It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam.  Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds.  Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone.  For now though, it’s all about the holds.  It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league.  These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned.   So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this…  I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score.   Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon.  It’s the hold.  Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat.  It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens.  So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far.  Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.

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Grey say, “Devon Travis my boo-boo.” Obama say, “What it do?” The Buy/Sell Column say, “Did you miss me?!” During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Skidmark, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from The Act of Killing with puppets in a staged production on the western tip of Alaska because I’M HARDCORE! You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that be cutting puppets’ necks with chicken wire while bundled up because it was frickin’ cold in Alaska during the winter!? Mental midgets, you want the latter! I’m eating puppet stuffing like I’m George “The Animal” Steele just to prove how crazy I am! Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I love Devon Travis like his momma. Let’s throw out what he’s done this year so far for small sample size reasons — that’s what she said! Huh? — and simply look at Travis’s minor league stats. In Single-A, he hit .352 with 6 homers and 14 steals in 77 games. That’s a young man’s professional ball level, let’s move up higher. In Double-A last year in 100 games, he had 10 homers, 16 steals and a .298 average. He didn’t strike out a lot. He wasn’t getting by on his good looks and high BABIP (for him). If you take me out of the equation, ZiPS gives him 13 HRs, 11 SBs in only 116 games. Unless he gets hurt, there’s no reason why he can’t play at least 140 games, so that makes him a 17 HR, 15 SBs guy. Oh. Wait a minute, that’s glorious. Also, I think the Jays are gonna move him to the top of the order by May 1st. Let’s just pray that the Jays don’t do something stupid when Izturis is healthy again. Because…They say with Devon love comes first! We’ll make Devon a place on earth! Sing it, Belinda Carlisle! (By the by, Belinda Carlisle? Hot Cougar Alert! She could be 85 years old and sexy as all get out!) If you’re hurting at MI, I’d grab him, because I’m randy for Travis. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Anthony Rendon went for a third opinion and heard the same thing — a sprained MCL. Another day, another opinion. It’s like he’s a girl and his knee is a new skirt. “I was in home ec and Jimmy Andrews comes in and….” *snaps bubble gum* “He’s wearing, like, one of those soft-wool t-shirts that has the funniest thing on it and…” *twirls hair* “He says, ‘Hello.’ I’m dying. Ah-magod! Ah-magod! Ah-magod! So, I asked him, ya know, what he thought of my knee, and he said it looked good. Ah-magod!” And that’s how you insult your four girl readers! Seriously, people with a life-threatening ailment get fewer opinions from doctors. The Nats finally have a timetable for his return: three weeks. When it takes three weeks to figure out it’s going to be three weeks, I don’t get the most confident feeling coming from this news, but if we’re to take it at face value, then he’ll return after only missing about 15 games. I moved him the other day in my fantasy baseball rankings and top 400, and won’t move him again. If he’s sitting there in the third round and you’re feeling lucky, then give him a shot. Ah-magod! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (22) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Buffalo
AA: [68-72] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [63-68] Florida State League – Dunedin
A: [61-78] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [39-37] Northwest League — Vancouver

Graduated Prospects
Todd Redmond (RHP); Aaron Loup (LHP)

The Run Down
No one questions Aaron Sanchez‘s fantasy upside, which is as sexy as any minor league starting pitcher’s. And Marcus Stroman is a whiff machine — a former Duke Blue Devil, whose fastball/slider combo is so impressive that it (almost) allows me to look past the fact that he (probably) roots for Duke hoops. I loathe Duke hoops. Anyway, after those two headliners, this Toronto farm is young. Quite young. And as we know, youth is volatile. There’s upside here, but much of it hasn’t yet reached the full-season level, and therefore, it’s largely untested. A good number of these promising youngsters, however, will be headed to Toronto’s Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League next spring, and being a Chicago native, I’m excited to have the chance to put eyes on the Lansing squad when it passes through Kane County. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I see. Until then…

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Last week’s draft poured a whole shizzload of new prospects into the realm of pro baseball, and damn near all of them carry zero fantasy relevance at the moment. Don’t let Harold Reynolds fool you. Mark Appel will not be pitching for the Astros this season. Also, Harold Reynolds is dumb. Appel, however, is one of a handful of draft prospects who could offer value to fantasy teams as soon as this time next year. And in a recent Scouting the Unknown series, I took a look at nine draft prospects who appeared destined to move quickly toward the bigs — the Michael Wacha/Kevin Gausman/Mike Zunino types of the 2013 draft. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 by clicking those links.

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In my Week 4 MiLB report, I included a brief writeup on Blue Jays pitching prospect, Roberto Osuna, highlighting his hot start to 2013 season at Low-A Lansing. My blurb from that particular post: “Number five on my Blue Jays top ten from March, Osuna is a rather plump 18-year-old with a front-end arsenal. Through 18 IP at Low-A Lansing, he’s posted a 26/3 K/BB along with an ERA at 2.95 and a WHIP at 0.82. Some folks are concerned about his potentially tubby frame, but the stuff might just be good enough to overcome the weight issue.” Well Osuna was pulled from his most recent start with elbow discomfort. A subsequent visit to Dr. Andrews has revealed a UCL tear, and it’s now all but official that the Jays’ prized prospect will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. The developmental setback is disappointing, but at age 18, Osuna was ahead of the developmental curve already. There’s still reason to remain optimistic about his future outlook, but it looks like it’ll be a full year before we see him pitching in a meaningful game again. And that sucks.

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Twins fans might be in for a frustrating year at the big league level, but trust me, the future is bright in Minnesota. No other organization can boast such a high-profile pair of hitting prospects as the Twins can with Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Sano, who boasts raw power unmatched by any other minor leaguer, is simply on fire. The 19-year-old is hitting .370/.429/.765 with 9 homers in 91 trips to the plate with High-A Fort Myers. Meanwhile, Buxton, the 2nd overall pick last June, is having no trouble with his first taste of full-season baseball, batting .400/.524/.662 with 3 homers and 8 stolen bases through 82 PA. I went over my Byron Buxton fantasy the other week, in case you missed it. Judging by tools alone, these two are among the most exciting talents in baseball. The fact that they’re backing up their tools with such serious production on the field only vaults their stock to new heights — I’m talkin’ top ten overall for both. 2016 can’t arrive soon enough for Twins fans.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19) | 2008 (25)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] AL East
AAA: [79-64] Pacific Coast League – Las Vegas (IL Buffalo beginning 2013)
AA: [61-81] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [78-55] Florida State League – Dunedin
A: [82-55] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [46-30] Northwest League — Vancouver

Graduated Prospects
Anthony Gose (OF); Moises Sierra (OF); Drew Hutchison (RHP)

Please, blog, may I have some more?