There’s really only one thing I can lead in with this (Coolwhip is about to stan). I like fun. Winning is fun but tastes so much better when it’s not boring. And if there’s one player in the league that embodies that, it’s Shohei Ohtani. There hasn’t been a legitimate two-way player in baseball since George Herman Ruth. Some players like Rick Ankiel in the past and current teammate Jared Walsh have started as a pitcher and ended up as a position player, but no one has been able to succeed on both sides of the ball over a full season. This, though, could finally be the season that we get to see it in all its glory.

The man carved out of marble on Mt. Olympus has descended to this mortal plane once more and now has a full bill of health. Since coming to the states he has yet to enter a season and play through it completely healthy. Elbow injury? Healed and ready to rock with full velocity this spring. Knee injury? Also healed up, and his power stroke is already on display with 2 HRs in his first 5 games after hitting 5 oppo taco home runs during spring training.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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So a common theme this draft season at Razzball is “ADP is a trap.” In fact, I’m gonna lobby for t-shirts and mugs to commemorate. Mi amigo Blair dropped a bomb Monday that turns the idea of drafting pitchers in the 1st or 2nd round on its head, which I’m proud to say I had a part in, and needless to say, it is a form of scientific validation (logos) for the ethos that has been the mantra of Grey here since the great Razzball awakening. You don’t have to draft a pitcher in the first two rounds just because someone that setup the draft platform says you should. It’s the power of suggestion, groupthink, or even FOMO that compels you. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. After this article of course. It’s the 95 theses nailed to the church door of the fantasy baseball establishment.

You need to look at it like negotiations. When you want to make a good deal in your favor, you have got to set the initial parameters to negotiate from. You plant the flag at your starting point so every point conceded or won becomes a function of that starting point. When you are in a platform’s draft lobby, all draft values begin at the starting point of somebody else’s rankings. When you get picks at an ADP value or premium, what is that based on? True value? Your value? or THEIR value? Don’t get pulled into the game of taking someone at a certain cost just because of the number presented before their name and where they sit in the queue. Stop it. You’re getting caught up. What you can do though, is use it to your advantage and capitalize on the sheeple in your draft conforming to the system.

That was a super-long intro to talk about Patrick Corbin, but here we are. Welcome to the desert of the real. Patrick Corbin, along with some others I’ve highlighted this spring, represents a disconnect. What to do with ADPs and not fall into traps? Many of these rankings are overcompensating for what happened in the 2020 hellscape and under-compensating for track records. Years of experience are thrown out for what happened in a 60-game sample, and not even a normal sample but a mutated and grotesque shortened season, where the data sample was tainted. The same routine and environment that players usually go through to start the season was non-existent, so how can you relate it to what has happened before when there’s no constant for comparison.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I was sitting at my desk when a great sadness washed over me. I could feel it in the air. It was like a million voices suddenly cried out and were then silenced by roster regret. It was the Frambering. Framber’s glove got fingered and said finger got smashed by a Lindor grounder. And now, Framber has us scrambled and scrambling to find a replacement for his potential production. Well, Houston did the same, and lucky for them (and now us) instead of leaving your rotation scrambled you get to order it Odorizzi. Jake Odorizzi to be exact. The Astros signed him to a 2-year $30M deal with a 3rd-year option. Good things do come to those who wait, says Jake’s agent.

Now I’m sure you are asking yourself, didn’t Coolwhip write about this guy before? Yes, I did. Early in the 2019 season, I broke down the good start of the season Jake was having HERE and projected him to be a top 30 pitcher by year’s end. And he was. I asked Grey if I could just repost the article when he cackled in my face and said no, followed by more cackling. Okayyyyy, Jake the Snake sequel here we come.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

After what feels like a year-long winter without baseball, inside dining, and building social capital, it’s finally back. No more concealing it, it’s finally time to open up the gates… this last week pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training, and the smell of baseball is in the air. I can’t tell you how much that gets me hyped. It’s been years since I played baseball competitively. Yet with the promise of spring around the corner, I still get that same joy from deep in my soul. It happens every year like clockwork, and it’s always magical. The chance at a new player breaking into the bigs, a hitter making an adjustment to finally hit sliders, and a pitcher… oh, the pitchers… finding that new grip that opens the door to new possibilities. How can you not be romantic about baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

*Read with a French accent* One common thing I have seen in early drafts has been players who had a rough 2020 season, despite consistent track records prior, are being heavily undervalued. In this sea of deep discounts, one can find bats that the world of drafters has forgotten and left behind. One bat, perhaps forgotten the most is Joc Pederson. Pederson is a known quantity, a 30-HR power hitter from the left side that thrives on the offerings of unsuspecting righty pitchers. Though same-handed pitchers have always given him trouble, he has been quite dangerous to righties. Come with me as we dive down into the underlying numbers and statistics to see what happened to Joc last year, and what we can expect for him this year.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Far away in the land of Narnia, or in this, Tampa Bay, there lies a team still with unreleased potential. Be it a case of service clock or mathematic formula, the new regime of statistics rules these lands with an icy cold grip. It has served its purpose in recent years, and yet, also failed its master in his hour of most need this last October. Some players cannot be so easily quantified. Their measure of quality stretches beyond reason and ‘rithmetic. The new magic of formula does not always explain the world as it is. Enter one, Ryan Yarbrough. Ryan is a pitcher of unique talents for this modern era; but nothing quite new, as they are skills of the past, the old magic. Pitching with command and deception.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

This is a piece I have been saving to write all winter long. The kind of short season that Wil Myers had, that the Padres had, was the stuff of legend. And equally so, that they fell short of the finish line getting knocked out by the Dodgers after the top of their rotation was unavailable like a plot right out of a Brad Pitt movie. We all saw the storyline of Slam Diego unfold, and Myers was at the center of it. The story of Slam Diego is not simply about a team getting hot and going on an incredible run (only to be cut down in the playoffs). It’s about a change in team philosophy and identity. And none perhaps in that lineup more evident than Myers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The Cubs are cleaning house even though they are a big market team. The Reds are seemingly red-tagging the store after going all-in for half a season. The Brewers have made zero moves to improve their lineup around Yelich. The Cardinals, too, have also done absolutely nothing. And now the Pirates have jumped on board with the neighborhood garage sale to boot, after offloading Josh Bell. In a year when the entire NL Central feels like sellers or doing nothing, of course, the Pirates go into full teardown mode again… after, well… never emerging from the last full teardown or the one before that. Does anyone want to win this thing?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

My dear readers, we all know what happened in 2020 and I indeed shared what I saw. Some of you have asked me if I told you everything there is to know about Mitch Garver’s season (or lack thereof). And while I can honestly say I’ve told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. Now that my schedule has loosened up after the holidays, I think it’s time for you to know the whole story.

It began long ago (in the before times) when Manfred juiced balls and the Twins were making a playoff run the likes of which you had never seen. It began… well it began as you might expect. In a box, there stood a catcher. Not a dirty cardboard box left in the attic; or a box belonging to Christie. This was a batter’s box. And that means offensive production, not always premium production from a catcher, and yet when it shows up tapping you on the nose you can’t help but notice.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

So I was talking with the boss man and found out there wasn’t going to be no buy/sell today. Of course, since there are all of 3 days left in the season, and possibly some of you are already done or knocked out (condolences). Though, take heed, I am here for you all that are playing for the championships and top 3 finishes. Fight on to victory! This is a shoutout for one final Buy of the season. And dare I say, a sneak peek sleeper pick for 2021 and possibly a dynasty hold to boot. That pick, my friends, is Justus Sheffield. So why is he a good buy for these final days and beyond?

Sheffield is top 5 in the league in lowest Barrel/BBE% among starting pitchers. Barrells is a term you hear us throw around here a lot. And I’m realizing that there might be some of you with no idea what I’m talking about. Via statcast a “barrel” is:

Please, blog, may I have some more?