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As you probably know, we just went over the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball and today we give you… Hint:  it’s in the title of the post.  Oh, forget it.  Here’s our top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.  And by our top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball, I mean mine, but ‘our’ sounds more official.  Like when your girlfriend catches you cheating on her and she says let’s make our breakup official and then kicks you in the balls.  The second round is the hardest to peg.  That’s just the facts of life, Blair.  There’s no way around it.  I have a theory why this is, maybe it’s fodder for its own post, but here goes the short version.  In the first round, it’s no-brainers.  In the second round, you have to complement the first guy and you want a sure thing because it’s still way too early to reach.  Also, there’s just more question marks.  Next we’ll go over the top 20 catchers for 2012 fantasy baseball then top 20 1st basemen and so on and so forth as we do onto our 2012 fantasy baseball rankings as you would want them done onto you. In the top 10, I battled with maybe one or two spots, but this top 20 that I gave birth to was a true labor of love that required a C-section as I battled with myself on just about every spot. I’m pleased with what I settled on, but I could see an argument made to reshuffle some of these players. As always, tiers are mentioned and my 2012 fantasy baseball projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball:

11. Adrian Gonzalez – This tier started in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball.  This tier ends at Ellsbury.  I call this tier, “Less exciting than the next tier, but more consistent.”  Who could’ve predicted Gonzalez would move from Petco to Fenway and have his worst power year since 2006?  Rhetorical!  For some reason (I’m sure someone knows), his ground balls went through the roof (not literally, unless there’s ants reading this).  A ground ball rate of 46.7 is not terrific.  It’s around Bourjos, Austin Jackson and Drew Stubbs’s type ground ball rate.  His BABIP was off the charts lucky, so, with all those ground balls, he was inches away from having a hideous season.  I don’t want to overrate any of this.  He’s still in a great park, solid lineup and the middle of his prime.  Even if he hits only 30 homers (which he should), he’s going to have great counting stats and a decent enough average.  If I had to choose one 1st rounder that might have a disastrous season out of nowhere, I’d choose A-Gon, but that’s a gut call.  We’re not drafting based on my gut, especially not after I just ate Thai.  2012 Projections:  100/32/115/.275

12. Robinson Cano – I really want to despise every Yankee player like everyone else outside of New York, northern New Jersey and the retirement homes of Florida, but Cano makes it hard to dislike him.  I guess, when people call him Robbie Cano, you can picture an 80’s movie bully in an Izod shirt and want to do something to him that would elicit a slow clap.  “Robbie Cano, you are not going to tell me where I can sit in the outdoor cafeteria!”  That’s you standing up to Robbie Cano at lunch.  Didn’t you always wish you had an outside cafeteria like in Can’t Buy Me Love?  Maybe it was just me.  Players don’t come much more consistent than Cano.  Pencil him in for .315, 27 homers and 100 runs and RBIs, then erase the .315 and make it .310.  Aren’t you glad you didn’t use pen?  2012 Projections:  105/27/105/.310/5

13. Jacoby Ellsbury – I surprised myself when I landed on this ranking for Ellsbury.  Like I snuck of behind myself and screamed “Boo” then added snuck into the dictionary so when I looked it up it was there and surprised myself again.  Steals can be found later in drafts.  SAGNOF!  But they can’t be found so readily with 20 homers and a .300 average.  No, not 30 homers.  That was an anomaly of an aberration on the ain’t-happening-again tip.  A moment in time that can only be described as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel touching Ellsbury’s bat.  Or maybe you can describe it differently.  Your call.  I see a few people ranking Ellsbury even higher than this, but I wouldn’t cry if I miss out on him.  Again, SAGNOF!  How did I finally conclude he should be ranked here?  I rank Reyes a couple of slots below him and Ellsbury will hit more homers.  Sure, Reyes has shortstop eligibility, but high-production outfielders aren’t exactly growing on trees, unless that was the point of The Tree of Life.  I have no idea.  2012 Projections:  110/17/70/.295/45

14. Ian Kinsler – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until CarGo.  I call this tier, “These guys could win the MVP or frustrate the shizz out of you.”  Everyone in the first and second round seems like guarantees right now.  If it were only that easy.  There will be disappointments.  I have a feeling a disappointment or two might come out of this tier because of injuries, but, as of right now, that’s just a guessing game.  Anyway, Kinsler’s BABIP last year was low, his K-rate improved, great home park, lineup protection, power is repeatable, the same for his speed… So where’s the downside?  The Rangers are a walking MASH unit and Kinsler is Hawkeye.  Last year he had 723 PAs.  That’s more PAs than James Cameron used on his last film.  There’s not a chance Kinsler sees that many PAs again.  That was a lot for even a healthy player.  Kinsler loses five homers and steals if he only gets one little bruise or bump.  Ron Washington, “Did someone say bump?”  2012 Projections:  100/25/70/.260/25

15. Jose Reyes – I almost ranked Dustin Pedroia here.  Then I thought about how Pedroia doesn’t feel like a guy that is gonna be on a championship fantasy team.  I’m sure some of youse have won with Pedroia, but his stats feel more like a guy whose numbers you luck into off waivers that end up propelling you to a championship.  I’m just a hater drinking Haterade that’s loaded with Vitamin D to enrich and fortify my haterness.  As for Reyes, he does feel like a guy that will win you a league.  Reyes gets on his up-jump-the-boogie and he carries you for a month or two at a time.  Reyes can get gully.  Can Pedroia?  I guess, but I want someone who can do something miraculous.  Like steal 50+ bases.  Also, I went over my Jose Reyes 2012 fantasy when he first signed with the Marlins.  I wrote it while teaching my neighbor how to Dougie.  2012 Projections:  110/12/50/.295/45

16. Hanley Ramirez – Manny showed how insouciance (Word of the Day!) goes from cute to tiresome as a player ages.  Hanley’s not that old yet.  Even if we’re to assume he’s a Latin 28, he still has a few years left in his tank.  Maybe the Marlins can hire Dolvett from The Biggest Loser to get Hanley to care.  “How am I supposed to give one hundred percent in the workouts when all I want to do is take a nap because of the tryptophan from the Jennie-O turkey?”  That would be me on The Biggest Loser.  If Hanley is motivated, he wins the MVP with him and his new right hand man, Jose Reyes, doing a highly-choreographed, five minute handshake every couple of innings.  2012 Projections:  90/20/105/.305/25

17. Carlos Gonzalez – Another guy that could win the MVP or be a bigger bust than Billy Butler’s (guess that’s why I titled this tier what I did).  The risk is again the health.  There’s one positive that can be taken away from CarGo’s 2011.  His walk and K-rate both improved.  His plate discipline didn’t exactly become Gandhi-like, but any improvement is a step in the right direction.  It wouldn’t shock me to see CarGo and Tulo carry the Rockies to a walk in the NL West.  Also wouldn’t shock me to see them both out by May.  There lies the rub, which would be a good name for a massage parlor.  2012 Projections:  100/25/100/.300/18

18. Andrew McCutchen – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Pedroia.  I call this tier, “Two guys I’m trying to draft everywhere and two guys I probably won’t draft.”  McCutchen can make a run at the 1st round for 2013 if he can fulfill expectations.  Would be the first time we see a Pirate in the first round of a fantasy draft since when?  Barry Bonds when he still wore a size 7 ball cap?  Eh, we’ll save that Pirate reach around for next year.  The Dread Pirate will post the same numbers as CarGo minus some average and is capable of numbers that approach Ellsbury’s 2011.  I can’t express to you how much I like The Dread Pirate this year other than telling you my failings at being able to express my Dread Pirate love.  He’s entering his prime with 30+ steal speed and 20+ homer power.  Now you likey too; thank you.  2012 Projections:  95/25/100/.275/30

19. Mike Stanton – I strongly considered putting Stanton in the Kinsler tier.  Speaking of strongly, I looked at that word for a few minutes (okay, maybe a half hour) and I thought about how strong Stanton is.  Then that took me to the site that measures homers expecting to find Stanton at the top of a list.  I wasn’t disappointed.  No one hit more “No Doubt” homers in the NL than Stanton and he was only 2nd in the majors to Jose Bautista.  Since the high left field wall will be no more in the new Miami ballpark, it could mean even more laser shots for Stanton.  Also, “down the right field line” is coming in ten feet in the new stadium so the opposite field shots that were already easy, just got easier.  I don’t giddy for many players (I’m hard, yo!), but Stanton’s a beast and I’m his beauty.  Or some other mixed up metaphor.  2012 Projections:  100/37/115/.260/7

20. Roy Halladay – I’m very hesitant to draft a pitcher in the 2nd round.  In fact, I really can’t imagine it happens.  I have Kinsler, McCutchen, Stanton, Fielder, etc. etc. etc. so much higher than most people that I’m gonna be drafting one of them instead of Halladay.  I only get one pick every 10 or so in a snake draft.  In auction leagues, I try not to go over $29, so I’m not getting a whole lot of these players anyway.  (I’ll go over snake and auction draft strategy in due time.)  If there was one pitcher I’d take in the 2nd round?  Roy G. Biv Devoe, now you know.  Yo, slick, blow.  2012 Projections:  20-7/2.50/1.05/215

21. Dustin Pedroia – He’s consistent.  Has spunk.  Needs to wear a cone so he doesn’t chew his foot.  He feels a lot more to me like an early 3rd rounder than a late 2nd rounder.  Last year he needed 731 plate appearances to get a 21/26 season.  If he hits 18 homers, we’re not even having a discussion about whether he’s a 2nd rounder or a 3rd rounder.  He’s an 18/20 player.  Can that be more?  Sure, he just had a season where he gave more.  The thing that has me feeling janky is it can also be less.  If it’s only a tad less, he’s not even a 3rd rounder.  I hate that we need his ceiling to justify his ranking, so I’m hoping someone else takes him.  Actually, I’m almost positive someone else will.  2012 Projections:  105/18/80/.295/20

After the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball, there’s lots of players, but these two stand out as guys to NOT draft:

Mark Teixeira – Te(i)x has stopped hitting for an average.  It doesn’t look like it’s coming back any time soon.  His average last year .248 looks like the bottom, but I really thought his 2010 average of .256 was the bottom, so I guess anything’s possible.  In 2012, I think this is the last time we see Te(i)x anywhere near the top 20.  Will he totally collapse as he pulls a 2011 Youuuuuk?  Probably not.  The one thing that I think will stave off the ugly is the power is still there in a much bigger way than it ever was with Youuuuuk.  Also, his park/lineup won’t let him be totally awful, then again Youuuuk’s park and lineup weren’t bad.  I don’t want Te(i)x for one big reason.  How much different is he than Konerko?  Some more runs for Te(i)x, some more average for Konerko, rest is pretty similar.  Things that make you go hmm…. 2012 Projections:  100/35/110/.260

Curtis Granderson – He’s the greatest outfielder known to man.  Even some women think he’s wonderful.  What I don’t understand is why was it that I liked him in the preseason last year and still only ranked him 88th overall?  On average, people drafted him 92nd overall last year.  Because he had a career year he’s suddenly a top twenty player?  He’s gonna be 31 years old and could hit .240.  His home runs were off the charts last year.  His counting stats were cray cray.  Rollins’s 139 runs in 2007 were the last time anyone came close to Grandy’s 136 runs from last year.  Wanna put money on it that he doesn’t score over 110 runs?  For those who think it’s a slam dunk in that lineup and ballpark, he only scored 76 runs in 2010.  He only had 67 RBIs in 2010.  A guy who can hit .240 could go through month-long dry spells where he gets dropped in the order.  If you draft Grandy in the 2nd round, you’re like a lamb led to the slaughter.  Grandy’s mother, brother, grandmother hate me in that order.  2012 Projections: 100/29/90/.255/18

  1. Buge Hoobs says:
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    @Grey

    Looks like someone has been partaking excessively from the Haterade this offseason. Having a little with breakfast, lunch and dinnner. Taking showers in it without pulling the drain stop, so he could just stand in it and soak as much as possible! What’s next? CC will be luck to get 15 wins and 200Ks? ARod lucky to get 300 abs?

    Love the rankings!

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Some bold rankings Grey! With you on Tex and come around with you on Grandy (need to see a repeat first). Not sure about ‘Cutch and Stanton being ranked quite so high though:

    Cutch only hit .250 something last year and his supporting cast is dreadful (dread, get it), so despite the good HRs/SBs his other counting stats will likely be much lower than your usual 2nd rounders. 3rd rounder sure, but not 2nd for me.

    Also don’t you think Stantons a little high?. Sure the guy’s a monster and could hit 40HRs now, but what makes you predict the massive uptick in other counting numbers. He’s not an AVG guy, mainly just a HR guy, Reyes will help his RBIs for sure but that big an increase?

    If fully healthy Cargo’s the one im hoping for outta this 2nd round bunch, could easily put up 1st round numbers again. Good job Grey!

  3. Tony says:
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    If you take grandy in the 2nd you’re like a lamb led to the slaughter, hahaha….. solid list.

    Again you base your ranks off roto 5×5, I think alot of us need to take that into account. Stantons potential to hit 40+ puts him in elite company. He’s interesting but I hate that he’ll probably hit .260.

    Trying to avoid those doodes this year.

  4. schlitzy says:
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    In my nl only with a 280 budget I have hanley at 38. I am with you on not spending more than about 30 on any one player, but hanley will probably go for around 50 in this league. Would you keep? My other keepers are votto, kershaw, madson and ian kennedy all at low dollars so that gives me some extra money to spend.

  5. elwood blues says:
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    I’ve been trying to swap my corner guy — Goldie at $20 in my NL Only keeper league — to get more salary ($260 budget).
    Thought I’d get more for him, but right now my best offer is just Rizzo at $5, a fair swap?

  6. I have Stanton in a keeper league. I wake up every morning and thank Jesus, Buddah, Muhammed, Krishna, and Santa Claus. Then I ask myself what makes Stanton different from Adam Dunn? i was never that excited to own him.

    I don’t have an answer, so I’ll just go with the joy.

  7. Hawk says:
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    Grey…

    Stanton is a beast with a projection of .260/37/115/100 but
    Teixiera is a guy to avoid with a projection of: .260 / 35 / 110/100?

    Color me con-fu-sed.

  8. Hawk says:
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    @Mr. Punch

    I also have Stanton in a keeper and do the same thank you dance. I think he’s different from Dunn in that he’s only 21 and already has hit 35 homers in a season. He has potential to raise his BA as well – he hit 300+ in the minors. Maybe not in 2012 but with Reyes and Hanley hitting in front of him, he has potential to put up a .300/50/130 one of these years

    Those kind of numbers are worthy of a daily happy dance

  9. Big Magoo says:
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    Wow, surprised on the Teix blurb. Nice read though. I will not own Reyes or Stanton in any league this year probably. Reyes is a three-category, injury-prone player and Stanton is Adam Dunn (prior to last year) with a couple of steals thrown in (or Teix + a few steals). Can’t wait for the more in-depth rankings.

  10. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    Love the rankings Grey. I agree, that this 2nd group is a real tough rank this year…

    I may be the only one on this, but Ellsbury scares the shit out of me. Last year was UNBELIEVABLE, don’t get me wrong. I just couldn’t fathom (word of the day), spending a lot of $$ on a guy who has been a “juan pierre” every other year of his career. I guess i just need to see a repeat before i commit. Unlikely i draft him in any leagues this year.

    @Hawk: I think the difference is the upside (of stanton) vs. the downward spiral that teix is due for. Stanton has the upside of hitting 50 HR’s this year, young player, in a new park, with a new team. Teix’s value is decreasing rapidly, and you don’t want to own him when the bottom falls out.

  11. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: by “new team” , i don’t mean he’s on a new team this year. I mean the players around him (and coach) have drastically improved.

  12. Leo says:
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    I am in a 9 team keeper league. We are keeping 10 + 2 minor leaguers. No strings attached (no value per player). My minor leaguers are Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. My question for you is, who of the following 10 do I keep? Carlos Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Aaron Hill, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward, Corey Hart, Chris Young, Billy Butler, Brian Roberts, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Tim Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Jason Motte, Francicso Cordero, Joe Nathan, Rafeal Betancourt, Ted Lilly, Roy Oswalt, Carlos Pena, Danny Espinosa, and Francisco Rodriguez? Positions in our league are 9 pitchers, C, 1,2,3,ss,ci,mi,4of &dh.

  13. Hawk says:
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    @ The Talented Mr. Dope Man

    I can definitely see what you mean about Stanton / Te(i)x career paths but when I read these projections I read them as “This is what Grey thinks they’ll produce this year”. I do not read it as “This is the Grey’s baseline. You should adjust accordingly” because that way they become my projections, not Grey’s.

    I don’t disagree about career trajectories for both Stanton and Te(i)x – just how you are interpreting the projections.

  14. KeeblerMN says:
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    Man, I was holding my breath as I read waiting of a Desmond Jennings sighting :-) I imagine he’ll be one of the top 10 OF… unless you have a falling out and burned all of your books that you had written “I heart DJ” on.

  15. Trevor

    Tggq21 says:
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    Hi Grey, I know it may be early, but can you do pairings for the first two rounds like you did last year. Ps. I’ve been singing , “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” ever since you brought out the top 10. No question, Fantasy Baseball>Fantasy Football/Hockey/Basketball/Fishing. Black n Yellow!!!

  16. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:
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    Razzball Fantasy Baseball Rankings are like Xmas in January…ok, so that’s not as exaggerated as an Xmas in July but its just as awesome.

  17. Will says:
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    early keeper question in a 10 team 5×5 roto league where we can keep 5 players for 3 years.

    could keep through 2012: Fielder and Zimmerman
    could keep through 2013: Cargo, Cano and Reyes
    could keep through 2014: Weaver, Pence, Cruz, or Bruce

    So, which 5 should I keep? I am leaning towards Fielder, Cargo, Cano and Reyes for the top 4. Just not sure the best direction to go. Any help is appreciated.

  18. Pochucker says:
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    Im taking Votto at #5 , was hoping Kinsler fell to #20 in 2nd. If not Stanton will be my choice! Since I have Kung Foo Panda already locked up for this years keeper(keep one player you drafted previous year in 10th rd or later or ww pickup –for one year)I figure I can afford a little avg hit with Stanton.

  19. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Looks weird… only one Yankee in the top 20. Can’t say I disagree, though.

    I’ve been checking things off of my “To Don’t List” for the past week (surgery and recovery). These are things that you do NOT want to experience, but if you have to, you kinda’ want to brag about it. If you’re queasy or shy, I wouldn’t read below:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Really? You’re positive you want to know this stuff? Okay, here goes:

    1. I have farted from my penis. Not technically a fart, I suppose, but that’s certainly how it feels and sounds. I’m told that, while not necessarily common, it isn’t out of the ordinary if you’ve had a catheter. By the by, can’t you hear a Tracy Morgan SNL character whose catchphrase is an excited, “I just farted from my penis!”

    2. I have successfully administered an enema to my self, using only warm water and a Poland Spring bottle with a “sports” cap. Finally… watching all of those Discovery Channel “dude survives nature” shows pays off. Necessity is the mother of invention, indeed.

    3. I have been sutured (stitched) without any type of numbing agent or anesthesia. Suck it Rambo, it didn’t even hurt! Okay, it actually hurt quite a bit.

  20. YoMammaSoUggla says:
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    @Leo

    Carlos Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, Danny Espinosa

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Buge Hoobs: Ha… Thanks!

    @TheNewGuy: I think to get Stanton, you need to take him there and I want him. Thanks!

    @Tony: I hear ya.

    @schlitzy: Even after his terrible year he’s gonna go for $50? $38 is a lot, but around where he’ll go.

    @elwood blues: It’s fair.

    @Mr. Punch: He’s not a .260 guy going on .220 like Dunn.

    @Hawk: Tex is on the downward slope, Stanton is on the upward.

    @Big Magoo: Cool

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: I hear you on Ells.

    @Leo: Carlos Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Danny Espinosa…

    @KeeblerMN: Yeah, top 20 overall is a little high for him.

    @Tggq21: Black n yellow! Yeah, I’ll do the pairings post.

    @Oregon Nut Cups: Ha…Thanks!

    @Will: And Bruce…

    @Pochucker: Yup

    @Awesomus Maximus: 1. HA! C’mon, really? That sounds like it hurts. 2. Oh God, wish I didn’t read that. 3. You are the real action hero. Get better!

  22. JV says:
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    @Grey

    Long time reader (three years), first time commenter. I really enjoy your perspective on fantasy baseball. I never thought I would find an informative useful fantasy site that makes me laugh out loud. Last year I started using your fantasy info exclusively. (I still check ESPN to see how far off they are and to get an idea of how the mindless masses will draft.)

    I do my own rankings and projections but use your stuff as a “conscience” to make sure am not totally off-base. You helped me get second in money league last season. Once I get out of the weeds financially (soon hopefully), I plan on buying you several daiquiris.

  23. Wake Up says:
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    I feel like Ellsbury hit something like…1 out of every 6 flyballs went for a HR. I don’t know that for sure but I feel it, which is more important to me. I don’t usually trust facts. They’re misleading. Like the fact that I like your like projections for “Runs with buried L’s.” But, I feel like those numbers don’t belong in the first round, nor the top 12.
    “Something sort of Kurdish” will mos def be overrated but Yasiin Bey and me think that he will mos likely hit twice as many tex messages as the Navajo, now that he’s Black on Both Sides…of the plate…

  24. Tony says:
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    @Will: grey says brue i say pence, you do what feels good. Pence has shown better consistency and in Philly, he could be in for a pretty big uptick. I love me some bruce, but just not sold on the guy doing it over the whole year. It’s defly one of those two for your choices.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JV: Thanks for the kind words!

    @Wake Up: Yeah, that’s why I went pretty conservative taking him from last year’s 32 to 17 homers this year.

  26. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    @Hawk: gotcha, yeah i guess i do add a little of my own “projection” into that. But i think that’s what he had in mind as well. I find it hard to completely rely on any projections 100% (even though Grey’s are by far the best and most accurate). I think a large part of fantasy sports is relying on your “gut” feeling and your own research. I really use projections as something to reference, never as the “end all be all” of fantasy.

  27. Wake Up says:
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    @Grey: Like I said…I think your projections are right on. It was a lot harder to find something to disagree about this year, but I semantically tried. I realize that Ellsbury probably won’t make it past the first round in most drafts and that’s a good thing for Longo and Stanton owners.

  28. Big Magoo says:
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    @Grey: As Ron Burgundy would say, “Agree to disagree” (on Stanton, that is). I guess I’ll find out from your rankings in the next few days, but do you consider Hamilton and Wright good third round targets? I actually consider the third round more volatile than the second this year, even factoring in the obvious talent drop-off.

  29. Big Magoo says:
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    @Big Magoo: What I meant was higher-risk players from a fantasy perspective, rather than actual real-life ability

  30. birrrdy! says:
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    Again, great work Grey. Makes waking up in the morning fun knowing we might have more Razzball rankings to devour!

    Your article yesterday prompted some exciting trade activity in our 10-team 5×5 NL-only $300 keeper auction league.

    Went with your original recommendation and pulled the trigger on Phillips($21) for Alonso($5)/Tabata($7). Held back on the Holliday($31) deals.

    The guy who was tempting me with combinations of Latos($22)/Strasburg($18)/R.Zimmerman($21) for Holiday($31)/Phillips/D.Hudson($19) pulled off a trade with the same guy who gave me Alonso & Tabata. He gave up R.Zimmerman for LoMo ($9)/Ike Davis ($12)/J.Zimmerman($15).

    Thoughts? Noticed R.Zimmerman didn’t make your top-20. Are he and Holliday coming up anytime soon in your rankings, or is it going to be a long slow wait? Also noticed you advised Leo above to keep D.Espinosa over Corey Hart. No love for Mr. Sunglasses at Night this year? Thx, as always!

  31. schlitzy says:
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    @Grey: I suppose it is possible that Hanley goes closer to $40 than $50, but using last year’s auction as a barometer (Pujols $66 (insane), Tulo $47, Wright $46, Halladay $41, J. Upton $35) I think he goes closer to $50. It might be worth it to keep a guy like Tabata at $6 and see where Hanley ends up…but I won’t know about that until we get to the OF portion of the program will I? I can hardly wait!

  32. Hawk says:
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    Grey…

    If Stanton is on the up / Te(i)x is on the down and you think they’ll end the season with virtually the same stats then why is one to be avoided in 2012 and one to cream your jeans over in 2012?

    Is it that you think Stanton has a higher chance to hit exceed those projections / Te(i)x has a higher chance to miss them?

    If so, shouldn’t those concerns be factored into your projections in the first place?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Wake Up: Gotcha, and yup.

    @Big Magoo: Yeah, they’re in there.

    @birrrdy!: I’m about to go to catchers and around the horn, so Holliday’s got some time before he appears. Espinosa is around Hart’s power and speed and has better eligibility. I like that trade away of R. Zimmerman.

    @schlitzy: Yeah, Tabata at $6 is decent.

  34. royce! says:
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    I agree about not expecting Ellsbury to replicate his HR totals, and thought that his HR distances would back that up, but they don’t. I’ve still been trying to figure out how best to use hittracker data. My gut tells me that he ration of JE or L HR to total HR should yield interesting info.

    For AL batters who hit 30 or more HR, here is the data, organized by lowest to highest JE/HR ratio.

    Ellsbury: 32 HR, 4 JE (12%)

    Konerko: 31 HR, 5 JE (16%)

    Napoli: 30 HR, 5 JE (17%)

    Teix: 39 HR, 8 JE (20%)

    Granderson: 41 HR, 10 JE (24%)

    Bautista: 43 HR, 11 JE (25%)

    Reynolds: 37 HR, 10 JE (26%)

    Beltre: 32 HR, 12 JE (37%)

    Kinsler: 32 HR, 13 JE (40%)

    Longoria: 31 HR, 14 JE (45%)

    Hardy: 30 HR, 14 JE (47%)

    Miggy: 30 HR, 16 JE (53%)

    Based on the numbers I’ve got here, it seems to me that this will not be helpful. While I do not expect Hardy to repeat his 2011, I don’t think that all of a sudden Miggy and Longoria are not going to hit near 30 HR again. What’s odd is that Ellsbury is lodged in with some pretty serious power-first bats like Konerko and Napoli.

    I don’t have anything more to say about this, except that it would be nice to see someone compile the stat for more players.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hawk: “Is it that you think Stanton has a higher chance to hit exceed those projections / Te(i)x has a higher chance to miss them?” Yup

    “If so, shouldn’t those concerns be factored into your projections in the first place?” They are. Stanton has 2 more homers, 7 more steals and more RBIs than Tex. 7 steals alone gives him the edge. It’s not like 1st base is shallow and outfield is crazy deep when you factor in you need a bunch of them.

    @royce!: You know what I’d like to know on this? How many JEs in 2010 yielded bad 2011? Is there any correlation?

  36. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, totally. I’m gonna check that shizz out.

  37. royce! says:
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    @Grey:

    McGehee: 23 HR/ 15 JE (65%).

    Adrian Gonzalez: 16/31 (51%).

    Werth: 13/27 (48%).

    Rasmus: 10/23 (43%).

    Branyan: 13/25 (52%).

    Thome: 12/25 (48%).

    ARod: 11/30 (37%).

    Wells: 10/31 (33%).

    Hill: 10/26 (38%) (2009: 12/36 (33%)).

    What’s sort if interesting (except for the fact that it might make all of this worthless) is that Konerko and Napoli, who had very low JE/HR ratios in 2011, had much higher ones in 2010. Konerko was 11/39 (28%) and Napoli 11/26 (42%). For Napoli, I’m sure his move to Arlington helped, but that doesn’t explain Konerko.

    This is far from scientific, because I am just picking the subjects based on them having a lot of JE and, with most of them, knowing that they had less HR in 2011. It just doesn’t make sense to me that whoever runs hittracker hasn’t done this already. Maybe they have and it didn’t yield anything interesting.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Hmm… That actually does support the JE argument. Are you cherrypicking subjects just on them having bad 2011s? Or is that all the top JEs?

  39. Wake Up says:
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    @royce!: Interesting. It seems that not hitting JE Homers means that you are going to have your career year. Ells, Napoli(.344 BABIP, 25.4% HR/FB). Seriously though, I would like to see what happened from 2010 to 2011 too. Grey’s so good!

  40. Wake Up says:
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    @royce!: I wonder if you cross-ref HR/FB% or ISO? Does that make sense?

  41. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Mostly cherry picking, but only out of laziness. The main problem is that the only way I can do it, without working way too hard on this, is to look at the list of most JEs.

    Here are the others, up to 10 JE.

    AL:

    Bautista: 13/54 (24%)

    Ortiz: 11/32 (34%)

    Alex Gonzalez: 10/23 (43%)

    Miggy: 10/38 (26%)

    Matsui: 10/21 (48%)

    Hamilton: 10/32 (31%)

    NL:

    Howard: 13/31 (42%)

    CarGo: 13/34 (38%)

    Pujols: 12/41 (29%)

    Uggla: 12/33 (36%)

    Zimmerman: 12/25 (48%)

    Hart: 12/31 (39%)

    Weeks: 11/29 (38%)

    Hanley: 10/21 (48%)

    Votto: 10/37 (27%)

    Fielder: 10/32 (31%)

    Pence: 10/25 (40%)

    Dunn: 10/38 (26%)

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Eh, kinda looks all over the map with no correlation, right?

  43. royce! says:
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    Standouts seem to be Alex Gonzalez, Matsui, Hanley, Zimmerman.

    @Wake Up: Not sure what you mean.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: But they can be explained away with injuries or lack of playing time.

  45. Steve says:
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    @royce!: None of this (admittedly impressive) research will make a rat’s arse of difference when you’re ‘mysteriously’ stuck on autopick during the RCL draft.

  46. royce! says:
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    @Grey: I don’t think I have enough data to prove anything, but it seems at least that if one has around or more than something like 40% JE/HR, one can expect that they will hit less HR the following year. From this list, Zimmerman, Alex Gonzalez, Matsui, Hanley, and Pence all had less HR in 2011.

    Howard, one of the outliers, hit a lot of JEs again in 2011: 13/33 (40%). Same is true for Uggla.

    Ortiz, whose JE/HR was 34%, also say a drop in his HR, ISO, and HR/FB.

    @Wake Up: I would expect a spike in JE/HR would track a spike in ISO, so this might all be worthless.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: But Zimmerman, Alex Gonzalez, Matsui, Hanley all battled injuries/less playing time last year.

  48. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Each had a pretty big drop in ISO, Gonzalez had 47 less PA, and Matsui actually had more AB in 2011 than 2010. I’m not saying that it’s going to hold true for every player, but for those players who hit a very high % of JE/HR, it seems that there is a correlation. I say “seems” because the #s we have are pretty limited.

    @Steve: Ha! I’m gonna end up with Jeter again, huh?

  49. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    @royce!: @Grey: I don’t think the JE’s are anything to worry about unless they DON’T correlate with the players LD%.

    If a player has a large amount of JE’s with an lower or average LD%, then i would definitely be worried. For example, #1 on JE’s in the AL, was miggy, however Miggy had a 22.1% LD. #2 on the AL is Asdrubal Cabrera, he had a 17.5% LD rate last year. Which worries me a lot more then miggy.

    agree?

  50. royce! says:
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    @Grey: I remember Hanley and Zimmerman being injured, but not the others, but I trust your recall better than mine.

    Maybe I need to run the numbers for 2009… so much for freeing the innocent today!

  51. royce! says:
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    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: Yeah, I agree with that. And we saw Asdrubal’s power numbers peter out in the second half.

  52. royce! says:
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    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: JJ Hardy seems a candidate for a correction under that theory: 16.4% LD.

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Gotcha on ISO… Yeah, in the end, I don’t think there’s a big enough (or Just Enough) of a sample size to say definitely.

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: Yeah, that’s a way to look at it.

    @royce!: I wouldn’t touch Hardy.

  54. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: Yep, really. And it’s the only one of the three that didn’t hurt in the slightest. Needless to say, it freaked me out the first time… was like, when you turn on a faucet that hasn’t been run in years, and it sputters and coughs while air bubbles are flushed out. Lasted for a good 15 seconds, too. Crazy.

  55. Wake Up says:
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    @royce!: I’m saying that on it’s face it doesn’t seem to be strong enough, with ballpark and other variables. Maybe it can be used along with other info. For instance, Miggy was near the top of your first list at 53% but had no significant jump in HR/FB%. If you can find a player with both a rise in historical HR/FB% that also had a high JE/HR%, I think it would strengthen the case for a regression. Again, I haven’t done the research yet. What do you think?

  56. Mike says:
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    Victor Martinez tigers catcher torn ACL in offseason could be out the whole season. Maybe Tigers go after Fielder

  57. Mike says:
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    97.1 FM reported it

  58. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Eh, I give up on this for today at least. I don’t think I can really show anything without a lot more data, and consequently, time. I have neither. Also, I think we’ve sort of got to the bottom of whatever it could prove, which is that if you see a spike in HR/FB%, you should take a look at JE/HR and LD%. That information combined could tell an interesting story, but it might only do so for a very small amount of players (McGehee in 2010, maybe Asdrubal in 2011, and Drew Stubbs’ hot start to 2011 (first 6 HR JEs, all hit by early May, and only 9 more HR for the rest of the season)).

  59. Steve says:
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    @Mike: The Detroit Free Press website has it too.

  60. royce! says:
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    @Wake Up: Yeah totally. I’m sure it’s out there but like I said above, I’m done with this for today at least.

  61. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    @Grey: @royce!: Another thing to keep in mind is a player like howie kendrick… he had 14 JE’s last year, and hit 18 HR’s after having a career high of 10. First glance at his 2011 LD% seems to support that # (21.9% LD in 2011), however his career LD% is 18.7. In this case, i would suspect less LD’s, therefore less JE’s, therefore a regression in total HR.

    haha

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: These sound like updates from my grandfather.

    @Mike: Ouch

    @royce!: Yeah, appreciate the time you put in already. Seems like it’s easy to find that data relevant after the fact but how much credence you give it before is the question.

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man: I like Howie this year so I’m gonna ignore that.

  63. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    haha. is there a way I can block Awesomus Maximus’ posts!

    haha JK man. Hang in there, things get better… It’s almost baseball season!

  64. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    I had crawford in my top 20 (hoping for a bounce back year), however this news about his wrist definitely drops him down quite a bit…

    might be easier to get him now, then it was before… haha

  65. Mike says:
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    So Grey, what are the chances that Granderson is your 2011 Bautista in 2012?

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mike: Seems doubtful… He does add in more steals though so that helps subtract from his devaluing.

  67. Derek in Utah says:
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    Halladay over Kershaw in your top 20?

    hmmmm….

  68. Yep, I said it! says:
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    With VMart going down in a deep deep dynasty, I find myself stuck with Hank Conger as my only catcher. How doomed am I? All kidding aside, is Conger doing to get any ABs? Is it too wishful (and self-serving) of me to hope that he’s a sleeper this season? Oh brother….

  69. Hey its a new season, Grey’s got his rankings up, time to stop lurking around!

  70. jack says:
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    Hey Grey, Happy New Years! Thinking of starting the pre-season with a sell high style bang … 4X4 roto auction league (300 cap, 12 keepers), offering Grandy ($14), Valverde ($22) and Alex Gordon ($4) for Bourne ($7), Jered Weaver ($9), and Fielder ($37). Hard to give up so much “upside”, but counting on upside is a fool’s preoccupation. No brainer?

  71. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    @Grey: or from Chipper Jones.

  72. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Let’s recap my guess for 11-20 yesterday:

    Tex
    Cano
    Hanley
    Cargo
    Stanton
    Wright
    McCutchen
    Reyes
    Zimmerman
    Crawford/Ellsbury

    I wasn’t too far off except that I put 3Bs (Zimm and Wright) instead of 2Bs (Kinsler and Sparky). I think the lack of Tex in the top 20 threw a lot of readers off considering how high power 1Bs like him and Howard were ranked last year. Also, Halladay in there was a bit of a surprise. You’ve changed Grey, you’re changed.

    ;)

  73. barker says:
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    20 team keeper league question who to keep/trade we keep 6

    fielder kemp lawrie lind hart verlander gallardo pineda matt moore sergio santos

    fielder kemp lawrie verlander gallardo pineda was what i was thinking

    i have a chance to trade pineda + gallardo for kershaw + mid round pick
    id say between 10 – 15 ( we start in the seventh rd ) kid is a yanks fan

    i should do that even w/o the pick and keep moore, right??

    keepers after trade kemp prince lawrie kershaw verlander moore

    great rankings so far grey keep up the great work — best in the biz

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @barker: Thanks! Do it without the pick and keep Moore.

  75. dan condon says:
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    Need some keeper advice please. Basically I would loose the pick where these guys were drafted last year. Get to keep 2. Here are my best options.

    Fielder -2nd
    Kemp -4th
    Upton – 8th
    Weaver – 10th
    Stanton – 11th
    Strasburg – 19th

  76. cubfever7 says:
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    @Mr. Punch:

    You need to watch a flick called “Siege of Firebase Gloria” where the great R Lee Ermey lectures his platoon about thanking or praying to the same folks you mention (“and any other religous honchos I can come up with) when he’s in a firefight…was that random enough?

  77. Andy says:
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    I have to agree with a previous post questioning Halladay over Kershaw. I think Kershaw is the only pitcher worth a second round pick. He’s in his prime and even on a bankrupt, crap team he will get his wins in the NL West (although those opposing lineups have actually all improved).

    Halladay’s innings and age have to eventually show, right? Verlander’s 2011 looks like a career year outlier and he deals with AL lineups.

  78. Mike says:
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    Hey Grey… any chance you’ll revisit the 2012 rankings again soon? I lean so heavily upon them every year, but I’m sure situations have changed the rankings and reasoning that led you to choose your rankings back in the first week of January.

    Help us out… tweak the top 20 rankings by position so we have some current info to work with!

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I tweak major things like Oswalt, Salvador Perez etc… And I talk about minor adjustments in the daily posts… Can’t possibly tweak every minor thing…

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