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Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

-We have a Michael Brantley sighting.  The Cleveland Indians outfielder went 1-for-3 in a minor league game on Wednesday which was his first game action coming back from his latest shoulder injury.  Brantley has had major shoulder trouble that resulted in two surgeries but for now he appears healthy and has a chance to be ready for Opening Day.  The Indians have proceeded very cautiously this time around but Brantley could get into a major league game by the end of this weekend.  Just to show you how far Brantley has fallen in the eyes of the fantasy baseball community, he went in the LAST ROUND of the Experts League draft.  Out of sight/out of mind but Brantley is one of the best pure hitters in the game who can go 15/15 with a .315 average if he stays healthy.

-Wow does Jordan Zimmerman stink.  He couldn't even make it out of the first inning Wed. as he gave up four runs while getting just two outs.  If it wasn't for his ridiculous contract, Zimmerman might not even be in the majors, that is how drastic his decline has been.  Don't even for a second think of drafting Zimmerman even as an SP 5.

-Brian McCann is rounding into shape now after he had an absolutely brutal start to his spring training, going 3-for-3 Wednesday with a home run.  McCann has homered in two straight games now and remains a very dependable source of catching production in fantasy baseball.  The fantasy baseball community always has fear of aging veterans and that causes the prices to fall to quite affordable and valuable levels like what we are seeing out of McCann.  Take advantage.

-Ryan Zimmerman finally snapped an 0-for-17 skid with his first two hits of spring training against the Houston Astros.  It must be the last name as this Zimmerman is just as bad as his pitching namesake due to age and injury.

-Something is amiss with Stephen Piscotty who went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and is hitting just .143 on the spring.  This is a name that I have championed on here going back to 2015 as Piscotty showed some real talent with the bat.  However he was terrible down the stretch last season and this spring has been brutal.  It is crucial Piscotty hit for average as he doesn't run much at all and that is not happening.  I still think he can be a decent OF 3 but right now Piscotty doesn't seem up to the task.

-Tim Tebow had two hits for the New York Mets.  Stop the presses.  He is now 3-for-14.  Wow.

-Billy Hamilton did his speed thing on Wednesday as he picked up three hits and two stolen bases for the Cincinnati Reds.  By now the story remains the same here with regards to Hamilton being a pure steals specialist and nothing else.  Boy can Hamilton own the steals category though which still makes him valuable despite the fact you can get someone like Jarrod Dyson ten rounds later.

-Yan Gomes is perhaps finally feeling healthy as he has hit all spring and picked up his second HR Wednesday among his two hits.  Gomes still has the to re-take the starting catcher spot for the Indians this season but he has been so rough for two years now that he can only be a person of interest in AL-only leagues initially.

-Coming off the NL batting title. DJ LeMahieu is hitting .464 on the spring after picking up a triple on Wednesday.  LeMahieu didn't run as much as we would have liked last season and there is not much in the way of power but he can be a huge average asset, especially if you have some ugly average hitters elsewhere on your roster.

-Speaking of Jarrod Dyson, he picked up three hits and two steals on Wednesday and he is my darkhorse pick to lead the AL in steals.  Dyson has been a 30-steal guy the last five-plus years for the K.C. Royals despite only being a part-time player and now that he will likely be leading off for the Seattle Mariners, 40 should be feasible.  Terrific value.

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