Circumstances have changed since our first round of draft prep. We're working with a much shorter schedule now, which of course changes the way certain players are valued. It was always the year of the pitcher, with the most skilled at that position enjoying a bump in value at a time when offense dominates the game. But now, even those with workload limitations are able to join in.
Consider this your reintroduction to the 2020 draft pool, accounting for all the changes that have taken place since and because of the coronavirus lockdown. Over the span of 20 articles, Scott White and Chris Towers look at the top 200 in Scott's Rotisserie rankings, highlighting the reasons for and against drafting each. It makes for a well-rounded education on every player, revealing critical details that more argument-based evaluations might conveniently leave out.
So if you want a crash course on this year's player pool, particularly in light of more recent events, you've come to the right place. We're going through Nos. 151 through 160. And you can find the rest right here: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-70 | 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-100 | 101-110 | 111-120 | 121-130 | 131-140 | 141-150 | 151-160 | 161-170 | 171-180 | 181-190 | 191-200
The Case For: Before he was shifted to the bullpen in 2019, Martinez had a four-year stretch where he posted a 3.22 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 while averaging 15 wins per 32 starts. If he's back in the rotation for 2020, we know how good he can be, and since he was still extremely effective out of the bullpen last season, it doesn't seem like the injuries that forced him there really impacted his effectiveness. And, if you're concerned about Martinez's delayed start to summer camp, there's always the potential that he shifts back to the bullpen. In fact, that might be the best-case scenario if he ends up the closer again.
The Case Against: The shortened schedule tables the durability question for 2020, but because injuries keep forcing him to the bullpen, it's fair to wonder if Martinez's best fit is in the rotation. Despite his steady track record, he's more of a ground-ball specialist than a bat-misser, which means his WHIP tends to be on the high side. -Chris Towers and Scott White
The Case For: After flirting with the role for a couple years, Neris finally settled in as the the Phillies' one true closer, recording all but two of the team's saves from May 23 on -- and that was with the often too-clever-for-his-own good Gabe Kapler at the helm. New manager Joe Girardi is likely to take a more traditional approach to the closer role, and considering the Phillies don't even have a clear-cut setup man, such an approach would favor Neris. His numbers, while rather typical by closer standards, nonetheless suggest he's up to the challenge.
The Case Against: The Phillies' continual hedging over whether Neris is indeed their closer has to give you some pause. He has also had stretches when he lost the feel for his make-or-break pitch, the splitter, even getting sent to the minors for a couple months in 2018. Perhaps it contributed to a disastrous 13-outing stretch in the middle of last season when he had a 9.75 ERA. His history suggests he'll constantly be looking over his shoulder, even if there are no obvious alternatives as of now. -Scott White
The Case For: Though he took a back-door route to the Red Sox closing gig, in the end it was clear Workman was the only deserving candidate. He was the only Red Sox reliever with an ERA shy of 3.00, much less 2.00, and he was one of just eight full-time relievers (openers included) with more than 100 strikeouts. That the Red Sox didn't acquire a bigger name this offseason shows their confidence in a guy who recorded 13 of their 15 save opportunities after the All-Star break.
The Case Against: Either that or they were just being cheap, which is all the more likely when you consider the full scope of their offseason decision-making. It doesn't mean Workman can't be a quality ninth-inning option, of course, but he's not exactly a proven one. Matt Barnes looked like the obvious front-runner heading into last season, and you see how that turned out. Workman's case is complicated by a curious profile that allowed him to succeed in spite of the seventh-highest walk rate among full-time relievers, and his outlandish success on balls in play, while mostly supported peripherally, will be a difficult standard to meet year after year. -Scott White
The Case For: Though it didn't get a lot of fanfare, the Athletics made Canha an everyday player in late June last year, and he responded by hitting .295 with 16 homers and a .936 OPS from that point forward. A conscious decision to lay off pitches away meant more swings in his wheelhouse and more walks overall, resulting in the sort on-base percentage (.396) that itself is enough to keep him in the lineup. Add the power, and that's Kris Bryant-level production, basically. Canha's numbers were actually better against righties than lefties, too, which would seem to put to end any platoon talk.
The Case Against: It boils down to two issues for Canha: job security and believability. Yes, his performance last year was enough to compel the Athletics to keep playing him every day, but they do have outfield alternatives and may be more willing to experiment at the start of a new season. If he doesn't make good on whatever playing time he gets out of the gate, a 30-something with a history as a platoon bat could become an afterthought on a team that isn't shy about giving minor-league upstarts chances. -Scott White
The Case For: While he wasn't quite as prolific on the base paths as in the minors, Merado proved to be a competent enough base-stealer during his time manning center field for the big club, and since he wasn't a total dud with the bat, that's all it took to endear himself to Fantasy players. He doesn't strike out much, which would suggest there's room for the batting average to improve, which means he has the makings for five-category production. He was on what would have been a 20-20 pace over 160 games.
The Case Against: Mercado is like Victor Robles in one particular way: Even though he delivered a respectable home run total, his quality of contact was quite poor. The difference, of course, is that Robles comes with a top prospect pedigree and the presumption of upside. While Mercado's actual slugging percentage was .443, his xSLG was only .403, and for all of the contact he made, his xBA was only .262. The bat is playable perhaps, but he'll make his bones as a speedster. Any letup there will make for an especially disappointing return. -Scott White
The Case For: Even though he was considered the key piece in the Yu Darvish trade with the Dodgers a couple years ago, Calhoun was looking like his entire career might pass him by because of a poor defensive profile. But when the Rangers finally turned over everyday duty to him for the final two months of 2019, it was exactly the sort of production everyone hoped for. He's sort of like the Mike Moustakas of outfielders, his low strikeout rate keeping his batting average respectable while his extreme fly-ball tendencies yield a big home run total.
The Case Against: Calhoun's offensive profile seems fairly safe, but is it impactful enough to excuse poor defensive play? While his future may be at DH, Shin-Soo Choo is currently occupying that spot and, for now at least, is healthy. If Calhoun isn't cutting it in left field, would the Rangers stick with him every day? -Scott White
The Case For: Even as the league changes around him, Hendricks remains as steady as they come, delivering a third straight season with an ERA south of 3.50, a WHIP short of 1.20 and a K/9 rate shy of 8.0. It's not an ace profile, which is fitting since he doesn't have ace stuff, but he thrives in the same way Zack Greinke does: locating pitches and inducing weak contact. It's an odd fit in today's power-laden environment, but he has proven reliable enough with it.
The Case Against: While Hendricks' reliability makes him an obvious asset at a time when unreliable pitchers are getting straight-up shellacked, you have to be honest about what he's giving you. Yes, he'll have his share of six- and seven- inning starts, but the Cubs have always had a quick hook with him, limiting his win potential. And with the Cubs doing little to improve their lot this offseason, those wins may be harder to come by. You're also settling for a substandard strikeout total with him, which you'll need to rest of your pitching staff to make up for. -Scott White
The Case For: Long defined by his excellent slider, Minor's 2019 mid-career breakout was fueled by the development of his changeup, which emerged for the first time as his go-to secondary pitch. He held opposing hitters to a .178 averaged and .265 slugging percentage on the pitch, the best results for any pitch in his arsenal by far. That helps explain why Minor was so much better in 2019 without a huge increase in strikeout rate and even a slight increase in walk rate — he was simply much better at limiting damage on contact. Even in this environment, it's not all about strikeouts.
The Case Against: As good as Minor was at limiting damage on contact in 2019, he was that bad in 2018, which doesn't exactly instill a lot of confidence. And he'll need to be that good to continue to thrive, because the peripherals sure don't back up what he did; his 4.25 FIP was only slightly better than 2018's mark, while his SIERA and xFIP were both worse. We could see a big step back in 2020. -Chris Towers
The Case For: You'd like to see a bigger sample of success, but what Weaver did in 2019 was very impressive. He reworked some of his pitches in the offseason and came back throwing his cutter more than ever. Each of his pitches played better in 2019 than ever before, and it gave him a deep and varied arsenal to keep hitters off balance. Sure, he only threw 64.1 innings, but the improvements looked real and the cost is pretty cheap.
The Case Against: Weaver pitched just two innings after coming back from the elbow injury that cost him most of the season, so we just don't know how he's going to look. Obviously, there is plenty of risk in his profile, both performance-related and health-related, and though he did get more strikeouts with his arsenal changes last season, he also got hit pretty hard when batters did make contact. He'll need to sustain those strikeouts to be successful. -Chris Towers
The Case For: Marquez was being overvalued last season, and now he might be being overlooked. He finished as the No. 51 SP last season and has an ADP of 51 at the position, which is perfect except that 2019 is probably closer to Marquez's floor than his baseline. Even if you don't buy that Marquez has ace upside pitching half the time in Coors Field — and he probably doesn't — he has a 4.23 ERA and 1.203 WHIP over the past two seasons. The ERA will probably not be helpful, but Marquez will give you plenty of strikeouts and a better WHIP and win potential than most pitchers in the 4.00 ERA range. He's a nice value.
The Case Against: There is probably limited upside for Marquez in Colorado, and we saw how slim the margin for error was for him in 2019. While his floor is pretty high, there are probably other pitchers in this range with a better chance to put together a truly great season if a few things break right. -Chris Towers
So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda's huge breakout last season, and find out.