Please see our player page for J.D. Davis 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.

With the season in full swing and fantasy baseball well underway, Grey and I are feeling the early season blues. An off-season of hope and promise has turned into a week of despair. Instead of wallowing in self-pity like a Morrissey song, we hit the wavier wire and talk about some of top adds you should be scooping. Then we let out all the feels as we talk about our FOMO players for the upcoming season. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Baseball Podcast!

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After going over the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball, I needed a cigarette.  A good after-sex cigarette, not a waiting-to-go-into-court-to-hear-if-you-have-to-spend-18-months-in-jail cigarette.  Subtle, but important differences.  We also hit up the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball.  In no way was that clickbait.  Okay, onto the hot corner.  Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Good times, dyn-o-mite!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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I was waiting for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper to sign before dropping the last bit of offseason signings before the rankings that start on Monday, but apparently the Phillies only have $300 million for each, and they want $325-plus respectively, so we need to go forward with the news without Machado and Bryce.  The last bit of big news was Yusei Kikuchi signing with the Mariners.  He reminds me of every other Japanese pitcher, but not in a raycess way.  He reminds me of Miles Mikolas too, who was only Asian after being reborn.  It’s something about Asian pitchers, and non-Asian pitchers who go to Asia and return; they exercise some serious control.  Maybe it’s the culture.  I had a robot watch Gung Ho 15,000 times to tell me what it thinks and now the robot is speaking super-racist.  Yo, robot, why are you so culturally inappropriate?  “I have no culture of my own, so I adopt yours.  And I kill puppies.”  AHHH!!!  ROBOT MURDERER!!!  RUN!!!  Or roll your swivel chair towards a door if running is too much for you.  Kikuchi, which is going to be fun for me to say this year, comes with a lot less fanfare than Ohtani, but I do think he can be better than him, pitching-wise, in his first full season.  Ohtani is a unicorn in Babe Ruth’s body, we all know this.  Kikuchi reminds me of Mikolas and Ryu and others in that mold.  He’s a decent strikeout guy, but won’t blow people away, while also having impeccable command.  I’m definitely looking to draft him this year, then passing him up every other year when he fails to throw 130 IP in consecutive seasons because the Japanese also completely overwork their starters.  In fact (Grey’s got more!), the Mariners have already said Kikuchi will only throw an inning or so every fifth or sixth start to try to preemptively avoid the inevitable arm injury that befalls every Japanese starter.  For 2019, I’ll give Kikuchi projections of 9-7/3.67/1.18/136 in 151 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Hope everyone’s well rested and had a joyous Michael Bay Day.  If you couldn’t be American yesterday, I hope at least you got drunk and ate a bunch of hot dogs.  As they say in Mississippi, Amurica, “Spelling’s for sissies!”  In honor of Amurica’s half birthday, I hope you put a hot dog in your fly and went up to a female reporter, then let Roger Clemens watch you have sex with his wife.  Amurica would’ve wanted it that way!  Trevor Cahill did his part of keeping Amurica as true as the red, white and blue underwear you wash once a year and shut down those Rays, who we know want to have Devil in their name.  Cast out their demons, Trevamurica!  Yesterday, Cahill went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners (zero walks), 6 Ks, ERA at 2.25.  He’s never gonna give you a fire emoji of 98 MPH or even throw his fastball more than 45% of time.  He is throwing his slider twice as much as last year, cutting his curve’s usage, and after about 11 years in the league, it looks like its paying dividends.  His ground ball rate is over 60% and his walk rate is down to 1.8 with a 8.4 K/9.  What, you a rich man’s Dallas Keuchel?  I will call you, Dynasty’s Carrington.  I could see owning him in almost all mixed leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re going to get right to it this week, kids, and I apologize if today’s post doesn’t have as many exciting, last-minute updates as usual. Since I’m sure you’re wondering why it won’t have said exciting updates, I will tell you: it is because I will be attending the live taping of the Survivor finale, and will be going off the grid completely starting mid-day Wednesday. Yes, I’ll be in the same room with TV’s Jeff Probst, one of the few celebrities (along with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Doris Kearns Goodwin, FYI) that I am interested in being in close proximity to, but don’t you worry:  I’ve actually been in the same room as Mr. Probst before and I barely even did anything embarrassing, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep from humiliating myself. That’s actually more than I can say about the time I had a brief conversation with Ms. Kearns Goodwin, where I was as tongue-tied as I’ve ever been in my life. I have yet to cross paths with Mr. deGrasse Tyson, which is probably just as well for all concerned.

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This week is going to get ridiculous for Juan Soto (FAAB: 30-40%) bids. However, he often gets overlooked for his lack of experience in the minors. Do not follow this path of thinking because Soto is monstrous. Early scouting reports would always contain glowing reviews of the bat and approach. People were shocked by his ability to barrel the ball, and this was back in 2015 when Statcast was in its infancy. That was also back when Soto was 16-years-old, some scouts even saying the bat was the most polished in a class that included Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Soto consistently dealt with injury over the past couple years, but every single time he hit the field was special. The power has been there, average, walks, everything except speed which was never part of his game to start. All it takes is a few viewings of his swing, and a live barrel or two, for anyone to become an immediate fan of this youngsters bat.

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Howie Kendrick is out for multiple 10-day DLs with a ruptured Achilles injury.  Look at it this way, if Achilles couldn’t come right back from an Achilles injury, how would Kendrick?  He can’t, he’s out for the year.  Enter stage left, Juan Soto.  True story, as I was listening to Prospector Ralph and Lance Broetc. discuss the top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball (clickbait!), every time Ralph would say Juan Soto I’d think he was asking Lance if he wanted soda.  I kept wanting to say, just give him a Dr. Pepper and stop asking if he’s thirsty!  I don’t drink Soto, because it makes me burp, but I’ll tell you what?  I’ve found a special appreciation for La Croix.  Give me flavored seltzer or give me death, as Alan Hale Jr. once said.  Any hoo!  Love, love, lurve what the Nats did.  If you have a guy that’s going to be a superstar?  You call him up!  H to the hockey sticks with an E in between!  If the Blue Jays don’t call up Vlad soon, I will call them the BJs for the rest of eternity.  Ralph has gone over Juan Soto so many times, that it’s silly to reiterate.  Literally, he just wrote a Juan Soto fantasy.  If you’re really lazy and you have wheels on your barcalounger so you can get around, the most succinct is Soto could be a 35/12/.300 hitter during his peak and is 19 years old with extra fizz.  You can expect this year something similar to Bryce Harper’s rookie year — 20/15/.270.  If your eyes don’t bug out on that, you’ve lost feeling in your eyes.  Get them checked.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Seems like I can’t write one of these posts any longer without tripping over a Junior. Hell, Ronald Acuña added one for good measure. I’m about to change my eldest son’s name to Ralph Lifshitz Jr. just to get the most of the current environment. While it would be entirely in my power, and justifiable, to dedicate this space to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., I will refrain, and instead turn your attention to another highly rated Junior, Fernando Tatis Jr. It was a rough beginning to the season for Tatis, and while you could still point to a pretty putrid slashline, over his last 11 games he has 5 homers, including 3 in the last 5 games. He was a nearly universal Top 10 prospect entering the season, and was aggressively assigned to AA San Antonio. Looks like the time to panic is over and Tatis is back on track. No adjustment in Tatis’ ranking from me.

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The champ is here! The champ is here! Step aside, step aside y’all, we’re dancing into the winner’s circle to profile the top prospects of the World Series Champion Houston Astros. To say the Astros have built a winner through their astute drafting and international prowess is an understatement. Players like Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Lance McCullers all were developed in house, and plenty of additional homegrown talent was shipped out to reinforce the MLB club for the stretch run. So this is definitely a different system than the one profiled by yours truly over the last couple of offseasons. With a slew of graduations and trades, there’s a collection of high end talents from 1-4, followed by some above average high minors types, a handful of talented international lottery tickets, and a plethora of hard-throwing pen types. Houston seems to tread between a bunch of labels when it comes to pinpointing the best way to describe the system, but the most apt description is a good player development organization that needs to restock in the 2018 draft and international signing period. Without further ado it’s the Houston Astros Top Prospects.

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It’s funny how much third baseman are like eggplants. Why am I drawing this off the wall parallel? No reason, other than I didn’t know how to open, and the first thing I saw was an eggplant. Yes, a real eggplant not a eggplant emoji, or item represented by said emoji. Here we are on a Sunday, not talking about the minor league happenings of the last week, but heading full steam ahead into the our off-season prospect coverage. Crazy to think we’re two seasons into my tenure here at Razzball as the resident Prospector In Chief. Memories, tears, and promise rings. Today we dive into the chilly waters of the hot corner. Not the most exciting group I’ll profile over the next few weeks, but not every position is as stacked as outfield. Ya dig? That’s not to say there aren’t a collection of future fantasy stars, as well as fantasy relevant talents outside the top 5. The top three names of Guerrero, Senzel, and McMahon should be familiar to all, as they’re some of the top talents presently in the minors. Unlike outfield and shortstop, there’s a particular profile associated with 3rd. It’s a power position, and one expected to produce some of the top middle of the order bats. The top 5 is filled with those, but the next 5 is where things get interesting. As always, remember my personal preference weighs heavy on this ranks (these ranks are my personal preference after all…), and the ability to stick at the position long term is taken with a grain of salt. I’m looking for the best bats with 3Bs on the back of their minor league baseball cards.

Please, blog, may I have some more?