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Editor’s note: We continue our countdown of how MLB’s 30 teams rank in terms of fantasy baseball assets. At No. 28, here’s Scott Pianowski’s snapshot of the Baltimore Orioles.
I like to say every city has fantasy value worth mining, but this is one of the rare exceptions. Trey Mancini was the only Baltimore player initially priced inside the Top 250 (NFBC ADP, 102), but that was before he had surgery to remove a malignant tumor. He is reportedly doing terrific after surgery, but there is no timetable for him to resume baseball activities.
After that, it’s a matter of talking yourself into toolsy Austin Hayes (projected to bat leadoff) or believing in the Renato Nunez power spike. There isn’t one Baltimore starter projected to steal 10 bases or more. There isn’t one starter projected to have an OBP over .330.
Anthony Santander deserves a mention after conking 20 home runs in 93 games, but his OBP was shy of .300 and his K/BB rate could get him in trouble. His 72-game sample in the minors two years ago paints a more ominous picture: .249/.287/.416, with eight homers. He’ll probably start the year hitting third, and you can probably land him in the final round of your draft, or off the waiver wire.
Mychal Givens is merely the top of the closer committee; his strikeout rate fits the gig, but he’s prone to wildness and had a 4.50 ERA last year. Asher Wojciechowski is one of the intriguing staff members, but his K/9 is still under nine, and his ERA projects into the 5s.
I don’t know what Baltimore’s plan is, but it’s going to take several years. Go for the park, for the BBQ, for the vibrant walkup — not for the Baltimore players.
Likely Buy/Fade: Fade anyone you want.