Let me know if you can tell what song I’m listening to while I write this. Scott Schebler hit his 13th home run; it was the third straight game with a homer. Whoa, make me sweaty (Bam-ba-Lam)! I’ve mentioned before (numerous times) that Schebler was always loved by Razzball/Steamer projections, but why? He’s so rock steady (Bam-ba-Lam)! Whoa, Dave Righetti (Bam-ba-Lam)! Schebler took a while to catch on, but he’s still only 26, and, as a 23-year-old in the minors, he hit 28 HRs and stole 10 bases while hitting .280 in Double-A, and continued that in Triple-A, always hitting for power and getting some steals. He’s not from Birmingham (Bam-ba-Lam)! Way down in Alabam’ (Bam-ba-Lam)! Well, he’s shakin’ that thing (Bam-ba-Lam)! Boy, he makes me sing (Bam-ba-Lam)! Whoa, drop confetti (Bam-ba-Lam)! Across the board now, ROS projections are singing Schebler’s praises and I’m done fighting him. If you combine his ROS projections and what he’s done so far, they have him down for a 30 HR, 10 SBs, .255 guy. Whoa, pot of neti, (Bam-ba-Lam)! At this point, there’s no reason to not own Schebler until further notice. Whoa, sometimes I dress my dog up like a yeti, (Bam-ba-Lam)! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Braves rookie phenom/shortstop/TV dinner mogul Dansby Swanson was 2-for-2 last night with his fourth home run and two RBI. Daaaaaaamn, B! YES! Keep doing this. If you held onto Swanson this long (especially in a redraft leagues) you deserve what is happening to you right now. What is happening is Dansby is hitting .360 with 4 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI in the past week! When your draft day sleeper is finally making you look smart, but most people have already forgot. Sure, he’s still hitting just .201, but these are the kind of things you ignore when you have blind faith and are looking to ride the rookie train to some fantasy fame. I attribute some of this to the cleansing therapy we’ve been taking together. It’s pretty simple, bad vibes–bad, good vibes–good. Harness the good energy, block out the bad. Pretty easy, right? Also, let’s just meditate in this sweat lodge for 12 hours and have a “vision” about how not to strike out as much. After hitting just .156 in April, Dansby is hitting .286 in May. He’s also doubled his OBP, SLG% and has drawn twice as many walks as he did last month. Dan’s be good like that! He’s available in little over half of fantasy leagues right now and if Swanson happens to be out there on waivers in your league, this might be your last chance to grab him before the hype returns. Trust me, this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Josh Harrison hit two homers (3, 4), raising his average to .313 and hitting near-.350 in the last week. He’s hitting like two-thousand against lefties, so the Hitter-Tron was all over him yesterday, like it’s all over grease spots with its dipstick. Hitter-Tron is a horny robot! You think the Hitter-Tron will ever meet up with the lonely AF Stream-o-Nator? They seem like a match made in heaven like popcorn and chicken, Kim and Kanye or Oprah and Gayle. On a larger, more general note, on our Hitter-Tron (and Stream-o-Nator) we have the ownership numbers for our RCL leagues (12-team mixed), and Harrison is owned in 89% of leagues, so, this brings me to my long-drawn-out question, how in Jane Goodall’s understated-sexiness is Harrison only owned in 25% of ESPN leagues? Honestly, seriously, awkward sentence introly, I don’t think ESPN updates their ownership numbers on the reg (not short for Reginald). Guys and five gals, this is exposing some large widespread conspiracy. Maybe we should check in with Gregory in ESPN’s “Fantasy Ownership” Department. Gregory, what do you think? “Mike Trout just fell to 99.3% owned.” All righty then. If Harrison is unowned in your league, you should fix that, if for no other reason, so we can see if Gregory updates the numbers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
What if we’re all living inside a Boston masshole’s dream? This is Inception, and we all fell asleep sometime after Tom Brady was drafted, but before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl. Then, due to some plantains you ate before you went to sleep, the Red Sox grabbed David Ortiz from Minnesota for nothing, and you got a kidney stone and were peeing blood but it all came out on Curt Schilling’s sock, and the Red Sox won the World Series, and then, because you fell asleep to The Apprentice, Trump became president, and now Andrew Benintendi goes 5-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .347. This has to be possible, doesn’t it? What if our world is like Herman’s Head, but we’re inside Prospector Ralph’s head? Is Somalia in a famine because Prospector Ralph is too worried about Rick Porcello and forgot to eat? Eat, Ralph! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to get into the mood to write this post. As fun as a system like the Astros or the Braves is to write up, is as painful as a system like the Royals is to do the same. Then it hit me, the Royals system is your hometown bar. You know the dingy one with a name like Home Plate, Donovan’s, or The Old Mill. Not because you need to be drunk in order to even go in there, though alcohol certainly helped write this. It’s because you’ve been avoiding it like the plague every time you venture home. But one night in a moment of weakness one of your old high school buddies talks you into going. So you get over your irrational fear of seeing the girl that dumped you for the guy that only got his name right on his SAT’s, and that once popular jock that’s gained 60 pounds of Burger King breakfast, and has gone from filling up stat sheets in his glory days, to filling up sweatpants and rap sheets with petty misdemeanors. In other words, everyone in the Royals system is 25 and watching their once promising futures vanish with each passing Jager-bomb. That’s not a joke, this has to be the oldest group of hobos I’ve ever covered. I hesitate to say I’m talking about Kansas City Royals Prospects as much as I’m talking about washed up Kansas City Royals Prospects. Amirite?Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been a long time coming for the Kansas City Royals, but they finally tasted the sweet fizz of championship champagne last fall, and it was all due to Jonny Gomes. I’m not sure if you know this, but he’s the kind of guy you want to go to war with. Hacksaw Jonny musings aside, the Royals built a winner the old fashioned way. And by old fashioned I mean good drafting, solid player development, and excellent trading. In the process, they’ve graduated quite a few players onto their major league squad, traded some for established vets, and let others take the time needed to fully develop. The aftermath is there isn’t a ton of sexy fantasy prospects anymore, but the farm’s not barren, and there are some really intriguing players in the low minors. Dayton Moore and his constituents stuck to their philosophy, and in the end they’re the poster children for why prospects matter. Just ask Baseball America!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (8) | 2013 (18) | 2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [89-73] AL Central
AAA: [76-67] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [53-87] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [65-72] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [57-83] South Atlantic League – Lexington
Yordano Ventura, RHP
The Royals went all the way to the World Series in 2014, helped in part by the pitching of rookie Yordano Ventura. He averaged 96 on his fastball, second only to Garrett Richards. The 23-year-old will enter 2015 as the ace of the Royals’ staff. No pressure or anything. Brandon Finnegan, the Royals’ first round pick in 2014, contributed to the major league club as well. While he was impressive in the bullpen, it looks like the Royals will lean towards stretching him out in the minors. Other top prospects in this system will look to “bounce back” either from injury or disappointing performances. If you’re in need of a short-term prospect for this year Terrance Gore is likely to provide some stolen bases, but he’s behind Jarrod Dyson on a crowded outfield depth chart.
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (18) | 2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16) | 2009 (11)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [86-76] AL Central
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [59-81] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [63-77] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [68-70] South Atlantic League – Lexington
David Lough (OF)
The Run Down
For fantasy purposes, this Royals farm needs to be considered among the more exciting groups in the game. There’s big time appeal for the fantasy game from numbers one through eight on this list, and that talent is spread out across the developmental stages, with high-impact prospects at almost every level of the org. That distribution will make for a steady flow of mixed league-relevant arrivals over the next handful of years, and that includes this year, as front-end arms, Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, prepare to surface in the bigs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in baseball. At least right now, as I’m typing this, they do. The Bucs are an exciting big league club composed with a seemingly perfect balance of youthful talent and veteran savvy, and they have a legitimate chance at a pennant this year. But if we’re looking ahead to 2014, 2015, and beyond, Pittsburgh has a chance to be frighteningly good. Their system has already graduated top-shelf prospects like Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole, and there’s plenty more on the way. Gregory Polanco — currently at Double-A — is one of the brightest outfield prospects in the game, ranked #10 on my Mid-Season Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list. One spot ahead of Polanco on that list is the 6-foot-6 RHP, Jameson Taillon. Taillon’s projectable frame and elite stuff have him profiling as a top-of-the-rotation arm, and there are plenty folks around baseball who like his upside just as much as Gerrit Cole’s. The 21-year-old has showed some inconsistency this season at Double-A Altoona (3.67 ERA, 1.34 WHIP), but the Pirates, holding to their development plan, have promoted him to Triple-A. He looks to be exactly one year behind Cole, so it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing Taillon with the big club next summer.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?