Happy 4th of July weekend, my all-American Razzballers (and two foreign readers). It was in the greatest breakup letter ever penned that our Founding Fathers said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ‘Murica, f*** yeah!” John Hancock then signed with a big “Ef you very much”. Ben Franklin downed his thirteenth pint of ale (“one for each State”, he slurred) and Thomas Jefferson hurried home to “check on the help”. As we Razzballin’ scribes gather on this holiday weekend in the Razzball Lounge for some grillin’ and chillin’ and a little bottle rocket firin’ at the guys from YAHOO!, it’s important to remember that if it wasn’t for those wig wearing patriots we’d all be driving on the wrong side of the road and playing fantasy cricket! Don’t tread on me and don’t stare directly at Tehol’s red, white and blue thong. This week in the lounge we’re talking some deep league jams and crams. With the season half over, the player pool has gotten shallow in most RCL’s and that requires us to take some chances, play some matchups and maximize at-bats in order to move up in the standings. While our leaguemates are snoozing with a belly full of hot dogs and Miller High Life, let’s make like George Washington crossing the Delaware and kill the competition while they sleep. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

If you’re looking for some more deep league talk and jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What up blood! What up cuz! What up Gaaaaangstas (Turn this up)!!!  They say I walk around like I got an ‘S’ on my chest. Nah, that’s a keyboard and a cashmere sweater vest on my chest. Greetings! Tis I, Tehol Beddict, internet-thug extraordinaire, returning to you from a much needed creative sabbatical. I can’t truly explain my absence last week. Yes, I was experiencing the kind of migraine headaches I imagine  Christian Slater receiving when he thinks about his career path, for a couple days, but there was something more, something deeper. The creative juices simply weren’t flowing, as I felt like Macaulay Culkin after he made Getting Even With Dad. Where do I go from here? Have I peaked? Do I have anything left to give this world? Has Domonic Brown soul f*cked me to the point there’s nothing left of me but a dried up, useless corpse? My chicken, the normally loving and playful Beatrice, that you see pictured, wouldn’t even look me in eye! The Elder Gods, whom have guided me to countless fantasy championships, had seemingly abandoned me. As I laid naked, curled up in a ball on my polar bear rug, bawling my eyes out, all seemed lost.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

…And by “IBS”, I don’t mean irritable bowel syndrome. In this context, I mean BABIP verified by ISO and Spd scores. Two things induce my real life IBS: nutrition, and my high impact dynasty leagues. Consider this series your dynasty IBS treatment.

BABIP has little face, so I use ISO (isolated slugging) and Spd (FG’s speed score) to verify the BABIP.

Check out Part 1 of this series where I delved into Trois-A assets. While Joc Pederson and Gregory Polanco naturally lead the rankings in conjunction with Quad-A guys like Andrew Brown and Chris Dickerson, I pointed to some translatable future impact in Chris Taylor and Domingo Santana, among others.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That BTXJ is one smart fella. Last week, he predicted Khris Davis (+60%) would be this week’s biggest add and he would have had it locked down if not for Oscar Taveras (+80%) getting called up. Davis has been a hot topic in the comments section lately and for good reason. After a slow start in April, Davis hit .281/.330/.584 with six home runs and nine doubles in May. His splits are interesting. He’s posted a pedestrian 70 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, but he’s annihilating lefties with a 229 wRC+. Not that we all have the luxury of platooning hitters, but that’s a big split. The 26-year-old outfielder raised his walk rate from 1% to 7% in May, and nearly cut his 30% strikeout rate in half. He’s hit fifth in a strong Brewers lineup most nights and Steamer projects him for another 13 home runs and 40 runs batted in by the season’s end. That RBI total might actually be on the conservative side if he has indeed made adjustments at the plate. Here are two more buy/sell picks from this week’s most added and dropped players…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Razzball Radio last week, where you finally got to see my perfectly circumferenced face, that looks like almost any chubby latino catcher that you can think of (to name a couple: Ramon Castro, Josmil Pinto), I got into my win-now approach. I traded high impact prospects (Gregory Polanco and Anthony Rendon) for a more immediate influence, (Robinson Cano).

I often wind up with no top prospects by year’s end, but still wind up with a sundry of “B” prospects that turn into more i.e. Mookie Betts and Joc Pederson last year for nothing! It’s about this time of the year that I start delving into C prospects in dynasty leagues for warm bodies to displace my empty prospect slots. Often, guys that come up will have initial contact problems, so I look for guys that can elevate their BABIP through both power (ISO) and speed (SPD). An extreme example is Yasiel Puig. He had contact problems last year, but he’s a monster in the power and speed departments ensuring an elevated BABIP. This year he’s put that together with a rational HR/FB ratio and a really nice contact and discipline jump. He’s elite.

It seems like I’m always seeing current and former Mets when I do this. This year is no different thanks to Andrew Brown and Eric Campbell (current Mets) as well as Nick Evans and Mike Jacobs (former) – all on this list due to their wOBA’s and ISO. While we might find more eventual, longer-term impact in AA, for this post, let’s look at the AAA minor league leaderboard (as of 5/30), including the Mexican League ranked by wOBA combined with BABIP (weighed by ISO and SPD)… just trust me:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “The rule is: jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.”  Carroll also was blasted out of his mad hatter on opium and really liked little kids (in a weird Michael Jackson-Jesus juice kind of way). However, your humble-but-nonetheless-poppy-fueled Guru says jam yesterday, cram tomorrow and jam it twice today. Now pass the hookah and pardon me while I pull on your bloomers about something here, Alice (and it completely applies to the jamming and the cramming we’re about to do): This Super Two nonsense is damn annoying. Not to just us fantasy ballers, but to anyone that’s a fan of young talent wasting away in the likes of Iowa and Indianapolis. Bring up Javier Baez and Gregory Polanco now! Don’t give me the ol’, “He needs more seasoning” B.S.. How much seasoning does Polanco need? He’s hitting .350, with six homers, 45 RBI and 11 steals in 50 games. I think this meat is tender enough, get him on the grill now. Of course teams put money above winning (and our fake teams), that’s why four watered down Sam Adams’ cost me a kidney at Fenway last week. What exactly is Super Two? As simple as I can put it is: once a player gets promoted, they start to accrue MLB service time. A player needs three years of MLB service time to qualify for salary arbitration. However, the top 22% of players promoted first in the season that have more than two years of service time, but less than three years, qualify for salary arbitration under the “Super Two” status. Get all that? Becoming arbitration eligible obviously means a significant bump in the bucks. So, it’s a big money grab by a bunch of Spaulding Smails that fart in the general direction of fans and our fantasy teams. And, while the Pirates playoff chances slip away, you pay $75 to park at PNC, and my Polanco has to have dinner at the Indy Applebee’s. Now that we’ve hit June, this Super Two stuff is about to end and there will be a bunch of prospects making their way to the party. At least the Twins called up Oswaldo Arcia and the St. Louis Cardinals came to their senses by bringing up  Oscar Tavares on Saturday. If the waiver wire in your league is full of Super Two’s, grab them now and screw the Queen of Hearts. With my Sunday rant out of the way, let’s head down this rabbit hole – it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m all about the win-now. This means I will rarely own a top prospect, because I’ll trade them for short term MLB value and/or I just won’t spend the dough on those guys, because I can look a bit deeper for translatable prospects that don’t have as much associated hype. Therefore, I’m not going to whine about not owning and emphasizing the obvious: Oscar Tavares, George Springer, Gregory Polanco or even Jackie Bradley Jr. Instead I’ll draft sure-thing offense so long as they’re healthy (Michael Morse and Yasmani Grandal), and then go with upside starters/or solid veterans like Marco Estrada, Alex Wood, Corey Kluber, Tyson Ross, Kyle Lohse and Tim Hudson (all were available around the same time as these prospects in deep leagues). I literally own all of these guys, and the following ESPN’ers <10% owned as of 4/14:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Make sure you check out Scott Evans’ Prospect ETA’s for a sense of potential high impact call-ups. I’m going to focus on prospects and MLB sleepers beyond the obvious list of prospects. If I list a prospect, that said prospect should have the opportunity to make an impact this year, and in my opinion, have the minor league numbers/skill to translate well enough.

My ‘translate’ for fantasy purposes is simple: do they make enough contact (how often they put the ball in play); what is their approach to putting the ball in play (balls in play mix i.e. linedrives, flyballs, groundballs, HR/FB, infield flyballs, etc.); and what power/speed potential do they have from a fantasy counting stats perspective. Speed won’t have much of a weight in this post though.

Please, blog, may I have some more?