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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The Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel is ready to play baseball.  A blonde woman scampers past him.  She wears a scarf on her head and glances at Senzel.  Because he’s interested, and not at all a creeper, he follows her to the San Francisco Bay, where she dips her foot in the water.  She turns her head and it’s revealed it’s not a blonde woman at all, but it’s the rapper Sisqo.  AHHHHH!!!

So, Senzel has had to deal with vertigo more times than Jimmy Stewart without the love of his dog, Beau.  Senzel missed time in 2017, then again this year.  I’d say this is a big warning sign, but it’s more of a spinning, spiral sign.  Can imagine Nick Senzel when he walks past a store with a person outside spinning a sign?  Dude must straight lose it.  “Everywhere I go, it’s like I’m outside a Subway sandwich shop and someone is spinning a sign.  I don’t know why I see people dressed as submarine sandwiches everywhere too.  That is weird.”  That’s Senzel talking to his therapist.  This dizziness that Senzel is suffering from for two years is a bit more worrisome than, say, a broken hand.  One just heals, the other is more obtuse.  Unfortunately, he’s got some of those non-obtuse injuries too. The hits (to his health, and not off his bat) keep piling up.  He’s currently rehabbing surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow, but this is supposedly minor and he’ll be fine in time for Spring Training.  Never heard that before!  Anyway, what can we expect from Nick Senzel in 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Don’t feel good about this fantasy baseball rookie post at all, tee bee aitch.  The Astros seem 100% in win now mode, or winnow mode if you’re talking about winnowing out rookies.  Tyler White seemed all ready to go once he was called up this year, and saw playing time, but hopefully that is not portending anything for Kyle Tucker, because White took six years in the minors and was 27 years old.  Let’s not forget other Astros rookies who seemed all but destined for playing time in the last two years. Two that come to mind:  Derek Fisher and A.J. Reed.  Through a personal connection (and most definitely not stalking), Rudy was at a holiday party with Jeff Luhnow and was told that Reed had the lead for the starting 1st base job — that was two years ago!  Reed did himself no favors to get that starting job, but how quickly did the Astros just go right back to a Marwin/Gattis/Reddick platoon?  Quicker than you can call that platoon, Marwin Gatdick, and wonder how he gets through TSA.  “Excuse me, sir, are you planning on doing a stickup or do you Gatdick?”  Unlike my Victor Robles fantasy, I don’t think I can just ignore the possibility that Tucker never sees real playing time this year.  Wow, this is getting me so amped up in the reverse direction.  Okay, before you abandon ship and go back to reading recaps of Young Sheldon, Marwin’s about to walk and there’s really no one worthwhile blocking Tucker, so &2b[1y29–Sorry, was crossing fingers.  Anyway, what can we expect from Kyle Tucker for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Do the Nats sign Bryce Harper?  For Victor Robles, we should start there.  I don’t think the Nats retain Harper’s services.  That might be tinged with how I don’t think they should retain his services.  Nothing against Harper.  Dot dot dot.  Okay, I have a lot against him.  He seems like a supreme douchenozzle, but he’s a top 15 hitter in the major leagues when you consider OBP.  Maybe top ten.  Whatever the Nats do to replace for him, aside from Manny Machado, will be a step down.  As much as I like Victor Robles, and I do, he’s not going to be Bryce Harper.  However, I think the Nats should lose Harper because they haven’t been able to win with him, so why pay $850 bajillion for a guy who is going to get you into third place?  This is so important for Robles, because, if Harper leaves, then Robles is a lock for an everyday job.  Sexy Dr. Pepper, Juan Soto will play and Adam Eaton somehow is signed on for yet another year.  That leaves one more spot.  Yes, I know Eaton is injury-prone.  Don’t pretend you’re telling me that.  I’ve been telling you that for five years.  However, I’d be shocked if Eaton is suddenly a 4th outfielder, so we need Harper gone for Robles to play (and, of course, no other random outfielder signings by the Nats; goes without saying, though, yes, I am saying it).  I’m going on the assumption this is what’s going to happen, that Robles will play.  Unfortch, when we make an assumption, we make an ass out of an ump.  Angel Hernandez and Joe West resemble that remark.  Anyway, what can we expect from Victor Robles for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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Late in the season, when it appeared like Eloy Jimenez might be called up, I said he was putting his finishing touches on his Roy Hobbs’ Halloween costume.  Maybe I was saying that because he was tearing the cover off the ball, maybe I heard something about the following clip I’m about to share or maybe I really am a prescient witch — preswich?  Either way, watch this:

In case you’re not seeing how far the ball is going, I got a little secret for you to judge the ball’s trajectory.  After his first swing, the ball smashes the light tower!  Okay, he is Roy Hobbs.  It’s such a whatever swing for him, before the ball hits the light tower, he’s already hit another home run!  That’s right, that’s not a GIF of one swing, it’s of two swings!  He swings and the ball travels so far that he’s able to swing and hit another home run before the first ball smashes the light tower!  Sure, it was a home run derby, but are you kidding me?  Have you seen home run derbies before?  Guys are exhausted after they hit a home run and are asking for time outs and calling up Bryce Harper’s dad for tips way before they hit another home run!  But Eloy hits the light tower, pulls the bat back and hits another home run!  Seriously WUT.  *feels lightheaded* I need to sit down; Eloy’s got me shook!  Anyway, what can we expect from Eloy Jimenez for 2019 fantasy baseball?

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