March Madness is always full of surprises, like Farleigh Dickinson knocking off Purdue to become the second-seeded No. 16 seed.
Or over No. 2 Princeton Arizona, the third-straight No. 15 seed has won a first-round game.
It’s really crazy!
But, March Madness doesn’t just come down to college basketball. There is plenty of craziness in fantasy baseball drafts.
The madness starts with Michael Harris – the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year who hit .297/.339/.514 with 64 RBI, 75 runs, 20 stolen bases and 19 homers in 114 games for the Braves after.
With a stat line like that, there has to be excitement, right?
Well, maybe a little too much excitement.
Harris may not live up to the hype he got his rookie year.AP Photo/Nick Wass, File
According to Fantasy Alarm, Harris’ average draft position is 37.87, but there are sites that have his ADP at 24.8 (Underdog Fantasy) or 26.1 (RealTime Fantasy). He has 33.3 years at Yahoo.
That means, in some cases, Harris is being taken as a top-10 outfielder or top-25 overall pick.
That’s a big price for a player with just 114 caps. There’s no debating the tools he brings to the table (and he really does bring a whole tool bag), but there are concerns that Roto Rage thinks Harris will be very good, but ultimately doesn’t live up to that big of a draft status.
Among players with at least 400 plate appearances, Harris’ 41.7 percent strikeout rate (swinging at pitches outside the strike zone) was 12th worst in the majors. That contributed to a 4.8 percent walk rate, which was 18th worst in the league, and a 24.3 percent walk rate (23rd worst in the NL).
Harris hit .297, but his too-high .361 BABIP indicates luck was on his side, and it’s hard to believe that number is sustainable, especially when his expected batting average (.268) was nearly 30 points lower than his own. true average and his insane 56.2 ground ball rate was the fourth highest in the majors.
Oh, his expected slugging percentage (.460) was more than 50 points lower than his actual .514 slugging percentage. Those numbers scream one thing: regression.
How about Harris’ struggles against left field?
In 135 plate appearances against lefties last season, he hit .238 with 13 runs, 41 strikeouts (30.4 percent strikeout rate), a .649 OPS and seven walks.
Hernandez signed with the Mariners, which could lead to a decrease in his strikeouts.Steph Chambers/Getty Images
He also had a .337 BABIP against southpaws. That is problematic.
The problem with Harris isn’t his upside or talent, it’s his current price. It’s too high. To capitalize on being picked as a top 25 player, he needs to duplicate his 2022 success (and then some), which is no easy feat.
There are too many red flags to pay the price for an inexperienced player with regressive numbers.
Roto Rage would prefer to turn to more proven outfielders – such as Kyle Schwarber (39.69), Randy Arozarena (47.84) and Cedric Mullins (51.64)
Other outfielders to watch out for are:
Respected hitter Teoscar Hernandez (76.31) has moved from Toronto to Seattle pitcher.
That’s not something fantasy managers should consider good luck.
Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds (77.31) is a very good player in a bad situation. He doesn’t have enough support in the Pirates’ lineup to put up the numbers he’s capable of for fantasy owners.
Acuña Jr. ranks among the top outfielders in fantasy baseball.AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
It’ll be good, but it’s likely to be really great…unless you end up trading it.
The Mets’ Starling Marte (92.29) is a 34-year-old oft-injured sprinter who had offseason surgery and has missed 30 or more games in all but one season since 2016. You do the math.
Washington’s Joey Meneses (182.71) has the vibe of Frank Schwindel (with the Cubs in 2021) — a career minor leaguer who got a chance to play on a team going nowhere and became a late-season fantasy hero.
He has a strong swing, but the small sample size plus his .371 BABIP raise questions.
Cleveland’s Oscar Gonzalez (188.23) hit .296 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs, 39 runs and a .789 OPS in 91 games.
It was a solid debut, but his 3.4 percent walk rate was in the bottom 1 percent of the league (as was his 48.3 percent strikeout rate) and his .345 BABIP is a good sign of regression to come.
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