Fantasy MLB with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is an MLB Rumor Central writer. He also wrote the book "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World."
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Good morning, gang! We've got 60 minutes of fantasy chattage ahead of us, so let's get right to it, shall we? Second cup of coffee in hand -- who's up first today?
JT (Hospital, holding my newborn boy)
How do you see the Rockies infield shaping up? I see LeMahieu as being very undervalued, but Rutledge is looming.
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
I think DJ's defense gets him the starting job at 2B. Rutledge will be fortunate to make team at all.
Why is everyone so down on Jed Lowerie this year? This dude was money last year and qualifies at 2B and SS.
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
In a 12-team league, he's worth a starting spot. Is that being down on him? 15 HR is what I'd expect.
Eric (San Diego)
Thanks for the chat. I'm in a very deep dynasty league where players can only be drafted after they debut. What are the odds that Springer or other top tier prospects make the 25 man roster out of spring training?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Slim to none. Teams simply aren't going to promote prospects before the Super Two deadline passes to avoid starting that arbitration clock.
Good Morning, Porcello is sitting as a FA in my 14 team league...worth dropping Tim Hudson for?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
I'd go with Porcello here. 12-14 wins, better ERA.
Jerry (Stuck in the Snow)
AJ, do you see W. Ramos as breaking out this year? Let's just assume he is healthy. And is he a better keeper in roto league, or would Cueto be?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
Power will be there, but I'm probably less high on him than most. In a 2-catcher league, I'd keep him.
Morning AJ, I see two big power bats with a lot of Health and line up question marks. Please tell me if you think Stanton and Joey Bats are worth drafting where they are going in drafts?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Looks like they're going a round apart - Stanton in 4th, Bautista in 5th. I'm actually a little more bullish on Jose.
In a OBP/K league, where would Ortiz and Billy Butler rank among 1B (assuming they qualify)?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I'd put Ortiz at around No. 6 and Butler in the No. 11 neighborhood.
Joe (Santa Cruz)
Great chat AJ - thank you.Keeper Question: Draft Myers (Rd. 15) or Matt Carpenter (Rd. 16)Both seem like good values.
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
With no real difference in round value, I'm going with Carpenter.
Doing my first NL-only auction draft this year. I have some nice keepers but probably a few I could throw back. Do you prefer keeping players that are safe and around their value or taking more money to the draft to acquire new talent. Any advice?
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
It comes down to projecting what you think each player will be worth this season, and then using that info to determine if a) you want them back or not - b) do you think you can get them at a lower price if you throw them back - and c) if someone "steals" them, is there a comparable alternative.
O.Taveras (Port St.Lucie)
Should I be held on NL only roster with hopes I play sooner rather than later for Cards?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Taveras *should* be up at some point this season, but given the fact he's been unable to perform at all this spring, it's not likely to be in first half. I'd keep for now, but be prepared to move him should injuries force your hand.
My partner is very high on a Pujols bounceback, I'm not so sure... how do you feel about him this year?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Ceiling of 30-100-.290 BA. I think he can be a top-5 first baseman, but it's no longer a sure thing.
Dear former Mr. Met, do you believe in the small sample sizes of either Moustakas or Olt? Is either worth taking a flyer on one in a deep dynasty league
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
Short answer is no in terms of SSS belief. Worth a flier on either? Why not if the league is that deep? I'm always willing to roll the dice with one roster spot. Moustakas would be my choice of the two.
Seems like every year, you nail the "top" closer to unexpectedly lose his job.... have you zeroed in on that guy yet?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
LOL. The Broxton Curse lives! First you need to have closers establish that they have the job to begin with -- this is more a June discussion than in the spring.
Hey AJ - so Toronto's back end rotation fight... Hutchison Stroman... predictions for who wins out and what both their lines look like?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Drew is all but assured of a spot. Could be a good source of K's.
Last dynasty keeper in a 16 team league. Can keep forever if I want. Choosing between Wieters and Villar. Please help.
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
People get way too caught up in the "forever" nature of dynasty leagues. Realistically, you want the guy who helps you more this year. Wieters, to me, is that guy in that proverbial vacuum, but if there's comp catchers you can still grab...
Sean (syracuse, NY)
You buying Braun as a top 5 overall hitter?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
In my top 10. Not sure I'd bump him into the upper half of that.
I am in a dynasty points league that favors pitchers more that hitters. Cingrani, Salazar and Gray are all available, which sophmore pitcher would you pick?
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
Don't love Gray all that much. I'd lean Cingrani of the other two.
Dr. Met (Flushing)
Waiting for a prospect to break camp and really dazzle. Aside from Baez this spring, anyone else come to mind as someone who may be up immediately in 2014 and contribute?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
I don't actually think Baez starts season with Cubs -- but he should come up soon. Unless you're considering foreign players in this conversation, I'm not all that jazzed about anyone out of the gate.
Mike (Chicago, IL)
A keeper quandary! In a vacuum, eliminate one from each pair of eligible keepers: Kyle Seager (11th round, keep for 2yrs) vs. Aaron Hill (15th round, 1yr). Also, MadBum (14th, 2yrs) vs. Scherzer (6th, 2 yrs). Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I'm a huge Seager fan, so I have to go with him in the first face off. Scherzer also gets the slight edge here, even with the much earlier round cost.
Jose Abreu (Chicago)
Do you think I am a top 10 1st Baseman? IF so, how many HR's do you see for me this season?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
No, because I think the BA drag will prevent that from happening. That said, 20-25 HR should be in the ballpark -- or not in the ballpark, because they're home runs.
Give'em Beltre (Hail State )
Kinsler or pujols for 3rd keeper?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Kinsler, my No. 2 2B.
AJ need a couple of OF's for NL only 10 team bench/utility: McLouth,Bourjos,Ludwick or C.Young? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
Bourjos and Young are a coin toss at the top of this quartet with Ludwick then McLouth trailing behind.
Thoughts on Kipnis this year with Kinsler as your #2 2B?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Have him at #4. Very similar stats and we're splitting hairs a bit - but in the end I think Ian scores a lot more to tip scales.
Do you think A. Simmons will improve upon his stats from last year and be an annual keeper option?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
He's in a tier of about 9 guys running from No. 7-15 at SS. Sure, if he goes 20-15 in 2014 you're going to keep him in 2015...
Bob (Fort Lauderdale)
AJ, when is that Super Two deadline you mentioned?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
It's not a hard and fast date, which is part of the problem. It's based on a percentage of players reaching a certain amount of service time, so if nobody calls up prospects it might take longer to come to pass. However, new rules are expected to make the date later this year rather than sooner.
I heard Justin Ruggiano could bat #4 in the Chicago lineup...this guy screams sleeper to me. Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
He could easily be a 20-20 guy. Been drafting him or Drew Stubbs late in a lot of drafts.
Rank Shelby, RA, Hamels, Salazar, Cashner please.
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
I'll rank them Dickey, Cashner, Miller, Salazar. Hamels would have been first of this quintet before the injury issues. I have to be incredibly cautious here and place him near, if not at, the back now.
Any concern over Fister's elbow?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Not really. He threw a bit today. He's slated to throw again tomorrow. If he comes out of that without any "bad news" I think he'll be fine to start the year.
Captain (Seattle, WA)
Kinsler as your #2? Think you're trying to get a little too cute here just because Kinsler changed teams. No way he stays healthy.....
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Look, one has to make these projections with the assumption that players stay healthy. We're not psychics here. People get hurt - but who and when? If we're going down that rabbit hole, why bother posting ranks at all?
What SD pitcher are you aiming for: Cashner, JJ, Ross, or IPK?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
I'd rank them Cashner, Kennedy, JJ, Ross.
1 week ago, my league commish and 2 others decided to switch our redraft league to a keeper league based on last years draft with the caveat that you had to keep the player the entire year. As someone who got 2nd last year (dropped hurt players) and trades a lot, I have only 3 players that meet this criteria. Tried to voice dissent, but was met with harsh opposition. Do you see this as a fair practice?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Not one bit. Yes, rules changes need to made in the offseason and not during the year -- but when it comes to rules that are based on now-retroactive actions like keeping players on rosters and where you decided to draft them --- you need to institute the rules now and enact next season.
How much of a difference would it make in your ranking of Aroldis Chapman if you knew he'd be out there for multiple innings per outing this year?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I think that's already factored in... the slight uptick in more innings/outing is probably going to result in a few more days off mixed in -- not entirely a wash, but could well be.
What's your draft strategy? Where are you targeting hitters, starters, closers, etc?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
Not an easy question to answer in a nice bite-sized morsel. However, generally speaking: best player on board in Rds 1-5, Rds 6-11 half filling in hitters in tiers that are running out/half SP. Then re-evaluate remaining pool and need.
Which potential 5th starter do you like the most: Ventura (KC), Santiago (LAA), Johnson (CHW), Morrow (Tor)?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Santiago, then Ventura.
What's your strategy going into an auction draft? Doing my first one ever.
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
In simplest terms: Do some mocks to get used to the format. Generate a list of what you think each player is truly worth. Back out when the price exceeds what you've got.
AJ - Please rank these not quite elite OF in a H2H league - Pence, Puig, Trumbo, Bruce and Rios.
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Puig, Rios and Bruce all with legit top-10 OF potential. Then it's Pence, followed by Trumbo.
I kept Adam Eaton over Nelson Cruz as my last keeper. Did I make a mistake? I'm hoping for a 10/30 season from Eaton with a nice OBP thrown in. Who would Mr. Mass have kept?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
I'd have kept Cruz -- but if Eaton does steal 30, he may well end up with far more value.
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
That's all the time I've got today gang. For those I could not get to, there's Twitter (@ajmass) where I try to answer questions that come in. Feel free to follow, and also please consider pre-ordering my book on mascots: http://www.amazon.com/dp/162336003XThanks for the questions, and until the next time... Peace out!