When you write, research, and talk ad nauseam about minor league systems for four to five months exclusively, you look forward to some systems more than others. The Cincinnati Reds are a team I couldn’t wait to cover. From Nick Senzel to Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and the rest, this organization is full of talents with fantasy upside. My compadre Lance Brozdowski and I dive in on all the top names and pretty much talk about the top three like they’re our children. Seriously I think we talk about Nick Senzel for 47 minutes. He’s that good… But in truth we cover the top 15 prospects, the arms, the bats, the 80 grade names. We learn that the words Cash and Case together form a massive tongue twister for Lance. Then again Cash Case is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, who speaks Mandarin. 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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alright Cincinnati, let’s just get this out of the way, your chili is gross, but your prospects are tasty. With high picks over the last few years, and a definite Cuban connection, the Reds have done well to add to their farm system of late. Their first round drafting over the last two seasons in particular has been a source of real talent, adding Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jeter Downs. While the days of highly volatile upside starters seem to be over, there’s still some upside arms to dream on, Tony Santillan specifically. With Tyler Mahle, Senzel, and Jesse Winker all in the mix for gigs on the major league squad out of camp, there’s some higher end close to the majors talent here too. I may not have any Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees takes, but I got plenty of Top Cincinnati Reds prospects to talk up. After all it’s the 2018 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Preview.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you hail from Central New Jersey, sorry. I didn’t mean to get your hopes up. Albert Pujols does not represent the 609. If you are a Ludacris fan, sorry. Pujols may or may not have garden hoes in different area codes, but I can neither confirm nor deny it. Rather, Pujols slugged his 609th career home run Friday night. It doesn’t matter that it came off Jeremy Hellickson, who’s allowed the 14th-most home runs this season, and is already the 439th-worst of all time. I was going to go on an epic rant about how all the stories are focused on the fact that he’s tied with Sammy Sosa for the most home runs by a foreign-born player. Who gives a flying F where he was born? Then I started thinking, I wonder which player born in Los Angeles has hit the most home runs. Yet again, I’ve managed to stymie myself. Anyways, who cares that Pujols has a triple slash of .229/.274/.374 with an ISO of .144. Let’s just celebrate the great career he’s had and send him off into the sunset after this season. My self checks to make sure this is his last year…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clearly, the Razzball Vulcan Mind Meld is complete: just as the Mustached One put up a post addressing rookies, Dr. Easy and I had begun to wonder how the current crop is actually doing. We combed through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) to see who’s living up to their hype. Who’s floundering in the face of big-league hitting or pitching? Who’s doing better than you think they are? Who’s doing worse? Why did basically no one draft Aaron Judge in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? We need answers! To get them, once more unto the Player Rater breach we go, my friends!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers”

– Oscar Wilde

Ralph Lifshitz and I started last week’s podcast by praying to the baseball gods for Willie Calhoun to be traded to the American League. We got our wish … and he is still blocked. Thanks, Shin-Soo Choo. Shockingly, we did manage to talk about more than Willie during this week’s podcast. We discussed our expectations of recent call-ups Amed Rosario, Ozzie Albies, Lucas Sims, and Jesse Winker, along with trying to predict the next wave of prospects to hit the bigs, including Reynaldo Lopez, Tyler Glasnow, Tyler Mahle, Rhys Hoskins, Franklin Barreto, and Lucas Giolito. Finally, we dove into the minor league promotions of Adrian Morejon, Alex Jackson, and Yusnial Diaz, and of course, we highly advise you to head over to RotoWear.com and enter 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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a picture of Reds’ outfielder, Jesse Winker:

 

The first thing people notice about him is he looks drunk and half-Asian.  He was throwing back soju and partying in an 8×10 room with three other people singing karaoke?  No, siree!  Or, no Siri, if a female computer is reading.  Next, you might wonder why the big grin.  He doesn’t have a body, ears, hair, arms, anything but a head really, so how can he keep such an upbeat attitude?  Well, let me put it to you this way, maybe it’s a body, ears, hair, etc. that bums people out.  You never thought of that, did you?  Okay, I’m being silly, but it’s Friday.  By the way, the other day, I realized that the days of the week MTWTFSS have WTF in the middle of them.  Mind –>blown.  So, with Schebler DL’d for an indefinite period of time, Winker has taken over right and started batting 2nd.  His power was goofy low in the minors this year (2 HRs in 85 games), but he doesn’t strike out, does walk and could hit .290.  I know, a lot of good that does with diddly poo on power, but he has homered twice this week, and did have more power before this year in the minors.  I’d grab him in all leagues to see if he found his stroke, even if we’re not sure what exactly he’d be stroking with.  Is that why he’s smiling?  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Book of Job says, “We will send out at least one email a day to all your contacts whether you like it or not.”  Shoot, I immediately see what I did wrong there.  I Googled for a Bible quote, and accidentally got an employee handout from LinkedIn.  Big bad on me.  Yesterday, Zack Godley went 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.86, with this start coming in Wrigley.  *gulps*  Maybe Godley isn’t an overstatement.  His peripherals are gorge too — 9.2 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 3.23 xFIP.  Throwing 92+ MPH with a mix of four pitches, and mostly going to Dazzletown with the curve being the pony killer (totally a saying!).  “I made you glue!” which is what I shout trying desperately to make “pony killer” a saying.  Oh, and all of it is coupled with a 56% ground ball rate.  That would be the third best in the majors if he qualified.  When there’s nary a starter in sight with a decent ERA, Godley’s otherworldly.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks ago, Grey listed Billy Hamilton in both the Buy and the Sell sections of the same column. It was a great reminder of how much player values change as the season progresses, and particularly how much a single player’s value can differ from one fantasy baseball team to another. By this time of the season, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your team could use to gain some precious points in the standings, and what would just be excess that does you no good at all.  Hamilton could be serious difference-maker on one team, and unnecessary waiver-wire fodder in another.

Obviously things are vastly different in NL-only, AL-only, and other particularly deep leagues — guys like Billy Hamilton aren’t just sitting around on waivers. It’s still important to remember how different a player’s value can be from one team to another though, especially when it comes to trades. I have a few leagues where there’s still a week or two left before our trade deadline, and it amazes me how many offers I’m still getting that would be of no help to me whatsoever — and, even more ridiculously, wouldn’t be of much help to the owner offering the trade either. Sometimes owners are so worried about getting the “best” or most owned player in a deal, that they forget to pay attention to whether or not those players could actually help their team rise in the standings. And even when going through the slim pickings of a deep-league waiver wire, don’t forget what you’re shopping needs are. Unless you’re playing defensively or have a trade in mind, there’s probably no reason to pick up a bad reliever just because he might close, or a horrible hitter with a little speed, if you already have more saves or steals than you know what to do with.

Speaking of players like bad relievers that may close, time to look at some guys who might be available in NL or AL only leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs.  Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando.  I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…”  Ya know what?  I’m just gonna leave this here…

I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!

You have to love Biz’s way with words.  Can only be described as slow and methodical.  Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve.  What’s he a dwarf?  You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall?  He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains.  Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph.  He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues.  This little guy is big-time.  Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since Corey Kluber returned from the DL, he’s been lights out.  Then lights on.  Then off.  On.  Off!  Nothing but glow sticks.  The sweet smell of body odor, ganja and herbal ecstasy rises.  An Asian man with pigtails walks by with a Red Bull and you see he’s wearing a diaper that reads “Change me.”  And…the…music…DROPS!  What?  He is a Kluber.  Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 11 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.58.  Shin-Soo Choo-Choo, next stop 3.25!  Kluber has had some great years, says Private Obvious.  “You’ll never replace me!” says Captain Obvious.  Kluber’s great years are looking up at this season’s peripherals thus far.  He has his highest K/9 (11) and his best xFIP (2.98) since his Cy Young year, which happens to be the fifth best xFIP in the majors before Clayton Kershaw.  I’d guess Kluber comes up short of his Cy Young season’s 2.44 ERA, but there’s little reason why he can’t be a top five starter for the rest of the season.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?