The Braves had the 5th best ERA last year in the major leagues. That’s with a down year by Mike Minor, and injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen. Their runs scored were second to last in the majors. Only the Padres’ offense was worse. So, naturally, they trade away Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, who had a sub-5 K/9 in High-A last year. Oh…*pounds out a chicken cutlet, fills it with spinach and ricotta cheese, rolls it up, ties it with twine, bakes it on 450 for 18-22 minutes, pulls it out and breathes in the aroma* …kay. That’s the Chicken Florentine pause. Practiced by many, only able to be pulled off by a few. I rarely pull out the Chicken Florentine pause, but trading a top hitting prospect that is only 25 years old, when your team is hurting for offense, is straight up baffling with a pickleback. Are the Braves trying to bring the entire organization down to Fredi’s level of intelligence? Did Fredi tell management that they had too many top of the order hitters (they have none) and they needed another arm (they don’t)? Are the Braves trying to get featured in the third sequel to Major League? I got questions, y’all! From a fantasy perspective, Heyward’s value goes up simply because the Cardinals are a better offensive team. Like someone doing yoga, Heyward will now be surrounded by Matts, Carpenter and Holliday. What will Heyward produce? Go ask the Sphinx. One year he looks like a 30-homer hitter, another year he looks like a middle infielder with 20 steal speed. He could be anywhere from a 15-homer guy to a 30-homer guy. The 20 steals, now in two of five seasons, looks possible, until you see he has a year of only 2 steals. His .271 average last year is around his career average (.262), so that seems repeatable, until you see his .227 average in 2011. At some point, he could have a 30-homer, 20-steal top 20 fantasy season, but to say it’s definitely coming is you lying to yourself. You already lie to yourself in other areas of your life, let’s not start with Heyward too. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 91/20/75/.274/15. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Another year, another Archie Bradley outlook post. He now has two said posts, which might be it for him, if he can’t start to make good on his promise. Here’s what Prospect Mike said this year on him, “Many fantasy owners thought Bradley might have already made his debut by now, but elbow problems and a D-Backs squad that went nowhere again in 2014 stalled his progress. Kinda like how Grey’s maturity level stalled in the 4th grade.” Hey, I’m way more of a middle schooler! Here’s what I said last year, “Archie reminds me of Taijuan Walker, only rawer. BTW, try to say rawer out loud and not sound like a lion. Yeah, you can’t. Is it me or does it seem the nastier a guy’s stuff is the less control they have over it? It’s like if a hitter doesn’t know where a pitch is going, then the pitcher probably doesn’t either. Another guy Bradley reminds me of is Max Scherzer. It took Scherzer six years to figure out where his pitches were going. Member all of those years I loved Scherzer and he was frustrating to own? Because I love stuff and you just never know when the control is going to come. Bradley’s control could come this year. More than likely, it’ll come in another year or two. He’s only 21 years old. If he doesn’t figure out control until age 24, he’ll still have plenty of time to rack up Cy Young awards, but will be useless for fantasy for another three years. So, I love him like his momma, but there’s no way I’m drafting him in mixed leagues.” And that’s me quoting me! Unfortch, I was way more prescient than I wanted to be with Bradley. So, what can we expect of Archie Bradley for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
During the All-Star break last year, Mark Reynolds aka Mini Donkey, Adam Dunn aka Big Donkey, Ian Stewart aka Mini Mini Donkey and Pedro Alvarez aka El Burro got together to discuss the future of the Donkeys with Adam Dunn retiring. The conference took place at a Chicago-area Sheraton. Outside the Sheraton conference room, a sign read, “Dunn Done and Done?” Caterers vied hard to cater the event. Carpenters stood by in case Dunn sat down wrong on a chair. First to speak was Mini Donkey. He assured Dunn, the Donkeys could continue, saying, “All brays to you, but is this the end? Nay! There would still be all-or-nothing types for years to come.” Alvarez said something, but the translator was a no-show. Ian Stewart placed a cinnamon sugar donut on a pen and took practice swings, eliciting a stink-eye from Dunn. After a good hour of debate, Dunn wasn’t sure; his concern about their future worried him, so, naturally, he turned on the Futures Game. At that point, a Lithuanian maid walked into the conference room with a sign written in Batman-style font. The sign read: WHAMP! At six-foot, five inches, Joey Gallo devastates pitches. Last year, he hit 21 homers in only 68 games in Double-A. Before that, he hit 21 homers in only 58 games in High-A. Last year, 38 homers in 106 games. And he can’t hit above .240 in the minors. Adam Dunn stood up and exclaimed, “Four lady readers and gentlemen, we got ourselves a new Donkey — Big Donkey Jr.! And Ian Stewart please stop wasting donuts.” Anyway, what can we expect of Joey Gallo for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Noah Syndergaard seemed poised to help the Mets this year, after breezing through Double-A with a 11+ K/9 and a 3.00 ER in 54 IP in 2013. “Matt Harvey on line one, wants Noah to take the call. Sure, he can hold, he only has the Ghost of Ralph Kiner on the other line. No, he can’t hold!” Of course, the Mets can’t have anything nice. It’s what happens when a club makes a deal with the devil in 1986 for a championship and a Cadillac filled with cocaine. “I said to take the compact Pontiac Sunbird filled with coke and 15 years of bad karma, instead of the Cadillac and 30 years of bad karma.” That’s Keith Hernandez explaining his side of things. In June, Syndergaard was sidelined with a sprained shoulder. Egads! But it was his non-throwing shoulder. Egadless! The Mets are in the same pickle as every other organization that has a Triple-A affiliate in the PCL. If they send them to Triple-A, they’re gonna get knocked around. No, I have no idea why they would have a league that shatters pitchers’ confidence. But, there they are. And there was Syndergaard’s confidence being splattered on the wall like a scene from Game of Thrones. Don’t throw a strike, it’s the white walkers! In Triple-A, he threw 133 IP, and had a 9.8 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 4.60 ERA. Lowercase yay. It’s Midnight in the Syndergaarden of Good and Evil and Kevin Spacey is unconvincingly playing a heterosexual. Snoozegaard, you suck, moving on! Or does he? Damn, you reversal question! Anyway, what can we expect of Noah Syndergaard for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m back from my trip to Colombia, without dysentery to boot! Though, I’m not sure if ‘to boot’ is the right verb, if I have dysentery. Though, Part II, The Return Of Thoughs, I also haven’t seen a solid stool in about a week. “Hmm, that looks like bat signal.” That’s you looking in my toilet, taking a Rorschach test. Let’s start with what I said about Castillo when he was first called up, “Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Rusney Castillo previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing.” And that’s me quoting me and quoting Mike! In his brief cup of coffee (shot of espresso?), Castillo had two homers and three steals while batting .333 in 36 ABs. Call Cooperstown, Castillo’s coming in to sit for his bust sculpting. Or wrap him in plaster of Paris and put him outside of Fenway. We’ve got ourselves an immortal! Okay, but let’s just say for argument’s sake, he’s not an immortal, what can we expect from Rusney Castillo for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
This post is gonna look so prescient when Starlin Castro is traded to the Yankees at the Winter Meetings. What, you thought the Yankees were going into the season with Brendan Ryan at short? Zelous Wheeler? Richard Roundtree? He’s a complicated man that no one understands but his woman. I tried to have Cougs agree to the Theme from Shaft as our first dance. Couldn’t pull it off. More props to you if you can. Or maybe Castro will be traded to the Mets. Then again, the Mets have said they’re moving on from Ruben Tejada for about six years and are still holding on tight. Someone needs to rip that deflated life preserver from their arms before Tejada is One-Eyed Willy next to the sunken treasure that is the Mets’ recent fortunes. So, the first thing we know about Addison Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell, is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing, we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Anyway, what can we expect of Addison Russell for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s flashier guys to cover, I’m looking at you, Carlos Correa; I’m winking in your direction, Byron Buxton, and your missing finger, excuse me, dislocated. But I’m writing rookie outlooks for 2015 fantasy baseball, i.e., I’m focusing on guys that could play the majority of the time in the majors in 2015. I’m not going to write a Buxton outlook saying. “Will be awesome, come back to read more in 2016.” I’m trying to focus on impact players for this coming year. Prospect Mike is around to talk future All-Stars. Unlike Correa and Buxton, Francisco Lindor is in his last stop at the majors. Maybe the Twins push Buxton along and he jumps to the major league club by midseason, assuming he can stay healthy and the Twins can actually have something nice. “Sorry, we don’t have anything in your size.” That’s the cashier at the Everything Nice store after the Twins enter. Wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Buxton to appear this year. Shoot, he could rip the cover off the ball in spring training and be up sooner than June. Right now, he looks like a September call-up, at best. Same for Correa. With that said (oh, boy, here comes a reversal), I’m not totally sure of Lindor’s path to the majors. A good generalization that is generally good (hey, what do you know?) is a player ends the year in Double-A, starts in Triple-A the following season and is in the majors by June. Or is in Triple-A to end the year and starts the year in the majors the following year. Of course, guys can jump from Double-A or even High-A to the majors, but that’s more the exception than the rule. Lindor, on the other hand (were we even using hands?), played well in Triple-A last year. He really has no place else to go, except the majors or traded to another team. He should’ve been up already, to be quite frank, and don’t call me frank. Why am I even comparing Lindor, Correa and Buxton? Because they’re all the top rookies right now in the minor leagues, and you people demand the best. You demander, you! Anyway, what can we expect of Francisco Lindor for 2015 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?Please, blog, may I have some more?