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Thursday, March 2, 2017

FANTASY BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

-Boy is the hype machine going to start getting out of hand for Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi.  The sweet-swinging rookie went 2-for-3 with a HR Wednesday as he continues to cement his status as the biggest fantasy baseball sleeper for 2017.  This is a ready made .300 bat with 20/20 potential.  The draft price figures to grow by the day though which could make turning a profit not as easy as anticipated.

-Dylan Bundy gave up one run in two innings in his spring debut.  I would be much more interested in Bundy if he were in any other division then the AL East but he can still bring the fastball to the upper-90's.  Decent SP 5 upside remains. 
-Tyler Thornburg has now given up 7 earned runs in 1.1 IP as pretty much nothing has gone right for the new Red Sox reliever.  His status as the top handcuff to closer Craig Kimbrel may not be as clear as once thought.  

-Adam Jones smacked his second HR of the spring as part of his 2-for-3 day.  Jones is being disrespected at the draft table despite still begin just 31 and with as consistent power numbers as you can get.  Now it is true Jones is no longer a runner and his average has gone under .270 two years running but his 30 home runs and 80-plus runs and RBI are money in the bank.  

-Carlos Martinez pitched three scoreless innings for the St. Louis Cardinals as he goes off to the WBC.  Martinez walked one, struck out one, and gave up one hit.  Tremendous power stuff but Martinez' WHIP is not great and his ongoing shoulder trouble is a heightened risk now that he will be in the WBC.  

-Christian Yelich hit his second spring HR as and this one came off a lefty which is key since he has struggles versus southpaws in his young career,  If Yelich can start hitting lefties consistently, he can win a batting title.  If he can keep hitting home runs?  Look out.  

-Joe Ross dealt with injuries which interrupted his progress last season but he has been a quality SP 4 his first two years in the majors.  He tossed two scoreless innings in his first spring training outing but Ross has a rotation spot secured regardless.  

-Wil Myers hit his first spring training home run on Wednesday as he begins the first year of his six-year extension with the San Diego Padres.  Myers was a revelation last season in hitting 28 home runs and stealing 28 bases.  This was the first time Myers was ever predominantly healthy and counting on such health two seasons in a row is asking a ton.  Also Myers' previous high in steals was just 6 so there is major outlier happening there.  I never advise you paying for career years and Myers' 2016 is as clear of such a case as you can get.

-Coming off an all-time horrendous season relative to previous draft spot, Oakland A's pitcher Sonny Gray looked great in his spring debut in tossing two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.  Gray posted an ungodly 5.69 ERA last season as pretty much everything went wrong and now no one understandably wants him this year.  The trouble here is that Gray in my opinion pitched too many innings at a young age and now is paying for it.  The evidence is a K/9 rate that has dropped four straight seasons (gone from 9.42 to 7.23 in that span) and skyrocketing HR/9 of 1.38 a year ago.  Gray is losing zip and hitters are having no trouble catching up with his stuff as per last season.  There is a chance the still young Gray could reinvent himself and it won't cost much to find out.  However I never buy guys who lose velocity and have FOUR seasons of decline in K rate as Gray does.  Those are stark trends which can't be ignored.  

-Mike Trout picked up two hits in his Cactus League debut Wednesday.  This qualifies as a non-news story as Trout is the slam dunk number 1 pick in all fantasy baseball leagues.  The guy is insanely good and his numbers defy belief.  

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