Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

As a former radio geek that tired of the shallow money trench and the playing of “Free Bird” for the 7,432 time, I’m a fan of taking those radio hits and mashing them up beyond recognition. Take a couple of things that don’t belong together like Metallica and Stevie Wonder, throw them in the blender and you get something sad but superstitious. Anyone want to sample my signature mashup the Detox Mansion? It’s Grey Goose, Hawaiian Punch, a splash of seltzer and a squirt of Aim toothpaste all stirred together with a home pregnancy test from the Dollar Tree. It’s the perfect Razzball readin’ drink. Cheers. When it comes to mashing up a fantasy baseball middle infield it’s like trying to mix Foo Fighters and Miley Cyrus. Sure, it can be done, but it’s kind of a hot mess. The top ranked second basemen and shortstops are all a wrecking ball of risk. Robinson Cano trades the homer friendly House Across the Street From the House That Ruth Built for the Safeco Sac Fly Canyon, Dustin Pedroia is coming off a season in which he only hit nine homers (and had off-season thumb surgery) and Jason Kipnis only likes games before the All Star break – he batted .260 with four home runs in the second half last year. The “best” shortstops are a walking MASH unit with “Hot Lips” Hanley Ramirez, “Trapper” Troy Tulowitzki and “Radar” Jose Reyes missing a total of 181 games last year. Coming into the 2014 draft season – there’s still time for you to join an RCL – don’t go all cray cray screaming “scarcity” at your leaguemates if you miss out on Cano or Tulo, there’s plenty of power and speed to be had late. Don’t be surprised if that middle infield masher you snagged in the twelfth round hits more homers than Pedroia and Reyes combined. Now let’s do some thunderbusting outside the top 100 rankings of the Yahoos, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

 

Jam or Cram: Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B, San Diego Padres

2013 Rankings: Opening Rank #262, Final Rank #236

2013 Stats: 62 R, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 1 SB, .249 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $14

The Gist: Only seven middle infielders hit more than 20 homers last year. Among second baseman, the top home run hitter was Cano. Number two? A man named Jedd – and Gyorko played in 35 less games. The .249 average and the 23% strikeout rate may look less than satisfying, but keep in mind he was hitting .285 before going down for a month in June with a groin injury.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 74 R, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 4 SB, .260 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: How’s 30/100 from your middle infielder sound? I’d sell my kidney for that kind of production (you don’t want the liver). Gyorko could approach those lofty numbers this year. If you’re worried about the Petco effect, don’t. 13 of his 23 home runs came at home a year ago. Add in the 3B eligibility in some leagues and draft with the confidence of Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright  JAM.  

 

Jam or Cram: Daniel Murphy, 2B/1B, New York Mets

2013 Rankings: Opening Rank #144, Final Rank #42

2013 Stats: 92 R, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 23 SB, .286 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $7

The Gist: Last season was a breakout year for Murphy. He finished as the number four second baseman. Murphy had career highs in homers and stolen bases while playing in a terrible lineup. Murph will be hitting in front of David Wright and Curtis Granderson this year which should help with runs. The 88.5% success rate in steals could put him close 20 bags again. The fact he gets traded by the summer could help, could hurt, who knows.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 76 R, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 15 SB, .284 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: Murphy was a solid middle infield masher last season. If he’s there for my last pick I might jam. He does have the potential to be a top 10 second baseman this year. He also has the potential to turn your middle infield into a black hole of suck.  I’d rather take chance on an upsidey guy like Kolten Wong or Jurickson Profar. *note to self: Start metal band called Black Hole of Suck, win Grammy, bang groupies, die of heroin overdose* CRAM

 

Jam or Cram: Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS, Oakland A’s

2013 Rankings: Opening Rank #229, Final Rank #99

2013 Stats: 80 R, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 1 SB, .290 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $5

The Gist: With the middle infield thin in the power department, Lowrie could be a late draft steal. Despite 2013 being the best season of his career, Lowrie’s currently being drafted as the 15-17th middle infielder off the board. That seems a little late for a guy who finished as a top 5 SS a year ago, having had a better season than guys like Ben Zobrist, J.J. Hardy and Andrelton Simmons – all players being taken before Lowrie.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 70 R, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 3 SB, .270 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: Lowrie is the good, the bad and the ugly of the middle infield mashup. His career highs in hits, runs, RBI and average last season is the good. His lack of speed and low average be the bad. The ugly? The guy can’t stay on the freakin’ field! Lowrie has played in more than 100 games once in six seasons. CRAM

 

Jam or Cram: Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B, Boston Red Sox

2013 Rankings: N/A

2013 Stats: 7 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, .250 AV. (44 AB)

2014 $$$ Value: $5

The Gist: As a Sox fan, I’ve followed Bogaerts since he was drafted as a 17-year-old out of Aruba and stalked him for weeks while he played for the Sea Dogs in Portland. Now that the restraining order has elapsed and Bogaerts has moved down the coast to Boston, I’ll attempt an unbiased opinion here. Size, power, ability to drive the ball to all fields and plate discipline make Bogaerts the top prospect in all the land. I’m wearing X-Man pajamas as I write this – and it’s noon.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 68 R, 17 HR, 70 RBI, 8 SB, .275 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: My Bogaerts fantasy where hits 30 homers and bats .300 while we share a plate of pasta Lady and the Tramp style won’t be happening this year, but it could happen soon. Last season I made a bold prediction that Jackie Bradley Jr. would win Rookie of the Year. He got three walks on opening day and was in Pawtucket by mid-April. So much for being bold. This years bold prediction? X-Man wins Rookie of the Year. Bolder prediction? In 2016 we argue whether to take Bogaerts or Trout with the first pick. JAM

 

**BONUS MASHUP**

Jurickson Profar, 2B/SS/3B, Texas Rangers: Profar is eligible all over the infield and now that Ian Kinsler has been shipped off to Detroit, let’s see what the kid can do. With an ADP of about 240, I’ll roll the dice late. JAM

Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies: Hit .284/73/18/69 last year and played over 130 games for the first time in four years. That won’t happen again. CRAM

Everth Cabrera, SS, San Diego Padres: Steals, steroids, suspension, SAGNOF! If the kid can hit .280 and lay off the Winstrol I’ll grab him. JAM

Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees: I tip my turban in your general direction, captain. CRAM

Brad Miller, 2B/SS/ Seattle Mariners: *Upside alert* Miller could become a 20/20 guy. Grey wrote a sleeper post on him back in January while attending a New Years party at John Stamos’ house. JAM

Harold Reynolds: The former second baseman has been announced as the Tim McCarver’s replacement on the Fox MLB broadcast with Joe Buck. Try to not get all handsy in the booth, Harold. Didn’t think I would miss McCarver. CRAM

Follow The Guru and his dirty turban on Twitter @TheGuruGS for fantasy ballin’ updates and scotch-fueled selfies.

 

 

 

  1. Cool article. I like Bogaerts as well. What’s up w/ that S.Drew though? , if they keep Drew, how many AB’s would you project for Xander?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I don’t see Drew coming back. The Sox want Xander at short now and for the next 10 years.

  2. GoldiRocks1 says:
    (link)

    What are your thoughts on value of Javier Baez in a 12 team roto 6×6 keeper league? How soon should he be drafted, and when might we see him in the bigs?

    • Birdmann says:
      (link)

      @GoldiRocks1: 14 team got him in the 17th, we have a NA slot and put him on it.

      • Birdmann says:
        (link)

        @Birdmann: 6X6 keeper as well our 6th off cat is XBH

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      If you have a N/A slot he is worth taking late and stashing. Looks like Theo and the gang want Baez to start the year in Triple-A, though. The kid made 44 errors last season so he doesn’t appear ready in the field just yet. I suppose he could get some work at second base, but I’m thinking we don’t see him (barring injury to Castro who’s nursing something now) until July at the earliest.

      • GoldiRocks1 says:
        (link)

        @The Guru:
        Thx for the reply and info Guru. I don’t have NA spot, so I will look elsewhere for now – (like miller as others posted :), or snag him late if he’s still there?…

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          I’d prefer Miller. I not one of those guys that stashes prospects unless a call up is imminent or I have an N/A slot. I do too much streaming to waste a spot, but I did have Xander for about 2 months last year before he was called. The X-Man is my man crush, though.

  3. Nick says:
    (link)

    The middle INF is tricky every year. I’m so excited to grab brad miller for cheap, leaves me way more $ to spend elsewhere.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Good thinking, but seems a lot of us Razzballers are thinking the same way. I blame Grey.

      • Nick says:
        (link)

        @The Guru:

        Good thing nobody in my 2 leagues knows of Razzball. (cue evil laugh)

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          Soon all the world will know and it will be like playing against yourself rather than with yourself.

  4. Nick says:
    (link)

    You live in Portland?! Want to join a local fantasy baseball league I’m trying to start? I like the jam it or cram it posts. Keep them coming.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I’m a former Portlander. Still get there in the summer, though. I’d be willing to play in your league with the winner buying the drinks at Gritty’s.

      • Nick says:
        (link)

        @The Guru: Bummer, looking for guys who live here so we can draft in person and go to Seadogs games.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          Cool, good luck. Enjoy the summer at Hadlcok.

  5. MB says:
    (link)

    Reynolds your best call

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Burt Reynolds.

  6. Philsfan76 says:
    (link)

    Guru, please help me with this problem. Points league. 4 keepers. 1 keeper must have been drafted 9th round or after. my other keepers are
    Harper
    Dread Pirate

    I plucked Bogaerts off waivers and could flat out keep him. I drafted Pence and EverCab after rd 9. My thinking is to keep:
    Harper
    Dread Pirate
    Pence (9th rd)
    Bogaerts

    would you forego Bogaerts for EverCab?

    Signed,
    Sleepless in Delaware

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Hey Phils fan, thanks for Razzballin’. I see the problem (and my X-Man bias aside) I’d stick with Bogaerts in a keeper league. He’s a top 50 player in dynasty leagues while E-Cab isn’t even top 100. If you need some steals, you can find some later.

      • Philsfan76 says:
        (link)

        @The Guru:
        thanks to you and this site. pence being my 9th rounder renders him expendable next year when I draft a gem in the 9th or later this year. another slight conundrum arises with my arms on second look. i drafted corbin post 9th and have lee, lynn, s. grey, g. gole. stick with offense, yes?

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          Stick with the bats, I say. You’ll be able to ill out a decent staff in the draft then stream away.

  7. John says:
    (link)

    Hey! I like Reynolds. Take it back.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Harold likes our four lady readers.

  8. Tom Thumb says:
    (link)

    Hey man,

    I asked a similar question last week but did not phrase it the way that I wanted. I am in an OBP and XBH league where we keep 5. I think my 5 keepers are:
    1. Miggy
    2. McCutchen
    3. Chris Davis
    4. Jose Fernandez
    5. Justin Upton

    But I also have Puig and Scherzer. I have been offered Harper for my Davis and Scherzer. Way too much in a vacuum.. but do you like the below final keeper list more?

    1. Miggy
    2. McCutchen
    3. Harper
    4. JUpton
    5. Fernandez

    And am I crazy for keeping JoFer over Scherzer or Puig?

    Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Personally, I’d keep Puig. Grab pitching later.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
        (link)

        @The Guru: puig over upton, otherwise keep yr 2nd list the same and def do that trade.

    • The Louisville Slugger says:
      (link)

      @Tom Thumb: I would def go Puig over Upton by far. Upton is severely overrated. With your depth, I’d probably take the Harper deal too. Miggy, Cutch, Harper, Fernandez, Puig as your 5 keepers would be golden for your future. Fernandez is your Ace to build around. Do it up and don’t look back.

  9. SteveV says:
    (link)

    Keeper question. Pick 2 – Andrus-$20, Tuwlo-$33, Choo-17, Holliday-$20, Cole-$5

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      That’s a pricey Tulo. Like the price on Cole, but think I’d go Choo, Holliday here.

  10. Kid A says:
    (link)

    With Lowrie it seems that the read was that he had never put in a full season but given a chance to produce, he would. So the guy plays 154 games last season and puts in a top 5-10 performance and he gets very little love.

    Treating injury prediction as a science has always seemed like folly to me. Unless the player is dealing with a chronic issue I go off the information given. His peripherals aren’t overly inflated and nothing points to regression. He glows a little, but he doesn’t seem radioactive

    He essentially showcased his potential when healthy. You always have to assume risk when drafting, and for where Lowrie is going, I think he offers tremendous upside value. The potential to buoy a team that is in need of average and some pop at MI is there.

    And the worst that happens if he goes down is you pick a guy named Scooter up off waivers.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      True that, Kid A. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Lowrie and owned him in a few spots last year. However, my take is given the choice in a draft of Lowrie, Miller or Xander, I’m likely to gamble on the younger upside over the injury risk upside at the current ADP of all three.

      • Kid A says:
        (link)

        @The Guru:

        For sure. All things being equal. Absolutely. Spot on.

        I’m assuming 11 other cagey managers who are high on X and wanting to make sweet love to Miller. I’ve got RCLs on the brain as I have a few of them lined up right quick so I put my comment through that ringer.

        For me, Lowrie is the zig to the zag when everyone else is fighting over the razball beauty pageant winners.

        Also,

        There was that interesting conversation in Rudy’s thread yesterday about pitching staff construction. OTS is again spilling the dirty little secrets about optimal SP/MR/CL distribution.

        How are you shaping your approach?

        As unorthodox as a rabbi with a foreskin for me this year.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          Ha! Yes, the Razzball secrets are getting out there. Great for Razz, bad if everyone in your leagues read it, too.

          How many leagues you in? I have 5 RCL’s going plus about 10 other dynasty, long term member, H2H type stuff.

          My approach is probably typical of most. Load up on hitters early, fill out a staff similar to Grey’s tier approach and then stream my brains out. I am considering drafting all closers on one staff and streaming SP exclusively. Curious to see what happens.

          • Kid A says:
            (link)

            @The Guru: I’ve got 4 RCLs, and a head2head, then 3 money leagues – standard rotos. I have to limit getting involved in high stakes daily leagues if I’m going to be out of the States for extended periods. Otherwise, I’m running around like Gilligan trying to make internet out of two coconuts and a turtle dick.

            I think I’m going to land somewhere between 2-4 SPs per team and stream like hell. Especially in RCL format, you’ve got to churn and burn slots all year. DNPs/SPs wasting space will kill you faster than a bullet. More exciting too.

            • The Guru

              The Guru says:
              (link)

              I’m with you there. Think I’ve overextended myself in leagues this year. My inflatable girlfriend is going to be pissed at the lack of attention.

            • Tehol Beddict says:
              (link)

              @Kid A: he’s already making excuses for when he gets the long D from a true pro. out of the country? doing what? It can’t be anything cool like running drugs or smuggling hookers so what is it? Are you selling your body in Canada? frank grimes told me that

              • The Guru

                The Guru says:
                (link)

                I will sit back and watch you kids pillow fight in your bra’s and panties.

  11. L'ville Jim says:
    (link)

    Have a live draft upcoming in a few days and was just looking at the “top” shortstops five minutes ago before popping in on Razzball before bed thinking the same thing you wrote about them. Getting one of the three could be a beautiful thing or they may blow up in your face splattering brain matter all over the walls.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Well said. There’s injury risk with any player I suppose. I could see myself grabbing one of them if they fell to me.

  12. Student511 says:
    (link)

    My league has keepers, and we have a snake draft. How do you recommend that we determine what round everyone will be drafting their kept players? So if I keep Bryce Harper, what round should I be able to “draft” him? The way it works now, is that we get the average of where the player was drafted last year and the O-Rank(yahoo), a.k.a. yahoo’s ADP and round up. We’re allowed to keep a third if we keep a player that we drafted in the last round last year; thereby rewarding those that took gambles. So using this system I’d be able to draft harper in the 8th round (drafted with the 144th pick last year + 9 O-Rank divided by 2 and round up). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      This may not be the answer you’re looking for, but that system seem pretty fair. More so than just where he was drafted last season. Have a great year, thanks for Razzballin’.

  13. FrankGrimes says:
    (link)

    your on fire lately! good shizz

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Grimey! Thanks and good luck this season. How many RCLs are you in?

  14. The Louisville Slugger says:
    (link)

    I really hope you guys are right about Brad Miller. I got him on the cheap in my draft. I have Simmons as my top SS, with Miller as my #2. I’d feel even better if they moved Nick Franklin out of town because we don’t want to see a possible platoon.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I asked the Magic 8-Ball if Miller would have a good for year and it said, “All signs point to yes.” However, I also asked it if Tehol wore women’s panties and it said, “Decidedly no.” So…keep the fingers crossed and light a candle for Miller.

      • The Louisville Slugger says:
        (link)

        @The Guru: Sounds good Guru. Thanks for that panty update too. Two thumbs up for Miller.

  15. BR says:
    (link)

    Hey Guru,

    I’m in a 10 team h2h points league with only 20 roster spots. When is a safe round to target Gyorko?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Hey BR,

      6-8th round ought to do it if you really want him. Good luck this year.

  16. Clint says:
    (link)

    My league starts 2 utility, 3 OF, and 8 bench spots. Do you think the talent’s deep enough at other positions in a 12 team league to fill those with positions other than 2B/SS this year or should I pay more attention to those positions than I have? I was basically assuming I’d have to treat those 2 positions like catcher and fill utility with either 1B, 3B, or OF candidates.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      You’re likely to get more bang for your buck with cornermen than the MI guys.

  17. Sniff Test says:
    (link)

    I don’t write articles but I do share my thoughts. I am jamming Jhonny Peralta in STL for some late round love. Agree or Disagree?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Worth a roll of the dice I guess. I’d rather gamble on someone younger not coming off a ‘roid suspension.

  18. Dead Head says:
    (link)

    So I snagged Hanley in my auction draft, he was semi-cheap compared to what the other top players were going for (average $15 cheaper then Miggy Cutch trout) so I feel happy about it. But who would you target for Steals in my MI position since I’m loaded with Power at this point. Alcides is nominated for $2 so I could get him for $3? His peripherals suggest he should bounce back somewhere inbetween last years numbers and 2012, and if he’s on base more he could approach 30 bags again. Do you like him there at $3? It’s a 13 team 5×5 roto w/ 27 man rosters. (5OF, MI, CI, 1 UTIL). we had a $300 budget as well.

    Villar, EverCab, Miller and the normal steals guys are already taken so I don’t really see many other options unless you got some deep guys for me.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Yeah, he’s def worth $3. Pick him up.

  19. Malon says:
    (link)

    Wong’s upside is Murphy’s 2013 season. Murphy’s done it once, Wong, a big goose egg. I’d rather go with Murphy than a rookie who’s most positive projection has him hitting 9HR. Also, Wong will most likely bat 8th (9th if LaRussa could help it), while Murphy will continue to be near the top of the order.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      That’s a good take. I suppose my point is I’ll take risks on unproven guys that late. Murphy certainly helped my team last season and should be steady enough. I’m just blinded by my Gyorko and Xander crush.

Comments are closed.