Could this finally be Brett Lawrie‘s post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post hype breakout?  I don’t want to overrate or prorate or ameliorate a past inveterate obturate to eviscerate execrate, try not to hate, love your mate, mediate or flip through cards like Michael Hutchence forth, Sandoval’s girth, Andrelton’s not from this earth, movie remake that never went anywhere was North by North.  Yesterday, Lawrie went 3-for-3 with his third straight game with a homer, and he threw in a steal on Saturday, not a liar like James Frey, in Florida I need my mosquito spray, I have three albums by The Fray, said no one that wasn’t gay, which is totally okay.  I was very high on Lawrie in the preseason, and right now he’s on pace for 20+ HRs, 12-15 SBs and hitting .290.  On its own this would be implausible, laughable, impossible, insoluble in water, but he hit 16 homers last year, is only 26 years old and has easy 15-steal speed, so it’s not INXS of the possible.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re now about three weeks into the season, obviously still a very small sample to work with but it’s worth taking a look at current trends around the league.  Some young guys around the league are having a great start helping their long term value while others are on the opposite side of the spectrum.  On the other side of things, there are some older players who are showing signs of decline that you’ll need to make a decision on.  In this article, I’m going to look at these players and talk about their current stock and what I’d do from here.  Let’s get right to it:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the offseason, I experimented with a new rankings system. After a several iterations of trial and error, I finally arrived at a solution that yielded favorable results. Even though we are only about eight games into the 2016 season, I decided to give the system a test run. The saying “size matters” definitely comes into play in this case. Approximately 28 plate appearances for a hitter is barely enough to scratch the surface. Projecting based on these numbers is more of a fool’s errand than a productive endeavor, but far be it from me to avoid the opportunity to be a fool.

For those wondering how the system ranks players, I’ll give you the 30,000 foot view. Employing multiple points scoring systems I use both year-to-date and projected stats to calculate points. For each scoring system I then rank the players by position. I then take all the rankings for each player and average them to give each player a ranking. Finally I sort the players based on their average rankings.

As we move deeper into the season I will provide a much fuller and detailed list of rankings, but for today I am just going to give you the top five hitters at each position.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“With my last trick, I will make Paul Simon six feet tall, while throwing a 94 MPH fastball with pinpoint control.”  Then Ray Searage waved a fancy-style cape in front of the audience.  It didn’t block their gaze, but it was such an exotic-looking garment, they were distracted enough to not notice a six-foot-tall Paul Simon walk onto stage, towering over Art Garfunkel.  Simon then threw a brushback pitch while singing Home Plate Bound.  Prior, of course, Searage made the seemingly all-over-the-map Juan Nicasio into an ace.  Or at least an ace in spring training.  Do I believe Nicasio is fixed because of some spring training stats?  Actually, yeah, he could be, and is worth a flyer.  Last year, he averaged 95 MPH on his fastball, and his undoing was always his control, which Searage has helped other pitchers conquer.  Bring Searage your stuff, and he’ll make it work.  I added Nicasio into the top 80 starters and gave him the projections of 8-10/3.81/1.33/148 in 165 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

8198_colorado_rockies-cap-2013

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Bryan Kilpatrick, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Colorado Rockies!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, took the podium yesterday and said, “Whether it’s the speed of the game, popularity of the game — as indicated by TV ratings — the amount of open-handed palm grabs of a crotch or spousal abuse, we will not become the NFL.  For better or worse, the number seven is indivisible under God and so are we!”  And with that, Our Man Fred suspended Aroldis Chapman for 30 games.   Trying to stay positive, Aroldis commented that he would not appeal the suspension but that “I am very glad I can still own a gun; I am getting married, after all.”  One of the top closers takes a huge hit in value, I knocked him out of my top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball, and took him down in my top 500.  His auction value dropped from $20 to $9.  Hopefully, he can make up lost salary with endorsements for Smith & Wesson and as the opening act for Smif-N-Wessun.  A double threat of new income!  Andrew Miller received a slight boost, as well.  There’s also a long shot scenario that the Yankees are comfortable with Miller in the ninth, when Aroldis returns, and Chapman becomes the world’s best setup man.  Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s not like Miller isn’t good.  Gun to my head, I’d draft Miller in any league.  Unless it was Aroldis’s gun, then I’d politely ask him who he wants me to draft and tell him I’ll happily marry him.  By the by, in just a few short years, Aroldis has been caught leaving a woman tied to his hotel room bed, choking a woman and firing gunshots.  It’s no wonder this is his new Topps baseball card.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball were once as bad as the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball that I went over the other day.  Now the shortstops have had an influx of youth — or utes, if Joe Pesci is reading — and the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, Arvid.  I’m happy for the shortstops, and happier for myself.  For a while, the top 20 shortstops were Tulo and those other guys.  Kinda like the top 20 catchers is Posey and those other guys.  Oh, and there was a top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball post already too (organic linking!).  Hopefully, the shortstops aren’t just showing up in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and appearing sexy, then turning out to be Sally Jessy Raphael.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Unsuccinct!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

ss
Fact. Everybody loves January Grey. In December you get Santa Claus and in January you get Grey. Instead of the jolly fat man, you have the jolly mustache man. Well… guess who’s making his January debut, has two thumbs and loves Blow Pops? That’s right, “this guy”! I actually don’t like Blow Pops, but I wasn’t sure it would get past our editors had I said “blowjobs”. I’m sure at least two of my ten readers from last year were wondering if I’d be back in 2016. Well, the suspense is now over. December Grey offered me the opportunity to continue sharing my immature and opinionated “points” of view and I accepted. I considered taking my talents to South Beach (espn.com), but then I remembered that they suck. So do many of the other sites and blogs out there “on the line“. Razzball is where the cool kids hang out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?