This is the first of many “Interrogate the Industry” pieces. No one seems to ask the “Tough” questions so I am stepping up to the plate to keep the industry honest and….Ah, who am I kidding? I will be asking questions weekly, hopefully many fueled by you guys, the readers, to a few Industry writers who are willing to answer. Since it is a weekly article, the questions could be anything from an immediate impact to long-term impact, or it could be a rest of season projections, evaluating trade offers and dynasty/keeper questions.
Most importantly a question will be asked to keep everyone on their toes. Hard hitting questions that have nothing to do with Fantasy Sports, because no matter what some people think, most of us have lives outside of our favorite hobby, or at least pretend to.
So with that, I am asking for help, keep sending me questions on Twitter or via email, it will help you, as well as fuel my articles going forward. Remember, if you have a question, ask it! Sometimes another perspective can save a disastrous trade, or help you take a leap of faith on a hot prospect. I should note that I ask questions all the time. I don’t consider myself an “Expert” so to speak, but also realize that there are plenty of times I can get cocky, or over-confident in my hunches and ask for some guidance from time to time I have no shame, nor should you! Thanks for reading, and enjoy!!
Interrogate the Industry: Volume 1
Fantasy Contributor: Andy Singleton
Chris thanks again for all of the hard work and dedication you put forth for the Fantasy Baseball world. I appreciate the opportunities you have provided for me, as well as the inclusion in the Gonos 30-For-30 League. I have been concentrating all of my writing time to my new position as Editor and Director of Content at LevelUpFantasy.com. It is all Fantasy Football for now, but as a site that can host and manage leagues, as well as offer free mock drafting capabilities, I am excited to be a part of it. Baseball is still in my bones tho, so if anyone has any questions or wants to chat about the diamond, or any sport for that matter, I’m on Twitter @PeoplezPen
1.Who would you rather have the ROS and why?
Heyward in all likelihood is the bigger name, with the slightly larger sample size, but Marte is the guy I want. Both are off to slow starts, and have a lot of ground to make up if they want to come close to approaching their anticipated season projections. However, if you extrapolate what they are currently on pace for, you will see Marte is living up to his strengths. At his current rate he would finish the season with 93 Runs, and 43 Stolen Bases – which is exactly what you drafted him to do. Heyward is expected to offer more power, but has only once finished with more than 20 Home Runs (27 in ’12), and right now is headed towards 12 with 45 RBI. On that basis alone he isn’t giving you your money’s worth. Not to mention, Marte offers a moderate advantage in Batting Average. It is marginally close, but in the end I would rather have Starling.
2. Who will have a bigger impact this season upon call-up?
Javier Baez or Oscar Tavares
This is less about talent than it is about star power. Both Taveras and Baez are good… really good. But, the future Shortstop for the Chicago Cubs has the type of star power that doesn’t come along very often. Taveras is off to a torrid start in Triple A this year, and already owns a lifetime .320 Batting Average in the minors. On just about any other team he would already be a featured piece in the middle of the lineup. With the Cardinals, he is trapped in a numbers game, and mired in an obnoxiously talented pool of players. It’s not a question of will he be good, it’s a question of when he’ll be good, and my hunch is that time is close to August in the DH-less National League. Baez on the other hand has been hampered by an ankle injury, but the expectations have already reached ridiculous proportions. It started during 2013’s Spring Training when he clubbed 4 home runs and grabbed the attention of many. He went on to mash 37 more throughout two stops in Hi-A and Double-A for his season. His encore in 2014’s Spring Training was 5 more long balls, so the power is very real. The Cubs are clearly looking forward to their bright future, and for Baez that should start as soon as his ankle stops nagging. In other words, the clock is close to striking midnight on his minor league career. Javier Baez will be a more important player for his team, thus having the bigger impact as well.
3. Does Clayton Kershaw return to the throne as the #1 Starting Pitcher in the Majors? Why?
Absolutely! This man defies logic as the premiere pitcher of his generation. He has a string of five consecutive seasons with 30 or more starts, during which his ERA has never been above 3.00. Last year, in collecting his second Cy Young Award, he approached insanity in finishing with an ERA of 1.83. His injury may be affecting either his shoulder, or back, or both, but I think this is just some backlash to MLB’s awful decision to start the Dodgers season too early. Playing two weeks before anyone else, with no one watching, and traveling half way around the world was not the best of ideas. Essentially he missed about 5 starts, which will give him around 28 in 2014 if everything goes as planned the rest of the way. That is plenty of time for Clayton Kershaw to return to form and sit atop the throne of MLB Pitchers.
4. What is your favorite Television character of all-time?
This could be harder than any sports related question, but I’ll go out on a limb and keep the sports theme. Although I’m not a Mets fan, I do root for the Jets… and so does Doug Heffernan. As the King of Queens, I find his character to be easy for me to identify with on so many levels. Being a firefighter from Brooklyn, I would have to say I have a similar lifestyle. I wouldn’t list it as my favorite show of all time, but it is hard to tune away from if I come across it. The only thing I’m missing is Arthur Spooner living in my basement.
Fantasy Contributor: Steve Pimental
1. Who would you rather have ROS and why? Albert Pujols or Eric Hosmer?
I think it is Hosmer, but I think it is very close. What this really boils down to is I do not trust Albert to stay healthy for the entire season. Plantar fasciitis can crop back up at any time, and even if it doesn’t send him to the DL it could hamper his play. At 34 years old, Albert is no longer a lock to play 145 games every season.
Aside from the injury concerns, Pujols and Hosmer are very even. I expect both players to continue to bat around .290, and while I am beginning to think Hosmer will never hit 25 home runs, I think it is safe to say Pujols isn’t going to steal 15 bases again. If I was chasing home runs or RBIs I would probably rather have Pujols, but Hosmer is a safer bet for steals. In a vacuum, though, I would try to avoid risk if I could, and that means going with Hosmer.
2. Who will have a bigger impact this season upon call-up? Trevor Bauer or Marcus Stroman?
In my mind this question is all about Trevor Bauer. When he is right, there might not be another prospect in baseball who can touch him. In five starts this season-four at Triple-A-Bauer has 2.56 BB/9. He is walking one fewer batter per nine innings than he ever has, at any level. There is no question Bauer’s stuff is electric, and if he continues to throw strikes the sky is the limit.
There is also something to be said for taking the young pitcher who has (likely) already been through his adjustment period versus the pitcher who might still experience it. In the last couple of years a bunch of rookie starting pitchers have come in and dominated from day one, but that doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion Stroman will. Top prospects like Bauer, Skaggs and Taijuan Walker struggled in their first taste of the majors, and Stroman certainly could, too. Stroman could certainly be very good in his own right, but I expect Bauer to have the bigger impact.
3. Does Clayton Kershaw return to the throne as the #1 Starting Pitcher in the majors? Why?
I don’t see why not. Kershaw told anyone who would listen that his back injury wasn’t particularly serious, and I don’t see any reason to doubt him. It sounds like the Dodgers were just being overly cautious. Sometimes, such injuries can actually be more serious than they seem so medical attention should be sought if you suspect some kind of damage. If the injury does turn out to be severe and someone is responsible for them having sustained the injury in the first place, they may decide to reach out to a spinal injury lawyer so that they can get some kind of justice. Durability might be a concern for the first time in Kershaw’s career, but any pitcher can get hurt. You could certainly argue Jose Fernandez has closed the gap, but I expect Kershaw to go right back to dominating like he has. I believe he is still the top pitcher in baseball.
4. What is your favorite Television series of all-time?
I don’t know how to explain how good The West Wing was. It was just very smartly written and acted brilliantly. The West Wing certainly had its fair share of tense moments and dramatic scenes, but what I really loved how was quick and smart the characters were. There were so many little things that were easy to miss that made the show great.