Not Your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers… It was established in the first edition of 2019 Top 100 Pitchers: starting pitchers are much like grandparents. Exciting when they’re young and healthy, disheartening when they’re old and feeble. No reasonable mind would dispute the likeness between our elders and dudes who grasp and thrust balls for […]
It’s the Winter Meetings, Part 2: This Time Free Agents Are Really Signing. Starring as Eric Hosmer is Turtle!
Starring as Wil Myers is your goofy friend from high school who now works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car:
Trailer Voice, “What if all of MLB’s owners weren’t in collusion….But just the rich teams!” In the last few days, the Padres, Twins and Rays got some deals done, which is kinda like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Some ‘perts will likely move Hosmer down in their rankings, but I always assumed Hosmer would be a Padre, and ranked and projected him as one in my top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. There, I said, “Here’s what I will say when Hosmer signs, “I made the case last year that Hosmer was Joey Votto Jr. I called him Kangaroo Embryo. I just thought of a kangaroo wearing a Kangol, but I’ve never thought about an alligator wearing an Izod shirt, I’ll have to discuss this with my shrink. At one point, Wil Myers said he’d move to the outfield for Eric Hosmer to come to the Padres, and I thought to myself, “If I were Hosmer, I’d tell Myers to please not do me any favors.” San Diego is like the Trojan Horse of cities (for baseball and just visiting). It’s like this, “Oh, man, San Diego is gorgeous. What’s this, 77 degrees every day? I can get used to this!” Five minutes later, “I am bored out of mind.” Five minutes after, “Damn, can we get out of here?” Ten minutes after that, “If I see one more white person in flip-flops I’m going to readily embrace going to Tijuana.” Any hoo! Hosmer isn’t exactly a home run hitter. His fly balls were goofy low last year for a guy with 25 homers. He was the third lowest for fly balls (22.2%), fourth highest ground balls and the 29th lowest for Hard Contact. He does hit a decent amount of line drives, and feels like a 23-26 homer guy with a few more fly balls. He might be Kangaroo Embryo this year, but to emulate Joey Votto Jr. he’s going to need to elevate the ball more.” And that’s me quoting future me!” And that’s me quoting me quoting future me! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:
Valar morghulis. Who could predict that throwing over 150 innings every year since Felix Hernandez turned 18 would be dangerous? Oh, everyone? In pitcher years I’m pretty sure King Felix is 63 years old. Stash or Trash: Trash. He’s predicted to miss 3 or 4 weeks and I’d hate for you to stash Felix and miss your playoffs. This is the 3rd year in a row that Felix’s ERA has risen and it is now at the point where he should yield his “Mariners Ace” crown to the Kingslayer James Paxton. Fill In:German Marquez (44.7%.) It’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: “What Are This Colorado Pitcher’s Splits?!” Home: 4.31; Away: 3.86. Actually not that bad! Marquez has allowed more than 3 runs in only 4 of his 18 starts this season including his last 5 starts being quality starts.
Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs. Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando. I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…” Ya know what? I’m just gonna leave this here…
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
You have to love Biz’s way with words. Can only be described as slow and methodical. Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve. What’s he a dwarf? You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall? He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains. Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph. He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues. This little guy is big-time. Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
It’s all fun and games when the lights go off and the special things in life glow under different color light. Laundry detergent, player names, and the puns that are associated with them… and believe it or not a good ole bottle of Hennessy. So now that we have concocted that cocktail and images in your head, let’s move onto the Fantasy Baseball portion of this relationship. That being Marcus Semien. I am going to be the first to admit that I really like the idea of this guy on my team after last season’s output, as he produced 27 HR’s and 10 steals. Not the elite of foot by any stretch of the SAGNOF imagination, but the 27 taters from a middle infield spot takes a lot of gleam off the cube. So why now? Well, his season was derailed by injury and he only still has 86 at-bats on the year. Ignore all the other facets, he is not going to hit for average and not going to score a ton of runs in the A’s lineup, but he has 7 steals in those 86 at-bats. (He only had 10 last year in 586 at bats, remember I just said that.) So he has gone from a once every 60 plate appearances per steal guy to one every 10. I am by far no mathematical genius, but that looks like a gigantic difference. Since he returned from the DL, he is hitting 30 points above his career average, which is only .230, but still, .265 is better then .230. The steals are what we want and that’s why we here. So with the expectations of him not slipping out of the lineup now that he is returned he could easily be a cheap source (8.6% owned in ESPN leagues). With the way that the middle infield spots turn over and the trade deadline around the bend stats at any chance are better then none.
Be sure to check out Razzball Soccer for all of your Fantasy Premier Leagues!
Seems like even the injury bug is down in Miami enjoying the All-Star game so we’ve got a light load of injuries this week. However, I fully expect him to come back twice as strong once everyone starts exerting themselves again after enjoying Mama’s home cooking and catching up on Orange is the New Black on the couch for the week.
As always, if you’ve got league specific injury questions please leave them below in the comments and I’ll get back to you!
How many of you remember the watershed 1993 film Dazed and Confused? In this coming of age saga, a young righty, with the flowing locks of Sampson himself, embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. It is in that film where we first meet Mike Clevinger. I could go on a lengthy diatribe about the film with the Indians righty supplanted as the protagonist, but I already did that a year and a half ago when I first introduced you to Mr. Clevinger. It’s like I’m watching my kids grow up right before my eyes. Either way Clevinger is long haired and goofy just like Mitch from Dazed and Confused. Not to toot my own horn, but to totally toot my own horn, I called this developing breakout a year ago. The Indians acquired the former 2011 4th rounder from the Angels back in 2014 for pen arm Vinny Pestano. Since then it’s been a classic Cleveland starter story, as the organization focused on bringing Clevinger along first as a pen arm, and now as a starter. With a 14.1% SwStr, and a 28.5% K%, there’s some signs that Clevinger, in a season of disappointing starters, could be a diamond in the rough. Let’s look under the hood, and then go pitch by pitch through his Sunday start vs. the division rival Detroit Tigers.
One of the things I love most about baseball, but particularly covering prospects, is when a guy I totally missed on pops up, and exceeds expectations. Sure, I could become obsessed with my own reputation, and shoot down any suggestion that I missed on a player. But what fun is that? So, when it comes to Nick Pivetta, I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see this coming. Hell, I wrote up 15+ Phillies prospects, and name dropped another 7-8, and didn’t even mention Pivetta. Fangraphs covered 33 Phillies prospects, and Pivetta ranked in at 27! All this to say, that the “out of nowhere” label is somewhat appropriate when it comes to the Phil’s righthander. After an outstanding outing vs the Red Sox at home a few weeks ago, the strikeouts, and numbers in general seem to be trending in the right direction. So why not check him out, and see if we in fact have a breakout bubbling. Before we begin, big shouts to Oaktown Steve, who’s been hyping up Pivetta in the comments the past few weeks like a Sabermetrics Flavor Flav. Only he turned in his giant clock (read that fast), for an abacus, which I’ve heard can get a bit bulky when worn as a necklace. Anyway, let’s get into Pivetta’s last start vs the Cardinals at home, the second time he’s faced the Redbirds in four starts. He’s going today in Arizona, so maybe we’ll see if he’s worth rolling out… Actually no rookie pitcher with a heavy fly-ball approach should be started in Arizona, but that’s just common sense. On to the profile!
Our Commissioner Manfred presses his intercom, “Please escort in the Guatemalan baseball stitchers.” Manfred’s secretary brings six men dressed in blanket ponchos and straw hats. Their leader steps forward, “Mr. Manfred, the Capri Suns you have us using to juice the balls is not working.” Their leader pulls out a baseball that is dripping with Ecto Cooler. Manfred turns in his seat, silhouetted with the setting sun. He lights a Virginia Slim 120 and pulls, coughing slightly. “I no longer want the balls juiced. Now….I want you and your friends to go to Dodger Stadium and blow.” “Mr. Manfred, we are not sex workers!” “Not blow like that! Put your lips together and blow.” “Like Bogey and Bacall?” “Yes! Now go!” …And this was how Dodger Stadium became a launching pad. Yesterday, Corey Seager (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) hit three homers (10, 11, 12), Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 7th homer and Cody Launchangler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) did it again, hitting his 22nd. Granted, someone needs to put Cody Launchangler in carbonite for Cooperstown — we can’t risk something happening to him playing baseball! — but this Seager guy is pretty good too, huh? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
From the land of Pilgrims, Cranberries, Sachems, and Ocean Spray, it’s Middleborough, Massachusetts’ own Sean Newcomb. A true Masshole through and through, over the course of his time in the minors, he’s refused to throw strikes with any regularity. This all changed last week, as Newcomb crushed two XL Great One’s from Dunks, and a marble cruller, before crushing the souls of the Mets. I’ve long followed Newcomb’s career dating back to his high school days at Middleborough. As he’s the rare professional sports product from my corner of the world. After some ups and downs, mostly due to control, or lack there of. Newcomb made his triumphant major league debut a little over a week ago, and in the process looked phenomenal. Flashing control and command he never possessed before. So today, we dig into the second start from the young lefty, at home vs Miami, and Giancarlo. A tough task for the rookie… Oh yeah, then we rank some pitchers.
Another week, another Clayton Kershaw start pushed to Monday. At least this week they moved the start before I wrote and submitted this article. If they move it again Saturday morning, then I will be convinced that Dave Roberts is just doing this to troll me every week. As of now, he is your top two-start starter for Week 12. He might even deserve his own tier.
For Week 12, there aren’t a ton of attractive options after our first two tiers. In previous weeks, we have had middle-of-the-road arms with some good peripherals or some recent success that were available in the majority of leagues. This week, though, I’m not crazy about any of the starters on this list that are going to be available in most leagues. Just look at the numbers in the chart below.
Derek Fisher was called up by the Astros to replace the concussed Reddick. First off, Derek needs to stop singing that jingle, “Trust the Astros Fisher, man.” Tres annoying. Saying tres instead of very is tres annoying, too. Fisher was hoping Reddick was some combination of reddish and haddock. “Get that seaweed out of my face!” That’s Nori Aoki. Everyone in MLB is happy for Fisher except this guy. If you thought Strickland-Harper was something… Sorry, for Derek Fisher, that was a layup. As for fantasy, Fisher has power and speed, has had strikeout issues, but no worse than Bellinger. He could be a difference maker if he plays 75%+ of the time. One of the best guys in the minors this year. Better on power than speed, inefficient as a runner. Yes, PCL, but MLB is kinda PCL-like nowadays. Might outproduce Brinson, though Fisher needs to stick in a job for that. Yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his first home run, and I think Fisher is for reel, and not just on the casting couch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
A little birdie told me our 2024 Fantasy Baseball subscriptions are live. The little birdie also said it includes our Draft War Room. You really wanna lose in a fantasy baseball league to a little birdie? Would be kinda embarrassing, tbhhttps://t.co/1ag7IFSYS0