I mentioned in the top 20 outfielders that there’s a ton outfielders that I want to draft.  The top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball extends my enthusiasm.  I’d say it’s like Cialis, but then I’d have to go through a five-minute spiel of all of its side effects.  “Drafting six outfielders in the first seven rounds can lead to high blood pressure, diarrhea, sudden heart attack, fever, a fever after a heart attack which makes your loved ones think you’re still alive because you’re burning up but you’re actually dead and nausea.”  As with all of my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, included are my projections and where I see tiers start and stop.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Uh no, the Yankees fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon!  Starlin Castro was traded to the Yankees for middle reliever, Adam Warren.  Didn’t the Yanks get the memo?  Middle relievers are the new cheap starters.  There was an interesting development the past week.  Jordan Zimmermann got ridunk money and everyone was like, “Damn, Cousin Fat Pockets needs to let out the elastic on his velcro wallet.”  Then David Price got boku bucks and a Nigerian from Nigeria by the name of Boku said, “My last name is not bucks, I’m confused by this idiom.”  Then Zack Greinke went for a walk in the park and came across a suitcase of $206.5 million and looked over his shoulder slowly, then looked back at the suitcase, then started putting million dollar bills into his shorts.  Finally, Henderson Alvarez was non-tendered and the entire league was interested, and this sounded warning bells.  People are interested in Henderson Alvarez?!  What the eff!  At that point, the smarter GMs realized they just need to make it so their starters that aren’t terrific go six innings, then their bullpens can come in.  The Royals realized this two years ago, but now everyone is catching on.  As for Castro on the Yankees, I want to say unequivocally that this is the best landing spot for him in the majors outside of Coors.  Castro has totally failed as a top prospect– Oh, wait, he’s only 25 years old.  This was a case where the Cubs didn’t make a bad deal; they just had too much of a good thing with middle infielders, and their eyes set on Messin’ Wit’ The Zo’.  Castro feels set up to have his biggest season to date, and I’m going to project him as such.  For 2016, I’ll give him 72/16/77/.274/7 with room for more.  As for the future at 2nd base in Robert Refsnyder, there’s always playing for the Padres in two years.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

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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?