Tuesday, February 27, 2018


-New York Yankees third base Miguel Andujar is certainly making the assumed decision by the team to have him begin 2018 in the minors after the trade for Brandon Drury as he homered for the second time this spring on Tuesday.  Andujar has a bat advanced beyond his year as he can both hit for power and average but the assumption was Drury would man third at least to begin the season.  It is now at least plausible the Yanks could re-think those plans if Andujar continues to rake and Drury could easily slide to second base with Gleybar Torres going down instead.  Something to watch closely over the next few weeks.

-Taijuan Walker all of a sudden becomes a pitcher of interest in fantasy baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks installing a humidor at Chase Field as home runs were always his biggest problem outside of health.  Walker was once a top prospect in the Seattle system due to his ability to miss bats and he did pitch to a solid 3.49 ERA a year ago despite the homers.  He gave up one run in one inning in his spring debut on Tuesday but Walker should be bumped up a bit on your cheat sheets as a post-hype sleeper.

-Jeff Samardizjia got pounded Tuesday by giving up four runs in just 1.2 innings but he does carry good bounce back upside after his ERA spiked last season due to some fluky bad luck.  Despite this, Samardizjia does seem to never pitch as good as his peripherals suggest so he is far from a lock.

-Jon Lester is a guy I will avoid in all of my fantasy baseball drafts this season as I think his arm is shot from some insane workloads in his career and his first spring outing was a struggle as he gave up one run and walked 2 in 1.2 IP.  These guys only have so many bullets in the chamber as we see with Felix Hernandez these days and so Lester is an aging vet best left to someone else. 

-Gio Gonzalez tossed two scoreless inning and punched out two for the Washington Nats but he is another guy I am leery of as his ERA was a total fluke a year ago do to some very generous BABIP luck. 

-Jon Gray remains a bit of a tease given his high K rate and once again he carries some solid upside for 2018 fantasy baseball despite his home park.  Gray gave up two runs in 2 innings pitched Tuesday and he actually pitched better at home then the road in 2017.  You won't have to pay much to find out if 2018 is the year Gray puts it all together and so you can see this investment pay off handsomely as your SP 5.

-James Paxton just goes out and dominates when he is healthy and he did so Tuesday by tossing two scoreless frames.  He is a strikeout machine when on the hill but we all know that Paxton is arguably one of the most injury-prone pitchers in all of fantasy baseball which caps any anticipation here. 

-Kenta Maeda is another post-hype sleeper who could really pay off this season on a very good Los Angeles Dodgers team.  Maeda pitched two scoreless innings and struck out one on Tuesday and he has done nothing but miss bats since coming over from Japan.  Always possessing impeccable control, Maeda has a lot going for him in 2018. 

-Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler homered twice on Tuesday in reminding the fantasy baseball community he is still in the major leagues and that he still has some big power to offer. Unfortunately, Soler falls in the Rusney Castillo boat in terms of Cuban busts so far but the Royals will give him yet another chance to make it.  Keep watching him this spring. 


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