Please see our player page for Jake Rogers 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.

Razzlings, While the first two series of the MLB regular-season are cancelled, there is hope yet in these Razzhalls. RazzSlam has been chugging along. Additionally, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational (TGFBI) began this week. Most of the writers are participating in TGFBI as well as RazzSlam. While we have yet to see any baseball action, […]

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It’s Vidal Brujan SZN! BruSZN?! Tell me oh great Fantasy Baseball Overlord, it is not a dream I have awoken from–“Shut up and grab Vidal Brujan.” That’s the Fantasy Baseball Overlord speaking only to me. Sorry, you ain’t got the cred! The Rays’ beat writers said with Manuel Margot hitting the IL with a hamstring injury, which is truly too bad–DID SOMEONE SAY VIDAL BRUJAN?!–The beat writers also said Brujan wouldn’t just be up for a doubleheader on Wednesday. He would remain with the Rays. So, I grabbed him in one league, and tried in all my leagues, including a 12-team mixed league. Here’s my Vidal Brujan fantasy. Bit old, still applies, which is different than my least favorite fruit, that’s “still apples.” The big takeaway from my fantasy take on Brujan is what Prospect Itch said about him, “It’s rare enough for a 40-steal player to enter our game. Even rarer to find one who hits enough to earn himself regular playing time. Rarer still to find one who speaks five languages. I mention this last piece because language learning requires the same determination needed for the grind of baseball. You’re going to make mistakes. Might look like an idiot. Might often feel dumb. But you have to keep putting yourself out there. And as long as you stay positive and focus on the long term, you can improve a little bit every day. In 2014, Tampa signed Brujan out of the Dominican Republic for $15,000. He was illiterate at the time. Now: five languages. Grey can’t speak one.” Tough but fair, tee bee aitch. Go and grab him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

What are the Angels doing? “Every time David Bell does something stupid, he smacks his head twice, and hears a ringing in his ears, then an Angel gets his wings.” That’s terrific, Clarence, but you’re a bit of a noodge. Imagine having an angel following you around all day, telling you what could be if you lived your life differently? What a nightmare! Constantly whispering in your ear, “If you throw that plastic straw into the ocean, a dolphin will get it stuck in his blow hole, and won’t be able to squeak at a young boy in Indonesia on a wooden raft and, without that distraction, the boy will drift into the middle of an ocean liner’s path and–” Shut up, Clarence! You’re annoying me! That would be my It’s A Wonderful Life, just screaming shut up. Any hoo! What are the Angels doing in regards to Juan Lagares and Taylor Ward starting in their outfield? Let’s put aside Taylor Ward, because he’s young and maybe he can do something. Let’s instead focus on Juan Lagares. He’s 32 years old, and his top year in the majors was 47/6/41/.259/7, when he was 26 years old. That was in 143 games! Try to wrap your noodle around Juan Lagares getting 143 games and those stats. It’s pretty difficult to do, and that was six years ago! Lagares is in the majors because he is perceived as a defensive specialist. On its face, a 32-year-old centerfielder is lunacy. Ya think he might’ve lost a step somewhere along the way? Ya think?! With some more stank: YA THINK?! Using defense metrics, Byron Buxton has 25.8 UZR/150 games. You don’t need to know what UZR is other than it’s a fielding metric and Buxton is great. Lagares is ranked 79th for fielding centerfielders and has -11.3 UZR/150 games. There’s only 30 teams and Lagares is 79th for centerfield defense! Okay, enough bagging on Lagares, enter: Jo Adell. Even if he fields with his glove on the wrong hand, he can’t be that much worse. Or move Taylor Ward to center and call up Adell! It defies logic why Adell isn’t up already, and it’s because of his bat why we’re here: He’s on pace for 40+ homers in Triple-A. He’s still struggling with strikeouts, and might not hit above .220, but, again, I’m asking: What are the Angels doing? It’s time to call-up Adell and play him. Irregardless? Yes, I’m ill re: Lagares and their other options. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Thursday’s afternoon games. Since both states involved are two-party consent, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Fray Mallbright. Here, let’s listen in:

“Hello, this is the CEO of Spider Tack, the world’s stickiest, gummiest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-on-a-baseballiest stuff. Who’s calling?”
Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguised his voice so he sounded raspy, and said, “I’m Kathleen Turner. I was wondering if you would sell me 7,000 cases of your Spider Tack, and send them individually to pitchers’ homes?”
“Body Heat’s Kathleen Turner? Romancing the Stone’s Kathleen Turner? Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–”
“Okay, fanboy, if I get you 7,000 addresses, will you send the Spider Tack?”
“Can I ask why you want the Spider Tack sent to pitcher’s homes?”
Rob dropped the Kathleen Turner rasp and said, “So, we can bust them and they’ll all lose their arbitration cases!” Then cackled evilly for five minutes, finally adding, “Deal?”

Have you heard this latest? Pete Alonso has accused Rob Manfred of manipulating the ball, depending on the free agent class. He said it’s a fact. I’m 100% here for conspiracy lunacy. Rob Manfred, evil genius or dumbf*ck? So hard to say! Yesterday, Zack Wheeler (8 IP, 0 ER, 4 hits, zero walks, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.29) continued his fantastic season, and it appears he has no additional spin on his 4-seamer. His expected ERA is 2.55, and xBA is .202. Also, his velocity is up on his fastball (97+ MPH) and his 81 MPH curve has a .119 xBA, which is hilarious. Lots still can happen, but Wheeler looks like a Cy Young candidate, and top five starter in baseball, assuming he doesn’t get a mysterious package from Kathleen Turner. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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First off, can we talk about Mason Williams? Does he show up each day at the park wearing a giant paint can? He’s a mascot for a paint company, right? Every 7th inning stretch, they should have him race a Dutch Boy. That’s just marketing. “The Dutch Boy mascot or an actual Dutch boy?” Damn it, you and your very smart questions. Listen, you have to decide some stuff on your own, but if you can get Mads Mikkelson, you have to do it. So in addition to Mason Williams (2-for-4 and his 1st homer, hitting .250), all the other Mets also got after former Met, Matt Harvey (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 7.41). Must’ve been a nice night to be in the David Wright household. “Who’s a cuck now?!” David screamed at his TV. Was there an Albombso? Oh, there was an Albombso — Pete Alonso went 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer. Kevin Pillar (3-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .262) hit his 3rd and 4th homer. True to his name, Pillar’s had a lot of columns written on him after taking one off his moneymaker. Pillar deserves it. Finally, Billy McKinney (3-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 6th and 7th homer. He’s a stereotypical Brewers’ hitter, which makes it odd they’d let the Mets steal him away. He’ll make lousy contact, hit some homers and would I like him more if his name was Mads McKinneyson? Yes. Billy Madsonney? No. Billy McKinsey? Definitely not. He’s a hot schmotato, pretend you know the haps. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hello, darkness, my old friend.  But replace ‘darkness’ with ‘catchers’ and ‘my old friend’ with ‘we have to get through this to get further into our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings.’  Hmm…Then replace ‘our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings’ with ‘my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings,’ then replace ‘with’ with ‘wit’ to millennialify it, then replace every third ‘replace’ with ‘in place of’ to diversify word choice because my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Pinatauro, said we shouldn’t repeat words–Actually, she can eat it!  After going over the top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), we are now in the positional rankings, and all 2020 fantasy baseball rankings can be found there.  Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  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 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Does anyone else feel like the Tigers have been tanking forever? I know it’s only been a few seasons, but they burned a couple years chasing the twilights of their veteran core. When you wait a long time to start the sell-off, the rebuild feels longer, I guess. 

Detroit failed to get much for JD Martinez, Justin Verlander or Nick Castellanos when they finally did sell. They have very little positional talent in the system, which feels odd because they haven’t graduated anyone of note, so they don’t have positional talent in the majors either. It’s jarring to look around an entire organization and find zero long-term regulars. We can count Riley Greene if you want. Niko Goodrum, too, if you like. 

Do you though?

CJ Cron was a good signing. Jonathan Schoop made sense. It’s smart for Detroit to be all over this corner of the market, but it’s even smarter to find the Travis Demerittes of the world. The 4A flier discount is a Dodger specialty that Farhan Zaidi has applied in San Francisco to decent effect already. I’d like to see Detroit exploit the AAA afterthoughts like all full rebuilds should be doing. It’s worth a lot more to unearth a player with years of cheap control than it is to give an average veteran a short-term gig hoping to flip him for low-level fliers at the deadline. 

In my early days considering this system, I figured the Tigers would hold all their relevant prospects back until 2021, but after rolling around in the roster for a while, I decided that everyone who can help is probably coming up this year. It would be yet another narrative-leaning move rather than what seems best for winning in the long term, but it makes business sense. They risk losing fans if they play the timeline game on all their arms, and if they’re letting even one come to the big leagues, why not just bring them all up and enjoy the energy surge of having exciting young arms to watch every other day. If they fail, send them back down. The fans will be on board with the slow-burn at that point. Makes sense to dodge AAA with Mize, Manning and Skubal if at all possible, too. If you’re going to experience the juicy-ball confidence-death that awaits pitchers these days, why not let it happen at the big leagues to soothe the mind. Better to give up an oppo cheapie to Ronald Acuna Jr. than Yasmani Tomas, confidence-wise. 

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On Saturday Night my phone rang, my cellphone obviously I’m not a dinosaur. I quickly looked at my screen noticing it was Lance. This was unusual because Lance usually texts me. I feared the worst, perhaps Lance was kidnapped by a street gang and held for ransom. Was he lost? Cold? Did he forget his Keys IN CONNECTICUT?!? I put aside my panic for a moment and decided to answer it. **Deep breath** “Hey Lance, what’s up?” “WE HAVE EMILY COMING BACK THIS WEEK”. Lance then hung up and immediately texted me the rundown of his day like a normal person. Phone calls are for weirdos. Long story short, Emily Waldon of The Athletic Detroit and The Athletic MLB, joins us to talk some Arizona Fall League, Tigers Prospects, and some recent interviews she did with AA catcher Jake Rogers and AA outfielder Daz Cameron. (Yes, that’s Mike’s son.) It’s another episode of rapid fire minor league takes. I wouldn’t go that far but we talk a lot of players. It’s the Razzball Prospect Podcast powered by ProspectsLive.com. As always make sure you stop by Rotowear.com, and support our sponsor by picking up some of the freshest T-shirts out there.

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Is it too early to update my first year player draft rankings? Because we have a battle to replace Alec Bohm at the top of the list. In one corner we have Cardinals wunderkind Nolan Gorman. A power-hitting prodigy, with Herculean raw power, and a bat so quick and compact he could turn on a hollow-point on the inside. At 18 he already has a big league body, and the pretty swing to match. St. Louis was aggressive with him, skipping the Gulf Coast League for the more advanced Appy league. The results have certainly backed that decision, through 33 games the third basemen is slashing .341/.437/.682. In yesterday’s game he connected for his 11th homer of the season, as part of a 4-for-6 performance. He’s in the midst of a 7 game hitting streak and has homers in three straight. Actually he has homers in four of his last five games, slugging two doubles on Tuesday in his homer-less game. So this leads us back to our original question; Is Gorman the number 1 pick in FYPD? The question is yes and no, for me it’s a two man battle between Gorman, and Jonathan India, more on him later. But it’s tough to argue against Gorman’s bat at the moment. If you were to say he was the best hitter in the draft, you might be right. He’s been great so far, and a promotion to the full season Midwest League could come shortly. For now consider Gorman a major mover in my forthcoming Top 500 update.

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What an off-season it’s been here on the Razzball Prospect Podcast. As we roll through system by system, leaving nothing but intelligent minor league coverage in our wake, we’ve had the good fortune of interviewing some of the top prospectors in their respective organizations. It all culminates this week, as we welcome The Athletic’s Emily Waldon into the fold. Emily is a friend and the go to resource for all things Tigers Prospects related. Lance goes back and forth between Emily’s Tigers list for the Athletic and my list for Razzball, going Player by player discussing their fantasy and real life impact. It’s another banner week here on the Razzball podcast. 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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Thomas Jefferson once said “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. This is a lesson the 2017 Detroit Tigers took to heart. They knew their window was honestly closing, and sold off aging stars, and spare parts for something Detroit has lacked for a long time, organizational depth. Over the past two drafts and the 2017 trade deadline (both of them), the Tigers added seven of the top ten players on the list below. They’ve focused heavily on adding arms with front of the rotation upsides, and have succeeded for the most part, plucking a handful of exciting pitching talents. The positional side of things is a little thinner, but there’s a small collection of bats with some serious fantasy allure. With the top pick in the upcoming 2018 MLB draft there’s a good chance the Tigers add a couple of impact players before this time next year. The future is bright in the Motor City, with a majority of their top talents years away, this could be a system on the rise over the next 24 months. One side note, I was well trained for this post, by Tigers Prospect writer and friend Emily Waldon. If you’re not following Emily now on twitter you really should. I’ll give you a minute… Now that you’ve obeyed my every command, let’s get into the Detroit Tigers Top Prospects for 2018.

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Last year, my brother from another mother, Michael C. Halpern, predicted a new wave of offensive catchers. Players like Gary Sanchez, Tom Murphy, and Willson Contreras were here to lead the first wave in a new generation. Fast forward one year later, and Gary Sanchez and Contreras are in fact leading a new generation of good hitting catchers, while the other guy has been erased from my memory. Or at least I thought, I’m shocked I can even recall Tom Murphy’s name. But that’s neither here nor there. We have some exciting catchers to cover. That’s right, I used the words exciting and catchers in the same sentence! This sounds like Razzball sacrilege! But it’s true, because, for the first time since the Clinton administration, there’s as many as 10 crouching tigers I would own in dynasty. Here’s to this wave of talented backstops being better than the previous. And may that apply in the most double entendre of ways possible to all aspects of your life, loyal reader. I appreciate you for committing this time to something as trivial as catching prospects. Pray hands… So the least I can do is wish you good luck in your love life. Today’s post concludes my positional top 10s, we’ve already dug through Pitchers, outfielders, shortstops, third baseman, second baseman, and first baseman. Onto catchers!

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