This week’s question is straightforward:
Vlad Guerrero Jr.: Over/under .300? Over/under 20 HR?
Here are the responses:
Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): I assume the prompt is setting an over/under on the number of home runs Guerrero hits off the Athletics in his first major league series. I’m usually the neighborhood naysayer when it comes to prospect hype, but I have to imagine 19 or fewer home runs is something like a 20th percentile outcome (basically all major injury scenarios). As for the batting average, sure, it’s reasonable to doubt an unestablished player’s ability to hit .300 – especially in this day and age of supercharged relievers. Still, I’ll happily bet the over. Projection systems estimate around a .307 average. I’ll call out a .315. A better question: Vladito OPS o/u 1.000?
Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): He’ll hit well over .400 and hit at least 74 home runs while finding a cure for cancer, fixing the US immigration system, and bringing peace to the Middle East between innings. We are not worthy to set eyes on him.
Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): I’m placing Vlad at .290 as .300 for a rookie will be tough as pitchers adjust. 20 plus HRs should be easy. I’ll predict 27
Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Over and over. It is easy for a prospect guy to get geeked up for an MLB intruduction, but the consistency Vlad Jr. has demonstrated suggests to me it can and will continue in the majors.
Perry Van Hook (Mastersball): I will take the over on Vladito’s batting average – that is his best tool. But for the first year, I will take the under on 20 home runs. He is more of a line drive hitter and will have some adjustments to make against major league pitchers.
Rick Wolf (Fantasy Alarm, @RickWolf1): Here it comes. Everyone saying that Vlad is the second coming. He is talent-wise, but players who get hurt tend to get hurt again. No one roots for injury. Just saying that someone who gains weight even as muscle and then pulls one of those muscles, will tend to get hurt again. That said, if healthy, he will eclipse 20 home runs easily. A .300 batting average will be difficult as the video, scouting and guile of major league pitchers could make it tough over a whole season. I don’t own him on any teams as the starting price was too high for someone who got hurt and has not played in the majors.
Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): Though I’m convinced that long-term Vlad’s hit + power output is what is going to eventually catapult him into the Top-player-in-the-game conversation, I’d still take the Under on a .300 BA in his rookie year. I’d still consider him a BA asset in 2019 — he’s just hits the ball so hard — but feel that .280-.290 will be where he ends up 2019. Home runs, though? He should easily eclipse 20 over the next five months.
Michael Rathburn (Rotowire, @FantasyRath): I will take the over on both. I’m willing to bet on the skills he has displayed in the minors.
Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru Elite, @BaseballGuys): Expecting a rookie, no matter how immensely talented, to go .300/20 is asking an awful lot. I guess I’ll be Debbie Downer, but this game is filled with players who struggled at the start of their careers – even the great Mike Trout had a .672 OPS his first season – so there is no guarantee anyone will star in their first season, even if they become a tremendous hitter in the long run. I’ll take the under on the average and the over on the homers.
Doug Anderson (Fantrax, @rotodaddy): I’ll go over on both. Have you looked at pitching this year? In the American League? I’ll bet the over on Vlad Sr. and Vlad Jr. Jr. as well.
Andrea LaMont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): I go over on HR – Under on AVG My Projections for 2019 = 27 HR with .277 AVG
Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I’m more confident with over on average, and that’s without the ” he could get hurt and be over” angle. My numbers say 22 HR, so I guess I’ll take the over, but not warm and fuzzy about it.
Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): I am going with the under on both. Baseball is a constant game of adjustments, and a tougher one for rookies. I say he hits .275 with 25 homera
Jon Hegglund (Baseball Prospectus, @JonHegglund): I’ll be boring and say over on both. I think Vlad can choose his own adventure and hit .320 with 20ish homers or sell out a bit and hit .290 with 30ish homers. Have you all seen what the ball is doing this year?
Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Over .300, but under 20 homers. He’s been a consistent way over .300 hitter in the minors, but power wasn’t impressive and he’s already missed 15% 0f the season.
Glenn COlton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): under and under. Love the talent BUT injury risk is real. If he is hurting at all, they are going to be SUPER careful. Could easily see him getting only 300-350 PA. Overvalued in re-draft leagues
Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): over on the home runs, thanks to the rabbit ball they’re using again this year. under on the batting average, just because it’s difficult for almost anyone to hit .300 in today’s game.
Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): Under on the average – I think somewhere between .280 and .290. Over on the homers with 25 sounding about right.
Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): .295 20 HR’s exactly.
AJ Mass (ESPN, @AJMass): Crunch all the numbers you want, I’m going to go over on both. He already looks more comfortable at the plate than some multi-year veterans. The stats will come.
Ian Kahn (Rotowire, @IanKahn4): I will go over on the average and under on the 20 homers. I anticipate that he will struggle with an injury. .311 Average and 16 Home Runs. Every at bat will be exciting, just limited I’m afraid by injury.
Scott Wilderman (OnRoto, @): lowered his K-rate at each level — hard to see him not pushing .300. More extra base hits at higher levels at age 19 than at age 18 — should be plenty of power at age 20. Clay Davenport practically invented translating minor league stats to their equivalent MLB level, and he’s got V Jr at .298 and 25. The power I think on the upper end, but the average on the lower end of his range.
D.J. Short (Rotoworld, @djshort): I’ll go under on the batting average, though he’s still be plenty useful in the category. It’s just a lot to ask, even with his ridiculous numbers and polished approach. This might be the last time for a while I’ll take the under there. With the way the ball is flying out of the park this year, over on 20 homers feels like a fair expectation. Let’s go!
Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): Common sense tells me to take the under on the .300 BA for a rookie, but I don’t really care. Vlad is different. Give me the over on both.
Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): C’mon, my pre-season projection was right at 20 homers, hitting .295! I’ll take the under, but just barely for both, simply because he’s only 20 years old, so that would be one heck of a performance in about 5/6ths of a season.
Alan Harrison (The Fantasy Fix, @TheFantasyFix): A healthy Vladito goes .305 with 22 moon shots.
Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): I’m going over on both, and I feel strongly that if he falls short of either mark, he will do so just barely (assuming health). Guerrero Jr. has a lightening quick bat, and it’s controlled violence. Given what he did against Double-A pitching at 19 years old, I believe he will be able to make a pretty seamless transition to the majors and be one of the top 20 or so most productive hitters from here on. This is an incredibly rare talent.