Cleat Geeks

Dynasty Look Ahead: I Have a Bad Thielen About This…

I am sure you are all absolutely shocked that this article is about…you got it…Adam Thielen. Coming off of an incredible season where Adam Thielen came in as WR9 in PPR format with a target share of 27%, it would make sense that owners are more than happy having him as the anchor of their wide receiver corp going into the 2018 season. I am here to remove that feeling of comfort and to tell you “Now is the time to sell!” Why though? Adam Thielen is coming off of possibly one of the greatest seasons ever for an undrafted free agent wide receiver and he finally has a franchise quarterback that will be throwing him the ball next season. Throughout the beginning of this off-season, I had been acquiring him anywhere I could, whether via trade, startup draft, by any means necessary. However, like any crazy dynasty fantasy footballer, I decided to dive in and really look into the numbers.

In the information age that we live in, we are literally clicks away from finding just about any stat imaginable on any individual player. Lucky for me, as a result of spending way too much time on twitter discussing fantasy football (at least that’s what my fiancé tells me), I was fortunate enough to stumble upon www.ffstatistics.com. If you haven’t taken a quick peak at the information they are able to provide, do yourself a favor and go check it out. With their database, I was able to quickly access all the statistics and data I needed to do enough Adam Thielen research for a lifetime. Anyway, I digress. We often talk about breakout age when it comes to college players as being a key indicator as to whether or not a player will find success in the NFL. However, I haven’t seen much about breakout age (for the purpose of this article we will refer to breakout age as to when a receiver hits a target share of 20%) when it comes to the NFL. Looking at countless stats available, the first thing that popped out to me was that Adam Thielen did not hit a target share above 20% until the age of 27.

Not only did he hit 20%, he left that number in the rear view mirror and was able to reach a target share of 27%. There have only been 3 other receivers (minimum 10 games played in the year preceding breakout season) that began their career after the start of the 2005 season that had a higher percent increase from the previous year to put them over a 20% market share for the first time (Calvin Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and…Brian Hartline). So is Adam Thielen the next Calvin Johnson? Well this is where the breakout age of 27 comes into play. There have been 66 other wide receivers that began their career after 2005 that have taken at least one season to hit a target share of 20% in a season, meaning they did not hit 20% during their rookie season. Of those 66, only 11 receivers had a breakout age of 27 or older. Below is a quick breakdown of the positional wide receiver rankings of the year immediately following their breakout season (again, breakout season being their first season in which they hit at least a 20% target share).

WR1 1
WR2 2
WR3 0
<WR3 8

Once again, I decided to dig a little deeper. I broke these numbers down even further (New Team vs. Same Team/Same OC vs. Same Team/New OC). With Pat Shurmur packing up and heading to the Meadowlands, I was interested in seeing if there is any data historically to support the fact that this could negatively impact Thielen in 2018. Below are the positional WR rankings one year after WRs had a breakout age of 27 or older. With this being such a small sample size, you guessed it, I got my shovel out and dug a little deeper again.

New Team Same OC Same Team/New OC
100 3 19
105 17 107
110 37
52
64
72

Image result for adam thielen minnesota vikings

 

Performance aside, other factors come into play when looking at a player’s ability to produce similar results as the previous season. Out of the sample size of 66 receivers previously mentioned, 25 of those players missed at least 2 games the following season (37.9%). When we look strictly at the 11 other receivers that had an NFL breakout age of 27 or older, 7 of them missed at least 2 games the following season (63.6%). While the sample size is fairly small, it’s certainly starting to look like there might be some correlation here and some telling signs that Adam Thielen might not be a player to hang on to from a dynasty aspect.

To increase the sample size a bit, I also looked at wide receivers that had a breakout year in their 4th NFL season or later (some information overlaps with the breakout age of 27 or older sample). That information is available in two quick snapshots below.

WR1 3
WR2 5
WR3 1
<WR3 12

 

New Team Same Team/Same OC Same Team/New OC
11 3 19
55 9 26
58 10 107
100 13 116
105 13
110 17
23
37
52
64
72

The first table shows that 12 of the 21 other receivers that had a breakout year in their 4th NFL season or later had a WR4 or worse season the year immediately following their breakout season. In the second table, we see that the positional wide receiver rankings significantly differ between these players that had the same offensive coordinator in the year immediately following their breakout season compared to players with a different offensive coordinator, a la Adam Thielen in 2018. Of these 21 receivers, 10 went on to miss at least 2 games during the season immediately following their breakout season (47.6%).

There is one other integral piece that will play a significant role in whether or not Adam Thielen has seen the best days of his career, that being the $84 million man, Kirk Cousins. While Kirk Cousins is widely viewed as a drastic improvement over everybody’s favorite journeyman quarterback, Case Keenum, this might not be the case (had to include one more pun) when it comes to Adam Thielen. I could ramble on for one more paragraph, but I will throw in one final table to drive the point home.

Kirk Cousins Case Keenum
2015 2016 2017 2017
Attempts 543 606 540 481
WR1 TS 18.65% 18.78% 19.07%* 27.44%
WR2 TS 15.28% 16.47%* 14.44% 17.46%*
WR3 TS 7.77%* 16.31% 12.04% 7.07%
TE1 TS 20.99%* 14.69%* 12.78% 16.22%
RB1 TS 8.84%* 10.23% 10%* 13.51%

*Indicates that position missed at least 1 game during season

 

In Adam Thielen’s epic 2017 season, he and Stefon Diggs accounted for ~45% of Case Keenum’s targets. In this situation, improved quarterback play is going to result in a more even pass distribution, as Kirk Cousins has never had a receiver account for a target share of 20% or greater.

While Adam Thielen was one of the feel good stories of 2017, going from an undrafted free agent to a hometown hero, now is the time to sell in all dynasty formats. For reasons including a breakout age of 27 years old, a new offensive coordinator, a perceived higher risk of injury, and throwing a new quarterback into the mix, a nice return on investment can still be had prior to the start of the 2018 season.

ADP Starting Line; Round 5

The 4th of July is now behind us and fantasy draft prep season is underway. Which means that mock drafts are being posted here, there, and everywhere that has anything to do with the NFL. This is the second ADP review of the season and many players are moving up and down based on nothing more than whispers in the wind. However, during the month of July, it’s important to refrain from getting psychologically married to a player based on something a beat writer said. It’s important to remember that there are few negative stories this time of the year and most player related “news” should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, let’s look at some 5th round ADP’s.

 

For the sake of being transparent, the scoring format I’m using is based on basic PPR scoring with 4pt passing TDs in a redraft style league. All ADP information is available on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com. So, without further adieu, the 5th round….

 

The ADP on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com, reflects the 5th round as follows:

Image result for deshaun watson texans

Photo by; AOL.com

5.01 Deshaun Watson-

Watson was on last week’s list too at 4.11. While his ADP is starting to come back down to earth a bit, this is still a little high for me.  However, if he shifts down to a late 5th or early 6th, I’d be all in. Coming off of an ACL injury that ended his 2017 campaign early, Watson is incredibly dynamic and the 5.01 is a better spot for DW4 than some other mocks I’ve seen.  He’s been going as early as the 3rd round which is ludicrous for a guy who hasn’t played a full season.

 

5.02 Mark Ingram-

The 5th round is still a point where you’re drafting starters. Ingram will miss the first 4 games due to suspension and thus he’s dead weight for those weeks. It’s hard to sign off on Ingram here, I’d only do it if one or both of the RBs I’ve drafted may not make it through the season (e.g. LeSean McCoy).  

 

5.03 Ronald Jones Jr-

RoJo is the most talented back on this team and barring an awful pre-season he should be in line for the lion’s share of the carries.

Image result for royce freeman broncos

5.04 Royce Freeman-

Like RoJo, the Rolls Royce should be in line for the bulk of the Broncos carries. They have about 250 of them up for grabs and the combination of both Booker and Henderson have done little to stake a reasonable claim to them. If I need an RB in RD5, I may go with Freeman over the likes of Mark Ingram and Ronald Jones.

 

5.05 Brandin Cooks-

In 2017, the Rams traded for Sammy Watkins and promptly planted him on the backside of passing patterns leaving his owners feeling mostly empty inside. Cooks is a far more versatile WR and will be more productive than Watkins. Unfortunately, the downside is that he still won’t be worth this draft slot.

5.06 Jimmy Graham-

After Gronk, Kelce, and Ertz the TE position is a total wasteland. I wouldn’t waste this pick on a TE at this spot let alone an aging TD dependent one. Also, Aaron Rodgers is not known for targeting his TEs which could be more bad news for Graham.     

 

5.07 Lamar Miller-

I believe Miller is this high by default. Second-year RB D’Onta Foreman is questionable for the start of the season as he recovers from a torn Achilles Tendon. He should see the needed volume to be a fantasy starter for at least the first half of the season. Once Foreman is good to go, all bets are off. I might be willing to go Dion Lewis here instead. Speaking of….

Image result for dion lewis titans

5.08 Dion Lewis-  

This could be a really nice value pick here. We know that the Titans will have a split backfield but Dion is in position to see a share early-down work and most, if not all, of the receiving work. In a PPR I would love him as an RB3/Flex player.

 

5.09 Marvin Jones-

Despite my unhealthy affection for Jarvis Landry, Marvin Jones is the WR to target in the 5th rd. The new look Lions will still throw the ball all over the yard giving Jones and Golden Tate inherent value.   

5.10 Jarvis Landry-

Landry, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated players in the league and the Browns are not paying him $14M/Yr to funnel passes his way. Don’t expect his usual volume but he could easily be in the 85-90 catch category which is tremendous value for a 5th round WR.

5.11 Chris Hogan-

Hogan is the 3rd to 4th option in this offense. The 5th/6th round is entirely too early. At the end of the 5th, I would rather have Titans WR Corey Davis. Davis will at least be the #1 option for his team, he’s more athletically gifted and he’s not going into his age 30 season.   

 

5.12 Greg Olsen-

There is no denying that Olsen has been one Cam Newton’s favorite targets during his time in Carolina. Unfortunately, it’s time to let someone else draft Olsen here. I’m not saying avoid him, as I’d sign him up in Rd 7 but the 5th is too soon. You can grab George Kittle and/or Delanie Walker much later and get similar production in 2018.

Image result for football money

Photo by; Men’s Journal

Last week I said  the 4th round is where drafters start to make their money, construct their roster, and consider bye weeks as the starting line up fills out. This is even more true in weeks five, six, and seven. You’re still trying to get players that will be starters for the majority of the season and if the draft breaks your way those guys will all be useful parts of your team in 2018.  

 

Ideally, by round 5 you’re getting a good feel for how the owners are constructing their rosters and you can start to assess what players might be available later in the draft. Your roster likely has some balance which allows you to take the best player on the board in round 5. For my money, I really like Jarvis Landry, Royce Freeman, and Ronald Jones. If those guys are gone then Dion Lewis and Marvin Jones. Remember, if you don’t love a RB or WR here, don’t force it, especially if you have a QB or TE you do love. Don’t be afraid to reach a round or two early for a guy if he gives you a positional advantage.

 

The 5th round is the earliest I would consider a QB and I would need to be looking at an elite or a near elite guy like Aaron Rodgers (likely gone), Carson Wentz, or maybe (big maybe) Deshaun Watson. Some name brands like Brady and Brees may be over drafted here- avoid drafting based on what they’ve done in the past but rather what they’re likely to do moving forward.

 

As always, I hope this helps you build your draft plan and keeps you from being caught off guard when you’re on the clock.  Next week, we’ll cover the 6th round. Until then, happy drafting!

2018 Rookies To Sleep On In Dynasty

Everyone falls in love with the new rookies every year. I can’t lie, I fall victim to this too. However, I’m taking a different approach this year. There’s a few rookies in this years class that I like a lot, but I’m going to like a lot better at their prices as 2018 winds down and as we head into 2019. In this article I’m going to take a look at a few guys who I think should be unloaded now, to be reacquired after disappointing rookie campaigns. All of these guys have the ability, and draft capital invested in them to be successful in the league, but for one reason or another I don’t expect to come anywhere near their potential in their rookie season.


The first guy I want to look at is Kerryon Johnson. It pains me as a Lions fan to sit here and advise people not to buy Detroit players, but it’s the smart move. The Lions invested in Kerryon by trading up to select him with the 43rd overall pick. They also invested picks in Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Crosby in order to beef up a sneaky good offensive line. That being said, I don’t think the opportunity will be there for him to succeed in his rookie season. Detroit is clearly making an effort to step up their run game, but with all of the weapons available to them in the passing game and their unusually high passing tendency, I expect it to be a slow transition into running the ball more often. When you look to the backfield, Detroit brought in a proven power back in LeGarrette Blount, who I expect to get a good amount of carries. Detroit will also still have Ameer Abdullah in the last year of his rookie deal. He’s been given multiple chances to succeed and I don’t see anything that makes me believe he won’t get one last shot. Kerryon will also be shut out of the receiving work more than likely. Theo Riddick has proven himself as one of the higher end receiving backs in the league, and there’s no reason for them to stop using him now, as he’s still under contract through the 2019 season. With all of these things considered, I think Kerryon will be largely disappointing this year. Dynasty owners tend to sour on players quickly, especially when they aren’t a top end, highly touted prospect like Corey Davis, who retains crazy value after letting everyone down in year one. From my experience, Kerryon Johnson has been a late first-early second round rookie draft pick this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could acquire him for a package such as a mid-late 2nd and a 2020 3rd once next years rookie draft comes around. Look for Kerryon to ball out on your team from the 2019 season onwards with Ameer and Blount more than likely leaving the backfield next offseason.


Courtland Sutton is another player who I think will be much cheaper next off-season. Denver has a mediocre offense, with an average QB, rookie RB, and 2 talented veteran WRs to eat up a majority of targets. Sutton could not have gotten much worse of a landing spot for first year production. He’ll be stuck behind Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, who are both prolific receivers that will command 100+ targets each. Pair that with the fact that, at least for now, Case Keenum is the starting QB. Keenum worked wonders when called upon by the Vikings last season, but I don’t expect him to be quite so magical this year. The situation won’t get much better if Keenum is replaced, as some people think that Chad Kelly will take over at some point this season. Neither Keenum nor Kelly strike me as a QB who can propel three wide receivers into fantasy relevancy. Second year TE Jake Butt is expected to return to the field this year as well, and will be looking to carve out a role for himself, therefore further eating into Suttons potential targets. When you look beyond the passing game, Denver still seems determined to make Devontae Booker a thing. Possibly forcing carries to Booker could hurt Suttons ability to produce as well. The Broncos also drafted RB Royce Freeman in this years draft, which adds yet another offensive weapon for the Broncos to play with. All things considered, I think Sutton will struggle to produce this year. He’s already such a polarizing prospect, so I think he’ll be relatively easy to acquire for dirt cheap next off-season. Denver can get out of both Sanders, and Thomas’ contracts after the 2018 season. Both deals are pretty lucrative, so I fully expect Denver to part ways with at least one, if not both of the aging vets. The departure of even one of those guys will clear the way for Sutton to have his breakout season on your roster in 2019.


The third and final player to buy next year is Dante Pettis. Most of us were shocked when the 49ers traded up in the 2nd round to draft him. Around a month before the draft I mentioned Pettis on a podcast as a guy I was watching, and more than one person I was recording with hadn’t even heard of him yet. He quickly gained value once everybody saw him get selected there. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the hype. I’ve been high on Pettis for a couple years now, but I’m more than happy to miss out on owning him in his rookie season at his current price. Pettis is buried in the San Francisco offense. At the receiver position he’s behind veterans Marquise Goodwin, and Pierre Garcon. Not only does he have two serviceable receivers ahead of him, many people are expecting 90-100 targets to go to the extremely overrated Jerick McKinnon. Add in a fourth option in George Kittle, who many are expecting to have a breakout year, and there’s not many targets left for Pettis. That being said, I think Pettis is a good enough player that he will succeed in the NFL. By 2019, most owners who blindly rose on Pettis due to draft pedigree will be ready to give up on him as a dud. As soon as the season ends, you should be targeting Pettis for 3rd & 4th round picks. However, I don’t expect him to be cheap for long. The 49ers have the ability to get out of an expensive contract with Garcon, who at this time next year will be 32 years old. I fully expect the 49ers to move on from Garcon due to the amount of money they’ll owe him next year. This will open the door for Pettis to slide into the WR2 or even WR1 role in 2019.

A Dynasty Slot To Be Grateful For

As dynasty fantasy football players, we are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve and acquire a player (whether in a startup or rookie draft or via trade) at a reasonable, if not at a discounted price prior to their breakout year. We will try to look for trends or changes in a team’s makeup that could possibly lead to a breakout for a player that typically has flown under the radar or has been severely underdrafted.

I went with a different approach for my first dynasty fantasy football article. As opposed to looking at an entire position, I am attempting to break it down even further and will be identifying a potential breakout slot receiver in the upcoming 2018 season based on some historical data.Image result for golden tate

While it is extremely difficult to predict when a player will break out, there are trends and historical data available that could give us a helping hand. What I have done is decided to focus on one slot receiver over the past 3 years that have been severely undervalued in the dynasty startup draft. I have collected data ranging from offensive line rankings, target share, team’s number of rushes in a season, and simply asking myself “Are there any significant changes from one season to the next that resulted in a breakout?”

Of the three slot WRs I have focused on from 2015-2017 (Baldwin, Tate, Thielen), there is some information that could help in predicting a future breakout for another slot receiver. While for Baldwin and Tate, their respective teams have all but neglected the running game in the past 2 years, ranking 20th/21st and 32nd/31st respectively, the narrative is slightly different for Adam Thielen. While the Vikings ranked 2nd in total rush attempts, they also were number 7 in total plays, which still resulted in a significant amount of passing attempts, 520.

There have been increased discussions in “How does the caliber of an offensive line impact fantasy RB production?” As this is a topic for another time, the short answer is…there is no correlation. However, I do not believe the same holds true for “How does the caliber of an offensive line impact fantasy slot receiver production?” As a quarterback is more likely to get pressured/hit, there is a greater chance that he will be looking for a quick pass, whether it is to a RB on a quick screen or a slot receiver on a short route. As noted below, there is not one season during the timeframe being discussed in which the Seahawks, Lions, or Vikings ranked better than 19th in terms of offensive line rankings.

Year of Dynasty Startup Draft 2015 2016 2017
Player Doug Baldwin Golden Tate Adam Thielen
Positional ADP in Dynasty Startup Year Prior to Breakout Outside of top 61 WRs 29th 51st
Team’s Rushing Attempts 2014: 525 (2nd)

2015: 500 (3rd)

2016: 403 (20th)

2017: 409 (21st)

2015: 354 (31st)

2016: 350 (32nd)

2017: 363 (31st)

2016: 380 (26th)

2017: 501 (2nd)

Total Offensive Plays 2014: 1,021 (15th)

2015: 1,035 (16th)

2016: 1,012 (19th)

2017: 1,007 (17th)

2015: 1,030 (17th)

2016: 981 (29th)

2017: 980 (28th)

2016: 1,006 (23rd)

2017: 1,055 (7th)

Offensive Line Rank 2014: 19th

2015: 30th

2016: 32nd

2017: 27th

2015: 24th

2016: 19th

2017: 19th

2016: 29th

2017: 22nd

WR Rank 2014: 43rd

2015: 10th

2016: 8th

2017:11th

2015: 24th

2016: 17th

2017: 13th

2016: 29th

2017: 8th

Target Share 2014: 98/432 (22.7%)

2015: 103/472 (21.8%)

2016: 125/548 (22.8%)

2017: 116/526 (22.1%)

2015: 128/622 (20.6%)

2016: 135/582 (23.2%)

2017: 120/565 (21.2%)

2016: 92/585 (15.7%)

2017: 142/520 (27.3%)

With historical data behind us, here is the one slot receiver I am targeting (hopefully his new QB does the same) during the 2018 off-season, as I believe he can be had at a reasonable price and will ultimately yield a nice return on investment.

Jamison Crowder

Year of Dynasty Startup Draft 2018
Player Jamison Crowder
Taken in 2018 Startups WR34
Team’s Rushing Attempts 2014: 401 (21st)

2015: 429 (15th)

2016: 379 (27th)

2017: 401 (24th)

Total Offensive Plays 2014: 1,006 (26th)

2015: 1,011 (23rd)

2016: 1,009 (21st)

2017: 982 (27th)

Predicted Offensive Line Ranking 12th

2017 – Ranked 22nd in QB hits allowed (93)

WR Rank 2015 – 51st

2016 – 31st

2017 – 33rd

Target Share 2015 – 78/555 (14.1%)

2016 – 99/593 (16.7%)

2017 – 103/534 (19.3%)

Similarly to Adam Thielen prior to his breakout, Jamison Crowder will be working on building a rapport with a new quarterback for the 2018 season, Alex Smith. While there is certainly a debate as to whether or not the Cousins to Smith change is an overall downgrade for the Washington offense in terms of fantasy production, there is some information available to suggest this might not be the case. Throughout Alex Smith’s 13-year career, he has had 12 different receivers receive a target share of 19%.

Image result for jamison crowder redskins

Photo by; NBC Sports

Smith is also touted as being one of the best deep ball throwers in the league. While Josh Doctson still has room for improvement, he could be the weapon that Washington needs to allow defenses to be stretched, which will open up underneath routes for Crowder to compile a career high target share (current high of 19.3%).

While projected to be a top 12 offensive line, there is a concern of injury history, which resulted in 27 offensive line combinations used in 2017 (2nd only behind the Eagles with 28). With a constant shuffling across the offensive line, the Redskins had allowed 93 QB hits in 2017, which ranked 22nd. Constant pressure applied to Smith in 2018 would result in quick underneath throws allowing Jamison Crowder to have ample opportunity to improve his value, as he is currently being drafted as WR34 in dynasty startup drafts.

Adding Derrius Guice to the backfield and incorporating Chris Thompson back into the mix after a fractured fibula ended his 2017 season early, it would make sense that this could feasibly result in fewer opportunities for Crowder to make a big impact in 2018. Under Jay Gruden, the Redskins have never ranked better than 15th in rushing attempts. I do not see a drastic coaching style change in Gruden’s 5th season as the Redskins’ head coach.

With a current dynasty startup value of WR34, Jamison Crowder is in a similar situation as Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, and Adam Thielen before him and is poised to make a splash as the next big slot receiver in the NFL.

The MLB Hurt Locker, Week Ending July 1

Hello baseball and especially fantasy baseball fans! Once again this week I will outline the players who have both gone on the disabled list and who has returned. Every position, every team, every possibility for you, the fan, to keep up with and be smarter around that water cooler at work.

 

June 25
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Ryan Buchter Oakland Pitcher Returning Left Shoulder
Clay Buchholz Arizona Pitcher 10 Day Left Oblique
Shelby Miller Arizona Pitcher Returning Tommy John
Mike Foltynewicz Atlanta Pitcher 10 Day Right Tricep
Luis Sardinas Baltimore INF 10 Day to 60 Day Back
Tim Beckham Baltimore INF Returning Core Muscle
Gary Sanchez New York (AL) Catcher 10 Day Groin
Edubray Ramos Philadelphia Pitcher 10 Day Right Shoulder
Jonny Venters Tampa Bay Pitcher 10 Day Right Hamstring
Brandon Kintzler Washington Pitcher Returning Flexor Strain
Image result for brandon kintzler nationals

Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler does not have eye-poping stats this season, but he owns a 4.3 career war. Photo by; the Washington Post.

 

June 26
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Caleb Smith Miami Pitcher 10 Day Left Lat
Dylan Bundy Baltimore Pitcher 10 Day Left Ankle
Steven Wright Boston Pitcher 10 Day Retro 6/23 Left Knee
Kris Bryant Chicago (NL) 3rd Basemen 10 Day Retro 6/23 Left Shoulder
Justin Hancock Chicago (NL) Pitcher 10 Day Right Shoulder
Caleb Smith Miami Pitcher 10 Day Left Lat
Daniel Mengden Oakland Pitcher 10 Day Retro 6/23 Right Foot
Ronald Guzman Texas 1st Basemen 7 Day Concussion

 

June 27
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Alex Avilia Arizona Catcher 10 Day Retro 6/24 Right Hamstring
Robbie Ray Arizona Pitcher Returning Right Oblique
Mike Soroka Atlanta Pitcher 10 Day to 60 Day Shoulder
Craig Gentry Baltimore Outfielder 10 Day Left Rib
Darren O’Day Baltimore Pitcher 10 Day Left Hamstring
Brandon Morrow Chicago Pitcher Returning Back
Scott Ogerg Colorado Pitcher Returning Back
Justin Grimm Kansas City Pitcher 10 Day Retro 6/24 Right Shoulder
Jake Jewell Los Angeles (AL) Pitcher 10 Day Right Fibula
John Lamb Los Angeles (AL) Pitcher 10 Day Shoulder/Elbow
AJ Schugel Pittsburgh Pitcher 10 Day to 60 Day Shoulder
Sean Rodriguez Pittsburgh INF/OF 10 Day Retro 6/25 Right Quad
Image result for robbie ray diamondbacks

If you believe in career war , then this is your guy. Robbie’s career war is 7.3. Then in his return last week he threw 6 shutout innings. Overall this season he is 3-0 with 51 strikeouts and only 19 walks. Photo by; ESPN.com

 

June 28
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Brandon McCarthy Atlanta Pitcher 10 Day Retro 6/25 Right Knee
Ronald Acuna Atlanta Outfielder Returning ACL
Walker Buhler Los Angeles (NL) Pitcher Returning Rib
Josh Fields Los Angeles (NL) Pitcher 10 Day Retro 6/27 Right Shoulder
Zach Cozart Los Angeles (AL) 3rd Basemen 10 Day to 60 Day Torn Labrum*

 

June 29
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Darren O’Day Baltimore Pitcher 10 Day to 60 Day Left Hamstring
Carlos Correa Houston Shortstop 10 Day Lower Back
Taylor Motter Minnesota 1st Basemen 7 Day Concussion
Chad Kuhl Pittsburgh Pitcher 10 Day Right Forearm
Nik Turley Pittsburgh Pitcher 60 Day Left Elbow
Alex Reyes St Louis Pitcher 10 Day to 60 Day Torn Tendon*
Image result for ryan zimmerman

If you have a place to stach a player don’t be scared off by the fact he was transferred to the 60 day DL. He will be back soon, more than likely right after the All-Star break. Photo by; MASNsports.com

 

June 30
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Daven Marrero Arizona 3rd Basemen 10 Day Left Oblique
Wilmer Font Tampa Bay Pitcher 10 Day Right Lat
Ryan Tepera Toronto Pitcher 10 Day Right Elbow
Ryan Zimmerman Washington 1st Basemen 10 Day to 60 Day Right Oblique
Jeremy Hellickson Washington Pitcher Returning Shoulder

 

July 01
Player Team Position DL Type Injury
Brian Duensing Chicago (NL) Pitcher 10 Day Shoulder Fatigue
Leonys Martin Detroit Outfielder 10 Day Left Hamstring
Vince Velasquez Philadelphia Pitcher 10 Day Right Arm Contusion
Pat Neshek Philadelphia Pitcher Returning Lat
Allen Cordoba San Diego INF/OF Returning Concussion

*Out for season

 

As baseball fans in general we love seeing players make it back from injuries and to help their teams again. Fantasy baseball owners, there are some player who have come back in the past week that we should be ecstatic about. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pat Neshek returned this week along with Jeremy Hellickson, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, rookie sensation Ronald Acuna who is patrolling the outfield for the Atlanta Braves and two pitchers for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray.

 

These returning stars will hopefully be fully recovered and ready to help their teams win. All these returning players this week are playing for teams who are still in playoff races and still have a chance to contend for the World Series Trophy come time for the post season.

 

As the old saying goes, “what goes up must come down,” and in that sense when there are players returning for the disabled list, there are also big names who have gotten hurt and went on the disabled list this week. New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was one of the big names to go on the disabled list this week. Sanchez will be out at least 3-4 weeks with his groin issues. This could be a good thing for Gary. This could be the time away from the game that he needs to get his head right and get back on track. So far this season Sanchez is batting .190/.291/.433.

 

Other big names who have gone on the disabled list this week are Chicago Cubs 3rd basemen Kris Bryant, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, and Atlanta Braves reliever Mike Flotynewicz. It seems like Correa will only be out minimal time, and as the most recent update from team doctors, it seems like he will be back in the lineup this Friday, against the Chicago White Sox. The same goes for Kris Bryant, who is likely, according to team doctors, to return to action on Tuesday when the Cubs take out the Detroit Tigers.

 

So there is your MLB Hurt Locker for this week, fans. Make sure you go out there and set your fantasy lineups for the week and continue to check in for updates on The MLB Hurt Locker, and my other article, The Call to the Majors, which will outline the call ups for the week, and potentially the big names that can help you win your fantasy league! Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter, @HandzelSports for the latest MLB news!

Dynasty Surefire Sleeper #3

Anyone who plays in a league with me may have realized something a long time ago. I punt the tight end position every. Single. Time. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have a plan of some sort for  a tight end, I’m just not willing to spend the incredible draft capital it takes to get Gronk, Kelce or Engram. I tend to grab a guy like Jared Cook, or Cameron Brate in the 18th or so, then I go after one specific player after the 20th round. His name is Michael Roberts. Michael Roberts is going into his second year in the league for the Detroit Lions. His role was limited to mostly blocking in 2017, but with Eric Ebron and Darren Fells both leaving the team, I think Roberts has an incredible opportunity to excel and become a reliable weekly producer on your fantasy team.

Image result for michael roberts toledo

Michael Roberts was a 4th round draft pick out of Toledo. While his rookie year didn’t go quite as well as his former teammate Kareem Hunt, he did get on the field consistently as a blocker. At Toledo though, Roberts was a vital piece of the offense. During his senior year, Roberts caught 45 passes for 533 yards, and a jaw dropping 16 touchdowns. That means roughly 1 of every 3 catches he made was a touchdown. That ratio wasn’t an anomaly either. His first 3 college seasons he saw limited action. His 25 catches translated to 299 yards and 6 touchdowns. That kept his ratio around 1 in every 4 catches being a touchdown. Those efficiency numbers are similar to what Jimmy Graham did in college. To keep the comparison going, Graham averaged 12.5 yards per catch in college, and Roberts averaged 11.9. When you combine these remarkably productive pass catching numbers, with his polished run blocking ability, it’s a no brainer for the Lions to have spent that 4th round selection on him.

In 2017 the Detroit Lions continued to try and make the most of their 2014 1st round selection, TE Eric Ebron. Due to the Lions commitment to Ebron, and the veteran presence of Darren Fells, Roberts was limited largely to being a blocker. Roberts only saw 7 targets in his rookie year, which he converted into 4 catches for 46 yards. Now that Ebron and Fells have departed, it has created a huge gap in the Lions offense. Detroit brought in Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo to help attempt to fill that hole, but they’re not the same caliber talent as Roberts. Roberts is a solid run blocker, and has to potential to be an elite red zone threat, with enough ability to help move the ball between the 20s as well. Roberts’ skill set is one that Stafford has been missing for years, and along with an improved run game, will help the Lions take that next step into being an elite NFL team. There’s 112 targets open from last season with Fells and Ebron departing, I wouldn’t be surprised if 90 of those are headed Roberts way. With that level of volume, and Roberts incredible ability to find the end zone, don’t be surprised when Michael Roberts is a TE1 next year, and a guy you’re paying up to get in 2019.

ADP Starting Line; Round 4

Happy Saturday! It’s June 30th which means it’s basically July and officially fantasy draft prep season…Which means most of you are starting to tune into your favorite fantasy football podcasts and do some casual reading to prep for your August drafts. Every Friday (publishers note here, I was late in publishing this article therefore you have the reflected changes made, but it will be every Friday from now on) through July and August I’ll be discussing some of the players to grab in your upcoming drafts.

I’m assuming that most of you will have already made some easy decisions; grabbing some combination of reliable RBs and WRs in rounds 1-3. So, for this first installation, I’m addressing picks during the 4th round.

For the sake of being transparent, the scoring format I’m using is based on basic PPR scoring with 4pt passing TDs in a redraft style league.  All ADP information is available on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com. So, without further adieu, let’s begin….

The ADP on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com reflects the 4th round as follows:

Image result for derrius guice

Photo by; FootballGuys

4.01 Derrius Guice

He has a great opportunity to be an RB2; however, I tend to prefer a more known quantity this early.  

4.02 Alex Collins

I’m struggling with Collins here. It just feels too early for him. His in division match-ups are definitely not pushovers and I just don’t trust the Ravens offense.

4.03 Aaron Rodgers

I prefer to take QBs a bit later but it’s hard to argue with the idea of having a positional advantage week in and week out.

4.04 Zach Ertz

Similar to Rodgers, Ertz provides a positional advantage more weeks than not; however, I’d be more inclined to take a RB or WR here.  

Image result for allen robinson bears

4.05 Allen Robinson

Coming off of a torn ACL, it’s hard to know if we’re getting the ARob we saw in 2015 or some lesser version of him.  Trubisky isn’t a fully finished product either and that could cap his value.

4.06 Jay Ajayi

His knees are a timebomb but Philly has the weapons to manage his reps and maximize his efficiency. I like him over Collins and Guice in the 4th.

4.07 Demaryius Thomas

DT is starting to see more love as his ADP has lifted out of the 5th round in the last month.  Even with a new QB, I tend to prefer Amari Cooper in a bounce-back year over the 30-year-old Thomas.

4.08 Kenyan Drake

After a great 2nd half of 2017, it seems a lot of people are bearish on Drake which surprises me.  Being more Bull-ish than most, I’d roll with him confidently as early as 4.01.

4.09 Ju Ju Smith Schuster

AB is still the guy to own in Pittsburgh and despite the flashes, we saw in 2017 it’s hard for me to draft a guy this early who isn’t a #1 on his own team.

4.10 Amari Cooper

No more Crabtree means Cooper is the clear #1 WR and his volume will reflect that. Cooper should be picked ahead of DT, ARob, and Ertz.

Image result for deshaun watson

Photo by; ClutchPoints

4.11 Deshaun Watson

Coming off of an ACL injury that ended his 2017 campaign early, Watson is incredibly dynamic; however, this is early for a guy who has yet to make it through a full season. I would advise sticking with a position player here.  Besides, if you’re picking at 4.11 you could easily grab Watson, Brady, or Wentz at 5.02 or 6.11.

4.12 Sony Michel

Don’t fall for the Beli-tricks, this is too early for any Patriots back.  There are too many guys in this backfield and it will make Michel’s usage hard to count on for a 4th rd pick.  I’d feel much better about Ronald Jones here.

The 4th round is where drafters start to make their money so attention to roster construction and bye weeks comes into play as you fill out your starting lineup.  The most important thing here is to get players that can start for you every week and on some level provide a positional advantage more weeks than not. Below are some situations and some players that would make solid targets at this point in the draft.  

The situations are labeled in the order they were drafted i.e RB/WR/RB = RB in RD1, WR in Rd2, and RB in Rd 3.

RB/RB/WR

Need to go WR here – Amari Cooper is my guy.  A lot of folks are down on him after a poor showing in 2017 but really that whole offense had an off year.  Let’s call it a mulligan for Cooper and remember that his pedigree, experience, and skill set makes him a legit WR2 in most formats.   

WR/WR/RB

The RB field starts thinning out in rounds 4-6 – I’d be inclined to grab Kenyan Drake as my RB2.  He’ll see most of the work in Miami even with them adding the ageless Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage.  Strategically speaking, you might be able to grab another lower end RB2 in Round 5 if you can grab Amari Cooper as your WR3…Assuming you land Ronald Jones in round 5 or maybe CJ Anderson later you would have a major advantage in your flex/WR3 spot…but you would be thin at RB and likely making a trade by week 4.  

RB/WR/RB or WR/RB/WR

Going for positional advantages here – My favorite WR and RB (as you’ve probably noticed) are Amari Cooper and Kenyan Drake but if you’re picking in the back half of the 4th round, Aaron Rodgers and Zach Ertz should also be in consideration.  

As always, I hope this helps you build your draft plan and keeps you from being caught off guard when you’re on the clock.  Next week, we’ll cover the 5th round. Until then, happy drafting!

Fantasy Baseball “Buys and Sells” Ahead of the All-Star Break

By this time in the season, you know the outlook of your fantasy team. If you drafted Bryce Harper or Clayton Kershaw with your first-round pick, you are probably disappointed. If you invested in the Braves players (I’m talking to you Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis) your team is probably in contention.

This is the time of the year where you need to plant your flag. If you are in first-place, you are probably keeping your team as is. If you are like many teams, however, you need to make season-defining decisions that could make or break your season.

I am going to discuss a few guys you should either trade for or pick up off the waiver-wire to bolster your roster. With that said, let’s get to it.

Ketel Marte (38.4% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Marte has been heating up in the month of June. In 20 games, Marte is hitting .324/.373/.706 with five home runs (6 on the season) and 18 RBIs. He is under-owned, especially in point leagues, and if he is on the waiver wire you should pick him up. Marte is a player that is eligible for second base and shortstop and is slowly becoming an everyday player for the Diamondbacks.

Marte is only 24 years old and you should see a slump at some point during the season. Knowing that I still believe he can be a depth player who can be utilized in plus matchups for the rest of the season.

Ender Inciarte (90% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Inciarte has been a bit disappointing this season. His .252 average and .309 OBP are career lows for him. That is one of the reasons I am buying. You can convince his owner that he is having a bad season and possibly grab him for cheaper than what he is worth. He is playing on one of the most surprising yet dynamic offenses in the MLB. He will certainly figure it out either before or after the All-Star break. He is certainly a buy-low candidate, who should certainly have a better half if the Braves continue the success they have endured.

Jorge Polanco (.9% owned in ESPN Leagues)

Polanco is criminally under-owned right now. Polanco got hit with an 80-game suspension for PEDs before the season started. Prior to the suspension, Polanco was projected to be the everyday starting shortstop for the Twins. Instead, he waits until July 2nd, where he will have to see where he lands on the roster. Their current starter, Ehire Adrianza has been egregious the past 7 days, slashing a measly .167/.200/.208. Eduardo Escobar has spent some time at shortstop, but the Twins prefer to keep him at third base. This leaves a clear path for Polanco to seize that starting role, given that he spent last season there. Look to pick up Polanco before he comes back to the Majors, where his ownership will have a serious uptick.

Eloy Jimenez (7.1% owned in ESPN Leagues)

The time for a new age for the White Sox is slowly approaching. Jiminez will be a big part of that. Certainly, Jimenez should be a stash in deeper leagues, as he is still a rookie. I believe Jiminez will and should get called up before or directly after the All-Star break. Jimenez has been called up to Triple-A Charlotte, certainly for the White Sox to see if he can hit the much improved breaking balls at the Triple-A level.

While in Charlotte, Jimenez has hit 4-for-13 with three walks and a home run. Jimenez has been viewed by scouts as having one of the best swings they have ever seen and should make be an immediate impact for the White Sox. We have seen guys like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Ronald Acuna make an impact for their teams and Jimenez should be no different.

Dallas Keuchel (95.1% owned in ESPN Leagues)

I am not going to lie to you and say Keuchel has looked good this season. In fact, he has been unstartable for his past couple of starts. His ERA on the season is 3.90 with a WHIP of 1.31. before his last two starts, Keuchel has given up 16 earned runs in 16 innings. Those numbers are not helping anybody, especially the Astros.

However, I think Keuchel is due for a bounce back. In his past two starts, he has given up 0 runs. I think his current owner (heck, I am one of them) is frustrated with figuring out when to start Keuchel and when to sit him. This could open the door for a potential buy-low situation.

Now that Verlander is there, people tend to forget that Keuchel was the ace in Houston before he arrived. Keuchel is going to figure it out, and sending a trade now before he wins another game gives you the best chance of landing the former star.

 

5 Players NOT to Give Up On

“What a wild first half. Hasn’t it been?” That’s what we say every year. “It’s been so wild. This year is unlike any other year.” Is it? Naw. Baseball metrics certainly are making it interesting, as batters change launch angles and pitchers adjust their approach but I suppose there’s always something that’s making player values go all over the place, and this year, is no different. 

A number of players are dealing with early struggles but can be expected to bounce back and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today! Who has looked bad but will surely get better as the season goes on.

Jose Martinez – I love this guy. He’s a ball of energy and crushes. But his power has seemed to be spotty compared to last year’s breakout. All it takes is one glance at him though, to see that his 6’ 7” frame is capable of more power. He had to change his approach in the minors because his swing simply wasn’t made for power, but he always hit for crazy strong average. In this launch angle age, he’s been pressured to hit more for power, and when he tries to, he hits bombs. He’s already started to hit for power in June crushing 5 hrs, so something tells me he’s made adjustments. I expect that to be something he’ll continue, and his batting average is too good to hurt you even when his power is low. Buy Martinez if anyone thinks he’s just a mediocre old player and doesn’t want to treat him like a top 50 player. Yup, I’d take him over Rendon, Yelich, Bregman, and maybe even one other old guy…

Joey Votto – Votto’s power has been fairly pedestrian, and if you’re getting cold feet, stop it. Votto is known for making adjustments and if he’s going to struggle as he gets older, it’s going to be with batting average (which has been as good as usual). Older players don’t have their power go before their average usually, and certainly not by this much. Expect a bounce back, and very possibly an awesome 2nd half.

 

Zack Godley – Godley is my guy. We always have those guys who you’re just extra bullish on because you talked about them before almost anyone was talking about them. Well Godley is that guy, and his first few months have been painful, but it’s simply been a matter of the league adjusting. Godley has some of the best secondary pitches, and the league has taken note. They’ve laid off his curve much more and Godley was getting frustrated. He found himself falling off the side of the mound as his mechanics got messed up. The results were a far higher walk rate going from a bb/9 of 3.09 to 4.42. Luckily he’s recently fixed his mechanics and his past 2 starts have been noticeably better. I did still see some issues, but not nearly the amount of falling to the side we were seeing earlier. He was too good last year to not make improvements as his stuff is still very good. If he’s available, this is your last chance. Pick. Him. Up.

Edwin Encarnacion – The pirate himself. You ever watch Encarnacion after he hits a homerun? Probably since he hits like 40 a year. But he’s got that pirate jog, where he holds up a parakeet on his shoulder as he jogs the bases. Don’t let this guy plunder your league without you! Every year he has a monster 2nd half. It’s always scary the older he gets, because one of these years, his slow first halves is simply going to be because he’s old, and not because he’s waiting for the 2nd half to explode. It’s not this year though. He’s still hitting for plenty of power, and it’s unlikely to slow. Usually, he shows a nice batting average boost in the 2nd half too though, so don’t expect a Joey Gallo line for the rest of the year. He should only get better going forward.

Brian Dozier – Dozier has been doing not much this first half of the season. Trust me. I know, as a dozing owner. Waiting on him to bounce back is a tiresome ordeal. If you dive a little bit deeper into the stats though, you’ll find, he’s often times is a slow starter. Historically, he almost always comes back on a tear, especially as the weather warms come late July and August time. If you can find a nervous owner, don’t be afraid to buy low. The kind of value he can offer at that 2b position is lovely, and you should grab him if you can!

That’s it for 5 guys you shouldn’t give up on. Here’s a few others if you’re looking for other names: Kris Bryant, Mike Moostakas, Scott Schebler, and Steven Matz.

Good luck this season, and you can always follow me on twitter @baseballalan

The Call to the Majors, Week Ending June 20

June 14, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Chris Bassitt Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Carlos Ramirez Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Nick Rumbelow Pitcher Tacoma (AAA) Seattle (MLB)
Robert Whalen Pitcher Tacoma (AAA) Seattle (MLB)

 

Image result for tyler white astros

June 15, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Corban Joseph Infielder Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Tanner Scott Pitcher Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Tyler White 1st Basemen Fresno (AAA) Houston (MLB)
Brandon Maurer Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Kyle Farmer C/Infielder Oklahoma (AAA) Los Angeles (NL) (MLB)
Jake Jewell Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Felix Pena Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Eduardo Paredes Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Merandy Gonzalez Pitcher Jacksonville (AA) Miami (MLB)
Taylor Motter INF/OF Rochester (AAA) Minnesota (MLB)
Jonathan Loaisiga Pitcher Trenton (AA) New York (AL) (MLB)
Luke Voit 1st Basemen Springfield (AA) St. Louis (MLB)
Jose Trevino Catcher Frisco (AA) Texas (MLB)
Brandon Mann Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)
Yohander Mendez Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

 

June 16, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
John Lamb Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Franklin Barreto Infielder Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Yacksel Rios Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jack Thompson Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Pierce Johnson Pitcher Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Ryan Rua Outfielder Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB

 

Image result for ryan rua texas rangers

Photo by; FanRag Sports

June 17, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Luke Jackson Pitcher Gwinnett (AAA) Atlanta (MLB)
Shane Bieber Pitcher Columbus (AAA) Cleveland (MLB)
Evan Marshall Pitcher Columbus (AAA) Cleveland (MLB)
Wily Peralta Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Rosell Herrera Outfielder Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Adalberto Mondesi Infielder Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Scott Barlow Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Adrian Houser Pitcher Colorado Springs (AAA) Milwaukee (MLB)
Josh Lucas Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Yovani Gallardo Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

 

June 18, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Rob Zastryzny Pitcher Iowa (AAA) Chicago (NL) (MLB)
Clint Frazier Outfielder Scranton/Wilkes Barre(AAA) New York (AL) (MLB)
Austin Davis Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jose Osuna Outfielder Indianapolis (AAA) Pittsburg (MLB)
Kelby Tomlinson 2nd Basemen Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Ricardo Rodriguez Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

Image result for kelby tomlinson giants

Photo by; McCovey Chronicle

June 19, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Caleb Joseph Catcher Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Robby Scott Pitcher Pawtucket (AAA) Boston (MLB)
Jackson Stephens Pitcher Louisville (AAA) Cincinnati (MLB)
Heath Filmyer Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Freddy Peralta Pitcher Colorado Springs (AAA) Milwaukee (MLB)
Tim Peterson Pitcher Las Vegas (AAA) New York (NL) (MLB)
Pierce Johnson Pitcher Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Lourdes Gurriel 2nd Basemen Buffalo (AAA) Toronto (MLB)
Jefry Rodriguez Pitcher Syracuse (AAA) Washington (MLB)

 

June 20, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Johnny Barbato Pitcher Toldedo (AAA) Detroit (MLB)
Mitchell Walding Pitcher Leigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jake Barrett Pitcher Reno (AAA) Arizona (MLB)
Adam Frazier 2nd Basemen Indianapolis (AAA) Pittsburg (MLB)

As you can see by the list, most of the players that were called up to the Major Leagues in the past week have been pitchers. A lot of the time, these are just one or two day call up’s because someone in the bullpen was overworked. There were no players called up this week that were in the top 50 prospects to begin the year.

 

Notable Performances:

Jonathan Loaisiga was called up to the major leagues on June 15th for the New York Yankees. Before he was called up, he pitched in six games in AA and four games in A ball this season. In Single-A Tampa, Loaisiga had a 3-0 record posting a dominate 1.35 ERA. Loaisiga performed just as well in AA for Trenton, posting a 3-1 record with a 4.32 ERA. Loaisiga made is MLB debut on the day he was called up, and he pitched a gem of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched 5 shutout innings allowing three hits, four walks, and struck out six. In Loaisiga’s second start on June 20 against the Seattle Mariners, he pitched 3.2 innings and he allowed 3 runs, on six hits while striking out four and walking two. His season ERA sits at 3.12, in the two games that he pitched.

Image result for jonathan loaisiga yankees

Photo by; New York Post

Lourdes Gurriel was called up again to the major leagues on June 19th for the Toronto Blue Jays. During his time in the minor leagues this season, both in Triple A Buffalo and Double A New Hampshire, Gurriel played in 39 games with a triple slash line of .307/.333/.490 with an OPS of .824 and six home runs. Playing up in the majors has not fared for the young Gurriel so far. He is posting a triple slash line of .206/.229/.309 in 20 games while also posting a .537 OPS and two home runs. Gurriel has shown that he can compete in the minors, now he is trying to show that he deserves to be up in the majors, and will hopefully be a part of the Toronto Blue Jays for years to come.

Image result for lourdes gurriel toronto blue jays

Photo by SportsNet

A final notable call up for this week is another New York Yankee, and if you follow baseball you’ve heard his name before, outfielder Clint Frazier. There are rumors surrounding Frazier that he will either be a cornerstone of the Yankees outfield for years to come, or he is only being called up so he can audition for other MLB teams come the trade deadline. In 42 games in the minors this year, most of which at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Frazier has played in 42 games posting a triple slash line of .302/.387/.550 with an OPS of .937. Frazier has also added eight home runs to those eye opening numbers. With the call to the Majors, Frazier has played in 5 games this year with a triple slash line of .364/.533/.455 with an OPS of .988. Frazier has been playing well no matter where he goes. This doesn’t seem like a permanent move to Frazier, not yet at least, but sooner rather than later he will be off this list, and in the Majors for good.

Image result for clint frazier new york yankees

Photo by FanRag Sports

So that’s the Call to the Majors for this week fans. I hope you’ve enjoyed this segment, and hope you aren’t sitting by the phone waiting for your Call to the Majors, it may be a little farther out than some of the players in the Minors.

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