The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.

Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When perusing for 2020 fantasy baseball sleepers — I peruse, ya’ll! — this jumped out at me like weird nipples on men at a public pool, Scott Kingery had a top eight line drive rate, tied with Cody Bellinger. The top eight is not as elite as you might imagine, assuming you’re not still imagining weird nipples on strange men. There’s some elite guys in there — the aforementioned Bellinger, Freeman, Trout, Merrifield — but it also has guys like David Fletcher and Domingo Santana, which is why I’ve liked them in the past. So, is Kingery part of that elite line drive rate group or the other bleh group? First off, Fletcher is his own beast, or rather non-beast. A Blech Ness Monster, so to speak. He slaps the ball like he’s playing Whack-A-Mole with a broken mallet handle, and is a batting average play, if anything. He’s more akin with the guy who’s ninth on the line drive rate — Adam Frazier. So are Kingery and Domingo Santana akin — Dokingo Scantana? I’d actually suggest Domingo is Fletcher with bad contact rates. Domingo had a similar fly ball and ground ball rate to Fletcher, but Fletcher had a 10% strikeout rate (elite) and Sunday Santana’s 32% strikeout rate is diseased. Good illustration of this is Domingo’s launch angle is 200th overall, and Kingery’s is 50th. (Fletcher’s is even more slappy at 254th.) So, Scott Kingery has nothing in common with Fletcher or Domingo, but does that mean he has a lot more in common with Bellinger, Trout, et al (not the Israeli airline), or rather…So what can we expect from Scott Kingery for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know, I play this fantasy baseball game shizz whatnot hullabaloo as well, so when I tell you about sleepers, everyone who I play against sees what I’m saying. Some sleepers are so juicy and under-the-radar I don’t want to discuss them. I want to store them away in my cheek until the perfect time to unleash them in my drafts. “Grey, are you chewing tobacco?”  *mumbles* That’s me at a draft squirreling away sleepers. The one fortunate (in this case, at least) thing about fantasy baseball ‘perting is everyone thinks they know better than everyone else, or because of a URL someone might think they know more. For unstints, a ‘pert can lose massively 12 years in a row, but if they write for a ‘quality’ site, then they’re considered more of a ‘pert than someone from aitch tea tea pee ess colon back slash back slash Razzball dot com. So, I can say Amed Rosario is a sleeper, but most won’t pay attention because they think they know better. Others will pay attention, and these are the ones we have to make sure have the wrong time for the draft. Muahahahahahaha–*coughs wildly* Sorry, just getting over an evil cough. So, what can we expect from Amed Rosario for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said previously, “Cavan Biggio will be promoted today to join Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Soon, Bichette will join Guerrero and Biggio and the Jays’ master plan to reunite the 2005 All-Star Game in the luxury boxes will be complete.  “How’s Darin Erstad Jr. look?” “More like Darin Ersatz!” “I don’t get it.” “Ersatz means an inferior substitute.”  “Is that some thinking man’s humor? I don’t like that.” That was overheard in the Jays’ front office. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Biggio this preseason, ‘At 23, Biggio had a solid 2018 campaign at Double-A. He hit .252 with 26 homers, 20 steals, and a walk rate of nearly 18%. He has the pedigree and patience to make it in the pros and the power to hit 20-25 homers, but he also strikes out a lot and I’m not sure what position he’ll end up at. This could mean he ultimately finds a role as a super-utility type like a Swiss Army knife. Speaking of which, anyone know where Grey is, I want to harvest his liver.’ Hey, c’mon! This year, Biggio cut down on his Ks, and held his walks, hitting .306 in Triple-A, while adding in his usual mix of power and speed.” And that’s me quoting me and quoting Prospect Mike! It’s all super accurate information, so digest it. Digest my milkshake, as a not-100%-accurate foreign translation of There Will Be Blood would say. Digest it up! So, what can we expect from Cavan Biggio in 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Guess what, snitches? We’re done with the fantasy baseball rookies and onto the 2020 fantasy baseball sleepers! Can I get a what-WHAT?! No, the 2nd what is louder, not from the standing position. That’s what caps mean. No, it’s not said while wearing a baseball cap. Forget it! I’m moving on! So, I just had a flashback that scared me. Can I share it with you? Thanks for being so kind. Okay, I was looking at Oscar Mercado and his minor league stats and how he stole 50 bags one year in the minors and is capable of hitting 20+ homers and I was like, “Hey, it’s nice to see Michael Saunders reemerge,” then I shot up in bed in a panic, ran to the sink to splash water on my face, realized I don’t trust sink water so I splashed Evian on my face and had my maid, Graciela, cry for me, then I realized I don’t have a maid or Evian and this was a dream within a dream and I woke up again in a fright only to wonder if I was still asleep. The moral of the story, don’t fall asleep while watching Inception. Now that I’ve got the comparison to Michael Saunders out of the way, and have blotted Graciela’s tears — “You want chiclets, Graciela, they always make you feel better?” — let’s look at Oscar Mercado after this awkward sentence of us saying we’re going to look at Oscar Mercado. So…So!…So… So, what can we expect from Oscar Mercado for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I will first quote Prospector Itch about Carter Kieboom because I think he’s right on, “Kieboom won’t dislodge Trea Turner from shortstop but could wind up a good big league second baseman. Trouble with that is second base is now a catcher in the rye for mashers with just enough hand-eye to fake it ‘til they make the plays, now that range is mitigated by analytics. Kieboom may never be above average in a fantasy world where Muncies, Hiuras, and McMahons are popping up on the regular. Unless, that is, he finds some stolen bases in his game. Wouldn’t take much. 10-15 can make all the difference these days, just like 10-15 blows to Grey’s head could make all the difference.” Aw, c’mon! Howie Kendrick, hero to all Nationals fans and owner of many International Howies of Pancakes, was manning 2nd base this year with Brian Dozier, but postseason heroics aside, they’re likely gone, and with good reason. That reason being they’re old eh-eff. This opens the 2nd base job for Shawn Carter Kieboom Goes The Dynamite Jr. (Full name.) So, what can we expect from Carter Kieboom for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said in the top 100 starters last year, “Here’s what Prospector Mike said this offseason, “This is a touted arm, but one that barely pitched this year. Forrest Whitley served a 50-game drug suspension followed by two trips to the disabled list for oblique and lat injuries. There’s too much upside in his plus heater and curve to knock him out of this tier and he’ll likely still rank highly on other 2019 lists. In 118 innings over the past two seasons he’s posted a K/9 north of thirteen. That strikeout potential is where I think his fantasy value lies. He’ll be pitching in the Arizona Fall League and could find himself in the mix for a rotation spot at some point. I doubt they rush things though, so it will most likely take an injury or a shuffle for him to get many meaningful MLB innings in the coming year.  Speaking of injuries, who do I have to pay to incapacitate Grey?”  Hey!  As for the other things PM said, I agree.  I think everyone is being way too aggressive on drafting and ranking Whitley this year.  Maybe if the Astros are hit by multiple injuries, but he’s 21 years old and would be overworked to throw 100 innings this year, and I think will see closer to under 40 IP in the majors, so why rank him this high even?  He’s a decent flyer with a ton of risk.”  And that’s me quoting Prospect Mike quoting me! I’m sorta in the same place this year. Do we really see legit innings from Forrest Whitley in 2020 in the majors? Or, rather…So, what can we expect from Forrest Whitley for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, I’m kinda jonesing to draft early this year. Not sure why, maybe because Donkey Teeth and I won cash at the NFBC Postseason Contest thingie and the number one rule of gambling is never leave the casino with money or maybe because Cougs has been moving our kitchen one inch to the left for the last six months and I’m couch surfing and bored. Either way, or eye-thurr if Chingy is reading, I’m going to be drafting in an NFBC league next Friday, November 22nd. It’s 15 teams, Donkey and I are both in the league, and it’s $150 to enter, but, with the promo code, Razzball25, it’s $125 to enter. That’s *counting on fingers, loses count* a lot of fingers discounted!

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Don’t think I’ve ever done a joint post before like this, which is not to say I’m smoking a joint while I write this. Brucely, that’s every post if that’s what we’re talking about. When I say I’m cashed out, I’m not talking about being negative on my bank account. Okay, I’m talking about that too. Casey Mize and Matt Manning go together like peanut butter and your dog staring at you with a look like, “Yo, Cousin Ownerpants, give me some of that shizz.” Casey Mize and Matt Manning go together like Casey Mize and me thinking of Tyra Banks telling someone to smize. Casey Mize and Matt Manning go together like a ladder and Jose Altuve’s kitchen. Is it just me or do you also imagine Jose Altuve’s house is like a mid-century library with ladders sliding along the walls to get cereal and drinking goblets? Altuve 1000% drinks from a goblet; don’t even try to tell me different. Any hoo! The 22-year-old Casey Mize and the 22-year-old-in-January Matt Manning are both in the Tigers’ minor league system, said Mr. Obvious. The Tigers took Mize 1st overall in the 2018 draft; Manning went 9th overall in 2016. Both have the pedigrees of potential aces, so how long until the Tigers trade them to other teams so they can win Cy Youngs? I kid, I kid! (I don’t kid; this is deathly serious.) So, what can we expect from Casey Mize and Matt Manning for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Giving you a little looksie behind the curtain at Razzball HQ, where I’m not wearing pants and have had multiple lawsuits levied against me, I asked Prospect Itch to give me about 20 names of prospects who will be relevant for 2020, and rank them in order of 2020 relevancy, so I could give you a breakdown of each one, from best to worst. He’s our prospect writer, hence the 1st name, and he knows all of these guys way more in-depthly (totally a word!) than I. My focus is on 2020. After watching some videos of these guys, I could see why they’ll be relevant in 2020 and beyond, but this is about 2020 for me. This is why I didn’t write a post about Wander Franco, and might not. (Still debating it, seems super doubtful though.) With that said (Grey’s turning the ship around!), I don’t know if Michael Kopech will be relevant in 2020, and, therefore, ergo, vis-a-vie, we’re getting towards the end of my fantasy rookie series, when I’m going over guys who might not be relevant this year. (If you have any names of rookies for 2020, who I haven’t covered yet, mention them in the comments.) So, what can we expect from Michael Kopech for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?