Yesterday, Rubby de la Rosa threw 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners (0 BBs) and 5 Ks, a semiprecious stone of a game. (Maybe I didn’t need to use a thesaurus for the word gem.) Rubby reminded me of Celine Dion and her baby. If I could hold Rubby to my ear, what would his future sound like? *paints Rubby on a seashell for makeshift future-telling device, puts seashell up to ear* I hear Johnny Gill saying, he will Rubby me the right way! That’s amazing! But how can we be sure Johnny Gill isn’t just saying that because no one has asked for his opinion on anything in 25 years? Wait, maybe we haven’t heard from him because he’s been living in a seashell all of these years. Rubby’s K-rate is 8, his walk rate is 2 and, yes, they’re even numbers, unless we’re going to the 2nd decimal, and 2nd decimals are for nerds! Speaking of which, his xFIP is 3.43 and he’s been a tad unlucky to have a 4.08 ERA. I don’t see Rubby as a potential ace breakout candidate, but I own him in multiple leagues, and like him since he throws hard, has solid control, should get cushy matchups and could have a fantasy number three to four year. Now how do we get Johnny Gill out of this seashell?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The first week I told you to buy Devon Travis. The 2nd week I told you to buy Steven Souza. This might be the most improbable streak since Joe DiMaggio’s. I’m not talking about his 56-game hitting streak, either. I’m talking about his lesser known streak, but equally improbable 117-day streak of him calling Marilyn Monroe, having another man pick up, but still thinking she was being loyal. That streak might actually be even more remarkable than the hitting one. “Who was that? Cable guy? There’s no cable for another thirty years. Oh, a guy that drives a San Fran cable car? It’s research for a part? Gotcha.” That’s Joe D. ringing up Monroe. Dexter Fowler‘s criminally underowned. Let’s just go on this alone: Fowler, Soler, Rizzo, Bryant, Castro. For the whole year. That’s the Cubs lineup. If Fowler doesn’t back into 95 runs, it’s due to injury. Next up, he looks like Pookie from New Jack City, but he has surprising ten homer power. Actually, 12 homers is likely the low end. A couple of windy days in Chicago when it gets hot and he’s getting 15 homers. If Jim Belushi bats his eyelashes at the right Cubs scorer, Fowler may just get gifted an extra homer. Steals? Well, that’s the tricky thing. He has 25-steal speed, but it’s been a few years since he’s shown it. He had 4 steals already this year. Just doing rudimentary math and he gets to 24 steals on the year. That can go up to 30 or down to 19. Either way, 95/12/40/.265/20 is ownable and startable in every single league. Now, excuse me, I’m returning to writing my one man stage play of Joe D. and Marilyn dating in heaven called, “And The Cloud Went Crazy.” Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dressed in a tuxedo, Ron Kittle walks up to Leon Durham, looking fabulous in a red dress and high heels, and says, “It would be my pleasure to give you a lesson in marksmanship.” Leon scoffs, “You couldn’t give me a lesson in long-distance spitting.” Then they begin to go back and forth, “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything, better than you.” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “You four-eyed honkey, KRIS BRYANT!” “You four-eyed non-honkey, CARLOS RODON!” And so went the Annie Get Your Gun musical performed by the White Sox and Cubs alumni this weekend. Rodon is ready to perform, but why start his clock to pitch out of the bullpen? Unless the White Sox are sick of Noesi butting into their rotation where he doesn’t belong. I’d have to guess that’s what’s happening here. The White Sox are saying Rodon will work out of the bullpen, but within a week or two, he’ll be in the rotation. Why do we care? Because he can be the best pitching prospect call up of the season. Yes, he can! I’d own him in any league, but he’s likely gone. No, he can’t! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

…And by “IBS”, I don’t mean irritable bowel syndrome. In this context, I mean BABIP verified by ISO and Spd scores. Two things induce my real life IBS: nutrition, and my high impact dynasty leagues. Consider this series your dynasty IBS treatment.

BABIP has little face, so I use ISO (isolated slugging) and Spd (FG’s speed score) to verify the BABIP.

Check out Part 1 of this series where I delved into Trois-A assets. While Joc Pederson and Gregory Polanco naturally lead the rankings in conjunction with Quad-A guys like Andrew Brown and Chris Dickerson, I pointed to some translatable future impact in Chris Taylor and Domingo Santana, among others.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (28) | 2011 (29) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (2) | 2008 (14)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [69-93] NL East
AAA:  [73-67] Pacific Coast League — New Orleans
AA:  [70-70] Southern League — Jacksonville
A+:  [74-62] Florida State League — Jupiter
A:  [80-59] South Atlantic League — Greensboro
A(ss):  [44-13] New York-Penn League — Jamestown (Batavia beginning 2013)

Arizona Fall League PlayersPhoenix Dessert Dogs
Michael Brady (RHP); Grant Dayton (LHP); Brian Flyn (LHP); Scott McGough (RHP); Jake Realmuto (C); Kyle Jensen (OF); Christian Yelich (OF)

Graduated Prospects of Note
Jacob Turner (RHP), Matt Dominguez* (3B);  Scott Cousins (OF)

*Now with Houston

The Run Down
While Miami fans cannot be pleased with the Marlins’ roster moves at the big league level, it’s tough to ignore the club’s improvement in the minor leagues.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Florida Marlins 2011 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2011)
2011 (29) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (2) | 2008 (14) | 2007 (15) | 2006 (3) | 2005 (14) | 2004 (14)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [72-90] NL East
AAA: [69-74] Pacific Coast League – New Orleans
AA: [70-70] Southern League – Jacksonville
A+: [60-80] Florida State League – Jupiter
A: [79-60] South Atlantic League – Greensboro
A(ss): [35-40] New York – Pennsylvania – Jamestown
R: [38-16] Gulf Coast League

The Run Down
The graduation of Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez in 2010, left their farm system dry. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?