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?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] AL East
AAA: [66-78] International League – Durham
AA: [74-63] Southern League – Montgomery
A+: [55-79] Florida State League – Charlotte
A: [80-60] Midwest League – Bowling Green
A(ss): [52-24] New York-Penn League — Hudson Valley
Arizona Fall League Players — Phoenix Desert Dogs
Lenny Linsky (RHP); Tim Beckham (2B); Hak-Ju Lee (SS); Richie Shaffer (3B); Kevin Kiermaier (OF)
Matt Moore (RHP); Jake McGee (LHP)
The Run Down
The Rays’ player development systems have always been top-notch, and for the past several years, they’ve maintained one of the better farm systems in the game. As a matter of timing more than anything else — some bad luck, too (see Beckham) — the system was a little lighter than usual in the high-impact department near the end of last season. They were growing older, and more expensive at the big league level. It appeared that they were deviating from Andrew Friedman’s operational model — a patient, bottom-up approach that had discovered and nurtured talent better than just about any other organization — that had made them a year-to-year contender in baseball’s toughest division. And then the James Shields deal happened and the natural order was restored to the baseball universe. All of a sudden, Wil Myers became a Ray, and the once-lacking high-impact department was replenished with one of the more high-impacty dudes in the minors. Beyond Myers, Tampa added MLB-ready pitching depth in Jake Odorizzi. They also nabbed Mike Montgomery on the cheap — sure, he pitched like a pile of hot garbage in 2012, but one year does not ruin a prospect. When considering this top ten back in October, I was kinda worried about having to cover a slew high-upside 18-year-olds who hadn’t yet played outside of instructional league. Thank you, Andrew Friedman, for making this post more interesting.
Having already covered my Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013, I thought I’d expand our scope a bit and take a look at 25 more who could offer fantasy value this year. Again, predicting for arrivals is an inexact science, and there’s plenty of time between now and opening day for circumstances to change. No doubt, this list is missing some prospects who’ll surface in the bigs and make an impact in the fantasy game a la 2012 Kyle Seager. Likewise, there’ll be plenty of duds here too. Anyway, here’s how I see the next 25 2013 fantasy baseball prospects:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Felix Doubront went 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks and rose The Walking Dead in Boston. I wonder if Stephen King helped recruit Doubront for the Red Sox. I wonder if there’s going to be a Red Sox team next year or if they’ll just merge with their Pawtucket minor league team.Please, blog, may I have some more?