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 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Pirates Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Pat Lackey from Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke?.

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Hope everyone’s well rested and had a joyous Michael Bay Day. If you couldn’t be American yesterday, I hope at least you got drunk and ate a bunch of hot dogs. As they say in Mississippi, Amurica, spelling’s for sissies! The Mariners made it a bit more joyous for some of us fantasy baseballers when they demoted Dustin Ackley for Nick Franklin. Ackley was a guy I could never fully get behind, in a non-sexual way. He arrived in the majors with a ton of hype, but that’s more because Mariners fans lie to themselves more than anything Ackley showed. So, what does the Mustache King, Purveyor of Smart Stuff Who Should Be Able To Come Up With A Better Word Than Stuff If He Were That Smart think about Franklin? Brucely, I’m a bit meh, but I’d pick him up in all leagues and have. Franklin looks similar to Ackley. He has power and speed, but not in a huge way, which will be further suppressed by Safeco. Safeco: Where a hitter’s upside goes to die. Franklin’s best year in the minors was in A-Ball in 2010. To put that into a relatable comparison, you were your town’s best T-ball hitter, how well did you do in high school? You flunked out of high school? Point made. This year, he had 4 homers and 7 steals in Triple-A, and I’d put it at about a 25% chance that his end of the season numbers look the same for the Mariners. If you can’t find someone that can get you 4 homers and 7 steals from now until October, you’re not trying very hard. There is a chance for upside and he is only 22 years old, so I’d take the gamble and grab him. Best case scenario, 15 homers, 15 steals. Worst case scenario, he shows up at the nightclub you like to take your lady to, challenges you to a dance battle, beats you, screaming “You got served!” and your lady leaves with him. Most likely scenario, he hits 8 homers, steals 12 bases and bats .250, so watch how you spend your FAAB Benjamins on Franklin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Some weeks, it’s just good to trust a buy call by our Fantasy Baseball Lord & Savior, Grey Albright. BTW, do me a favor. Google Grey Albright…do you get Snafu Larry as your second image? That’s just not right…and now that I look at all those images I have to ask myself ‘Is Grey even real’? I mean, we congregate on this site daily looking to him for the mustachio’ed word from upon high but is this some form of mass hysteria where the disease is fantasy sports addiction and we’ve conjured up this being to serve the purpose of telling us that which we already know in our hearts? What if the internet isn’t even real but simply the manifestation of our collective thoughts as we dream in Matrix-like incubation eggs before we’re harvested? What if none of this is real?!? Woah hey and sorry there…the mushrooms finally wore off…well minus the tracers. Either way, I’m real, you’re real and we’re spectacular and so was Grey’s BUY call on Leonys Martin last week. I can tell you’re not sure of this call. I feel you wavering about this waiver call and it’s understandable. Who wants a guy who hits at the bottom of the batting order? Well I do and you should too for week nine of the 2013 fantasy baseball season but we must read on to find out why.

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Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, I was thinking how Miguel Gonzalez, who went 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, is a’ight. Has nominal value in mixed leagues against weaker teams and a solid back-end guy for AL-Only leagues, which could describe the entire O’s staff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. Those O’s starters are okay, but I crave excitement. I’m an adrenaline junkie. Sometimes I’ll blog with no pants on just for the RUSH I get. While in Starbucks. While holding my dog over my junk so I don’t catch charges. I’m a responsible adrenaline junkie. So, when I heard Kevin Gausman will make his major league debut on Thursday, you can imagine how awkward it was carrying my dog over my junk without any hands, while working my cellular mobile device trying to pick up Gausman. I’ve gone over Gausman as recently as two weeks ago. He was my Wheeler before Wheeler. I lurve Gausman. The O’s staff is iffy at best, so Gausman could definitely stick around. His numbers in the minors this year are insane. In 46 1/3 IP, he has 49 Ks and 5 walks. He could be the best called up pitcher this year. More likely, he’ll have some extreme ups and downs in the AL East. I’d still grab him in all leagues just in case his ups far outnumber his downs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“The Nats Don’t Play,” was almost the title, but that’s too raw for all you suckas. It’s too cutting. It cuts the quick and bleeds ever-so-slightly that irritates you when you cut a lemon for your Arnold Palmer. Y’all can’t hang with my chinchilla fur that I’m wearing in my picture. (It’s just off my shoulder; you can’t see it.) B-Real said it best, “You don’t know where I’m going cause you haven’t been where I’ve been, understand where I’m coming from?” The Nationals know where I’ve been. They’ve dealt with the same thing as me, only they had to pay Zimmerman millions of dollars to get what I got. Which is an ulcer. Thanks, doode! I’ll send you the bill for the Zantac I’ve had to take for the last two years. The Nats called Zimmerman into their office and said, “You only have a hamstring issue, but if it’s anything like the injuries you’ve had in the past that have lasted about 60 days past when they were supposed to, we’re bringing up our best prospect, Anthony Rendon. We’re gonna tell everyone that it’s only for a few weeks while you heal, but we hope you don’t come back until July and we can trade you to the highest bidder. What? No, we don’t validate!” Rendon is gonna be a great one…some day. Damn, the fantasy baseball fortune cookie ending! Yeah, I’m not sure he’s ready just yet, but he’s worth a flyer in all leagues. I grabbed him in one league where I have Moustakas, because I’m tired of seeing that gyro-eating-motherfu– Let’s just say I’m tired of Moustakas. Best case scenario, Zimmerman has a set back and Rendon stays up and hits for a solid average and gives high-teen power with some very light speed. Another scenario, Rendon hits, Zimmerman returns and the Nats gutter ball Espinosa’s value and move Rendon to 2nd. Most likely scenario, Zimmerman returns and Rendon is demoted. Worst case scenario, Rendon shows up at your house at 3 AM and asks to sleep on your couch, seems fine at first then he tells you he has no place to live, stays for months, doesn’t ever flush the toilet or fill up the Tang in the fridge then starts dating your aunt, eventually marries her, making him your uncle, a title he insists you call him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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A baseball historian named Philbus Elbert once said, “The only thing better than baseball in the spring is baseball in the fall.” Philbus was also a diabetic, had a severe drinking problem and died of gonorrhea that he contracted from a horse. Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring. They also share equally effusive PR people. Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches had gained 15 pounds and were in the best shape of its life. Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Jedd Gyorko yet?! Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in March. In fact, I think someone should propose to Bud that the World Series could easily be played in March. Yes, The March Classic. I like how that sounds. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players’ stats so far:

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You, “Hey, look at that, I’m in a crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league and everyone in this league that I’m talking to myself about is well-versed in this fantasy baseball shizz because they are also in this crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league yet they forgot to draft Matt Holliday. Cool!” Yeah, that’s not going to happen. If you’re drafting from guys in the top 100 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball, your league is deep and you know you’re not going to get much from these guys. Potatoes to chips, most of these guys will be worth owning at some point in the season. In keepers and single league, uh, leagues, most should be owned from the jump, if ‘from the jump’ means what I think it does when kids say it. Now get off my lawn! Here’s all of the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. If you’re joining us late, here’s the top 20 outfielders, top 40 outfielders, top 60 outfielders and top 80 outfielders. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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