Happy Easter, festive heathen Razzaholics. You look so cute in your Easter bonnet. Have one of these Cadbury eggs I injected with Makers Mark, all Hunter S. Thompson-style. Now that’s a scotch egg! Come on funny feelings. Eat three of these and you’ll be seeing that Donnie Darko bunny in the mirror for a week. We’re going on a little Easter egg hunt today looking to fill our basket with sweet delicious bargains that’ll resurrect our ruined roster. Despite being crucified by injuries this season (I’ve lost Matt Latos, Ryan Zimmerman, David Robertson and now Michael Cuddyer) your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru is still hanging in there with three of my five RCL teams in the top three of the standings. While it’s still early, standings can change quickly and one bad week could ruin me.  I’m hurting for power and the SAGNOF! has been elusive thus far. That’s what we’re looking for today – homers, steals and saves. So strip out your Sunday best, toss the Easter tree out onto the front porch and stuff your face with Peeps, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I just went over the top 10 for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Last year, Napoli was the top ranked catcher at the end of year. He was the 11th best 1st baseman. The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position. Everyone was crazy about Buster Posey last year (everyone except me). Buster Posey did about as much as Kendrys Morales. Lowercase yay. In the top five catchers last year were Lucroy, V-Mart, Rosario and Molina. One guy was drafted in the top 100, and that was barely. No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers. They’re all hot garbage with a side order of stank. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness. Jarrod Saltymochachino, Jason Castro and Salvador Perez were the 8th, 9th and 10th best catchers last year. All of them were on waivers in shallower leagues as late as July. Only the depth of 2nd basemen is worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity. You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Devin Mesoraco. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2014 fantasy baseball under 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2014 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the summer of 1937, a woman went into labor. This woman’s name was Alfonsa Soriano. She was 78 years old at the time and the doctors worried she wouldn’t be able to deliver a healthy baby and she risked her own safety. The baby and the mother made it through. Unfortunately, due to her age, her skin wasn’t as elastic as a woman half her age and she walked the rest of her life like she was just jumping hurdles. Her son, Alfonso Soriano, adopted her long gait — a way to pay homage? — and it helped him later in life. He said because of his long strides, he made sneakers last twice as long because he used half the number of steps as most people. Heartwarming. Also, heartwarming is his insane season. Yesterday, he hit two more homers to bring his season total up to 32 and he now sits at 98 RBIs and 79 runs. Yeah, you were counting on that when you drafted him in the last round of your drafts, or as a late $1 flyer. Look away for the next moment if you don’t own him: on our Player Rater, he’s the 6th best outfielder! In front of him, Chris Davis, Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen and Jacoby Ellsbury. Right after Soriano? Carlos Gonzalez! Absolute-Lee-Eff-In-Cray-Zee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I went ahead and picked up Jarrod Dyson this past week only to watch him sprain his ankle before even entering my lineup. ESPN has him listed as 0.0% ownership, so apparently my team doesn’t even count in their world. I was about to get all depressed about it and throw on my Skinny Puppy t-shirt and black eyeliner when I realized that this is a SAGNOF world, and that means when one speedster goes down, we just go to the heap for another. We’re about 1/4 of the way through the season already, and that means it’s time to take a look at some stats for pitchers, catchers, and teams to try to exploit when chasing steals. I’ll also take a look at what Will Venable is up to and how Pedro Florimon may be a possible source of cheap speed in very deep leagues. At the beginning of the season, I posted the 2012 numbers for pitchers and catchers who should be exploited or avoided when it comes to steals, as well as team SB allowed for matchup purposes. Here are those same stats through the first 40 games of the 2013 season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have almost a week of baseball in the books and Yu Darvish‘s Marvishlous 14 K 1-hitter and Chris Davis‘ power surge have been early standouts. Don’t own either? That’s a shame. Feel like quitting? Not yet, Razzball Nation, I am here to help. You may remember me, Dan, or my alter ego Blairtch, from such fantasy Friday roundups as Mike Trout Saved My Season, But Jewel Saved My Soul and Harper: Better, Faster, Stronger, and my popular online fantasy advice guide, Quit Losing Already, You Loser! I will be recapping Friday nights in fantasy baseball, providing plenty of references to The Cure and fantasy advice so Grey can use his weekends to take care of business, i.e. drink all those daiquiris you’ve been buying him and continue travelling across America interviewing players and managers, scouting top prospects, and attending round table discussions featuring only the most prestigious faculty, alumni and council members at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston. So do not worry, I’ll be here throughout the season to cover Friday’s full slate of games for the loyal weekend warriors. There are lots of players to cover this week so let’s get right to it.

Here’s what happened Friday night in fantasy baseball [*Opening Week Edition*]:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I just went over the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Molina, Pierzynski, Wilin Rosario were all in the top 5 for catchers last year. Their average draft pick was around 250 overall last year. The bottom of the top 20 for last year consisted of Napoli, McCann and Jesus Montero. Their average draft slot was around 70. It’s like this every year. In 2011, Napoli and Avila were ranked second and third at the end of the year with Wieters and Posey disappointing, going into the year it was nothing like that. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. Then, there’s not much difference between, say, the fifth best catcher and nothingness. Wilin Rosario was the fifth best catcher last year. As late as July of last year, he could’ve been picked up off waivers in some leagues. Finally, the best catcher last year and the NL MVP was the 27th best player according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s the best year you can hope from him and he was still only ranked 27th overall. You’re paying a premium for a catcher, who would be the 8th best outfielder. The third best 2nd baseman. The fifth best first baseman. The fifth best 3rd baseman. Only shortstops were worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-two (John Jaso? Belch.); some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Alex Avila. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2013 fantasy baseball under 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2013 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?