SAGNOF refers to “saves/steals ain’t got no face”. In other words, they can come from unlikely sources throughout the season and us fantasy baseball folk shouldn’t sell the farm for them on draft day. Let me tell you, 2013 was no exception. When I received my series assignment from Grey earlier this year, I was excited to explore steals as a topic for my column, if only because I knew it would help a lot of people out there do better in the category. I also couldn’t recall many other fantasy sites hitting steals as a primary topic week-in and week out, so hats off to Razzball for being ahead of the game yet again.
It was fascinating to follow along as players rose and fell in value based on steals alone, and even more fascinating to watch match-ups against certain teams yield steals in bunches. This offseason, I’ll be posting every other week and sticking with the stolen base as my focus. We’ll start by taking a look back, but then we’ll shift our gaze forward to 2014 and see if we can get a leg up on the competition prior to our drafts next spring. Let’s get started with a look at the big picture when it comes to steals over the last five years… Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the top 40 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? The pitching recap will begin next. To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this course. This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason it carries more weight. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Chris Davis hit his 51st home run, breaking the Orioles’ home run record of 50 set by Brady Anderson. In a ceremony following the game, Chris Davis sheared Brady Anderson’s sideburns, donating them to a teenager who wants to appear closer in age to his fake ID. Teenager Billy Lutkin said, “I already look like I’m at least 22, these will make me look like I’m like 30! I’m gettin’ drunk!” Davis’s season line is 100/51/132/.293/3, and rightfully sits near the top of our Player Rater. Old news, but I’m thinking about new news (almost stutterer!) and what can he do for 2014 fantasy baseball? In the 2nd half, he hit .255 with 13 homers as his BABIP and HR/FB% came soaring back to his career norms and rather than otherworldly as in the first half. He has a near 30% K-rate and doesn’t look anything close to the guy he was in the first half. Next year, he should still get 35 homers, but will probably hit closer to .265 and with those numbers his counting stats will come back to earth like Andrelton after holiday. Let’s just say someone will be drafting him before me next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is always painful, but it’s also necessary. What follows is a look back at my preseason prospect rankings — a self audit, if you will. To be clear, this isn’t a re-ranking or anything, but it should suffice to remind all of you that I am mostly stupid. Please keep in mind that these guys are very early in their careers, and there is plenty of time for each to either figure it out, or get figured out. Anyway, let’s cut to it. Here’s the list as it appeared back in February: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have a team building exercise for the Mets. Get Kevin Mitchell on the horn. He has at least five baby mamas that are flight attendants. Scrounge up the plane Lenny Dykstra owned for a minute before filing for bankruptcy. You’re going to Hawaii. All you need to do is recover the tiki doll that was lost in Maui and return it to the grave of Vincent Price. Otherwise, your team will remain cursed forever. What a terrible blow to Matt Harvey keeper owners. And not what terrible blow, as was heard around the Mets clubhouse in the 80′s. Harvey’s done for at least 15 months if he needs Tommy John surgery, and that’s what it sounds like, while Tommy John Surgery sounds like, “I don’t want to rob the world of greatness, yet I do. Repeatedly.” Poor Tommy John Surgery. No one wins here! In redraft leagues, you can obviously drop Harvey. His innings count came slightly earlier than expected. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Finally, the Red Sox promoted Nomah’s heir apparent — Zandah Bogats! Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams’s frozen head said, “Allaka Xander!” and poof a direct descendant of Cahl Yahstremski, Nomah and former top prospect, Harvey Jod, who died tragically in a parking lot incident, appeared. Drafting a hard A-voweled hitter makes as much sense for the Sox as drafting soft O’s for the Twins: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau; they still must rue the day they lost out on Joe Charboneau. But, you know, you can’t spell Xander Bogaerts without Red Sox, and he’s got bat and range, to boot. So, here’s looking at you, Bogaerts! Went there, wrote that — Xander Bogaerts fantasy, that is. Now Xander’s here to Bogaert the Red Sox shortstop job. There’s a chance he simply platoons this year. If he’s only used against lefties, his value will be severely diminished in redraft leagues. My guess is he’ll play shortstop vs. lefties, and play some third base vs. righties with Middlebrooks grabbing pine occasionally. Obviously, it wasn’t a great sign last night that he was benched vs. a righty, but it was just one game. I’d grab him in all leagues because his bat is that good. Think of a Puig-type splash at shortstop. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
A Hill O’ Beans is back on top after a couple of weeks in 4th place, nudging MasterofGrond down to second. They hit .311 and scored an RCL-best 60 runs, and also had an ERA under 3. There are still many teams in contention with seven weeks to go, so it should be a fun stretch run.
Check out the Master Standings (you can also access them via the Leagues menu up top) to see where your team ranks in comparison to the other 767 teams through Sunday. The page now includes sortable stats. Please, blog, may I have some more?
B.J. Upton is having one hell of a bad year and he recently hit bottom with an adductor injury that sidelined him through the All Star Break. There were some whispers during the first half of the season that the Braves were going to send him down to figure things out, but it never happened. The injury may have been a blessing in disguise, though. Maybe it gave him the time and the means to work on issues that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to if he had stayed healthy. His ownership dropped to around 40% at one point, but it’s recently surged back up due to a handful of multi -hit efforts since his return and 3 steals. For our purposes here, the steals are what I want to focus on. There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news is that the three stolen bases since his return came against the Phillies and Nationals, two of the worst teams in baseball at controlling the running game. So, before we get too excited and decide that BJ is going to rattle off 20 steals over the last 6 weeks of the season, just keep that in mind. Ready for the good news? He gets the Phillies and Nationals again this week! I wouldn’t be surprised to see him swipe a couple more with those match-ups. Here are some other speedsters I think might help your stolen base numbers this week: Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a new love of my life. No, it’s not the Georgia girl on MasterChef, though she’s all right. His name is Danny Salazar, and he’s a sexy beast that makes me want to get all flirty and shizz. I call him K-zar. It’s pronounced like czar, so it’s a soft K like his touch, but that’s where the softness ends. He was regularly hitting 99 MPH on the speed gun-measuring-MPH-thingie and even topped out at triple digits. Swoon. He made the Tigers looks like the Mariners until Miggy got a hold of one on his last pitch of the game — 7 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks. Doesn’t matter, he gets the Twins next then the A’s in Oakland. I know, what about Corey Kluber? Who’s going to sell energy drinks and tell all the ravey Asian kids where the after-hours party is without Kluber?! Sigh, I know. We’re over him now. He’s going to be out until late-September and Salazar is taking his place in the rotation. I want Salazar in every single league. Yeah, that one. Yup, that one too. Go to it, young prematurely balding man! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?