Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy. Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella. No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What?” And that’s me quoting me! On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya? “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.” No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. *Grey does a flying crane kick* “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.” Still nothing? Okay, I’m moving on. One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there. Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26. Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors. Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing. Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison! Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors. So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors. That’s still above anything Pollock did. Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock. The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks. Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock! The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks. Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers. He also had 13 steals and four steals in September. If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals. Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him. He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors). If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270. Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve. 18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year? If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder. And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers. Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month. When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me. It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him. Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job. For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured. So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.
I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude. It’s an epitaph. Here, take a tissue. You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones. What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique? Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it? What will we do without a Hanley injury update? WHAT? WILL? WE? DO? Prepare for next season, of course. But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season. Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fall in line, Metropolitans! Fall in line, you strumpets! *Jerad Eickhoff goose steps up and down the starting lineup, screaming* I am going to go nutzi on these weak sister Metropolitan hitters! Nein chance! You have nein chance! *leaning in on Nieuwenhuis* You look Anglo-Saxon, maybe I take it easier on you. Not you, Michael Conforto…*then a small beat, in a pipsqueak voice* Unless you know Mussolini. Do you? *can’t wait for Conforto to answer* Forget it! Fall in line! And the Mets hitters did fall in line. Jerad Eickhoff went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, to lower his ERA to 2.65, and now has back-to-back 10-K games. Maybe this guy isn’t a Jer-khoff. *looks at his minor league numbers* Yeah, I have no idea. His minor league numbers give the impression that he’ll be a fourth to fifth starter. That’s not for fantasy, that’s for real baseball. A fourth or fifth starter on the Phils, even in 2016, doesn’t scream excitement to me. Sorry, strumpets. For this year, drop him and check out the Stream-o-Nator, there’s only three days left. AHH!!! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s only a few more roundups left on the season, then I’ll be recapping the rest of October, then rookies in November, then sleepers in December, then rankings in January, then I draft Arenado again in February and then March hits and my Cougar wife says to me, “I’ll see you again in October.” So, as you can see, we don’t have a ton of time before next year. So, Part II: So So Again; I wanted to talk briefly about the insanely sexy, hump-taker, Marcus Stroman. Yesterday, he pitched a fantastic little start — 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, to leave his ERA at 1.67 since his return, but I’m more concerned with Stroman for next year. Or as I like to call it, Sixteen after Twenty, The Year of The Stroman. If I call it that, it might give away the ending here, but I’m going to love Stroman in 2016. Stroman, my pain with his fingers. One time, one time. Well, I loved him coming into this year prior to his injury. An injury, mind you and mind the gap, that wasn’t on his arm. What’s to like about Stroman? How about this checklist: solid ground ball rate, solid Ks and excellent control. You know who that is? Dallas Keuchel. Stroman can be that dominant in 2016 too. As for 2015, he’s done, so, yo, Grey, hit the segue! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27). He now has five homers in the last three days. Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye. He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife. It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers. His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis. I will call him Piss Davis. Maybe I won’t call him that to his face. Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues. Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Hello, and welcome to the Izod Center in downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey! We’re only 35 minutes from New York! On tonight’s fight card, we have everyone vs. George Zimmerman and, our main event, Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon! Harper has him on height by a good six inches, if you count his mohawk. They’re both tipping the scales like heavyweights, if you count their egos, but Papelbon has the reach by three and a quarter inches since Harper will be fighting off his heels, as he’s been known to do his whole career. The Loafer vs. The Soft Shoe! The Cock vs. The Guy With A Haircut That Makes Him Look Like A Cock! The Veteran Who Plays The Game The Right Way vs. The Upstart Who Just Plays The Game Better Than Anyone Else. Hosting this event is Donald Trump. Making this country great again like he did in Atlantic City!” Yesterday, I said, these two mix like vinegar and douche, and then the Nationals made sure they wouldn’t have to mix at all. Papelbon was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which opens the door for Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and/or Casey Janssen. That’s the order I’d grab them for saves, but like a carrot in minestrone, it’s real dicey. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The other day I made the best purchase of my life (okay, of the last week). I bought a thermometer that has a laser beam on it. You shoot the laser on the object and it tells you its exact temperature. It’s meant–Actually, I don’t know what it’s meant for. I bought it because our oven seems to be about 100 degrees off. Though, I got it five days ago and I haven’t used it for the oven once, but have measured the temperature of about twelve hundred other things. The coldest drinking water I’ve had was 49 degrees at this pizzeria around the corner from my house. Oh, yeah, I’ve been taking this out with me. I’ll go up to people on the street, shoot their temperature and be like, “You have a fever, you might want to take an aspirin.” I like to put on my flip flops when they’re between 68 to 71 degrees. Any colder and it stiffens my toes, any warmer and it raises my body temperature a full .4 degrees. I know this because I have a thermometer with a frickin laser on it! So, how does this relate to fantasy baseball? I was watching Justin Bour slug his 23rd homer yesterday, his 2nd of two homers in the game, and I shot his temperature. A blistering 109 degrees! Doode’s fahrenhot! Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail! Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft! Yes, you should own him. In fact (Grey’s gonna say more!), you should’ve owned him for the last few months. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rich Hill pitched a complete game two-hit shutout last night against the Mighty Orioles walking just one batter and striking out 10 for his second win. Where the heck was this guy in April when Justin Masterson and Steven Wright were starting? Am I really asking that question about a 35-year-old southpaw journeyman who hasn’t started a big league game since 2009, and was out of baseball in July? Yeah I guess I am asking that because Hill has been an absolute monster since debuting with the Sawx two weeks ago in Tampa Bay. In just three starts, he’s pitched 23.0 IP, allowing just 10 hits and 3 ER, with a 30/2 K/BB rate. Yes, my friends, the Hill Has Ks. That was almost your headline. Also, not for nothing, the three earned runs were surrendered to the Blue Jays, and I mean, come on, it’s the Blue Jays. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Rich was pitching for the Independent League’s Long Island Ducks just months ago. He holds a 1.70 ERA and 0.52 WHIP through three starts and although I love what he’s doing, he’s scheduled to take on the Yankees in New York next week and I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. If you’re feeling lucky, by all means ride the snake, but I’m not sure I’d risk my fantasy season on Rich Hill, despite how awesome he’s been. But cool story, bro!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We have one reader in Nigeria who emails me privately about how I’ve won large amounts of muney (sic), so I don’t need to be working, which means this is more of a PSA, and should be taken even more seriously: Starling Marte is a God. There’s Jesus, there’s his Dad, there’s Jehovah, there’s Mormons’ magic underpants, there’s whoever the Jews pray to — Mel Brooks? — there’s Chief Jay Strongbow, there’s the Pope, there’s Allah, there’s Halla, the Arab God for dyslexics, and there’s others, I’m sure. My God is Starling Marte. You know how the religious say, “Peace be with you?” For baseball players, they should say, “May you always hit in Coors.” Yesterday in Coors, Marte went 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, which is the rainbow jimmies on the ice cream that has been his season. He has 18 HRs, 29 SBs and is hitting .288. Right now, he’s around top 25 on our Player Rater. For 2016, it’s gonna be hard for me to wait past the top 20 overall. Yes, he’s that good, and I may just rank him above McCutchen. Oh, snap! Don’t need the police to try to save them, your voice will seize, so please, stay off my back or I will attack and you don’t want that. Hit the bass, hit the anyway and let’s do this! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Zach Britton has a mild lat strain. He hopes to return soon as he’s complained that the loneliness of not pitching is killing him. Britton went on to say, “Bollocks!” Maybe that’s a Briton. Any hoo! Or as a Briton would say, “Tally hoo!” The Orioles haven’t said Britton is shut down, but I highly doubt he closes another game in the next week. Or as a Briton would say, “My Full Monty is knackered. Let’s scallywag over a fag, you donkey arse.” The Irish have fought for independence for the better part of a century, and yesterday they exacted some revenge as Britton went down to an O’Day. Darren O’Day said, “Blarney stone something something potato something something Guinness.” It was hard to understand. I would grab O’Day in every league if you need saves as he’s now converted two in two like Chuck Woolery, and, holy crap, Woolery got old! Have you seen The Voice? His son was on there and Woolery looked like he was gonna turn to dust. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?