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Fantasy Baseball Chat With Brad Johnson
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Brad Johnson
Howdy folks, we'll get started in a few minutes as questions start to trickle in
A couple programming notes. I will not have an opportunity to answer everybody's questions, though I will get to as many as I can.
Every other week, I run this chat for Front Office subscribers only. The first two weeks, I managed to answer every question. I also do a weekly fantasy post for FO subs.
Let's get cracking
Mid-first round pick:  Hitter or Pitcher?
Brad Johnson
Big ol' "it depends." Who is there? In particular, did Jose Ramirez or Trea Turner fall?
How deep is the league? 12-team mixed and smaller, I'm inclined to lean pitchers early (not necessarily in the 1st) because I perceive top arms to be the hardest resource to acquire.
Is it 5x5, points, some other kind of scoring? That factors in too.
How much stock in a guy like Brady Singer Inna dynasty. Attempting to move him in a package
10 team 5x5 Dynasty
Brad Johnson
Singer is somebody I'd consider a core performer. I think if you throw him out there for a full season, he can be expected to give you volume without devastating your ratios. I have not yet picked up any situational tactics you can use to reliably improve his numbers (i.e. bench vs certain type of opponent).
Personally, I'm a sucker for guys with 50% GB%, 9.00 K/9, and tolerable walk rates.
I think the path from there to fantasy darling is much shorter and straighter than say the path taken by Robbie Ray.
I don't have any reason to believe (or doubt for that matter) that Singer could take another step. He's built like a better Brad Keller now. Adding a third pitch is both plausible and important for him.
Are catchers your last hitter pick in a H2H league?
Brad Johnson
Well... I think we're 2-for-3 on the "it depends" answer. Especially if we're looking at a 10- or 12-team single-catcher format, there is a certain attractiveness to just not worrying about the position.
If you catch a season like Salvy's 2021 though, that really helps win some categories. It's all about weighing the opportunity cost of each pick. Sometimes, going catcher earlier works better for your roster.
Hard to give a concrete example, but there's usually a lull somewhere in the draft where I'm fairly indifferent between my next 20ish targets. That's often a good time to go C or SVs
Who are your top 3 for 1st year player drafts?
Brad Johnson
Not controversial picks here: Turner, Tatis, Ramirez.
And if it's OBP, I want Soto.
How strongly are you buying Cedric Mullins' breakout? In a 5x5 roto league, how much earlier would you take him over a more proven set of steals but perhaps someone with less power upside (e.g. Whit Merrifield)
Brad Johnson
Honestly, I'm taking a hands off approach. It's not so much that I don't believe in the breakout. It's just that where he's going in drafts, nearly all of the upside is priced in and none of the downside.
His current ADP is 26
He was about the 15th best hitter last season
So you're almost calling on more growth if you take him 26.
And if he regresses to something more like his pre-2021 performance, it wouldn't be the first time a guy turned pumpkin after one good season.
Again, I don't think that's a huge risk, but I do think Trent Grisham is a better stat comp
Dan G
So what is with your investments in Forrest Whitley? What are you seeing that changes the bust narrative?
Brad Johnson
I don't have fresh info on Whitley, although what we had going into 2021 was very encouraging. He seemed poised to play a big role in the Astros rotation. It's a "stuff" play. All of his pitches were plus, and, terrible 2019 aside, he's shown pitchability too.
He should be back around April or May this season. Which could be right around the start of the season.
Your preference?
These choices are obviously not exhaustive…..But, H2H points or Roto?
Brad Johnson
I'm fond of Roto
I do a custom league I call Roto-to-Head which has a Roto regular season and an H2H playoff system. I think that's the best way to play for a casual 12-team mixed league.
Not too hard to pull off on FanTrax. Other platforms don't offer it.
12 team AL only.  $10 too much for Adley?
Brad Johnson
I think that's right, but it's a gamble.
The range of outcomes are $0-$25 or so with a strong skew towards the low end.
Do you think there's buy low potential on AJ Puk as long as you understand he's most likely a reliever?
Brad Johnson
Interesting, I'm the middle of a Rule 5-like draft in a dynasty league. I have a co-manager who instructed me to take Puk in the first round based on some of Eno Sarris' metrics.
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