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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty-Centric Chat With Matt Eddy (7/22)

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J Jonah Jameson (The Daily Bugle):

    Do you see Josh Donaldson repeating his 2019 performance this year (at least based off the shortened season)? I'm trying to decide if he's worth a keeper for one more year.

Matt Eddy: In a vacuum: absolutely yes. I would need to consider which other players you have the opportunity to keep. But I have no reservations about Donaldson for 2020. The Twins are a great fantasy fit: the homers (no April in Minneapolis), runs and RBIs will flow. Donaldson was a great pickup for the Twins. He elevates every team he plays for. It's no coincidence the A's, Blue Jays and Braves have fielded some of their best teams when he's been there.

Steve (Tuscon):

    A lot of leagues are changing their structure (ie. switching to roto, funky head-to-head setups) to adjust to a 60-game season. What's your favorite league setup idea you've seen so far?

Matt Eddy: If you play in a head-to-head league, my preferred format changes would be either (1) go to Roto scoring for the regular season, or (2) play double- or triple-headers, where one of the matchups is versus the league average for the week. My established 16-team league came up with a creative single-elimination tournament bracket that is interesting. Matchups stretch for two weeks to even out some of the luck of standard one-week scoring periods. Teams that bow out in period one stay alive in either the draft pick and consolation bracket, which are, frankly, too complicated for me to explain. :-)

Bob (Raleigh):

    Max Meyer, Emerson Hancock, Asa Lacy. Who do you think is the most appealing fantasy option?

Matt Eddy: Either Meyer or Lacy for me. I love physical lefties with power fastball and power breaking ball repertoires, but I am intrigued by Meyer for his incredible slider and supreme athleticism. Those attributes mitigate concern over him being "short" for a RH starter. Forced to pick one, I side with Lacy.

Chadwick Tromp (SF):

    Am I a legit fantasy option this year?

Matt Eddy: A legit stash, yes. If you have room on your minor league bench, then by all means, go in for Tromp. Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly may have more upper levels seasoning, but Tromp has the highest offensive potential of the trio of Giants minor league free agent catcher imports. In general, chasing upside is a good use of your minor league roster.

Rob Digans (Fullerton):

    What are your projections for Jasson Dominguez? Realistically, what does he become?

Matt Eddy: The top international free agents have been pushing up their big league timetables in recent seasons. Dominguez, if he hits, should be no different. However, the wrinkle to consider this season is what the lost minor league season will mean for development. Traditionally, IFAs like Dominguez have jumped on a fast track at ages 16, 17 and 18 by taking advantage of pro instruction and competition in the minors, in instructional league and at extended spring training. That is less true for Dominguez and other top July 2 signees form 2019, such as Luis Rodriguez or Erick Peña, because they are losing the game reps this season. Ultimately, Dominguez could become an impact fantasy bat who contributes in four categories. Most players slow and don't steal bases when they reach the majors.

Dynasty 5 x 5 (Mn):

    OBP dynasty league - Ronnie Mauricio or Brennan Davis?

Matt Eddy: I would lean Davis on that one. He should impact the crucial fantasy categories to a greater extent, and the Cubs' track record developing hitters is so strong.

Long-Time BA Reader (USA):

    Of the 20 players you picked yesterday, which ones were you most surprised made the list and why?

Matt Eddy: The two picks most unknown to me before the exercise were Dodgers RHP Ryan Pepiot and Cardinals RHP Johan Oviedo. Those two pitchers have the type of stuff to get in the big league conversation quickly, probably in relief roles initially. Don't rule out starting down the line. Pepiot could become the successor to Pat Neshek as best Butler Bulldog in the big leagues.

Field of Dreamers (Mn):

    Luis Patino or Spencer Howard - who do you like? Pick one.

Matt Eddy: Spencer Howard has come a long way in a short time. He looks more and more like a future rotation fixture for the Phillies, who did a tremendous scouting and development job with him. Patino has the louder pitch grades, but for fantasy I prefer Howard's control, touch and repeatability.

Dynasty 5 x 5 (Mn):

    Hoping to get one of Edward Cabrera, Hunter Greene, Josiah Gray, or Brailyn Marquez for a dynasty stash. Which would you take and why?

Matt Eddy: I am most intrigued by Cabrera and Marquez in that group. Cabrera pitches with three 60s some nights and is close to being ready for an audition in Miami. Do not overlook him. He and Sixto Sanchez and Max Meyer all arriving on a similar timeline could be huge for that franchise. With Marquez, I'm banking on easy 100 mph heat and the incredible strides he made last season. He has uncommon attributes, his velo and arm action, which could make him stand out from the pack and potentially be more effective.

Laurie (NY):

    Who is the one player in fantasy that comes to mind in recent years you were too low on? And on the flip side, who were you too high on? Thanks!

Matt Eddy: This is such a good question that I don't have a pat answer for. Ironically, I might have been too low on Wander Franco. I snagged him in the second round of a draft but traded him before he even played a game in the Appy League. Granted, I traded him to acquire Mike Clevinger, so I'm not exactly upset of the trade outcome. But I would have to study the past few seasons to generate the (long) list of players I underestimated.

Sean Murphy (Arizona):

    Out of the 4 players who is your least favorite for dynasty? Sam Huff Brett Baty Seth Corry Matthew Liberatore Thanks!

Matt Eddy: If you were to release Corry or Liberatore to the free agent pool, they would likely be picked up quickly. Baty doesn't have any pro track record yet, but has draft pedigree. Huff is a strong athlete who started hot but cooled somewhat in the Carolina League (as should be expected). Given what we know about how long it takes catchers to develop, and what is a pretty wild hitting approach from Huff, I would consider either dropping Huff or seeing if Baty's draft pedigree can be capitalized on in trade.

Reuben (Durham, NC):

    Any thoughts on apples-to-oranges type comparisons in Dynasty “new player” drafts? I love the upside/excitement of young guys like Luis Rodriguez, Noelvi, Orelvis, Peña, Francisco Alvarez, Cartaya etc, but wonder if I’d be foolish to pass up on closer/surer things like Tsutsugo, H. Bishop, Langeliers, Manoah, Edward Cabrera, Perdomo, Shewmake ... this is for a Sim league (Diamond Mind). My brain tells me to balance my prospect portfolio more, but my heart loves the upside.

Matt Eddy: In a sim environment, those current wins you can bank are so valuable. And in that format, you can often affect big change by making a small alteration to your personnel--adding a hitter who balances or lengthens your lineup, a starter who saves your bullpen or a reliever who deepens your stable of high-leverage arms. I never fault an owner for looking short term in sim, just because you have to build a "real," functional team roster. You're not just tabulating stats. I think the best answer is to evaluate what kind of trade value a prospect would have and what kinds of deals for MLB players you might be able to get for your prospects, based on what you know about other managers in your league.

Peter (Canada):

    Hi! What are the tips to evaluate players in a dynasty/keepers league setting? I recently inherited a team from inactive owner and could really use some advice. Appreciate it!

Matt Eddy: This is such a great question, and one that I could spend 2,000 words tackling each season! In general, I look at players through two lenses. Do they have major league value (or project to in the near future) or do they have trade value? If they have neither, then it probably makes sense to dump them and cycle through players on the waiver wire. You're trying to catch the hot hand, who either helps your team win or who can be converted into wins via trade. (This assumes a league with a fairly standard roster size -- if you have 40 or more minor league spots, you can afford to be patient.) Probably the most common mistake I see is owners treating their rosters as "fixed" and not showing the flexibility or inclination to take the risks required to reap the benefit of a inspired acquisition.

GM (On the clock):

    CJ Abrams at $12 or Corbin Carroll at $7?

Matt Eddy: Abrams for me. I know people want to downplay his pro debut because it was a small sample or because it was the hitter-friendly Arizona League, but it is really, really difficult for an 18-year-old to make such an impact. He's away from home for the first time. He's playing with wood everyday, facing more velocity than he's ever seen. He's navigating the pro routine and travel demands, and acclimating to Arizona after growing up on the East Coast. Oh yeah, and scouts are very heartened by that they've seen from Abrams. Invest.

Novice (NC):

    I'm inheriting a fantasy team in a dynasty league and am pretty new to the format, though I follow BA and prospects generally and have for a while now. I feel like I can acclimate to this more in-depth style of fantasy baseball, but do you have any tips for turning my team around and generally being a smart dynasty manager compared to re-draft leagues? More day to day advice and overall strategy that you find useful? Thanks!

Matt Eddy: I immodestly lean on what I call the "Three I's" for dynasty evaluation. The first "I" is intuition. Don't be afraid to step out and take a prospect even if he's not "consensus"; if you're right, then the industry will catch up. You also need to rely on intuition when evaluating players' peak value in trades. The second "I" is initiative. In addition to monitoring the waiver wire to make as many marginal improvements as you can -- keep stacking those good decisions! -- it's important to keep an eye on the rosters of teams that have fallen out of the race. These teams are *much* more likely to be receptive to trade talk about their MLB stars. That feeds into the third "I," which is inventory. If you want to acquire those major league stars, you're going to need to pony up two, three or even more prospects. It often hurts to trade the guys you drafted and watched develop, but prospects can be regenerated. Major league stars who play every day and bat toward the top of a good lineup -- they cannot typically be generated from the waiver wire.

Mike (Bay Area):

    Hello Eddy, Is please,rank the following players Erick Pena, Jasson Dominguez Thanks,

Matt Eddy: Dominguez over Peña for sure. He's more certain to hit and more likely to stay up the middle. I would also take the Dodgers' Luis Rodriguez over Peña, if we're talking 2019 J2 prospects, though it's close.

James (IA):

    Any players outside the top 100 you’re targeting for your teams?

Matt Eddy: Yes, absolutely in standard dynasty settings. A typical league will have 200 to 300 or more prospects owned, so you have to dig deeper to find value. But in a standard redraft type of setting, no I probably wouldn't be chasing any of the non-elite prospects. There should be in-season opportunity to evaluate and add them.

Matt Eddy: Awesome questions! My hour is up. Reach out on Twitter @MattEddyBA if you have anything specific.

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