Please see our player page for Lewis Brinson 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.

One of the downsides, if you will, of the deep league format, is that it can be difficult to impossible to improve your team.  Things can feel especially frustrating at this time of year, especially if you have holes in your lineup and nowhere to turn to fill them.  Instead of completing ignoring my more disappointing teams, though, I like to pay a little extra attention to them in August and September.  If nothing else, you might come across a recent call-up or a now-under-the-radar post hype prospect that – even if it’s too late for your team in 2019 – might be a player that is worth knowing more about as your re-group for fantasy baseball in 2020 and beyond.  No, there aren’t a ton of exciting free agents out there to add to an NL or AL-only team, but let’s take a look at a handful of names that could be of some potential deep league interest, both for the rest of the season and in some cases, possibly even for the future.

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We published our podcast last week at possibly the worst time to cover the trade deadline. Tuesday afternoon, means all the news was a week old when we recorded on Monday. So what did we do? Talked about Jason Kipnis for forty minutes of course. So perhaps that’s a bold faced lie. We actually only talked about Kipnis for about two minutes while spending the rest of the hour touching on a slew of recent callups, winners in the playing time battles post trade deadline, and touched on some NL Only drama in Grey’s home league. Yes, the title has nothing to do with anything. It’s just words that sounded good. Not joking!

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It’s never too early to turn the page towards 2020. Which is what Hugh Downs used to say while wearing a smoking jacket and flipping through a script. By the way, Hugh Downs missed his porn actor calling.  “Oh my God, that’s an Orca in your pants!” “Well, I ain’t Churchill Downs.”  Fun Fact! Hugh Downs only wore slippers. Okay, okay, OKAY, enough about freakin’ Hugh Downs. This is like when Seinfeld was telling Bania to ease up on the Ovaltine jokes.  Grey, you’ve got fifteen minutes of Hugh Downs! Let him go! I’d love to but he goes Downs so easy! So, Luis Castillo pitched another gem in a season of them (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.63). His peripherals are equally gorge like Barbara Walters fluffing Hugh–I’ll stop! Castillo’s has a 10.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 3.71 FIP and his fastball velocity is up and he’s throwing his change a lot more (26% to 32%). He kinda reminds me of another Reds pitcher, Trevor Bauer. Castillo’s ERA could easily be near-4 vs. near 2.50. Still like him, not saying make a chump dump like when Hugh Downs used to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom and blame Mike Wallace, but Castillo looks a lot better than Bauer in ERA, but for 2020 I don’t see a ton of difference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We gonna talk about Lil’ Wayne’s favorite baseball player, “Franmil mil mil mil mil…mil mil, a mil.”  Much to chagrin of the former Padres’ outfielder and Missy Elliott’s favorite player, “Matt Sczrczrczr,” or as she would say, “nac uoy eveileb eh saw reve a gniht Sczrczrczr my skizzard.”  Franmil Reyes looks like a cross between Kyle Blanks and a vending machine that dispenses steaks.  “Damn, I thought this was the crappy hot chocolate vending machine and now I just got charged $54 for a T-bone.”  That’s someone getting a vending machine steak.  Yesterday, Franmil Reyes did what he’s been known/capable of — blasting two, loud $54 vending machine T-bones into orbit, ending the night 3-for-4 with his 7th and 8th homer.  He’s now on pace for 40 homers.  Greek chorus, “Who isn’t?!”  Okay, GC, but Franmil can get to 40 homers, unlike, say, Tommy La Stella.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This won’t be a formal full update of my Top 100 Rankings list. I’m just going to highlight a few players who have helped their cause after the first week of Spring Training. I’m not going to focus on anyone who is falling in my rankings just yet. It’s hard enough to provide a weekly top 100 hitters list during the regular season when the games matter — but I’m not going to overreact to a few spring training games. Dominic Smith is currently leading the league in batting average for Pete Alonso’s sake! Hey…that sounds like a good place to start!

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As we continue our 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters.  For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up in bed late at night, remembering there’s a bag of Doritos under your nightstand and go reaching for them.  That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  The main character has just been “Frito-laid off” and is described as Pringley and Ruffled.  Last year, this post had David Peralta, Aaron Hicks, and Randal Grichuk.  Well, they’re not all gems.  My point (PLEASE!) there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Oakland A’s rookie outfielder slash speed demon slash rocket arm slash hot shot Ramon Laureano hit two home runs Friday night including his first career lead off bomb to which even Ricky Henderson nodded in approval. He became the first A’s player with two multi-home run games in his first 30 games and the rook upped his slash to .309/.387/568 with five bombs, 13 RBI, and let us not forget, a perfect 4-for-4 in steals chances. Yes, hashtag SAGNOF. That’s why we’re talking about him for 2018. Ramon lead off for just the second time in his young MLB career (he doubled twice leading off Wednesday) but considering such positive results, it’s likely he’ll see a lot more time there throughout the remainder of the season. Laureano held an .895 OPS with 13 homers and 11 steals in 63 games at AAA before his call up and has done nothing but excel since he got here. Everybody loves this guy! Is it because he delivered a game winner in his MLB debut? Is it because he has the potential to be a real life 5-tool player? Or is it because he plays defense like a gold glover and has an absolute cannon of an arm that would make Tom Brady blush. Sweet sassy molassy! I’m sorry I have to watch that again. And you’re sure I don’t get fantasy points for that? If, like most people, you’ve already moved on to fantasy football and are sad about your Leveons or your McKinnons, try to remember Ramon Laureano for your 2019 sleeper radar. But if you are still with us, and you need some speed and runs and average in the stretch run, go grab yourself a bowl of Ramon while he’s hot!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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The September roster expansion this year was a bit of a dud.  No Eloy Jimenez and no Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  It’s too bad what’s best for baseball and these young players is not what is also best for their teams.  Their rewards and our rewards are not aligned.  It’s like going into the supermarket for pluots and they tell you, “It’s pluot season.  Pluots are best this time of year.  You want to eat dem pluots now so they slobber down your chin like you’re a human St. Bernard.  So, we’re putting our pluots into liquid nitrogen to freeze them until mid-April of next year, and we will serve you pluots once their service time allows us to keep them an extra year.”  However, the Nationals are working on a different schedule apparently because they are calling up Victor Robles, i.e., to the Victor goes the spoiled pluots.  Where will Victor Robles play?  Haven’t a clue, Colonel Mustard.  Bryce Harper (1-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 31st homer yesterday) goes to right and Robles plays center while Adam’s Eaton the pine?  Adam’s Eaton up time while Bryce goes to the bench because the Nationals know Harper is not in their future plans?  Robles just plays periodically unless something goes completely sideways and the Nats will pass ‘o Robles.  On Prospector Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects, Robles is about as high a player can be who isn’t A) Not being called up this year.  B) Not already called up.  C) There’s no C.  To give you an idea of Robles’ profile, think Starling Marte without knowing his upside.  I will call you No Ceiling Marte.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Finally, the Rays took a cue from Fox, and started Jake Bauers‘ clock.  Here’s an updated 24:  FBI agent, breathlessly, into a phone, “The President is in danger!”  Assistant to the FBI director lowers the phone, speaks to the director, less breathlessly, “Have you tried Thai basil chicken?”  FBI director, “Basil in Thai dishes always make me think there should be tomato sauce.  Ya know, Italians have that basil thing already.”  FBI agent into the phone, breathlessly, “Did you hear me, the President’s in danger!”  FBI assistant, “Um, yeah, you’ve been on vacay, and we’re no longer taking matters of the President’s safety as seriously as much as we once did.”  I keed!  Don’t hit me with your political agenda.  So, Jake Bauers was called up to presumably play every day.  I mean, if the Rays waited this long to bring him up, they’re not doing it for a bench bat.  He’s a little bit of everything vs. a lot of one thing, which is less exciting in short-term, but could be something long-term.  His Steamer projections are yawnstipating 7/8/.238 (click his name to see projections), but I could see him being a bit closer to 9/16/.265/.345.  Not bad, not great.  Breathlessly, “He’s okay.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Howie Kendrick is out for multiple 10-day DLs with a ruptured Achilles injury.  Look at it this way, if Achilles couldn’t come right back from an Achilles injury, how would Kendrick?  He can’t, he’s out for the year.  Enter stage left, Juan Soto.  True story, as I was listening to Prospector Ralph and Lance Broetc. discuss the top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball (clickbait!), every time Ralph would say Juan Soto I’d think he was asking Lance if he wanted soda.  I kept wanting to say, just give him a Dr. Pepper and stop asking if he’s thirsty!  I don’t drink Soto, because it makes me burp, but I’ll tell you what?  I’ve found a special appreciation for La Croix.  Give me flavored seltzer or give me death, as Alan Hale Jr. once said.  Any hoo!  Love, love, lurve what the Nats did.  If you have a guy that’s going to be a superstar?  You call him up!  H to the hockey sticks with an E in between!  If the Blue Jays don’t call up Vlad soon, I will call them the BJs for the rest of eternity.  Ralph has gone over Juan Soto so many times, that it’s silly to reiterate.  Literally, he just wrote a Juan Soto fantasy.  If you’re really lazy and you have wheels on your barcalounger so you can get around, the most succinct is Soto could be a 35/12/.300 hitter during his peak and is 19 years old with extra fizz.  You can expect this year something similar to Bryce Harper’s rookie year — 20/15/.270.  If your eyes don’t bug out on that, you’ve lost feeling in your eyes.  Get them checked.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?