Spring Training Dynasty Notes: March 14
Chris Clegg breaks down all the action from Tuesday with a dynasty twist.
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Today’s writeup includes 13 detailed player writeups, plus a ton of other news and notes you need to know for dynasty leagues.
Blake Sabol, C, SF
Blake Sabol did not have a fantastic day or anything on Tuesday, but he is a player I just have not discussed enough. I saw Sabol in the Arizona Fall League and was not really familiar with him. Sabol is a versatile catcher who can also play first base and left field. I was surprised when I saw how big he was. He honestly looks bigger than his listed 6’4/225. Despite the size, Sabol is a really good athlete. Last year between Double and Triple-A with Pittsburgh, Sabol slashed .284/.363/.497 with 19 home runs and ten stolen bases.
While Sabol’s AFL numbers did not pop off the page, I was impressed with his physicality, approach, and swing from the left side. Pittsburgh surprisingly decided not to protect Sabol in the Rule 5 draft. He was selected fourth overall and then flipped to San Francisco. So far the Giants are reaping the rewards of the trade.
Sabol is slashing .526/.615/1.158 this spring with three home runs and more walks than strikeouts. He is making a strong case to make the Giants roster out of Spring Training. Sabol has good power as shown by a 104.5 mph 90th percentile exit velocity last year and a 40 percent hard-hit rate. He has average contact skills and good plate discipline.
All this to say Blake Sabol may be worth a shot in deeper dynasty leagues.
Thad Ward, RHP, WSH
I have highlighted Thad Ward previously in these daily writeups, but now feels like a good time to start taking him seriously. The word is that Chad Kuhl will get a chance to start in Cavalli’s absence, but I just don’t see that going well.
Ward is likely to begin the year in a long relief role, but the first overall pick in the Rule Five draft could bump in the rotation sooner than later. Ward pitched two clean innings on Tuesday, striking out two. He displayed an arsenal of six pitches, highlighted by his sweeper, cutter, and sinker. Ward finished the day with a 30 percent CSW and showed a good feel for his arsenal.
Ward will have to pitch or be returned to the Red Sox. With the Nationals pitching depth, there is a strong possibility that Ward begins the year as a long reliever but eventually earns a rotation spot. Im grabbing him where I can while the cost is still relatively cheap.
David Peterson, LHP, NYM
With the injuries surrounding the Mets’s rotation, there is a spot wide open for David Peterson or Tylor Megill to take. Peterson has stepped up the challenge and is proving he is capable of being in the Mets’ rotation.
On Tuesday, Peterson fired four scoreless innings without allowing a hit. He walked one and struck out five. He generated a 41 percent whiff rate and had his four-seam, slider, and changeup all have a whiff rate at or above 40 percent.
Peterson has also seen his slider take a step forward in velocity, spin, and movement. He looks primed to take a rotation spot in New York and will be a huge beneficiary or having a great lineup behind him. Grab Peterson everywhere in dynasty.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, ATL
Marcell Ozuna is a sore subject to discuss. Not only having his off the field issues, but he was also not great on the field last year. Ozuna was told nothing is guaranteed for him on the team and he would need to earn it this spring. He has done exactly that.
On Tuesday, Ozuna slugged a double and added another hit and four RBI. His double came off the bat at 107.1 mph and traveled 411 feet. Somehow it did not get out. He is hitting .321 this spring and it seems liked a decent memory when he posted an MVP caliber season in 2020, hitting .338 with 18 home runs in 267 plate appearances.
All this to say, Ozuna could be a late grab or a cheap pick up for power in your dynasty leagues.
Zach Eflin, RHP, TB
I have gotten a lot of questions about Zach Eflin this offseason. The Rays’ ponied up a pretty penny to sign Eflin to a three-year deal. When the Rays pay up for a player, I pay attention.
On Tuesday, Eflin pitched four innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits, and striking out four. He needed just 47 pitches to get through the four frames.
It is interesting to see Eflin’s velocity down a tick, but in the process, he has seen all of his pitches average more spin and movement. His curveball had six inches more of vertical drop than last year.
Eflin generated a 32 percent whiff rate and a 34 percent CSW. Eflin is a pitcher I want in the back of all my dynasty rotations because his stock is likely only to move up.
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