On Sunday, I imagined a hypothetical post-rona bar scene being akin to the deep pitching pool in dynasty baseball.

Today I’ll let you know whose drinks I’m buying if I’ve got the budget (and the roster space). 

I’m going to focus first and most on the 150-200 range because that’s the origin of this article–a comment and question by Harley Earl regarding which arms among the group I’m buying. To which my brain responded: Farts! I should’ve been doing that for every position!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You see a girl across the bar.

She’s gorgeous.

An angel.

Maybe.

It’s dark.

Tough to see real well.

But one thing you can say for sure is there’s a human sitting across the bar in this post-rona scenario. 

You’re eager to move a little closer, maybe buy a couple drinks. And who knows? Might be the start of something long term. 

You can feel the competition looming. Lotta hungry eyes in the house. Can’t sit around much longer. Have to move in before you’re certain.  

What I’ve just described is the free agent pitching pool in most dynasty leagues. It’s also the general pitching landscape between spots 150 and 200–this week’s focus point. The situation can seem dire most nights, but people get picked up all the time, and some turn out to be great finds. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My first foray into dynasty baseball gifted me that infinite wild west feeling that really gets my geek out of bed in the morning. 

“Wait, we get to keep everybody!?”

That’s me thinking 50 keepers = party time. 

While the hitting side of this new infinity was coming into the focus, the pitching side was ducking away from the camera. If you’ve seen DEVS (or read a ton of quantum theory like the rest of us), there’s reference potential in here about how observing a particle makes is singular, while they remain multiple in their unobserved state.

Any revelation about how to forever handle fantasy pitching seems to fit this description.

It’s too simplistic to fade all the old guys in general but especially on the mound. Similarly fraught to dismiss all pitching prospects. These blanket strategies can work to some extent, but they can also lead to inflation for youngish middle tier arms like Jose Berrios and Noah Syndergaard. Arms like these seem to have long runs of usefulness ahead of them, so they’re certainly nice to have, but they’re unlikely to put you over the top in a given year, while older arms can do just that.

This winter I saw Wander Franco traded for Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.

Typical 15-team, 50-keeper league. Both players know their stuff. 

Which side you’d want might depend on your spot in a competitive cycle or just a general feeling about how you’d like to play dynasty baseball. 

You could squint and see a world in which you replicate via streaming the impact of a Syndergaard or Berrios, but it feels impossible to replicate a Scherzer or Kershaw off the free agent wire. You might pick up a Montas or a Max Fried, but the hyper-elite WHIP guys are the rarest of birds, which is why it feels wrong to see Ryan Yarbrough down here in the hundreds. Part of that is pitching being weird and deep. Part of it is me fearing what’s coming to pitch in Tampa and Yarbrough’s fate should they trade him. Part is me maybe needing to move Yarbrough up a little. 

Let’s get to the list. Drop me a line if you’re seeing an angle I’m not. This project remains under construction. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Crisco, Bardol, Vagisil: any one of em will give you another two to three inches drop off your curveball.”

This immortal moment comes courtesy of Eddie Harris in the transcendent classic, Major League

In this exchange with young fireballer Rick Vaughn, Harris articulates the typical path for a pitcher. 

“Haven’t got an arm like yours. Gotta put anything on it I can find.” 

Wily oldsters pick up tricks like Robert Kraft to help themselves keep up in a young man’s game, and they seem to be keeping (and/or setting) the pace better than ever. Blending the fire of youth with the wisdom of experience is no small task, but we’ll try to do just that here today, synthesizing short and long term value to build rankings prescient enough to help any dynasty leaguer build his own double three-peat.

So throw me a line if you’re seeing an angle I’m not. This project is on-going and stretches all the way back to early March when I met some oldster moving plutonium out of the trunk of his DeLorian.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Old guys can throw balls, man. 

You probably haven’t been to the gym in a minute, but just imagine/remember the locker room. 

Young guys’ balls tend to have a little less movement. More velocity, fewer wrinkles, less wiggle. Ah, youth. 

Command is where the locker analogy falters. Old guy pitchers have movement and command. They are stars of their own Viagra commercials, popping their car’s hood on the side of the road because they’ve learned a thing or two about engines by now and just plain know how to get stuff done. 

Youth reigns in dynasty baseball, but it’s nice to have some oldsters in the locker room when readying a crew for extensive ball-work. 

This old-balls bit is gaining momentum in my mind, and I’m not loving that, so let’s just cut to the first fifty.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today we put the finishing touches on one of dynasty baseball’s toughest positions. 

People just don’t trade speedy outfielders who can hit. 

Or at least they shouldn’t. 

Sure a Jarrod Dyson might get vacuumed up at basement pricing every now and then, but if you’ve got Starling Marte, Victor Robles or Oscar Mercado, you’re probably not that interested in the offers you’ve gotten for them. Speed players who contribute across the board are the dodo birds of our game. Outfield and middle infield are typically the only places to find them, apart from the occasional Jose Ramirez or prime-age Paul Goldschmidt. You flat out need some speed covering the green if you’re hoping to compete in the category, and I’m just not the type to advocate punting a category in 5×5. Trying to win leagues over here–not tell tales about fading saves and steals but hanging in with the top group anyway. 

Anyway, best to get ‘em young while they’re cheap. I wouldn’t be paying up for all the guys like Pache who show aptitude in the lower minors, but if I can take a fistful of freemium fliers on guys like Jasiah Dixon and Jeferson Espinal, I’m doing that all day.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So here we are in Snape’s cauldron of countless bubbling outfielders–some poisonous if not handled with care–attempting to divine the future of fantasy baseball.

Here’s a link to the potion so far.

One outcome of doing these rankings is claustrophobia.

Although maybe that’s the corona.

But given the choice of three outfielders, my preference varies based on where my team is in its competitive cycle. Maybe that’s intuitive to most readers, but I’m brainstorming ways to maximize this multiverse of scenarios. In that spirit, please consider these rankings as fodder for fluid conversation and thought.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So here we are somewhere in Snape’s cauldron among our top hundred divining the future of the outfield position in fantasy baseball.

Wild things have happened already. I knew it might get weird when I saw the ghost of Shoeless Joe while I was watching Parasite. 

Sorry, Sev: while we were watching Parasite. 

The other day, I got asked about Luis Matos and wound up mentioning Ronald Acuna Jr. 

Then dug deeper down into that rabbit hole and ate the mushrooms that made the idea grow. 

That was after people got mad at me for some inadvertent Trout shade. I blame Christian Yelich for being better than him at roto. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been dreading this next stretch for a hot minute.

Well–not “dreading” dreading. That word doesn’t fit many contexts now the world is experiencing existential dread on a daily basis.

But the faux fear is realish enough that my point stands: infield feels like pretty solid ground for fantasy baseball purposes. Pretty much every league uses a catcher, shortstop and first, second and third basemen. Some use one catcher, some use middle and corner infielders, some use an IF spot, but the needs across leagues, and the depth of each position, are fairly standard. 

Outfield and Pitcher feel like the dark arts. Snape describes them to Harry in book six, and Harry describes them to Dumbledore’s Army in book five, as a constantly shapeshifting, infinite battle for which there is no measure of readiness that reaches the level of being “prepared.” 

You do the best you can and react when the world changes. 

So that’s my task here, starting with the sequencing of the top 100 outfielders for 2021 dynasty baseball. 

PS: This is a living document and an invitation to converse. I’m not set in stone on any of these, particularly not my Trout ranking, which feels a bit criminal but perhaps just (like Harry’s DA meetings). I will update and continue ranking outfielders until we’ve covered all the relevant paths to magic.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been dreading this next stretch for a hot minute.

Well–not “dreading” dreading. That word doesn’t fit many contexts now the world is experiencing existential dread on a daily basis.

But the faux fear is realish enough that my point stands: infield feels like pretty solid ground for fantasy baseball purposes. Pretty much every league uses a catcher, shortstop and first, second and third basemen. Some use one catcher, some use middle and corner infielders, some use an IF spot, but the needs across leagues, and the depth of each position, are fairly standard. 

Outfield and Pitcher feel like the dark arts. Snape describes them to Harry in book six, and Harry describes them to Dumbledore’s Army in book five, as a constantly shapeshifting, infinite battle for which there is no measure of readiness that reaches the level of being “prepared.” 

You do the best you can and react when the world changes. 

So that’s my task here, starting with the sequencing of the top 50 outfielders for 2021 dynasty baseball. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then I built a quantum computer to predict next year’s dynasty landscape around the infield.

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

Today, I’ll post my updated shortstop list, share my thoughts on the process and synthesize conversations we had this week about the position’s future.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a recent spring afternoon, I programmed a quantum computer to construct an infinite number of realities to discover the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then we explored next year’s dynasty landscape at catcher, first base and second base

Today, we’ll stay on that Devs-powered theme and continue our position-by-position focus by zooming in on third base.

Something I’d like to try this week = two posts about the position. This first draft can spark conversations throughout the week, and the next one will bring an updated list and a behind-the-scenes look at the process. 

I think forecasting the future could be more fun for everyone this way. Our updated versions have been better than the one first sent to print because many minds are better than one for most things in life and especially for a project this fluid, speculative and sizable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?