We are extremely grateful for all the kind words, inspirations, and contributions that Razzball Nation has given us over the years as we built up our fantasy baseball tools for both Roto (Streamonator, Hittertron, Weekly Hitter and Pitcher planners) and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFSBot) players.

After much deliberation, we decided to move all our daily tools (Streamonator, Hittertron, DFSBot) to a subscription model. Don’t worry – the rest of the site is staying free. This just allows us to make a little money on these tools (we’ve lost money to date if you take development costs into account) and continue to invest in enhancements. We are aiming to have most of the enhancements available on Opening Day and all by May 1st – see below for what we have on tap:

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Looking at the title of this post, I could of easily called it Catchers! What are they good for? In fantasy you wouldn’t be wrong, because they can cause more harm than good. Those average draining, games played depleting, good for nothing bums. Except for you Yan Gomes, I own you in a few places, as I got a thing for Brazilian booty. What’s wrong with that? Have you seen the pics of female Brazilian soccer fans? Don’t judge me monkey! Seriously my fetishes…I mean my preferences are not what I’m here to talk about, we can do that in the comments. Oh and I’m gonna talk about a few end-of-the-draft CI’s too.

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (4) | 2013 (12) | 2012 (14) | 2011 (16) | 2010 (14)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL Central
AAA: [74-70] Pacific Coast League – Iowa
AA: [66-73] Southern League – Tennessee
A+: [67-69] Florida State League – Daytona (2015 Myrtle Beach)
A: [91-49] Midwest League – Kane County (2015 South Bend)
A(ss): [41-35] Northwest League – Boise (2015 Eugene)

Graduated Prospects
Javier Baez, 2B | Arismendy Alcantara, OF | Mike Olt, 3B

The Gist
This is about as stacked as a system can get. There’s upside all over the field including the graduated prospects listed above. Granted, they are still prospects and where everybody ends up playing is a good question. Heading into 2015 we’ll all wait for the arrival of Kris Bryant and later in the year we’ll be chomping at the bit for Addison Russell’s debut. Meanwhile, Javier Baez might be one of the most polarizing players on this team and there’s a chance he could start the year in the minors. But that would just give fellow sophomore Arismendy Alcantara some more time at the keystone and he’s no slouch either. Even the rotation looks good with Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta one-two. Can the bespectacled one take this team to the promised land? *grabs popcorn*

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Can the Braves please trade Craig Kimbrel?  This isn’t a fantasy question, it’s a real question.  What need does a team, who is obviously rebuilding for 2017, have for the best closer in baseball?  Plus, closers are the most overvalued position in sports. Rant over, sorry.  Okay, let’s get to some fantasy baseball…

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I have to be honest it wasn’t love at first sight. Truthfully I wasn’t really impressed. I thought you were just another hot schmotato on a good tear. My friend took you home, I thought he was taking the grenade for the rest of us. We all scoffed at him behind his back, sometimes to his face when he would gush about you. None of us thought you were for real, maybe we were just all jaded. After all you were a middle infidel from Minnesota, I’d been down that road before. But something happened to me, to all of us really. We started to become jealous of what the two of you had. We all started to look at our shortstops and wonder why they couldn’t be more like you. You guys were so happy, he went from just an average guy, 6th maybe in the standings to ascending to the crown. September came and went and the rest of were looking up. I made a promise to myself that day, that I would never let you slip through the cracks again. Danny Sanny I love you.

Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!

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Whenever spring training starts to wind down and the closer spot is yet to be determined, it’s never a good thing.  It causes rosters to get fat off the land, and wastes your draft picks on no-news type situations. I will turn my one good lazy eye to the Minute Maid conundrum of “who closes for the Astros?”  Some may ask: “who cares?” But this is the essence of SAGNOF believers. Cheap closers are what makes the fantasy world get on a sit, spin, chug a beer, and scream obscenities at trolley cars.  So from the beginning of the hot-stove baseball season, and even after they signed Luke Gregerson, I believe that it’s still Chad Qualls‘ job.  No news is good news for the incumbent… Even though the news all across the reliever landscape is all speculation, “he said this” and “the beat writer said that”.  Well, the only person who actually knows is the manager, Hinch.  So I am going to do my best to break it down from my ivory soap tower.  Stick around, there may be something fun or edible once you get inside.

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From being a consumer of Razzball for a few years, I’m sure many of you already are in or know of OBP or On-base percentage league(s). Chances are if you’re playing in an OBP league, you’re playing with some seasoned teams. The metric has eased into MLB broadcasts and has become an important measurements as to a players overall worth more so than batting average. However the player gets on first, whether he leaves the bat on his shoulder or gets plunked, the idea is, it’s just the same as a base knock. If you play in competitive leagues, I advocate changing from AVG to OBP, for me it increased my understanding of different players who didn’t always get the recognition but are valuable to their teams.

When looking at outfield and considering OBP, you want to consider “does this player make a living beating out bunts?” Speed players generally have lower OBP because they want the ball in play so they can run out a single. It does not translate to all players, but as you look at the rankings, you’ll see players like Billy Hamilton or an Anthony Gose can compromise your OBP category in a Rotisserie league or H2H. Yes, you’re not drafting Hamilton for his OBP (or AVG depending what league you play in), but just know, if he gets 550 + ABs, that will hold down your team ranking in that category for the year unless the makeup of your other players compensate.

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As the adage goes, ‘nobody wants you when you’re old’. Unless you’re a female and Grey Albright is nearby. Yo Sky, check out this smoking hot chick! *Clicks google image link*. Um, Grey? Yeah? That’s Raquel Welch. I know, right? Older the berry, the sweeter the juice, you know what I’m sayin’? *hi-pitched cackling ensues*. I get it, though, in this day and age where steroids can’t even be used to quell skin rash irritations without a 50 game suspension. We get to see athletes in their truest form: they’re human, they get tired, they get hurt, they age and their prime doesn’t last 10+ years. But as a fantasy player? EFF THAT NOISE. Bring back the greenies, baby! But I digress, the key is, ageism is a real thing at the draft table, especially for a late bloomer and in steps Steve Pearce. So what has my fantasy loins in a lather like Ann-Margaret just did a cat-walk in lady’s lingerie for Grey? Well, read on. Here’s why I think Pearce is a good get for deep leagues this year for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

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I joined Funston, Behrens, Pianowski, Dalton Del Don, Not The Noise (someone drafted using Brad Evans name, but it wasn’t him), Rudy, Paul Singman and others. Since Singman writes for us now, we’re up to three writers in the Friends & Family draft held at Yahoo. Within ten years, it’s going to be 14 Razzball writers vs. Funston, and Funston will prolly still win after only drafting Howie Kendrick. I’m not being entirely facetious, Razzball’s results in this league have been less-than-stellar. I don’t mention this to be modest — modesty’s for nuns! — I tell you this to preamble my reasons for drafting Billy Hamilton. I feel like my Friends & Family mojo is leaking oil, the carburetor is coughing up fumes and I’m on the side of the road, with my skirt hiked up, and no one’s stopping. So, I decided to draft someone I have never drafted before and paid full price, to boot! (By the by, when I go to Italy, I like to shout, “To boot!”) Well, enough about me, more about my team! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, Friends & Family fantasy baseball draft:

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It’s no secret that offense has been in decline across the board in major league baseball in recent years. It seems like only, uh, 17 years ago that the race was on to see who could break Roger Maris’ single season home run record. Last season, only Nelson Cruz reached the 40 HR mark and just ten other players managed to knock 30 out of the park. Remember Vince Coleman’s string of three consecutive 100+ steal seasons from ’85-’87? No? Too young, eh? If you’re familiar with the video game R.B.I. Baseball for the original 8-bit Nintendo, he’s the guy who’s able to steal bases at will. It was basically the same deal in real life. Pretty darn impressive feat, especially when you consider the fact that only four players reached the 40 SB mark last year.

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