All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Latos was traded to the Dodgers, then not traded. Then CarGo was traded to the Mets, then not traded. Then Cole Hamels was traded to the Rangers, and really traded, I think. I don’t know, I’m dizzy. Ruin Tomorrow Jr. was sad to see Hamels go, but this is the business he chose, after getting fired from Duane Reade for mixing up the garbage with “the important stuff.” And after getting fired for explaining to kids there is no Santa, after being dressed as the mall Santa. After being fired as Ruin Tomorrow Sr.’s personal assistant, but he maintains that was a misunderstanding. He thought, “Don’t tell your mother,” meant, “Don’t tell your mother until you see her.” After his no-hitter the other day, I said, “(Hamels’s) peripherals look fine and he’s just getting a tad unlucky. I could see someone thinking they’re selling high after this no-hitter, but Hamels is a low-3 ERA pitcher with a 9.6 K/9, i.e., a low-end fantasy ace.” And that’s me quoting me! I would’ve preferred to see him go to the NL, but Arlington is about a push with Citizens Bank and could see him stringing together a sub-3 ERA for two months. Jorge Alfaro, Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Williams were acquired by the Phils, and I’m sure Prospect Mike will go over them, after he gets their posters up in his living room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Don’t yell at me! I own Carlos Santana and I know how awful he’s been! It makes sense that his name is Carlos Santana, because Carlos Santana looks like Edward James Olmos and the acne scars Olmos has are how deep Carlos Santana’s scarred my fantasy soul. Sometimes I wake at night in a cold sweat, frightened that Carlos Santana has found his way on all of my fantasy teams, only to realize it’s just a dream and I haven’t been sweating. Instead, I peed myself, so I fall back to sleep soundly. So, with that uplifting lead-in to this Buy, what do you sell to get Santana? A herpes blister and hope for a dead cat bounce? Yes, that would seem to be the case. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery, do I really want you to buy Santana? Yeah, I do. Let’s look at his 1st half vs. 2nd half last year. 1st half: 14 HRs, 37 RBIs, .207 average, 45.8% ground ball rate, and death threats for what he did to fantasy teams. The 2nd half last year: 13 HRs, 48 RBIs, .260 average in 16 less games than the 1st half. His ground balls went way down (not literally!) to 34.2% and his fly balls shot up (literally!). His hard contact went up, his Ks went down, his everything went up. Some thought that his 2nd half last year was a sign he was going to break out in April this year. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but he’s not old and I can’t imagine he’s going to stay this bad all year. This year’s 1st half of 9 HRs, .211, 44.8% GB rate isn’t the end of an era, but maybe about to be the end of his error. Pithy points! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m here with Giancarlo Stanton in the hospital. No, I’m not here to direct Giancarlo to put the hospital gown on backwards. That was a happy accident. I’m also not here to try to convince new parents in the maternity ward to name their daughters, Giancarla or Ginacarlo or Ginacarla. The flowers everyone sent were beautiful, by the way. Every time he falls asleep I sprinkle flower petals on him like he’s Mena Suvari in American Beauty. Whoever sent the balloon, “Get Well Soon, My Fantasy Team Needs You,” you should be ashamed. Can you not think of anyone else? At least think of me! On the fo’serious for a full second, in 2013, when Showtime aired the inspiration for True Detective that was trying to solve the mystery on whether or not anyone in the Marlins front office knew anything about baseball, Giancarlo was out for a knee operation. Then last year, Mike Fiers did what many of us dream of, but only a few of us can visualize in its fullest, put a ball on Giancarlo’s face. Now, he’s out for four to six weeks with a broken hamate bone. I don’t doubt mi novio can hit 50 homers one year, but he kinda needs to stay on the field to do it. Hopefully, one of these years we see it. I have to go now, he’s waking and likes his Jell-O at room temperature, so I have to remove the cold Jell-o from my rectum and hope it’s warmed. Coming, Giancarlo! Literally! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So he’s not technically a prospect, but Jon Singleton returned to the majors on Friday after spending the first three months in Triple-A. Still just 23 years old, the slugging first baseman/designated hitter was on point in the minors to start the year – leading the Pacific Coast League in homers (17) and RBI (66!) while slashing .280/.387/.553 in 70 games with Fresno. Singleton got a taste of the bigs last year and hit 13 homers in 362 plate appearances. He also hit .168 and struck out at a 37% clip though, so the Astros put him back in the easy bake oven to start 2015. Hopefully the extra time in the minors has him better prepared for major league pitching this time around. The Astros seem to think so, as GM Jeff Luhnow mentioned that Singleton would likely eat into both Chris Carter and Evan Gattis’ playing time. He’s worth a look in pretty much any format thanks to his power, but don’t expect much more than .240 from him in the batting average department. It’s also worth mentioning that after hitting ten homers in May, Singleton only hit three in June and saw his slugging percentage dip to .457. Wet blanket…engaged! Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Son of a female dog,” exclaimed Tim Lincecum as he reached into his pocket. “What? We’re out of weed,” asked Ron Washington in a rather concerned voice. “No man. We’re never out of weed,” replied Tim as he pulled out another joint. “I forgot to set my damn lineup again,” he continued as he lit the joint, took two hits and passed it to Wash. “Dude, with those two hits, I think you are approaching 3,000 hits,” declared Ron to Tim as he took a Chong-like inhale of the devil’s lettuce. “Me too,” remarked Alex Rodriguez, who had just stopped by Tim’s to pick up some baked goods. “Look what the cat dragged in,” said Lincecum when he saw ARod. “You want a hit,” he asked as he offered him the joint. “Nah man. I’d love to, but these idiot fans in New York are just starting to come back around. It’s amazing what a few home runs and RBIs will do for your fan base. The last thing I need to do is derail that progress,” replied Alex. “I see you forgot to set your lineup again today buddy. What’s with that? It’s like the third time this season. You’re lucky we’re not in a daily league,” he continued. “You guys are in the same league?” questioned Ron. “Yeah man,” said Tim. “That’s some bs. I asked to get in that league and you said you were full,” retorted Wash. “We were, but then Lenny Dykstra dropped out at the last minute. He said he was broke and couldn’t afford it. Magic Johnson offered to back him, but our league rules prohibit a person from paying for two teams. Alex happened to be there at the time, so he jumped in. Sorry,” explained Tim.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m taking questions after my Ted Talks on fantasy baseball. I adjust my headset mic, pull on my turtleneck. Going Steve Jobs today wasn’t the best of ideas. This turtleneck is itchy. “You, in the front row.” “First off, the stuff you said blew my mind. I never knew electromagnetism had anything to do with fantasy baseball. Your square root stuff seemed like it came from a supercomputer. But a supercomputer with a mustache. And older supercomputers fawning over it. Supercomputer Cougars, if you will. So, my question for you is who does Kyle Hendricks remind you of?” “Alex Wood. Next question, you.” The Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl stands up, “Do you know I’m a Cougar?” *shoots up in bed, dripping in sweat* Whoa, I just had the weirdest dream. Left Side of My Brain, “Or was that reality?!” AH!!! So, Hendricks pitched a gem the other day. His 2nd gem in a row, and I took a long hard look at him, then didn’t mention him the other day because I wanted to highlight him here. I agree with Dream Grey, he does look like Alex Wood. Only Alex Wood when he’s on point. Right now, Hendricks has a 7 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and a 3.77 xFIP. Wood throws a curve more, but their velocities are very close on the fastball, too. Both have 50%+ ground ball rates, which makes them prone to BABIP. Hendricks is not a potential ace, but he should be owned in far more leagues and looks like a solid fantasy #3 with #2 upside based on luck. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back to sleep and see the Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely firstname.lastname@example.org. So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The first-place Astros will promote right-hander Lance McCullers to pitch against the Athletics tomorrow. The 21-year-old will make the jump straight from Double-A to the majors. McCullers was drafted 41st overall out of high school back in 2012 and features two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball. That combination should lead to a decent amount of strikeouts if he can command both pitches. McCullers probably tops out as a #3 starter in the majors, but he’s shown improved control this year with a 3.5 BB/9 (down from 5.2 and 4.5 in the two previous seasons). His strikeout rate has also ticked up – posting a 13.3 K/9 in 29 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi. McCullers is a viable fantasy play in most formats right out of the gate. Even in shallower leagues he’s worth a spin as a streamer. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues right now…Please, blog, may I have some more?
This top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball goes to about fiddy. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2015 fantasy baseball, and all the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?