Please see our player page for Gavin Lux 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.

NOTE: This ranking is focused on redraft impact of players who’ve yet to debut in 2020. It’s a snapshot of all the information I can synthesize as of publication day. 

Here’s Volume 1.

Graduates from Vol. 1 = Jo Adell, Monte Harrison

Here’s Volume 2.

Graduates from Vol. 2 = Spencer Howard*, Alex Reyes, Jordan Yamamoto, Joely Rodriguez

Busy weeks like these are alright alright by me. Let’s get to the list. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’d been thinking this would be a Sunday feature, but that’s partly because alliteration is word-weed for the brain, and Sunday Stash List feels like a party and mainly because I thought making the list once a week might naturally accommodate the list’s inherent turnover. 

Well this week brought a bit more turnover than the typically three-day window, so we’ll reshuffle the stashes like a 70’s skin flick and bump prospect news to Sunday.

NOTE: This ranking is focused on redraft impact of players who’ve yet to debut in 2020. It’s a snapshot of all the information I can synthesize as of today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are now just over a week into the season and all bets are off.  In most years, we should be taking a longer view of these rankings and accounting for the ebb and flow of the season.  In this uncertain environment we do not have time to wait to see if a guy is just having a slow start to the season.  To win in what may be a ‘coin flip’ at the end of the season we must play the hot hands and cut bait on the sleepers that aren’t showing the promise we projected.  Sure, there will be mistakes along the way, but the bigger mistake is being left behind.

A few things to focus on this week:

  1. If you are playing for the Phillies, Marlins, Blue Jays or Yankees you are dropping in the rankings. There are rumblings of playing 7 inning doubleheaders to catch up on the season and anybody on those teams will take a hit.  If playing for the Marlins was not penalty enough…
  2. Who is off to a hot start or cold start? We can’t really base anything off of one-week, but as I mentioned in the intro I would much rather move on too early than wake up and realize the season is over because I didn’t want to bench or drop that high draft pick.
  3. Finally, we need to look at opportunities again. We have just hit the point where any call ups will have an extra year of time control.  Nothing like the roar of the crowd (or silence of cardboard cut outs) to get somebody off to a hot start to their career.

3 Up!

Dansby Swanson – Dansby Swanson broke out last year in a big way.  With shortstop (and middle infield) being so deep this year, he was getting sleeper love but is still owned in less than 70% of Yahoo leagues.  I will be honest and admit I was not fully buying the breakout leading up to the season.  On the other hand, he did increase his Barrel %, Launch Angle and Hart Hit % in 2019 and has not slowed down this year.  I get it is early, but he is top 5% in the league in Barrels and xSLG.  If he is available, grab him now and ask questions later.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a blurry baseball universe, one thing that’s clear about 2020 is the numbers will look funky. 

I will miss the number 30, especially. 

We had some good times. 

And sometimes we’d double up 30/30 . . . those were the days . . .

I suppose we could rally around 30 Runs or RBI? 

Nah that’s ridiculous, and only Kyle Lewis or apex Giancarlo could hit 30 home runs in 60 games, so we should probably say our goodbyes to those curvy round benchmarks. Funky numbers only from here on out! 11? Come on down! 17? Wow that’s a lot of whatevers in 2020!!

As part of this ongoing effort to make my funk the P funk, I’m building rookie leaderboards with concrete Miss Cleo numbers. Projections, if you’re nasty. 

Here’s a funky song to play while you imagine the future. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I never really liked Gavin Lux. Never drafted him before. Not the kind of guy I buy usually. I want big power or speed upside from my rookies. Especially speed. Five category? Well, Luis Robert can canoodle my noodle any time. Nick Madrigal? Okay, fine, but his hit tool is insane. Carter Kieboom? More like a Kie-fizzle in that platoon. I want dem wheels or dem big muscles. Gavin Lux does what? Few homers and a few steals, and hits maybe .260? I never draft that! Dot dot dot. Usually. I can’t believe I’m rostering that ess oh bee on my Tout Wars team. I think I was price enforcing, that’s at least the story I’m going with and don’t end sentences with with — dah! If Chris Taylor really does get 60-games’ worth of ABs over Lux, it doesn’t make him a posh upgrade, but simply a good flyer due to lineup, i.e., counting stats vs. a Taylor H.A.M. sighting. I moved down Gavin Lux in my top 500 and top 20 2nd basemen. Hopefully, Gavin Lux is up after only six games to a week, due to service time. He must’ve ruffled some feathers when he complimented Lasorda by saying he really liked the “sauce” at the team’s quarantine spaghetti dinner. IT IS GRAVY!!! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Brett Anderson hit the IL with a blister on his finger. Shame really. Super, super sad news. *watches two-hour VHS titled, “Fist Pump Like Tiger Woods,” ejects the tape, stands up awkwardly, raises hand and FIST PUMPS* I’m doing it! I’m fist pumping! So, little ol’ Anderson was willing to play through it but the coaches were worried the compromised grip would affect him. Little ol’ Anderson said, “Gonna have to leave it to the other four horsemen.” Corbin Burnes wasn’t in my rankings, but if I were adding people, I would add him. (At this point, I’m only removing opt outs and seriously injured players, because it’s too late in game to be adding guys for drafts. If you’re following along, you know which guys I like more now.) So, Burnes works off three-point-seventy-five pitches. Not quite four, and operates in the fast lane with a 95+ MPH fastball, and a babymaking slider that produced a 52.1% strikeout rate and .188 BAA. The Milwaukee Burnes’ers’ Burnes had a 12.9 K/9 last year and has great command, though he didn’t show it. Looking for a breakout that is likely available in most shallower leagues? Burnes said, “Say goodnight, Bretty,” and you say hello to Corbin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before taking a single at bat, Jasson Dominguez is dominating the baseball card world.

2020 Bowman Baseball is nowhere to be found in the retail universe. Year over year, Bowman baseball cards are one of the only products in late-stage capitalism that corporations cannot keep in stock.

Stephen Strasburg is to blame for some of this. Back in 2010, I was stopping at Wal-Marts off the highway, tiny town Targets and roadside Casey’s in search of 2010 Bowman blaster boxes. They cost 19.99 in stores and sold for about $40 online. Inside a blaster box were eight packs, two chrome prospect cards per pack. (Today, Topps has shrunk the pack count to six but kept the pricing.) Some of the craze was that a Strasburg base 1st Chrome rookie went for about $50 on eBay. Some of the craze was due to the high-end market. An attorney bought the Strasburg 1/1 Superfractor–not autographed–from 2010 bowman for $10,000 and sold it a short while later for $26,000.

Ten years later, Bowman is the biggest thing in baseball, and Jasson Dominguez is growing the game yet again.

Here’s a table I put together built from the elite group of my Top 200 for easy viewing and comparing.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In part one of this little mini series, we looked at all of the catchers and corner infielders that I’ll be relying on once the 2020 season gets underway. As much as I enjoy talking about Yadier Molina and Jose Abreu, those guys aren’t exactly dripping with excitement. They’re high floor foundation pieces who are useful fantasy assets, but aren’t the types of players who will carry a team to a fantasy championship. It’s like going to your local burger joint and ordering a plain cheeseburger – it’s not likely to disappoint, but it won’t be a particularly memorable meal either. Middle infielders and outfielders are the bacon, caramelized onions, and special sauce that can be added to that plain burger to make it exceptional. Sometimes, experimenting with exotic ingredients like spicy peppers can lead to indigestion, but it can also lead to a special, unique experience. And there’s plenty of spice to go around in these groups.

All of these ingredients are represented at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield. Power, speed, average, and counting stats – they can all be found in abundance here. The key is to determine who to target and when to target them. Today, I’ll be sharing the middle infielders that I targeted and ended up drafting across my five NFBC leagues for the 2020 season. I originally intended to cover outfielders as well, but since Magoobot’s self-editing mechanism malfunctioned years ago, there’s only room for the guys up the middle today. There’ll be a whole post dedicated to outfielders in part three.

Just like last week, I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up drafting. Both the 12 team NFBC Online Championship and 15 team NFBC Draft Champions formats require that you start 1 2B, 1 SS, and 1 MI at all times, so that’s something to keep in mind during this exercise. As a quick refresher, each player will be placed into one of the following four categories:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night I awoke in a rush. I was sweating, panting almost – awakened by a nightmare more ghastly than you can imagine. One more horrific than the chronic nightmares I had as a child in which the tiny troll figurines stalked my bedroom through all hours of the night. One quick Google search and I’m reliving those dreams – and it’s all too real. Yet, even such horrors do not compare to the demons which disturbed my slumber last night.

Over the past several weeks, I have been struggling to cope with the delay of the Major League Baseball season – something I’m sure you can all relate to. While trying to keep a healthy perspective concerning the real issues and concerns of the present, I have been unable to keep my mind from wandering to the darkest corners of the baseball world. Before the Coronavirus even put the MLB season on hold, I dreamed of such harsh realities taking form. *queues Danny Glover voiceover* You can call it a vision. You can call it a coincidence. I don’t care what you call it, but last night, it got worse.

I found myself walking through an unfamiliar land in which Airpods were even more popular than they are now. Wandering through the streets, I was passed by an Amazon drone engaged in an air delivery. While gazing at its sheer beauty, I stumbled through the gates of Camden Yards and a game program subsequently blew though the wind and onto my startled face. As I pulled the flier away and began to read its text – I instantly gasped in disbelief. 2023 All-Star Game: The Long-Awaited Return of the Midsummer Classic it read, with an action shot of superstar catcher Adley Rutschman spread across the front page.

As I stood in disbelief, I overheard a conversation between two young fans, arguing who indeed was the top backstop in the game, Rutschman or San Francisco’s Joey Bart. But what about J.T. Realmuto, I thought? Or the mid-career development of Willson Contreras? I continued to eavesdrop with the hope that more details would soon become clear.

Please, blog, may I have some more?