Daily Dr. Roto — March 1
Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: Kansas City Royals
C Sal Perez — Perez is by far, my favorite Royal to own this season. He’s a top player at a scarce position, and I have no problem with owners reaching (just a little) to take him. Perez might see his numbers go down about 10% due to the Royals futility on offense, but he is still an excellent player.
1B Lucas Duda — Duda was in the right place at the right time as the Royals desperately needed a 1B to replace Eric Hosmer. Duda will never hit for a high average, but his OBP is solid, and he has real power. If he gets 500 at bats, I can see him going 25-85 in middle of their lineup. While he is not going to be Hosmer, he is a reasonably good placeholder for the time being.
2B Whit Merrifield — Merrifield shocked the Fantasy world last season as he exploded (out of nowhere) to hit 19 HR and steal 34 bases. I highly doubt that he can repeat those numbers, but even if we cut his numbers 15%, he still would be a pretty effective Fantasy player.
SS Alcides Escobar — At one time Fantasy owners could count on Escobar to provide a decent average and steal about 20 bases. However, in 2017 he only stole four bags. If Escobar is not running, he has little value.
3B Cheslor Cuthbert — I am not sure what Cuthbert offers Fantasy owners in terms of statistics. He has limited power and virtually no speed. I guess he is useful as a CI in deeper AL-only formats, but not much else.
OF Alex Gordon — Gordon is 34 years old and his game has steadily declined for the past four years. I might throw his name out at my auction for $1 and pray that some other guy in the room says $2.
OF Paulo Orlando — In the minors, Orlando showed that he can hit for average and steal a base or two. That said, he is 32 years old, and I don’t see his game evolving to the next level. In fact, I see him as nothing more than a late-round reserve pick in Draft Champion type formats.
OF Jorge Bonifacio — Bonifacio showed nice power in his first foray into the majors, hitting 17 HR in only 384 at bats. He could have an outside chance at 25 HR if that pace continues.
DH Jorge Soler — Soler’s career has been a monumental disappointment ever since he was with the Cubs. I guess I would put him in the post-hype sleeper category as it would not shock me to see him get out of his funk and start hitting, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it either. Take a shot on Soler as your last OF in drafts and hope for some ‘Soler Power.”
SP Danny Duffy — Duffy reminds me a lot of the Detroit Tigers Michael Fulmer he’s a solid pitcher recovering from injury, who might go lower in drafts because Fantasy owners are unsure of his playing status. I think Duffy might start the year off slowly but look for him to find his groove after June. I think he would be the perfect guy to add by a trade to a starting rotation once you see your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
SP Ian Kennedy — As you will read with Hammel and Karns, Kennedy is one of those pitchers who often follows a terrifically lousy season with a respectable one. I guess Kennedy can bounce back to 30 starts and 200 Ks if fully healthy, but I am not sure I would bet on his success.
SP Jason Hammel — Just when you think that Hammel’s time as a major league pitcher is done, he surprises Fantasy owners and has a sub 4.00 ERA. I won’t fall victim to that as I think he is nothing more than an innings eater who can hurt more than help.
SP Nathan Karns — Karns is with his 4th team in 5 years, and at this point, I am tired of hearing about his potential. It wouldn’t shock me to see Karns have the second-best ERA on this staff, so feel free to use him as a late round sleeper in AL-only leagues.
SP Jesse Hahn — Every once in a long while Hahn can have a great start. He is more useful as a SP2 in DFS than he is for your season-long Fantasy team.
RP Brandon Maurer — If Herrera gets traded as expected look for Maurer to get the first chance to close games. Maurer saved 22 games for the Padres last season, so look for the Royals to use him as their guy when they decide to trade all their veterans.
RP Kelvin Herrera — Herrera will start the year as the Royals closer, but more than likely he will be shopped around and end up as a setup man for a contending bullpen come July.
Stash and Cash: OF Khalil Lee — Lee is only 19, but his tools are such that he might be a guy for the Royals to build around in the coming years. I would expect that his ETA will be late 2019, so plan accordingly in dynasty formats.