Japhet Amador is a giant man, standing at 6-foot-4, weighing in at 315 pounds. In the Mexican League, where he’s played for the last four years, they called him El Gran Burrito. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto once remarked that Amador is welcome at the Presidential Palace anytime, as long as Amador brings his own snacks. When Jose Altuve heard the Astros signed Amador, Altuve was thrilled. No more walking around for Altuve; Amador will just carry him around in a baby bjorn. I watched video of Amador and I’ve never seen such a slow bat through the zone. He looks like a Mexican Meat Loaf in a celebrity softball game. I swear, Amador stopped to eat one of those spicy dried mango candies halfway through his swing. His power is huge, but I’m not sure he’d gonna be able to catch up to anything. Last year in the Mexican League, he hit 36 homers and he’s 27 years old. The Mexican League is supposedly comparable to Triple-A, only instead of buses for transportation, the teams pile into a Toyota Tercel. Right now, he looks pegged for Triple-A, but since the Astros have Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and J.D. Martinez vying for everyday ABs, anything could happen. I’d take a flyer on Amador in AL-Only leagues, and wait and see in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, he gets the DH job and hits 25+ homers and .220. The worst case scenario, you draft Altuve and Amador accidentally sits on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in spring training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Psst! This post is gonna list 2nd basemen that you should target in your 2014 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m whispering because you don’t want everyone to see this post. No, I can’t whisper louder. Then it WOULDN’T BE WHISPERING! Okay, gig’s up (or maybe that’s jig’s up), the love I’m about to reiterately (Made Up Word of the Day!) confirm are guys I love later in drafts. Am I drafting any of these guys in the first 12 rounds? Probably not (except for Brad Miller — hello, beautiful! Come here, let Grey massage your balls…The balls of your feet, silly! Oh, that feels good on my hands. Can I tickle your toes with my mustache? Weird?). These are players that you’re looking at later and all of them have ADPs after 200. Some could be the 2nd baseman on your team, they are more than likely MIs. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Spanish-speaking-ones) supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2014 projections. Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2014 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers. Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that three years ago then had to fight Steve McQueen for writing credit. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2014 projections. This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2014 fantasy baseball. Now, guys and four girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like Salvador Perez if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall. And, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late. Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

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For the start of Spring Training, Rudy, Nick and I are heading to Arizona. Road trip! We leave today and return on Monday. If Nick’s lucky, we won’t make him carry Rudy’s Excel spreadsheets. We plan to take in a game or two, stand shoulder to shoulder and breath in the fresh, homophobic air of Arizona. That cactus smells like hate! Perhaps Rudy and I will walk into a bar hand-in-hand and see if we get kicked out. Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring. They also share equally effusive PR people. Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches had gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life. Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Jedd Gyorko yet?! Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in March. In fact, I think someone should propose to Bud that the World Series could easily be played in March. Yes, The March Classic. I like how that sounds. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players’ stats so far:

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Many people don’t know this, but one of the great scenes in modern cinema was nearly about fantasy baseball but was turned on its head due to a misunderstanding. Darren Aronofsky, being Polish and thus having things assbackwards, originally intended Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream to be doing a scene about head-to-head fantasy baseball strategy instead of what turned out to be ass-to-ass. Sometimes it takes a true auteur to recognize happy accidents and go with them. “So, I said to Darren, you want me to debate the merits of taking a pitcher early while I’m connected to this other girl by a dildo? And he just gave me a blank stare.” That’s a line from Jennifer on the DVD commentary. Head-to-Head, or H2H, doesn’t change a lot to our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. There are 300 billion suns in the Milky Way galaxy. There are 100s of billions of galaxies in the universe. There are at least 256,000 planets exactly like Earth. Time is a flat circle, says Rust Cohle. Yet, there’s only one Miggy Cabrera. (Though Ciggy Mabrera on Planet Yurick is pretty good too. Not a first rounder though.) H2H doesn’t change that. The strategy for playing in the middle of the season in H2H leagues changes. You aren’t hoping Billy Butler hits 25 homers by October, but whether or not he’ll hit a homer on Sunday or if you should sit him to try and win steals. It’s all about the match-ups, y’all! So you want to build a team that can match up well with any other team. (FYI, I’ve gone over this stuff before, but some of you might need a pine tree refresher hung from your rear view.) Anyway, let’s look at some H2H fantasy baseball draft strategy:

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“Get in a line, and limp.” That’s the master of ceremonies at the latest calfalcade. Chase Headley has a Grade 1 strain of his calf. Grade 2 or higher would be a cow. Semantics, perhaps. He’s supposed to be out for two to (stutterer!) three weeks. I’ve dropped him a couple of spots in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and my top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Probably if he was in Coors for his home games, coming off a 30-homer season and/or whispered in my ear sweet nothings about Giancarlo, I wouldn’t have moved him in my rankings at all. However, he’s in Petco, coming off a 13 homer season and any reason to not mess with a Padre is good enough for me. You say confirmation bias, I say keep your Psych 101 terms and Headley. To give you a present day example of another player with a calf strain who I’m not currently moving in my rankings: Josh Hamilton. If this were the 2nd week of March, I’d re-rank him, but he’s got time to heal or get injured worse. I’ll be monitoring Hamilton like a cyclops with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else has been going down in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

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In past years, I’ve said the following analogy. There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. You take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. If tests come back that he’s gone crazy, well, over at Yahoo The Noise ranked Matt Carpenter 37th overall. A recipe for success at Yahoo involves Kosher salt because you need to take Yahoo’s rankings with a bigger grain of salt. Now, with that said, I think this year Yahoo’s flipped the script on ESPN. Yahoo’s rankings are better this year, i.e., they’re closer to mine than ESPN. At least that’s the vibe I get from looking at them, I didn’t actually stop and weigh the differences and divide that weight by pi to the seventh integer and multiply by X. I simply looked at what they had vs. me and think Yahoo did a better job this year. They have also changed their rankings dramatically in the last week. See, I originally had The Noise down as ranking Carpenter 30th overall. Just about every guy in the chart at the end of this post has moved closer to my rankings in the last week. I’m not saying they’re copying (or they’re not copying fast enough), because, well, they’re still off and now it’s time to spit fire:

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Jason Kipnis? More like bacon with Kaddish! Am I right, twelve-hundred and eleven Jew readers? What? Google tracks this shizz, don’t look at me. For all of y’all that be up in my grill day in and day out about Jean Segura’s crizzappy 2nd half, let’s go off topic to bring it back to topic, shall we? Thanks, expository question! Segura had a ridunkiculous 2nd half, if you’re dunking turds in a bucket. Tis true, homies and four homettes. I agree. He’s also 23 years old and was in his first major league season. Never before had he played that much, so he was probably tired. Well, he did play a lot the year he played winter ball in the 8th grade because his dad told him, “You either play ball for 12 months or work at my pizza place, Papa Jean’s. Oh, and if anyone asks you about the lawsuit, Papa John’s and Papa Jean’s are not the same thing.” Segura was also hurt at the end of last year. But no excuses, he wasn’t good in the 2nd half with one homer and 17 steals. So, Kipnis, who the world and thy Lord in Fantasy Heaven, likes, did what exactly last year in the 2nd half? 4 homers and 9 steals. YAY!!! Seriously, I’m going to jump off the Bridge Of Who Cares after reading those numbers. Kipnis is also 26 years old and did the exact same tail off the previous year in the 2nd half, so this is a pattern you don’t need to be a knit maker to spot. So why is Jason Kipnis overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?

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I’m looking at my 2014 fantasy baseball rankings compared to ESPN’s fantasy baseball rankings and my iTunes is hitting White Walls by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Schoolboy Q, Hollis and me).

I wanna be free, I wanna just live… Inside my rankings… This is my shizz…
Now throw it up (ESPN’s rankings make me wanna throw up),
That’s what it is (that’s what it is),
In my R-A-N-K-I-N-G-S, Mitch (Moreland),
Can’t see through their love for Kipnis (nah ah),
I’m drafting real slow (slow motion),
In my hot wet dripping love for Giancarlo, he’s 24 (handsome fella),
ESPN don’t got love for the 24′s (nah ah),
But they’re on those oft-injured Jacoby’s,
That’s in those New York short walls,
R-r-round them hundred year old folks (Jeter),
Old school like Old English in that brown paper bag,
Yovani’s rolling in with the same WHIP that my granddad had,
Hello, haters, damn y’all mad,
$30 on a starter, now how backpack rap is that?

Please, blog, may I have some more?