2017 Fantasy Baseball: The Weekly Standard
We come to another edition of the weekly standard. There is a standard operating procedure in radio that assumes that the listening audience turns over every 15 minutes. We will do the same here and assume most of the people reading are new to the series. The idea is to find the best position player, starting pitcher, and relief pitcher available. Players must be owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and ideally haven’t been selected for the feature before. Starting pitchers should have 50 or more innings and position players should have 100 or more plate appearances.
Joey Gallo— Texas Rangers (3B/U)
Key Stats: .197, 20 HR, 46 Runs, 40 RBI, 4 SB, 30 BB
In a five or six category environment it does not make sense to jettison a player like Gallo because he struggles in one of the major categories. He’s not much of a speed threat, but he has done enough to be in the middle of the pack on steals among third basemen. He isn’t exceptionally patient, but he has done enough to be on pace to walk 70 times this season. You get to the point where you have to say this is who he is as a hitter (at least for this season), but you are talking 40+ home runs and upwards of 100 runs and RBI.
Mike Montgomery— Chicago Cubs (SP/RP)
Key Stats: 57.2 INN, 1 win, 2.50 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 45 K, 2 Saves
Montgomery is like many of the guys available on the waiver wire. He has four spot starts this season, so he officially qualifies as a relief pitcher and starting pitcher. As a starter he has a 3.00 ERA with a 1.190 WHIP in 21 innings. As a reliever he has a 2.21 ERA with a 1.255 WHIP. In other words, he succeeds in both roles and is eligible in both roles. It is only a matter of time before the Cubs start bartering off veterans like John Lackey in favor of these young kids that can do just as well. In the meantime, you have a guy on pace to pitch 120 innings of all-star level baseball you can add on the waiver wire.
Archie Bradley— Arizona Diamondbacks (SP/RP)
Key Stats: 34.2 INN, 3 Wins, 1.04 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 42 K, 12 Holds
Identifying percentage owned rates is a lot like nailing jello on a wall. We try to get a crosssection of not only the platform, but also depending on the particular rules of the league. The Yahoo numbers represent leagues that include holds whereas the ESPN leagues do not. Bradley is eligible in both categories which makes him that much more valuable. Unlike Montgomery, he isn’t likely to reenter the rotation anytime soon. Like many pitchers before him, the Dbacks have discovered that a very talented yet underachieving starter can become a great relief pitcher. A relief pitcher that can pitch multiple innings is worth their weight in gold. For you, having any pitcher with an ERA around 1.00 is valuable no matter what their role is. Obviously, leagues that include holds puts him at a whole new level.