Please see our player page for Dylan Carlson 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.

The slew of emails from every business under the sun regarding their comprehensive COVID-19 protocol continued this past week. I was on pins and needles wondering how Jiffy Lube, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Cledus’s Used Cars might handle this terrible crisis. Now I can finally rest easy. Anyway, you’re probably tired of hearing about this virus stuff that’s ruining all of our lives. So let’s shift our attention over to one of my fantasy drafts which was only slightly more interesting than that bulletin detailing how often the garbage man is washing his hands. Last week you got Grey’s RazzSlam recap aka Pete Alonso love letter. Now here’s my RazzSlam, 12-team best ball points league draft recap:

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Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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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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After much success last year in NFBC’s Cutline competition (around top 30 overall out of 1,000 teams), I decided to give it another go. Mind you, they only pay top 20, and I came in approximately (I don’t remember) 30th, so I didn’t win money last year, but money can’t buy happiness. Happiness can only be derived from seeing a Japanese mascot petting a dog. Nothing else counts towards happiness. Luckily, this league doesn’t have a happiness category. You might remember (likely don’t) that I autodrafted the first four rounds last year for my “much success” team, so in some ways this year’s league is a test of Man vs. Machine because I drafted this whole kit and/or kaboodle. Everyone likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are the best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Now that I think about it, it’s not Man vs. Machine this year for me; it’s Man vs. Machine vs. Machine. HOLY CRAP, WE’RE OUTNUMBERED!  Anyway, here’s my NFBC Best Ball, Points League, 10 team draft recap:

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One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points. 

I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as Gammons explained how excited St. Louis fans were to see Ray Lankford and Brian Jordan roaming the same outfield and Rick Ankiel on the mound. 

It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit. 

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For the past four months, I’ve been digging and evaluating with just about every free second I can find. If you’re ever looking for a winter project, you might want to consider deconstructing every minor league system into its potential fantasy components as I’ve just done while creating the 2020 Minor League Preview Index. We’ve had joy and fun and seasons without sun, but now we’ve got a chance to discuss some off-season roster machinations and how they impact the young players that matter to us in 2020.

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As we continue our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters. For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up in bed late at night, remembering there’s a bag of Doritos under your nightstand and go reaching for them. That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. The main character has just been “Frito-laid off” and is described as Pringley and Ruffled. Last year, this post had Franmil Reyes, Kyle Schwarber, and Lewis Brinson. Well, they’re not all gems. My point (PLEASE!) there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Even after harvesting the farm to add star-level MLB bats (Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt) each of the last two off-seasons, the Cardinals’ system remains solid. 

We’ve known for years the Cards get more out of their fringe types than just about every organization. We even invented a phrase to encapsulate this quality, letting “Devil Magic” explain everything Cardinal for years before the Astros and Dodgers captured the zeitgeist. You’ll still hear the phrase, but not every ten minutes like once upon a time. These days, we know everyone’s just cheating and hacking and scratching and clawing for every little inch of advantage they can get, but hey, that’s the American Dream personified via sport. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. You can always find a fall guy no matter how ugly it gets. (See: Correa, Chris)

That’s a link to just one story, but the whole saga is pretty good lore if you get on an injustice kick.

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I must admit my brain is slightly damaged because I see that Dylan Carlson plays for the Cardinals and I think of Harrison Bader and thank u, next. So, let’s get the elephant out of the room first and talk to our contractors about why they made the doorway big enough for the elephant to begin with, but no nightlight by our bed so we can read. Dylan Carlson isn’t Harrison Bader. No one is Bader, according to his 23 and Me profile; he’s a special snowflake. In 2017, Bader went 20/15/.283 in Triple-A and last year Carlson went 21/18/.281 in Double-A. I told you, huge difference! *long gulp, pulls on collar, sweat trickles* Okay, so maybe there’s so similarities? Bader actually has quote-unquote more speed than Carlson, less power and struggled more with plate discipline than Carlson (at different levels, but you’re the one who wanted this comparison. Okay, okay, OKAY, maybe I wanted the comparison, but here we are now). Results vary obviously, but if you told me Carlson and Bader would result in 100% of the same stats, I wouldn’t be wholly surprised. Carlson does look better, however, so…Anyway, what can we expect from Dylan Carlson for 2020 fantasy baseball?

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For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.

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