It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.
In other news… Please, blog, may I have some more?
Finally, the Red Sox promoted Nomah’s heir apparent — Zandah Bogats! Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams’s frozen head said, “Allaka Xander!” and poof a direct descendant of Cahl Yahstremski, Nomah and former top prospect, Harvey Jod, who died tragically in a parking lot incident, appeared. Drafting a hard A-voweled hitter makes as much sense for the Sox as drafting soft O’s for the Twins: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau; they still must rue the day they lost out on Joe Charboneau. But, you know, you can’t spell Xander Bogaerts without Red Sox, and he’s got bat and range, to boot. So, here’s looking at you, Bogaerts! Went there, wrote that — Xander Bogaerts fantasy, that is. Now Xander’s here to Bogaert the Red Sox shortstop job. There’s a chance he simply platoons this year. If he’s only used against lefties, his value will be severely diminished in redraft leagues. My guess is he’ll play shortstop vs. lefties, and play some third base vs. righties with Middlebrooks grabbing pine occasionally. Obviously, it wasn’t a great sign last night that he was benched vs. a righty, but it was just one game. I’d grab him in all leagues because his bat is that good. Think of a Puig-type splash at shortstop. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
You don’t have to only listen to Brewers games on the radio to be excited about Khris Davis. You also don’t have to only be excited about owning him for the possibility of verbally swindling another owner. “No, you verbally agreed to trade me Kershaw for Khris Davis. I don’t care if you thought it was that other guy. Besides, this Khris Davis has more homers very, very recently.” Same name chicanery is as old as the Bible. In 25 AD, a guy by the name of Jesus Krist showed up drunk to his job, soaking wet, and got a bye when he said he was practicing walking on water. Many years later, the Roman empire invaded Britain because of a prank call by Klaudius Seesir. For three years, Tori Spelling thought she married the guy from The Practice, only recently finding out it wasn’t Dylan McDermott but Dean McDermott, so you see this is nothing new. Neither is Khris Davis’s power. In the minors, he averaged a homer just about every fifth game, a practice he’s maintaining in the majors (makes him around a 30-homer guy). He now has four homers in the last nine games, and, while he’s hitting, I’d absolutely grab him for power in all leagues. Don’t let his name stop you. Yes, Chris with a K looks like a girl’s name, but it’s not his fault his parents let Roger Clemens name him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the past few seasons, Jose Abreu has been regarded as Cuba’s best offensive talent. The 26-year-old slugger has spent the past decade playing pro ball in Cuba where he routinely was at the top of the league in AVG, OBP, SLG, RBI, and HR. Well, it now seems he’s played his last game in Cuba, as reports earlier this week explain that he has left his homeland and has begun the process of becoming a MLB free agent. At 6-3, 250, Abreu is a large man with next to zero defensive appeal. He’s a 1B/DH type, so he’d fit best with an AL club, but scouting reports suggest he has enough glove to get by at first, so don’t rule out the NL entirely. Wherever he signs, it’s gonna be for big money and an immediate big league opportunity. Abreu is an MLB-ready masher, and at age 26, there’ll be no reason to start him in the minors. If all goes as planned, he should be occupying a regular MLB role by Opening Day 2014. There’s upside here in the neighborhood of .300 AVG and 30+ HR. It’ll be interesting to see how early he’s off the board in mixed league drafts next spring. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Right about now is when I expected to start hyping the arrival of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The 26-year-old Cuban defector reportedly signed with the Phillies in late July, and we covered his potential fantasy impact here and here. Given the nature of the contract and all the money involved, there was plenty of incentive on the Phillies’ part to push Gonzalez through to the bigs as quickly as possible in order to get him accustomed to performing on a MLB stage. He was set to be your savior for the H2H playoffs, your last-ditch effort at a late-season roto push. He easily would’ve been top-two on this list by now, provided he hadn’t already surfaced in Philly. Alas, folks tend to tread carefully when there’s $60 million on the table. Reports suggest that some concerns popped up regarding Gonzalez’s elbow, and as of today, he remains unsigned. Whether it’s with the Phillies or elsewhere, M.A.G. figures sign for a much more reasonable sum ($60 mil was a little ridic). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
As veteran players are shipped out at the trading deadline, it’s inevitable that opportunities will reveal themselves for several high profile prospects. The Phillies are set to trade away Michael Young, and they’ve already called-up third base prospect Cody Asche to fill the soon-to-be vacant hot corner. The Cardinals are looking to bolster their starting pitching for the stretch run, and reports suggest that MLB-ready prospects like Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong could be dealt out of town and into situations that provide them with regular big league roles immediately. This is an important time to monitor the various deadline deals that are bound to take place today. Pay close attention to the implications of each deal as it passes through the commissioners office, as these swaps are likely to result in at least a few high-impact prospects stepping into full-time roles. Such arrivals can be hugely important to your stretch-run success. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Phillies paid a shizzload of dough to sign the big league-ready Cuban RHP, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The deal is worth up to $60 million, $40+ million of which is guaranteed. So, if we’re taking for granted that Ruben Amaro knows what he’s doing, then it’s a safe assumption that Gonzalez is going to quickly blossom into a front-end starter and a coveted fantasy asset, a la Yu Darvish, who signed for similar money. But I’m not so sure about all that. Gonzalez is 26 years old and he’s been pitching in international ball long enough for talent evaluators to have come to a consensus on his projection, so it’s surprising to find such mixed opinions on the guy. The Phillies are paying him starter’s money, but there are plenty of folks around baseball who don’t even see Gonzalez working out long-term in a starter’s role. Clearly I’m skeptical about the Phillies’ financial commitment, but even so, I’m not completely writing off the possibility of M.A.G. earning every dime of that contract on the mound. With a deep arsenal of fastballs and various off-speed offerings, all of which he throws with deception and good command, Gonzalez appears to be a guy who’ll keep hitters guessing and tally up the whiffs — there’s certainly enough upside to be stashing him in deep leagues. Still, my inclination is that there’s not $60 million dollars worth of talent here. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Quite a bit has changed since the 2013 MiLB season began in April, and folks have been clamoring for a mid-season prospect list. Well, here it is, 50-deep. But before we get into it, a quick primer on the criteria for this top 50: There was no specific timetable considered, so the rankings below can be considered a dynasty league list. You’ll notice that the ETA’s here range from this season all the way to 2016. To prevent any overlap with lists that Grey and JayWrong put together last week, I’ve included only prospects who are currently in the minor leagues. That means I had to remove Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from the board after news of their call-ups — Yelich was #7, Marisnick #40. It also means I couldn’t list Carlos Martinez, who’s currently working in relief for the Cardinals — he would’ve been ranked right around #20.
Anyway, I’ll be writing notes on all of these fellas during the off-season, once the dust has settled on the 2013 season and I’ve had a chance to take a more thorough look at depth charts, injuries, etc. For now, I’ve included only a few pertinent details: age, current level, fantasy impact categories, and ETA. Each player is linked to his player card on Baseball-Reference.com, or his Razzball player card where possible. My hope is that this list will help dynasty leaguers sort out their rosters as keeper deadlines approach. Enjoy. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have to admit that I am completely tired of talking about all the Nick Green‘s and Hector Jimenez‘s of the fantasy baseball world. I could use a one-week recharge from rummaging through the free agency trash heap of our deep leagues, which means you do to. I’m the driver, so you never really had a choice anyways. That being said, today’s subject might be useful as you begin to get a feel for what your team is and what it needs. Whether or not you are thinking about buying for a run at the championship, or already day-dreaming about drowning your team in a fire-sale, I’d like to tackle some players you should be asking for as throw-ins. And by throw-ins, I’m talking about prospects outside of the Top-100 that you should ask for in every trade proposal. My goal is to name names that aren’t expensive, don’t move the dynamic of your proposal, but could pay dividends a couple years down the road. Remember, there were 1,026 players taken in the 1988 draft before Mike Piazza. Let’s find ours. Please, blog, may I have some more?