Predicting rookie call-ups is a lot harder this preseason than in past, because of the previous year shizzshow. Usually a team calls up a guy in September, lets them play for a few weeks, then they appear ticketed for an April call-up in the next season. Or a guy isn’t called up, but you know there will be minor league teams playing in April so you can sorta gauge whether or not a guy will be playing in April in the minors and called up by May, June or later. We might know by mid-March if there will be a minor league season, and what it will look like: Will there be Single, Double and Triple-A? Will there only be Triple-A and camp? Will there just be an alternate camp? I have no idea. I’m flying blind right now, like Howard Hughes with undiagnosed syphilis. Every time someone mentions minor league baseball, I mimic Little Carmine with, “Your minor league baseball, whatever happened there?” If there’s only a Summer Camp again, Wander Franco might start the year with the Rays. If there’s relatively normal minor league baseball, and we can remember what relatively normal is, Wander Franco might not be up until June. It’s worth saying that I think we start the MLB season on time. So, what can we expect from Wander Franco for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The champions enter 2021 with more answers than questions, just as they’ve entered the past few seasons but now featuring the added benefit of some shiny new rings to verify that they are in fact the best as this game. 

Their minor league system, as you’d expect after such a dominant run at the top level, is a little less amazing than it’s been the past few years thanks to a flurry of graduations and the big Mookie trade. It’s still incredibly deep, but the name-value isn’t the same. 

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So, there was some high drama behind the scenes for this rookie outlook post. Prospect Itch does not, under any circumstances, agree with me writing or promoting Cristian Pache in any way. Thinks he’s overrated and might struggle to hit .220. Others in my close orbit have no qualms with this post. Others in my close orbit include Cougs and Ted, my dog. Bless their hearts, but neither even know who Cristian Pache is, so when I asked them if I should write a post about Cristian Pache, they didn’t have the deepest of insights. As you might’ve saw, in Itch’s top 50 fantasy baseball prospects for redraft leagues (meaning:  The best for 2021, and only 2021), Pache didn’t even crack the top 40. So, I obviously think higher of Pache than Itch, and it’s not just because I saw Pache wears a Star of David. Let’s get one thing out of the way, Notacristian Pachestein, as he’s commonly known amongst the Hebrews, ranks way higher on regular baseball prospect lists because his defense is a chef’s kiss from the sea to shining sea. Andruw Jones just popped his head out of his mansion on the island of Curaçao, and said, “Did I time travel forward to 2020?” Jones might’ve, but Pache is his own man, but his defense is just as sexy. If you watched the playoffs, you saw him rob a home run with a “hop and sit down” like it was en bee dee. Defense is not a part of most people’s fantasy games, but if you have anything defensive minded in one of your crazy category leagues, Pache is a top three center fielder immediately in the league, and might be the top one with opportunities. But, back to our normie leagues, where defense is ignored and is about figuring out if Itch is right to mostly ignore Pache for 2021, or if there’s more here. So, what can we expect from Cristian Pache for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Psyche! My NFBC league filled, so we’ve started another league with Donkey Teeth. It’s 150 smackers to join, one thousand smackers to the winner with a thirty-thousand-smackers overall prize, and other runner-up smackers. Lots of smackers. It’s a slow draft with a 2-hour clock. Should be fun and super easy to beat Donkey Teeth! To sign up, click this rather unwieldy link that’s under this writing. Anyway, the Cristian Pache 2021 fantasy:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Inspired by JKJ’s recent lament on the St. Louis Cardinals, combined with my First Year Player Drafts informed by The Prospect Itch and Hobbs, as well as noted scout John Sickels’ “Shadow Twins” series of articles, I wanted to reveal my own mourning process for my beloved tolerated local sports team, the Minnesota Twins. More than just an elegy to the Midwest Monsters that could have been, the Minnesota Twins stand as an example of a team that dynasty fantasy managers might want to avoid, and the reason is rooted in the “real world” dynamics of the Twins’ ownership and management over the past century.

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High times in Denver, these are not, at least not in a baseball or football sense. They do still have the Nuggets, so that’s nice. Baseball fans are in a sticky spot though, wanting their team to succeed because while simultaneously somewhere in the back of their minds suspecting the best path forward involves dismantling the whole thing, bringing in a new front office with a long-term vision, trading the left side of the infield, and finding out what they have in the assets they’ve allowed to stockpile and degrade from a perceived-value perspective. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

“Is everyone still a rookie?” That’s a good question, Left Side of My Brain. “What is a rookie?” Shut up, Right Side of My Brain. Ya know, sometimes I’m very left side of my brain, sometimes I’m very right side of my Brian. This brings me to today’s rookie, Nick Madrigal, who is yet another guy who I swore lost his rookie eligibility, and, honestly, he might’ve in real baseball, but he only had 103 ABs this year, and that’s well under the 130 ABs to lose rookie eligibility, according to me, so here we are again. This does give me a few less guys to go over when I do my 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, so that’s a nice bonus for me. “Why wait until later for what you can do today,” is what I scribble over and over again in a notepad as I procrastinate. Madrigal would’ve lost his rookie eligibility if he didn’t get hurt early on this past season, and he would’ve competed for a batting title, one of many competitions for said title for Madrigal in his career. Honestly, I can’t figure out a way to project him for anything less than “potential batting title champion.” Been a while since I’ve said that about anyone. Maybe dating back to the great Tony Gwynn. What will really make Madrigal sing? Less of that terrible Gregorian chant singing garbage. Wait, I think I googled ‘Madrigal singing’ and that returned faulty results. So, what can we expect from Nick Madrigal for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Psyche! Before we get to the post, just wanted to announce we’re gonna do a way-too-early NFBC draft. It’s 15 teams, no waivers, slow draft, 2 hours between picks, $150 to sign up, and $1,000 to winner, $350 to 2nd place and 3rd gets their money back. There’s also overall prizes of $30,000, and more. Why draft so early? Right now, we’re getting a chance to form ADP vs. being slaves to it. Also, what the hey. If you prefer to play against Donkey Teeth, his league will be signing up when mine fills. To signup, click this rather long link I’m writing right now. Anyway, Nick Madrigal 2021 fantasy:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

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There’s a few categories of rookies. One category of rookies is guys who could be extremely valuable if they get an everyday job out of Spring Training — your Wander Francos, your Royce Lewises, your Brendan Rodgerses (Rodgerii? Rodge on rye?). Then there’s another category of guys who will actually have a starting job but might not excite you with huge upside — your Luis Garcias, your Ryan Jefferses, your Andres Gimenezes (Gim Z’ers?). At least Andres Gimenez appears to be in the latter group. But, and, please allow Reversal Question Man to ask it — IS HE?! I hear that, RQM. Andres Gimenez last year went 22/3/12/.263/8 in 118 ABs. Casually, without much fanfare, I’m just going to muffle Mr. Prorater and do it myself:  Across 162 games that’s a statline of 100/15/60/.270/40. Oh, I’m sorry, are you gorgeous? Or am I mistaking you for someone else? No…*puts on sunglasses*…you are gorgeous. Now, let’s get out of here. *takes Gimenez’s 162-game prorated stats out of this honkeytonk bar, jumps in my Sebring and peels out of the parking lot, just as we hit the open road, I turn away from Gimenez’s 162-prorated stats and look at Carter Kieboom’s upside, and Gimenez’s 162-prorated stats smack me* What? I just wanted to see what Kieboom could do, you know I love you. Don’t be mad! So, what can we expect from Andres Gimenez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

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The temperature reads 23 degrees as I write this sentence, so Arizona sounds pretty great to me right now. The high for Sunday (today) is 82. 

That’s probably cold comfort for Diamondbacks fans, who find their club somewhat adrift at the tail end of a tough 2020 after a promising 2019 and even more promising off-season that saw them sign Kole Calhoun and acquire Starling Marte via trade. This system is deep in potential everyday players and starting pitchers, so I suspect this current downturn could be brief. 

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“Wonder Twins power activate! In the form of a string bean!” That’s what goes through my mind every time I see Triston McKenzie. If Triston McKenzie and Deivi Garcia were ever on a seesaw, they’d both be in the air with their legs dangling. Triston McKenzie doing indoor skydiving is just him pinned against the ceiling until the wind is shut off. Triston McKenzie was in his high school play, which was an adaptation of Forrest Gump, and McKenzie played the part of the feather. Once Triston McKenzie forgot his house keys and slipped in through the mail slot. Okay, get out all your shizzes and giggles. Triston McKenzie is skinny eh eff. He’s listed as 160 pounds, which is normal-ish. Dot dot dot. For a man a foot shorter than him! He’s six-five! Haha, dubya tee eff. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon! Instead of using toothpaste, use milkshakes! (I’m not exactly Mr. Quote-The-Simpsons, but that line never gets old for me.) Okay, now that I spent one word for every pound on how much Stretch McKenzie weighs, can we talk about how he had the stats this year in the majors that we wanted from Sixto Sanchez? Acksually, McKenzie had the stats we wanted from Max Scherzer. McKenzie had a 11.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in 33 1/3 IP, and now I swoon like the audience mesmerized by his feather portrayal. To step back a little further to catch you up, before we go into his 2021 projections. Prospect Mike (member him?) said two years ago, “(Triston) does have a plus fastball and curve with decent control, so don’t put me down as a hater. His 2018 was spent in Double-A, where he whiffed 87 batters in 90 innings with a 2.68 ERA, and I’d like to kick Grey in the balls.” What the eff? So, the reason I went back two years is Triston McKenzie didn’t throw last year. More on that in a bit. So, what can we expect from Triston McKenzie for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?