Happy weird nether land between Thanksgiving and Christmas just known as holidays. But not in the “Happy holidays” way that pisses off my Aunt on Facebook. No room for Red Cup anger in this piece, there’s important news to discuss. Not sure if you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, but something is amiss in the A-T-L. At the moment 13 prospects from the past few international classes have been declared free agents, including big names like Kevin Maitan, Yunior Severino, Abraham Gutierrez, and Livan Soto. To sort through all this madness I’ve brought on one of the few people on the planet that’s had eyes on a majority of these prospects. That man is Jason Woodell of Prospectstorm.com, Prospect 1500, and @jasonatthegame on the Twitter machine. Jason and I discuss the penalties, repercussions, and the potential outcomes. Jason then goes player by player, giving you scouting reports on each of the fantasy worthy names among players released. Truth be told, the audio is a little rough, Jason was traveling for Thanksgiving, and made the call from the car. Enjoy the smooth sounds of the road.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I’m so effin’ stuffed from stuffing and turkey and turkey stuffing and–Why didn’t the Indians just pounce on the Pilgrims when they were in a food coma?  Any hoo!  Happy Thanksgiving, now let’s get down to bidness, as Hip Grey says.  In my Harrison Bader fantasy outlook post, I went over a lot of what I think of the Cards’ outfield.  Same pretty much holds true for Tyler O’Neill.  Find Bader’s name and replace with O’Neill.  And, I guess, replace Harrison with Tyler, otherwise you’re gonna be reading about Harrison O’Neill who does not exist.  If there’s a Harrison O’Neill reading this, sorry, you’re Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.  All I’ll say specifically about Tyler O’Neill regarding playing time is, if he’s the rookie outfielder call-up for the Cards, it likely hurts Bader and vice versa.  Okay, with that out of the way, Tyler O’Neill is a sexy ball of meat.  There’s a GIF below that I admired for about twenty-five minutes.  He looks a little like Jeff Bagwell, right?  He has much worse swing tendencies than Bagwell, but I’ll get to that in paragraph numero dos.  Right now, let’s admire that GIF.  Short, compact, monster power.  Makes me want to buy groceries from Tom Thumb.  Wait, what?  Well, I guess if subliminal advertising is gonna work on me from that clip, it’s not Cox.  By the way, Landrum backwards means nothing, so not sure what that outfield fence is getting at.

So, what can we expect from Tyler O’Neill for 2018 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

This feels more like of a functional rookie post vs. a drool worthy one.  Which is odd, because I don’t know if Jorge Alfaro is a rookie.  I looked into it, and, from what I can tell, Alfaro still has his rookie eligibility.  But if he doesn’t, look at this as the first sleeper post that’s boring vs. the last rookie post that’s boring.  Man, I am selling the shizz out of this.  Any hoo!  Jorge Alfaro.  Confession Alert!  I ask Prospector Ralph for about ten names of rookies that will impact this year and then go off that list for these rookie posts.  I mean, who better to ask than the guy that knows more about prospects than anyone else?  Well, at least more about prospects than anyone I know, which, in my myopic world, is the same thing.  Any hoo, Part 2: Return To Hoosville, Ralph didn’t give me Jorge Alfaro as a name to cover.  I don’t think he likes him, y’all!  I can understand his trepidation.  Alfaro’s a catcher, that’s kinda boring.  For fantasy, however, a catcher that has an everyday job and won’t be drafted until late in redraft leagues has value, especially one with huge raw power.  So, what can we expect from Jorge Alfaro for 2018 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It’s with heavy hearts that we bid adieu to the dynamic duo of Halph. That’s right, it is with great sadness that I inform our listening public that Michael Halpern has moved on to the high stakes world of Bird Law. Our once loyal podcast host is needed by our feathered friends. Remember loyal listeners, bird law in this country is not governed by reason. With that said, the one the only Lance Brozdowski will be joining me as my permanent co-host until, he too grows up. I’m Peter Pan y’all, not to worry, old Ralphie ain’t going nowhere. Unfortunately Lance is unavailable until after Thanksgiving, so you got me for at least an episode. In today’s show I touch on Peoria’s stacked Arizona Fall League team. As well as my thoughts on Luis Urias, Mitch Keller, Kyle Lewis, and Eric Filia. It’s sure to be more Endorphin Ralph than you can handle. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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I nearly didn’t write this post.  Wasn’t that I didn’t have love for Gleyber Torres.  Though, my love for Gleyber is admittedly less coalesced into an actual thing than you’re gonna find from just about any Yankees fan.  “Ya godda be fahkin jokin wit me right here, kid.  Gleyber Torres is gonna be the greatest of all-time, son.  All.  Time.  I wanna coalesce my fist into ya fahkin head with your sissy-boy words.  Why don’t ya use a word like fuhgeddaboudit?  Scared of being too real?  Before you answer, I need to go with my mom to have her mustache waxed.”  That’s your run-of-the-mill Yankees fan.  See, Gleyber is already being fitted for Monument Park in Yankee Stadium before he even plays a game.  By the way, fitting someone for Monument Park is like how Jabba the Hutt fit Han Solo for carbon.  Little known fact, Monument Park in Yankee Stadium is the only place in the MLB where players are immortalized by being buried there.  Kidding…or am I?!  You need to Google it to verify the answer, don’t lie.  Any hoo!  Brian Cashman said the other day Gleyber Torres would get every opportunity to win the 3rd base job in Spring Training.  Chase Headley said, “I have a love letter from a Padres fan named, Jay Wrong, that says I should be playing 162 games a year.  On the reg.”  So, what can we expect from Gleyber Torres for 2018 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

What’s the difference between a doughnut and a Dave Dombrowski Farm system? The doughnut usually leaves some crumbs behind! Wocka Wocka! In grand double D fashion, the long-necked one, emptied the farm to upgrade the major league squad. Some moves worked (Chris Sale & Craig Kimbrel) others have fallen flat(I.E. Travis Shaw+ for Tyler Thornburg). Regardless, the Red Sox minor leagues have acted as Dombrowski’s personal check book, in the early part of his tenure. For the past ten years Boston has had one of the strongest farm systems in the game, producing talent like Pedroia, Lester, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Bogaerts, Bradley, Betts, Benintendi, and recently Rafael Devers. The team now faces the challenge of restocking the once proud farm, following three years of trades, and a lost international period, due to a penalty received for rule violations. The last two drafts have been solid, but unspectacular, and have taken the Red Sox in a different direction. The focus has been heavily on pitching, giving the Sox depth in an area where they’re typically weak. Six of the following Top Ten is comprised of pitchers, and four of the six were drafted over the past two years. It likely would have been an even split between pitchers and positional players if not for the unfortunate, and tragic passing of July 2nd gem, Danny Flores. The shocking loss certainly leaves an already thin system further exposed. Will it be completely emptied to land Giancarlo Stanton? Or will the Sox stand pat this offseason, add in the June draft, and look to be players at next year’s trade deadline? One thing is for sure, with Dombrowski at the controls, someone’s getting traded in this beeyatch.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

The concept is simple: phrase hypothetical scenarios where events that didn’t happen actually did, or events that did happen actually didn’t (I’m already confused). Detailing how these changes – or lack thereof – would have impacted the coming 2018 fantasy baseball season creates some interesting “what ifs”.

What if Giancarlo Stanton didn’t adjust his mechanics?

For anybody with an idea of what Giancarlo Stanton looked like in the box from years prior, his shift from June to July of 2017 was noticeable – very noticeable. While I often find more satisfaction in subtle changes – 2017 Chris Taylor comes to mind – if a change pushes said player into the MVP discussion, I put my particulars aside.

I’ve always found Stanton’s motions in the box exceptionally rhythmic. Flat bat, considerable bat speed, two-handed follow through with a uniquely refined path to contact that creates head-scratching home runs like this one.

Stanton closed off his stance considerably, becoming an aesthetic comp to Adrian Beltre, plus 20 pounds and six inches (of height – get your mind out of the gutter!).  “TewksbaryHitting.com” has a nice breakdown of this evolution, despite having nothing to do with Barry Manilow or whatever a “tewk” is. Their freeze frame gif captures the gradual rotation of Stanton’s upper body prior to the pitch, making his numbers more visible to the pitcher.

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In his brief cup of coffee last year, Harrison Bader hit three homers, stole two bases in only 85 ABs.  Mr. Prorater says, “He’s a 20 homer, 15 steal guy in a full season of at-bats.  Also, if I saved a dollar a day my whole life, I wouldn’t be in hock up to my eyeballs.  Prorating sucks!”  Damn, Mr. Prorater, so happy and sad — sappy?  Nah, prolly not.  A 20-homer, 15-steal guy is nothing like what he is though, right?  In Triple-A in 431 ABs, he hit 20 homers and stole 15 bags.  Okay, that’s spooky like your grandma’s linen closet.  “I don’t seem so dumb now, do I?  By the way, my mortgage is $3200 a month, so if you hang out for an hour, I’m gonna have to charge you $4.44, based on a 30-day month.”  Okay, Mr. Prorater is now getting annoying.  Prospector Ralph placed Harrison Bader 29th overall on his top 50 prospects for 2018 fantasy baseball.  There, he said, “More than likely Bader will surpass his rookie limits in the first half of next year.  My hope is the Cardinals do Bader a solid and trade him to a place he can start opening day.  Because, make no mistake, he is ready.  Bader’s fatal flaw is his lack of power vs. right-handers, which could see him on the weak side of the platoon early in his career.  Grey’s fatal flaw is his hairlip.”  Ouch!  Totally unnecessary.  So, what can we expect from Harrison Bader for 2018 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

I’d like to take this time on a Tuesday morning to formally apologize to one Austin Riley, Braves third baseman. I should have ranked you at least 6th in my third base rankings. I didn’t, I ranked you 10th. I tried to make up for it by slipping you into the Top 100, at 95th, but even that feels a little low. You’ve really made good in the Fall League slashing .302/.362/.698 with 6 homers, and 17 RBI. He’s been part of a dynamic Braves quartet that I profiled in my Arizona Fall League check-in, and my Braves 2018 Minor League Preview. Riley comes along at a perfect time in prospects lists, as there’s a definite shortage on dynamic talent in the corner infield. After a difficult stretch in the Florida State League for the first two-thirds of his season, Riley was promoted to AA Mississippi, and the power returned. In 48 games at AA, Riley hit .315/.389/.511, with 8 homers, and 27 RBI, slugging numbers much more in line with his career norms. Riley has credited his continued improvement to the Braves developmental programs, who have worked at shortening Riley’s swing, and improving his conditioning. Both areas where he’s made significant strides. He’s eased concerns regarding his defense, getting mostly average grades with his glove, but plus and double plus grades on his arm. Meaning it’s increasingly likely Riley sticks at the hot corner long term. It’s usually the wrong time to buy a player when he’s coming off a noisy Fall League, but Riley is the rare exception where he’s widely unowned in dynasty formats of 14 teams or less. Here’s some other Minor League news…

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The Phils have Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis, who was played for 162 games last year, something I still cannot get over.  Imagine a team playing Freddy Galvis 162 games.  I can’t and it happened!  Any hoo!  Both of these guys are arbitration eligible which could make them attractive in a trade to a smaller market team.  As if you can’t imagine Cesar Hernandez or Galvis playing for the A’s next year.  Plus, the Phils just hired “Hottie With His Shirt Off” Gabe Kapler.  The Jacked Jew!  By the way, if you would tell anyone who doesn’t know better that there’s a Jewish manager for the Phils named Gabe and he’s sexy AF, they’d tell you that you are absolutely bonkers.  There hasn’t been a handsome Gabe since the 1979 Battle of the Network Stars when Isaac from The Love Boat sprayed water in Gable Kaplan’s face.  Gabe Kapler is like the visual representation of a John Legend song.  Okay, enough homoerotic fantasy baseball.  Scott Kingery!  That’s who we’re for.  I mention Cesar Hernandez and Galvis because they could be standing in the way of Kingery’s playing time.  Kingery plays predominantly 2nd base, which means Cesar would have to move, but Hernandez could play short, which works if Galvis moves.  So, what can we expect from Scott Kingery for 2018 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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