The Houston Astros top first base prospect, future MLB All-Star slash hall of famer and savior of my fantasy team, A.J. Reed, has finally been called up after several weeks of waiting. The 23-year old phenom was currently slashing a very modest .266/.345/.509 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 59 games with AAA Fresno. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the fact that A.J. has hit safely in his past 8 games batting .372 with 14 hits, 3 homers, 3 doubles and 7 RBI in that stretch that makes me say, “aww yissss, thatswhatimtalkinabout!” You need more? What if I told you that A.J. Reed was one of the best hitters in the minors last year hitting .340/.432/.612 with 34 homers and 127 RBI between AA and AAA (135 games). Oh boy, now that is some POWER! All caps! Yessir, A.J.’s got a molly whopping home run stick and then some. Primed to hit the ding dongs! The one caveat, which is a French word for bad stuffs, is that A.J. has struggled mightily against lefties batting just .222 against them. This appears to be Houston’s primary reason for delaying his call-up, and as a result I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reed sit versus lefties in the early going. Regardlesss, irregahdless, irrecaveats, let’s recap: A.J. Reed is finally here, he should get the majority of the playing time at first base, he has immense power upside and you should add him everywhere he’s available. He’s going to save my fantasy team and trust me I wouldn’t have quoted Top Gun if I wasn’t completely serious. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the exception of a few dependable options like Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos, and Buster Posey, the catcher position has (somewhat predictably) been one of the least offensively productive positions in fantasy baseball this season. Yasmani Grandal and Yan Gomes currently have sub-.200 batting averages. Yadier Molina and the recently injured Francisco Cervelli have combined to hit one home run. Arizona backup Chris Herrmann has been a top 10 player at the position thus far this season. I suppose that the term dumpster fire would be a more apt description to characterize the catching landscape. It should come as no surprise, then, that recent Chicago Cubs call-up Willson Contreras (30.5% owned; +27.4% over the past week) is this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues. Considered by many to be the top offensive catching prospect in the game, the 24-year-old rookie slashed .353/.442/.593 in 55 Triple-A games this season and launched a homer in his first MLB at-bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night. His ability to make contact (13.3% K%) while hitting for power (.240 ISO) in the Pacific Coast League this year displayed a rare combination indeed, especially for a catcher. Miguel Montero and David Ross are the incumbents in Chicago, but they shouldn’t provide much resistance for playing time if the rookie hits the ground running. Contreras is certainly worth adding if available. There’s massive upside here at a thin position.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bases haven’t been nearly full at all in Michael Fulmer‘s starts this past month!

After a rocky beginning to his Major League career, Fulmer has been absolutely on fire the past month, vaulting from “meh, another big prospect called up too early, schwatev” to “this guy is ROY!”  As in, Roy Campanella!  Wait, I don’t think he was a pitcher…

Featuring a huge fastball and an awesome beard, it’s getting tougher and tougher to not jump on board the Fulmer train on his incredible scoreless streak and 5 Ws in a row.  I usually write the intro before breaking down the start, but I worked a little out-of-sequence today.  Spoiler alert!  I’m so on board.  I’m trading in my “Mustache Rides – $0.25” shirt with Grey on it to “Beard Rides – $0.50” with Fulmer.  So without any more ado or facial hair-play, here’s how Fulmer looked yesterday in a dominating start against the Yanks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did I just get something from nothing?  Because Justin Upton is nothing, and I got something yesterday — 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2).  Therefore, hence, Argo the movie, vis-a-vis, I got something from nothing.  Take that all of you non-believers!  And you said he would never come around to be worth that top 25 pick.  I pfft on you.  A big fat pfft.  Come here, accept my pfft.  I got one good game from him out of 57!  Holy schnikeballs, I got only one good game from my 2nd rounder?  Please, neighbor’s cat, don’t confuse me for a ball of yarn as I curl up in a ball and sob.  Please, stop tapping me with your paw.  I am not a ball of yarn.  So, can Upton turn it around?  I believe he can.  At least moderately.  Last year, he hit two homers and .196 in June and .162 in July.  And you still drafted him this year, so apparently you don’t care about two-month slumps.  In 2014, he had a month of .226 with 3 HRs and a month of .169 with 3 HRs.  This year in April, he had a 38% strikeout percentage, 34% in May and 22% in June.  He’s already seeing the ball better.  If he finishes June with 6 homers and .259, then hit .343 in May, would you be shocked?  Well, you shouldn’t be, because those were months he did last year when he also had two sub-.200 months.  Upton gets awful for months; it’s what he does.  He also gets hot for months.  Unfortunately, the slump months came to start the season so it was more pronounced.  Pronounced specifically as:  Gäd, h? s?ks.  And, remember, it takes the Uptons a while to adjust to new leagues.  It took Melvin Upton three years and a first name change to adjust to the NL.  Hopefully, this is the start of something so Justin doesn’t have to resort to being Melvin Upton Jr. Jr.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Archie Bradley pitched six innings of four hit ball Friday night against the Cubs, allowing one run, walking three and striking out ten. Archie has been a highly touted prospect for a while, but hasn’t really been able to put it all together, until now, dot dot dot, question mark? But the real question mark here–Betty or Veronica? I was always a Ronnie guy, because I am a masochist and I prefer a woman who hates my guts. Regardless, after struggling in spot starts in April and early May (2 GS, 10.1 IP, 14 hits, 9 ER, 7 BB, 6 K), and holding a plus-6 ERA in 10 career major league starts, Archie has returned to the bigs in a big way. In two starts since being recalled, Bradley holds a 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 13.1 innings, with a 19/4 K/BB ratio that will make your fantasy team real happy happy. Slightly more impressive when you consider yesterday’s start was on the road against a fearsome Chicago line up. I was gonna stream him, but then I was like, “nah.” That was a mistake. I won’t doubt you again, Archie. Bradley was rocking a 1.99 ERA, 1.08 WHIP with 47 strikeouts in 7 starts at AAA Reno this season, so it’s clear he’s ready for the next level. I would grab Bradley in all leagues where he’s available. Grey told you to BUY and he gets a cushy match up with the Rays next week. Don’t be a Jughead, grab Archie!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Ree,” opens the front door, walks down the driveway, says hello to my Polish neighbor, Stash, walks to the DQ, gets a Blizzard, eats said Blizzard, walks home, opens the door, says “Dick,” hits the head, not like that, comes back feeling a Blizzard lighter, does some Netflix and chill, shuts it off, says, “You,” brushes teeth, gets into bed, moves arm over Cougs, hears about her splitting headache, rolls over and says, “Lus.”  That’s right, in honor of Mookie Betts, I just did the most ridiculous ridiculous call ever.  You earned that shizz, you madman!  I’d count the ways I love this man, but like a savant Blackjack dealer I can only count up to 21.  After his three-homer game yesterday, Betts (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, 10th, 11th, 12th homers) now has those twelve homers to go with eight steals, a .283 average and is on pace for 115 runs and 85 RBIs.  Don’t make me do another ridiculous ridiculous call, cause if you want me to, I will.  Oh, and with what he’s doing, it’s not even inconceivable that he keeps up this pace.  His BABIP (.290) is actually below his career average (he’s getting unlucky!), his fly ball percentage is down (he could be hitting more homers!) and he hasn’t been caught stealing once (so steal more!).  You are witnessing the emergence of a perennial first rounder.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I live in La La land, aka Hollywood, aka the Land of a Fake Faces…and Butts…and Thighs…and Breasteses. Hey, I don’t mind. I’m all for “self-improvement.” I liken it to the PED era of MLB. Pitchers were throwing 100 mph and batters were launching home runs 500 feet. As a Dodger fan, I will always remember the electricity when Eric Gagne would come in to close games. It was a hilariously entertaining time. Chicks dig the long ball. Well, guys dig…butts, thighs, and breasteses. For you purists out there, I give you Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who says that there’s a very high chance we’re living in the Matrix. I’ll admit, that there are times I want to know the truth and will take the red pill. On the other hand, sometimes I just want enjoyment, so I’ll take the blue pill. Anyways, before I went on that PED-induced tangent, I wanted to talk about the movie-making aspect of Hollywood. If a movie is successful, you can be sure that a sequel is coming. A trilogy more than likely, and a remake in 25 years or so. Which brings me to…

Please, blog, may I have some more?