I went looking around The Google Machine for Nick Castellanos articles and they go like this starting in 2013 to present (I’m paraphrasing):  “Is High-Flying Prospect, Castellanos, The Next George Brett?”  “Can Castellanos Be Better Than Miggy?”  “Castellanos Hopes To Bounce Back After His Lackluster Rookie Season?”  “One Bad Year Behind Him, But He’s Still Young.”  “Castellanos Puts Second Poor Year To Bed, Will His Bat Ever Awaken?”  “Castellanos Is A Platoon Player, Face It.”  “Castellanos Shows Bat Is Ready For Prime Time….Prime Time In India Where CSI: Mumbai Is A Ratings Disaster.”  “Castellanos Is Greek For Can’t Stand Yous.”  “Castellanos Finally Shows Glimmer, Is It Too Late?”  “Castellanos Surprisingly Not Related To Nia Vardalos, Still Ugly If You Look At Him Too Long.”  There ya go, that pretty much tracks the career of Castellanos up until now through article titles.  In Triple-A in 2012, Castellanos had all the makings of a hot prospect at the age of 21.  Now, he’s 23 and it feels like that’s in dog years.  So, where’s the optimism, is it that I can’t let a top prospect go?  No, and I take offense to that.  I let Jay Bruce go…after six seasons.  Anyway, what can we expect from Nick Castellanos for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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*pushes aside the Lost Ark, pulls out a blankie labeled Shroud of Turin, tosses it aside, unearths a stack of old sleeper posts, flips through them, comes across one, blows dust off, sees the name Jedd and quickly moves on, blows dust off next one, smiles then sneezes*  Ugh, stupid allergies.  Luckily, I’m not allergic to calling Jonathan Schoop a sleeper, huh?  Right now, the Orioles lineup is listed from 1-9 as Hyun-soo Kim, Machado, Jones, Wieters, Trumbo, Schoop, Paredes, Hardy then Hoes.  Hardy Hoes sounds like what a jolly pimp says.  “Hardy Hoes to everyone!”  But I wouldn’t be cheery O’s.  Let’s assume the O’s re-sign Chris Davis.  That still leaves them a little short of a major league lineup.  What am I getting out, you ask.  Schoop won’t be batting lower than the six hole for the majority of the 2016 season as he comes into his own like the star of his own Lifetime movie.  Last year, he hit 15 HRs and .279 in 86 games after losing around two months to an injury.  Last year, I called him a sleeper as a guy that was bound to hit north of 20 HRs.  I see no reason that wouldn’t have happened if he stayed healthy.  Now that he is healthy, well…Anyway, what can we expect for Jonathan Schoop for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re more than halfway through the minor league previews, and this Nationals list was the first one I really had a hard time whittling down to fifteen names. It’s not that it’s packed with studs, it’s more that there’s lots of interesting upside. You’ve got your no brainers like Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner of course, but we also saw a big breakout with Victor Robles. There seems to be a focus on speed, toolsy outfielders with good defensive skills, and up-the-middle talent. It’s all good stuff for fantasy players, and since even your great-grandmother has heard of Giolito, I find the lower levels of this system to be a lot more interesting to talk about. Don’t believe me? She has a cross-stitching of his curveball grip. Stepping away from the farm, 2016 will be the sophomore campaign of Michael Taylor, whose power and speed will probably come cheap in drafts this year. He doesn’t have to rack up that many more hits to make his average palatable as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Hey, I managed to write the whole intro without mentioning Bryce Harper! D’oh!

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Honestly, in June of last year, if you would’ve asked me if I’d be writing this post come January, I would’ve said you were as crazy as the Republican field for president, but then July through the end of the year happened and Joc Pederson not only looked lost, but he lost his starting job.  Yes, Cro-Magnonly was their manager and you need to take all of his moves with a grain of salt, but anyone could see Pederson was struggling.  Here, I’ll test you to see if you could tell.  Pederson had a high for a month in power with 9 homers in May and followed that with seven homers in June.  He cruised into the All-Star break with 20 homers and a .230 average.  Post-All-Star break saw him hit only six homers and a .178 average.  That’s-a, how do stereotypical Italians say, notta so good.  Actually, “notta so good” calls up its attorney about pressing defamation charges for being used to describe Pederson’s 2nd half.  The proverbially wheels came off the cart Luke was pushing to buy some frankinstinks.  Is that a proverb?  I don’t know, but it sounds like it.  Anyway, what can we expect from Joc Pederson for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kenta Maeda signed with the Dodgers and has been labeled as “Not as good as Yu and Masahiro.”  Looks that good though.  Right?  I guess one can edit together 200 IP into a three-minute video to make Bartolo Colon look skinny too.  Okay, with some funhouse mirrors.  I say Maeda could be getting a favorable edit like CT after he started dating Diem because his K-rate was just 7.4 in Japan, which is solid, but not spectacular.  Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun has often been compared to playing in Triple-A.  I’d like to add the Nippon Professional Baseball league is like Triple-A, but almost everyone is Japanese.  Perhaps an unnecessary distinction.  So, if a guy is 7+ K/9 in Japan (or Triple-A) that doesn’t land him in the elite class of pitchers like Yu and Masahiro.  If Darvish and Masahiro are toro, Maeda is the tuna they chop up for the spicy tuna roll.  Since it’s impossible to not compare one Japanese pitcher to another, a 7+ K/9 compares more favorably to Iwakuma.  Iwakuma is still a solid comparison for a pitcher to receive; that’s still a number two to (stutterer!) three fantasy starter.  Unfortch, I think Maeda is likely a notch below Iwakuma.  For 2016, I’ll give Maeda the projections of 14-10/3.66/1.16/152 in 200 IP.  On a real baseball note, Maeda’s deal was an 8-year deal for $24 million.  I’m guessing the Dodgers hired Melky Cabrera to hack into Japan’s Google, or as it’s known there, Googre, and change all recent baseball salaries to thousands rather than millions.  “So, David Price will earn two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars?  I’m definitely taking a deal for three million a year!”  That’s Kenta reading off of Googre.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Twins are a fun system to look at. They have the elite guys like Buxton and Berrios, but now we have the breakout Max Kepler and the international signee Byung-ho Park. Outside of the Aaron Hicks trade to New York, the Park signing was the biggest news of the Minnesota offseason. The Twins had some surprising success in 2015, thanks in part to the arrival of their young slugger Miguel Sano. 2016 will see even more prospect talent surface in Minnesota though, and things could gel together quickly. It’s probably do or die time for Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia, but there’s a lot of young talent to work with this year at Target Field.

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What’s Ice T’s favorite pastry?  Cruellers, cruellers, cruellers, cr-cruellers.  Who’s Ice T’s favorite pitcher?  Lance McCullers, McCullers, McCullers, Mc-Cullers.  Sorry, if I didn’t get that out of the way up front it would’ve gnawed at me this entire post and I never would’ve been able to write it.  Now, into the actual post, you know how they say you can’t fold a piece of paper more than seven times?  (Yes, I know MythBusters folded a football field-sized piece of paper eleven times, but the myth is seven-plus times.)  That myth is how I feel about starting pitchers.  There’s so many guys that I like late that I feel like I can’t fold them all into a singular fantasy team.  Maybe this is subconsciously the reason why I manage upwards to ten fantasy teams.  This way I can have a little taste of all of the late-round starters that I like.  One such pitcher is Lance McCullers.  Last season, he had a 3.22 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 9.2 K/9 and a 3.50 xFIP.  If you know a thing or two about a thing or two, you’re saying to yourself, “How is this guy a sleeper?  He was great last year.”  Good question, Voice In Your Head.  He shouldn’t be a sleeper, which is why he is a sleeper.  Wrap your noodle around that, stick it in some boiling water and stir it so it doesn’t stick.  You feel me?  Okay, seriously, stop touching me, it’s weird.  Anyway, what can we expect from Lance McCullers for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the great things about playing in a dynasty league is the active offseason. Since most of the players on a roster are kept, the draft is usually just a handful of rounds and consists of other teams’ trash and fresh signees. That means offseason trading can get pretty intense as owners attempt to improve their roster, whittle down their keepers, or accumulate higher draft picks. Razznasty has been no different, and there have been a ton of trades since our offseason opened in November. The league started last year. It’s a 16-team/keep 30 of 40 dynasty league made up exclusively of Razzball readers and writers. I won’t go into every trade in detail, but rather comment on a few of the bigger ones in this post. You can, however, view every trade made this offseason here.

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Overheard at my house on Christmas, “Why isn’t it Jesusmas?”  Then someone who you only see once a year chimes in, “‘Jesus, mas’ is what I say to the waiter when I want more cheese and his name is Jesus.”  Ah, family over the holidays.  Arriving a few days late for Christmas for Yankee fans was Aroldis Chapman.  It didn’t come in their stocking, but he will probably be wearing a stocking on his head while he tries to board a domestic airline with a gun.  “You know, in Cuba, no one cares if I wear a stocking on my head and try to rob people, because Fidel owns everything anyway.”  That’s Aroldis sitting next to someone in First Class who is being polite but just wants to watch Jason Sudeikis in Vacation.  So, Aroldis joins an already stacked Yankee bullpen and does nothing but makes it more sizzling, obviously.  I could make the case that Aroldis is the best closer of all-time, not just the best one in the majors right now, so, yeah, he’s definitely a $12 Salad and that doesn’t change in New York.  He could miss a couple of weeks of the season, due to domestic abuse charges, but that’s not set in stone, and, if baseball is ever going to become as popular as football, then the league will turn the other cheek while asking his girlfriend to do the same.  For 2016, I’ll give Aroldis the projections of 4-2/2.04/1.03/110, 40 saves in 60 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was between Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk for a sleeper post.  Why did Stephen lose out?  Piscotty doesn’t know!  Grey does, though.  They’re roughly the same age; Piscotty will be 25 to start 2016, but Grichuk won’t turn 25 until August.  They were both first round draft picks.  That’s neither here nor there; no more rhyming and I mean it, anyone want a peanut?  I don’t dislike Piscotty, but last year in a full season, he was on pace for around 16 HRs, 5 SBs and a .270 average.  Grichuk was on pace for 23 HRs, 8 SBs and a .250 average.  Those lines aren’t that different for fantasy value.  Twenty points in average makes up for the power and speed lost, but average is fickle and how many times can one write Piscotty doesn’t know?  Piscotty doesn’t know!  Grey does, three times.  That’s it, then a small migraine starts to pulse in your frontal lobe.  Real baseball people who spit and scratch themselves would like Piscotty better (he takes more walks, strikes out less, better OBP).  I like Piscotty too, especially soaked in espresso, but The Amazing Randal feels slightly more upsidey and I just had my computer dictionary learn the word upsidey, so here we are.  Anyway, what can we expect from Randal Grichuk for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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