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With the signings of Jose Abreu and Jacob deGrom, the off-season feels officially underway, and I feel like I’m falling behind on some general moves and shakes around the game.

We’ll get back to the lists and cover the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. 

The Abreu signing is unique for our purposes in that it creates value for the team he leaves behind and the team he’s joining. If the team lets Eloy Jimenez DH and installs Andrew Vaughn at first base, both youngsters get a glowing arrow up. No longer condemned to wander the outfield, they can finally settle into everyday roles. The club has been batting Tim Anderson at the top for a long time, but his high-contact, low-walk approach would be better employed in an RBI spot. Trouble is that’s true for several White Sox. A healthy Yoan Moncada could lead off, but he was awful last season, posting a .273 on base percentage in 104 games. But let’s just pretend he can bounce back to something like the .367 OBP he posted in 2019 or the .375 from 2021. 

I’d probably lay it out like this: 

1. 3B Yoan Moncada 

2. OF Luis Robert 

3. DH Eloy Jimenez 

4. SS Tim Anderson

5. 1B Andrew Vaughn

6. C Yasmani Grandal 

That’s a compelling top six. Could arrange the top five in any sequence. What happens with seven through nine is anyone’s guess.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the top 40 outfielders for 2022 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 be to go this route. This way when I say a player finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight than Willians Astudillo. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all), but by how much? How do I explain that? I have an idea! By recapping them! To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. This is not for next year. Hayzeus Cristo, just enjoy a recap before we get into next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with his 58th and 59th homer, hitting .316, as he tightens his claim on the AL MVP. I’m Team Ohtani, but I will say that the Yankees are so bad outside of Aaron Judge — Giancarlo’s hitting .209! Judge for MVP is a perfectly reasonable argument to make. He truly is having an amazing season. On the Player Rater, he has about twice as much home run value as the third best home run hitter in the league, Yordan Alvarez. That is truly remarkable. But, just because that’s remarkable doesn’t mean he’s going to get to 74 homers for the home run record. National sportswriters counting down Aaron Judge homers like he’s not 14 away from the record with 16 games to play are just trying to generate clicks. Also, anyone saying Maris’s record is the real record is having a break from reality, let them be. It’s dangerous to wake them from their dream state. By the by, the case for Ohtani is quite simple — he’s a top 5 starter and a top 10 hitter. It will be Aaron Judge though, I’m not living in denial. Too much heat on Judge this year. For 2023 fantasy, Aaron Judge is gonna be so fascinating. Wouldn’t be shocked if we see him at number one overall for some, and as late as ten overall if he signs with a lesser team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The White Sox have been homer-less all season. Not literally. But it’s been bad. Andrew Vaughn (1-for-3) hit his 16th homer. It is so wild that he leads the White Sox in homers. White Sox all went to the offseason seminar at the Ramada titled, “Arraez and Shine,” hosted by Luis. This September Eloy Jimenez (0-for-3, 1 run) became the first White Sox player in a month with five or more homers. On the reals, that’s awful. Is it the humidor? Tony La Russa muttering, “Bunt” from the hospital bed he’s had them tow into the dugout? Or something else? I’m not sure, but it’s comically bad. Though, yesterday was a reprieve. Yasmani Grandal (2-for-3) hit his 5th homer. Yasmani is generous, more like Yasbarelyani. Yoan Moncada (4-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 10th homer. I’m not joking when I say it looked like the White Sox were taking batting practice vs. Hunter Gaddis. Gaddis sounds like gibberish for “Got his ass,” and they did, indeed. Elvis Andrus (1-for-5) hit his 14th homer, and will once again be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because otherwise would be malpractice, and you’d sue me, and I’d have to relocate to Mexico under an assumed identity, and get mixed up with a bunch of anarchists. Finally, Gavin Sheets (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th homer. Fun fact! I call my toilet, “Havin’ Shits.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not since Rollie Fingers’s mustache left his face in the middle of the night in July, 1979, and impregnated my mother, during one of her weaker moments, after being told her ravioli wasn’t as good as her mother’s, has a mustache had such a remarkable evening. Yes, I’m saying that to you today. The mustache that impregnated my mother that usually laid on the upper lip of Rollie Fingers was not as great as Spencer Strider‘s. Do you know how hard it is for me to admit this? Spencer Strider (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 16 Ks, ERA at 2.67. ) is having such a ridiculous season his ERA is 2.67; his xFIP is 2.33. That’s right, he’s been unlucky! Spencer Strider came into the year with a 45-grade from Fangraphs. Itch ranked Strider behind Langeliers and Cristian Pache in the Braves’ system. This is not to disparage either. This is to say, no one saw this coming. For 2023 fantasy, Spencer Strider can’t get better, can he? I just told you, he’s been unlucky! His command could get better; his strikeouts are prolly maxed out. I don’t see Strider getting better, maybe staying similar for 2023 fantasy. That’s still really good! I wouldn’t be shocked to see Spencer Strider as my 1st pitcher selected in some leagues in 2023 fantasy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with his 32nd and 33rd homer. Au Shizz twizz! Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL in batting average; Goldy leads the NL in RBIs; Au Shizz is two behind the NL league leader in homers (The Schwammer). That’s right, Goldy could be the first NL Triple Crown winner since Ducky Medwick in 1937. Since Ducky Medwick won that Triple Crown, MLB has changed the baseballs five times in the last six years; Rob Manfred has invented something called ghost runners, and they’re not wearing full-body sheets; there were 7-inning doubleheaders that everyone hated except Rob Manfred, and Cheez Whiz was invented. That’s all the major things since 1937. That’s all of them. Don’t try to do a google for more. *rips Google out of hands* I said no more googling! Usually by mid-August, I make these ledes slightly geared towards 2023 fantasy, but I don’t know what there’s to say on Paul Goldschmidt other than he was incredible in the 1st half (.330/.414/.590), and he’s actually gotten better in the 2nd half (.350/.425/.728). If you thought Au Shizz was Old Shizz, you misread the shizzuatation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stands from a folding chair, and clears throat. I’m in the back of a church. Around me a group of people who look like they need a cigarette. The group leader asks me to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Grey, and it’s my first time here.” Everyone murmurs hi to me. I force a smile. Then, I continue, “Yesterday, I not only thought about a perfect game happening while it was in the process of happening, but I also mentioned it to my wife, Cougs. It was me, who jinxed Drew Rasmussen.” Everyone nods their head. One guy who’s wearing a Steel Panther shirt says, “I did the same during Armando Galarraga’s.” Reactions from the group members, they can’t believe he jinxed Armando. I continue, “That makes me feel better, actually. Armando’s jinx is much worse than mine.” Steel Panther Guy screams, “I jinxed it, but I inadvertently caused instant replay to be adopted!” As he stormed out of the room. The leader swallows hard, “Um, thanks for sharing, Grey.” So, I turned the TV onto Drew Rasmussen (8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.80), and his Maddux perfecto just in time to jinx him. Sigh, my bad. The trade of Willy Adames for Rasmussen has ended up working for both teams, and for all involved in fantasy. Rasmussen has been mostly Yesmussen with a 7.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 3.68 xFIP as he throws a slider that’s mostly unhittable (.212 BAA), and not just by the O’s. His 38.6% HardHit% would be around Sandy Alcantara, Gerrit Cole and Kevin Gausman. I blame myself for yesterday’s perfect game lost in the 9th, but, in 2023 fantasy, Rasmussen is going to be undervalued, even though the Rays haven’t had a bad pitcher in, like, ten years. (Hyperbole to make a point; don’t tell me about Yarbrough.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hologram Harry Caray leading the nation, nay, the world in Take Me Out To The Ballgame at the Field of Dreams game, wait, what’s this? Hologram Tupac, Hologram Babe Ruth and Hologram Barbara Bush have joined him, embracing. It’s East Coast, West Coast, Midcoast and Southcoast coming together, as only holograms can! If holograms can come together, then why can’t we, as people, come together? Rob Manfred has done it again!” *wavy lines* Oh my God, we’ve been inside a Rob Manfred’s dream sequence! It was a Field of Dreams dream! AHHH!!! I need to shower! So, the Field of Dreams game went off again without a hitch. Oops, I mean without a Hitch, meaning Will Smith and Kevin James both were not in attendance. For some reason, MLB thought the Reds and Cubs should be rewarded that showcase. If you’re going to have two teams who are trying to lose games, and dismantle its stars, then why not do a Major League theme in Cleveland? One thing baseball has is decent movies. Why not do a different one each year? Bull Durham theme one year in a MiLB park; The Natural theme one year in a lightning storm; The Rookie theme one year with all old players. The possibilities are endless! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This Jacob deGrom (5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 2 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.53) is among the best pitchers ever. I don’t know what’s changed for him in recent years, but he’s gone from one of the best pitchers in the league to one of the best pitchers ever. He’s Walter Johnson in color. He’s Bob Feller on the back of a motorcycle doing 101 MPH, holding out a four-seamer. He’s “Aw Shucks” Bob Gibson. The last time Jacob deGrom carried a perfect game into the 6th, it was broken up by Clint Barmes, who was an all-world sleeper who could hit anyone. Yesterday, the Braves were deer meat without a Clint Barmes to turn to. DeGrom now has the most strikeouts in his first 200th career games (1,523). The problem, of course, deGrom looks gassed at 70 pitches. He is the Icarus of pitching. One of the best ever for just a moment in time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?