Tout Table: Final Top-10 Hitters

The Touts were asked to game into their crystal ball and answer:

Who (can be multiple) of the following current Top-10 fantasy batters has the best chance to end the season in the Top-10 and who will likely incur the greatest fall? The choices are Vlad Guerero Jr., Shohei Ohtani (consider as a hitter only), Whit Merrifield, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien and Cedric Mullins.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): Guerrero top 10 and Merrifield greatest fall.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Agree on Vlad; I think Semien takes a dive.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Agree on Vladito; second part–who gets hurt? That’s who falls. I hate myself for even thinking it, but that makes me guess Ohtani (and I hope I am wrong).

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Maybe I’m losing my grip, but I’ll throw the first curve and say I don’t see Merrifield going anywhere and will go out a limb and say he finishes ahead of Guerrero (with an injury to either taking it off the board). I see no reason why Merrifield won’t keep running. With limited bags, Vlad needs to maintain the otherwordly average, which will be tough. That said, both finish Top-10.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Vlad up Ohtani Hits, Pitches , Steals, Plays Field..Hard to imagine in todays day he doesnt go IL more than Once!!!! Trad him NOW

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): It’s obvious, but Vlad top-10, Mullins most likely to fall off (most out of nowhere). But now that I see Andy Behrens agrees, do the opposite.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): As much as I hate to agree with Liss on fantasy matters, I do think Mullins is at risk of the greatest fall. Pretty much every trait he’s demonstrating this season is either new or greatly enhanced relative to any prior year. We also have solid reasons for his improvement, of course, and—for selfish reasons—I don’t want him to backslide. But we shouldn’t be shocked if he can’t approach his current pace in the second-half. Also, Lenny is a monster for suggesting that Ohtani is a must-trade. I’m outraged. Trembling. We can’t have it. My whole retirement plan involves Ohtani winning this MVP—t must happen. He’s not actually doing anything we didn’t know he was capable of, and it’s not like he’s been unusually lucky. I’m fully in on Ohtani as a top-10 rest-of-season fantasy play.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CTowersCBS): I think Vlad, Merrifield, and Bichette have the best chance to remain in the top 10, and I can’t imagine that’s a hot take. Guerrero seems all but assured to be there given the leap he has made, and Merrifield and Bichette’s all-around games make them decent bets to be in that range. Especially Bichette, who benefits from an absurd amount of counting stats at the top of that lineup. Semien and Mullins figure to cool down quite a bit, and Ohtani’s biggest concern is injuries. It’s not just that he’s had Tommy John surgery as much as it is that he’s got twice as many opportunities as any other player to get hurt. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a top-10 player.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Bo Bichette sticking in the top 10, simply because he owns the most sustainable combination of power and speed. The home runs are real, so it’s just a question of whether he’ll continue stealing bases at his current pace. He has the speed to do it and he hasn’t even been caught yet, so there’s no reason for him to stop. Cedric Mullins is likely to incur the greatest fall from the top 10 as he’s clearly the biggest surprise out of this group and he’s outperformed anything he’s ever done historically in the minors. He has also significantly outperformed his xWOBA, so there’s a clear mountain of good fortune he has enjoyed so far that isn’t likely to last.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): I think both Vlad and Bo have a great show of sticking in the top-10. Whit Merrifield seems fairly safe as well due to the way his compiles stats. My biggest concern to fall would be Shohei Ohtani, who I believe to be far and away the current American League MVP. At least as a hitter only as stated in the question. Injury history combined with the fact that he has more avenues to get injured in the future that others hitters simply do not.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I’ll join the chorus singing Vlad Jr’s praises as the most likely to stay in the Top 10. I’ll say Ohtani the Hitter is the most likely to drop out of the Top 10 because he has several risk factors that the other candidates don’t have (AS HR contest could mess up his swing + he could suffer an injury as a Pitcher that would render him unable to swing a bat).

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): I don’t think this is a hot take, but the Blue Jays hitters have the best chance of remaining in the top 10 both because of their skills and their team context. Mullins is the riskiest on merit and because of the lineup around him – if he merely hits .265 the rest of the way, his counting stats could turn into dust. Merrifield has a similar issue with the Royals, but he’s also more stable of a player, so his risk of falling is also lower.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): My vote is for Bo Bichette. I assume that the context is roto. There are a few things that I look for. 1) Should be a “many paths to value” player. 3) Should be one of the highest projected players for overall value. 3) Underlying skills should be stable, and not unlucky. Of the bunch, Bichette and Semien are the two players which are “many paths to value.” Both have a presence in 4 or even 5 roto categories. Second, highest projected values are Vlad and Bichette. Finally, looking at Bichette’s skills – they look strong other than walk rate. Power, contact have improved, and BABIP seems luck neutral for him. To me, he has the highest floor of the group in question – which is what you would want to bet on to project him as a potential top-10 hitter.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I think Ariel hit the nail on the head — it’s Bichette, because of the value he brings with his speed. He’s in the top-10 without having overachieved at the plate so far, which makes him a good bet to keep it up. Also, hitting second in the TOR lineup is an easy path to massive R+RBI totals. On the low end, I have to agree with the masses and choose Mullins. His name sticks out like a sore thumb on this list.

Greg Ambrosius (NFBC, @GregAmbrosius): Bo Bichette will end the season in the Top 10 and will be a Top 6 pick in fantasy drafts next year. He has everything fantasy owners are looking for. Mullins has the greatest chance to fall, but you sure have to love what he’s done so far.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I’m going all Blue Jays here. Vladito will easily continue his Top-10 pace. Bo also is going to finish in the top-10 as he brings everything to the table, especially in the run category. As for the faller, it will either be Semien. In has returned to hitter he was in April, but without the steals. Springer has also returned so his time in the leadoff spot could be numbered.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): It might seem somewhat counterintuitive because he doesn’t run, but Vlad’s average is elite and will keep him in the top 10 even though he falls short in one category. As much as I’ve reaped the benefit from Mullins in some leagues I don’t think he will keep up this level of production and will slip in the second half.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): In: Bichette, VladJr, Ohtani. Out: Merrifield (will this crazy SB pace continue?), Semien (a bit over his BA skis), and Mullins (love the player, believe in the non-switch-hitting thing, but have to think pitchers will adjust).

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): The toughest guess is which one will not get injured! If none do I think Vlad Jr. will have the best finish of the group. At the other end, it’s hard to think Cedric Mullins can continue what he’s done!

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): Merrifield has the best chance to stay in the top 10 since he gets value in so many ways. Ohtani and Bichette’s injury history are reasons they could fall out

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Best chance: Vlad. Everything about his 2021 surge is explained by stable reasons: In better shape, more loft, tremendous bat speed (via EV), everything works. The obvious choice to plummet is Cedric The Entertainer. .220 wOBA v LHP as a RHH in 2020, then in 2021 he jumps to .386 by batting lefty? It’s a great story but also the most outlandish of all the stories here. As an aside, I can see Merrifield losing value if he gets traded to a contender that doesn’t run as much as KC, i.e. anywhere but TAM and SD.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Best Chance is Vlad Guerrero. This is what we have all waited for since his minor league career. We can’t jump off the ship now. The greatest fall is Marcus Semien. He’s having a monster season but his 40 home run pace is just not sustainable especially with a elevated .324 BABIP. (He has a career BABIP of .296)

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Guerrero, Ohtani and Bichette getting knocked out of the top 10 would be have to be injury driven. Even as they begin to fall off current pace, those year-end numbers should end up among the top 10. The easy answer for the other part of this question is Mullins. I do think he’ll fall out of the top 10 but stick around in the top 20 and will be one of the cover boys of 2022 draft guides who discuss late-round breakouts: “Who is This Year’s Ced Mullins?”

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I never answered the falling out part of the question. Excluding last season (and I don’t know whi finished top-10), from 2015-2019, only five of the 50 top-10 hitters batted below .280. Even given the different environment, a rough way of looking at this is which hitters are most likely to drop below .280. Semien to me is the most likely so he gets my vote as most likely to end up outside of the top-20. Next is Mullins, though I don’t see his average falling that much. Jeff E. alluded to the main reason — runs and RBI. Mullins will need to maintain a silly HR and SB pace, along with a .300 average (which I think is the likeliest of all).

Tout Wars FAB Report: June 27

The calm before the storm? This was one of the quietest weeks of the season in terms of free agency. That said, check out some of the names as many are players released via a team manager no longer willing to wait for the turnaround. The lesson is always check the previous weeks’ drops as sometimes there is a gem.

If you want to see the standings, rosters and all the moves, the link to the corresponding OnRoto commissioner page is available by clicking on the league header.

American League

JOdorizzi, HouLarry Schechter 314
ROHearn, KCMike Podhorzer 87
AIbanez, TexRob Leibowitz 78
NMazara, DetRob Leibowitz 78
RMcKenna, BalJason Collette 57
HAlberto, KCDoug Dennis 29
JMartin, TexRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 18
JLyles, TexJeff Erickson 17
CWong, BosPatrick Davitt 14
PSewald, SeaChris Liss 13
GCrochet, CWSChris Liss 13
MKing, NYYChris Liss 13
RAdams, TorJason Collette 2
LGonzalez, CWSJason Collette 2
TWells, BalDoug Dennis 0
DRasmussen, TBDoug Dennis 0
JSuarez, LAADoug Dennis 0
LLuetge, NYYJeff Erickson 0
KGutierrez, KCMike Gianella 0
ZShort, DetMike Gianella 0
KWong, LAAMike Gianella 0

National League

ZThompson, MiaFred Zinkie 70
ABradley, PhiPhil Hertz 51
KMuller, AtlCraig Mish 48
LNootbaar, StLPeter Kreutzer 43
NMaton, PhiLenny Melnick  35
BBrach, CinGrey Albright 23
JVanMeter, AriCraig Mish 15
JCousins, MilBrian Walton 12
DanRobertson, MilTodd Zola 3
BWieck, ChCBrian Walton 3
MPerez, PitPhil Hertz 2
PBickford, LADBrian Walton 2
TMegill, NYMScott Wilderman 1
MKranick, PitScott Wilderman 1
TRichards, MilFred Zinkie 0
RHelsley, StLPhil Hertz 0

Mixed Salary Cap

DCameron, DetIan Kahn 120
SDuggar, SFScott Pianowski 77
JCandelario, DetScott Swanay 65
WFlores, SFScott Pianowski 55
JAlvarado, PhiJustin Mason 47
TMegill, NYMMichael Rathburn 39
ELauer, MilMichael Rathburn 39
LWade, SFScott Swanay 28
SLong, SeaScott Engel 25
AToro, HouScott Engel 19
JCousins, MilScott Pianowski 13
NLopez, KCScott Swanay 13
LRobert, CWSCJ Kaltenbach 12
HDozier, KCCJ Kaltenbach 11
ROHearn, KCScott Engel 8
KFreeland, ColCJ Kaltenbach 3
EMorgan, CleAlex Chamberlain 3
CQuantrill, CleDerek VanRiper 3
JBauers, SeaJeff Zimmerman 2
MChavis, BosDerek VanRiper 0
ZMcKinstry, LADDerek VanRiper 0

Mixed Draft

AGarrett, CinMichael Beller 77
KMuller, AtlShelly Verougstraete 50
CMcHugh, TBMichael Beller 31
WFlores, SFTim McLeod 29
AOttavino, BosD.J. Short 25
JEickhoff, NYMPerry Van Hook 17
TKemp, OakRudy Gamble 16
LPatino, TBRay Murphy 12
EJimenez, CWSScott White 11
TJankowski, PhiPerry Van Hook 7
EMorgan, CleCharlie Wiegert 6
ABradley, PhiAdam Ronis 6
ELauer, MilTom Kessenich 4
TTaylor, MilPerry Van Hook 4
LNootbaar, StLShelly Verougstraete 1

Head to Head

JBell, WasRyan Hallam 68
MKepler, MinLou Blasi 55
JHapp, MinDan Strafford 50
ZDavies, ChCAndrea LaMont 35
DGregorius, PhiRyan Hallam 31
MKelly, AriLou Blasi 24
ZThompson, MiaAndrea LaMont 18
KMuller, AtlNick Pollack 17
TSantillan, CinFrank Stampfl 17
AToro, HouAndrea LaMont 14
ABohm, PhiFrank Stampfl 12
MZunino, TBAndrea LaMont 11
YDaza, ColNick Pollack 9
KHiura, MilGreg Jewett 9
ABaddoo, DetNick Pollack 7
KFreeland, ColAndrea LaMont 6
WFlores, SFAndrea LaMont 4
CMcHugh, TBGreg Jewett 3
VCaratini, SDChris Welsh 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

KMaeda, MinChris Towers 100
KHiura, MilChris Towers 64
ZThompson, MiaJake Ciely 45
MStraw, HouRay Flowers 39
JWendle, TBRon Shandler 28
AGarrett, CinAlex Fast 25
ABaddoo, DetJennifer Piacenti 22
CFlexen, SeaJennifer Piacenti 21
BRodgers, ColJake Ciely 10
DCameron, DetJake Ciely 10
JRoss, WasRon Shandler 8
JCisnero, DetBrian Entrekin 6
JAlvarado, PhiBrian Entrekin 5
LWade, SFBrian Entrekin 4
TanScott, BalChris Towers 2
MKing, NYYJeff Boggis 0
JOdorizzi, HouJeff Boggis 0
CMcCormick, HouJeff Boggis 0

Tout Daily Picks: Do the Freddie

It’s time to dream. Many of the Touts are dreaming with Freddy Peralta, although there seems to be a wide array of choices as everyone tries to secure the next three Golden Tickets to be awarded tonight.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Freddy Peralta – Somewhat on the conservative side, but in his last 8 starts, Peralta has yielded 2 earned runs or less in each game.

Hitter: Ronald Acuna Jr. – He’s carried my team the past 2 weeks, so I going to continue to ride the hot hand… a hefty cost.

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek)

Pitcher: Freddy Peralta – Freddy Peralta is my SP1 tonight. He is taking on a DBacks team that he threw 7.1 solid innings against a few starts ago while allowing just 1 run and striking out 9. The DBacks offense/team are one of the worst in baseball and have struggled tremendously versus RHP in recent weeks. Pass on Cole and Scherzer and go with Peralta tonight.

Hitter: Michael Brantley – There are so many great options on a 14-game slate so let’s go with some nice value. Michael Brantley is only $3900 tonight in a phenomenal matchup versus Jorge Lopez. Brantley is hitting .511 since his return from the IL 12 games ago. Seems good. He is also a double-digit DK machine of late. The Astros will be popular tonight but Brantley goes overlooked often. Don’t overlook him and plug him into your lineups.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Johan Oviedo – I’ll bet I’m the only Tout using Johan tonight! He’s improved his last three starts and I expect it to continue tonight against the Tigers

Hitter: Card stack – Continuing with my “homer” theme, I’m using Arenedo, Molina and O’Neill against the Tigers lefty Skubal. Time to break out tonight!

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Zack Greinke – I’ll go with the veteran against the Orioles

Hitter: Jeff McNeil – Going with bargain price and an expectation he’ll hit the ground running


Pitcher: Ross Stripling – They already said Peralta, and I second that, but I am also going with Ross Stripling who has gotten back on track of late, and is facing a Miami team that likes to strike out in a pitcher friendly park. Plus his salary is practically “Free”

Hitter: Chas McCormick – Value play here since the Astros are in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards and are facing Jorge Lopez who allowed 10 hard-hit balls last time out. The Astros have the lowest K rate in the league, and the highest BA, and Chas has four homeruns already for the month of June. Plus again- he’s “free”

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Ross Stripling – Outside of a start against the Red Sox, Ross Stripling has been great since the end of May. His $5700 price against the Marlins seems like a steal at this point.

Hitter: Michael Brantley – Not sure why Dr. Smooth is only $3900 tonight against Lopez but I’ll take it!

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella)

Pitcher: Charlie Morton – He’s 4-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last six starts and the peripherals (mostly) support it. I’ll take Morton at his price in a matchup against a Mets team that is really struggling at the plate.

Hitter: Abraham Toro – Wander Franco is going to be tonight’s popular cheap-o pick, but at $2100 I’m going to ride Toro’s hot bat in a strong Astros lineup against a weak Baltimore opponent and hope Toro can keep it up.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – At Pittsburgh with no DH, look for Giolito to dominate the Pirates lineup. Well worth the premium to get all those K’s.

Hitter: Willson Contreras – The wind is blowing out at Wrigley, making Contreras a nice contrarian pick vs. those who like to save money on their catcher.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Ross Stripling – He’s pitched to a 2.45 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP over his last five starts and the $5,700 Draftkings price is too good to pass up.

Hitter: Yordan Alvarez – Boasts a .304/.407/.507 slash line this month and Jorge Lopez hasn’t been a very good big-league pitcher.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Freddy Peralta – Arizona is terrible, Freddy gets the Ks and will hopefully nail down the win if he can get a touch of run support

Hitter: Matt Olson – Doing my best Alicia Keys impression — This bat is on FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE!!!!!!!!!!

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Tarik Skubal – Interesting pitching night, several reasonably priced options in good matchups. So of course my clown ass goes with a Tiger.

Hitter: Shohei Ohtani – Hmm, lots of cheap batters too. The (tounge-in-cheek) instruction as to not highlight Wander Franco at 2K, so I’ll play along and go with…Shohei Ohtani. I hear he’s good at baseball.

Tout Wars FAB Report: June 20

Welcome to Wander Franco week! Franco is already rostered in all Tout leagues but the NL only. The same could not have been said about the players below before this week’s FAAB run.

If you want to see the standings, rosters and moves from any of these leagues, all you need to do is click on the league header and you’ll travel through cyberspace to our gracious host, OnRoto.

American League

MManning, DetRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 176
AToro, HouJeff Erickson 135
KHigashioka, NYYDoug Dennis 77
NSandlin, CleChris Liss 45
LRengifo, LAAMike Podhorzer 37
BOber, MinJason Collette 30
EWhite, TexChris Liss 23
PValaika, BalChris Liss 23
JSheffield, SeaLarry Schechter 18
RGarcia, HouLarry Schechter 8
GStubbs, HouJason Collette 3
LTorrens, SeaRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
SBaz, TBRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
DHill, DetRob Leibowitz 1
JKing, TexDoug Dennis 0

National League

GHeredia, AtlCraig Mish 67
ABender, MiaFred Zinkie 28
JOviedo, StLTristan H. Cockcroft 25
PEspino, WasBrian Walton 22
BFalter, PhiFred Zinkie 12
DFisher, MilPhil Hertz 5
KSmith, AtlTodd Zola 3
JMercer, WasGrey Albright 3
TToussaint, AtlPeter Kreutzer 2
MVierling, PhiPeter Kreutzer 2
GParra, WasCraig Mish 1
SSouza, LADDerek Carty 1
NCrismatt, SDScott Wilderman 0
AMiller, StLPhil Hertz 0
JKelly, LADPhil Hertz 0

Mixed Salary Cap

MManning, DetJustin Mason 125
BZimmer, CleIan Kahn 73
JRomano, TorBrent Hershey 68
JSanchez, MiaDerek VanRiper 57
BDalbec, BosBrent Hershey 33
KAllard, TexBrent Hershey 31
BOber, MinAlex Chamberlain 30
JDuran, BosScott Swanay 29
CMcCormick, HouJeff Zimmerman 28
EFedde, WasIan Kahn 21
EJimenez, CWSScott Swanay 10
LTorrens, SeaScott Engel 5
SLugo, NYMJustin Mason 5
ZThompson, MiaJeff Zimmerman 5
MOzuna, AtlJustin Mason 1
JLester, WasDerek VanRiper 0

Mixed Draft

GSpringer, TorAdam Ronis 648
DVarsho, AriD.J. Short 75
AToro, HouMichael Beller 37
LGarcia, CWSGreg Ambrosius 34
WCastro, DetGreg Ambrosius 33
ABaddoo, DetTim McLeod 33
ZThompson, MiaTim McLeod 14
CMcCormick, HouRudy Gamble 13
CQuantrill, ClePerry Van Hook 11
ZMcKinstry, LADPerry Van Hook 11
SBrown, OakTim McCullough 9
RJeffers, MinRudy Gamble 8
HHarvey, BalTim McLeod 7
EFedde, WasCharlie Wiegert 6
SLugo, NYMCharlie Wiegert 5
JLoaisiga, NYYCharlie Wiegert 5
DPeterson, NYMD.J. Short 5
BreAnderson, MilTom Kessenich 3
SVogt, AriTom Kessenich 3
CRaleigh, SeaTim McLeod 3
CSmith, AriScott White 0
RTepera, ChCScott White 0
AKittredge, TBScott White 0

Head to Head

AGarcia, TexAriel Cohen 144
MYastrzemski, SFGreg Jewett 63
PSandoval, LAANick Pollack 52
JGant, StLAndrea LaMont 33
JOviedo, StLGreg Jewett 27
MManning, DetClay Link 25
EFedde, WasAndrea LaMont 19
TFrance, SeaFrank Stampfl 17
JLester, WasRyan Hallam 16
BreAnderson, MilAriel Cohen 13
CSmith, AriAriel Cohen 13

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

ABohm, PhiDoug Anderson 65
PSandoval, LAAAlex Fast 45
PCorbin, WasRay Flowers 37
SDuggar, SFRay Flowers 23
JFraley, SeaAl Melchior 22
CJavier, HouJennifer Piacenti 21
RStripling, TorRon Shandler 18
EFedde, WasRon Shandler 18
TKemp, OakRay Flowers 17
JIndia, CinDoug Anderson 16
WMiley, CinRon Shandler 15
SLugo, NYMDoug Anderson 11
VCaratini, SDAl Melchior 1
PEspino, WasJeff Boggis 0
CIrvin, OakJeff Boggis 0
BreAnderson, MilJeff Boggis 0

Tout Table: I’ll be…

If you’re reading this, fantasy baseball is likely serious business. However, it’s also supposed to be fun, right? In that spirit, this week, the Touts were asked to complete the following sentence:

While everyone else is monitoring the spin rate and velocity of every pitch, I’ll be…

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): With it now being summer, I will be monitoring the spin rate of my blender and the velocity of how well the drinks are going down. I will be monitoring the rank rate of my current roster and free agent pool, in the event that I need to fine tune my lineup and pitching staff. One thing that I won’t do is quit on my teams, regardless of any of my league standings. With pre-season football starting up in July, it’s common for league managers who are out of contention to lose focus and interest in their teams. That’s unfair to the other league managers that are in contention and may need your assistance with making sure that are you actively competing until the end of the fantasy baseball season. They would expect the same thing from you if the roles were reversed.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): watching the Euro Cup. I KNOW I KNOW THIS IS ALL ABOUT BASEBALL BUT SOCCER CAN BE COOL TOO, GUYS. (Also, I’ll be watching every Grayson Rodriguez start…)

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): I’ll be paying attention to the standings and the waiver wire so I can improve my team and get higher in the standings!

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Watching baseball for fun. Major League Baseball is a negative space right now, primarily because of the crackdown on pitching substances but also because of the large number of injuries and looming labor war. I’m going to try to enjoy the games and remind myself that this is a great sport.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): Sitting on the dock of the bay. Watching the tide roll away… and examining the standings of each one of my leagues to see where I can gain the most standing points and pinpointing strengths and weaknesses.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I’ll let others monitor the spin rate and velocity of every pitch. I’m sure there will be one or more analysts that will dedicate the time to do that, and will report which pitchers may be of concern from the new rules implemented. I’ll look for that analysis, and will adjust some of my thinking thereafter. I’ll concentrate on my usual aspects of fantasy, play some summer softball, and enjoy some 4th of July fireworks in person this year. And since other Touts here have mentioned other sports … Let’s go Islanders!

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @Scott_Pianowski): On the golf course, making my wedges spin. And when I get back to baseball, remember K/BB ratio still gets us so many places we want to go.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Thinking of next week’s Tout Table question.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I will be wringing my hands and nervously awaiting my pitchers’ suspensions and injuries. Oh, and carefully calculating where I can divest innings to preserve ERA/WHIP. Also point and yell every time I think a Cubs pitcher is using sunscreen.

Joe Pisapia (Fantasy Black Book, @JoePisapia17): While everyone else is monitoring the spin rate and velocity of every pitch, I’ll be…looking for pitchers who may be able to throw innings like Alec Mills but not light up the radar gun. Pitching has become a lost art form. Velocity and spin rates have taken over our consciousness, but pitchers like Kyle Gibson and Jose Urquidy are getting the job done quietly by changing speeds and precision location. They pitch to the lineup, inning by inning. Although they may not rack up the K’s, they’re are making quality starts.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Trying to figure out how to get my hand off my shoulder after confusing sunscreen lotion with Spider Tack.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): I’ll be also monitoring spin rate and velocity but I’ll be doing it while making love to my wife.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Continuing to cover bullpens as well as possible in my daily charts which tracks strike percentage and whiff rates. I plan on seeing the Blue Jays play in Buffalo on July first wearing a Vlad Jr. shirsey and keep loving the flawed game I cover with the hope everything moves in a positive direction (or spin). Last, watch my son play some hockey as he enters his last year of juniors.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): …and suddenly, Jim Bowden is my hero.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): …getting a restraining order for Grey Albright based on his response to this question.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): …making sure I can field a healthy fantasy roster every week and absolutely avoiding any and all possible goose eggs.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Well, I was going to ask Jim Bowden a question, but I think I’ll leave him alone. I guess I’ll just send out more dumb tweets.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): …getting ahead of the curve by trying to figure out the next thing people are going to get obsessively sanctimonious about, then creating some sort of NFT based on it that will make me incredibly wealthy.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Finding new closers to replace those depending on spin rates

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): Monitoring my 8.5-month pregnant wife… baby boy Bloom coming early July! ❤️👍👌Congratulations!! 🎉

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Going to the gym to try to lose my COVID-19

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): …continuing to freak out on a daily basis as I watch every player I drafted get injured, and laughing at Andy’s answer below.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): …anxiously awaiting any additional rule changes that might somehow make Dylan Bundy worse.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): … looking for the next hot-button topic for the owners to vilify the players ahead of the CBA PR War, er, negotiations.

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): While everyone else is monitoring the spin rate and velocity of every pitch, I’ll be.. looking for a couple of hitters to rebound as the tables turn on pitchers.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): … hoping people overreact to small samples and narratives and make some bad drops.

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): visiting the dystopian hellscape of Los Angeles

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): I’ll be still monitoring pitch usage changes, overall effectiveness, velocity shifts, and new approaches to identify potential production from pitchers, such as Robbie Ray’s fastball finding the zone, or Austin Gomber dropping his fastball usage to sub 30% levels.

Greg Ambrosius (NFBC, @GregAmbrosius): Watching the IR list to see if any of my seven Tout Wars IR players are coming off IR or if any more of my players are going on the IR. I liked this so much better when it was the DL list. I hate this IR list.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): …changing another 15 starting pitcher assignments to “TBD” in the Forecaster due to all the injuries. Seriously though, my time would be better spent making sure I have enough arms to get my teams through the season. Focus on the prospective adds instead.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): …cursing Tristan for changing assignments ten seconds after I pulled the info for ESPN Daily Notes.

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ): … desperately searching for new explanations for why my hitters still suck.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): …continuing to churn the fringes of my rosters and wondering what I did to deserve the catastrophe that is my 2021 Tout Wars mixed team

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): Looking for the next top starting pitching prospect to pick up a week or so before they are called up on the cheap, only for them to explode in my face when they get their shot. Thanks Jackson Kowar.

Jake Ciely (The Athletic, @allinkid): Enjoying the Jesse Winker and Carlos Rodon breakouts, praying Jacob deGrom makes it through the season, hoping he breaks the all-time ERA record, and all while also hoping that one day, I can get my IL list under 10 players.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): …checking the pitcher’s SwStk%, or swinging strike rate, because results are the most important, whether you’re doing it with a high or low spin rate, throwing 97 MPH or 88 MPH. I don’t care if a pitcher has increased his spin rate if it’s not resulting in more whiffs or strikeouts.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I saw this question a few hours ago, didn’t have time to answer, but planned my answer “just hoping my players can stay healthy.” And by the time I had a chance to write this answer, guess what???…Brady Singer left the game after 3 innings with a shoulder issue, so now I have yet another injured guy. I won’t bore you with a list of my players on the IL, but it is massive this year and seems to grow every day.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): …spending my FAAB on the garbage minor-league pitching that will soon be needed to replace all the injured big-league starters.

Dr. Roto (FullTime Fantasy, @DrRoto): Drafting my team in the Scott Fish Bowl!

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): …very curious about whether any of this makes much difference. Plus grilling.

Paul Sporer (Fangraphs, ESPN Fantasy Sports, @Sporer): …keeping an eye on my teams and understanding that spin rates drops don’t even start to have any merit until they reach triple digits and even then they aren’t the smoking gun many think they are at this point.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): …waiting for MLB to find something else to blame pitchers for.

Jennifer Piacenti (Fantasy Alarm, @jenpiacenti): Wait. Has there been news about spin rate and velocity changes? I’ve been busy watching Youtube vids about how to curl my hair with an athletic sock. Seems Gorilla Glue is no longer an effective hair product. Have to keep up with the important stuff

Alex Chamberlain (Rotographs, @DolphHauldhagen): …watching folks overreact and make wonky predictions about how X player’s performance will change moving forward.

Andrea Lamont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): Watching Trevor Bauer defy all logic showing no decrease in movement or velocity even with his falling spin rate. I will be looking for nervous managers who might trade him to me…Jake Ciely maybe? 😁 I would brace myself for more injuries but most my pitchers are already hurt. I do agree with what Glasnow said about the effects of pitchers gripping the ball so tight

Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): … counting up pitching injuries as the attrition kicks in. You think it’s already been bad? We’ve only recently crossed the 60-game threshold, which means arms are now being pushed beyond what they did last year. And there’s a long, long way to go.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): Watching my doggy at puppy day care. He’s really quite the friendly puppy. He even has his own instagram acct.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Taking Edward Olivares back out of my lineups

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): Overanalyzing the lineup construction of the 10u softball and 8u baseball teams I am coaching this summer.

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): … waiting for MLB to change the rules again as soon as pitchers get used to not having the substances.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Watching for pitchers going 6 or more innings, and looking for trades to improve my teams before the deadline!

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): … watching the NHL playoffs (I usually start around this stage); watching the NBA playoffs (ditto); waiting for notice of my second shot, in a process being ‘managed’ by some of least competent people in history; reading; and doing my daily/weekly due diligence on my teams, irrespective of spin rates.

Eric Cross (Fantrax, @EricCross04): watching the great young talent in the game like Soto, Acuña, Vlad Jr, and Tatis Jr continue to dominate. It’s great for the game to have a group of young stars like this and I’m just hoping MLB figures out how to market them well. Also, unfortunately waiting to see what other big name arm will go down. That’s 2021 for ya.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): …listening/watching games while I’m baking sweets and playing with my new immersion circulator.

Jock Thompson (Baseball HQ, @JOCKatHQ): Like Eric, looking for the next legitimate minor league breakthrough and promising MLB promotion. And the next great taco.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): Enjoying my vacation in Dubai.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Watching my 1st place New York Mets!

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): Finding hitters to buy-low on before offense takes off!

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Hopefully activating Edward Olivares again.

Ian Kahn (The Athletic, @IanKahn4): Wondering how long I can keep from picking Joe Ross back up and getting my heart broken. Again. And again. And then just one more time for posterity.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Waiting for La Tortuga to get another chance to pitch so that we can see whether his spin rate and velocity will improve in spite of the impending MLB crackdown on foreign substances.

Todd Zola (If you don’t know where I’m from by now…): Who am I kidding, I’ll be birddogging the spin and velo of every pitch…

Tout Table: Rookies the Rest of the Season

This week’s question is germane to leagues of all shapes and sizes:

While we await the wave of call-ups after the impending Super-Two cutoff, how , if at all will the trials and tribulations of the prospects already promoted affect the way you approach rookies the rest of the season?

Tim McLeod (, @RunTMcP361 ): It won’t change my approach. In most formats the Free Agent pool is limited at-best. What options are left, especially when looking at SP? I’ll take my chances on the unproven rookie before betting on the Matt Shoemaker types of the world.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Still gotta play it one guy at a time, taking into account team context, player pedigree and (usually limited) MiLB track record, and what you’d take into account if this were a more ‘normal’ season. It doesn’t make sense to alter your approach because of the struggles of some hot prospects in what is still a a very small sample. I am a bit more willing to speculate on catchers in my AL-only league, paid $7 at auction for rookie Alejandro ‘Captain’ Kirk of the Jays, which looked like it might pan out before he got hurt; and just the other week Jason Collette pipped me at the post on Dan Raleigh (SEA), who hasn’t even been called up, because how bad can he be compared with my current twosome of Austin Hedges and Kevin Plawecki?

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): With extreme hesitation. I’ve used enough resources on the rookies who have already been promoted. This may not be the year for impact rookies, as the 2020 season didn’t do them any favors in terms of development.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): A player told Robert Murray of Fansided that there has “never been bigger gap between Triple-A and the big leagues.” Between the 2020 minor league season being cancelled, alternate training camps, and now the uncertainty surrounding league wide offense due to Spider Tack and the new ball, there is a lot more to overcome this season than in the past for minor league talent to take the jump. There is no reason to abandon the speculation of prospects, especially with injuries diminishing the waiver wire. However, I would be more skeptical this season and not invest excessive FAAB/capital that could negatively impact my budget for the rest of the reason. However, that is always the way I prefer to play with redraft prospects.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Coming at this from the perspective of an AL-only or NL-only league participant, where playing time is so important, I might actually be more inclined to consider prospects this year. The reason is increased opportunity due to the epidemic of injuries across MLB. Of course, there is no guarantee that success will follow.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I’m reminded every year in compiling the Top 50 Impact Prospects section of the Baseball Forecaster (granted, we do that in October) how so few rookie pitchers return positive value in their call-up season. This history of rostering a rookie pitcher in a re-draft league is just not a profitable move in most cases. But inevitably, sometimes my actions don’t follow my well-intentioned “note to self” from the previous fall; like probably everyone here, my desire to nail the “outlier” in that case sometimes causes me to ignore my own advice. As we’ve seen so far this year, rookie hitters can struggle also, but in theory, I’ll be more likely to roster a rookie hitter than a rookie pitcher. To me, the risk is not quite as stark on the hitter side.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): There is no correlation between the players, but there might be some based on positions. Most young pitchers take a while to get settled into the major leagues and learn what to do. It is the rare bird that performs well right out of the gate AND stays at that level. Look at Tarik Skubal in essentially his second year pitching in the majors – he struggled to start the year but has been very good in his last four starts. I wouldn’t be gunshy on a young pitcher just because Daniel Lynch or Jackson Kowar didn’t start well. Both have good arms and I think will be good pitchers down the road. Much easier to look at a hitter’s stats and decide whether to take a chance on him. The one I will probably watch but not jump on this year is Jo Adell who is crushing AAA pitching so far this year. But when he gets to Anaheim will he remember this year’s early success or think about how poor he was last year for the Angels?

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I do not think that what happened to Jarred Kelenic or Jackson Kowar is terribly surprising and therefore it will not dissuade me from future moves. Frankly, I am often recommending going with veterans anyway. It’s contextual. Yes, Kelenic has the higher ceiling than say Andrew McCutchen and I still think Kelenic will be great, so it may depend on need. What happened to him and others is not predictive of the next promoted prospects in general. Wander Franco may or may not struggle, but not because of past prospects.

Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): You have to evaluate each player on an individual basis, but I will always recommend to not go too heavy on rookies when you are FAAB bidding. In all Fantasy Sports, players get too hyped up at times on talent and opportunity alone and overlook the necessary adjustment periods

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): I’m looking for longer track record prospects, players who have seen considerable time at Double-A or above, rather than players who might have skipped an important level with the lost 2020. Basically, I’m more willing to give up some ceiling in order to target a less-hyped player who might offer a better immediate floor. As hitters go, I’m particularly skeptical of high-K% hitters at Triple-A right now making a quick adjustment to the top level. That is, I’m much more likely to trust Vidal Bruján than to trust Jarren Duran from the jump, because I expect K% to jump a lot more than usual for first-time MLB hitters.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): Depends on the prospect but certainly will factor in the huge gap between AAA and MLB and take into account the dominating performance at AAA means nothing this year.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): No change to approach. I am far more likely to entertain chasing a rookie in “only” leagues. Playing time is King. If the MLB team hands a role to a position player and I get the chance to add to my counting stats through that player, I am going after him. Pitchers are a little different. I will try a guy if I think he will have a good K-BB, but I will keep pitchers on a short leash. Also, sometimes, beggars can’t be choosers, so need is important. So far this year I have FAAB’d Larnach in Tout-AL and drafted or FAAB’d D.Varsho, Y.Daza, Ynoa, Poteet, S.Howard in LABR-NL. I have Alzolay and Larnach in TGFBI. Not all wine and roses, but nothing murderously dreadful, either.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): This has been a huge pet peeve of mine since I’ve been constantly asked about it, but what happened with Jarred Kelenic (and anyone else) shouldn’t have been a major surprise to anyone. He *could* have been great right away, and I’m not even saying that stashing him was a bad move from a process standpoint (although I had zero shares in redraft), but one highly-ranked prospect flopping in 92 PA is nothing more than a blip on the radar. It’s certainly not the first time that’s happened and it won’t be the last. This doesn’t change anything about how we should be viewing Kelenic long term, although hopefully it’s a wakeup call to those who didn’t think this was a possible outcome. OK, rant over.

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): Recent flops like Kelenic and Vaughn just underscore what we’ve always known about prospects but most people are to scared or oblivious to notice: the majority of prospects flop or are blah their first go-round. You take them for the 5-10% chance they wind up as Acuna or Tatis, but most are not. Prospects are dumb. As a projection guy I hate them. Do whatever you want with them or whatever.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): Has this season really been any different than normal? Or did we just forget what normal looks like after the nonsense of 2020? I will always invest when they are nearly free and pass otherwise.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): Not really. In the end, it always comes down to roster need and the available player pool. In general, I tend to think prospect pitchers can be a trap and that was true even before this year. I think this year is unique in that it’s hard to really know what impact no minor league season in 2020 really had on these prospects. That’s in the back of my mind, but I’m still more inclined to take a chance on hitters even after names like Kelenic and Vaughn have disappointed. It’s not doing to dissuade me from stashing a Franco or Brujan, etc.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I posted a tweet wondering if some of the Double- and Triple-A numbers from the top prospects are inflated since most of the players hardly played last year while some had the luxury of developing at the alternate training site. The notion is these top prospects’ numbers would be higher than normal, relative to typical seasons, raising fantasy expectations even higher than normal. By some of the previous replies, it seems there is something to it. As such, while I agree with most of the replies with respect to being contextual, always being cautious, etc., I think the stats of the top prospects could be a bit precarious so be even more wary of someone hitting the ground running. This applies to everyone, even Wander Franco. As an aside to Red Sox nation clamoring for Jarren Duran, careful what you wish for (though I’m excited for his future).

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): Not at all for me. We all know there is a risk for prospects to flop but I’ll take a gamble on the younger guys, if it fits my team. In a bunch of my re-draft leagues, I’ve been looking for hitting help as opposed to pitching help. While it hurt not to get in the bids for Manoah and Kowar, there have been some interesting bats as of late, like Trammell and Olivares.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): If they have been productive and I have a hole to fill, I’ll give them a try. But as many have found out, it’s lot tougher in the big leagues! I’ve noticed some to have early success, only to see adjustments made and they struggle. It’s when they can make that next adjustment, they are ready to contribute.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I will preface my words by first stating that I generally am very cautious with rookies. Part of the poor performance this year is the fact that there were no minor leagues during 2020. There is a big step up to the major leagues, and even a decent step up from AA to AAA, etc. So far in ’21, the evidence is mounting that the minors indeed are needed to develop prospects; teams cannot just rush many of them up. For the rest of 2021 – it will certainly matter on a case by case player basis. But in the back of my mind, that piece of info (no minors in ’20) will be at the forefront of my FAAB bidding.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): The early season struggles of some highly touted rookies will have little to no impact on how I approach rookies for the rest of the season, especially hitters. The early season call-ups generally had extremely small sample sizes in the minors this season prior to their call ups after having no minor league season in 2020. By the time the Francos, Brujans, and Durans get called up, we should have larger current minor league season samples, and therefore a greater comfort level with investing FAAB in them. That said, relying heavily on rookies to improve your place in the standings is generally going to result in disappointment.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): As others have said, banking on any prospect to save your fantasy season is usually a terrible plan. (Related: I’m totally banking on Vidal Brujan to save my Tout season.) The best approach with new arrivals in any non-dynasty format is to use them as trade sweeteners. At least one manager in pretty much every league is infatuated with prospects.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): Put another log on the fire for me. Year after year, the majority of guys getting their first shot disappoint. Often times, the rookies that pop aren’t even the ones we were expecting too. Nothing that’s transpired to date will change my thoughts the rest of this year. It is more of the same randomness we should all be used to by now.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): It won’t change much. We are seeing it’s very difficult for established players to hit right now and it’s maginifed for rookies. Still, it’s very difficult to find offense on the waiver wire in deeper formats so I will take shots if some rookies are available, but won’t invest much FAAB. I am less likely to take a shot on pitchers and most overpay.

Chris Welsh (Sportsgrid, @IsItTheWelsh): Personally, it doesn’t change MY approach, but it has put a bright light on rookies as a whole for many. From an “industry” I imagine most responses will be, little change, but from a consumer perspective I do believe you will see people more gun-shy than ever before. Craig Counsell made an interesting statement when talking about not a rookie, but Keston Hiura, but it applies. Counsell said that there has never been a bigger gap between triple-a and the bigs. That’s quite a statement. If you think about it though, with a lost season of minor leagues and weird development, I believe it tracks a bit. Rookies will always have struggles with ups and downs. We should bank on that, but with so much lost from last year you may have players pressing more than in previous years, while also what has been asked of these guys is unlike previous years. I could keep going, but at the end of the day, you have to take your shots. I’ll always take my shots on higher prospect hitters in their rookie year. I’ll most likely stay away from rookie pitchers. This year hasn’t changed that, but things do like worse for the young dudes!

Scott Wilderman (OnRoto, @): I’ve always been a numbers guy, but while I do believe the numbers don’t lie, they do get ahead of themselves sometimes by a year or two or three. That’s okay for keeper leagues, but for winning now, there are very few safe bets. The thing to look for is no drop off in production at each promotion. The great ones don’t need a half-season to adjust to each new level. But that said… with the number of injuries this year, some of us are desperate, and I’ve already taken some chances on players I normally wouldn’t touch — especially pitchers — and I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep doing it. I’ll still be looking at progressions through the minors, but I won’t be able to back away from guys who appear to take a half season to adjust.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): My approach won’t change much…I never have been a big believer in over spending on a rookie call-up. Whether it be Jarred Kelenic or Mike Trout, who hit .220 when called up in 2011, young players need time to develop. Although I’m excited to see Jo Adell, Bobby Witt and more called up to the big league level, I will not be the player who busts his FAAB trying to have them on my team.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): No difference to me. It’s always been the case that some guys hit the ground running while others struggle at first (and sometimes always).

Paul Sporer (Fangraphs, ESPN Fantasy Sports, @Sporer): No, it won’t greatly deter me. I’ll still approach each guy on their own and make my assessment of interest based on their perceived PT and skills as well as my team needs. Guys like Vidal Brujan and Jesus Sanchez are firmly planted on my radar and I’ll be ready to make the appropriate bids as they arrive.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): It doesn’t change my approach for the most part. Prospects are often suspect until proven otherwise, so unless I feel a guy has the potential for a big impact with a clear path to playing time, I tend to be less likely to over invest.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): No, every player is different, so I don’t care whether Prospect A performed well or poorly upon his promotion when trying to project Prospect B’s performance when he’s recalled.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): No. The key, IMO, is to make sure they have a place to play. The callup isn’t for an injured pitcher out for the week. Or it isn’t for a spot start in the rotation. I’ll take a hard look at B-level prospects on noncontenders. The MLB team will like to see how they perform no matter the short term results.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): In my opinion, not at all. People tend to want the new shiny penny and are willing to commit a large percentage of the FAAB to any of these prospects. I’ll take a proven rookie or a slumping player over one of these prospects. Plus I spent the remaining $299 I had in FAAB on Patrick Wisdom anyway. That’s worked out quite well to date.

Alan Harrison (The Fantasy Fix, @TheFantasyFix): No, one player’s performance – or, lack thereof – will not impact my approach with rookies the rest of the season. For me, if a player is a fit for my team either from a roster construction/statistical need standpoint I will likely make a play for them via FAAB. However, I’m not sitting on my stash of cash with the hopes of striking gold if/when player “X’ will be recalled.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): Rookies are on a case-by-case basis. Yes, it’s a bummer that Jarred Kelenic struggled so badly, but we’ve seen that before in the likes of Mike Trout and Aaron Judge, both of whom flopped during their first stint in the big leagues. If a hitter has a strong skill-set like Bobby Witt Jr, you have to still try to push all-in on him when he eventually arrives. Lesser rookies like Chris Gittens or Josh Lowe, you can go after, but you don’t want to blow your whole remaining FAAB on them. Young pitchers, on the other hand, might be trusted a little more this year given the ball and the way some lineups struggle against the unknown. So again, case by case basis, but a struggling rookie isn’t going to deter me from being interested in someone else just because he’s young and unproven.

Tout Wars FAB Report: June 13

Here are the winning Tout Wars bids from the six league using FAB. If you want to check out the standings and rosters, click on the heading for the league in question and you’ll be magically transported through cyberspace to the OnRoto web page.

American League

JCisnero, DetHoward Bender 206
JSborz, TexChris Liss 77
DCameron, DetRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 58
BGoodwin, CWSMike Gianella 42
JBauers, SeaMike Podhorzer 37
DMendick, CWSJason Collette 23
JHeim, TexChris Liss 23
DEvans, TexJeff Erickson 17
RMcGuire, TorMike Podhorzer 16
IParedes, DetMike Gianella 12
MWisler, TBMike Podhorzer 8
BZimmermann, BalRyan Bloomfield 7
SLong, SeaJeff Erickson 7
JChargois, SeaDoug Dennis 0
CQuantrill, CleDoug Dennis 0

National League

SLong, SFPeter Kreutzer 77
TSantillan, CinTristan H. Cockcroft 35
LWilliams, PhiPeter Kreutzer 33
ZThompson, MiaGrey Albright 33
JPeterson, MilScott Wilderman 18
LDiaz, MiaTristan H. Cockcroft 15
ABurns, LADFred Zinkie 11
CMenez, SFFred Zinkie 10
LJackson, AtlLenny Melnick  3
SCoonrod, PhiLenny Melnick  3
JDavis, SFCraig Mish 0
CJoe, ColTristan H. Cockcroft 0
SClay, WasPhil Hertz 0
ALoup, NYMDerek Carty 0

Mixed Salary Cap

VGutierrez, CinCJ Kaltenbach 51
TDavidson, AtlScott Engel 44
TStephenson, CinScott Swanay 35
NGordon, MinZach Steinhorn 32
SLong, SFMichael Rathburn 29
BBradley, CleMichael Rathburn 29
CArroyo, BosJoe Pisapia 25
JRoss, WasZach Steinhorn 23
TSantillan, CinCJ Kaltenbach 22
IParedes, DetDerek VanRiper 22
JCisnero, DetIan Kahn 21
MTaylor, KCJoe Pisapia 15
ADuvall, MiaCJ Kaltenbach 11
JLamb, CWSJoe Pisapia 9
ABradley, PhiBrent Hershey 7
BZimmermann, BalScott Engel 7
RThompson, TBJoe Pisapia 5
IDiaz, MiaCJ Kaltenbach 4
PEvans, PitScott Engel 3
JOviedo, StLBrent Hershey 3
AOttavino, BosScott Pianowski 2
AWynns, BalScott Engel 2
LWade, SFJeff Zimmerman 2

Mixed Draft

JCMejia, ClePerry Van Hook 63
SLong, SFPerry Van Hook 63
PSandoval, LAARay Murphy 56
TDavidson, AtlTim McLeod 53
DVogelbach, MilAdam Ronis 48
KAllard, TexGreg Ambrosius 22
CKuhl, PitD.J. Short 20
CFrazier, NYYPerry Van Hook 13
VVelasquez, PhiGreg Ambrosius 11
LWade, SFShelly Verougstraete 6
EHernandez, BosSeth Trachtman 5
JSborz, TexRudy Gamble 3
LWade, SFJeff Zimmerman 2
BBoxberger, MilPerry Van Hook 1
ZCollins, CWSPerry Van Hook 1
PFairbanks, TBAdam Ronis 0

Head to Head


Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

AMcCutchen, PhiChris Towers 62
SLong, SFAl Melchior 33
AAlmonte, AtlAl Melchior 27
PFairbanks, TBRay Flowers 26
LGilbert, SeaBrian Entrekin 24
MStassi, LAAAl Melchior 23
LUrias, MilChris Towers 21
TDavidson, AtlRon Shandler 19
WContreras, AtlJim Bowden 9
YPetit, OakAndy Behrens 6
MAndujar, NYYBrian Entrekin 6
JRogers, DetBrian Entrekin 6
CSmith, AriChris Towers 3
EEscobar, AriJeff Boggis 0
MBeaty, LADJeff Boggis 0

Tout Daily: A Mishmash

Normally, there are a few repeat names in the picks, but this week there are no duplicates, making the cover image harder to choose.

Tonight marks the halfway point of the Tout Daily Contest as this is the second week of the third period. Here is who the Touts are counting on for a ticket into the finals.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Pablo Lopez – Lucky for Lopez he misses the Red Sox in Fenway and gets the Rockies at home. Lucky for you his $8,700 price is oh so nice.

Hitter: Jonathan India – India has been hitting well recently and going up against Houser in GABP. Sign me up!

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Dinelson Lamet – At home against a beat up Cubs lineup

Hitter: Juan Soto – He’s hot – 1.339 OPS over the last week, but the cost doesn’t reflect much of that.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Matthew Boyd – I’m going to pay pretty far down for my 2nd starter. Boyd has been getting hit around lately, but nothing gets you right like a match-up against Seattle, a team that struggles against left-handed pitchers and strikes out 28% of the time against them.

Hitter: Andrew McCutchen – He’s on a six-game hit streak and is destroying southpaws to the tune of a 1.006 OPS and .303 ISO this season.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Walker Buehler – I need a starting pitcher that can go deep into innings. WIth Dinelson Lamet still be stretched out, I’m going to go with Walker Buehler at $9,700. He has gone at least 6 innings pitched in all of his starts this season. This is the first time he’s been this cheap since 5 outings ago.

Hitter: Patrick Wisdom – My words of Wisdom: Patrick Wisdom has double the home runs on the road than at home this season. He’s on the road tonight at San Diego.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella)

Pitcher: Shane Bieber – I’ve been going cheap lately to save money for offense, but Bieber is too difficult to pass up this week under $11K

Hitter: Matt Olson – Olson gets a great matchup against the Diamondbacks and Jon Duplantier, even in Oakland. He’s an elite power hitter who is a bit of a bargain in this one.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Chris Bassitt – He should rebound from a rough last outing against the Diamondbacks at home. Today’s slate filled with top pitchers, so hoping to save a few $ and still get top performance and points!

Hitter: Manny Machado – He’s one of those guys when he’s hot, he’s hot, an almost impossible to get out. I’m hoping yesterday’s action was a sign he’s going into one f his hot streaks!

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Alex Wood – Where do you go when seeking a light-hitting team out? Texas is the place. You can feel good, good about Wood.

Hitter: Nick Castellanos – He had his 21-game hit streak snapped on Sunday … so it’s time to start another one! Can’t believe he’s just $4500.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Pablo Lopez – Sports a 2.35 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP over his last four starts and the Rockies rank last in the majors in road OPS.

Hitter: Ryan Mountcastle – Hitting .351/.365/.596 versus lefties this season and David Peterson is coming off a disaster outing.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Sonny Gray – Gray has 60 K in 47 IP and the Brewers fan a lot.

Hitter: Hunter Renfroe – Chancing the weather, but I’ll be ready to pivot. Hoping Framber Valdez isn’t as effective as he was in Houston.