Daily Dr. Roto — March 23
Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: Seattle Mariners
Players to Watch
Mike Zunino — Zunino’s stock has been rising slowly throughout this offseason, but the cat might have been let out of the bag after he launched three home runs in a spring training game on Wednesday. Now 26 years old, Zunino is at a prime age to become the hitter that scouts had projected when he left the University of Florida. Zunino is not without warts: he strikes out WAY too much and often goes into funks that can last weeks at the plate. If Zunino can figure out some consistency and hit .250, he could be the catching gem that a team needs to win a Fantasy title. If he hits .220, he could sink your team’s batting average into an inescapable pit of despair.
Jean Segura — Segura does so much that he is indispensable to a Fantasy team. He can hit for average, score runs, steal tons of bases, and even hit for a little power. The key to his success lies in his ability to stay on the field. Segura has been dealing with a myriad of injuries this spring, so it’s possible that his ADP will drop slightly. However, if he can figure out a way to put those things behind him, he might just be one of the top all-around players in Fantasy Baseball.
Dee Gordon — Dee Gordon is a three-category superstar for the Mariners: he should hit over.300, score over 100 runs and lead the AL in stolen bases. The problem is that his HR/RBI numbers are so low that he practically gives you zeroes in those categories. If you are an owner who likes to draft players like Gordon, you MUST make sure that the rest of your team can support his lack of statistics. I much prefer drafting Gordon in a H2H type league where I can punt categories more easily than I would in a 5 x 5 category league where he can hurt me.
Kyle Seager — Seager lacks the power of Josh Donaldson, the youth of Alex Bregman, and the dynasty appeal of Rafael Devers. What Seager brings to the table, though, is consistency to the Mariners. He is a solid 3B who Fantasy owners tend to overlook because other players do something else better than he does. Smart Fantasy owners know to draft him because he is a better value than other players at the position.
Robinson Cano — Normally Cano sits atop my 2B rankings, but this year is the first in a while where he might be out of my top five players at the position. I still think he can go 25-90, but I there are other players (Schoop, Happ, Dozier) who are most interesting to me. The good news is that there will be one team in your league who takes Cano with a 3rd round pick. That team will also talk about the Yankees’ glory days, and the girls he slept with 25 years ago at college. Bottom line is let that guy talk and take Cano while you snap up Schoop instead.
James Paxton — I feel confident in saying that if Paxton could make 30 starts for the Mariners that his name would be in the AL Cy Young conversation. Thus far in his career, we have never seen him eclipse 136 IP, so I wouldn’t expect him to pitch 200 innings in 2018. However, if he can go 180, I think the Mariners and his Fantasy owners would be ecstatic. If that happens, I think he gets 200+ Ks and has a ERA slightly under 3.00.
Marco Gonzales — It was a few years ago that Gonzales was a highly thought of pitching prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals. Sadly, Gonzales had TJS a few years back, and it seems like he is finally rounding into form after seasons of struggling. He’s been the Mariners top pitcher in spring training, and it seems like the team is willing to put him in the rotation to start the season. Don’t be shocked to see Gonzales start out slowly but I think as the season wears on that he can be an integral part of the rotation. The talent is there; now all he needs is the opportunity.
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