I usually don't write a Roto Roundup piece in the offseason, as it is mainly a daily piece during the regular season, but there was a lot of news on Monday that will impact their 2016 fantasy value, so let's get right to it.
Michael Brantley out 5-6 months
Brantley will probably miss the first two months of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, and I don't think we see the same Brantley till at least the second half of the season. When pitchers have labrum surgery, they miss at least a year, so June may be an optimistic return date for Brantley. I recall Padres outfielder Matt Kemp disappointing in the power department a few years ago after having shoulder surgery, and Brantley will disappoint as well. That said, he is a solid pick up in keeper leagues as his draft day auction value will fall as a result.
Albert Pujols to miss the start of the 2016 season
#Angels 1B Albert Pujols had surgery to repair plantar plate in right foot. Expected to return in 4 1/2 months.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) November 9, 2015
Pujols was dealing with this injury, I think, for most of the season, so it is good that he had surgery to take care of it. That said, he hit 40 home runs last season with the injury, so his power was not impacted by the injury. But, he did put up his worst batting average and on base percentage of his career, and his hard hit % dropped to his lowest since 2011. Pujols turns 36 in January and is in the decline years of his career.
Is 2016 the year his power begins to decline?
Twins sign Byung-ho Park
Twins입니다!!! Twins won the bidding for Park Byung Ho!— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) November 9, 2015
The Twins have 30 days to sign Park and I doubt there will be any issue with them getting him signed. Park has huge power, hitting 50+ home runs in each of the last two seasons in the Korean Baseball league.
Remember when the baseball media were skeptical on how Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu would translate to pitching in MLB? Or Pirates shortstop Jung-ho Kang? Both turned out to be pretty darn good major league baseball players and I see Park performing very well in Minnesota. He will strike out a ton, as he did in the KBO, but has excellent power that should play well at first base.
Here is an excerpt from Jeff Sullivan’s piece over at FanGraphs yesterday:
The offensive environment in the KBO is quite a bit higher than it is in the majors. The overall level of talent is inferior, on the mound and at the plate. It’s still baseball, though, with a ball and with familiar-looking field dimensions, and there’s no faking Park’s strength. Those are moonshots, all over the place, so it’s less a question of whether Park has power, and more a question of how it’ll translate to a league with higher velocity. Consider:
One team that pursued Byung-Ho Park checked his exit velocities, HR distances and other measures and decided that he could succeed in MLB.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 9, 2015
Scout who saw Park and Kang in Korea says 70 power for Park (55 for Kang). But defensive profile limited (55 at 1B, 40 in LF). #MNTwins — Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) November 9, 2015
These tweets offer more information about Park that we all need to include when deciding whether to draft him in March.
Alexander Reyes suspended 50 games
Per Jenifer Langosch at Cardinals.com
Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes, who was projected to crack the Major League roster at some point in 2016, will have that arrival delayed after being hit with a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
This is a tough one for Reyes as the Cardinals had planned on his helping them in 2016. He is in the conversation for the second best pitching prospect in the majors behind Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito. He will miss the first two months of the season, so it appears unlikely he will be able to help the team this year, but this should not in any way dim him prospect status. Buy if you have a panicky owner in any of your keeper leagues.
Yasiel Puig asked to lose weight
Andrew Friedman on Puig: "He's continued to get bigger, stronger each yr and that may not be the optimal size for him to play 150-plus games— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) November 9, 2015
Puig looks like an NFL linebacker, so this is a great decision by the Dodgers to get him to slim down. Hopefully he can avoid anymore leg injuries in the future. Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper slimmed down last offseason and had a huge breakout season in 2015, and I think Puig can benefit as well. I don't see Puig ever becoming a 40 home run bat, but he has the power to hit 20+ home runs and hit for a high average. He is another player I would be buying in keeper leagues. This news alone will bump him up in my outfield rankings.