Fantasy Baseball

2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Cactus League Update

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It’s starting to heat up here in the desert. It’s also starting to heat up on the diamond as Spring Training kicked off last Friday.

Go check out our 2020 Fantasy Baseball Super Sleepers to find the players no one is talking about.

This week I talk about three hitters and three pitchers who you should keep an eye on in the first week of Spring Training.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Cactus League

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Hitters

Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox

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Madrigal is considered the second-best, second base prospect in the game according to mlb.com.

Nick has an impressive stat line of only 21 strikeouts in 628 Minor League at-bats!

A solid Spring Training could see him replacing Leury Garcia at 2B in the White Sox starting lineup.

Even if his current stats are not as attractive as the cute blonde who lives next door, keep an eye on him as Spring Training progresses.

Fantasy Outlook:

The 2B position is not very deep and with no 2B being drafted until the third round in 12-team leagues, this gives you some time to think about if Madrigal is worth the risk.

He is never going to be the guy that hits home runs but he will get on base.

Madrigal is ranked as the 35th 2b, in our F6P Consensus Draft Rankings.

I anticipate he will be a popular addition off the waiver wire after the first month of the MLB regular season.

Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals

Hip, Hip Jorge!

This phrase has not been said since the days of Yankees great catcher Jorge Posada.

Royals fans and Fantasy owners will be cheering on Soler all year again if he can bring back that boomstick!

Soler has already hit two home runs in just 12 Spring at-bats.

Fantasy Outlook:

With Soler coming off a breakout year, I anticipate that owners will draft him higher than his current ADP at 89.

He will be hitting in the middle of a top-heavy Royals lineup and will get you HR’s and RBI’s.

Soler has been a name we have heard for many years now, but he is still just 28 years old.

Albert Almora Jr, OF, Chicago Cubs

Almora is having a great Spring so far with five hits, five runs scored and five RBI.

Almora could earn himself a few extra starts early in the season with a hot spring. The Cubs outfield is crowded and David Ross is the club’s new manager. It will be interesting to see how he handles Almora, Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Steven Souza (if he can ever stay healthy).

Fantasy Outlook:

Albert is going to be a player that I believe will have a breakout year in 2020.

Don’t reach for him in drafts as he won’t even be picked unless you play in deeper NL-Only leagues.

Watching him closely through Spring Training and seeing how much playing time Ross gives him towards the end will be big!

Pitchers

Chris Paddack, SP,  San Diego Padres

Paddack has been dominant in his first two starts of Spring Training. He has allowed just one hit in his two innings, with three strikeouts.

Keep an eye on Paddack and see how his Spring Training goes as we get late into March.

After having a rough second half of the season he will need a strong Spring Training to solidify his “Ace” status.

Fantasy Outlook:

Paddock has an NFBC ADP of 52, but this should not deter you from drafting him in your first four rounds of your Fantasy draft (especially if it is a keeper league).

As you see in the video above his stuff is nasty.

With no expected innings limits in 2020, you can expect a big year from the Padres Ace.

Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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It is always interesting to see how closers do in Spring Training. I think right now is a good indicator of how much confidence they will have going into the regular season.

Through two innings pitched, Jansen has five strikeouts. Early reports from Spring Training also say his velocity is up.

Fantasy Outlook:

What else is there to say about Jansen?

As one of the top closers in the game, and there only barely 30 closers in the MLB, it is important to draft a reliable closer early.

Jansen is one of the few closers around the league with job security.

Jorge Lopez, SP/RP, Kansas City Royals

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The biggest surprise for me so far in the first week is Jorge Lopez. He has been a middle reliever guy but has been absolutely dominant so far.

Lopez has had an average ERA of 5.89 throughout his career but has yet to allow an earned run through 4.2 IP with six strikeouts.

He has a good chance to hold onto his spot in the Royals starting rotation with a strong Spring.

Fantasy Outlook:

Let us take a step back and be honest with ourselves, Jorge Lopez was not on your radar until I said his name in this article. He is not going to be drafted in any of your leagues so don’t you worry. I want to be very clear when I say this, I am not telling you to go draft him. I am telling you he is worth tracking to pick up after the draft.

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He is only owned 3% in Yahoo leagues and 0% in ESPN leagues.


As Spring Training progresses we will be tracking more players who you should keep an eye on and who you shouldn’t touch with a 10ft pole. Comment down below on who you think fantasy owners should have an eye on in the coming weeks!

About Josh Mantel

Love to mix Fantasy Sports and Pop Culture together in a unique blend that will keep everyone who reads satisfied. Follow me on Twitter @MantelJosh

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2 Comments

  1. Ethan Widdes

    February 28, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    another solid article. I wouldn’t want to play in a league with you. Starting to scare me 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Cactus League Update - Fantasy Six Pack

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