Merry Christmas, you giant nerds! Look at you, checking a fantasy baseball blog on Christmas like a bunch of giant nerds! That’s why I love you. Seriously, I have love for you. Like someone who’s never met someone else could love someone. Very, very intimate. I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but Josh Bell was traded to the Nationals and I really wanted to get out this update post of so many other signings, that I was like, “Meh, what the heck, put it out there for my over-the-internet friends since this Christmas is like none I’ve ever lived through.” I miss my family, but I have you, my non-family family. So, Josh Bell was traded to the Nats, conspicuously within minutes of, well, we know what happened here. The Pirates’ payroll needed to be slashed after the House was unable to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. Now that Josh Bell is in Washington there’s only one thing can we can be certain of: confirmed Josh Bell 2021 All-Star. Could see Josh Bell out-pitching even Tyler Glasnow. If he wants to, of course. He might just want to hit. So, getting out of Pittsburgh can’t hurt anyone. He’s also coming off one of the boringiest (totally a word!) 1st baseman seasons. How’sever, if 2019 was only two months long, Josh Bell would’ve been a top 20 overall player last year. What’s my point? Meh, don’t really have one, but Josh Bell was hurt by last year’s small sample, and hurt by 2019’s, uh, long sample. Who is Josh Bell in Washington? A better question might be how long is this season going to be and when will it start? Josh Bell is prolly somewhere between the two extremes of his 1st few months of 2019, and his 2020. For 2021, I’ll give Josh Bell projections of 73/26/81/.257/1 in 512 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Prior to be doing my fifteen-hundredth dart throw, Bartolo Colon. “Hey, listen, if you can get him cheap and with the NL DH–” *smoke rises from RoboGrey’s ears* Seriously, could someone unplug the MLB season, blow into the cartridge and plug it back in? On phone with AppleCare, “For the last few weeks, I’ve only seen the pinwheel on the baseball season, and the big brains at the Genius Bar have no idea what to do. Any suggestions?” For those not following too closely, the MLB owners are imitating Wimpy and saying, “We will kindly pay you next Collective Bargaining Agreement for a hamburger today,” and the players, crazily enough, are saying, “Hold up, you want us to play for 80% of our salary?” And the MLB owners are replying, “Yeah, c’mon, you crooks, you have so much money.” Then the players are like, “You’re paying us but claiming to have less money than us? Ain’t that some shizz?” I expected this to be resolved by now, but resolution at this point seems like it’s going to come down to Head Idiot Rob Manfred, and him forcing the season into existence. If I’m reading all of the negotiations correctly, Head Idiot can force a 48-game season, but can’t force players to play. Make sense? No, of course it doesn’t! The Head Idiot said last week there would 100% be a season, and this week said there wouldn’t. In other words, the Head Idiot doesn’t even know what the Head Idiot can do because, get this, he’s an idiot. Some have speculated that MLB will force a 48-game season, but it’s way too early now since they have to play until September 27th, because of TV schedules, so they’re stalling for another week or two. All of that led to this breaking news yesterday:
— Razzball (@Razzball) June 15, 2020
If a season is forced, I wouldn’t be shocked if some big names opt out like Mike Trout, Christian Yelich and, really, anyone who has plenty of ‘eff you’ money. Once we have a set number of games, we will update our rankings and possibly remove players who aren’t playing. Also, as we talk about on today’s podcast, coming later today, I was against redrafting leagues, but if a lot of players are sitting out and we’re playing a 50-game season, then, yeah, it becomes unfair to try to play out a league drafted prior to all of this. On the other hand, maybe it’ll be fun to just play it out. I’m saying that last line in case any MLB owners or players are reading. Play it out! Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
What a great week. Any time I have a legitimate excuse to binge watch Star Wars one day and bloat myself with an excess of Mexican food and homemade margarita slushies the next, it’s a good week. Making matters even better, I was able to catch some quality KBO action on TV, something that revealed that my thirst for baseball can be temporarily quenched by just about any bat-to-ball action – other than that time I was on a cave tour in Pennsylvania and a big brown bat flew into my crotch.
Although I know not every Razzball reader and writer is a die-hard Star Wars fan such as myself, this got me thinking: how can I incorporate these two loves of baseball and late 1970s-early 1980s science fiction? Since there are only three truly great Star Wars films, I had the idea to split my prospect writing into three categories: 1) A New Hope (breakdown of the six top-100 prospects in the Marlins farm system), 2) The Empire Strikes Back (analysis of Yankees right-handers Clark Schmidt and Deivi Garcia) and 3) Return of the Jedi (what to expect from Brent Honeywell’s long-awaited comeback).
As I began this project, it didn’t take long before I completely lost track of time down in a Honeywellian rabbit hole. What I mean by this, is that I was trudging along, minding my own business with my eyes glued to 2017 Honeywell tape on my iPhone, when I literally fell into a hole in the ground and had no choice but to research Honeywell’s outlook for the next three-to-four hours while I called for help. And that is how this piece went from one of my typical, wide-ranging prospect breakdowns to one focused on a singular arm: Brent Honeywell, the young Jedi Knight, the man who can do things on the hill that no one else can, but has long been struggling with his own inner battle of health and spiritual clarity. In this piece, I will not only break down Honeywell as a prospect, but speculate on his return to the mound, reasons behind his recent arm injuries and what level of health (or lack thereof) we might be able to predict moving forward.Please, blog, may I have some more?
With these top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for positions. Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants. Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short. All the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Here’s all the 2020 fantasy baseball auction rankings. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping. If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.
I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”
I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.”
We’re in talks about a Sam Hilliard, Jorge Mateo spin-off/mash-up.
In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I wonder what Keith Law aka [email protected] thinks about Yordan Alvarez. *searches through transcripts of Klaw chats, which he calls a Koffee Klawtch* Hmm, that’s weird. He didn’t rank Yordan in his preseason top 100. Prospect Mike had him at 27 overall in the top 50 for fantasy baseball prospects. “Hello, Mr. Skywriter? Yes, can I pay you to fly above [email protected]’s home with the message, ‘Oops.’ Where does he live? Hmm, I’ve been training my dog to sniff out bad takes, so I just need a few hours and a box of Milkbones.” On our Prospectonator, Yordan is ranked in the top 5. Again, with some stank, [email protected] didn’t even rank him in the top 100. I get it; he’s doing real baseball vs. fantasy. The problem is real baseball has become fantasy. Do people even care about defense anymore? The Orioles top pick overall is a catcher who is already in talks about moving off that position. Just one more time — he didn’t rank Yordan Alvarez in his preseason top 100! Are we even comprehending how crumby with cracker crumbs this is? Any hoo! Heir Yordan had 23 homers and a .343 average in 56 games of Triple-A. I will now laugh myself into coughing fit. Yo, Yordan, you Babe Ruth? I know what you’re thinking, how long has he been in Triple-A, is he old? He’s 21 years old. No idea of the Astros’ plans for him, and, if by some stroke of the malocchio, he doesn’t hit, I guess he could get sent down. However, I think Tyler White’s done and Yuli Guli sounds like an anime character who can’t hit, so even when George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa — damn, you wrestling gators in hopes of passing the Yanks for most injured players? — return, I think Yordan is here to stay, and, yesterday, his 1-for-3 with his 1st homer is just the start. Get him accordingly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Indians prospect Bobby Bradley (4-for-4 with two homers) is enjoying a strong start for the Columbus Clippers. Through 28 games, he’s hitting .299 with six home runs and 11 doubles. The average is inflated by an uncharacteristic and unsustainable .419 BABIP. The real Bradley is a low-average power hitter with the potential for 25+ dongs over a full season in the majors. That low-average is probably going to be pretty low though. Think .230s, maybe worse. Since his promotion to Triple-A last year, Bradley has seen his walk rate decrease by about 3% and his strikeout rate increase by about 7%, all the way to 33%. That approach doesn’t bode well for success in the majors, especially since he is already limited defensively to first base. We should find out soon enough though. I suspect Bradley will be with the Indians at some point this summer, where he’ll be a power flyer in AL-only formats, and maybe even some deeper mixed formats. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
As if it weren’t enough that the injury bugs are destroying our MLB fantasy teams in the early weeks of the season, they’re apparently coming after our precious pitching prospects now too. Brent Honeywell, number 21 in your programs but number one in your hearts, experienced some forearm soreness and will be shutting it down for at least a week or so. If somebody like me gets forearm soreness it’s no big deal and people just question what I do with my free time. But for Honeywell, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and was a sexy pick for some second half starts with the Rays, this is crappy news. Hopefully this is just a case of the Rays being extra cautious with a top prospect and in two weeks we can put the noose back in our underwear drawer. *assistant whispers in my ear that not everyone keeps a noose in their underwear drawer* Well then, Mr. Happy, here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I believe Razzball is the friends and not the family, but I’ve been drafting with Scott Pianowski and Dalton Del Don so long they feel like family. Like my two cousins who call me when they’re in Los Angeles and say, “Hey, you wanna meet up for sushi? It’s your treat.” Then, when I go to meet up with them, they’re not there and 45 minutes after I show up at our meeting point, I get a text, “Sorry, have to cancel, so hung over.” It’s one word, father’s side of the family! Hungover is one word! As you might’ve noticed I didn’t say Brandy Ehrens was a part of the league, because he’s bailed on me/us/they; you choose the pronoun. I even hired a skywriter to put in the clouds above his house, “Kyle Schwarber wants you to draft him.” Guess someone else would have to draft some Cubs. (If you want to compete against me, Rudy and hundreds of others, join the Razzball Commenter League. More the merrier!) Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family team, it’s a 15-team, mixed league:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper signs… Note that signing can instantly eliminate a position battle detailed herein (although it sounds like only NL teams are involved right now).Please, blog, may I have some more?