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?
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.
|MI||Richie Martin Jr.||15||.234||1||5||6||2||.288||.352||.640|
|OF||Dwight Smith Jr.||52||.259||7||26||26||3||.324||.425||.750|
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.