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!

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Here’s a post that’s gonna make you wanna slap ya mama and tell her Don Magic Juan sends his best.  The other day I told you how to draft your pitchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  I laid it out to you nice and simple (if you have a degree in “What The Hell Is Grey Talking About?” Not a PhD, mind you.  Just a BS.)  Today, we forget all that jabberwocky on the who-ha and get down to business old school-style (which means if you don’t comprehend, I will hit you over the head with a baseball bat signed by Joe Clark.)  What I’m hoping to lay out to you is who do you draft 2nd if you’ve drafted so and so first.  I think it might be helpful to go through pairings for your 5 outfielders, all your middle and corner infielders too.  I’m not sure I’ll have the time or patience to do them.  We’ll see!  Or not.  Your choice.  (Actually, my choice.)  For easy reference, the royal we will be using the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the beginning of the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5, MI, CI, 5 OF, 1 Utility, 1 Catcher league, similar to our Razzball Commenter Leagues. (Sign up for multiple leagues, and beat the heck out of your frenemies and random strangers!)  Anyway, here’s some pairings for the first two rounds of 2018 fantasy baseball drafts:

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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. **

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It’s finally February, football is in the rear view mirror, spring training is on the horizon, and it’s time to start breaking out the player ranks and loading up the mock drafts (or waiting for Yahoo to let us). While we wait for any MLB team to sign a free agent I have been struggling on which players I plan on keeping this season in my keeper leagues. I’m not talking about Dynasty leagues, where you keep every player, but the leagues where you only can keep two, three, or at most five players every season. These types of keeper leagues seem to be a mainstay for dedicated players and leagues as of late. I have noticed it’s rarely the same players you’re keeping every season, especially if you have so few to keep…

Keeper leagues can be tough because every draft is going to be so unique. Whether each team is keeping two players or five your draft is going to look very different when missing multiple draft day studs forcing you to go into the draft with a completely different strategy. Do you want to keep a great player but forfeit a top pick or somebody not as proven but for a much lower pick? Do you go with the respected fantasy players you can count on like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw or with the young guns with the high ceiling and questionable floor like Cody Bellinger and Luis Severino

What factored into my list was how much you can trust each player, what round they were taken the previous season, how good of a fantasy contributor have they been throughout their career, their team, age, etc. Even though every league has different keeper numbers and keeper rules I have ranked out 10 tiers of my top 40 keepers. This list is mainly skewed for leagues with just a handful of keepers. Most of the rankings consist of top players going in the first couple rounds or players that majorly outperformed their ADP last season. I did leave off some guys who I would take in the earlier rounds like Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Justin Verlander because the juice just might not be worth the squeeze. Getting Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger in the last few rounds this year is almost laughable and hard to pass up even with your 2nd or 3rd overall pick. Below is my Top 40 separated into tiers of how important I see these players going into keeper leagues.

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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:

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You can travel far and wide across the internet and find any number of statistics touting the thump in Joey Gallo’s bat. It’s legendary power that doesn’t deviate much from players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and J.D. Martinez, no matter how much offseason buzz and the Big Apple may suggest otherwise.

When I started to chop up Gallo’s stats on various parameters, my intentions were simple: consider whether a better version of Gallo could exist.

The idea of adjusting a power hitter’s strikeout rate to foster greater productivity isn’t new and neither is it innovative, but it’s something I always kick around in my head with big bats. I remember watching Kris Bryant on ESPNU (do you remember that thing called cable?) mash for the University of San Diego when I was just a young lad and falling in love with his swing. When he debuted in 2015 with a 30 percent strikeout rate and a .375 BABIP average to buoy his .275 average, I backed off. That was a mistake.

The next year Bryant cut his strikeout rate by over six percent, refining his peripherals into a drastically new hitter. Then he did it again, cutting his swinging-strike rate by another three percent and posting an OBP north of .400 in 2017.  I learned quickly to never doubt Bryant.

We often say to learn from our mistakes, but I’m torn with where to take my affinity for Gallo. On one hand, he’s a different breed of power hitter, with a swing-and-miss problem that I don’t anticipate ever falling below 30 percent. But the pedigree in his bat was once considered similar to Bryant and I love Gallo’s swing for different reasons than Bryant’s. The Cubbie was, and is, compact in his approach. Gallo was, and is, extremely aggressive in coiling his 6-foot-5 body to generate unbelievable bat speed and power, even with some inherent length to his swing.

That length is one reason why we see what I’d like to call “Mount Gallo” below.

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In an incredible turn of events, I’ve done all the infield 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  Less incredible, you’ve read them.  It’s like that time your favorite team won because they played better than that other team but you convinced yourself they won because you cheered loudly.  When I win the Fantasy Baseball Blogger of the Millennial in 2099, and my frozen head is accepting the award, I’m going to thank you, the readers, but I’m secretly going to be thanking myself.  Without me, none of this would be possible.  You’re a close second though!  Okay, enough ranking you and me, let’s rank some outfielders!  Last year, there was one outfielder I said I didn’t want in the top 20, Carlos Gonzalez.  This year, well, let’s save it for the post!  All my projections are listed by the players and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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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:

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The dynamic duo is back for the second time. Or potentially the first. Were we in fact back the first time if we had never been there before? Wow, I’ve talked myself into a circle. Any the flippidy flap, January Grey is back, and he brought his Top 20 with him! That’s right, these are the spoken words to go with the written ones. We talk about why Mike Trout is good, Goldy vs. Jose Altuve, Freeman vs. Rizzo, and Lindor vs. Jose Ramirez (psssst not the Braves reliever). We pretty much make all the decisions in the first two rounds for you. It’s a glorious discussion of what will be in the two dot eighteen. When Grey isn’t dropping Top 20 knowledge, he’s rapping lyrics to Belly. Enough of the spoilers, just listen blood! 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:

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I sure wish Grey would do his 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  Wait, I am Grey and this is those rankings!  AHHHHH!!!  I need to sit down.  Wait, I am sitting!!!  I can’t handle all of this!!!  I’m going to put on a pair of pants and go dance in the street.  Meh, let’s be honest, pants are a chore.  So, this is the greatest day ever!  Now, only 400,000 words more until I finish my top 500 and I’ll be done.  Worst day ever!  Damn, that excitement was fleeting.  Well, not for you because you don’t have to write all the rankings.  You lucky son of a gun!  I wish I were you… *wavy lines*  Hey, why am I balding and have lost all definition in my buttocks?  *wavy lines*  Hmm, I’m gonna stay me.  Now before we get into the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball (though I imagine every single one of you has skipped this intro paragraph), I’m gonna lay down some exposition.  Here’s where you follow us on Twitter.  Here’s where you follow us on Facebook.  Here’s our fantasy baseball player rater.  Here’s our fantasy baseball team name generator.  Here is all of our 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2018 fantasy baseball.  And here is a picture of my son.  What a punim!  You may not get all of those links in such a handy, easy-to-use format ever again this year, so make proper note.  (Unless you just go to the top menu on this page that says “Rankings” and click it, but semantics, my over-the-internet friend, semantics.)  Also, as you might’ve noticed upfront, this year we’re dipping our big toe into video.  Yes, we only have one big toe, it is not plural.  The preseason videos will be more rankings flotsam that washed up into my brain. They’re also animated to reach that target 7-12 demographic.  That’s not 7 to 12-year-olds, that’s the 7 to 12 adult males that enjoy animation.  If the preseason videos are met with enthusiasm, we’ll continue into the season.

Now my expositional half insists I breakdown some generalizations about these 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  The 2018 fantasy baseball rankings will be an ever-evolving mass like the blob.  This fantasy baseball top 10 for 2018 list is as of right now and could potentially change with a big injury or Mike Trout quitting baseball because he’s bored with being the best and wants to play competitive Mahjong.  (I’m not sure yet where Trout would rank in my Mahjong Top 10.)  So while it is the 2018 fantasy baseball gospel, take it with a tablet of salt.  Tomorrow we will cover the rest of the top twenty for 2018 fantasy baseball, then we will go around the horn with a top 20 (more like 50) list for every position.  Then for pitchers and outfielders, I’ll turn the dial to 100 (more like 140).  Listed with each player are my 2018 projections.  Did I consult with anyone else who does projections?  It would be ignorant not to, but, in the end, these are my projections.  Players need 5 games started at a position to get included in the positional rankings.  Finally, as with each list in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings, I will be mentioning where I see tiers start and stop.  I look at tiers like this, if Jose Altuve and Paul Goldschmidt are in the same tier, it doesn’t matter if one guy is ranked 2nd and one guy is ranked 3rd, they’re both very close.  It comes down to personal preference.  I would prefer the guy at number two over the guy at three, but you do you, I’ll do me and let’s hope we don’t go blind.  Anyway, here’s the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?