We’ve got a crazy post ahead of us, so let’s get started. But before we do, AHHH, pit stop already? Seriously, I just want to thank all of the commissioners. You have taken my goal of 75 RCL’s and shattered it, like those bad guys in Superman II. I’d also like to thank everyone who joined a league, because without you, there would be no us. And you plus me equals us. Because, wait for it… wait for it… I know my calculus. ALL THE POINTS. I want you to know that it really is important to me. There’s no money, no fame, no female boobs in it for us. Only a sense of community, and, well, that’s why we do this. So seriously, I love you. Let’s date. (Oh, and if you still want to join a RCL, there are still spots open! Just scroll to the bottom to get in on some RCL fun.)
So yeah, we didn’t just have the writer’s draft. We had a bunch of drafts. So let’s go over some of those in random ways before we go over whatever you want to call what us writer’s did. I’d call it sexual chocolate, but you might call it flailing loins. Something like that. Okay, whew, pit stop over. Now we can get started… Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor. Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players. But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.) Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (9) | 2012 (17) | 2011 (26) | 2010 (30) | 2009 (30)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [51-111] AL West
AAA: [82-62] Pacific Coast League – Oklahoma City
AA: [83-57] Texas League — Corpus Christi
A+: [82-58] California League – Lancaster
A: [81-57] Midwest League – Quad Cities
A(ss): [44-32] New York-Penn League — Tri-City
Jonathan Villar (SS); Robbie Grossman (OF); Brandon Barnes (OF); L.J. Hoes (OF); Marc Krauss (OF); Jake Elmore (MI/OF); Brad Peacock (RHP); Paul Clemens (RHP); Brett Oberholtzer (LHP); Jarred Cosart (RHP); Jose Cisnero (RHP)
The Run Down Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jeff Luhnow, General Manager of the Houston Astros, is the best executive in the game with regard to player procurement and development. He’s the man responsible for the seemingly never-ending stream of talent flowing up from the St. Louis farm system, and you can sure as shizz expect to see similar output from this Houston org over the next several seasons. The fantasy-relevant arrivals actually began last summer, with prospects like Jonathan Villar (be sure to read Sky’s outlook on him) and Jarred Cosart. Look for the impact to only increase in 2014 as George Springer, Mark Appel, and Jonathan Signleton are set for big league debut.
We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Astros Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of James from Astros County. Please, blog, may I have some more?
To begin, I should make it clear that this is not a list of my top overall prospects. No, this is a 2014-specific list, and it exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland. The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive fantasy contributions during the 2014 season. Those of you who follow my Prospect Power Rankings series during the season, understand that time-specific prospect rankings are fluid — it’s a tricky game, weighing potential impact against current opportunity, and outlooks can change drastically overnight. There are too many variables at work to peg these ETA’s accurately, and that is precisely why we revisit these rankings often throughout the year with the aforementioned power rankings. Consider this a starting point. Numbers 26-50 will run next week, but for now, let’s dig into the top-25. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today we go over the top 80 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which comes after we went over the top 60 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which came after the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball which followed the top 20 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball. Link dump! Tomorrow we hit the 80-100 best outfielders then on to the top 100 starters. It’s the best day of your life because I’m bestowing on you wonderful like your father never did. Don’t ask me to go see you play Little League though, that’s not happening. As always, my tiers and projections are noted and all of the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Where? There. Dur. Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders 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?
I’m gonna double-dip on what I wrote a year ago in my week 23 MiLB report because 1) I think it still holds, and 2) I’m a double-dipper: “The Minor League Baseball season has reached it’s glorious culmination. Well, actually, it’s not very glorious. No, no one really cares who wins in the New York-Penn semis, or the International League title, or the Midwest League championship. It’s just not that interesting. Not even for me. Sure, organizations do their best to instill winning attitudes throughout their farm systems, and I absolutely agree that’s important. It’s why Jeff Luhnow is still tweeting crap like “#JETHAWKS WIN”. Yay, Jethawks… It’s fun for the players, I suppose. It’s fun for the small-town fans, too. And it’s a small source of pride for player development types. But that’s about the extent of it. All that said, the various MiLB playoffs are still worth keeping an eye on, if only for the handful of real-deal prospects who’re performing on a slightly grander stage than usual. So, to wrap up this year’s Minor Accomplishments series, I leave you with a brief rundown of what’s happening with some of the more notable prospects in their respective postseasons.” Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in May, I wrote a Courtney Hawkins fantasy. You can read it here. At that point in time, Hawkins was at High-A Winston Salem knocking homers at a good rate, but he was struggling to make contact, striking out more than 50% of the time he stepped to the plate. Near the end of the writeup, I said this: “The Sox must be thrilled with the huge power Hawkins is showing, but if the K’s continue at this rate, they’ll need to consider bumping him down the ladder to a level where he can more easily focus on approach and pitch recognition. There’s plenty of time for him to improve in that regard, and for fantasy baseball purposes, I truly hope he doesn’t go the way of the Donkey. Either way, though, he’s a fascinating dude to follow.” So here’s our Courtney Hawkins update, almost four months later: .182/.252/.407, 19 HR, 9 SB, 38% K-rate in 95 games at High-A. In other words, the whiffs continued, and the White Sox never demoted him. Hawkins is an extraordinary athlete with enormous upside, and I rarely am one to question a team’s development strategy, but it bothers me that the Sox have allowed their 19-year-old prized prospect to struggle so severely all season long. He won’t be ready for Double-A next spring, and I’m beginning to worry that this 1st rounder might never realize his potential. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Right about now is when I expected to start hyping the arrival of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The 26-year-old Cuban defector reportedly signed with the Phillies in late July, and we covered his potential fantasy impact here and here. Given the nature of the contract and all the money involved, there was plenty of incentive on the Phillies’ part to push Gonzalez through to the bigs as quickly as possible in order to get him accustomed to performing on a MLB stage. He was set to be your savior for the H2H playoffs, your last-ditch effort at a late-season roto push. He easily would’ve been top-two on this list by now, provided he hadn’t already surfaced in Philly. Alas, folks tend to tread carefully when there’s $60 million on the table. Reports suggest that some concerns popped up regarding Gonzalez’s elbow, and as of today, he remains unsigned. Whether it’s with the Phillies or elsewhere, M.A.G. figures sign for a much more reasonable sum ($60 mil was a little ridic). Please, blog, may I have some more?