Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/27)

CLICK HERE for the complete results of our mini-mock draft for 2015 plus pick-by-pick commentary from the participants

Throughout the postseason, I’ll be sharing my fantasy-angled thoughts on a variety of noteworthy players from each game with the goal of helping you get a jump start on your 2015 draft prep! So keep checking back here every weekday for new posts.

World Series Game 3 – Royals @ Giants

Alcides Escobar (2-for-4, 2 R) rebounded in a big way following a disappointing 2013 season, raising his batting average by more than 50 points and his OPS by more than 100 points while swiping 31 bags. And he’s carried his regular season success into the postseason, collecting a number of clutch hits along the way. So what about 2015? I think the real Alcides Escobar is closer to the 2014 version than the 2013 version, and if you’re an owner who prefers to wait awhile to draft a starting shortstop, Escobar is a fine choice.

Sergio Romo (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K) sports a 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 through seven postseason innings this year. After getting off to a rocky start to the regular season, which ultimately led to him losing the closer job, Romo was lights out following the All-Star break (1.80 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.4 K/9). He’s a free agent this winter and it remains to be seen if the Giants will decide to re-sign him. But I’m fairly confident that Romo will return to the closer role in 2015, whether it’s with the Giants or another club. We all know that Sergio can thrive in the ninth inning, so if he does end up closing, I would not at all be shy to take a chance on him next season. He won’t cost nearly as much as he did a year ago.

MLB: World Series-Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              World Series Game 4 – Royals @ Giants

-Although Joe Panik (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) is hitting only .242 this postseason, he does have one homer, eight RBI and seven runs scored in 15 games, this after batting .305 in 73 regular season games during his 2014 rookie campaign. Panik’s minor league numbers hint at a productive big league career, and he carries some fantasy sleeper appeal heading into 2015 for those in deep mixed/NL-only leagues. Don’t expect a whole lot of power, but he could turn out to be a solid contributor in the batting average and stolen base departments.

-Maybe I was too quick to anoint Brandon Finnegan (1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) as the next big thing, but this is the kind of inconsistency we should expect from most young pitchers. Remember that he’s only 21. Don’t let this brutal outing dissuade you from targeting Finnegan in long-term keeper/dynasty formats, especially if the Royals decide to move him into the starting rotation, which is a legitimate possibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              World Series Game 5 – Royals @ Giants

Brandon Crawford (2-for-4, 3 RBI) will be only 28 on Opening Day 2015, so he’s still in his prime years, and he did drive in 69 runs this year, a solid total for a shortstop. Crawford is a terrific fielder but he’s also a career .242 hitter who doesn’t excel in any particular offensive category. Feel free to ignore him entirely in the vast majority of mixed leagues, and the only reason why he would be relevant in NL-only leagues is that he’s an everyday player at a thin position.

Madison Bumgarner (9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) was taken at 5.04 (#52 overall) in our 12-team mixed mini-mock, which is looking more and more like an absolute steal. Drafted after Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer, Bumgarner has certainly improved his stock this postseason (1.13 ERA, 0.67 WHIP in six starts) to the point where a case could be made that only Kershaw deserves to be taken ahead of him. Regardless, owners who were targeting Bumgarner as a guy who could be had towards the back end of the ace tier who could return top-5 SP value might need to rethink their strategy.

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