There’s no way to predict just how great players will be during the season in Fantasy Baseball but we can help weed out some of the fakers.
We are two weeks into the season and I am here to help you with what is “real” or what is “fake”. We need to take a deeper look to see who we should be rostering on our teams and who we need to stay away from.
Let’s take a look at the players who are the real deal or are off to slow or unrealistic starts.
Tim Anderson, Shortstop, Chicago White Sox-
Tim Anderson is off to a hot start and he should continue to be a top 10 shortstop for the rest of the season. In his first two years in the big leagues, he had an abysmal walk rate of two and three percent. If he’s not getting on base he can’t use one of his best qualities…his speed. It’s early but his walk rate is up to eight percent which is partially why he is leading the leagues with six steals.
Not only is he being patient at the plate but his hard hit rate is at a career high at 35 percent. He’s getting on base and he’s hitting the ball hard. He won’t keep up his current pace but he could be a 25 homer and 25 steal guy. He’s worth the add now because there aren’t many players with that type of upside.
Dansby Swanson, Shortstop, Atlanta Braves
Dansby Swanson was the number one overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft and he is starting to look like it at the plate. Don’t expect 30 home runs out of Dansby but he should be a .280 hitter who can hit 15 homers and steal 20 bases. Do you know how many shortstops did that last season? One (Elvis Andrus).
His speed and batting average are why you will want him on your team this year. In 2017 there were only seven players who were shortstop-eligible who stole more than 20 bases and only four of them batted over .280. The Atlanta Braves lineup is better than most people think, and this could be the breakout season for Dansby Swanson that Braves fans have been waiting for.
Tyler Skaggs, Starting Pitcher, Los Angeles Angels
Tyler Skaggs was a former top 15 prospect according to Baseball America. He has the potential to be an ace and he has been to start the 2018 season. In his three starts he has pitched 16 innings, stuck out 17 batters and has only given up three earned runs (1.69 ERA). He’s getting overshadowed by his teammate Shohei Ohtani but Skaggs has the potential to be a top 30 starting pitcher.
Ian Kennedy, Starting Pitcher, Kansas City Royals
Ian Kennedy has only had two seasons in the past eight where he had an ERA under 4. Last season he gave up 34 homers (seventh most in MLB) and he walked 3.6 batters per nine innings. He’s not a pitcher you want to add because he will hurt your team more than he will help it. Stay away and I would highly recommend that if you do have him, try to trade him away ASAP.
DO NOT panic and trade away Paul Goldschmidt or Joey Votto. We are barely ten games into the season and these are both top ten hitters in baseball. They are just off to slow starts. If these two had a bad 10-game stretch during June, nobody would even notice. Both will both be top five first basemen by the end of the season and if you can find an owner if your league who’s looking to move them, I would look to acquire them now.
Shohei Ohtani (hitting), Designated Hitter, Los Angeles Angels
Shoehei Ohtani will be a top 20 pitcher for the rest of the season. However, he just had his best week of the season hitting in the first week. He could be a 20-home run hitter for the Angels but his arm is too valuable for them to risk getting hurt while batting. I don’t expect for him to get more then three starts a week hitting and if you are rostering a hitter, you will need more at-bats then that.
So the secret is out. Some of these guys are the real deal but others are just faking it until they make it. Don’t let them make you look foolish.