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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!

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Moment of silence for the White Sox. Their gambit failed and now they’re stuck with every top free agent’s in-laws.  Their clubhouse chemistry is gonna be like Meet the Fockers but more Dominican.  Meet the Focktinez!  “That’s my cat, Señor Mal Suerte.  He uses el bano all by lonesome.”  That’s Yonder Alonso.  Bryce Harper’s dad eyes Señor Mal Suerte, then replies to Yonder, “You can milk anything with nipples.  Even Yolmer Sanchez.”  Any hoo!  Bryce Harper finally signed with the Phillies.  Halleberrylujah!  It’s not even Easter and baseball season has already risen!  Bryce Harper returns to the City of Brotherly Love, where he first visited with the Phillies’ front office six months ago.  “We want you to be a Philadelphia Phillie.”  “I want $330 million.”  “Okay.”  Then six months later, “You’ve got a deal!”  Harper and Boras drive one hard bargain.  They accept the first deal they’re given, but nearly a half year after they’re given it.  Bryce Harper’s gonna love playing in Philly.  They have the best fans in the world.  They’ve already announced May 1st is Rain Batteries On Bryce’s Head Day.  A crowd favorite, for sure.  I don’t think this changes anything about my preseason projections for him, tee bee aitch.  I always assumed he’d end up in Philly, New York or with the White Sox, because, brucely, those were the only three teams ever serious about him.  Maybe the Giants, but let’s just be glad that didn’t happen.  In my top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball, I kept his projections.  Only difference now will be if Gabe Kapler and Bryce’s dad get into an arm wrestling fight, and Daddy Harper wins and Bryce is randomly benched for Scott Kingery.  Also, I updated the top 80 outfielders and top 100 outfielders for Roman Quinn and Nick Williams, respectively, and my War Room has been updated.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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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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Is it possible I will have drafted a shortstop in the 1st round, a shortstop in the 2nd round for my MI spot and a shortstop in the 3rd round for my utility spot?  Prolly not, but I don’t want to rule out anything with how great the shortstops look.  During last preseason, Rudy told me I was too high on multiple shortstops.  He never apologized, but that’s okay, I forgive him.  As Napoleon said, “I forgive you for only putting two layers in my whipped cream dessert, but if you meant it as a dig on my height, I will never forget.”  So, here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All my 2019 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine.  Let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and all the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility.  Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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I lied to you loyal Razzball readers. In part 1 of this 2019 fantasy baseball mock draft hosted by Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, I told you this was going to be a four-part series. Well, unfortunately between rounds 23 and 24, the MLB regular season ended and thus, so did our Fantrax mock draft. The draft room disappeared from the league page and every future pick was being auto-drafted. Rather than waste your time discussing random players being auto-drafted I’m just going to highlight a few notable undrafted players at the bottom of this article. Back to the draft itself: three words can sum up rounds 15 through 23: risk, relievers and rookies. You’ll soon see what I mean. (BTW, the 2nd part of the fantasy baseball mock draft.)

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“Hey, Stream-o-Nator, I have a surprise for you.”  The Stream-o-Nator backs up slightly, unsure of what I’m going to do to its tender robot heart.  The Stream-o-Nator was born in a scrapyard run by Steven Avery’s family.  Not the Making a Murderer guy, the ex-Braves pitcher.  The story of how it got separated from its family is similar to Sophie’s Choice, but sadder and involves more heavy metal.  Suffice it to say, the Stream-o-Nator is longing for any connection, electrical or otherwise.  This brings us to yesterday’s matchup and why I sought the Stream-o-Nator.  Gently approaching the 8-foot robot, “It’s a good surprise.  I wanna be your friend.”  The Stream-o-Nator swoons, playing Just The Two Of Us on its chest-implanted boombox.  Perhaps my friendship is simply what have you done for me lately, but Andrew Heaney was enough for me to be bothered with late-night phone calls when the robot is feeling blue Raspberry Pi.  Heaney went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.98.  (Reynaldo Lopez wasn’t bad either — 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.22).  For this year, due to how few starts are left, I’m looking at the Stream-o-Nator for every start, and it loves Heaney for his next start.  “I’m here for you robot pal.  C’mon, high-five me!”  Stream-o-Nator’s arm falls off and it sighs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Kendrys hit it? Yes he can. Blue Jays first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales homered in his fifth straight game Friday night and now has a total of six jacks in five nights! KEN-DRYS do it again!? I don’t know! The B-Jays have won four in a row and Morales extended his hitting streak to eight games and is hitting .571 in the past week with five multi hit games, seven runs scored and nine RBI. Kendrys is available in over half of fantasy leagues and he’s hotter than Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s sex life. Which I hear is very steamy. That was a fairly on trend reference though, right?  Speaking of trendy, it’s Players Weekend, HE’LL YALL! That means dope cleats, mostly ugly/funny uniforms (I can’t tell if I like the Rays hats or hate them so much), and of course: terrible nicknames. This is a good opportunity to tell if your favorite player has a good personality or not. Some of the nicknames are clever or fun (SABANERO SOY? yes please, and Brad Boxberger gets millennials), but if a guy just adds a -y or an -ie he’s probably a pretty lame dude so I guess it’s a good thing he’s so good at baseball. Kendrys chose to wear “MONINA,” which I tried Googling but couldn’t get a proper translation so I’ll just assume it means “Only Hits In August.” Well, it’s still August for another week and despite how long he chose to wait to get en fuego, Kendrys Morales was a BUY and is one of the hottest hitters in the league right and I’d ride him while he’s hitting all the baseballs.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night featuring more dumb nicknames than you’ve ever wanted:

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The Braves called up Bryse Wilson, their third starter who is under 21 years old (Soroka, Allard) and 4th player (Acuña).  Mean’s while, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. just collected his 3,000th minor league hit.  By the time Vlad Jr. is called up, he will be Vlad Sr.’s brother.  Didja you know in Latin America junior is a term of endearment like when you call that old lady in your family ‘aunt’ even though she’s unrelated?  That’s why so many Jr.’s get to their 2nd year of pro ball and drop the junior.  Right, Raul Mondesi Jr.?  Any hoo!  The Braves called up yet another gorgeous, young prospect.  “That’s what I love about these Braves starters, man. I keep getting older, they stay the same age.” — Matthew McConaughey seeing Bryse Wilson.  Prospector Ralph just gave you his Bryse Wilson fantasy.  He’s also in his top 500 fantasy baseball prospects.  Previously, he said, “A 4th rounder in 2016, Bryse Wilson rode his plus sinking fastball to one of the bigger breakouts of 2017.  His four-seamer sits 92-95 with sink, and commands it extremely well.  His secondaries are far more raw with a power 12-6 curve, and a fringe changeup.  Speaking of Wilson, I’d like to spike Grey like a volleyball.”  Okay, not cool!  Yesterday, Wilson went 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, as the Braves bumped everyone in their rotation back a day.  The big thing that struck me about Bryse is he looks like he’s been doing it for years (which could be said of the other young Braves players).  About to call him Poyse Wilson.  Seems weird to call him up to just send him back to the minors, so gotta expect him to stay up.  In shallower redrafts, I’d view Wilson as a streamer, but I did grab him in two mixed league redrafts.  He’s obviously a decent keeper in deep leagues (10.8 K/9, 0.9 BB/9 in only 20 Triple-A innings), especially now that’s he’s up with rest of the Braves’ Poyse of Summer.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Lance Lynn had to shave his beard to play for the Yankees, because the Yankees are fascists.  I wish Giancarlo would grow a mustache as giant FU.  What, are they going to bench him until he shaves?  Actually, Giancarlo should carve an F and a U in both of his sideburns.  That would be such a 1970’s move.  You could see Willie Stargell, high as a kite, being like, “Carve, ‘Down with Whitey’ in my sideburns.”  Little did we know a clean-shaven Lynn would be an all-new pitcher, throwing 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 1 walk, ERA at 4.58.  Prior to the trade, here’s the Twins pitching coach talking to the bullpen catcher, “Do you think Lynn might be dragging his right side a little bit because of all that facial hair?”  “I don’t know, but Sasquatches have been deemed the new sexy ‘It Thing,’ so who’s to argue?”  Yesterday, we saw more of Lynn (literally and figuratively) of what made him a solid starter in St. Louis for many years.  His season numbers are still garbage but, if nothing else, the Stream-o-Nator loves his next start.  If he can command his pitches, he could have a solid final seven weeks.  It’s all about The Art of Shaving two walks off his rate.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?