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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: MONDAY

-Obviously one of the biggest stories of this fantasy baseball season so far has been in the insane draft cost of Washington Nationals infielder/outfielder Trea Turner.  Based solely on a half season of splendid work and upside, Turner is going as as late first round pick in many fantasy baseball leagues.  His spring has unfolded nicely as well, what with Turner hitting two home runs Monday to bring his total in exhibition play to 3.  On top of that, Turner is running at will as he has six steals.  While I am still not completely sold on the power, Turner is a major threat to lead baseball in steals and could cross the 50 mark with a .300-plus average and 90-runs scored.

-So you think Bryce Harper is having a nice spring?  How about two more home runs Monday to drive the point home.  Seemingly healthy for the first time in forever, Harper now has 8 spring home runs and seems ready to go back to his insane 2015 numbers.  The fact Harper made it to the late stages of Round 1 in some leagues is ridiculous.

-Yeah it looks like Max Scherzer is ready and his fractured finger was all much adieu about nothing.  He struck out 7 New York Mets in his five shutout innings and is primed to begin the season on time.  Nothing to see here for the number 2 starter in fantasy baseball.

-Zach Wheeler tossed a five inning shutout in his best outing since coming back from a two-year absence due to Tommy John surgery.  He walked two, gave up two hits, and struck out three while looking like the Wheeler of old in terms of not striking out as many guys as his 98-mph fastball would indicate.  With Steven Matz injured, Wheeler could start the season in the fifth spot in the Mets rotation but overall he is capped at around 120 innings which limits the fantasy baseball impact.
-Up and down we go with Eduardo Rodriguez who gave up four earned runs in six innings Monday.  Rodriguez' young career has been filled with inconsistency right on down to the strikeouts and so he remains volatile in fantasy baseball terms.

-Jon Lester now carries a 5.73 ERA this spring after yielding four runs in six innings versus the Cleveland Indians but slow starts from the veteran are nothing new.  Lester is getting a tad up there in age though and he went through very heavy usage seasons the last two years.

-Danny Salazar has the K stuff working as he whiffed 9 Chicago Cubs in just 5.2 innings.  For the spring Salazar finished with a high 4.85 ERA but he struck out a massive 37 in 26 frames to show why he is annually so tempting to draft.

-Wilson Contreras was one of the my "go get him" players this year given the extreme shallow nature of catcher and for his smooth and powerful swing.  He showed that Monday when Contreras slammed two home runs to bring his spring total to 5 with a .340 average,  Upwards we go.

-This is going to sound a bit like quibbling but Carlos Martinez continues to lack in the K department this spring as he struck out just 2 in 5 innings Monday versus the Houston Astros.  Martinez has a sparkling 1.38 spring ERA but you want the strikeouts to go along for the ride like they did in 2015.  Shoulder issues persisted again last season and I don't have to tell you this type of injury historically robs strikeouts from a pitcher.  Something to watch early on in the season.

-Wil Myers is up to 3 home runs and 3 steals on the spring with a .385 average after going yard on Monday  I still doubt whether he can make 2016's power/speed combination that went over 20 in each category but I also wouldn't be shocked if I were wrong based on how well Myers has hit this spring.

-Carter Capps predictably struggled in his first spring outing coming back from Tommy John surgery as he gave up 2 hits and 2 walks with 1 run.  Capps only was able to get one out but keep in mind rust needs to be worked off from a very young power arm.  I still think Capps is the best bet to lead the Padres in saves this season so stash him on your roster.

-Daniel Norris reported feeling a "dead arm" Monday which would help explain giving up 13 hits and a walk in just 3 innings.  Norris had been very good this spring leading into his Monday outing but at least this is something to watch early on in the season.

-Greg Holland gave up two runs in his outing on Monday and he is scheduled to pitch again on Tuesday as his final post-Tommy John hurdle.  The Rockies are prepared to go into the season with Holland closing but a rough outing on Tuesday could change the plan.


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