One of the things I enjoy about NL and AL-only leagues is that they often provide a comfortable home for fantasy baseball’s otherwise undesirables. I’m amazed at how many players there are that I’ve just flat out never heard that get promoted each year, no matter how well I think I know every MLB team’s roster and depth chart, and no matter how much time I put into trying to improve my knowledge of the minor leagues. Most of the players that get called up and have been completely under the radar do exactly what we’d expect them to – perhaps make a little splash as they dive into their first cup of coffee, but then quickly fade into oblivion. A few defy the odds and become mixed-league relevant. And some do what we deep leaguers need them to do – play just well enough that they are worth rostering. Much like actual baseball teams, it doesn’t seem like many deep league fantasy champions get through their 162-game seasons without a few spells of random help from players who seem to have appeared from completely out of the blue.

It’s still May, but we are already seeing many players who may ultimately fit this description come October. There are always a handful of guys that are somehow able to outperform their stats/projections/abilities, and I always think of 2016 Junior Guerra as the poster boy for this phenomenon. When writing about him last year, the more research I did, the more I realized that he didn’t have a single peripheral in his past stats to suggest he could do exactly what he did: have a prolonged run of success at the major league level. Yet somehow watching him pitch, there was an intangible (Grit? Moxie?) that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but made me want to own him. Back to the present:  in the last couple of weeks, I feel like every time I turn around there’s a newbie that’s being thrown into a major league starting rotation. This week, I’ll be highlighting a few of these pitchers amongst the other players that might be available on the scrap heap that is your single league waiver wire…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title is referring to 24.  I never saw 24.  Well, I’ve seen the number.  I never saw the show.  No interest really.  Not my sorta thing.  I do have a Kiefer Sutherland story though.  I think I recapped it in my book, Who Is Grey Albright?  Long story short, at my first job ever in Boston (and really only job ever where I collected a weekly paycheck), I was working in a film production office and someone called for the producer and I asked them who they were.  “Tell him, it’s Kiefer,” and I was like, “Kiefer?  Kiefer who?”  “It’s Kiefer Sutherland, you jackass!”  I wasn’t made for answering phones, apparently.  Y’all gotta admit; you hear the name Kiefer out of context and it’s a bizarre name.  Though, it wasn’t fully out of context, I suppose, since it was a film office.  Any hoo!  Whatever Trevor Bauer did prior to yesterday’s game, do it again!  Was it the pre-game chucking of a softball three-quarters of hectare?  Then do that!  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners with 14 Ks.  Well, hello, there.  Can you stay a while?  Maybe I can make you a Cuba Libre and some Brazilian cheesy bread?  His peripherals are gorge too — 11.5 K/9, 3 BB/9 and a 3.03 xFIP.  Of course, his opponent, Sonny Gray went 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER, and thus illuminates the problem.  Gray was solid too, a game ago, and now look at him.  I’d grab Bauer for some Ks, but the risk is enormous.  He doesn’t just happen to have a 6.00 ERA even after yesterday’s game.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have to admit that I am completely tired of talking about all the Nick Green‘s and Hector Jimenez‘s of the fantasy baseball world. I could use a one-week recharge from rummaging through the free agency trash heap of our deep leagues, which means you do to. I’m the driver, so you never really had a choice anyways. That being said, today’s subject might be useful as you begin to get a feel for what your team is and what it needs. Whether or not you are thinking about buying for a run at the championship, or already day-dreaming about drowning your team in a fire-sale, I’d like to tackle some players you should be asking for as throw-ins. And by throw-ins, I’m talking about prospects outside of the Top-100 that you should ask for in every trade proposal. My goal is to name names that aren’t expensive, don’t move the dynamic of your proposal, but could pay dividends a couple years down the road. Remember, there were 1,026 players taken in the 1988 draft before Mike Piazza. Let’s find ours.

Please, blog, may I have some more?