Please see our player page for Johan Camargo 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.

Hello, again. Time to wrap this baby on up with the NL East. I don’t know what else to write here that I haven’t in the other two pieces. Check out the NL West Edition and the NL Central Edition if you haven’t already.

Just made myself another old fashioned, the wife is reading, and the kiddo is asleep. Let’s do it to it.

Atlanta Braves

Probably not gonna surprise anyone with this pick: Austin Riley. Riley was having himself a very nice spring, but so was Johan Camargo, his competition at third. Now the DH solves all that – let the slugging prospect, well, slug. Camargo is the better glove, so there you go.

Riley showed glimpses of serious power last season, bashing 18 homers in only 80 games. My lazy and mathematically-challenged brain would double that to 36 HR in 160 games just to give a very rough idea of what we’re looking at. Of course, that’s not sound fantasy advice nor very accurate given those were his first 80 games ever in the majors. We gotta look deeper. Deep dives are king! I’m no expert delver, but let’s give this a shot anyway. He slashed .226/.279/.471 with Atlanta, but hit for a much better average all through the minors. I know that’s not very telling, but I like to at least see if someone has shown ability to hit for average somewhere, sometime. The power last season was nuts – 127 games total and 33 homers. Looking at just his AAA numbers, in 2018 he hit 12 HR in 324 PAs, but launched 15 HR in just 194 PAs last year. Then came up to the bigs and hit 18 more. That’s quite the progression in just a year’s time. His isolated power was .182 in AAA in 2018, which is pretty solid (.200 is the baseline for “great” according to FanGraphs, though it fluctuates a little relative to league averages in a given year). Anyway, his ISO spiked to .333 in 2019, which is off-the-charts good. Yes, we’re judging these numbers off fewer PAs than FanGraphs recommends, but whatever. You can see the power is there. Riley did his best Aristides Aquino when getting the call last season, slashing .324/.368/.732 with nine homers and 25 RBI in his first 18 games. Buuut in his final 62 games, he had almost the exact same production (nine HR, 24 RBI) and a yucky, yucky slash (.192/.249/.379).

The 2019 AAA Riley struck out 20.1% of the time (his best anywhere) and walked 10.3% of the time; but alas, 2019 MLB Riley struck out 36.4% of the time and walked only 5.4% of the time. He still managed a .245 ISO in the majors, which is very damn good, but the rest of his offensive metrics definitely took a nose dive as the year went on. The batted ball metrics are great: 13.7% barrel rate, 44.6% hard-hit rate, and a 20.6-degree launch angle. Riley had 7.7% barrels per plate appearance, which would be top 50 in the league if he qualified. Better than Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Max Muncy, and like a ton others, of course. Those are just some big fantasy studs that stood out.

I think you all get the picture. Riley has the chops to be a fantasy force as is, but he’s got improvements he needs to make. If a pitch is in the zone, dude swings like every time (okay, 80.5%) but also chased almost 38% of the time. If he can keep barreling balls and show some more patience, then whoa nelly. They’ve got Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and now this guy?!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In part one of this little mini series, we looked at all of the catchers and corner infielders that I’ll be relying on once the 2020 season gets underway. As much as I enjoy talking about Yadier Molina and Jose Abreu, those guys aren’t exactly dripping with excitement. They’re high floor foundation pieces who are useful fantasy assets, but aren’t the types of players who will carry a team to a fantasy championship. It’s like going to your local burger joint and ordering a plain cheeseburger – it’s not likely to disappoint, but it won’t be a particularly memorable meal either. Middle infielders and outfielders are the bacon, caramelized onions, and special sauce that can be added to that plain burger to make it exceptional. Sometimes, experimenting with exotic ingredients like spicy peppers can lead to indigestion, but it can also lead to a special, unique experience. And there’s plenty of spice to go around in these groups.

All of these ingredients are represented at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield. Power, speed, average, and counting stats – they can all be found in abundance here. The key is to determine who to target and when to target them. Today, I’ll be sharing the middle infielders that I targeted and ended up drafting across my five NFBC leagues for the 2020 season. I originally intended to cover outfielders as well, but since Magoobot’s self-editing mechanism malfunctioned years ago, there’s only room for the guys up the middle today. There’ll be a whole post dedicated to outfielders in part three.

Just like last week, I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up drafting. Both the 12 team NFBC Online Championship and 15 team NFBC Draft Champions formats require that you start 1 2B, 1 SS, and 1 MI at all times, so that’s something to keep in mind during this exercise. As a quick refresher, each player will be placed into one of the following four categories:

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I hear the only way this Coronavirus goes down any smoother is with the Lyme Disease. Thank you, I will be here all day. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses. *waitress coughs on me, I tumble slowly out an open window*  WHAT…THE…WHAT…THE…WHAT…? Sadly, I’ve landed on my feet…and standing in a sea of mouth breathers! AHHHHHHH!!! Well, this sucks (unlike mouth breathers — yo, do you ever breathe, like, in?) and there’s no easy way to say it, but baseball is about to go MIA for a few. Guy in Miami, “Don’t send anyone here!” Not to MIA International Airport, they’re going missing in action. The healthcare professionals say–I’m totally kidding. I’m quoting healthcare professionals? WHO am I. No, I’m not the WHO. WHO is the World Health Organization. But WHO’s on third base? Ugh! This is garbage-awful news, but we must soldier on. Holy crap, Tom Hanks has it! AHHHHHH!!! No! No! No! No freaking out! We must pull up our big-boy pants, wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday twice, and get through this national crisis. I’m Grey and I approve this message. In my highly unprofessional opinion, baseball will return in some capacity by May 1st. In the meantime, I’ll still have posts every weekday, because, honestly, what else are we doing? I write every day during the offseason, nothing’s changed for me. Thinking about doing a series of posts about guys most likely to cough without covering their mouths. Is Matt Albers still in the league? He 100% never covered his mouth. I’ve updated the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball with a few small adjustments, which I’ll get to in the post. And, to the Coronavirus, I say, “T. Hanks, but no thanks!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Oh, the Dirty South! After breaking down some lackluster NL West teams in my first three previews, we finally get a legitimate contender in the Braves. After posting an impressive 97-win season last year, this club looks fully ready to rock-and-roll again behind Ronald Acuna Jr. This dude has established himself as one of the best players in the Majors and it’s scary just how good this order looks with him up top. The one thing they need to clean up is their mascot game though.

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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I can’t say it feels like baseball season looking out my window at empty trees and snow-filled streets, but just a few states to the south, human beings are playing the real game (for practice).

One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points. 

I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as Gammons explained how Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, and Jason Isringhausen were going to re-define the New York Mets.

It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit. 

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We’ve done it! We’ve reached the end of the fantasy baseball hitter rankings for 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. Give yourself a big round of applause. I’d clap for you, but I have carpal tunnel from actually ranking all the hitters and writing all their blurbs and calculating all of their projections and– What exactly did you do? Oh, yeah, you read them. No wonder why your hands can still clap. Okay, let’s get to it because this post is like 5,000 words long and I wrote it with my toes. C’mon, pinkie toe, push down the shift key! Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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After going over the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball, I needed a cigarette. A good after-sex cigarette, not a waiting-to-go-into-court-to-hear-if-you-have-to-spend-18-months-in-jail cigarette. Subtle, but important differences. We also hit up the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball.  In no way was that clickbait.  Okay, onto the hot corner. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.   All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Good times, dyn-o-mite!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine.  Let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Shohei Ohtani, the hitter vs. Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher. Maybe I should use two dart boards. Hmm…In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2020 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of five games or more started outside of their primary position. Not four games at a position, not three, definitely not two. Five games started. If they played eight games somewhere but only started one, they are not listed. 5, the Road Runner of numbers. So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline). Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position. Games played are in parenthesis. One big take away is Jonathan Villar started in, like, 200 games. That can’t be right. Oh, I know, they’re listed if they had 5 or more games started, but I noted games played in parenthesis, so Villar must’ve switched positions three times per game or played two positions at once because the Orioles only had seven fielders plus a pitcher. Don’t know, don’t care. Players are listed by Games Started, and Games Played are noted. It’s not confusing at all! This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters. Is G or H first? Who knows, and, better yet, who cares! Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking. Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2020 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:

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Yesterday, Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-4, 3 RBIs with his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .241. Talk about a guy in a deep, danky funk who looks like he put a message on the Jumbotron announcing his retirement in July and all the fans were like, “That’s weird, I thought he said he was retiring but he’s out there playing, am I thinking of someone else?” Then rather than answer, one of the other Phillies fans vomited on the 1st fan and they laughed about it later. Digging into Hoskins’s numbers they are vom on the surface, but you can get some corn kernels of truth out of them that you might find nourishing. His splits are nauseating between 1st and 2nd half, but that’s a whatever goalpost. My biggest concern for him is he’s not driving balls. His average homer distance is 385 feet (awful), his average exit velocity is 89.3 MPH (mediocre), and his launch angle is easily highest in major leagues for qualifying players. Essentially, he’s hitting a ton of 365 foot outs, Don’t think that’s his destiny though, or density if George McFly is reading. For 2020, he just needs to get more aggressive (stop walking so much), trust his own power and drive the ball. Podcaster Ralph and I talk about him on the pod, that’s coming later today, and we both agree:  We’re gonna be all-in on him next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?