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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Jesus Luzardo 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.
Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert! I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be. H) That’s about it. I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet? Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation: He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not! Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to September!
Fall has always been a time for baseball to get weird and bring all the kids along. The rules will change in 2020, dropping active rosters from 40 players to 28, so I’m thinking organizations might be even thirstier than usual for this last red-rover run through the end-of-summer sprinkler.
The thing about September: it used to be the seventh month, leading into months eight (Oct), nine (Nov) and ten (Dec). Eventually some guy named Greg came along and switched the script, so now the names don’t match the numbers. This reminds me of Fantasy Baseball: a game of numbers masquerading as a game of names, meaning the real game is navigating those gaps among the names and numbers. In that spirit, today’s dispatch will feature some players in that space between perceived and real value. These are not meant as Buy-Low suggestions as much as they are Buy-if-you-Can opportunities.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The title refers to Lisztomania by Phoenix, which led me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia that I have to share with you. Lisztomania was a frenzy over composer Franz Liszt, the original Justin Bieber. This is especially hilarious from Wikipedia, “Lisztomania was considered by some a genuine contagious medical condition and critics recommended measures to immunize the public,” and not considered the same as Beatlemania, which was used to mean a craze; Lisztomania caused actual craziness. Will Luzardo-Manaea cause women to rip their brooches from their bosoms and throw them at passing horse-drawn carriages in Oakland? Well, let’s let Tupac tell you about Oaktown, “Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’, soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ brooches screamin’.” Screamin’ instead of whizzin’ by for the rhyme, obviously. Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo should be back with the team within ten days and now’s the time to stash them. For thousands of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be elated,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, they make fun of you.” Manaea, the one skinny Samoan in the world, doesn’t have this problem. He has control, not just appetite control. He could have an under-2 BB/9, which should limit damage, just like his home park. I’m stashing him everywhere. Luzardo is a bit more of an upside gamble. He also has pinpoint control, and can strike out a ton of guys. There’s little to not like about Luzardo, except how he might be deployed in September and does he get enough starts to matter. Plus, roofies, those darn things. I’m stashing Luzardo too, but I’m not throwing brooches at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m terrified of jazz. Growing up, there was only one way for me and my brothers to know what kind of mood my dad was in – the radio station he had on in the car. If it was 93.3 WMMR classic rock, we were good to go. Dad was in a great mood. If it was smooth jazz 106.1? God help us. We were one well-placed backhand away from decapitation. You see, my dad only listened to smooth jazz when it was the only thing between him and homicide as he tried desperately to calm down after a shit day at work. 15 years of therapy later, I’m able to listen to Kenny G again. Jazz Chisholm (2-for-4 with a homer, his 18th of the year) is doing just fine without hypnosis or puppets. His average this year is hot garbage, but with 18 homers and 13 steals in Double-A and a much more palatable .260 average in July, he’s doing enough to stay afloat. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
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…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Sonny Gray went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.59 vs. the Brewers. *unloads pockets, eggplant emjois fall to the ground* I’m gonna need all of those. “Sonny came home” hasn’t had such a pleasant ring since Shawn Colvin opened an Art of Shaving booth at a Lilith Fair that only did armpit hair massages, and each payment was followed by a very pleasant, cash register ring. A Sonny hasn’t shone this bright since the last climate change summit that was held in Hellsunki on Urth, which is a planet that looks just like this one, but is 13,000 miles away and is exactly Earth but 25 years in the future, and they have some weird spelling. “I just got back from Hellsunki, and boy are my arms tired, because we don’t have planes on Urth, we fly with our arms.” Sonny Gray’s peripherals are surprising in a good way — 10.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 3.46 xFIP. For those not up on the hoo-de-ha, that xFIP would be about 12th in the league and the K/9 and walk rates would firmly put him in the top 20 starters overall. In other words, everyone who owned him last year died for the sins of his current year’s owners. In other other words, he’s throwing fire like pitchers in Hellsunki. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Padres prospect MacKenzie Gore continues to dominate in High-A. The 20-year-old lefty struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings last night, lowering his 2019 ERA to 1.02. He now has 110 punch outs in 79 innings pitched and is holding lefties and righties to averages of .122 and .141 respectively. While I do think he’ll earn a promotion to Double-A in the second half of this season, it probably won’t be until next year that he’ll impact fantasy teams, maybe even earning a spot in the rotation a la Chris Paddack. The only thing that might stall his arrival is the fact that the Padre rotation is already lefty heavy. That’s picking nits though. If Gore pitches with anything close to this type of success in Double-A, it’ll be hard not to see what he’s got in spring training next year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Put on a nice shirt. Floss. I meant your teeth. Stop doing that stupid dance. Get serious. You need to look presentable when he comes to save your fantasy rotation. He’s Jesus Luzardo and he’s the cat’s pajamas. The real nice ones with the pockets. Luzardo is still building up after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the first half of the season, but in Thursday’s start at Triple-A he threw 66 pitches over five innings. There shouldn’t be too much further to go from here before he’s able to join the Athletics rotation, which is where we thought he’d be back in March. My guess is he’ll be promoted after two, maybe three more starts, or shortly after the All-Star Break. Luzardo was the headliner in Grey’s buy column this past Friday, and outside of maybe Dylan Cease, there aren’t many impact pitching prospects left in the minors for this season. So accept Jesus in your heart and on your fantasy team. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?