There are all kinds of early trends to keep an eye on in the early weeks of the Fantasy baseball season, but with two weeks in the books, we're starting to get a clearer picture of how the season will shape up. We had our first no-hitter, and thank you Joe Musgrove for giving us that incredibly exciting moment. We also had our first triple-donger game when J.D. Martinez ripped off three home runs in a single game. There's a lot going on and a lot to keep up with.
To kick off each week of the season, I'll be reaching out to my colleagues and podcast co-hosts Scott White and Frank Stampfl to ask them a few big questions, and today we're looking back at the second weekend of the season to see who we're looking to trade for, who we're looking to stash, players we now believe in (that we ultimately didn't believe enough in during draft season) and more. Let's dive right into it!
1. Which player did you not draft any (or enough) shares of that you regret now?
- Scott: Well, Joe Musgrove threw a no-hitter and has yet to allow a run in 15 innings, striking out 18. I pegged him for him a breakout this year, too, but wound up drafting him nowhere. Frank was largely to blame for that.
- Chris: Ramon Laureano. I touted Laureano as a discount-priced version of guys like Cavan Biggio and Trent Grisham, and then I only drafted him in one out of 11 leagues. His fast start -- literally, in this case, with five steals -- has me feeling a ton of FOMO right now. He won't steal 50 bases or anything, but he's a good bet for a 20-20 season, and I didn't pull the trigger on him early enough.
- Frank: I don't have a single share of J.D. Martinez and so far that looks like a huge mistake. Martinez hit three home runs on Sunday and looks like he's back to his 2019 self that finished as a top-20 hitter in both H2H points and Roto.
2. Which player did you draft too many shares of that you're now nervous about?
- Scott: I'm confident Andrew Vaughn would eventually come around with regular opportunities. I just don't know when he'll get those opportunities now that Yermin Mercedes has become a mainstay for the White Sox. How long can I hold out with him starting only half the time, especially in those leagues where I was counting on him to be in my starting lineup?
- Chris: Keston Hiura. I backed off him a bit toward the end of spring training because his strikeout issues remained, but I still ended up with him at either second or first in a lot of leagues. So far, that's resulted in a .107 average and 41.4% strikeout rate. I will say, however, that Saturday's game -- 2 for 5 with a homer and four batted balls hit over 100 mph -- was certainly pretty encouraging. I still believe he can be one of the very best hitters in the league if he fixes his plate discipline issues, but the early returns have not been great.
- Frank: Chris Paddack. Everything I read this offseason was that the Padres were going to get Paddack's fastball back on track to his 2019 levels, and I completely bought in. Through two starts, his fastball has the same issue as last year where he's getting two-seam movement rather than the four-seam rise. I'm not dropping him or anything but I'm nervous.
3. Which player are you most excited to stash on your bench?
- Scott: I think top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Wander Franco may be just days away from debuting for their respective clubs. It fits into the usual timeline for these things, and it's not hard to see where each would fit into the lineup. Make sure neither is still available in your league.
- Chris: Jo Adell. With Dexter Fowler unfortunately suffering a torn ACL, the path to a return to the majors for the Angels top prospect is clearer. It seems like they'll go with Juan Lagares (and occasionally Jared Walsh) in the outfield for now, but neither seem like workable solutions. Adell hit .250/.423/.600 in spring and could be a dynamic power-speed threat, and hopefully he isn't far from getting the call.
- Frank: Obviously I'd be ecstatic to stash any of Wander Franco, Jarred Kelenic or MacKenzie Gore but Logan Gilbert is the name for me. James Paxton needs Tommy John surgery, which could accelerate the timeline for Gilbert, who had stellar numbers in the minors back in 2019.
4. Which player are you looking to acquire via trade ASAP?
- Scott: Frankly, anyone who's underachieving I'd be more willing to buy than sell right now, but Marcell Ozuna in particular stands out as one you could get for 75 cents on the dollar. He has been useless and strikeout prone so far, which some will find especially concerning coming off a career year, but I have too much faith in the bat to be moved by a nine-game sample.
- Chris: Yoan Moncada and Lourdes Gurriel would be two of the top guys. They're off to slow starts, but I believe strongly in their skill sets, so I'll buy them. There seemed to be a bit of hesitancy around both this spring, so if someone is looking to sell, I'm buying.
- Frank: If anybody, anywhere is freaking out about Ozzie Albies, I'd be looking to acquire him. Entering Sunday he was batting .129 with a .289 expected batting average. The entire Braves team (outside of Ronald Acuña) has been unlucky thus far.
5. Which closer jobs do you feel most secure about after the second weekend?
- Scott: Every closer is just a bad week away from losing the job, but it sure seems like Emmanuel Clase is in the driver's seat now for Cleveland. I wouldn't rush to cut James Karinchak loose, particularly in 5x5 leagues where his strikeouts will be of some value, but Clase is the one to have from that bullpen. Also, Yimi Garcia shouldn't face much competition now that he's apparently overtaken Anthony Bass for the Marlins.
- Chris: Excluding the obvious guys, I'd like to highlight Emmanuel Clase, who picked up his second save Sunday and seems clearly locked into Cleveland's closer job. Maybe he'll lose that job, but I kind of doubt it. The Indians seem to prefer James Karinchak in a flexible fireman role, and Nick Wittgren just doesn't have the same lockdown closer stuff Clase does. He's a star. Also, shouts to Craig Kimbrel, another player I wish I had a lot more shares of.
- Frank: It's still Liam Hendriks, Josh Hader and Aroldis Chapman, though Craig Kimbrel has looked great so far. I'd bet he has quite a long leash with Chicago now.
6. Which closer jobs do you feel least secure about after the second weekend?
- Scott: I can't get a good read on the Royals situation at all. Mike Matheny isn't following any usage pattern I can see with Greg Holland, Jesse Hahn, Wade Davis and Josh Staumont, and the latest to get a save was Kyle Zimmer in extra innings Sunday.
- Chris: I don't really know what to make of Toronto's closer situation. It seems like it's Julian Merryweather's, but he apparently won't be throwing on consecutive days and hasn't had a save since April 4. Of course, Jordan Romano doesn't have one either and has been used in several non-save situations, so it's not him either. I would bet on Merryweather getting the next save opportunity, but I'm not convinced he'll end up leading the team.
- Frank: I really don't know what's going on with the Royals. Greg Holland has looked bad and Jesse Hahn picked up a save earlier in the week. Wade Davis is still lurking and Josh Staumont has really good stuff. I would guess Holland still gets the next save opportunity but I say that with very low confidence.