Please see our player page for Jorge Mateo 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, this is icky. I don’t know what MLB is doing by reporting that they’re not reporting Covid cases. I mean, I think I get it. It’s icky and it’s tricky and — “Shut up, brain, don’t start singing Run-DMC.” — and AND and I don’t know! But not reporting it is doing what exactly? They report injuries to Mitch Haniger that make you want to cross your legs. They report injuries about how a guy fell in a bathtub with a deer — hello, Clint Barmes! — but they don’t report Coronavirus? I just…I don’t know. Not sure it’s the answer. With that said, the Phillies placed Scott Kingery, Hector Neris, Tommy Hunter and Ranger Suarez on the IL yesterday without even a press release. Someone just happened to notice the roster moves. Does that mean they have Covid? Again, I don’t know. Since they announce literally every other injury, one can conclude. How serious is their symptoms? Again, no idea. This is gonna be one helluva 60-game season, huh? My solution is, if you really don’t want Covid speculation, just don’t announce any injuries at all. Change the IL to the ILL and whether it’s a hammy or Covid, don’t say anything. Just say they’re ILL. As for fantasy, Neris’s loss for saves could be huge, but we don’t know yet he’ll miss any of the season. I’d hold him. If you want to speculate, I guess Adam Morgan or a committee (which is atrocious for a 60-game season). As for Kingery, again, we don’t know how long he’ll be out (or why he’s out), so hold. This could be a boost to Adam Haseley. He could be a top 60 outfielder with everyday at-bats, and worth a shot. Or not. Wheeeeee! A 60-game season! Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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Spring Training Sleeper Watch: American League West Edition

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 we imagine the impossible topside of Rich Harden.

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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When the biopic of your life comes out, who’s playing the role of you? 

Danny Glover?

Jesse Eisenberg?

Or maybe if you’re a disrespected sort: Rodney Dangerfield? 

How would you feel if it were, say, Brad freaking Pitt? 

Pretty good, right? I mean one thing we never talk about is the hot GM. 

And I don’t just mean Brad-Pitt hot but also hello-Mister-Pit-Boss hot. Throwing-sevens-all-night hot. 

Some of the heat waves can be observed in the pace, preponderance and timing of their transactions. Some is plain as day in the results on the field. Some is apparent only through the stillness—through the inverse of that visible heat: a stagnant team scared to rock the boat for fear it’s mere moments from tipping. 

Perhaps I’ve mentioned that I’m a Cubs fan. That stagnation describes the Cubs moves since the ill-fated Eloy trade. Describes the Rockies, too—just letting assets pile into a traffic jam with hopes to maybe sort them later. 

Tampa is perhaps the best example of pace and preponderance of transactions signaling confidence. The Dodgers’ refusal to engage with Pittsburgh on their lofty terms last summer demonstrated a similar if different confidence. Oakland’s style is closer to that patient Dodger model than the high-wire act Tampa has to perform, but it’s definitely a style all its own. Twenty years after Moneyball, Billy Beane’s teams still find value when nobody’s bothering to really look. 

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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:

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At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.

I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”

I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.” 

We’re in talks about a Sam Hilliard, Jorge Mateo spin-off/mash-up.

In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!

Review the top 25 here and the top 50 here.

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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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San Diego middle infield prospect Luis Urias had another strong night at the dish, going 2-for-4 with a slam (13) and legs (4). He’s now slashing .364/.462/.741 with a ten-game hit streak for Triple-A El Paso and joins a short list of prospects that could force the issue with their performances as the calendar flips to June. Urias is currently prosblocked by Ian Kinsler and – to some extent – Greg Garcia. Kinsler is batting a lusty .185, so I’d imagine the next time Urias is up it’ll be for the remainder of the 2019 campaign. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Indians prospect Bobby Bradley (4-for-4 with two homers) is enjoying a strong start for the Columbus Clippers. Through 28 games, he’s hitting .299 with six home runs and 11 doubles. The average is inflated by an uncharacteristic and unsustainable .419 BABIP. The real Bradley is a low-average power hitter with the potential for 25+ dongs over a full season in the majors. That low-average is probably going to be pretty low though. Think .230s, maybe worse. Since his promotion to Triple-A last year, Bradley has seen his walk rate decrease by about 3% and his strikeout rate increase by about 7%, all the way to 33%. That approach doesn’t bode well for success in the majors, especially since he is already limited defensively to first base. We should find out soon enough though. I suspect Bradley will be with the Indians at some point this summer, where he’ll be a power flyer in AL-only formats, and maybe even some deeper mixed formats. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Scott Schebler looks about as DFA-able as I’ve seen anyone look in some time.  DFA stands for Da F**k Attahere.  Even if he’s not, Nick Senzel was promoted and is hitting 2nd tonight.  So, what are we banking on, or simply FDIC?  That’s not regarding fiduciary concerns, that’s F**k Do I Care?  Or more accurately, why am abbreviating everything a NYC cabbie says? Senzel has speed/power and could hit .315+.  He is one of the best pure hitters in the minors.  It’s the Senzel SZN!  SZN stands for Senzel, which means I just said, “It’s the Senzel Senzel!”  Not only is Senzel owned in all of my leagues, but guys like Rudy have owned him all year, stashing him on their bench.  I point to Rudy specifically, because he’s fairly agnostic on rookies, in general, so you know there’s something here.  Things break right and Senzel could be the number one call-up this year.  Yes, I avoided all the talk about his injuries, except for this throwaway comment, but we’re talking about the positives.  It’s Friday, LMFAO!  That’s Leave Me F**K Alone, Octopus.  I’m floating in a giant aquarium as I write this.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back at it, discussing various forms of sausage along with a little fantasy baseball. Journeyman Chris Bassitt is the object of Donkey’s affection this week while B_Don sifts through hours of Caleb Smith film and Coach Ditka highlights. Find out whether you should be buying or selling both of these arms in your respective league.

In the rapid fire pickups segment, the guys chat up youngsters Carter Kieboom and Nate Lowe. Other potential pickups discussed include Griffin Canning, Jesus Aguilar, Jose Peraza, Luis Rengifo, Harrison Bader, and Jorge Mateo. It’s time to get your sausage into mid-season form, tune in now!
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