Fantasy Baseball Beauty and the Beast

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It is early in the fantasy baseball season.  Guys are hitting way over and way under their skill level.  So now is the time to start categorizing these players into the “beauties” and the “beasts”.  Beauties are the players that I think will remain beautiful, or good at baseball all season.  Beasts are the players that will one day look nothing like the dime piece you thought you had.  Let’s dive right in…

photo courtesy of lasportshub.com
Cody Bellinger

Bellinger is off to the hottest of starts.  Whenever the young lefty is at the plate it seems like he is hitting beach balls.  The Dodgers slugger has already mashed 8 home runs.  He isn’t just hitting homers.  Right now Bellinger’s average is over .400 and he has driven in over 20 runs.  Oh yeah and he is only 23 years old.

Cody B is for real.  He has already had a stellar rookie season when he was only 21 years of age on the ol’ resume.  Last year Bellinger didn’t perform up to his potential mainly because of two factors.  He didn’t hit lefties well and he was missing pitches on the inner part of the plate.  This year is a different story.  Bellinger is hitting lefty pitchers and crushing inside pitches.  When opposing pitchers make mistakes he is making them pay in a big way.  I would expect him to have some slumps, like all hitters do, but I think at the end of the 2019 season he will have had his best year yet.  If you drafted Cody Bellinger I tip my cap to you.  If you are in one of my leagues he stinks and you should trade him to me.

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Tim Anderson

Anderson is a solid shortstop for the Chicago White Sox, but I don’t believe he will continue this scorching start.  Anderson has enough skill to produce 20/20 seasons, but he always seems to fall short of a major breakout.  Chicago likes him because they gave him an extension last off season.  Don’t get me wrong, he will play most games, so he does have a chance to provide some additional counting stats.  Due to his speed I like him in roto leagues more than points leagues.  In any format Anderson is playing out of his mind.

He is currently batting a robust .514.  He is getting a hit more than half of the time he steps to the plate.  Along with great batting average, Anderson has hit two homers and swiped four bags.  Like I said, he does have enough talent to get you a 20/20 season, and maybe that is all you’re looking for, but I don’t think he will have the breakout season he appears to be starting. 

When you dive deeper into Anderson’s batting ball profile you will find some red flags.  The shortstop has a BABIB of .565, which means over half the time he puts the ball in play it falls for a hit.  I just can’t see this holding up over the season.  Three other quick warning signs for a true break out season are that he is also walking at a rate he has never sustained, 3.3.  Anderson is hitting more line drives than ever before, 12%, and those additional line drives are results in a hard-hit rate of 28%.  No news came out that he changed anything at the plate, so I think these statistics are showing that his early success is a bit fluky.  Hold on if you want because he will have a decent year, but you should think about selling while his price is high.

Pete Alonso

Pete “better not call me Peter” Alonso is swinging the bat as advertised.  His power is out in full force.  The New York Mets first baseman has hit five home runs and most of them almost hit the moon.  Alonso’s average long ball is almost 30 feet farther than the league average.  That may not sound like a whole lot but it really is.  Alonso has also barreled the most pitches in the majors.  Looking deep into analytic data can really help you succeed in your fantasy league.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise Alonso has hit a ton of home runs at every level.  If you can remember last year’s Future Stars game he hit a massive homer off of a 103 MPH fastball.  It only his rookie season and he may be the Mets best source of power.

Alonso had a good spring where he hit four home runs and showed real big league poise.  Most fans thought he would start in the minor leagues due to the stupid service time rules.  Nope!  The Mets decided to have him on the big club on day one of the regular season.  This was a huge vote of confidence from the organization’s leadership.  He hasn’t disappointed one bit and I think that will be the case all year.  

Chili Davis is the new Mets’ hitting coach.  I know he comes with some criticism but he preaches contact over grab it and rip it.  If Davis’s tips help Alonso improve his average, he’s still going to hit home runs due to his insane power.  I think Pete Alonso is ready to have a monster year for the Mets and your fantasy team. 

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Adam Jones

I really like the outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks Adam Jones.  He’s a pro’s pro and I don’t think you would be able to find a player in baseball that would talk badly about Jones.  Jones has had a good career.  He seems to always stay healthy and, from what I have read, Jones is a great clubhouse leader.  He’s having himself a great campaign a couple weeks in, but I’m sorry Mr. Jones, I do not believe he will continue this great start. 

Jones has been a great story.  He was left on the free agent market for a long time and was only able to find a minor league deal from Arizona.  Now he is batting .350 with four home runs.  But I think that he’ll end up settling into his career average of .280, which is solid, but not the production you may be getting now.  His average exit velocity is below the league mean so I don’t expect a huge power outburst this year.  If you selected him late in your draft you can hold on and expect his usually descent production, or you can try to sell him off while he’s hot.  Maybe someone in your league thinks he’s going to be the Adam Jones of old.  Hold or trade....you know what I would look to do. 

As a fantasy baseball general manager we aren’t even a month into the season, but I think it is a great time to recognize what you have on your roster.  Sometimes the early portion of the season is the best time to sell high or buy low.  So take this information and do with it what you will.  Deals in April can be the reason you win in September.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fantasy Baseball Beauty and the Beast
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