In March of this year we initiated the first ever Fake Teams and Friends fantasy baseball league. The format is TGFBI-styled, except the second catcher was swapped for a second UTIL spot. We put $300 up for grabs, with $200 to first and $100 to second place.
Our own Joe Gentile got the “worst value” on his picks in this year’s TGFBI, and that propelled him to an idea—to blindly trust his own projections in our Fake Teams and Friends draft (i.e. to ignore ADP). For instance, Joe’s Round 1 pick was Austin Meadows. Not bad at all so far, as Joe is up to seventh place (out of 15) after a slow start. Aside from that wrinkle, it was a pretty standard draft, with a little value falling due to Joe’s strategy. However, many of the popular “sleepers” were taken earlier by Joe, so it was sort of a push. It definitely made for a unique draft. You can read a recap of the draft here.
Before we move into the waivers part, big shouts to Mike Kurland of the Bases Loaded podcast for currently sitting in first place. Kurland’s pairing of Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger is what I would call “formidable.” In second place is Fake Teams’ own Punk is Dead and Brian Entrekin of the “Benched with Bubba” podcast is cozy in third place. You can scope out the league standings here, as I have made it available for public view.
All of the above was preamble to this: I’d like to check-in on FT and Friends each week, telling you who we added on Saturday’s waiver wire run (and attempting to surmise WHY). There were a few names on last night’s waiver run that surprised me. Selfishly, this is a good thing in advance of TGFBI waivers running on Sunday nights. I feel like a get one day’s worth of head start on who should be hot.
Here are the guys we added, from most costly to least. For reference, we are operating on a $100 FAAB budget:
$12 Corbin Martin to Joe Gentile’s All-Sleeper Team
$10 James McCann to Heath Capps
$9 Zac Gallen to Brian Entrekin
$6 John Means to Mark Abell
$6 Jalen Beeks to Brian Entrekin
$6 Jorge Mateo to Brian Entrekin
$5 Kyle Gibson to Natty Wallach
$5 Hunter Pence to Felsen Raster
$3 Ronny Rodriguez to Natty Wallach
$2 Eric Sogard to Mike Kurland
$1 Reynaldo Lopez to Punk is Dead
$1 Junior Guerra to Natty Wallach
Those were all the guys that FAAB was spent on. These other guys were added for nothing:
Austin Riley, Ramon Laureano, Jefry Rodriguez, Gio Urshela, Chris Martin, and Cameron Maybin.
GET YOUR WALLET (OR PURSE) READY
Corbin Martin went 5 1⁄3 innings on Sunday in Houston’s 15-5 win over the Texas Rangers. Martin allowed a pair of runs, but only walked one batter against nine strikeouts. His fastball averaged 95 mph but touched 97. With that sort of heat and four pitches in his arsenal, it’s probable that Martin is in the majors for good. He only cost 12% of FAAB in our league, but odds are you’ll have to spend more than that in your league in order to get him. And if you took a shot on Collin McHugh, I’m sorry...
When Corbin Martin gets called up but that means McHugh moves to the pen. pic.twitter.com/L0O3AkhRCe— Joe Gentile (@JoeGentileFT) May 12, 2019
JAMES MCCANN IS A TOP-10 CATCHER
No really. He’s the No.8 catcher in the fake game. McCann made this week’s edition of Buy and Sell, and it helps that he’s got career-highs in walk rate and hard contact rate in his new hitting environs. Per Statcast, he’s 75th percentile or greater in hard hit rate, exit velocity, xBA, and xSLG. Not bad for a catcher.
ZAC GALLEN IS A PROSPECT TO STASH RIGHT NOW
Earlier today on the Twittersphere I joked that if I made a Top-75 for starting pitchers that I’d have some AAA arms in my rankings. The state of the starting pitching position is just insane. Anyway, Gallen is one such arm that might crack the ranks. The Marlins rotation is home to the unfortunate Sandy Alcantara at this time...something that might change soon given Alcantara’s struggles and Gallen’s dominance in the minors. Get ahead of the curve on this one, ladies and gents.
JOHN MEANS IS BALTIMORE’S NEW ACE?
John Means got a deep dive courtesy of Mark Abell earlier this week, so be sure to check that out if you are curious about Baltimore’s new ace.
KYLE GIBSON IS HERE TO STAY
I really liked the Kyle Gibson add by Natty. His strikeout rate jumped in 2018 due to more slider usage, and so far this year he’s setting a career-high with a 24.5% K-rate. Additionally, his 6.8% walk rate would be the best mark of his career. And he’s still generating ground balls 50% of the time. Under the hood I see a career-high rate for slider usage so far this year, at 21.9%. That makes me happy. I think this is sustainable.
THESE GUYS AREN’T DEAD YET
How about the retreads in Hunter Pence and Eric Sogard? That’s some quality production on a budget! I wouldn’t break the bank on either, but if you need at-bats I see nothing wrong with riding the wave.
AUSTIN RILEY NEEDS MORE TIME TO SIMMER (IN LEFT FIELD)
As for Austin Riley, all I gotta say is that there aren’t currently enough at-bats for Johan Camargo, who is being wasted in a super-utility role. Even if Riley was promoted, I think the opportunity would be sparse. To me, that means he is staying in Triple-A to play every day—unless an injury opens up more playing time in the big leagues. Stay tuned, but I’d recommend not adding him unless you’ve got a deep enough bench to warrant such a move. yes, the news that he’s playing the outfield is exciting, but I think that’s just smart business by Atlanta. It gives him another pathway to at-bats in the event of an injury. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it means a promotion is coming soon.
Let us know who we missed, or if there are any questions we can answer!