Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “The rule is: jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.” Carroll also was blasted out of his mad hatter on opium and really liked little kids (in a weird Michael Jackson-Jesus juice kind of way). However, your humble-but-nonetheless-poppy-fueled Guru says jam yesterday, cram tomorrow and jam it twice today. Now pass the hookah and pardon me while I pull on your bloomers about something here, Alice (and it completely applies to the jamming and the cramming we’re about to do): This Super Two nonsense is damn annoying. Not to just us fantasy ballers, but to anyone that’s a fan of young talent wasting away in the likes of Iowa, Indianapolis and Oklahoma City. Bring up Javier Baez, Gregory Polanco and Jon Singleton now! Don’t give me the ol’, “He needs more seasoning” B.S.. How much seasoning does Polanco need? He’s hitting .350, with six homers, 45 RBI and 11 steals in 50 games. What about Baez? He’s hitting .375 with three homers, five doubles and 11 RBI in his last 10 games with an OPS of .700 on the season. Think the Cubs couldn’t use some of what Baez is cooking? The Astros have Singleton and his 14 homers just simmering in OKC while their current first base duo of Chris Cater and Marc Krauss have 12 between them. I think the meat on these three is tender enough, get them on the grill now. Of course teams put money above winning (and our fake teams), that’s why four watered down Sam Adams’ cost me a kidney at Fenway last week. What exactly is Super Two? As simple as I can put it is: once a player gets promoted, they start to accrue MLB service time. A player needs three years of MLB service time to qualify for salary arbitration. However, the top 22% of players promoted first in the season that have more than two years of service time, but less than three years, qualify for salary arbitration under the “Super Two” status. Get all that? Becoming arbitration eligible obviously means a significant bump in the bucks. So, it’s a big money grab by a bunch of Spaulding Smails that fart in the general direction of fans and our fantasy teams. And, while the Pirates playoff chances slip away, you pay $75 to park at PNC, and my Polanco has to have dinner at the Indy Applebee’s. Now that we’ve hit June, this Super Two stuff is about to end and there will be a bunch of prospects making their way to the party. At least the Twins called up Oswaldo Arcia and the St. Louis Cardinals came to their senses by bringing up Oscar Tavares on Saturday. If the waiver wire in your league is full of Super Two’s, grab them now and screw the Queen of Hearts. With my Sunday rant out of the way, let’s head down this rabbit hole – it’s time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or Cram: Oscar Tavares, OF, St. Louis Cardinals.
2014 Stats (Triple-A Memphis): 49 G, 30 R, 7 HR, 40 RBI, 1 SB, .325 AV.
Availability: 65% Yahoo, 89% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $12.
The Gist: Tavares, the third best prospect in the game and arguably the best young hitter, finally got the call to the big leagues Saturday and promptly hit his debut dong in his second career at-bat. What took so long?! The only reason he didn’t break with the club this spring is because the Cards are trying to keep him from reaching the arbitration process and free agency a year early. Aren’t actual wins (and our fantasy teams) more important than…I already went on that rant. In 191 ABs at Triple-A Memphis this year, Tavares has reached base 100 times and struck out just 47 times.
Key Stats: The knock on Oscar? He can’t field. He has a fielding percentage of .972. “Do we get points for fielding?” Good point, disembodied voice that sounds like my ex-girlfriend Brenda. Wanna come over? Never mind.
Jam it or Cram it: With the Cards about to hit the road for some interleague play, the 21-year-old Tavares will get his chance to sink or swim. The Cardinals could use some pop in the outfield as they’re near the bottom in OPS this year. So long Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos, you’re dead to me. Matt Adams, go join the other 4,357 players on the DL. All my love belongs to Oscar…until the Pirates call up my true man crush Gregory Palonco. JAM.
Jam or Cram: Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers.
2014 Stats: 12 R, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 1 SB, .270 AV.
Availability: 89% Yahoo, 85% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $1. Hey, Andre, I got you a dollar.
The Gist: Remember that time Ethier hit 30 homers and 100 RBI? Good times, I loved 2009 too. I’m dancing in my turban to “Single Ladies” right now. With Carl Crawford limping off to Evelyn Lozada the door is open for Andre. He seems to be trying to stay out of the Matt Kemp side of Don Mattingly’s doghouse going 7/27 with a homer, three runs and four RBI last week and he hit .323 in May.
Key Stats: Andre struggles versus lefties hitting just .235 in his career.
Jam it or Cram it: This is what Magic Johnson calls “Showtime.” Give Andre some playing time, let other teams check him out, hope he hits, then trade him to the Red Sox for a backup infielder. “Hey, you Sox still have Nick Punto?” No dinner with Andre for me. CRAM.
2014 Stats: 32 R, 9 HR, 22 RBI, 0 SB, .257 AV.
Availability: 50% Yahoo, 20% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $4. The price jumps to $25 if you think he’s Chris Davis.
The Gist: Khris with a K Davis was one of my sleeper picks coming into the season and he promptly hit the snooze button by batting .245 in April. However, Davis picked it up in May with six homers, 14 RBI and a .923 OPS for the month. Did sleeping beauty wake up?
Key Stats: Davis spells Khris with a K for a reason: He’s struck out 49 times in 49 games with just eight walks.
Jam it or Cram it: Davis could give you a sneaky 20-homer season – he had 11 in 56 games last year – hits in a good lineup and seems to be heating up. Davis is going all hot schmotato with a .522 average and three homers over his last seven games. This week, Davis will face all righties with names like Denuno, Correia and Morton. JAM.
Jam or Cram: Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees.
2014 Stats: 14 R, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, .268 AV.
Availability: 65% Yahoo, 78% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $1. Hope I get one of those gift baskets for that.
The Gist: “What, is this the barely legal and grey panthers edition of jam or cram?” I dunno, but I like that idea, Brenda. Now stop following me and leave my bunny alone! Someone on the tweet machine asked me to do a jam or cram on Jeter and, while I haven’t worked in radio for a bit, I do take requests…even if it is a Yankee. Jeets has just one homer, one steal, his average is at a career worst through at least 150 ABs and his OPS is nearly 200 points off his career average. Is that the tune you wanted to hear?
Key Stats: Check these stats: 24 homers, 102 RBI, 134 runs, 19 stolen bases and a .349 average. That was 15 years ago. 15 years ago I was a roadie for Screaming Trees and stocking up on jerky and bottled water in fear of Y2K.
Jam it or Cram it: It’s been a great career, Mr. November. Even this Red Sox fan will tip his turban to you. But, do we really need this farewell tour stuff? When did all that crap start? No one gave Jose Canseco a retirement party. I would have given him a rocking chair made out of syringes. Oh, back to Jeets. My fantasy baseball fortune cookie reads: Don’t let the past cloud your present…in bed. He’s a JAM in the Hot Tub Time Machine 1999 league, but this year he’s about as good Yunel Escobar. Give him a gift basket and CRAM.
Jam or Cram: Kendrys Morales, 1B, ???.
2014 Stats: 42 Twinkies, 25 Hot Pockets, 37 Bags of Pork Rinds, 1 Diet Coke.
Availability: 82% Yahoo, 87% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $6. No more, no less.
The Gist: I’d expect Morales to ink with someone by the end of this week as there won’t be any draft-pick compensation attached after June 5. Teams in the mix include the Mariners, Orioles, Rangers and the Yankees. Over the last two seasons, the switch hitting Morales has hit .275 with 45 homers. Think that power is a fit for the House Across The Street From The House That Ruth Built?
Jam it or Cram it: In 493 career games,Morales has 528 hits in 1,845 at-bats (.286), 90 homers and 300 RBI . There will be FAAB bucks flying around our fake baseball world this week for Kendrys. Don’t go cray cray for him, but that power surge could help anyone’s team – real or fake. JAM.
Jenry Mejia,RP, NYM: Mejia is 5/5 in saves since taking over the closers role. Will it last? I dunno, but I’d start 50 Cent if he was closing at this point. JAM.
Drew Hutchison, SP, TOR: The numbers aren’t bad: Four wins, 3.88 ERA, 59 Ks in 65 innings. However, he’s a fly ball pitcher and that won’t fly at the Rogers Centre much longer. CRAM.