Something funky is going on in Denver. At the 2016 all-star break, Charlie Blackmon was a 30 year old OF sporting a career line of .292/.342/.446, good for a 99 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .327/.375/.612 hitter, which has been good for a 140 wRC+. At the 2016 all-star break, Carlos Gonzalez was a 30 year old OF sporting a .297/.355/.541 line as a member of the Rockies, good for a 125 wRC+. Since then, he’s been a .252/.310/.403 “hitter”, which has been “good” for a 70 wRC+.

At some point during those 5 days right around the 2016 All-Star break, Charlie Blackmon tapped into some dark magic and cast a voodoo spell on Carlos Gonzalez, draining all of Cargo’s talent and keeping it for himself. Blackmon went from being an average-ish centerfielder with decent on-base skills to a legitimately good centerfielder who can hit for average and power. Poor Cargo went from a good power-hitting corner outfielder to a broken shell of a man who has been a liability since the 2016 All Star Break. Even Neifi Perez, the walking embodiment of an all-glove no-bat shortstop, managed to cobble together a .282/.313/.411 triple-slash line as a Rockie, and Cargo can’t even beat that right now! Poor Carlos Gonzalez. Meanwhile, Charlie Blackmon has become a legitimately great DFS hitting centerfielder who bats leadoff for a team playing half their games in Coors Field – mmmmm…tasty. As for how he’s done it, if my theory is correct (and this is a real, scientific theory), that means that Charlie Blackmon is a real life Shang Tsung, and I really don’t want to offend someone who can drain my soul, so please Mr. Blackmon, if you’re reading this, you’re my favorite player and your beard is awesome, although it’s not as good as this one, I still cannot lie.

On to the picks once Shang Tsung steals my soul…

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Right off the top, you know this is Part 1, since I put it in the title and all.  There’s too many outfielders I want to say something about, and this post shouldn’t feel like homework, though if fantasy baseball articles are homework, I would’ve cared a lot more in school.  But I don’t want that much math (like geometry, calculus, trigonometry, hard math).  As an accountant people always say, “I bet you’re good at math.”  No, I can use a calculator.  But you’re going to need a calculator to add up the OPS Outfielder rankings coming up right now! (not worst segue ever, but honorable mention for sure).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

OPS leagues are greatest! So now you know.  Or at least act like it.  Coming off a 2016 with all the homers (even guys like Didi Gregorius) hit, now is the perfect time to jump in and join! OPS incorporates walks like OBP does, and adds in slugging percentage to make a super sexy combo, not unlike Emily Ratajkowski and Instragram.

OPS leagues are all about home runs and power guys. So speed guys, well, they’re tolerated. High average guys, well, they’re okay, as long as they hit triples. In that spirit I encourage every one of you to join an OPS league; once you do, you’ll never go back. I’ll have an OPS league to join if you want to try one with the info at the bottom (so you have to read, or at least scroll; I swear it’s worth it).

Now the 2017 season is basically almost upon us. It snuck up on me; month long new years hangover, I wasn’t even thinking about baseball, and then, I logged on to Razzball and there it was, Grey’s top 10 for 2017…and just like that, I was back! And there’s no time to waste!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The King has returned to Middle Earth, to rule over the hobbits and elves and the other woodland friends. His name is Bryce Harper, and he will dole out fiery OPS vengeance upon any foolish enough to oppose him. Yes, friends, Harper, our long-time OPS champion, has enacted his fury this past week, going 10-for-23 with 5 homers and 6 RBI. His OPS for this period was a gorgeous 1.753. If Harper doesn’t win the NL MVP award, something is very wrong with the BBWAA. Harper has the 2nd highest OPS all-time for a 22-year old, behind only Teddy Ballgame. Almost more impressively, if the season ended today, Harper’s OPS would be the highest since Barry Bonds’ in 2004 (Bonds had an absolutely inhuman 1.422 OPS).

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Greetings all and welcome to the post-Memorial Day, all-Giants edition of One Man’s Trash. If you took a fantasy vacation over the weekend in favor of the consumption of mass quantities of alcohol and charred animal flesh, well, good for you. That’s what the holidays are all about – gluttony. Oh, and family and stuff, if you’re into that kind of thing. In case you missed it, I’m here to inform you that Brandon Crawford (+35.3%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. While you’re feasting on leftover burgers and potato salad this afternoon, you might be surprised to learn that Crawford ranks 1st among all qualified MLB shortstops in RBIs (31), on-base percentage (.382), and slugging percentage (.514), is tied for 1st with 6 HR, and is in the top 4 in both runs scored (23 – 4th) and batting average (.301 – 3rd) at that position. He’s even chipped in 2 steals as well. His .345 BABIP (.296 career) and 15.8% HR/FB (6.7% career) suggest that his batting average and power numbers are likely to regress somewhat, but his K% is slightly down, LD% is slightly up, and his 38.8% hard hit percentage is 2nd among shortstops and 20th best in all of baseball. Also, the HR/FB ratio might not regress as much as you might think due to the fact that his 315.53 ft average fly ball distance is currently the 10th highest mark in MLB. He’s basically performed at the level that was expected of Robinson Cano coming into this season. While Crawford is unlikely to maintain his current blistering pace, everything points to this season being a career year for the 28-year-old. Enjoy the ride. Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

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Congratulations are in order for Adrian Beltre. Last week, he became the newest member of the 400 home run club and only the 52nd player in MLB history to accomplish that impressive feat. Only three other active players – Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and David Ortiz – are in that company. To put it into historical perspective, Beltre is one of only four players to spend at least 75 percent of his career at third base and reach that milestone. The other three players are Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Chipper Jones. Two Hall of Famers and one soon-to-be HOFer. That’s some rarefied air. Or maybe that’s just the sausages and peppers that I had for dinner making a return visit. We’ll go with the former. Sorry to any of our girl readers who are (were) reading this. It was nice knowing you!

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David Ortiz has been a dominant offensive force since joining the Red Sox in 2003. During the time period from ’03 to present day, he’s one of only three MLB players to hit at least 400 home runs (Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn are the others); one of three players to knock in at least 1300 runs (Miguel Cabrera and Pujols); he’s 11 walks shy of 1000 which would make him just the 2nd player to reach that mark (Dunn); he’s also produced the 6th highest OPS as well as the 2nd highest ISO (behind only Barry Bonds) during this span. Basically, Big Papi has been an extremely patient hitter with massive power who’s been really good for a really long time. He certainly hasn’t been sloppy like this Poppie. But no player can elude Father Time forever. Except for Julio Franco. I think he was around 60 when he retired. However, most players begin to see their production drop off by their mid-30s at the latest. While Ortiz still appears to be going strong, how much gas does he have left in the tank in his age 39 season?

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Razzball is psyched to being taking part in the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote.  As the chief stat geek at Razzball, I take this responsibility very seriously.  I admit there are obstacles – e.g., determining the right paper size and stock for fashioning a  ballot (ours always gets lost in the mail), writing all the eligible players’ names, tracking down the BBWAA address, buying a stamp,  ignoring the ‘return to sender’ and ‘cease and desist’ letters from BBWAA, etc – but how best to honor the nominees’ perseverance than to show a little of my own, right?

Below is my 2014 Hall of Fame ballot  as well as some commentary on the Veterans ballot.  As you can surmise by my votes, I’m a PED realist (vs. moralist) with a slight bias towards hitters (particularly well-rounded 2B/SS/CF) vs pitchers.

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This is a two part series looking back at the top 20 seasons since 1903 by retired hitters not currently in the Hall of Fame (the first part covering #11-#20 is here).

You will see a number of familiar names here and some that even the most knowledgeable baseball fan has never heard of.   Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?