The Tampa Bay Rays have two starting pitchers Sports Illustrated’s fantasy baseball analyst Shawn Childs has high hopes for in 2020. Childs calls Brent Honeywell a deep sleeper and labels Brendan McKay as a breakout player for 2020. Regarding Honeywell, Childs wrote “If Tampa needs another arm to start, Honeywell should fly under the radar while still needing to prove his right arm is healthy.” As for McKay, Childs says the expanded rosters “bodes well for McKay to open up 2020 in the majors.”
Childs joined fellow SI fantasy baseball analyst Jaime Eisner and Corey Parson to discuss the players that fantasy baseball players should draft from the Rays.
Read the full transcript from the interview below:
Corey Parson: Hey, what's up, this is Corey Parson, fantasy executive with SI.com. Major League Baseball season could be on its way back. Now, many fantasy baseball owners have already drafted their teams but if you get a chance to redraft, we want to help you and break down some situations for you. Joining me right now to do that are SI's fantasy and gambling analysts Shawn Childs and Jaime Eisner. Shawn, let's talk from Tampa Bay Rays. Give me a sleeper and a breakout on the rates.
Shawn Childs: Well, an interesting player is Willy Adames for a sleeper. He's kind of a guy that if you want to build a front of a pitching staff with good aces and maybe some closers and a foundation of your bats, he's a guy that you could really cheat. He goes really, really late in drafts.
He doesn't look too excited. His strikeout rate's a little too high. He struggles with lefties, but he did have a good finish to the year last year or last couple of months. He had 7 home runs, 20 RBI, 289, which looked look pretty impressive. But his basic skill set is if he hit hits the ground running and he can hit higher in the batting average, he does a chance to be like 20 home runs and 10 steals if they played a full season. Obviously we going to play half-season so we'd be half that. I like where he goes and drafts. He's tempting if you want to cheat the middle infield position. And I think he could help a lot, especially if you get hit like second in the batting order.
As far as a breakout, Brendan Mckay's a guy that's pitched really well in the minors. Talented player. He could hit. He was a king in the minors as a hitter and a pitcher. But his calling card is going to be pitching. He had a 5 ERA with Tampa Bay last year. Overall, he's a guy that's going to have the strikeouts, going to have the command. And I think he's going to, you know, really, really push forward this year because most people are going to kind of be off him because he had an early spring training shoulder issue and they'll probably think he's not going to start the year in the rotation. But I think he's going to really make a push for the starting rotation this year.
Corey Parson: All right. Good stuff. Thanks a lot, Shawn. Jamie, give me somebody you're staying away from, somebody you think can be a bust.
Jaime Eisner: Yeah, well, most Rays are being drafted at probably an appropriate ADP. The one player to have a little bit concerned about is pitcher Yonni Chirinos, even though he's going to help your ratios. He's a solid ERA and WHIP guy, but he's low on strikeouts and I think his hold on a rotation spots kind of tenuous right now.
Shawn mentioned Brendan McKay, who was arguably the best starter in the minors last year, had some hiccups in his brief major league appearances. But I expect him to be in the rotation fairly soon, especially now with this abridged season. You still have another star prospect in Brent Honeywell that might get some starts this year as well. So I have a little bit of concern about those that are looking for Chirinos to help the ratios in the back portion of their draft. The demand of getting a long reliever when it's all said and done.
Corey Parson: All right. Thanks a lot, Jamie and Shawn, for all the latest news from the majors. Keep it locked here at SI.com/fantasy.