Corey Seager should’ve been called up already. Brucely, we’re up against it with the Dodgers. We have the aging vet, Jimmy Rollins, who looks like toast if you were to take doodie and pat it into the shape of toast and, uh, toast it. We have Justin Turner, who is having a career year but isn’t really this good and getting more slap hits than another Turner. We have Dumb Mattingly, who has Joe Torre on speed dial because he thinks Torre is still the manager of the team and Dumb is just acting as interim. We have the playoffs in their grasp. We have a team where money is no object, so if they call up Seager and bench Rollins and his contract, whatevs. We have a city that is obsessed with youth, says Debra Winger. This sounds as convoluted as True Detective. Now that I write it out, I’m surprised Seager didn’t get called up in April. I’ve refrained from tooting the Seager horn to avoid looking like a Bozo when he wasn’t called up, but I’m starting to think it could be soon, or at least within the next month. Why do we care, young prematurely balding men? Cause he looks like a young Tulo. Maybe he doesn’t steal 20 bases in a year, but he could hit 30 HRs with 10 steals and a .300 average. No, not this year, but at some point those numbers seem doable. And I’d like to do ’em! In redraft leagues, I’d now start stashing Seager, and, in keepers and dynasty leagues, he’s likely already gone, but if he’s not, oh, heck’s yeah. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know they say, every Blue Jay fan has his Price, and every dog has his day and what does the cat say? Me-ouch. Is that a well-known idiom? Sounds like something Pol Pot would’ve said. “You look like a clown because you’ve applied too much Khmer rouge. Now what does the cat say? ‘Me-ouch!'” That was Pol Pot at his most disarmingly charming. You ever look at pictures of dictators and think to yourself, “He looks like a total tool. What kind of a-holes followed this guy?” Any hoo! David Price was acquired by the Blue Jays for Daniel Norris (who I’ll get to in a moment). The Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t believe he gutted the farm system to deliver Price and/or Tulo. No more than, say, a Greek farmer needs to gut a lamb to make shawarma. As they say on the lamb farm, sacrifices need to be made. I don’t think this changes a thing about Price’s value. Comerica was actually more offense-friendly this year, and the Blue Jays will provide more run support, but Price is essentially the same pitcher whether he’s in Toronto, New York or Boston, in Philly, Miami or Houston; in Detroit or– Is this a Kid Rock song I’m singing? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Latos was traded to the Dodgers, then not traded. Then CarGo was traded to the Mets, then not traded. Then Cole Hamels was traded to the Rangers, and really traded, I think. I don’t know, I’m dizzy. Ruin Tomorrow Jr. was sad to see Hamels go, but this is the business he chose, after getting fired from Duane Reade for mixing up the garbage with “the important stuff.” And after getting fired for explaining to kids there is no Santa, after being dressed as the mall Santa. After being fired as Ruin Tomorrow Sr.’s personal assistant, but he maintains that was a misunderstanding. He thought, “Don’t tell your mother,” meant, “Don’t tell your mother until you see her.” After his no-hitter the other day, I said, “(Hamels’s) peripherals look fine and he’s just getting a tad unlucky. I could see someone thinking they’re selling high after this no-hitter, but Hamels is a low-3 ERA pitcher with a 9.6 K/9, i.e., a low-end fantasy ace.” And that’s me quoting me! I would’ve preferred to see him go to the NL, but Arlington is about a push with Citizens Bank and could see him stringing together a sub-3 ERA for two months. Jorge Alfaro, Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Williams were acquired by the Phils, and I’m sure Prospect Mike will go over them, after he gets their posters up in his living room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

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If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

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Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

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The ESPYS are coming soon, so I decided it might be time to nominate some relief pitchers for mid-season hardware and steal a little bit of ESPN’s ESPYS thunder (that’s just wrong on more than one level) in the process.  Anyway, I’ll soon be handing an award to one of the relief pitchers with a chance to regress in a bad way and I’m calling these awards the Jurrjy’s because Jair Jurrjens was a pitcher that was as up and down as I can recall a pitcher being.  He was (is, I could say, after all he still exists, somewhere) a BABIP dependent* pitcher because of a low strikeout rate.  For instance, here are his 2011 1st half/2nd half  ERA splits: 1.87 in 110.2 1st half innings vs 5.88 in a small sample of 41.1 second half innings.  While it might have been better to pick a reliever to name this after, I can’t think of anyone that fits the description better than Jair Jurrjens.  The only problem is, I’m not sure if the “winner” is the one whose ERA regresses the most or the one who maintains the mirage.  I guess that’s up to the Academy to decide.  So without further ado, your 2015 Jurrjy nominees in the “rising ERA” category are:  Steve Delabar, middle reliever, Toronto Blue Jays (1.42 ERA /4.05 FIP).  Bryan Shaw, middle reliever, Cleveland Indians (2.10 ERA /4.62 FIP).  Joakim Soria, closer, Detroit Tigers (2.73 ERA /5.09 FIP).  Brad Ziegler, closer, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.45 ERA /3.78 FIP), Darren O’Day, middle reliever, Baltimore Orioles (1.21 ERA /3.17 FIP), and JJ Hoover, middle reliever, Cincinnati Reds (1.31 ERA / 3.10 FIP).  (*This article basically claims that pitcher BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is 75% luck, 13% defense, and 12% pitcher’s skill).

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Effin Strasburg hit the DL on Saturday, which came a day after he pitched five outs of one-run baseball. Compared to his previous starts, Effin looked remarkably better. If he threw 27 outs, that would’ve roughly been a five-run game and way below his ERA. I had the cork to pop and cigars to hand out, but he left that game with what he deemed neck tightness. Funny, because I have tightness in my chest when he pitches. I think it’s related. “Hello, Aetna service representative, a fine day to you, ma’am. I was just calling to see if I can take out extra health insurance on the ol’ ticker when Effin Strasburg is pitching. I can? That’s great news. Chirinos!” That’s me talking to my insurance provider. So, Stephen Strasburg has neck tightness as he hit the DL. His velocity has looked good, his BABIP is ridiculously unlucky, but his control is a mess. That would indicate to me that he’s a buy low, because his neck might be the reason behind his control problems. That was why I traded Jose Bautista for him in one league. *opens patio door, climbs to top of railing, jumps, lands in pool on top of inflatable shark* Dah! Right now, I wouldn’t do the same trade. Strasburg, or any pitcher, is too risky to trade for if injured. I’m hoping us Strasburg owners get him back in two weeks and he’s fixed. A prayer triangle anyone? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely harvardgrad@post.harvard.edu. So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?