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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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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I’m concerned, you’re concerned. We all have concerns. This is a post concerning Javier Baez and our concerns. More specifically, this is about how concerned we should be if we own him in keeper or dynasty formats. If you’re looking for just the 2015 value Baez brings to the table, check out Grey’s Top 20 2nd basemen. Honestly, if you’re not reading all of his rankings you’re doing it wrong. In recent Cubs news, general manager Jed Hoyer came out and said that while Baez is still projected to be the starting second baseman, he’ll “have to earn it” and “make more contact to stay in the big leagues.” Cue air-raid sirens and flashing red lights. The sky is falling but I’m just sittin’ here sippin’ on some tea. Let me explain why I’m still in on Javier Baez in keeper formats despite the nasty strikeout numbers and recent questions over playing time.

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Hello, friends that I’ve never met in person. I’m glad to see you again, metaphorically. I’ve already hit you with my top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball and the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. This, here, is the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. This, here, is a mess. There’s seriously about seven 2nd basemen I’m excited about, and two of them are Brett Lawrie and Jedd Gyorko, so we know how that’s gonna play out. I don’t know what happened to the latest crop of 2nd basemen, but I have a theory. Twelve years ago, when these 2nd basemen were learning the position, their role model was Bret Boone. Boone used to frost his hair, so all the kids learning 2nd base at that time, frosted their hair too. Then their friends beat the crap out of them, and that was the end of all future 2nd basemen. Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2015 fantasy baseball. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Time to check back in on some winter league action. I mentioned him two weeks ago, but we need to talk about Randall Delgado again. Since our last update, the right-hander has pitched 12 innings with 12 strikeouts, eight hits, two walks, and one earned run allowed. He currently leads the Dominican Winter League in strikeouts with 41. Here’s what I said about him last time “Delgado isn’t a lock for a spot in the rotation this spring, but he’s throwing as a starter this winter after getting only four starts in all of 2014. Two things I like about Delgado are his strikeout numbers and his age/potential for more growth. Last season he posted a 10.0 K/9 in 77+ innings pitched and his FIP was a full run lower than his ERA.” He now has an 11.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 33 innings in the DWL. While he’s currently listed as long relief on the Diamondbacks’ depth chart, I really think he’s going to get his chance to start at some point this year and run with it. Entering 2012, Delgado was listed as Baseball America’s #46 prospect. He was still with the Braves at that point, then was traded in 2013 along with Martin Prado in the Justin Upton deal. The Diamondbacks looked like the losers, but the jury is still out on Delgado at just 24 years old. This has prospect fatigue and breakout written all over it. Here are some other recent highlights from the winter leagues…

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Yesterday, Wilmer Flores went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 6 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homers. With David Wright hurt, Flores has been playing every day. The Mets are thankfully still able to get Ruben Tejada into their lineup. The Mets said, “We’ve wanted to drop Tejada, send down Tejada or trade Tejada for a nickel on a dollar, but since we can’t figure out the paperwork, we’re playing him every day for the last three years.” No Met in particular said that; all of them did. Why do I care about Flores playing? In Triple-A in 2013, he hit 15 homers and .321 in 107 games. That was when he was 22 years old. Maybe he’s not God’s answer to Bac-Os and able to make every game better, but I bet he could’ve been as good as David Wright this year. The reason why baseball people and the media doesn’t like Wilmer is he fields like he has a golden glove. Not that he won a golden glove. Like he’s literally trying to catch grounders with a metal statue. If he gets a job out of spring training in fifteen after twenty, this won’t be the last time you hear me try to convince people Wilmer Flores isn’t bad. For now, he’s only viable in very deep leagues as we watch Flores’s stock bloom. Flores’s stock bloom! Flores’s stock bloom! Springtime for Wilmer, and the Mets… (BTW, when did this site become so pro-Mets? I feel dirty. Though, that could be because I haven’t showered since March.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Baltimore’s shiny new outfielder, Alejandro de Aza, was 4-for-9 with two triples and 2 RBI in yesterday’s double header. Welcome to Plaza de Aza, where we help win fantasy baseball leagues for you. Perhaps you hadn’t noticed in the past five days Alejando de Aza has been doing work for his new team, gathering in a hit in his sixth straight start. He’s also got two stolen bases, two homers, five runs and six RBI in that stretch and he’s doing every thing he can to contribute to the O’s postseason run and your fantasy team right now. Buck Showalter is clearly feeling what Alejandro’s putting out there, as de Aza is steadily moving his way up to the top of the lineup. If he gets hot, he’s a guy that could help you in a lot of categories in the two final weeks. Grey told you to BUY him and don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone who you’re dropping or selling to pick up this hot little crab cake, be it Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Davis, Josh Hamilton, Anthony Rizzo, your soul, etc. Just don’t think about it. Forget about it. Just do the deed, close your eyes and click add/drop. You’re trying to win this thing and Alejandro can help.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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