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Guys, it's spring.
The games are happening. And while most of what happens in those games is of little importance, a small number of players are legitimately competing for something. And those competitions … well, they could be great consequence to the owners of Fantasy.
So you should follow, especially keeping an eye on these battles in 30 positions, which I ranked in order of importance.
The "probable choice" is who is in the lead now. The "preferred choice" is who you should hope to win.
1. Second baseman of the Rockies
Probable choice: Hampson
Preferred choice: Hampson
Ryan McMahon has not shown much on previous occasions, although they have been limited, and Garrett Hampson has the potential to have an even greater impact on the current speed-hungry environment, his stolen potential supported by his natural abilities and basic skills. BABIP – the inflation environments that it would call home. Brendan Rodgers will get a symbolic appearance since it is a great prospect, but the Rocky Mountains have no reason to hurry it.
2. Padres central defender / right defender
Probable choices Margot, Renfroe
Favorite choices: Cordero, Reyes
Of course, ending the basic Wil Myers-to-third experiment made possible the signature of Manny Machado, but he also created a huge logjam in an outfield full of intriguing possibilities. Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are the safe choices for the other two spots, the first one has a high plan and this is the most tried, but Margot will not be a successful star in any category and Renfroe is an all-encompassing or nothing . Franchy Cordero and Franmil Reyes bring stronger instruments and more rounded skill sets. These are the things the sleepers are made of.
Probable choice: Voit
Preferred choice: Voit
Maybe this is the year when Greg Bird is finally and truly healthy, but how much chance does the boy deserve? Luke Voit looks like it could be all that the Yankees hoped that Bird would be and more and deserves a longer attention after catching fire last season. The most important question could be whether he can hold off Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez if they are forced to move from positions where defensive liabilities are considered, but this is not the sort of thing we'll hear in the spring.
Probable choice: Committee
Preferred choice: Everything except a committee
Each of the three has the potential to be closer to the first five. Hader is probably the most talented, but also the least likely to claim work outright. Knebel is the most tested in the role and has returned from a set-up of the minor league with crazy numbers last September. Jeffress understood how to lose the bats last year, combining it with an already stellar walking rate for a 1.29 ERA. As the commission worked for manager Craig Counsell last season, it is possible to bet that it will not be challenging this spring.
Probable choice: timeshare
Preferred choice: Mejia
Part of the reason why Francisco Mejia is with the Padres is now due to his reluctance to change his position in the Indian organization, so he is the catcher or the bust. The bat has been ready for a long time and is certainly exciting for the position, but it is not a position where a defensive responsibility is able to overcome a defensive result, which is why it seems likely that timeshare will start. ;year.
Probable choice: Schebler
Preferred choice: Senzel
The Reds are desperate for a late position for the late Nick Senzel, not wanting to waste those ammo in minors again, and the middle court seems to be the best bet. Still, it's fair to assume they will play the service-time-handling game in April, giving Scott Schebler a path to bats for now. There is some small concern that the outfield surplus, which also includes the All-Star Matt Kemp of 2018, could threaten the bats of Jesse Winker – and attacking Yasiel Puig in the central court would be a way to have Kemp, Winker and Puig in the same field – but new manager David Bell has hinted that Winker's clubs are safe regardless.
Probable choice: Frazier
Preferred choice: Alonso
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen is already on the record saying that the novice Peter Alonso, who has the stuff of an elite power hitter, would be his choice to start the first base on the day of the inauguration – a bold support that suggests that the Mets are not obliged to wait the other two weeks at the start of the season to collect an extra year of control of the team. It is so advantageous, though, that they will probably think back to us when pushes come, using Alonso's defense as an excuse to send him back and give Todd Frazier a last chance, however fleeting it may be, to live up to the contract that he signed the last year.
Probable choice: James
Preferred choice: James
Yeah, Josh James and Framber Valdez have done enough to get their chance in the initial spin and could ultimately still if the Astros are not able to find the same kind of miraculous data for Wade Miley they've done for so many other pitchers in the last years. For now, though, there seems to be only one opening, and while Valdez's outrageous tendencies are intriguing for them, James seems to be more one of the flying targets that Fantasy owners love to see, with an average of 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings in minors last year and 11.3 in the majors.
Probable choice: Holland
Preferred choice: Holland
Diamondback manager Torey Lovullo resisted the nomination of Archie Bradley last spring, although he was clearly the best lifter on the team and continued to resist even when Brad Boxberger faltered in the role in the middle of last season. Greg Holland, three times All-Star, offers him a much easier reason to resist, after regaining his dominant form after joining the Nationals at the end of last year. Bradley, it is worth noting, has faltered during the same stretch, delivering an & # 39; ERA of 6.58 in the second half.
10. Cardinals right fielder
Probable choice: fowler
Preferred choice: Martinez
The Cardinals could be financially obliged to offer Dexter Fowler the first crack, hoping to save something from the mega bargain they gave him two years ago, but it is the least interesting of these choices from a Fantasy perspective and is still too prone to last. . Jose Martinez has been such an important part of the offense over the past two years that the Cardinals could bite the bullet and play it in the right way, as they did during last year's draw, swapping the defense with an average of 300 bars. lb. At some point, even O & # 39; Neill and its power potential will show.
11. Second baseman of brewers
Probable choice: Moustakas
Preferred choice: Moustakas
Opting to re-sign Mike Moustakas late this offseason, the Brewers took care of the same problem if they had done last season: too many basemen and too many second basemen. This time, they will look for Moustakas on the keystone, but since his range of action is already less exemplary than the third non-come-rangy base, it could go wrong, perhaps forcing them to use the best batsman, Shaw, on the second base after all. However, there are a lot of late substitutions, creating a game time nightmare for Fantasy owners, but Moustakas' plan is the least resistance, that is, until the moment when Keston Hiura is ready.
Probable choice: Barnes
Preferred choice: Barnes
Matt Barnes definitely has something to close, his 14.0 K / 9 is in sixth place among the legendary with at least 50 innings last year, and while the walks are a little worrying, his FIP suggests that his ERA of 3.65 should have been less than that era. Ryan Brasier had an ERA of 1.60 last year, but his BABIP .198 tells much of the story. Nor would it be a bad choice, but Barnes could be great. Tyler Thornburg has a long experience after losing most of the last two seasons due to injury, but if manager Alex Cora prefers to keep Barnes and Brasier in the roles of last year, it is an option.
Probable choice: Soroka
Preferred choice: Soroka
Braves have more than one rotation of honest perspectives for the good that fit for a single point of rotation, so you can trust that the victorious emergent has seriously earned it. That said, the embarrassment of wealth allows for a quick trigger when the pains of growth inevitably intervene, so it is possible that none of these sects gains a solid foundation in the role. Mike Soroka seems to be the best bet as the most lucid and best group shooter, but some shoulder problems at the start of this spring could bring him back. Touki Toussaint and Luiz Gohara are the most electric.
14. Athletics fifth match
Probable choice: Montas
Preferred choice: Luzardo
It is no secret that the best perspective is Jesus Luzardo only why we have to worry about this particular competition, and from the sound of it, it is not just a symbolic contender. But it would take a Herculean performance this spring, in all likelihood, to convince a frugal franchise to lose a year of control by promoting it immediately. There is also the problem of him having barely exceeded 100 innings last year. Between this and his fights after a late-season promotion to Triple-A, it is fair to ask if he is actually ready. You would not pay a second thought to any of these other arms, though.
15. Cardinals sixth appetizer
Probable choice: Reyes
Preferred choice: Reyes
No, the Cardinals do not plan to employ a six-man rotation in 2019, but between the ancient Adam Wainwright and the injured Michael Wacha, they have a couple of rotation options that should be replaced at some point. Or maybe even earlier if Carlos Martinez is slow to build the strength in his shoulder and must start the year in the bullpen or the DL. In fact, it is a question of whether Alex Reyes, despite all his problems with the armaments, can position himself in line, thus justifying his average price tag.
Probable choice: McNeil
Preferred choice: McNeil
The decision to include Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie in this offseason seems to have left one of the biggest hits of 2018, Jeff McNeil, with no place to play. But the management immediately suggested that he could try his hand in the left field, and in fact, it seems to be the best choice there. Obviously it is the favorite scenario for Fantasy owners: an exceptional contact beater whose minor league number suggests that even untapped power makes the pickup easy, after all – but if it is pulled late in games for gloves alternatives like Keon Broxton and Juan Lagares or sitting for them against the left-handed pitchers, hardly worth it in mixed leagues. We really need him to take to the position.
Probable choice: could
Preferred choice: could
Trevor May was the only one to gain when last season came to close, so it is clear that he would be the favorite for the role now, especially because the only real newcomer to the pen, Blake Parker, has struggled to secure the role of the Angels last year, and overall it was too perceptible. May is still coming back from Tommy John's surgery, but did not show any of the usual control problems, walking only five compared to 36 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. There is also a newcomer Rocco Baldelli, who has the opportunity to take the commission route.
18. Fifth appetizer of the brewers
Probable choice: Woodruff
Preferred choice: Burnes
Brandon Woodruff actually started the first Brewer playoff game last year, which would seem to give him the inside track, but after spending most of last season in the bullpen, he obviously has to earn it. Each of him, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta would offer the kind of bats missing skills that Fantasy owners can get excited, but Burnes may have been too precious off the pen last year because the Brewers released him and Peralta has serious control problems. Josh Tomlin is just a veteran alternative if brewers decide that children need more time.
Probable choice: Vizcaino
Preferred choice: Vizcaino
A.J. Minter was not at the height of the most optimistic projections of his first season, but he managed to subtract the opportunities from Arodys Vizcaino, who also lost much of the second half with inflammation behind him. There is enough of a precedent for manager Brian Snitker to opt for a shared role, possibly playing matchup, which would obviously favor the right-handed Vizcaino. His experience is able to give him the advantage if the Braves travel the more conventional way, but there is a chance that Minter will make a jump this spring.
Probable choice: Hicks
Preferred choice: Miller
Andrew Miller has long been in the discussion as the best breeder of baseball, so even after a season ruined by injury, it's fun to imagine him eventually having a shot to close full-time. More realistically, a shared role with Jordan Hicks is his best hope, but how much is up to him depends on how much confidence Hicks shows in his slider this spring. The 22-year-old has overtaken Aroldis Chapman as the toughest pitcher in baseball, but he needs a quality breaking ball to get the most out of it.
21. Astros designated beater
Probable choice: white
Preferred choice: white
Tyler White has more or less fought this work away from Evan Gattis, who left at the end of last season, and his overall numbers make him the favorite this spring. But he stumbled on the finish line and, at 28, will not have a particularly long leash. In the end, the Astros need to find a place for the best prospect Kyle Tucker, and White's point seems the path of least resistance (although it probably would mean that Michael Brantley is moving into DH). Tony Kemp is not close to the other two's upside, but it's an easy alternative as a basic guy.
22. Dodgers sixth appetizer
Probable choice: young man
Preferred choice: young man
The Dodgers starting at five are set with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, but we all know how the Dodgers are. All five will spend some time on the DL with a doubtful injury or another. In other words, there will be opportunities for others to consider the mix, and when the main candidates are a 2018 All-Star and an ex-prospect top, it's interesting for Fantasy owners. Stripling dominated as a starter for the central part of last season, but he faltered after wasting time with a back injury, which could open the door to Julio Urias, who hit by the bullpen during the postseason.
23. Radius first baseman / right fielder / hitter designated
Probable choices Lowe, Meadows, Choi
Favorite choices: Lowe, Meadows, Choi
Aligning "favorite" choices with "probable" choices may be wishful thinking in this case, but the fact is that what the Rays decide to do with these three points is totally in the air. Ji-Man Choi seems at least a safe bet to occupy the first base or the DH, if not against the right-handed, and Austin Meadows offers too much margin to not have a full-time appearance. Brandon Lowe deserves a spot after becoming known as a tall OPS bat during last season's stretch and will try his hand at the first base this spring, probably shifting Choi into DH.
Probable choice: blacksmith
Preferred choice: blacksmith
This did not seem like much competition until manager Bruce Bochy started talking about Mark Melancon at the start of spring training. Since Will Smith had the fourth best FIP among rescuers with at least 50 innings last year, the left-handed was becoming a quality option at a discounted price, but because he is left-handed, c & # 39; it's a bigger incentive to keep it versatile. And of course, Mark Melancon owes a lot of money and presumably healthy for the first time in two years. If he is "back", he will be a quality choice himself, but we would like a certainty in one way or another.
Probable choice: Colome
Preferred choice: Colome
This closer battle was becoming one of the most interesting before Kelvin Herrera suggested he was not ready for the opening of the day because of his continuous recovery from foot surgery. Alex Colome was still the preferred option, since Herrera does not have the ability to not get close to the traditional. but Herrera is the greatest asset and has a successful track record despite its shortcomings. The White Sox have never really committed to approaching the last year, and it is possible that the same may happen this year if Colome does not block things during spring training.
Probable choice: Gardner
Preferred choice: Frazier
Although he made a big step back last year, Brett Gardner was still quite a factor in the Rotisserie championships that is not so clear to us they should cheer for him to lose his job up-and-comer. But even if it does not, it's not going to beat the leadoff anymore, which takes those 95 runs off the table. More likely, it will be a gradual change of guard, but Clint Frazier, who once said Brian Cashman has a "legendary" bat speed, is 25 and needs to move forward.
Probable choice: Pederson
Preferred choice: Verdugo
Comfortably comfortable as the Dodgers are implementing the platoons and the number of left-handed mullets they have on their bench, there is really no reason for them to move away from Joc Pederson, who has made great strides in bringing the last two years and put on a .900 OPS against the right of the last year. It would be more of a case that Alex Verdugo is so obviously ready that he can not justify his sending, which could lead to peddling Pederson elsewhere. Verdugo has nothing more to prove in minors and is equally skilled against the steeds and the left-handed, so he would be more fit.
Probable choice: Peralta
Preferred choice: Boxberger
"The roles will be defined over time" is the way in which Ned Yost has summarized, which is probably the code for "this is the best we have?" The best that anyone can say of Wily Peralta is, to echo Yost's feelings, "he did the job," going 14 for 14 on savings at the end of last season. He did it with such bad numbers, though, that it's hard to take it seriously in the role. The sad truth, however, is that Brad Boxberger is not a bullpen ace, so perhaps it is better to stay true to what works until he does it again. At least, the mentality of Yost's old school assures us that he will commit himself to one or the other at some point, and this is worth something in Fantasy.
29. First base of the sailors
Probable choice: Bruce
Preferred choice: Bruce
Daniel Vogelbach has a great heartbeat and has stormed the Cactus League last year, so it's fun to speculate on him as a deep sleeper now that the departure of the real DH Nelson Cruz frees the Mariners line-up a bit. More. But even his best scenario would probably not be as rewarding as a bounce season for Jay Bruce, who has never been right due to plantar fasciitis last year. Bruce was a good boy of 30 years and 90-RBI before the last year, however, and since he is only 31 years old, it is still a possibility if he can carve out a daily role.
30. Blue Jays second base / interbase
Probable choice: Travis, Galvis
Preferred choice: Travis, Gurriel
Devon Travis has no hope of remaining on the pitch for an entire season, and Freddy Galvis is an offensive responsibility. Be assured, therefore, Lourdes Gurriel will get bats somehow, somehow. It is probably behind those two on the depth table to start the season, but it will fill up often enough to create an almost equal timeshare between the three. And if someone is going to make their way into a more prominent role, it is him, which makes him the only one of the three that you could consider drawn up to fill an intermediate point in a circle of 15 teams.
Three other players who are not in well-defined battles but could significantly improve their stocks this spring:
Willians Astudillo, C, Twins: He is competing for a seat on the bench, presumably in a super-useful role that would also include some holds. And since the catcher is the place where it is admitted in Fantasy, it would not take the duty of everyday to make it an advantage.
Jung Ho Kang, 3B, Pirates: He's back in the mix after a couple of years dealing with problems outside the field. It is hard to imagine him skidding to Colin Moran for third-base daily tasks, but he could become the bottom half of a platoon, possibly gaining a greater share over time if his power were to pass.
Mac Williamson, OF, Giants: He revised his swing the offseason and then crushed the Cactus League, crushed him in the PCL and crushed him in the majors for a week before suffering a concussion that completely destroyed him, forcing him finally to extinguish it permanently in August. Now he has overcome it and does not have a legitimate competition for a starting job, making it an intriguing sleeper of power again.