It may be in 2015. That’s the answer to the question, “Will Nolan Arenado break out in 2014 and shoot up the draft boards for next year?” It’s also the answer to the question, “What year is Dr. Dre coming out with a new album?” It could also answer, “When do we get flying cars?!” Last year, Arenado put up the line of 49/10/52/.267/2 in 486 ABs and 133 games. Not amazing…OR WAS IT?! No, Mr. Al Caps, it wasn’t amazing. ARE WE SURE?! Yes. Oh, but he was only 22 years old. Or as they said in Cincinnati in 1825, ‘OH, it’s 22 years old.’ Arenado can do exactly what he did last year for two more years and still have time to fill out and become a top 25 draft pick by the age of 25. Yes, a top 25 draft pick. That’s what he’ll become at some point in his career, barring unforeseen injuries. Shoot, Tulo has foreseen injuries and he’s a top 25 talent. It’s the old adage that I just made up, “Don’t bet against a Rockies hitter. Bet against Padre and Mariner hitters.” So, what can we expect of Nolan Arenado for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
You take a guy fresh off a boat — let’s call him Sailor — and Sailor’s boat left a country that didn’t have baseball. After explaining what baseball is, you tell Sailor that one baseball team, the Yankees, throws dollars at free agents. After a lengthy explanation that dollars are our currency and why presidents are on low denominations and a non-president is on the hundred and what the hell a free agent is, you then list the top free agent bats for this year: Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran. You then ask Sailor which of those guys the Yankees will get. He’ll probably say one of the first couple of players. Or maybe he’ll say Robinson or Cano Jacoby because he won’t know their names and confuse where commas are when spoken. It’s such an obvious Yankee move to get Ellsbury that even Sailor figured it out. It reeks of throwing money at the team. Or maybe the Yankees just figured if they can’t work with Jay-Z, they’ll work with J-E. The short porch in right won’t hurt Ellsbury. What could hurt him is just about everything else that seems to hurt him every other year. Since 2009, his games played has been 153, 18, 158, 74 and 134. Saberhagenmetricans shudder at the thought of drafting Ellsbury following a big year. I’m with them. I won’t be drafting him anywhere, especially not after he gets bumped up in drafts from his newly adjusted Yankee tax. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 98/13/57/.279/32. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (22) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Buffalo
AA: [68-72] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [63-68] Florida State League – Dunedin
A: [61-78] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [39-37] Northwest League — Vancouver
Todd Redmond (RHP); Aaron Loup (LHP)
The Run Down
No one questions Aaron Sanchez‘s fantasy upside, which is as sexy as any minor league starting pitcher’s. And Marcus Stroman is a whiff machine — a former Duke Blue Devil, whose fastball/slider combo is so impressive that it (almost) allows me to look past the fact that he (probably) roots for Duke hoops. I loathe Duke hoops. Anyway, after those two headliners, this Toronto farm is young. Quite young. And as we know, youth is volatile. There’s upside here, but much of it hasn’t yet reached the full-season level, and therefore, it’s largely untested. A good number of these promising youngsters, however, will be headed to Toronto’s Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League next spring, and being a Chicago native, I’m excited to have the chance to put eyes on the Lansing squad when it passes through Kane County. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I see. Until then…
Here’s a bad thing — I’m already excited about drafting Avisail Garcia. I’m writing this in November and posting it in December and am already excited about him. This is dangerous. My expectations are already through the roof. I just have this feeling that this is gonna spell D-O-O-M. See, I can’t have anything nice. Watch a story come out that Avisail and his brother, Jpegsail, are in some kind of weird fishing accident and get arrested with a megaton of weed. Or something. Something will happen. Though, I’m praying and vsdnjs;nzwc — Oops — and crossing my fingers that nothing happens to Avisail. That he makes it to Opening Day as the starting right fielder for the White Sox and batting third. Yes, third. Who else is batting in that lineup? Jose Abreu? I went over my Jose Abreu fantasy and he can be solid, but he’s more of a cleanup hitter. Maybe Avisail is batting 2nd. But there’s no way he’s below fifth. Beckham’s three shades of crizzap, Alexei Ramirez is a’ight but not a three hole hitter, Dunn and Konerko are either gone or hot garbage that is four years past its born-on date and Viciedo is great…every three weeks for two days at a time. Who else is batting third? Phegley? Why? The White Sox need someone whose last name sounds like it’s being pronounced with a fur ball in your mouth? Avisail Garcia will have every opportunity to succeed, so what can we expect of him in 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe I’m a little superstitious. Maybe I’m just like my father — 2 bold. Whatever the case is, last year I kicked off the fantasy baseball sleeper series with Eric Hosmer after he absolutely ripped my heart out of my chest like he was Mola Ram and I was Short Round in the Temple of Doom. This year, I’m taking on the same tactic. I’m starting the fantasy baseball sleeper series with a guy that rained on my parade, then pushed aside my umbrella and whispered in my ear that it’s not raining, but I’m standing under a Port-A-John that has no floor. P to the erhaps, I’m just being a fool with Mike Moustakas. A lamb being led to the slaughter. But if I were a lamb being led to the slaughter by Moustakas, I’d end up shawarma, which is tasty. I can’t get past one big number from him last year — and, brucely, he only had one big number — 16.1%. That number sticks out to me. I’ll loop back to that number. Come with me, and you’ll see a world of pure imagination, where we imagine Moustakas not defecating on our teams. So, what can we expect from Mike Moustakas for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Before we get this post-Turkey celebration of When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason up and running, I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of the aforementioned When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason, or WFBWHNTDITO, if you’re into the whole brevity thing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find the Round 1-5 Recap by clicking on this conveniently placed hyperlink right… about… now. And for the full results, you can check them out here. (If nineties website design is your crème de jour, enjoy that layout bro.) Anyhow, let’s get this going after the jump so I can go make some turkey sammiches.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (10)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League — Nashville
AA: [59-79] Southern League — Huntsville
A+: [66-68] Florida State League — Brevard County
A: [59-76] Midwest League — Wisconsin
Arizona Fall League Players — Surprise Saguaros
Tyler Cravy (RHP); David Goforth (RHP); Taylor Jungmann (RHP); Kevin Shackelford (RHP); Adam Weisenburger (C); Mitch Haniger (OF); Jason Rogers (OF)
Logan Schafer (OF); Jeff Bianchi (INF); Scooter Gennett (2B); Khris Davis (OF); Caleb Gindl (OF); Wily Peralta (RHP); Brandon Kintzler (RHP); Alfredo Figaro (RHP); Donovan Hand (RHP); Tyler Thornburg (RHP)
The Run Down
The upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system graduated quite a bit of talent into the bigs in 2013, as Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Khris Davis, and Scooter Gennett, among others, earned significant playing time in Milwaukee. What remains of the Brewers’ farm is a rather uninteresting mix of low-risk/low-upside, and high-risk/high-reward type prospects. It’s not the worst org in the game — no, the Angels have that locked up by a comfy margin — but it’s lacking severely in the high-impact department. Outfielders Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor can change that outlook with big seasons in 2014. And Orlando Arcia and Devin Williams are gifted enough to bring some excitement to the lower levels of this system. But until further notice, you should probably try to avoid stocking up on Brewers in your dynasty leagues.
Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is a true story. In 1981, the St. Louis Cardinals bought a barrel of oil for $12, then sold that barrel of oil to OPEC for $13, netting the Cardinals one dollar. That one dollar was used by the Cardinals to buy a pack of gum that was used to repair a broken condom that was used by Albert Pujols’s father so there would be only one Albert Pujols and no competition for the best 1st baseman from 2001 thru 2011. Marxists and Capitalists have argued for years about the right of the Cardinals to use that dollar to stunt natural selection and why didn’t they just buy Albert Pujols’s dad one new condom rather than a pack of gum. This illustrates a very important point. You and I may want David Freese due to his position eligibility, but never underestimate the Cardinals ability to get the better side of a trade. If they’re smarter than OPEC, they’re smarter than us. Peter Bourjos is in the pile of scraps in mind that includes Brett Gardner and Michael Brantley as guys that I like a lot, maybe more than is reasonable. (BTW, my 2nd album that critics called ‘very emo’ is also called, Scraps In Mind. That’s purely coincidental.) Bourjos got a sleeper post from me for about three years in a row, though he had the misfortune of playing under The Sciosciapath, and The Sciosciapath doesn’t play the hitters he should — hello, Napoli. Bourjos had a 50-steal season in the minors one year. You don’t just lose that kind of speed, and, if you’ve ever seen him run out a triple, you know how crazy fast he is. Oh, and he’s not just SAGNOF. He also had 12 homers one year for the Angels. If he put together a 15-homer, 35-steal season, I wouldn’t be shocked. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 74/12/58/.263/20 with a chance for much more. He’ll definitely be someone I’ll be looking at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
See Jesus Montero, see Mike Zunino…Shoot, see any young catchers. Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside, catchers aren’t great guys to look at when they’re young. Defense is demanding for them. Have to handle the pitching staff. Have to bend down and shizz. It doesn’t seem like much fun. I don’t like bending down to look for a lost dog toy under the couch, imagine doing that for three hours a night. Blech. Get me a Barcalounger and put it behind home plate. Actually, I don’t want people to steal this invention that I’m going on Shark Tank with, but if you put a motor on a Barcalounger, you really never have to stand up again. A great year from a young catcher is handling the pitching staff and chipping in a homer here and there and a .240 average. I still don’t fully buy Yadier Molina’s stats the last few years, but let’s assume he is this good. For his first seven years, he never topped 8 homers or a .304 batting average. In his last three years, he hasn’t had a mark under either of those. If the pitchers are doing well and/or liking how the catcher is calling the game, catchers don’t have to hit, especially not when they’re first called up. This seems to go doubly for NL teams. BTW, try to say ‘doubly’ without sounding drunk. You can’t do it. So, expect nothing from Travis d’Arnaud. But if he backs into some stats (say, while sitting in a motorized Barcalounger), what can we expect of Travis d’Arnaud for 2014 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?