The Guys We’re Sweet On

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After a few years in a league, you know who the dangerous owners are. They’re the guys who are hip to the names you thought could be kept secret. They’re the guys taking your player when you thought you could wait two more rounds. After a few drafts this year already, we have a pretty good idea who has made our hot list for 2016 and who should be on yours. Here are some of those secret recipe ingredients for who should be on your sweetest list this first week in March 2016.

Kris Bryant – Alright, he headlined the post. So yeah, we’re on the long list of folks who think Bryant is a monster as soon as NOW. He might not hit 40 home runs, yet. But is that something you want to bet against? Pencil him in for .265, 34ish home runs, and a handful of steals in the double digits. He’ll make you realize how small Wrigley plays this summer. He’s going just outside the top 10 of the Yahoo drafts we’ve been in.

Randall Grichuk – People mention his power in the same breath as Giancarlo Stanton. His .272 ISO last season suggests that might not be so insane. St. Louis isn’t a hitters paradise, but being a Cardinal always seems to pan out new stars. He’s had the seasoning at the MLB level to take the next step. And the damn Cardinals always have guys like this work out. He could definitely be at least another Jayson Werth.

David Peralta – The sharp owners were already catching onto him last year when he just began to hit his .312 with the 17 bombs and 78 RBI. He can run enough to suggest he can run a little more. He’s going to hit around Goldschmidt in the best run scoring environment in baseball. He’s money, and word is out.

Trea Turner – Yes, we love Correa, Bogaerts, Seager, and the guys everyone is on. But don’t take Tulo if you miss out on one of those horses; wait a little while and file away solid big leaguer to be Trea Turner. He’ll be unheralded his entire career, but he will carve out a solid and successful one starting now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he sneaks into a few All Star games and was right under our nose the entire time while we were fawning over those other guys who are already decided to be awesome? We think Turner will be a good one too.

Anthony Rendon – He’s going to have a monster, rebound year. The Rendon you saw last year was playing at half strength. He never really got it all together. But he’s worth a second chance as your second baseman where he’ll be eligible in most formats. The real Rendon was the one you saw in 2011, that monster. The patient owner; the successful owner waits on that Rendon to come back and knows it will. Have faith in Low Rider. His entire career, one song will play in our head when we see him. It doesn’t increase his fantasy value but it certainly doesn’t hurt it.

Yasiel Puig – He’s basically a .300 hitter, and now that Don Mattingly is gone in favor of Dave Roberts, Puig will flourish. Yes, 2016 could be the year of Puig. He’s in great shape, and the season is short enough it will take all year for him to ruin that. He’s over the hamstring troubles. He’s got a lot to prove, and the Wild Horse is bold enough to give you .300/20/90/and steals to boot. Career year coming.

Hunter Strickland – The annoying Giants are going to be good again. Just prepare yourselves for this boring bunch to win a bunch of tight ballgames. You think Bruce Bochy has the nerves to get through a season on the brink with Santiago Casilla closing out games? We think by mid-May, Strickland assumes the role. And if you’ve seen him pitch, he’s going to be a success. John Wetteland/Todd Worrell type for you throwbacks.

Jeremy Jeffress – Don’t do anything nuts chasing the Milwaukee Brewers saves, but he has far and away the best closer stuff in that pen. Has the pedigree and seasoning to record a few solid seasons as the Brewers top man in the pen.

Kolten Wong – A year too early on him last year, but it’s coming. The Cardinals don’t sign losers to multi-year deals, ever. He’s a 20/20 threat now and in the future. He’s going to work out. If he’s successful, he’ll hit lead off in St. Louis and be the lynchpin of an annoying and good little productive offense. Proved in 2014 he can hit lefties. He’ll put it all together this season.

Ketel Marte – After the big boys go, you’re choosing between this guy and the aforementioned Turner. He offers steals, average, and runs. And the Mariners are gonna have a nice year.

Jonathan Schoop – He’s not sexy, and we don’t own him anywhere yet; but he’s a good candidate to have a breakout year at a thin position, and he’s in one of those bandbox parks.

Ken Giles – We love everything about the Astros this year. Any bozo could give you Springer, Correa, or Altuve. Yes, we are sweet on them. But how about Giles? Think Brad Lidge at his most dominant level, and soon that will be Ken Giles. He’s a top five option this season as a closer who offers phenomenal strike out numbers and could lead baseball in saves.

Raisel Iglesias – The biggest question is if he manages to stay healthy, because once pitchers his size with high torque and a small body start to accumulate innings, it’s not long before Dr. James Andrews gets a call. Until that happens, he’s a threat to take the ball and strike out 10+ on any given summer night. Sweeter on him than the Reds ‘Ace’ Desclafani.

Eduardo Rodriguez – Some sharp owners pounced on him last year for the vampire to get blown up in day games (he was excellent at night). As long as his knee is sound, he has electric stuff. Someone has to take that jump and become one of the ‘next ones’ who jump up and win 15. Eduardo is a good choice.

Noah Syndergaard – Our favorite of all the sparkling Mets arms, and the one we think will have the best stuff in 2016. Thor is downright scary, the 9.96 K/9 from last season reaches double digits in his age 23 season.

Francisco Lindor – Lindor is good enough that we violate our own rule for the first time since Manny Ramirez: never trust ANYTHING that has ANYTHING to do with Cleveland. Lindor is worth the risk, although the little shit might come back to bite you and we know that. He probably hit more in 2015 than he’s truly going to over the course of his career. He won’t hit for that kind of average this season, but he’s intriguing. And we are definitely sweet on him and wanting to see more. He’s the best thing going in the Mistake by the Lake at the moment.

Joe Ross – Saw about a dozen of his 13 starts last season for the Nationals from start to finish. When Tyson’s younger brother was pitching, we definitely took it all in. He’s low-risk and knows how to pitch. He has good stuff. We noticed him before it was the cool thing to do. Dusty Baker is going to like his swagger as he becomes a rotation fixture for the Nats in 2016.

Miguel Sano – The eyeball test went off the charts when we saw this huge kid in the box last season. He looked imposing, mature, patient, and like a veteran in his rookie season. His approach should only get better and the power will continue to develop. Not the ideal park, but he doesn’t figure to hit many cheapies. The Twin Cities will be all his soon enough.

Carlos Correa – Alright, so this article could have done without a Correa mention. But at the same time, it really couldn’t. We’re so high on him we would have dealt Mike Trout or Bryce Harper straight up for him right now. You think it’s crazy? Wait and see how the next few years play out.

Paul Goldschmidt – Ladies and gentleman, we present to you Fantasy baseball 2016’s #1 player.

Nolan Arenado – It’s a damn shame the Rockies won’t ever put a winner around this guy. Of all the huge bats they’ve had roll through Colorado over the past few generations, this could be our favorite. Worthy of being the fifth guy off the board.

Garrett Richards – Hard stuff, and Mike Scioscia is going to ride him like a government mule in 2016. It’s almost like he’s completely forgotten about after being the hot name this time last year. The best defensive shortstop in baseball will play behind him and that guy in center saves some runs too. People seem to like Gerrit Cole so much more – but is there really reason to?

Mookie Betts – This seems like a good one to end the night on. How does 20/20 with 100 runs and a sub .300 average sound? Marcus Betts is going to be a lot of fun the next few seasons, as he’s just 23. The biggest problem is he’s real popular right now and coming off the board around 15 to 18 overall in drafts. Great second round pick who won’t do what Brett Lawrie did to us all seasons ago.

Guys we are sweet on to be continued throughout the month of March!

Clint Evans - Lead MLB Writer - @LegionReportMLB - Evans.LegionReport@Gmail.com - DiamondHoggers@Gmail.com - www.DiamondHoggers.com

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