Prospect hounds looking for some action now that the minor league season is over can turn their attention towards the 2014 Arizona Fall League. The league is made up of six teams and each of those teams is affiliated with five major league clubs. MLB clubs will typically send prospects that need some more reps to refine their skills against different (sometimes tougher) competition. Other players on these rosters may have been injured at some point in the past season and need the extra game action to continue their rehab and development. The preliminary rosters have been released for each AFL squad and there are a bunch of fantasy relevant prospects for us to take a look at. For the next three weeks I’ll write up two teams and a few of the significant names from each, what their 2014 MiLB season looked like, and what we might expect from them in fantasy baseball going forward. Let’s get right to it with Mesa and Glendale…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Do other parts of the country say ‘yous’? Maybe it’s because I have South Jersey roots but I say it a lot. I also say “jawn” more than I probably should and I end up sounding like a crazy person out here in rural Ohio. Yous see that jawn? Yous see Yusmeiro Petit‘s jawn ($7,100) on that DraftKings jawn? No, Mike, we have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Well, let me explain this jawn to yous…

Petit has been solid since joining the Giants’ rotation aside from the hiccup in Colorado. We’ll forgive most pitchers for a hiccup in Colorado though. Take out that start, and the 29-year-old right-hander has thrown 22 innings and has only allowed five earned runs while striking out 26 batters. That’s prettay prettay good. It’s also not counting the 4+ innings of long relief with 5 Ks just before he entered the rotation. Petit draws the Padres in San Diego today. The Pads have a ho-hum 84 wRC+ against righties this season to go along with a 22% strikeout percentage (6th highest in baseball). As a team San Diego is slashing .234/.303/.344 in September. It’s a nice matchup for the price any way you slice it.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re one of the seventy percent of ESPN fantasy owners who haven’t jumped on board the A.J. Pollock train, let’s fix that for the weekend. The Diamondbacks’ 26-year-old outfielder has hits in 9 of his 13 games since returning from the disabled list and also has four steals. He’ll get a four-game set in Colorado heading into the weekend which is great for any hitter, but especially good from a steals perspective. Colorado owns baseball’s worst caught stealing percentage at 17%. The league average mark on the year is 27%. With Pollock currently owned in just 30% of ESPN leagues, he should be available to pick up. If he happens to be gone in your league, here are some other good steals matchups for this week in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember the first time I beat Blades of Steel on my Nintendo. It was a labor of love and the sappy midi-tune during the credits nearly brought my 10-year-old eyes to tears. Frankly, not much has changed since then. I’m still chasing that feeling of “beating the game” by managing fantasy baseball teams throughout the long season. It’s the final push and all hands need to be on deck if you’re close to a ring. Any player that helps your team win this year is a treasure. You can trash the rest. Drew Storen (+64%) was this week’s most added player after Rafael Soriano coughed up the closer gig. Storen has run away with the opportunity. The 27-year-old right-hander has four saves in the past week while striking out six batters in those four appearances. Storen’s really been solid all year with a 1.26 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 50 innings of work. He’ll likely get more save opportunities down the stretch for a good Nationals team and he’s an obvious add if you need saves. Here are this week’s other big adds in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After speculating who might get the call this September, we now know which prospects are getting their feet wet in the majors. More importantly, we can decide which ones may provide some fantasy value. Unlike hitter call-ups, pitchers sometimes change roles completely when they first break in. So an arm like Taijuan Walker – whom we all know is destined to be a starter – finds himself pitching out of the pen to help the Mariners in their playoff hunt. It’s not exactly Earth-shattering and it happens often, but it means we’re not going to be streaming a start from the likes of Walker or Andrew Heaney over these last two weeks, making them all but irrelevant in anything but the deepest of redraft leagues. Here – in no particular order – are the September pitcher call-ups with varying degrees of fantasy relevance for the rest of this season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jeff Locke ($7,900) is a solid play today in DraftKings contests with a good matchup against the Chicago Cubs. Jeff’s great-great-grandfather John defined the “self” through the continuity of consciousness. Cool stuff – but all I really need Jeff to do is pitch seven or so strong innings with a decent strikeout total. Against the Cubs it really shouldn’t be much of an uphill climb. Chicago owns the worst strikeout percentage in the major leagues against left-handed pitching (25.3%). Sprinkle in the fact that they will be without both Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler this weekend and we’ve got a recipe for success at under $8K. Locke is coming off a great start as well. The 23-year-old left-hander worked the Phillies for seven innings with nine strikouts and only three hits allowed on Monday.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week’s most added player was Mookie Betts (+60%). The rookie outfielder has been in the lineup every day since August 18th and has hit nearly .300 since that date with three home runs and four stolen bases. Going forward, Betts is a good option for a little bit of everything in standard 5×5 leagues. As the season winds down, lead-off hitters like Betts are even more valuable as that extra at bat can mean another hit, run, or RBI for your fantasy roster. Betts is still just 21 years old and figures to be part of Boston’s plans moving forward despite the arrival of Rusney Castillo. He’s a good example of how the value of prospects can change quickly. Drafted in the fifth round in 2011, he wasn’t a big name on prospect lists and yet finds himself contributing in the major leagues before his 22nd birthday. He doesn’t strike out much (14%) and picks his spots to steal (83% SB success rate). Even with the recent surge he’s still available in 35% of ESPN leagues. Give him a look if one of your outfielders is hobbled or under-performing in the stretch run. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing captures a reader’s interest more than an Al Gore reference. At this point in the long fantasy baseball season you don’t need me to tell you that Jarrod Dyson is a good pickup for SAGNOF. Likewise, it’s not in anybody’s best interest for me to write a thousand words on a player who may only hold steals value in some deep AL-only league. However, there are still schedules to look at and several players that have speed were called up to their respective clubs in the past week. Billy Burns of the Athletics didn’t do much with his first stint in the majors, but could chip in a steal or three down the stretch even if his role is as a pinch runner. Likewise for Terrance Gore of the Royals. Gore stole 47 bags in the minors this season and was caught only seven times. In 2013 he swiped 68 bags and was caught only 8 times. Gore has already recorded a steal as a pinch runner and should see opportunities for more of the same in the weeks ahead. Other speedy call-ups include Jonathan Villar, Dalton Pompey, and Aaron Hicks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week was about speculating which players might be getting the call this September and providing any kind of fantasy value in redraft leagues. With September now a week old, we have the names of the players who have indeed been added to rosters. With all of these call-ups, it’s important to remember that playing time could be sparse and their impact in a 12-team standard mixed league may be minimal. However, those of us who are playing in deeper leagues or keepers may have been rostering some of these players already. In that case their call-ups are more meaningful. They can add depth to the fantasy roster and sometimes it’s just fun to get a look at someone you’ve been hoarding in your NA spot or on your farm. Additionally, just because September 1st has come and gone doesn’t mean more players can’t be added as the month progresses and the MiLB playoffs come to an end. We’ll take a look at the pitchers next time, but for now let’s dive into some of the bats that got the call to the majors this past week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The best part of playing DFS this time of year? Having a horse in the race even if you don’t have a horse in the race. No more phoning it in from August 1st until the end of the season just because the team I drafted is out of it. Joey Votto, Jose Fernandez, and Prince Fielder. What could go wrong? With DFS, I get to draft a brand new team every day and therefore I am never out of it. Unless of course I put my life savings down on a cash game and lose. In which case I really am out of it. I thought the Generals were due! Today’s pitching play is Francisco Liriano ($9,500), who has re-rediscovered himself this season. While his walk rate is still high (4.3 BB/9) he is also sporting a nice K/9 of 9.6. Outside of the egg he laid against the Braves two weeks ago (7 ER) Liriano has been great. The Cubs are better with the arrival of some of their youngsters but Chicago still has the worst strikeout percentage in baseball against left-handed pitchers (25%) making them a nice matchup for Liriano.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?