Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the Baltimore Birds with orange on them have in store for you and your fantasy team?

2019 Recap

Final Record: 54-108
Runs Scored: 729 (11th)
Runs Against: 981 (15th)
SB: 84 (6th)
ERA: 5.59 (15th)
Saves: 27 (15th)
Strikeouts: 1248 (13th)

 

Strengths – It’s probably be easier to use the literal term of “Strength” and just say this team is full of baseball players, ipso facto, they probably are physically strong. Oh, I have to actually try and find some strengths on this team? Geez. They signed Jose Iglesias? As their only free agent? Oh boy. Okay so, it’s not this existentially bad (I think?), as Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini were, you know, pretty good. Just so happens that everything else was really really bad. If we’re trying to project any kind of team strength for this upcoming season, I don’t think you can, especially since Villar is now in Miami, but Hanser Alberto will continue to develop along with Mancini which can’t be all that bad!

Weaknesses – Everything? I’m hesitant to put the entire pitching staff in the spotlight, but they struggled mightily last season, and especially so after Andrew Cashner was traded. John Means was the only competent starter, but to be fair, he did finish 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year. It should be noted too that while two of the Orioles top three prospects are pitchers (Grayson Rodrigues and DL Hall), they are still some time away from contributing.

 

Projected Lineup

Role Player G AVG HR RBI R SB OBP SLG OPS
1 Hanser Alberto 139 .288 13 62 64 6 .316 .412 .728
2 Trey Mancini 150 .273 30 90 87 1 .339 .486 .825
3 Anthony Santander 136 .262 24 78 69 5 .306 .455 .761
4 Renato Nunez 143 .247 28 84 72 2 .311 .454 .765
5 Rio Ruiz 89 .249 11 41 40 2 .317 .406 .724
6 Austin Hays 115 .259 21 64 58 9 .300 .458 .758
7 Chris Davis 66 .197 12 33 30 1 .288 .389 .677
8 Jose Iglesias 138 .268 10 56 56 9 .308 .389 .696
9 Chance Sisco 72 .238 10 33 33 1 .325 .401 .725

Projected Bench

Pos Player G AVG HR RBI R SB OBP SLG OPS
MI Richie Martin Jr. 15 .234 1 5 6 2 .288 .352 .640
C Pedro Severino 68 .245 9 32 30 2 .306 .402 .708
OF D.J. Stewart 79 .253 13 40 39 6 .335 .442 .778
OF Dwight Smith Jr. 52 .259 7 26 26 3 .324 .425 .750

Projected Rotation

Role Player IP ERA WHIP W SV SO K/9 BB/9 FIP
1 John Means 183.0 5.16 1.32 9 0 143 7.00 2.05 5.38
2 Alex Cobb 181.0 4.92 1.35 9 0 130 6.49 1.87 4.93
3 Asher Wojciechowski 137.0 5.61 1.37 6 0 120 7.87 2.77 5.81
4 Wade LeBlanc
5 Brandon Bailey 89.0 5.58 1.48 4 0 75 7.56 3.69 5.72

Projected Bullpen

Role Player IP ERA WHIP W SV SO K/9 BB/9 FIP
CL Mychal Givens 65.0 3.74 1.16 3 14 77 10.63 2.80 3.82
SU Richard Bleier 65.0 4.07 1.29 3 3 43 5.89 1.52 4.19
SU Hunter Harvey 60.0 4.19 1.21 3 14 63 9.52 2.39 4.26
MR Miguel Castro 55.0 4.50 1.39 2 0 52 8.51 3.67 4.63
MR David Hess 19.0 5.18 1.34 1 0 17 8.12 2.61 5.30
LR Paul Fry 55.0 4.03 1.33 3 0 54 8.77 3.31 4.20
LR Shawn Armstrong 40.0 4.56 1.29 2 0 41 9.17 3.08 4.68

 

The Pick – I mean, it has to be Trey Mancini, right? There’s literally no one else here besides the ghost of Chris Davis (no touchy). Okay-okay, supernatural hyperbole aside, if you don’t land Mancini, there’s of course the previously mentioned Hanser Alberto if you need speed and overall upside at the infield position. Anthony Santander is a nice option if you need someone who won’t hurt you, and Mychal Givens if you need saves and want to start a heavy regiment of antacids.

The Sleeper – I’d keep an eye on Ryan Mountcastle. I’m not sure how long the Orioles will watch Davis’s auto-defenestration in real time, but it’s certainly an experience we’ll be watching in real time.

The Prospect – This area is a bit murky, but not in a bad way, there is a youth movement occurring in Baltimore, but generally there will be bumps on the road for such a young and transitioning team. I do like Yusniel Diaz and Austin Hays as contributors this year (along with Mountcastle mentioned above).

Outlook – It’s hard to prognosticate a good result in 2020 for the Baltimore Orioles, but in a way, rebuilding teams are an amazing injection for Fantasy Baseball in general. How? We literally have a roster where at-bats are free flowing, at least in concept. It creates opportunities for young players to step up and contribute, middling bullpen arms to become closers, veterans could find a niche where they’re relevant again. But most of all, a lot of outcomes will be surprises, and while the Orioles will be bad, they might actually be one of the funnest teams to watch as they struggle not to be bad. And for this reason, they might be more fantasy relevant than it first seems. DUNH DUNH DUNH!

 

 

Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong, or read his rarely (like never) updated blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow.

 
  1. KevinB says:
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    Thanks for the Fantasy Baseball Team Preview for the Baltimore Orioles.

    FYI … Adley Rutschman is a catcher

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Good catch KB. Fixed it…

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      Thanks!

  2. Rocky Colavito says:
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    it’s a baseball crime that one of the best ballparks in the world continues to field one of the worst teams in the world year after year. baltimorons deserve better. perhaps they should re-sign mark trumbo. the only player i’d consider drafting from the birds other than Mancini is Mychal Givens if it looks like he’ll have the closer role. cheap saves. well a few cheap saves.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      Completely agree. I always make it up a few times a year to check out some O’s games. I never sit, it’s one of the funnest parks to walk slowly around the entire game. Sight lines are out of this world.

      • ozone ranger says:
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        I went to The Palace of Eutaw Street for the first time in 1993. Sat in the second deck in LF. Frank Thomas and, here’s a throwback, Bo Jackson, with his artificial hip, were hitting batting practice balls into our section. Now that is a shot to hit it there.

        That park is still an amazing place to see a game. Growing up going to cookie cutter, dual use stadiums, that place was such a shock of happiness to walk around. Fenway and Wrigley are what they are, and Old Yankee Stadium was soaked in both history and urine, but Camden is still one of the best ballparks there is.

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          Definitely. Been to Wrigley, there is for sure some crossover appeal, but not lucky enough to visit some of the others… what a great memory to have.

          • ozone ranger says:
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            Thank you, Jay.

            The most amazing part was watching Bo Jackson, using pretty much only his upper body, launch balls 400+ feet with ease. We were sitting there, and next thing you know, balls start flying into our deck. I look down to home plate, and it’s Bo Jackson. Frank Thomas came up next and put on his War Eagle power show.

  3. KrazyIvan says:
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    Mountcastle might be interested in season. I felt he deserved a shot earlier last season but Baltimore has a very strict way of deciding how to suck.

    Alberto is only worth picking up for a week when they are facing a bunch of lefties.

    I think John Means has more upside then people think. He is a fly ball pitcher in an unfriendly park and the AL East ball parks, but he knows how to pitch and if he develops his breaking ball he can be a solid fantasy asset.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      Yeah, it’s like a focused suck.

      And totally agree, depending on league format, you’re right about the assessments.

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