It’s always nice when you come off of the DL to find yourself in a series at Coors, but Cameron Maybin really came out of the chute with a bang. With 4 steals in 3 games through Saturday, he jumped right back on the radar as a rosterable outfielder in mixed leagues with his performance. Of course, here at Razzball he was already on your radar from Grey’s BUY on Friday and my post from two weeks ago in which I said “15-20 SB ROS isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and I’m stashing him with cautious optimism”…and that’s me quot- well, you know the rest. Over the past three seasons (2011-2013), Maybin is 13th on the MLB leaderboard in stolen bases with 69. He has been caught only 16 times and his 7.6 Spd rating, a metric developed by Bill James to measure a player’s base running, is 7th overall in that span. Even in a pretty disappointing 2012 campaign, he managed 26 steals. The next few weeks will be a test for both Maybin’s hitting as well as his base running. Three of the Padres’ next four opponents (D’Backs, Dodgers, and Braves) are in the top ten in MLB for fewest steals allowed. I’ve always liked Maybin, and wrote about him as a potential bounce-back for 2013 in my very first article for Razzball. For right now, though, my recommendation would be to pick him up if you are in need of an outfielder, without expecting much help outside of the SB category. His speed is comparable to fellow SAGNOFs Ben Revere or Juan Pierre but he’s got the most upside of the bunch.

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Look, I know we’re not friends. At least not true friends, we’re internet friends. You barely know me, I barely know you. We occasionally share drink recipes and quips about reality television. But you come here every week, you read the content on this site which means you do know something about me: my fantasy baseball abilities. I heard you snickering! But for cereal, it feels like you’re not listening to me. I know you’re not doing it on purpose. You wouldn’t flat out ignore me, would you? We’re not married so I don’t see why you would so I’m trying to figure out why Adam Lind is only 35% owned, with 27% of that ownership happening in the last week. I mean, I mentioned him quite clearly on this Razzball Podcast. You probably snickered then too. Admittedly, I didn’t think the kid was gonna stay this hot for this long. It’s getting to the point of ridiculousness on a grand scale but I am not gonna stop talking about him until he’s at least 50% owned. I’m serious, take this as a threat or he’s the Creeper of the Week for week 12 as well! But enough with idle threats – or are they? – I’m here to talk about why he’s a creeper for this week of the 2013 fantasy baseball season…

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Here’s the deal. We all love guys with exciting upside, but every now and then we forget that there may still be upside remaining in certain players. Starlin Castro is currently sporting an uninspiring .650 OPS, by far a career low. When I was at the Cubs game this past Sunday, it was mentioned that it was Castro’s 500th big league game. Pretty impressive, especially considering that he’s only 23. So, let’s think about it – Are we going to put more weight in his struggles this season or the chance for a rebound, based on his past numbers and youth? I’m going with the latter. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb, let’s call it an arm and a leg, and say that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him produce a .290/.340/.450 line for the rest of 2013. That would be elite for a shortstop, especially a healthy one. Typically shortstops hurt your OPS, but Castro can be one who actually helps it. I’d be seeing if his current owner is worried about him, especially in a keeper league. He could continue to be a top shortstop for the next decade.

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When Josh Rutledge was optioned to Triple A, I got burned. Whether he can figure it out and make his way back up to the majors remains to be seen, but what made things worse was that the guy replacing him had one of those names I had never heard of nor knew how to pronounce. DJ LeMahieu sounds like he should be a forward for the Canucks, but he is now the Rockies’ starting second basemen. Despite an underwhelming .267 average and only 3 runs scored, he’s got a pair of steals in the last seven days and has found his way onto my radar. LeMahieu never hit below .300 in the minors and had stolen 8 bags in 33 games prior to his call-up this year. I don’t think he’s an add in 12 team mixed leagues or shallower, but in deep leagues and obviously NL-only leagues he has value. He’s got a tough match-up against Cincy to start the week, but then he gets to face the Padres for a four-game set. It will be interesting to see if he can net a steal or two against San Diego, one of the top ten teams in stolen bases allowed.

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Last week around the Razzball water cooler, Sky was like, “you should be my creeper of the week.”  Boy does he wish he took that back.  I rolled up about 5 driveways down from his house at 13(redacted)5 (redacted)field Lane, (redacted)town, (redacted) in my 1985 maroon Chevy Astro and grew a Derek Holland/Tyler Skaggs-esque-stache until the moment was ripe.  While he may have you think he’s working on some awesome content over there at Razzball Football, I actually hired a look alike off Craigslist to post his work.  I mean, look at how fuzzy his picture is, I could get anyone from Channing Tatum to The Elephant Man to Tehol.  Trust me, that’s not the only thing Tehol advertises as “his services” on Craigslist.

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You might think I took a week off from the Deep Impact series because of the Memorial Weekend. I mean, who really wants to write when there is BBQ in the air, beer in the hand, and extra time off for everyone? You could think that. And it might be part of the reason, but frankly, I looked at the list of players I wanted to talk about, and that list started and ended with Trevor Crowe. So we could pretend that I enjoyed a vacation due to a holiday, but really, I enjoyed a vacation because I really can’t figure a way to write more than ‘fml’ in a Trevor Crowe blurb. But this week is different, since I’ve figured out a way to bloat some space with quality, not quantity. Oh, wait, scratch that. I have it backwards. Quantity over quality! Wooo!

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Josh Donaldson is fired. As in, he’s been on fire since last August and I’m finally willing to announce that I’ve seen his face. Now I’m a believer! What’s there not to like? An improved walk rate, reduced strikeout rate, better contact, increased power, and a brand new hairstyle. After getting to know him from afar, I think he’s less likely to hurt your team than Jafar. There are many possible reasons for his improvement: receiving consistent playing time in the majors, having the pedigree (former first round pick), seeing the movie Moneyball, being in his prime, and, my favorite conspiracy explanation: that he’s no longer catching. All of these likely contributed in some way, but the important thing is I don’t expect him to fall off a cliff any time soon (as long as he cancels that hiking trip). For the rest of 2013, I’m going to optimistically project a .270/.350/.460 line, which is solid for a third baseman. Hold him if you own him. Otherwise, I’d see if his owner expects heavy regression (band name?). Shout out to commenter SwaggerJackers for inspiring me to cover Donaldson. On a different note, after next week’s article I’m going to have a very temporary Razzball hiatus (aka two weeks) while I travel to my motherland (or literally my mother’s land) for the first time. Whoever correctly guesses the country can pick who I’ll cover as my lede next week. I might give hints if asked on Twitter. Ready? Go! And here’s my Quick Draw McGraw approach to OPS leagues:

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How quickly things change. Last week, it was looking like Adam Eaton was close to returning from an elbow injury and A.J. Pollock would be the odd man out in the Arizona outfield. Well, one setback later, Pollock looks good to go as a part of the four-man Arizona outfield and he’s worth watching in deeper formats. He’ll get starts against lefties and maybe more, so he’s a guy that you’ll have to play the matchups with unless he really catches fire. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton is probably not going to do much in the way of baseball for about three weeks and probably won’t be fantasy relevant until the end of June at the earliest. He was so close to returning too. Kind of like crashing your car with one payment left. We’ll take a look at matchups for all the members of the stolen base leaderboard for Week 9. As always, all players listed are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and Sunday’s stats are not included.

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Some weeks, it’s just good to trust a buy call by our Fantasy Baseball Lord & Savior, Grey Albright. BTW, do me a favor. Google Grey Albright…do you get Snafu Larry as your second image? That’s just not right…and now that I look at all those images I have to ask myself ‘Is Grey even real’? I mean, we congregate on this site daily looking to him for the mustachio’ed word from upon high but is this some form of mass hysteria where the disease is fantasy sports addiction and we’ve conjured up this being to serve the purpose of telling us that which we already know in our hearts? What if the internet isn’t even real but simply the manifestation of our collective thoughts as we dream in Matrix-like incubation eggs before we’re harvested? What if none of this is real?!? Woah hey and sorry there…the mushrooms finally wore off…well minus the tracers. Either way, I’m real, you’re real and we’re spectacular and so was Grey’s BUY call on Leonys Martin last week. I can tell you’re not sure of this call. I feel you wavering about this waiver call and it’s understandable. Who wants a guy who hits at the bottom of the batting order? Well I do and you should too for week nine of the 2013 fantasy baseball season but we must read on to find out why.

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Mitch Moreland, a notable imperialist, has been capturing the hearts and minds of fantasy owners while their villages are unsuspectingly pillaged. On the baseball field, he’s been hitting better than he has since 2009… when he was in high A ball. The boy’s a time bomb! So, will he be able to maintain anywhere near this level of production? Or will he turn it off like a light switch (just go click)? My fortune cookie says, “Signs point to yes.” Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Exhibit A for why you shouldn’t ask your fortune cookie conflicting questions. For those of you who are familiar with Mitch, you’re probably pulling a Large Marge like me when you realized that he’s hitting over a 1.100 OPS in May. He’s doing everything a little bit better: lower strikeout rate, higher walk rate, and a higher home run to fly ball rate, which could be sustainable. Although the caveat is that he’s absolutely crushing the ball at home and against righties, so it’s hard to tell if he’s right side up or upside down. I’m thinking that he’ll likely produce closer to his numbers from last year, with slight improvement going forward. Mitch, I’ve got Moreland a feeling that you’ll still be solid the rest of the way. Anyway, here are some other players who have my attention in OPS leagues:

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