2019 Recent Videos

Just days after the Toronto Blue Jays inked Hyun-Jin Ryu, we meet as scheduled many months ago to discuss their minor league system. The fates are aligned this Holiday season. 

And it’s pretty good–this system–considering what it graduated to the big leagues last year.

Is it Christmas-morning good? 

Like gathering around the prospect fire with your favorite baseball humans good? 

Maybe not, but it’s good enough in pitching that help should be coming soon enough to pair with the promising young hitters Toronto’s assembled. Don’t sleep on Tellez and Teoscar, by the way. They aren’t exactly what you’re hoping to find under the tree, sure, but they’re solid stocking stuffers within reach of 30 home runs in 2020. 

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On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Shohei Ohtani, the hitter vs. Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher. Maybe I should use two dart boards. Hmm…In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2020 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of five games or more started outside of their primary position. Not four games at a position, not three, definitely not two. Five games started. If they played eight games somewhere but only started one, they are not listed. 5, the Road Runner of numbers. So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline). Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position. Games played are in parenthesis. One big take away is Jonathan Villar started in, like, 200 games. That can’t be right. Oh, I know, they’re listed if they had 5 or more games started, but I noted games played in parenthesis, so Villar must’ve switched positions three times per game or played two positions at once because the Orioles only had seven fielders plus a pitcher. Don’t know, don’t care. Players are listed by Games Started, and Games Played are noted. It’s not confusing at all! This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters. Is G or H first? Who knows, and, better yet, who cares! Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking. Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2020 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:

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You ever go so far into the weeds on the internet you forget what you’re even looking for, and, five hours later, you’re like, “How did Tommy Edman lead me to researching why a group of crows is called a murder?” No? Well, it happened to me. By the way, I’m interested in joining a Patreon for a true crime podcast about murder by a murder of crows. Hit me up if you know any. So, after purchasing on eBay a large stuffed crow that had a recorder hidden in its throat that played Snoop Dogg’s Murder Was the Case, I decided I didn’t want any more weak exit velocity guys. I perused the bottom 50 for exit velocity for 2018 to see if any of these guys did better in 2019. Yes, but the odds were not in their favor. Kolten Wong, Kevin Kiermaier and Jarrod Dyson were about it. You need to have speed to have a chance. This list would’ve scared me off David Fletcher last year, since he doesn’t have any real speed. Why did I even go down this rabbit hole? Tommy Edman’s 87.1 MPH exit velocity scared me, and how it was 216th overall in MLB. It’s not in the bottom 50 though! So, ‘natch! In fact, mucho ‘natches! All dem natches! Edman is making some weak contact though, so let’s see why I still like him. Anyway, what can we expect from Tommy Edman for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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I doubt there’s any good way to explore this, but this week I found myself wondering if this year’s rays prospect list might be the fastest top 10 in baseball history or at least in the last several years. Perhaps the turf-burning Cardinals and Royals of the 80’s could measure up in parts, but they wouldn’t have three 80 runners and a Wander, I think. 

Fantasy baseball players love the Tampa Bay Rays to some extent already, I think, but they should probably just lean in and pick up all the profit. Avisail Garcia was a great example of this last year. As were Emilio Pagan and Nick Anderson and Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. And that’s all just last season. Oh, Brandon Lowe, too, though he was from within. 

This year it’s Brendan McKay and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo; Kevin Padlo and Joe Ryan; Josh Lowe, Colin Poche and Brent Honeywell Jr.

Also Hunter Renfroe.

Because crazier things have happened. 

Presumably.

Jesus Aguilar did not drink the lazarus water in 2019, so it’s not like Tampa Bay bats a thousand, but the Midas touch element here is real. Consider Nick Solak. Traded for Peter Fairbanks. When a prospect leaves Tampa, it’s because there’s no room at the inn, and they see an angle they want to play now. Our move is to realize their bar is incredibly high, so when they “sour” on a prospect enough to move him, it means a little less than it might in other smart organizations. Solak is still probably a value, depending on how you acquire him, and Fairbanks should be tracked in leagues where his profile (high K reliever) matters. 

I veered off the path there. Suffices to say you could do worse in dynasty leagues than focusing on the organizations that are best at this particular game of finding talented players and helping them maximize their abilities. Or even just using it as a tiebreak when looking at two players of similar appeal. Estanli Castillo and Alberto Figueroa won’t make many lists this off-season, but I will be checking in on throughout the season because they’re with Tampa. I will check their game logs every few weeks or so just in case Castillo begins a noisy home run binge or Figueroa starts swiping bases in bunches. I just don’t want to be late to a Tampa party because a Tampa party rarely stops.  

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Since we last provided you with a podcast, fantasy football has come and gone, the Astros became synonymous with trash cans in a variety of ways, and Gerrit Cole joined the Yankees and got all of the money. It’s been a wild, frustrating, and exciting few months depending upon your allegiances to team or player. It all culminated in a blockbuster filled Winter Meetings as over $800 million in contracts were handed out. Grey and I team up once again for the annual Winter Meetings wrap-up, an update as we head into the end of the calendar year and the dawn of the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season. We talk Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner, Padres trades and so much more. Tune in for a little Holiday scented hot stove talk.

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One of my favorite parts of dynasty leagues is picking out the crop of prospects who I think will skyrocket in value in 2019. One of my big picks for 2019 was Julio Rodriguez, saying that he’d be a top 20 prospect by year’s end in an article I wrote at the beginning of the season. For people who grabbed Rodriguez in their FYPD, or early on in the season, a player who was fairly irrelevant in terms of fantasy value suddenly became one of their best assets, either for trades or just to keep for the future. Predicting MLB breakouts and making good trades are both important parts of playing dynasty, but if you really want to dominate your fellow league members, picking up the right prospects can make a massive difference. If you really want to get a jump in your dynasty leagues, I highly recommend picking up these three players, who you likely won’t find on many top 100 lists, but you certainly will next year. And here’s Prospect Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, if you’re into that sorta thing.

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Here’s how I ended up coming to write this Hunter Dozier fantasy baseball sleeper post:  Saw that he was a top 50 exit velocity last year and sat up in my chair like a good boy, then saw he hit 26 homers in 523 at-bats and got a little yawnstipated so I went for a walk, which turned into me grabbing a Lime scooter and I went out cruising. Just letting the wind hit my face while trying to not breathe in the pollution and ash from the California fires. Then I stopped at Danny Trejo’s taco stand and thought about how such an ugly em-effer makes such a delicious taco and thought about how I’m glad I thought that and didn’t say it out loud because he would totally beat my ass, then asked the cashier, “Does this Danny’s have grand slams?” And they looked at me like I was slow, but it might’ve been the scooter helmet I was wearing, and I convinced myself that’s exactly what it was. Then a full-on scarfing ensued as a large man in cammo, who looked like he’s done some hunting, sat across from me dozing off and I thought, “Holy crap, Hunter Dozier!” But, meh, he still only had 26 homers in 523 at-bats and–wait a second, he had ten triples? Triples mean nothing in fantasy (unless you play in one of those leagues where they mean something, but even you don’t know why you play in a league where they mean something). Who cares about triples! Or, as a person with a strong counterpoint might say, “Do we care?” I think we might. So, what can we expect from Hunter Dozier for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Last year, Christian Walker had a breakout season that everyone seems to be fully discounting for 2020. He went 86/29/73/.259/8 in 529 ABs. I’m sorry, he better than Au Shizz? Because he looks better than Au Shizz. I suppose no one thinks Christian Walker can do it again, or even take it a step further. I wonder why, i.e., hymn, why can’t he go onward Christian Walker? Did I just write the last two sentences just to tee up that pun? *puts on sunglasses* Maybe. But we’re not just here today talking about Christian Walker because of a church hymn. If that’s all I wanted, I would’ve talked about Mariners prospect, Wade Enwatter or Milord Kumbaya. What, you thought I was only going to write two sentences for bad puns? You new to Razzball? Church puns are supposed to stink. That’s why everyone’s got their nose up looking for a pew. Take it, Highlights Magazine! It is yours! So, what can we expect from Christian Walker for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Cue the Darth Vader music: here comes the evil empire. 

Only problem with that is the current Collective Bargaining Agreement makes the Yankees seem like a force for good in the game. Brian Cashman’s clever management of an enormous budget makes the never-Tankees a sustainable monster. 

Side note: it’s not just greed that keeps owners from spending. Talent-acquisition penalties and revenue sharing connected to the luxury tax keeps owners from spending. 

According to Bryan Hoch of mlb.com: “Since Cole received a qualifying offer, the Astros will receive a pick after Competitive Balance Round B, and the Yankees will lose their second-and fifth-highest selections, as well as $1 million from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period. Houston’s pick, at the moment, is No. 74 overall, though that will most likely change with subsequent signings/compensations.”

You won’t see this discussed or even reported very often in the conversation about Cole’s contract. The younger brother of Fernando Tatis Jr., Elijah, just signed with the White Sox for $400,000. Their dad thinks he has the best power in the family. So the Yankees forfeit two-point-five Tatis brothers here, just because they wanted to pay a great player a lot of money. 

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Was between Mitch Haniger and Miguel Sano as my next sleeper, and maybe I’ll still do one for Haniger, but it’s doubtful because I figure one lottery ticket sleeper was enough. Another lottery ticket sleeper who I haven’t mentioned until right after this awkward sentence intro is Byron Buxton. For those of you old enough to remember Michael Pineda, oh, and, in hindsight, German Marquez. These were lottery tickets because the ceiling was high but the floor is covered in hay and human feces because you’re in a dungeon, being held there by some Norwegian who collects figurines and humans. Have we ever had a season where any of the guys I just mentioned (Marquez, Buxton, Pineda, Sano) did “just okay?” Is it even possible for Miguel Sano to be “just okay?” It feels impossible. All of these guys are crazy, hot girlfriends. “Yo, check her out just ladling out punch for the two of us, looking smoking hot.” Your friend gives you dap, then notices something, “Hey, did your hot girlfriend just put arsenic in your punch?” And that’s these guys. You might get some refreshing punch for your gut, or you might get a gut punch as you find out your girlfriend has been sleeping with everyone, including your uncle who always dresses like he just came from a job site. “Uncle Paul, why are you wearing a fluorescent vest in PF Chang’s?” “I have a dangerous job and I’m sleeping with your girlfriend.” So, what can we expect from Miguel Sano for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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