Please see our player page for Hunter Harvey 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.

Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.

Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!

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The end of the 2019 fantasy baseball will be no easier than the rest of it. Pitching is imploding all around us. Do what you can to stem the tide of disaster and consider an effective middle reliever over a volatile starter.

  • The Brad Hand saga continues. More positivity from the team (shocker!) as they say Hand “looked like himself” in a bullpen session. I guess that’s better than looking like Willie McGee? We’re still locked in the downward spiral of news, shaky outing, rest, repeat. The bullpen usage in Cleveland hasn’t sent any clear message about saves in Hand’s stead. Oliver Perez earned a save of the one out variety while Nick Wittgren is getting used in leverage spots but not getting the final out. Call ups James Karinchak and James Hoyt are also in the mix with Nick Goody and Adam Cimber as other possibilities. Fun times.
  • Turns out Felipe Vasquez is an asshole and a pedophile. Can’t say it was nice knowing you. Enjoy federal pound me in the ass prison. As for the shipwreck that is the Pirates Keona Kela is the lead candidate to close given his stuff and closing experience. Richard Rodriguez could see the ninth if Kela is shaky or gets hurt, as he tends to do.
  • Kenley Jansen blew his eighth save, just after a stretch of solid outings. The Dodgers seem to be committed to him as their closer and want him to get right for the postseason. When you thrive with only an elite cutter the end comes fast when the pitch loses some bite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jansen retire this offseason when you consider his 2018 heart issue.
  • Matt McGill returned to the head of the closer committee in Seattle notching his fifth save Wednesday. He’s the favorite to finish as their primary closer if he remains healthy.
  • We all roasted the Brewers for acquiring Drew Pomeranz. Who’s laughing now? He’s been an excellent reliever and just picked up his second save. Only having to face batters once clearly suits him with 36 Ks in 21.1 IP.
  • Hunter Harvey is being shut down for the rest of the season with bicep soreness. File his name away as a late dart in the 2020 saves chase.
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Yours truly caved in and purchased a minivan last week with the arrival of child number two. If you decline to take any further of my baseball advice I will understand. Let me tell you something, though. I love it. It’s roomy. There’s a TV in it. The sound of rain on the giant flat roof is hypnotically melodic. Just like a fantasy season, life goes in stages. Don’t get stuck holding on to something from yesterday that will ruin your tomorrow. You could end up like Matt Foley, thrice divorced, eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van, down by the river. Tiers are of course van themed.

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What a disaster major league pitching has been this year. With the juiced ball on top of mounting injuries, we’re all plugging holes faster than Captain Ahab. If you’re in good shape in your pitching categories I recommend a conservative approach using a stopgap reliever until you can sort out something more permanent. Protect those ratios, maybe grab a few strikeouts, and figure out your fringe solution on your bench.

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As if it weren’t enough that the injury bugs are destroying our MLB fantasy teams in the early weeks of the season, they’re apparently coming after our precious pitching prospects now too. Brent Honeywell, number 21 in your programs but number one in your hearts, experienced some forearm soreness and will be shutting it down for at least a week or so. If somebody like me gets forearm soreness it’s no big deal and people just question what I do with my free time. But for Honeywell, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and was a sexy pick for some second half starts with the Rays, this is crappy news. Hopefully this is just a case of the Rays being extra cautious with a top prospect and in two weeks we can put the noose back in our underwear drawer. *assistant whispers in my ear that not everyone keeps a noose in their underwear drawer* Well then, Mr. Happy, here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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The preview season is upon us, and we’re kicking it off with the Diamondbacks and Orioles. Lower case yay… On their own these are two relativity boring systems, but combined they create a super system, still less exciting than next week’s topic the Braves. Another lower case yay. Lance and I kick off the show with some discussion of the Dee Gordon trade, the prospects headed the Marlins way. We touch on Kevin Maitan signing with the Angels, and some other “hot stove” news, before delving into discussions of Jon Duplantier’s mechanics, Ryan Mountcatle’s leg kick, and how good Austin Hays really is. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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I’ve spent a good two hours, racking my brain, trying to come up with a band with a few good songs, and a whole lot of garbage. The problem is, no matter who I say, some fan of some band is going to get triggered. We don’t need anyone triggered, it’s Sunday Morning baby, get high feel the good vibes. So I’ll instead say Collective Soul. They had a bunch of hits, can’t remember listening to an album, ever. But they had radio songs people knew. The Baltimore Orioles are Collective Soul. They’ve had some hits over the years, most notably Manny Machado, recently Jonathan Schoop, but overall they have a lot of mediocre talents and garbage. One of the strangest dynamics of GM Dan Duquette’s tenure is his detest for the international market. He routinely deals away his bonus pool slots, and now his cash allotment for players. Over the past 12 months he’s acquired Yerfy Ramirez, and a bunch of garbage for all of his tradable money. Needless to say, not venturing into the July 2nd market puts a lot of pressure on the Orioles to nail their draft picks. While they have hit on a couple, it’s few and far between. They’ve struggled to truly develop a frontline starter. As Kevin Gausman continues to flash equal parts brilliant and repugnant. Dylan Bundy showed promise, but still has a ways to go to reach his potential. This inability to develop frontline pitching is not due to a lack of trying. As the O’s have gone starter in the first round five of the past seven seasons. The question is, are any of them good? Short answer, more below… (Big Market Tease High Five>)

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With a rash of Callups in the last week, there’s guaranteed to be numerous players exceeding their rookie limits over the coming weeks. This new batch of players will move up top 100 lists and into the discussion of the top 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 prospects in the game. A player who finds himself squarely in the conversation for top overall prospect in the game is the Dunedin Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The highly touted 3rd baseman is easily one of the top 5 bats in all of the minor leagues at the tender age of 18. Over the last month he’s added to his already impressive 2017 campaign by slashing .385/.483/.646 with 6 homers and 23 RBI. With the power stroke taking a step forward it wouldn’t surprise me to see Vlad Jr. ranked as high as 1st overall in some off-season prospect lists. He’s easily the top prospect in the Florida State League this season, and in all levels of A ball. He matches his father’s uncanny ability to make contact with balls anywhere in and out of the zone, with a far more patient approach than his namesake. At this point Guerrero should be owned in all dynasty formats. Here’s what else is going down in the MiLB.

P.S. Here’s Vlad Jr. hitting a homer to clinch a FSL playoff spot on Thursday Night.

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There’s no time of the year better for baseball junkies like us, than the dog days of August. The playoff races are starting to take shape, all levels and leagues in the minors are in full swing, the Cape Cod League playoffs are going, and there’s always a game, boxscore, or lineup to check. My wife calls this Ralphie-Phone-Hands season. Sorry I’m the creative one in the relationship, my wife just awkwardly creates puns from Tim Burton movie titles. Believe me, you don’t want to hear what she’s done with Big Fish. Any the who, this leads me to our lede topic for today, (lead-lede?) Brewers 2017 first rounder Keston Hiura. Coming into the draft many considered Hiura to be the most/best/pro-ready hitter in the draft. Once you’re done choosing your hyperbolic label, we’ll move along. Okay you done? Good, great, grand. There’s one issue with Hiura though, he hasn’t played the field in pretty much a year due to an elbow injury, that up to now, has not required Tommy John. Have I scared you off yet? If so, I hope we share a league and you’ve already gone back to asking Grey catcher questions. Why? Because I want Keston Hiura on all my dynasty teams. In a year where far off prep hitters, and high school arms are the crème de la crème, I’ll gladly target the advanced college bat with contact, power, and approach.

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Despite their lack of fanfare from a player development standpoint, the Baltimore Orioles have done as good a job as any in developing major league talent. The usual knocks are their inability to develop, and keep major league starters. As players like Jake Arrieta, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Zack Davies have found varying degrees of success outside of Avon Barksdale’s home turf. While starters have alluded the Orioles, top notch bullpen talent has not. There’s little questions as to who’s developed the best homegrown bullpen in the world. In addition to the pen they’ve cultivated young superstar Manny Machado, and nurtured Rangers washout Chris Davis into a perennial 40 home run threat. In fact they were tied for the most homegrown players of any team in the 2016 MLB playoffs. At present the Orioles system lacks high impact fantasy talent, but features several intriguing players for deeper dynasty leagues. In other words, it could suck more than it does….

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