Spring Training Dynasty Notes: March 4 & 5
Chris Clegg breaks down all the weekend action that you need to know for dynasty leagues.
Thank you for all the great feedback on the dynasty Spring Training reports. I have enjoyed providing content that hopefully you provide helpful each day. If you missed any of the reports, go back and check them out. What was discussed a week ago, is likely still applicable today!
There was a lot to discuss from the weekend! Let’s dive in.
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Jordan Walker, 3B, STL
Jordan Walker had another massive game and has just been obliterating Spring Training so far. On Saturday, he went 4-4 with two massive home runs. Walker went 0-3 on Sunday with a strikeout on Kodai Senga’s nasty forkball, but he still has a .429 batting average and a 1.429 OPS this spring.
Cardinals’ manager Ollie Marmol says the outfield is wide open, and everyone has to earn their spot. If Walker keeps swinging the bat as he has, he will be on the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster.
Of tracked batted balls, Jordan Walker has a 94.2 mph average exit velocity and has topped out at 111.7 mph. We saw him post a 90th percentile exit velocity above 111 in the Arizona Fall League last year. Walker has massive power and is an incredible athlete. Whether Walker is in the starting lineup on Opening Day or not, he’s going to be a stud for fantasy purposes for a long time.
Kodai Senga, RHP, NYM
Kodai Senga made his much anticipated stateside debut on Sunday against the Cardinals. It was a mixed bag of results and Senga struggled a bit with fastball command. His fastball was all over the place but it did show good velocity averaging 97 mph and inducing a 30 percent CSW rate.
Senga’s secondaries looked good for the most part. He threw his slider 24 percent of the time, but got just one whiff on five swings. He threw the ghost fork twice, including getting a strikeout against Jordan Walker, who no one has gotten out this offseason.
I do think Senga was dealing with some nerves. It was his first start stateside and the amount of hype that has surrounded his name is immense. That’s a lot of pressure to deal with. I have never been on board with Senga as an ace, but he should be a solid mid-rotation starter.
Cade Cavalli, RHP, WSH
Cade Cavalli made his spring debut on Saturday, pitching two innings with five strikeouts. The only blemish was a home run he gave up to Walker, which any pitcher is struggling with right now. The more impressive thing was that the home run Walker hit off Cavalli was on a 98 mph fastball that was not a meatball by any means.
Cavalli also featured his full arsenal with his impressive curveball, and a good slider and changeup. If he can be a consistent strike thrower, Cavalli is going to be really good and has the capabilities to be a high-end starting pitcher.
There is a lot of injury risk with Cavalli, and he can be quite volatile at times with command, but Cavalli is an excellent buy in dynasty leagues.
Curtis Mead, 2B/3B, TB
People still seem to be sleeping on Curtis Mead and his ability to get to power. Despite throwing out numbers over and over, people seem to be ignoring him. Maybe not for long, though. Mead clubbed two home runs on Saturday, including one off Luis Severino. Mead hits the ball hard and has impressive contact skills. When I tell you he hits the ball, I’m not kidding. He had a near 107 mph 90th percentile exit velocity and a 53 percent hard hit rate last year.
Mead does not have a true spot in the field which is a bit concerning, but the bat may be good enough where it will play regardless. Mead is ready to play every day in Tampa, but the most likely outcome is him spending a few months in Triple-A since he did miss time injured last season.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, MIA
Jesus Luzardo’s line was not overly impressive on Saturday, as he allowed three earned runs over 2.2 innings. He did strike out three, which was nice. But I am highlighting Luzardo because of increased velocity, spin, and movement. He posted an impressive 31 percent whiff rate on Saturday, including a 50 percent whiff rate on his slider, which he threw 19 times.
Luzardo’s four-seam averaged 97 mph, and his sinker averaged 97.3 mph. His slider was up 1.3 mph sitting at 85 with more spin efficiency. His changeup is one of his nastier pitches, which averaged 89.3, up 2.1 mph from last year, and averaged 18 inches of horizontal movement.
If Luzardo can stay healthy all season, there could be ace-level numbers over a smaller workload, as he likely won’t throw more than 150 innings.
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