As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues.  I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day.  Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day.  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here.  To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Of course, the title is referring to Nelson Muntz, but Jimmy Nelson sounds like a sitcom character too. Like the kid who is sweet to the parents, but is really the devil incarnate when no one is looking. Eddie Haskell, if your references go back that far. Fun fact! Chad Billingsley’s grandma starred in that show. So, Jimmy Nelson had a solid game last night (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, and his ERA is down to 3.57), but that’s not THAT good (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics). No, but his month of July ERA was 1.64. THAT is THAT good (not for emphasis, but now my autocorrect ‘learned’ THAT and wants THAT capped and I can’t shut THAT off). Where is all of this coming from? Great question, clunky expositional transition! I’d say it’s not where it’s coming from, but where has it been? Ooh, you like that switcheroo. Nelson had a 1.46 ERA in the PCL with a 9.2 K/9 last year, throws 93 MPH and has worked hard to add a curve that he never had before this year. He feels like a guy that will click at some point, and be a top 20 starter. This year could be rocky still, but I think he’s worth trying for a few starts to see if he’s already turned that corner. I’ve been rocking three starters in my RCL league since April, but after streaming Nelson yesterday, I kinda want to hold him. While an Air Supply song plays softly in the background. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Leave it to the man living in Oregon, born and raised in Washington to take you to Electric Ladyland in the title. PNW represent *tries showing PNW with flashy gang sign…fails…breaks all fingers*. Fine, I’ll just throw up the West Coast symbol a la 2Pac and be fine with it. Grey originally pinged me with the idea of heading up a league for the NFBC back in February. When I said yes, I assumed we were talking ‘Norwegian Female Bikini Challenge’ and graciously accepted. I mean they’re right next to Sweden; what could possibly go wrong? Well, ALOT could go wrong, let me tell you. Thankfully, I had Rudy‘s recap of his 2013 team and the wherewithal and the guile to forge my own path for my own team. For those interested in only RCL style of play…well, first off that’s the link to sign up for one and second of all, make an about face. This ain’t it. No trades and no FA pickups in season. Nope, you play against 15 other teams in 5×5 roto set up and draft 50 players a team. That’s 750 players. There’s only 30 teams and they only roster 25 players at the major league level at a time. So basically, we’re drafting the entire MLB in one fell swoop. That’s special. And hard. And especially hard. But let’s not talk about bedroom things just yet. Instead, let’s review my NFBC team for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The MiLB season is now heading into the playoffs, and we should have answers for everyone about who will or will not be called up when rosters expand by midweek. For those of you that spent yesterday drafting your fantasy football team, went to bed early last night, slept late this morning, or have just been hiding under a rock, we do have the answer to one of the most asked about players – Joc Pederson WILL be added to the Dodgers roster. I mentioned that I felt that they might make a move to get him on their playoff-eligible roster prior to the deadline so he’d be eligible for postseason competition just in case someone gets hurt. Don Mattingly went out of his way to explain that Joc won’t be thrown to the wolves and that they don’t intend to cut anyone’s playing time to get him ABs. That statement would seem to reflect my theory – that he’s simply being added as an “insurance policy”. (The news broke before Pederson became the first PCL player to record a 30/30 season in 80 years last night BTW.)

We can now also assume that Colorado won’t be calling Jonathon Gray up – he was placed on the MiLB DL yesterday with “general soreness” – GM-Speak for “he’s reached his innings limit” for those of you who aren’t bi-lingual.

Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on heading into Week 22 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). Our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top-50/Top-100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.

Disclaimer: The bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top-50/Top-100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.

(Keep checking in daily for information regarding our end-of-season Top 100 and Organizational Top-10 Lists that will be rolling out as the minor league season ends – those of you following me on Twitter will be notified there as well.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love when I tell you to pick up a player and he comes up days later. It makes me smile, and not one of those weird Japanese emoji smiles, but a full-faced grin. So, Andrew Heaney, you’re already okay in my book, even if that book is called, “Rookie Pitchers Will Fill You With Enthusiasm Until They Actually Pitch For Your Fantasy Team.” If you missed my Andrew Heaney fantasy with Friday’s Buy, where were you? Playing Patty Cake without your hands on the dance floor to Jason Derulo’s Wiggle song? Good story, brah. You should turn that into a novella. I’m giggling with excitement for Heaney like I’m Lisa Simpson, only instead of hehe I’m going HeHeaney. Pitching his home games in Crayola Canyon won’t hurt him, and the NL East is filled with a bunch of sad, sad hitting teams. Didja know the Marlins are the best NL East hitting team, and it’s not close? Fact! The Braves, Phillies, Nats and Mets could hold a two week round robin tournament and score less runs than goals scored in the World Cup. I went over the dangers of rookie pitchers in my Friday Buy, and what Heaney’s been doing this year in the minors. It’s all there. I will say now he should be owned in every league and is capable of winning the NL Rookie of the Year in only a little over a half a season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Razzball Radio last week, where you finally got to see my perfectly circumferenced face, that looks like almost any chubby latino catcher that you can think of (to name a couple: Ramon Castro, Josmil Pinto), I got into my win-now approach. I traded high impact prospects (Gregory Polanco and Anthony Rendon) for a more immediate influence, (Robinson Cano).

I often wind up with no top prospects by year’s end, but still wind up with a sundry of “B” prospects that turn into more i.e. Mookie Betts and Joc Pederson last year for nothing! It’s about this time of the year that I start delving into C prospects in dynasty leagues for warm bodies to displace my empty prospect slots. Often, guys that come up will have initial contact problems, so I look for guys that can elevate their BABIP through both power (ISO) and speed (SPD). An extreme example is Yasiel Puig. He had contact problems last year, but he’s a monster in the power and speed departments ensuring an elevated BABIP. This year he’s put that together with a rational HR/FB ratio and a really nice contact and discipline jump. He’s elite.

It seems like I’m always seeing current and former Mets when I do this. This year is no different thanks to Andrew Brown and Eric Campbell (current Mets) as well as Nick Evans and Mike Jacobs (former) – all on this list due to their wOBA’s and ISO. While we might find more eventual, longer-term impact in AA, for this post, let’s look at the AAA minor league leaderboard (as of 5/30), including the Mexican League ranked by wOBA combined with BABIP (weighed by ISO and SPD)… just trust me:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t practice Santeria. I ain’t got no crystal ball. Well, if I had $6, I’d spend it all…

…I’d spend it on these Corner Infielders (owned <10% on ESPN as of 4/3)! They are placed in the order of my zeal, because my zeal smells nice and fresh. What does that even mean? Post now includes bonus CI Prospect list as well! (And maybe thermal packaging. What can I say? It’s a demand-driven commodity.) Follow me after the jump to find out what this all means… maybe.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (21) | 2012 (16) | 2011 (10) | 2010 (10) | 2009 (20)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL West
AAA: [67-76] Pacific Coast League – Colorado Springs
AA: [68-70] Texas League — Tulsa
A+: [75-65] California League – Modesto
A: [63-73] South Atlantic League – Asheville
A(ss): [34-42] Northwest League — Tri-City

Graduated Prospects
Nolan Arenado (3B); Corey Dickerson (OF)

The Run Down
I must admit, I’m quite impressed with this Rockies farm, and after writing a thousand or so words on its best and brightest prospects, I’m in need of cigarette and a shower. Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t a top tier organization, but from the perspective of upside and potential fantasy impact, this Rockies org isn’t far behind the powerhouse systems of the Twins, Cubs, Astros, and Cardinals. Pitching headlines this group — Jonathan Gray brings a Gerrit Cole-type projection, and Eddie Butler could be the Michael Wacha of 2014. The seven hitters that follow Gray and Butler all bring considerable offensive tools and big fantasy ceilings, themselves. Sure, there’s plenty of risk with this group, but you gotta admire this collection of raw talent.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (16) | 2011 (10) | 2010 (10) | 2009 (20) | 2008 (7)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [64-98] NL West
AAA: [75-69] Pacific Coast League – Colorado Springs
AA: [75-64] Texas League — Tulsa
A+: [73-67] California League – Modesto
A: [88-52] South Atlantic League – Asheville
A(ss): [32-44] Northwest League — Tri-City

Arizona Fall League PlayersSalt River Rafters
Isaiah Froneberger (LHP); Cory Riordan (RHP); Lars Davis (C); Jose Gonzalez (C); Corey Dickerson (OF); Kent Matthes (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Jordan Pacheco (1B); Wilin Rosario (C); Josh Rutledge (SS); D.J. LeMahieu (2B); Charlie Blackmon (OF); Drew Pomeranz (LHP); Christian Friedrich (LHP); Adam Ottavino (RHP); Rex Brothers (LHP)

The Run Down
It’s difficult not to swoon at the fantasy upside of various bats in this Rockies system. Every hitter on this list brings a ceiling that’s hard to measure based on MiLB figures, alone. That’s what makes the top three guys so exciting — their potential would be impressive in any system, but throw Coors Field into the equation, and the intrigue swells substantially. On the flip side, the arms of the Colorado system carry the stigma of being future Coors Field pitchers. Their intrigue, conversely, is shrunk by the stadium at which they’re bound to play. But ballpark factors aside, Colorado has put together a farm system with plenty of depth and plenty of hope. No one here is to be ignored, so do keep an eye on these names as the 2013 season gets underway.

Please, blog, may I have some more?