It’s no secret that offense has been in decline across the board in major league baseball in recent years. It seems like only, uh, 17 years ago that the race was on to see who could break Roger Maris’ single season home run record. Last season, only Nelson Cruz reached the 40 HR mark and just ten other players managed to knock 30 out of the park. Remember Vince Coleman’s string of three consecutive 100+ steal seasons from ’85-’87? No? Too young, eh? If you’re familiar with the video game R.B.I. Baseball for the original 8-bit Nintendo, he’s the guy who’s able to steal bases at will. It was basically the same deal in real life. Pretty darn impressive feat, especially when you consider the fact that only four players reached the 40 SB mark last year.

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Playing in an OBP league not only takes into account more of the players overall performance, it can also help you get a couple of steals on draft day. I took a look at third base and singled out a few players to target and one to pass over that others in your league may be sleeping on…

Looking at the top-5 in OBP last year, we end up with Adrian Beltre (.388), Matt Carpenter (.375), Carlos Santana (.365), Casey McGehee (.355), and Anthony Rendon (.351). No surprise that at number one, is the top ranked third baseman going into 2015, and Rendon is going in the top-20 overall in most leagues, however the others are a bit more surprising. No one is taking Casey McGehee in the top-20 at third base in any league, and no one should, but it’s interesting to see him so high on the list.  Looking past him, we have a couple of guys that are pretty well known to be more valuable in OBP leagues: Carpenter and Santana. Each brings a different skill set to the table, but have significantly more value in an OBP league vs. standard, and if your league is a new to OBP, you should be able to get both at a bargain. Here are a few stand outs that I am targeting in any OBP league.

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the protagonist, Hester Prynne, is forced to wear a red “A” on her dress as punishment for committing adultery.  Like Ms. Prynne way back in the 1600s, you too will be heavily penalized if you choose to cheat on your fantasy team by drafting Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Billy Hamilton — a man with a different red letter on his uniform.

Hawthorne’s critically acclaimed tale concerned itself with many moral indecencies.  At the center of it all was the notion that adultery was a sin, and anyone who perpetrated this lascivious act would pay the consequences.  Attempting to gain an early edge in the stolen base category is one of the most heinous fantasy crimes an owner can carry out (cue the Law & Order: SVU opening).

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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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Today we (hint: it’s in the title) go over the top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. Now that we’re knee deep in the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings we can get a better idea of how deep certain positions are. Lawrie was 20th for the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and here he’s 23rd. On the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball, Frazier was 10th overall, and here he’s 8th, and Chisenhall is 40th here, but 44th for 1st basemen. Bogaerts was 7th at the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball and here he’s 15th. Finally, in the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, Santana is first and here he’s 12th. In summation, catchers are the worst, then shortstops, 2nd basemen, 3rd basemen and 1st basemen. No real surprises there, but shortstops, 2nd basemen and 3rd basemen are pretty close to a toss up in depth (or derp). To summate my summation, lowercase yay. As always, my projections and tiers are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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This top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball goes to about fiddy. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2015 fantasy baseball, and all the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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When Grey contacted me in mid-October about a mock draft, I thought perhaps an email that got caught up in his iPhone draft folder had finally wiggled it’s way out of technological purgatory.  Yo Grey, I fire back, I think you got hacked and the worst part is even your spam is about fantasy baseball.  After some clarification via emails and iPhone emojis, it was clear it was indeed a mock draft for the 2015 season being offered up by Bryan Curley of Baseballprof.com.  And look at that site bio pic…who could say no to that, right?  So I started the long and winding trek that was this pre-pre-pre-season mock draft.  Since we’re nowhere near the start of the season, there was a 24 hour clock for each pick.  All that to say, since the start of this mock draft, the Padres have traded for every player in the league at least once, the football season basically came and went, and we’ve found out that we side with North Korea in the matters of Seth Rogen/James Franco movies.  But after three months’ worth of setup and drafting, 12 teams were made and now we get to talk about them so here it goes.  Let’s take a look at a way too early mock for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Third base was far from an epic fail like something JayWrong would have a GIF for. There were a good ten 3rd basemen and another handful that could’ve covered your corner infidel slot. The problem is after the top twelve, the 3rd basemen fall off the map like a 12th century explorer. Here’s you, “Hey, I’m gonna go to India heading west.” You’re whistling, everything is good, then you have Trevor Plouffe in your corner infidel slot and you’re dead from scurvy. This year there were fewer 3rd basemen coming out of nowhere to give you value, so if you didn’t have a top guy, you were probably stuck piecing together waiver scraps. This final ranking 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. I look forward to the random comment about how I’ve left off so-and-so. This is not for next year. Lisa Simpson groan. Oh, they’re not reading this intro. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Prince Fielder, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine. Please enjoy these cyanide pills I made special for you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. Last year, I said the end-of-the-season rankings of the 1st basemen was the sorriest group I’d ever seen. That remains true. Last year was sorrier. This group isn’t exactly the meow’s cat, but you didn’t lose your league due to these guys. You lost your league due to guys that didn’t make this list like Chris Davis, Mauer, Hosmer, Cuddyer, Votto, Trumbo, Allen Craig and the afatmentioned, Fielder. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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