It’s week four and The Hey Batter, Batter, Batter contest is in full swing. And since it’s week four that means it’s time to announce week two’s winner. Before I do, let’s take a look at the top batters from that week. Eric Thames is hitting the ball like a guy that just whacked the shit out of the ball in the Korean Baseball Organization. Oh wait, he did that? For the last three years Thames has done his best Mike Trout impression for the NC Dinos by averaging 41 homers, 127 RBIs, 114 runs scored, a .347 batting average and 21 stolen bases. Heck, those stats make Trout seem like a second rounder. Many did not expect his success to translate back to the MLB, but I wasn’t as skeptical. My preseason projections were higher than most as I had him as a top twenty outfielder in points leagues. His 200+ ADP allowed me to scoop him up in many of my important leagues. I can’t imagine he keeps up his current pace, but he should be opening up a lot of eyes. Unfortunately the “buy low” period was during draft season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Such a weird week of Jodie Foster references at Razzball, and we’re only to Wednesday.  What will be tomorrow?  Joe Panik Room?  Okay, raise your hand if you saw Starling Marte being suspended for Nandrolone.  The one person raising his or her hand is the person supplying Marte with Nandrolone.  Take ’em away, boys!  I just made my 2nd imaginary arrest.  My first was when I imagined arresting Ben Carson for driving with his eyes closed.  This is like Pollock 2016 all over again, except instead of breaking his elbow; Marte broke our trust.  As punishment, Starling Marte should get an 80-game suspension or a “We were all rooting for you” Tyra GIF tattooed on his back.  I think Gregory Popolanco turned him in, with help from Freese.  Adam Frazier will get a regular job in the outfield since the Pirates said Austin Meadows isn’t ready yet.  Bee oh oh.  Boo.  I grabbed Meadows in all mixed leagues for the sheer excitement, but within about an hour I realized Meadows is unlikely coming up until at least June and dropped him.  As for Marte, you can likely lose him in most redraft leagues, and, for some of us, we’re having a “Don’t have Marte” party!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joining Paul Hollywood at The Great Britton’s Brach Off is Orioles’ manager, Buck Showalter.  Showalter said, “Craig Gentry (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit a home run with his leadoff Battenberg cake even if it is missing the mark on OBP, but I love its moistness, and I apologize for using the word moist.”  Trey Mancini (3-for-5, 4 RBIs, and his 3rd and 4th homers) was crowned this week’s Star Baker, beating out Mark Trumbo (2-for-5, 1 run), who was in the cleanup spot, saying, “Why do these people have to use so many pots and pans?”  The Great Britton’s Brach Off didn’t end without losing one baketestant.  Zach Britton over-whisked his meringue and left with a forearm strain.  The Brits are calling it, Zaxit.  So, Britton will be out for at least ten days with Brad Brach filling in, behind Brach will be Darren O’Day, who sounds too IRA to me, then behind him will be Mychal Givens, who is Mike Tyson and Robin Givens’ child.  Buck Showalter said he hopes Britton will be ready in ten days, but forearm strains don’t work that way, so you should grab Brach, at least.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One-time Mariner Tom Paciorek was the face of the organization for the better part of the last 40 years.  Ken Griffey Jr. once said of Paciorek, “For many years, Seattle fans came up to me and asked if I was a very tan Paciorek, because Paciorek left such an indelible mark.”  Edgar Martinez once said of Tom Paciorek, “You can’t think of the Mariners without thinking of Tom Paciorek.  He’s so gutsy, you’d think he got those guts from a local abattoir that provides Wilson with its top-notch tennis racquets.”  Randy Johnson has said, “I got the idea for my mullet from Tom Paciorek’s back hair.”  All of this flattery heaped on Paciorek, and he said, “You guys need to check out Mitch Haniger!  Now amscray before I dazzle you with a bon mot.”  Wow.  The modesty on that Paciorek.  In Triple-A last year, Haniger had 20 HRs, 8 SBs and a .341 average.  His BABIP was a bit high, but he likely won’t drain your batting average below, say, .250.  He already has 3 HRs and one steal, and is 26 years old, so his time is now.  Plus, the Mariners are playing him, and batting him in a good place in the order.  There’s little reason why you shouldn’t at least give him a shot on all fantasy teams.  After all, he has the Tom Paciorek Seal of Approval (ToPa SeaApp, trademark pending).  Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Halleberryloujah!  *does sign of the Marlins, kneels*  Blessed be thy lord of a Technicolor unicorn statue who graced his tight baseball pants around Giancarlo’s lower half.  I won’t take too much of your time, I know you are prolly busy.  Should I say probably when I’m addressing you?  You know, I’m gonna move on rather than wait for an answer.  I want to thank you for bringing Giancarlo Stanton into the 2017 season.  I saw him in a game last week back off a changeup like he was still scared after taking the beanball off the melon.  Was he scared?  If he was, I wouldn’t have blamed him.  I get scared too.  Like when my wife says, “Hey, Grey I made plans for us to go out with my friend and her husband.”  That scares me too.  But now that he hit two homers, going 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs, I’m relieved.  It was early, he was just getting into the swing things.  Pun!  What?  You don’t like puns?  Again, I’m fine not waiting for an answer.  Okay, now I’m going to cut this short because a sprinkler is going off into my face and I’m kneeling on my neighbor’s lawn.  Thank you.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Excuse the exposition and this clunky intro into aforementioned exposition, but here’s the catchers to target, 1st basemen to target, 2nd basemen to targetshortstops to target and something to stick to your dartboards to target.  These 3rd basemen to target are being drafted after 200 overall.  Keep in mind, nephew (and five niece readers), your Uncle Grey likes to have a corner man drafted by the time these guys appear, so you’re looking at potential utility men more than anything.  Now, this is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Indonesia) supplement to the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2016 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 3rd basemen to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let me take you through the thought process of a writer like myself.

I constantly have thoughts relating to the game of baseball passing through my head. I’m sure many other baseball fanatics can relate. Ideas that have an added layer of intrigue tend to find there way onto my iPhone’s Notes app, to be revisited in a triage-like manner at points later in the day. What I’ve learned is that you can’t force these ideas.

So last Tuesday Grey and I joined a 12-team roto mock draft with the CBS Sports crew and I soon realized two things…

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For those looking for pictures of ballplayers taking off their ballcap and recapping themselves, you’re in the wrong place!  Though, sometimes I get the sense people in the comments aren’t wearing pants, so if that does it for you, there ya go.  Oh, who are we kidding, I’m not wearing pants.  Pants are for conformist sissies!  Pound for pound, the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball were as good as any other position.  In fact (oh, geez, here goes Grey adding on), Matt Carpenter was the 20th best 2nd baseman and samesies here, and was only the 22nd best 1st baseman, so not much more depth there. This recap 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 players in the preseason.  Now, let’s get this, young money.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.  I am very charitable.  When I go to Whole Foods, I only throw a small hissy fit when they ask me to donate money, “Take a dollar out of the $12 per pound olive bar and you donate!”  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 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So for a lot of these puppies I pump out here for Razzball (That makes sense in oldspeak terms right?! You’re not picturing me birthing a litter under Grey’s desk at the Razzball office, right?! RIGHT?!), I write the intro before a pitcher’s start to unsully my biases so you can read how the pitcher looked in real-time. Yeahhhh, football is on during Sundays now… It’s tough to multi-task watching the Panthers, RedZone, AND baseball! Alas, for this week’s installment of Pitcher Profiling, I had already known the outcome before breaking it down. The title should give it away as well!

I lucked out and nabbed Ivan Nova in several leagues just on a streaming whim within his first few starts on the Pirates, and was reaping the rewards of a late-season pitching surge. All hail Searage! I actually read an interview with Frank Herbert that the planet Dune was actually being mined for “Magic Searage Dust”, but it wasn’t literary-sounding enough, so he just went with “Spice”. Authors are nothing but lazy bums! Which speaking of, I picked a dude who got shellacked and didn’t pitch too deep… But I wanted to take a second look at how he… well, looked (lazy again!), to see if I should just cut bait and move on, or hold onto the most recent Searage reclamation project through the finish line. Here’s how Nova fared pitch-by-pitch, and hopefully a helpful treatises on if you should hold him as well:

Please, blog, may I have some more?