Saturday, March 12, 2016


Another day of exhibition games to digest as we continue on the path toward 2016 fantasy baseball:

-It took a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox for Jimmy Rollins to get one last crack at a Major League job after he completely washed out in 2015 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Flat out, Rollins looked finished last season as his average continued to sink, his power vanished, and he stopped running.  Still the White Sox bought low in hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and at least so far this spring that seems to be what is happening.  With just the raw Tyler Saladino standing in his way, Rollins cracked his second home run of the spring on Friday which brought his average to a stellar .429 thus far in the Cactus League.  Right now those in AL-only formats could start adding Rollins to their cheat sheets but in mixers he is still far from a certainty to do much better then his ugly 2015 numbers.

-The momentum is certainly picking up in terms of Carlos Rodon's fantasy baseball draft stock as he was money for the second time in two spring starts on Friday.  Rodon fired off four scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres which included 2 hits and 3 strikeouts.  Perhaps most impressive was the fact Rodon did not walk one batter.  It is becoming increasingly clear how potentially dominant Rodon can be if he curtails the walks like he has thus far in the Cactus League.  This is a special arm that can dial the fastball near 100-mph and Rodon should be on the short list for anyone trolling fantasy baseball sleepers during this drafting season. 

-James Shields got his face bashed in on Friday as he gave up three home runs and four runs overall in 2.2 innings.  After giving up 33 home runs despite pitching half his game in Petco Park last season, Shields continues on the decline phase of his career which we first talked about in 2014.  Always prone to giving up bombs, Shields' declining velocity means his days as even an SP 2 are finished. 

-Fernando Rodney threw a perfect inning in his spring debut versus the White Sox.  Rodney just returned from a stubborn hamstring injury but he is still slated to be the team's closer to begin 2016.  Fasten your seat belts. 

-J.J. Hoover tossed a scoreless inning of his own for the Cincinnati Reds on Friday as he continues to prepare to start the 2016 season as the team's closer.  Hoover has some upside and was decent last year with a 2.94 ERA but there are some clear underlying concerns such as him walking 31 batters in 64.1 innings.  Also Hoover's K rate is not terrific as he pitches more to contact like a Brad Ziegler which could be trouble.  Have him down as one of your lowest-rated closers. 

-Jose Peraza hit a home run as part of his 3-for-4 day at the dish for the Reds Friday.  Peraza will begin the season either on the bench or in the minors but he will be a major person of interest if playing time opens up due to his big-time speed. 

-Patrick Corbin is one of our more hyped sleepers for 2016 as he tossed three scoreless innings on Friday.  Corbin looked great when he returned last season from Tommy John surgery and even showed a velocity boost which shot up his K rate.  Keep him in mind in the middle rounds as a high upside play.

-Another decent sleeper would be Milwuakee's Domingo Santana who hit a home run on Friday as part of his 3-for-3 day.  Santana is a Khris Davis clone in that he strikes out a ton which makes him a batting average liability but he also can hit 20-plus home runs for a dirt cheap draft price. 


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