My predilection is to draft rookie hitters over rookie pitchers. Predilection is also one dirty sounding word. Slap an NC-17 stamp on the word predilection, Tipper Gore! Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever drafted a rookie pitcher outside of an NL or AL-Only league and/or keeper. Further (Grey just won’t stop!), I’m not sure I’ve ever drafted a rookie in a standard redraft league who was slated to start the year in the minors. By standard redraft, I mean leagues with waivers. I don’t believe in sitting on lottery tickets on my bench. Obviously, there’s times when this should’ve been done. Trout’s rookie year comes to mind; Braun’s rookie year was a thing of beauty; even last year’s Bryant was someone that would’ve been nice to grab in drafts. The rookies that are worthwhile to sit on from March until they’re called up are few and far between, and aside from Trout and Braun’s rookie years, you can draft a guy who is slated to start the year in the majors around the same time as any rookie and get just as good of value. I.e., Bryant was solid last year, but you could’ve drafted a ton of guys that were solid when he was drafted. I bring all of this up now because today’s rookie, Julio Urias, won’t start the year in the majors. He’s young enough to be Jose Tabata’s wife’s grandchild, listed currently at 19 years old. But I think there’s something to super-young Latino players. As we have a Latin 30 in the Razzball glossary, which means a player says they’re one age but are really much older, I think there’s an opposite phenomenon with Latin players who are super young. They don’t want to do anything but play baseball, so when a major league team asks to sign them, they say they’re 16, as Urias did with the Dodgers, but he could be 12 years old and no one has any idea. Since he’s 19 going on 12, which was also a Jennifer Garner movie remake that Subway Jared tried to greenlight, Urias will start the year in the minors, and won’t be up until June at the earliest and may not be up at all this year. Anyway, what can we expect from Julio Urias for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
There was an article at Fangraphs titled, “On Orlando Arcia‘s Lack of Power.” I didn’t read the article, because its SEO jackhammer title sorta gave me an idea as to what it was going to be about. Arcia is only 21 years old, so the title might’ve been better off being, “Orlando Arcia’s Lack of Power, But, I Mean, He is Super Young and It Could Develop.” If his power does develop, he will be a first round fantasy talent, because everything else is gorge. Like the Continental Army is going to set up at Valley Gorge and beat those Brits or at least not drink their tea. Arcia hits .300, he doesn’t strikeout much, he is capable of thirty steals and he’s a shortstop. Going back to the lack of power, I decided to watch about a month’s worth of Arcia’s at-bats condensed into a three-minute video. Thank you, iMovie. Know what I took away from that? The reason he hasn’t hit for power. I’m honestly not even sure why someone needed to write an article about his lack of power, because if you watch him it’s as obvious as the schnoz on Jon Niese’s face. He doesn’t hit for power because he looks like Edgar Renteria. I mean, he looks just like him. As if him and Renteria were attached at one point and Ben Carson separated them. Right now, people are likely barfing in their mouth, swishing it around and spitting it into their scrapbook labeled, “Renteria,” but Renteria wasn’t always terrible. He had a few 10+ homer, 30+ SB seasons when he was young. Renteria also had a .286 batting average over 2100 major league games, and suddenly this post became the Wikipedia page for Renteria. Anyway, what can we expect from Orlando Arcia for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Padres are probably the closest thing to your home league’s rosterbater. After trading for Craig Kimbrel last season, they’ve already flipped him to Boston. The latter move netted four good prospects, and while San Diego is still not a finished product, there are pieces that could start gelling together in the next year or two. Manuel Margot was the jewel of the Kimbrel return, and he’s a no-brainer to top this farm now. A butterfly flapped its wings in Panama and the fences were moved in, so San Diego trended towards neutral in 2014 after being considered an extreme “pitcher’s park” for a long time. It’s still no hitter’s haven, but the point being you don’t have to run screaming from their hitting specs.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m a bit rookie pitcher-phobic. Waking up in a dank dungeon missing a kidney after being slipped a roofie from a rookie pitcher will do that to you. By the by, all dungeons are dank, don’t tell Previous Sentence Grey. This is why I tend to focus mostly on bats when I’m breaking down the rookies that will impact 2016 fantasy baseball (take that deft SEO, Bleacher Report!). Today, I turn my lazy, left googly eye towards a rookie pitcher. Before I wrote up this rookie pitcher post, I decided that I wanted a guy that was on the cusp of breaking into the majors, after diligently researching what a cusp was. So, it’s not a plural misspelled cup? Noted. This guy I found (don’t look at the title, it’ll ruin the surprise) should’ve been up in the majors last year. In fact, I wrote a Buy for him in August. Okay, okay, his name is Jose Berrios. Hi ho the Berrios, snitches! Here’s what I said last August, “If I could quickly evaluate the Twins current crop of starters that are prospblocking Berrios: Garbage, More Garbage, Utter Garbage, Shirley Manson in Garbage, Magic Garbage. (Magic Garbage is Utah garbage where you find soiled magic underpants.) I haven’t even started talking about how Berrios was bred in a lab in Knott’s Berry Farm by the founder of the boysenberry, Rudolph Boysen, whose grandchild killed his parents and is currently behind bars (true story; yes, Dateline is dropping the ball by not featuring this). The only thing that’s been stopping me from adding Berrios in every league is I have no idea when he’ll be called up.” And that’s me quoting me! The Twins’ pitching rotation isn’t going to be better come April. That’s why Berrios will start the year with the club. Anyway, what can we expect of Jose Berrios for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels like the Tigers have been searching for a closer since Todd Jones retired — Percival, Valverde, Nathan, Soria. They prey on dead meat so much, they’re more like the Vultures than Tigers. Papelbon recently was heard saying, “I am going to close forever. Wait, are those Tigers’ front office people circling above me? Crap!” It’s too bad none of the Syrian refugees don’t have closing experience. So, hopefully, the Tigers’ wait to find a closer is finally over. Unless Bruce Rondon is reading this, then the wait has just begun. Assuming Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t get off the plane in Detroit, see an Alburquerque jersey, think he’s in New Mexico, then beat the crap out of an American Airlines pilot for flying him to the wrong city, and get arrested by federal authorities for beating up an employee of a company with the word “American” in the name and get sent to Gitmo. Sure, this sounds unlikely, not impossible though. With K-rod sent to the Tigers, I’ll give him the projections of 4-2/2.69/1.02/66, 42 saves in 61 IP. As for the Brewers, their closer now is Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith or Corey Knebel, i.e., the offseason is still young and they could trade for someone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Marlins have a young and talented big league roster that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Jose Fernandez, and Marcell Ozuna. But at this point, the farm system is a dog. With most of the high-end specs graduated or traded away, there are just not many left to get excited about here, and none that fall in the elite tier. There are some good prospects, but they mostly check in as long-shots thanks to distant ETAs. Compounding the issue for fantasy is the fact that Crayola Canyon will be the final destination for the hitters if they stay within this organization. But hey, I’m not here to crap on the Marlins. I’m here to talk prospects. So while Miami will be at the bottom of most prospect power rankings this preseason, I still managed to scrape together fifteen names I think we should know.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals. This is something I don’t usually do. Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten. But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh? He’s listed at six-six and 230. He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing. Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.” With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast. (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, which never made any sense to me. If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything? It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right? I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.) Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year. If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH. He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it. A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors. With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda. Or does it?! Snap, reversed on that. No, Giolito has control too. 97 MPH with command? I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna. Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve. In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way. Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos. Anyway, what can we expect from Lucas Giolito for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I previously mentioned, Prospect Mike had a large (foam) hand in what prospects I covered as rookies that could impact in 2016 fantasy baseball. I used his Midseason Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list, and asked him for input. In case you couldn’t tell from his Mike Schmidt avatar, it’s no secret he’s a Phillies fan, a phan. I mention this now because today’s prospect is J.P. Crawford, the top prospect in the Phillies system. So, I had to be a cyclops with a monocle to make sure Prospect Mike wasn’t using Liberty Bell IPA goggles when he listed Crawford high up in his prospect lists. Prospect Mike said, “Crawford should sit comfortably in the top twenty on just about every prospect list this spring. There’s 20/20 upside at shortstop and a high floor thanks to an advanced approach. The 20-year-old will likely reach the majors midsummer and a fair comparison would be Addison Russell in Chicago – albeit with a tick less power and a tick more speed. The left side of the infield in Philly is loaded with fantasy potential. Imagine, if you will, Grey’s brain, but instead of empty it’s full.” Aw, man, Mike’s mean to me! So, Crawford is a cousin of Carl Crawford, and not related to J.P. Arencibia, according to the research I did. Crawford doesn’t have his cousin’s speed or the unrelated Arencibia’s power. Crawford is a shortstop though, so immediately he becomes interesting as a fantasy commodity. How interesting is the question, which is actually a statement. Weird, right? No, you’re weird! Anyway, what can we expect from J.P. Crawford for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Two years ago I was invited to take over an abandoned roster in a 30-team dynasty league. It looked like what I imagine most abandoned dynasty teams look like – a couple of good players with good contracts, a couple of decent players with bad contracts, and a bunch of horses***. Each roster is capped at 75 players, so there are over 2,200 players owned. There are probably readers out there who scoff at that kind of depth, but for me it was by far the deepest fantasy league I’d ever been in. The biggest problem with righting the ship was the state of the farm. It was just a handful of non-prospects. The previous owner didn’t use all of their available roster slots, so there was no new blood coming in via minor league signing bonuses, etc. Additionally, all of the supplemental draft picks in the prior year were traded in acquiring a “bad” major league contract. I don’t write these details to crap on the previous owner – I don’t even know them and I’m sure they’re a cool person – but rather to illustrate the state of the team and to relate to some of my readers who also find themselves trying to revive a dead roster. So how did I tackle this particular rebuild?Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the uninitiated, a Three True Outcome (TTO) player is one that walks, Ks or homers. That’s it. A famous example of this is Adam Dunn aka The Big Donkey. The Three True Outcome label works for baseball. Real baseball, that is. It doesn’t encapsulate everything for fantasy. That’s where the Donkey label comes in. A Donkey is player that Ks, homers and steals. Big Donkey once stole 19 bases, and perennially stole more than seven bases a year, until he became more Big than Donkey. Mini Donkey, Mark Reynolds, had himself a nice little run for a few years, once stealing 24 bases. Mini Mini Donkey, Ian Stewart, failed to live up to his Donkey expectations. Perhaps the Donkey expectations are what ended up dragging him down, I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist in matters of the donkey. So, hopefully, when we call Joey Gallo, Donkey Dong Jr., we are not putting unrealistic expectations on him. Shame to think Donkey expectations were what did in any player when Donkey expectations mean no harm. Donkey expectations just want a roof over its head, a hot meal and foot rub from a topless dame. Last year, Gallo hit six homers and stole three bases in only 108 at-bats for the Rangers while hitting 14 homers in 53 Triple-A games. Am I reluctantly failing to mention his Ks? If they were as bad as Gallo’s, you’d be reluctant too. Anyway, what can we expect of Joey Gallo for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?