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Grey Albright and Billy Hurley are back for another podcast episode! B_Don is still filling in for Donkey Teeth as the guys go through the best of the not, not news. The trio could have spent the whole hour on the first story about a dinosaur’s butthole that was found and opens up new insights into dinosaur anatomy. Next up, a British couple recently had one of Gweneth Paltrow’s vagina candles erupt in their house. On to the next story, a British man was found 100 miles from his home while violating COVID quarantine rules and his excuse was that he was trying to get to a McDonald’s, but there was no McDonald’s in that town. While that story was about violating COVID, Tom Cruise has paid for 2 COVID patrolling robots to monitor the social distancing and mask wearing on set of the 69th Mission Impossible movie. Robot voice Grey and Billy do not disappoint. I wonder if Tom Cruise is a smooshy face cat? His lack of range would make sense given the next story about how these ‘smooshy’ faced cats are having trouble showing their emotions. We wrap up with a story about Ben & Jerry’s branching off to make ice cream treats for the doggos out there.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Monday comes around, and what do you want to read about on your favorite fantasy sports blog? Of course! It’s a pitcher who finished in the 140s on the Razzball Player Rater last year. This player won a solid 2 games in 9 starts while sporting a 5.17 ERA and is projected for a 2021 season FIP around 4.30 by every major system. Whew! Is it just me that’s getting sweaty in here, or is it the side-effect of my genetically-modified coffee? Who’s ready to get hyped about the second starter on the Seattle Mariners, Yusei Kikuchi? You are!

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Could I see owning two of the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball? More like: Can I draft four of them? This post is going to envelope you with so much love you’re going to remember when it was that you were first stung by the Fantasy Baseball Bug. By the way, the Fantasy Baseball Bug is mostly found in North America, struggles to reproduce and inhabits dark basements. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Can you name the last Rangers prospect who exceeded expectations?

Sorry to cut to the quick, but it feels like something of an unreported secret that Texas is trouble for top prospects. 

Can go with Gallo, if you want to give your brain a break. I think he’s more or less lined up with expectations, for what it’s Weurtz. 

Elvis Andrus came from Atlanta in the Teixeira trade, and I guess he counts. Kind of. 

I know they’ve had environmental issues, but can you recall the last time they developed a fantasy-relevant starting pitcher? 

Remember when Martin Perez was a top ten prospect? 

I went digging through 40-man rosters year over year for the past decade or so as I was composing this piece, and it’s not inspiring, especially through the lens of internal development. 

Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman, Tanner Scheppers, Jorge Alfaro, Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar (injury exception), Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Keone Kela, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Mike Olt, 

I think it’s Ian Kinsler, by the way: a Rangers prospect who exceeded expectations. Michael Young. They had a good run. 

But it’s a new dawn, kind of. Chris Young has been hired because he is a former player who is extremely tall and probably possesses other traits that make him a good face for the organization’s transactions. I say such only because his first trade occurred within 12 hours of his hiring: Lance Lynn for Avery Weems and Dane Dunning. Hard to imagine he did much more than agree with the guy who’d just hired him, Jon Daniels, President of Baseball Operations. 

Anyway, I feel good about the talent in this system but have reason to doubt the development team. If Young is being hired to re-imagine that aspect of the organization, I can lean in and hope for the best. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week we start getting into hitter profiles for the 2021 fantasy baseball season and what better way to start out than two guys battling it out for draft position at the end of the first round.  Not only that, but Trevor “walking pun” Story and Christian Yelich’s boyish looks are just too tempting to pass up for any writer.  The downfall being that there are way too many jokes to write and so little word count to do so.  Like honestly, we could go into a Story about the how good the Marlins could have been if they cared about winning when they had Yelich.  But alas, wasting time when I could have just stuck the pun in the title and moved on.

Alright, let us get to why you are reading, each week I will be grabbing two hitters that are close to each other in ADP and breaking down their 2020 (and likely 2019) with what I would expect in 2021.  Then we will make like a good old western, take everybody out back and have a true standoff until a winner prevails.  Let us jump into this and see where it takes us!

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Howdy-do, folks. I surely do ‘preciate you stopping by for the latest in the world of offseason baseball.

The Blue Jays made three exciting signings, only to have it turn into two exciting signings (unless a Tyler Chatwood signing excites you, then you can still call it three) because the Astros swooped in. For a few hours there, the Jays lineup looked pretty damn formidable. I still really dig it, for what it’s worth.

Other things happened, too. Here’s what stood out to me:

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The year was 1996. The “Macarena” craze had just swept the nation, Independence Day was dominating the box office, Bill Clinton was about to win re-election, and 10 year-old Torres was already sporting a full-grown mustache (those damn Puerto Rican genes.) Even with the mustache, life was pretty good for me back then. It was made even better when the Yanks won the World Series that year, clinched on this catch by none other than the great Charlie Hayes.

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The top of the 2nd base pool is funky as all get-out, and I wish a lot of these guys would get out I’m trying to watch Get Out. Are the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball shallower than the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball? No, but it’s pretty close, and that’s the last time you’re gonna hear the word pretty and 2nd basemen in the same sentence. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the past 10 months, have you happened to hear Casey Stern mutter the iconic phrase, “prospects are cool, parades are cooler,” and thought, shit, prospects are waaaaaay cooler than parades now! Don’t get me wrong, I loved a good, old-fashioned homecoming float as a kid as much as anybody. But the Coronavirus pandemic has done quite a number on the attractiveness of modern parades. In today’s world, I think “prospects are cool, but watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade alone while shoveling a full tin of baked corn into your mouth that you made for yourself is cooler,” is a bit more fitting, wouldn’t you say? Well, here at Razzball with The Itch and myself, prospects are always cool. They’re cool even when they’re not, say, in July when everyone else is getting psyched for the start of the 2020 MLB season and 2020 fantasy football drafts, and I’m busy writing a Way-Too-Early College Top 25 for the 2021 MLB Draft segment, inadvertently detailing how one-dimensional my life is. Or, if you read that particular post, how frequently I crap myself on airplanes.

In my Way-Too-Early College Top 25, I took an early shot at laying out the top 25 prospects for the 2021 MLB Draft in a year that had very little spring action and a summer filled with cancelled developmental leagues. Now, as college players returned to campus over the past several months, effectively receiving some varying level of fall training, practice and game action, we have a lot more data and scouting to lean on. But, before I begin rehashing my top college prospects list and start to build it into my annual (it’s year two, can I say that?) complete college top 100, let’s discuss some early risers that I may have either previously overlooked or under-ranked. Since I’m such a Carmen Sandiego fanatic, I’ll also go rogue and add some other notes of things I’m hearing, or seeing, that I don’t really agree with, or that I simply think are worth mentioning. That, my dear friends, begins at the very top of the 2021 Draft (guess who?), then follows with the likes of Ethan Wilson and Jaden Hill.

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The top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball are fascinating, at least according to early ADP. There’s some top guys to draft, a few, at least. But, unlike past years, there’s also quite a few 1st basemen to draft after the top 100. Usually I’d scream at you in the most shrill of voices that if you didn’t have a top five 1st baseman you were going to lose your league. I’m not against drafting one of those top guys, but there’s also quite a few later 1st basemen that I could see getting hip wit’. It’s wit’ because it’s hip, get it? Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?