When Kennys Vargas first arrived on the major league baseball scene, people were like, “Is he a switch hitter or are there two of them?” Then when it turned out there were multiple Kennys, people started gossiping like they were in a sewing circle, “Is it fair if there’s more than one Kenny in the batter’s box at once?” To those people I submit, it could be worse, they could’ve stayed Siamese twins. Did you know both Kennys got in a fight when a reporter asked them if they’d seen their slash line lately? They pointed to their Siamese twins separation scar and said they see it every day. (I’m just going by what I saw on the latest Ken Burns documentary. If Kennys is one person and was never a Siamese twin, I sincerely apologize. By the by, never trust anyone who says they sincerely apologize. They’re trying too hard to be believable. I saw that on another documentary. Netflix’s motto, “We Prove People Will Watch Documentaries.”) Last year, Kenny/Kenny hit 9 homers and .274 in 53 games. Crown Kenny-slash-Kenny the new Babe Ruth and name multiple candy bars after them. “I’m Heath and I’m Skor, and we’re the same but separate.” That’s the Kennys in a commercial. Okay, so 9 homers in 53 games isn’t exactly the meow’s cat, until… Oh, no, here comes The Prorater! Run, it’s The Prorater! Four women and children first! The Prorater tells me that Kennys would’ve had 27 homers in a full season, and that would’ve just about led the league. Damn, that last part didn’t sound like The Prorater but more like Hyperbole Man. So, what can we expect of Kennys Vargas for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

It’s beginning to feel like it’s not an offseason without a trade of Wil Myers. In three short years, he’s gone from the Royals to the Rays and now on to the Padres. Only place he can go from the Padres is the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. They would hope Myers could carry them against their most hated rivals, the Yakuza Spits. The Miller Lite-inspired commercials between the Spits and Swallows in Japan are a real crack up. Tastes great!…Spit it out!…Tastes great!…Spit it out! Before Myers is pushing daisies in the NPB, he’ll bide his time in San Diego and try to right this rapidly sinking prospect boat. “Ice-cold sophomore year right ahead!” In all for realliness, I was planning on jumping back in the Myers sinking ship prior to this trade, and I don’t think it kills his value. Would I prefer he went to Coors? Yeah, well, dur. I also don’t think a 24-year-old former top prospect is washed up just because he had one bad year after fracturing his wrist. Takes time to bounce back from that type of injury and one thing we have is time. Well, you with the oxygen mask and cigarette might have less time. In a few years, we’re going to look back at Myers’s 2014 as it should be viewed now, a blip. I’m about as sure of that as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. Or as sure of it that I’m listening to too much Toto’s Africa. Sure, Petco won’t do him any favors, but if his wrist is at hundred percent there shouldn’t be any problems getting at least 20 homers. Shoot, he could hit 10 homers in just his road games in Coors and Arizona. For 2015, I’ll give him 61/20/72/.277/8. Definitely sleeper material here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (21) | 2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League – Sacramento (2015: Nashville)
AA: [77-63] Texas League – Midland
A+: [85-55] California League – Stockton
A: [55-84] Midwest League – Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Vermont

Graduated Prospects
Marcus Semien, INF (from CWS)

The Gist
The Athletics were in win-now mode in 2014, which prompted them to trade their prized prospect Addison Russell (and to a lesser extent Billy McKinney) to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. That left this already light system even lighter, but recent offseason moves have restocked the farm moving forward. By trading Samardzija to the White Sox and Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, the A’s acquired four of the ten prospects listed below as well as recently graduated middle infield prospect Marcus Semien. There may not be any “elite” fantasy prospects in this top ten now that Russell is gone, but there are still several players that could be useful fantasy options in the near future. High-A Stockton was loaded with talent and three of the top four on this list played their 2014 seasons on that team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It always concerns me when I put too much faith in The Sciosciapath playing a guy that is under 25 years old. A bigger concern is one that is currently penciled in at DH. If Josh Hamilton gets a nagging injury, then he’s going to DH and C.J. Cron will be benched. Same, really, with any Angels player. The only one we don’t have to worry about is Pujols. Not because Pujols is guaranteed to stay healthy, but if Pujols gets gimpy, he’ll DH and Cron will play 1st base. At one point last year, The Sciosciapath benched Cron vs. righties. And he’s better vs. righties! Much of the brain’s complex advancements in evolution happened in the neocortex. The Sciosciapath benches his neocortex for what he sees with his eyes. “You can’t second guess what you see, otherwise you may as well wear tanning bed goggles and get led around by a seeing-eye dog that can read sabermetrics.” That’s Scioscia addressing the media. Anyway, what can we expect of C.J. Cron for 2015 fantasy baseball and why is he a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Okay, it depends on your definition of a sleeper. If you define a sleeper as “a player I want on all of my teams and am much higher on than anyone else and I sometimes dream of me and this player on a tropical island sitting under a coconut tree that grows mistletoe during Baby Jesus’s Birthday Season,” then Kolten Wong is a sleeper. If you define a sleeper as “player that won’t be drafted until the last rounds but will give more value than that,” then Kolten Wong is not a sleeper. With sleepers, I go both ways like your mom in college. Hey, she was experimenting, s’cool! Right now, Kolten Wong (no, his name doesn’t sound right if you just say his last name, i.e., it sounds Wong) is likely being drafted sometime after 100 overall. Since this is about 70 spots past where I think his fantasy value will end up — yes, I think he’s going to end up as a top 30 fantasy player — Kolten Wong is a huge sleeper. Am I putting the kavorka before the horse on Kolten Wong by saying I’m going to be much higher on him than anyone else, like I did with Brad Miller, Jedd Gyorko and Josh Rutledge in the past two years? To that, I say, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Was I higher on those guys? I don’t remember. *looks right, looks left, slowly walks out of the room* Anyway, what can we expect of Kolten Wong for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Keeper and dynasty league owners have to approach drafts a little differently. The pool of players is smaller after a large chunk of players are protected. Prospects are in the mix even if they are years away. In many long term keeper leagues it’s against the rules to pick up players who weren’t signed by an MLB team at the start of the season. This means that each spring a new crop of international signings enters the pool along with players from the previous year’s amateur draft. Two such players for the upcoming 2015 season are Rusney Castillo and Yasmany Tomas. Both are outfielders from Cuba. Both created a great deal of buzz and signed with their respective clubs for multi-million dollar contracts. Both are major league ready and could make an impact in the fantasy game immediately. And yet both are relatively unknown and have question marks just as Jose Abreu did last year. Which one should we take in our first year player drafts in fantasy? That’s a question which has appeared more than a few times in the comments and is worth looking into.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp played for one of the most popular sports franchises in the world in the 2nd largest city in the country. In San Diego, the Padre fans pride themselves not on wins and losses, but how well the Chablis goes with the brie while they watch the game from the picnic area. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp went to all the hottest nightclubs. In San Diego, he’ll be frequenting places that look like the bar where Jodie Foster was in The Accused. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp hung out with the hottest celebrities. In San Diego, “Hey, is that Natalie from The Facts of Life?” In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp dated Rihanna. In San Diego, Kemp’s dating Natalie. It’s only a mere two and half hour drive, but the culture shock is going to hit Kemp as soon as he arrives because he’s going to have to surrender his Lamborghini, there’s a town ordinance that everyone must drive a Jeep with no doors that they put plastic bags over when it rains once a year. On the backside of the site, I’m currently churning through rankings that will be coming in January. I nearly ranked Kemp higher than I want to admit to now. I was believing the 150 games played, 25 HR, 8 SB, .287 season he had last year. Whether I believe it or not, going to San Diego is going to hurt his value. From hitting in the middle of an All-Star lineup to hitting in the middle of Yellowstone. Kemp said on his first day in Petco, “It took some time to get my bearings. In other parks, you can set yourself in the batter’s box by using the outfield fences as a guide. Here, you have to assume the outfield fences are out there somewhere.” Kemp has money coming to him either way, so if he became a 20 HR, 5 SB, .270 guy for a few years, it wouldn’t surprise me. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 72/22/81/.276/8. Oh, and, yes, I’m cautiously optimistic this means Joc Pederson will now be the starting center fielder in LA. For more, I already went over my Joc Pederson fantasy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry. What? Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk? Your blank stare tells me nothing. Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!” So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife. It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull. Imagine the universe breathes in and out. The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles. However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze. For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying. That constant wheeze of death. Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat. The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help. Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9. I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray. For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year. Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book. I’ll give you a little hint: if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league. Why is K-BB so important? It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly. If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen. For 2015, I’ll give Lester the projections of 15-9/2.92/1.08/206, which is number one fantasy SP numbers. Yup, he’s going to be solid once again. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (22) | 2013 (29) | 2012 (30) | 2011 (27) | 2010 (23)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] AL Central
AAA: [63-81] International League – Charlotte
AA: [60-80] Southern League – Birmingham
A+: [61-78] Carolina League – Winston-Salem
A: [62-75] South Atlantic League – Kannapolis

Graduated Prospects
Jose Abreu, 1B | Marcus Semien, INF | Erik Johnson, RHP | Jake Petricka, RHP

The Gist
Despite another losing season, the White Sox are headed in the right direction. Cuban import Jose Abreu looks like a steal after leading the team on offense and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Chris Sale continued to pitch like an ace and won’t turn 26 until March. Lefty Jose Quintana proved to be a reliable arm as well and is the same age as Sale. The recent acquisition of Jeff Samardzija adds even more firepower to the rotation. As part of the return, the A’s received first base prospect Rangel Ravelo, who was included on this list prior to the trade. Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia are two other young pieces ready to contribute in 2015 and are also good options in the fantasy game. Garcia lost most of 2014 to a shoulder injury but still managed seven homers in under 200 plate appearances. The bullpen was a battle all year, but the signing of David Robertson is an immediate boost and this year’s first round pick Carlos Rondon could contribute later this season before joining the rotation in the spring of 2016.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*knock, knock* “You almost done in there?” Sorry, I’m just not sure how long this Billy Beane dump is going to last in Oakland. It started last year with Yoenis, then Josh Donaldson and now Brandon Moss. So far this offseason, replacing Donaldson and Moss is Ike Davis, Billy Butler and Brett Lawrie. Beane’s addicted to seeking out bargains. What a Beane counter! He’s like the lady at Ross Dress For Less that is asking the in-store tailor to hem eight tube socks into a sweater. “Ma’am, I can’t alter socks.” Has anyone tried this with a free alterations pledge by a department store? Will someone please? “Free alterations, huh? Okay, alter this $5 white undershirt into a tuxedo. Thank you.” Unlike the Donaldson move, I like this move by the Thrifty One. Moss is returning from hip surgery that obviously was bothering him so badly last year it ripped apart his ability to bat for the better part of the 2nd half (post-ASB 179 ABs 25/4/15/.173 vs. 21 HRs and .268 in the 1st half). After the surgery on October 23rd, it was reported he wouldn’t be able to run for three months. That still puts him in line to be ready for spring training, but one setback and he’s spitting sunflower seeds in the trainer’s room until May. “You think you could spit those in the trash?” That’s the Indians fastidious trainer. The possibility of Moss reverting to his 1st half self is there, but I see little chance of me owning a 31-year-old who is coming off such serious surgery. For 2015 projections, I’ll give him 69/23/84/.238/1. I will say that if he looks good in April, then my fears will be assuaged, assuming I’m using the word assuage correctly, which I doubt. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Archives