2019 Recent Videos

Generally, when it comes to closers I’m not interested in blowing too much draft capital. There are two reasons why. First, closers lose their jobs so frequently—by virtue of injury, poor high-leverage performance in small samples, or trade deadline deals—that it’s not worth investing too much draft capital in them. Second, because so many lose their jobs, others will always be available on the waiver wire at various times throughout the season. Look no further than 2019’s top two closers who both lost their jobs: Edwin Diaz and Blake Treinen. They not only lost the closer role, but they also wasted top-75 picks for their fantasy owners.

Recently, I took part in a mock draft where I selected three closers: Brad HandTaylor Rogers, and Ian Kennedy. I got them at picks 113, 176, and 224, respectively. After the draft, I wrote about my picks, which required me to research them in greater detail. And diving deeper into Hand, Rogers, and Kennedy only strengthened my resolve not to draft closers early.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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This Joe Musgrove sleeper is admittedly a bit of a stretch where some things just have to go right. Or rather, some things that have gone right in the past need to go right again in succession and just go ahead and name Shiv, you know you want to, Logan Roy. That’s not a spoiler, because after a show ends, my brain wipes clean of everything that happened during a season like a specialized Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if that’s what it was and I haven’t forgot that, as well. Just a cursory view of Joe Musgrove and you’ll see a less than impressive starter — 11-12/4.44/1.22/157 in 170 1/3 IP, and now that I spell it out like that, why again was I interested in Joe Musgrove? Now I’m having some Musgrovings about his ability to do the job. My first inclination was to write a Mitch Keller sleeper (and maybe I still will), but we’re 150 words in and I’ll be damned if I’m backtracking now. The Pirates got rid of Ray Searage and his special brand of coaching that managed to make every starter terrible. Don’t worry about Searage; he quickly was hired by the SETI Institute. He will teach a whole new group of people on the best way to elicit contact. So, what can we expect from Joe Musgrove for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At some point in the summer of nineteen after twenty, a young boy by the name of Grey Albright who often went by Fantasy Master Lothario and screamed at people to stop abbreviating it, came upon another boy by the name of Ryan Yarbrough. Monsieur Albright the Third didn’t know much about The One Who Went By Yarbrough. He just grabbed him in a deep league and decided to make like a raft and ride him on a stream. Expecting a Level 5 rapids, Jeff Bezos, the name Grey Albright uses when he checks into hotels, clutched the straps and held on for dear life. How’sever, unbeknownst to Señor Albrighto, he was about to go for the ride of his life and like he told the concierge at the hotel where he was staying under the name Jeff Bezos, “This is prime, baby!” In May, Yarbrough had a 1.64 ERA, and we were riding high over those rapids! Then, in June, he had a 3.86 ERA and we were riding ‘just okay’ but not bad considering everyone else was a Cleveland Streamer. Then, in July, a 2.52 ERA and we started to soar again, but could it continue? Yes, rhetorical question, he could! In August, his ERA fell to 1.50 in 30 IP and we were floating off into the afterlife. Then he had a 7.52 ERA in September and we were in hell, but never the hoo! It was a great run, but who is Ryan Yarbrough really? So caught up in the four-month stream, I never even looked at this man who made me a raft of expectations and wonder. *opens player page* He throws 88 MPH?! Oh, Hayzeus Cristo, goodbye. Or…is it hello?! So, what can we expect from Ryan Yarbrough for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Once upon a time, Cleveland had too many catchers.

The fantasy baseball community knew just what to do in this scenario: throw a killer New Years party, trade Yan Gomes, start Francisco Mejia, and bench Roberto Perez. 

Cleveland scanned this obvious play and disregarded it, attempting instead some inverse combination of the above by staying home to watch a movie, trading Mejia for Brad Hand and starting Gomes, who played well and endeared himself to a fan base that was frustrated to see Mejia go. 

That off-season—last winter—fans were livid to see the club swap Gomes for Jefry Rodríguez, Daniel Johnson and Andruw Monasterio. Yanny G was set to cost about $7 million, and the inferior Roberto Perez was under contract for about two million. Nasty things were said. Baseball Universe decided Cleveland was cheap and dumb for how it handled the catching surplus. 

One year later, Roberto Perez is a solid OBP source with excellent defense and plus power for the position, while Yan Gomes is a $7 million backup in Washington. 

So my thinking in regard to this Kluber trade or any Cleveland move: que sera sera. 

The Yandy Diaz trade for Jake Bauers did not go as well, but in general, Baseball Universe loved that one, and this team knows what it’s doing. I’m sure it’s depressing to lose the Klubot and Bauer in a matter of months, but if anyone can develop the pitching to make fans forget, it’s Cleveland. Maybe it’s not the perfect trade, but Emmanuel Clase is going to bring positive value across the life of his contract. Open-market relievers are pricey these days. And we have little reason for confidence regarding the state of Kluber’s health. Could be this one looks bad next New Year, but whatever will be, will be. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not sure if I’ve ever liked Marcus Stroman before for fantasy baseball. As a human, he seems like a good dude. I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him because we’re both 28 years old, five-foot seven-inch men and we could make fun of Jose Altuve’s shortness for hours. “Hahahahaha, he’s only five feet and six inches? That is hilarious! Yo, Altuve, wait here while we go on the Mad Hatter Tea Cups ride without you!” Then Stroman would howl, “Yo, Altuve, want help getting cereal down from the top shelf?” Then I would high-five the crap out of Stroman, barely out of reach of Altuve’s high-five. Oh, milord, Stroman and I would have so many good times! Unfortch, his lack of strikeouts has always made me nonplussed (informal North American definition) and I’ve either actively ignored him or disliked him for fantasy. Well, those days are over for us two seriously-close-to-average-height millennial men. (By the way, I’m not 28 years old or five-foot-seven, so stop believing everything you read here or on Facebook!) Last year Marcus Stroman went 10-13/3.22/1.31/159 in 184 1/3 IP. What’s that, a 7.8 K/9? Oh, man, that is seriously bleh, did I get caught up in how much we had in common and forget how much we had that separated us? Hmm, I hope not. So, what can we expect from Marcus Stroman for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dinelson Lamet returned from Tommy John surgery last year better than Tommy John returned from his own surgery, and he invented the stupid surgery after a night out with the guys. Here’s a conversation with Bill Russell of the 1976 Dodgers, and Tommy John:

“Hey, are you the same Bill Russell that plays basketball?”
“Stop asking me that. You know I’m not.”
“I think I’m blind from Me Surgery.”
“You’re not blind and stop calling it ‘Me surgery.'”
“It’s Tommy John surgery and I’m Tommy John, so to me it’s Me Surgery, and you don’t know if it made me blind because it’s my surgery.”
“I know it didn’t make you blind because you drove us to this bar!”
“One day everyone will call it Tommy John surgery.”
“I hate you.”

And that’s how Bill Russell of the 1976 Dodgers began calling UCL reconstruction surgery, ‘Tommy John Is A Pain In The Ass surgery.’ So, what can we expect from Dinelson Lamet for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Someone wins the off-season every winter. The baseball calendar invites us to imagine how a power bat like Edwin Encarnacion and a high OBP catcher like Yasmani Grandal will impact a lineup. It’s math we can do more easily than we can measure the addition of a great left tackle to a football team. We can plug Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez into Chicago’s rotation and add up their wins above replacement. It’s all very earnest and joyful and helps us push through the expanding darkness. 

Course, someone wins summer in football, too, but it feels very different. Football has no WAR, ironically enough, and while I think that’s at least as flawed a statistic as batting average, WAR is currently treated with reverence due to the shorthand evaluative powers it grants the baseball world. 

While it’s efficacy can be debated, WAR dominates our world, and there can be no doubt the White Sox have gone to WAR this winter. The people are singing songs of freedom and glory—not just for these winter wins but also for the prospect waterfall coming this Spring. 

And who doesn’t love to see a slow-cooked recipe come together, especially during the holiday season?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week, I posted an article about Three Prospects Poised to Skyrocket in 2020. While I didn’t realize it at the time, all three of those guys are on NL teams, so it definitely wasn’t the most helpful for guys in AL-Only leagues. For that reason, this week I’m going to be covering three guys from AL teams who are going to breakout big time in 2020.

If you notice that the six prospects I’ve covered over these past two articles are all position players, that’s not by accident. You may have seen the acronym “TINSTAAPP” around the baseball world before, meaning “There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect”. While it’s a bit of an oversimplification, the reasoning behind it is that pitching prospects are significantly more risky than their position-player counterparts, so you’re more likely to get value out of a hitter than a pitcher. Additionally, the adjustment curve for pitchers in the majors is a bit steeper, and few pitching prospects contribute at a high level immediately. Many prospects struggle massively in their debuts (i.e. Berrios), and some even take a few years (i.e. Giolito, Glasnow) before really figuring it out (By the way if you’re looking for a pitcher like Berrios who struggled in their debut, I highly recommend picking up Mitch Keller.). Because of this, many former top prospects will end up hitting the waiver wire in even deep dynasty leagues, so I think you should invest in position players way more, and for that reason I’m focusing mainly on hitters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I believe I wrote a Brandon Woodruff sleeper post last year, or maybe I just told everyone to draft him and ranked him way higher than everyone else. Either way, I win. I will be sanctioning a steel worker to fashion me a giant “I knew Brandon Woodruff was good before everyone else” trophy in the shape of a giant cup, which I will fill with Hong Kong milk tea and boba. For the clubhouse celebration, I will put on goggles, insert a giant metal boba straw into my mouth and spray myself in the face with milk tea and boba while slurping up…The Fallen Boba Soldiers. What a terrific clubhouse celebration I’m having in my kitchen that I’ve covered with a plastic tarp so Cougs doesn’t yell at me. I’ve reached the pinnacle of the fantasy baseball industry! Or I’m having a fever dream. Tomato-tomato-said-with-a-different-emphasis. Last year Brandon Woodruff went 11-3/3.62/1.14/143 in 121 2/3 IP, which was essentially a top ten starter with how great pitching was last year. Okay, I kid. Kinda. But if he didn’t miss two months with an oblique injury, we might not even be here because Woodruff would’ve been a top ten starter. Thank you, oblique! Whatever the hell it/you is/are. Not only do I not know an oblique’s pronoun, I also don’t know if it’s singular or plural. So, what can we expect from Brandon Woodruff for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the Jays. That’s…interesting. *scrambling to see Ryu’s interleague ERA vs. AL teams* 3.84 ERA in 86 2/3 IP with a 8.8 K/9 and this is still too small a sample. Plus, as I always say, you can’t just say a guy’s away stats are what he’d now do when he’s calling a place home. Also, what is going on with Ryu’s early draft price? Maybe it’s still early for ADP and I shouldn’t assign any real truth to where guys are going, but like Hugh Jackman’s marriage to his grandmother, it’s very real how late Ryu’s been going so far this year. I get it, I get it, I GET IT! He’s not a 1-something ERA pitcher, so y’all are compensating for that, but like me with my Happy Socks in my pants, you’re overcompensating. He didn’t just have a Cy Young-type year last year. He had a 1.97 ERA in 2018, too. In six seasons, his career ERA is 2.98. Okay, fine, ERA is stupid. He has a 1.01 WHIP two years in a row. WHIP’s stupid too? Fine, but these are two of the categories you’re hoping to get from your starters. Wins are just stupid stupid. Nothing can be figured from those. So, that leaves us with Ks. He has a 8 K/9 and a 1.2 BB/9, so, you got it, you’ve figured out a reason to not absolutely love Ryu. He’s merely a 2.75/1.01/150 guy. Shucks, what a shame. For penance, I will dye my skin whiter and cat-o-nine-tails my back like a villain in a Dan Brown book. Even if you think the AL could be less kind for Ryu, how much worse will he be from a 2.75/1.01 ratio guy? Fifty points on ERA? Sixty? Five points on WHIP? Ten? He suddenly won’t have one of the best walk rates in baseball? I’m going to be conservative with his projections and they still look great. For 2020, I’ll give Ryu projections of 13-6/3.32/1.09/153 in 167 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?