2021 Razzball Videos

Witchcraft. That’s the plainest explanation. We need to get some ducks and a big old scale and sort this out once and for all. 

It’s no exaggeration to say the Rays have changed baseball. Has there ever been a more successful stretch by a team who didn’t win a single World Series? Perhaps, but probably not if you’re giving them bonus points for thrift, which I think we should probably stop doing at some point. We’re just really into discounts, is all, so when we see a team win as something of a walking clearance rack, we like that. It’s hard-wired. The success here is built from the ground up–a long-term developmental outlook that perennially puts Tampa in the top tier of minor league systems. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Went back and searched my posts for every mention of the word “sleeper” until the All-Star Break. So, if I said, “(player’s name) was going to be a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper,” I made note of it with a slash. By the time, I was done, well, put the Jesus Sanchez slashes on a tree, and it would look like Tom Hanks in Castaway. It was like this over the last few months of the season, “I gotta write a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper for Jesus Sanchez,” “How long until I can write a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper for Jesus Sanchez?” “Have I written a Jesus Sanchez 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper or have I just mentioned it so much that it feels like I’ve written it already?” By the time I was done searching three months of daily roundups, it felt like Jesus Sanchez wasn’t a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper anymore, but ya know what? Eff that, bros, four sisters and one sista! I’m highlighting this em-effer!

So, guess what, snitches? We’re done with the fantasy baseball rookies and onto the 2022 fantasy baseball sleepers! Can I get a what-WHAT?! No, the 2nd “what” is louder, not from the standing position. That’s what caps mean:  louder. You thought caps meant it was said while wearing a baseball cap? You have a malfunctioning brain. Okay, forget it! I’m moving on! Across two levels of baseball last year, Jesus Sanchez went 24/1 with a .348 average in Triple-A (37 games) and a .251 average in the majors (64 games). I separated the averages for the two levels rather than average the, uh, averages together because:  I’m lazy. Okay, also, because Triple-A was an insanely high BABIP and he’s not a .348 hitter. If you were to combine his Triple-A and majors numbers, I’d say he went 24/1/.251. That’s what he’s closer to. Well, that and God himself! Jesus, take the steering wheel! Nah, seriously, I need both hands to try to dig around for this last boba in my drink. *tires screech, car flies off a cliff* So, what can we expect from Jesus Sanchez for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Jesus Sanchez sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. It’s an early Hannukah miracle! Well, late Hanukah miracle this year. The Jews should really decide on one day to start Hanukah each year, and stick with it. It’s better for branding. Anyway II, the Jesus Sanchez sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Figured if I heard the first part of the sentence, “Finally, the Tigers went out and got their man,” it would be followed by a story about how a few tigers dressed up as humans, went to visiting hours at Joe Exotic’s jail and ate him. It didn’t mean that, but if the Tigers sign Carole Baskin, the Pirates will trade Bryan Reynolds to the Tigers for her. So, the Tigers signed Javier Baez, and I love it. Tigers are sneakily becoming my “Pick it to stick it!” Which translates to a team I put hundred schmools on to win the World Series, and they just miss the playoffs. Javier Baez is defined, for better or worse, for his lack of walks — wacks? Hey, that’s actually pretty good. “Baez is too reliant on wacks to be a reliable batting average guy.” Wacks seems to give off a negative connotation in the mind of fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). If you’re in an OBP league, then I get it, but I’m not talking about OBP when I say Baez is continually underrated, which, brucely, is one of the weirder peccadillos in fantasy. By the way, never say “peccadillo” aloud because that would give someone the right to punch you in the nose. I say it’s weird because Baez is exactly the type that most love more than is deserved in real baseball. It’s truly bizarre. Real baseball people love Baez, even though he is a liability with his wacks, but, for fantasy, he’s underrated. I see Baez and want to “wacks” poetic. Comerica isn’t particularly fun-loving, so Baez has gone from Friendly Confines for power to neutral in Metco to a team whose player most synonymous with home runs was Matthew Boyd. Still, a guy who averages 27/15/.265 has my attention, and I’m ready to get my Baezian wacks. For 2022, I’ll give Javier Baez projections of 84/25/91/.257/14 in 541 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for fantasy baseball:

Psyche! Promise you sleepers are starting tomorrow, unless there’s some other big signing during the lockout, which is illegal, but what are legalities except illegalities that wear frilly shirts. Also, I’ve begun to roll out my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. Anyway II, the roundup:

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We’re on the Tampa Bay Rays in the Top Ten Prospects series (here’s a link to the index), which feels like a nice time to hit a quick pause after 18 straight prospect listicles, partly because the work on a team like that is a little more extensive than, say, the Phillies or Nationals, and partly because the baseball world is going bonkers right now on the free agent market. We’ll get back to the Rays’ riches on Sunday. For now, let’s take a quick look into the future of the Texas Rangers, this winter’s big spender so far after adding Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, and Kole Calhoun. 

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Once again a New York team makes a huge free agency splash. The big news from yesterday in free agency was Jose Peraza signing with the Yankees. With the loss of Tyler Wade, the Yankees could not afford to go into the season with Gio Urshela at short without an All-Star caliber shortstop backup. At the press conference, Brian Cashman stepped up to the mic and misquoted Jay-Z, saying, “I’m not a cash man, I’m a Cashman.” Reporters’ hands shot up to ask questions, and Cashman called on one in the front row, who asked, “Is it true you signed Jose Peraza because of his ability to do a well-choreographed handshake in the dugout after someone else does something good?” Cashman screamed, “NO MORE QUESTIONS!” and ran off the stage. Then a title comes on the screen that reads, “Three weeks ago…”

This is the opening to my Freaky Friday-like role reversal movie where the Yankees become the Mets and Vice Versa, another great role reversal film. The Mets as the Yankees are Fred Savage and Lindsay Lohan in this equation. Mets signed Max Scherzer, while the Yankees’ fans watched Jose Peraza do a really cool handshake. “Yanks gonna bring back Clint Frazier on a minor league deal and trade him for Max Scherzer, right? Right?!” That’s Twitter user, BingBong27rings. Anyway, Max Scherzer for 2022 fantasy baseball and other free agency news:

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It’s your favorite hour of the week!  The Not Not News is back with all the Billy Hurley jokes and Grey Albright cackles you can handle. This week, a Dartmouth professor makes her way into the Guinness Book of World Records by constructing a 9-foot tall gaming joystick. Then a bear walks into a 7-11 to use their hand sanitizer, and Will Smith (the actor) opens up about some sexual disorders he’s struggled with in the past.

Listen to the entire show below, now 100% free of charge!

Here are this week’s stories so you can follow along:

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Welp, we were supposed to start our fantasy baseball sleepers today, but there was some movement before the lockout. *looks in the toilet* “Hey, we got movement!” By the way, for those of you who didn’t hear my thoughts on the impending lockout, you can listen to the last episode of our fantasy baseball podcast. Basically, I expect them to go to their separate corners. Owners will cry poor; players will cry that the owners are crying poor, which will be accurate, and then they’ll come back. My guess is we lose about a week of the season and gain the NL DH. It will seem dire, because a lot of reporters are on team payrolls and they’re paid to make it seem dire. It won’t be as dire as it seems, unless we get to May and still no baseball. Bright side of that would be Acuña will be ready for Opening Day. Lowercase yay! Any hoo! We’ll start the sleepers as soon as teams stop signing big free agents — we (I) did start my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon, by the by.

The Mets went out and got Mark Canha and Starling Marte, as they remade their outfield. The A’s did their best to change their culture, club wasn’t working around players like Canha and Kaprelian but those windows of opportunity come and go. They come and go. Boy, Jorge Soler would fit nicely there. The best thing about the addition of Mark Canha and Starling Marte is they push Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil to the bench-slash-platoon-Slash-Axl. Remember when there were people who thought some random 60-game stretch of Dom Smith meant he was good? Haha, those people were almost as dumb as the people who drafted Cody Bellinger last year. Hey, wait, that’s me! Jeff McNeil actually pulled the wool over our eyes in a full season, but he was never really good either. On a related note, the Mets cornered the market on Micks who hit weak grounders. Between McCann and McNeil, they hit about as hard as the IRA, if the Irish Republican Army was modeled after everything they read about IRAs on Charles Schwab. Any hoo! Canha should fit perfectly in with the Mets, because Mets’ fans need a good sense of humor so Canha helps. Can’t really be a laughingstock without a Starling ability to Canha. Canha’s 20.5% strikeout rate with a .231 average is a little bit of a concern. Couple that with his .274 and solid speed paints a picture of a guy who makes weak contact. McCann, McNeil and now M.C. are gonna bloop other teams to death. Seriously, Canha’s peripherals indicate some pretty weak contact, and backing that up was the 35th worst Hard Contact% in the league. His Launch Angle came down a little, which was prolly better for him, as it led to a few less weak fly balls, even if they’re more like weak bloopers to the 2nd baseman. For 2022, I’ll give Mark Canha projections of 73/21/64/.239/10 in 571 ABs.

That was the longest Mark Canha breakdown ever, because it was really just a giant stall for me, before tackling Starling Marte. A 33-year-old who just matched his career high at 47 steals. That’s not even taking into account the very real evil eye the universe gives to all players who sign with the Mets. Ugh. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be an ageist anymore. I wouldn’t write off players just because they’re old, but I sorted by all the players who were 33 years old who stole 47 bags or more, and there were 21 seasons of them since 1914 with 13 players. Seven of those were Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson. Guess what I’m saying is, after much deliberation about not worrying about a player’s age in regards to steals, I am still doing exactly that. Marte also had a .372 BABIP. It’s too simplistic to say the Mets just got had. Not as simplistic as saying a guy is old and his BABIP was high, but do you see why I was stalling? In the end, here’s the thing, there’s so many players to choose from, that you don’t have to be right or wrong on some guys, you can just ignore them, and that’s what I think I’m gonna be doing with Starling Marte. As far as his lineup slot, I will say the Mets have more number twos than a public toilet. If I were the Mets manager, and the Mets had a manager, I’d start the lineup Marte, Canha, Lindor, Alonso, but where are you finding Nimmo a spot? Maybe a trade with Miami, since he’s a fish at heart. For 2022, I’ll give Starling Marte projections of 89/19/61/.277/32 in 534 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

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Bit of a trivia question off the top: who were the last two big-time Yankees prospects who weren’t overrated. Aaron Judge is quick to mind. Who else? Our best bet is to check the trades for guys who actualized for other organizations. Let’s see. Stanton was traded for Starlin Castro, Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman, so . . . no hits there. Still a pretty good trade for the fish considering Stanton’s inability to stay on the field. But that doesn’t matter to our purpose here: harvesting fantasy value on the Yankees’ farm, where this organization is loaded. It’s possible nobody markets their prospects better than New York. Whenever you hear flowery language about a Deivi Garcia or Jasson Dominguez type, keep that in mind. This front office schools its people well on speaking only in glowing terms when it comes to their minor league system. If a prospect writer’s primary process is checking in with team sources, they’ll probably wind up overrating young Yankees. Part of this effect is born from having a huge, hungry fan base. Part of it comes down to marketing. Part of it is simply the Yankees having a lot of money to invest in player development and acquisition and doing exactly that. All the historical caveats about their prospects apply, but even after some system-trimming deadline maneuvers, they’ve got an objectively impressive group at the moment. 

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And thus ends our 2022 fantasy baseball rookies series. Next up, sleepers. You can hardly wait! No, you! Hope you enjoyed our 2022 fantasy baseball rookies series. It was brought to you by me! And The Bachelorette. Kidding on the last part, but I’m obviously a huge Bachelorette fan now that one of our own was on the show. In case you missed it when I said something a month ago:

I have the show DVR’d and haven’t watched. From what I understand, there’s not much to watch as Tehol gets three minutes of airtime across three weeks, then is booted. Shame, because a bunch of people trying to find fake love sounds great to me. It’s what I do every year when I draft a fantasy team. Any hoo! There’s a few different types of fantasy baseball rookies. My goal is to give you all the types you’re going to encounter, except, let’s be honest, most of them are high upside bingo-bangos, and high upside bingo-bangos might be a year away from being high upside bingo-bangos. Then there’s just steady producers. Jeremy Pena might fit into both categories. How he could be a high upside bingo-bangos: Jeremy Pena just came off one of the hottest months of September in minor league baseball: 22/10/19/.287/5. That’s in 30 games. He was coming off wrist surgery, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue at all, right? Rhetorical! He hit three homers in one game, turned around and almost hit for the cycle in the next game. His 2020 was lost (with all minor leaguers), then he missed five months with the wrist, so it’s here where the bingo-bangoes become hard to account for. Is Jeremy as good as his September or he’s simply old for Triple-A and ripping it up? Here’s Jeremy Pena’s first and second homer during the three-homer game. Think about your takeaways, then I will give you mine:

So, what can we expect from Jeremy Pena for 2022 fantasy baseball?

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It didn’t end the way they would’ve liked, but the Red Sox had a wonderful season, channeling some Tampa Bay ways with the help of Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and employing smart management on the field with the help of Alex Cora. When the club signed Enrique Hernandez, few would have predicted a 4 (3.9) WAR season punctuated by a monster playoff run (.408/.423/.837 with 5 HR), but I feel pretty confident this won’t be the last time the current Boston braintrust generates All-Star outcomes from mid tier free agents. The scary part is they don’t have to. With a big payroll and stocked system, the Sox appear poised for a long contention cycle. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?