And we have have our first stupid team decision! Don’t worry, there will be more. Or maybe I should say Willie be more. Or maybe should say Willie be less now. The Rangers decided to send down Willie Calhoun to start the year. I’d laugh if I wasn’t so horrified by this terrible decision. Talk about blatantly thinking about a bottom line vs. what’s best for the team. On one hand, Willie Calhoun was ready to help the team win right now. On the other hand, the Rangers are as cheap as my Jewish grandmother who used to order three free lemon wedges, two sugar packets and make lemonade at the table. Hey, she escaped Nazi Germany in the middle of the night. What’s your excuse, Texas Rangers?! In my Willie Calhoun fantasy from way back in October, I predicted Calhoun could be in the minors until June. Looks like I didn’t underestimate the Rangers’ boneheadedness (big word of the day!). Now the Rangers will go with a blahtoon of the Asian lion, Ryan Rua, and Drew Robinson. I’ve updated my top 100 outfielders, top 500 and War Room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week (or so) I put out my early first base rankings. I completely intended to follow that up with a post for each position, but if I’m being honest, I’m running out of time. With drafts already starting to happen, it’s time I got to it and worked on my official rankings. With that said, I am knee deep in projections, rankings and spreadsheets. I know many of you are patiently waiting for my customizable spreadsheet, but that’s still a couple days away. In the meantime, I have gotten far enough to share my rankings.
Please keep in mind that these rankings are based on a specific scoring system. When my spreadsheet is released it will allow you to enter your league specific scoring system and will generate custom rankings. Because as I’ve said many times before, “all leagues are not created equal”.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is not the only reason I think Josh Donaldson is overrated, but this is a fun one. Surrounding Donaldson in the Jays lineup is–Sorry, I just started giggling uncontrollably. Okay, okay, OKAY! Get it together, Grey! Surrounding–*giggle* Damn, it’s tough for me to get through this. Okay…*talking fast* Curtis Granderson, Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales, Tulo, Yangervis, Devon Travis, Randal Grichuk and sometimes Y. The Y in this case is spelled why and it’s Steve Pearce. Yo, the Jays getting the Giants’ leftovers? Brian Sabean would even shudder at this hodgepodge of harsh-my-mallows and be like, “Nah, kid, they’re on the wrong side of ugly.” The Jays would be better off promoting every minor leaguer in their system whose last name starts with Guerr– and be done with it. (There’s three of them, by the way. I’m thinking the Jays might draft alphabetically.) Their minor lea-Guerrs, so to speak. Anyway, why is Josh Donaldson overrated for 2018 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…
Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round! Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.
If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.
Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?
Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into it:
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Home runs bring a different type of excitement to baseball. Fan of the team or not, when hitters like Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez, (696), Willie Mays (660), or Ken Griffey Jr. (630) came to the plate, people dropped what they were doing to watch or listen, because they knew something big could happen. Some of the numbers above are frowned upon or listed with an asterisk because of the introduction of performance enhancing substances that likely played a part in some of the added power. For example, one of my favorite seasons of all time growing up was the 1998 season where Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa duked it out to catch Roger Maris’s record 61-home run season. They both caught that record and everyone wondered how many more they would hit by the end of the season. McGwire finished with 70 and Sosa with 66. Not long after, Barry Bonds surpassed McGwire’s record with 73 home runs in 2001. Looking back at all of those records broken can be looked at with a grain of salt knowing that all three were involved in the steroid controversy, whether they admitted it or “didn’t understand the questions” (cough Sosa cough). Low and behold, the home run ball is back and better than ever. According to statistics from Baseball-Almanac, home run totals by season have steadily increased over the last century. 2017 saw the most home runs in a season with 6,105 homers. To put that number into perspective, that record-breaking season in 1998 saw 5,064 home runs. Will we see another uptick in the 2018 season, or was last year just a fluke? Let’s take a look at the potential top-ten home run hitters for 2018. Included is Razzball’s own preseason overall rankings, and FantasyPros ADP. Please feel free to follow up in the comments with your own opinions!
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The hits keep coming as Castle Grey-Shitz is ready to make your dreams come to true. Then again maybe your dreams don’t come true, and instead your team comes crashing down around you, leaving you preparing for your fantasy football draft in late May. Try and avoid that, listen to Grey’s top 20 Third Basemen post, and use this podcast as your book on tape. Draft good players, win your league! We can help! This is turning into an infomercial and not the introduction to a podcast. Where did I go off the rails? Any who, here we are, third basemen; Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Ramirez, Rendon, and the whole gang. We go about 30 deep on this one, giving you all the jewels and gems that Mobb Deep dropped on ‘Em. We talked to ‘Em and recovered the gems. Oh yeah, Third base be deep yo! 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:
**On a more somber note, a member of the Razzball extended family was touched by the tragedy that took place last week in Parkland, Florida. Our very own numero uno sponsor Kenneth Cashman lives in the Parkland area, and one of his neighbors, and the niece of one of his close friends, Gina Montalto was amongst the victims. The family has setup a Memorial Scholarship in her honor, and it would be much appreciated if all of you could do your part by donating, liking, sharing or retweeting. You can get involved by clicking here. **Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode. I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up! They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.” Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing! As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators! I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers! I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers! I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned! I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children! See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids. Like a baller! A shot caller! An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!” My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One word about this top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2018– Ah, I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 428 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 530. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2018 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball ends the infield rankings for 2018. I say, Amed to that! Rosario, specifically. With the end of the infield rankings, we can get a bigger picture, uh, picture on depth of each position. I call this segment of the program, The Fantastically Flexible File on Marwin Gonzalez. Or The Marvelous Mr. Marwin, if Jeff Bezos is reading. Since Marwin’s got more eligibility than a guy who lives in his mom’s basement and has a cat named Kylo, let’s look at where he is in each ranking. For the top 20 1st baseman for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 30th, for the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 22nd, for the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 20th, and here he’s 24th. Clearly, the infield positions from deepest to shallowest are: 1B, 3B, 2B, and SS. Marwin, you illuminating mother! Any hoo! My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. By the hoo, Rudy has all his 2018 rankings up on the Preseason Player Rater. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The concept is simple: phrase hypothetical scenarios where events that didn’t happen actually did, or events that did happen actually didn’t (I’m already confused). Detailing how these changes – or lack thereof – would have impacted the coming 2018 fantasy baseball season creates some interesting “what ifs”.
What if Giancarlo Stanton didn’t adjust his mechanics?
For anybody with an idea of what Giancarlo Stanton looked like in the box from years prior, his shift from June to July of 2017 was noticeable – very noticeable. While I often find more satisfaction in subtle changes – 2017 Chris Taylor comes to mind – if a change pushes said player into the MVP discussion, I put my particulars aside.
I’ve always found Stanton’s motions in the box exceptionally rhythmic. Flat bat, considerable bat speed, two-handed follow through with a uniquely refined path to contact that creates head-scratching home runs like this one.
Stanton closed off his stance considerably, becoming an aesthetic comp to Adrian Beltre, plus 20 pounds and six inches (of height – get your mind out of the gutter!). “TewksbaryHitting.com” has a nice breakdown of this evolution, despite having nothing to do with Barry Manilow or whatever a “tewk” is. Their freeze frame gif captures the gradual rotation of Stanton’s upper body prior to the pitch, making his numbers more visible to the pitcher.Please, blog, may I have some more?