Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, Dee Gordon was 5th for 2nd baseman, here he’s second overall. Then it stabilizes with Zobrist being 13th at 2nd basemen and only 12th here. But then the shortstops flat line with guys like Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt appearing on this list and not even making in the top 20 2nd basemen. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. There were a lot of land mines found at this position. Shoot (not you Dick Cheney!), I’d say a guy like Cano ending up in the top 10 was still a landmine due to where you had to draft him. But there was Kipnis, Gyorko, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips, Brad Miller (!), Lowrie and the thousands words devoted to Alex Guerrero in the preseason and he didn’t even show up until September. To recap, this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Every year we get together in a Schenectady Sheraton to give away fantasy baseball awards for the past season. I’m your host, Grey Albright and I’m joined by Random Italicized Voice — What’s up, guys and four girls?” On the red carpet for everyone’s arrival is the Comatose Rangers Fan, “Let’s get started, I need to get home to see my Rangers face the Tigers!” Joining us up on the balcony is Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department, “I’m high above the crowd, in more ways than one!” Today’s very special musical guest opening the show is…Counting Crows! Coming straight from opening for Pink! Not playing on stage prior to her performing, but literally opening a door for her. They now work as doormen. At hotels. It’s very sad. Anyway, here’s the 2014 Razzball Year End Awards:

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Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo did his part to ensure he’ll be over valued in fantasy leagues next year going 2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base last night versus the Yankees. He’s now 4-for-7 with two homers, four RBI and a steal starting in center field in the past two games. I guess it’s pretty clear from his bat that’s where he’s most comfortable. With New England, the new home for Cuban All-Stars and Big Papis, sure to be buzzing all offseason over these final games, the hype should build enough that Rusney Castillo is the next Manny Ramirez by draft day. At the very least he’ll be the next Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Still, desperate times, call for desperate fantasy measures and Castillo could be a hot schmotato with a whole lot more to prove in these final two games than most players.  We know he can steal. We’re seeing him hit. Two homers in two days, people! It’s mathematical! You’re trying to win a championship, right? Well, this Rusney trombone could be the reach around your fantasy team needs for the final push. Did I just type those words that way? Doesn’t matter it’s my last day of the season, is anyone still reading this? If you are, it’s about time you picked up Rusney Castillo and let him help you bring home a trophy.

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

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If you’ve been scouring all your picture books for a proper fantasy hitter in the final week, look no further. Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-4 with his 19th home run and two RBI last night. Arcia has a nice little six-game hitting streak, with four homers in that stretch. To be fair, however, he’s also sat four games in that span with a tweaked muscle in his upper back. Injury concerns aside, Oswaldo is destroying baseballs when he’s on the field. In his past six games, he’s clubbed four homers and with 8 RBI. He’s slugging .858 in the past two weeks while batting over .400, and with 19 homers (12 at cavernous Target Field) in 94 games, he’s got serious power and might be someone to consider on draft day next year. He’s worth the pick up in all leagues if you need some pop in the final week of the season. Oswaldo could power you to fantasy glory. He’s missed some time in the past few days, but he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury while on the field, so hopefully this back injury is behind him for the most part. Get it!?  Ha! Either way that shouldn’t discourage you from picking him up this hot little potato while he’s mashing.

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

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James Paxton continued to pitch well last night versus the ferocious Tigers tossing six innings, allowing five hits, one run, walking one and striking out a pair to move to 3-0 on the year. We shall call you, Pax the Destroyer! Pax is also one of Guardians of the Galaxy, believe it or not. No, not the tree or the raccoon. No, he’s not Scott Hatteberg from Moneyball or the smoking hot green alien either, but the other guy. The big guy. Yeah, him, apparently, he can pitch too. Since returning from the DL at the beginning of the month, he’s got a 2.16 ERA in three starts, giving up 4 ER, 15 hits and 4 walks while striking out 11 in 16.2 innings against some of the leagues top offenses (Baltimore, White Sox and Detroit). Sure, the stats aren’t overwhelming, but he’s still adjusting after returning from four months on the DL with a strained lat, and if you take his early season stats into account, the Destroyer holds a 0.94 WHIP and a 24/6 K/BB ratio. Also, the sample size is tiny, but the .236 BABIP and the 2.61 xFIP sure are pretty to look at. The M’s need Paxton to step up big time down the stretch, and I think he could do the same for your fantasy team. Pax the Destroyer gets the Phillies next week, and he’s undefeated, getting better by the start. He’s available in little over 70% of leagues and you don’t have to be a space pirate, a weird alien tree man, or a even Xandarian collector to see he could be worthy of a pick up in most leagues.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Low voice, “Wow.” Digs ditch, steps down, “Wow.” Need more emphasis. Buys a mini-excavator, consults with architects about installing a down escalator, begins construction, gets behind on schedule, fires a guy that smokes more than he digs, hires a foreman that seems like he knows what he’s doing, foreman runs off with money, tracks foreman down in Aruba hanging out with Andruw Jones, punches foreman, watches Andruw Jones make diving catch of forearm’s body, heads back to the States to oversee completion of down escalator, breaks champagne on escalator, travels down a full story and, “WOW!” Do you see what I go though to emphasize something for you? After Mike Fiers struck out 14 Cubs in 6 innings, he can have anything he wants. Sleep with my Cougs, she’s all yours! He now has a 1.29 ERA, a 10.3 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 after 21 IP, after blowing through the minor leagues with a 11.3 K/9. I grabbed him in one 12 team league and looked to pick him up in every league, but he wasn’t there. I forgot the most important lesson, you couldn’t get Michael Fiers if you were f***ing Michael Fiers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Don’t be confused, I don’t want you to pass on Alex Cobb today. I want you to inhale his awesomeness and value today and play play play him. Usually an $8,100 play on an off day Monday should be reason enough to convince many of you to go with the Cobb. Oh no J-FOH, he has to go on the road to Oaktown and face the Amazing A’s!  I know I know diligent commenter but over his short career he owns a 1.80 ERA at the O.Co with 13 K’s in 15 innings. Career against them he sports a 2.78 ERA over 35.2 innings with 28 K’s. The only player on the A’s that has been his killer is Coco Crisp who has been out with a nagging neck injury. I like the start a lot and Stream-O-Nator is pretty neutral on him at a $7.5 dollar play. Cobb has been getting back into the form (July stats: 2.23 ERA in 32.1 innings with 36 K’s) that made him such a highly touted pitcher coming into the year. To close out 2013 he had a mid 2 ERA with 58K’s in 59.2 innings and is looking like he has found himself again. You could say he is hitting his montage scene for 2014.  Montage? Hhmmmm… Ok I’m inspired now and here are some classic 80’s montage’s off the top of my head for you guys to have some fun with: Real Genius, Back to School, Better off Dead, and the greatest motivator for you to finish 2014 strong montage. Speaking of 80’s movies, my buddy the Birdman’s buddy Chazz, who I met at the bachelor party, looks like the perfect 80’s campy movie villain. He would be an Alpha Beta in Revenge of the Nerds or challenge me to ski the K-12 in Better Off Dead or even get the other Cobra Kai’s to hold me so he can kick my ass. Chazz is rad to the max to hang with. For realzzz.

If you still aren’t sure about DraftKings then lets change the words around and say let’s play King of the Draft. How’s that for you? You think you have what it takes to be king of the hill? The high hog of the trough? The top of the heap? You get what I’m saying. The worst thing that happens is you lose a few bucks you would of spent on something else you don’t need in your life and if you are a stickler for the monthly budget then live a little and mix it up. I’m kidding though, you can also play for free but why not throw down a little scratch and challenge some readers and writers at Razzball and take our pride and money. Ralph has been really good at roaming the comments to pick up any new players that post their info so go sign up, post your handle and Ralph will get you in. It’s that easy.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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We’re well into the second half of the season now… are you still with us? You haven’t given up yet? Good. Fantasy baseball is a game of stamina, and if you’re still scouring the waiver wire while others are quickly losing interest or preparing for their fantasy football drafts, now is your chance to make a run. Me? I’m still sore after losing Tanaka. Not to mention Tulo walked out on me when I needed him the most. Regardless, I like to think we’re more than just providers of fantasy advice here at Razzball, we’re also a sound piece for all your fantasy frustrations. I always tell my friend(s)– “don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how my team is doing”, because more often than not, that is deciding factor for my mood. So today, feel free to sound off in the comments why you’re so upset with your team right now. Why won’t Harper just hit five homers in a week? Why won’t anyone trade with you? Really Stephen Strasburg? Really!? Why did you draft Justin Verlander and why didn’t you draft Jose Abreu? Here’s your chance to let it all out, because god knows your spouse/significant other/barber/sibling/probation officer/mother/cat doesn’t want to hear about your GD fantasy team. Well, I feel your pain my over-the-internet-friend. And I’m listening.

Here’s what happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?