Please see our player page for Evan White 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.

Well, folks, this is just about it. I’ve only got like one more of these to write after this one. Ain’t that somethin’? What a year, man. In Yahoo standard leagues, the playoffs start tomorrow. Unlike real baseball, it’s a narrow field in the realm of Yahoo. Semifinals for Week 8, and the grand finale for Week 9. Then donezo!

This week’s waiver piece is going to be much more to the point with not-so-deep dives as in the past. I got a teething toddler who isn’t sleeping well (she goes like 10-11 hours straight normally!), and it’s also her birthday Monday. The big T-W-O. Doing this and that to celebrate all weekend since I have to work late on her actual birthday. Fun stuff. So the writing time is at a premium this time around.

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Of the two current Rookie of the Year front-runners, Jake Cronenworth (NL) and Luis Robert (AL), one was relatively predictable. In our 2020 Razzball Fantasy Baseball Staff Picks article, 12 of 22 writers tabbed Robert as their preseason choice for AL ROY (Kyle Lewis received one vote and remains in the race). On the other hand, none of those same 22 contributors picked Cronenworth in the NL, although current runner-up Dustin May garnered five votes. For a former seventh round pick that was on the 30-man roster bubble heading into Opening Day, there wasn’t much of a reason for him to be on anyone’s radar. But here we are with just about two-and-a-half weeks left in the unique 2020 season, and those two aforementioned names are leading the way down the stretch.

As one of Razzball’s two prospect writers, this got me thinking: 1) how have these two young hitters stacked up against other rookie bats in certain underlying metrics so far this year? 2) Does The Itch think about me throughout the day as much as I think about him? In regard to the former, the bulk of the 2020 season may be over, but there’s still useful batted ball data that can be implemented to make start/sit and add/drop decisions throughout the final two weeks. On top of that, rookie batted ball data is arguably even more important to look at for those who play in dynasty formats. Although the season is nearly in the rear-view, there are dynasty roster decisions looming for 2021, as well as the ever-present questions of “should I buy on Player A vs. Player B as part of my core moving forward?” In this post, I’ll present the top-12 rookie batters in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage and percentage of barrels-per-plate appearance through Sept. 8. If you have any further questions about any of the names that follow, I’m more than happy to discuss this topic further in the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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Hello, again. We’re officially into the second half of the 2020 fantasy baseball season. Where teams like the Tigers, Mariners, and Marlins are churning out league-winning type value guys and the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, and Mets disappoint for various reasons, be it performance or health or whatever. With double-headers stacking up like a good plate of pancakes, we’re seeing prospects squeeze into lineups and rotations and bullpens. Managers have to get creative, and that can wreak havoc in the fantasy realm. Or maybe it’s just managers tinkering more than they need to. All I want is my guy Garrett Hampson to hit leadoff every single day and steal a lot bases, Bud Black! That’s all I want, and it’s all you should want, too! All I want is Dominic Smith to head higher in the order, Luis Rojas!

Whatever. Anyway, let’s delve into the hotties I like (and actually a couple I don’t as much) heading into Week 6.

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In the aftermath of 3-0-gate, Grey and yours truly jump into the fray, and give our on the whole silly Tatis granny. As if you needed another opinion on this. Don’t you worry we quickly get it out of our systems and move onto the good stuff. No, not the 30 year old scotch in your desk drawer, we’re talking oodles of fantasy baseball jewels for your noodles. We talk Reds postponement, Oscar Mercado’s demotion, Mookie’s continued success in Hollywood, and Grey finally admits Corey Seager is good at hitting baseballs. It was like group therapy with less trust falls! After we run through all that we jump into the trio of Tigers promotions before rounding it out with injuries and hot schmotato talk. It’s another week of the Razzball podcast but with 20% less fat!

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Are the Tigers king of summer streaming offerings? Are the Tigers eating their young or are they eating whatever is thrown in the dumpster behind the Costco? Should fantasy baseballers be singing Here Kitty Kitty to young Tigers or is Carole Baskin robbing us of our Baseball Nut? Is an actual ice cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins called Baseball Nut and does it have chestnut cream? All of these questions are going through my mind on this lovely mid-August day as the Tigers promote Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize. Every MLB team should look at how the Tigers deal with prospects and emulate. The Tigers throw them to the fire and it’s grrrrrrrrr…hey, this is fun after 13 years of Spanish couldn’t teach me how to roll my R’s….rrrrreat! On Prospect Itch’s Tigers fantasy prospects, he has Mize 1st and Skubal 3rd, but that’s from January, which is like another year ago. I wrote a Casey Mize fantasy, which is from another year ago. Both of these guys could be aces, and worth picking up, but neither may go very deep into games this year. So, in redraft? Prolly look at streaming Mize and Skubal, in that order, due to how long either can go in games. In dynasty leagues, Skubal is flat-out sexy, but in a Glasnow-type way. Could he go 4 IP, 3 ER and 10 Ks? Yes. Will he go 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks and get you a bunch of Quality Starts? I don’t know about that yet on Skubal, but that might be Mize. So, I think Mize over Skubal for this year? Yes, I welcome your Sir Mize. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Live for today. That’s what they tell me. “They” are BASE jumpers, so I’m not listening to them, which is why I’m living in a bubble with the NBA players. “Hey, LeBron, where can I get some bubble tea?” “Ah, man, I hear ya, players be gossiping like crazy.” “What are you talking about? I want boba.” So, the Marlins vs. Orioles and Yankees vs. Phils had to be canceled due to an outbreak within the Marlins’ clubhouse. The Marlins couldn’t play back in Florida vs. the O’s, and might’ve infected the Phils’ visiting clubhouse, so the Yankees weren’t going in there. All in all, a totally well-functioning pandemic. By which I mean, it’s terrible for us, but this virus is doing well for itself. “Manfred, man” hasn’t been uttered so much since “Blinded By The Light” was a hit in the 70’s. Now PPD stands for Pandemic Please Desist. Right now, the MLB is waging an age-old war:  Everyone’s safety vs. Capitalism. Not to impersonate the Garbage Pail Kid, Nihilistic Ned, but capitalism usually wins that. Of course, don’t misunderstand my glibness for not caring (that sounds like a Common lyric); I’m just trying to be real with you. As for fantasy, I moved all Marlins, Orioles, Yankees and Phils out of my lineups until further notice, and tried to bench all Marlins in my weekly leagues. As they say, WHEEEE!!! Again, “they” are BASE jumpers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Hey, welcome back, Buy/Sell Column! “It’s good to be back. I haven’t been this anxious for something to happen since I was screaming for sixteen straight weeks for people to pick up Ty Wigginton.”  Yeah, wasn’t Ty Wigginton already retired, and you were still screaming about it. “I’ve made a lot of other good calls in the past.” Right, right. Like…*The Buy/Sell Column and I think for a good ten minutes about a good call it made* Maybe we should scroll through some of your old posts. “Yeah, good idea.” Hey, in the 1st Buy/Sell last year you told people to pick up Pete Alonso! “I am the best of all-time!” Yeah, then you followed that with a Clint Frazier Buy. “We don’t have to keep recalling past calls.” Fair, fair. So, who’s the number one guy I’m trying to get this week? Kyle Lewis makes me so horny! Last year in 18 games, he hit 6 homers and .268 with the M’s, and has always shown big-time power. I know, I know, I KNOW! His Double-A power numbers (11 HRs in 122 games) are confusing, but that park is one of the worst hitters’ parks in the minors, and his raw power grades out as some of the best you’ll find. I already gave you a Kyle Lewis sleeper during the shutdown, but I’m going to keep pushing the Kyle Lewis narrative until everyone gets him. He has what it takes to be a top 50 overall player in a 60-game season. As good as Pete Alonso? *the Buy/Sell Column and I look at each other* Simultaneously, “Let’s not be crazy.” All I know is Kyle Lewis is more than just what you hear when Forrest Gump says Carl Lewis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Well these have certainly been an interesting few days. Sunday, I hit the brakes on my 40-man scuba dive because I wanted to dance among the raindrops of roster decisions and come back soaked in fantasy baseball goodness. 

Making a team’s 40-man roster has always granted players an edge in getting a promotion. Every season when we’re waiting for our favorite prospects to get the call, we watch a parade of misfit toys already on the 40 get that chance first. Especially in some organizations that don’t like to toggle the 40-man. In the variation of baseball we’ll get this year, this under-contract advantage seems greater than ever. 

If you’re in a deep league, making semi-regular rounds dissecting 40-man rosters can give you a predictive edge. If you’re in any league, really, how can it hurt to know who’s likely to get called up next at a given position on a given team, no matter how anyone’s hitting or pitching?

Can’t hurt, right? 2020 will be all about maximizing short-term opportunities, so let’s hop in the pool and swim a lap around the American League West.

Note: everyone mentioned in this article is included in the 60-man player pool. 

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Remember that horrifying scene in The Conjuring where the kids are all playing that stupid “hide and clap” game together in the house? This poor little girl is wandering around her family’s demon-possessed hell-hole of a home, blindfolded and completely unable to see, playing a sick, vintage version of hide-and-seek that was apparently popular in New England in the early 1970s. Later in the film, their mom joins in on this foolishness and problems only escalate from there. I was forever scarred.

Why would anyone ruin something as classic and pure as hide-and-seek, or baseball for that matter, by throwing a blindfold into the equation? I can only imagine what that would have resulted in during my childhood. One second you’re walking around blindfolded looking for your friends, the next second one of them is punching you in the face. Great prank, guys. Thanks.

For baseball, however, the blindfold tactic can actually prove to be useful, though I recommend removing it prior to draft day to avoid assembling a roster similar to that of some of my league-mates. If we take an in-depth look at players without knowing their names, compare the numbers and trends side-by-side, formulate opinions and then restore their identities, we might actually be better off. It goes without saying that it’s always a good idea to revisit video after one of these exercises. No matter what the numbers say, I will never put stock in a guy whose swing makes me barf. Think exhilarating but gut-wrenching like chaw mixed with fair rides.

In this piece, I will be breaking down three different prospects who are almost undoubtedly owned in any dynasty league: Prospect A, Prospect B and Prospect C. Some may even be owned in mid-to-deep keeper formats. As we go through this exercise, I urge you to draw tempered conclusions about each prospect without looking elsewhere to determine who they might be. Don’t ruin the fun – I’m going to reveal the names of each at the very end anyway.

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You ever draft, like, twelve teams and have eleven teams that are all very similar and one team that is nothing like the other teams? This, here, is that other team. In theory, this team could be my one good team and the other eleven could be garbage, but I sure hope that’s not the case. I started this draft like every other league this offseason — by taking Pete Alonso in the 2nd round. At that point, this team veered into a different direction to never return. For those not in the know, it’s a weekly, 15-team, 5×5, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. NFBC has decided to cut off new slow draft leagues like this one, so I don’t think we’re doing another one this year. Sorry, I wanted to do one more league too. I will now put on The Knack and change the words in my head to My Corona. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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