TDG Weekly Report, March 24-30, 2018
This year, The Dynasty Guru will provide a weekly report every Saturday. The weekly report will link to TDG articles for the past week, touch upon notable player developments, and preview upcoming TDG articles for the next week.
This Week at TDG
Offering tips to rebuild dynasty teams, including aggressive waivers/FAAB, targeted injured players, and buying at the trade deadline
Debating free agent signings, predictions, and overrated/underrated/properly rated players
Analyzing Kyle Barraclough, Sandy Alcantara, and Lewis Brinson
Providing a list of Twitter follows for information concerning the International League
Exploring three left-handed pitching prospects on the cusp of the majors: Joey Lucchesi (timely!), Ryan Borucki, and Austin Gomber
Detailing notable spring prospect performances, injuries/suspensions, and prospects on the Opening Day roster
Championing the upside of Dominic Leone (before the Cardinals signed Greg Holland)
Discussing the fantasy relevance of Jesse Chavez
Analyzing Brandon Woodruff, Travis Shaw, and Josh Hader
Examining the percentage of runs batted in derived from home runs and, specifically, Mike Trout, Yonder Alonso, Justin Smoak, and Albert Pujols
Assessing the short- and long-term impact of injuries to Greg Bird, Madison Bumgarner, Luiz Gohara, Kyle Lewis, and Dinelson Lamet
Evaluating the fantasy implications of notable free agent signings, including Jimmy Graham, Jerick McKinnon, Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde, and Teddy Bridgewater
Notable Player Developments
- After a strong spring performance (.328/.411/.594), Matt Davidson hit three home runs on Opening Day. With a prime lineup position (4th) and huge power, Davidson could surprise despite contact concerns. Oh, and I called it!
- On Opening Day, the Phillies benched Scott Kingery (expected), Odubel Herrera (unexpected), and Jorge Alfaro (unexpected). On Friday, Kingery debuted (Maikel Franco to the bench) and Herrera returned to the lineup (Nick Williams to the bench). The third base, outfield, and catcher situations will require monitoring. Last year, Franco was a disaster and Kingery is extremely promising. Meanwhile, Herrera had a poor spring and Williams/Aaron Altherr will continue to push him for playing time. The Alfaro/Andrew Knapp split behind the plate should be interesting. It is too early to make any definitive prediction, but Andrew Knapp was a notable prospect only a couple years ago and is starting the first two games. Knapp is a solid speculative add in deeper leagues or two-catcher leagues.
- Jose Martinez started at first base for the Cardinals, sending Jedd Gyorko to the bench. The Cardinals infield carousel will be an interesting follow. If Martinez carves out a regular role, he could have huge value this year.
- Josh Donaldson has “dead arm” and struggled to make throws from third base. This “injury” may be more serious than the Blue Jays let on and he may be heading for the disabled list. For now, it appears he will start at designated hitter, sending Kendrys Morales to the bench and Yangervis Solarte to third base.
- The Orioles hit Chris Davis leadoff. Strange move. Chance Sisco did not receive the start. I anticipate close to a 50/50 split with Caleb Joseph.
- Another uncommon leadoff hitter, Jesse Winker earns the start in left field for the Reds. Adam Duvall is on the bench. Unfortunately for Winker, the start came against Max Scherzer.
- Trea Turner hit sixth, not leadoff or second. A lower lineup position impacts plate appearances, run-scoring opportunities, and potentially stolen bases.
- Byron Buxton hit eighth and Robbie Grossman pinch hit for him with the bases loaded. Do the Twins trust Buxton’s bat?
- Shohei Ohtani also hit eighth and drove nearly everything into the ground. He will need to adjust his swing path if he wants to tap into that prodigious power.
- Ian Desmond received the first two starts at first base for the Rockies. Ryan McMahon likely will sit against most left-handed pitchers (Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray so far).
- Yasmani Grandal started against a left-handed pitcher instead of Austin Barnes. I hope the Barnes hype dies a slow and painful death. It will be difficult for him to amass enough playing time (without injury to Grandal) to be relevant in many leagues.
- Speaking of the Dodgers, Enrique Hernandez hit cleanup! A blistering spring and an injury to Justin Turner opens the door a bit for Kike. With nice eligibility in most leagues, he is a solid early season sleeper for deep leagues. Of course, Chase Utley earns the start at second base against a right-handed pitcher.
- Other early sleepers based on predicted playing time and lineup position: Jose Pirela (fourth), Brandon Nimmo (first), Cheslor Cuthbert (fifth), Derek Dietrich (second), Preston Tucker pre-Acuna (sixth), and Garrett Cooper (sixth).
- Early closer developments: Keone Kela (Rangers), Greg Holland (Cardinals), and Hunter Strickland (Giants) all appear to have closer roles moving forward (at least temporarily).
- Meanwhile, closer meltdowns are already upon us (Felipe Rivero, Corey Knebel, Brad Brach, Fernando Rodney, Hector Neris, and Shane Greene). All but Rivero and Knebel are at risk of losing late-inning opportunities to Mychal Givens, Addison Reed, Pat Neshek, and Joe Jimenez/Alex Wilson respectively.
- Finally, fun early statcast data: Giancarlo Stanton leads with a home run with an exit velocity of 117.4 mph. Matt Davidson hit his three home runs very hard (115.1, 114.0, 113.9). Jordan Hicks threw 7 of the 10 fastest pitches, including a 101.6 mph fastball (averaged 100.6!). Clayton Kershaw, Julio Teheran, and Cole Hamels experienced over a 2 mph drop in fastball velocity.
- After just one day of baseball, oft-injured Aaron Hicks is already on the disabled list with an intercostal muscle strain.
- Cristian Pache hit two home runs in an exhibition game against Sean Newcomb. Observers note Pache made a swing change.
- Joey Lucchesi surprisingly made the starting rotation for the Padres. He utilizes a funky, jerky delivery to create plenty of deception and manages to command three potential above-average pitches.
- With the injury to Hicks, Billy McKinney received a promotion and is starting in left field for the Yankees. In the short-term, he is a strong add in deeper formats.
- Garrett Whitley underwent surgery on his right labrum and is out for the season.
- The college baseball season is nearly halfway complete and the National High School Invitational wrapped up this week. An upcoming article will detail the top MLB draft fantasy prospects.
Next Week at TDG
What might you expect at TDG next week? You are no longer in the dark! Here are some highlights of we have in the works:
- TDG’s Triple Play
- TDG’s The Best Twitter Follows
- Trader’s Corner
- Fun DSL Players to Monitor
- Article on Tyler Anderson
- Players to Monitor For Change in April
- Post-Hype Prospects
- Bold Predictions
- Dynasty Football Veteran Buys