On Dancer!  On Prancer!  On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in.  Welcome, reader!  Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire.  You look festive.  I love that Rudolph tongue ring.  That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism.  That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away.  Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Jay Bruce.  Exciting!   In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2017 fantasy baseball season.  The biggest surprise from this list?  Marwin Gonzalez played how many games at 1st base?  Hayzeus Cristo!  I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  I’m a giver, snitches!  Happy Holidays!  I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of ten games or more played outside of their primary position.  Not FIVE games at a position, not six, definitely not seven. Ten games.  10, the Laurel & Hardy of numbers.  So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline).  Yes, Christmas came two days early this year.  Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position.  This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters.  Is G or H first?  Who knows, and, better yet, who cares?  Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking.  Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2017 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:

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The Phils have a game plan, and it looks a something like this:  trade and/or sign washed-out AL East starters.  Worked last year with Jeremy Hellickson, and now they’ve traded for Clay Buchholz.  This is the first trade where I can declaratively state both teams won and I don’t even know who Josh Tobias is, the infielder the Phils sent to the Red Sox.  Yes, I used declaratively.  Watch out, reading comprehension!  Looks like Tobias has some speed, but it doesn’t matter.  The Sox needed Buchholz off their team because they have a set rotation without him, and the NL East is about as good a landing place can be, even if Citizens Flank is slightly offensive-minded, and I don’t just mean the insults that rain down from the stands.  “The only time the Phils ever strung three W’s together is with their website.”  That’s a Philly fan.  “Now lean down so I can puke on you.”  That’s the same Phils fan.  Buchholz looks to be in possession of all his pitches that he had when he had a 3.30 xFIP in 2015.  Of course, those pitches couldn’t have looked more pear-shaped than last year with his 5.32 xFIP.  Honestly, I think he could be anywhere from a 3.50 ERA pitcher to a 4.50 ERA one.  Is he a mixed league starter?  Maybe as a streamer, or if he starts off well, but not out of the gate, as they say in horse racing.  For NL-Only, I’m going to like him as a late-round flyer.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 8-10/4.07/1.31/117 in 145 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Sure, you can consider Devon Travis injury prone.  You can also consider Rob Kardashian the hot Kardashian.  This is no sweat off me.  Labeling any player under 27 years old injury prone is a mistake, which is different than Ruth Chris, she’s Ms. Steak.  I’ve been guilty of labeling players injury prone in the past.  For years, I called Ian Kinsler injury prone because up until the age of 26 he missed around forty games a year for three straight seasons.  Now, Kinsler has three straight seasons of 150+ games and in five of the past six seasons.  I did the same thing to Nelson Cruz.  In his first few seasons, he averaged about 108 games a season.  He now has three straight years of 152+ games.  I also think Nelson Cruz was only injury prone when he was Nelson Cruz Jr.  No idea if the weight of his pops’ shadow played into this.  Not all players are injury prone across their entire careers like Glass Chipper.  Devon Travis had one major injury in 2015, a shoulder injury.  He returned from that injury and hit for power and average (11 HRs, .300 in 101 games).  He’s had the usual nicks and bruises here and there, he’s even dealing with a knee thing right now which should be fine by February, but one injury does not make an injury-prone player.  I guess you can consider him injury prone, but if you believe his shoulder is all good to go now, there’s no injury, there’s just prone, and I’m prone to like that.   There’s no reason to think Travis won’t play 150+ games this year.  In 163 major league games across two seasons, Devon Travis has a stat line of 92/19/85/.301/7.   Now, we’re talking my language.  So, what can we expect from Devon Travis for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Technically, Charlie Tilson could’ve been listed in my fantasy baseball rookie series, and Tom Murphy could’ve been listed in the fantasy baseball sleeper series, and Jason Heyward could’ve been listed in the “I will never draft him again” series if there was a “I’m never going to draft him again” series, but here we are.  When I first heard of Charlie Tilson, I thought it was a mispronounced dinner reservation for the former Dallas actress.  “Is there a Charlie Tilson here?  Your table is ready.”  “It’s Charlene Tilton.”  “And this is P.F. Chang’s, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t care.”  Damn, P.F. Chang’s needs to watch their customer service!  By the by, P.F. Chang’s might be the only restaurant where I look more forward to the free sauce they mix at the table than their actual food you pay for.  Me going there is like someone going to Burger King for their ketchup.  Okay, Charlie Tilson, or as you like to call him, “Who the fudge is Charlie Tilson?”  He’s the guy that stole 46 bases in Double-A in 2015 and was traded to the White Sox for Zach Duke.  He’s also penciled in as the White Sox starting center fielder.  Oh, and if you haven’t heard, the White Sox have already punted 2017.  So, what can we expect from Charlie Tilson for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Any reasonable man (which, technically, I am not, alas…) would tell you Jake Lamb is not a 2017 sleeper.  Last year, he had a line of 81/29/91/.249/6.  That alone should mean he isn’t a sleeper.  On our Player Rater, he was a top 15 3rd baseman last year.  I’ve seen him drafted after 200 overall already, so some have forgotten about him.  I’m not pointing any fingers, which is difficult because I’m wearing a giant, pointing Hulk Hogan foam finger.  Perhaps Lamb was too closely associated with Passover and, hence, ignored.  I think this is religious mores or less inaccurate.  If you think it has something to do with Lamb’s 2nd half, you’re getting shawarmer.  But his 1st half had us screaming, “Shanks, Lamb!  You’re my gyro!”   When the summer hit, Lamb was baaaahd in August and September, but wasn’t he mint in the sprig?  So mint, he was making others jelly.  All right, I’m gonna eat lunch and come back for the 2nd paragraph.  So, what can we expect from Jake Lamb for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Rutledge steps forward.  A hush falls over the crowd.  Delino DeShields stops obnoxiously sucking on his soda straw when he realizes the crowd has silenced.  Rutledge continues, “At one time or another, we’ve all been sleepers.  Some of us never reached our potential.  Others have, but are still forgotten.”  Rutledge taps his chest with his fist and motions towards Brad Miller.  “While most of us have seen our best days pass us by without making good on being sleepers, one of us still has one year left to be a post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-hype sleeper.”  One man stands from the crowd, but Rutledge quickly gets annoyed, “Not you, Brett Lawrie.”  Lawrie shrugs and sits back down.  “No, I’m talking about you.”  Rutledge points into the crowd, realizing he’s not pointing at the right person, he asks, “Adam Eaton, could you move right or left?”  Finally, we see Rutledge is pointing at Leonys Martin.  He’s surprised to be singled out.  Martin tentatively stands, “Me?”  The preceding took place in The Tomb of the Forgotten Sleeper.  We’ve been here before with Martin, and this, I promise, will be our last time.  A’la Q-Tip, “All you bad sleepers, you must go…”  So, what can we expect from Leonys Martin for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, you knew this one was coming.  If you heard me once expound on the greatness of Maikel Franco, you’ve heard me expound on his greatness dozens of times and I have to say, I need to expound on how much I love this Word of the Day calendar.  It’s expounding my vocabulary!  I used it wrong there, didn’t I?  Let’s backtrack to the most basic common knowledge we have about baseball players.  They all spit.  Okay, Random Italicized Voice, let’s fast forward a bit.  Hitters sleep with a wOBA?  Now you’ve lost me.  Good, stop following me, you creeper!  Players usually take a few years to get comfortable.  Guys don’t usually peak their first full years.  Last year, Maikel Franco had a line of 67/25/88/.255/1 as a 23-year-old in his first full season.  Okay, so there were so many homers last year that David Eckstein would’ve hit 30 homers if he was still playing.  Fair enough, but you can’t possibly think Franco was a disappointment with 25 homers in his first full season.  On our Player Rater, Maikel Franco was ranked 154th overall.  Better than Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler, Matt Carpenter, Craig Kimbrel and Joc Pederson.  Sure, bit apples and oranges, but orange you glad I told you?  Okay, for that, I’m going into the pun penalty box for three minutes.  *sits in penalty box, smiles showing missing front tooth*  Okay, I’m back!  So, what can we expect from Maikel Franco for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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I’ve mentioned this before and might again if I do a Domingo Santana sleeper post, which I’m toying with and don’t end a sentence with with — dah!  The Brewers might be the first team in history that would have a lesser than 40% chance of scoring one run with the bases loaded and no outs due to their crazy strikeouts.  Everyone on the team Ks at an obscene rate.  It’s like their hitting coach is Rob Deer.  “Guys, you have to wait for your pitch.”  *ball bounces in dirt, three feet in front of Keon Broxton*  “Why didn’t you swing at that?  I said wait for the pitch, as in swing at every pitch when it gets to the plate — ball or strike!”  That’s Rob Deer, hitting coach.  If nothing else, it’s worth noting the team’s strikeouts for pitching streamers going against them when we get there.  The 2016 Brewers had the worst strikeout rate since 1902 with 25.5%.  The top 30 are all in the last ten years, so there’s definitely been a change in the game, but there ya go.  Keon Broxton might be the worst offender of swinging and missing on a team that is historically terrible (yes, at some point this is going to turn positive for Keon).  Losing Chris Carter’s 32% K-rate will help, but Keon Broxton’s K-rate was 36.1%.  “Terrific!  I love that aggressive approach!”  That’s Rob Deer again.  Broxton’s percentage of contact with balls outside the strike zone is 39.4%.  That’s historically bad.  Last year, the worst mark for qualified hitters was, once again, Chris Carter at 42.2%.  Of course, logic tells us if you’re not swinging at many pitches outside the strike zone, then it doesn’t matter.  Here, Broxton actually excels.  He swings at pitches outside the zone only 22.1% of the time, about the same as Matt Carpenter, Trout and Goldy.  There’s hope!  Finally!  “I’d like to see him swing more at pitcher pitches.”  Shut up, Rob Deer!  Then there’s the fact that he only makes contact with pitches inside the strike zone at a 76% rate, which would be the 2nd worst in the majors, tied with, you guessed it, Chris Carter.  Sigh.  So, what can we expect from Keon Broxton for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes a sleeper?

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The White Sox traded Adam Eaton for Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning and top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito; the second day in a row top prospects are headed to the White Sox.  It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibilities that Theo Epstein is studying abroad this winter and abroad is the South Side of Chicago.  “Excuse me, but, uh, why do you have this electrodes hooked up to my brain?”  That’s Theo Epstein as Rick Hahn dips out of the interrogation room to get coffee.  If I were a fan of a club that had no chance of winning next year, I’d want my team to go about rebuilding like the White Sox.  “What, you don’t like our signing of Ian Desmond?”  I’ll get to you in a second, Rockies.  The White Sox have taken a bunch of lemons, planted lemon seeds next to a sugar plantation that they purchased off eBay and should have lemonade in a few years.  They might even trade that old guy from the Country Time Lemonade commercial for another prospect!  As for fantasy, Adam Eaton went 14/14 and 14/18 the last two years, which is deceptively awful.  It’s one thing to go 14/14, it’s another thing to go 14/14 in 619 ABs.  He’s like Markakis as a middle infielder.  If you own Eaton in any fantasy league shallower than 14-team mixed, you should lose your league.  The problem with a guy like Eaton in a shallower league is anyone who is even half paying attention should be able to beat his stats with just a few decent waiver wire grabs.  You can likely beat Eaton’s numbers by just streaming hitters every day, and never even holding any guy who gets hot.  Eaton’s stats come out to one homer and one steal every two weeks.  Holy Jewish Jesus, that’s bad.  Sure, there’s some value to his 90+ runs and .280+ average, but if you can’t get runs and average that matches that from streaming, again, you deserve to lose.  For 2017, I’ll give Eaton the projections 102/12/49/.277/16 in 605 ABs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Red Sox made a huge splash yesterday trading away Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz and Michael Kopech for Chris Sale.  Red Sox must be appealing to Bernie Sanders with their rotation: two lefties named Sale and Price.  Dave Dombrowski sure does love to trade away his top prospects.  Dombrowski buys 10 copies of Baseball Prospectus every year, crosses out the ‘u,’ and barters them for two cartridges of Nintendo Baseball Stars.  Dombrowski used to have four young kids, until he traded them to a Mormon family for an honors student three months from graduating high school.  Dombrowski dreams of finding the Fountain of Youth so he can trade it for a veteran fountain.  I’m not going to compare Sale to Price even if the Jew in me wants to talk wholesale.  Price had concerning stats going into last year and is older.  Of course, some of Price’s concerning stats were a lower K-rate and a falling velocity on his fastball, which are two warning signs with Sale too.  Okay, maybe I will compare the two.  Sale’s fastball velocity went from 94.5 MPH to 92.8 MPH, while relying on it 7% more of the time.  You’re a big-time Razzball noob — Razzboob? — if you think I’m going to suggest you draft an ace, and Sale is no different.  I’m not about to say he’s going to fall off, but declining velocity, K-rate and rising xFIP is not an ace I’d be excited about.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 18-8/3.31/1.08/244 in 225 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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