Yo, this winter trading season has been a Bomb Cyclone, but not as in the winter storm, or a flurry of moves, but rather the Bomb Cyclone, the Coney Island roller coaster that kills one of four riders. “This doesn’t seem that rickety.” Three minutes later, “Is the wooden plank I’m sitting on supposed to be falling to the ground from 75 feet in the air?”  Seriously, is this the worst offseason for player signings and/or trades?  Players aren’t even signing in dribs and drabs, they’re not signing at all.  My rankings start on Monday, and I have dozens of players that read something like, “Still a free agent, so this could change.”  By the way, a urologist should put on his business card, “Specializes in drips and drabs.”  As for Gerrit Cole being traded to the Astros, this sorta sums him up:

I might go back in on Cole if he can turn his career around from his 4.26 ERA last year, but I’m waiting for him to flip a U-ey before I hunker down in his bunker.  I’ve been burned way too many times by, “Cole’s looking great in his start…Damn, if it wasn’t for that 3-run homer he allowed in the sixth, that would’ve been a solid start.”  Yeah, I’m done with that.  Since I wasn’t going near Cole anyway, I’m actually more disappointed by this move because it bumps Brad Peacock from the rotation.  Peacock’s bloomage looked to be peaking.  All of Peacock’s numbers were more attractive to me than Cole.  Alas, it doesn’t matter.  Peacock is out of the rotation until there’s an injury.  Though, this does help solidify Trevor Williams’ place in the Pirates’ rotation.  Here’s my Trevor Williams sleeper.  Me likey!  For 2018, I’ll give Gerrit Cole the projections of 13-10/3.78/1.23/181 in 195 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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When you write, research, and talk ad nauseam about minor league systems for four to five months exclusively, you look forward to some systems more than others. The Cincinnati Reds are a team I couldn’t wait to cover. From Nick Senzel to Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and the rest, this organization is full of talents with fantasy upside. My compadre Lance Brozdowski and I dive in on all the top names and pretty much talk about the top three like they’re our children. Seriously I think we talk about Nick Senzel for 47 minutes. He’s that good… But in truth we cover the top 15 prospects, the arms, the bats, the 80 grade names. We learn that the words Cash and Case together form a massive tongue twister for Lance. Then again Cash Case is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, who speaks Mandarin. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Ian Happ doesn’t even have a starting job, but I’m crazy excited about him.  I think he’s the first player I’ve ever written a sleeper post about without a guaranteed starting job.  He’s going to lack runs and RBIs, because Joe Maddon is so smart he needs to outwit himself to stay one step of himself.  Make sense?  It’s not supposed to.  Last year, he had 24 HRs, 8 SBs and .253 in only 364 ABs.  *fighting urge to prorate*  Ugh!  I’m not mentally strong enough to avoid the Prorating Monster.  Last year, he had 65% of an everyday player’s at-bats, so with a full-time job he would’ve had 32 homers, 11 steals in his rookie year.  *eyes roll up in top of head, faints, Giancarlo catches me in his arms, wiping my brow with his handkerchief*  “Thank you, Giancarlo.  Wait, that’s not your arm you caught me with?”  You might be thinking, as a rational person would, that Ian Happ was platooned because of his huge platoon splits.  Haha, yeah, no.  He’s a switch hitter with no real splits.  Also, you might be thinking he is stuck behind someone who absolutely has to play every day.  Yeah, nope.  He played 145 games last year across five positions.  The Cubs are just kinda stacked and Happ played everywhere.  Last year, he played the most games at center field.  Right now, he’s still projected to see the most time in center.  Guess who’s in front of him.  Go ahead, I won’t laugh if you say the wrong name.  Did you just say Crash Bandicoot?  That’s the worst guess I’ve ever heard.  In front of Happ is Albert Almora Jr.  I’m sorry, Maddon does bonkers shizz, but there’s no way Almora moves Happ to the bench more than a few times a week, and those times Happ can just play another position.  So, what can we expect from Ian Happ for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Me don’t like focusing so much on AL East starters for sleepers.  Me do like talking like a leprechaun.  Kevin Gausman is stealing me Lucky Charms!  Last year, Gausman’s record was 11-12/4.68/1.49/179 in 186 2/3 IP.  Here’s what I said towards the end of last year, “This year, like a case of lice, Gausman is a real head scratcher.  Looking at his perfs (kids say this; think it’s short for perfumes), Gausman is having a garbage year.  Velocity is there, so doubt it’s a hidden injury.  The walks are way up, Ks are down, and the culprit appears to be his fastball.  Went from a near-10 in pitch value on his speed ball to a negative.  FS shouldn’t abbreviate fastball, it should be for ‘F**k’s sake.’  The good news is this sounds like a mechanics problem, and might’ve been fixed already.  Thanks, Pep Boys!  His 1st half vs. 2nd half:  5.85 ERA vs. 3.44; 7.7 K/9 vs. 9.6 K/9; 4 BB/9 vs. 3.2.  Yeah, sadly enough, it’s going to be hard to avoid him in 2018 again.”  And that’s me quoting me!  So, what can we expect for Kevin Gausman for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Patrick Corbin will be only 28 years old for half of the 2018 season.  I know, surprised me too.  How did I know that would surprise you?  I read your mind, man.  What’s that?  You’re now thinking string cheese would make a good tampon for a mouse?  Hmm, all right, you shouldn’t share that with anyone.  What is that you are thinking now?  Why not take one McRib and make a McEve?  Okay, I think I’m going to stop reading your mind now.  Seriously *motions to your head*  things are going on up there we don’t need to talk about.  Last year, Patrick Corbin, or as a serial killer would call him Pat Rick Corbin, went 14-13/4.03/1.42/178, and I fell asleep in the middle of that stat line.  1.42 isn’t a WHIP it’s my college GPA.  Four-oh-three isn’t an ERA, it’s an ate-testant’s starting weight on The Biggest Loser.  178 isn’t strikeouts it’s–Actually that’s not bad.  As a male porn actor once said, it’s about time we went under the hood.  So, what can we expect from Patrick Corbin for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

So I took a catcher with my first pick in the draft. I’m not one to bury the lead, plus you’re intrigued, no? Whether you stick around to understand my point of view or to ridicule me, you stick around the same. So before we go into my wild dynasty adventure, why don’t I do you the courtesy of explaining what exactly I’m talking about. The Rotowire Dynasty Invitational!!! It’s in the title, stupid. In case you were wondering what any of those words mean. First it’s not a Golf Tournament, though I hear Green Jackets could perhaps be involved. It’s actually a new dynasty league organized by the fair, handsome and illustrious James Anderson of Rotowire. Dynasty lesson numero uno muchacho, always talk about your commissioner in glowing terms. When you finally sucker some poor schlub into sending you Mike Trout for a washed up prospect, a back end of the rotation arm, and a kid with a name you can’t spell, who can’t legally buy tobacco products in Utah, you’re going to need that guy. So James approve my trades, I’ll say nice things. Deal? Moving on, this is a 20 team dynasty league organized by Mr. Anderson and comprised of some of the top names in prospects, dynasty, and just fantasy in general. Also the guy that played George Washington in Turn: Washington’s Spies. Don’t worry, I refer to him as “The General” 100% of the time. Anything less would be uncivilized. Plus little known fact, George Washington is my spirit animal. We both have wooden teeth!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

This is my answer track to my Masahiro Tanaka sleeper.  If that sleeper was on the shallow side, this is the polar opposite.  As the Guru once said, this post is for leagues that are deep and much too complicated.  Guru from Gang Starr, not Guru who used to write for this site.  It’s funny how I came upon Trevor Williams.  Not haha funny, because I’m not a clown.  For our five lady readers, do you know the benefit of having sex with a clown?  He can take the condom afterwards and make balloon animals.  Any hoo!  I noticed Trevor Williams when I was looking for Trevor Bauer.  I told you, funny!  That means, up next for a sleeper post, Ted Williams!  Then I will talk about a Williams and Sonoma catalog.  What’s that, you love Trevor Bauer and want to talk about him?  #Metoo.  I’m not using that right, am I?  Carry on, Grey!  Carry on!  If Trevor Williams were just, say, Trevor Williams who we never want to talk about, and not Trevor Williams who I want to talk about, we still wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for this one little stat:  21.5.  What is this 21.5 that I speak of?  Soon answers will be revealed like the last five minutes of Law & Order.  Clang-clang.  So, what can we expect from Trevor Williams for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

The champ is here! The champ is here! Step aside, step aside y’all, we’re dancing into the winner’s circle to profile the top prospects of the World Series Champion Houston Astros. To say the Astros have built a winner through their astute drafting and international prowess is an understatement. Players like Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Lance McCullers all were developed in house, and plenty of additional homegrown talent was shipped out to reinforce the MLB club for the stretch run. So this is definitely a different system than the one profiled by yours truly over the last couple of offseasons. With a slew of graduations and trades, there’s a collection of high end talents from 1-4, followed by some above average high minors types, a handful of talented international lottery tickets, and a plethora of hard-throwing pen types. Houston seems to tread between a bunch of labels when it comes to pinpointing the best way to describe the system, but the most apt description is a good player development organization that needs to restock in the 2018 draft and international signing period. Without further ado it’s the Houston Astros Top Prospects.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It’s the all blizzard podcast, as Lance and I dig out from a foot plus of snow. We took a quick break from shoveling to geek out over the very exciting Chicago White Sox Top Prospects. We jump right in with Eloy Jimenez, and a deeper discussion of just how good he can be. Next up is Michael Kopech, and a discussion of the improvements to his mechanics, and secondaries since the middle part of 2017. We then dive into Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Zack Collins, Dane Dunning, and Jake Burger, before getting into a bigger discussion of some of these DH-Type hitters in the system. We hit the high points, the low points, and stop for a couple of Chi-Town dogs and an Italian beef before it’s all said and done. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Honestly, I don’t know how much of a sleeper Masahiro Tanaka is going to be in 2018.  I’m writing these posts without a ton of draft data.  You down with ADP?  No, actually, I’m not, and you know me.  My guess is Tanaka will be drafted between 100-130 overall.  There’s value to be had with that draft spot.  If people start hyping him and his splits (which I’ll get to), then Tanaka’s going to zoom past the point of sleeper.  I imagine in a lot of friendly leagues where people show up the day of the draft because it’s the only time they get away from their families, who they not-so-secretly despise, Tanaka will be a relative bargain.  And by ‘relative bargain’ I don’t mean the cousin who is living with you who you tried to sell on the Darknet.  Tanaka will have the Yankee inflation even in those leagues, so he’s not going to be as cheap as his last year 4.74 ERA should have him.  Then, in quote-unquote smarter leagues, Tanaka might be drafted in the top 90 overall because in those leagues people want to prove how much more they know than their leaguemates so they push up a guy like Tanaka on draft boards.  In most leagues, however, people will know Tanaka has a tendon issue, they’ll know he had a wretched first half last year (I promise I’ll get to the 2nd half), and they’ll know there’s safer guys while not wanting to prove anything to anyone by drafting Tanaka early.  In those leagues, Tanaka should come at a relative bargain.  Again, not the cousin you put on Darknet’s eBay.  So, what can we expect from Masahiro Tanaka for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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