I’ve already gone over the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. Last year, I thought the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball looked a whole lot better than the 2nd basemen. I said that’s not usually the norm, but you gotta be malleable in this fantasy baseball game. Then going on to say I’d give a free car to a brother and sister who were named Norm and Malleable. No one won the car and I was pretty off with where I thought shortstops had depth. They showed up last preseason in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and seemed interesting. Then they turned around and it was Sally Jessy Raphael and we should’ve ran the other way. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Something tells me this post might never see the light of day.  Yet on the flip side, this post also felt like an inevitable eventuality.  That’s what happens when a guy has a major league ready bat but gets placed at a sub-optimal fielding position for his talents.  And thus begins the deep league story of our hero of this piece, Wilmer Flores.  We’re bordering on a Greek tragedy over here, really.  Not of the Oedipus level, though…because gross.  Of course that doesn’t mean he hasn’t slept with someone’s mom at this stage because every tweet about Wilmer Flores is a sideways glance at who are the Mets going to get to play short to replace him.  Heck, they might find a defensive replacement before the season starts.  As we see, there’s nothing safe about drafting Flores this year but the appeal is still there.  Why?  Trudge on.  Here’s my take on why Flores is a great SS get for deep leagues for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one –the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.

But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.

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I don’t know about you, and let me preface this by saying most if not all of my league mates at least know I contribute fantasy baseball (OPS) content, but I keep getting the old “But, he’s a Catcher/Shortstop so he’s worth more” and from a position scarcity perspective, that’s obviously true. However, I am A) going for the win-now so all I want is to take the lead in certain (all) categories and B) position scarcity-schmarcity: give me the best available.

So it’s time for your 5×5 (HR,SB,R,RBI,OPS) rankings for both position scarcity and position schmarcity.

FYI, I use the FVAR (fantasy value above replacement) approach to fantasy valuation vs. SGP (standard gains points) approach since I don’t have all of your leagues’ current and historical information. Feel free to look this up or ask below.

For reference, here are the positional replacement 5×5 values and associated players (the 5 z-scores for each category are summed up; the sum is adjusted in each position by this positional replacement value i.e. each Catcher gets .73 added to their z-sum while each First Baseman only gets .01 added to their z-sum i.e. all catchers values are inflated more because of the lower replacement-value):

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As many of you know, Bruce Bochy has the biggest head in the major leagues. As a player, when he was traded, he would have to take his helmet with him to his new club because the new team wouldn’t have a helmet big enough for him. It made traveling easier, since everything he needed would fit inside the helmet. We all know the story about how when Giants rookie, Joe Panik, was called up, he forgot to make arrangements to stay somewhere in the San Fran area, so he draped a sheet over Bochy’s cap and slept in there. Lots of good has come of Bochy’s giant melon. Of course, the 27-pound bowling ball has its drawbacks. Like when he went to see Toy Story and blocked half the audience. Lots of angry parents that day. Or the time he was in South Dakota and people starting climbing up his side thinking he was Mount Rushmore. Sometimes what would take a person with a normal-sized head a week or two to figure out, thoughts bounce around in Bochy’s Metrodome much longer. So when Sergio Romo wasn’t good for the month of May, then again in June, it took longer for Bochy to realize a change was needed, but he finally figured it out. Bochy said Santiago Casilla would replace Romo, then he banged the side of his head for 15 minutes waiting for another thought, and finally it came out that Jeremy Affeldt would see some situational saves, as long as Gilbert Gottfried isn’t introducing Affeldt at games. Yesterday, Affeldt got hit, and Casilla looked solid as he has all year. I’d grab Casilla in all leagues if you’re SAGNOF’ing around for saves. Hopefully, even if Bochy thinks about putting Romo back in the role, it takes a few weeks for that thought to land in the right spot in his cavernous whale head. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Or is it Jean a buy quoi? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi Segura? Mmm hmmm gotcha gotcha Segura da da? A little help! I’m stuck in a Moulin Rouge-inspired snow globe and I can’t get out! For those of you that don’t speak French, but do speak fourteen-year-old text: Jean Seg-U-R-A Buy! Jean Segura has done a lot of bleh with a side of roasted yawnuts. “I see you sitting there on my team and I wonder if I wouldn’t be better with Asdrubal, at least his name makes me giggle,” that’s you wearing a beret, listening to jazz. I hear ya on Segura; he’s been a bore to own. The good news (if you don’t own him) is he has been a bore to own, so you could acquire him for next to nothing. Right now, he’s on pace for 8 HRs, 30 steals and a .260 average with 74 runs and 49 RBIs. Last year, when he broke out, he had 12 steals and 44 steals and a .294 average with 74 runs and 49 RBIs. So, he’s off on average and steals, the rest is negligible. Well, I’d go as far as to say it’s all a negligible difference. If he were to hit for a better average by getting maybe three extra hits a week, wouldn’t his steals go up and his counting stats? Rhetorical! So, is he capable of a better average? Certainly. Or sointly, if you’re reading this in a Curly voice. He’s fast — no shock there — so a .300+ BABIP wouldn’t be a stretch, and right now it’s below .280. If his luck just neutralizes, he’ll hit for a better average. It’s not like his strikeouts have gone up — they’ve actually gone down. It’s not he’s not making solid contact — his line drive percentage has gone up too. He’s hitting more ground balls and they’re getting caught. I wouldn’t trade the farm, but I’d definitely look to see if I could acquire him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, the Astros had a scare when Jose Altuve was hit hard on the hand by a pitch and he immediately left the game. Because of the nature of Altuve’s hand, a broken bone would’ve been devastating. You know those tiny boats that people use tweezers to put into little bottles? Those people are called tinyshoremen. Tinyshoremen are the only ones capable of working on a hand as petite as Altuve’s. Finding a doctor who is also a tinyshoreman? Good luck with that! Thankfully, X-rays came back negative and he’s day-to-day. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Money means time. Time is money. I don’t got much of either today, so I’m skipping the silly intro part that I’m convinced no one reads anyway. Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt; I’m what you call a constitutionally strong person. That’s the opposite of a constitutional weakling, you know, the guy who has his night ruined after you tell him his shirt collar has been flipped up the whole time, and the next thing you know, your friendship is on the rocks and you’re sitting on a couch across from Steve Harvey talking about it. That won’t happen with me.

So, as Captain Tenneal would say, LET’S GO!

Please, blog, may I have some more?