The Force is Strong with Obi Juan Soto
Seriously, folks… if you’re not seeing what Soto can bring you in a trade, you’re not playing Fantasy Baseball right. Check out this tweet.
@allinkid Hey Jake would you trade Soto and Mazara for Stanton? 12 team H2H catagory.
— Brett Walton (@Boogeymanbrett) May 23, 2018
My immediate reply? A simple, “Yes!” I was quite high on Nomar Mazara to start the season, and Soto has dropped jaws upon his arrival to the majors. However, this owner is getting Giancarlo Stanton at a discount for Mazara, who finished nearly 40 outfielder spots behind Stanton last year, despite going .253/64/20/101. Mazara is on Stanton’s heels as of today, but one hot streak later and Stanton will leave Mazara in the dust. The fact is, I also followed up and told the owner he could probably squeeze more out of the Stanton owner. The Soto hype is off the charts, as people are viewing him as this year’s Cody Bellinger.
Let’s talk a short trip back in time to just a few weeks ago. Ronald Acuna Jr. was all the rage along with bell-bottom pants and disco. Jokes aside, Acuna has done nothing since May 3. Acuna is hitting .197 with 11/2/7/1 over those 17 games. Whoop dee doo, Basil!
The hype has cooled, and your opportunity to trade Acuna for a haul is past. It could return, and Acuna is extremely talented, but he’s also exceptionally young and going to go through growing pains. On top of that, Acuna had more and a better minor league track record. And even more, the Nationals are not patient with their youngsters, as seen with Trea Turner and Victor Robles recently. Soto could be Bellinger in value, but if you trade him for anything close to that value, you’re eliminating all of the risk.
Don’t Forget about the Other Youngsters
Tyler O’Neill has been great since his return to the majors. The Cardinals didn’t give O’Neill much of an opportunity the first go-round with just one start. Unfortunately, O’Neill went 0-for-9 in that stretch, not helping matters. Since his return on May 18, O’Neill has a hit in every game, had a homer in three straight with a .450 AVG, six Runs, those three home runs and six RBI. I’d grab O’Neill before Soto, as I trust his opportunity more.
The shine has worn off Austin Meadows since he was one of the top prospects in the game. Meadows was supposed to force Andrew McCutchen out years ago, but even with Cutch in San Francisco this year, the Pirates still waited for a Starling Marte injury. Meadows hasn’t shown enough to get excited about with the power never developing and the speed for 20-25 steals being his saving grace. With Marte already running, Meadows is no more than a deep league temporary option.
While it was impressive to see Willy Adames hit a home run off Chris Sale, the Rays already said Adames is only up temporarily while Joey Wendle is on paternity leave. If you have the room, stash Adames and hold, as middle infield has been a wasteland, and Adames could force his way back up in short order.
By the way… I traded Giancarlo Stanton, Ken Giles and Matt Harvey for Dee Gordon, Odubel Herrera and Rick Porcello in LABR, as I didn’t have a second baseman (15-team, deep league). Well, you know what happened the next day, don’t you? I told you all last week… #ICCU, it’s for real. I know have 11 DL players including Gordon, Daniel Murphy (we drafted the first week of February when the end of April was the worst-case scenario), DJ LeMahieu, Joe Panik, J.P. Crawford and Adeiny Hechavarria. It’s unreal!
Just as big poppa used to do, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is crushing it.
Guerrero has increased his average at each level while maintaining his power and even increasing that pop by 60 percent this year. The Blue Jays can’t keep him down much longer, as once they decide to become sellers, they’ll still need to sell tickets are start their move to the future. Stash.this.man!
Not far behind Guerrero for stashing purposes is Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox. Jimenez played just 18 games in Double-A last year but hit .353 with 11/3/7/1. In 31 games this year, he hasn’t skipped a beat with a .328 AVG and 21/8/29 in 31 games. Jimenez will likely reach Triple-A before the All-Star Break and not spend much time there before arriving in the majors if he keeps hitting along the way.
Saving the best for last, if you haven’t stashed Alex Reyes, someone else likely has. Even if you don’t own him, I’d try to nab him in a trade if someone thinks he’s selling off the risk of Reyes not excelling at the Major League level. Reyes is an elite-level prospect with amazing strikeout potential. The only concern with Reyes, besides his return from Tommy John surgery, is the walks. Reyes carries a double-digit K/9 with ease, but his walk rate has checked in the 4-plus range for most of his career. Nevertheless, Reyes has 31 Ks in 16.0 IP on his return to the majors and has already reached Double-A. The Cardinals alleviated the worry of Reyes working the bullpen by announcing he’ll be part of the rotation, so get excited.
Main Image Credit: AP Foto/Nick Wass