Introducing the interrobang list! (You’ll find it at the bottom of the top 100.) What’s an interrobang you may be asking yourself? An interrobang essentially is a hybrid of a question mark and an exclamation point. When someone says something like “What in the world?!” You can save yourself some space and use the interrobang. “Okay cool, weirdo — how does this apply to fantasy baseball?” The interrobang list at the bottom are a few guys who didn’t make the Top 100 list proper, but are still people that are making me go “?!”

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Boy, this Ohtani is all anybody’s ever talking about. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about how brilliant that Ohtani is. I was so tempted to put Shohei Ohtani on this list. So tempted! Unfortunately he only has 30 at-bats compared to the league leader, his teammate, Albert Pujols’s 67. That’s too small of a sample size for me to overreact and 3-4 batting games per week can leave you in a hole. It is fun to see that he has a 0% soft contact rate though. But that Ohtani is some kind of something, huh?

This winter weather is messing with a lot of players. At the bottom of my top 100 you’ll see a list of hitters who shoulda, coulda, woulda been in the top 100 if they were healthy. I think most of them will return and find themselves back on the top 100 list, but for now, due to their missed games and health uncertainty — they get their own list.

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Last week (or so) I put out my early first base rankings. I completely intended to follow that up with a post for each position, but if I’m being honest, I’m running out of time. With drafts already starting to happen, it’s time I got to it and worked on my official rankings. With that said, I am knee deep in projections, rankings and spreadsheets. I know many of you are patiently waiting for my customizable spreadsheet, but that’s still a couple days away. In the meantime, I have gotten far enough to share my rankings.

Please keep in mind that these rankings are based on a specific scoring system. When my spreadsheet is released it will allow you to enter your league specific scoring system and will generate custom rankings. Because as I’ve said many times before, “all leagues are not created equal”.

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I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…

Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round!  Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.

If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.

Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?

Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into it:

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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Several of you have asked via email, Twitter and the comments sections of previous posts if I will be generating my spreadsheet again this season. The short answer is, I think so. The follow up question has been, “when?”. To that I say, based on the last two years, it will most likely be some time around the second week of March (or so). Gotta love how I give myself the “or so” escape clause. These things take time. In all seriousness, it really does take a “you know what” load of time to get ready. In the meantime, as part of my preliminary work in generating said projections/rankings, I am publishing my early rankings right now. I thought about starting with shortstop because I’ve yet to see someone start with shortstop, but instead I’ve decided to be boring and kick it off with first base.

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Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:

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What could be more exciting than an entire Fantasy Baseball Podcast dedicated to the catching position? Who doesn’t want to own more catchers? Okay, okay, so I’m laying it on thick, but thick is the new thin, not sure if you heard. Low key thickness aside, January Grey or Anime Grey, not sure which Grey I’m getting, but either way our hero returns for another week of in depth fantasy baseball discussion. We fawn over Gary Sanchez, discuss JT Realmuto vs. Willson Contreras, breakdown Buster Posey’s value, and talk up Salvador Perez’s sleeper status amongst the top tier at the position. But it’s the recent “Evan Gattis is a full-time DH with catcher eligibility” story-line that hangs over the podcast like a storm cloud, eliciting reactions from us intermittently. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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I have to keep this short, because after the jump is going to be the longest post you’ve ever seen in your life.  How do I know all the posts you’ve seen to compare this one to?  Because I’m sitting behind you.  *waves*  Hey!  I’ve given you the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All projections included are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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After going over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), it’s now time to turn our lonely eyes to you, Mr. Robinson Chirinos.  To paraphrase The Refreshments from their should-be smash hit, Fonder and Blonder, “Who said absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Pitches are thrown to catchers, but that doesn’t make my heart grow fonder.”  Later in that song, they sing, “I’ll be scratchin’ it down,” which sounds like it applies to all baseball players.  Or as the rhyming dictionary has never said, applies to oranges.  Any hoo!  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve already participated in my first 2018 fantasy baseball mock draft. And here’s the crazy part, it’s still 2017. Mind blown! Last week Scott White from CBS invited me to join his first mock of the season. While one might have thought I would have passed on the offer considering the 2017 World Series had completed only three weeks earlier, I jumped at the opportunity. And when I say “jumped” I mean I shrugged and said to myself, “What the heck.”

The format for the mock league was head-to-head points using standard CBS scoring. Those of you that have read my posts during the last three years will know that I am a points league kinda guy. My content is focused on this format. What better way to get an early start on some new material than to join eleven other top notch analysts in a way too early mock draft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?