I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Call the Sons of Sam Horn! Get Matt Damon on the line! Someone tweet @RemDawg! Unfreeze Ted the Head! Avengers Assemble! The Red Sox are set to promote their next top super-prospect, Blake Swihart, today to serve as the primary catcher while Ryan Hanigan is on the shelf. If the legends spoke of in ancient Fenway lore are true, he could be the one who will bring balance back to a Red Sox pitching staff that has looked somewhat questionable in the early going. A late first round pick in 2011, Swihart gathered a lot of buzz in spring training this year after slashing .333/.375/.533 with a HR and 8 RBI. In 18 games with AAA Pawtucket this year he’s hit .338/.392/.382 with 3 doubles and 11 RBI. With just 22 home runs in five minor league seasons I wouldn’t expect much power from Swihart, but as a spray hitter the bat certainly seems to be major league ready. Initially, Boston felt Swihart’s defense needed a bit more seasoning in the minors, but there is unquestionably some offensive upside, especially in Boston’s heavy hitting, run scoring line up. Here’s what Razzball’s prospector Mike said last week about Swihart, who was ranked #11 in his Prospect Power Rankings, “With the injuries and such at the catching position right now, folks will be chomping at the bit to add Swihart to their teams when he arrives.” He’s so right, you guyz, if your fantasy catcher situation is anything like mine, you’re cycling out a cast of characters the likes of Nick Hundley, Tucker Barnhart, Crash Davis and Caleb Joseph, some of whom do more harm than good. I’d take a chance on Blake Swihart if you need a catcher, he’s owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues but as soon as Brandi-Lynn from Southie finds out everyone will know so act quickly. There is potential runs and average here, and like every Sawx prospect, there is all that sweet, sweet upside, so here’s hoping Blake can rake.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Hamilton was acquired by the Rangers as originally reported by Dan Pants on Saturday. Gammons, Dan Pants, Heyman, that’s the top three most quoted baseball reporters. Dan Pants is a bit more optimistic than me for Hamilton’s return to the Land of Spurs, Twinkie-frying and hats with gigantism. I wouldn’t own Hamilton unless I had a free DL spot and don’t expect much from him. I’ve chimed this triangle before, but have you recently seen Brett Butler? She looks like she’s 89 years old. She’s 57. Have you seen Lohan recently? She looks like she’s 50; she’s 28. Haley Joel Osment just looks awful, I don’t know if he was an addict. Addicts age poorly. Hamilton, 33, has the body of a 60-year-old. Breaking down left and right just getting out of bed. He says he’ll be back in a few weeks, but he’ll go down to another injury, and then when the doctor goes to prescribe something, Hamilton won’t be able to take it due to his addictions and he’ll be back on the DL. It’s a feel-good story (if the only other stories you’ve ever heard involve Amanda Bynes), but I wouldn’t bother. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Never once did I think I would be writing about a creeper older than I am, and yet here I am, talking about Torii Hunter. Being the ageless wonder (or is it the wonder of agelessness, I’m not really sure), he still suits up every day and goes out and plays. I was racking my brain for some kind of analogy for the creeper and I found my inspiration from the Paleolithic 80’s flick Quest for Fire, for like this movie, we are just a bunch of uncivilized men searching for a player to catch fire. So why not a Hunter? Haha…get it? Okay, I’ll stop with the bad jokes. Hey, at least I didn’t do Caveman with Ringo Starr. Come to think of it, Hunter could be considered the Twins Ringo. Doesn’t really matter if he’s there or not. Oh well, the moment has passed and now we move on to why we are here…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you remember (no problems if you don’t, since I don’t remember at all… alcohol folks), last week, I went over the generic “this is April” schtick that many fantasy players love to hate. But it’s true! It is, in fact, April. But to other meaning, it’s still way too early to come away with any profound conclusions. True, a whole week has passed by, a whole week I tell ya! But I’m going to tell you the same thing… and that is the Phillies and Twins are still terrible. Honestly though, don’t throw away Gregory Polanco. Give Shin-soo Choo a chance! (Eh, maybe.) Try not to sell high on Joey Votto… (health is a big deal, whowuddathunk?) Again, I’m probably repeating myself, but just try and stay calm. It’s going to be okay. Unless you’re Mark Melancon. Then yeah… you’re toast. (Hopefully French toast. Because French Toast is Best Toast. Coincidentally, that’s my team’s name in the popular e-Sport of DotA 2. Because I only deal in facts. Also, my pocket protector says hello. We will also be playing in our first tournament starting on this Sunday, so wish us luck!) Anyhow, follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week three AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Only 15 games into the 2015 season, I asked myself: “Is it too early to compile positional rankings?” Considering most readers love rankings, the answer was a resounding “NO”. However, what was more troubling was the fact that I consistently find myself talking to myself. Allow myself to introduce myself. That was awkward. You should only hear half the sh*t that goes on inside my head, but we’ll leave that exploration into my thoughts for another time…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jake Lamb hit the DL with a stress reaction in his foot. Now the Diamondbacks’ defense will go from Lamb to the slaughter with Yasmany Tomas taking over. Yasmany makes Sandoval look like a gazelle. Yasmany has the agility of an extra-wide trailer. Yasmany looks like the genie in Aladdin, which means the D-Backs’s 3rd base shituation was Lamb-or-Genie, which is also a northern Italian farmer’s lamb that he hung a car medallion around its neck and rides around to swap meets. I’d look at Yasmany in all leagues (yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 1 run with only one error!), because he does have power to spare — think 27-homer power — and he could surprise people with some regular playing time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Addison Russell was playing some some 2nd base in Triple-A yesterday, minding his own business, when the Cubs management heard something they didn’t like, five full minutes of non-Cubs prospect talk on sports radio. Four minutes is not cool, but five? Nuh-uh, they said, as they wagged their finger. So, the Cubs called him up, and plan to send down Arismendy Alcantara. This offseason I said, “So, the first thing we know about Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Starlin Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Russell’s shown solid power in the minors (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs). His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating. He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A. They call it that because everyone’s stoned. Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade. It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A. Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy. He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.” And that’s me quoting me! While drinking Sanka with Lou Avery, I’ve decided Russell should be owned everywhere. Yes, even that league. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/12/44/.287/6 with upside from there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?