Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday….yesterday….yesterday….
All my fantasy baseball titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I drafted Matt Holliday,
Oh, why did I believe in Holliday…day…day…day.
Suddenly!  Jacob deGrom’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s injured groin that I made of plaster of Paris and that just came to me suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Does Daniel Murphy’s butt hurt or is he just butt-hurt?  What will we do without a Bryce Harper injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I blame Jonathan Villar, Dusty, Francisco Lindor and Rougned Odor, in no particular order.  Those players and Dusty are the reason why I owned Trea Turner and dropped him.  I mean, no one would be crazy enough to put Turner in at Utility when he was first called up.  Wasn’t gonna play him at outfield.  He’s a middle infielder, and I had no room.  *puts thumbtacks on desk, takes particular care to make sure the sharp ends are facing up, slams head onto desk*  If I owned him, Turner would solve so many of my problems.  He’d even fix my irregular bowels!  This weekend Turner had three homers (11), three steals (27) and is hitting .355 in only 60 games.  Trea magnifique!  I haven’t seen this kind of emergence since…Damn, I don’t know how long.  Maybe last year with Carlos Correa?  Ouch, that comparison means Turner could disappoint in 2017?  Don’t hate the player, hate the knowledge that the player possesses that makes him say things that are unlikable, which I guess could be lumped in with ‘hating the player,’ making it okay to hate the player.  About a month ago, I thought Turner was going to be drafted around top 100 in 2017, but that was prior to the power showing up.  With each homer, he’s moved up about a round, and now he’s breathing down the 2nd round for 2017.  Depends if you think you ain’t seen nothing yet with Baseman Turner Overdrive.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Daniel Norris went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.81.  Deserved better than a no decision, but he’s 23 years old, making $500,000, so who cares what he deserves?  I deserve equal pay for cracking jokes about fantasy baseball for six months!  *marching with a picket sign*  Sign reads:  BLOGGER = Better Living-wage Or Gainful Gifts, Earnings, Reimbursements *pull back to reveal I’m marching in my underwear with my dog humping my leg*  Stop, Ted!  I’m trying to make a point!  So, Norris looked terrific, but he’s had a vexing season.  Vexing, I tell ya!  He was put in middle relief after a back problem that sidelined in the spring, then he returned and was almost immediately sidelined with an oblique problem.  Why do we care?  Well, I wrote a sleeper post about him last year, saying, “He’s a sleeper, because he’ll likely be drafted late since he appears to be a year away, and, sadly, he might not just appear to be a year away, but he might actually be a year away, though he might appear to be a year away and not be a year away.  I’m the Grand Champion of putting “year away” in one sentence, by the way.  Norris is a pure upside play.  He could be a 4+ ERA guy that bounces between the rotation, the bullpen and the minors or a 2.75 ERA guy with truckloads of Ks.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I quote that, because I was exactly right (I couldn’t have been wrong since I hedged more than Sonic) and for 2017 I’m going to like Norris for the exact same reasons while being a year closer.  Dot dot dot.  To getting a living wage!  I’m Norma Rae!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA (if that’s even possible at this point) to 2.09.  The Seattle museum, Experience Music Project is going to need to update their Hendricks section.  EMP Tour guide, “In 1970, Hendricks said, ‘I’m going to take my guitar, grab Janis, impregnate Afeni Shakur, have my lawyer write a letter that says Ben and/or Jerry can never name an ice cream after me while simultaneously sucking and blowing this joint.  Then thirty-six years later, I’m going to win the NL Cy Young if the BBWAA votes based on ERA.’  Now, let’s move on to our five floors of Nirvana memorabilia.  There’s some interesting flannel stories I can’t wait to share.”   No, of course, Kyle Hendricks isn’t this good.  His fastball velocity is down to 87 MPH, he’s relying heavily on a changeup that isn’t that much slower and his BABIP is absurdly low.  Not saying you drop him, but if Hendricks does win the Cy Young, in 2017, the same faith that befell Dallas Keuchel this year will happen to Hendricks too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Dodgers were one of the hottest clubs offensively coming into this game, so, what happened?  Baseball happened, and Matt Moore throws a gem — 8 2/3 IP, 1 Hit, 3 Walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.95.  There’s no sport like this anywhere in the world.  Though, my 89-year-old Italian grandfather says the bounce on the bocce ball court can be tricky.  By the way, I recounted the other day on the podcast how he drove back from Florida, non-stop, in flip-flops.  So, yesterday, he went to the doctor because his foot was bothering him and the Pakistani doctor said it was due to the flip-flops.  He said, “Get out of here!  Your people wear nothing but sandals!”  So, great start by Matt Moore, no dur, but he threw the most pitches in a game this season at 133 pitches.  Why do you think?  Because he can’t throw strikes.  Dodgers just happened to feel like swinging at balls.  That’s what I hope she didn’t say!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Napoli hit his 27th homer yesterday.  He now has five straight games with a home run.  On the year, he is top 30 for fantasy value on our Player Rater.  Dude is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back.  (Why am I not writing rap lyrics?)  Uh-oh, Napoli’s so hot, he’s bringing out my rap alter ego, B-Fire.  Napoli is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back!  Yo, he’s not whack like some homeboy going to a strip club with a quarter stack!  In fact!  Grey’s got more indoors, then you got outdoors, and technically there’s more room outdoors for you to have more but nope, my room’s got floors!  *dance, prance, romance off your pants*  My action lines got asterisks, smooth.  Your action lines got an asterisk with an excuse down below why you can’t move.  *said while bowing sushi chef-style*  Napoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shawn Kelley notched his second save in as many days Friday night, recording the final out, allowing just one hit for his sixth save of the season. Is your fantasy team in dire need of saves? Are you tired of owning the entire Braves bullpen? Well, it seems your prayers may have been answered. Manager Dusty Baker has yet to commit to Kelley, but Baker usually doesn’t commit to anything unless it’s ruining some young player’s career in the long term. Unlike Atlanta, the Nationals bullpen will likely see a good share of save chances and with Jonathan Papelbon struggling, it appears Shawn Kelley is the add here. Oh Papelbon, how the mighty have fallen, right? I remember when he wasn’t just the most obnoxious pitcher in all of baseball, he was also a very good closer! Shawn Kelley has the potential to be a very good closer as well. He holds a 3.05 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP, with a 60/7 K/BB rate. Did I mention he can get you saves? Did I mention he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Geez, all this stuff I forgot to mention, my memory is really shot lately. There’s still a chance Washington trades for a closer, but I’d pick up Shawn Kelley everywhere I needed saves as he looks to be the top option in the Nats pen at the moment, Grey told you to BUY and he won’t be available for very long.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?