Fantasy MLB with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is an MLB Rumor Central writer. He also wrote the book "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World."
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
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AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Good morning, gang! It's time again for 60 minutes of fantasy chattage, so let's get right to it. Second cup of coffee is once again in hand. Who is up first?
With Miguel Cabrera having 3B eligibility and will gain 1B after the 2nd week, does this versatility give him a push over Trout for this year as the #1 pick?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
You could certainly make that argument. I'm still going to take Trout first, simply because I need five OF instead of just 3 corners.
Hi AJ, in a league with no C position (but can play a C at a UTIL position), would you rather keep Andrus or Mauer? Already keeping Hosmer, CarGo, Ellsbury, Stras. 14 team H2H
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
I'd keep Mauer. For one, he'll be getting that 1B eligibility making him more versatile for you, and I think there's a large group of potential SS starters to choose from.
AJ, 3rd pick in a H2H points league, who is the pick - Goldschmidt, McCutch, or Cano? Cano in Seattle has him lower on the list in my mind. Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
PG for me. I've done my weighted ranks based on positional scarcity and whatnot... he wins out.
can you please rank Heyward, Holliday and Werth?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Not a huge spread here, but based on early stats projections, I go Werth > Holliday > Heyward
Should I consider Beltre or EE over Tulo for my sole keeper in my H2H 11 cat league?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
I'd go with either, favoring EE of the two options.
How low would you drop Hamels in your SP rankings based on the news of his setback?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
If we were to assume that the worst-case is he misses a month, then I think you'd have to drop him 10 spots or so.
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I do not, but he's certainly in the next 10.
Did ESPN do away with "The Answer Guys" feature for Insiders?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Yes, sadly. Those guys, especially Hunter and C-Dub were terrific.
If already keeping Goldy, is keeping Desmond over Freeman the right call?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
I think so. I'd put Desmond near the top at his position.
As a Pirates fan, am I wearing black and gold tinted glasses if I want to keep Cole at $7 over Dom Brown at $4? Also keeping Marte at $3 and Desmond at $15. (QS instead of wins)
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
I'm probably more optimistic on Cole in the long-term, but he's not a top 50 pitcher this year. Probably would go with Brown.
Thoughts on these sleepers- Villar (SS-HOU), E. Young (OF-NYM), D. Strailey (P-OAK).
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Young might not end up as an everyday player for Mets, but given his value in SB, I'd say he ends up with the most fantasy impact this season.
AJ, Is there somewhere to find your personal rankings?And who would you rather have this year and next between Braun and Adam Jones? And why?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
My personal ranks are not published, though I was part of the groupthink that led to our site rankings in the Draft Kit. I'd rather have Braun this year and beyond... never been the biggest believer in Dig Dug, and I think there's simply more upside to Ryan. (Keeping in mind we are splitting hairs.)
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
I lack faith in the health of 75 percent of that Dodgers OF. Don't think Carl can do it.
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
Albert and Rios neck and neck at the top. Carp, Pence, Craig next three.
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Minor at tail end of top 25 for me. Teheran not in the conversation just yet.
In a keeper league would you keep Jedd Gyorko or Jurickson Profar?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Jedd for me. Like the better power potential here.
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
At some point the wall will be reached, but I do think he can be top 5 at his position this year. That would be worth a two-year deal.
Castro, Cabrera, Hardy or Simmons? Or wait and pick up Lowrie/Villar?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
I'd go with Hardy, but there's nothing wrong with waiting for Lowrie either. There's a very large tier to be explored at SS.
Where in the draft would you select Tanaka? H2H Points, H2H Cat
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I've got him as my No. 23 SP. Wherever that happens to fall in your draft is where I'd take him. Never a good idea to lock into a specific round -- if few pitchers are taken in your league, you can wait longer, or vice versa.
What is your general strategy in keeper leagues? Do you tend to keep the matured players who are good now but cost earlier draft picks or do you keep the high potential young players who you can keep in the late rounds. For example Hanley Ramirez in the 4th round or Segura in the 21st round?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
In truth, I don't play in any leagues with rounds assigned to keepers because I don't like the game mechanic at all. That said, I look at it as keeping the best player for the upcoming season, so long as he's projected to be of at least the round value assigned to him -- unless it's close enough where the round difference matters. Here, I go Segura because there's not a huge gap in value and we're looking at 17 rounds.
How much does position eligibility mean to you early in the draft? Ex...OF, SS and 2B can be scarce in later rounds.
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
Always go best player regardless of position for first 5 rounds. Only then do I start to look at tiers and whatnot to make my calls.
Hi AJ, what kind of year should we expect from Francisco Liriano?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Average? 10 wins, 4.00 ERA or thereabouts.
I have CDavis, Fielder, and Pujols in my 1B, 1B/3B, and Util spots! Should I roll with all three or trade one for SP help?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
Certainly far too soon to trade, in my opinion. There's never a reason to deal for a need until you have some idea what that need might be. Even if you think you're lacking in SP, you may find you're not as far behind as you think once games start to be played and stats start to accrue.
Keeper question: 4 keeper league 7x7 (obp & total bases added), I am keeping fielder (2nd rd). longoria (3rd rd), J. Fernandez (25th rd) - should I keep lester (24th rd) or Hosmer (12th rd). no extra IF spots
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
I'd keep Hosmer. Even though you can't use him now, trade value will be huge once the season gets going.
Last Keeper: Rizzo or Billy Hamilton? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
Rizzo is, by far, the better baseball player.
nl only last keeper spot: Mesoraco $6 or Ozuna $2
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
Ozuna would get the nod.
AJ, in a 16 team 5x5, drafting 12th, do I keep A. Jones in the 2nd, D. Jennings in the 14th, or R. Davis in the 19th? Davis seems like the best value with Dirks out. Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
I don't think Davis ends up winning the full-time job. His splits scream for a platoon. I don't think you can throw Jones back in that deep a league.
Hey AJ. SS in H2H league, what can we expect from HanRam and Reyes, injuries and under performance or top tier SS production?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Look, we can never predict injuries. Assuming a full season for both, I'd rank Hanley 3rd and Jose 8th at SS. Both starters in all but the smallest league.
Why don't you guys have separate rankings issued on a spreadsheet this year? I always liked to see how each writer ranked say their top 150 to get a feel for who each liked.
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Typically, we do that for our re-ranks during the season. The reason it doesn't really make sense to do that in the spring is because we get together so early, and so much news comes down the pike that its way too hard to constantly update individual ranks as frequently as said news warrants.
concerns on Ortiz maintaining production/health for another season?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Not at all. If he actually played a position in the field, rather than being restricted to that UT spot, I'd consider him at end of Round 1. But because he can't, you can't.
AJ, I have the 7th pick in a upcoming 8 team H2H cats league. Do you have any suggestions on who I should Pick
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Let's assume we've got Trout, Miggy and PG off the board first. EE, Davis, Cutch and Braun likely to be in the next three. Probably go with the odd man out.
what about cano
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
I'd rather have Pedroia or Kinsler.
Pick in order Corbin, Cobb, Bailey, Cashner
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Homer, Alex, Andrew, Patrick. Last two really a coin toss.
I see you mention that you take positional scarcity into consideration. Karabell says its a "myth", whatever that means. What then does positional scarcity mean to you?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Good question. What I like to do is to compare apples to apples in order to have a balanced roster. It's more important to me to know how say, Pedroia stacks up to all other 2B vs. how Cano does as opposed to how each stacks up to the entire player pool at large. By assigning fantasy value in that way before comparing to entire field, I think you get a better sense of when each player should go off the board.
favorite baseball video game? Hardball 5!
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Don't play 'em much any more, but I'm of the MicroLeague generation.
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
That's all the time we've got for today, gang. I thank you all for your questions -- I'm on Twitter (@ajmass) for those I could not get to. An hour goes so quickly. Also, please check out my book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/162336003X) which comes out on April 15th! Until the next time, remember: it's not whether you win or lose, so long as the mascot survives!