SAGNOF refers to “saves/steals ain’t got no face”. In other words, they can come from unlikely sources throughout the season and us fantasy baseball folk shouldn’t sell the farm for them on draft day. Let me tell you, 2013 was no exception. When I received my series assignment from Grey earlier this year, I was excited to explore steals as a topic for my column, if only because I knew it would help a lot of people out there do better in the category. I also couldn’t recall many other fantasy sites hitting steals as a primary topic week-in and week out, so hats off to Razzball for being ahead of the game yet again.
It was fascinating to follow along as players rose and fell in value based on steals alone, and even more fascinating to watch match-ups against certain teams yield steals in bunches. This offseason, I’ll be posting every other week and sticking with the stolen base as my focus. We’ll start by taking a look back, but then we’ll shift our gaze forward to 2014 and see if we can get a leg up on the competition prior to our drafts next spring. Let’s get started with a look at the big picture when it comes to steals over the last five years… Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re gonna try something different today. We’re not going to talk about a lot of extraneous shizz. We’re gonna talk about Yordano Ventura. We’re not going to talk about Ruben Studdard on The Biggest Loser and how his rolls have rolls while wishing he had a Rolls. We’re not going to talk about the newest season of The Voice and how Christina’s coaching style is to sing the songs better than the singtestants, how Blake and C. Lo can’t sing worth a lick and how Adam just purses his lips like Zoolander. We’re not going to talk about the new Drake album and how I’ve listened to it on repeat for the last three weeks. The Language is my jammie jam! No, we’re not going to talk about any of that. We’re especially not gonna talk about how I’m getting married tomorrow. HOLY EFFIN EFF ARE WE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT! Can we never talk about that? Is it too late to run off to Miami and be with Giancarlo forever and ever amen? We’re not gonna talk about any of that. We’re going to talk about Yordano Ventura or YoVe, which sounds like a black Jew kvetching. “Do you have to throw the no-look pass so hard? YoVe!” Did you know Sammy Davis Jr.’s favorite expression was YoVe? Of course, you didn’t know that because I just made it up. So, with all of that said about Yordano Ventura, what can we expect from him for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m going to quote the relevant info about Archie Bradley, but there’s a lot of good info at Prospect Scott’s Archie Bradley fantasy. Specifically, about why they moved on from Trevor Bauer and it had nothing to do with Kevin Towers predilection of getting rid of Kraut pitchers. “Goodbye, Max Scherzer, you have discussed lederhosen for the last time!” Prospect Scott said this about Archie Bradley, “Standing 6-4, 225, Bradley is an intimidating presence on the mound, bringing his fastball in the mid-upper-90s and changing speeds with an outstanding power breaking ball. The fastball-curve combo misses plenty of bats, as evidenced by the 20-year-old’s career 10.6 K/9. The fastball, in particular, is an elite pitch, a plus-plus weapon that he delivers with ease on a difficult downward angle. Judging by stuff alone, Bradley is one of the best arms in the minors, a top-5 guy. Command and control troubles, however, have so far delayed his breakout. In his first full season of pro ball in 2012, Bradley posted 3.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP across 136 IP in the Midwest League. He allowed only 87 hits in those innings, but his 84 walks were awful, likewise were the 17 wild pitches. Not as awful as any correspondence I’ve had with Grey. Why does Grey end every email with ‘Love, peace and hair grease?’ What a tool.” Hey, what’s the big idea? Bradley’s ERA in Double-A last year was 1.97. Hello, beautiful, what’s your name? His K-rate was 8.68. I like when you touch me there. His walk rate was 4.31. Oh. Well, there’s always something. So, what can we expect of Archie Bradley for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Many of you (none of you) have been asking me the same question, day after day (no one’s asked me), when are you going to mustache model? The 2nd most asked question (that no one is asking) is when are we going to get another Donkey. We’ve had Adam Dunn, the Big Donkey. Mark Reynolds, the Mini Donkey. Ian Stewart, the Mini Mini Donkey. Donkeys can hit 35 homers, give a handful of steals and hit .240 while being at a corner infield position. (Dunn’s speed was when he was younger; he once stole 19 bases, and Stewart’s power was when it seemed like he could hit in the major leagues). It’s Donkey season and there’s a new Donkey. Miguel Sano is Donkey Jr. The Donkey Jr. show is near, and you don’t have to turn away in disgust from this donkey show hoping you get no unwanted fluids on your shirt. In fact, you may want to take part in it without feeling like you need to change your name and leave a note to your family for the disgusting display you took part in. So, what can we expect of Miguel Sano for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jonathan Singleton was suspended for 50 games this past year for smoking marijuana. Singleton wasn’t even tested until he kept forgetting the pitch count and called time out to grab some nachos. After his suspension, Singleton said, “I made an error in judgement. I should’ve cleansed by downing a 3-liter jug of cranberry juice rather than Nature’s Way Detox Tea. Damn you, Tommy Chong, for endorsing that!” Any self-respecting marijuana smoker will tell you that players aren’t suspended for DUIs but marijuana gets them… Then they trail off and their argument becomes less coherent and they’ll ask if they can borrow your Snuggie so they can take a nap. When Singleton returned from his suspension, he didn’t exactly hotbox the stadium with his power. This past year he hit six homers and .220 in 73 games (294 PAs) in Triple-A. Yay/sounds awesome/sarcasm. To get all third person on you, why is Grey even talking about him and what can we expect from Jonathon Singleton for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker wasn’t shooting straight butter like a freebasing Amish person when he was called up to the majors this year. Doesn’t really matter either. He only had 15 innings in the majors and those fifteen innings mean bupkis. It was nice to see him keep his ERA at 3.60, but it could’ve been 7+ and it wouldn’t have mattered. Too small of a sample size. It’s like the first date where you drop $200 bucks on a some schmancy place and actually give the waiter a 20% tip. You’re gonna score there, but how well are things gonna go when you haven’t showered in two days and you’re wearing bronzer to cover up your cold sore? That’s what separates the men from the boys. That and the ability to a rent a car. What Taijuan’s taste of the majors (which is better than the Taste of Poughkeepsie) did show us is he’ll be shortlisted for the Opening Day rotation. That’s good. So what can we expect of Taijuan Walker for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
“All right, guys, we have a lot to play for this year. First and foremost, Barbara Bush will be attending our July 19th game. That’ll be fun. Second and secondmost, we have the American Idol winner throwing out the ball for a game in August. Thank God, Taylor Hicks can’t win twice. Third and thirdmost, we should be within five games of first place by the fifth game of the season.” That’s the Astros GM in March. In other words, why shouldn’t they start George Springer out of Spring Training? I guess because they’re cheap. But cheap is a reason to reuse paper towels, not to keep down one of your best prospects when your team is terrible. It will be appalling if the Astros don’t give Springer a job. If you don’t know who George Springer is, then you’ve been living in a cave so put on some sunglasses and read on. Anyway, what can we expect of George Springer for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Red Sox have proclaimed by proclamation that Xander Bogaerts will have every opportunity in the spring training of 2014 to win a starting job. Well, they haven’t really said that. Yet. They will. It’s the same spiel every team says about every prospect. “You-Know-Whosie has shown plenty in the minor leagues and now You-Know-Whosie will get every opportunity to show me, the Ruler of What Our Team Does, what You-Know-Whosie can do.” That’s what they say. It’s a basic Mad Libs of team-speak. I don’t think Xander gets that opportunity out of Spring Training. I mean, I think they say he will, but unless he’s the team leader in batting, they’ll probably send him down until June. It’s not clear as of right now due to the opening the Sawx will have at shortstop with Drew becoming a free agent. So, I’ll go over what Xander can do if called up in June (which I think will happen) and what he can do if he’s the starting shortstop out of spring training. Anyway, what can Xander Bogaerts do for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
He looks like he’s ready to be a Matt Holliday-sized bat in the middle of the Cardinals order. He looked that way last year too. Oscar Taveras had numerous setbacks this year due to a high-ankle sprain that occurred on May 12th. In 46 games in Triple-A, he hit 5 homers and stole 5 bags while hitting .306. It was a lost year like your sophomore year in college. He’s still plenty young enough that it shouldn’t matter. He’ll turn 22 years old in June. Here’s what I said last year, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned above, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Nothing’s changed on any of that but the calendar date, assuming you flip the months and don’t wait for them to magically flip themselves. So what can we expect of Oscar Taveras for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
I just spent thirty minutes looking up what Jere Burns has been up to. Ah, the offseason. You are a soothing mistress that touches my naughty bits with idle hands. A quick preamble about the 2014 fantasy baseball rookie series that is coming from me over the next few weeks. Rookies are picked through MLB eligibility requirements, less than 130 ABs or 50 IP. That means no Avisail Garcia, no Michael Wacha and no Danny Salazar. In 2012, the first batter I highlighted was Mike Trout. That wasn’t an accident. I said in the Mike Trout post that “he’s ranked number one for me. Numero uno. The Big Mahoff. He’s the big Statue of Liberty in New York, not that girly one in Paris!” Last year, the first batter I highlighted was Wil Myers. You see a pattern? Eh, slow your juices on the thinking. I’ll tell you. The first rookie I highlight will be a top rookie for fantasy. This prospect isn’t no ordinary man, this is the prospect I be seeing in my sleep. Billy Hamilton will be your number one fantasy rookie for next year. With Dusty’s toothpick out of Cincy, how will playing time shake out for Hamilton? What if the toothpick stays, but Dusty goes? How will food shake out of Dusty’s teeth? Will Dusty be relegated to coaching Little League games, which will mean there will be no new major league pitchers in ten years because he’ll ruin them at twelve years old? So many questions and so little time to look up Jere Burns info! Anyway, what can we expect of Billy Hamilton for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?