Eddie Rosario hit 27 homers and stole nine bags last year.  This should disqualify him from being a sleeper.  You might be thinking.  “Sure, uh-huh, but what was his average?”  He hit .290.  So, now you might be thinking, “Okay, okay, got it, but what was his BABIP?  Was he lucky?”  His BABIP was .312, his career BABIP is .325.  You might now be thinking, “Fine, but the Twins, I mean, blech, right?”  The Twins were the 7th best offense in baseball last year, just ahead of the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Red Sox.  Now, you might be thinking, “Well, Rosario isn’t a big part of that offense.”  He’s their cleanup hitter.  Now, you might be thinking, “His HR/FB must’ve been insane.”  It was 16.4%.  Far from insane.  Now you might be thinking, “He hits a lot of ground balls.  He’s gotta, right?”  About the same as Gary Sanchez and Travis Shaw.  “He strikes out a lot?”  Nope, about the same as Freddie Freeman.  “I feel like he’s been around a while, he’s old, right?”  He’s 26.  “So, why is he a sleeper?”  Better yet… So, what should we expect from Eddie Rosario for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Let’s just get this out of the way, my name is Ralph Lifshitz Esq., and I am an A.J. Preller fan boy. It hasn’t always been this way. Oh no, at one point I was just like you, wide-eyed and lost in his trades of the 2015 offseason. I appreciated the 2016 exodus of MLB stars, as Preller added top talents like Manuel Margot, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Anderson Espinoza. But where Preller really hooked me was the 2016 July 2nd International period. Over the duration of that signing window Preller landed the top rated Dominican talent in Luis Almanzar, Cuban starters Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Ronald Bolanos, in addition to Jorge Ona, Tirso Ornelas, Jession Rosario, Jordy Barley, and today’s focus Gabriel Arias. At least four of these talents have found their way into various versions of my Top 100 and Top 200, while I was on Arias early, he was merely a mention earlier this offseason in my 2018 Dynasty Sleepers list. Since then, Arias has shipped off to the land down under to further hone his craft, with a head full of zombie. No word on whether there’s any truth to the rumor that a man from Brussels handed him a Vegamite sandwich. Anyway, here’s why Gabirel Arias is a 2018 Dynasty Sleeper.

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First off, what a boring-ass team to sign Shohei Otani.  At best, the Angels are the Mets of SoCal.  Pissed off Mets fan, “I’m supposably assuming youse are talking like the Yanks are the best team of New York?”  Well, I wasn’t saying it was the Nets, Jets, Giants or Bills.   The Yankees just traded for Giancarlo, the Mets are looking at re-signing Neil Walker.  Point, set, match.  (Here’s my Giancarlo Stanton 2018 fantasy after his trade; it’s super erotic.)  The Angels are so pathetic they decided to change their name to the Los Angeles Angels.  I’m sorry, but that’s just sad.  That’s like marrying a woman who has a kid, who is a Jr., and you decide to take his father’s first name, so you can be his new Sr.  Angels, you are not L.A.’s senior!  Have you heard anyone in Anaheim complaining about the fires of Los Angeles?  No?  That’s because they’re 40 minutes away without traffic, and there’s always traffic!  Okay, blood’s boiling in my ulcer, I need to calm down.  Let’s do the jump, and get back at it about Shohei Otani.  Anyway, here’s what I think of Shohei Otani for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Alright Cincinnati, let’s just get this out of the way, your chili is gross, but your prospects are tasty. With high picks over the last few years, and a definite Cuban connection, the Reds have done well to add to their farm system of late. Their first round drafting over the last two seasons in particular has been a source of real talent, adding Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jeter Downs. While the days of highly volatile upside starters seem to be over, there’s still some upside arms to dream on, Tony Santillan specifically. With Tyler Mahle, Senzel, and Jesse Winker all in the mix for gigs on the major league squad out of camp, there’s some higher end close to the majors talent here too. I may not have any Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees takes, but I got plenty of Top Cincinnati Reds prospects to talk up. After all it’s the 2018 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Preview.

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When I heard about the trade of Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, I went to Best Buy to secure an overhead projector so I could overlay my Powerpoint presentations of Marlins Park aka Hard Rock Stadium aka The Stadium That A Psychedelic Unicorn Vomited Up with his new park to see how many home runs Giancarlo was going to gain or lose from the stadium change.  However, when I arrived at Best Buy, I was told they didn’t have any overhead projectors, all they had were sales people in blue polos who didn’t know the difference between one computer from another except for the price.

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The preview season is upon us, and we’re kicking it off with the Diamondbacks and Orioles. Lower case yay… On their own these are two relativity boring systems, but combined they create a super system, still less exciting than next week’s topic the Braves. Another lower case yay. Lance and I kick off the show with some discussion of the Dee Gordon trade, the prospects headed the Marlins way. We touch on Kevin Maitan signing with the Angels, and some other “hot stove” news, before delving into discussions of Jon Duplantier’s mechanics, Ryan Mountcatle’s leg kick, and how good Austin Hays really is. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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Legit, nothing happened for about five weeks since the end of the season.  Literally.  I went into such a vegetative state, a farmer, in overalls, walked by me, poked my eye and said, “This spud won’t be ready for a few more weeks.”  Then I thought about how much a farmer is like a pimp.  You don’t see them much, except when with their hoes.  They work rain and shine and they hate the movie, Food, Inc.  Okay, maybe they’re not that similar.  Then I went back into my vegetative state.  During the offseason, I’m like a landlocked Delaware.  Any hoo!  We have some offseason moves to speak on — Choir at black church, “Speak!”  Dee Gordon was traded to the Mariners because Jerry Dipoto got a call from his mother that went like this, “How many titles did Theo Epstein have by the time he was your age?”  Jerry Dipoto put down the phone, turned to a mirror and yelled, “You’re better than this!”  The Mariners have tried this whole center field SAGNOF gambit before:  Jarrod Dyson, Chone Figgins.  All a play to get back to the days of wine and roses and Ichiros?  Maybe.  Trading for a guy turning 30 in April who relies on his legs seems to be a meh move — mehve? — but we’re here for the fantasy.  Last year, Gordon stole a league-high 60 bags, though Hamilton had an award-winning musical.  Gordon’s line drive rate was up year over year, but he did have a PEDs suspension, so not much to learn there.  His batted ball profile is eerily similar for the last few years, and I see no reason why anything would change in 2018.  He’s going to be playing center field now, which should make for some interesting relay throws involving the entire outfield, but that won’t affect Gordon’s hitting.  For 2018, I’l give him the projections 108/2/36/.292/54 in 633 ABs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Sleepers fall into a few categories.  Guys who disappointed last year who could bounce back; players who have a solid pedigree who just haven’t broken out yet, and the ones that have broken out who no one trusts to repeat.  The last group is usually the least interesting.  You’ve presumably seen their best.  Seems like the only mystery there is is their (palindromic stutterer!) downside.  It’s prolly why 50% of marriages end in divorce.  The first category of those that could bounce back are the relationships where you’ve broken up a dozen times, walked in on your ex while she was sniffing Ambien off some guy’s chest named Bob and Bob is hung like Bojack Horseman.  But, ya know what, you’re gonna give her one more chance to bounce back to some of those fun times you had eighteen months ago.  The 2nd group is the rando you met at the bar who was doing shots of Tito’s, who seems like she’s gonna be so much fun, but you really don’t know why her and her friends keep calling you, “Door Number Three.”  The third group is the one you’ve had fun with it, you don’t see anything wrong with it, but there’s gotta be some downside so you’re going back to the “Bob boffer” or being “Door Number Three.”  It never occurs to you that maybe a solid, safe bet who you already had fun with is worth just sticking with.  The third group is where Paul DeJong resides.  Last year, he had 25 HRs and hit .285 in only 417 ABs.  Okay, but how about the “Bob boffer?”  So, what can we expect from Paul DeJong for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Didn’t think we’d be here a year ago.  Or near.  Dear, what an irrational fear.  Your grandmother is not going to get run over by a reindeer.  Greybot, malfunctioning, stuck in rhyme loop.  Must.  Find.  Way.  Out.  Talking.  Like.  William.  Shatner.  Does.  Not.  Help.  By the way, when William Shatner is asked his middle name, he should reply, “Period.”  Notice how there’s no sexual assault allegations regarding William Shatner?  That’s because there’s a pause every three seconds when you can run away.  Trevor Story went from a 1st round value in two-thirds of a season to a 2nd round draft pick to “Hmm, Zack Cozart is still on the board in the 12th round, and Trevor Story, but, damn, I don’t want Trevor Story do I?  I’d ask Grey, but he’s malfunctioning Greybot with a simplistic rhyme scheme like Pitbull.”  I resemble that remark!  Let’s go down memory lane for a second.  *opens mail*  I got a ticket because I didn’t have an E-Z Pass for Memory Lane?  Oh c’mon!  In 2016, Trevor Story hit 27 homers, stole 8 bags and hit .272.  In a full season last year, well, you didn’t want to own him.  I mean *shudders*  He ain’t got no alibi.  You feel me?  Okay, can you stop touching me, I’m a germaphobe.  So, what can we expect from Trevor Story for 2018 and what makes him a 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper?

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I’m dropping this one for the head wrap set. The neo-soul, On and On, Better Call Tyrone, Ohhhhh I’m Sorry Ms. Jackson set. Let it be shouted from the mountains the Twins Akil Baddoo is a potential dynasty league breakout for 2018. Sure his mom might be a little overbearing with her giant afro and message of empowerment, but damn can Akil hit. I’ve just been informed that I am incorrect, Akil is not the son of Erykah Badu and Andre 3000. He’s simply another Georgia Peach looking to be the apple of my eye. #Fruitjokes. Taken with the 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Baddoo struggled in his first taste of pro-ball, slashing an underwhelming .178/.299/.271, with 2 homers and 8 steals in 38 games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Sure, that slashline is the kind of cold water that can extinguish the most fiery of prospect crushes. Not for this Prospector, I stand with Baddoo, like he’s symbolic of freedom and kick-assery. Plus he was only 17 years old, and always considered a raw project coming out of the Georgia prep ranks. One that was going to take some time to fully bake. Now that we’ve compared this talented athlete to a sheet of Tollhouse cookies, let’s dive into Baddoo’s excellent 2018, and why he should be a sleeper for 2018 Dynasty Leagues.

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