Please see our player page for Keon Broxton 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.

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I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.

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I was waiting for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper to sign before dropping the last bit of offseason signings before the rankings that start on Monday, but apparently the Phillies only have $300 million for each, and they want $325-plus respectively, so we need to go forward with the news without Machado and Bryce.  The last bit of big news was Yusei Kikuchi signing with the Mariners.  He reminds me of every other Japanese pitcher, but not in a raycess way.  He reminds me of Miles Mikolas too, who was only Asian after being reborn.  It’s something about Asian pitchers, and non-Asian pitchers who go to Asia and return; they exercise some serious control.  Maybe it’s the culture.  I had a robot watch Gung Ho 15,000 times to tell me what it thinks and now the robot is speaking super-racist.  Yo, robot, why are you so culturally inappropriate?  “I have no culture of my own, so I adopt yours.  And I kill puppies.”  AHHH!!!  ROBOT MURDERER!!!  RUN!!!  Or roll your swivel chair towards a door if running is too much for you.  Kikuchi, which is going to be fun for me to say this year, comes with a lot less fanfare than Ohtani, but I do think he can be better than him, pitching-wise, in his first full season.  Ohtani is a unicorn in Babe Ruth’s body, we all know this.  Kikuchi reminds me of Mikolas and Ryu and others in that mold.  He’s a decent strikeout guy, but won’t blow people away, while also having impeccable command.  I’m definitely looking to draft him this year, then passing him up every other year when he fails to throw 130 IP in consecutive seasons because the Japanese also completely overwork their starters.  In fact (Grey’s got more!), the Mariners have already said Kikuchi will only throw an inning or so every fifth or sixth start to try to preemptively avoid the inevitable arm injury that befalls every Japanese starter.  For 2019, I’ll give Kikuchi projections of 9-7/3.67/1.18/136 in 151 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Real baseball is weird.  Real sportswriters are even weirder.  From Sportsnet.ca, “Donaldson trade marks abrupt split from Blue Jays after promising start.”  Abrupt?  Maybe I’m just heartless, but why would the Blue Jays be salty about getting rid of Josh Donaldson?  If he would’ve stayed with the club, he could’ve opted into a $18 million contract and been back next year in Toronto insanely overpaid and blocking Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  Then, from Sportsnet.ca, “But trading the star third baseman and cash to the Cleveland Indians, who visit Toronto next week, of all places?  Even the New York Yankees would have been a more palatable destination.”  I’m sorry, what?  Why are the Indians worse than the Yankees?  Because Edwin is there?  Because the Jays’ GM used to be in Cleveland?  Is this just bad writing?  Or is real baseball just odd.  I seriously have no idea.  Elsewhere, other sportswriters were talking about what a great move this was.  No wonder people come here and get floored when I say something about a guy like Josh Donaldson being overrated.  They’re being lied to everywhere else.  This was not a great move by the Indians.  Donaldson can’t stay healthy and has no place to play.  Maybe he can give them a solid at-bat off the bench, but Curtis Granderson might’ve been able to do that too.  Don’t worry, will get to him and all the other September roster news.  As they say at gang initiation, after the jump.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The only way to compare things is to look in the past and see how we match up to the year previous.  For pace reasons, for setting your mind at ease, and to basically not bore you to death, I am only going back one year because I have gone over the decline of the ever loved “stolen base” as a cumulative stat.  So in 2017 through the first 81 games of the season,  (roughly… because every team plays different amounts of games) there were a combine 1,405 steals by all MLB teams. In 2018, we currently sit at 1,310.  Now remember games for AL teams are off a bit, but still, we are sitting at 95 stolen bases fewer than the year previous.  That is an eye catching number, even when you break it into a smaller number like percentages it still sucks for the SAGNOF love.  Just to delve into it further, there were three players with 30-plus steals and three above 20 steals at the All Star break last year.  (With the leader, Billy Hamilton garnering 38.)  This year, there are only six players above 20, and none above current theft leader Michael Taylor with 23.  The downward trend, the going away from using the steal as an asset in fantasy is a dying trend that we are lucky to be apart of from a draft usability standpoint.  I am more of a “see what I know baseball guy” rather than a number cruncher, but nobody uses the steal effectively to set the pace of a game anymore.  Now for fantasy it sucks that we are mimicking real life, as a grab the best players to accumulate stats to fill our rosters mentality is the M.O., but I would be interested to see how your league standings are reflecting this downward trend in steals and how much the league leader in the category has, and if you think it is worth chasing as a catch up stat for the second half of the year.  So give me some feedback, and here’s some charts of catchers to steal on and pitchers to exploit.  Cheers!

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I’ve been thinking about how great things would be right now if I’d just been restricted from drafting a handful of certain players this year. When I like a guy going into the season, it’s always tough to decide just how many shares I should stock up on, and it’s particularly painful when I overbuy in situations where the answer should have been zero. If I had been unable to place Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, Luis Castillo, Zack Godley, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, or Sonny Gray on a fantasy team in 2018, it seems like all would be right with the fantasy baseball world. Instead, I have leagues where a combination of these guys has pretty much sunk my team, and other leagues where I am doing well only in spite of having to overcome horrible (or non-existent) pitching from them.

It’s unrealistic, though, to think any fantasy team will be mistake-free, and as destructive as a few bad picks can be in a deep league, it does make acquiring a waiver-wire gem all the more sweet. I don’t know about any of these guys turning your season around, but it really is difficult to predict when the diamond in the deep-league rough will pop up — so we’ll keep plugging away with a handful of players who may be available in your NL-only, AL-only, or other deep league.

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To paraphrase DJ Khaled, “We got a Minor key alert!  Another one.”  To paraphrase the cops that arrested Principal Rooney, “This is because of the Minors.”  *Donald Trump looking at the Rangers’ rotation*  “Glad to see Cole/Minor’s jobs are secure.”  Over Mike Minor‘s last four starts, he has a 2.06 ERA, 18 Ks, 5 BBs and 15 hits in 26 innings, after his sparkling one last night when he threw 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.64.  I know what you’re thinking, it was vs. the Padres.  Right, one of those starts was, the other ones were the Astros, Twins and Rockies.  So, it’s not all smoke and Minors.  Minor’s peripherals are nothing to write home about (unless his family lives in the Appalachian Trail, then they might like to hear from a Minor) — 7.4 K/9, 2 BB/9, 4.50 xFIP.  So, it’s been a good run (not Niko), but I can’t say I trust him in the big picture, unless it’s about Cole/Minor’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, played with spunk by Sissy Spacek (Spunky Spacek?  Sissy Spunkit?  Spunky Spunkit?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Steven Souza, Michael Conforto, Avisail Garcia, Corey Dickerson, Eddie Rosario, Michael Taylor.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Looking for value in a baron steal world is not very fun.  Scouring the waiver wire every day, wandering the earth looking for value or a good match-up is lonely territory.  Kinda makes you feel like the guy from Kung Fu, but just not with all the sexual asphyxiation type stuff.  Listen digging for steals and even saves for that matter is a matter of right place or being first to the waiver wire.  Not every move is a good one, especially in the stolen base category.  It’s fantastic that guys steal bases, but they also have to get on base.  Stealing first is still a non-entity. So look at the match-ups at hand and do not be afraid to gamble on a guy.  Check the OBP, check the catcher/pitcher rates of stolen bases against.  And god forbid do not fall in love with the one-stat wonders of the world this late in the year.  You don’t wanna be stuck holding a guy and miss out on the next guy to accumulate stats.  Play, ditch and go re-fishing for stats.

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If you hail from Central New Jersey, sorry. I didn’t mean to get your hopes up. Albert Pujols does not represent the 609. If you are a Ludacris fan, sorry. Pujols may or may not have garden hoes in different area codes, but I can neither confirm nor deny it. Rather, Pujols slugged his 609th career home run Friday night. It doesn’t matter that it came off Jeremy Hellickson, who’s allowed the 14th-most home runs this season, and is already the 439th-worst of all time. I was going to go on an epic rant about how all the stories are focused on the fact that he’s tied with Sammy Sosa for the most home runs by a foreign-born player. Who gives a flying F where he was born? Then I started thinking, I wonder which player born in Los Angeles has hit the most home runs. Yet again, I’ve managed to stymie myself. Anyways, who cares that Pujols has a triple slash of .229/.274/.374 with an ISO of .144. Let’s just celebrate the great career he’s had and send him off into the sunset after this season. My self checks to make sure this is his last year…

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Open Up and Buy AH, because owning Aaron Hicks is Nothin’ But A Good Time!  Also, a good time is searching any girl’s name from Rock of Love with your parental controls turned off.  Okay, I have a few Bee Tee Dubs here.  Unless you have a child, you don’t set parental controls on your TV.  You can filter what you see without magically stumbling on porn.  The internet though?  You need parental controls on it, no matter if you’re home, at work, 12 years old, 64 years old, at school or on the john.  You can Google something as innocuous as “cucumber” with no parental controls and all hell breaks loose in your search results.  “Oh em gee, I just wanted a recipe for a cucumber salad!”  Bee tee dubya II, we’re due for a terrible 80’s hair band renaissance.  Someone needs to do a cover of a Poison song.  Bee tee dubya III, there is no bee tee dubya III.  Bee tee dubya IV, I have this nugget in my brain that says, even though I was only 14 years old, I knew how awful Poison was at the time.  Like, when they did Your Mama Don’t Dance, a big part of me knew they were absolutely terrible, even then.  Any hoo!  Hey, any hoo’s initials are Aaron Hicks.  Coinkydink?  Thinks not.  He’s on a 162-game pace of 25 HRs, 15 SBs and a .280 average.  Of course, that doesn’t matter.  We just want a hot player at this point, and, on our 7-day Player Rater, he’s near top 75, and should be owned everywhere.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?