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Please see our player page for Kumar Rocker 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.

Mets 1B Mark Vientos was recalled this morning, and while it’s not easy to see where he’ll play, Vientos has real reason to be in the minors. He’s hitting .333 with 13 homers and has cut his K-rate by 8.8 percent between last year and this one. He slashed .280/.358/.519 with 24 home runs in 101 Triple-A games last year even with the 29.3 percent strikeout rate. Strong-side designated hitter Dan Vogelbach hasn’t been a power threat this year, but his 119 wRC+ and .376 on base percentage might make him difficult for the rookie to displace. 

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Domingo German was coasting once again, had the line 3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.75, when he was ejected for sticky substance. Oh, Domingoo, you giant freakin’ moron. What’s the German word for hearing the Jays talk about the Yankees cheating and thinking, “Hey, that’s a good idea?” Fadenfraud. Also, this whole “touching a guy’s hand” to see if there’s anything on it is so hilariously stupid. Like touching a guy’s hand is scientific. The Handump’s Tale, a dystopian story of how one umpire touched things and was able to discern what on earth was on someone’s hand. “That’s chewing gum and the adhesive from a baby’s diaper.” Umps touching pitchers’ hands is like Name That Tune, but with touching. Domingo German, though, this guy’s a real bumbling idiot:

He’s like the kid who has ice cream all over his shirt then says, “I didn’t eat ice cream.” You’re covered in it, you absolute ding dong! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Money talks, and the Rangers have had a lot to say these past two winters. The timing was connected to their new stadium but nonetheless ideal for a system stocked with ready-soon contributors. 

Format: Position Player | Age on 4/1/23 | Highest Level Played | ETA

1. 3B Josh Jung | 25 | MLB | 2022

Happy birthday week to Josh, who turned 25 on February 12. Fantasy baseballers (Grey’s mom’s term) probably shouldn’t penalize players on their way back from injury, but Jung feels underrated in the wake of an abbreviated 2022. When Jung had surgery for a torn labrum around this time last year, I expected him to miss the whole season, so getting 49 games across two levels feels like a win. Jung was a shadow of his 2021 self that slashed .348/.436/.652 for 35 games in Triple-A. The difference was most notable in his plate skills. His walk rate dropped from 11.5 percent to 3.8 percent and his strikeout rate spiked from 17.2 to 28.3 percent. Shoulder injuries can permanently lower ceilings and even ruin careers, but Jung has the talent to overcome it. He’s a target for me in the CBS AL Only auction tomorrow night.

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Here’s a link to the Top 15

Around this point in the draft, you should probably be checking the free agent pool. You never know who can slide through the cracks created by transaction freezes, roster limitations, football season and the general malaise that sometimes accompanies late-summer rotisserie baseball.

16. Mariners SS Cole Young | 19 | A | 2025

Cole Young looks like the early win of last summer’s draft. He wasn’t especially late at 21st overall, but he might go inside the top ten if the draft happened tomorrow. A 6’0” 180 lb left-handed hitter, Young features plus bat-to-ball skills and an all-fields approach that plays beyond his years. He graduated the complex league in seven games and got even better in Low A, slashing .385/.422/.538 with two home runs and a stolen base in ten games. In the cold light of dawn between publications, this ranking feels a little low.

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Sunday was not your typical deadline. Any time you get an elderly man from Sacramento at odds with a front office run by the richest MLB owner with the most-perfectly oval-shaped head in pro sports, things are bound to get interesting. And that’s precisely what happened on the August 1 MLB Draft-signing deadline, when two of the premier prospects in all of baseball were left without pro contracts. One went unsigned by his own choosing: Jud Fabian. The other as a result of the aforementioned scenario: Kumar Rocker. That makes the elderly man mentioned above none other than the infamous Scott Boras, who was looking about as youthful as Eustace Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog if you happened to catch a glimpse of him these past few weeks. Botox is like $350, just sayin’. For Rocker and Fabian, the future remains tremendously bright, albeit drastically different from the path we anticipated just one month ago. Now, we get to sift through the fallout and ramifications as it relates to both of these future stars — and while we’re at it, we’ll check in on some of the top prospects in baseball.

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Kendall Graveman was traded to the Astros with Rafael Montero for Abraham Toro and Joe Smith. So, I am now asking, what on earth is going on there? Is that a real trade? That trade made it seem like the Mariners’ front office wished they never made Tuesday night’s comeback. That’s a trade a last place team does with a first place team that’s in another division. Pardon the pun, but that Toro trade is fishy as hell. Unless I’m missing something, or the Mariners are like, “We need Toro, because the Padres love fatty tuna and we have to send him there for Hosmer.” Otherwise, that is just, well, bad, and hard to understand. Then the Mariners went out and got Tyler Anderson out from under the Phils’ nose, which is a long, green snout. Phillies tried to send a helmet stuffed with caramel popcorn and Pirates were like, “Hey, this guy’s getting stuck in my teeth.” So, a team with France isn’t waving the white flag? What goes on here? This is so crazy confusing! As for the Mariners’ pen, Paul Sewald, who has been great, takes over as closer. He could’ve been great with Graveman there too, though. As for Graveman? Engrave it with “RIP your fantasy value.” As for Tyler Anderson, he has a wicked cutter, and a very stable ERA of 4.30-ish, which is fine for real baseball and the Streamonator, but this trade doesn’t make him great. As for Toro, he homered last night in a pinch-hit appearance. It was almost like he knew what pitch was coming. Hmm… Well, Toro is a utility player for now, until the M’s get rid of Seager. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I know a lot of leagues start their First-Year-Player Drafts directly after the MLB Draft, so I figured no time like the present to rank the first round or so. 

1. Miami SS Kahlil Watson, pick 1.16

Watson’s interview with the broadcast team was a tough listen. Sounded like he was exhausted from being on the phone all night, telling his agent he wasn’t willing to sign for whatever fully leveraged, arm-twisting deals teams were offering, probably as early as the fifth pick. Probably negotiated with at least five teams before the Marlins landed him at 16. Sounded like he shut down the Giants, who pivoted late to College World Series star Will Bednar. 

As much as I love aspects of the draft, the reality of a multi-billion dollar corporations needling high school kids down as far as they’ll go exhausts me as well. No doubt they tell the kids what they’re not good at, why they should definitely sign this lowball contract, how they’re risking their family’s well being by betting on themselves. 

Between the lines, Watson can do it all: hit, field, throw, thump, run, and it’s this last piece that really ties the room together for us. Miami isn’t a great place to hit, but Donny Baseball’s fish sure like to steal. Can’t really predict he’ll still be there when Watson arrives, but the Marlins will always have to manufacture runs at home. 

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Omaha! Omaha! Either Peyton Manning just put together a quick game of pick-up flag football in my backyard, or the College World Series is officially underway in Nebraska. *editor buzzes into my earpiece* Manning is in fact in Canton learning how to properly construct a Super Bowl trophy out of a Wheaties box for the next incredibly average Peyton’s Places segment, so it must be the latter — which is good for him, because my backyard is currently infested with slime mold and being treated for turf diseases, so that simply wouldn’t be advised for the local neighborhood youths. But alas, the CWS is here, and we have the luxury of scouting an excess of 2021 MLB Draft talent from June 19-30. Six players in my top 30 were able to advance to college baseball’s ultimate event, but countless others such as Arizona’s Ryan Holgate, Vanderbilt’s Isaiah Thomas and NC State’s Luca Tresh made the Omaha cut as well. This not only means that these rankings are fluid and will undoubtedly change prior to the July 11-13 draft, but also that I recommend taking the below intel and doing some of your own personal scouting over the course of the next week-plus. So, who has made the cut as we inch closer to the release of the complete college top 100? Check it out below, as there are a handful of new names previously excluded from the preseason list that utilized excellent 2021 campaigns to springboard their stock — such as Washington State’s Kyle Manzardo and Florida State’s Matheu Nelson. Where they’ll ultimately fall in the draft, nobody knows! For that reason, I like to refer to such players as this year’s “unsupervised children flying off trampolines at the annual Memorial Day reunion.” There’s always bound to be one or two.

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Sam Houston State. South Alabama. Miami (OH). Just a short list of all the top Division I programs that you typically find first-round talent at, right? Either every premier Power Five program completely whiffed on these guys, or head coaches are scurrying around the recruiting grounds like a bunch of half-blind moles trying to find their own siblings. As I unveil college prospects 6-10 in my rankings for the 2021 MLB Draft, you’ll find players from each of the above mid-major programs entrenched in the top 10. We all know young players develop significantly while playing the college game, but it’s downright incredible to see this many top prospects coming from such schools. Last year, the top pitcher in the draft came out of the University of Minnesota and the No. 7 overall pick came out of New Mexico State — further evidence that you can’t live and die by the blue blood programs when assembling your prospect pool in dynasty leagues. In this edition, we’ll go in-depth on players 6-10 on my list while providing plenty of links to previous college prospect coverage to assist you in putting together the best first-year player draft board as possible. So take a seat in the optometrist’s chair, make like a cartoon mole with bifocals and check out the rest of this year’s top ten.

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And here we are. Our coverage of college prospect talent has finally come full circle, which is kind of redundant, don’t you think? Circles are fully completed to begin with, unless by “full circle,” we are describing the actual filling in of a circle, which in reality, would then effectively become a dot. So, you might say that here at Razzball, our coverage of college prospect talent has come dot. Ahh. That’s better.

What do I mean by this? On March 12, 2020, the college baseball world came crashing to a halt, as did numerous other sports entities and industries. My own existence was thrown into a whirl; a seemingly unfathomable reality all too sudden to believe — as I’m sure yours was, and your friends’, and your friends’ friends’, and your friends’ friends’ mothers’ friends and so forth. As I admittedly understand, the reaches of all that has occurred over the last year-plus comes accompanied with far more tragedy than the impact on sports. But even so, the events of March 12 pushed me into becoming a Razzball contributor and on March 19 — just seven days later — I released my Top 10 College Prospects to Target in Dynasty Leagues, otherwise known as my debut post on the site, otherwise known as the date I first started leaving Grey *67 voicemails. It was written while I stared deeply into Trevor Bauer’s eyes, indirectly of course, via a photo I took standing outside of his house unbeknownst to him.

Fast forward to present day, one year and two months later (Note: NOT a Yellowcard song), and I am tackling that same practice yet again. However, this year we are beginning with the timeline we should be. The college baseball season has NOT been canceled and there ARE conference tournaments and postseason play ongoing. The 2021 MLB Draft is just under two months away, scheduled for July 11-13. It will be 20 rounds this year, not five. Thank. Freaking. Goodness.

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UEFA Champions League. University College London. Ultra-conservative llamas. What do all three of these have in common? They’re all UCLs that instill less fear in an MLB front office than the ulnar collateral ligament. That is unless one particular ultra-conservative llama wakes up one morning only to realize his cud has been chewed by Steve, his ornery llama friend who seems to always be stirring up trouble. Now that, my friends, would be one fearsome llama. Even so, it’s the ulnar collateral ligament we’re most concerned about this week, as yet another UCL injury has struck the college game — and this one impacts the top-15 picks of the 2021 MLB Draft: Ole Miss RHP Gunnar Hoglund will miss the remainder of the season with a UCL tear and will be sidelined for 12-18 months as he undergoes Tommy John surgery and embarks on a long and tenuous rehab journey. Even with the catastrophic injury, Hoglund is primed to be a first-round pick this July, but just how far he falls remains to be seen. MLB.com’s most recent mock draft had Hoglund going No. 13 overall to the Phillies and he remains MLB Pipeline’s No. 10 prospect for the 2021 MLB Draft. Here at Razzball, I ranked Hoglund as my No. 12 preseason college MLB Draft prospect after tabbing him at No. 11 in my Way-Too-Early Top 25 back in July. The Rebel right-hander was in the midst of a solid third-year campaign, owning a 2.87 ERA with 96 strikeouts across 62 2/3 innings and 11 starts this season while holding opposing hitters to a .178 BAA. He works 92-95 MPH with a riding heater that he pairs with a low-80s changeup, average curveball, and hard slider that sits around 84-86 MPH. Although he appeared to be a fringe top-10 pick, the main story will now become whether the recent UCL injury allows him to best his 2018 draft position as a prepster when he went No. 36 overall to the Pirates.

More around the college game…

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What have you accomplished in the last two months? Personally, I’ve picked up roughly 350 bags of dog crap, learned how to make banana bread and endlessly yelled at Fessy on MTV’s The Challenge at the top of my lungs for being the world’s worst human being. Two major takeaways there. One: you just realized you take fantasy baseball advice from someone who quantifies time in terms of how much dog poop he has picked up. Two: none of those things are impressive. Hopefully, you’ve accomplished more the past two months, much like many of the incredible athletes currently competing in the college baseball realm have. Since the 2021 season began in mid-February, we’ve seen a lot of awesome things happen in the college game, from Jack Leiter’s ridiculous no-hit inning streak to the emergence of NC State catcher Luca Tresh as a legitimate first round MLB Draft prospect. We’ll get to both of those items in this week’s Collegiate Corner and more, as we touch base on six must-know names for this July’s draft. I’ll continue to provide a Collegiate Corner once-per-month leading up to my 2021 Complete College Top 100, which I intend to release in the weeks leading up to the MLB Draft as an all-encompassing guide to this year’s collegiate talent for all of you dedicated dynasty leaguers out there. Without further adieu, let’s get to it.

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