This is the third year I’m writing a Casey Mize rookie outlook post. Lowercase yay. Never the hoo:

Waste time with a Mizerpiece
Don’t waste time with a Mizerpiece
You should be rolling with me
You should be rolling with me, ah
You’re a real-life fantasy
You’re a real-life fantasy.

I have designated his stuff Cake by the Ocean. No one comes back from that with realistic expectations. Last person to even come close was a 1988 fantasy outlook post I did for Kevin Blankenship, who Baseball-Almanac ranks in the top 500 still living players who debuted in 1988. A worthy designation! Prior to going forward, let’s go back to what I’ve said previously, “Mize’s final Double-A numbers were 78 2/3 IP, 8.7 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 2.98 FIP. Can’t lie, that injury worries me (he had shoulder inflammation in June of 2019), and I’m afraid of ghosts and that Mize might need some major surgery before resting for 18 months and then returning to being an ace. Specifics on his stuff:  double-plus splitter with a plus heater, slider, and control.” And that’s me quoting me! Then the Tigers promoted Casey Mize this year, because they’re wont to promote prospects super fast, which is awesome, and Mize was, well, less than awesome. His stats from this year: 0-3/6.99/1.48/26 in 28 1/3 IP. That gives me a big gulp, and not like the giant drink from 7-11 that you need two hands and both feet to hold. So, what can we expect from Casey Mize for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s literally thousands of rookies to talk about this offseason, which is why this series is going deeper than usual. Will go over sleepers next, that’s my promise to you, which I say as I announce my 2024 presidential campaign over Zoom while not wearing pants. If you want me to put on pants, you’re gonna have to hold these two boba drinks. I only have two hands and I’m typing with my nosse–Dah! Stupid nose! Type better! A brief peak behind the curtain, I ask Prospect Itch for 15 or so rookies to highlight in my 2021 fantasy baseball rookies series, and he gives me 30, ranked, then I usually take the top 15. Luis Patino is nowhere near his top 15. He was ranked 30th on his 2021 fantasy baseball prospects for redraft leagues. Previously, Itch labeled Patino as a guy he was targeting for 2020. He thought he was a sleeper going into last year. Wha’ happened? I say like I’m in A Mighty Wind. RIP Fred Williard. Prospect Itch used to love Patino. Did he move on? Has he soured? Is Patino a scratch Itch can’t reach? Have thee wrought a fire from the depths of Itch’s belly that can’t be quenched with Welch’s Grape? Does Itch not drink from the nectar of the Gods — Welch’s Grape? What is wrong with Welch’s Grape???!!!??? So, I asked Itch why he’s not as excited by Patino and he said, “There was more guys I liked better, but I’m still on the bandwagon.” Or bandwagino, so to speak. Or even bandwagiño. So, what can we expect from Luis Patino for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

These 2021 fantasy baseball rookies aren’t in order. My Randy Arozarena 2021 fantasy and Sixto Sanchez 2021 fantasy were 1A and 1B. But this one, I don’t know where it ranks. I just wanted to get out of the bubble, unmask the ‘stache and stretch my legs with a rookie who hasn’t debuted yet. No disrespect to Cristian Pache. You did get Ian Anderson. One love to Bryse Wilson. Sorry, no Kyle Wright because he exceeds rookie eligibility–Okay, are there any rookies that aren’t Braves? Any hoo! Jarred Kelenic, who sounds like a bottled cleanse, here’s your chance to shine (and get out what the fiber couldn’t)! First off, let’s look at what Prospect Itch said about Kelenic, “He’s drawn some Christian Yelich comps for his feel for the barrel and all around game (but mostly because he’s a lefty outfielder who can hit and run, and Yelich is elite now, and people love to comp prospects to stars who are so elite any kind of comp is immediately ludicrous). Regardless of what Kelenic becomes for the Mariners, he won’t be a Metropolitan, and that trade will go down in New York lore as an early and egregious oversight of the Brodie Van reign. Amazing move by Dipoto to identify the new guy at the table–the fish looking to make a splash–and immediately dump his worst contract (Robinson Cano) and sell high closer (Edwin Diaz) in exchange for Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista, who might’ve been the low totem pole piece here but could still impact Seattle’s future, and I’d like to impact Grey’s head.” Okay, not cool. So, that was Seattle’s best to get Kelenic, which sounds like the beginning of a coffee enema commercial, and the Mets’ worst, but real world trades aside, what about Kelenic for 2021 fantasy baseball or, rather…So, what can we expect from Jarred Kelenic in 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I entered into the Google search box, “Who loves Ryan Mountcastle more than me?” and it returned 5,000,000+ results that all said, “No one.” So, that sorta answered that question, huh? Gonna take a nap. *shuts eyes for five seconds, claps hands* I’m back! What did I miss? Nothing? Okay, great. So, Ryan Mountcastle just missed losing rookie eligibility this year, according to me, maybe not in reality. Confused? Alanis screaming, “You oughta know!” But since you might not, check out my Sixto Sanchez 2021 fantasy. Clickbait? Only if you clicked it! This past year, Mountcastle, as played by David Tennant, looked like a professional hitter. Vomit. I know. It’s a terribly overused phrase. They’re all professional, so dur! Also, “terribly overused phrase” is a terribly overused phrase. But Mountcastle really lit the nethers on fire with his patience and line-driving producing stroke. Billy Squier calls that The Stroke, and I agree. No BS from BS. Now that Mountcastle was called up the Orioles — finally! — they have no excuse to not play him. Will they still find an excuse? *makes Michael Scott grimace face* I hope not, but they are a dumber bird franchise than Chick-Fil-A and not nearly as delicious. I, honestly, seriously, interjectionly, would be shocked if the O’s weren’t relabeled the Baltimore Baseball Club, shortened to BBC, and renewed Mountcastle for an early-April 2021 premiere. However, if there’s any way to manipulate service time by keeping him down until mid-April, the BBC will do it. So, what can we expect from Ryan Mountcastle for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In my Jo Adell fantasy, I was worried about his strikeouts this year. His strikeouts were a poop emoji giving a speech about how it will never poop itself again knowing that it will never be able to keep that promise. My Dylan Carlson fantasy is not concerned with his less-than-ideal batting average or Ks from last year. Carlson had a 29.4% K% and hit .200 in 110 ABs, but that just doesn’t jive with anything in his minor league numbers. Back up the Hit Tool narrative or gee tee eff oh, you hear me, boy? And ‘boy’ I mean the narrative. Sorry to gender it, but when something’s being dumb, it’s prolly a male, let’s be honest. Unless it’s my wife, then–I kid! Hayzeus Cristo, you trying to get me divorced? What the hell, my dude? You trying to cuck me out of my Cougar?

So, Carlson’s strikeouts last year, just don’t extend any narrative I see from him, and instead feel like this year can be thrown out, and we can go back to his absolutely gorgeous previous year in the minors where he hit 26 homers, stole 20 bags and hit near .300 with a close to 21% strikeout rate, between Double and Triple-A. Also, his walk rate in the minors was solid, and it was not last year. Last year was two months and just needs to be ignored for Carlson. Cards’ season started and stopped more than your ’89 Corolla, then Carlson was sent down to the alternate training site randomly in the middle of the season, when he wasn’t hitting well through a whole 79 plate appearances. Only for him to return, and end the year hitting cleanup in the playoffs. Cards were either without a plan or unable to execute after they kept pulling short straws. If you wanna talk silly sample sizes, Carlson hit .318 with a homer in the final week, and was the Cards’ best hitter by the end of the year. So put that in your dumb narrative and read it to your children! Anyway, what can we expect from Dylan Carlson for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In 85 major league at-bats, Ke’Bryan Hayes hit five homers, stole a bag and hit .376. That roughly translates to 645 homers, and 129 steals while hitting .376 in an equally productive 20-year career. Hard to argue he’s not a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.

You, a wet-under-the-collar-with-scurvy Pirates fan, “He still wouldn’t be the best player to come out of Pittsburgh. Hello, Barry Bonds.”
Me, a world-weary-peg-leg-having Pirates fan, “Bonds wasn’t a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. The Man stopped that from happening.”

Hey, they’re The Man, I simply live in The Man’s World. “If everyone left a penny, but didn’t take a penny, the jar to hold the pennies would need to be the size of the Silverdome, and be renamed the Copper-Plated Zinc Pennydome.” Not now, Mr. Prorater. “Oh, so you can prorate out Ke’Bryan Hayes’s stats, but I can’t prorate out a very simply equation. Cool, cool.” Well, whether you want to believe me, Mr. Prorater or Ke’Bryan Hayes’s September debut–Actually, that last one did happen, but is it real and repeatable? That’s what we have to figure out. Is it sustainable like this salmon I’m eating out of my lap to avoid waste. Don’t worry, I’m wearing plastic pants. If you forgot, here are the four highest OPS for major league players’ debut months since 1901: Yasiel Puig (hey whatever happened to this guy?) with 1.180; Albert Pujols in 2001 with 1.171; Rhys Hoskins in 2017 with 1.149 and Ke’Bryan Hayes with 1.144. Not bad company, but not Bad Company by Bad Company. So, what can we expect from Ke’Bryan Hayes for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On July 16th of this godforsaken year, Julio Rodriguez suffered a hairline fracture of his wrist. Why? Because 2020 was the year no one saw coming, hindsight be damned. Pack up your suitcases and move in with your most charitable, rich relative, we’ll come out of this thing at some point in the future. Wake me up then, ‘kay? A wrist fracture feels like the end of the story for 2021, as well. Julio Rodriguez is 19 years old. Losing a year of development, puts him behind the eight ball, as they say in pool halls. Take a year to get back to where he was this year, and get back to me. I’m living with my rich cousin who invented the app that skips ahead of the personal stories on all recipe blogs. Unless Julio Rodriguez is a *whispers* phenom. *checks notes, slowly raises head, eyes watery* He is a…dot dot dot…dramatic pause…big gulp…orders again, “Can I get a Big Gulp?” Sorry, I’m typing this up at 7-11. Yes, he’s a phenom! Oh, yeah, Julio Rodriguez is a phenom. He. Is. A. Phenom. Yes, the one-word douchey sentences. On Prospect Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects in redraft leagues, Julio Rodriguez was 3rd overall. He would’ve been my number one rookie coming into 2021 fantasy baseball, if I had any faith in the Mariners promoting Julio Rodriguez to start the season. My biggest concern is playing time. Otherwise, he’s a lock. There’s at least a 50% chance Juli-Rodrigu (what friends call him) keeps his prospect status for 2022 and I’m back here at this time next year saying he’s the best rookie going into next season which will be two seasons from now, and not confusing at all. So, what can we expect from Julio Rodriguez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There will be many people screaming that Jo Adell is no longer a rookie, and to those people I say, “Stop screaming, I think you’re right,” but by my own admission in my Sixto Sanchez fantasy, I explained I was going by old rookie eligibility rules, because the new ones for just this season were confusing as all get-out. For our purposes, Jo Adell had 130 or less at-bats, so welcome to the resistance (to actual rookie eligibility). And, if porpoises are reading, I want to go on record as saying I never enjoyed Sea World. They’re popcorn was always stale. Never the hoo! Jo Adell, or as I like to call him, last year’s Randy Arozarena. Can y’all remember back to last year when we were like Jo Adell or Mike Trout, which do you prefer? And half of us were like, “Hee-haw! I want Jo Adell!” That aged like a fine cheddar that is stored between your toes. Adell’s season was not, how do I say, good. He went 9/3/7/.161 in 124 ABs. Glad he got those growing pains out of the way, huh? This reminds me of what a wise man named Grey Albright once said, “These prospects, huh?” Ah, no truer words have been said. It is pretty funny how we think we know what we’re getting, yet no one knows anything. Funny, funny stuff. So, what can we expect from Jo Adell in 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Patiently awaiting the Triston McKenzie / MacKenzie Gore matchup to watch it on my couch with my cardboard cutout of Mackenzie Phillips while Mack the Knife plays, wearing my Mack truck overalls. How was I built? Like a Mack Truck, baby — chugga-chugga-choo-choo. On the reals, it took me forty-five minutes to write the previous sentences because some people’s names have a capped K; some don’t; some have Mac; some have Mc, and this is worse than Zach/Zack/Zak/Zac. Stop the train and let me off. I need a mnemonic, Johnny! One of the more disappointing elements of 2020 — like, roughly, the 12,576th most disappointing thing — was that MacKenzie Gore didn’t get a call-up. He’s ready, Dads, let’s go! Not to mention, I think the Padres could’ve used him. Weird move to go get Mike Clevinger, when they likely would’ve been better with Gore. That’s a big market move done by a small market team — a small market team that’s worth like $1.8 billion, but anyway.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One thing I’m noticing in the bigger picture sorta way is there’s gonna be more pitchers in this fantasy baseball rookies series this year than other years. The nature of the season made it more conducive for rookies to be called up, and rookie pitchers had no way of exceeding eligibility requirements. On a side but related note, this year made it abundantly clear that teams only keep prospects down in the minors because of phony money concerns. I mean, the concerns are phony, not that their money is phony. It’s real, and absurd. Not to become Willy Woke, but if a guy is worth $5 billion dollars; he can afford to promote a prospect and lose control of him a year early. On another side but related note, how many teams in the playoffs would’ve not been in the playoffs or there with a totally different looking rotation? It’s hard to imagine the Braves getting to the playoffs with the rotation of Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson. That’s not to say I don’t like them (to varying degrees). But if, say, the Braves called up Ian Anderson in May, his arm would’ve been so taxed by the playoffs, or just shut down. It’s interesting (to me, at least) to think of what a guy like Ian Anderson would’ve been in a 162-game season. Him especially, because he could’ve been up in May, and pitched 150 IP. I have an idea! Let’s actually figure out what he can do in a full season! Bravo, Grey, an ingenious plan! So, what can we expect from Ian Anderson for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How do we know 2021 is going to be like no season ever after the season we just lived through and by ‘season’ I mean two months of games? Where do we begin? How about:  Sixto Sanchez has 39 IP thrown in the major leagues (regular season), is a contender for the NL Rookie of the Year award and still eligible for that award in 2021. Is that right? Am I losing my mind or is that the case? By the way, I’m not being facetious. “Losing my mind” is definitely a possibility. *does some light research for five hours that covers everything from rookie eligibility for 2021 to whatever happened to Shannon Whirry* So, Sixto Sanchez does appear to be a rookie still (and Randy Arozarena, for that matter, which is hilarious too). Why does this matter? Because that’s how I decide on which players to write up in the 2021 rookies for fantasy baseball. Well, like everything else with Major League Baseball, they’ve made it impentratable for fans. Instead of saying you can’t win the ROY award twice, they said, “…” Well, do you really want to know? You know MLB makes everything impossible to understand, right? Okay, fine, but I warned you. Any players who accrued more than 45 days on an active roster during the 2020 season or previous seasons prior to September 1st will no longer be considered a rookie. MLB wants me to check player’s call-up dates and count calendar days? Haha, yeah, okay, you’re dumb. That ain’t happening. Also, by the way, Sixto Sanchez is still eligible for the ROY award in both 2020 and 2021, if he doesn’t win it this year. Not joking. So, MLB may be stupid, but I’m going over rookies for this series with old eligibility requirements — 130 ABs or 50 IP in the majors. That is a long way to tell you a clerical situation. Any hoo! Sixto Sanchez! Yes! Each year I open the rookie series with the rookie who I think will be the most highly ranked rookie in the upcoming year. For 2021, that feels more difficult to pinpoint than previous years. I did think about other guys for the coveted first rookie spot in 2021, and, as mentioned in my Randy Arozarena fantasy, I’m split on him and Sixto, as the top 2021 rookie. Today, I’m going Sixto Mode! *does robot, gets stuck bent over, screams for Cougs to oil my joints* (By the way, I couldn’t find any up-to-date information on Shannon Whirry, hope she’s well!) So, what can we expect from Sixto Sanchez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Black and white footage plays as the crowd at Yankee Stadium watches on. There’s not a dry eye in the place. Some newsies hang off the foul pole; elsewhere, grown men, dressed in military fatigues, weep. Babe Ruth adjusts the microphone for Randy Arozarena and motions for him to approach. Randy leans into the microphone, and quivering, “Today, I consider myself the Randiest man alive.” Sorry! I didn’t hear you come in. I was just directing this editing crew to recut the Lou Gehrig retirement speech. Don’t worry, it’s being done in a very respectful way. As you can imagine, it’s going to be hard for Randy Arozarena to play in 2021 after being inducted into the Hall of Fame after this postseason. Has that ever happened before? The prior-to-retirement induction? Did you just say “your stove?” That’s induction, but different meaning. Yes, words can have more than one meaning. Are you dumb in the head? So, here’s a peek behind the giant curtains at Razzball, I lower my Bro strap and say to Prospect Itch, “Give me your top rookie for 2021 fantasy baseball.” And he says, “No, you give me yours,” and I say, “What? You’re the prospect guy. I wasn’t being coy, I was just scratching under my Bro strap.” Then he told me Randy Arozarena, and I laughed for ten minutes, which coincided with Randy Arozarena hitting multiple homers in the playoffs and….Dot dot dot…Holy crap, is Randy Arozarena the top rookie going into 2021 fantasy baseball? I’m between him and Sixto Sanchez. This is the 1st year in maybe ever I’m not 100% positive on one rookie as the number one rookie. Last year was obviously Luis Robert, the year before was Vlad Jr. or the year before–You get the picture! Every year there’s a clearcut #1 rookie going into the upcoming season, but I’ve wrestled with this, and I don’t know if there is one in 2021. Wander Franco would be that guy, if I had any faith the Rays would ever promote him early enough for redraft leagues. Ergo/Therego:  Welcome to the 2021 rookie series and Randy Arozarena!  So, what can we expect from Randy Arozarena for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?