RotoWire Roundtable: 60-game Q&A Part 2

RotoWire Roundtable: 60-game Q&A Part 2

This article is part of our RotoWire Roundtable series.

The second installment of the RotoWire Roundtable composite rankings went live over the weekend.

There is so much uncertainty in the game right now and this brief Q&A only scratches the surface when it comes to addressing some of the questions. 

That being said, this does provide a look into the thinking of our four rankers. They will all be elaborating on their responses through articles, podcasts and radio shows in the weeks ahead, and in the meantime questions are more than welcome in the comments section. If you missed the first Roundtable Q&A, you can catch up on it here.

1. Who were the biggest risers for you from the first 60-game Roundtable?

Erik Halterman: Aaron Judge jumped way up with the news that he was swinging pain-free and considered himself game-ready, though he perhaps rose too far as he's already missed time again with a stiff neck. 

Todd Zola: As a group, Texas pitchers. Dodgers batters got a bit of a boost.

Clay Link: Justin Verlander made the jump back up to where he was pre-injury by proving his health with three dominant innings against his teammates last week. Aaron Judge, Seth Lugo and Dustin May were significant risers as well.

Jeff Erickson: Not only did I add Trent Grisham to the rankings, but the more I dug in on him, the more I like him for this year - I aggressively moved him up.

2. Any notable new additions to your individual 350?

Erik Halterman:

The second installment of the RotoWire Roundtable composite rankings went live over the weekend.

There is so much uncertainty in the game right now and this brief Q&A only scratches the surface when it comes to addressing some of the questions. 

That being said, this does provide a look into the thinking of our four rankers. They will all be elaborating on their responses through articles, podcasts and radio shows in the weeks ahead, and in the meantime questions are more than welcome in the comments section. If you missed the first Roundtable Q&A, you can catch up on it here.

1. Who were the biggest risers for you from the first 60-game Roundtable?

Erik Halterman: Aaron Judge jumped way up with the news that he was swinging pain-free and considered himself game-ready, though he perhaps rose too far as he's already missed time again with a stiff neck. 

Todd Zola: As a group, Texas pitchers. Dodgers batters got a bit of a boost.

Clay Link: Justin Verlander made the jump back up to where he was pre-injury by proving his health with three dominant innings against his teammates last week. Aaron Judge, Seth Lugo and Dustin May were significant risers as well.

Jeff Erickson: Not only did I add Trent Grisham to the rankings, but the more I dug in on him, the more I like him for this year - I aggressively moved him up.

2. Any notable new additions to your individual 350?

Erik Halterman: Ryan Helsley slipped into the back of the list late due to confusion surrounding the Cardinals' closer situation. I'm far from sold on him, but he'll continue to rise as long as Giovanny Gallegos remains unable to join the team.

Todd Zola: Some middle relievers jumped in such as Colin Poche, Andrew Kittredge and Will Harris. Ryan Helsley also made the cut.

Clay Link: I added the Cardinals' Ryan Helsley and the Giants' Tyler Rogers.

Jeff Erickson: I probably still don't have him high enough in the rankings, but Howie Kendrick now goes in the top 200 among our group despite my low ranking. I still think he sits on occasion to rest, but also his power will fall back after last year's peak.

3. Aside from the opt outs, who were your biggest fallers?

Erik Halterman: I wanted to be all in on Tyler Glasnow this year, as he was elite in everything but workload last season, but he fell a considerable amount with the news that he'd yet to report to camp.

Todd Zola: As a group, Texas batters and Diamondback batters as they were most negatively affected by the schedule. Individual players like Yoan Moncada and Starling Marte were docked a few games, though Marte is back in camp.

Clay Link: Yordan Alvarez, Yoan Moncada, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jesus Luzardo, Edwin Diaz

Jeff Erickson: I had to course-correct on Michael Chavis - I had him way too high, and he's now a part-time player. Yasiel Puig also dropped down finally for me.

4. We now know the schedule. How did the scheduling affect your rankings (if at all)?

Erik Halterman: I'm low on NL East pitchers due to the depth of that division as well as the universal DH, and I'm high on Indians and Twins pitchers. 

Todd Zola: I wrote about the schedule in my latest Z Files with the factors coded into my projection engine.

Clay Link: I am taking note of the things Todd has brought to light about the schedule, as well as the things Derek Carty (creator of THE BAT) has noted about it, in particular with regards to AL/NL West pitching.

Jeff Erickson: Central division players got a boost for me, especially Twins, Indians and Reds hitters. The lower level East division pitchers got downgraded significantly.

5. Find one player you're "on an island" on and explain why that is.

Erik Halterman: I'm apparently a huge Robbie Ray fan. I'm already high on flawed high-strikeout arms in a normal season, but I'm doubling down this year. We know guys like Ray will always get their strikeouts, and they'll only need two months of good BABIP luck to produce an excellent all-around line. 

Todd Zola: As a group, NL pitchers as I suspect I'm penalizing more due to universal DH. For one player, let's go with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Prorated to a season, my projection is around 25 HR, 80 runs, 80 RBI with a .280 average. I'm using the normal season long since it's easier to eyeball. Am I low? Maybe, but third is pretty deep and I don't feel the need to bet on the admitted upside. That said, I like the move across the diamond, assuming he picks up first base (I think he will).

Clay Link: I'm not buying in on Danny Santana. Yes, he went 20-20 last year, but he combined to hit below the Mendoza Line the two seasons prior to 2019 and the team seems iffy on him in center field. Perhaps he can sustain some of it, but late breakouts often fizzle just as quickly as they pop up. The plate skills are not good; he strikes out as much as teammate Rougned Odor and only walked only 4.9% of the time last year compared to Odor's 9.0%. Those issues make him volatile and open up crippling downside in a short season. I guess I'm on an island on Mike Trout, too. When a player speaks publicly about their uncertainty over playing, I take it seriously. It took some thinking and bravery on the player's part just to get to the point of acknowledging that uncertainty. If I have serious money on the line, I'm not taking Trout in the first two rounds right now.

Jeff Erickson: I'm low man on Yordan Alvarez - between the knee in the spring and COVID-19 now, I think he's going to miss a lot of time, and he's still got to account for the UT-only discount. I'm also lower on Kris Bryant - moving him to leadoff helps the Cubs but it doesn't help his roto stats. Ironically I'm the high man on Matt Olson even though I don't have him in any league so far - with three leagues remaining.

6. Any notable players who just missed the cut or who are getting close to earning a spot?

Erik Halterman: Depending on how the Cardinals' pitching staff shakes out, Kwang Hyun Kim could move onto the back of the list. His KBO numbers last year weren't far from those posted by Josh Lindblom, who's going in the 300-350 range, and he'll pitch in a much better home park.

Todd Zola: A couple of Giants, Mauricio Dubon and Brandon Belt, dropped due to the schedule, but I can see taking a flier at the end on both, so I'll review them and likely boost them next time. Dubon for cheap, late speed and Belt from the fences moved in a bit at Oracle.

Clay Link: I considered adding Monte Harrison to my 350 given the reports of him potentially getting the right-field job, as the tools are exciting, but I'm not quite there yet. Zack Britton will likely have a spot on the next update.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jeff Erickson
Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is the Features Editor for RotoWire. He also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Baseball on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.
Clay Link
Clay Link is the MLB Editor at RotoWire. Clay won the overall championship in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational and finished top 10 in the NFBC Online Championship in 2018. He can be heard on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, MLB Network Radio and twice a week on the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast during baseball season.
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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