In 85 major league at-bats, Ke’Bryan Hayes hit five homers, stole a bag and hit .376. That roughly translates to 645 homers, and 129 steals while hitting .376 in an equally productive 20-year career. Hard to argue he’s not a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.

You, a wet-under-the-collar-with-scurvy Pirates fan, “He still wouldn’t be the best player to come out of Pittsburgh. Hello, Barry Bonds.”
Me, a world-weary-peg-leg-having Pirates fan, “Bonds wasn’t a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. The Man stopped that from happening.”

Hey, they’re The Man, I simply live in The Man’s World. “If everyone left a penny, but didn’t take a penny, the jar to hold the pennies would need to be the size of the Silverdome, and be renamed the Copper-Plated Zinc Pennydome.” Not now, Mr. Prorater. “Oh, so you can prorate out Ke’Bryan Hayes’s stats, but I can’t prorate out a very simply equation. Cool, cool.” Well, whether you want to believe me, Mr. Prorater or Ke’Bryan Hayes’s September debut–Actually, that last one did happen, but is it real and repeatable? That’s what we have to figure out. Is it sustainable like this salmon I’m eating out of my lap to avoid waste. Don’t worry, I’m wearing plastic pants. If you forgot, here are the four highest OPS for major league players’ debut months since 1901: Yasiel Puig (hey whatever happened to this guy?) with 1.180; Albert Pujols in 2001 with 1.171; Rhys Hoskins in 2017 with 1.149 and Ke’Bryan Hayes with 1.144. Not bad company, but not Bad Company by Bad Company. So, what can we expect from Ke’Bryan Hayes for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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When the Reds punched their ticket to the expanded 2020 playoffs, I thought they’d be tough on their opponents given their ace-powered pitching staff. 

Atlanta had other plans, and the Cincinnati bats scored a total of zero runs in two games. Very tough to win without runs. 

Nonetheless, the season can be considered something of a success. The team ended a long playoff drought and found some hope for a brighter tomorrow. Life after Trevor Bauer brings new challenges, but a pitching foundation built on Kyle Boddy and Derek Johnson is promising, especially considering the top few arms in the system. 

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On July 16th of this godforsaken year, Julio Rodriguez suffered a hairline fracture of his wrist. Why? Because 2020 was the year no one saw coming, hindsight be damned. Pack up your suitcases and move in with your most charitable, rich relative, we’ll come out of this thing at some point in the future. Wake me up then, ‘kay? A wrist fracture feels like the end of the story for 2021, as well. Julio Rodriguez is 19 years old. Losing a year of development, puts him behind the eight ball, as they say in pool halls. Take a year to get back to where he was this year, and get back to me. I’m living with my rich cousin who invented the app that skips ahead of the personal stories on all recipe blogs. Unless Julio Rodriguez is a *whispers* phenom. *checks notes, slowly raises head, eyes watery* He is a…dot dot dot…dramatic pause…big gulp…orders again, “Can I get a Big Gulp?” Sorry, I’m typing this up at 7-11. Yes, he’s a phenom! Oh, yeah, Julio Rodriguez is a phenom. He. Is. A. Phenom. Yes, the one-word douchey sentences. On Prospect Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects in redraft leagues, Julio Rodriguez was 3rd overall. He would’ve been my number one rookie coming into 2021 fantasy baseball, if I had any faith in the Mariners promoting Julio Rodriguez to start the season. My biggest concern is playing time. Otherwise, he’s a lock. There’s at least a 50% chance Juli-Rodrigu (what friends call him) keeps his prospect status for 2022 and I’m back here at this time next year saying he’s the best rookie going into next season which will be two seasons from now, and not confusing at all. So, what can we expect from Julio Rodriguez for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello again, my friends. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I had another fun-but-also-terribly-painful experiment for you guys. For some of you this will be euphoric. But as a Cardinals fan myself, well, this just sucks.

My experiment is rather simple, and it’s similar to my last piece on Waiver Wire All-Stars. I’m certainly not alone in this, but I’ve noticed a whole lotta ex-STL players having really, really, really good things happen after leaving town. I got to thinking, and I wondered if it were possible to field a full fantasy squad of 100% ex-STL players and still have a good team. The answer is YUP. Oh, joy.

I had to take some liberties, and I had to do a lot of digging through past draft classes and minor league affiliate rosters, but I’ve built a Yahoo standard lineup of players who at one point in time were in the Cardinals system (with some liberties sprinkled in). It’s not a perfect team, but it’s a damn fine one if you ask me. It just hurts all the more knowing this didn’t have to be fantasy for the Cardinals. IT COULD HAVE BEEN REALITY! MAYBE! *crying baby GIF*

Another thing about this experiment is we gotta assume these players reach or maintain their fantasy ceilings. Some guys weren’t so great in 2020 but have been good recently, or vice versa. Some of them I don’t exactly miss, if I’m being honest, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t help this fantasy fantasy squad win.

Cardinals fans, get your tissues ready. Have Freese’s heroics from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series playing on a loop in the background as you read. Go to your happy place and try to stay there as you see name after name break your heart over and over again. This is supposed to be therapeutic, right?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Once upon a time, the Cubs represented the gold standard of how to complete a rebuild. Now they’re sort of stuck in neutral—still a silver standard in how to compete year over year but not much of a threat to the Dodgers and Rays of the world. Where they go from here is unclear. They missed their window to sell high on Kris Bryant, an unforgettable misstep after they manipulated his service time badly enough to all but guarantee he’d never resign. They have him and Kimbrel on the books for one more year at an inflated rate, so it seems like they’re stuck on the tracks they’re straddling now, sliding their way into the decade with little idea of how the roster will look just three or four years from now. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There will be many people screaming that Jo Adell is no longer a rookie, and to those people I say, “Stop screaming, I think you’re right,” but by my own admission in my Sixto Sanchez fantasy, I explained I was going by old rookie eligibility rules, because the new ones for just this season were confusing as all get-out. For our purposes, Jo Adell had 130 or less at-bats, so welcome to the resistance (to actual rookie eligibility). And, if porpoises are reading, I want to go on record as saying I never enjoyed Sea World. They’re popcorn was always stale. Never the hoo! Jo Adell, or as I like to call him, last year’s Randy Arozarena. Can y’all remember back to last year when we were like Jo Adell or Mike Trout, which do you prefer? And half of us were like, “Hee-haw! I want Jo Adell!” That aged like a fine cheddar that is stored between your toes. Adell’s season was not, how do I say, good. He went 9/3/7/.161 in 124 ABs. Glad he got those growing pains out of the way, huh? This reminds me of what a wise man named Grey Albright once said, “These prospects, huh?” Ah, no truer words have been said. It is pretty funny how we think we know what we’re getting, yet no one knows anything. Funny, funny stuff. So, what can we expect from Jo Adell in 2021 fantasy baseball?

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Razzball Patreon members receive our weekly podcast where Grey cackles about the funniest news stories we’ve found over the past week, plus you get that warm fuzzy feeling of supporting your favorite fantasy sports site in all the land.

It’s the 20th episode of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Not News with Grey Albright, Donkey Teeth and world renowned comedian Billy Hurley. First, Grey gives an update about his role as pedophile on an episode of NCIS and the codpiece cookies he made for Chris O’Donnell.

Then we dive in on this week’s stories with a Billy reporting from under a rock about a website offering a chance to live under a rock during election week—excuse me while I book my accommodations. Speaking of the election, an Iowa man who stole an election sign then stole every newspaper that reported his original theft. Then find out all about the boy who’s eaten noting but sausage his entire life; straight from teat to the sausage.

Tune in now for all the laughs and Albright cackles you can handle by signing up for the exclusive Razzball Patreon Club for only $5/month!

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Patiently awaiting the Triston McKenzie / MacKenzie Gore matchup to watch it on my couch with my cardboard cutout of Mackenzie Phillips while Mack the Knife plays, wearing my Mack truck overalls. How was I built? Like a Mack Truck, baby — chugga-chugga-choo-choo. On the reals, it took me forty-five minutes to write the previous sentences because some people’s names have a capped K; some don’t; some have Mac; some have Mc, and this is worse than Zach/Zack/Zak/Zac. Stop the train and let me off. I need a mnemonic, Johnny! One of the more disappointing elements of 2020 — like, roughly, the 12,576th most disappointing thing — was that MacKenzie Gore didn’t get a call-up. He’s ready, Dads, let’s go! Not to mention, I think the Padres could’ve used him. Weird move to go get Mike Clevinger, when they likely would’ve been better with Gore. That’s a big market move done by a small market team — a small market team that’s worth like $1.8 billion, but anyway.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love most things about playing fantasy baseball leagues, but I especially love the push/pull of short versus long-term outcomes. I play a lot of dynasty, keeper and redraft leagues of various shapes and sizes, so the range of values I might place on a prospect in a given league is wide.

Not here, though, where I’ll be going full cut-throat, win-the-money redraft style.

I don’t know why anyone will be cutting throats. I love that phrase, but yikes, what a thing to say in casual conversation, huh?

This list won’t turn out to be 100 percent accurate, but it will reflect many hours of trade talks, gameplay, research, roller coasters and centrifuges of thought, educated guesswork, and dash of the psychology motivating humans working within a nihilistic capitalist structure. 

  • Note: I wasn’t sure how to handle innings caps. Every pitcher got dinged a little for the purposes of this list because some/most organizations will be very conservative pushing pitchers from 30-something (or zero) innings up above 100 (or more).
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

One thing I’m noticing in the bigger picture sorta way is there’s gonna be more pitchers in this fantasy baseball rookies series this year than other years. The nature of the season made it more conducive for rookies to be called up, and rookie pitchers had no way of exceeding eligibility requirements. On a side but related note, this year made it abundantly clear that teams only keep prospects down in the minors because of phony money concerns. I mean, the concerns are phony, not that their money is phony. It’s real, and absurd. Not to become Willy Woke, but if a guy is worth $5 billion dollars; he can afford to promote a prospect and lose control of him a year early. On another side but related note, how many teams in the playoffs would’ve not been in the playoffs or there with a totally different looking rotation? It’s hard to imagine the Braves getting to the playoffs with the rotation of Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson. That’s not to say I don’t like them (to varying degrees). But if, say, the Braves called up Ian Anderson in May, his arm would’ve been so taxed by the playoffs, or just shut down. It’s interesting (to me, at least) to think of what a guy like Ian Anderson would’ve been in a 162-game season. Him especially, because he could’ve been up in May, and pitched 150 IP. I have an idea! Let’s actually figure out what he can do in a full season! Bravo, Grey, an ingenious plan! So, what can we expect from Ian Anderson for 2021 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?