Preston Tucker is on pace for 32 home runs, 129 runs batted in and a .278 batting average. I realize that the whole “on pace” argument three weeks into the season holds about as much water as a bottle with a hole in the bottom of it, but the point is that he is off to a very good start. Unexpected? I think so. After spending all of 2017 in AAA fixing flat tires for the Astros, he was traded to the Braves in the offseason where he would hopefully have the opportunity to play in the Majors. Ok, maybe he didn’t fix any flats, but he did hit 24 home runs in 569 plate appearances. Perhaps the Astros felt they were one Tucker over the limit considering they also had Preston’s younger brother Kyle in the organization. Kyle also happens to be their top hitting prospect. When the front office gave him the news I hope he said “Tucker out” as he exited the meeting.

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The Indians and Twins set sail for the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico to rid themselves of the cold weather.  Puig should really be from there, because white people pronounce each similarly awful.  “Welcome to Pwwwwwayto Rico!”  This was a homecoming for Francisco Lindor (1-for-5, 2 RBIs) and he promptly hit his 2nd homer, a moonshot that went about 275 feet (but, hey, it counts).  Also, taking advantage of the short fences was Michael Brantley (3-for-5, 2 RBIs, 1st homer), Jose Ramirez (3-for-5, 4th homer) and Yonder Alonso (1-for-4, 3rd homer).  The video of Lindor going around the bases is all that dem feels that baseball does right.  How does baseball not have a team in Puerto Rico?  Talk about something that is so obvious you have to be as ignorantly run as MLB to not see it as plain as day.  Move the fences back 25 feet in Hiram Bithorn Stadium, switch out the fungo bats for mofongo and let that star shine!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Padres starters give me the feels; Mariners starters start the underneath tinglings; Dodgers starters feather enthusiasm on the undercarriage.  Reds starters?  That park is so blech.  Luis Castillo’s sexy, but, again, that park and…I trail off, thinking about whatever happened to Better Call Saul, did that show end?  When my thoughts drift back, I remember what I was thinking about, and see Tyler Mahle.  More like Tyler Mehle was my thought.  Now?  After watching him dismantle the Cubs?  Color me intrigued, with a red paintbrush.  Yesterday, Mahle went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 7 Ks.  He looked shaky as all get out to start the game — walked Happ, Bryant lined out hard, hit Rizzo, then he said, “Good morning, good afternoon, and–Well, I already have two outs, so I’ll have to say good night in the next inning.”  And he did.  He settled down after that, and no one looked close to starting a rally.  He had a bit of luck at one point by getting to face the opposing Tyler after giving up a triple to Baez, but Mahle didn’t exude a whole lot of sweat beads otherwise.  I’ve seen more sweat on a girl doing a Tyler Chatwood, which is a euphemism for tying a cherry stem into a knot with your mouth while seamlessly carrying on a conversation.  I grabbed Mahle in one league for his next start vs. the Pirates, and plan on going one start at a time for now, but I’m encouraged.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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There’s nothing better than an April Fools’ prank that is so sly it’s barely perceptible as a prank.  You don’t even know if it’s a gag.  One year, I had a sound engineer friend make a recording that said, “This call is being recorded.  A copy of that recording is available automatically to the police and the prosecutors.”  Then used that to call my mom and tell her I was in jail for accidentally running down a family of four.  “But mom the light was yellow!”  Apparently, I overestimated how funny she’d find that phone call, and twelve years later, she still calls me the night before April Fools’ to remind me not to pull any pranks on her.  This year the best prank I saw was one done by Major League Baseball.  It was so slight, if you blinked you’d miss it.  For their prank, they scheduled a half day on a Sunday.  Since 1908, MLB has played a full schedule of games on Sunday.  What a great joke!  Well done, MLB.  But, seriously, this is a joke, right?  Any hoo!  Know what’s not a joke, the love Trevor Williams has for Razzball, apparently:

Yesterday, Williams wasted no time to prove to me that his love for us is as strong as my love for him.  He went 6 IP, 0 ER with zero hits, but he failed to locate as well, and walked five guys, while racking up only one strikeout.  I believe his love for Razzball is only growing so this is just the beginning of great things to come.  Notice spelling of ‘come,’ you sickos.  On the reals, I like Williams for this year, and wrote a Trevor Williams sleeper for him this preseason.  Anyway, here’s what I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Spring has sprung and real baseball is here!  That fake stuff and all its glorious research has come to a head and later this week, that team that you built will go to battle.  Don’t go into battle with a little extra ammo in your tool belt though.  We all know who the steals candidates are and where to draft them by now.  The names are familiar, and if you drafted them, you are hoping the results that they have promised with our expectations.  My post this week is instead taking a look at the reflexive of the actual base stealers, and since the end of this week we’ll actually have counting stats, why not look at the pitchers and catchers that have the propensity to give up the most frequent of thievery?  It is often a very overlooked facet of the game.  We always see the counting stats of the perennial stolen base leaders, but never hear a peep about the pitchers who give up the most, or the catchers that are god awful at throwing them out.  I get that other forces of baseball nature encompass both of those factors of caught stealing and pitchers tendencies for base thefts, but if numbers don’t lie, let’s take a look at them and see who has the “better”chance for giving up the stat.  So here is this week’s SAGNOF report, basically picking on guys who do nothing but aid us in the stolen base category.  Cheers!

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I only wish Madison Bumgarner fractured his hand after every single person drafted, because I knew I was never drafting him.  Terrible thing to say?  Perhaps, but I’m not the poor schnook who was still drafting him after I said for the last three months to not draft him.  I even put him in a tier originally in the top 20 starters that said, DO NOT DRAFT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  Okay, not in that tall of a font, but the sentiment was all over that tier.  I said specifically, “This is just like the above tier, and I will be avoiding it, but rather than the above guys who I actually like, just won’t draft, I do not like the guys in this tier, and would never draft them at their price.  So, while I wouldn’t draft the above guys, I really wouldn’t draft these guys.  Got it?  Cool.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Of course, I can’t claim prescience that I knew he’d be hit by a comebacker, but will I anyway?  Hmm…  Why not?!  Prescience ain’t just a word on my Word of the Day calendar that I got in a Secret Santa!  So, I’ve dropped Bumgarner in the rankings, and adjusted his projections accordingly.  My Fantasy Baseball War Room gets updated on the reg, as well.

Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

Welcome to the Derek Jeter ownership era! Hopefully it goes a little better than Michael Jordan’s has gone so far. There have been more payroll cuts in Miami than ESPN made last year. So I guess we have a rebuild on our hands. Just in case you have missed any of the big moves that the Marlins made: They traded Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, traded Dee Gordon to the Mariners, shipped Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals, and finally granted Christian Yelich his wish to leave by trading him to the Milwaukee Brewers. At least they got Lewis Brinson?  I talked to Ely Sussman from Fish Stripes about his beloved Marlins. Just a quick note, this interview was done before the Chistian Yelich trade to Milwaukee.

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What could be more exciting than an entire Fantasy Baseball Podcast dedicated to the catching position? Who doesn’t want to own more catchers? Okay, okay, so I’m laying it on thick, but thick is the new thin, not sure if you heard. Low key thickness aside, January Grey or Anime Grey, not sure which Grey I’m getting, but either way our hero returns for another week of in depth fantasy baseball discussion. We fawn over Gary Sanchez, discuss JT Realmuto vs. Willson Contreras, breakdown Buster Posey’s value, and talk up Salvador Perez’s sleeper status amongst the top tier at the position. But it’s the recent “Evan Gattis is a full-time DH with catcher eligibility” story-line that hangs over the podcast like a storm cloud, eliciting reactions from us intermittently. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% 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 have to keep this short, because after the jump is going to be the longest post you’ve ever seen in your life.  How do I know all the posts you’ve seen to compare this one to?  Because I’m sitting behind you.  *waves*  Hey!  I’ve given you the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All projections included are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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After going over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), it’s now time to turn our lonely eyes to you, Mr. Robinson Chirinos.  To paraphrase The Refreshments from their should-be smash hit, Fonder and Blonder, “Who said absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Pitches are thrown to catchers, but that doesn’t make my heart grow fonder.”  Later in that song, they sing, “I’ll be scratchin’ it down,” which sounds like it applies to all baseball players.  Or as the rhyming dictionary has never said, applies to oranges.  Any hoo!  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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