Rumors abound that the 2020 MLB season will begin sometime soon in some shape or form. And boy do we need real games, so much so that ESPN is showing our brethren in Korea live in the early AM hours. On the bad side, Blake Snell speaking out can go from praised to vilified in moments. On the good, spring is about hope, and hope right now springs eternal, especially in places like Baltimore. The Orioles are among many teams that can figure in a shortened season with a potentially expanded playoffs ‘Why not us?’. They were dealt a blow with the Trey Mancini news. Ryan Mountcastle has the best chance to fill Mancini’s shoes in the lineup, but he’s at first base. So who is left to fill his shoes in the outfield?

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It’s quarantine, April rain and April snow for now, but the optimism for a baseball season whispers louder and louder all the time. There’s optimism in Cincinnati no matter when the season begins. The starting pitching was buttressed by social media star, and underrated Ace, Trevor Bauer. The new look outfield will have breakout ready Nick Castellanos and the Japanese Michael Brantley Shogo Akiyama in two of the spots. The final outfielder will come down to one of Josh VanMeter or Aristides Aquino, two of the better DFS studs at different points in the 2019 season.

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The drumbeat of social distancing goes on. But as Rob Manfred says, baseball will happen….eventually. And the New York Mets will have a left fielder too. Or will it be a few left fielders? This whole quarantine thing is managing to make seasons possible that seemed impossible. In other words, those we thought would miss large portions of the the season are now in play. There was a time Yoenis Cespedes would strike fear into opposing pitchers. Then he signed with the Mets. Okay, that’s not fair, he did hit 31 home runs and was an All Star two years ago. But that was two years ago. Now he’s 34, and thanks to his lingering issues J.D. Davis, among others, got his chance. So what will happen in 2020?

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If you’ve been living under a rock allow us to bring you into the light of day. Spring training has been cancelled and Opening Day is delayed by at least two weeks. Cheating scandals aside, the only thing that has delayed play like this in the past 30 years is labor strife. In this fight Covid-19 is the 800 lb. gorilla and the league is nothing but a little grease spot under its paw. So this is no battle at all. Seriously, this is worse than Charlie vs Willy Wonka in 1976.

That being said, eventually, probably, hopefully, there will be baseball. And there are some battles of note out there. One in particular is who will be the Texas Rangers’ center fielder? It’s not as clear cut as you think.

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Bernie Brewer is dancing in the streets. Christian Yelich recently signed a nine year $215 Million contract to stay with the Brewers. Yelich went above and beyond, even agreeing to some significant deferrals to make the deal happen. Yelich loves Milwaukee, Milwaukee loves Yelich, all is right in Brewerville. A big part of the outfield is set. But that doesn’t mean there’s not some good old competition on the Brewer’s infield to sift through as spring training games have begun in earnest. In particular, the shortstop position is in flux. Who can fantasy players depend on, much less Craig Counsell?

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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Oh man, the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting leather. It’s seamhead heaven, boys of summer katnip, and time to put away the hot stove (well almost). Spring training baseball has just started. Beer is flowing from Florida to Arizona and lazy afternoons at the ballpark are in vogue.

As such, Razzball’s 2020 inaugural Top 100 Hitters is here to inform, entertain, and track your favorite sluggers, five category studs and perhaps underappreciated gems. We have to start somewhere, so here are the rules for this first list: They’re geared towards 5×5 roto leagues. “Last” is tracking where the hitters were in the last Top 100 of September of 2019. “Change” is a change from that last 2019 ranking.

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The name Gavin Lux has been spoken of in reverent terms in prospect circles for years. He’s gained almost mythical status at the top of the prospect pyramid for one of the top teams in the league. Lux was batted back and forth across the country earlier this month in a WE WANT GAVIN FOR MOOKIE mantra from Boston fans, to a NO WAY mantra back from Dodger fans. The Dodgers’ top prospect is a valuable commodity, and he’s taking on practically everyone this spring to find playing time in 2020. Why is he so valuable and what are his paths to playing time? Let’s take a look.

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There are so few Renaissance men anymore. Mookie Betts is a Ted Williams lite. While Ted is canonized as the best hitter of all time, the best fighter pilot of all time, and the best fly fisherman of all time, Mookie is an excellent pro bowler in the offseason, including more than one 300 game on the PBT. He’s also a nice guy, an undercover philanthropist, and he’s about to ply his MVP talent in Chavez Ravine. He’s a WAR hero with a high batting average, 30 home run pop, and scores runs in bunches. Other than shift from Fenway Park to Dodgers Stadium, what is there to know? Let’s take a look.

 

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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Let’s face it. The baseball world is waiting on the Mookie Betts to the Dodgers trade to go through. While that may happen any moment, not everyone will have the opportunity to draft Mookie Betts. So we turn our attention to the definitely at this moment in time overlooked Nicholas Castellanos. He traded in the cavernous Comerica Park for the cozy confines of Wrigleyville and took off in the second half last year. What does a move to Cincinnati mean for him?

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To see Anthony Rendon in the batter’s box is to see the personification of peace. Last year that zen lead to a World Series Championship for the Washington Nationals. At the beginning of the year he was what Simon and Garfunkel sang about in Central Park all those years ago: The Nationals’ rock, the Nationals’ island. Soon enough he transformed into Batman, with Juan Soto exploding into a high end Robin. Now Rendon has gone Mickey Mouse, signing a 7 year $245 Million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. After the signing Grey gave you his Anthony Rendon Fantasy, but what else can fantasy players expect in 2020?

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