Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Austin Hays 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.
Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73) is going to win the NL Cy Young. Sooner you come to terms with that, the better for your own mental well-being. You’ll be able to listen to relatives talk about how they saw Trevor Bauer on HBO’s Real Sports, and how Trevor Bauer invented ‘a ball spinning,’ and how he’s so old school with his notebook, but not a spiral notebook. No, no, no — a laptop that Bauer calls, “My Notebook.” You can hear about how Trevor Bauer’s best friend is his dad and how he can make any other pitcher better just by talking him through ‘The Process.’ You come to terms with all of this now, you’re gonna be happier later. Trevor Bauer does have two Cy Young-worthy years in the last three, so maybe there’s something to it. Not sure how that circle is squared with last year, which I still haven’t forgiven him for — 4.48 ERA in 213 IP absolutely killed me. For 2021, it’ll be hard for me to stay away, as it always is with Bauer. Hey, I’m a sucker for 12+ K/9 and the promise of a 2.5 BB/9 or lower. If Bauer can do that, he could have this level of success every season. Wonder if there will be people drafting him in the top five starters. Maybe if I’m in a league with Bryant Gumbel, or your uncle who watches him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Not that long ago, I remember hearing a story. One I will recount for you here, but you can’t tell anyone else. Promise? Okay, there was this guy Brandon Bielak, and he was real into attachment parenting and had to put up with his stupid father, Nick, and dopey brothers, Tony and Joey Lawrence — Whoa. Well, the Teen Beat on, and I’m reading this from an old TV Guide with Miss Piggy on the cover, can you tell? Brandon Bielak is an enigma. Nothing exists on him, besides Matt Roush’s blurbs. Confession Alert! I used to collect TV Guides. What an absolute nerd. Any hoo! Bielak was found on waivers by me (or was it in an abandoned refrigerator — wait, wrong show), and he went 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.76. He works with a 94 MPH fastball, and a ton of secondary pitches with the curve hooking hard, and looking especially nice. He’s very serviceable, bordering on more. He could be a back-end fantasy starter for years to come. Now, I’ve streamed this guy a few times, and Streamonator thinks Bielak next start is even better — with no Big Bang in sight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
During the summer of 2019, Yoenis Cespedes was so taken with the song Old Town Road that he wanted to film his own video remix with a wild boar and Sam Elliott. Not knowing where to begin, Yoenis called Sammy Sosa to advise on costumes because of Sammy’s flair for western wear and Yoenis found the music video director in an aisle at Sam’s Club and thought he had a Sam-only clause. Sammy Sosa was blunt with Yoenis, “You’re not a vaquero, are you? Then get off that tartan bandana and put on a fringe jacket!” Yoenis feared he looked like Dolly Parton in Rhinestone Cowboy and Sam Elliott was on the phone with his agent about this gig, when it all went wrong. Cespedes fractured his ankle, going from 100 legs to 103-ish, and his 2019 was over. Cut to 18 months later (it only feels like 18 years), and Yoenis is back, and healthy. During the break, I gave you a Yoenis Cespedes sleeper, and I’m doing what they call, in rodeo parlance, filling a barrel with two clowns. Every time Yoenis has been healthy, he has been worth owning. Will he stay healthy? Who cares! In 60 games, Yoenis has as much a chance at being the NL MVP as Pete Alonso. Yes, it hurt me to say that. Obviously, it didn’t hurt as much as trying to pull off an Old Town Road remix at Ranchero de Yoenis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
Hey, welcome back, Buy/Sell Column! “It’s good to be back. I haven’t been this anxious for something to happen since I was screaming for sixteen straight weeks for people to pick up Ty Wigginton.” Yeah, wasn’t Ty Wigginton already retired, and you were still screaming about it. “I’ve made a lot of other good calls in the past.” Right, right. Like…*The Buy/Sell Column and I think for a good ten minutes about a good call it made* Maybe we should scroll through some of your old posts. “Yeah, good idea.” Hey, in the 1st Buy/Sell last year you told people to pick up Pete Alonso! “I am the best of all-time!” Yeah, then you followed that with a Clint Frazier Buy. “We don’t have to keep recalling past calls.” Fair, fair. So, who’s the number one guy I’m trying to get this week? Kyle Lewis makes me so horny! Last year in 18 games, he hit 6 homers and .268 with the M’s, and has always shown big-time power. I know, I know, I KNOW! His Double-A power numbers (11 HRs in 122 games) are confusing, but that park is one of the worst hitters’ parks in the minors, and his raw power grades out as some of the best you’ll find. I already gave you a Kyle Lewis sleeper during the shutdown, but I’m going to keep pushing the Kyle Lewis narrative until everyone gets him. He has what it takes to be a top 50 overall player in a 60-game season. As good as Pete Alonso? *the Buy/Sell Column and I look at each other* Simultaneously, “Let’s not be crazy.” All I know is Kyle Lewis is more than just what you hear when Forrest Gump says Carl Lewis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dumpster diving is a thankless job. One often comes out empty-handed with all of the prior weeks culinary leftovers slathered about. Grey! I need a raise!! But, but, but….every once in a while a potential treasure is unearthed. Granted, potential don’t mean shit but, when you’re dumpster diving, potential is everything. As I was frolicking in the NFBC dumpsters this week, a player who could be leading off and possesses power and speed caught my eye. And he’s being drafted, on average, with the 261st overall pick in NFBC drafts from 5/1 to 7/6!!! Madness! His name? Austin Hays. Let’s dig in.
Hays is 25 years old, 6′ 1″, 195 pounds, and bats from the right side. The Orioles selected him in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft. In 2017, he tore up Single-A and Double-A to the tune of 32 combined home runs with a batting average over .300 and a strikeout rate under 16%. Woo hoo! As a result, he received 20 games worth of big league experience. As expected, he struggled, but he was young. No biggie. 2018 was marred by injury and underwhelming performance, but things picked up last season. He began in Single-A, quickly advanced through Double-A and Triple-A, then finally made The Show for another 21 game stint. This time, however, things were much different, as he clubbed 4 home runs, stole 2 bases, hit .309, and had a 9.3% walk rate with a 17.3% strikeout rate. Oh yeah!
Now, entering the 2020 season, RosterResource has Hays slotted to bat leadoff. You’ve been reading all of Grey’s 60-game season primers, so you know that batting at the top of the order is going to be huge this season. But that’s not all. Hays has speed, as in 85th percentile sprint speed, so stolen bases are in the offering. And that power. Oh, baby. That power. Fangraphs has Hays rated with a 60/60 for raw power and a 45/50 for game power.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Fast (@Alexfast8), with Pitcher List, joins the show to breakdown the Baltimore Orioles. We dive into their lineup to see which players can surprise people. Can Hanser Alberto, and Austin Hays keep up their .300+ average? What can we expect from Chris Davis in the future? As one of the premier power hitters in the past, he has struggled to make contact and show promise like he did in 2013 and 2015. Can the rotation keep their ERA under 4.50? John Means looks to anchor the rotation down and keep the Orioles competitive. The bullpen may be a strength of the Orioles and if given a lead could help the team win some games. The farm system is Top 15 in the MLB with guys like Grayson Rodriguez, and Adley Rutschman leading the charge.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the first two parts of this series, we covered the infielders that I’ll be relying on this fantasy season, starting with catchers and corner infielders in part one and looking at middle infielders in part two. While players like Francisco Lindor, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo, and Tim Anderson provide a nice, stable foundation to build off of, you need more to field a top-notch offense in competitive formats. Safe, high floor players alone aren’t going to get the job done. It’s important to find some impact hitters that’ll make a real difference. That’s where the outfielders come into play. Not only does the outfield represent the largest player pool in fantasy baseball on the offensive side of things, but it is also the most demanding position in terms of starting lineup requirements (5 OF in both the online championship and draft champions NFBC formats). Outfielders are similar to middle infielders in that you can find anything you need here: power, speed, counting stats, and batting average. I’m looking for production in all of these categories, and since there are quite a few players to cover, let’s get started, shall we?Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, I’ve agreed to draft another fantasy baseball team this weekend. I honestly can’t tell you how many that makes for me in 2020, and I don’t really care at this point. At first I was worried about how I could possibly manage juggling so many rosters should baseball ever return (PLEASE, PLEASE return sometime this summer, baseball!) Now, though, I’ve decided that I’m just going to carry on, figuring that having a “problem” like having 20 or 30 lineups to set come July would be the greatest problem I can possibly imagine right now.
Since I’m still drafting and I know many of you are too — either joining public online leagues as a therapeutic way to pass the time, or participating in drafts for leagues you’ve been in for years and have had planned all off-season — I thought I’d look at the current state of players outside the top 250, and which names I have my eye on as being a potential value that late. I’m basing these ADP numbers on MattTruss’s Monday post in which he included a beautiful spreadsheet unveiling weeks worth of RCL ADP, so theoretically this is data that many of you have actually contributed to. Some of these players’ values got a slight VHB* bump, others I’m valuing exactly the way I would during a normal season. This is an extra tough week for me, as I try to keep what would normally be the sunshine-y giddiness of Opening Day from being permanently replaced by an ugly cloud of darkness… but to that end, let’s try to be safe, stay positive, and think about how insanely exciting it will be to finally have baseball to watch, whenever that may be.Please, blog, may I have some more?