2020 Draft Kit

Billy Bob was gracefully galloping across the Texas plains, chasing that magnificent butterfly he had seen five minutes earlier. The sun was blazing, the wind was lazy, and the CV-19 was raging, but all Billy Bob could think of was calibrating his senses so that when he swung his net in the air, the butterfly would be his. But then…………..aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. He was oblivious to the human-sized sinkhole and fell feet first for what seemed like hours, but in reality was just a few seconds. After gravity was defeated by the floor, Billy Bob ended up in a cavern about 10 x 10 x 10. In the middle stood a stand with a book placed on top of it. Billy Bob got up, shook the dirt off his clothes, and proceeded to inspect: The Book of Isiah. Intrigued, Billy Bob turned the page. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 24 years old, 5′ 10″ and 176 pounds. Meh. .238/.299/.322 slash with 1 home run and 3 stolen bases in 222 plate appearances last season. MEH. About to shake his fists and curse the gods, Billy Bob then turned one more page: .378/.410/.757 slash with 4 home runs in 39 plate appearances during Spring Training. Maybe Kiner-Falefa was a caterpiller and is now ready to transform. Did Billy Bob find his buttefly after all?

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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“The best things in life (baseball season) are worth waiting for.”    –Pete Alonso

To draft or not to draft?  There doesn’t seem to be much reason to draft a fantasy baseball team these days, but there also seems to be absolutely no reason not to. As long as you’re drafting online, it’s certainly a socially-distanced-friendly activity, since you don’t need to be in the same city, state, or even country with your fellow drafters.  And is drafting now really any weirder than the drafts I was doing in November and December, knowing that the baseball season was months away? Well, yes, it’s a million times weirder, but like I said, I can’t really think of a reason not to do it.  I’m confident that if the baseball-related worst happens and the season is cancelled altogether (wow, I don’t even like typing that), any leagues I’ve paid for will be refunded, and many of us suddenly have quite a bit more time than usual to spare these days, so there’s nothing to lose, right?  I have my last scheduled NFBC online draft set for later this week, so I guess I’ll just try to jump in and make the best of it, both for the sake of my current psyche as well as for the future hopes of the team I’ll be drafting.  It’s been admittedly difficult for me to keep a positive mindset lately, what with the thing that I usually turn to to make me calm and happy during tough times having been taken away indefinitely. I’m going to try to focus less on the notion that baseball might not be back for a really, really long time, and more on the thought that there’s still a decent chance that the players whose names I’m thinking about, adding to my queue, and rostering on my pretend teams now will be playing real-life major league baseball in a few months.  I’m excited enough just at the thought of them playing, period… and if they lead me to a little fantasy baseball success while they’re at it, that will be some scrumptious frosting on an already delicious cake.

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It’s the age, I’m told. Then, with only the faintest of amber glowing from behind my Squidward Tentacles nightlight, I catch a glimpse of myself. It’s the middle of the night, yet my hair is still perfectly coiffed; my mustache tenderly manicured; my eyes a dazzling shade of hazel, and I can’t help but be taken aback by my handsomeness. Well, instead of myself greeting myself every night from now on, I’ve printed out my Tout Wars team and hung it from the mirror, because it is sexier than even I could ever hope to be. Frankly, I’m worried that I might be in my office when nature calls for a twinkle, and head into the other room to find my much older wife making out with my printed-out team. “Get off the printed name of Juan Soto, Cougs! That’s my fantasy team you’re dry humping!” For those unaware, it’s 5×5, with OBP instead of AVG, two-catcher, 12-team NL-Only league, so don’t ask me how much Mike Trout went for. Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Welp. Everything was going perfectly according to the preseason plan. An entire finding aces preview series, a delightful set of early top 100 rankings, and then a final updated Top 100 starters list to be released today for the final 10 days of draft season. Things changed, and they changed quickly. As we don’t have any semblance of an idea when the season will start after the suspension due to COVID-19, it isn’t prudent to provide any sort of updated rankings at this point. Therefore, I’m going to provide weekly digestible pitcher profiles while we remain in limbo. Hopefully, we all do our part to contribute to the easing of the effectiveness of this disease for the greater good and baseball is back soon. Until that point, I’ll be here weekly to touch on pitchers with discrepancies between my original top 100 ranking and their ADP.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

It seems like the last week has lasted all year, things have taken quite a turn.  This time last year I was blissfully writing about Razzball Commenter Leagues ADP and wondering how I was going to manage all these drafts coming up.  Now, we’re not really sure what the future holds for our silly little game. The only thing we do know is that we have at least two weeks and likely much longer to wait until MLB Opening Day.  In the meantime, while we’re all being home-bodies we’ll do the only thing we can do until we hear “Play Ball” and that’s draft and talk about drafts. We’ve already taken a handful of leagues that hadn’t filled and moved their drafts into the two week window MLB has given us.  We’re drafting into the first weeks of April now, so sign up for another league or two to give yourself something to do the next few weeks. Just make sure to Lysol the laptop in between uses and stay safe out there friends. Remember, this is about keeping those most vulnerable safe, so do your part people.  Now, let’s dive into another week’s worth of draft data and see what info we can glean.

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This league has been going on so long I’m not sure if I’m a friend or family at this point. Think I started as a friend, became a frenemy, briefly became family through a cousin’s marriage to Dalton Del Don’s uncle, Don Del Don, then, after a messy divorce and some ugly text messages, I was called a friend again, but it was like when you say you are friends with the one person from your high school class who is now a millionaire, but they don’t really know you, i.e., we’re Facebook friends, but they’ve muted me and I don’t know it. For those unfamiliar, this is a standard 5×5, 16-team league, and, since it’s Yahoo, it’s 4 outfielders and two UTIL. As always, I used Rudy’s War Room, which is available with a subscription to our Razzball Tools. (I’m not peeing in your water and calling it Corona, we’re still drafting up in this mug, because the season will happen; it’s on my vision board!) Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family draft recap:

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The thing about now is that writing about anything feels like writing about nothing. Thus is the nature of fantasy sports in a global crisis. The nature of sports themselves, we’re seeing. 

I’m supposed to be on Spring Break, man.

Or my students are. I never do much with it, if I’m honest. Just baseball stuff, really. I’ll watch last year all winter and try to see as much as I can in Spring, which is typically a lot over Spring Break. Used to play some video games. These days it’s just Fifa 16 because it only takes about ten minutes to pop in and finish a game. Think I just won the 2022 World Cup with Portugal. Just a fluke they offered me the job all those years ago.

Still had time for a draft with CBS around noon Friday. 15-team roto. First one post-shutdown for me, and though it was just a mock, it felt like pretty serious. I’m not sure why. I think it’s the fourth mock I’ve done with them this off-season, and I’m very thankful to Scott White and the crew for inviting me, but the previous ones were very clearly mocks while I was in the room, if you know what I mean. Maybe it was just me feeling like everything is serious. My wife can’t stop coughing and can’t get tested. Our daughter is around her a lot. It’s hard to avoid. 

Anyway here’s the team: (overall pick number in parenthesis)

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If you’ve been living under a rock allow us to bring you into the light of day. Spring training has been cancelled and Opening Day is delayed by at least two weeks. Cheating scandals aside, the only thing that has delayed play like this in the past 30 years is labor strife. In this fight Covid-19 is the 800 lb. gorilla and the league is nothing but a little grease spot under its paw. So this is no battle at all. Seriously, this is worse than Charlie vs Willy Wonka in 1976.

That being said, eventually, probably, hopefully, there will be baseball. And there are some battles of note out there. One in particular is who will be the Texas Rangers’ center fielder? It’s not as clear cut as you think.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

While I’d rather be writing a Corona post on Kenedy Corona, the current pandemic which has gripped the world the last month has now arrived in America and already affected the greatest two pillars of our society: Tom Hanks and Baseball. While apple pie seems to be unaffected, I can say that Tom Hanks infection has directly led to my loss of appetite, ergo, apple pie is affected! Science, baby. Grey, of course, had an amazing write-up covering the shuttering of spring training and delay to the regular season and so with this post, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the macro and micro effects that will occur moving forward. I’d also like to keep a sharp focus on just the impact that COVID-19 will have on baseball and fantasy baseball only, so while I realize it’d be weird to ignore the human cost entirely, I want to state that for the most recent CDC guidelines, go here, and there’s a fantastic live map tracker here. And be sure to start showering yourself in Purell hourly and avoid touching yourself. (Bathing suit areas should be safe. And if it isn’t, well, may God have mercy on us all…)*

*The last two recommendations were jokes, so don’t sue bro. But to be honest, a Purell shower doesn’t sound like a net-negative, so who knows…

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While the COVID-19 outbreak may be wreaking havoc in the real-life world of sports, fantasy baseball is at least unscathed, for the most part. In fact, the delay for Opening Day announcement lends value to some of the injured superstars whose ADPs have slipped because of their injuries. If you strike while the iron’s hot, you just may be able to grab yourself a bargain stud now that there’s extra recovery time before the season begins.

Please, blog, may I have some more?