It’s not easy to draft a player who is old (at least relative to baseball ability), boring, and offers little true upside. Well, it’s easy, but it’s not fun. I can’t believe how often in a draft I veer off of my carefully-constructed, perfectly-ordered master list of players, skipping a solid but dull veteran to reach a few spots lower on my list for a youngster who may or may not end up with any fantasy value at all. I’ve already been guilty of this in 2020, and I need a little re-set for myself to remember how helpful a boring but probably steady player with a decent floor can be, especially in deeper leagues. Thus, a list of some players whom I can’t possibly call “targets,” but could actually pay off nicely down the road with solid-if-not-spectacular production come summertime. (All of the following players are on the ugly side of 30, and are being drafted outside the top 250, according to current NFBC ADP).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Freddy Galvis 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.
Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine. Let’s get to it! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and all the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility. Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning. It was expressly written for them. You guys! Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Shohei Ohtani, the hitter vs. Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher. Maybe I should use two dart boards. Hmm…In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2020 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of five games or more started outside of their primary position. Not four games at a position, not three, definitely not two. Five games started. If they played eight games somewhere but only started one, they are not listed. 5, the Road Runner of numbers. So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline). Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position. Games played are in parenthesis. One big take away is Jonathan Villar started in, like, 200 games. That can’t be right. Oh, I know, they’re listed if they had 5 or more games started, but I noted games played in parenthesis, so Villar must’ve switched positions three times per game or played two positions at once because the Orioles only had seven fielders plus a pitcher. Don’t know, don’t care. Players are listed by Games Started, and Games Played are noted. It’s not confusing at all! This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters. Is G or H first? Who knows, and, better yet, who cares! Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking. Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2020 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Stephen Piscotty was IL’d — why? Don’t ask, he doesn’t know. Nick Martini was DFA’d. See ya round like an olive! And, in their place, the A’s called up Seth Brown (2-for-6, 2 runs, 1 RBI), their power-hitting prospect, who had 37 HRs in Triple-A. Baseball is so effed prospects are hitting 37 homers in the minors and everyone’s like, “Whatevs, Tommy La Stella hit 17 homers in 25 at-bats.” Tommy La Stella ruined everything for everyone! I hate you, Tommy La Stella! The Prospectonator doesn’t love Brown, Prospect Mike hasn’t had much to say on him, and I don’t know how much he’ll play, but I guess he’s fine in AL-Only leagues for now, and mixed leagues, if you need power. The A’s said, “(Brown is) Brandon Moss 2.0.” Then call him, Re-Peat Moss. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Andrew Heaney has an eye on a prize and that prize is a 2020 sleeper article. “Grey usually puts sleepers out starting in December, and I know Oscar Mercado, Zac Gallen and, ugh, Delino DeShields are going to be vying for a spot on that list. Listen, all you can do is say your prayers, eat your kale and hope Grey picks your name.” Delino added, “Usually one good game is all it takes.” Oh, shut up, Delino! Yesterday, Andrew Heaney gave us a how’s your father without the small talk of asking how one’s father actually was — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (zero walks), 14 Ks, ERA at 4.31. He now hasn’t allowed more than three runs dating back to June (small bit of cherrypicking since he has gone less than 5 IP in some of those starts, but injuries and yadda). Heaney perfs (kids call them that) are solid if teetering on ‘just okay’ — 10.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 4.33 FIP. A solid September could vault him into a top 40 starter conversation for 2020, but the lack of health and propensity for homers makes me think he’s going to fall short of that bar. For right now, he’s an obvious own. “But no sleeper, right?” Shut up, Delino! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Cardinals pulled Dakota Hudson 111 pitches, 6 2/3 IP, into his no-hitter, which is a smart move. He was gassed and they had thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening, Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos Figaro magnifico! The Cardinals don’t make dumb moves. They even make smart moves about which teams to hack. The Ghost of Dave Duncan makes something out of nothing with every Cards starter (don’t look at Wacha). It’s without can. Ya know, uncanny. David Duncan’s leftover notes jotted on a loose-leaf spiral notebook are better than Ray Searage. Don’t at me; it’s true. Put him in the Hall of Fame before he really is a ghost. You look at Hudson’s numbers — 7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 5.10 FIP — and you shudder they’re so bad. Yet — again with stank — YET! he has a 3.63 ERA and he no-hit the Brewers last night for almost seven innings. Dave Duncan, man! He’s the best ghoster. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yacht Rock has polluted my brain. I’m singing Bertie Higgins, dressed like Thurston Howell, III, and wearing deodorant that smells like Pina Colada. And the most frightening aspect of the previous sentence is only one of those statements is make-believe! Cougs figured since I like blended, virgin pineapple drinks it would be a good idea to buy me Pina Colada-scented Suave deodorant. I walk around all day wanting to lick my armpits! I’m damaged! Even more upsetting, I don’t own Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .308) or Rafael Devers (2-for-4, 2 runs, 25th homer, hitting .327) in any meaningful way. (I own Bogaerts in one league, but it’s my worst league, so it doesn’t matter.) I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but last year Betts and Martinez put fantasy owners on their backs (no easy feat for some of you), and this year it’s been all Bogaerts and Devers. On our Player Rater, both guys are top ten for the season (Acuña reached the mountaintop, by the by). Incredibly, neither guy has been lucky. Bogaerts upped his walks; has a BABIP in line with career norms; held all batted ball profile marks from previous years, except raised his launch angle and fly ball rate just a tad. Bingo-bango-Bogaerts! Devers’s numbers are new from him at the major league level, but nothing jumps out as a career year and he’s only 22 years old. Both guys will and should be highly ranked next year. Now, excuse me, while I go lick my armpits. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Josh Rojas (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) was called up and played left field with David Peralta moving to the bench for the 2nd night in a row. I said to sell Peralta about three months ago, so I got no skin in that game and I’m not flustered by that flushing. Good night and good riddance, you 2018 career year-er! Grey’s got a take no prisoners attitude, which is what he says during his interview to be a prison guard. What a schmuck! Hey, that’s me! Josh Rojas has been mentioned exactly zero times on Razzball. A Googlewhack! (Razzwhack?) Likely because Rojas came on strong just this year, and previously appeared to be a Quad-A player, unless he’s a late bloomer. Hello Sharks! My product is an underwear line for Cougars called Late Bloomers! The Prospectonator loves Rojas, giving him a 15/29/.260 over 150 games. That’s an absolute fire emoji. I’m tentative for his playing time (are they benching Peralta indefinitely?), but I grabbed him in one league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psych! Before we get into the roundup, just wanted to point out that we’ve started doing fantasy football videos at the top of the post. Anime Grey is learning the ways of the pigskin with sherpas, Donkey Teeth and Rudy. If you don’t watch, you will be labeled a traitor and sent to a hard labor camp, which would suck for you. Also, if anyone’s into a “Beat Rudy Gamble” NFFC league (it’s like the NFBC leagues we do), then join here. Use RAZZBALL25 code and get $25 off $150 entry and you can win a thousand or more smackeroos. BUT MAYBE YOU DON’T LIKE MONEY. Anyway II:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.
Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:
• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.
Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.
And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!
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