DYNASTY DIVORCES: ANDERSON ESPINOZA, JOEY BART, JOEY VOTTO AND EDUARDO ESCOBAR
This year we are pulling out all the stops for Dynasty Divorces. We are not only talking about prospects but major leaguers. We never want you to get burned by someone in Dynasty Baseball. There are warning signs. It may be easier to spot those warning signs with the prospect in the minors, but we also know you can’t rule out warning signs that you could get burned by a seasoned veteran if you hold them too long. In each installment, Brett @beautyofgrace32 on Twitter and Taylor @TCasesLoaded on Twitter, will both highlight a prospect and a veteran. I guess you could say we are doubling down in Dynasty Divorces this year.
In our previous article of Dynasty Divorces we discussed prospects Vidal Brujan and Brent Honeywell. The major leaguers we discussed were Shohei Ohtani and Andrew Benintendi. We also discussed these players more in-depth on our podcast, Dynasty Divorces. The links to each of these are found below! Next Thursday we will release our podcast on the players in this article.
ANDERSON ESPINOZA, SP, SD
Analysis by: Taylor Case
In keeping with the theme from my last Dynasty Divorces article, I’m going with another former top prospect who has dealt with multiple arm injuries in the last four years: Anderson Espinoza of the San Diego Padres.
His two major arm surgeries are difficult to overlook, but, as with Honeywell Jr., Espinoza comes into 2021 with a clean bill of health. Armed with an above-average fastball/curveball combo and shaky command according to Prospects Live, there definitely is upside for the young righty, especially if he can make it to the Bigs while the current offense is still employed. The problem with Espinoza as a fantasy player (and this is strictly my opinion) is that he’s in a situation where he could easily end up as a bulk reliever, or potentially even be traded midseason to another team willing to take a chance. Ultimately, the Padres staff may be (and this is weird to say) too talented for him to break through any time soon.
VERDICT: HURRY UP AND WAIT
It’s been a long time since Espinoza was a top-100 prospect, much less one of the most highly thought of in the game. Luckily, he’s healthy now after many years of injuries and doubt. The Padres seem intent on not pushing him as well, as he pitched only one inning spring training and was sent to the alternate site before the season began. However, a final verdict: it pained me to drop Espinoza in two dynasty leagues before FYPD season came around, as he could be a true post-hype sleeper in the next few years. At the moment, though, I think he’s better off on your watch list in most 12-team dynasty leagues.
JOEY BART, C, SF
Analysis by: Brett Cook
First off, I just have to say that I love what San Francisco is doing as an organization. This is coming from a Rangers fan, who, from my standing room only ticket, watched as the Giants beat my Rangers in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series. I am still a little salty.
The story in San Francisco is that one of the greatest catchers of all time will one day be replaced by this Joey Bart guy. Don’t hear that I am saying that Bart is going to be Posey. It just appears that one day Bart will hold the position that formerly belonged to Posey.
Last year the Giants called up Bart because Buster Posey opted out. This year Buster is playing and Bart is at the alternate site. Posey has this year and next year remaining on his contract. In my opinion, all signs seem to be pointing towards this position being Bart’s. Bart made this list because he fell on many prospect lists that we track. I can understand why he did. The man had a walk percentage under 3% and struck out almost 40% of the time.
VERDICT: THE SIMPSONS ARE WORTH ANOTHER GO
You can’t talk about Joey Bart without talking about the Simpsons. The Simpsons are set to have a 33rd season. In the same way, Joey Bart has many seasons ahead of him. I am not going to base his future on one bad season, especially when you could argue he was rushed into something he wasn’t ready for. If you have Joey Bart, remain confident. He did drop on lists but you still have a catcher primed for a solid career.
JOEY VOTTO, 1B, CIN
Analysis by: Taylor Case
Votto and I have a mixed history. As much of a mixed history as a dynasty manager can have with a real baseball player can have, that is. I accidentally auto-drafted him onto a redraft team in 2017, only for him to have one of the best offensive seasons I’ve ever seen. Then, bright-eyed and ready to dominate, I drafted on purpose in 2019 only for him to be simply…average, as exemplified by his 101 wRC+. Am I being dramatic about his up and down performance over the last few years? Probably. Do I plan to stop? Nope.
In all seriousness though, ever since that 2019 season I’ve been a little wary of rostering Votto on my teams. But what I’m realizing is that I need to work on not letting one “down” season, as it were, persuade me away from drafting or acquiring a player that has Votto’s track record of excellence. Case in point, in 2020, he rebounded with a nice fantasy season, slashing .226/.354/.446 with 11 homers (29 homer pace in a 162-game season) and a 114 wRC+. His average was uncharacteristically low, but heck, last year sucked! For context, he also sported a .235 BABIP, over 100 points lower than his career average. I’m aware that BABIP is not an all-encompassing stat for regression prediction, but in this case, I’d like to hope that a few more liners could fall his way moving forward.
VERDICT: STICK WITH HIM, ESPECIALLY IN OBP LEAGUES
Votto dropped exactly 100 spots in TDG’s yearly top-500 Consensus Rankings this year, from 238 to 338. In my opinion, he’s still a top-300 player and a top-250 player in OBP leagues. He’s had a rough start this season, but that may make this time even better to go out and acquire him “low,” as they say, especially if you are going for a championship this season and need regular at-bats.
EDUARDO ESCOBAR, 2B/3B, ARI
Analysis by: Brett Cook
Last year I highlighted Escobar in a roundtable discussion. The topic was on slow starts that we were not buying. I honestly thought Escobar was going to turn things around in 2020. He never did. Many other players didn’t as well.
I decided that Eduardo Escobar was going to be my target on April 8th. I am now writing this on Wednesday the 14th. As I sit here typing, I type as one who has hope, because Eduardo Escobar has made my argument a little easier. He didn’t just leave the record books with home runs in two or three straight days, but four ladies and gents. He has hit safely in six of his last eight games. In four of those six games, he had multiple hits. In his first 21 at-bats through five games he had one hit. In his last six games, he has 9 hits in 30 plate appearances. I sincerely missed this production from Escobar last year. Many of us probably ran from Escobar in drafts this year. I can’t say I blame you because I remember his stat line from last year. Escobar is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. It is early in the season but from this small sample size, there is reason to have hope.
VERDICT: THE DIAMONDBACK STRIKES AGAIN
Me and Indiana Jones have a lot in common in that we both hate snakes. I stay far away from snakes in real life but I love having this one in my fantasy lineup. This Diamondback looks like he will keep striking my opponents in all the offensive categories for me, and I love it. Stay married to Eduardo Escobar.