17:44 There's no, there's no reason to think that either Christopher Morrell or Hosser or Mancini is gonna hold him down or Wisdom for that matter or Zach McKinstry. Speaker 1 00:17:59 Yep. Right. Lot lots. Like with Mervi Speaker 2 00:18:03 There, there are impediments now to Mervi, which Correct does Sting. Um, but it's not like they went out and signed a combination of, you know, Matt Olson and Nolan Ado to hold down. You know, this is not a Cardinal's corner infield. Correct. Right. Like Hosser has been so bad, he has three different teams paying his salary <laugh> that he doesn't pay, that he doesn't play for. Speaker 1 00:18:35 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:18:35 Right. It's like the old Moneyball line with David Justice. No, the Yankees think nothing of you that they're willing to pay you to play against them. Right. Like Eric Hosner is just done at this point. Mancini I think will be fine at dh. Um, morale was so hit and miss last year, I don't know what to make of him. Same with Patrick Wisdom, who I'm pretty sure at one point some of these guys wind up going back down to the minors for <laugh> like a reset. Um, I know the guy everybody thought was gonna hold down the first base spot last year, uh, did not do that. So we'll see. But again, talent plays. So if he shows his talent in the minors, he'll come back up and he'll force his way onto that roster. Speaker 1 00:19:28 And you and I talked about it a little bit in the, in just different circles, but if, when Marvis comes up, it's a win. It's not an, it's not, you know, when he comes up it's not an, if it's a win, he's coming up at some point his power will play. And we've talked about it that Chicago offense, they're gonna be a lot of strikeouts, but they do have some potential to put up some runs like that offense. I mean I was doing their Speaker 2 00:19:53 It's sneaky intriguing. Speaker 1 00:19:54 Yeah, well when you go to mlb free agent tracker and sort by that sort, the column by teams I mean Chicago hitter, Chicago hitter, Chicago hitter, Chicago hitter Chicago boom, they've just, they've revamped that whole lineup, which is good cause it needed, it needed a drastic overhaul. Speaker 2 00:20:09 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:20:10 Outside of say Suzuki. Speaker 2 00:20:12 And, and by the way, um, the handedness of Murs plays into him too cuz he's a lefty. Right? So you've got Hosmer is a lefty. You've got um, you know, so if Hosser struggles, you call Matt Marvis up, put him at first base. It's not like you're, you could put him in the same exact spot in the lineup and your ready Lefty's, you know, rotation doesn't get screwed up Speaker 1 00:20:37 Either. And it might not even be if Hosmer struggles, it just might be they come to the realization that like Hosmer is just boring and they're sick of just seeing ground balls every other time. Speaker 2 00:20:47 I mean it's also entirely possible that they really like Matt Mervi and they don't wanna start the clock on 'em just yet. Speaker 1 00:20:54 Very Speaker 2 00:20:55 True. And they're just getting a cheap old busted Hosmer Speaker 1 00:21:01 <laugh> and not on their dime. Speaker 2 00:21:03 And not on their dime at all. Cuz Boston is sort of paying him, but it's really San Diego. They're still paying him to not be anywhere close to San Diego <laugh>. Um, and you could see, you know, it's the old Chris Bryant, he needs to work on his defense thing and in like 19 days when the clock Yeah. Like Speaker 1 00:21:25 April, whatever date that ends up being, Speaker 2 00:21:28 Although they changed it now, right. It's not a service time thing. It's like if he doesn't win Al Yeah. Or an l rookie of the year, you know. Um, but it's possible that they're just baiting their, you know, biting their time with Hosser and then they're gonna call him Mervi up Speaker 1 00:21:43 For sure. And they'll be sick to see him ground balls 53% of the time Speaker 2 00:21:47 Anyway. Yeah. I mean he's gonna, he's gonna kill so many rallies in the middle of that between say a Suzuki and Mancini with ground D to double plays <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:21:57 Oh. They're just gonna be like, we just want somebody here who lost the ball. Maybe just every now and again and that'd be fine. Speaker 2 00:22:04 That's fine. Like the top half of this lineup is gonna be shanking the bottom half of this lineup at times. Right. Because like Horner and Swanson and Half and Suzuki are gonna work their way on and then you're gonna come to ground ball, double play from Hosser and then Mancini will get on base and then Bellinger won't be able to find the batter's box cuz he'll be, you know, whatever planet be's on most of the time. And then morale will be, I dunno, maybe it'll leave the park, maybe it won't, I don't know. And then it's either gonna be Tucker Barnhart or Jan Gomes old legs trying to make it around the basis <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:22:39 So <laugh> this offense is gonna be fun though. You heard it here first Speaker 2 00:22:43 <laugh>. I mean I know we just said it's gonna be sneaky intriguing and then I just crapped all over half of it. But like if Belly can fix the swing then that's an intriguing piece, right? And if you put Mervi in instead of Hosmer, then you're talking, you've got a pretty good top seven there in a wide open division. Speaker 1 00:23:02 Yep. To say, to say the lease. So Matt behind the scenes here, we're, we're starting to get ready for the, the MLB draft guide. You know, we're getting ready content's starting to, you know, trick trickle in a little bit. We're putting stuff together. Um, of course you've gotten a sneak peek of it a little bit. I don't know if we're counting the free agent tracker in the draft guide, but that's there. Check out all everything that's happening there. Um, even if it's not, there's a lot of good information there that you need to know. But in the draft guide we're of course you're gonna have all your stuff. We're gonna hit all the fantasy trigger words, you know, sleepers bus, the top rookies. Matt and I are currently working through those now and we kind of had an idea here. I put in our note sheet here, not that y'all can see this by any means, but laying the groundwork. Speaker 1 00:23:42 So we all know the terms, right? We all know Sleeper, we all know bus, we all know breakout candidate. But have we thought to not necessarily truly define it, but explain what it means. So for example, in the draft guide, I'm gonna have my top 10 bus for the 2023 fantasy baseball season. They are going to be in there. I have one player right now, the top of my mind who's ADP is within the top like 25 to 30 picks those guys that bust. I am not saying that this particular person who's in Atlanta outfielder by the way, is going to hit one 50 with three home runs and get demoted to the minors. That's not the bust to me Matt, when I, when I hear bust, I think of substantially underperformed like expectations or projections and other in other terms too. Not live up to their draft capital by a substantial margin. Speaker 1 00:24:40 If I say this Atlanta outfielder is gonna bust if they return 32nd overall player value and they were 28th drafted, so be it. You know, but I'm expecting them to be a little bit farther down. So to me, when I'm thinking bust, I'm saying based on where they are drafted, you are not getting this value back to me. That is a bust. I am not saying that they are going to tank hit below the Mendoza line and they're out of the league by the end of the year. That's not a bust. That is just insane to think that that could happen with a player being drafted that early. Speaker 2 00:25:10 Right. Yeah. I'm on the same page with you. When we say bust and look, we're not saying, oh this guy got injured so clearly he was a bust. That doesn't, injuries don't count in this we're talking about, you know, he played a full season or close to it as much of a full season as you expect and just did not produce what you had drafted him to do or really anywhere close to it. Right. We're not talking, um, I'm trying to think of an example from, um, from last year. That's a, that's a good Speaker 1 00:25:50 Think about it. Okay. What about the Chicago starters? I don't remember exactly where they were going but Lance and gto, I believe it was Lance more so, but they significantly Speaker 2 00:26:00 Unperformed. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a great Yeah they were being drafted as probably SP two s and they were at best SP five s Speaker 1 00:26:09 At best. Speaker 2 00:26:10 Like that's what we're talking about, right? The, the difference between the value you drafted them for and what they returned makes them a bust. It does not mean that they are going like that their career is gonna end this year. Right. Yeah. Um, you pointed out, I believe it's Michael Harris you're talking about It Speaker 1 00:26:32 Sure is. Speaker 2 00:26:33 Um, which coincidentally enough, I'm writing up his player capsule <laugh>, uh, right now, which is a very interesting one to to think about because he only spent 200 less than 200 games in the minor leagues before coming up, uh, to the majors and then won Rookie of the year and and earned himself one of those famed six year um, you know, contract deals. In fact, Vaughn Grisham's gotta be better cuz he's the only rookie that came up for, for uh, Atlanta last year that did not get signed to a long-term deal. Mm-hmm <affirmative> like his benefit is he chased Dansby Wanson outta town, but yeah, he didn't like Spencer Strider got signed to a long-term deal. Michael Harris got a long-term deal. Um, yeah, so I'm with you on that terminology for bust, but I guess my question is what do you consi, like how many rounds or however you wanna put like how big of a drop off in return do you need for a guy to be a bus? Like if you draft a guy in the second round and they return fifth round value, is that a bust to you? Speaker 1 00:27:48 See, I think, and again this is like this is a good practice and kind of why we're doing it and talking about it because you know, I don't know if it's necessarily apples to orange is like if I'm taking somebody in the first or second round and they only return fifth or sixth round value, you know, say, or we'll say fifth to make it easy for the math terms, if I draft a player in the second round, they give me fifth round value. That three round difference is more impactful than my eighth round pick help performing for my team as an 11th rounder. Like there's a different level there. So I think earlier on the, the margin for error is smaller, maybe, maybe three, three-ish rounds I think is gonna be like a safe ish number to go with. And again, like you said, if, like I said Michael Harris is gonna be one of my top bus guys if he goes out week one and has a freak injury, I'm not, I'm not victory lapping that Speaker 2 00:28:41 Well, right? Like we're not anybody, the victory lap injuries is just not the kind of priest bowl you wanna be associated with to be perfectly Speaker 1 00:28:48 Honest. You just can't, you can't do that. And then I also, I'll come back to this quick, um, another good example from last year was, um, Sal Perez coming off the 40 plus home run season being the first catcher off the board by an insane number. Like yeah wouldn't Speaker 2 00:29:03 Even Speaker 1 00:29:04 Fail. Speaker 2 00:29:04 He and Rio Muto were not even close and Rio Speaker 1 00:29:07 Muto was that that was set to fail. So that's a good example for that. But I mean earlier on, I say in the first like 2, 3, 4 rounds cuz those are your cornerstone players essentially. And if they're not performing as top round guys, I think that's where you're in for a world of a world of her. Like so like you know, look back at Lynn and Gito, you drafted them as maybe backend SP one s or solid SP two s for them to give you s sp five, even s P four if you even want to give them there, that was incredibly detrimental to your team. Your pitching was screwed from the start, right? Like you had, you couldn't come back from that. So I say earlier on maybe two or three, maybe three or three-ish rounds of value and I think later on for somebody to bust, like for your 10th rounder to bust, it's gotta be pretty darn bad. Speaker 2 00:29:49 Right. Okay, so here's, so I'm looking at third base right now. Yeah. On N F B C A D P from December 1st, 2022 to today. Okay. And we've got devs is the fourth, third basement off the board right now at 20.66. So basically second round in a 12 team Yeah. League. Right. And then if we go down to Nolan Anado, he's six off the board at 38th. So that's, you know, you got 16, 18 picks there between those two. So it's about round and a half, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and then you go to Bregman who is seventh off the board, it's 77 spot, like 77 off the board. So it's basically 40 spots between Anado and Bregman. Speaker 1 00:30:39 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:30:41 And you've got Gunner Henderson at 91 and a half after that it's now Max Muny at 1 45. So what you're saying is that if devs performs like Jake devs at 20th, right? But he performs like Anado who went off at 38th, right? That's a couple rounds. That's okay. That's okay. But if Anado goes off the board at 38th and performs like Brakeman going off the board at 77, that would be a bust because now you're talking three and a half rounds. Speaker 1 00:31:11 Yeah, I would, yeah. I mean you're talking 38 to 77 basically 40 picks, that's four rounds in a Speaker 2 00:31:16 10 team. Yeah. You're talking Anado might be sneaking into the late third, certainly an early fourth and 77 puts him what, seventh round? Beginning of the seventh round. Speaker 1 00:31:31 So like that's where it's that, I mean that's, and that's, and that's a tough thing too, like do we look at it and say, well I'm drafting Jose or Ramirez at second overall if he performs as 20th, that's a major bust. I mean even if he's the 20th player, it's still pretty solid for your team. Just maybe not second overall. So like in terms of the gap of production, I think that's honestly gonna vary by rounds. But I think if you're gonna put a rough label to it, I mean you could even look at it at tiers. So if we wanna look at third base, let's just, just to make it super simple, let's put Ramirez in his own tier, Speaker 2 00:32:03 Right? Speaker 1 00:32:04 And let's say wit and Machado are in a tier and then Devs and Riley are in a tier ADOS in a tier of his own, then it drops to Bregman. Speaker 2 00:32:14 If by the way, why is Austin Riley going off the board after devs? Speaker 1 00:32:19 Well that's a good draft value that you should probably keep quiet so we could keep getting it because I've enjoy, I've enjoyed it, I've enjoyed it. So let's, let's keep doing it. People keep taking devs first. Let us, let us get Riley. Or maybe if you're listening, you should be pushing Riley up above devs. Maybe that's how I should be wording Speaker 2 00:32:37 It. I mean you should be targeting Riley over at Devs Speaker 1 00:32:40 For Speaker 2 00:32:40 Sure. That's not even like you asked me for a bust. To me Devs this year is a bust. Speaker 1 00:32:47 Devs is, I'm, I'm devs is con, I'm taking a little closer look at him because it ultimately is gonna come down to which version from last year of devs do you believe in. And again, I think both are a bit extreme but we'll, we'll let's dive into Deborah's on maybe the next episode. Curious. Speaker 2 00:33:05 I think it has more to do with the lineup around him than what he's Speaker 1 00:33:08 Actually capable. Well that is an issue. That's an issue too. But we'll Speaker 2 00:33:11 Get lineup around him is not anywhere close to what it, even though the lineup last year was not great, it was still better than what they've just put together. I mean the last four spots in this lineup are Casas du fall, Reese McGuire, who's better at taking his pants off than hitting a baseball and Christian Royal. Speaker 1 00:33:28 Yeah, that, I mean that lineup has some concerns and Speaker 2 00:33:30 Las talking Rashida, we're not sure what we're getting. Right. Yeah. Like he was great in Japan but so would say a Suzuki and that guy had a rough rookie year. Speaker 1 00:33:38 Yeah, maybe. Maybe the way to look at it in terms of bus is maybe if they drop two or more tiers at the position. Speaker 2 00:33:47 That's fair. Speaker 1 00:33:47 That's maybe that's a way to look at it. That's fair. Fair. And then obviously later on it's gotta be a little bit more, you know, but maybe for the early round guys. Cause I think most of the bus candidates I have are being drafted within the top 10 to 12 rounds probably in a 1210 or, Speaker 2 00:34:02 I mean it's hard to label anybody outside of the top one 50 is a for sure bust. Like what? Like at that point I feel like you're 12 rounds deep. You have most of your, like let's say at that point you've gone what, eight hitters and four pitchers? Speaker 1 00:34:20 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:34:21 Through 12 rounds probably. Um, so at that point you've got most of your starting lined up filled. You're basically taking flyers on an S sp five or like a fourth or fifth outfielder. Speaker 1 00:34:36 Yeah. And the bus have to be earlier on cuz I don't, I mean I've been playing, I mean I know I'm younger than, I'm like I'm younger than you but I've been playing for quite some time and I don't think I've ever looked back on a season and said, well you know what if my gosh darn 17th round pick would've worked out, I would've been unstoppable this year. You know, I didn't lose cuz of my 17th round Speaker 2 00:34:55 Pick. You don't lose because of 17th <laugh>. You may not because they don't do like, but like you're also, I mean, 17th rounders are gonna fill a spot, right? But it's not gonna kill your draft either way. Speaker 1 00:35:07 For sure. And then so that's kind of the bust. So now we're gonna go to everyone's thing sleepers. And you know, I don't wanna keep this going too long, but in terms of sleepers, sleepers is a fun one because there's so many questions with sleepers. Well what's a sleeper? You know, well this year, you know, young guy think Gunner Henderson is a sleeper. That guy is not a sleeper. Okay? Speaker 2 00:35:28 He's not a sleeper. He's been known for, yeah he's arguably the best prospect in Speaker 1 00:35:33 Baseball. A lot of times it seems like to me, Matt, maybe you can correct me if I'm wrong or if this is an incorrect assumption, but the way I tend to see it is people who come up with not a lot of major league experience get the sleeper label because people in your standard leagues might not know 'em. But I think a better way of looking at it is like Gunner Henderson's gonna be a top 70, maybe top 75, top 100 pick. If he can move up a little bit, like we look, I'm here he is, pick 91. So top 100 pick, you know, most people know who he is. He is not a sleeper. Everybody's favorite sleeper seems to be Lars Newt Bar. He's going inside just a top 200. That's more of a sleeper to me cuz that's the later round guy. Like you can only push Gunner Henderson up so far, you can push up Newt Bar as far as you want to go, depending on how much you believe in that batted ball profile. So to me, I think the sleeper label almost comes at where they're being drafted and maybe the player in situation, but really, like you can't have a guy with a 60 or a 65th pick 80 p be a sleeper regardless if he's never done anything. Speaker 2 00:36:36 I completely agree. Right? Like Gunner Henderson came up and had a cup of coffee with Theos last year to the point where he still counts as a prospect, right? Yeah. Um, and several people have him as their number one prospect. To me he's the number two. I have Corbin Carroll just ahead of him, but you're splitting hairs, right? Um, and I've seen just today we're recording this on January 18th, just today on my timeline, I've seen no shorter than eight tweets this morning about Gunner Henderson and how he's one of only three people with 50 batted ball events and, and you know, this whatever set of criteria you want to set it to, he's like one of three people, right? Like everybody's making up their own like little niche things to prove a point about a guy. But here's the problem. If it's January and you're seeing eight tweets about Gunner Henderson, he's not a sleeper, right? Speaker 2 00:37:30 Um, I'm, I'm in the boat with you. It's a guy who, when you look at their projection and you look at what they've done the last, you know, year, if it's not a prospect obviously, and then you sync that up to their ADP and you're like, well why is, why are they going off lower than where their projection or their performance states they should, that's a sleeper. Okay. A perfect example for me of this is Alex Cobb and frankly every San Francisco pitcher is a, is a sleeper, but for sure, um, I mean Camillo Duvall their closer is going off at 81. That's their first pitcher off the board right now. Logan Webb is going off at one 17, but Alex Cobb is their third picture off the board right now since December 1st on N F BBC through 160 drafts, he has an ADP of 2 43. Speaker 2 00:38:31 Okay, you're talking about like 20th round, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative>, something like that in a 12 team league, maybe 22nd round. Okay. If we take a look at some of the projections here, and I've been, I've been, you know, scouting this guy out for a little bit projections, have him for a pretty decent, you know, mid three z a Okay, that's perfectly fine. Just about a strike out an inning. We're good there. We're gonna get 10 to 11 wins. Not bad winds are tough to come by these days. We're gonna get about 160 innings pitched guys gonna be on the mound quite a bit. He's gonna not kill you in whip. Okay? If you go by K percentage, about 24% K rate, that's perfectly fine. Okay? So there's nothing here that stands out to me as to just a, like a red flag that he has to jump to hit these projections. Speaker 2 00:39:32 You wanna know why he had a 3 73 year r a last year? Okay, cool. But e r a is not a great stat. His expected era, r a was three 15, his FIP was two 80, his ex fi was 2 89 and his Sierra was three 15. So all of those are pointing to, he had a better year than e r a stipulates. He struck out more than a guy per inning, okay? Made 28th starts even for a terrible Giants team. He still approached 10 wins and he's locked in the rotation. All of these projections and these numbers put 'em as a top 26 pitcher, yet he's going off the board at 2 43. I do not know why that's the case, but to me that's a sleeper. That's a guy who's, who is in all likelihood going to outperform that, um, that, that draft spot to give you an idea of what 2 43 ranks in terms of picture, just combined pictures mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? 2 43 for Alex Cobb puts him as the 94th pitcher off the board. Speaker 1 00:40:43 Yep. There's, and I, Speaker 2 00:40:46 There's not 60 relievers being drafted in front of him, right? So like mm-hmm. <affirmative> coming off as probably the, I don't know, the 70th starter off the board. Maybe that's a sleeper. Speaker 1 00:40:58 And I think you hit something too that I want to kind of touch on before I talk about like a, like my sleeper example here, just to kind of get people intrigued about what they'll be in the, the top 10 sleepers article that we'll have in the, this is year's fantasy baseball draft guide, Speaker 2 00:41:12 Which by the way, the draft guide is free this year. Speaker 1 00:41:15 Yes. You'll get it, you'll get our thoughts for free. So can't cannot beat that. But one thing that I like or not that I, I don't like to see it if we're being honest, it almost seems like sleeper and breakout candidate are used interchangeably when a, when a sleeper does not have to be a breakout candidate. Like listen, I like Alex Cobb, I may not like him as much as you. I do like him. Speaker 2 00:41:38 I'm not saying he's gonna be a top 15 star. Speaker 1 00:41:40 Correct. And that's, Speaker 2 00:41:41 That's I'm saying he's gonna be ans sp three but being drafted as an SP six. Speaker 1 00:41:46 Exactly. That's the key connotation. Like for those who call Jordan Walker, gunner Henderson, Adley Rushman as sleepers, the correct term for them is breakout candidate. Correct. Not necessarily sleeper. Alex Cobb is a sleeper, he's an S sp six that nobody likes. Or maybe if they do like him, they don't like him enough to push him up boards. But he is going to be an s sp three at worse than s p four by Seasons N and that plays you can be a sleeper and not break out. Cobb's not going to go 19 and three this year with a 1 9 80 r a in break records. Speaker 2 00:42:18 He just not, he's not pulling a Rick Porcello a l a young campaign. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:42:22 Right. But when he's being drafted as the 93rd or whatever number you said pitcher off the board and he ends up performing like a top 45 starter, that value is pretty darn good. And even if it's one of those things, like I've talked about it with in player profiles previously for fantasy alarm and player capsules, some of these guys, you are not going to notice anything that they do mi during the year and at the end of the year you're gonna look and be like, well damn he hit 15 homers with five stolen bases and hit two 70 and I got him outside of the top 250 picks. That's pretty good value. And I didn't even know that he did it. Like that's the thing with sleepers, like you're not going to get alerts of Cobb going out there two hit shutouts with 13 strikeouts and eight innings. That's not his game. But he can, he can outperform expectations. That is the key difference. And I think where you and I agree sleeper and breakout candidate are not terms to be used interchangeably. Speaker 2 00:43:18 I'll give you, I'll give you two, I'll give you two names that perfectly illustrate this. Right. Okay. So Alex Cobb is going off 94th pitcher off the board. He is a sleeper. The 88th pitcher off the board and the 100th pitcher off the board are Edward Cabrera and Hunter Brown respectively. Those are breakout candidates. Speaker 1 00:43:39 Agreed. Speaker 2 00:43:40 They are not sleepers. The difference is you don't know what they're gonna do. So they could completely flame out or they could buy for their respective leagues, uh, rookies of the year. Right. Alex Cobb is not gonna break, not gonna be in the Cy Young discussion. Okay? But you know what he is, he's a known value and he's being drafted too low. That's the difference. Cabrera and Hunter Brown are breakout candidates. Alex Cobbs a sleeper Speaker 1 00:44:14 Now sure. Can a possible sleeper be somewhat of a breakout candidate? Yes, sure they can. But when you're using it for the top prospects, they are not sleepers, they are breakout cans. Like so for me, one of the guy that I'm gonna write up about who's actually not too far behind, um, Cobb Cobb's pitcher 94 and Ju the guy that I like is 1 0 8. It's Chicago's Justin Steel. Is he gonna win the Cy Young? No. No. Did he, was he good last year? Sure he was good but he had a, he had a back strain that cut his year short and nobody's looking at his final seven starts of the year where he had a 0.9 80 R a and 11.5 K per nine. He has not gotten pushed up enough. He's got the talent and I even talk about it in the player capsule that I wrote, I ended it with, he may get capped around 150 innings but he'll help your team's ratios post respectable strikeout numbers. Speaker 1 00:45:06 And I like him to post a sub three five e r a for the second straight season. That's not world beating numbers. You know, he's not gonna post an elite strikeout rate, he is not gonna be an elite ratio guy. He's not winning 15 plus games. He's not going sub 25 era r a but he's the hundred eighth pitcher off the board. He's a guy for me that will be in the top 75 by seasons n whether people want to admit it or not. So like Correct. That's another sleeper. Is there some breakout hints with him? Sure. But it's still a sleeper cuz he's not like I'm, as much as I like him, I know he's not gonna be ans sp one or two this year. Like I just know that Speaker 2 00:45:42 He's, and by the way, form expectation, don't let anybody tell you that Spencer Streiter is a breakout or a sleeper. Speaker 1 00:45:47 Yeah, he's a, he's Dr. Being drafted as an SP one. Speaker 2 00:45:49 Yeah, he's the ninth pitcher off the pole Speaker 1 00:45:52 <laugh>. Yeah, exactly. Speaker 2 00:45:53 He's literally, he's literally going ahead of Brandon Woodruff right now Speaker 1 00:45:57 Who I love Speaker 2 00:45:58 This year by the way. And Dylan sees and Aaron Nola and Shane McClanahan. Yep. And Verlander and Rodan. So he's not a sleeper and he is not a breakout cuz he already had his breakout. He struck out 200 dudes in like a hundred innings. He's Speaker 1 00:46:11 Just another elite one. Speaker 2 00:46:13 Yes. Speaker 1 00:46:13 That's, that's what he is. So I think, I think that's good to like lay the groundwork and talk about that cuz like later on like breakout break, you know, let me say it, let me say it this way. I think this might be a good way of putting it, you know, the whole, what is it, squares or rectangles, but not all rectangles or squares type analogy. Yes. Like it's almost kind of similar to that, you know, like some breakouts can be but not all. That's kind of what it comes down to. So I know we were gonna talk about draft trends that we've kind of been seeing, but we're kind of already at time. So I think maybe we'll use that as the launching point for our next episode. Um, of this where we're gonna talk, I've been doing, uh, a best ball and underdog. I'm probably gonna get into a couple more. So we'll have a couple drafts to go off of, but Matt and I are just gonna take a look at the board, see what's been shaken out, some early draft trends. Is there any category that we can punt on, like on a site like underdog where it's points based. Can you afford to point or punt on like a position or category or anything? Speaker 2 00:47:09 Oh that's a good, so Speaker 1 00:47:10 That's, that's gonna get, I Speaker 2 00:47:12 Get that question every, I get that every that, that question every year. So that'll, that conversation will come with stipulations next time Speaker 1 00:47:21 For for sure and that's fine. That stipulations are are fine. So of course we're gonna put a bow on this episode, but of course make sure you get over to fantasy fantasy alarm.com, check out the MLB free agent tracker. Uh, if you've got any MLB questions, cuz drafts are rolling around soon, Matt, and I'll be in the discord answering any questions. So make sure you're there and get ready for the release of this year's Fantasy baseball draft guide that we're gonna [email protected], which Matt, a little birdie has told him that it's going to be free this year, Speaker 2 00:47:49 So it is gonna be free. It's entirely, uh, free. So I've already written two, uh, league format strategy pieces already, um, including one, uh, yesterday actually. Um, we'll have player capsules for a ton of, a ton of folks. Like, I don't know, for, for me, I'm doing the NL East, uh, and between the five teams there, I think I have about a hundred between a hundred and 110 player capsules Yep. To do for those five teams. So that should give you an idea of the, uh, number of player capsules we're gonna write. That'll be on the player pages. My prospect report or prospect rankings are already out, um, and have already been updated once. We'll see, uh, if I update them again based on some, some recent, you know, Jordan Walker and Pam Ivis news, um, dynasty rankings are already up. And, uh, I will also have an article about players you should target with the shift being out of commission this year as they are banning the shift. Uh, so I will have a breakdown of what that means for fantasy baseball and, uh, players you could look at who might also qualify as sleepers. I'm kind of curious as to where one of the main guys sits. Um, ooh, he's got a n n nice and tidy little value there. The, the main guy I'm writing about is going off the board right now at pick 67. Speaker 1 00:49:28 Okay. Speaker 2 00:49:29 So, and I think there's some value there. Speaker 1 00:49:32 Go, go scramble to see who that player is. Check out everything we got for [email protected] Give Matt a follow on Twitter at the sales man. Give me a follow at Colby r Conway and we will see you next time for the next edition of the Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

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