Fantasy Sports: Injury bug still biting Toronto’s Reyes
I am never sure what to think about players who are supposedly injury-prone. If someone becomes a professional athlete, their body must have held together pretty well to that point, no? Well other than Greg Oden that is. Although I still suspect he was 48 years old before he got to college.
The concept of an alleged injury tendency comes up in fantasy drafts, though, when owners become gun-shy about drafting a player they believe has a better-than-average chance of spending some time on the bench. This can offer value if the player pulls through a whole season, but it can also offer condolences if you picked someone like Toronto’s Jose Reyes.
Although still hoping to avoid a trip to the disabled list, the Blue Jays shortstop is sitting out this weekend’s series with the Braves with a rib fracture and his ailments feel more like a trend than aberrations. Only 31 years old, Reyes has played 12 previous seasons in the majors, and been on the disabled list in seven of them — including two trips in 2011.
Even at that point, though, how to interpret the maladies becomes difficult. For someone whose speed is his greatest asset, it’s disconcerting to see that five of Reyes’ DL trips have been because of a hamstring. Other than the pair of 2011 stints, though, none of them have even occurred in consecutive seasons. It seems difficult to call something a trend when it is dormant for more than a year at a time.
When you add in a couple ankle injuries, the rib and a bout with thyroid issues … well, things start to add up. It also didn’t help that although Reyes played in a respectable 143 games last year, he went on the disabled list after pulling up lame on his first trip down the first-base line of the season.
Now is the point where I feel like I should wish Reyes well, but I don’t really want to. I mean, I held off and didn’t draft him, after all.
And now I can just pretend this is because I knew something.
Peterson worth picking up
Not all roster-status issues are injury-related, though, and that comes into extreme focus with Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson allowed to be part of the NFL again on Friday.
This came with the caveat that Peterson has to abide by a program of counseling and treatment to retain his active status, but one has to hope it will not be too difficult for him to alter his parenting methods enough to retain a modicum of a responsibility and respectability.
With this news, the Vikings released a statement saying, “We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings,” which cannot be that wild of an endorsement since the team did not elaborate beyond that.
One can’t fault Minnesota for this because, as a business entity, there are definite issues with being involved with someone like Peterson.
Although the issues don’t reach the same level of importance, there will also be issues with fantasy owners when it comes time to draft Peterson this summer. Both sets of issues will be solved in the same way, though, for when Peterson is on the field, he is one of the best, if not the best, running back in the NFL.
Yet, even following the news of his imminent return, cbssports.com’s two sets of expert rankings had Peterson as the fifth- and eighth-best running back in the league. Fifth I can almost see as being a reasonable amount of trepidation, but if there is any chance of Peterson becoming the eighth running back taken in a fantasy draft, then he is an absolute steal.
Or I’m just pretending that I know something.
Gallo the next big thing
One time when I really did seem to know something was in my column just before this baseball season started that said the Cubs would be bringing super prospect Kris Bryant to the majors very soon. And when the short bit of time passed that gave the Cubs their extra year before Bryant could reach free agency, their top prospect made his triumphant ascent.
That means that now the fantasy community needs a new can’t-miss prospect to get behind. And although I am probably still a year early on his eventual major-league takeover, let me start the Joey Gallo bandwagon now.
Gallo is a third baseman in the Rangers’ organization who made his organized-ball debut by hitting a record 18 homers in the Arizona League in 2012. He then hit a combined 40 homers in two stops in 2013 and upped it to 42 last season.
There may be some adjustment issues still, but Gallo is only 21 years old so he has time to make them. He hit .323 in 58 games in high-A ball in 2014, but then batted only .232 in 68 games in double A. He hit 21 homers in both spots, though, so his power potential is undeniable.
Ideally, his strikeout numbers will also drop, as he went down on strikes 165 times in 392 at-bats in low-A ball in 2013 and then 115 times in 250 at-bats in double A. He has also shown speed, however, with 28 steals in 296 career games.
So keep his name in mind as someone who has 40-homer, 10-steal potential. Heck, by the time he’s 23, he may even be able to bat around .290.
But what do I know?
Josh Bousquet writes for The Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette. Contact him at email@example.com.