We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Royals Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of David Hill from Kings of Kauffman.

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Slow clap for all the folks who drafted Jean Segura last year and his 44 steals. Now a slower, even more appreciative clap for Grey, who tagged him as a fantasy sleeper heading into 2013. The following list is not meant to find you the 2014 version of Jean Segura, but rather identify the middle infielders who are the essence of SAGNOF (Steals Ain’t Got NO Face). These players will be cheap at the draft or may go undrafted entirely. You probably won’t want any of them as your starting shortstop or second baseman, but you’ll want to stash them away in the dark corners of your mind for when you are desperate for steals and there is a vacancy in your middle infidel slot. How cheaply you can acquire these players has a lot to do with the depth of your league and since not all fantasy leagues are created equal (thank God), you’ll have to take that into consideration when weighing the value of their steals. And hey, you never know, maybe the next Jean Segura is in here somewhere…

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When I look at the top 20 2nd basemen from the end of the year rankings, I’m yawnstipated. So after the top guy went to Safeco and with no games played this offseason (that I’m aware of), the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball didn’t get better since the last game of the season. Last year, Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy buoyed the 2nd basemen, making them seem better than they were due to counting stats. I expect better this year than last year from a few guys, but just as many come with the “Bound For Disappointment” label. Hey, BFD would make a great acronym. I’m surprised no one has used it before. Oh, wait, in the age of the internet, everything is an acronym. Well, SAGNOF to that. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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It’s a closerousel! Which is a play on carousel, not arousal. Pick up your pants. Recently, the Cleveland Indians organization talked to the media about moving away from the unfortunate Native American stereotype their team is known for. They said, “We respect the people who came before us. This was their land, and we drove them out. Scalping was a crime on humanity. In other news, we just signed a guy that goes by the Ax Man. Chief Wahoo, can I get a woohoo?!” John Axford should be perfectly competent as the closer in Cleveland, until he’s not. What I mean is he’ll be handed the job and will hold it the whole year unless he reverts to his hideous ways. I was burnt by him in more leagues than I care to remember, but I would still draft him again. SAGNOF, after all. Then Theo Cubstein went out and got Jose Veras to close games. Cubs fans will miss the days when their games went an extra fifty minutes due seven men getting on base in the ninth inning. If you throw out Veras’s first five appearances and start his stats on April 13th of last year, he had a 2.48 ERA. Yeah, that’ll work just fine. Then the Orioles pulled their best Billy Beane impersonation when they let one high-priced closer go and got Grant Balfour back. Oddly enough, Billy Beane was the one that took the high-priced one. I scream, what’s the world coming to?! Then Billy Beane shoots Spider dead. Then Beane turns to me and says, “Not so fast, amigo. Check Balfour’s health. Oh, and amigo is being sarcastic, you dumbass.” I knew that! But not about the health. No one did. Except for the Jedi master. Of course, there was more to it. So, now Balfour’s deal may fall through with the O’s due to health concerns raised in his physical. It’s a developing situation as they say in third world countries about their water and cable TV. Finally, Addison Reed went from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona. Now the Diamondbacks won’t have to worry about what happens when J.J. Putz hurts himself opening a tin of Band-Aids. Irony only takes you so far, Putz. This leaves a vacuum in the South Side of Chicago in the ninth inning, but I guess they don’t plan on winning any games. White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. End of the season-wise, the 2nd basemen don’t seem as shallow as I thought they were in the preseason, but, really, they’re not that much deeper on second glance. They are just barely shallower than shortstops, but it’s so close, I’m sure an argument could be made for the shortstops being shallower. Before you make that argument, remember what you’re arguing about. To recap, this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Michael Wacha was within an out of a no-hitter yesterday when Zimmerman hit a bouncer to shortstop, which he barely beat out. Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t want the world to see joy. He’s a joy killer. Every time some 14-year-old writes jk jk jk. They’re not abbreviating ‘just kidding,’ they’re really talking about Ryan Zimmerman joy killing. For a moment, I was on board with The Joy Killer because I don’t need Wacha getting hyped up anymore than necessary for next year. You hear Wacha I’m talking about? You like Wacha I’m working with? Wacha you say to that? Okay, I want to stop replacing what with Wacha, but I can’t. Wacha can I do?! There is gonna be an insane amount of young pitchers next year that I’ll be eyeing, and Wacha is yet another one. In 64 2/3 IP this year, he had a 9+ K/9, 2.61 xFIP and a 2.64 BB/9. Yes, please, come again. I could see this 22-year-old giving you a Shelby Miller-type season next year, maybe even, dare I say it, Matt Harvey. That’s Wacha I’m talking about! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Clever girl.

The McC went 1-for-2 last night with a run. Not really numbers deserving of the lede, but since I only get to do this once a week, I do what I want. And plus, I had already done my photoshop before the game ended. So there’s that. Truth be told, I really have nothing else to say about Andrew McCutchen. It is a very fine season. You know that. I know that. Sky… may not know that. He’s busy helping out all you folks that don’t have a Fantasy Baseball team in the running over at RazzFoot. That’s what I’m calling our Fantasy Football site. Because 20 years ago, I loved the Ninja Turtles. You know, the Foot Clan? RazzFoot? NINJA VANISH! Eh. Whatever. The McCutch is having a great year. He’s having a great Fantasy Baseball year. To hate him is to hate kittens. To love him is to not spell it McCutcheon. Start spreading the word. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday:

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I’ve been mentioning him here and there in the blurb sections of the roundups, but I can’t wait until Friday’s Buy, or until the offseason when I’m gonna gush over him in a sleeper post. I love Cody Asche. I love him for everything he is, and for everything he’s not. One thing he’s not is on many, if anyone’s radar. He’s not even owned in 1% of ESPN leagues, though once Matthew Berry picks him up on 24,000 of his teams that number will shoot up to 99% owned. Yesterday, Asche went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer in 28 games. Prorate that over a full season and he’s hitting 40 homers– Wait, I had my calculator to Chris Davis math. Okay, so it’s only about 15-20 homers, but he can also steal 10 bases and should hit around .290. He’s like a modern day Eric Hosmer, if Eric Hosmer weren’t already modern day. I remixing The Game for this Outkast and Asche’s to Asche’s, ah ha, don’t make me hush this fuss! Why do I love him for this year, but much more for 2014 fantasy baseball? The Phillies need to move towards the future, and Asche will have a starting job, and get drafted in the late 200′s in most mixed leagues, but have the upside of a 70/17/82/.285/10 player. Yes, I just gave you my first 2014 projection. Cody Asche, you make me excited, let’s cuddle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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:

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It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.

In other news…

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