Before we get this post-Turkey celebration of When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason up and running, I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of the aforementioned When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason, or WFBWHNTDITO, if you’re into the whole brevity thing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find the Round 1-5 Recap by clicking on this conveniently placed hyperlink right… about… now. And for the full results, you can check them out here. (If nineties website design is your crème de jour, enjoy that layout bro.) Anyhow, let’s get this going after the jump so I can go make some turkey sammiches.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (10)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League — Nashville
AA: [59-79] Southern League — Huntsville
A+: [66-68] Florida State League — Brevard County
A: [59-76] Midwest League — Wisconsin
Arizona Fall League Players — Surprise Saguaros
Tyler Cravy (RHP); David Goforth (RHP); Taylor Jungmann (RHP); Kevin Shackelford (RHP); Adam Weisenburger (C); Mitch Haniger (OF); Jason Rogers (OF)
Logan Schafer (OF); Jeff Bianchi (INF); Scooter Gennett (2B); Khris Davis (OF); Caleb Gindl (OF); Wily Peralta (RHP); Brandon Kintzler (RHP); Alfredo Figaro (RHP); Donovan Hand (RHP); Tyler Thornburg (RHP)
The Run Down
The upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system graduated quite a bit of talent into the bigs in 2013, as Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Khris Davis, and Scooter Gennett, among others, earned significant playing time in Milwaukee. What remains of the Brewers’ farm is a rather uninteresting mix of low-risk/low-upside, and high-risk/high-reward type prospects. It’s not the worst org in the game — no, the Angels have that locked up by a comfy margin — but it’s lacking severely in the high-impact department. Outfielders Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor can change that outlook with big seasons in 2014. And Orlando Arcia and Devin Williams are gifted enough to bring some excitement to the lower levels of this system. But until further notice, you should probably try to avoid stocking up on Brewers in your dynasty leagues.
Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is a true story. In 1981, the St. Louis Cardinals bought a barrel of oil for $12, then sold that barrel of oil to OPEC for $13, netting the Cardinals one dollar. That one dollar was used by the Cardinals to buy a pack of gum that was used to repair a broken condom that was used by Albert Pujols’s father so there would be only one Albert Pujols and no competition for the best 1st baseman from 2001 thru 2011. Marxists and Capitalists have argued for years about the right of the Cardinals to use that dollar to stunt natural selection and why didn’t they just buy Albert Pujols’s dad one new condom rather than a pack of gum. This illustrates a very important point. You and I may want David Freese due to his position eligibility, but never underestimate the Cardinals ability to get the better side of a trade. If they’re smarter than OPEC, they’re smarter than us. Peter Bourjos is in the pile of scraps in mind that includes Brett Gardner and Michael Brantley as guys that I like a lot, maybe more than is reasonable. (BTW, my 2nd album that critics called ‘very emo’ is also called, Scraps In Mind. That’s purely coincidental.) Bourjos got a sleeper post from me for about three years in a row, though he had the misfortune of playing under The Sciosciapath, and The Sciosciapath doesn’t play the hitters he should — hello, Napoli. Bourjos had a 50-steal season in the minors one year. You don’t just lose that kind of speed, and, if you’ve ever seen him run out a triple, you know how crazy fast he is. Oh, and he’s not just SAGNOF. He also had 12 homers one year for the Angels. If he put together a 15-homer, 35-steal season, I wouldn’t be shocked. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 74/12/58/.263/20 with a chance for much more. He’ll definitely be someone I’ll be looking at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
See Jesus Montero, see Mike Zunino…Shoot, see any young catchers. Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside, catchers aren’t great guys to look at when they’re young. Defense is demanding for them. Have to handle the pitching staff. Have to bend down and shizz. It doesn’t seem like much fun. I don’t like bending down to look for a lost dog toy under the couch, imagine doing that for three hours a night. Blech. Get me a Barcalounger and put it behind home plate. Actually, I don’t want people to steal this invention that I’m going on Shark Tank with, but if you put a motor on a Barcalounger, you really never have to stand up again. A great year from a young catcher is handling the pitching staff and chipping in a homer here and there and a .240 average. I still don’t fully buy Yadier Molina’s stats the last few years, but let’s assume he is this good. For his first seven years, he never topped 8 homers or a .304 batting average. In his last three years, he hasn’t had a mark under either of those. If the pitchers are doing well and/or liking how the catcher is calling the game, catchers don’t have to hit, especially not when they’re first called up. This seems to go doubly for NL teams. BTW, try to say ‘doubly’ without sounding drunk. You can’t do it. So, expect nothing from Travis d’Arnaud. But if he backs into some stats (say, while sitting in a motorized Barcalounger), what can we expect of Travis d’Arnaud for 2014 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know who I feel bad for? The eight other Tigers that have to sit on the other side of the bench now to balance out Miggy so the bench-seesaw doesn’t topple. Prince Fielder was sent to the Tigers for a Player to be Named Later. The later was about thirty seconds when the Rangers said they would send Ian Kinsler. What? Someone had to offer a guy first. Okay, maybe it was Ian Kinsler that was sent for a Player to be Named Later and that later was ten seconds. There’s no way the Rangers and Tigers simultaneously said Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. I just don’t see how that could’ve happened. Only room for one Semien in the AL Central, I suppose. See, Prince Fielder’s middle name is Semien and there’s a Marcus Semien…is this getting better as I explain it? Don’t worry, I still have in my back pocket when Marcus Semien hits a game-winning home run — Semien, the shot sprayed ’round the world. Penthouse Letters will enjoy that. So, Prince Fielder in Texas just changes everything. They need to change the size of the door frames, they need to start making tofu cows… It’s gonna be a whole rigamarole! Obviously, this is a boon for his value. Last year, Comerica — or as people in Detroit call it, “The One Building That Isn’t Abandoned” — played better for homers and runs than Arlington, but that has more to do with the two clubs that were on the field. Put the Tigers lineup last year in Arlington and Arlington would’ve looked like it was a dome filled with helium. Historically, Arlington is great for a power hitter and once the summer hits, balls fly out. After Fielder alternated between great and solid seasons for his whole career, last year was supposed to be a great year, but it was merely a solid one, buoyed by counting stats. He shouldn’t have much problem bouncing back in 2014. He’ll still only be 30 years old and I don’t see him taking an extreme dive until around 32, if he can stay healthy. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 89/33/108/.282/1. Definitely locks him into the top rounds and moves Miguel Cabrera back to first base, where he can hopefully stay healthy and drunk. More healthy than drunk, but who am I to judge? Nick Castellanos could now see a shot at 3rd base, but I don’t think the Tigers are done yet. Muahahahahaha…. Hmm, that evil laugh wasn’t totally necessary. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves and what they mean for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18) | 2009 (12)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL East
AAA: [72-72] International League — Lehigh Valley
AA: [62-80] Eastern League — Reading
A+: [67-68] Florida State League — Clearwater
A: [56-80] South Atlantic League — Lakewood
A(ss): [37-38] New York-Penn League — Williamsport
Arizona Fall League Players — Peoria Javelinas
Ken Giles (RHP); Mike Nesseth (RHP); Kyle Simon (RHP); Austin Wright (LHP); Cameron Rupp (C); Aaron Altherr (OF); Cameron Perkins (OF)
Darin Ruf (1B/OF); Cody Asche (3B); Jonathan Pettibone (RHP); Tyler Cloyd (RHP); Justin De Fratus (RHP); Jake Diekman (LHP)
The Run Down
Two of the top four prospects here weren’t in the system a year ago, so it goes without saying that the Phillies have made it an initiative to improve their farm. They’ve done a good job of it too, and they now feature a nice mix of upper levels talent and lower levels upside. Maikel Franco is the prized piece here, a top 25 fantasy prospect. After him there’s not a whole lot in the high-impact department (not yet, at least), but there’s still plenty of options that could be intriguing for the fantasy game. Along with the White Sox, I’d say the Phillies are the most improved organization that we’ve gone over so far.
The White Sox signed Jose Abreu to the biggest deal in the history of Cuban baseball if you don’t count the time Fidel, J. Edgar Hoover and a CIA operative, who went by the name of Billy, played a game of stick ball for who would be the patsy in the Kennedy assassination. Middle infielder Lee Harvey’s error let the game-winning run cross home and the rest is history. Jim Bowden believes Jose Abreu can hit 30 homers and a .310 average. This was after Abreu came out in favor of everyone driving Segways, so Bowden might’ve been partial. Oh, who are we kidding? Jim Bowden’s a gooftard who thought Elijah Dukes was the second coming of, well, Elijah. Abreu is a wild card like, really, any Cuban player. He could come in like a Puig and out like an El Duque. Speaking of Puig, Abreu has been better than him and Cespedes in his Cuban baseball career. Also, Abreu gets some rave reviews because he’s considered a ‘good kid.’ Yippee, let’s sing For He’s a Jolly Good Fella and let him bring in our mail when we’re out of town. Doesn’t mean anything. What means something is Abreu can be beat by 92+ MPH fastballs. That means he’s going to have to hit a lot of number 3, 4 and 5 starters. It’s doable, but he’s not going to hit .310 or 30 homers. Since he’s a first baseman, I see him around the Kendrys Morales/Mark Trumbo level. Definitely worth owning in all leagues, but depending on where you have to draft him there might be more risk than he’s worth. For 2014, I’ll give Jose Abreu the projections of 78/26/88/.268/2. Anyway, in other Cuban signings for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Guess who’s back? *presses button on tape deck for my intro music, jams the buttons a few times trying to get it to work, calls up unemployed tape deck repairman, asks unemployed tape deck repairman why my tape deck doesn’t work, unemployed tape deck repairman patches me through to customer service person in India that his job was outsourced to, tries to communicate with Indian replacement tape deck repairman customer service agent, instead finds out about vacation rentals in Bangalore, gives up on tape deck* Forget the intro music; I’m having problems with my tape deck. I’m back, snitches! You miss me? I missed you too. Please stop touching my leg. I’m married now or as my new e-book title will be called, “Twenty-Two Days Left For An Annulment.” Now, I’ve gone over my Archie Bradley fantasy and Taijuan Walker fantasy and others. In the past, I’ve gone over what I think of rookie pitchers. They’re a lottery ticket that rarely pays dividends. I don’t mind grabbing one off waivers, but that’s usually all they’re worth. For every Jose Fernandez, there’s about three dozen Erasmo Ramirezes (Ramii?). There’s also a crapton of Carlos Martinezes. (Carlos Martini? Hey, Yovani Gallardo would like them. “I’ll have three Carlos Martinis and make them dirty.” That’s Yovani right before he’s about to drive home.) Rookie pitchers are guys that could be decent, but their usage is all over the map. Wacha would fall into this group too. With that said (reversal time!), I’m not sure why Jameson Taillon hasn’t been promoted to the majors yet. He doesn’t look like he needs to prove anything else in the minors. He could’ve helped the Pirates this year, and will help them next year. Only thing that was stopping the Pirates from promoting him was starting his arbitration clock. Like a Catholic school girl, the Pirates were trying to keep their booty to themselves for a little while longer. Why are all Pirates prudes? Cause they consider their booty a treasure. Take it, Highlights, it’s yours. I’d imagine if the Pirates waited this long, they’re gonna go the same route in 2014 for the first two months. We won’t see Taillon in the majors until June. So, what can we expect of Jameson Taillon for 2014 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.Please, blog, may I have some more?