Image result for matrix

It’s been a journey for Aaron Hicks. Not too different from the one Neo had to embark in the movie, The Matrix. When the Matrix called upon Neo, he was raw and naive. Along the way, many mistakes were made and observers debated the efficacy of his potential. Eventually, Neo figured out the Matrix and, as a result, was able to navigate seamlessly through it. Could the same be in store for Hicks?

Hicks ate the red pill and was subsequently drafted in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Baseball America named him a Rookie All-Star and placed him as high as 19th in the top 100 prospect list. His first four years of professional baseball were spent in Rookie and Single-A. During those years, the walk rate was around 14% while the strikeout rate was around 20%. He was a .260-ish hitter and showed the ability to hit around six home runs and steal 15 bases. When he moved up to Double-A, Hicks hit .286, clubbed 13 home runs, and stole 32 bases. Was Hicks ready for the Jump Program?

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HOT TAKE! Haha, everyone can get all giddy about the renaissance happening in Washington, but I’ll take my attention a little further north in the NL East. Sure, a certain Zimmerman is on pace for like 75 HR and 180 RBI, but I’m not interested in the past. Give me the future. You can take your old balls and five year plan, I’ll take the upside of a incredible prospect we’ve been waiting on for two years.

Listen, everything’s lining up for this. Curtis Granderson? He forgot how to hit. The Mets pitching staff? Essentially dead. Haha, they have Jose Reyes playing 3B. For the Mets, the future is now (watch out for Amed Rosario to get the call soon), and a primary cog for them in that movement is Michael Conforto. Finally.

If you lookout the current stats and slap line, Zimmerman’s the choice, but in projecting out the future, I’d take the younger option. Even ZiPS agrees with a 21 HR to 16 HR ROS projection in favor of Michael. (Keep reading…I’m a fan of Zimmerman, too.)

  • Michael Conforto, OF, NYM (75.9% owned) – With a current line of .325/17/7/20/1 Conforto’s bringing great value since taking over an everyday role. All those numbers are in only 96 PA. Looking deeper the peripheral stats seem to be sustainable, as well, whereas guys like Zimmerman have a massively inflated BABIP and ISO. And by massively inflated I mean it’s almost double anything consistent with their careers. Conforto, though, sports a .345 BABIP and a .300 ISO. Those may drop slightly, but even if they go down to the ZiPS numbers (in 450 PA) of a .224 ISO with a .292 BABIP it gives him a season ending slash of (~).285/81/28/88/3. That’s sustainable. And greater than Zimmerman. They’re both rising, but I’ll take the young buck. And if you’re in one of the 25% of ESPN leagues where he’s not owned…change that. Fast.

ROS projections are tough. Take the savvy veteran with a lower ceiling but higher floor? Go for the risk of the young’n without the history to prove he can do it further? Find what works for your team and go for it! Here’s the Top 100 Hitters…based on my thoughts! My. Subjective. Thoughts.

They just happen to be right a lot. Ha!

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What’s and what’s good streamaholics? I was going to use the intro this week to talk about one of the many great albums I’ve been spinning on my turntable this week, but there’s been a change of plans. The Honcho household had to shift into car buying mode this week, so I’ll pen a few words on perhaps my least favorite thing in the world to do. I mean there is really nothing worse than car shopping. The whole experience is a mess, headlined by the salesmen themselves. In this day and age car salesmen are useless. Most savvy shoppers have done their homework, yet in all their glory, car sales guy (or gal) will show up in their short sleeve dress shirt or tacky dealership polo. They’ll proceed to try to steer you towards something you don’t want and definitely have no use for. “Hey, I came in for a mid-size sedan and left with a gas guzzling SUV with the Limited Edition Sports Package!” Whatever that is. What I’m saying is be vigilant out there, do your research and walk in and confidently present your offer to them. If that doesn’t work, take a dive on the floor and grab your neck. That alone will be worth a few extra pesos off the sticker price. So let me try to sell you the fantasy baseball version of a Yugo. If you don’t remember those, well we probably can’t be friends. Anyway, I’m talking about being the proud owner of a shiny share of Matt Joyce this week. Look, he’s ugly at first sight. He’s batting just .188 this season with two home runs. He’s also known for his work vs RHP, but Joyce is hitting just .159 with a .564 OPS against righties this season. Before you leave, let me tell you how durable he is…meaning what his history is vs right-handers. Joyce owns a career .196 ISO, .346 wOBA and 121 wRC+, but here’s the best part: Oakland will play six games this week and all of them will come against right-handed starters. So here’s what you do, grab a subscription to the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron and follow me on my streaming journey all season. I’ll suggest players owned in less than 50% of ESPN standard leagues all year-long and we’ll lean on the Razzball Tools to guide us through the forest.

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One story finally gaining a bit of traction this season is the installation of a humidor in the Diamondbacks’ home park, Chase Field.

Digging right into the meat of this point, the reason it’s even being considered is because of the relative offensive production we’ve seen in Phoenix over the first month of the season. Chase Field has actually has a higher park factor metric than the messiah itself, our DFS darling, the Parthenon of fantasy, Coors Field.

Barely edging Colorado, by fractions of a run, rumors are the Diamondbacks organization tried to implement the humidor this during Dave Stewart’s tenure, but he exclaimed, “No! Nothing logically sound can happen in Arizona until I leave!” (cannot confirm through my sources).

While some may not think it’s a big deal, the bible of the humidor’s impact can be found on The Hardball Times, and its author Alan Nathan believes the difference will be notable. Here’s his concluding paragraph from the great column he wrote…

Please, blog, may I have some more? says that Souzz is the verb form of Souza, which is defined as, (noun) the unannounced general feeling in the air to engage in sexual contact, usually generated upon contact, eye contact, or sight of appearance. Yup, pretty much sums up with “relationship” with Steven Souza.

I’ve been infatuated with Souza since 2014, when he hit 18 home runs, stole 26 bases, had a .350 average, and posted a 12.8% walk rate with an 18.4% strikeout rate in Triple-A. Unfortunately, that success did not translate to the major leagues and the Souza-experience was born. Would make a hell-of-a-ride at Six Flags. Now, some injuries derailed the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but the Souza was not the same. The strikeout rate was in the mid-30s, the walk rate decreased to the single-digits, and batting average plummetted. It’s called the Big Leagues for a reason. I became relegated to the fact that the Souza would not be as fulfilling as I once dreamed about…

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The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

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Greetings! Ahhh, memories, this title brings me back to my childhood where I grew up in Bishop Eddie Lamont’s house for boys, raised and praised as his adopted son. It was only later I discovered I was the heir to House Beddict, when I reconnected with my birth parents. Met my father in rehab, actually. Funny story. I learned we both share a weakness for mule-ass’d women and peyote. A tale for another time, my goodmen. A tale for another time…

What I’m really here for, as I pound away on my keyboard in what seems to be the most barbarian rain/lightening/thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced, is to give praises of the highest order to Philadelphia’s most promising young male since Will Smith. Philly management, the parents if you will, just don’t understand, and they thought it was a good idea to move him to the bench, where he wouldn’t cause any trouble, and the great Howard Kendrick would take his place. We know how Will Smith’s story concluded, as he made it big in L.A. after grinding at the Peacock for years, taking down countless honeys, and delivering more one-liners than Stephen Dorff in a Las Vegas nightclub bathroom.

Altherr has seemingly responded much in the same fashion, as he has continuously made rice cakes out of baseballs, mushing three balls out of the ballpark and swiping a couple bags to boot. Trying to find answers for as to why a rebuilding team wouldn’t give the starting job to one of their young, exciting players reaches far beyond the reaches of my intellect. They’d rather sign a soon to be 34-year-old, former second baseman, who hit .255 with EIGHT homers last season to help carry them to the a surprise title? I’m seriously confused… and offended… angry even. Altherr’s BABIP sits at a mind-humping .417, which obviously will most definitely not continue, BUT I still expect Altherr to have a very productive season, where 15-15 is well within reach. Say one thing for Aaron Altherr, say he’s earned my respect. He’s also earned my trust but if I said that, then, well then it would be two things.

Here’s what else is weighing heavily on my mind… Take Heed!

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29 days. As I write this, that’s how many days of fantasy baseball have transpired in 2017. Sure, in a way it feels like we just started, but at the same time, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted and it feels like the season has been going on as long as the movie Boyhood. Which doesn’t really make sense, I realize, because that movie was less than three hours long, but it felt like it lasted for about twelve years, and when it comes to some of my leagues, that’s about how long it feels like 2017 has been dragging on. Maybe this happens every year and I block it out, but I just don’t remember a season where so many fantasy teams appeared to be dead in the water due to catastrophic injuries just as the calendar was hitting May. And this year, it’s the NL-only teams that appear to be hardest hit… at least those that feature some combination of Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndegaard, Rich Hill, Jon Gray, Shelby Miller, Starling Marte, Adam Eaton, and David Dahl. Some of these names were first-round picks in an NL-only draft, and even guys like Gray and Eaton could legitimately have been a team’s number one starter or outfielder in very deep leagues.

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Up until today, I believed that bulls got angry when they saw the color red. Spanish matadors have been using red capes to induce bulls to charge them since the 1700s, so it must be true, right? I mean, that’s what everyone said. And I wonder how the media is able to manipulate and why advertising is a gazillion dollar industry. Because of lazy peons like me! All it takes is a little research and….ta dow!!! The Mythbusters performed an experiment back in 2007. I love those guys and girl. Anyways, they showed that bulls charge due to the movement of the cape, not the color. In fact, bulls are color blind!!!

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Oh, hey there. Glad you could find time to visit us here at Razzball, even though it seems like the rest of the world is dry humping the NFL draft. I mean yeah, sure, I like football as much as the next person, but how awful is the first round? Seriously guys, just MAKE THE PICK! Is it necessary to have fifteen minutes between selections? The front office’s of all 32 teams have had the entire year to break down the information. Surely the final few minutes are not life and death. Remember, the Bears had all of the required data, interviews and film and still found a way to draft Mitch Trubisky. That will definitely leave a mark. That’s why I love writing this post every week. The tools here at Razzball make it almost too easy to make the right decision. If you haven’t yet, check out the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. After you delight yourself with their fantasy baseball prowess, make the right decision and subscribe to one of the many options offered. Consider it money well spent after you’re counting your winnings in October. Remember kids, just say no to bad decisions. Anyway, as always we’ll be assisted in our streaming journey by the suggestions of both the aforementioned Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. I’ll give you a few of the gems that both these sexy bots have to offer up, while spicing up the recommendations with a few numbers that may or may not get your engine running hot. Rawwrr! Before we get started, let me remind you that every player recommended in this post will be owned in less than 50% of standard ESPN leagues. Let’s go streaming:

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