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?

This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings.  Holy crap!  We’re already at the new rankings?!  Oh, no, we’re not.  Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality.  Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused?  Any hoo!  I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories.  Best rookies?  Reyes still has eligibility, so check.  Sleepers?  He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check.  Rankings?  I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him?  Check, check, check!  Check pah-vodka-sha!  He trap me with that alligator blood!  Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up.  *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf*  Oh, yeah, baby!  Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up.  I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday 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?

Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball.  It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance.  Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers.  By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives.  It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’  Um, okay, but there’s an I in there.  Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.”  One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird?  Any hoo!  So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing.   In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks.  Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.”  Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year.  For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why.  He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet).  He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change.  A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year.  In keepers, I’d be very interested.  For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups.  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?

As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!

It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy Razzballero! I hope you all had a great Independence Day, and I’m not referring to the movie sequel that was released about a decade and a half too late. Doesn’t Hollywood have any original ideas anymore? Why are there so many mediocre sequels and remakes/reboots in the theaters at any given time? I briefly considered making a rare trip to the movies during the holiday weekend, but since the thought of dropping $20 a person on tickets, popcorn, and drinks while settling for the new Tarzan flick or another crappy sequel (Independence Day, The Purge) didn’t seem all that appealing to me, the decision was made to stay home and watch the old Dolph Lundgren flick I Come in Peace (also listed as Dark Angel in some places) instead. It’s a cheesy late 80s/early 90s sci-fi/action movie about an alien drug dealer who induces heroin overdoses in humans and then harvests their endorphins. And it features Ivan Drago kicking ass. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. Kind of like a cooler version of Independence Day. So I guess the moral of the story is to save your money and watch old Lundgren movies. But I digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, fantasy baseball! That brings us to this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Washington Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito (54.5% owned; +46% over the past week). Giolito has long been a coveted commodity in fantasy circles due to his mid-high 90s fastball and 80 grade hammer curveball. His buzz died down a bit following mediocre results in his first eight Double-A starts this season (18% K%, 13% BB%, 4.08 FIP, 3.82 ERA), but that was mostly due to early season mechanical adjustments that were made to his delivery. Over his last six Double-A starts, Giolito was much more effective (28% K%, 8% BB%, 2.39 FIP, 2.52 ERA). His control has been iffy at times, but he clearly has swing and miss stuff and the natural sinking action on his fastball tends to keep the ball in the park (13 HR allowed since his professional debut in 2012). A couple of popular current comps for Giolito are Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg, but he also reminds me of a couple of big righties with the hard fastball/hammer curve combo from their early Marlins days (Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett). Strasburg’s DL stint prompted his call up, and Joe Ross’ current one has allowed him to extend his stay in the majors. The upside here is obvious. If he’s still somehow available in your league, Giolito is a must add.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous.   The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history.  Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.”  Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna.  Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games.  For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June.  He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals.  So, yes, you should own him.  Fun fact!  Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd?  A premature ejacu-elation.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?