Here’s the fun sleepers! Put away your Dylan Moores! Get out of the way with your Franchies! Stop exploring the dirty stuff you want to do with your Ryan Jefferii! We’re looking at a guy who is way more exciting than that! *sees we’re looking at Eric Hosmer* Okay, I take that back. Eric Hosmer isn’t exciting at all. Yeah, he’s boring as all crizzap. Let’s hit the snooze button and take a siesta, what say you? You’re already asleep? Okay, cool. I will just go ahead…and…slide…my spoon right next to your fork–WHOA! Stop yelling! I was going to nap with you! Hayzeus Francisco Cristo! I didn’t mean to upset you. It was just Eric Hosmer hit nine homers and .287 last year, and lowered his strikeouts to 17.9% and stole four bags and all in 143 ABs…Hey, wait a second, I’m getting excited for Eric Hosmer! That’s weird, and awkward since I’m still spooning you — How ya doin’. So, what can we expect from Eric Hosmer for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Okay, okay, OKAY! Stop your giggling. So, I might’ve been here before, writing a similar post for the last 12 years. Well, listen, wise guy, Austin Riley is only 23 years old, so it couldn’t have been 12 years unless he was a sleeper in an Esports league. By the by, is Spanish-language Esports called DEsportes? Or dEsportes? Or Esportes? Or something else? My brain hurts thinking about this. You know what else makes my brain hurt? Eating ice cream too fast and not drafting Austin Riley and I’m all out of ice cream! What? You know exactly what I’m saying! I believe it was around August 15th, about fifteen days and/or halfway through the previous season, when I said something like, “Austin Riley can’t stop striking out, huh? Man and five ladies, he is bad,” then I looked away and went back in October to look at some guys. Grey Looks At Some Guys coming up next, a new special brought to you by the Hallmark Channel and For Eyes. Austin Riley’s strikeout rate was 30.8% in July, 29.3% in August and I wrote him off. Then, after the season, I went back and saw he had a 17.3% strikeout rate in September and I slowly looked both ways to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing. They weren’t! Yes, it’s a little goofy to break down what a hitter is doing with strikeout rates in such small samples, but last year was goofy, and we don’t have a ton to go on. Plus, this is a narrative we’ve been waiting for with Riley. He had plate discipline in the minors after he settled into a level, and now he’s finally had one full season in the majors (462 career at-bats) and the strikeouts are coming down. If that happens, well…So, what can we expect from Austin Riley for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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As I’ve said numerous times, one of the most important aspects of fantasy baseball sleepers is their playing time. Sexy eh-eff stats will only get you so far if you’re drafting a hitter who is in a platoon or worse, no path to at-bats. I’m making an exception for Rowdy Tellez. His numbers are impossible to ignore. Legit hate that he’s a lefty and Major League managers have a blind spot with splits. No matter what the numbers say a lefty is vs. lefties, somehow managers always use that as a reason to get a hitter a ‘mental’ break. This year:  Rowdy Tellez hit .333 in 27 ABs vs. lefties, better than he hit vs. righties. ACKSUALLY, hitting .267 vs. righties. In 2019, it was more of the same, hitting .270 vs. lefties in 115 ABs, and .208 vs. righties in 255 ABs. Some would be concerned that Charlie Montoyo would platoon him out when facing righties, and, who knows, but that would be some Galaxy Brain shizz and doubt it happens. Speaking of Galaxy Brain shizz, why do I want to call Charlie Montoyo “Tony Montana?” It’s close but not quite, so I will call him the same I call everyone I see without a mask, but making due with their clothes, Scarf-face. Any hoo! A platoon is a slight concern, but about those Rowdy Tellez numbers that are impossible to ignore, or rather:  So, what can we expect from Rowdy Tellez for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Dylan Moore is, simply put, Whit Merrifield for people who are smarter than Albert Einstein. You can hem, and you can haw, and you can even hew, but there’s no getting around it. Austin Meadows is the most overrated dumpster fire that was born from a stork pooping into a grassy field, so don’t even come at me with that guy, but if you want it, here goes: Dylan Moore is, simply put, Austin Meadows for people who look after wiping. You get up without looking? You’re a dirty stork-dropping turd hole and you’re not smart enough to see the wonderous wonder that is Dylan Moore. Dylan Moore is a young man’s Lorenzo Cain. Call him Still Able Cain. You want a better metaphor? Come up with it yourself, you two-bit noodle nose! How about we put some meat on these bones? In Dylan Moore’s last 151 games in the majors, he’s hit 17 homers and stole 23 bases. Wanna come at me with another guy who you want to compare him to? Fine, Tommy Pham went 24/31 and is a decade (minus six years) older than Dylan Moore. But get this, Pham’s Ks were going up last year and he hit .211. Moore’s Ks went down and he hit .255. Whaddup, Pham?! Who else you got to compare him to? Kevin Keirmaier?! Fine, go for it with Keirmaier, who has had one healthy season in his seven-year career when he went 10/18 back in 2015. Good luck with that! You want more? Well, I want Moore! So, what can we expect from Dylan Moore for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Leody Taveras could’ve appeared in my fantasy baseball rookies series, but I wanted to put some extra shine on him, and, honestly, no one knows what constitutes a rookie this year. Sixto Sanchez received Rookie of the Year votes, and I think he’s eligible again in 2021. I say “I think” because the whole point of the last few sentences is no one knows! Right, so Leody Taveras, Wily’s son, Alex’s cousin, Frank’s brother, Jose’s uncle, Aneurys’s blood brother and Samuel Clemens Taveras, the celebrated frog of Taveras County. The Taveras family — La familiaras. Or not, I don’t know if Leody is related to anyone who’s played baseball before. Getting all the stuff I don’t know out of the way, so here’s what I do know:  Last year in 119 ABs, Leody Taveras went 20/4/6/.227/8. Mr. Prorater runs into a phone booth, tipping it over, but still makes a call, telling us, “Leody was on pace for a 100/20/30/.227/40 season, and if everyone was eating stacked pancakes at the same time, it would cause an eclipse of the sun.” Okay, not sure about Mr. Prorater’s math on either of those accounts, but lordy Leody that was a solid month of baseball. So, what can we expect from Leody Taveras and what makes him a sleeper?

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Not a sleeper post I planned on writing. Jake Cronenworth already broke out, didn’t he? Why is it that some guys break out and are ignored the following season, then you have other guys who break out and are overrated? This fascinates me. Something psychological about it, and I can’t put my finger on it. Let me grab another guy who seemingly broke out and Jake Cronenworth, but leave you in the dark about the other guy for now, and Stamford-up a little experiment on your mind. I call this very scientific experiment:  Player A vs. Jake Cronenworth. Jake Cronenworth’s Hit Tool is 60 grade, Player A is 40. Jake Cronenworth’s speed grade is 50, Player A is 50. Jake Cronenworth’s raw power grade is 45, Player A is 50. Jake Cronenworth had a .324 xBA last year which was in the top 2% of the league, Player A had a .263 xBA. Jake Cronenworth’s xSLG was .541 and top 10% of the league, Player A had a .481 and about same as Colin Moran. At worst, you’d say Jake Cronenworth and Player A were a push. At best, you’d want Jake Cronenworth. Here’s the point in our program where I shock you with who Player A is. Any guesses? Want me to just tell you? You’re no fun. It’s Trent Grisham. Same team, not same vibes at all, apparently. Trent Grisham is going about 100 spots sooner than Jake Cronenworth in some drafts. In fact (Grey’s got more!), I like Trent Grisham more than Jake Cronenworth, but should I? So, what can we expect from Jake Cronenworth for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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Reds trading away their closer, Raisel Iglesias, for Noé Ramirez is the kind of deal that will be used by future generations when they dissect when baseball clearly wasn’t about winning. This makes sense from the Angels’ perspective, clearly. Nothing that Angels like more than las Iglesias, and now they have two of them, having traded for Jose Iglesias earlier this offseason. This is not a black and white world, so I could see them trading for Emilio Pagan to balance their shoulders. Mike Trout will need to learn the Spanish nursery rhyme, “Aquí is the Iglesias, aqui is the personas, aquí is the pescado without a championship.” All I Noé is that dude is an 88-MPH middle reliever and what are the Reds doing? I like Amir Mrs. Garrett as much as the next guy, but he’s their closer now? I thought they were trying to be competitive. Why is “not being competitive” even an option? Okay, I’m about to burst my ulcer. So, Raisel Iglesias will clearly be the Angels’ closer, and has the stuff to be a top 3 closer. Last year he went 12.1 K/9, 2 BB/9, and 2.87 xFIP, and is nearly that dominant in his career, not just goofy 60-game seasons. For 2021, I’ll give Raisel Iglesias projections of 2-3/2.52/1.06/84, 34 saves in 67 IP.

On a more somber note, wonder what the Heaven’s Gate guy would’ve thought about the Angels trading for Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias. That’s gotta be a sign, right? No? Well, he would’ve thought it was. Side note:  the phrase “what in the holy eff” was invented for the HBO Max Heaven’s Gate documentary. As for Jose Iglesias, I’ve already drafted him in one 2021 league. Yes, I’ve already drafted a 2021 fantasy baseball league, I’ll try to go over it later this week. It was super late when I went to Iglesias, but I was hoping he could save my batting average’s soul. He’s a high contact, nothing else guy. For 2021, I’ll give Jose Iglesias projections of 64/8/68/.283/6 in 472 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Lying on a couch, talking to my shrink, “I put on a Franchy Cordero jersey, squeeze a combination of ketchup and mayo all over myself and walk around screaming, ‘I’m Franch’s dressing!'”

Shrink, “And, do you enjoy that?”

“It’s okay, but without relish.”

“Because you’re thinking of Thousand Island.”

And…scene!

Outside of major superstars, like the best of the best, the top of the echelon, the cream after it rises, there’s not too many players with 70 grade power and speed. Franchy Cordero has it though. He has that muscle and speed. Just look at last year, he hit two homers and stole one bag in 38 at-bats with a -1.1 Launch Angle. El oh–*coughing fit* WUT. A negative Launch Angle? Did he swing backwards, hit two balls so hard off the catcher’s mask that they ricochetted out of the park? His Hard Hit% was 47.1%, which would’ve been third best in the majors if it qualified, and at 38 at-bats, it didn’t, but not far off in that stupid year. Speaking of stupid years, throw out last year for Franchy. He had an injury — had his hamate bone removed in early August — and didn’t do anything worth talking any more about. As I always say, forget the Yandyesque Launch Angle, but remember the Yandyesque muscles. So, what can we expect from Franchy Cordero for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Angels are a bad team. Doesn’t matter for sleepers. Their home park doesn’t help. Oh em gee, I just thought of something:  Mike Trout as a Rockies player for his career. He’d be wearing a SpongeBob Nascar jacket during his 2nd year with the team as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. “Today, we welcome the 23-year-old Mike Trout into the Hall of Fame, on the back of the 680 homers he hit his rookie year.” Oh, who am I kidding? If Mike Trout were on the Rockies, he’d still be platooning with Raimel Tapia. “I’m looking forward to giving Trouty a chance out of camp,” says Bud Black as he doesn’t give Trout a chance. Any hoo! What I was saying is Jared Walsh is on a bad team in a bad park. The bad team thing actually could help, because who’s bumping him from the lineup? Albert Pujols? Pujols has been shite, British pronunciation, for five years now. Taylor Ward? I just jotted his name down, and even I think I made his name up. I.e. Jared Walsh will have playing time. So, what can we expect from Jared Walsh for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?