When David Price went down with a triceps injury, mercifully so with the struggles he was enduring, the Rays finally announced over the weekend that prospect Jake Odorizzi would be called up from Triple-A Durham to take his spot in the rotation . As Bill Murray would say, “Go Bulls!” I was fortunate enough to see Odorizzi pitch in Durham earlier this season, throwing 6.2 innings of shutout ball with 8 Ks against AAA Gwinnett.
From what I remember in that outing, he features a mid-to-low 90s fastball and a wipe out breaking ball. Other than that, I couldn’t tell much more from our seats, which were surprisingly tough to get in the Bulls home debut that night. There were free fireworks! Also, the city of Durham loves their Bulls, it is a very nice AAA experience. Anywho, I was stoked that Odorizzi would be pitching right around when my next Pitcher Profile was due out, so I decided to break down his Rays debut (and 3rd career start) at Toronto and see what kind of impact he could have for fantasy owners: Please, blog, may I have some more?
On a scale of one to ten for most surprising starters, Patrick Corbin is a one. One being the best. When you beat your high score in Mario Kart you never scream out, “I’m number ten,” do you? Okay, so don’t question my numbering. On a scale of one to ten for how likely it is Corbin keeps this up, it’s around a 5, the number made famous by Short Circuit. Didja know before Short Circuit people would count 1, 2, 3, 4, 6? It’s also why Marilyn Monroe left Joe DiMaggio. Corbin’s not a 1.44 ERA pitcher, but he’s not what he seemed like coming into the year either. His fastball has jumped in velocity, which has helped all of his pitches. I don’t own him, which butters my grr’s. I know most of you must’ve benched him in Coors yesterday for his 10 K, 9-inning, three-hitter gizzem, so I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! Luckily, you own him for the whole season and he looks like he can be a mid-3 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 K-rate guy, i.e., a fantasy two to three. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jurickson Profar called up to replace The Ian Kinsler DL Experiment. I’ll wait here while you go add Profar in your league. Okay, back? Good! If you’re not back yet, then you’re not reading this, so let me clear the air, I slept with your sister. Baseballstar Profarlactica is the safest bet from catching the prospect hype virus in the known universe. First (after all those other firsts), let’s see what Scott, our prospect writer, wrote, “Profar brings legit 20-20 potential, along with .300+ AVG, and an OBP north of .350. From shortstop, that sort of production would be enormous. Here’s Grey’s Jurickson Profar fantasy. Also check out my Top 25 Prospects for 2013, where Profar came in at #15. I also slept with your sister.” Damn, hope those other people still aren’t back. I’d grab Profar in every league. Yes, even yours. My guess is he will hit. My 2nd guess is C. Always guess C. That advice can get you into an Ivy League school. I didn’t go to one, ergo, henceforth, vis-à-vis, I had to Google whether or not Ivy League was capitalized. If he hits, Profar could be here to stay with the Rangers saying, “Yo, Profar is hitting so let’s keep him and move Kinsler to the outfield. Or just put a “Hockey sucks” t-shirt on Andrus and drop him off in Winnipeg.” If Profar doesn’t hit, he’ll be sent back down and no one will need to go to Winnipeg. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bear with me for a moment while I venture outside stateside baseball for a look at a marvelous moment in Korean pro ball. The always great Ben Badler of Baseball America brought this clip to my attention this past Wednesday, and you really gotta give this one a look. Outfielder Jun-Woo Jeon is the batter. His team is down two runs with a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the ninth. He recognizes the fat breaker, turns on it, and lifts it to left field. He thinks it’s gone and the game tied, so he flips his bat triumphantly and does one of those cool jogging finger points toward his dugout. It’s not gone. No, the ball dies at the track, and not long after, the opposition dies of laughter. This is why you never bat flip. #Scouting. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Paul Goldschmidt went off again last night, collecting four hits with two 2-run home runs and scored four times. Awww Schmiiiidt! Goldy has been locked in at the plate lately. Over the past two weeks, he’s batting .400 with 5 home runs, 12 RBI and 2 stolen bases. As a result the D-Backs sit at the top of their division, winning three straight games and seven of their last 10. Paul is currently on pace for over 40 home runs, 15 steals and 120+ RBI. Although he will likely come back down to earth some, he remains the number one first baseman on the player rater and is looking like a lock to finish in the top three. He also is the number two player overall behind only mean Jean Segura. To quote Mike Myers second worst film, “I love…Goooold.” We all do, Johan van der Smut, you horribly offensive Dutch stereotype. We all do. If you read Razzball faithfully, there’s a good chance you own Pauly G. on a team or two. If so, you are lovin’ life right now, so enjoy this. Bask in it. Take. It. In. You earned it. I had a goldfish named Goldy but I never loved that dumb fish as much I love owning Paul Goldschmidt. So thanks Grey. Thanks Rudy. If you ever need a kidney, I’m your guy.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Max Scherzer has heterochromia, which is a condition where one eye is a different color than the other. Here’s a picture of him. Christopher Walken, Kiefer Sutherland, Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, to name a few, also have this condition. Doesn’t this seem like something that at some point will be the “it thing?” I could totally see teenagers in the future riding their hoverboards and wearing only one colored contact. Then further down the line the government will require everyone to have different colored eyes and teenagers with the same colored eyes will rise up to overthrow the government, only to be thwarted because some counter-terrorism organization supplied the teens with marijuana and a new “awesome” video game. Actually, I’m kinda surprised this hasn’t happened yet. With my deep, dark, mysterious, cock-eyed peepers, I looked into Scherzer and decided he’s been the 3rd best pitcher in baseball so far, if you throw out his ERA (the 2nd best is Anibal and 4th best is Burnett). Sure, when one looks cock-eyed at things, they cherry-pick stats and throw out common sense. Still, Scherzer has been fantastic. His K-rate of 11.26 is fifth in the league. His walk rate is 24th. Besides Peavy, Scherzer is the only one in the top 24 with a 9+ K-rate and a walk rate that low. Basic math: if you strikeout people and don’t walk them, great things will happen. Scherzer has been better than F-Her, only F-Her has an ERA of 1.53 and Scherzer’s is at 3.98. Fantasy baseballers (<–Grand Dame Albright’s term!) tend to overrate recent past results and ratios they can understand like ERA. If someone in your league thinks Scherzer is nothing but a #2 or 3 with good Ks, they’re wrong as no rain. I’d pursue Scherzer quickly before his ERA turns around like a dramatic prairie dog. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
In my Week 4 MiLB report, I included a brief writeup on Blue Jays pitching prospect, Roberto Osuna, highlighting his hot start to 2013 season at Low-A Lansing. My blurb from that particular post: “Number five on my Blue Jays top ten from March, Osuna is a rather plump 18-year-old with a front-end arsenal. Through 18 IP at Low-A Lansing, he’s posted a 26/3 K/BB along with an ERA at 2.95 and a WHIP at 0.82. Some folks are concerned about his potentially tubby frame, but the stuff might just be good enough to overcome the weight issue.” Well Osuna was pulled from his most recent start with elbow discomfort. A subsequent visit to Dr. Andrews has revealed a UCL tear, and it’s now all but official that the Jays’ prized prospect will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. The developmental setback is disappointing, but at age 18, Osuna was ahead of the developmental curve already. There’s still reason to remain optimistic about his future outlook, but it looks like it’ll be a full year before we see him pitching in a meaningful game again. And that sucks. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started. Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. Back in February, I rolled out my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2013 (part 1, part 2), and those are already garbage. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, I thought it might be helpful to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a biweekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent. Let’s get started. Please, blog, may I have some more?