As a real baseball fan and fantasy baseball junkie, I like to keep a close watch on certain players (too close, according to some states’ penal codes). Some time back, while Grey and I were surreptitiously collecting Ryan Braun’s sweat during a bikram yoga session, I mentioned that I keep many of my thoughts on these players in a diary. Grey said he keeps a journal instead. We argued over whether there is a difference between the two (which apparently disrupted Chris Capuano’s fragile Tantra) and we just decided to compare them side-by-side. I lied and told Grey his was interesting (I’ve read Michener novels that droned less), but Grey was enraptured by my musings, and asked that I share them with Razzball Nation.
So here’s how this will work. I’ve got twelve players I’m currently following (I’m only physically following a few of them, the rest I’m following via the media). This week you get the first three, next week you’ll get the next three, and so on. Then each month we’ll circle back and hit the same groups of three, see what they’ve been up to. First up is Yoenis Cespedes, Bryce Harper, and Michael Bourn.
12/07/2011 – Yoenis Cespedes has defected from Cuba and will be coming stateside to play ball this season. Not sure how to pronounce his name, but I’ve heard hispanic broadcasters say it like “Dennis,” which is the name of Castro’s brother, coincidentally. Random thought — Fidel Castro, like any world leader, has at least one or two qualities you could respect, but it’s not like you’d ever say so publicly.
03/03/2012 – “Yoenis” already had the “E,” “I,” “O,” and “sometimes Y”… now he’s got the “A;“ he signed with Oakland today for a crap ton of money. The Coliseum is not a great hitter’s park, but from what I’ve read, his plus power shouldn’t be affected too much, and his plus speed won’t be affected at all. He has a decent arm for CF and… hey, how’d this real baseball factoid get mixed in with my fantasy baseball thoughts?
03/24/2012 – Drafted today, and although I had ten auction dollars earmarked for Cespedes, I was able to get him for just $1 towards the end of the draft! That means I can keep him for $4 next year and just $8 the year after that! I’m going to call him The Phantom Yoenis because of how he manages to stay under the radar despite being so powerful.
04/8/2012 – I don’t have the MLB Tokyo package, so I didn’t get to watch Fauxpening Day. Actually, I didn’t see any of the As vs. Ms series (at home or abroad), but The Phantom Yoenis hit a HR in three of the four games! My only regret is that the nickname I gave him has only one “i” for me to dot with a heart.
04/16/2012 – I just mailed my daughter’s Hello Kitty backpack to Yoenis, along with a note telling him it’s okay to go play in Japan full time. I’d rather he was productive with someone else than have a 50% K-rate and hit .150 with me.
04/22/2012 – The package was returned and marked “¡Déjame en paz!” Whatever… since my freak out way back on the 16th, he hit another HR, stole three more bases (for a total of four), raised his season AVG to .255, and reduced his K-rate to 35%. Those things should all continue as he sees more MLB pitching. I should be safe from another freak out until at least May.
08/26/2010 – That kid Bryce Harper signed with the Nats today, and everyone is treating it like the second coming. I guess Stephen St. Rasburg was the first coming, since Jesus Christ was a terrible fielder in college (it was like he had holes in his hands) and never made it to the bigs. Anyway, I don’t think we’ll see him until the middle of the ’12 season.
03/18/2012 – Harper was optioned to AAA Syracuse today… shocker, I’m so surprised, yawn. Even Harper knew he wasn’t going to break camp, and no one thinks more highly of Bryce Harper than Bryce Harper.
03/25/2012 – No one took Harper in my draft yesterday, so I’ll grab him off waivers and stash him as a keeper. These casual mentions about my personal fantasy league would seem odd if this diary were ever published. Random thought — I remember mentioning Jesus Christ while musing about Harper a long time ago, and now I hear that he’s a quarterback for the New York Jets. That JC, always opting to pass rather than receive.
04/17/2012 – Big Baby Jesus (I know that was Grey’s nickname for Stephen Strasburg, but it’s an infinitely better fit for Harper, and St. Rasburg has a new and improved nickname anyway… wow this is a long parenthetical) is batting .245 and hasn’t gone long yet this season. Time to push the panic button… or not. I was adjusting to my new job at NAPA Auto Parts when I was 19, maybe BBJ is adjusting to almost-pro pitching. Just a theory.
04/22/2012 – It’s not water into wine, but BBJ turned pitch into HR today. I don’t plan on writing about it every time this happens, because I have a feeling it will be quite often, starting… now.
02/20/2012 – I’ve been working on my draft spreadsheet, and the ‘pert rankings of Michael Bourn have me somewhat befuddled. Is there going to be a shortage of SBs this year? He’s ranked 50th at Yahoo! and 35th at ESPN (not sure what his ranking is at ESPN Deportes, but I’m sure it’s equally loco grande).
02/27/2012 – Rudy’s Point Shares came out today and have Bourn ranked 72nd. I’m comfortable putting him somewhere between there and Grey’s rank of 125th, which means there isn’t a chance of me owning him. I’m comfortable with that, as well.
04/10/2012 – Five games into the season, let’s see how Bourn is doing. Hm… batting .158 with a .238 OBP and 2 runs. Yeah, but what about the steals? Oh, 1 SB and 1 caught stealing. Not quite living up to that 36.9 ADP just yet, but it’s early.
04/22/2012 – I caught Bourn reading my diary. Okay, well, I would have caught him if he wasn’t so damn fast, but he’s obviously been reading it, and he cares what I think for some reason. He’s now batting .338 on the season with a .403 OBP, 12 runs, and 7 SBs. It’s worth noting that two players have more SBs than him — Dee Gordon with 8 (ADP 124.9) and Emilio Bonifacio with 9 (ADP 164.8) — but no one has more caught stealing than him (3). Emilio is also pretty close on runs (10), AVG (.298), fills a shallower position, and could have been had a dozen rounds later.