Please see our player page for Gerrit Cole 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.

I’m so freaking excited to be back and writing about baseball. After months of dealing with stupid, unpredictable football variances, we’re back at it with some much-needed fantasy baseball! This is the real fantasy sport and I can’t wait to get started. My first articles of the offseason are going to be deep-diving on potential busts. We actually did this last season and had pretty good results aside from one guy.

I actually had Christian Yelich as my Top 10 player to avoid last season and obviously, that was incredibly stupid. The other busts I had included Craig Kimbrel, Edwin Diaz, German Marquez, Lorenzo Cain, Javier Baez and Miguel Andjuar. The only other guy I got wrong was Baez but he still scares me to death with his horrendous plate discipline. I’m honestly not too disappointed with the Yelich one either because it’s hard to predict any Top 10 player to bust (according to me). We’re going to go with a similar approach here, so let’s get into some of our Top 50 busts!

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Start the coffee, get the stove lit, and don’t put your boots on to stomp out the flaming bag on the porch! January Grey is back up in this mother trucker just a swinging his hair. Snitch quit talking, quick walking if you down with the set, Grey 2020 got some new ranks on deck. That’s right! New ranks and a lot to dig into. So we’re back for another season as we run through all the players ranked by the Fantasy Master Lothario this offseason. This week we jump into the creme de la creme as we walk through the Top 20 for 2020. It’s the Razzball Podcast back for another year as we dig into the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball.

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20 for 2020! 20 for 2020! 20 for–Sorry, didn’t hear you come in. I was just selling contacts at a county fair. Today, I throw out preconceived notions, drink some potions and lather up my body with lotions, as I sloppily slip and slide my way through a very precarious top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball.  This top twenty is a blind man playing Twister.  Half the time, I’m grabbing for things not knowing if they’re there or not.  I legit think this top 20 could go countless other ways.  Is countless a widowed Countess?  No, it’s not, it’s a confusing AF top 20 for fantasy baseball.  All the positional rankings will live under the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings.  The projections in this post are, as always, mine. For Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers, click those thingie-whosies. Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Some of you may be saying, “Is this the guy from the football side who is obsessed with defensive pressure rates?” Yes, it is.

Some of you will then ask, “Is this man as funny as Grey?” Sadly, no.

Everyone will then most definitely ask, “What does this man know about baseball?” Enough to spew 1000+ words per week into WordPress.

Baseball is far and away my favorite fantasy sport. I’ve been a Razzball consumer since I was a pimple faced teenager. My background with Razzball is important. It explains many of my philosophies, primarily those in regards to pitching. Typically, I wait on starting pitching far later than the norm and complete pre-season prep with that notion in mind. Instead of spending hours sorting top ranked pitchers, I focus in on pitchers who have the highest probabilities of far exceeding expectations.

This concept is at the core of the series, in which the sole purpose is to find the likeliest 2020 breakout pitchers. To start, I will delve into a group of 12 pitchers who exceeded draft day value from the last 3 seasons. Using their backgrounds, I hope to find some cohesion to locate what changed and led to the breakout. Finally, I’ll take those commonalities and locate 2020 pitchers meeting the same criteria to find who is most likely to win us our leagues.

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Since we last provided you with a podcast, fantasy football has come and gone, the Astros became synonymous with trash cans in a variety of ways, and Gerrit Cole joined the Yankees and got all of the money. It’s been a wild, frustrating, and exciting few months depending upon your allegiances to team or player. It all culminated in a blockbuster filled Winter Meetings as over $800 million in contracts were handed out. Grey and I team up once again for the annual Winter Meetings wrap-up, an update as we head into the end of the calendar year and the dawn of the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season. We talk Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner, Padres trades and so much more. Tune in for a little Holiday scented hot stove talk.

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Cue the Darth Vader music: here comes the evil empire. 

Only problem with that is the current Collective Bargaining Agreement makes the Yankees seem like a force for good in the game. Brian Cashman’s clever management of an enormous budget makes the never-Tankees a sustainable monster. 

Side note: it’s not just greed that keeps owners from spending. Talent-acquisition penalties and revenue sharing connected to the luxury tax keeps owners from spending. 

According to Bryan Hoch of mlb.com: “Since Cole received a qualifying offer, the Astros will receive a pick after Competitive Balance Round B, and the Yankees will lose their second-and fifth-highest selections, as well as $1 million from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period. Houston’s pick, at the moment, is No. 74 overall, though that will most likely change with subsequent signings/compensations.”

You won’t see this discussed or even reported very often in the conversation about Cole’s contract. The younger brother of Fernando Tatis Jr., Elijah, just signed with the White Sox for $400,000. Their dad thinks he has the best power in the family. So the Yankees forfeit two-point-five Tatis brothers here, just because they wanted to pay a great player a lot of money. 

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I’m here in sunny downtown San Diego at the Winter Meetings and just ran into Matt Kemp. How ya doing, Matt? “I’m great, Grey, excited about continuing my career.” Which career is that, Matt? “Baseball.” Okay, great! *holds finger to ear* Sorry, hearing now there’s big breaking news! Wow! It was just reported the Red Sox have a lot of suitors for Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Price. An absolute ton of offers. Currently, 32 teams are offering packages and there’s only 30 teams, including them. That is crazy! Just going to pass through this downtown San Diego lobby and, damn it, it’s Matt Kemp again. *ducks behind a bank vault with money that is being wheeled by Brain Cashman, follows him into a room with Gerrit Cole lighting cigars rolled in million dollar bills* Gerrit Cole, “Can you change your Diamond Club to the Cole Club?” Cashman, “We can change Giancarlo to Giancole-lo if you want.” “We have a deal.” Oh my God, I snuck into the biggest signing in the history of signings! Excuse me for a second while I try to piece together some of this million-dollar-ash back into a million dollar bill. So, Gerrit Cole signs with the Yankees. He seems like he might be, I don’t know, good. There’s only one person Cole disappointed last year. “His contact rate was 66.3%? That’s next-to-last in the league! So dumb! Is he as thick as this Fribble?” That’s Ray Searage explaining pitching to a Friendly’s waitress. Luis Castillo was the only pitcher with a lower Contact Rate, but Cole’s O-Swing% was 1.4% higher. Cole was also number one in the majors for Swinging Strike percentage (16.8%). In other words, Cole induced the 2nd lowest contact while making hitters chase more than the number one guy, and made hitters swing and miss more than everyone. I’d like to thank the Academy for telling me who died last year and thank Cole for being wonderful. Cole had the best fastball (36.2 Fastball wins above average). That was the 5th best fastball since 2000. No one in the top 10 had another pitch register higher than 11.4, except Cole, whose slider was a 13. Like Leggs, Cole is sheer excellence. He had arguably one of the best pitcher seasons in the last 20 years. The Pirates got Joe Musgrove, Michael Felix and Colin Moran for him, then the Pirates turned around and traded Tyler Glasnow for Chris Archer. Pirates should sell their team bus and buy a Dodge Dart to drive around the team, because they are a bunch of clowns. For 2020, I’ll give Gerrit Cole projections of 17-6/2.61/0.93/294 in 207 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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The baseball Pirates could learn a thing or two from real pirates. Some tips from the Pirate-code Handbook:

  • Wear one eye patch—not two 
  • Find treasure 
  • Collect treasure 
  • Guard treasure with your life

The baseball Pirates have been sailing blind, making the worst and weirdest trade in recent memory when they sold low on Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz so they could buy high on Chris Archer in July of 2018. Baz alone is probably worth more than Archer on the market today, almost 16 months after the move. 

So first things first, lose an eye-patch and watch where you’re going. And maybe don’t listen to the parrot panicking on your shoulder. 

To be fair, Pittsburgh’s Pirates have actually been quite good at finding and collecting treasures, arguably too good at collecting during their best contention window, which is one reason it’s so wild they bought Archer when they did at the price they paid after they’d sold Gerrit Cole for chestnuts over the winter. Thus it’s this last Pirate-code piece about guarding your treasure that seems lost on Pittsburgh. Stop giving away your booty!

All that said, the Andrew McCutchen trade that netted Bryan Reynolds was a stroke of brilliance. If they can get similar return for Starling Marte, they’ll be a nautical mile closer to their next window. 

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Back in high school I remember there was a kid in my class who sported an iron-on patch on his backpack. The patch read, “Pornography Rapes the Mind.” I’m guessing that kid wouldn’t approve of my last production: Donkey Does Dallas. Anyway, I’m not here to analyze the porn industry and its effects on the mind—Grey will be covering that extensively in his Giancarlo Sleeper Post next week. Instead I’m here to discuss how mock drafts rape the mind. We join these mocks, select all our favorite players and rosterbate the night away. Then our real draft comes around and every player we want is taken two rounds earlier than in the mock; we’re left grasping our limp lineup wondering what in the name of Jesús Luzardo happened.

What I’m saying is, don’t take these mock results too seriously. For me, the real value in mock drafting is in gaining greater familiarity with the player pool and contemplating roster construction. Regardless, it’s still entertaining to take a look at the results and consider which players may or may not come at a value next year. Below you’ll find the first four rounds of my 2 Early Mock which took place across a two week period from early to mid-September. Find the full ADP data from all six 2 Early Mocks here, generously provided by Smada of Prospects Live and Friends with Fantasy Benefits.

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All the final 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2020 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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