I teach in China for a month every summer, and all I really have access to for that month, entertainment wise, is baseball and whatever I can download or arrange ahead of time, so that leads to lots of podcasts and audio books.
The books I repeat most feature a certain group of young wizards invented by J.K. Rowling, and during this summer’s listen-through the whole Potter series, I had some new thoughts.
First, poor Filch. I mean what a awful gig that dude has. Whole castle full of magic, and he’s on his hands and knees scrubbing vomit and blood and snot and who knows what all.
Second, Summer for Harry Potter is a lot like Winter for baseball fans. Harry just sits around waiting for news. All. Summer. Long. So every little snippet of something takes on extra meaning. And The Daily Prophet has its head so far up it’s cauldron that even the snippets are just glances through a cracked mirror.
So who’s ready to fire up the rumor mill and speculate our way through the off-season!?
I’m hanging onto Fall as long as possible.
If that appeals to you, let’s hop on a Thestral, fly over prospect country and pretend it’s still Summertime.
Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to PBMs and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here, enjoy some coffee. Oops, you just drank rat poison. I should’ve used different mugs. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Giancarlo Stanton in the 1st half. Oh, you owned him, and that’s why you drank the poison! Now, I’m following! Hey, I’m supposed to be leading! Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2019 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Cody Bellinger number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2019 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bellinger. Why soil a good thing, ya know? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Aaron Judge did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, we have to believe in miracles — my 12-year-old self would want that, and to sleep with Cher. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2019. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2019:
Well the first for-sure, definite, 100% confirmed, future Yankee free agent signing has signed with the Padres. And this kid is now every Yankee fan:
That was definitely me back in the early 90’s when my favorite player was Don Mattingly (because he lead the league in having a walrus mustache just like my Dad. Runner up: Dennis Eckersley.) Like all Yankee fans and the bandwagon Yankee fans, I then went through the arrogant highs of the late-90’s dynasty. Followed by the dark, lonely era of the Aughts which turned me into the bitter, jaded fan who grew sick and tired of the high-spending, future-sacrificing ways of the overpaid Yankees that I am today. My writer photo above is a sarcastic response to the Yankee fans who never grew out of the dynasty era and still yell “COUNT DA RINGS BRO! DEREK JETAHHH BABBYY!!!” Despite the Yankees only winning one championship in the last 19 years. But there is now a light at the end of that tunnel! Five of the players in the Yankees starting lineup are home grown players! Our ace came up through our own developmental system and wasn’t just plucked from some poor, small market, podunk team like the Reds! Our bullpen is TERRIFYING!
The eyes of Yankee Nation are set on only one thing: adding another championship ring to the trophy case. The team, fans and front office will accept nothing less. Right now, many experts have the Bombers tabbed as the World Series favorite — we’ll see how that all shakes out in October. I talked to Callen Elslager from the Fantasy Life Blog who just had his 2019 Yankees Team Preview published. Here are his thoughts on a few key questions the 2019 Bronx Bombers are facing:
Let’s set our baseline for the closer hierarchy as spring evolves. There hasn’t been that much in the way of news and Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned. He’s therefore unranked. If he signs he goes in the top tier. I shoveled snow this morning, so you’re getting winter weather themed tiers.
One guy I’m coming back around on is Archie Bradley. He dealt with a fingernail issue last season that sapped some bite from his curveball. He recently said, “I’m throwing some hammers this year. I’m going to have one of the best curveballs in the big leagues.”
I’m coming around on Matt Barnes. He should have the inside track to that job as the veteran.
People are paying too much for Pedro Strop in my eyes. There’s almost no chance he has that job to himself all year.
I’d be cautious on Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller. With Carlos Martinez nursing an arm issue he might be moving into the pen.
Some of the best pens to speculate on for early saves are going to be the Twins, Rays, and Mariners. All three team will be competitive. If someone takes the job and runs with it they’re a league winner.
One word about this top 100 for 2019 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2019– Ah, I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 471 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 571. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500 that will go to 8,602, then a top 25,000 that will go to 28,765, then a top 600,000 that will go to 892,121, until we end up with a top kajillion in April that will go to a kajillion and one. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2019 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online. It might be a little wonky still, but working out kinks. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2019 fantasy baseball:
Welcome to part two of my four-part #2EarlyMocks draft series. If you’re looking for part one you can find it here: 2EarlyMock Draft Part 1. In part one, we covered the sexy rounds — one through seven. Not too many risks or reaches in those rounds, you grab your studs and stars and reap the rewards. But in rounds eight through 14 is where owners are starting to take risks and grab their sleepers, rookies and potential bounce back players. I’ll be comparing the draft position of these players during this draft to their cumulative ADP on Fantasy Pros. This cumulative ADP includes the 288 players from ESPN’s ADP, the 999 players from Fantrax’s ADP plus data from CBS, Yahoo, RT Sports and NFBC draft results. Let’s get right into it:
Corey Kluber (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.83, and his 1st 20-win season) just passed Trevor Bauer with 216 Ks, giving the Indians four guys with 200 Ks. They may not even win as many games as the Rays, but you’re really coming for the Indians in the playoffs? I predict a red-blooded, all-American Indians-Braves World Series. “Hello, my name is Woke Wally. Yes, I’m wearing a badge that reads, ‘Woke.’ I received this honorary badge as a participation trophy from my wife, Margaret. Do you know what I was participating in? Citizenry! I’m here at your sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint on behalf of the millions affected by a casually racist World Series.” The Stream-o-Nator lines Kluber up vs. the Royals for his final game, but I can’t imagine he throws more than three innings in that start, and is likely just skipped. For 2019, Kluber is once again going to be way out of reach for me, like an imaginary tassle on the end of a Braves fan imaginary tomahawk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The past week has been an eventful one for bullpens. A whole slew of committees has emerged. Injured guys have returned. A couple challengers have even been thrown back into the muck of non-ninth inning pitching. The most notable of the returning closers was Sean Doolittle. He’s really settled in as the closer for Washington and they have been very comfortable with him there. Most of us dislike seeing the doctor and opponents of the Nationals are no different. Hopefully, you’ve received an infusion of save opps as you look to close out the 2018 season. If not, SAGNOF at will.
This is going to blow your mind. Before you read any further, I want you to take some precautions. Grab some masking tape from your “Never Used Shizz” drawer and wrap it around your head. Whoa, whoa, whoa! You didn’t just wrap your head with masking tape, covering your eyebrows, did you? Hmm, well, when you remove that tape, you’re gonna look like Phil Simms. (Hint: He’s got no eyebrows.) Okay, I told you to avoid Tommy Pham in the preseason, due to his draft price, and ranked him 31st for all outfielders. On our Player Rater going into yesterday’s game, he was ranked 31st. *does Ace Ventura victory dance on the porch* I have exorcised the demon! Yesterday, he had one of his best games of the season, if not best (yes, too lazy to look), he went 3-for-5 with his 18th and 19th homer, hitting .266, but hitting .327 on the Rays, and if he wasn’t derailed by an injury when he first arrived in Tampa, he’d be doing better (or worse as his BABIP stabilized; it’s ~.500 in September). I could see letting up on my hate on Pham in 2019, but he’s still old and has stopped running, so the price will need to be much more reasonable. Okay, you can remove the tape now. Hey, eyebrows are overrated (like Tommy Pham coming into this year). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: