Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, we’re back baby!  I just wet my pants a little bit.

The first Pitcher Profile is here!  I haven’t been this nervous since Grey had me wax his mustache my first day as an intern.

So if you’re new to Pitcher Profiles, where ya been?!  Well glad to have you, and below is a gargantuan post that I think will break your browser.  But hey!  It’s your one-stop shop (cliche boner) for all pitching questions, rankings, and GIFfing.  I just learned how to GIF, and man, it’s sorta close to learning how to Dougie except less people point and laugh at you (hopefully – but that’d be a bad GIF!).

As always, I tend to select my profiling on a pitcher who is widely available in most 10 and 12ers for owners to gauge their pickup or streaming interest.  I know these was a hope for a Taylor Jordan (sorry Long Beach!) profile, but I wanted to go for a guy who I think can have a bigger impact.  A guy that “Oh my god throws a fire!  Sale.”

We’ve all heard about Nathan Eovaldi‘s stuff.  Huge velocity – the fastest heater in baseball for a starter – but it’s been a while since I’ve really broken down one of his starts.  Plus his name sounds like an Italian deity of fornication.  Now with two solid, you could even say “quality”, starts under his belt (plus he’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around for a while) I decided to tune into his game against the lowly Padres and see if the hurler from Crayola Canyon deserves more love:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Make sure you check out Scott Evans’ Prospect ETA’s for a sense of potential high impact call-ups. I’m going to focus on prospects and MLB sleepers beyond the obvious list of prospects. If I list a prospect, that said prospect should have the opportunity to make an impact this year, and in my opinion, have the minor league numbers/skill to translate well enough.

My ‘translate’ for fantasy purposes is simple: do they make enough contact (how often they put the ball in play); what is their approach to putting the ball in play (balls in play mix i.e. linedrives, flyballs, groundballs, HR/FB, infield flyballs, etc.); and what power/speed potential do they have from a fantasy counting stats perspective. Speed won’t have much of a weight in this post though.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the questions from Bernard Pivot by way of James Lipton is, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?” That’s easy, “Play ball!” Today, butterflies fly north for the summer, birds and bees have sex to John Fogerty’s Centerfield, and Carlos Quentin is already injured. *slowly smells in a flower* Ahh…Shin-Soo Choo! Stupid allergies. With spring in the air and baseballs in mitts, we’re back in the swing of things. Literally. Sadly, it’s not all good news. With Opening Day comes the news that Clayton Kershaw is starting the year on the DL. Aw, that makes me so sad. Wait, that’s not sadness, that’s happiness. Darn, my emotion detector needs recalibration. My first Sell of the year doesn’t look so bad right now. I feel like Ace Ventura right after he shows up all the other cops. Yes, I have exorcised the demons! The Dodgers are saying it was precautionary and Kershaw will be back shortly. If you own him, I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar. I’d take out my rosary beads and pray to the Patron Saint of Baseball, Ryan Church. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s SAGNOF – now there’s BGLIF or BABIPGLIF.

B(ABIP)GLIF = BABIP’s Got Little Face. As you delve into players for your drafts and you see a surprising glorious batting average from last year, ensure you validate it. Use Razzball Fantasy Baseball BABIP vs. Average Comparison. I’ll point out some sleepers below using this method.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Y’all know why this is happening to Kris Medlen, right? Why he’s preparing for Tommy John surgery? It’s the breeding patterns of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus and their likely extinction. If you iron your hat brim, you are putting yourself and potentially your family in grave danger. Exhibit A: Shawn Chacon now works at a Los Pollos Hermanos, making ‘deliveries.’ SPOILER ALERT! Wait, you need to know what I’m spoiling first. True Detective SPOILER ALERT! The Yellow King’s face looks like that due to ironing the brim of his hat while it was on his head. So, due to climate changes, mating rituals and the long hunting season of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, the Braves went out and got Ervin Santana. The Baltimore Orioles said, “Aw, shucks, we were gonna sign him for sixteen dollars the day after the season started.” Too bad, O’s. Against me better judgement, I’m gonna talk like a leprechaun and move Ervin Santana up a hair in my top 80 starters and my top 400. Plus, we lost Randall Delgado, Kevin Gausman and Brandon Beachy, so there was room. Oh, have I mentioned I moved Beachy down? Yeah, I don’t like that he has soreness in his biceps. Prediction Alert! In the next few years, Dr. James Andrews is going to reveal to the world a serious gambling problem, and that’s why everyone that goes under his knife needs follow-up surgery and a massive amount of check-ups. Someone’s gonna pay the kitty, ya heard? Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

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 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 Reds Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Wick Terrell from Red Reporter.

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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!

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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?