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Fantasy Fix: The Paternity Test

Sure, you want to talk about the waiver wire, or which prospects might have their MLB debuts this month, but I've got other things on my mind this week. Here's a sample:

* For fantasy purposes, someone needs to start tracking which players are about to become fathers. At least three times this season, one of my fantasy lineups has been hosed by a player's last-minute addition to the paternity leave list.

Yes, this list has been around for five years, but it suddenly seems like MLB players are knocking up their wives, girlfriends, mistresses and brief acquaintances at a more frequent rate than ever.

The latest example is Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr., who is missing the bulk of this week on paternity leave. As a fellow father, I wish him and any new father all the best, but I would really love to have his hot bat in my lineup right now. Whatever happened to the idea family planning for ballplayers, you know, getting your wife pregnant at the start of spring training, so she delivers in November, so you don't miss any games?

* You didn't drop the Mets' Matt Harvey even though I advised you to, right? Please tell me, you absorbed that part of last week's column where I noted that he should be dropped "barring a phenomenal rebound in the next week." Harvey rebounded in a big way in his last start, shutting down the White Sox and pitching seven innings in a game for the first time this year.

Yes, this great outing came against the suddenly flaccid Pale Hose, but it was clear Harvey fixed a problem in his mechanics, also evident in an increase in his velocity, which peaked at 98 mph. This goes to how you can't listen too much to rumors, like those that suggested Harvey was too fat, or too tired to be good this year. I'm now convinced Harvey will storm through the rest of the season Arrieta-style and challenge for the NL Cy Young. I'm at least as convinced of this as I was last week that you should drop him.

* I long for the days when being a pure hitter meant more. These days, it's all about OBP, SLG and OPS, and any fantasy league that counts batting average as a stat is viewed as an anachronism. I get why those other stats are a more accurate measure of a player's value, but I was raised during a period when seeing your favorite player get a hit, any kind of hit, was the simplest, purest measure of baseball joy. I'd like to join a fantasy league that places extra value on that - say adding half a point to any hit, so 1.5 for a single, 2.5 for a double. Players adept at collecting multi-hit games would become even more highly valued.

A guy who's fantasy value would benefit this year is Marlins infielder Martin Prado, who many true baseball fans long have appreciated for his consistent ability to make contact. Prado is hitting .319 this year and has 60 hits, placing him 18th in MLB, but 49 of those hits have been singles, and he has zero HRs and just a .743 OPS. Not surprisingly, he is owned in only 27% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.


Disco Danny O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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