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10 fantasy baseball thoughts from the third week in June

I still believe in Justin Upton.

Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Indians Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

It’s Friday so it is time to share 10 thoughts about fantasy baseball from the week!

1) Last year in August (min: 50 AB) two of the better hitters were Wilmer Flores (5 home runs, 12 runs; 12 RBI, .451 AVG) and Wilson Ramos (3 home runs, 9 runs, 20 RBI, .434 AVG).

2) Prior to 2019, not only had Justin Upton played at least 140 games in each of the previous eight years, he has also scored at least 80 runs with 15+ home runs, 65 RBI, four stolen bases and an average of .245. If you allow one off year (or mulligan if you will) among those eight years here are the revised floors: 80 runs, 26 home runs, 70 RBI, eight stolen bases and an average of .245. Oh, and his teammates now includes Anthony Rendon and (fingers crossed) one Shohei Ohtani at DH. I believe in Justin Upton.

3) I didn’t think it was possible for Baltimore to give up MORE home runs, do they play Gleyber Torres every day?

4) Prior to Spencer Torkelson being taken first overall, the Tigers took Casey Mize out of Auburn in 2017. We have not seen him yet, so let’s go back to 1997 when they took Matt Anderson out of Rice University first overall. He ended up with a Career WAR of -0.6 and spent six years with Detroit and one with Colorado, racking up a career 5.19 ERA. I have Mize in a few dynasty l leagues so I hope the more recent picks play out better than Anderson did.

5) The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette once took a deep dive into Dan Marino, who appeared ready to head to Kansas City to play in the Royals farm system (they drafted him in the fourth round of the 1979 draft) until his coach Jackie Sherrill at Pitt informed him that under rule 3-4-B if he signed with Kansas City, he would lose his college scholarship. His senior year of high school he was 12-0 as a pitcher and hit .513 for his team. And did I mention the Royals drafted John Elway too?

6) The Mariners, Royals, and Rangers lead the league in most times caught stealing in 2019. The Rangers and Royals also lead the league in most stolen bases while the Mariners were fifth. It’s not a big difference, but clearly Seattle is not as successful as the other two who gave the green light to let their guys steal. I feel the Rangers and Royals will continue to push their players to steal.

7) A good question being thrown around: how high could we see a batting average this year with just 75 or fewer games played? Could we see a regular player hit .450, or a regular pitcher be below a 1.20 ERA? Regression to the mean might be thrown out under such a small sample size.

8) Through the first 70 games of last year Jorge Polanco had 11 home runs, 44 runs, 38 RBI and a .327 average. Brandon Lowe had 15 home runs, 37 runs, 44 RBI and a .287 average. Meanwhile on the pitching side Jake Odorizzi had 10 wins with a 2.66 ERA and Luis Castillo had seven wins with a 2.30 ERA. We might see excellent streaks from not household names.

9) Rhys Hoskins was the ultimate #2 Phillies player (despite playing at first). He was 2nd in games played (behind Cesar Hernandez), 2nd in at-bats (behind Bryce Harper), 2nd in home runs (behind Bryce Harper), and 2nd in strikeouts (behind Bryce Harper). He was first in walks and triples. That .226 batting average really hurts him, though.

10) Jack Flaherty is the ultimate barometer for whichever stat you want. You can go splits (first half vs. second half). You could go with the notion he had a career year. You could go with his home runs allowed, you could go with his improved walk rate, the fact that he’s strong against lefties and righties, his limited total starts…there is a long list to survey with him.