There’s a ping-pong tournament going on in my office today and I wasn’t invited to play. It’s not because they all hate me, but because I just started here — a magazine in New York — and the tournament was bracketed and made before I actually came on board.
At least that’s what they tell me. Little do they know, I often played in tournaments in my Tampa days, so them dawgs is lucky. I’m picturing them wafting shots back and forth like pure n00bs, giggling at the new d-bag who’s upstairs editing stories and deflecting annoying, frivolous emails from the digital team. “Hey Terse, do you approve of the latest SEO titles we put up for the latest magazine issue?” “Yeah, for the eighth time, everything is fine.” “Ok, splendid! How’re you doing in the ping-pong tournament?” “They didn’t have room for me.” “LOL YOU SUCK.” “I know… I know I do, Marc.” Perhaps they all dislike how I insist on being called Terse. I feel like David Adams — everyone hates me before I even get a chance to do anything good. Hopefully there’s not a steroided, crappy Twitter-user waiting in the shadows, willing to pounce and take my spot once his dead hips are resuscitated. I can’t compete with a 38-year-old ex-magazine MVP, I just can’t. I WON’T. Speaking of A-Rod, I think you should pick him up and use him for this year and plan on keeping him for 2014 and 2015. There’s still life in there.
We’re back to hitters this week — hopefully you all have cute little Hisashi Iwakuma stashed away on your rosters, locking yourself a staff ace for years and years and years and years and years. Hisashi will never retire. You will be great forever.
Manny Machado (187 ADP in 2013, could be as high as the late 20s in 2014)
Machado is about as close as it gets to being at the same keeper-level as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. I get plenty of questions from readers via Twitter and on the comment boards about whether to trade Machado for someone or to hold on to him. Macho Machado is someone you want badly. A lot of people are scared of the six 2013 homers, but that actually works in your benefit — it decreases his price.
Guess how many doubles Machado has… don’t cheat. Guess! You’re wrong, idiot, unless you guessed 38. He leads the league with 38; he’s on pace to break the single-season record of 67. Do you know what it means when a dude is a doubles machine before he even begins to fill out and approach his physical peak? It means he’s going to crush home runs like how Aaron Hernandez crushes bouncers and how Machado presumably crushes femmes. Chicks dig the double, I always say, and so should you. Get him and pay through the ass if you must, because you’ll be paying even more come next year — just not Trout or Harper. A 15.4% K-rate — 3.4% lower than during last year’s stint — is promising considering he’s 20.
John just beat Deanna in the third round of the tournament. He came upstairs with that I-just-beat-a-girl-in-a-sport-but-whatever-I’m-still-proud-of-it look. He knows I know.
Nolan Arenado (N/A, mid-200s in 2014)
The hype is undeserved. Never considered an elite prospect by any of those rating sites we all believe without question, the only things I like about Nolan are where he plays his home games and his SO/BB rate — an important ratio, yes. As he moved from 2008 rookie-ball to 2013 triple-A, Arenado kept his strikeouts in check while clearly adjusting to the improvement in his competition. His high-A 2011 was pretty — 20 HR, 122 RBI, .836 OPS — but there’s definitely a capped, boring upside here.
He has that gap power, though not nearly at the level of our man Manny, and he’s young, but a third baseman who hits 15-20 homers while batting .280 and doesn’t steal isn’t really that exciting. You got him dirt cheap and, if you kept him, wouldn’t really have to pay much, but he’ll be dirt cheap again next year and won’t help you out much down this season’s stretch. Think a bad Anthony Rendon — a player I don’t even like.
Leonys Martin (N/A, 200 next year)
I love Martin, and before you call me a hypocrite for criticizing Arenado’s prospect status while Martin was merely Baseball America’s #97 prospect pre-2013, I highlight to you, dear, beautiful reader, that Martin has speed — a lot of it. I’m not sure what it is — he was never a great base-stealer in the Minors — but Martin is 17-for-19 on the paths this year and is currently on a five-game stolen-base streak (this is being written on Wednesday afternoon). He is following his best Minors homer year (he had 12) with five homers in 192 ABs this year. His SO% is 19.4, which isn’t great and what is probably keeping stupid Ron Washington from plugging him in the two-hole, replacing just as stupid Elvis Andrus, but Martin never struck out much in the Minors.
And remember, this is only his third year in pro ball. He’s 25, but doesn’t have nearly as many pro ABs as a lot of other young guys. He’s going to continue playing well in Texas this season — and will continue to get the innings — and he’ll be beloved by those speed-happy owners next year. Ten homers, 40 SBs in 2014 and a huge speed guy to help for the rest of 2013? Sign me up, and I’ve already signed up. When guys like Coco Crisp decide they don’t like stealing bases anymore, you want the power/speed from a guy like Martin. And he’s not expensive.
They’re all laughing and having so much fun downstairs. Jackie just lost to Marc. It’s championship time — Marc vs. Lenny.
Daniel Nava (undrafted in 2013, 160s in 2014)
Stop laughing at me. You sound like everyone downstairs. STOP LAUGHING AT ME. YES, I KNOW HE’S 30. I KNOW HE’S SUCKED FOREVER. I KNOW. I KNOW THAT. Fine, you’re right.
Someone mentioned that I should keep Nava as my only keeper going into next season. I typed “lol” and sent it to them. “Lol” means “laugh out loud”.
Yasiel Puig (does it matter? I’m assuming you want him)
I’d preach to not get too excited about Puig, but would get laughed out of Razzball.
Matt Carpenter (222.9 2013 ADP, 180s in 2014)
He’s been pleasant for those who got him cheap, but this is the best Carpenter will ever be. With how happy and surprised his current owners are, his trading price might be a tad high, and if you draft him next year in the mid 150s, you’ll be disappointed. I still don’t buy that he’ll be an everyday guy next year — Matt Adams and Kolten Wong need their innings, broski. I’d stay away from him unless I already had him. Ride the innings.
Lenny just beat Marc in the tournament championship. I honestly think they must only be playing to 7 or something. Little does everyone downstairs know, I just spent their entire tournament writing a fantasy baseball blog instead of doing work. Lenny might have won it all, but it seems that I didn’t have the time to copy-edit one writer’s “juice cleanse” article. And there it goes, straight to Lenny’s inbox. F you Lenny, Terse rules.
Follow Terse on Twitter @TerseRazzball. He’ll answer all your questions — at least you’ll make him feel wanted, unlike those ping-ponging hoes. Have a happy Fourth and get too drunk.