Please see our player page for Luis Robert 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.

So much of 2020 baseball has me dazed and confused. One injury pops up and “poof”, there goes the season. One 10 day hot stretch begets a 10 day cold stretch, and players pop up and go away like so many prairie dogs on the windswept empty plains of stadiums with no fans to be seen except in cardboard. Those who have hovered away include, in no particular order, Jonathan Schoop, Robinson Cano, Kyle Schwarber, Willy Adames, Alex Dickerson, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Shohei Ohtani, Jesse Winker, Yuli Gurriel, Mitch Moreland, Pedro Severino and Max Kepler. Some of that is poor performance. Some of it is as simple as paternity leave at an inopportune time. Much of this unlucky 13 is gone simply because others have outperformed them. Now the good news.

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The time is getting close. The possibility of a season ending that was barely a possibility in June is upon us. Fall is peaking around the corner and pumpkin spice (I SAID PUMPKIN SPICE) is everywhere! I mean, the NFL is back, not all of football but at least the NFL. So it’s the home stretch and Fantasy Baseball championships can still be won and lost in the last two weeks. Additions to the list of players like #90 Jeimer Candelario, who has 5 homers and a .417 batting average the past two weeks, can boost you in multiple categories. Someone like D.J. Stewart can too, but his 6 homers and .455 batting average were done in bulk the last 7 days so he’ll take a bit more to get on the list. His teammate #91 Ryan Mountcastle, however, has won a spot thanks to his 4 homer .367 last two week mark and slightly higher pedigree. Other additions include the practically homering in every game #98 Bobby Dalbec (sure, it was close with Stewart, but Dalbec set a Red Sox rookie record for homers so…), welcome back #92 Michael Brantley  and #96 Isiah Kiner-Falefa (a lone Ranger highlight). Of course, we can’t forget that sultan of swat, that bountiful Brave, #70 Adam Duvall. Are you serious with a 9 home run barrage, including hitting in the .290’s over the last 15?

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Of the two current Rookie of the Year front-runners, Jake Cronenworth (NL) and Luis Robert (AL), one was relatively predictable. In our 2020 Razzball Fantasy Baseball Staff Picks article, 12 of 22 writers tabbed Robert as their preseason choice for AL ROY (Kyle Lewis received one vote and remains in the race). On the other hand, none of those same 22 contributors picked Cronenworth in the NL, although current runner-up Dustin May garnered five votes. For a former seventh round pick that was on the 30-man roster bubble heading into Opening Day, there wasn’t much of a reason for him to be on anyone’s radar. But here we are with just about two-and-a-half weeks left in the unique 2020 season, and those two aforementioned names are leading the way down the stretch.

As one of Razzball’s two prospect writers, this got me thinking: 1) how have these two young hitters stacked up against other rookie bats in certain underlying metrics so far this year? 2) Does The Itch think about me throughout the day as much as I think about him? In regard to the former, the bulk of the 2020 season may be over, but there’s still useful batted ball data that can be implemented to make start/sit and add/drop decisions throughout the final two weeks. On top of that, rookie batted ball data is arguably even more important to look at for those who play in dynasty formats. Although the season is nearly in the rear-view, there are dynasty roster decisions looming for 2021, as well as the ever-present questions of “should I buy on Player A vs. Player B as part of my core moving forward?” In this post, I’ll present the top-12 rookie batters in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage and percentage of barrels-per-plate appearance through Sept. 8. If you have any further questions about any of the names that follow, I’m more than happy to discuss this topic further in the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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Here we are again with nine more changes to the Top 100. In general a drop happens either through flash in the pans that hopped on or season long slumps for highly touted guys or injuries. A hot two weeks can get someone on the list, but if there is no history it takes more time than if there isn’t. First the good news. The six newcomers are San Francisco treats #97 Brandon Belt and #96 Alex Dickerson, (welcome back) #84 Andrew McCutchen, #78 Willy Adames propping up Tampa, #77 Robinson Cano (the old man has ramped it up big time),  the San Diego boys #71 Jake Cronenworth (proving me wrong) and #70 Eric Hosmer, (welcome back) #68 Rhys Hoskins and #67 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Those leaving are Aaron Judge and his injuries, Gary Sanchez, David Peralta, Edwin Encarnacion, Hanser Alberto and Christian Vazquez all batting around or under .200 with little power or slumping, and IL trips for Justin Turner and David Fletcher. The biggest blow is Anthony Santander. An oblique is probably the end of his season. It was tempting to move Trout back up to Number 1, but Tatis’ slump is too small to knock him off. #6 Trea Turner is hot as a pistol but couldn’t crack the Top 5 (Soto’s MRI came back clean), and #19 Charlie Blackmon all of a sudden isn’t squaring everything up. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to some of the other movers this week.

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Aaaaaand just like that, the fantasy baseball playoffs are right around the corner for most of us. I don’t know about y’all, but 2020 has been the single longest decade of my entire life. Yet here we are, on the down slope of the baseball season, despite every week having COVID cases pop up here and there. Pretty ding dang surprised we still have baseball, to be fully honest with yinz. Buckle your seat belts, ladies n gents, cuz we gotta a whole lotta baseball coming up. Double-headers galore.

The latter part of a season is always a little cray cray. GMs get desperate, take some risks, snatch up some keepers for cheap, that sorta thing. With all these double-headers, there will be lots of bats and arms getting chances they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. We’ve already seen quite a bit of that throughout the year, and it’s only gonna keep on keepin’ on.

Format is a little different this week. I like tinkering. Doing away with my “39% or less owned” rule, too, cuz I feel like it.

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As an Angeleno, I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to be able to watch Clayton Kershaw every 5th game for all of his 2,500 Ks. I kid, games are blacked out here, and I’ve only seen him in the playoffs. Is he good? Really? Can you describe what he looks like when he’s good? He’s a lefty? A good slider? Are you messing with me? I can’t tell. *opening up Kershaw’s player page* Wow, I feel like I might’ve missed something by never seeing him pitch in a regular season game. Geez. Yesterday, Clayton Kershaw (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.50) recorded his 2500th strikeout and he seems likely to avoid the Doom of F-Her, where he disappears in his 30s, and ruins his Hall of Fame candidacy. Forget that, actually, Kershaw could win the NL Cy this year for old time’s sake. Be kinda awesome to see him collect the award before Game 4 of the World Series, then goes out and gives up seven earned in the 1st inning, eliminating the Dodgers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Mike Clevinger and Greg Allen were traded to the Padres for Gabe Arias, Cal Quantrill, Joey Cantillo, Owen Miller, Austin Hedges, and Josh Naylor. Cleveland will be melting together Quantrill, Arias, Cantillo, Hedges, Naylor and Miller to form one super player, Johnny Q. Baseball who can catch, pitch middle relief and hit .215. Cleveland Indians’ GM said, “I have one rule, that’s Rule 5.” Before Clevinger can leave town, Zach Plesac will be planning a blow out going away party that no one is to know about. It will be at Carlos N’ Suzie’s, a downtown Cleveland favorite known for tequila and heating up Totino’s pizza rolls. Can’t wait for the postseason redemption story of Mike Clevinger ginned up by Fox where he does no actual apologizing for anything, but pitches well for six innings and gets some flashy graphics and wild hyperbole. So, Clevinger going to the Padres is obviously a huge boon for his value if boon means what I think it means. Let’s assume it does or at least makes sense within context clues. Everyone the Indians got? Useless for this year, but I’m sure Prospect Itch or Hobbs will go over the prospects at some point. Only downside I can see for this trade is it might actually be lowering Chris Paddack’s value, because now the Sheriff will have to spend all waking hours policing to make sure Clevinger doesn’t do anything stupid. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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As the 2020 season turns there’s plenty of ongoing changes in the Top 100. Things are very very good for some players, and bad and getting worse for others. Six players have left the list which means six have jumped on. #80 Jonathan Schoop, #85 Pedro Severino, #89 Austin Nola, #90 Renato Nunez, welcome back #92 Eugenio Suarez and #99 Kyle Tucker. These guys are obviously killing it in various degrees of goodness. In particular perhaps it’s time to take Baltimore seriously. With all those Yankee injuries, and all the great performances by various Orioles, it’s no wonder the Rays are looking to be active in the trade market. Those dropping off include Mike Moustakas, Ramon Laureano, Eduardo Escobar, Gleyber Torres and unfortunately Josh Bell. I have defended several of these players recently but their struggles, and the good play by so many others, have made these moves inevitable. As Suarez shows, a week or two of good play can make all the difference. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to the details for some of the movers this week.

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Whats happenin’ all. I’m back again after a call to the pen. I’m steppin’ in, as I hold the pen. Lets go, lets get it. Lets begin… Friday was quite the night in honor of Jackie Robinson. There was so much I could have led off with here, Mets walking off to sweep Yankees, Slam Diego unloading on the Rockies, Gyorko store restocked, my bae Zac Gallen set a record (we’ll get to that), and Franmil ate a lot of BBQ. I love baseball. Like I said, a lot of great things to talk about but a certain rookie pitcher gave me the feels tonight in all the right ways…

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