2019 Recent Videos

Despite being a 26th round draft pick in 2013, Mauricio Dubon has been a fairly big prospect name since about 2015, where he was commonly ranked about top 15 in the Red Sox system. Dubon was traded to the Brewers along with Travis Shaw in 2016 for Tyler Thornburg, and has been a top prospect in that system since. A career .300 hitter in the minors, Dubon caught people’s eyes with his abilities as a pure hitter, and has consistently been given an above average grade on his hit tool as a prospect. He got off to a great start in 2018, slashing .343/.348/.574 through 27 games, but unfortunately had his season cut short due to injuries. Dubon returned in a big way in 2019, demonstrating power that he had never shown before en route to hitting 24 HR on the season (20 in AAA and 4 in the Majors). Despite this breakout, the Brewers felt comfortable enough with their infield depth (ironic given the fact that they just traded for Luis Urias who I’m not a fan of), and they traded him to the Giants for Drew Pomeranz. Come September, Dubon found himself getting regular playing time at both 2B and SS, and looks primed to be the Giants starting 2B going into the 2020 season, so this begs the question: what is his fantasy value? 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Here’s a great thing about fantasy baseball, maybe any fantasy sport, I don’t know. Guys that come up with great expectations, who fizzle out at first, don’t just disappear and stop having potential, but other guys come along, steal the spotlight and overshadow those first guys who had great potential. This induces a buying opportunity. Now that I think about it, it’s not just fantasy baseball or sports. Same could be said for anything or anyone. Think of a cousin who seemed destined for great things, but then was sidetracked by drugs or a fantasy sports problem. If one day he gets cleaned up, he’s got that potential again. Dot dot dot. Unless you’re thinking about him harnessing his potential for selling drugs or winning fantasy sports leagues, because if he gets cleaned of those problems, then he’s not going to have that potential again. Reminds me of the early 2000s when I focused in on buying Apple stock at $12 a share and I was like, “That company was once great and can be great again, so I should buy this stock.” Of course, I didn’t or I wouldn’t be here telling you this. Instead, I bought Boston Market stock shares and they soon went bankrupt and I’m an idiot. By the way, I’m here to tell you never buy stocks on an empty stomach. Either way, I had the idea to buy Apple and that’s all that matters! Any hoo! Dansby Swanson is Apple stock in 2004. He was once great, and can be great again. So, what can we expect from Dansby Swanson for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.

Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Look I don’t hate the Dodgers and you don’t hate the Dodgers, but there’s a decent chance we all kind of hate the Dodgers. Even Dodgers fans kind of hate the Dodgers. 

Green might be the color of envy, historically speaking, but these days in the baseball world, dodger blue has taken the mantle.

The Dodgers occupy an extremely unique place in the baseball psyche as the model for what every owner wants: cost-controlled assets regularly cycling through the system to keep profits high and payroll low. Andrew Friedman was just awarded a contract extension—a smart move considering other owners would line up to pay him a top-of-the-market salary to bring his magic to their front office. This all feels slightly ironic in a world where Dave Dombrowski gets fired the year after winning the World Series while Friedman’s Dodgers fail to win the big game year after year. 

It’s quite a look into what’s valued within the industry. 

One off-shoot = you can expect this club to promote the players who might help them rather than shopping for a big trade. 

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When perusing for 2020 fantasy baseball sleepers — I peruse, ya’ll! — this jumped out at me like weird nipples on men at a public pool, Scott Kingery had a top eight line drive rate, tied with Cody Bellinger. The top eight is not as elite as you might imagine, assuming you’re not still imagining weird nipples on strange men. There’s some elite guys in there — the aforementioned Bellinger, Freeman, Trout, Merrifield — but it also has guys like David Fletcher and Domingo Santana, which is why I’ve liked them in the past. So, is Kingery part of that elite line drive rate group or the other bleh group? First off, Fletcher is his own beast, or rather non-beast. A Blech Ness Monster, so to speak. He slaps the ball like he’s playing Whack-A-Mole with a broken mallet handle, and is a batting average play, if anything. He’s more akin with the guy who’s ninth on the line drive rate — Adam Frazier. So are Kingery and Domingo Santana akin — Dokingo Scantana? I’d actually suggest Domingo is Fletcher with bad contact rates. Domingo had a similar fly ball and ground ball rate to Fletcher, but Fletcher had a 10% strikeout rate (elite) and Sunday Santana’s 32% strikeout rate is diseased. Good illustration of this is Domingo’s launch angle is 200th overall, and Kingery’s is 50th. (Fletcher’s is even more slappy at 254th.) So, Scott Kingery has nothing in common with Fletcher or Domingo, but does that mean he has a lot more in common with Bellinger, Trout, et al (not the Israeli airline), or rather…So what can we expect from Scott Kingery for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know, I play this fantasy baseball game shizz whatnot hullabaloo as well, so when I tell you about sleepers, everyone who I play against sees what I’m saying. Some sleepers are so juicy and under-the-radar I don’t want to discuss them. I want to store them away in my cheek until the perfect time to unleash them in my drafts. “Grey, are you chewing tobacco?”  *mumbles* That’s me at a draft squirreling away sleepers. The one fortunate (in this case, at least) thing about fantasy baseball ‘perting is everyone thinks they know better than everyone else, or because of a URL someone might think they know more. For unstints, a ‘pert can lose massively 12 years in a row, but if they write for a ‘quality’ site, then they’re considered more of a ‘pert than someone from aitch tea tea pee ess colon back slash back slash Razzball dot com. So, I can say Amed Rosario is a sleeper, but most won’t pay attention because they think they know better. Others will pay attention, and these are the ones we have to make sure have the wrong time for the draft. Muahahahahahaha–*coughs wildly* Sorry, just getting over an evil cough. So, what can we expect from Amed Rosario for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had a nightmare the week I was researching the Rockies. In the nightmare, I was a late round pick crushing it in Colorado’s system while “living” on peanuts, eating the cheapest things I could find whenever I had time to find them, and knowing in the depths of my soul that I would never really get a chance to play in Colorado. 

Then I woke up and saw Evan White was signing an extension in Seattle, where Jerry Dipoto apparently thinks it’s a good idea to play prospects. The fool. 

Anyway, some organizations are fun to think along with and easy to like. Colorado is not one of those organizations.

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Here’s what I said previously, “Cavan Biggio will be promoted today to join Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Soon, Bichette will join Guerrero and Biggio and the Jays’ master plan to reunite the 2005 All-Star Game in the luxury boxes will be complete.  “How’s Darin Erstad Jr. look?” “More like Darin Ersatz!” “I don’t get it.” “Ersatz means an inferior substitute.”  “Is that some thinking man’s humor? I don’t like that.” That was overheard in the Jays’ front office. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Biggio this preseason, ‘At 23, Biggio had a solid 2018 campaign at Double-A. He hit .252 with 26 homers, 20 steals, and a walk rate of nearly 18%. He has the pedigree and patience to make it in the pros and the power to hit 20-25 homers, but he also strikes out a lot and I’m not sure what position he’ll end up at. This could mean he ultimately finds a role as a super-utility type like a Swiss Army knife. Speaking of which, anyone know where Grey is, I want to harvest his liver.’ Hey, c’mon! This year, Biggio cut down on his Ks, and held his walks, hitting .306 in Triple-A, while adding in his usual mix of power and speed.” And that’s me quoting me and quoting Prospect Mike! It’s all super accurate information, so digest it. Digest my milkshake, as a not-100%-accurate foreign translation of There Will Be Blood would say. Digest it up! So, what can we expect from Cavan Biggio in 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As an attorney, I spend most of my days writing. So what do I want to do when I get home? Write more, of course. That’s why I’ll be writing for Razzball too now. I know what you’re thinking: what a fantastic introduction. My only response is I’d prefer to let my work speak for itself.

I’ve known for quite some time I wanted to write about José Abreu first this offseason. I usually lean toward discussing hitters anyway, but Abreu’s lackluster 2019 has knocked him down draft boards and there’s just too much value to ignore. Indeed, even noted smart person Tristan H. Cockroft has Abreu ranked 126th for 2020.

Abreu had an NFBC ADP of 87.2 entering last season’s drafts, and 44.1 the season before. But his 2019 wasn’t actually all that bad: .284 AVG/ 85 R/ 33 HR/ 123 RBI/ 2 SB. And he’s one of the most consistent players in baseball. Besides an injury-shortened 2018 — in which he nevertheless maintained a nice pace — Abreu had 5 straight seasons of hitting .284+ with at least 25 home runs (four of which were over 30 HR) and 100 RBI. For that reason, even as he enters his age-33 season, I’m not concerned with the floor, which is generally what I look for in the early rounds.

No, my guess is Cockroft and others have discounted Abreu because they’re worried about the ceiling. In fairness to them, with such consistency comes lowered expectations for a breakout, particularly as a player ages. But I think Abreu can outperform expectations. Let me show you why:

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It’s probably time to acknowledge that Arizona is good at this baseball thing. 

I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they are kind of proving they belong in the circle of trust. 

They’re going to make the occasional mistake like any organization, but the entire baseball world jumped down Arizona’s collective throat when people saw Paul Goldschmidt sold to the Cardinals for Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver and Andy Young. Now maybe Luke Weaver can’t stay healthy and maybe Carson Kelly is not as good as he looked last season, but you could argue that each comes close to the value of Goldschmidt in their own right, which does not account for Goldschmidt’s impending free agency and the Diamondbacks’ desire to get something in return for him while they still could.

And while I don’t mean to say anything negative about Jazz Chisholm, I think the Marlins sold a little early on Zac Gallen, which worked out well for Arizona, who has more positional players than places to play them with another couple talent waves cresting on the horizon.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?