Spring Training! Every year, lovers of America's Pastime, and America's Fantasy Pastime, wait through a long, cold winter season, anticipating those glorious words: "pitchers and catchers report!" As the hitters trickle in, we make our early predictions about who will break camp and who will break out. We tune in anytime we can get the Grapefruit or Cactus League on the afternoon TV. We scour Twitter for video, and we obsessively watch lineups change. Is Kiké Hernández batting leadoff again? Seems like there is some value there. Suarez has been playing at short? Didn't see that one coming. OOOOH! Could Jonathan India be the new steal of the draft? Woah. Corey Seager is on FIRE. NL MVP candidate? Hold up, does Lance McCullers, Jr. have a new pitch? It sure looks like he does, and that pitch is NASTY. Maybe I'll jump into an NFBC draft tonight and stash him late. Man, I love Fantasy Baseball! I love Spring Training! I am going to dominate everyone with these values no one else will see coming. I am going to draft early and often because I AM A FANTASY BASEBALL GENIUS.
Fernando Tatis, Jr. leaves early with a shoulder injury. George Springer suddenly has a Grade-2 oblique strain. Sleeper "Ace" Zac Gallen is now receiving a second opinion on his forearm soreness which is now labeled a hairline fracture. Framber Valdez has a potentially season-ending injury to his NON-THROWING hand. And, in an already dwindling pool of definitive closers, Kirby Yates looks like he's out for the year needing Tommy John Surgery.
Spring Training, you are a terrible lover.
All those early values? Gone-zo. And this is why it's ALWAYS best to hold your drafts as close as possible to Opening Day.
Yes, I have heard the market inefficiency arguments. No, I don't care. Sure, McCullers has been moving up draft boards, but I would rather pay an extra round premium for him on March 30th than have to figure out what to do about the fifth-round pick I already spent for Carlos Carrasco on March 1st. On March 30th, I can still get Carrasco, but in the 13th at a seven-round discount, which more than offsets the McCullers one-round premium. And let's not even begin to think about the picks we have already spent on Kirby Yates . And should Tatis miss any significant part of the season.... well, I won't even go there.
Do yourself a favor and wait for all the information you can get before drafting your Fantasy Baseball team. We had enough curveballs in 2020 to last us a lifetime.
And now, get back to scouting Spring Training! Robbie Ray has been phenomenal, by the way! He's pitched 13.2 innings to a 1.98 ERA with 18 strikeouts and only five walks. Talk about late value with a ton of upside.... oh wait. Robbie just fell down the stairs and bruised his elbow…
(End of rant)