Denard Dawg doesn’t seem to have a bad rap.  He has no rap.  Denard Span gets about as much press as fencing in the high school newspaper sports section.  Span’s in the shadow of everyone, not just his teammate, the 7-foot-1 Loek van Mil (who’s supposedly very TALLented).  Denard couldn’t even get hit on by a waitress at a pool bar.  No one wants the guy that barely gets 10 homers or 20 steals.  Like the reviews said for Mr. Caps debut album, BORING.  It’s true, Span doesn’t have enormous upside.  He’s like the 7 1/2 floor in Being John Malkovich, his ceiling and floor are very close to each other.  That doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  Everyone on your team doesn’t need to be a guy that can hit 30 homers or steal 30 bases.  His numbers last year were 97/8/68/.311/23.  That looks boring, but looks can be deceiving.  Last year, Span ranked 81st overall on Point Shares, sandwiched between Carlos Lee and Michael Bourn.  On ESPN’s Player Rater, he ranked 16th overall for outfielders, between Double I and Shin-Soo Choo.  So what can we expect from Span in 2010 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

For 2010, CHONE has Span at 81/7/57/.294/20; James has him at 94/7/63/.300/25.  I think they’re both too conservative.  I have him projected at 100/10/70/.300/22.  Last year, Span’s HR/FB was 5.9%.  That seems low.  Maybe not by a whole lot, but to get into the low teens in homers, he doesn’t need to do much.  Then you throw in Target Field, the Twins new park.  It’s small.  It’s being compared to Fenway.  No one has any idea how it will play until it starts playing.  For all anyone knows there will be a reverse Jetstream.  But nothing is screaming to me that Span can’t get to 10 homers or past that threshold.  Runs?  They’ll be there.  He had a .392 OBP in 676 plate appearances.  With those on base skills, there’s no one taking over for him at the top of the order, leaving him in front of Hudson, Mauer and Morneau.  His steals are a little wonky.  He had 23 last year, but was caught 10 times.  On the Bill James Speed Score, Span had a 6.5.  Figgins was at 6.7 and Grandy was 6.1.  So Span has the speed to steal more bases.  I’m guessing he doesn’t get the reads or good first steps.  Those things can be adjusted with the right coach and/or dragon slayer.  So I wouldn’t predict a 30 steal season, but I wouldn’t be surprised by one either.  Finally, three outfielders being drafted near Span, according to Mock Draft Central, are Nyjer Morgan, Garrett Jones and Rajai Davis.  Steals, question mark, steals… Span’s not a question mark or just speed.  Over at ESPN, they’re considering Bourn, Nyjer and Kubel around the same time.  Steals, steals and cheap power you can find off waivers.  A leadoff guy with a great OBP and good speed in a solid lineup… Yeah, Span’s boring as crap but he’s also a fantasy sleeper.

  1. GTS says:

    This is not related to this post but I don’t know where to post this. I was going to check if Rudy was around and if he’s going to post his point shares (CHONE) adjusted for 10 team and also if he’s going to update the point shares spreadsheet anytime soon to account for other projection systems.

  2. CocoPoolies says:

    Grey, in a 7 keeper league where you already have 3/4 starting OFs, where would you generally look to draft your final OF?

  3. DrEasy says:

    “He’s like the 7 1/2 floor in Being John Malkovich, his ceiling and floor are very close to each other. ” That’s perfect! I wonder if a glossary entry can be extracted from that: a “7 1/2”, or a “Malkovich” being a player whose “ceiling and floor are very close to each other”?

  4. I’ve been waiting on ZiPs to finish for the past week….i have it ready to go otherwise…

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    @CocoPoolies: Last rounds.

    @DrEasy: Hmm… Maybe. “I like Abreu, he’s a 7 1/2.”

  6. royce! says:

    “very TALLented” was hilarious. I am clearly amused by simple things. I am also amused by his full name: Ludovicus Jacobus Maria van Mil. I expect that if baseball doesn’t pan out he’ll have a great career in…writing Latin religious tracts? Jousting?

    Speaking of names, there’s still time to adopt Spanish Fly as Denard’s nickname! Although I suppose it would make more sense if his steal rate were better. Denard Dawg is pretty funny too, but I wanted to put it out there in case The Office sends a cease and desist letter.

    Lastly, I’ve seen Span stick around in Yahoo and MDC mocks well into the 15th round. In the case of MDC, I may have just gotten lucky and stumbled into a mock full of idiots. In the case of Yahoo, calling it luck would be misleading. It’s more along the lines of a first principle, a priori and shizz.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: When they dubbed Happy Days into Latin, he would say, “A… priori.”

  8. Random says:

    I’m a little wary of Span. His minor league numbers were terrible and I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out in the majors.

  9. brett says:

    These sleeper posts usually go hand in hand with me losing some of my competitive edge. Span’s actually a guy i was overlooking. This is useful.

  10. Bring Back Pluto says:

    Man, Grey, I just discovered this site this off-season. Your writing is such a treat, but it presents me with a dilemma. I want to share the lulz with my friends, but I don’t want to lose the competitive edge hoarding this site to myself can give me.


  11. Lava says:

    Think it’s too risky to go with an outfield of Sizemore, Hamilton, and Quentin? I have one OF spot left to pick (specific to LF), and Quentin is around for me in the 7th round.

    I could wait on a Span type later on and go with a pitcher now (Ubaldo, coupled with the previously picked Lester), but like you said in your sleeper post, Quentin is decent value.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Random: Eh, he was a first round draft pick. Just got off to a slow start.

    @Bring Back Pluto: Thanks for the kind words! Don’t worry about it, no one tells anyone about Razzball. It’s my cross to bear.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Lava: It’s a bit of risk. I think you can wait on Quentin too, can’t you? I’d take Ubaldo then Quentin in 2 or 3 more rounds.

  14. Lava says:

    @Grey: Probably can-I’ll be patient. Thanks for the input.

    You don’t think Ubaldo+Lester is too much too early, do you? I guess I already reached on Lester and would normally pick Ubaldo here anyway.

  15. Matt B says:

    5×5 12 Team h2h 1-win; Start 9 bats, 4 sp, 2 rp
    Keep 9 each year

    Which 9 do you think? Who are the last 2 in?
    Votto, Utley, Reyes, A-Rod, Reynolds, Werth, Greinke, Berkman, H Pence, J Heyward, B Anderson, R Harden, J Shields

    I’ll probably never get to touch Heyward if I don’t keep him so if he’s going to be a top 100 player next year I’m tempted to keep control of him. It might be nice to have his rights going forward.

  16. Bob says:

    I’ve been spruiking Span since I rescued him from the waiver pool in 2008. He was super cheap last year, not so much this year, especially since Yahoo stuck him at #63 overall. He’s essentially a new & improved Victorino, aka V2, the same type of player, just 5-10% better across the board.

    Incidentally, I hope there’s a companion piece to the ESPN crazytalk article. Somebody at yahoo has found some seriously good drugs when cranking out the ratings, or maybe they’ve replaced Funston & co with out of work monkeys who fail to randomly generate scripts for Hamlet.

    Rickie Weeks at #103 overall, the 46th best batter?

    Mark DeRosa more 100 spots ahead of Martin Prado?

    Reyes at #48, 11 spots after Brian Roberts? In 2007+2008, Reyes beat Roberts by 22 R, 7 HR, 11 RBI and 36 SB, and finished 4 points down on AVG. Who’s more likely to repeat 2007/8 numbers this year?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Hank: Rudy and I were looking at that today for their 10 team averages. Our Point Shares do pretty well according to them.

    @Lava: Nah, that’s not too much. Then go for Slowey in a bit.

    @Matt B: Boring, but… Votto, Utley, Reyes, A-Rod, Reynolds, Werth, Greinke, Berkman, H Pence…

  18. Moonlight's Grahams says:

    Love it, love everything about it. I love boring players, it makes people underestimate your team. So I’m naturally a big Span fan. Some of the arguments you make for Span make me wonder how you continue to hate one of my favorite fantasy players so much, Placido Polanco. Especially this year he will be at the top of a very strong order, with a good OBP, and he has shown the capability to hit .330 with the possibility of double digit homers and steals at a very weak position. Although my view may be skewed since I don’t run a typical 5×5 and will typically punt 2B unless a top tier hitter falls into my lap.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Bob: Yeah, smoking something. Yahoo’s coming early next week.

    @Moonlight’s Grahams: Meh re: Crapolanco. I’d prefer a wildcard Scott Sizemore late.

  20. Matt B says:

    @Grey: I can’t really justify using a keeper slot for Berkman since I’m already set at 1B Votto, and Util (w/ 1B back) Reynolds. Who would you sub? I can’t trade Berkman either, no one was willing to give anything

  21. mc serch says:

    @Bring Back Pluto: we’ve all faced that choice upon discovering this site, and invariably we choose to keep it on the down low for as long as possible…sorry Grey, but thats fo realz…sometimes you get something that’s just too good to share

  22. BKK says:

    @Grey:@Bring Back Pluto: @mc serch: The last few times I was in an MDC mock, someone invariably asks “do any of you guys read Razzball”? Actually hooked up with Royce! in one this way a week or so ago.

    By virtue of the fact that we have 20+ RCL teams would suggest the word is getting out.

  23. Rabbit says:

    Hm, a post referencing the a priori–I guess that makes it a posteriori (<–Warning: philosophy reference–read at your own risk! May cause you to spend years of your life getting a useless degree that cannot score you chicks–caveat emptor! caveat reador! Kant be held responsible!)

    Sorry, but I had to do it. Back to fantasy baseball shizz.

  24. Rabbit says:

    @Grey: You know, it’s kind of interesting that when you have a site like this the business model is such that the truly satisfied customer will work diligently to _prevent_ word of your site from getting out to other potential customers. I can’t think of any other commodity like this. Even stock tips: while you want to get ahead of the curve in the stock market, after you have invested in one stock you _want_ the word to get out about that stock so that others will buy it up as well, driving up the price. But with Razzball, those of us who are Followers want to keep it secret in perpetuity. Which puts Grey into a conundrum, a dilemma, a Catch-22, whateveryoucallit: his most fervent fans will do their best to make sure that word of this site does _not_ get out to the unwashed masses. I think that means that Razzballers should make sure to buy Grey daiquiris to keep him fat and happy. (Ed. note: Grey, not sure if you’re fat, but whatevs.)

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Rabbit: I’m hungry.

  26. royce! says:

    @Rabbit: Good one re: “a posteriori.”

    I for one push this site on everyone I know that’s into FBB. Except for the people in my non-RCL league.

    And while I haven’t bought Grey a daquiri since 2009, I intend to do so again once my drafts are completed. I’ll be able to take the draft results in to a bank and they’ll certainly loan me money based on how freaking awesome my teams are. Also, I don’t want any drunk advice until the season starts.

  27. royce! says:

    @Grey: Speaking of hunger, millions of people across the globe are malnourished…wait, that’s not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was have you had a chance to try the $1 suadero or al pastor tacos at the taco stand on Fletcher and Larga? I think I may have recommended them before, and I do so again. I spend many drunken hours wishing I still lived near it…

  28. royce! says:

    @Grey: Just saw this. I think the correct response is: HA! Now every time I read a priori it’ll sound like that. Fortunately, I think this might have been the first time in like 3 years that I’ve even thought “a priori,” so there’s a good chance the effect of your comment will dissipate.

  29. Martin says:

    I recently got the 7th pick in my 12 team draft. I believe that gives me Tex/Kemp in the 1st round and somebody like Holliday/Kinsler/J-up/ Size/votto in the 2nd round. Should i keep this pick or try to trade it. If I keep it, who would u want to draft?

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: No, I don’t think I know that one. I went to Lomo Arigato today for saltado. Wonderful.

    @Martin: Tex and Kinsler a nice combo.

  31. Steve says:

    @Grey: Haven’t heard of that one before but just googled it and it sounds goooood.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: I don’t know what the Peruvian scene is like in New Zealand, but if you have any places, go get some saltado. It’s like food version of Ian Stewart.

  33. Steve says:

    @Grey: I’d hesitate to say it’s thriving but I’ll be keeping an eye out for it, that’s for sure.

  34. royce! says:

    @Grey: “food version of Ian Stewart”! That’s awesome. I’ve had saltado before but not from a truck. I assume it’s deliciousness is significantly amplified. Diesel fumes are like MSG!

    I might be in the wrong neighborhood, but I’ve been surprised by the lack of food distributed by truck in San Diego. Who am I kidding? For truck distributed food, there’s no place like LA, and the drop off from LA to any other city is steep. A word to the wise: draft LA early.

    But where else can you get Randy Jones BBQ?

  35. SamYo says:

    Hello Grey, I’ve drafted my first team this season, what do you think?
    C – Geovany Soto (Rd 14)
    1B – Kendry Morales (Rd 4)
    2B – Brandon Phillips (Rd 3)
    SS – Sexy Alexei – (Rd 17)
    3B – A-Rod (Rd 1)
    OF – Grady Sizemore (Rd 2)
    OF – Michael Bourn (Rd 5)
    OF – Adam Dunn (Rd 6)
    Util – Julio Borbon – (Rd 15)
    Util – Corey Hart – (Rd 19)
    SP – Ubaldo Jimenez (Rd 7)
    SP – Josh Beckett (Rd 8)
    RP – Billy Wagner (Rd 10)
    RP – Brian Fuentes (Rd 11)
    P – Ricky Nolasco (Rd 9)
    P – Matt Garza (Rd 12)
    P – Leo Nunez (Rd 13)
    P – David Aardsama (Rd 16)
    BN – Clay Buchholz – (Rd 18)
    BN – Kyle Blanks – (Rd 20)
    BN – Mat Latos – (Rd 21)
    BN – Matt Lindstrom – (Rd 22)
    BN – Alcides Escobar – (Rd 23)


  36. Bob says:

    You took Michael Bourn at what, Rd 5, pick 3? 51st overall? ><

  37. SamYo says:

    @Bob: I took him at yea Rd 5 pick 4 -_-“. That and the Nunez pick are such ughs.

  38. Dingo says:

    @Bring Back Pluto: I have the same exact feelings. The problem is that Razzball is both insightful and witty. If the advice here weren’t so valuable, I’d have no problem sharing the site with all of my league-mates. And if it weren’t so damn funny, I wouldn’t feel bad about not sharing it.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @SamYo: Doing your own thing there, huh? Mixing things up! I need to know how many teams to accurately estimate the damage. But even if it’s 12 team league, you’re very light on power, which is not a good place. If it’s a 10 team league, then there’s a bunch of trouble.

  40. Bob says:

    While we’re randomly posting teams, I’m yet to do a proper draft this year. But the keeper team looks ok, provided I can find a couple of infielders. It’s even relevant to this thread, because I grabbed Span in July 2008, and he’s been part of the team since. 16 teams, H2H, got holds, OBP, SLG, IP on top of 5×5 stats. I think I’m going to end up with the dregs at 3B/C, guys like Atkins, LaRoche, Baker, Pierzynski, just grab whoever looks good for a couple of weeks. At least until Pittsburgh decides to try and win a couple of games in September. Round numbers double up due to a couple of trades. I’ve got round 6, 7, 8 to get top 300 players. I’m a little light on SB, 2B hopefully helps out there.

    C – ??
    1B – M-Cab (3)
    2B – ??
    SS – Hanley Ramirez (1)
    3B – Pedro Alvarez (19)
    OF – Werth (9)
    OF – McLouth (12)
    OF – Span (13)
    Util – Berkman (4)

    SP – Lincecum (2)
    SP – Lee (11)
    SP – Kuroda (12)
    RP – Nathan (5)
    RP – Broxton (7)
    RP – ???
    P – Cueto (14)
    P – Bumgarner (15)

    BN – Jason Heyward (20) :D

  41. Don Slaught's Onslaught says:

    Closers must have been flying off of the shelves to take Billy Wagner in the tenth round; I wonder what sort of draft it is where you take three 3 closers before getting Aardsma in the 16th.

  42. johnson21 says:

    espn rankings are out of wack … but any smart person would know that the two most important fantasy people are the grey brothers. grey of razzball and jason grey of espn. serious

  43. Bob says:

    @Grey: I’m the original “Bob.” Somebody else is posting using my identity. Just so there’s no confusion, could you ask him or take another identity, or I guess I will, if that’s not possible. Thanks.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Bob: Looks like a pretty solid team. I’d go for upside picks at the 2nd base and catcher slot.

    @Bob: Hey, deja vu! Yeah, take it up with him.

  45. Czernobog says:

    This is the imposter bob. I blame watching Blackadder while posting for using that one. Didn’t think to check if there was already a regular, my bad. Let’s try a fictional character I’ve been known to use, can’t see anyone using it already…

  46. Bob says:

    @Czernobog: Thanks. When I first started here, I just logged in using my incredibly common first name, not thinking this would be a place I’d regularly post. Anyway, thanks for being understanding.

  47. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    Love me some ‘Nard Dawg

  48. Johnny Westside says:

    FINALLY! Some respect for the ‘Nard Dawg.

    I say let’s get Denarded in here.

    I think that Denard is one of the most underrated players in baseball and I GUARANTEE my man scores 105 runs, at least. .392 OBP and in front of Mauer and Morneau? MONEY. I also agree that his steals are quite odd, but he only has upside in that department.

    I hope people think he’s boring, ’cause I’m gonna draft my man late… STEAL.

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