Please see our player page for Adam Eaton to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

After assessing starting pitching the last couple of weeks (ERA, WHIP), today I turn my attention towards the hitting side. There are so many unknowns right now about the length of the upcoming season; possibilities include everything from no games, to a full 162-game season stretching until Christmas. With at bats & counting stats completely up in the air, evaluating hitters with rate stats makes sense. What are the best ones to use?

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Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.

For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

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Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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We already gave you the top 50, so here’s the rest… of the top 100 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball. How’s that for a little SEO action? I’m a sad individual, I know. Well regardless, Grey Albright runs through his top 100 outfielders from 51-100, and gives you all the deets on who from this group is draftable, who’s too old, and who just stinks and is overrated. It’s Grey! You know you’re getting unfiltered opinions and truth bombs. Sorry guys but this is latest episode of the Razzball Baseball Podcast!

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As we continue our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters. For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up in bed late at night, remembering there’s a bag of Doritos under your nightstand and go reaching for them. That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. The main character has just been “Frito-laid off” and is described as Pringley and Ruffled. Last year, this post had Franmil Reyes, Kyle Schwarber, and Lewis Brinson. Well, they’re not all gems. My point (PLEASE!) there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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With the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? Don’t muss my hair! The pitching recap will begin next. You can hardly wait. No, you! To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Willians Astudillo.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Juiced ball? Whatever. Honestly, I don’t care if balls go bazinga all over the place. If everyone’s using the same ball, it’s all good. It’s more fair than when some were using ‘roids and others weren’t. Pace of game? Doesn’t bother me at all. More the merrier, and more is time. Let games go five hours with no commercial breaks. Sounds awesome to me. Teams not fielding their best team? That’s the biggest issue and it effin’ sucks. Austin Hays didn’t exactly tear up the minors this year, but you can’t tell me a 24-year-old potential future All-Star should’ve been in the minors at all. Same goes for Ryan Mountcastle. The O’s are the worst (literally) and that’s made even worse by them holding down prospects. Can the worst be made worse? Yes, that’s what I’m saying and the Orioles did it.  I’m not saying this simply because I drafted Mountcastle and Hays in leagues this year expecting them to be up by May. Actually, it is the reason!  So what? It makes logical sense the O’s would’ve promoted them. Stupid me using logic. They really needed to see what they had with Rio Ruiz, Mark Trumbo, Dwight Smith Jr.– Do I need to go on? Yesterday, Austin Hays went (3-for-8, 5 RBIs) and a double slam (3, 4) and legs (1), as he bats 2nd. If the O’s start the year with Austin Hays in 2020, and they should, he’s going to be a guy I target everywhere with his 27/10/.260 potential. Too bad he’ll spend all of next year in the minors because the O’s want to infuriate me.  Stop inflaming my ulcer, you bastards! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The ones that don’t draft pitching early. The Muslim Mrs. Garretts. The Yu’s that we saw in the 2nd half. The ones that see things differently and not simply the ones who are holding drinking glasses up to their face to make googly eyes. They’re not fond of the rules like:  Don’t wear sweatpants every day. And they have no respect for the status quo, because they’ve checked out every time someone defined “status quo” for them. They held onto Yu Darvish (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.97) all 1st half and were rewarded nicely. Unless he’s just on a team that started checking out fantasy football in June. Back in July, Coolwhip wrote, “I’m not prepared just yet to say he’s back back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back. I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Hashtag nailed it. Prior to that, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA.  Since then, 2.44 ERA in 66 1/3 IP. The fix, as we all know by now, he’s stopped walking everyone. His season-long peripherals 11.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.39 FIP are sweet, but his 2nd half peripherals are legendary, and some of the best in baseball — 12.6 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 3.20 FIP. For 2020, the thought of getting anywhere close to Darvish’s 2nd half has me, not only interested in him, but thinking he could be a steal as a number two fantasy starter. Yu might think I’m crazy, but the crazy ones change the world, or at least do well sometimes in their leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not!  Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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