To make sure I don’t miss any player in my rankings, I go through every team’s depth charts and I go through every eligible player who is projected for at least one at-bat by Steamer.  After I looked through the players with at least one at-bat at 2nd base, I vomited in my mouth, then spit said vomit onto the ground and it spelled out, “Gnarly.”  My vomit is right.  2nd base is not a pretty position.  Shortstops got younger in the last year and some guys are coming to make it even better.  The top 20 1st basemen wasn’t straight gorge, but there was plenty of talent there from veterans.  The top 20 catchers are always ugly, but these top 20 2nd basemen are giving the catchers a run for their money.  There’s only three guys with legit 20-homer power and three guys with easy 20-steal speed.  One that will hit .300 and zero that will get 100 RBIs.  I don’t know what happened to the latest crop of 2nd basemen, but I have a theory.  Twelve years ago, when these 2nd basemen were learning the position, their role model was Bret Boone.  Boone used to frost his hair blonde, so all the kids learning 2nd base at that time, frosted their hair too.  Then their friends beat the crap out of them, and that was the end of all future 2nd basemen.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Okay, it was actually a lukewarm puddle where lots of amoebas grew, and I don’t mean a giant San Francisco-based record store where the cashiers know more about an REM B-side from their unreleased first album than hygiene.  It’s a little scary, for unstints (how I say it), that there were only six 2nd basemen that you wanted to own all year, and even the sixth man (not Marlon Wayans) had his share of “Meh, I guess he’s okay.”  Pretty appropriate that the first 2nd baseman off the board in a lot of leagues didn’t even make the year-end top 20.  Thank you very much, Anthony Rendon!  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday, Matt Kemp went 2-for-3 with his 21st homer, and his 5th homer in the past ten games.  With the help of his last ten games, he’s quietly put together a decent season.  You’re likely thinking, “Quiet, yes.  Decent?  Well, he’s worn pants, if that’s what you mean by him getting himself decent.”  On our Player Rater, where do you think Kemp ranks overall?  For all players, not just outfielders or hitters.  If you said top 40, you’d be right and you likely cheated, because he did not feel like a top 40 fantasy player.   Outfield is absolutely stacked this year, and Kemp is only around the 15th best outfielder.  He’s been better than quite a few guys that you might think have been better Michael Brantley, Mookie Betts, Adam Jones…Okay, maybe you don’t think Adam Jones has been better.  Kemp is still nowhere near what he once was, nor will he be in 2016, and moving to San Diego from LA has had its challenges.  For instance, there’s real military at games and not just Mark Harmon fresh from the set of NCIS.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks.  I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way.  I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150.  His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125.  Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off.  Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll.  Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?”  My answer is always the same, I’m a witch.  Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom.  Male witches ride around on Vespas.”  Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon.  For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing.  Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns.  I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush.  Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Since the All-Star break, Joey Votto is hitting .399 with a .576 OBP.  His season line is 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 81 runs, slashing .316/.457/.567.  Or as Reds manager, Bryan Price, would say, “I want to sew a sock puppet in Votto’s likeness, then put it on my c*** and–”  Okay, maybe we shouldn’t ask Bryan Price, he can’t keep things PG-13.  “PG-13 is for a man with a Cavapoo puppy.  Real men take their Votto-faced, sock puppet and pay an old stripper to suck its f****** yarn until those little f******** eye rolly glue-on things that you bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts store roll up into its f******* sock eye sockets.”  Yesterday, Votto had another big day in a 2nd half of lovely — 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer.  To recap, or just tell you for the first time, Rudy almost drafted Votto in the 2nd round of Tout Wars (it’s an OBP league).  Rudy ended up getting Donaldson and is in first place, so I’ll be sure to bid a penny on eBay for the world’s smallest violin for him.  But for 2016 fantasy, I have to think Votto is right there in the 2nd round again for all leagues, OBP or not.  Good for Joey, making pitchers ‘roo the day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Stephen Piscotty (+31.8%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. Another homegrown talent looks to be panning out for the NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals, joining other key MLB players such as Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Kolten Wong, Trevor Rosenthal, and Jaime Garcia who were drafted and developed by that organization. As far as Piscotty goes, his name is like a glorious reminder of the incredible homemade biscotti and pizzelles that my Italian aunts used to make for me as a kid. Piscotty’s production this season since being called up roughly six weeks ago has been just as delicious for fantasy owners (well, almost). Entering yesterday’s play, his August numbers – 15 R, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, .340/.374/.600 in 107 PA – have been stunning, with top-20 results in several key categories (BA, SLG, OPS) among qualified players over that span. However, his mediocre 0.22 BB/K ratio (MLB average: 0.37) over the past month as well as an unsustainably high .405 BABIP (MLB average: .299) indicate that he’ll probably be more like a Stella D’oro Breakfast Treat moving forward. Pretty good in it’s own right, but can’t hold a candle to Aunt Theresa’s homemade goodies.

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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