Danny Duffy enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2014, logging over 100 innings for first time since 2011, the Royals product notched 2.2 WAR across 25 starts with a 2.53 ERA. This was a revelation to dynasty fantasy baseball owners who’ve held on through the bad times, but Duffy’s performance was met with trepidation by non-believers. With a spotty health history and poor pitching peripherals undercutting the ERA, is Duffy a tweak away from consistent fantasy success, or is he a sell high candidate after a fantastic season?
Ep. 6 of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast features Joel Henard and I discussing the Royals World Series run, MLB playoffs, the top-50 fantasy baseball prospects scouted and Boston Red Sox prospects with David Laurila of FanGraphs. It’s a fast paced hour filled packed with the best in fantasy baseball fueled by baseball scouting.
The 2014 campaign for Mike Moustakas has been a tale of two halves. He started off 2014 cold as ice and was demoted to Triple-A on May 22. While in the minors, he appeared to regain his form. The Royals gave him another chance and he performed well enough to finish the season at third base for Kansas City. The Royals have reached the World Series with “Moose” batting from the nine spot where he’s been a leading offensive force. Is this a sign of things to come for the former top prospect?
Emerging from the late McCourt era which culminated in the team’s bankruptcy, the Guggenheim group poured money into the Los Angeles Dodgers and quickly re-established their place as one of the premier spenders in baseball. Not only did the team aggressively pursue established veterans, but high priced foreign free agents too – the most notable being Yasiel Puig ($42MM over seven years) and Hyun-jin Ryu ($36M over six years). With such an extravagant budget and a win now mentality, it can be difficult to predict when opportunities will arise for minor leaguers within the organization. The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system houses a trio of prospects with impact potential in Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Julio Urias. How do the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers work them into the high pressure, win now atmosphere of Los Angeles?
Was Orioles prospect Chance Sisco the best pure hitter in the South Atlantic League in 2014? After batting a lowly .249 in 13 April games, the left-handed hitter never hit below .321 in a subsequent month, peaking at .404 in June. Overall, his .344 batting average paired beautifully with a .406 on base percentage and .448 slugging percentage. At 19, this level of offensive production is unheard of from a catching prospect. In fact, the top high school catcher in Sisco’s draft class, Reese McGuire, managed a .262/.307/.334 line in the same division. Does the 2013 second round pick’s outstanding offensive performance match his present set of skills?
The Giants are in the midst of another deep October run and Madison Bumgarner is leading the charge. The lefty starred in the wild card match up against Pittsburgh and kicked off the NLCS with 7.2 shutout innings against the Cardinals. During the start, he set the record for most consecutive scoreless playoff innings pitched on the road. In 2014, as Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain limped to -0.5 WAR combined, Bumgarner paced the pitching staff with 3.6 WAR and 30-plus starts, something he’s done every season since joining the rotation full-time in 2011. But, for all of the 25-year-old’s success, fantasy owners seem reluctant to make San Francisco’s ace their SP1. Is it time to fully embrace Bumgarner’s ascendance?
For years, the Colorado Rockies have searched for a suitable starter opposite star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. In 2014, the quest failed again as DJ LeMahieu slugged under .370 and reached base under 32% of the time for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, prized shortstop prospect Trevor Story slashed .200/.302/.380 following a mid-season call-up to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, creating worry he will go the way of so many other Rockies middle infielders. Will the former first-round pick turn things around or is he destined to be yet another mishap up the middle?
Vance Worley was a solid, but unspectacular starting pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies. Injuries derailed his career, but the right-handed hurler righted the ship with the Pirates in 2014. Just 27, fantasy baseball owners want to know if he has staying power. Can Pittsburgh’s reclamation project be counted on as rotation depth in dynasty and keeper leagues?
The St Louis Cardinals have continued to win while successfully bringing rookies into the fold to fill key roles. 2013 1st round pick Marco Gonzales picked up two of the three Wild Card series wins. Matt Adams shocked with a three run home run off of Clayton Kershaw and Randal Grichuk (ROTOscouting Report) and Kolten Wong left the park during the four game series too. Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ season ended in a one run loss while its young, impact player (Yasiel Puig) pinch ran. A little faith and patience can go a long way in winning now, while building for a successful future. Maybe the Yankees, Red Sox and other major market teams should take note.
On the list of “Best Hitters in Baseball,” Victor Martinez’s name is overlooked as his numbers have never wowed. He has one silver slugger under his belt, received in 2004 as a member of the Cleveland Indians, but more time at first base and designated hitter has forced comparisons to the elite hitters in baseball. With two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera batting behind him in Detroit, nobody expected Vic-Mart to out slug a triple crown winner. Martinez did in his free agent season, but at 36, what will the reward be?
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
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