April 6, 2021
By Fantasy Baseball Analysts Matthew Rosser and Curtis Bailey
Let me harkon you back to a day and age when Matthew (Berry) was funny. In 2013 Bryce Harper started off his season by hitting a home run in both of his first two at bats. The majority of the analysts and experts took this as a sign of Harper taking the next step in his career after winning NL rookie of the year the previous season. Matthew Berry and his then cohost Nate Ravitz had a different take though. They took note that in Harpers remaining two at bats he had exactly zero hits. This was a sure sign that Harper was lost at the plate and was hurtling down the path of having just two hits all season. So we are basically doing that.
Kyle Hendricks has a career 3.14 ERA and hasn’t had a season with an ERA higher than 3.46 ERA since 2015. On top of that he is coming off a season where he posted a 2.88 ERA that garnered him his first Cy Young votes since 2016. All of that is in the past however, we all saw him on Thursday fail to complete 4 innings and walk 3 guys despite only walking 8 all of last season. This didn’t happen against a stacked lineup either. This was against the Pirates. The Pirates’ so terrible. So now Hendricks has a 9 ERA which is obviously unacceptable. If you have Hendricks now is the time to drop him for someone you can trust like Julio Teheran.
In 1880 Tim Keefe had a .86 ERA which set the MLB record for lowest ERA in an MLB season by giving up 10 runs across 105 innings in just 12 starts. That record has stood for a long time but Sandy Alcantra is on pace to blow it away. On opening day Alcantra completely shutdown the reigning AL champ Rays. He threw 6 innings of 2 hit ball with 7 strikeouts. His 10.5 K/9 for the 2021 season is over three times greater than that of boring Tim Keefe during his record setting season. So you can set it and forget it. Sandy Alcantra will end the season with at least 210 strikeouts and a zero ERA. You can also expect a unanimous Cy Young and quite possibly the first ever Hall of Fame induction for an active player.
I, like many of you out there, was really excited to see what Juan Soto had in store for us in 2021. He was coming off a season in which he seemed to position himself as the best hitter of baseballs in the world. Now I, like many of you out there, am left wondering if I have seen the last of Juan Soto. Through the first weekend of baseball, Soto has yet to show up to a stadium let alone swing a bat. I own Soto in two different leagues and it sucks that I won’t be getting anything out of him this season but when you have guys like Chris Ownings available on the wire it does make it much easier to pull the trigger and move on from Soto. I just ask that we as a community not hate on or harrass Soto. It’s his life and his decision so we should honor the choices he makes and wish the best for him.
The last time that Eric Hosmer played and didn’t hit a home run was October 8th 2020. At the time of this writing it’s April 3rd. That means including the first two games of the 2021 season Hosmer has gone nearly 5 months without failing to hit a home run. For reference Ken Griffey Jr. ‘s MLB record home run streak lasted just 8 days. Hosmer’s name is already etched into the record books but everytime he steps up to the plate the etching gets a little deeper and a little more detailed. Greatness is rarely appreciated in its time which is why I am here to make sure that you don’t continue this heinous trend. Set your DVR because Hosmer is appointment viewing!
The White Sox were one of the most interesting teams of the off-season. They had multiple very promising young prospects that had draft rooms abuzz. Well, none of them has transported baseballs as this engineering marvel. While all eyes were on Andrew Vaughn’s 0 for 3 debut on Friday, Mercedes went 5/5 with four RBI and a run for good measure. He had a WRC+ of 531 according to Fangraphs, which is ducking incredible by any measure, and followed that up with 3 more hits to go 8/8 in his first AB’s including his first round tripper. He popped out in his last at-bat on Saturday, and ended his historic run, but something else jumps out to me: his batting average on balls in play (BABIP). In the past few years BABIP has been considered the stat that shows you how disproportionately lucky and unlucky a player is getting, and folks I’m here to tell you, the Yerminator has more mixed juju than a four-leaf clover that got eaten by a black cat on Good Friday, which also happens to be the 13th day of the month. Yes, it was a crisp 1.000 after Friday, but if you look at his rolling BABIP for the season, it was cut in half in his encore on Saturday, and it was a depressing 0.000 in two of his four at bats, including his last one. It’s very hard to project a player to be any good with that kind of volatility. We like consistency here at Draft ID, and unfortunately Yermín hasn’t quite shown us enough in that department.
Who’s more surprised? You, looking at the size of this paragraph, or me, seeing this lightning rod absolutely electrify Minneapolis. After about 20 years at the top of prospect and breakout lists, the eagle has landed. I can finally say, for the first time since the Obama administration, that I haven’t seen Byron Buxton fail this year. Who’s to say he ever will again? Not us, which is why we’re done here.
Raise your hand if you have as many strikeouts as Luis Castillo in 2021. Is your hand up? It should be. Castillo has been known for his incredible stuff and high strikeout rate since his time in the minors, and largely he has delivered, having a K/9 less than 9 just once in his career. To start the 2021 season though, he has been atrocious. His career ERA is 3.73, this year it’s 21.6. This man went in the top 40 of drafts, and has repaid that kindness by giving you an ERA that can legally drink. So far, his velocity is down 3 miles an hour on his fastball, and I’m not positive this is satire anymore.