The Arizona Fall League is over, but prospect season is in full swing. Razzball is posting fantasy-driven top ten prospect lists every Wednesday this offseason so be sure to check them out. While the AFL isn’t a long season, it features some of the better prospects in baseball and it’s worth looking back at a few of the top performers in the league this year. Moving forward, we’ll focus on the winter leagues. Big leaguers and prospects from many MLB organizations are still playing baseball! There are several leagues like this, but I tend to gravitate toward the Dominican Winter League the most. Players like Maikel Franco, Joc Pederson, and Rymer Liriano are just a few of the names you’ll find on the DWL rosters. Last year’s MVP, Gregory Polanco, created quite the buzz in 2014. The league runs until the end of December and I’ll check in on some of the performances there periodically in this Minor Accomplishments series. To follow along, you can live stream games here, here, and here. Just brush up on some Spanish first! Back to the AFL…here were this year’s top performers with some commentary:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s an example from your own life. You walked into a bar and negged the first girl you saw. Told her she had nice hair, then immediately asked her how often she dyes it. Never worked before. This girl laughed and talked to your dopey ass. She even thought it was charming when you told her to pay the bar tab. Went home, had great sex and the next morning she’s moving some of her shirts out of her dresser, so you have room to bring a few of your things over. You tell her that’s not necessary and she shrugs, goes into the bathroom, calls her mother and starts crying loudly. Seemed awesome, turned out psycho. Now imagine she didn’t reveal she was psycho for three months. That’s Steve Pearce. At some point in 2015, he will start moving his shirts out of his dresser and you’re gonna feel real awkward. Right now, he’s insane. Yesterday, was part of that insanity as he hit two homers, bringing his season total to 20. No longer is the fortune cookie’s ending ‘in bed,’ it’s now ‘with Steve Pearce.’ There’s some noise about him changing his stance and that’s led to him having a breakout season. Yeah, don’t buy it. He’s 31 years old. Not the death knell for anyone, but when you’re barely rosterable as a utility man for a major league team for almost seven years, you don’t suddenly change your stance and everything’s great. He’s a 10-homer utility man, disguised as Jesus. It will end at some point in 2015, but for now Pearce your genitals, make the devil horns and ride the lightning! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The other day I talked about the dark underbelly of roster expansion and how, due to teams not DL’ing their players, it can actually hurt us in this thing we call life. Well, some of us call it fantasy baseball instead of life. Some of the less obsessed of us. To those people, I ptooey in your direction. If you’re not completely obsessed over your hobby, let me say this… Get a new hobby! The national pastime’s pastime? Maybe if you’re a stutterer! This shizz is more like the national pastime’s full-time, 24/7 job like taking care of your uncle who has been lying on your sofa for a month because your aunt started dating a guy she met on Tinder! “Uncle Frank, maybe you put on sweatpants so I can have company.” No, Uncle Frank won’t put on sweatpants, just like you won’t have company until you find another first baseman to replace Anthony Rizzo. Uncle Frank is comfortable in his gotchies! Are you kapeeshing me? So, Rizzo has a muscle strain, and the Cubs said they would DL him if the rosters hadn’t expanded, but instead they’re going to let Anthony Rizzo slice garlic really thin — so thin it melts when it hits the pan — while he whittles away the year on the bench. Sadly, you have to move on to another first baseman in redraft leagues. You can’t count on him the rest of the season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If Miggy were a Russian nesting doll, the first doll under him would be Avisail Garcia. They look like so similar they could do Sister, Sister-type stunts. “I don’t want to face Felix Hernandez today, you take my jersey and you face him…Then take my algebra exam.” “Okay, sis, but you have to go out with Bobby for me. Pinky swear!” That’s them conspiring to use their physical similarities on unsuspecting people. (Bee tee dubya, I’ve never seen an episode of Sister, Sister, and if I missed the general gist of the show, I apologize to all the prankster twins reading for generalizing. But, I will say, twins should apologize for looking similar, it’s disconcerting. The first time you see them you have to ask yourself, “Am I on peyote right now? No, I’m not, I’m looking at a twin.” Any the hoo!) Comparing him to Miggy doesn’t give the whole picture of Avisail. Well, it does, but, okay, bad choice of words. It doesn’t tell you what kind of hitter Avisail is. He’s not a 40-homer hitter. At least not yet. He has some speed, even stole 20 bases one year in the minors, when he was only 18 years old. He also probably won’t hit for more than 25 homers all of next year. He can hit for a solid average. Last year, while only 21 years old for half the year (no, he doesn’t have two birthdays a year; I mean he was 21 for half the season), he hit .370 in the minors. He reminds me more of a young Matt Holliday — think around 25 HRs, 15 SBs and .315. Definitely someone I would be aggressive about in keepers. As for this year, now that he’s fully recovered from his torn labrum, an injury that sounds like it would happen to a gymnast, he’s someone I’d look at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one –the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.
But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s a scenario for you: Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Gonzalez get onto a plane. Knowing their inability to stay healthy, you A) Get off the plane. B) Purposely get yourself thrown off the plane by calling the male flight attendant, Mr. Stewardess, and asking him if he’s the pimp for the female stewardesses and if you could have a multi-person shag in the lavatory. C) There’s no C. Any of the above answers would work, even C and there wasn’t a C. CarGo can’t stay healthy and Hanley doesn’t seem to want to. If you count 145 games played as a full season, CarGo’s played one full season. This year, he might not play in 71 games and he’s at 70. Yes, he could be done for the year. Yes, it’s bad news with CarGo. Freight so. Even if he plays again, he has 11 homers and 3 steals in 70 games. Yunel Escobar looks at that and talks to a trademark attorney. It’s gonna be fun next year hearing people draft CarGo while they say, “I just need him to stay healthy for 120 games.” Those people are called delusional. As for Hanley, he’s supposed to return as soon as his DL stint is over, and he should as long as he doesn’t have to play hard in a rehab assignment. That would be impossible for him even if healthy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wada start! Wada player! Wada guy! Tsuyoshi Wada continued to pitch well last night, tossing six innings, allowing just four hits and one walk, while giving up two earned runs and striking out six. He didn’t get the win but Wada you gonna do? After dominating AAA earlier in the year (113.2 IP, 2.77 ERA, 120/28 K/BB ratio), he struggled a bit in his second big league outing versus San Diego (4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K), but T-Dubs has rebounded since then, letting up just 2 ER or less in his past three starts with a 2.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 18/4 K/BB ratio. Maybe you’re thinking, Wada crock! But the next level stats don’t suggest any regression is coming, although it is a small sample size. His 3.60 xFIP is great, as is his .292 BABIP and 7.7% HR/FB. In addition, his excellent 21.7 K% demonstrates he can be a plenty useful starter for your fantasy leagues. He gets the Brewers next week and I’d take a flier on Tsuyoshi Wada if you are in need of a starter. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. So Wada you waiting for… pick him up!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know when Shin-Soo Choo (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 10th homer) is hitting homers there’s a Dong Party going on. Dong Party is also my lead single off my album, “Who Let In All These Guys?” The CD cover had me dressed like a sailor, begrudgingly hoisting a man for a keg stand. None of this is ringing a bell? That’s weird, but it did perform better in Asia than here. Choo hadn’t homered since July 4th and only has 4 homers since May 22nd and is hitting .238. Can we say bust? If you can’t, you might want to see a speech therapist. Also joining the Dong Party was J.P. Arencibia (3-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 7th homer). That Arencibia is one spicy meatball! You know what one meatball said to another meatball? What’s up, metaball? What? No good? Okay, I won’t submit it to Highlights. Arencibia has 4 homers in the last eleven games, and has been known to go on a dong run. For those of you who just found us today Googling “dong run.” We won’t judge you here. Next up, for the Dong Party was Robinson Crusoe. He’s got a novel idea. It’s about a shipwrecking. Quite the yarn! Chirinos (3-for-5, 3 runs and two homers) has 11 homers on the year, and I’ve enjoyed owning him in a few two-catcher leagues, but he’s hitting .237 and I wouldn’t get too excited, especially not while you’re at a Dong Party. Finally, arriving at the Dong Party with a homer in the first inning was Adrian Beltre (1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer). Getting a bangfizzle at a Dong Party is such a bummer. By the by, Such A Bummer was my follow-up single. Tell me if you want the Sound Cloud link. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know how when you move out of a place, you throw out a majority of your stuff, but a few things you just slide into the cubbyhole behind the washer/dryer? Maybe nothing significant. Just something to leave your mark, like an old pair of underwear. Then in a few years, maybe ten, you go back to your old place, knock on the door and ask to see what they’ve done with the place. Once inside, you ask if you can launder your pants and while in the basement, you check for your old underwear, and there they are. You shake the rat droppings off them, breath them in and they still smell of you. What? You’ve never done this? Okay, you’re weird, but Jake Peavy did, and now he’s going to get to smell his old gotchies that he left in the NL West. San Francisco has a lot of hills and their pitching staff has gone over all of them. They’d like Petit more if he had more T’s and E’s in his last name. Want to spot a Giants starter in San Fran? Find a hill, go over it. They’re on the other side. This is a boost for Peavy’s value. Obvi! He had a 7.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, which is borderline streamer in most shallower mixed leagues, but that was the AL East, and even while he’s been in the AL the last few years (while not pitching that great), he’s been solid vs. NL teams. They have no DH! The pitcher hits! Etc. Etc. Etc. Last night against the NL West’s best offense outside of Coors, he had a line of 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I’d take a flyer on Peavy in all leagues, and his next matchup on the Stream-o-Nator says it agrees. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?