On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.” I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV. It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend. Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways. After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news. I shut it off and turned to the internet. I’m still piecing together my thoughts. He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life. I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties. I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels. There’s a giant pit in my stomach. Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling. Not having fun. I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time. That exuberance came through in everything he did. I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile. How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons. “That was us. That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said. How baseball does that. How special that is. You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
True or false: A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.” C) There’s no C. D) All the above. E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher. If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E? Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?! So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks. Dayum. Hello, wounds, here’s your salt. In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign. Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games). That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is the 2nd title this week referencing Willy Wonka, first being this week’s podcast. It’s a gee-dee Gene Wilder renaissance up in here (up in here)! I miss Gene Wilder, taken way too soon from us. Oh, he’s not dead. He just stopped being funny a’la Dan Aykroyd. (By the way, Aykroyd is a good ten to twenty years younger than you think he is. 64?! I thought he was 64 in Driving Miss Daisy.) I’m thankful for Thomas Middleditch replacing Gene Wilder. If you have no idea who that is, it’s the lead character on Silicon Valley, who is a dead ringer for a young and still alive Gene Wilder. With all of this Wonka talk, tell me you can look at David Dahl in his purple uniform and not hear in your head, “Violet, you’re turning violet.” Or look at the trough you pee in at the next baseball game and tell me you don’t hear, “What a disgusting, dirty river! Industrial waste, that. You’ve ruined your watershed, Wonka: it’s polluted.” Only to realize it’s not poop, but chocolate. Wait, it’s not chocolate, is it? Well, if you want to view paradise, simply look around at David Dahl’s stats and view it. There’s nothing to it. Anything he wants to do, he can do it. There’s no players I know to compare to a pure 30/30 player like David Dahl. Oompa Loompa doopie-what-can-Rockies’-Dahl-do? That’s another puzzle I have for you. He can hit for power, steal bases and likely platoon on the strong side of the left field platoon, unless the Rockies trade CarGo or Blackmon. Anything, that’s what Dahl can do. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 1st to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start. *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber* Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers? Was it the opening sentence? Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings. Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings. By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots? Hyphena. Take it, Highlights, it’s yours. Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside? Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there. *knocks on Cole’s chest* Is a near-9 K/9 in there still? Hello? Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now. Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate. That’s been the story of his season, actually. Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9). He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact. Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results. But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth. It’s Murica! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh man! So close to a Joel Youngblood sighting! Melvin Upton was traded from the Padres to the Blue Jays, a team they are currently facing. Is it me or does it seem like this year the teams are so cheap, they’re not even using their cell minutes. If they’re playing against a team, then they’re trading with them. That’s it. Surprised the Indians haven’t been more active then. Ya know, cause they could use smoke signals. By the way, nothing you could ever say about Native Americans is more racist than a team being called Redskins or the Indians’ mascot. So, go ahead, try! Melvin Upton shook the B.J. name, but you can’t take the Upton out of the B.J.’s, Blue Jays, that is. The trade of Upton takes him from a mediocre team to a solid offensive team, but moves him from the middle of the order to the lower third of the order and potentially even hurts his playing time if the Jays want to get Smoak into the lineup. I’m gonna say all things being equal, it’s a push, which technically means all things are equal, so there! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*walks into a Moroccan marketplace* I got me some Marra-CASH to spend! Hoo-ah! Wow, I sound a little like Al Pacino in my own head. Okay, I’m going to go over to that table that is filled with players to buy low. “Hello…*reads name tag* Djibooti, I see you’re selling slow-starting hitters for a deal.” “Good deal! Good deal!” “Well, I’ll be the judge of that.” *picks up Justin Upton* “This smells like skunk.” “No skunk! Good deal!” *goes through crates filled with albums that have a player’s face on them, lifts Lorenzo Cain* “How much?” “Djibooti need to check MLB Statcast.” Djibooti looks at his iPad, looks up and snatches Cain out of my hands. “No longer for sale!” “Damn, Djibooti, don’t put your emotions in a tagine and get them all heated.” So, Lorenzo Cain obviously was struggling mightily going into yesterday’s game, and, now, not so much — 3-for-5, 5 RBIs with 3 HRs (3, 4, 5). This is why I rarely sell low on struggling top 50 hitters. There was a reason they were drafted there in the first place. Now the buy low is going to be much more difficult too. “Djibooti, how much for David Price?” “You take for free! He’s yours!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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…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?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (18) | 2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16) | 2009 (11)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [86-76] AL Central
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [59-81] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [63-77] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [68-70] South Atlantic League – Lexington
David Lough (OF)
The Run Down
For fantasy purposes, this Royals farm needs to be considered among the more exciting groups in the game. There’s big time appeal for the fantasy game from numbers one through eight on this list, and that talent is spread out across the developmental stages, with high-impact prospects at almost every level of the org. That distribution will make for a steady flow of mixed league-relevant arrivals over the next handful of years, and that includes this year, as front-end arms, Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, prepare to surface in the bigs.