Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy. Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella. No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What?” And that’s me quoting me! On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya? “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.” No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. *Grey does a flying crane kick* “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.” Still nothing? Okay, I’m moving on. One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there. Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26. Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors. Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing. Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison! Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors. So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors. That’s still above anything Pollock did. Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock. The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks. Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock! The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks. Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers. He also had 13 steals and four steals in September. If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals. Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him. He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors). If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270. Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve. 18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year? If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder. And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers. Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month. When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me. It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him. Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job. For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured. So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the top 40 outfielders for 2015 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? Don’t muss my hair! The pitching recap will begin on Monday. You can hardly wait. No, you! 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 route. This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Jesse Plemons on Fargo. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s only a few more roundups left on the season, then I’ll be recapping the rest of October, then rookies in November, then sleepers in December, then rankings in January, then I draft Arenado again in February and then March hits and my Cougar wife says to me, “I’ll see you again in October.” So, as you can see, we don’t have a ton of time before next year. So, Part II: So So Again; I wanted to talk briefly about the insanely sexy, hump-taker, Marcus Stroman. Yesterday, he pitched a fantastic little start — 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, to leave his ERA at 1.67 since his return, but I’m more concerned with Stroman for next year. Or as I like to call it, Sixteen after Twenty, The Year of The Stroman. If I call it that, it might give away the ending here, but I’m going to love Stroman in 2016. Stroman, my pain with his fingers. One time, one time. Well, I loved him coming into this year prior to his injury. An injury, mind you and mind the gap, that wasn’t on his arm. What’s to like about Stroman? How about this checklist: solid ground ball rate, solid Ks and excellent control. You know who that is? Dallas Keuchel. Stroman can be that dominant in 2016 too. As for 2015, he’s done, so, yo, Grey, hit the segue! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27). He now has five homers in the last three days. Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye. He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife. It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers. His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis. I will call him Piss Davis. Maybe I won’t call him that to his face. Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues. Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Zach Britton has a mild lat strain. He hopes to return soon as he’s complained that the loneliness of not pitching is killing him. Britton went on to say, “Bollocks!” Maybe that’s a Briton. Any hoo! Or as a Briton would say, “Tally hoo!” The Orioles haven’t said Britton is shut down, but I highly doubt he closes another game in the next week. Or as a Briton would say, “My Full Monty is knackered. Let’s scallywag over a fag, you donkey arse.” The Irish have fought for independence for the better part of a century, and yesterday they exacted some revenge as Britton went down to an O’Day. Darren O’Day said, “Blarney stone something something potato something something Guinness.” It was hard to understand. I would grab O’Day in every league if you need saves as he’s now converted two in two like Chuck Woolery, and, holy crap, Woolery got old! Have you seen The Voice? His son was on there and Woolery looked like he was gonna turn to dust. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort. This sends an interesting message. I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort. Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing. Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season. Also, what does this say about Ausmus? That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort? Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort? How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort. I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do. What? You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place? Please!” Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night. Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year. This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last weekend I wanted to go see Action Bronson when he performed at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. I was feeling my usual cheap self, so I hit up some of the homies in the lighting game to see if anyone was working the show. Well, they weren’t, and I didn’t go. So bummed I couldn’t use the connects to get a pass into the show. That group of friends have been good guys to know, and if they are working an event they can sometimes get a few cats access. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those guys always looking for a freebie, but it’s nice to have a guy. You know that guy, the one who can score you the primo stuff, get you in contact with the right people, get your car smogged (California BS) because it’s customized like a mother f***er, or help you out of a bad spot. The last one is never advisable, because then you owe them a favor and that’s not the kinda favor you want to owe them. To go along with the theme of the title, I hope I’m your Creeper guy, your go to creeper caller. This week I’m the guy telling you to add the Guy(er) to be your guy… for the coming week. Okay, enough about guys, this is starting to get weird… let’s get to creepin’.Please, blog, may I have some more?