Cleat Geeks

2018 MLB Fantasy Report Card – The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 

This year’s season ends and it’s now time for the MLB playoffs! At the end of the fantasy season I always like to take the year into review and brag about where I was right, and admit where I was wrong. Last year’s 2017 edition can be found here .

So first The Good

Trevor Story – Last year my hidden diamond prediction was Travis Shaw, who went from irrelevance, to a 30 hr, .270+ ba stud. For those of you following my twitter account, @baseballalan, you received a gem of a SS as I was very bullish on Trevor story all the way back in March. In fact I went so far as to say he could be a top 3 SS

After Trevor’s story began slow as a cellular mitosis lecture, Story ratcheted things up with a final of 37 home runs 27 stolen bases and a .291/.348/.567 slash line. In almost any league, this is good enough to be a top 3 or 4 SS. That’s nuts considering this was competing with other breakouts such as Baez and Bregman (who was SS eligible in most leagues). It’s been fascinating to watch how many shortstops have broken out in what used to be a weak position. And Story’s breakout was legit. While this year may not be the norm if Story becomes more of an injury concern in future years, this sort of production is reminiscent of Tulowitzky, and shouldn’t be ignored, as with what I saw, we could very soon be calling him the number 1 shortstop.

Josh James – The man who had struggled with restless nights showed that we can’t sleep on him. James was called up for our playoff run this year, and control was the only concern I had as his stuff was legit as I pointed out here:

Playoff Preparations

After his call up, we got to see that stuff on full display. Throwing 100+ multiple times this late in the season, showing a 2.35 era, .96 whip with 29 ks in 23 innings, James showed he’s the real deal talent-wise, and I’ll definitely be drafting him on multiple teams next year. His stuff is good, and I like his makeup as a pitcher who will adjust his mechanics. Health is always a concern with the flamethrowers, but James hasn’t shown any fatigue thus far. His build suggests he could be more durable as larger pitchers tend to last even if they do throw harder. Houston is a playoff team, so that is a concern as if they choose to use James in the playoffs, that could mean significant innings over what he’s thrown in past years. Houston has the depth however to treat James with kid gloves, even during playoffs, and it appears they’re doing just that.

Shohei Ohtani – My guy Ohtani is on his way to a ROY type season! As I noted, the stuff is real, and would continue as long as he pitched. As I also noted, it probably wouldn’t last throughout this year due to health. Hopefully if you had him or the pitching version of him, you sold high before his inevitable injury. One thing I may have been low on though, was his hitting. I believed he could hit, but I’m amazed how quickly he adjusted to the MLB. I thought he would struggle initially, maybe for the entire year, but his ability truly is transcendent. This guy is a superstar. I hear mumblings of keeping him as only a hitter or as a closer, and I really hope the Angels don’t do that. I understand he’s going to have to come off inevitable Tommy John surgery, but the Angels need quality starters far more than a closer, and it would be silly to not give Ohtani a chance to bounce back as Ohtani showed how special of a pitcher he can be. I look forward to seeing more of Ohtani as a hitter and pitcher in future years.

The Bad

Tyler Glasnow – This one is tough for me to put here because I truly think Glasnow made real strides but the stat line really doesn’t show it. I made the statement that he was reborn, which I think is true. The problem was one start Glasnow gave up 7 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning! That aint cutting it. I’m usually not one for “but if you take out blah blah amount of starts”, however the difference is so stark it’s hard to ignore. That one start gave him a 4.20 era since moving to Tampa Bay, but without it, he had a 3.09 era. We’re talking GlasNOW though and I don’t really count that as a win for fantasy teams as it would still hurt your team this year, but for future seasons, Glasnow is still very interesting to me. He’s not a locked in 3.20 era guy, but his ceiling is really high. With 64 ks in 55.2 inning along with nearly half the walks he had before the trade, his value is trending is a very good direction.

Vlad Guerro Jr./Eloy Jimenez – This one hurt. I had Eloy from the beginning of the season. I thought he’d spent enough time in the minors, hence there’s no way they’d be foolish enough to keep him through the end of the season! I was wrong. Both these guys are obvious call ups for next year, but their parent clubs clearly ignored the talent for financial reasons, and unfortunately those of us who bought in to the talent, wasted a roster spot.

The Ugly

Joey Votto – This is heartbreaking, as I’ve been a fan of Votto for awhile. He struggled early to show power, and as the season went on, and I predicted that he would turn it around. But it only got worse. I tried to hamper concerns as he’s bounced back strong in the past, but at 35 years of age, he may finally be reaching that age where he’s starting to fall off. We’ll see next year. He’s certainly had down years before and bounced back, but this was clearly his worst full season, and without hearing much in terms of injury, this could be a downward spiral for Votto.

Zach Godly – I still love me some Godly, but he was flat out awful. He really lost his command this year, and I had hopes that he would figure it out. He consistently found himself literally falling off the side of the mound as he threw. His stuff is still some of the best, but as the league adjusted, it seemed he lost some of his confidence. I still think he can be a great pitcher in the future, but if you were bullish on the bull, you got the horns.

Brian Dozier – Another golden oldie who I pointed out has a knack for turning it on late in the season, turned it off. His production never picked up and while injuries could have played some part in it, there really wasn’t even a spark of life worth savoring his value. Dozier is just 30 unlike the once timeless Joey Votto who is 35, but 30 is often times a turning year, so Dozier could be someone fading as well. We’ll see but he certainly didn’t look good this year.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

Any questions or comments, feel free to contact me here or on twitter.

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