You don’t really care about prospects, and I get that. You’re a redraft player, and probably a damn good one. You don’t want a top 100 list where half the guys won’t sniff a major league field for the next 2 years +. You need the right now, the rookie nookie, the sleepers in the waivers. The ones waiting in the weeds until the call comes, and the earliest bird plucks them minutes before the rest of the league, to a collective of moans and groans. This is the song of the RCL rookie scavenger. The man beating you to Trea Turner by 3 minutes, the guy who stashed Alex Bregman on and off for a month. You need to beat him this year, let this be your map, and the Twitter/MLB/Traderumors alerts be your batphone. I think I just mixed metaphors. Whatevs!!! You get the jist. Behold! The Top 25 Rookies for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. By the by, this list is 100% 2017 focused, so ETA, lack of a platoon or temporary fill-in status matters. I don’t care what he’s going to be in 2 years. THAT DOESN’T MATTER!!! It’s all about the right now, the present. I’m listening to Right Now by Van Halen. I’m wearing white jeans. I’m holding up signs that say, “Right now someone is drafting Ian Desmond unaware of his injury”. It’s that real.

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I awoke on Monday, still discombobulated by the fact that some individuals decided that it would be a good idea to shorten our existence on Earth by one hour, when… But Son, we get that hour back later in the year. Que? Talk about a frivolous thing to concoct. I’d rather listen to my wife talk in circles about some thing that she often talks about than try to understand why we need to do this. But…I try and leave no stone unturned, so like a good little grasshopper, I Googled why we have Daylight Savings. Mmm hmmm. Yeah. I see…..Still cockamamie. Anyways, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, I received THE Razzball Son signal. If you don’t know what that is, just click here. No more discombobulation. If you’ve ever taken Ritalin, that’s what happened to my mind. If you’ve never taken Ritalin, do it. The mind just warps into a state of Zen-like focus.

So, Grey writes “Yo, Son. Write something on Tim Anderson.” Why I ask? Grey’s response…

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You know what we’re really good at doing around here at Razzball? Giving the ‘Top’ of something. Check it out:

Grey’s Top 100 Overall
Grey’s Top 100 Outfielders (This is the Top 20. It goes to 100.)
Grey’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers (Same as above. Grey’s a rankings fiend.)
M@’s Top 100 Keepers (That’s ME…)
Ralph’s Top 100 Prospects
JB’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers

And that’s just the Top 100’s. Click here for all of our Rankings. But enough about those other guys (besides my Top 100 Keepers. Those are a gem), it’s time for the Top 100 that everyone cares about the most come draft time…HITTERS! This will be a weekly column again this year at Razzball, but before we jump in to the first installment a few things regarding the rankings:

  • I’m basing these off of 12-team roto leagues. That’s the format for our RCL’s. Oh, what’s an RCL you ask? It’s where you can face off against all of your favorite Razzball writers and others in the Razzball community! SIGN UP now to join an RCL, there are plenty of spots left. And if you don’t see a draft that works for you…create a new one!
  • Position eligibility is based on ESPN rules (to the furthest of my knowledge). RCL’s are hosted on ESPN, and it’s by far the best site for fantasy baseball. Don’t you dare try to make a case for freaking Yahoo, either. Josie Grossie.
  • don’t value steals very highly. You’ll be able to see that quickly. And I value those that essentially produce only steals even less. I won’t take many shares of Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon this year, because I’d rather have players that contribute to 3, 4 or 5 categories as opposed to their dominance of one, maybe two. Five-cat players should saturate your early rounds. Mix in a little risk with a high ceiling, but go after the well-rounded options far before you begin targeting a SAGNOF.
  • As always, rankings are subjective! This is how I’d find myself drafting players, but even for me I’ll stray from these rankings depending upon how a draft plays out. Load up on Outfielders early? Not a bad strategy, but if you’ve filled them up you’d obviously draft Jake Lamb (87) over Stephen Piscotty (65). Craft your team based on your preferences and your needs. And your gut. You gotta vibe these drafts like it’s that girl across the dance floor (hopefully after you’ve imbibed yourself with some adult beverages if you’re a basic white guy).
  • If you don’t like them or disagree with something, THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR! Let’s keep the chatter going all March.

And now for the Top 100 Hitters (in case you actually read all that above…)!

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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The goal of a stat is to maximize it from the jump, and you could plan it that way even further on draft day.  There are certain pitchers that have a greater propensity to allow the stolen base, and exploiting that by originally drafting those players on draft day to get a jump on streaming isn’t an awful idea.  I used this feature multiple times  last year, so a preseason refresher is never a bad thing to prep you for the upcoming season.  The one bad theory that works against you when trying to stream is that some of these pitchers are fantasy stalwarts in the starting pitcher department.  The biggest name being Noah Syndergaard.  Because he is a good deterrent of actual OBPa, the stolen base becomes a risky proposition to try and gamble on with him taking the mound, most likely twice in the first six games. Because in actuality OBPa is a huge thing, because you can’t steal first. Picking on a pitcher isn’t the only way to go about it either as teams with poor catchers could also benefit you for the streaming guessing game.  The best thing here is that usually the first three days of the year have truncated schedules so picking and choosing your options could be the jump start you need to dominate a category from day one.  Here is a handy chart with last year’s stolen base totals, stolen base opportunities, and OBPa.  The three key factors to see who is easy to Winona…

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Face Off, an American classic. If you haven’t watched it, F@#! off. Your life is incomplete. I was going to write a brief synopsis of the movie, for those that haven’t seen it, but I don’t want those folk reading my piece anyway. Go watch the damn movie!!! For those of you on tilt and want to rip my head off, I do love you guys…especially since you actually took the time to read what I just wrote. Seriously, though, the Razzball community is the best thing out there.

So, why Face Off  for this week’s Bear or Bull?

In the most brilliant maneuver since the Greeks infiltrated Troy with a wooden horse, the Dodgers infected a division rival while keeping one of their top pitchers. Here’s how it went down:

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Is it just me or is this offseason crawling along?  There are still three weeks until Opening Day but we’re getting there, slowly but surely.  This week I want to go over a few last strategy tidbits before I get into some in depth draft numbers the next couple weeks.  I have one last note on the draft as well as a loophole you should know about and take advantage of.  These are the last couple of things I couldn’t cram into my other posts but I think are too important to just let go.  I’ll also be sharing the newest week’s worth of draft data with you.  We had a splurge of drafts Thursday night and with one close call Friday we got 15 leagues drafted.  The Razzball Writers League got drafted up Thursday evening and we’ll be posting a Q&A style recap of that draft in the next week or so.  Keep an eye out for that if you’re interested but in the meantime, let’s cover the last few tips you need before tackling your own drafts in the weeks to come.

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We’re back with the Razzball Podcast, now with unfortunately less tickling!   On today’s show, Grey and I discuss some news out of Spring Training like Ian Desmond‘s injury and a hot start for Mitch Haniger, and also Grey’s celebrity meeting at Whole Foods.  Good thing Grey didn’t see him at the counter with a bunch of olives in his salad!  Then to the meat of the show – Starting Pitcher battle!  Grey and I debate our SP ranks, which you can compare in Grey’s ranks vs. my Top 100 SP.  Let us know who you think wins the battle!  Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast:

Download from iTunes

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On Tuesday March 7th, I took part for the 3rd straight year in the 15-team Tout Wars Mixed Draft. Fueled by good fortune (and perhaps the 5×5 OBP format), I have fielded championship-level teams in both years only to finish in 2nd place to Adam Ronis of Scout & SiriusXM. It is like I am the Patriots but, unfortunately, he is being coached by Tom Coughlin.

I picked 1st last year and had an insane Trout/Scherzer/Sale start to my draft when the room drafted an unfathomable 28 hitters in the first 29 picks. The rest of the draft turned out fairly well and my in-season pickups were strong. Looking back, not coming out of the draft with enough speed (damn you Magoo and Grey talking me into DeShields) or Saves (Boxberger/Storen was brutal, half-salvaged with a Colome handcuff) hurt me in the end.

One reward for top teams is that the previous year’s order is used for determining draft pick. With second choice, I just had to rank my two preferred spots. By reflex, I chose 1st than 2nd since I have found those are the two most valuable spots (followed by 3, 4, etc.). Once Ronis wisely chose 1st, I realized I should have spent a little more time thinking about it as there is not much consensus on a #2 pick in 5×5 OBP this year.

Here are the full results of the 2017 Tout Mixed League Draft. Below are my picks and my analysis:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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HDMH is a motivational phrase created by Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. It stands for ‘Height Doesn’t Measure Heart’.

On Saturday night, Marcus Stroman twirled a 4.2 inning gem against the Dominican Republic, striking out four batters, walking none, and allowing only three ground ball singles. When Stroman was removed before his 65th pitch – the limit for starters in the pool round of the WBC – Tanner Roark, David Robertson, and Andrew Miller proceeded to give up seven earned runs on seven hits. Combined, that trio recorded only nine outs and threw 19 more pitches than Stroman, producing substantially less impressive results. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed with how the Blue Jays starter carved through the Dominican Republic’s lineup.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Welcome to the 2017 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I do mean everything, everybody. We’ve got line-ups, charts, numbers, projections, questionable questions, smarter answer, potent potables and well, that’s a lie. No potables here, but plenty of potent fantasy names brimming with potential. Now’s the time to be an eternal optimist for the next six weeks. So, we’ve got a team to preview and questions to ask. Let’s get after it!

A quick note on the format. Each preview will feature six questions to a team’s blog writer. Are there only six great fantasy questions for each team? Of course not, but THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR! So, enjoy the thoughts of another writer, the dialogue on each team, and then continue the conversation in the comments!

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