Jeurys Familia was given a 15-game suspension for domestic abuse charges filed against him this offseason.  One could say Jeurys was given a 15-day DL trip to Familia, but the DL in this case is Dangerous Love.  If there was anyone predestined for Family Court, it would be him.  Familia was helped by his family’s testimony to Our Commissioner Manfred.  They asked Familia be allowed to go on all Mets’ road trips.  The Mets can sure pick closers.  Let’s see:  Familia; K-Rod attacked his father-in-law and Jenrry Mejia was permanently banned from MLB.  The Mets don’t use a belt with their closer pants.  They prefer suspenders!  This is all an eerie reminder of past Mets violence when Justin Turner tried to help Ike Davis during one of his prolonged slumps.  Any hoo!  Familia will miss about six to eight saves and I’ve moved him down in my top 500 and moved up Addison Reed, his replacement.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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What’s the most common phrase you’ve heard this offseason among the fantasy community?

Steals are scarce is one. James Paxton is my sleeper might be another contender – I’m guilty of this one. How about player x is injury prone? This is one that I’ve heard numerous times, and for good reason.

There are a lot of players whom are properly tagged as a risk to not stay on the field. However, I always find myself stepping back from discussion whenever I hear the claim as I determine what the actual standard is for a player being prone to injury.

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HDMH is a motivational phrase created by Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. It stands for ‘Height Doesn’t Measure Heart’.

On Saturday night, Marcus Stroman twirled a 4.2 inning gem against the Dominican Republic, striking out four batters, walking none, and allowing only three ground ball singles. When Stroman was removed before his 65th pitch – the limit for starters in the pool round of the WBC – Tanner Roark, David Robertson, and Andrew Miller proceeded to give up seven earned runs on seven hits. Combined, that trio recorded only nine outs and threw 19 more pitches than Stroman, producing substantially less impressive results. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed with how the Blue Jays starter carved through the Dominican Republic’s lineup.

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Right off the top, you know this is Part 1, since I put it in the title and all.  There’s too many outfielders I want to say something about, and this post shouldn’t feel like homework, though if fantasy baseball articles are homework, I would’ve cared a lot more in school.  But I don’t want that much math (like geometry, calculus, trigonometry, hard math).  As an accountant people always say, “I bet you’re good at math.”  No, I can use a calculator.  But you’re going to need a calculator to add up the OPS Outfielder rankings coming up right now! (not worst segue ever, but honorable mention for sure).

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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Way back in January, when the very first signs of ADP data sprouted out of the ground, I went down the rabbit hole, hoping to catch a glimpse of early signs of value. ADP at that point was more convoluted than forming an expectation for how much Pablo Sandoval would weigh coming into Spring Training, but since it was the only sign we had as to the ‘market’ rate for various players, I utilized it as much as I could.

James Paxton was the poster-boy of my early preseason eyebrow raise. He was going past the 200th overall pick with a maximum just outside of the 11th round. Paxton sits right now with an ADP around 192 overall according to NFBC data, with a max that has ticked up to 109 overall. Grey has Paxton as his 41st ranked starting pitcher and his 162nd overall player. Finally in the process of publishing my personal rankings, Paxton is my 27th overall starting pitcher and my 115th overall player, with still some finagling to bring that up even more if I feel so moved.

What Paxton accomplished last season was nothing short of fascinating. We see mechanical changes in pitchers a lot, but rarely do we see changes that cause such palpable success and subsequent expectations that aren’t afraid to project out that success. Fangraphs did a really nice dive into exactly what Paxton changed and why success followed. Simply put, Paxton reverted to his natural arm slot on the mound, opting to venture away from the ‘over-the-top’ motion he used that we’ve seen cause problems in the past – see Wacha, Michael. This slot helped him hone his command on the inner third of the plate to righties, opening up the outside of the plate to his insanely effective cutter/slider. Eno Sarris breaks this down in the piece linked above.

When I uncovered this story last season, I was wildly intrigued for one reason. A natural arm slot, logically to me, would mean less risk for injury. The DL is something Paxton hasn’t been able to avoid for most of his career, but if there was ever a storyline to give hope for health, I can’t think of a better one than him being more comfortable on the mound…

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One word about this top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2017– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  416 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 516.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2017 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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I’m convinced Grey doesn’t sleep during the offseason as he compiles his rankings for the 2017 season. He’s about halfway there, which makes Bon Jovi proud, but halfway will eventually become full-way as more of his rankings are being churned out as we speak. Being the selfish writer that I am, more rankings means more of Grey’s thoughts to sift through, and more opportunity to unearth a valuable point of view that may be falling through the cracks.

For this first installment of ‘Under the Greydar’, a cloumn executed perfectly in the past by writers like Big Magoo, we turn to the law services of Joc & Cron, LLP for some advice on targets for the coming season. On top of charging me upwards of $500 per hour merely for conversation, they fittingly advised us to take a deeper look at Joc Pederson and C.J. Cron.

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We’re taking these outfielders to 120 total, so this should still be the beginning of wonderful for you, but as you look down this list, guys like Matt Kemp become more attractive and not just if you’re an R&B singer.  Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.  I’m going aggressive for guys like Kepler and Piss-hotty (sounds like watersports, right, Mr. President?), because the alternative is dank with excitement.  Stephen Hawking’s hitting his keyboard robotically telling us, “It’s a black hole for outfielders, we need to spontaneously combust some new ones.”  Then Stephen jots down a letter to Eddie Redmayne about a sequel to The Theory of Everything; Eddie’s got a binder of these letters.  As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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