If you are gluten free, you might want to be careful of this post, because to draft Jedd Gyorko again in 2015, after what he did last year, you need to be a gluten for punishment. I am spelling that right, right? (Stutterer!) On a side note, I want to open a gluten-free bakery that isn’t really gluten-free called Gluten for Punishment because I have a theory that there’s no such thing as gluten-free people. How else do large companies sell another loaf of bread to people who usually only buy one loaf a week? Make up a fake ailment and then a product to sell to them. Now people are buying a loaf of regular bread and another loaf for the one person in their family that is supposedly gluten-free. The Padres are actually the good news and the bad news. The good news, who on earth else are the Padres going to bat in the middle of their order besides Gyorko? The bad news, they have no one else to bat in the middle of the lineup other than a guy that hit 10 homers last year and .210. The mostly good news that was bad news, he was hurt last year. Reason why that was not completely good news is no one knows if his ailment will flare up again. Though, no one really knows if he was actually hurt and not just so crizzappy that he was benched under the guise of being hurt. I’m going to assume he was hurt, since he had a walking boot on. If Jedd was wearing a walking boot just to throw people off his scent, Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity did a less involved insurance scam. Or Gyorko just has seriously funky feet and the walking boot was literally meant to throw people off his scent. This is neither here nor there or there nor here or there-here or here-there. He was bad last year. Luckily, we’re now talking about 2015. Uppercase yay. Anyway, what can we expect of Jedd Gyorko for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (23) | 2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL East
AAA: [66-78] International League – Lehigh Valley
AA: [66-76] Eastern League – Reading
A+: [49-89] Florida State League – Clearwater
A: [53-84] South Atlantic League – Lakewood
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Williamsport

Graduated Prospects
Ken Giles, RHP | Cesar Hernandez, 3B

The Gist
The rebuilding process has begun in Philadelphia with an aging core and bloated contracts on their way out between now and 2017. Cole Hamels returned from offseason surgery to have another great season in 2014, and he could either be a part of the next good Phillies team or trade bait for some nice prospects along the way. The younger talent is already starting to arrive. Ken Giles emerged as a major force in the bullpen and could be the next closer once Papelbon is gone. Maikel Franco is on the verge of being an everyday player and should be an asset in fantasy leagues soon. The farm system is relatively thin, but there are some toolsy prospects in there. They are just too far away to be relevant in most leagues at the moment. If the organization is able to move veterans in trade this year and next, the farm could get very healthy very quickly. The Phillies’ first round pick in 2014 was Aaron Nola – a college arm that has a good shot at cracking the rotation in the spring of 2016.

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First off, his name is Jonathan Schoop as in ‘scope,’ not as in, ‘Baby, take a ride in my coupe, you make me wanna Shoop.’ Salt and Pepa are, indeed here, and they are, indeed, in effect, but only metaphorically. I want to make sure that is clear, in case you are chatting with your friends about Schoop. There is nothing worse than invoking Salt and/or Pepa amongst friends only to find out hours, days or even weeks later that you were misspeaking. Also, you may be tempted to draft Bartolo Colon with Schoop just so you can name your fantasy team, The Colonschoopy. You’re thinking of a Colin-Oz-Co-Pee, and, instead, you’ve just named your team Cologne-Scopey. So, unless you’re a guido who gurgles with Drakkar, Cologne-Scopey doesn’t make any sense. Please be careful. Speaking of guidos, remember The Jersey Shore people? I sure hope they bought everything outright and don’t have huge car payments or mortgages. Pauly D is the only one with a job, as he’s spinning records. Luckily, he won’t have to change his resume dramatically when he becomes a sign spinner. Anyway, what can we expect from Jonathan Schoop for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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The A’s traded Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto. I had this cheap friend who would go to the supermarket and buy things that were on sale. Not because he wanted them, but because he was cheap and it was a good deal. So, he’d come home with groceries of only things that were on sale and for dinner he’d end up having a box of couscous and a Tofutti Fudge Treat. I’d say to him, “Do you even like this stuff you’re buying?” He’d say, “No, but I do like the price.” This is what happened to Billy Beane. He doesn’t like Lawrie, but four players for one? What a deal! There’s one other explanation. Everyone is constantly telling Beane he’s brilliant. He’s so gee-dee brilliant (and handsome!), they cast Brad Pitt to play him. His detractors are nil. So, he thinks he can do no wrong and then does a trade like Friday’s, where no one can check him. If anyone else did this trade besides Beane, people would be saying he got Cosby’d. Since it’s Beane, I’ve heard people say the trade is a bit ‘underwhelming.’ Underwhelming?! The A’s traded away their best hitter, that is only 28 years old, for the Blue Jays worst hitter. If someone did this trade in your fantasy league, you’d quit your league, come into the comments here and say, “I’m done with stupid people.” The A’s five and six-hole hitters now? Ike Davis and Brett Lawrie. Well, lucky they still have Andy Parrino. Andy Parrino will be played by Joe Jonas in the Moneyball sequel. “Coach, it’s Christmas, why are you at my house? Okay, I’ll play for your A’s, but first let me sing a charity concert in Denver.” From a fantasy prospective, nothing really ever was gonna hurt Donaldson, besides maybe a move to Petco, and nothing really was going to help Lawrie, besides Coors. The Blue Jays lineup looks stacked now, but to that I say the Rangers looked stacked going into last year too. Edwin and Bautista aren’t the models of good health, Donaldson, though, has been. The last two years he’s played 158 games, and has hit 24 homers and .301, then 29 homers and .255, while chipping in 5 and 8 steals, respectively. He’s in the prime of his career, as previously mentioned, about to be in a better lineup and in a much better park for home runs, if not offense, in general. Game, set, tennis term! I don’t see him hitting for a great average again, like in 2013, but 27 homers and great counting stats without killing you in average seems not only doable, but likely. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 79/27/93/.259/7. The only question in my mind is where he’s batting. My guess is fifth (Reyes, Martin, Bautista, Edwin, Donaldson), assuming everyone is healthy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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With the Phillies minor league preview coming up this week and recent trade rumors surrounding the Phillies’ ace, I thought it would be worth checking in on Cole Hamels and where his value stands right now in fantasy – particularly in keeper leagues. In some very early 2015 rankings, Hamels has appeared in the #10-#12 range. I don’t disagree with that ranking, but I’ve also seen him listed as a pitcher to avoid and some scuttlebutt about Amaro being to aggressive in his asking price for Hamels in trades. There is never a shortage of opinions on the internet, and attempts to devalue assets in real life sometimes carries over into our fantasy rosters – leading us to question our players. I’m hoping that’s not the case with Hamels, who remains one of the best pitchers in baseball and is deserving of the #1 slot in fantasy rotations. Anything less is undervaluing him in my mind.

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This index is a compilation of the National League top ten prospect lists publishing this offseason at Razzball. Click on a team name to view the original posts with commentary on each player listed. Clicking on a player’s name will take you to their Razzball player page with stats, projections, etc. The index will be updated as each new top ten is released, but the rankings will not change once they are posted.

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Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the offseason stock report. If you love this silly, fake game as much as I do, you’ve either shined up your 2014 winner’s trophy several times and have shamelessly admired it since the end of the season or have shed many tears over the disappointing fantasy results that you’ve just endured. Either way, it’s time to move on and look forward to the start of the 2015 season.

In this series, I will attempt to analyze the performances of various players from this past season and project what can be expected from them next season. After digging into all of the underlying peripheral statistics, each player will be deemed either a “buy” or a “sell” depending on whether he can be expected to improve, regress, or maintain his most recent level of production. Much like commodities on the actual stock market, the idea is to buy low on a player that stands to gain value in the near future while selling high on one that is likely to lose value. Of course, players who are already valued highly but appear likely to maintain a high level of production should be targeted, while players who have experienced a sharp decrease in value and appear unlikely to improve upon their current production levels should be avoided.

Without further ado, let’s dig into three of the biggest early round busts from the ’14 season and decide if their poor results are a sign of things to come or if a rebound is on the horizon.

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This was a yearly tradition until I didn’t do it last year, so I’ve decided to bring it back and make it a semi-annual tradition. Semi-annual traditions are better anyway. They’re not as stuffy as annual traditions, being run by a timetable and whatnot. They come and go as they please. ESPN Fantasy Baseball is the number one result in Google when you search fantasy baseball. Yay, for them. But what are people searching Google for when they find Razzball? Since it’s a holiday, I decided to break away from the normal schedule of 2015 fantasy baseball rookies and look at exactly what people do search Google for when they find us. These are all queries straight from our analytics. Last year, we had our biggest year. Over 15 million people found us. (I think about 14.9 million found us with the search query “What is SAGNOF?” Neverthehoo…) That’s a big Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us here at Razzball. On a side note, I was hospitalized the last two nights with a kidney stone. Why has no comic book hero ever faced a 4-foot tall villain named Kidney Stone? A millimeter-sized one is incapacitating, forget a dwarf-sized one. As I lay in the hospital, I thought about what a lousy way to spend Thanksgiving. Then Cougs posted in the comments the other day what was happening with me, and I realized this wasn’t a bad way to spend Thanksgiving. This was spending it with some of those that I am most grateful for. You. Oh my God, go to the hospital for two days and suddenly you sound reborn into a sap. I’m fine, out of the hospital now, but I might be a bit touch and go until Monday. Anyway, here are 20 actual Google searches for people who found Razzball and my answers to their Google searches:

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (24) | 2013 (13) | 2012 (1) | 2011 (14) | 2010 (24)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] NL East
AAA: [81-62] International League – Syracuse
AA: [53-89] Eastern League – Harrisburg
A+: [78-58] Carolina League – Potomac
A: [87-53] South Atlantic League – Hagerstown
A(ss): [34-41] New York-Penn League – Auburn

Graduated Prospects
None

The Gist
The Nationals won 96 regular season games in 2014 but were eliminated in the NLDS by the Giants. Along the way, Anthony Rendon emerged as one of the best young players in the National League and Bryce Harper returned from injury to have a solid second half. Harper just turned 22 in October. Tanner Roark took the fifth starter gig and ran with it, rounding out a nasty starting rotation. Unlike some other contenders, the Nationals’ farm is in good shape. In addition to the talented major league rotation, the Nats have some of the best pitching prospects in the minors. They are also loaded with toolsy outfielders that could contribute to the major league roster soon or be used as trade bait to fill other needs. In the 2014 draft Washington used its first round pick to land even more pitching – drafting right-hander Erick Fedde 18th overall.

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Earlier this offseason, it was reported that the Red Sox coaches didn’t like Yoenis Cespedes. Wait until they get a load of Hanley Ramirez! If you were to put “Happiness That You Have Hanley” on the Y-axis and “Time Spent With Hanley” on the X-axis, you would find a line that starts at the top left and slopes right down to the bottom right. For what it’s Wuertz, the enjoyment of Hanley matches directly with the chart of Pancake Eating. After one bite, “Mmm, that is delicious.” After two bites, “Not bad at all.” After three bites, “I’m gonna try and douse these with some maple syrup.” After ten bites, “You gonna share your bacon or should I order my own?” That’s Hanley. Try to douse him with maple syrup, but when it’s July and your team is in the pennant chase and he has a sore hamstring, enjoy! From a real baseball standpoint, I hate the move for the Red Sox. You had Xander Bogaerts for short, you nabbed Panda for 3rd (which I’ll get to shortly) and now you have Hanley playing left and Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis that you have to trade for the most you can get. (By the by, I love that everyone refers to Yoenis as Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis, so I will now do the same.) That’s not even mentioning Allen Craig, Will Middlebrooks, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Daniel Nava and Juan Francisco. It’s kinda sad that all of those guys would be starting for the Padres (and Astros and Marlins and about ten other teams) and for the Red Sox they’re trade bait. Maybe the Red Sox will also sign Han’s brother, Head. From a fantasy perspective, this is about as good as it gets for Hanley. Will this mean he’ll play 150 games? No, I didn’t say that. It’s hard to account for insouciance (Word of the Day!). If he shows up at Fenway in April and wants to play, great. If he shows up at Fenway in April and doesn’t want to play until August, it wouldn’t surprise me. If we get 150 games from him (it will be nothing short of a miracle), I’d give him the projections of 86/24/91/.266/17. I’d only count on a 130 games though, which would knock him to 72/20/84/.268/12. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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