It began as a whisper… a promise… the lightest of breezes danced above the cries of men and women cheering him on in little league. That breeze became a wind. A wind of freedom… a wind of justice… a wind of vengeance. The time has come, my Beddictites, to prepare yourselves for a breakout of epic proportions. I speak not of the Herp, but of the Harp; Bryce Harper to be clear.
Some would argue that Nostradamus’s greatest prophesy was made in the year 1566, mere days before his horrific case of the Gout brought him to his death bed. “What prophesy is this you speak of, oh wise and charming Beddict?” Ask and thou shalt receive. A deep search into the annals of Nostradamus’s journals produced this historic find– “In the year of our Elder Gods, 2014, a breathtakingly handsome young writer will come out of the shadows and change the world forever. He will no doubt be criticized by many a troglodyte [Ed. Note-- Good word usage bro.], but he shall not hold it against them, for they not know better. On March 10, 2014, this debonaire young man, who will be known as the Mark Twain/William Shakespeare of his generation, will make a prediction about another chosen one, another young man I have seen in my dreams, an athlete of sorts. These overwhelmingly powerful visions of this brutish boy swinging what seems to be a wooden stick at a bloodless round object have seemingly pushed me to the brink of my grave. It’s either these visions or this Mother F’ing gout! Anyway, I know not what this prediction shall be, but whatever it is, it will have an 85 percent chance of coming to fruition. These two young men’s futures will be forever intertwined for better or for worse. Take heed, for it has been written. I can now die in peace knowing my last true vision has been recorded in my leather-bound and padlocked journal. Now, if only this useless peasant, wife of mine would bring me my favorite chocolate sprinkled crepes along with some brie. Tis a virtual certainty she’s yet again, getting bent over in the barn by my stable boy, Mortimer. By the Gods, I despise that whore.” It’s been said those were the last sentences ever written by Damus, as he passed and now resides with Hood in “House Death.” Please, blog, may I have some more?
As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East… Please, blog, may I have some more?
To begin, I should make it clear that this is not a list of my top overall prospects. No, this is a 2014-specific list, and it exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland. The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive fantasy contributions during the 2014 season. Those of you who follow my Prospect Power Rankings series during the season, understand that time-specific prospect rankings are fluid — it’s a tricky game, weighing potential impact against current opportunity, and outlooks can change drastically overnight. There are too many variables at work to peg these ETA’s accurately, and that is precisely why we revisit these rankings often throughout the year with the aforementioned power rankings. Consider this a starting point. Numbers 26-50 will run next week, but for now, let’s dig into the top-25. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (16) | 2012 (24) | 2011 (20) | 2010 (25) | 2009 (17)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL East
AAA: [81-63] Pacific Coast League — Las Vegas
AA: [86-55] Eastern League — Binghamton
A+: [71-60] Florida State League — St. Lucie
A: [77-61] South Atlantic League — Savannah
A(ss): [38-37] New York-Penn League — Brooklyn
Juan Lagares (OF); Josh Satin (INF); Anthony Recker (C); Zack Wheeler (RHP); Scott Rice (LHP)
The Run Down Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hoo boy, Mets fans, that R.A. Dickey trade is looking mighty nice these days. I liked the swap for the Mets from the moment it went down, but in the year that’s passed since the transaction, we’ve seen Dickey regress considerably and Noah Syndergaard emerge as a front-of-the-rotation prospect. Provided Travis d’Arnaud can stay healthy, that trade should be perceived as one of the more lopsided moves in recent history. Syndergaard and d’Arnaud are the headliners in this org, but there’s impact depth behind them, and plenty of it is set to surface in the bigs this season. For 2014 fantasy purposes, this Mets system should be one of the more influential groups in the game, as the top 5 names on this list prepare to step up to the highest level.
I just went over the top 10 for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Last year, Napoli was the top ranked catcher at the end of year. He was the 11th best 1st baseman. The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position. Everyone was crazy about Buster Posey last year (everyone except me). Buster Posey did about as much as Kendrys Morales. Lowercase yay. In the top five catchers last year were Lucroy, V-Mart, Rosario and Molina. One guy was drafted in the top 100, and that was barely. No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers. They’re all hot garbage with a side order of stank. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness. Jarrod Saltymochachino, Jason Castro and Salvador Perez were the 8th, 9th and 10th best catchers last year. All of them were on waivers in shallower leagues as late as July. Only the depth of 2nd basemen is worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity. You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Devin Mesoraco. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2014 fantasy baseball under 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2014 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Before we get this post-Festivus celebration of the back-end of this mock-u-mentiful draft going, I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of this crazy idea, because I apparently have nothing else to with my time during the off-season. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find the Round 1-5 Recap by clicking on this linkadink. For the Round 6-10 Recap, go ahead and marvel at this linkadink. For the complete results, you can check them out here. (Dat nineties website design, bro.) So let’s go to the jump and get this present unwrapped. HOLIDAY THEMES! Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against: Please, blog, may I have some more?
See Jesus Montero, see Mike Zunino…Shoot, see any young catchers. Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside, catchers aren’t great guys to look at when they’re young. Defense is demanding for them. Have to handle the pitching staff. Have to bend down and shizz. It doesn’t seem like much fun. I don’t like bending down to look for a lost dog toy under the couch, imagine doing that for three hours a night. Blech. Get me a Barcalounger and put it behind home plate. Actually, I don’t want people to steal this invention that I’m going on Shark Tank with, but if you put a motor on a Barcalounger, you really never have to stand up again. A great year from a young catcher is handling the pitching staff and chipping in a homer here and there and a .240 average. I still don’t fully buy Yadier Molina’s stats the last few years, but let’s assume he is this good. For his first seven years, he never topped 8 homers or a .304 batting average. In his last three years, he hasn’t had a mark under either of those. If the pitchers are doing well and/or liking how the catcher is calling the game, catchers don’t have to hit, especially not when they’re first called up. This seems to go doubly for NL teams. BTW, try to say ‘doubly’ without sounding drunk. You can’t do it. So, expect nothing from Travis d’Arnaud. But if he backs into some stats (say, while sitting in a motorized Barcalounger), what can we expect of Travis d’Arnaud for 2014 fantasy baseball? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Andrew McCutchen nailed down his 3rd straight 20/20 season. He’s once again a top ten on our Player Rater. So, is it The Dread Pirate or Paul Goldschmidt (who notched a slam (34) and legs (15) last night — Au Shizz!) as the 3rd player off the board next year? Miggy and Trout are locked into the ones and twos like you in high school when you briefly thought DJ was a career choice. A case could be made for either of them, and I haven’t decided yet. It’s my, and every fantasy baseball ‘pert’s prerogative, to wait. You can’t just say I’m the handsomest, most musatchioed ‘pert and expect me to drop my pants and get into bed with you. That might work for AJ Mass when you want him to rank Carl Crawford third. Rub my shoulders, they’re sore from 6 months of blurb writing. There, that’s nice… Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah! McCutchen is an easy number three because you’re going to get steals, power, average, RBIs and runs….But Au Shizz gets you all of that with less speed, more power and 1st base eligibility…But McCutchen has a longer track record…But Au Shizz has a higher ceiling…But does he? But-but-but! I got more butts than Leyland’s ashtray. It might come down to a game time decision in January when I release the 2014 rankings…Assuming I don’t ride off into the sunset on a horse like I’m Julia Roberts when it’s time for me to get married this offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is always painful, but it’s also necessary. What follows is a look back at my preseason prospect rankings — a self audit, if you will. To be clear, this isn’t a re-ranking or anything, but it should suffice to remind all of you that I am mostly stupid. Please keep in mind that these guys are very early in their careers, and there is plenty of time for each to either figure it out, or get figured out. Anyway, let’s cut to it. Here’s the list as it appeared back in February: Please, blog, may I have some more?