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?
Derek Jeter screams “Ankle!” Yanks scream “Uncle!” Well, you know you can’t spell “My ankle” without Minka Kelly. She couldn’t stop at just Jason Street, could she? Minka used to love his enlarged pro stats. Oh, well, let the haters hate, right, Minka? I hear ya, girl. A’la Clubber Lang, “Let me know if you want a real, mustachioed man!” On a funny somewhat related story, about a year ago I was at Kennedy Airport, right in front of me in line at Starbucks was Minka Kelly. I couldn’t care less about the Yankees, but I know what part to play in what situations to be the most obnoxious. So, with my best heavy New York accent, I said, “You better not break Jeter’s heart like you did to Jason Street.” She looked like she wanted to blow a rape whistle. So, it was announced Pasta Diving Jeter would not be returning until after the All-Star Break. If you draft guys based on the “I’d Do Him” scale, you just got screwed, so this is bittersweet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. Back in February, I rolled out my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2013 (part 1, part 2), and those are already garbage. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, I thought it might be helpful to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a biweekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Eno Sarris from Amazin Avenue.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re like me, once you finish your fantasy draft, you have a photographer take a picture of you with your team. You pull up your team page on your laptop, and the both of you sit next to a flower bed. The setting is similar to your mother’s yearbook picture. The cameraman even uses the filter that blurs out everything around you. As you wait for the makeup person to dab cover-up on your nose pimple, you reach into the flower bed and pull out a hydrangea. Then you speak directly to the SAGNOF Gods and recite his prayer, “He loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves….” And the last petal ends on “He loves me Motte.” And you weep. Motte has an elbow strain and you’re stuck with his litigious brother-in-law, Mitchell Boggs. The Cardinals are currently saying all the right things, “Motte will be fine,” “Mitchell will temporarily fill-in,” “We had no idea McGwire was on steroids.” An elbow strain sounds like a thing that’s going to take Motte from his 40-save potential to an eight-save season with a 5.00+ ERA, which will be interrupted by surgery. Grab Boggs in every league, he could easily be a top five closer for this year. If you own Motte, you obviously DL him and hope for the best. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A quick primer to begin: This is not a list of my top overall prospects — Shelby Miller would not lead that list. No, this list 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 contributions for fantasy owners in 2013. My method here was quite simple: each player was assigned a grade for both potential fantasy impact, and for current opportunity. Those variables were weighed equally, totals were then tallied, and finally, I sorted out the ties and adjusted here and there as I saw fit. Opportunity grades are always tough. At this point in the year, circumstances can shift overnight and a prospect’s ETA can change dramatically (see Miller). My plan is to revisit this list before opening day, and also to keep a running Top Ten Fantasy Prospects throughout the year in order to keep us posted at any given moment as to which fantasy-relevant prospects are next to arrive in the bigs. In any case, this list should suffice for those of us drafting early.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Jays started this trading season with a bang by sucking the soul from the Marlins, leaving them soul-less. Now they’re finishing up the winter trading season by reaching into the Mets’ chest and ripping out their heart like Mola Ram. The Mets trading Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey is the smartest thing I’ve seen the Mets do since they clearly labeled the foul lines during their 1986 championship. There’s no reason people need to be sniffing powdered limestone. “Hey, Mex, wanna go to Tijuana to get some Devil’s Dandruff?” “Doc, we got a World Series game today.” *blank stare from Gooden* “So?” I don’t think Dickey is a one-hit wonder (pun noted); he was solid enough since 2010. His last three seasons ERAs are 2.84, 3.28, 2.73. Sure, there’s some xFIP issues in those years and his K-rates in 2010 and 2011 were 5.37 and 5.78. This was not an ace. Last year, he was. He matched his insane 1st half (2.40 ERA, 123 Ks in 120 IP) with a great 2nd half (3.09 ERA, 107 Ks in 113 2/3 IP). He’s 38 years old, but knuckleballers age at wildly different rates than most pitchers. Phil Niekro didn’t really peak until he was a doppelganger for Phil Donahue. I mean, when your fastest pitch couldn’t win a SpongeBob at a local carnival it’s not unreasonable to think Dickey can still have success. Still, Dickey has nowhere to go but down. This is a classic sell high trade, so I say good for the Mets. Dickey is a tough pitcher to predict. It’s not surprising that he had a great year last year vs. the AL. He had a great year vs. everyone. In 24 IP, he had a 1.88 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP with 28 Ks vs. the AL. In 26 IP in 2011, his ERA was 2.08 with a 1.08 WHIP and 24 Ks vs. the AL. I think his Ks are going to fall a bit closer to his career average. Give him say a 7+ K-rate instead of a 8+ K-rate, and, due to Metco suppressing homers a tad more than Rogers, I’m going to bump up his ERA a bit. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 16-8/3.38/1.17/182. There is admittedly a larger margin of error in this line than I’ve given other pitchers. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last Wednesday, I joined Rudy and Nick for the Razzball Baseball Podcast. On the show, we counted down my top 15 prospects, but truth be told, I was fully prepared to discuss my top 20. So, with the MiLB season winding down and all, I thought now would be a good opportunity to put the entire list out there in written form. This is a preliminary ranking — I’ll roll out more official and specific ranks during the off-season, once the dust has settled and I’ve had a chance to gather more intel. Please keep in mind that this list is limited to prospects still in the minors prior to September 1st call-ups. Also, in the interest of not being too farsighted, I included only guys who’ll be making their impacts within the next year or two (which is certainly a matter up for debate). Anyway, my top 20:
1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers – Current Level: MLB Age: 19 – Five-tool shortstop projects to go 20/20 annually, and he’s certainly gifted enough to do more.Please, blog, may I have some more?