I’m back baby!

It’s been sad these past two weeks off from the Pitcher Profiles, but fortunately I could drown my sorrows in all-inclusive, all-day drinking on the honeymoon. YES I DID GET A STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI, GREY! Although it didn’t stain my mustache, especially since a month long of growth would just be shameful peach fuzz…

We’re now through the bulk of the season and heading into the stretch run, which means Sky has only September left to get to 1,000 moves in our quote-expert-unquote RCL league. If expert meant constantly dropping 6-7 duds every morning, than I’m an expert in my thrown room if ya catch my drift… And on the pitching side, once you get to about 50ish in my ROS ranks, they all can be given the evacuation. But I’ve been really bullish on ranking Luis Severino since his promotion, who I think is a must-own even through these final streaming weeks.

It’s a little hard to stay light-hearted and joke-y with what happened in Atlanta on Saturday night, but obviously my condolences to the fan’s family and we’re supposed to have fun in fantasy, so we won’t delve any more into that. Instead, let’s embrace what we love on the field, which is some nasty breaking stuff and hitters getting baffled. Who doesn’t base their fantasy-team live-watching on their SPs on a given night?! So this was a perfect weekend to get back on the Profiles and check out how Severino looked in a full breakdown:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There was some speculation that the Mets were considering moving Noah Syndergaard (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks) to the bullpen and bringing up Steven Matz. The NY Post seemed to believe the Mets were talking about it, at least. It could be that a NY Post reporter, hiding in their usual spot inside a Mets equipment broom closet with a Solo cup pressed to the door, overheard, “Hey, should we move Noah to the bullpen and bring up Matz?” “Maybe, but I’m the front office intern and you’re the ticket taker from Gate 3C so I’m not sure our opinion matters.” “Or is that Matzers?” Then they laughed, and the NY Post reporter shot off an article detailing the discussion, but left off the sources. More respected Mets journalists thought Syndergaard wouldn’t go to the bullpen, and Dillon Gee would be designated for assignment. Gee, guess who was right. Right now, Matz has a 2.30 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in Triple-A in 78 1/3 IP. Those numbers are great, fabulous, adjective, but they get better. He’s pitching in the PCL, which is like hitting in an anti-gravity chamber with an aluminum bat. What makes Matz so damn desirable is he can strikeout out hitters and has good control. That’s the one-two punch of “Let me put hearts on my Trapper Keeper.” The Mets are saying Matz will come up around July 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s called up for this weekend, so I’d stash him right now. Or if you have a DeLorean, stash him yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (26) | 2013 (26) | 2012 (15) | 2011 (2) | 2010 (9)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [79-83] NL East
AAA: [65-77] International League – Gwinnett
AA: [83-56] Southern League – Mississippi
A+: [68-71] Carolina League – Lynchburg (2015: Carolina)
A: [56-84] South Atlantic League – Rome

Graduated Prospects
Tommy La Stella, 2B | David Hale, RHP

The Gist
The Braves have a few interesting fantasy prospects in the pipeline, with Jose Peraza looking like the most relevant for 2015. The farm is on the thin side in general, but that could change if Atlanta decides to part ways with any of their major league stars. Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are both free agents in 2016. Evan Gattis is another trade candidate. Starting pitching is up in the air with both Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang possibly leaving in free agency, while Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen are still recovering from injuries. This could give the younger arms in the system a chance to crack the rotation in 2015. The Braves were part of the affiliation shuffle as High-A Carolina is now affiliated with Atlanta. Change also came in the front office this fall. Interim GM John Hart named Brian Bridges the organization’s new scouting director.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week was about speculating which players might be getting the call this September and providing any kind of fantasy value in redraft leagues. With September now a week old, we have the names of the players who have indeed been added to rosters. With all of these call-ups, it’s important to remember that playing time could be sparse and their impact in a 12-team standard mixed league may be minimal. However, those of us who are playing in deeper leagues or keepers may have been rostering some of these players already. In that case their call-ups are more meaningful. They can add depth to the fantasy roster and sometimes it’s just fun to get a look at someone you’ve been hoarding in your NA spot or on your farm. Additionally, just because September 1st has come and gone doesn’t mean more players can’t be added as the month progresses and the MiLB playoffs come to an end. We’ll take a look at the pitchers next time, but for now let’s dive into some of the bats that got the call to the majors this past week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Denver Homerlette is like the Slam & Legs, except it’s 2 HRs, while Tulo and CarGo hold their legs. As most of you know, Rudy writes the title for most of these. Currently, Rudy and I are in a tough battle for 1st place in our RCL and he owns Corey Dickerson, so I thought I’d share with you the first few titles Rudy suggested, “Dickerson Poops On Grey, But Of Coors” and “Suck My Dickerson.” Stay classy, Rudy! Since Rudy won’t or can’t toot his own horn, I will for him. Hmm, that sounds weird. Maybe if he could’ve tooted his own horn, his wife wouldn’t be spitting out kids like they were sunflower seeds. In February, Rudy released his rankings, and he had Dickerson at 102 overall. I don’t think I saw Dickerson within 100 spots of that anywhere. I was one of the other few people who even ranked him, and I didn’t have him within 150 of that. Yesterday, Dickerson hit two bombs, raising his season total to 22. In addition, he has a .311 batting average to go with 8 steals. Right now, he’s top 60 overall on our Player Rater and near the top 15 for outfielders. That’s after Walt Weiss played with his ding-a-ling for a month, platooning him. That ranking won’t be far from where he’s ranked for 2015 either. Everywhere he’s played he’s shown solid power, average and some speed, then throw Coors into the equation and he could be a top 30 bat overall in 2015. Yup, I kinda love him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wednesday again already??? Time flies when you’re having fun (or the Braves are playing terrible baseball) it seems. That signals time for our Razzball midweek look at what’s become the most important commodity in our favorite game– prospects. Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on heading into Week 20 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). Our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top 50/Top 100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.

We will continue our “Panning For Gold” series moving forward for owners in deeper leagues, but these won’t be a regularly-scheduled feature, but keep checking in for true “sleepers” daily… I’ll continue trying to “shine the light” on players that may not impact your leagues in the short-term, while revealing players you might scoop your fellow owners with as time warrants and permits. Our prospect coverage will always be a work in progress as we try to provide pertinent information that will help owners that participate in deeper leagues as well, and features will be adjusted and added in our effort to be able to help fantasy GMs as much as possible regardless of the depth of league you compete in.

Disclaimer: the bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top 50/Top 100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.

Now it’s time to refill that cup of coffee or take your lunch break and open your spreadsheets – here’s who I’m tracking over the next few days…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week completed, another step closer to excitement for prospect-watchers waiting impatiently for the next round of call-ups, and the ultimate “Christmas In July” for prospect-hounds across the globe as we get to spend the day with the ultimate showcase – the Futures Game. In honor of this great event, this week’s Minor Accomplishments Sunday Twelve-Pack will include several players that will be participating in the game, as well as some that would’ve been at Target Field for it (yes, I’m looking at you Arismendy Alcantara, Jimmy Nelson, and Christian Bethancourt).

The All-Star Break is upon us, the playoff picture’s beginning to come into focus for several teams that were “on the fence” a week ago, and trades completed over the next three weeks will lead to many more openings for prospects to get a look at the MLB level, as well as advancement opportunities for players further down each organizational pecking order.

Please, blog, may I have some more?