Deadline day baby, one of the most exciting and nerve wrecking times for fantasy owners across the land. I’m not going to talk extensively about it the way I did on Wednesday. Mostly because I’m not allowed to write the same post twice. At least as far as I know. Only Tehol’s allowed to do that stuff, but he’s handsome. We call that bubble syndrome, handsome, and really all attractive people in general, live in a bubble. You know who doesn’t live in a bubble, but is built exactly like one? Josh Naylor!!! That’s right A.J. Pro-Preller continues to trade-rape the MLB and horde A-1 prospects the same way your Grandma hordes Precious Moments figurines. This time they traded Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea for Josh Naylor, Luis Castillo, Carter Capps, and Jarred Cosart. We have no need to get into Cosart or Capps, but Naylor is interesting, Castillo less so. The Marlins selected Naylor in the first round, 12th overall, in last year’s draft. So far the returns have been promising, but let’s be clear Naylor is an “unathletic” DH/1B type. He was drafted as a 1B/OF coming out of the prep circuit, but his future lies as a first sacker. He’s been billed as a power first guy, but his power at this point has only been middling. He’s surprisingly swiped 10 bags though. The hope is the young Naylor develops the power stroke and eventually matures into a 25-30 homer corner guy. I’m not as hopeful as some about that happening.

Oh don’t worry I’ll get into my take on top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, and three others moving from the Indians system to the Brewers for Jonathan Lucroy. Feel free to post rumors, deals, hopes, and dreams, etc in the comments. Let’s talk specs and trades y’all!

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Not sure how many of you saw it yesterday, but Terry Collins got heated in a press conference when the Mets’ PR guy wanted him to tell the media more about Syndergaard.  Finally, Collins called him a puppy dog and stormed out.  Now, in a move that will be sure to make even the best PR person sweat, the Mets are in final talks to reunite with Jose Reyes.  The news picked up steam when management asked that the players’ wives not travel with the team.  Also, Wilmer Flores better not cry if Reyes joins the team.  Reyes smells the slightest weakness and he becomes a slap hitter (of recent vs. of old).  So, what can we expect of Reyes if he does land on the Mets, or any team, because he will sign somewhere.  Last year, in 116 games, he had 7 homers, 24 steals and a .274 average.  Honestly, that’s not that bad.  He can’t stay healthy, but maybe starting in July will help with that.  Figure he can play 80 games, which should put him in the area of a 7-10 HRs, 17-25 SBs and a .270 average.  Not terrible if you’re struggling at shortstop or MI.  Maybe the Mets will say eff it and also hire Doc Gooden to cut the foul lines.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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And, with the first pick of the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies take… Someone that was born in 1998.  I have a bottle of ketchup older than that.  In fact, I think I have an entire shelf of condiments older.  Mickey Moniak or Grey’s Worcestershire sauce?   What?  That doesn’t ever go bad and it’s used for one thing.  I think I dated a girl in 1998 who wanted a Bloody Mary.  What else am I going to do with it?!  Lea & Perrins conspired to add it in the recipe of the Bloody Mary so everyone would have to buy it.  But you done messed up, Lea & Perrins, because there’s no use-by date!  Seinfeld pulls me aside like Bania, “You have fifteen minutes of Worcestershire sauce material, maybe you diversify?  What’s the deal with soy sauce?  If it’s soy, shouldn’t it be white?”  Wanna feel really old, look at Mickey Moniak.  He makes Christian Yelich look like a blue-hair.  I’m sure Prospector Ralph will be along on Sunday to talk about the MLB Draft in total, but the Phils grabbed Mickey Moniak, an eighteen-year-old lefty who has a line-drive stroke.  Said to have a high floor, which means low upside.  Hey, he actually might be just like Christian Yelich, two brothers from nearly this millennial.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

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All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

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Everyone loves rookie nookie. Male upperclassmen scout the incoming class of freshmen girls like a hungry pride of lions stalking an oblivious herd of wildebeest and then pounce when the first opportunity presents itself. Fantasy baseball owners are the same way. They’re predators who stalk their prospect prey until call-ups are announced, and then the feeding frenzy on the waiver wire begins. This week’s prized target is Addison Russell (+66.4%), the new jewel of the Chicago Cubs minor league system ever since Kris Bryant was promoted just a couple of weeks ago. Due to the recent injury to Tommy La Stella and the early struggles of Arismendy Alcantara, Russell got the big league call and many a race to the waiver wire ensued. After all, young middle infielders with power and speed who possess ceilings as high and beautiful as the Sistine Chapel don’t come along every day. Those in redraft formats might want to take a cold shower though. Entering yesterday’s play (22 PA), Russell was sporting a .136/.136/.227 triple slash and had yet to draw a walk except for a dozen back to the dugout (54.5% K%) thus far. His plate discipline numbers make this approach look effective. Small sample size to be sure, but Steamer isn’t terribly optimistic as far as his ROS projections go: 35/9/38/10/.235 in 362 PA. Hang onto Russell for the upside if you have him, but don’t expect a fantasy superstar this season. Those who own him in dynasty leagues can party like it’s 1999. Or roughly 2025. You know what I mean. Here are a couple of this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball:

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The first four names in the Cubs’ lineup will be Fowler, Castro, Rizzo and Soler, then it will be O, Brother Where Art Thou Upside with fantasy owners being men of constant sorrow. Maybe Kris Bryant does come up in the middle of April with a lei around his neck made from gold-leafed, big-booty’d Renaissance women. I have a strong suspicion that it’s going to be more like a lei of Mona Lisa smiles. “Yay, he hit a home run!” Dot dot dot. “He’s gone 1-for-4 with an RBI in the last five games. I guess that’s okay.” Dot dot dot. “He’s hitting .250? Hmm…” Dot dot dot. “Yay, another home run!” Let’s do this comparison (this just isn’t for our podcast host, JB, either). Prime Aramis Ramirez or Kris Bryant this year? Prime Aramis easily. That’s 27 HRs, .290 average. This year’s Aramis Ramirez and Kris Bryant? I’d say Bryant, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk (to use another JB metaphor; ya know, he writes about fantasy basketball for us). Could Bryant give 25 HRs and a .260 average? Yes. Could Aramis? Yes. Would I draft Bryant first? Oh, God, yes, I’m just saying that Bryant being the 2nd coming of Jesus Trout Schmidt Timberlake Jackson, the Third might be a year off. At some point, I do expect to want to suck the Thetans out of Bryant’s body, I’m just not sure it will be this year. I mention this now because Bryant was reassigned to the minor league camp yesterday. Then, further down the Super Awesome Cubs Sexy Upside Team, you have Javier Baez also sent down, which was slightly shocking to me. I figured they’d let him start the year in the majors, even if he was going to be a hacking mess. The Cubs likely figured it was best to save his swings and misses for the summer when it gets humid. The Whiffy City starring Javier Baez will be opening in Iowa, and I’ve updated my top 20 2nd basemen (and the top 20 shortstops). This news also means Arismendy Alcantara has a clearer path to playing time on the infield with only Tommy La Stelllllllla standing in his way. Move your fat L’s, Tommy! I moved up Arismendy in that same 2nd basemen ranking, but I don’t think Arismendy is yet a 500-AB everyday option. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Imagine you are given a perfect list of auction values. Like you walk to the top of Mt. Sinai and instead of the Ten Commandments, God hands you a sheet of perfect dollar values for your upcoming auction. (Relative to burning bushes and other ways God has made his “presence known”, I’d say this would rank about middle of the pack in terms of directness). What would you do with these values?

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Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2015 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpee’s, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Oh, wait, yeah, like half of those things are actually what I have in front of me… But hey, what’s the point of lube and cacti if you can’t share? Truer words have never been written. We also have a very special guest… Mauricio Rubio Jr. from the Cubs Den, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. So without further ado (and plenty of lube and cacti), let’s check out the 2015 Chicago Cubs!

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Wanna know how dedicated I am to you? I have your name tattooed on my tramp stamp area. Yeah, your name. Wanna know how else I’m dedicated to you? I flipped guys in and out of this post, moved a few to the top 80 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball, moved some more to the top 60 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball, didn’t move any into the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball, but considered it and made sure everyone was ranked to the best of my ability in this post. You’re thinking, “I’d hope you’re making sure your rankings in this post are correct, these are you rankings after all.” True, You. But, honestly, most of the guys in the second half of this post are irrelevant outside of deeper leagues. It’s simple math. If you’re in a 12-team league with five outfielders, 60 outfielders are drafted, then twenty more guys are drafted that have multi-position eligibility, another ten for utility slots or for some schmohawks that draft a bench outfielder and, add up all of that, and it equals Frank Ocean. Okay, the math is off there. It should’ve equaled, “About 90 outfielders drafted.” And everyone knows the fifth outfielder drafted doesn’t last long on your team. Sure, maybe Josh Hamilton bounces back (doubtful), or maybe Carl Crawford becomes the latest Zombino (more doubtful), but in most mixed leagues these guys aren’t even being drafted. In one mock draft I did for a magazine (they still make these? Where do you buy them?), Josh Reddick wasn’t even drafted and he’s ranked higher than all the guys here. Never the hoo! All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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