We are two weeks into Spring Training and the starters on most teams are starting to get reasonable playing time. Jump on board and buckle your seat belts we are about to dive into the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Cactus League Update.
If you read it yet, go back and read my 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Cactus League Update.
This week I not only am I going to talk about hitters and pitchers who have been playing well over these first two weeks. I am also going to talk about some players who are off to poor starts that you should keep an eye on.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Cactus League Update
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Hitters that are Up
Wil Myers, OF, San Diego Padres
The "I don't need no batting gloves" assassin who was being talked about as the potential headliner in the trade for Mookie Betts over the offseason has been off to a blistering start to the Spring. His .426 Batting Average ranks towards one of the top in the Cactus League.
Myers has also jacked three home runs, eight hits, and five runs in 19AB's so far. See Exhibit A below on how hot of a Spring Training he is having.
It might be Spring Training, but Wil Myers' bat flip game is ready for Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/CFkn6UpVvr
— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 1, 2020
Bro, if you are doing bat flips in Spring Training you are feeling as good as Ron Burgundy doing the evening news.
Keep an eye on him as Spring Training progresses and see if manager Jayce Tingler makes a decision soon. This will affect if you should draft him in your league.
Myers is ranked as the 84th OF, in our F6P Consensus Draft Rankings.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
Mr. Smiles is not going to have that much to smile about this season. It is looking to be a long season for the Cleveland Indians.
With the loss of Cory Kluber to the Texas Rangers and Mike Clevinger out mid-April, the Indians might get off to a slow start.
Lindor had a great game on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. He rocked Madison Bumgarner(who had a rough day, more on that later) for a three-run home-run as I was grabbing a Coors Light in left field. I was so close to grabbing it!
Lindor is off to a great Spring with one of the best batting averages in the Cactus League at .429. He will bat leadoff so expect him to get on base and use his plus speed to get all the way home!
Shout out to my guys here at F6P, Joe Bond, Tyler Thompson, and Keith Lott for all ranking Lindor numero uno in our 2020 Fantasy Baseball SS rankings.
Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
A big surprise this Spring Training has been Arcia. He has hit 3 home runs in 18 AB's. While in the 2018 regular season he also hit three home runs in 348 AB's. If he were to keep this pace up in the regulars season he would hit 58 home runs (which I doubt he will ever do being that his career-high is 15).
If you read Top 10 Fantasy Mistakes you will know to not draft players who hit at the bottom of the lineup. This is exactly where Arcia will hit. So no need to draft unless you want a backup SS in fantasy.
There are plenty of other SS that hit higher in the lineup and will produce more than Arcia will.
His Spring Training numbers are a mirage of the type of fantasy player he will be...Not a good one.
Hitters that are Down
Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox
Embed from Getty Images
I tried really hard to keep Nick off this list but when you strikeout and you are known for not striking out you are gonna make this list.
Due to his lack of power and his competition with Leury Garcia (who is playing slightly better with a .286 BA) compared to Madrigal's poor.190 Batting average I would hold off on drafting Madrigal and see how he plays for the first few months of the season before you waste a transaction on him.
Madrigal I believe will eventually come around but there is no guarantee that he will play every day.
Jake Lamb, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Lamb is in a competition right now with Christian Walker for the starting 1B job. Let me tell you, he is not off to a great start.
Lamb's numbers are at this point are bad. He has two hits in 16 AB's and has a .125 batting average and that's it. No RBI's, no home runs, and no stolen bases (not that he would get many anyways).
Fantasy Pros has his ADP of 482.3 which should put him nowhere near your board of players to draft even if you are in an NL only league. At this point, his best-case scenario is that he splits time with Christian Walker at 1B and has a few spot starts at 3B when Eduardo Escobar needs a day off.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Pollack stats so far this Spring Training are just like Buzz's girlfriend in Home Alone... "Woof".
His .182 batting average this Spring leave much to be desired for a guy who is making $12 Million this year to sit on the bench. Ouch!
With Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger locked in it leaves one outfield spot open for either Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Tyler White, or Pollock. Pollock is not making a case to provide any thump to an already potent Dodgers lineup. Besides, he is on the wrong side of 30 so it is all downhill from here. I would draft Betts, Bellinger (I know these two are obvious), Taylor, and Pederson before I draft Pollock.
Pitchers that are Up
Dylan Bundy, SP, Los Angeles Angels
The once highly touted prospect in Bundy is finally off the crappy Orioles and ready to make an impression on his new team. Bundy has gone three innings so far with 11 K's. He is also sporting a lovely ERA of 0.00 during those three innings pitched.
Dylan Bundy has struck out 7 and walked 1 across 4 hitless innings this spring because, you know, obviously. Excited to see how he does today. pic.twitter.com/rHF8tyE2TP
— Orioles Fan Problems (@OriolesFanProbz) March 4, 2020
Bundy I believe will pitch significantly better this year with a better offense behind him and in warmer weather. With his impressive repertoire of three different fastballs(2-seam, 4-seam, and cut) along with two off-speed pitches as long as he stays in control he should be good!
With his ADP being 266 according to Fantasy Pros, he should be around for you to pick up in the later rounds as a potential sleeper that will eat up innings and give you solid fantasy stats in return.
Kirby Yates, RP, San Diego Padres
I always like to talk about at least one closer in these weekly recaps because they hold such importance on most fantasy teams (this is something I fundamentally disagree with but that is for a different article at a later date). With Yates securely as the closer for the Padres, it's nice to see him have a stat line of three strikeouts in his lone inning pitched. He also did not give up a hit in that inning and looks rock-solid on the mound.
Padres All-Star closer Kirby Yates picking up right where he left off last season. Strikes out the side in his one inning of work. Fastball continuing to play with life, SPL is nasty, even worked in a curveball too ? pic.twitter.com/bWfYTMJk5W
— Friar Faithful Chronicle (@TheFFChronicle) March 4, 2020
Yates is currently owned in 90% of Yahoo leagues and 93% of ESPN leagues. He has minimal chance of losing the closer spot and also has a solid lineup behind him to give him plenty of chances to come in and shut the door. Look to draft Yates early in your fantasy league rounds because he won't be around for long.
Pitchers that are Down
Madison Bumgarner, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
I have lived in Arizona for six years and every Spring Training I go and watch Mad-Bum pitch. I don't think I have ever seen a Spring Training where Mad-Bum pitched well. This year is no different with an ERA of 9.52 in his 4.2IP.
This and guys like Jake Lamb (see above) are the reasons why the Diamondbacks are towards the bottom of the Cactus League. In the video below you see Lindor blow up Bumgarner for a 3-run home run.
If the fucking Brewers can pay Christian Yelich, the Indians can pay Francisco Lindor. They won’t. And that’s a travesty. But they should. pic.twitter.com/ZqAAYWghOm
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) March 4, 2020
However, unlike Jake Lamb who you shouldn't draft, you should definitely look at locking down Bumgarner early. His status as one of the best pitchers in the game is still true and I don't foresee his numbers taking a massive decline in 2020.
Rowan Wick, RP, Chicago Cubs
One of the top guys over the 2019 season in the Cubs bullpen was Rowan Wick posting a solid 2.43 ERA. This year Wick's candle he has not been so hot ( see what I did there?). Wick's ERA through 2.2 innings of Spring Training has been an obese 16.88. This is really bad and it doesn't look like it will be getting any better anytime soon.
His fantasy value, if he had any before this season (maybe in deeper NL-only format leagues) has diminished. If you are in a league where Holds or SV+H as a category he might be someone to keep an eye on just in case he has a turnaround.
In my opinion, I would focus your time and energy on other players on other teams who have a higher chance of moving into the closer's sport or having more opportunities to rack up holds.
Sean Manaea, SP, Oakland Athletics
3/6 Update - Manaea struck out six batters in three innings on Friday. However, he did allow another four earned runs, including a home run.
After only pitching 29 innings in 2019 Manaea is off to a rough Spring Training. Over 7.2 innings he has an ERA of 14.09. Opponents are batting .378 tallying 14 hits - three home runs.
Manaea is definitely going to be a staple at the upstart A's rotation so I would not worry too much. If you are smart like me, I would talk shit about Manaea to all of your buddies in the league so they look into his numbers and minimum innings from 2019. This way you can draft him in the later rounds of a standard league and AL format leagues.
His current ADP stands at 165 on Fantasy Pros which puts him in the 13th/14th round of a 12 team format league. If you use my strategy from above you can most likely get him towards a 16th/17th round pick.
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!