If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

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The Cardinals called up their top hitting prospect, Stephen Piscotty, who has a great eye, and could hit .320 with 20+ homers and 15+ steals in his prime. What will he do this year though? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! He could play 1st base for the suddenly old-looking and decrepit Mini Donkey. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty could play some outfield, but where? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’m wondering something else. The Cardinals make a mountain out of molehill prospects, always. A prospect no one cares about comes up and the Cardinals make them look terrific. So, will Piscotty come up and be the opposite? Like the Law of Inverse Properties, which is in no way related to the douchey guy on HGTV that hosts Income Property. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’d grab Piscotty in all leagues since he’s essentially Matt Holliday right before he entered his prime, but I’m guessing Piscotty won’t play enough to be a factor this year in shallower than 15-team mixed leagues. He could though. Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I hope everyone had a pleasant, footloose, but not finger-freeing July 4th weekend. I did. In the tradition of our forefathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, I had an iced cold latte, three whole frankfurters and flew a kite with a key on the string. Also, since this year our country passed the right to gay marriage, I ate those frankfurters in the gayest way possible. *Graphic description of how I ate the hot dogs deleted* Also, on this wonderful holiday where we pretend to be the greatest country in the world, I’m reminded of an ally from the 1700’s when we first got this ship afloat. That country was Germany and their concept of schadenfreude, the enjoyment derived from others’ misery. I’m sorry if you lost Miguel Cabrera for six weeks. Really, I am. *bursting with the schadenfreude giggles* The Tigers say he could return around late-August, which is a bummer. *barely containing myself* Hopefully, he can return and give you a solid four homers and .300 average the rest of the way. Thank God, this schadenfreude concept has no karmic retribution attached to it. *reading that Strasburg is also hurt* NOOOOOOO!!! Can’t I have one nice thing?! Ugh. I’m sorry I laughed at your loss of Miggy, can I have Stressbird back? Please! I can’t, can I? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dude’s on fire. No. Need better! He is a high-speed torrent download of a yule log burning. Need better! He is Smokey the Bear at a Porno for Pyros concert, wearing earbuds and listening to Firestarter by Prodigy. Need better still! He’s a pyrotechnician smacking a sparkler out of your hand and giving you instead the detonator for the Statue of Liberty’s 4th of July celebration fireworks. Yesterday, Mitch Moreland went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers, and now has five homers in four games and six homers in six games. I already told you yesterday that Moreland has been better than Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda and Brandon Moss, and some other corner infidels, according to our Player Rater. That’s on the year, not in the last week. In the last week, Moreland’s been better than everyone. Let’s take a hootie-hoo at who Moreland has more homers than on the year: Prince Fielder, Beltre (not close), Adam Jones, Big Papi, Tommy Tomstein, Freeman, Yoenis, Billy McDugal, Kris Bryant, Tulo, McClutchin and Sandoval. Sure, some of those guys I only named to rub salt in my own wounds — I hate you, Sandoval! — and other guys I mentioned don’t even exist, but Mitch don’t kill my vibe for the better part of the season now, and, if he’s available, I’d grab him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Steven Matz (+35.6%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The Mets decided to roll out the welcome matz last week and promote the impressive young prospect to the big league club, joining a starting rotation that already featured Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. Yikes. That would be a scary group for any team to face in a playoff series. Of course, the Mets would have to provide at least some run support for their young studs in order to eventually reach the postseason, but Matz might even be able to contribute in that area as well. He just became the first pitcher to drive in 4 runs in his MLB debut, which gave him the same amount of 4 RBI games as Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo, and Josh Donaldson this season. I thought that looked like Jeff Gillooly hanging around Michael Cuddyer’s locker the other day. Hmmm… maybe the rumor that Matz could see some time in left field on his non-pitching days has some teeth after all. Or maybe I just made that up.

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Hey, you sit your five dollar ass down before I have to make change. It’s two start pitchers, Week 13 edition and we’re all about the immortal Wesley Snipes. Let’s think about this for a minute, this is a man who’s trained in five different disciplines of fighting, a man that revolutionized the flat-top, a man that played not only a hero-vampire but also Nino Brown. I pretty much live my life by Nino Brown quotes from New Jack City. In other words, I’m an awful brother. I also use Mother****** as a noun, verb, and adjective. My neighbors frown on the crack sales 364 days a year, but they love when I hand out turkeys on Thanksgiving. They’re nice folks, and I can’t blame them for their judgments. This sort of behavior is a bit out of place in Audi-driving Suburbia, but it’s my self expression. What’s the old saying? Trap or die? So our theme this week is Wesley Snipes movies because Wesley Snipes is awesome and he should be celebrated for his contributions to the craft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Steven Matz is getting the call to the majors, a day after the Mets received this call, “Earth to Mets, your season is slipping away, and stop crashing back into me.” Though, it was kinda nervy of Earth to call collect. Earth added, “Sorry, I also invested in Madoff.” Thankfully for Mets fans, the Mets accepted the charges for Earth’s call, but declined Ian Desmond’s. If you are a fan of the Mets, I’d immediately write them a strongly-worded letter to not trade for Ian Desmond. I just gave you my Steven Matz fantasy. It was written on the backside of the napkin where you wrote your phone number. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except he’s added some more wonderful to his statz (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sorry, I’m using a keyboard sponsored by Marcus Semien and the keys are sticky.). Matz’s IP count is now up to 90 1/3 with a 2.19 ERA and 94 Ks. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s in the PCL, where they use helium balloons as baseballs. I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

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Joe Ross was spectacular again Friday night, pitching 7.1 innings, allowing just six hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out 11 Pirates. He  grabbed his second win after coming off an 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 K gem last week in Milwaukee. Owning the zone, like a Boss. Striking out hitters, like a Boss. Racking up wins, like a–Ross. Ohh. See what I did there? Ross holds a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 23/2 K/BB rate in 20.1 innings. It’s not like this is coming out of no where either, Ross has been pretty boss all year. In 50.1 innings at AA, Ross held a 54/12 K/BB rate, a 2.81 ERA, and a 1.13 WHIP. Unfortunately, despite his boss-like tendencies of late, with Fister back and Strasburg set to return, Joe Ross is likely headed back to the minors for more seasoning. Gordon Ramsay might say any more salt would kill this dish, but the Nats and fantasy owners have to be pleased with Ross’ performance and he is certainly a name worth watching as the season goes on. Is it bad that I kind of want him to stay in the rotation over Strasburg? It is? Well, how about Roark? Maybe Doug Fister can get injured again? Here’s hoping we see Joe Ross again sooner rather than later.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?