Fantasy Baseball Insider – 2018 book sample (random players)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

(from last year’s book)

 

Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox, Bats Right, Bats Right, Age 26 – Betts has a quick bat, good speed and is a top defensive outfielder. He has three straight seasons of 40+ doubles while maintaining an excellent k/bb ratio. The 54-point drop in batting average looks like a fluke at the moment as he saw more breaking stuff last year than ever before. He should be able to make the proper adjustments and maybe even get back into the 30-homer range.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Red Sox

189

34

5

18

7

.291

.368

2015

Red Sox

597

92

18

77

21

.291

.341

2016

Red Sox

672

122

31

113

26

.318

.363

2017

Red Sox

628

101

24

102

26

.264

.344

 

Projected

625

100

28

100

25

.279

 

 

Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians, Bats Left, Age 31 – Brantley has a sweet swing with some power potential but can’t stay healthy. He missed most of 2016 following shoulder surgery the previous November but came back strong last year before breaking an ankle in July. His rehab has reportedly gone well but he will be behind in spring training and could be questionable for Opening Day. Bid with caution but he could be a steal if you get him for under $10.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Indians

611

94

20

97

23

.327

.385

2015

Indians

529

68

15

84

15

.310

.379

2016

Indians

39

5

0

7

1

.231

.279

2017

Indians

338

47

9

52

11

.299

.357

 

Projected

400

53

14

59

15

.290

 

 

Randal Grichuk. Toronto Blue Jays, Bats Right, Age 26Grichuk has power to all fields and can play all three outfield positions but is expected to start in right field this season. Don’t expect a high batting average unless he reduces his strikeouts (141/28) but is still valuable for the homers. He was sent down for a month in the first half to work on his swing and mental approach last year. He also was rehabbing a strained lower back in the middle of July. "  (Pronounced GRICH-ick)

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Cardinals

110

11

3

8

0

.245

.278

2015

Cardinals

323

49

17

47

4

.276

.329

2016

Cardinals

446

66

24

68

5

.240

.289

2017

Cardinals

412

53

22

59

6

.238

.285

 

Projected

500

75

30

84

6

.242

 

 

Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles, Bats Right, Age 26 – Mancini has good power but strikes out a lot as some scouts describe his swing as a bit long. But he surprised everybody with a solid season last year. He had a 139/33 k/bb ratio that worries us but he hit right-handers well and made the transition from first base to left field. He also improved his strikeout rate in the second half a bit and proved to be an all-field hitter. Temper expectation a bit.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2016

Orioles

14

3

3

5

0

.357

.400

2017

Orioles

543

65

24

78

1

.293

.338

 

Projected

525

61

24

72

0

.269

 

 

Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox, Bats Both, Age 23Moncada, a top prospect, will open the season at second base and could be a sleeper. He hit well last year but a 74/29 k/bb ratio will keep his average down for now. Most scouts think the k-rate will drop as he matures. He should be a 20/20 player or higher when that happens. On the plus side he draws walks. On the minus side he struggles vs. lefties. He's only 22 so maybe he'll improve his pitch recognition down the road. Prospect hype will likely raise his value in most drafts.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2017

AAA

309

57

12

36

17

.282

.377

2017

White Sox

199

31

8

22

3

.231

.338

 

Projected

550

81

19

62

15

.248

 

 

Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers, Bats Left, Age 24 – Odor has good power but he still needs to improve his plate selectivity (162/32 k/bb ratio). He is a solid defender at second base and plays with passion but he got into the bad habit of swinging at everything last year, becoming too pull-conscience, and the average tanked.  Until he breaks out of this stubborn habit, his average will stay down. He also struggled terribly against lefties last year. (Pronounced ROOG-ned oh-DORE)

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Rangers

386

39

9

48

4

.259

.297

2015

Rangers

426

54

16

61

6

.261

.316

2016

Rangers

605

89

33

88

14

.271

.296

2017

Rangers

607

79

30

75

15

.204

.252

 

Projected

575

71

26

62

12

.236

 

 

Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics, Bats Left, Age 24 – Olson has big power but strikes out too much to hit for a decent average.  AL hurlers pitch him low and away. He draws walks though and fared better than expected in limited duty last year after simplifying his swing.  He displayed pretty good control of the strike zone in the minors, so maybe he can eventually lay off the tough pitches and/or go the other way with authority. He batted .272-23-60 at AAA Nashville last year and will open this season as the starting first baseman.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2016

Athletics

21

3

0

0

0

.095

.321

2017

Athletics

189

33

24

45

0

.259

.352

 

Projected

525

71

33

72

0

.232

 

 

Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins, Bats Right, Age 25 – Sano, a poor defensive player, moved to right field and then to third base.  He gained back his batting average last year despite an almost identical 173/54 k/bb ratio. He missed 40 games with a stress reaction in his shin last year and had surgery after the season. He will divide his time between 3B-DH this year. He is currently under investigation into sexual assault claims against him and showed up to camp overweight. Looks like a risky pick this year.

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2015

Twins

279

46

18

52

1

.269

.385

2016

Twins

437

57

25

66

1

.236

.319

2017

Twins

424

75

28

77

0

.264

.352

 

Projected

475

79

23

72

0

.243

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

(from last year’s book)

 

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants, Bats Left, Age 30 – Belt shortened his swing, grip and stance and reduced the strikeouts the last three years and its shown in his production. But more concussion problems hindered him last year. He suffered a broken hand and then a concussion in 2014. He suffered a concussion and also played through a meniscus tear in 2015. "There are always going to be some questions about whether this has some long term effects," he said. "But right now it’s not going to keep me from playing baseball. In the long run, I want to make sure I’m one-hundred-thousand percent ready to go when the season starts."

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Giants

214

30

12

27

3

.243

.306

2015

Giants

492

73

18

68

9

.280

.356

2016

Giants

542

77

17

82

0

.275

.394

2017

Giants

382

63

18

51

3

.241

.355

 

Projected

400

61

16

56

0

.259

 

 

Justin Bour, Miami Marlins, Bats Left, Age 30 – Bour has good power but strikes out a lot so his average fluctuates. He did improve his k/bb ratio the last two years and worked on going to all fields. He is a poor defensive first baseman and struggles against lefties at times. He also needs to improve his conditioning habits. He missed two months with an ankle sprain in 2016. He missed six weeks with a strained oblique last year. He also missed 10 days with a sprained ankle.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Marlins

74

10

1

11

0

.284

.361

2015

Marlins

409

42

23

73

0

.262

.321

2016

Marlins

280

35

15

51

0

.264

.349

2017

Marlins

377

52

25

83

1

.289

.366

 

Projected

400

60

22

77

0

.262

 

 

David Dahl, Colorado Rockies, Bats Left, Age 24 – Dahl’s top prospect status has been derailed several times with injuries. He played in just 19 rehab games due to a stress reaction in his rib cage last year. "I feel great," he said. "I'm completely healed." Dahl has good power but strikes out a lot so there might be some correction in his batting average. If healthy, he could win a platoon job in left field and have some sleeper status. Grab him late or on reserve.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2016

Minors

350

70

18

61

17

.314

.425

2016

Rockies

222

42

7

24

5

.315

.359

 

Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds, Bats Left, Age 28 – Gennett, who became one of only two players to have four grand slams in a season as well as a four-home run game (Lou Gehrig was the other), was a huge unlikely breakout last year. He was claimed off of waivers at the end of spring training and began the season in a utility role. He took over the second base job two months later and never looked back. He altered his approach at the plate and became a bit more pull conscience after making his living as a spray hitter in the pros.  NL hurlers will be pitching him differently this year so he will have to adjust. If he can, he could very well approach last year’s power numbers. Unfortunately he will likely be too expensive in most drafts.

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2014

Brewers

440

55

9

54

6

.289

.320

2015

Brewers

375

42

6

29

1

.264

.294

2016

Brewers

498

58

14

56

8

.263

.317

2017

Reds

461

80

27

97

3

.295

.342

 

Projected

500

83

22

88

4

.278

 

 

Jose Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals, Bats Right, Age 29 – Martinez surprised everybody with a breakout season in  a part time role last year.  He showed excellent plate awareness as well as anybody according to an analysis by the Statcast™ lab. They took into account exit velocity, launch angle and k/bb ratio and well as strikeout rate. He missed three weeks with a groin injury last year.  He had three knee surgeries in the minors that kept his power in check until 2015. He slumped a bit in 2016 but added more loft to his swing and voila – more power. So now he looks for real but is caught up in a numbers crunch at 1B-OF where he has eligibly from last year. So we’re not sure how much playing time he’ll get at either position. If he slips to the late rounds, grab him fast.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2016

Cardinals

16

4

0

1

0

.438

.500

2017

Cardinals

272

47

14

46

4

.309

.379

 

Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves, Bats Right, Age 24 – Scouts are mixed on Swanson’s upside but most prospect geeks love him. He’s a gamer, always hustling, but doesn’t have one outstanding skill. He struggled with his selectivity and confidence last year and was sent down for a time but finished with the big club. He should also steal more bases as he matures but most do not think he will be a big time power hitter. Some think he might have to move off shortstop, but not this year.  He was the #1 overall pick in 2016. 

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2016

Braves

129

20

3

17

3

.302

.361

2017

Braves

488

59

6

51

3

.232

.312

 

Projected

525

60

10

57

5

.248

 

 

Jesse Winker. Cincinnati Reds, Bats Left, Age 24 – Winker, a good prospect, is a solid contact hitter with a great eye at the plate and hits lefties as well as right-handers. He plays solid defense in left field and some think he could make the transition to right field as well. He hit 29 doubles and showed some HR power last year so maybe that part of his game is going to come around. He is certainly big and strong enough to hit homers but his swing has been geared to line drives in the minors. He missed a month with a wrist injury that affected the power in 2016 but he has never hit more than 16 homers in any full minor-league season. Grab him on reserve as a sleeper unless a trade is made to free up a starting job.  They say they will rotate their outfielders this year to get him some extra playing time.

 

 

 

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

2017

AAA

299

33

2

41

2

.314

.395

2017

Reds

121

21

7

15

1

.298

.375