The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild. They sell off a piece every few months or so. “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.” Dot dot dot. A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake. We’re rebuilding…kinda.” Dot dot dot. A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis? For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.” Dot dot dot. “Todd Frazier anyone? Everything must go…eventually!” Dot dot dot. “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?” The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds. By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320. Any hoo! Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory. I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck. Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.” Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right? Okay, back to baseball! Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing. That’s around his career norm. He achieved this by hitting everything in the air. If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen. Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs. Brucely, I’d take that trade off. Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy. For 2016, I’ll give him 86/30/98/.250/14. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I look at all kinds of stats to find sleepers for next year. Brandon Belt was one name that came up on a lot of different searches through last year’s numbers. No, smart guy, I wasn’t searching “Players that have disappointed year after year.” Belt had the ninth best for Hard Contact Percentage. Like a bar stool, that’s right behind Miguel Cabrera. It’s not surprising that Belt was top ten for the majors last year. Belt hit nearly 40% of all balls hard. (Belt hitting balls hard gives me flashbacks to being bent over my grandmother’s lap.) The top guy in the majors for Hard Contact was J.D. Martinez at 42.3%, and the difference between Belt and the top guy overall was about the same as the difference between Belt and AL MVP, Josh Donaldson (37.1%). Guys that Belt hit the ball harder than is a who’s who — Kris Bryant, McCutchen, Votto, Braun, Yoenis, A-Gon, etc. etc. etc. Another stat where Belt popped up on — actually bad choice of words — was Infield Fly Balls percentage. Belt had an 0.8% Infield Fly Ball rate, which was 2nd in the league after Christian Yelich, who didn’t pop up once. Not popping up means you’re hitting the ball solid. Speaking of hitting the ball solid, guess who led the league in Line Drive Percentage. I’ll give you one guess, his name rhymes with Random Melt. It’s Brandon Belt, you dope! For guys who made the weakest contact overall, it’s no surprise that Belt is in the bottom ten, right in front of Mike Trout. For just about every stat for a hitter making solid contact, Brandon Belt places. For the stats that matter for fantasy (HRs/SBs), I’m going to give you two players and one is Belt. 18 HRs/7 SBs vs. 18 HRs/9 SBs. Like Michael Hutchence, Belt is on the latter. Eric Hosmer is the first one. Intrigued yet? I bet you are, you rabid horny fantasy sleeper monger. Anyway, what can we expect from Brandon Belt for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further. “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?” Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth. “You have a toothpick? I have dirt stuck between my teeth. Hello?” Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead. Or is he? Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara. “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!” Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally. Then, “You still want that toothpick?” And…scene! So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts. At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago. Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad. His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain. I will call him Crack Cocaine. Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date. I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know what I keep finding? No, not lint in body areas that I need Google to identify. Though, I do feel bad for the guy that keeps asking on Yahoo! Answers, “How do you stop lint from accumulating in your philtrum?” What I keep finding is sleepers that really weren’t that bad last year. Let’s throw out runs and RBIs, because those are a product of lineup placement and team offense, and let’s look at the all important HRs, batting average and SBs. One guy had 16 HRs, 6 SBs and a .261 average; another guy had 21 HRs, 2 SBs and .287 average. One guy is 33 years old; one guy is 21 years old. One guy is obviously Rougned Odor and one guy is Robinson Cano. For those that just skim think pieces and daydream during the offseason, I’m gonna give you the most succinct knowledge you will find outside of “Don’t sleep with a girl who has a blister on her lip and scratches herself in public.” That knowledge: 33 years old is on the wrong side of a hitter’s bell curve for production, and 21 years old is on the right side. If you have an X-axis labeled “Age,” and a Y-axis labeled “Production,” Odor’s going up and Cano’s going down. I.e., in 2016, I’d want Odor over Cano. Now, even a jury member that found Robert Durst innocent can tell you Cano will be drafted before Odor in all leagues, so I think we’ve found some value. Anyway, what can we expect from Rougned Odor for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Uh no, the Yankees fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon! Starlin Castro was traded to the Yankees for middle reliever, Adam Warren. Didn’t the Yanks get the memo? Middle relievers are the new cheap starters. There was an interesting development the past week. Jordan Zimmermann got ridunk money and everyone was like, “Damn, Cousin Fat Pockets needs to let out the elastic on his velcro wallet.” Then David Price got boku bucks and a Nigerian from Nigeria by the name of Boku said, “My last name is not bucks, I’m confused by this idiom.” Then Zack Greinke went for a walk in the park and came across a suitcase of $206.5 million and looked over his shoulder slowly, then looked back at the suitcase, then started putting million dollar bills into his shorts. Finally, Henderson Alvarez was non-tendered and the entire league was interested, and this sounded warning bells. People are interested in Henderson Alvarez?! What the eff! At that point, the smarter GMs realized they just need to make it so their starters that aren’t terrific go six innings, then their bullpens can come in. The Royals realized this two years ago, but now everyone is catching on. As for Castro on the Yankees, I want to say unequivocally that this is the best landing spot for him in the majors outside of Coors. Castro has totally failed as a top prospect– Oh, wait, he’s only 25 years old. This was a case where the Cubs didn’t make a bad deal; they just had too much of a good thing with middle infielders, and their eyes set on Messin’ Wit’ The Zo’. Castro feels set up to have his biggest season to date, and I’m going to project him as such. For 2016, I’ll give him 72/16/77/.274/7 with room for more. As for the future at 2nd base in Robert Refsnyder, there’s always playing for the Padres in two years. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Domingo Santana really should go by the name, Sunday Santana. How badass does that sound? It kinda sounds like a gangbanger’s little sister. “Hey, esse, you watch my hermana, Sunday Santana, while I go bang this gang?” That is totally what a gangbanger says. Crazy that I never heard back from Shawn Ryan on premaking The Shield with the hot-headed, plays-by-his-own-rules, high school crossing guard, Vic Mackey, in the 1980s. “It’s like The Goldbergs meets The Shield. Mr. Ryan, are you still there?” That’s me prank calling the creator of The Shield. Whatever you call Domingo Santana, one thing is for sure, you’re gonna be calling him a bonafide 2016 fantasy baseball sleeper (take that SEO, Bleacher Report!) Is it me or when you read the word “bonafide” you want to slap on some suspenders and go to a barber shop? It’s like the word bonafide should only be said by Coen brothers’ characters. Okay, Cousin Sweatpants, you know I love me some Domingo Santana if you’ve only been reading this site for a few, but let’s embark on the Why. Anyway, what can we expect of Domingo Santana and what makes him a 2016 fantasy baseball sleeper?Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning. Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures? Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000. That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year. Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme. Any hoo! Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value. Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs. Actually, they’re worse. So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins. It’s a hit due to home stadium change. Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not. Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five. Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt. Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco. I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good. Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old. Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP and someone I am not going near. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Robert Stephenson reminds me of another some-time-ago Reds prospect, Edinson Volquez. Nasty stuff that some people thought could turn into a number two starter. Unfortunately, for a while, Edinson was just a number two, but not as in a starter. Then Ray Searage happened. The Pirates pitching coach fixed Edinson like Chris Martin fixed Gwyneth or like Bill Cosby fixed your mom’s drink in the late 70s, essentially helping Edinson harness his control. Edinson maxes out at 98 MPH, and Stephenson goes above that, touching 100 MPH on occasion. Everything else looks to be similar. Stephenson has no control, and the videos of him give me the impression that he’s still a thrower, not a pitcher. It’s God’s cruel joke that guys that throw fast can never command their pitches. Or Vishnu’s cruel joke if you’re reading in India. Or General Tso if you’re reading in China. Or Ben Carson if you’re a once-conjoined twin reading this in a church. If Stephenson wasn’t ready for a starting rotation job out of this spring and able to have a 9+ K/9, we wouldn’t be here talking about him, but we are here and we are talking about him. Anyway, what can we expect of Robert Stephenson for 2016 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million. MFW I heard. I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous. The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.” The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts. The Ghost of Marion Barry started it. This contract makes me long for the days of collusion. This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history. There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense. Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million. Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight? By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s. It’s not like contracts are secret either. It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer. Big contracts get you nowhere! I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row. As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two. Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark. He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck. Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much. At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Tigers are doing all of their buying early this year, huh? They’re like your mom that one year she did all her Christmas shopping about two and a half months before everyone else. Then the presents sat in your basement until Christmas and, since presents aren’t supposed to sit in a basement that long without being used, the PlayStation got mildew damage and Dad’s cordless shaver batteries seeped. Then, when Christmas finally rolled around your mom’s talking about how presents aren’t why you celebrate baby Jesus’ birthday and you say if that were true then why was she in such a hurry to buy presents in September? And she says to shut up and enjoy your starting pitcher with a falling K-rate and a raising xFIP. Well, if she were the Tigers’ GM. To quote Gordon Gekko, Jordan Zimmermann is a dog with different fleas. Last year, he had a 7.3 K/9 after a 8.2 in 2014. He had a 3.82 xFIP last year, his highest since his rookie year. He’s always impressed with his lack walks, but even those crept up from 1.3 in 2014 to 1.7 last year. Oh, and now he goes from the NL East to the AL. The Tigers should just go out and get Johnny Cueto and a pair of Zubaz to make it official that they just don’t understand bad trends. For 2016, I’ll give Zimmermann the projections of 14-11/3.89/1.24/155 and someone I won’t go near next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?