Please see our player page for Brendan Rodgers 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.

Wait…Baseball!?  If I am being honest, I did not think we would have a season to watch and give us a distraction from the upcoming election season…ohhh and that whole Global Pandemic thingy.  But really, it is amazing to think we will have a season and there will be numerous unique adaptations from a fantasy perspective as we no longer have the benefit of patience over a long season.  A hot month can lead to an MVP campaign or the Mendoza Line!

We also cannot forget the bigger picture.  These players are real people in a highly unique situation.  All I can do is hope for their continued safety as they try their best to give us an escape from 2020.

So how am I reacting in the middle infield rankings?  Let us look at four key areas of change.

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So we’re gonna have a season, maybe, hopefully…..who knows.  But we need to be prepping like there’s going to be one.  So let’s take a look at some of the specifics that have come down from MLB with the new plan for the season and how it should effect how you handle injuries/Covid related issues going into the year.

First off, the rules.  MLB released a list of precautions when they and the players’ union approved the deal for the 60 game season.  Testing is the biggest thing we need to keep an eye on.  Everyone’s getting tested for active Covid-19 as well as antibodies upon reporting to Spring Training 2.0.  They will not be cleared for work until they tests negative for Covid (we’ll come back to this).  In season, players will undergo multiple “symptom tests” per day (temp checks and “how are you feeling” questionnaires).  They will also be tested every other day.

So what happens if someone tests positive?  Well, each team has to put in place their own Covid handling program that meets certain minimum requirements.  The biggest thing though is that, in order to be cleared to play, a player must test negative twice within a 24 hour period and show now symptoms for 72 hours.  This is a big deal.  There’s no real rhyme or reason for how long Covid stays in your system, but even asymptomatic cases seem to last a minimum of 14 days.  I looked into some prominent cases that took place over in Europe when Covid hit some of their soccer leagues: Callum Hudson-Odoi, a winger for Chelsea tested positive for Coronavirus at the beginning of March.  He wasn’t able to test negative until the beginning of May, despite showing few symptoms.  Paolo Dybala, who plays for Juventus, tested positive in mid-March and was asymptomatic.  He wasn’t cleared until almost the end of May.  Suffice to say, it’s going to be case by case when it comes to each one of these testing scenarios, but I think it would be wise to treat a positive test like a month long or more injury when trying to evaluate how to handle your roster.

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It’s already pretty difficult to forecast a player’s performance even with the large samples that we have. Consider Whit Merrifield, a player with a large recent body of work, as he’s the current active leader in consecutive games-played. Will he ever steal 20 bases again? How about Christian Yelich? He played most of 2019, but many remain skeptical that he can repeat that historic pace, at least to the same degree.

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Can I *itch about utter nonsense for a second? (Asterisk replacing a B there, but also works since I’m talking about the Houston Asterisks.) People who say it’s okay to draft top starters in February, due to how well they did the previous season, invariably ignore all the starters who were bumped down in rankings by the start of the season. No one next year will mention Chris Sale, Mike Clevinger, Luis Severino, Justin Verlander or Blake Snell were drafted in the top starters in 2020 up until March. People in October will be like, “Top starters were safe last year, only Scherzer, Cole and Flaherty missed time.” Yeah, only those three and five others! Contests which rank rankings always end the morning of Opening Day, when, ya know, 99.9% of leagues have drafted already! Am I saying this because I want some glory for telling to ignore top starters as early as January? YES, GODDAMN IT! Any hoo! Justin Verlander was shut down with a lat strain. Luckily, you didn’t draft any top starters, right? You did? Aw, shucks. Going onto eBay and put in a one cent bid on the world’s smallest violin, then adopt a baby and teach it how to play from a YouTube tutorial. Not sure how many times I have to say don’t draft a top pitcher, but I’m sure everyone this time next year will have forgotten I ever said it. A lat strain is better than an arm injury, or so I’m told. As in, I’m told that it’s a lat strain, but on Sunday it was triceps soreness. Sounds great! *insert giant thumbs up emoji* I told you not to draft Verlander before this, guess what this does for me? I’ve updated Verlander’s projections and moved him down in the top 20 starters and the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Also, with Verlander’s latissimus dorsi more banged up than a dolphin at Sea World, I’ve added Josh James into the top 100 starters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to my inaugural post for the top 50 Middle Infielder rankings for the rest of the 2020 fantasy baseball season.  Throughout the year, I will be updating my rankings and calling out those movers and shakers.  For those of you here looking to gather some insights, welcome.  For those of you looking to steal my rankings and use them against me, I am not afraid!

Let’s take a quick look at the landscape up the middle of the diamond.  Middle infield is deep this year, more specifically shortstop is stacked.  This isn’t Jason Bartlett’s shortstop class of 10 years ago.  The top four all have an argument for being first round picks.  After that, there are all-stars abound with blemishes (Can Altuve hit without a buzzer?  How often will Gleyber play against Baltimore?  Will Tatis regress or grow?).  Once we get past the top 20-25, there is a steep cliff that will leave you wishing you had invested earlier.

Now let’s get into a few key guys standing out from the pack in the rankings.

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Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine.  Let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and all the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility.  Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning. It was expressly written for them. You guys! Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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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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I had a nightmare the week I was researching the Rockies. In the nightmare, I was a late round pick crushing it in Colorado’s system while “living” on peanuts, eating the cheapest things I could find whenever I had time to find them, and knowing in the depths of my soul that I would never really get a chance to play in Colorado. 

Then I woke up and saw Evan White was signing an extension in Seattle, where Jerry Dipoto apparently thinks it’s a good idea to play prospects. The fool. 

Anyway, some organizations are fun to think along with and easy to like. Colorado is not one of those organizations.

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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!?

Not me.

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.

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