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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So I got owned. I was razzing Donkey Teeth about his NFBC league draft (use promo code: Razzball25 and get $25 off at NFBC). I told him his team stunk. I didn’t trust his pitchers. Didn’t love his drafting of a top catcher. Felt he had some injury risk in Gallo and Mondesi, but I didn’t hate the team. It was just so…harmless at the time. Then, he put it out there…out to the hoi polloi, asking who had the better team, and that was when I got owned. No one, and I’m not being dramatic, liked my team. At one point, I think Cougs used her burner account to log in and dismiss me. Here is the carnage:

I can’t remember such ownage happening to little ol’ me in such a devastating, emotionally crippling way before. It was like my dog spoke for the 1st time (while I wasn’t on drugs) and said, “My name is Albert, not Ted, and I hate you.” That was the disrespect I felt! This was many weeks ago, and I am still sighing that long, hard sigh that can only come from knowing years of hurt and ridicule. Like a character William H. Macy would play. Well, life goes on, ob la di, ob la da. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. Most of the draft happened prior to the Winter Meetings, so who knows with playing time. I did it as an experiment to see what would happened if I stopped being polite and started–Wait, that’s the Real World opening. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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The baseball Pirates could learn a thing or two from real pirates. Some tips from the Pirate-code Handbook:

  • Wear one eye patch—not two 
  • Find treasure 
  • Collect treasure 
  • Guard treasure with your life

The baseball Pirates have been sailing blind, making the worst and weirdest trade in recent memory when they sold low on Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz so they could buy high on Chris Archer in July of 2018. Baz alone is probably worth more than Archer on the market today, almost 16 months after the move. 

So first things first, lose an eye-patch and watch where you’re going. And maybe don’t listen to the parrot panicking on your shoulder. 

To be fair, Pittsburgh’s Pirates have actually been quite good at finding and collecting treasures, arguably too good at collecting during their best contention window, which is one reason it’s so wild they bought Archer when they did at the price they paid after they’d sold Gerrit Cole for chestnuts over the winter. Thus it’s this last Pirate-code piece about guarding your treasure that seems lost on Pittsburgh. Stop giving away your booty!

All that said, the Andrew McCutchen trade that netted Bryan Reynolds was a stroke of brilliance. If they can get similar return for Starling Marte, they’ll be a nautical mile closer to their next window. 

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Everyone in the baseball world is keeping at least one eye on the postseason, and everyone has the same question: is A.J. Pierzynski likable now? He looks like a nice dude, no?

Maybe that’s just me.

Humans are definitely wondering about bat flips and unwritten rules, though. Especially Grey, who wanted me to delete all Braves from the list because that organization is the worst thing that’s happened to baseball since Grey touted Rudy’s Tout Wars success on Twitter.

Take heart, though, baseball fans. No matter how many bats get flipped this Fall, I’ll be here talking about all the good players our future selves can enjoy (unless they flip bats).

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The minor league season is winding down and so is my time here at Razzball. Indians prospect Yu Chang (3-for-5) blasted a pair of homers Friday night – his eighth and ninth dingers on the season. It’s been a disappointing year for Chang, mainly because he has above average power and yet hasn’t taken advantage of the homer happy Triple-A environment. You’re probably asking why I’m leading with him. Here’s why – prospect fatigue. Chances are a guy in your dynasty league is sick of Chang and is willing to sell him at a discount – believing he won’t amount to anything but a Quad-A type. But Chang is just two years removed from a 24-homer, 11-steal season at Double-A and his plate discipline is in line with his other MiLB years. Chang is now 24, and that’s another reason owners might be ready to give up. I’d be willing to take a flyer on him at the right price and hope I run into another Aquino or something even remotely similar. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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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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Tigers prospect Matt Manning threw another gem this week. That makes two great starts to kick off the 21-year-old’s 2019 campaign for Double-A Erie. In 12 innings pitched, the former first round pick now has 15 strikeouts compared to three walks and has allowed just one earned run on two hits. In deep formats, I’d consider stashing him away now in case the Tigers decide to promote. In shallow leagues, he’s a name to be familiar with if you’re desperate for pitching and don’t mind some rookie nookie later this summer. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…

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Razzball is not responsible if you contract scurvy while reading this post. Ahoy readers! We’re on the high seas! Feel the wind on your face, the salty sea air in your lungs, and the vomit in your upper esophagus. You should have told us about the sea sickness before we left port. I’ll be guiding you through ten of the most notorious buccaneers in these waters. After a long night of cracking Jenny’s teacup, you’ll want to put up your peg leg(s), take a shot of rum, and enjoy a bit o’ light reading. Blow me down! I see booty ye bilge-sucking grog blossom!

Want to take me on in the RCLs? Join now, free to play!

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Moving right along through our Top 100, we have the back half of the top 50 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. I could say that this is where the list gets interesting, but it’s just a list of (potential) baseball players on the internet, so “interesting” might be giving myself too much credit. If you’re just joining us, you may want to check out the top 25 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. And for full reports on each team’s prospects, you’ll want to hit the 2019 minor league preview index. Two things you’ll notice about this chunk of the list: 1) it’s where the better 2018 signees reside; and 2) more pitching. I find that this section of the rankings goes nicely with a 12-year-old Highland Single Malt. Or Dewars. Either way. It’s ten in the morning.

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I’m Ralph Lifshitz, and I am not on this podcast. It’s a strange phenomenon. Work pulled me away from the show for the week, so Lance returned and brought Jason Woodell on to bless us with his top notch insights. The boys talk The Mets, as well as a few of Jason’s favorite prospects coming into 2019. They then wrap up the show with some discussion of their mentalities when working on the forthcoming Top 100 list. It’s guaranteed to be a classic show so tune in to catch all that. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast powered by Prospects Live. 

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