I legit have called about half the Diamondbacks’ hitters sleepers this year, but when you venture into pitching territory you best come with your guns blazing like Jon Bon Jovi in Blaze of Glory or don’t’s come at all.  I wanted to call Taijuan Walker a sleeper, and I kinda did when I wrote up his trade post (click his name and you’ll get there, I have faith in you).  I don’t think Greinke will be underrated, I can’t stop looking at Patrick Corbin for the damage he did to my psyche last year — I’m damaged, y’all! — and here’s I am for Robbie Ray, Martha Raye’s illegitimate son with Mark Harris.  When I say Ray, you say ‘don’t play.’  Ready?  Ray!  Don’t play!  Ray!  Don’t play!  Ray Fosse!  Musical starring Jamie Foxx with lyrics by Bob Fosse about a 1970s catcher who was lawnmower’d by Pete Rose!  Damn, you’re good!  Last year, Robbie Ray had an ERA of 4.90.  And, this post is over.  Goodbye!  Holy schnikeballs, what the hell do we want with him?  Or more seguey… So what can we expect from Robbie Ray for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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I’ve seen some ‘smarter’ players drafting Michael Pineda way too high.  Like in the top 110 overall.  I don’t care that he had the third highest xFIP last year and the 8th best xFIP in 2015.  I mean, I do care about it, that’s why I’m highlighting him, but I don’t care top 110 overall care.  I’m operating a little without a safety net with the sleepers by not having a strong idea of where guys will be drafted.  I’m merely guessing where guys will be drafted, and I’d bet Pineda will go undrafted in a lot of shallower mixed leagues or after 200 overall in most other leagues.  At that price, he’s a sleeper and I’m interested in his xFIP.  For noobs, xFIP is essentially ERA while removing defense, luck, sequencing and normalizes for homers.  All of those should be self-explanatory except for maybe sequencing.  That means a guy that gives up a single, gets two outs, allows a home run and gets the third out is the same as a pitcher that gives up a home run, a single and then gets three outs, even though the 1st pitcher gave up two runs and the 2nd pitcher gave up one run with the exact same hitter results — a single, a home run and three outs, just in a different order.  All things being equal, a pitcher should be his xFIP self.  It doesn’t work like that for various reasons, but it’s a baseline.  Not quite the same as Humpty Hump’s bass line.  That’s dooooree-doooorit-dooooree-doooorit.  Ricky Nolasco made a career out of frustrating fantasy owners by never returning ERA bottles for his xFIP deposits.  Honestly, if it was just xFIP for Pineda, I wouldn’t even be writing this post, but it’s not, and with that…So, what can we expect from Michael Pineda for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Here’s a fun list:

Carlos Gonzalez — 424.6 feet
Giancarlo Stanton — 422.8
Trevor Story — 420.3
Nomar Mazara — 415.8

A) Surprised to not see Cespedes since he started with 100 feet  B) Hot damn, Nomar!  C) There’s no C.  If you haven’t guessed, that’s the top distances averaged on home runs for players with at least 18 homers last year.  Two of the guys were Rockies, i.e., Coors, and the other one was Giancarlo.  Right behind Nomar Mazara was Nelson Cruz, Joc Pederson, Trout and Goldschmidt.  Oh, and tied with Mazara was Mitch Moreland.  Is there a non-home run hitter among these men, I ask sounding like a character from Game of Thrones.  Granted, I do believe it to be true (why do I sound like I’m talking Middle Ages English?) that if someone hits fewer homers there’s gonna be a chance their average distance will be higher.  In other words, Mazara hit 20 homers last year.  If he hit 30 homers, maybe he would’ve hit a few just-outta-heres and his average distance would’ve lowered, but he didn’t so I’m throwing out my theory that I just threw in there.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t just omit it to begin with and don’t end a sentence with with — dah!  If I wanted, I could link to or post a bunch of upper deck blasts by Mazara.  Seriously, he did not get cheated on his dingers.  I personally hate when my dingers are cheated on.  So, what can we expect from Nomar Mazara for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Did you just see a cat walk up a stairway twice?  A glitch in the Matrix?  Having deja vu?  Did you just Google deja vu and feel like you had Googled it previously?  Okay, yes, there was a Randal Grichuk sleeper post last year.  When I wrote that Randal Grichuk sleeper post, I gave him the projections of 69/25/82/.253/8.  And, he disappointed.  Can you tell me by how much?  Go ahead, guess.  18 HRs?  40 runs?  50 RBIs?  Well, no.  I mean, yes, he did disappoint, but not by nearly that much.  His end of the season line was 66/24/68/.240/5.  I’m not going to say he made good on my sleeper call, which is different and less Al Qaeda’ey than a sleeper cell, but you have to admit he wasn’t the flop you thought he was.  Okay, don’t admit it.  Live in your frickin’ “I’m always right” bubble!  Quick question, do you have to dust when living in a bubble?  Do you ever blow a bubble while in your bubble to get all meta?  You know what?  I don’t care!  Keep your stupid answers to yourself!  Though, if you wanna DM me the answers, I would appreciate it.  So, what can we expect from Randal Grichuk for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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I would call fantasy baseball sleepers my “All-Want Team,” except it’s not always that black/white for Grey, said the color scale.  David Peralta was a surefire “Want” last year; this year, he’s a “Want for the Right Price.”  Peralta had three homers and two steals through the first five weeks of the season.  That comes out to about 16 HRs, 11 SBs over the course of the season.  It’s not a completely fair prorating job because he wasn’t hot once in that time.  You’d figure for at least a portion of the season he’d heat up and raise his season stats.  Though, maybe he would’ve gotten colder too.  Alas, we’re left with prorating five weeks out to a season because on May 8th began the dreaded Day-to-Day Dance of Day-to-Dayness.  Injury update on May 8th, “David Peralta is out with a bruised forearm.”  On May 9th, “David Peralta missed his 2nd straight day with a bruised forearm.”  On May 10th, “Peralta visited a wrist specialist.” Don’t you love how the injury isn’t even the right body part when it starts?  On May 12th, “Peralta’s wrist exam showed no structural damage.”  Wait, this is when it gets good.  On May 13th, “Peralta says he won’t need the DL.”  Does anyone have any question how this is about to turn out?  On May 15th, “Peralta hit the 15-day DL with wrist inflammation.  It’s believed to be precautionary.”  Please tell me you know where this is going.  On August 10th, “Peralta underwent season-ending wrist surgery.”  The final bit of injury news is, “Peralta will be ready for the start of spring training.”  I guess I’m the idiot here, because I know injury news is always five to seven times worse (exact science!) than what is relayed to us and I’m choosing to believe he will be ready for spring training, even though his previous eight months is littered with land mines on the dance floor of the Day-to-Day Dance of Day-to-Dayness.  So, what can we expect from David Peralta for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy New Year!  Or as I like to call it, Happy Birthday, Baby January!  We’re in the midst of doing our fantasy baseball sleepers, but I forget one more of the 2017 fantasy baseball rookies.  Not because he’s so good.  I forgot him because… Well, I forgot why I forgot him.  Great start to 17 after 20!  As I’ve previously mentioned on the aforementioned tip, I’m focusing on redraft leagues with these fantasy baseball rookies and if I could have my druthers and knew what druthers were, I’d go with guys that have had at least a taste of the major leagues already.  Enter stage right, J.P. Crawford.  Enter…stage…right…. J.P. Crawford!  Will someone please move the curtains?  Crawford is apparently finding it harder to find the stage as he is finding his power.  Last year, he had 7 HRs across Double and Triple-A in about 472 ABs.  Okay, prolly not ‘about 472 ABs’ prolly exactly 472 ABs, but I added the two levels in my head and might be a little off.  Why is it that player pages add major league players stats together when they’re traded but when they move across levels in the minors they don’t add anything?  I mean, I get it, it’s two different levels, but can’t they list the two levels separate then also have a third line with a combination of the stats?  I am literally the only that cares about this.  Yes, literally.  Okay, so not much power, but what about speed in the minors this year?  12 SBs.  Not sure what level of enthusiasm I’m supposed to show at this point.  Perhaps a lowercase yay with a small sigh?  He did hit around .250 (again, there’s no combo line and I’m not doing the math this time).  Around .250 or as I like to call it, who gives a fudge?  So, why am I even doing a post on Crawford or better, and more seguey… Anyway, what can we expect from J.P. Crawford for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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Early on in every preseason, I say something like, I do my own projections, but I’d be a fool to not at least look at Steamer and ZiPs’ projections.  It’s like when there’s answers in the back of your math textbook.  Sure, you can figure out the cosine of X if all equations are written on a train going 178 MPH through a tunnel while Gregory Peck gets some action in Roman Holiday, but isn’t it easier to turn to the answers and then try to work backwards?  Not to answer, but to nod knowingly.  Sometimes looking at those player projections gets me more or less excited about players.  Tim Anderson is a guy who got a sizable boost in my mind after seeing his projections.  A sizable boost right in my ass, which sounds like what a nurse would say during inoculations if the nurse were trying to get fired.  Also, asking kids if they saw the movie Vaxxed might have consequences to their job, as well.  Anyway, what can we expect from Tim Anderson for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Honestly, I can’t remember the last time a Yankee felt like a sleeper to me.  Well, maybe last year with Aaron Hicks, but that became a playing time issue by the time we got to March.  It’s also not every day I point out a 1st baseman sleeper.  I don’t like punting corner infidels and punting a 1st baseman is especially treacherous.  By the by, treacherous there is a negative even though it sounds like a word that would be positive in a rap song.  You want big-time production from your 1st baseman, and you should be looking for the same from your corner man.  For unstints, I like to take a 1st baseman in the 1st or 2nd rounds and don’t mind grabbing a 2nd one and my corner man before I’m out of the top 100 overall.  Do you want Rizzo vs. the guy trying to piece together Chris Carter and Belt?  Yes, yes, yes.  I want Rizzo over the guy taking Abreu, even if that means having Lindor vs. Altuve.  1st base is sneaky scarce this year.  We got middle infielders coming out of ears like potatoes on the guy that never uses a Q-Tip.  By the by, you should be listening to the new Tribe album, though I’m waiting for someone to Soundcloud-up a new Tribe album with Jairobi spliced out.  Therefore, ergo, vis-a-vis, there’s a case to be made for a sleeper 1st baseman, and specifically Greg Bird.  So, what can we expect from Greg Bird for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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No one is drafting Joc Pederson.  I got an email from the barber that used to trim Fidel Castro’s beard before emigrating from Cuba and he said, “No tengo Joc Pederson en fantasy beisbol.”  Granted, he also asked for me to wire him $1000000000 to help pay for a dead aunt I hadn’t heard of previously, so the legitimacy of the email could be debated, but Pederson as non-entity is legit.  This is likely due to his known quality, as in ‘it is known he is not quality.’  If I had to guess why, I’d say it’s because people assume what they’re going to get from him — low average, some pop, prolly platoon.  Okay, that’s enough to be unenthused, I can understand that.  I think that’s selling him short like Christian Bale moving tranches as he waits for a bubble to burst.  Just to be clear, you’ve moved your enthusiasm away from a 24-year-old who had 25 HRs and 6 SBs last year and has hit that many homers for two straight seasons and has 30+ steals in two separate minor league seasons.  Yeah, no hitter has ever been better in his third full major league season.  That was sarcasm.  Lots of data has shown the third-year breakout season doesn’t exist, but there was some data there to begin with to even investigate it.  In other words, that third-year breakout theory isn’t a bastard child because there’s data there.  So, what can we expect from Joc Pederson for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I think there’s a fairly evident reason it took Edwin Encarnacion a while to sign with a team.  Doode’s a leather-bound book with dust.  In the future, will a little boy sit down to hear a tale from his grandfather and the grandfather will blow dust off a Kindle?  “In the fall of 2016, I bought this Kindle from a garage sale.  What’s a garage sale, you ask.  It’s an informal market of used products that is held outside a house by where one stores their automobile.  What’s an automobile, you ask.”  Please, Grey, leave this metaphor alone!  You’re prolly right, Random Italicized Voice.  Speaking of grandfathers, this was overheard at the Christmas table yesterday:  My grandfather, “I took Viagra and only my nipples got hard.  Don’t think I got the pill all the way down.”  Any hoo!  Edwin’s ground ball ratio went up and his fly balls went down.  He still hits the ball hard, and, if he were 27 years old, none of his red flags would even be flags, they’d be red handkerchiefs for my white suit when I’m feeling especially Scarfacey.  His Ks went up, so he’s a .260 hitter now instead of a .270 hitter?  Big whoop.  I’m having a hard time being negative on Edwin, except he will be 34 years old.  Guys do excel in their mid-30s, but not as much as they don’t.  Am I excited about Edwin after he signed with the Indians?  Not particularly, but thinking he’s going to fall off, is you talking hunches and that only works if you’re making small talk with Quasimodo.  For Edwin’s 2017 projections, I’ll give him 88/36/105/.260/2 in 535 ABs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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