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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCHES: JACOB DeGROM AND MASAHIRO TANAKA BOTH READY TO GO FOR START OF 2017

Despite what could only be described as effective but volatile 2016 seasons, both New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom and New York Yankees number 1 starter Masahiro Tanaka will begin spring training next week at 100 percent health and ready for nearly a full load of activity.  While DeGrom has made it almost all the way back from last year's elbow surgery to repair the ulnar nerve, Tanaka has gotten positive reports as he continues to throw with a slight tear in his own elbow's UCL plus a late 2016 flexor strain bout.  Now in terms of 2017 fantasy baseball, DeGrom carries more overall value as he has been a slam dunk fantasy baseball ace the last three seasons and has the better strikeout rate than does Tanaka.  However with the ulnar issue joining a previous Tommy John surgery, one has to wonder if the injury-prone tag now applies to DeGrom and how much should it impact his prospective draft spot.  Tanaka himself continues to be a walking red flag as any one pitch could result in Tommy John surgery given the UCL tear and it appears the issue there has taken some bite out of the Japanese hurler's K/9 rate which has gone from a high of 9.31 in his debut 2014 season, down to a mediocre 7.44 a year ago.  If we had to choose between the two, it would be an easy call as DeGrom has much more upside and the less scary immediate health issues.  We have suggested avoiding Tanaka since the UCL tear was revealed despite the fact he was excellent last season (3.07 ERA and 1.08 WHIP).  Again though Tanaka's K's are nothing special and he is quite homer prone which is a dangerous thing to be susceptible to when you operate at Yankee Stadium.  DeGrom has 200-strikeout ability if he can stay healthy and so he gets the nod.


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