“Naquin the Chef looks determined without being ruthless.  Something heroic in his manner.  There’s a courage about him.  Comes across so calm.  Acts like he has a dream.  Full of passion.  Well, you know why.  Knock homers out of the box all the time.  Pitches know his repertoire, big fly.  Yeah, straight up, Naquin mess your whole team up.  It’s for real though, ball connect with stick, ditto.  We could trade places, ball lifted run around the bases.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.”  I almost didn’t write the title of the Naquin the Chef song, Infatuated Redfaces, but then I was like, “There’s a team named Redskins and a mascot named Chief Wahoo, I think I’m all right.”  Yesterday, Tyler Naquin kept it going with the insane run he’s been on — 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  He now has six homers in the last ten games.  That’s six homers in July to go with his six homers in June.  As I said back in spring training when I saw Naquin play, he had a nice stroke against righties, but looked kinda gnarly vs. lefties.  Looks like a 17/17 player that needs to platoon.  Right now, his power’s way above that, but will likely come down to earth at some point.  Of course, I’d still own him now.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy Razzballero, and welcome to the second half of the MLB (and fantasy) season. Hopefully, you were all able to recharge the batteries a bit over the All Star break and prepare yourselves for the fantasy baseball stretch run. I enjoyed a random viewing of the movie Minority Report last week during the down time and, when looking at the reboot-happy nature of Hollywood these days with projects like the new Ghostbusters movie, it got me thinking about a fantasy themed reboot of the 2002 Stephen Spielberg film. It can be called Majority Report starring Grey in the Tom Cruise protagonist role where he can be credited as Ice Tumors or Crime Oust (because a Tom Cruise anagram as an alias to protect his alias somehow makes sense to me) and I could have a cameo role as one of the lesser precogs who is occasionally (but not usually) able to predict the future of the fantasy landscape. I haven’t figured out the plot yet, though it would probably involve Grey stalking Giancarlo for one reason or another. Ok, so it’s more of just an extremely lazy re-imagining than anything else, but last week would’ve been one of those rare scenes that my character was able to predict the transaction future of the fantasy baseball landscape. As of yesterday, the five most added players in ESPN leagues over the past seven days (Koji Uehara, Randal Grichuk, Brandon McCarthy, Hector Santiago, and Yangervis Solarte) as well as two out of the next four most added players (Anthony DeSclafani and Max Kepler) are ones that I discussed in my second half difference maker articles last week (the hitters can be found here while the pitchers can be found here). In short, if these players are still available in your league, add them!

Anyway, let’s move on to a few players who are more likely to still be sitting on the waiver wire, shall we? Here are a few other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day the Astros signed the coveted Cuban refugee, Yulieski Gourriel.  One time!  Yulieski is as apple pie as a Canadian tenor group making a political statement during the All-Star Game.  He’s 32 years old.  If he went by YuGo, that would make him the newest car in Cuba.  “Bueno Model T, amigo!  Now, tell me about this Ford Taurus I hear so much about.”  You know who a 32-year-old Cuban immediately reminds me of?  Hector Olivera and Alex Guerrero.  Sloppy comparison maybe.  Hey, that gives me an idea.  Whenever doing a sloppy comparison between players who just happen to be Cuban, we should call them Sloppy Jose’s.  We need a similar term for when making a sloppy comparison between Japanese players; please suggest in the comments.  As for Gourriel, yeah, I don’t see much here.  I watched video of him, and he looks like a 15 HR, 6 SB, .260 hitter, which is Hector Olivera.  I’m sorry, but those Sloppy Joses make sense sometimes.  This Gourriel signing obviously delays Bregman’s arrival, so boo, you mothereffer, boo.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m doing fine without games every day.  Thanks for checking in on me.  *nervous giggle, looks into the mirror, laughs hysterically*  I’m just fine!  The other day at 7 PM EST, I took a magic marker and every few minutes I wrote on my computer, giving my fantasy team a run, RBI and the occasional home run.  Sadly, even with my fantasy fantasy team accruing stats, Chris Archer gave up four earned in six innings.  Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different.  This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues.  Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys.  The other day on our podcast I asked JB if he knew the one and only white reggae artist, Snow, because he has a doppelganger on the Pirates, Ja-Snow, but JB didn’t know Snow because JB was born in the 2000s.  But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half.  For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.”  Spit it out, Grey!  You know how your own voice sounds weird?  I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy.  Finally, I said David Price, who I will get to shortly.  Yes, that was the worst intro ever to Michael Brantley.  I was trying to squeeze Brantley into my top 100 for the 2nd half, then I was like, “Grey, you’re handsome, smart and other words for those two traits.  You’ll find a way to squeeze in Brantley if you really think he belongs.  Also, what are we having for lunch?”  Salmon poke, but no dice on Brantley.  At the end of the day, that day specifically, I decided Brantley’s shoulder injury worries me too much for inclusion, but I’d still stash him on my DL or buy him crazysupercheap, which is also the price for the CrazySexyCool album on CD.  “These things will never go out of style!”  That’s me spending thousands of dollars on CDs.  For the 2nd half, Brantley’s projections look like Yunel’s 5 HRs, 4 SBs, .295, but maybe his last cortisone shot will take and he’ll be his old self for six weeks to two months.  For the price you can get him right now, it’s worth it to find out.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If your fantasy portfolio is anything like mine, it probably means that there’s some work to be done to ensure you’re sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the season. Sure, there have been some good calls along the way. Drafting Mookie Betts looks like it’ll work out just fine. That late round SAGNOF pick of Jonathan Villar is making you look like Nostradamus right about now. But it hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and katydids for your fake teams. That Stanton/Upton/Heyward monster outfield that you assembled on draft day has put up some scary numbers this year (and not in a good way). Perhaps you decided to go the two ace route since a Harvey/Archer combo was just too good to pass up back in March. And just like that, you went from feeling like Nostradamus to Nostradumbass. Fantasy can be so cruel sometimes. The point is that things don’t always go according to plan. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, and plenty of widely available players with which to do so. The purpose of this article is to identify some of those players who have the potential to provide significant fantasy value in the second half of the season as well as a few of the expendable players who might be burning holes in your roster.

Today, we’re going to look at some hitters of interest while focusing on pitchers in the near future. Without further ado, here are some potential second half treasures on the hitting side who are widely available in ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*nervous finger tap*  How many days without baseball?  So, I can close my fantasy baseball team browser window without missing anything?  Okay.  *throws computer out window*  What?  Was there another way to close my fantasy team page?  I hadn’t in so long I forgot.  What do you mean I can go outside without worrying about missing anything in baseball?  But there’s real people out there!  I’m staying right here, thank you very much!  So, we’re headed to the break, but Craig Kimbrel just has a tear, no break. He hit the DL with a medial meniscus tear in his knee.  Oddly enough, a remedial mend-iscus Band-Aid is not used to fix this.  I think you messed up modern medicine, but I’ll reserve judgment.  This will sideline Kimbrel for about four weeks.  In his place will be Koji Uehara.  Koji is famous for his food truck and 41-year-old junk pitches.  The newly-acquired Brad Ziegler, who should put a Z like Zorro on the mound after every strikeout, will back up Uehara, because Ziegler’s kinda bleh (1.40+ WHIP, 6-ish K/9) and Koji’s been in Boston a while.  Since Boston’s colors are red, they should call him Scarlett Uehara.  As for over in Arizona, I agree with Dan Pants in Saturday’s roundup.  The non-Yankee Clippard is the one to own.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Craig Biggio.  It’s a sloppy, imperfect comparison, but that’s who Alex Bregman looks like.  I watched three minutes of video of him.  So, that’s like saying there’s smoke emitting from every New York City manhole because underneath are old Filipino women making hot pretzels, who then transport them to the above ground vendors, because you found an old Filipino woman underneath one manhole cover making pretzels.  Luke, small is your sample size, said Yoda.  Now, if you buy into the Biggio comparison, which you should because Filipino women are making pretzels below New York City manholes, Biggio had three homers, six steals and hit .211 in his first 50 games.  Ya know, Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio.  Biggio was older then than (stutterer!) Bregman is now, if you were looking for an excuse.  Rookies sure are fun, right?  They mostly cause ulcers.  They.  Mostly.  Cause.  Ulcers.  TMCU, for short.  So, Bregman is crazy talented, he could be up soon, I would own him, but, for this year, I’d keep my expectations in Slovakia, or even Czech.  For further reading, Prospector Ralph has him number one on the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey met with the Mets’ front office and told them, “You ruined my shoulder!  I was the Dark Knight!  Now I’m 1960s Batman in hard-to-watch Technicolor unable to move my arms to do the Batusi!”  Matt Harvey asked Bartolo if this ever happened to him and he said, “Nah, I am 90% jelly and custard.  My nerves are coated in more sugar than a churro.”  Harvey needs shoulder surgery due to thoracic outlet syndrome.  Sandy Alderson said it’s inevitable.  Pitchers who have had this surgery take at least a year to recover and sometimes never regain past form.  It could not only be a season killer, it could be the end of Harvey as we know him.  He could opt to rehab his shoulder without surgery, but rehabbing it won’t magically make his pitching better than he’s been all year, which is atrocious.  If you don’t have DL room, I could see dropping him.  Fun fact!  You know who suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome?  The Lispasaurus.  Tiny arms, big body.  Other dinosaurs pickin’ on ’em because of their lisp — why’d every dinosaur have to have an S sound in its name?!  Total recipe for messed-up shoulders.  “I hate Thoracic Park!”  Spielberg can make a Thoracic Park movie where an injured pitcher tries to repair his relationship with his pre-teen son while genetically-modified dinosaurs chase after them.  “I know I wasn’t there for you when you were growing up or for your keeper league team in 2014 or for that velociraptor attack 15 minutes ago, but I’m here for you now.”  The boy looks up, “How did that velociraptor throw a Warthen slider?”  The father responds, “He’s learning!”  Seth Smith is working on the script.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wade Davis hit the DL with a forearm strain.  Brooks Pounders was called up in a corresponding move.  Brooks Pounders is also my favorite AVN starlet.  This sounds ominous for Davis, a forearm strain is not good for pitchers.  A precursor for Tommy John surgery, they say.  They also chew Copenhagen and call everyone kid.  The one bright spot in this dark, gloomy sky is the backdating of the DL stint.  Maybe, just maybe, Davis will return right after the All-Star break, when he’s eligible.  Yes, he could only miss seven games from now.  That skywriter is trailing smoke behind him, writing, “Hope Davis.”  But maybe he ran out of fuel and was gonna write, “Hope Davis Will You Marry Me?”  In Davis’s place, Joakim Soria or Kelvin Herrera will replace him.  Kelvin is much better, so why ‘You must be Joakim’ at all?  That hard-to-quantify, harder even to justify outside of your own front office, closer experience.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous.   The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history.  Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.”  Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna.  Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games.  For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June.  He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals.  So, yes, you should own him.  Fun fact!  Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd?  A premature ejacu-elation.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?