Please see our player page for Jarred Kelenic 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.

Well these have certainly been an interesting few days. Sunday, I hit the brakes on my 40-man scuba dive because I wanted to dance among the raindrops of roster decisions and come back soaked in fantasy baseball goodness. 

Making a team’s 40-man roster has always granted players an edge in getting a promotion. Every season when we’re waiting for our favorite prospects to get the call, we watch a parade of misfit toys already on the 40 get that chance first. Especially in some organizations that don’t like to toggle the 40-man. In the variation of baseball we’ll get this year, this under-contract advantage seems greater than ever. 

If you’re in a deep league, making semi-regular rounds dissecting 40-man rosters can give you a predictive edge. If you’re in any league, really, how can it hurt to know who’s likely to get called up next at a given position on a given team, no matter how anyone’s hitting or pitching?

Can’t hurt, right? 2020 will be all about maximizing short-term opportunities, so let’s hop in the pool and swim a lap around the American League West.

Note: everyone mentioned in this article is included in the 60-man player pool. 

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On our Steamer Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which have been updated to a 60-game season, we have 1,310 players ranked. 645 of them gained value. Some, for unstints, gained $0.1 of value like Juan Soto. Another hundred had zero value change like Christian Yelich. Another 600+ lost value. I’ll go over those guys in another post. This post will feature the top 20 players who gained the most value from doing nothing but bingeing Netflix for the last three months. Who knew watching Joe Exotic would add more value than any Driveline drills? Apparently, all baseball players need to know is, “Who is dumpster diving at your nearest Costco?” Anyway, here’s the top 20 biggest positive value changes for fantasy baseball pre vs. post-shutdown:

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Yesterday most teams announced their 60-man rosters for Summer Camp. You know Summer Camp, it’s when MLB players compete against each other in kayak and potato sack races, learn to respect other kids, even ones with nerdy glasses, and are managed by Bill Murray. Oh, and, yeah, all teams were supposed to release their 60-man rosters, but when you make a rule that in extra innings a runner will start on 2nd base, then rules are officially stupid and should not be followed. Rob Manfred speaking into a phone, “Brewers, we need your 60-man roster.”  Brewers, “It’s in your ass, Rob.” Rob, “I’m looking in a mirror and I do not see it.” One other thing about the 60-man rosters that were released:  they were all a few short of 60. 60-man rosters are a lot like Opening Day, a wait-and-see affair. Guys can be added still in the coming days. So, maybe there’s hope still for Ryan Mountcastle and Adley Rutschman, since they were omitted from the Orioles’ released 44-man roster. It would be surprising if they weren’t included in the coming days, if this weren’t the Orioles. Some teams included their 2020 draft picks. The Orioles have yet to include their 1st pick from 2015 (Mountcastle) and their 1st pick from last year. i.e., Grey’s about to lose his crap and only talk in 3rd person. Anyway, here’s what else I saw 2020 fantasy baseball:

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During the moments I could focus enough to exercise the fantasy part of my brain, I’ve been brainstorming for what I should explore during the virus break. 

A fast forward to next March’s Top 100 list landed pretty high on my to-do list, but the task of going back to the future quickly became a complicated proposition. 

Will the Tigers have any incentive to promote Skubal, Manning and Mize? 

In a full season, players can push for the next level through dominance, putting a variety of pressures on the organization: fan frustration, developmental stall, player frustration, etc. 

It’s easy to project Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and Wander Franco to push their way up given a full season, but the math is all variables now. And mostly negative ones for young studs on non-contenders. 

Nonetheless, I grabbed some plutonium and had a lot of fun in the process. Feeling pretty good about the whole thing on publication day. Will have more to say about the future in future, specifically this Sunday. In the meantime, to paraphrase the great Red Green: if you don’t find this list handsome, I hope at least you’ll find it handy.

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Top Seattle Mariners Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball with Tiers

Seattle General Manager trader Jerry Dipoto got us through last off-season, making what felt like a transaction every day to keep the baseball media grinding through a bleak, mostly silent winter. 

This time around has been so busily different in baseball that Dipoto’s big move sending Omar Narvaez to Milwaukee for Adam Hill and the 71st overall pick in the 2020 draft registered barely a blip on the radar. 

The Twitterati and me are grateful to be less bored this year and grateful to Dipoto for getting us through the free agency freeze of winters past. 

And hey along the way he’s put together a system that gives Seattle fans hope even as they bottom out in search of a winning wave.

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For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.

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It’s opening day!

The Arizona Fall League begins early this year, and I’m interested to see how the prospect fallout differs now that the kids aren’t the only ballgame in town. The previous iteration created a month-plus layoff for the arms, which was deemed a bad thing for reasons known to someone, presumably.

Fantasy leagues might be frozen already, transaction-wise, but if you’re in one that’s not, it’s sound strategy to fit some fall-league prospects into your build. I think the echo-chamber value-bounce has increased year-over-year as more and more prospectors make their way to Arizona for live looks. Last year, Jazz Chisholm went from borderline top 100 to top 30 range in just those few weeks. Nico Hoerner made his first professional noise and climbed the lists under this same bright spotlight. So who’s likely to get that shine this time around?

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The minor league season is winding down and so is my time here at Razzball. Indians prospect Yu Chang (3-for-5) blasted a pair of homers Friday night – his eighth and ninth dingers on the season. It’s been a disappointing year for Chang, mainly because he has above average power and yet hasn’t taken advantage of the homer happy Triple-A environment. You’re probably asking why I’m leading with him. Here’s why – prospect fatigue. Chances are a guy in your dynasty league is sick of Chang and is willing to sell him at a discount – believing he won’t amount to anything but a Quad-A type. But Chang is just two years removed from a 24-homer, 11-steal season at Double-A and his plate discipline is in line with his other MiLB years. Chang is now 24, and that’s another reason owners might be ready to give up. I’d be willing to take a flyer on him at the right price and hope I run into another Aquino or something even remotely similar. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Welcome to the post where I copy and paste…er…uh…I mean rerank the Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is a fantasy prospect list – not a real one. Therefore ergo such and such, you get the drift. I’ll say this about my rankings approach – I tend to chunk it and don’t get too caught up in ranks that are close to one another. So if you want to debate #35 versus #36 I’m going to have to put you in a timeout where you can debate yourself. I’m sure you are all master debaters. Anyhoo, I try not to let the first half of this season completely change the scouting reports we came in with at the beginning of the year. Then again, you do have to take this season into consideration, along with recent signings. Also, these are composite ranks averaged between myself and my five alternate personalities. My doctor says it’s healthy to include them in this process. It’s all an extremely complex algorithm that involves me, a bowl of cold spaghetti marinara, and a clean white wall. Oh, and one more thing…I don’t include players that I expect to exceed the rookie limits this year. That’s 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched for those keeping score. Not trying to waste your time on players that likely won’t be prospects in the fall. On to the list…

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