Major League Baseball free agency is about to begin but when it comes to fantasy purposes, all we care about is how it impacts next season.
Dallas Keuchel and Didi Gregorius could have big impacts in 2020 for fantasy baseball (if they land in the right spot). Let’s take a lot at these three and see what places would lead to fantasy success or disaster.
Dallas Keuchel, Starting Pitcher
Best case scenario: Atlanta Braves
The best case for Dallas Keuchel is to stay in Atlanta. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats and he is at his best with a strong defense. He pitches to contact and is a ground ball machine with a 60% ground ball rate in 2019. Forty-four percent is league average and 50% or higher is considered an extreme ground ball pitcher.
He also needs to stay in the National League and will need an elite offense to secure wins. He should finish with an ERA somewhere between 3.50 and 4.00 next season. Expect Keuchel to sign a two-year deal for $15-20 million to stay in Atlanta. The Braves are one of the few teams will Keuchel will still have solid fantasy value.
He finished as the 86th ranked pitcher last season and that was with him missing about half the season. Don’t expect him to finish much higher than 50th among starting pitchers. But if all goes well, he could be a reliable fifth or sixth starter on your team for 2020.
If the matchup is bad, sit him. There’s no need to start him against tough lineups, but he’s the type of pitcher who will rarely kill your week.
Worst case scenario: Any AL team
If Dallas Keuchel signs anywhere in the AL, just run away and don’t bother drafting him. He doesn’t strike out many batters (7.2 K per 9) and that was against a lot of weaker NL teams last season.
Didi Gregorius, Shortstop
Best case scenario(s): Cincinnati Reds or New York Yankees
Didi Gregorius has a swing that was meant for a ballpark that favors left-handed power (New York or Cincinnati). He came back from Tommy John surgery and in only 324 ABs, he hit 16 home runs and drove in 61 runs.
If he keeps up that pace, he should be around 25 to 27 home runs with 85 to 90 RBIs. Those numbers would have put Gregorius in the top 12 among shortstops last season.
If he is on one of these two teams next season and you decide to wait on drafting a shortstop, Didi is the perfect player to snag in the middle to late rounds to fill in the position (or middle infielder).
Worst case scenario(s): Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh and Arizona are two of the tougher stadiums for left-handed power. Pittsburgh (18th most home runs per game) is just a pitcher-friendly park that kills most power hitters’ swings.
Meanwhile, Arizona (20th most home runs per game) has the humidor that has killed power in one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks over the past decade. If he signs with the Miami Marlins (28th most home runs per game) it will be a complete disaster.
Both the horrid Marlins lineup and the unfriendly ballpark will tank Gregorius’ fantasy value. Let’s hope he stays where he is or signs with a team that has a decent lineup or a good ballpark for hitters.