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Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: FRIDAY

We finally have some games to discuss so let's get our first WRAPUP of the season underway.  

-One of my favorite sleepers for 2017 fantasy baseball is Cincinnati Reds infielder Jose Peraza who has insane speed and the hitting approach to post annual .300 averages.  Peraza now is the team's everyday second baseman and he got off to a nice start Friday by going 1-for-3 with and RBI single and a steal.  There will be a ton of steals out of Peraza this season and honestly I think he can be a better version of Dee Gordon both in average and runs and maybe not that far behind in steals.  Bid aggressively.  

-I still believe in Michael Conforto and so should you.  While the New York Mets outfield is packed, Conforto's live bat will determine what happens.  He slammed a home run Friday as part of a 2-for-3 day against the Boston Red Sox.  Yes 2016 was ugly but keep in mind Conforto hardly played in the minor leagues before making his Mets debut in 2015.  That lack of seasoning showed when things got tough last season and Conforto could not adjust.  He still has a sweet swing and burgeoning power that could translate to 25 homers.  Don't give up on him.

-Aaron Judge hit the scoreboard as he cracked his first home run of the spring for the New York Yankees.  The issue with Judge has never been his Babe Ruth power but instead his contact rate.  He struck out in almost half of his at-bats as a rookie in 2016 and that won't cut it no matter how many homers he hits.  I personally am prejudiced against ugly averages sluggers and Judge is every bit of that.  Limited player in fantasy baseball whose ceiling only goes to where the power travels to.

-Coming off a career-best 20 homer runs last season, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious hit his first bomb of the spring Friday.  The question with Gregorious is how legit was his 20 home run total last season considering he hit 9 the year prior,  He is at that magical age of 27 though which could add credence to it.  Either way, Gregorious doesn't run and his average won't ever get much better than .280 or so.  You want steals from your middle infielders and Gregrious is far from that.  Not my fantasy shortstop.

-Madison Bumgarner gave up two hits and two runs in his one inning of work in his spring debut Friday but he always gets hit hard during the exhibition slate.  What I am more worried about is the insane inning totals Bum has put on his arm the last five years.  Perhaps the one mph loss on his fastball last season was a sign of things to come but either way Bumgarner is too pricey for me as someone who avoids pitching early.  


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