4.26 ERA in 107 2/3 IP his rookie year. Who’s that, you ask with your super-cute, Joey Lauren Adams mousey voice. That’s Clayton Kershaw’s numbers when he was first called up. Like when you feed your dog, then hold his ass over the balcony, rookie pitchers are a crapshoot. There’s no discernible rhyme or reason what any of them will do in their first year. Trevor Bauer could’ve been great last year, but wasn’t. Yet, Jacob deGrom is better than he was in the minors. *shrugs* Your guess = my guess. In hindsight, we could pinpoint the reason for each pitcher’s performance. Unfortch, we don’t have hindsight for next year. Shucks, I know. Maybe you should reach into your emoji grab bag and pull out an appropriate one. If I had an Asian baby, I’d name it Emoji. Guy or girl. That would require me getting pregnant, and 6th grade health class tells me it’s not possible. I ain’t got no ovaries, y’all! This brings us to Andrew Heaney. He should’ve been terrific last year, and *raspberries lips*. Oh, man, I now have spittle on my keyboard from the raspberried lips. Intern, bring me my spittle rag! What should’ve been the great thing about Heaney is how he should’ve been safer than most pitchers due to his control — ya know, avoiding the big innings. Then, last year, he has a 5.83 ERA in 29 1/3 IP with the Marlins. The key there is how small a sample size it is — that’s what she said! Huh? We can’t learn anything from 29 1/3 IP. Corey Kluber had a 4.14 ERA in his first 37 IP last year. Putting too much significance on 29 1/3 IP is like when you dial a wrong number to a funeral parlor, then don’t leave your bed the rest of the day just in case that was an omen. No omen, you’re just listening to Signs by Tesla one too many times. Anyway, what can we expect of Andrew Heaney for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Here’s what I said almost two years ago, “Dylan Bundy’s A-Ball numbers were insane. He was too good for A-Ball. A-Ball called a press conference and said, “You’re embarrassing us. Please leave” In 30 innings, he had 40 Ks and 2 walks. Only giving up 5 hits and zero earned runs. High-A wasn’t quite as bonkers, but wasn’t far off — 57 IP, 66 Ks and 18 walks with a 2.84 ERA. The Orioles also told him to stop using his cutter. They said go with your 99 MPH fastball, i.e., I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Cutter. So he’s adjusting. Even without the cutter, he’s going to be an ace.” And that’s me quoting me! Unfortunately, while rookie pitchers are making plans, God laughs, saying, “I’m gonna draft some rookie hitters.” Not too long after I posted that, Bundy was sidelined by the doctor with the infamous hook. No, not Dr. Richard Kimble, but Dr. James Andrews, as Bundy needed Tommy John surgery. Fun fact! A cheap, yet effective surgery is being performed on high school pitchers, where coaches smack their players’ arms with luggage. It’s called Tumi John surgery. I saw it on Dateline. After about 14 months, Bundy was back on the mound in High-A last year, making hitters look foolish. They were looking dumb because they were swinging a few seconds early since Bundy’s 99 MPH fastball had suddenly become a 93 MPH. After about a hitter or two, they stopped looking foolish and started pounding the ball. Bundy had a 5.1 K/9 and a 4.78 ERA in High-A last year, and looks like he’s on the path to return, assuming said path is a ten-year journey where he gets to throw one ceremonial pitch in the major leagues and gets an article written about him in Sports Illustrated about what could’ve been. Anyway, what can we expect of Dylan Bundy for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Well, Cody Asche’s opportunity to sneak in and have a surprisingly solid season in 2014 before Maikel Franco emerged went swimmingly. If we’re judging swimmingly on a scale established by Natalie Wood getting swimming lessons from Robert Wagner. Too harsh? How about as swimmingly as Whitney Houston in a bathtub? That’s just terrible, why would you force me to give you a second one? Franco appeared in the majors last year, though he retained his rookie eligibility. Upon his arrival in Philly at the end of last year, Franco’s lack of assault on major league pitching made it seem like he needed more seasoning, i.e., the Franco-American Outside-Of-King-Of-Prussia War on pitching didn’t exactly leave us with shock and awe (.179 in the majors with zero homers in 56 ABs). Shouldn’t have been a surprise, he didn’t exactly look like a breakout waiting to happen last year in Triple-A, where he had 16 homers in 521 ABs, hitting .257. With rookies like that, maybe the Phils are right to invest in more megaphones for the clubhouse, so their veterans can communicate. “DID ANYONE SEE MY PREPARATION H?” “IT’S NEXT TO MY SMOOTH MOVE HERBAL TEA. YOU CATCH DATELINE LAST NIGHT? SO CRAZY.” That’s Rollins talking to Utley as they stood about three feet from each other. Franco had a season to forget, but since the Phils promoted him in September, he’s definitely short-listed for the Opening Day lineup, and won’t be in the minors much past June, barring injury or further disappointment. So, what can we expect of Maikel Franco for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Okay, so I’m basically going to have to do a post for every Cubs prospect. They have me prospiqued. I’ve been knocked on the head and no one can find any smelling salts, so they’re holding Cubs prospects under my nose. A Nubian genie is offering me three wishes and I’m taking three Cubs prospects. I already gave you my Jorge Soler fantasy. Today, it’s Kris Bryant and his mollywhopping stick. Maybe next will be Addison Russell. (Can I get a Starlin Castro to Yankees trade already? You know you want to, Yanks.) Bryant has a mollywhopping stick like we haven’t seen since Big Sexy Richie Sexson. Last year at spring training, when I saw Bryant, I was impressed. Looked ready to hit a ball 5,000 feet like he was five hundred Cespedes standing in the batter’s box. When I say mollywhop, you say Bryant. Last year, he had 43 homers in the minors. Um, for those slow on the uptake, they don’t play as many games in the minor leagues. 43 homers in the minors is like 756 homers in 162 major league games for a new major league record (Barry Bonds who?). It wasn’t like Bryant hit for a sucky average either — .355 in Double-A and .295 in Triple-A. He does strikeout a decent amount and that might hurt his average a bit in the majors. Oh, and he has sneaky speed — 15 steals last year. Can I draft him 2nd overall for 2015 right now? I ask, politely. Anyway, what can we expect of Kris Bryant for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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The other day I said that Jorge Soler was going to be your top rookie in 2015 fantasy baseball. Big words from a little man. At least I am a man, and not just an italicized voice. Joc Pederson would’ve been the top rookie if I saw the Dodgers committed to him out of spring training. There’s still time for that to happen. Like trading Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford for a middle reliever. I’m not being facetious. Shoot, I don’t even know what facetious means. If someone would take the contracts of Ethier and Crawford for a middle reliever, the Dodgers should jump around like Everlast. The Dodgers owe Ethier and Crawford almost $40 million for 2015 alone. And they’re signed through 2017! Maybe Magic can borrow some of the special sauce from one of his fast food franchises, squirt it on the $40 million and eat it. A’la a commercial jingle, “Two-overpriced-all-stars-from-2009-special-sauce-let-us-get-rid-of-them-on-a-seasame-seed-bun!” Without doing any actual research, I’m gonna say the Dodgers are paying about the same for Ethier and Crawford as the Marlins and Astros are paying for their entire teams. On the fo’really tip, the Dodgers could trade Matt Kemp, Ethier and Crawford for a middle reliever and be a better team next year. At this point, I have nothing but conjecture as to what they will do. My guess is the Dodgers trade Crawford or Ethier with the other becoming one of the highest priced bench players in the history of baseball. Right now, I’m gonna go on the assumption that Pederson isn’t up until June, but when making an assumption, you make an ass out of, um, ption? Anyway, what can we expect of Joc Pederson for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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You’ve sat by your computer and wondered aloud, how far can the Razzball tentacles stretch, while people nearby have shushed you for talking to yourself. Well, the unruly ivy that is Razzball has just grown itself a new branch — we’ve started to cover fantasy soccer. Next thing you know, we’re gonna have fantasy bocce ball with your host, Luigi. Alas, for now, it’s footy, futbol, the sweet protective shinguard of sports, soccer. A longtime Razzball writer, Smokey, and Ralph will be heading (get it?) the soccer side of things. I can’t wait to see what they say about fantasy soccer without using their hands. That is part of the rules for writing about soccer, right? They should make that a rule for everything to do with soccer. Concessions? Delicious, but must be eaten with your feet. By the by (like the rest of this isn’t a side note on top of side notes), what do they serve at soccer games? Can’t serve hot dogs, that’s baseball. Hamburgers are football. Malt liquor and hoochies in thongs are basketball. What’s soccer? Seems like they’d serve something like kefta kebabs. Oh, wait, is it a soccer game or match? Do we have our first branch of Razzball that is a match? Match sounds so tennis-y and that’s so girly. No offense, four girl readers. Fantasy Soccer: We Get Flop Sweat Without Using Our Hands and We Mean The 2nd Definition of Flop Sweat on Urban Dictionary. What? That’s our motto.

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Ayo whaddup, it’s ya boy Grey Albright aka the Fantasy Master Lothario aka White Chocolate aka The Ladder You Use To Reach New Heights aka The God Particle aka Supreme Court Judge Reinhold aka Paid Overtime aka Close Parking Spot When You’re In A Rush aka Al Swearengen’s Swearing Dictionary aka Teacher, We Don’t Need No Education aka The Weird Guy That Latches Onto The Main Character In Oscar Films I Think His Name Is Paul Dano aka The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker. I just spent thirty minutes looking up what Jere Burns has been up to. Ah, the offseason. You are a soothing mistress that touches my naughty bits with idle hands. He’s apparently been doing a bunch, but less than the dad from 7th Heaven, thankfully. A quick preamble about the 2015 fantasy baseball rookie series that is coming from me over the next few weeks. Rookies could get a post if they meet MLB eligibility requirements, less than 130 ABs or 50 IP. That means no Arismendy Alcantara, no Jimmy Nelson and no Javier Baez. In 2012, the first player I highlighted was Mike Trout. That wasn’t an accident. I said in the Mike Trout post, “He’s ranked number one for me. Numero uno. The Big Mahoff. He’s the big Statue of Liberty in New York, not that girly one in Paris!” In 2013, the first player I highlighted was Wil Myers (when he was good; you remember that). Last year, I highlighted Billy Hamilton first. You see a pattern? Eh, slow your juices on the thinking. I’ll tell you. The first rookie I highlight will be the top rookie for fantasy. This prospect isn’t no ordinary man, this is the prospect I be seeing in my sleep. Jorge Soler will be your number one 2015 fantasy baseball rookie. Will he be joined on the Cubs by the best core of major league rookies since Cal Ripken’s rookie card? Will Soler be named to the All-Century Team in 86 years or edged out by a robot with grabby hands named the Hitter-Tron that my great-great-nephew will sue due to trademark infringement only to find out it’s the same Hitter-Tron that once graced this little fantasy baseball blog called Razzball? Can Soler be a number one outfielder in 2015? So many questions and so little time to look up Jere Burns info! Anyway, what can we expect of Jorge Soler for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day? I don’t know what to do with myself! This weekend I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Chris Tillman for 2015. Then I laughed hysterically for a good twenty minutes until someone asked me to leave. We’ve gone over the final 2014 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. There’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left before we’re into 2015 fantasy baseball. You’re welcome. Well, there are Rudy’s recaps of every fantasy sites projections that are coming eventually and Sky’s “Is pitching that deep?” posts. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking about 2015 rookies next. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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All the final 2014 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for 2015 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. But not entirely. To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. We’re (me) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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With the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? The pitching recap will begin next. To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this course. This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason it carries more weight. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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