As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (10) | 2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6) | 2009 (22)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [66-96] AL Central
AAA: [77-67] International League – Rochester
AA: [66-76] Eastern League — New Britain
A+: [79-56] Florida State League – Fort Myers
A: [88-50] Midwest League – Cedar Rapids
Oswaldo Arcia (OF); Aaron Hicks (OF); Chris Colabello (1B/OF); Chris Herrmann (C/OF); Ryan Pressly (RHP); Andrew Albers (LHP); Pedro Hernandez (LHP); Kyle Gibson (RHP)
The Run Down
With regard to fantasy impact on the farm, the Twins are right there with the Cubs at the top of the league. And, narrowing our scope a bit, no team in baseball can boast a better one-two prospect punch than what Minnesota has with Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. But try not to distract yourself too much with the shiny, hyped-up names at the top of this list, because this org is loaded with talent from top to bottom. The top ten we have here don’t even tell the whole story — we’ll have to let the steady flow of homegrown talent speak for itself over these next few seasons.
I just went over the top 10 for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Last year, Napoli was the top ranked catcher at the end of year. He was the 11th best 1st baseman. The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position. Everyone was crazy about Buster Posey last year (everyone except me). Buster Posey did about as much as Kendrys Morales. Lowercase yay. In the top five catchers last year were Lucroy, V-Mart, Rosario and Molina. One guy was drafted in the top 100, and that was barely. No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers. They’re all hot garbage with a side order of stank. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness. Jarrod Saltymochachino, Jason Castro and Salvador Perez were the 8th, 9th and 10th best catchers last year. All of them were on waivers in shallower leagues as late as July. Only the depth of 2nd basemen is worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity. You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Devin Mesoraco. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2014 fantasy baseball under 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2014 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’d say Alex Cobb was fantastic again last night, but I have to pay David Stern a nickel to use the word fantastic and money is tight, yo. If it wasn’t for the ball off his melon, The Tampa Bay Peach would’ve been a top 15 starter this year. I’m currently debating if Cobb is going to be in my top 15 for 2014 fantasy baseball. (What I mean by debating is I have three monkeys stand against a wall with signs that read, “Yay,” “Nay” and “Let Rudy decide.” Ling Ling, put down the sign until I ask the question. Ling Ling! Hard to find a well-trained monkey nowadays. His K-rate wasn’t otherworldly like I prefer my beefcake starters. It ended the year at 8.41 K/9. That is ace-ish, but not straight aces rollin’ through Compton flashing signs. His walk rate was 2.83. Again, it’s solid, I’d like to see better on that. Now his ERA ended up being 2.76, but his xFIP was 3.02. That’s not shabby at all. That’s right around Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale and Anibal Sanchez. Guys with seasons you would hump if a ‘season’ wasn’t an amorphous thing. For 2014, I think Cobb’s gonna be right around 15-20 overall for starters, which does mean Cobb is ready to emerge from the husk. Zadow! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hunter Pence has the manic energy of a gangly man-bird. On average, Hunter Pence’s home run trots last about 20 seconds. So in the last week, he’s run for about minute and twenty seconds while the rest of the world has watched, thinking, “I wonder if he was raised by a pack of pink flamingos.” One time during a trip to the zoo, Hunter Pence got separated from his human family for two hours. He was eventually found in the aviary section of the zoo chewing popcorn and spitting it into a baby bird’s mouth. Those two hours were wiped from all zoo surveillance cameras so it was never accounted for, but anyone who has seen the gangly man-bird run probably can figure out that Hunter Pence was trying to reproduce with an ostrich or some other tall bird. This week he shedded more than feathers. He lost the OCD tissue boxes he’s worn on his feet most of the season and went power crazy: 6 homers in the last week with two coming on Sunday. Hunter Pence said thank you to his H2H owners for believing in this half-bird creature. For next year, I think he’s bound to disappoint as his speed evaporates and goes back to where it was prior to this season (the 10-12-steal range), but for now enjoy a bird/guy who was an afterthought in drafts and has turned into a top five outfielder, according to our Player Rater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*sings Kelis song in head for five minutes before starting post* Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can teach you, but I have to charge. Stupid brain! Denard Span has been hotter than something that’s hot in a situation that’s even hotter. I’m thinking he’s hotter than a stolen wallet that fell into the crack of the world’s fattest man. You can fill in a better allusion if you’d like. I’m empowering you, my prematurely balding men readers. Let’s go back to the beginning of the season, March Grey drafted Denard Span in his last draft of the year, an NL-Only league. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, was happy to get him, figured he could give me solid counting stats and 20-25 steals. Five months later, I was benching him for Eric Young, Garrett Jones, Reymond Fuentes, really anyone. Then Span decided to reach my projections in the final month. He’s hitting over .400 in September and has stolen more bases this month than all of August (yes, he only stole one base in August, so it’s not that spectacular of an achievement). If you’re struggling for runs, steals and average, I’d grab Span in every league. The only way he could get hotter is if the world’s fattest man farts. Allusion callback! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Felix Hernandez was scratched from his Wednesday start with an oblique strain. Guys and four girl readers, you can’t be too precious with your guys. That whole credo “dance with the one who brought you” is real cavalier. You’re a real gentleman as you lounge about in sweat pants while your woman cooks you dinner. It’s honorable. Remind me to submit you to the Reader’s Digest Five Humans That Make A Difference contest. It’s also silly for fantasy baseball. Save your loyalty for your kids when they ask you, “Daddy, do you like me more than your automobile?” Or, “Daddy, how come you were hugging the mail lady for ten minutes with your hands on her butt?” Forget your loyalty for your starting pitchers (or hitters). Felix could throw this weekend to see if he can start again this year. If you’re strapped for space, I’d absolutely look elsewhere. What’s the worst thing that happens? You miss two starts from him? His last starts weren’t even great. You could find better starts off of waivers. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah, yes, fall is in the air. *cues up Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”* As the calendar turns to September, the days get shorter, my seersucker suit returns to its rightful place in the closet, the kids are lovingly shipped off to military school, every tattooed hipster barista in town attempts to sell me something that tastes of pumpkin (I just want coffee flavored coffee dammit) and the fantasy baseball playoffs are set to begin. Our fake baseball season is nearing its completion, its finale, the culmination of 22 weeks of jams and crams that have hopefully led you to the edge of the fantasy glory hole. No more Ike Davis wisecracks, no more Ryan Braun shrunken gonad jokes and no more contact with Heidi Watney per court order. 500 feet, phfffft! So, my dear Razzballin’ gurus, if you’re reading, you’re leading and sprinting to the finish line of this marathon known as the fantasy baseball season. Quick question? Is there a fantasy marathon league? No? Damn, I was going to draft Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Oh well, it’s time to win this baseball thing. Somehow it all feels anticlimactic. Even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! Sorry, in an effort to be inspiring I went all Meatballs there for a moment. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve been mentioning him here and there in the blurb sections of the roundups, but I can’t wait until Friday’s Buy, or until the offseason when I’m gonna gush over him in a sleeper post. I love Cody Asche. I love him for everything he is, and for everything he’s not. One thing he’s not is on many, if anyone’s radar. He’s not even owned in 1% of ESPN leagues, though once Matthew Berry picks him up on 24,000 of his teams that number will shoot up to 99% owned. Yesterday, Asche went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer in 28 games. Prorate that over a full season and he’s hitting 40 homers– Wait, I had my calculator to Chris Davis math. Okay, so it’s only about 15-20 homers, but he can also steal 10 bases and should hit around .290. He’s like a modern day Eric Hosmer, if Eric Hosmer weren’t already modern day. I remixing The Game for this Outkast and Asche’s to Asche’s, ah ha, don’t make me hush this fuss! Why do I love him for this year, but much more for 2014 fantasy baseball? The Phillies need to move towards the future, and Asche will have a starting job, and get drafted in the late 200′s in most mixed leagues, but have the upside of a 70/17/82/.285/10 player. Yes, I just gave you my first 2014 projection. Cody Asche, you make me excited, let’s cuddle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?