Thus ends my fantasy baseball rookies series.  Starting on Monday, I will be releasing into the wild my fantasy baseball sleepers (unless there’s some big trade involving a team that rhymes with Mess). I hope my sleepers don’t immediately turn around and start humping a lamp post. I’ve taught you better, sleepers, don’t embarrass me.  For my last rookie to highlight, I was between Garrett Hampson and Peter Alonso.  Can you guess which one I chose? Briefly about the process, I like to highlight guys who I am eventually going to include in my top 500 overall for 2019. Honestly, I think I’m going to include both Hampson and Alonso, so I will go over Alonso in my rankings when we get around to those in January.  In the end, it was between a Rockies hitter and a Mets hitter, so anyone with any sense in their head would’ve done the same as me.  So, what can we expect from Garrett Hampson for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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In my fantasy baseball prospects series this year, I had how many Padres rookies?  Seventeen?  (Three.)  Luis Urias makes it twenty? (Still three.)  It was at least twenty-five (nope, three).  More fantasy baseball prospects than I care to recount here (it was seriously three).  More than any of us can count (if you can’t count above two). This is good news for Padres fans if there are any. *calls up Petco* “Can you put me on the phone with a Padres fan?”  “Hello?”  “Is this the San Diego Chicken?”  “Yeah, who dis?”  So, the Padres will be good (in theory) soon, and unlike some of the other rookies I’ve outlined this month, Urias actually has the starting job and the lead for the lead-off spot in the lineup.  What could go wrong?  Or more seguey:  So, what can we expect from Luis Urias for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Here’s people looking for only fantasy baseball prospects with 70 or higher grades when they see Brandon Lowe:  *eyes bug out, let out a long-winded pfft and turn the page to something else*  Well, joke’s on you, there’s no page to turn to, you’re reading this on a computer screen, doofus!  To the rest of you who are still here and not concerned with a guy being labeled ‘big-time prospect,’ make yourself at home, because we’re talking about guys who can actually help you for 2019 fantasy baseball and not in seven years when you’re even more bald.  One quick side note (as if the rest of this was on topic), don’t tell Prospector Mike but Rudy and I were talking recently and the gist of the conversation was, “Is it me or does it seem like for every prospect that breaks out seventeen of them you need to wait on?”  “Lucas Giolito.”  “Yup.”  “Member when people were excited about Scooter Gennett four years before he was good?”  “You made that point already.”  “How about Luis Castillo?”  “Same point again.”  “Tyler White was an overlooked 33rd round prospect!”  “Please stop with the same point.”  “Don’t worry, Rudy, this is simply a conversation that won’t ever see the light of day on the site, so I can make the same points repeatedly.”  As you can see, we’re jaded, ya’ll!  I love the rookie nookie hype, but Brandon Lowe or Bo Bichette for just 2019?  If you were to just look at their prospect grades, you would think it was clear cut for Bichette.  Anyway, what we can expect from Brandon Lowe for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Can’t stop, won’t stop, making these bad boys all about fantasy baseball rookie hitters, but every once in a while you need to remove the blinders and look at a pitcher.  This doesn’t mean get totally enamored by pitchers.  Like Teddy KGB would say in a terrible Russian accent, “Nyet, nyet, nyet!  You sons of beeeeech, you tricked me, nyet!”  We must focus on hitters, but sometimes a great pitcher comes along, and we have to take a peeksie-poo.  Brent Honeywell is one such pitcher.  Three quick GIFs, from me to you.

I have a big takeaway from these GIFs.  Honeywell looks pretty low energy like Jeb!  Whether it’s the fastball in the first two GIFs or the bye-bye junk in the third GIF.  You gotta feel bad for the hitter when he gets to the third drop-off-the-table-snap-don’t-need-no-police-just-stay-off-my-back-or-I-will-attack-with-an-offspeed-pitch-that-you-won’t-smack pitch.  That’s only two pitches of his possible six pitches.  The last one, which I can’t stop watching, is just unhittable.  Looks like a circle change to me, but he’s got so many pitches in his repertoire — change, curve, fastball, screwball, cutter, knuckle-curve — who knows what he’s throwing, the hitters definitely don’t.  Confession, what you just read was my 2018 Brent Honeywell outlook post.  This is the problem with rookies and pitchers, specifically.  No one knows anything (RIP William Goldman) about when they will be promoted or play productively for that matter.  Of course, even less people can predict Tommy John surgery.  Though, a big hint is, “Is the guy currently in Dr. James Andrews’ office?”  Honeywell should be back some time around May/June, so…Again, with some oomph:  So, what can we expect from Brent Honeywell for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Have you heard?  The Mariners are rebuilding.  Cool, but haven’t they been rebuilding for the last fifteen years?  Also, is it the wisest decision to tell other teams you’re throwing in the towel in November?  Is that like when you’re a girl and you make a vision board that says you’re going to get a boyfriend and you do?  Or is it more like a guy who throws a PBR into a fountain and makes a wish to get laid?  A girl can find a boyfriend if she’s available.  A guy needs more than optimism, otherwise he’s going home with his hand.  Guess what I’m saying is the Mariners are a bunch of jerkoffs.  With that said, they traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield and some other prospects.  I will get to the prospects on the other side of the ‘Anyway,’ for now it’s Paxton, who I do love, but how surprising is it that he’s 30 years old already?  Surprising, right?  Last year was the first time he threw more than 160 innings in a year.  Walter Johnson, you are not.  You’re not even Josh Johnson.  His numbers, as always, were spectacular — 11.7 K/9 (4th in majors), 2.4 BB/9, 3.02 xFIP (4th).  By the by, in his best career year for innings, he didn’t even qualify for those stats in the leaderboard.  I had to sort down to 160 IP.  Meh, 150 insanely good innings is better than 200 innings from an Orioles starter.  Speedball guys don’t age great, but his velocity was still 95 MPH on average last year, which has been his norm, and he had the third best cutter in the majors (8.2), and the top 5 don’t have anywhere near his fastball.  Corey Kluber, for unstints, had 16 wins above average on his cutter, and had a -7 fastball.  Paxton had a 11.6 on his fastball.  We’re talking elite stuff, obviously.  The move to Yankee Stadium and AL East will deflate him a bit, but he can pitch anywhere.  For 2019, I’ll give James Paxton the projections of 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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One scout said this offseason at the Arizona Fall League, “We all talk about the bat of Vladdy, with obvious reason, but outside of Vladdy, I’d call Keston Hiura the purest power bat I saw out in Arizona. He’s just a special, special kid.”  The scout continued, “Have you seen my chew?” turning his lip inside out, “Ah, there it is,” then after a pause, “I’m big league, baby!”  Keston Hiura had an elbow injury while playing for the Fightin’ Licorices at UC Irvine.  The Licorices used him at DH, but obviously that won’t be an option with the Brewers, unless Selig moves them back to the AL like he moves his toupee back when there’s wind coming from behind him.  News says Hiura’s elbow is fine, and he should be able to play 2nd base as soon as Ape One. (Ape One is what I call April 1st).  If, Keston is, however, er, um, ya know, blocked at 2nd base by Jonathan Schoop, doesn’t matter if he’s ready. The Brewers barely played Schoop after he was traded to Milwaukee and they don’t seem at all committed to him, so Hiura could win the job out of Spring Training and Schoop acts as a utility man.  Or is simply non-tendered (deadline in November 30th) or traded. Either way, it does not seem like Hiura is far off while being far out. (Play on words points!)  Anyway, what can we expect from Keston Hiura for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Padres + catcher = “Joanna Newsom is the 21st century timeless voice.”  Wow, the math is way off there.  Was supposed to be “you win some, but not this one, however I will voice concern and enthusiasm.”  Not sure what happened, did I forget to carry a one or a “some?”  Hmm, will have to throw that through a Rudy-designed tool and see what happens.  As is my wont in the opening paragraphs, before I get to the nuts and bolts of Francisco Mejia, it’s good to point out that we’re talking about a catcher, so conservative is the operative word.  Also, it’s best to be conservative in a sentence with nuts and bolts.  Gary Sanchez took a bolt to his nuts and has never looked the same.  “Don’t rattle the undercarriage, cold, cold world,” as George Orwell says in his followup 1985, which was about the incredible box office year Steve Guttenberg had.  Any hoo!  Mejia does have me a little jazzed like elevator music, because the Padres have already called him up and he seems a lock to at least be in a 70/30 (Hedges/Mejia) timeshare for their catcher spot, if not more.  What’s Austin Hedges’ contract like?  *Googles it*  Okay, so maybe Hedges is traded?  How about 60/40 for Hedges/Mejia?  70/32 when including warmup pitches?  50/38 and 12% of the time the pitcher just throws to the backstop?  Mejia is ready and has to play, I say with 50/50 confidence.  Anyway, what can we expect from Francisco Mejia for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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So, DJ LeMahieu is given his walking papers and Brendan Rodgers is called up to start out of Spring Training as the Rockies’ Opening Day 2nd baseman.  Easy peasy, hair so greasy.  No problem at all!  No probleMahieu even!  That’s totally gonna happen.  The Rockies just love playing rookies.  Wait, hold on, my intern is telling me I’m looking at “the history of the Rockies playing rookies” in the mirror, and I’ve actually reversed it.  Damn.  That was short-lived, huh?  So, one quick word on why I’m writing a post on Brendan Rodgers.  Prospector Mike told me to!  Okay, okay, it’s not all his fault.  OR WAS IT?!  No, but, okay, yes.  I asked Prospector Mike to give me about ten prospect names of guys who could be relevant this year.  To read about fantasy baseball prospects’ prospects (stutterer!), check out Prospector Mike’s posts.  I’m focusing on redraft prospects.  These are guys that are supposed to be relevant this year, and Prospector Mike gave me Brendan Rodgers.  I don’t fault, PM (entirely).  Brendan Rodgers should be up with the Rockies this year.  Will he?  Does Crazy Rich Asians perpetuate a stereotype while also being good for a minority?  See what I mean, piña colada jelly bean?  Shizz is complicated.  Anyway, what can we expect from Brendan Rodgers for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Fernando Tatis Jr. was born in 1999.  Recently, it was announced Acuña was so young he didn’t know who Mickey Mantle was, well, Tatis Jr. is so young he doesn’t know who Mike Trout is.  Dude was born like a minute ago, and not a minute as it’s defined in Urban Dictionary, which is a long time, but an actual minute.  Tatis’s dad is so young he didn’t even use charcoal as his medium; he used MS Paint.  Tatis Jr. looks like an All-Star ready to happen, until the 75th round draft pick, Albert Pujols Jr., comes along and replaces him.  Jokes aside, Tatis looks damn near perfect.  A lanky Machado maybe, a young Hanley possibly.  Like something Ryan Brasier would cover, Tatis looks real and spectacular.  I’d say the difference him and his pops is the difference between Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr., but Ken Sr. wasn’t that bad.  How about this, the difference between Tatises (Tatii?) is the difference between J.D. Martinez and J.D. Martinez Sr.  Was there a J.D. Martinez Sr.?  No idea, but that’s the point.  FTJ is going to be special.  Now Fun the Jewels fast!  Now Fun the Jewels fast!  Now Fun the Jewels fast!  Anyway, what can we expect from Fernando Tatis Jr. for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Bo Bichette looks like Dante Bichette and Craig Biggio had a kid, but Biggio’s got his own future All-Star in Cavan Biggio so maybe they did a baby swap.  Honestly, if I worked in a maternity ward, I’d be switching babies all the time.  Not because I’m a bad person, but because I was a huge fan of the documentary, Three Identical Strangers.  See, I’m not evil, I’m cultured.  On a side, yet related note, I’m beginning to understand how my father felt when Ken Griffey Jr. started playing in the majors.  When Ronald Acuña Jr. Jr. starts playing, call it a wrap and bury me in a field with Seabiscuit.  Speaking of Seabiscuit (totally natural segue), let’s see Bichette!  Anyway, what can we expect from Bo Bichette for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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