2019 Draft Kit

NL WestNL Central | NL East || AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper signs… Note that signing can instantly eliminate a position battle detailed herein (although it sounds like only NL teams are involved right now).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Let’s set our baseline for the closer hierarchy as spring evolves. There hasn’t been that much in the way of news and Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned. He’s therefore unranked. If he signs he goes in the top tier. I shoveled snow this morning, so you’re getting winter weather themed tiers.

  • One guy I’m coming back around on is Archie Bradley. He dealt with a fingernail issue last season that sapped some bite from his curveball. He recently said, “I’m throwing some hammers this year. I’m going to have one of the best curveballs in the big leagues.”
  • I’m coming around on Matt Barnes. He should have the inside track to that job as the veteran.
  • People are paying too much for Pedro Strop in my eyes. There’s almost no chance he has that job to himself all year.
  • I’d be cautious on Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller. With Carlos Martinez nursing an arm issue he might be moving into the pen.
  • Some of the best pens to speculate on for early saves are going to be the Twins, Rays, and Mariners. All three team will be competitive. If someone takes the job and runs with it they’re a league winner.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

Going to the grocery store is always fun but there’s one thing about it that’s truly special. If you find the darkest corner of your favorite grocery store, you come across this beautiful bin that has unreal deals. My favorite thing to go for is a box of donuts. You know, the variety pack with favorites like the pink frosting donuts with the colorful sprinkles and the jelly filled ones with powdered sugar. But what makes it truly amazing is the fact that you get these donuts for a single dollar because it’s in this magical bin. While many of these donuts are usually expired, they’re still good, very good in fact. We have a similar thing in fantasy baseball. Sometimes people give up on these players just like those donuts but in many cases, they’re still very tasty. That’s what we’re going to do here, as we’ll dig into that bargain bin and find some players that fantasy owners have given up on too soon…

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In part 2 of the shortstop review, The Itch joins the show to talk about the recently completed Ditka, Sausage, and Dynasty league FYPD draft. B_Don and The Itch then dive into Adalberto Mondesi, Fernando Tatis Jr., and the SS position as a whole for fantasy and the real game. Go check out The Itch’s article about shove score here at Razzball. As the hot stove finally gets going (at the end of February), grab a cold brew and get your hot sausage here. 

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Moment of silence for the White Sox. Their gambit failed and now they’re stuck with every top free agent’s in-laws.  Their clubhouse chemistry is gonna be like Meet the Fockers but more Dominican.  Meet the Focktinez!  “That’s my cat, Señor Mal Suerte.  He uses el bano all by lonesome.”  That’s Yonder Alonso.  Bryce Harper’s dad eyes Señor Mal Suerte, then replies to Yonder, “You can milk anything with nipples.  Even Yolmer Sanchez.”  Any hoo!  Bryce Harper finally signed with the Phillies.  Halleberrylujah!  It’s not even Easter and baseball season has already risen!  Bryce Harper returns to the City of Brotherly Love, where he first visited with the Phillies’ front office six months ago.  “We want you to be a Philadelphia Phillie.”  “I want $330 million.”  “Okay.”  Then six months later, “You’ve got a deal!”  Harper and Boras drive one hard bargain.  They accept the first deal they’re given, but nearly a half year after they’re given it.  Bryce Harper’s gonna love playing in Philly.  They have the best fans in the world.  They’ve already announced May 1st is Rain Batteries On Bryce’s Head Day.  A crowd favorite, for sure.  I don’t think this changes anything about my preseason projections for him, tee bee aitch.  I always assumed he’d end up in Philly, New York or with the White Sox, because, brucely, those were the only three teams ever serious about him.  Maybe the Giants, but let’s just be glad that didn’t happen.  In my top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball, I kept his projections.  Only difference now will be if Gabe Kapler and Bryce’s dad get into an arm wrestling fight, and Daddy Harper wins and Bryce is randomly benched for Scott Kingery.  Also, I updated the top 80 outfielders and top 100 outfielders for Roman Quinn and Nick Williams, respectively, and my War Room has been updated.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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NL West | NL Central | NL East || AL West | AL Central | AL East

As the resident save chaser, I feel it’s my duty to give you some names that you maybe don’t expect to get shots at saves this year. Bullpen’s are more volatile than the fake friendships on the Real Housewives programs my wife watches to get back at me for monopolizing the TV during the NFL season. I did this exercise last spring and Wily Peralta was in there. I almost didn’t publish it after including him, if that gives you an idea of what we’re dealing with here. I’m not talking the closer in waiting or guy that got 30 saves two seasons ago. I’m going to do my best to write a name so repulsive you consider never reading my column again. We’ll go division by division, starting with the NL East.

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This is about the guys you forgot existed or hopefully most guys in your league are not looking for. The goal is to snipe these guys on the waiver wire or late in your draft. In dynasty formats, it is crucial to find the value guys late after all the big-name prospects are taken. Your dynasty farm system can help you in many ways with trades and mid-season call-ups. Hopefully this helps you find some gems where people are not looking. Keep in mind ALL these players are looking at call-ups this year…

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Ditka could’ve showed up at Spring Training and made the Baseball Hall of Fame without playing a regular season game. Ditka would’ve brought back the two-way player in baseball well before Shohei Ohtani. Ditka would DH in the NL. Ditka’s ‘stache would put such fear into hitters when he was on the mound that they would leave the batter’s box, never to return.

Donkey Teeth and B_Don discuss the young Mets SS Amed Rosario in part 1 of the shortstop profile this week. Amed showed a little power, and in a game where stolen bases are harder to come by in bunches, Rosario stole 24 bases in 2018. There were some swing changes that the guys noticed during their review and look for some growth in 2019.

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Whole lot of reasons I never expected to be writing this schmohawk post.  I don’t usually write a top 20 starter schmohawk post, because I would never draft some of those guys, so you know how I feel about them, but this got me ruminating.  I ruminate, y’all!  And I was thinking how I would never draft Jose Ramirez, Matt Carpenter or other schmohawks this year, so why wouldn’t I write a Noah Syndergaard schmohawk post?  Just because I’m not drafting someone does not exclude them from being stamped schmohawk, it is the one requirement.  I only wish I wrote the Clayton Kershaw schmohawk post before he broke.  Man, was that shizz obvious eh-eff.  I mean, as eh-eff as eh-eff gets.  Another thing that nailed it home for me that I had to write this post was Noah Syndergaard’s current ADP:  44.  In a slow draft I’m doing right now, he went 37th!  Have you people lost your mind?  Seriously, put your medulla oblongata on the back of a milk carton, cause shizz is lost.  He’s being drafted in front of Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Jack–Okay, he’s being drafted in front of all but 13 starters.  Clayton Kershaw is another guy who’s <biggest font the world has>still</> being drafted in an area of drafts where it makes me want to use a word that don’t mean anything like loopid.  Just because you live in your mother’s basement does not mean you need to be a cellar dweller in your fantasy league too.  C’mon, guys and five girl readers, boost up your self-esteem!  Turn to your mirror and tell yourself you’re good enough.  You don’t have a mirror because you threw it out after your last bout of self-esteem fail?  Then look at the reflection of yourself in the toilet and give yourself a pep talk!  You’re better than drafting Noah Syndergaard (and Clayton Kershaw)!  Anyway, what can we expect from Noah Syndergaard for 2019 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not Your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

Starting pitchers: You can’t live with em, you can’t win your fantasy baseball league and then use the championship trophy to score babes without em. I know, you won’t be able to do that second part either way, but it’s called fantasy baseball for a reason.

Starting pitchers remind me of grandparents. Oh boy, where’s Donkey going with this one? Don’t worry Grey’s random italicized voice, I won’t get into my James Shields pants peeing analogy.

When they’re young, visits with gramps and granny are full of excitement and unexpected gifts; those times are as magical as a Walker Buehler vs. Jack Flaherty locker room sword fight. But as time passes, and our elders age, it’s not all ice cream, pizza and 13 strikeout gems. Hips are fractured and ulnar collateral ligaments are severed. The pizza and ice cream is replaced by prune juice and fruit cakes, with a side of 8 earned runs in 2/3rds of an inning.  And of course there’s the erectile dysfunction, brought on by another Tyler Chatwood misfire.

In this biweekly top 100 starting pitchers column, I’ll track developments of decreased blood-flow, fractured hips and, most importantly, those mythical GILFs (Grandmothers I‘d Like to play Fantasy baseball with; what did you think it stood for?) as they rise across the fantasy pitching horizon. Here’s a little GILF tease along with my preseason top 100 to hold all you grandmother lovers over…

Please, blog, may I have some more?