SAGNOF refers to “saves/steals ain’t got no face”. In other words, they can come from unlikely sources throughout the season and us fantasy baseball folk shouldn’t sell the farm for them on draft day. Let me tell you, 2013 was no exception. When I received my series assignment from Grey earlier this year, I was excited to explore steals as a topic for my column, if only because I knew it would help a lot of people out there do better in the category. I also couldn’t recall many other fantasy sites hitting steals as a primary topic week-in and week out, so hats off to Razzball for being ahead of the game yet again.
It was fascinating to follow along as players rose and fell in value based on steals alone, and even more fascinating to watch match-ups against certain teams yield steals in bunches. This offseason, I’ll be posting every other week and sticking with the stolen base as my focus. We’ll start by taking a look back, but then we’ll shift our gaze forward to 2014 and see if we can get a leg up on the competition prior to our drafts next spring. Let’s get started with a look at the big picture when it comes to steals over the last five years… Please, blog, may I have some more?
We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. End of the season-wise, the 2nd basemen don’t seem as shallow as I thought they were in the preseason, but, really, they’re not that much deeper on second glance. They are just barely shallower than shortstops, but it’s so close, I’m sure an argument could be made for the shortstops being shallower. Before you make that argument, remember what you’re arguing about. To recap, this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to the year end Razzball awards. I’m your host, Grey Albright and I’m joined by Random Italicized Voice, Hey. Also, on the red carpet for everyone’s arrival we have, Comatose Blue Jays Fan, “Hurry up, the Blue Jays are gonna be facing the Yankees tonight on Fox.” And up in the balcony critiquing everyone’s outfits we have Clunky Segue, “As I was saying…” Before the show even begins, we have a very special musical guest, Lighter Shade of Brown! Live from opening for Kanye West! Not playing on stage with him, but literally opening doors for him. They now work as doormen. At hotels. It’s very sad. Anyway, here’s the 2013 Razzball Year End Awards: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Say it’s not so News Report! News Report, “I’m sorry, Grey, your handsomeness and mustache make me want to lie to you, but Edwin Encarnacion is probably being shut down for the year.” Is it because anything I did? “No, you’ve gone above and beyond anything I could’ve hoped for. Thanks for the $10 marathon donation too. A real mensch, you are!” I could’ve done without the second reminder to donate on Facebook. “Can we discuss this privately?” So, players are dropping like flies. Not those African tsetse flies that have been known to live for six months after they burrow into your skull. They’re dropping like fruit flies near your backyard bug zapper. In most leagues, I’d lose Encarnacion immediately. Blue Jays Manager said Edwin’s probably done for the year, and even if he returns, he’s dealing with a sore wrist, which is, ya know, not good for hitting. Comatose Blue Jays Fan, “At least he’ll be ready for the playoffs! Right?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Charlie Morton‘s start yesterday of 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks wasn’t incredible in itself, but other than Lenny from Laverne and Shirley when he was wearing a Lone Wolf jacket and Burgess Meredith when he broke his glasses on The Twilight Zone, nothing in this world is to itself. There’s befores and afters, causes and effects and chewy watermelon Now and Laters. Morton has now strung together six straight starts and nine of his last ten, dropping his ERA to 3.00. His K-rate isn’t particularly inspiring, but his walk rate is more than solid and his xFIP is 3.62, which tells us he’s not that far from a guy you start every time out. With all of that said, I still don’t trust him for his next start vs. the Cardinals, but then he gets the Cubs and Padres, and for those two starts, I’d absolutely gamble that Morton is worth his salt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
In true Halloween spirit, we have a special haunted edition of the Pitcher Profile. Ok, so it’s not even September yet, but hey, we live in a world of mass consumerism and the Halloween specials and themed sections of department stores are already up. Don’t believe me? Ask the um, French Maid, you um… you saw leaving my room last night – it was just someone breaking in the costume! I’m kidding, I’m not Jude Law.
So about a month ago, I was all set to do a Scott Kazmir Pitcher Profile then his arm died. Kinda like Jared Leto’s arm in Requiem For A Dream. After a strong stretch through mid-June to late-July, Kaz gave up 4 to the White Sox, blanked the Marlins (but a slow-pitch softball pitcher could do that), then got rocked vs. the Angels and his arm was murdered. Murder, I Wrote! But through the modern world of medicine, he got a Will Smith I, Robot replacement, then struggled with his stuff with the zombie arm in his first game back, giving up a 5 spot and 12 baserunners at Oakland. So expectations were pretty low heading into his start yesterday against the Twins, but after seeing the stat line and his return to form, I decided to break down his start and see if that velocity is back where it was a few months ago: Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know, picking your fantasy baseball pitchers is surprisingly a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At the beginning, you want the old reliable guys – you know – the ones that can barely walk. Looking at you R.A. Dickey. You’ve got all this potential for an Oscar-winner/fantasy title. But as the movie and baseball season progresses, you want younger and younger guys with the upside of their ML debuts and big K potential against hitters who have never seen them before. Then after a longgggg middle half (and the dog days of summer in the baseball season), you’re in the final act and you’re ready to throw out there any 20-something-year-old just for the hell of it (just ask Kathy Griffin about that). Or you’ve walked out of the movie because you’re just not into it.
As you well know, Pitcher Profiles usually select a pitcher from Sunday, but with overwhelming questions and requests for a profiling of Danny Salazar, I felt overwhelmed to buck the trend. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the latest Cuban raftee, is set to sign with the Dodgers. Hey, I’m no Quicken magician, but with the money the Dodgers spent on Yasiel Puig and Gonzalez, couldn’t they just have bought the island nation of Cuba and had all of their baseball players? Shoot, for an extra million in designer green camo fatigues, they could have Castro too. “I like the green camo fatigues that Heidi Klum wears in Munich. But no fur hood! If it has fur hood, you Marxist down the price.” That’s Castro consulting with his fashion police. Gonzalez’s repertoire consists of a mid-90′s fastball, changeup, curveball and forkball. Anyone that’s seen him believes he’s major-league ready now, but M.A.G.’s will probably be sent to the minors for at least a few weeks, so it’s doubtful he makes any real impact this year for fantasy. Maybe we’ll see him start two, three or six times in September, depending on how bad the Dodgers need a starter. If nothing else, this signing will give Puig someone to commiserate with on why there’s so much Gulden’s on Cuban sandwiches made here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Yo Jaywrong, I’m really happy for you…Imma let you finish your list. But Grey had one of the best lists of all time! One of the best lists of all time!” -Kayne West (Yes, because Kayne calls me late at night. BELIEVE IT BRO.)
Spoiler Alert! We’re doing things deep league style, keeper league style, dynasty style, which ever nomenclature you prefer. Basically, if you hold onto players for more than a year, these are the rankings you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Whole life man. Seriously. Remember, the process for this list is quite different. Unlike Grey, I didn’t type half of it with my mustache. (Mainly because I don’t have one at the moment. Dating! I know, don’t get me started.) Think of it this way. If a draft for a new deep/keeper/dynasty league started today, this is my idea of how it would go, or rather, how I think it would go if the league had anywhere from 12 to 20 owners that were me. That’s a whole lot of Jaywrong ladies. Hey baby, how you doin’, what’s yo name, what’s yo number? (times 12-20.) The actual process involves things like current and remaining production for 2013, projections for 2014-2016, along with future potential, position scarcity, and injury-risk. One things for sure. I believe in the Oxford comma. Wait, what?
Note: I’ve only ranked players who have pitched at least one inning or had one at-bat in their MLB career. Our prospect maven, Scott Evans, has the low down on all those MiLB guys I left out and will have his mid-season list out on Saturday. Go bother him. With hugs and kisses. I’m sure he’s a very handsome man. But I’ve never seen him, so, well, just trust me. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe I’m paranoid, but we have to be masters of reality and understand that he won’t be able to continue this wizard-like production. I’m not exactly trying to declare war on Yasiel Puig, but, like any new found glory, it’s all downhill from here. Don’t make me choose my friends over you, Yasiel! He’s truly been a fantasy baseball catalyst, but he has a very low walk rate and his strikeout rate is rising to worrisome levels. He will continue to be hit or miss, although I unfortunately see him missing much more often. Let’s address the giant Sandoval in the room: his .472 BABIP is preparing him for a head on collision. Another factor is that his hip injury has shown that he’s no iron man. I’ll temper expectations a bit by saying that a certain player had a comparable 1.105 OPS last June, only to fall to mediocrity afterwards. Shout out to whoever names that player first. I think Puig will be closer to Mark Trumbo going forward, which isn’t bad, but isn’t anywhere near what he’s been this year. On a different note, Terse and I will be doing a Reddit AMA tonight at 7pm EST. Y’all should stop by. Anyway, here are some other guys who are putting up somewhat surprising seasons: Please, blog, may I have some more?