As I sit here and awake from my winter’s hibernation, I search for and do only the essentials.  Gold chain, check.  I also tell myself that the transition from Fantasy Soccer to Fantasy Baseball will be as easy as riding a bike.  But you forget, I’m a bear.  Nonetheless, here we are fantasy folks and four female folkers.  Baseball 2018 is already in high gear with posts from the usual gaggle, and as always my contribution is at the back-end of ball games.  Namely saves, holds, and relief pitchers that have intrinsic mixed league value and individual league value heading into the draft stages of this new and bright year. So keeping it simple, I formed a chart that will be included it in every week’s post that will have the bullpen pictures of all MLB teams, updating it with every sleeper or bullpen post… because I am a giver.  That and who knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks that may skew the dynamics of the bullpens around the fantasy world?  Once Grey starts doing his pitcher rankings, I will then drop my own rankings in  proper fashion.  Til then, sit back relax, ask questions about almost anything relating to bullpens or closers, as I will gladly be here as always for my ninth season here at Razzball.  So it is with pleasure that I can bring you the first bullpen related post of the year.  Individual closer and reliever posts are on the way. Enjoy!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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So far we’ve (I’ve) gone over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Sure, I could’ve just said here’s the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings, but if you’re gonna clickbait, you gotta go full bait.  Last year, I was drooling about the top 20 shortstops; this year, well, I like a few of them.  Lowercase yay!  How’d it go from a deep position to shallow in one year, especially a year after a huge offensive outburst?  I have some theories, but they all involve the Illuminati, so I can’t talk about them.  With each player is my projections and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Over the past few off-seasons one of the most unpleasant tasks was writing up the Los Angeles Angels farm system. They didn’t just lack depth, they lacked sizzle, spice, anything naughty or nice. I mean it was the dregs of the minor league ranks, a 30 grade in both ways you could take it. I’m not going to blame the reign of Jerry DiPoto, but take a look at the Mariners. They’re the new Angels. As for the Angels they’ve added some exciting talents over the last three seasons, culminating in the signing of the most hyped Japanese player since Masahiro Tanaka. In fact, since June the Angels have added three of their top four prospects, and you could make an argument that they secured the services of the best Free Agent in Shohei Ohtani, best prep hitter in Jo Adell, and the best international hitter of the past two July 2nd periods in the emancipated Kevin Maitan. It’s an interesting mix, with some up and coming talents that showed some spark in 2017. They still lack depth, and players like Taylor Ward and Nonie Williams have struggled to meet expectations, leaving the two areas of need, middle infield and catcher, further exposed. The system is a work in progress, but just another strong draft and signing period from being a top system. It’s the Los Angeles Angels Top Prospects.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Who doesn’t love the upside of a power bat in Colorado? Over the years some of the best breakouts, values, and production has come from the Rockies minor league ranks. The cushy parks throughout the several levels of the Colorado minors help to inflate many of their prospects statlines, not all that different from the organizational Mecca in Denver. The other side of this setup, is they shellshock their pitchers at a young age. I guess this is to get them over the ticks and anxiety attacks that come with pitching your home games at an elevated altitude. By design or not, we go through all of the top talents in the system with the help of Prospects1500.com‘s Michael Parnell.

Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Recently, I had the honor of participating in an industry expert post-winter meeting mock draft hosted by Scott White of CBS Sports. My strategy was simple: try not to embarrass myself and The Razz Brand. Outside of one controversial pick that was pointed out by White over on his site for the most part I’d say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. See if you can spot that pick!

Here are the fantasy baseball luminaries I got to spend my Friday afternoon with:

  1. Ya boy, Razzball
  2. Ralph Lifshitz, Razzball
  3. Scott White, CBS Sports
  4. Justin Mason, FanGraphs
  5. Jeff Tobin, CBS Sports
  6. Lawr Michaels, Creativesports
  7. Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs
  8. Tim McLeod, Patton & Co
  9. Lance Brozdowski, BigThreeSports.com
  10. Chris Towers, CBS Sports
  11. Sergio Gonzalez, CBS Sports
  12. Adam Aizer, CBS Sports
  13. Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Before we get into the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, let’s go bobbing for clickbait.  Here’s my top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. So, without further hubbub on the tomfoolery, the top 20 2nd basemen were shallow like how Altuve likes his pool water as recently as three years ago, then bounced back two years ago, then were drowning in a puddle last year.  So, what about this year?  Thanks for the expository segue!  As always, my projections are included and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It’s baseball season, long-lost Razzball friends! Okay, fantasy baseball season. Okay, fantasy baseball drafting season. Okay, fantasy baseball drafting season for fantasy baseball writers and mildly disturbed folk who couldn’t make it through the first day of 2018 without entering into a fantasy baseball draft (proud to count myself a member of both of those elite groups, thank you very much).

Drafting the first week of January feels downright crazy. Well, is downright crazy. Projecting stats takes on a new layer of complication right now with such a ridiculous number of draftable players unsigned, and it’s trickier than ever trying to guess how fellow owners might be valuing players. I recently completed my first official fantasy baseball draft of the year, and found my instinct taking over regularly, leading me to impulsively click on a name which was far below other, higher-ranked names on my tidy little spreadsheet, simply because I had a gut feeling. Sure, we could call it women’s intuition, if we wanted to sound like we were writing this article in 1978. (As it turns out, there are studies that support some version of women’s intuition being a biological reality, due to the fact that females are exposed to less testosterone in the womb, which leads to an extra “sense.” Google if bored).

“What’s the point, lady??!” you ask…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

I have to keep this short, because after the jump is going to be the longest post you’ve ever seen in your life.  How do I know all the posts you’ve seen to compare this one to?  Because I’m sitting behind you.  *waves*  Hey!  I’ve given you the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All projections included are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Love is too strong of a word.

like The Los Angeles Angels’ acquisition of shortstop Zack Cozart. As I write this column, it’s the Halos’ most recent power move. Subsequent to winning the lottery with Shohei Ohtani and trading for second baseman Ian Kinsler, while rumors pointed to Mike Moustakas, Billy Eppler zagged towards a more cost-effective option at third base. Rarely, however, is a cost-effective option also the better option. If Cozart ends up as a more productive player than Moustakas in 2018, I won’t be stunned. (Hot take level? Medium).

Think of it like this. You go to Whole Foods with a $20 budget. Instead of buying two pints of $10 ice cream, you purchase four pints of $5 ice cream. Then, you find out the $10 ice cream is actually worse for you than the $5 ice cream. Cozart is the $5 ice cream. Moustakas is the $10 ice cream. (Side note – Haagen Dazs is the best ice cream).

Well, that metaphor and my praise only work if we’re talking real-life value.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

After going over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), it’s now time to turn our lonely eyes to you, Mr. Robinson Chirinos.  To paraphrase The Refreshments from their should-be smash hit, Fonder and Blonder, “Who said absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Pitches are thrown to catchers, but that doesn’t make my heart grow fonder.”  Later in that song, they sing, “I’ll be scratchin’ it down,” which sounds like it applies to all baseball players.  Or as the rhyming dictionary has never said, applies to oranges.  Any hoo!  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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