One thing I’m noticing in the bigger picture sorta way is there’s gonna be more pitchers in this fantasy baseball rookies series this year than other years. The nature of the season made it more conducive for rookies to be called up, and rookie pitchers had no way of exceeding eligibility requirements. On a side but related note, this year made it abundantly clear that teams only keep prospects down in the minors because of phony money concerns. I mean, the concerns are phony, not that their money is phony. It’s real, and absurd. Not to become Willy Woke, but if a guy is worth $5 billion dollars; he can afford to promote a prospect and lose control of him a year early. On another side but related note, how many teams in the playoffs would’ve not been in the playoffs or there with a totally different looking rotation? It’s hard to imagine the Braves getting to the playoffs with the rotation of Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson. That’s not to say I don’t like them (to varying degrees). But if, say, the Braves called up Ian Anderson in May, his arm would’ve been so taxed by the playoffs, or just shut down. It’s interesting (to me, at least) to think of what a guy like Ian Anderson would’ve been in a 162-game season. Him especially, because he could’ve been up in May, and pitched 150 IP. I have an idea! Let’s actually figure out what he can do in a full season! Bravo, Grey, an ingenious plan! So, what can we expect from Ian Anderson for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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“I released it, he’s swinging, and as he’s making contact, I’m like, “Oh boy, this is gonna hit me, and so I turn… and it hit me, and it actually ricocheted off my head…my ears were ringing, so loud that it was hurting my eyes.

“When I hit the ground, I just went straight for my hat, and ripped my hat off, and I was bleeding. From the time I hit the ground, it was really…kinda crazy. I just had this, like, amazing peace about me. It was like God was saying ‘Hey, you’re OK.’ It’s like, ‘I got you.'”

Robbie Ray, Interview with YMI, published March 12, 2019

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I love most things about playing fantasy baseball leagues, but I especially love the push/pull of short versus long-term outcomes. I play a lot of dynasty, keeper and redraft leagues of various shapes and sizes, so the range of values I might place on a prospect in a given league is wide.

Not here, though, where I’ll be going full cut-throat, win-the-money redraft style.

  • Note: Nobody will be cutting actual throats. I love that phrase, but yikes, what a thing to say in casual conversation, huh?

This list won’t turn out to be 100 percent accurate, but it will reflect many hours of trade talks, gameplay, research, roller coasters and centrifuges of thought, educated guesswork, and dash of the psychology motivating humans working within a nihilistic capitalist structure. 

  • Note: I wasn’t sure how to handle innings caps. Every pitcher got dinged a little for the purposes of this list because some/most organizations will be very conservative pushing pitchers from 30-something (or zero) innings up above 100 (or more).
    Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

How do we know 2021 is going to be like no season ever after the season we just lived through and by ‘season’ I mean two months of games? Where do we begin? How about:  Sixto Sanchez has 39 IP thrown in the major leagues (regular season), is a contender for the NL Rookie of the Year award and still eligible for that award in 2021. Is that right? Am I losing my mind or is that the case? By the way, I’m not being facetious. “Losing my mind” is definitely a possibility. *does some light research for five hours that covers everything from rookie eligibility for 2021 to whatever happened to Shannon Whirry* So, Sixto Sanchez does appear to be a rookie still (and Randy Arozarena, for that matter, which is hilarious too). Why does this matter? Because that’s how I decide on which players to write up in the 2021 rookies for fantasy baseball. Well, like everything else with Major League Baseball, they’ve made it impentratable for fans. Instead of saying you can’t win the ROY award twice, they said, “…” Well, do you really want to know? You know MLB makes everything impossible to understand, right? Okay, fine, but I warned you. Any players who accrued more than 45 days on an active roster during the 2020 season or previous seasons prior to September 1st will no longer be considered a rookie. MLB wants me to check player’s call-up dates and count calendar days? Haha, yeah, okay, you’re dumb. That ain’t happening. Also, by the way, Sixto Sanchez is still eligible for the ROY award in both 2020 and 2021, if he doesn’t win it this year. Not joking. So, MLB may be stupid, but I’m going over rookies for this series with old eligibility requirements — 130 ABs or 50 IP in the majors. That is a long way to tell you a clerical situation. Any hoo! Sixto Sanchez! Yes! Each year I open the rookie series with the rookie who I think will be the most highly ranked rookie in the upcoming year. For 2021, that feels more difficult to pinpoint than previous years. I did think about other guys for the coveted first rookie spot in 2021, and, as mentioned in my Randy Arozarena fantasy, I’m split on him and Sixto, as the top 2021 rookie. Today, I’m going Sixto Mode! *does robot, gets stuck bent over, screams for Cougs to oil my joints* (By the way, I couldn’t find any up-to-date information on Shannon Whirry, hope she’s well!) So, what can we expect from Sixto Sanchez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

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We’re nearing a date beloved by baseball fans around the world. The first pitch of the Fall Classic is but a few days away. Baseball in 2020 was classic in many ways. Due to an invisible enemy, the season was delayed and play was adjusted as never before in the storied history of America’s Pastime.

But, we’re one game away from deciding who the final two teams standing will be. One team already punched their 2020 World Series ticket by winning another of baseball’s historic seven-game classics. The Tampa Bay Rays meet the Los Angeles Dodgers, the winner of the National League’s version of a winner-take-all final seventh game. Both teams get their chance at winning “The Series” in a strange season.

It will matter not to whichever team wins the upcoming best-of-seven that 2020 will have an asterisk beside it. Spring training became “summer training”, and 162 got whittled down to 60. Nevertheless, baseball lovers are still ready to be served another best-of-seven Fall Classic.

We had a hunch way back when this strange season started that one team would prove to be a formidable contender. The Rays have done all the things we thought they would be good at to fill spot number one in the 2020 World Series.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Black and white footage plays as the crowd at Yankee Stadium watches on. There’s not a dry eye in the place. Some newsies hang off the foul pole; elsewhere, grown men, dressed in military fatigues, weep. Babe Ruth adjusts the microphone for Randy Arozarena and motions for him to approach. Randy leans into the microphone, and quivering, “Today, I consider myself the Randiest man alive.” Sorry! I didn’t hear you come in. I was just directing this editing crew to recut the Lou Gehrig retirement speech. Don’t worry, it’s being done in a very respectful way. As you can imagine, it’s going to be hard for Randy Arozarena to play in 2021 after being inducted into the Hall of Fame after this postseason. Has that ever happened before? The prior-to-retirement induction? Did you just say “your stove?” That’s induction, but different meaning. Yes, words can have more than one meaning. Are you dumb in the head? So, here’s a peek behind the giant curtains at Razzball, I lower my Bro strap and say to Prospect Itch, “Give me your top rookie for 2021 fantasy baseball.” And he says, “No, you give me yours,” and I say, “What? You’re the prospect guy. I wasn’t being coy, I was just scratching under my Bro strap.” Then he told me Randy Arozarena, and I laughed for ten minutes, which coincided with Randy Arozarena hitting multiple homers in the playoffs and….Dot dot dot…Holy crap, is Randy Arozarena the top rookie going into 2021 fantasy baseball? I’m between him and Sixto Sanchez. This is the 1st year in maybe ever I’m not 100% positive on one rookie as the number one rookie. Last year was obviously Luis Robert, the year before was Vlad Jr. or the year before–You get the picture! Every year there’s a clearcut #1 rookie going into the upcoming season, but I’ve wrestled with this, and I don’t know if there is one in 2021. Wander Franco would be that guy, if I had any faith the Rays would ever promote him early enough for redraft leagues. Ergo/Therego:  Welcome to the 2021 rookie series and Randy Arozarena!  So, what can we expect from Randy Arozarena for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Hangovers get the best of everyone from time to time. Age is not your friend when throwing back one too many. The same could likely be said of World Series hangovers, which can bite even young teams but are especially exhausting for pitching staffs built around aging aces. Stephen Strasburg threw all of five innings in 2020 after signing a contract for $245 million across seven years. I’m still a few Scrubs episodes from finishing my medical degree, but Carpal Tunnel Neuritis in the right wrist sounds like an awful diagnosis for a 32-year-old right handed pitcher. Stras underwent surgery in late August and could be ready to go in Spring, but it’s looking like the team should’ve chosen Anthony Rendon over Strasburg rather than offering each the same deal and rolling with whoever signed first, if that widespread reporting was accurate. 

Whatever the future holds–and it doesn’t look bright in these minors today–2019 was worth it. Perhaps characterizing their 2020 as a hangover is a bridge too far, especially in a year when most of us wake up wishing we could sleep it off, but it’s an easy leap to make given the strength of will and perseverance it took to vanquish the OP-cheat-code Astros. Thanks, Washington! And it’s not all bad by any means. If their last couple first-round picks pan out, we could see Soto and the boys back in the big games very soon. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We’ve gone over the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2021 rookies. Let’s boogie to the next year, I’m so done with 2020. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

All the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?