MLB: San Francisco Giants-Photo Day

I’ve got to be “bust”ing your chops by suggesting Buster Posey as a first round pick in points leagues, right? First I declare Clayton Kershaw the top overall pick over Mike Trout, and now this? Some of you are probably thinking that I’ve been smoking a bit of the devil’s lettuce with Tim Lincecum while putting together these posts! Well I can assure you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Big Time Timmy Jim and seeing if I can figure out what the heck happened to him, as I expected The Freak to anchor my staff for longer than he did…

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Second base is a solid position in OBP leagues and you can find standouts across the board and throughout the top-20. I have a few guys I am targeting heavily in drafts for the keystone, as well as MI positions, as I tend to end up with a second baseman there too. The top-5 in OBP looks a lot like most rankings: Robinson Cano .382, Jose Altuve .377, Ben Zobrist .354, (Anthony Rendon if eligible .351), Howie Kendrick .347, and Brian Dozier .345. There are also a couple of names left off of this list that are pretty consistently in the top 5 ranks: Ian Kinsler .307, and Dee Gordon .326 (but more on him later.) Here are a few guys I am targeting and one player, who was a surprising breakout last year, that I’m avoiding…

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I should probably start off by apologizing to some of you as the title of this post might be somewhat misleading. This is not a Fifty Shades of Grey movie review. For those of you who arrived here with those expectations, I’m sorry. I’m not sure how it could have happened. Nothing in this post references BDSM, dominant/submissive tendencies, or bondage at any time. It’s all very confusing.

What this post does intend to cover is the MLB hitters who displayed above average power and plate discipline during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The main idea behind this exercise is to identify players who are power assets without being liabilities in the batting average category.

Let’s take a look at the search criteria that were used to identify these players:

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In the year of thirteen after twenty in the land bestowed to us by Disney and Guiliani called the City of York, Jay-Z removed his Brooklyn Nets leather cap, raspberried his lips and scratched his head. He buzzed his assistant’s intercom and said, “Solange,when you get a second, the spreadsheets you brought me are wrong. I want WAR.” Solange thought he wanted to war with her, and that led to the infamous encounter where she thrashed him in an elevator on the way home from an EPA fundraiser. What Jay-Z wanted to do was research Robinson Cano‘s value for his upcoming contract negotiations. Little did Hova know, but that research was unnecessary. Seattle was looking to double their city’s Dominican-American population and sign Cano. Coming off the $240 million signing, Cano could do no right last year, but was it expectations set by that contract, or was it simply he could do no right? Like a dwarf getting down cereal from a cabinet, I’m gonna go with the latter. Cano eventually hit his usual .310+, but with only fourteen homers, ten steals and yawnstipating runs and RBIs. Some of that can be blamed on the M’s. Shoot, we can blame the whole lot on the M’s if we want, they did sign him for an astronomical sum, after all. The reason why I go back to the contract is because I think that affects people’s perception of Cano. They expect Cano will be better in 2015. They don’t think a guy who is making gazillions (I’m rounding) could be bad. They, of course, would be wrong. Cano’s admirers suffer from a psychological disease I’ve touched on before. It’s called Poseyitis. Poseyitis is when a player’s real-life hype creeps its way into the discussion about a player’s fantasy value. You need to separate the two. So, why is Robinson Cano overrated for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Keeper league rankings are here (the 2014 Rankings can be found here), and I am going to absolutely shock the world with my number one. This is all about zagging when others zig. You gotta get out in front of the pack with advanced statistics and clever strategory. Sometimes you have to be bold and go against the grain to get that competitive edg…what’s that? Everybody else has Mike Trout number one too? It’s common sense? Well…crap. These are my personal rankings and take into account the 2015-2019 seasons. Don’t start flipping through your calendar – that’s 5 years. It means the senior citizen players are really going have to provide some nice statistics in the first year or two to rank highly. It also means players who are in or, better yet, just entering their prime get a bump. It’s not a hybrid list, so no prospects or Cuban rookies…sorry. It’s also not set for any specific pricing or league settings so assume a standard 5×5 roto format with no penalties to keep a player. Basically it’s a ranking of what I think these players will be worth over the next 5 years as a whole. It’s that simple. Here are my top 100 keepers for 2015 and beyond…

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With the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for every position done, we turn our lazy eye towards the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball. These 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are one part fresh and two parts to def. They own a cat, a dog and a lizard in a two bedroom apartment where pets aren’t allowed. Know why? Cause they don’t care! None of this top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball is meant to surprise. *jumping out of a closet* Boo! Now, that was meant to surprise. This top 100 is just taking my positional rankings and putting guys in The Big Picture. You really should read each ranking post because the blurbs in this top 100 are on the skimpy side because there’s so many of them, and I went over each one of these guys already. Obviously at a hundred players, some guys just didn’t make it. About 300, to be inexact. It’s okay; there will be a top 400 tomorrow. Shortly, Sloth, you’ll have your Baby Ruth. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2015 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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In the first article of this series, I looked at some of the most disappointing fantasy performers from this past season and attempted to project what should be expected from those players in 2015. If you missed it, you can check out that post here. This time around, I’m going to break down a few players who unexpectedly produced some of the best overall numbers in fantasy baseball during the 2014 season. None of these guys were thought of as core players for fantasy owners to build around prior to the season, but all of them found their way onto many championship teams due to their elite production.

Are these breakout performances sustainable going forward? Should significant regression be expected? Let’s investigate further…

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. There were a lot of land mines found at this position. Shoot (not you Dick Cheney!), I’d say a guy like Cano ending up in the top 10 was still a landmine due to where you had to draft him. But there was Kipnis, Gyorko, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips, Brad Miller (!), Lowrie and the thousands words devoted to Alex Guerrero in the preseason and he didn’t even show up until September. 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 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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If you’ve been scouring all your picture books for a proper fantasy hitter in the final week, look no further. Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-4 with his 19th home run and two RBI last night. Arcia has a nice little six-game hitting streak, with four homers in that stretch. To be fair, however, he’s also sat four games in that span with a tweaked muscle in his upper back. Injury concerns aside, Oswaldo is destroying baseballs when he’s on the field. In his past six games, he’s clubbed four homers and with 8 RBI. He’s slugging .858 in the past two weeks while batting over .400, and with 19 homers (12 at cavernous Target Field) in 94 games, he’s got serious power and might be someone to consider on draft day next year. He’s worth the pick up in all leagues if you need some pop in the final week of the season. Oswaldo could power you to fantasy glory. He’s missed some time in the past few days, but he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury while on the field, so hopefully this back injury is behind him for the most part. Get it!?  Ha! Either way that shouldn’t discourage you from picking him up this hot little potato while he’s mashing.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Recently, Matt Adams and his melon-ball shape has either been dreadful or benched for Daniel Descalso. The only time Descalso should be in front of Adams is in pictures, so the photographer can see him. It’s odd to think Fatt Adams isn’t getting it done at the plate. I do have a useful suggestion for everyone in Missouri. Send a topless Adams into Ferguson. That would lighten the mood for everyone involved. “I hate your guts!” “Speaking of guts…” And everyone smiles and laughs at the naked fat man. Peace brought to you by the ingestion of copious amounts of lard. Now, instead of Descalso, the Cardinals have a real option to move over moobs, Xavier Scruggs. What? No Crockett? How can the Cardinals go with a platoon of Scruggs and Tubbs? It’s crazy talk! Scruggs is A) Old to never be in the majors yet. B) Legit power threat that could hit .190. C) There’s no C. He has Quad-A player written all over him, but sometimes Quad-A players are exactly the kind of hitters that excel in September when they’re facing a bunch of Quad-A pitchers. Too early outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues to worry about Scruggs, but this does put the kibosh on any value Tubbs had, not to mention now he’s phantomed-up an oblique injury. Like anyone could even find his oblique! In all but very deep leagues, I’d drop Adams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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