Inspired by JKJ’s recent lament on the St. Louis Cardinals, combined with my First Year Player Drafts informed by The Prospect Itch and Hobbs, as well as noted scout John Sickels’ “Shadow Twins” series of articles, I wanted to reveal my own mourning process for my beloved tolerated local sports team, the Minnesota Twins. More than just an elegy to the Midwest Monsters that could have been, the Minnesota Twins stand as an example of a team that dynasty fantasy managers might want to avoid, and the reason is rooted in the “real world” dynamics of the Twins’ ownership and management over the past century.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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High times in Denver, these are not, at least not in a baseball or football sense. They do still have the Nuggets, so that’s nice. Baseball fans are in a sticky spot though, wanting their team to succeed because while simultaneously somewhere in the back of their minds suspecting the best path forward involves dismantling the whole thing, bringing in a new front office with a long-term vision, trading the left side of the infield, and finding out what they have in the assets they’ve allowed to stockpile and degrade from a perceived-value perspective. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

“Is everyone still a rookie?” That’s a good question, Left Side of My Brain. “What is a rookie?” Shut up, Right Side of My Brain. Ya know, sometimes I’m very left side of my brain, sometimes I’m very right side of my Brian. This brings me to today’s rookie, Nick Madrigal, who is yet another guy who I swore lost his rookie eligibility, and, honestly, he might’ve in real baseball, but he only had 103 ABs this year, and that’s well under the 130 ABs to lose rookie eligibility, according to me, so here we are again. This does give me a few less guys to go over when I do my 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, so that’s a nice bonus for me. “Why wait until later for what you can do today,” is what I scribble over and over again in a notepad as I procrastinate. Madrigal would’ve lost his rookie eligibility if he didn’t get hurt early on this past season, and he would’ve competed for a batting title, one of many competitions for said title for Madrigal in his career. Honestly, I can’t figure out a way to project him for anything less than “potential batting title champion.” Been a while since I’ve said that about anyone. Maybe dating back to the great Tony Gwynn. What will really make Madrigal sing? Less of that terrible Gregorian chant singing garbage. Wait, I think I googled ‘Madrigal singing’ and that returned faulty results. So, what can we expect from Nick Madrigal for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Psyche! Before we get to the post, just wanted to announce we’re gonna do a way-too-early NFBC draft. It’s 15 teams, no waivers, slow draft, 2 hours between picks, $150 to sign up, and $1,000 to winner, $350 to 2nd place and 3rd gets their money back. There’s also overall prizes of $30,000, and more. Why draft so early? Right now, we’re getting a chance to form ADP vs. being slaves to it. Also, what the hey. If you prefer to play against Donkey Teeth, his league will be signing up when mine fills. To signup, click this rather long link I’m writing right now. Anyway, Nick Madrigal 2021 fantasy:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

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There’s a few categories of rookies. One category of rookies is guys who could be extremely valuable if they get an everyday job out of Spring Training — your Wander Francos, your Royce Lewises, your Brendan Rodgerses (Rodgerii? Rodge on rye?). Then there’s another category of guys who will actually have a starting job but might not excite you with huge upside — your Luis Garcias, your Ryan Jefferses, your Andres Gimenezes (Gim Z’ers?). At least Andres Gimenez appears to be in the latter group. But, and, please allow Reversal Question Man to ask it — IS HE?! I hear that, RQM. Andres Gimenez last year went 22/3/12/.263/8 in 118 ABs. Casually, without much fanfare, I’m just going to muffle Mr. Prorater and do it myself:  Across 162 games that’s a statline of 100/15/60/.270/40. Oh, I’m sorry, are you gorgeous? Or am I mistaking you for someone else? No…*puts on sunglasses*…you are gorgeous. Now, let’s get out of here. *takes Gimenez’s 162-game prorated stats out of this honkeytonk bar, jumps in my Sebring and peels out of the parking lot, just as we hit the open road, I turn away from Gimenez’s 162-prorated stats and look at Carter Kieboom’s upside, and Gimenez’s 162-prorated stats smack me* What? I just wanted to see what Kieboom could do, you know I love you. Don’t be mad! So, what can we expect from Andres Gimenez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The temperature reads 23 degrees as I write this sentence, so Arizona sounds pretty great to me right now. The high for Sunday (today) is 82. 

That’s probably cold comfort for Diamondbacks fans, who find their club somewhat adrift at the tail end of a tough 2020 after a promising 2019 and even more promising off-season that saw them sign Kole Calhoun and acquire Starling Marte via trade. This system is deep in potential everyday players and starting pitchers, so I suspect this current downturn could be brief. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

“Wonder Twins power activate! In the form of a string bean!” That’s what goes through my mind every time I see Triston McKenzie. If Triston McKenzie and Deivi Garcia were ever on a seesaw, they’d both be in the air with their legs dangling. Triston McKenzie doing indoor skydiving is just him pinned against the ceiling until the wind is shut off. Triston McKenzie was in his high school play, which was an adaptation of Forrest Gump, and McKenzie played the part of the feather. Once Triston McKenzie forgot his house keys and slipped in through the mail slot. Okay, get out all your shizzes and giggles. Triston McKenzie is skinny eh eff. He’s listed as 160 pounds, which is normal-ish. Dot dot dot. For a man a foot shorter than him! He’s six-five! Haha, dubya tee eff. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon! Instead of using toothpaste, use milkshakes! (I’m not exactly Mr. Quote-The-Simpsons, but that line never gets old for me.) Okay, now that I spent one word for every pound on how much Stretch McKenzie weighs, can we talk about how he had the stats this year in the majors that we wanted from Sixto Sanchez? Acksually, McKenzie had the stats we wanted from Max Scherzer. McKenzie had a 11.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in 33 1/3 IP, and now I swoon like the audience mesmerized by his feather portrayal. To step back a little further to catch you up, before we go into his 2021 projections. Prospect Mike (member him?) said two years ago, “(Triston) does have a plus fastball and curve with decent control, so don’t put me down as a hater. His 2018 was spent in Double-A, where he whiffed 87 batters in 90 innings with a 2.68 ERA, and I’d like to kick Grey in the balls.” What the eff? So, the reason I went back two years is Triston McKenzie didn’t throw last year. More on that in a bit. So, what can we expect from Triston McKenzie for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Don’t want to this post to be 500 words long to get to the conclusion, “Meh, maybe, if Nate Pearson is healthy,” so, yes, he had elbow tightness, which is a concern, but he threw two innings in the playoffs — yes, two whole innings! — and his velocity was fine, so, yeah, I don’t know. My assumption with Pearson’s elbow health is multi-fold:  One-fold, if it’s not good, that sucks, but he will be shut down in March during Spring Training, and we’ll be able to drop him in redraft fantasy leagues without too much anguish, because the 2nd-fold says he should be cheap enough in drafts to acquire. There’s no three-fold. I.e., It’ll be easy enough to fold on Pearson. Hey, by the way, I’m typing this up in a laundromat, is it obvious? Okay, as B. Real once said, “How do ya know where you’re headed if you don’t know where ya been,” so here’s what I’ve said previously, “Let’s start with the drool. Here’s Nate Pearson:

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My system overview would be incomplete if it failed to cite JKJ’s recent article from the pages of Razzball, Randy Arozarena & the Ex-Cardinals’ All-Star Team.

I’m not one for pouring salt into open wounds, but I think any sports fan can totally relate to the catharsis endemic to deconstructing the various rosters your team didn’t build, even as that team is relatively successful on the field. 

The redbirds’ minor league build is fine. It’ll probably land mid pack or better for the people who rank whole systems. That evaluation will be a bit inflated by Dylan Carlson’s last gasp of prospect eligibility and Norman Gorman’s residual shine from his early returns, but there’s also plenty of topside waiting in the lower minors and an outstanding 2020 draft class on the way. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

This is the third year I’m writing a Casey Mize rookie outlook post. Lowercase yay. Never the hoo:

Waste time with a Mizerpiece
Don’t waste time with a Mizerpiece
You should be rolling with me
You should be rolling with me, ah
You’re a real-life fantasy
You’re a real-life fantasy.

I have designated his stuff Cake by the Ocean. No one comes back from that with realistic expectations. Last person to even come close was a 1988 fantasy outlook post I did for Kevin Blankenship, who Baseball-Almanac ranks in the top 500 still living players who debuted in 1988. A worthy designation! Prior to going forward, let’s go back to what I’ve said previously, “Mize’s final Double-A numbers were 78 2/3 IP, 8.7 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 2.98 FIP. Can’t lie, that injury worries me (he had shoulder inflammation in June of 2019), and I’m afraid of ghosts and that Mize might need some major surgery before resting for 18 months and then returning to being an ace. Specifics on his stuff:  double-plus splitter with a plus heater, slider, and control.” And that’s me quoting me! Then the Tigers promoted Casey Mize this year, because they’re wont to promote prospects super fast, which is awesome, and Mize was, well, less than awesome. His stats from this year: 0-3/6.99/1.48/26 in 28 1/3 IP. That gives me a big gulp, and not like the giant drink from 7-11 that you need two hands and both feet to hold. So, what can we expect from Casey Mize for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?