Please see our player page for Mike Trout 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.

I’ve got to be honest, I’m not even that excited for the 2020 fantasy baseball season. It almost feels dirty to actually say that. I started playing fantasy baseball back in 1990. For those not so quick with that math, this would be my 30th year playing this great game. So why am I not pumped for the start of the season. Well, I think it’s mostly hesitation. I just do not believe that we will actually see a full season. And by “full season” I mean sixty games. How long is it going to be until a couple of players test positive and things get shut down? I wonder if a player would rather test positive for PEDs or Coronavirus? I asked my buddy if he’d rather have Coronavirus or Syphilis. Any guesses how he answered? He chose Coronavirus because it would be easier to explain to his wife. We are already facing an extremely shorted season, any interruptions would exponentially compound the problem.

A shortened season is much less disruptive to the roto format, but when it comes to head-to-head points leagues, a nine week season practically cripples the season. In roto it’s just less time to accrue stats, but in a 12-team head-to-head league, you’ll play each team once, and some twice if you have two opponents each week. If you play one team each week you won’t even play every team in the league over those nine weeks. And what about playoffs? Why does Jim Mora’s reaction to the topic of playoffs immediately come to mind? For every week of playoffs that’s one less week of regular season. Can playoffs even be afforded? Do you just award the championship to the team that finishes the regular season in first place? I can see it already, the team that finishes first will be the team that got to play the shitty team twice. Can you blame the second place team for feeling slighted?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So we’re gonna have a season, maybe, hopefully…..who knows.  But we need to be prepping like there’s going to be one.  So let’s take a look at some of the specifics that have come down from MLB with the new plan for the season and how it should effect how you handle injuries/Covid related issues going into the year.

First off, the rules.  MLB released a list of precautions when they and the players’ union approved the deal for the 60 game season.  Testing is the biggest thing we need to keep an eye on.  Everyone’s getting tested for active Covid-19 as well as antibodies upon reporting to Spring Training 2.0.  They will not be cleared for work until they tests negative for Covid (we’ll come back to this).  In season, players will undergo multiple “symptom tests” per day (temp checks and “how are you feeling” questionnaires).  They will also be tested every other day.

So what happens if someone tests positive?  Well, each team has to put in place their own Covid handling program that meets certain minimum requirements.  The biggest thing though is that, in order to be cleared to play, a player must test negative twice within a 24 hour period and show now symptoms for 72 hours.  This is a big deal.  There’s no real rhyme or reason for how long Covid stays in your system, but even asymptomatic cases seem to last a minimum of 14 days.  I looked into some prominent cases that took place over in Europe when Covid hit some of their soccer leagues: Callum Hudson-Odoi, a winger for Chelsea tested positive for Coronavirus at the beginning of March.  He wasn’t able to test negative until the beginning of May, despite showing few symptoms.  Paolo Dybala, who plays for Juventus, tested positive in mid-March and was asymptomatic.  He wasn’t cleared until almost the end of May.  Suffice to say, it’s going to be case by case when it comes to each one of these testing scenarios, but I think it would be wise to treat a positive test like a month long or more injury when trying to evaluate how to handle your roster.

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Determining what truly constitutes as a sleeper is an age-old debate. Take Duke’s Bryce Jarvis from the 2020 MLB Draft class. About two months ago, I ranked him 15th in my top 25 college fantasy baseball prospects while other ‘perts’ were tabbing him with third round status at best. Was he a sleeper then? Maybe. Is he now? No, because he’s risen all the way to No. 25 on MLB.com’s top 200 rankings. How about Pete Crow-Armstrong in this year’s class? Is he a sleeper if he indeed falls to the latter half of the first round? Maybe he goes in the twenties and we spend the next 20 years comping the prep schooler’s draft fall to that of Trout’s in 2009 (unlikely, but you get the point). And what about your 57-year-old Uncle Ed who just passed out on his La-Z-Boy after pounding five Millers and ghosting a Juul hit? Now that is a true sleeper my friends.

For this segment, what qualifies as a sleeper is this: a player sitting outside the top 50 2020 MLB Draft prospects according to both MLB.com and Baseball America who is considered a long shot to be drafted in the first round by the industry consensus (with bonus pool tomfoolery, we can never ensure who won’t be a first rounder with 100% accuracy). Out of this group of players, I have selected several which I believe will outperform their draft position as a future professional. I then separated these players based on where I anticipate they will be selected in this year’s five round draft: early, middle and late.

But wait! It gets better. I’ve even expanded into the high school prospect pool by including one, yes you heard that right — one — prep prospect in this post. Although the college circuit is my specialty, I feel confident enough in my knowledge of the high school crop to dig into a name here and there. If you’re playing in a dynasty league and looking for some high-upside deep finds in this year’s draft to target moving forward, look no further. And wake up Uncle Ed while you’re at it. That guy needs all the help he can get.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before taking a single at bat, Jasson Dominguez is dominating the baseball card world.

2020 Bowman Baseball is nowhere to be found in the retail universe. Year over year, Bowman baseball cards are one of the only products in late-stage capitalism that corporations cannot keep in stock.

Stephen Strasburg is to blame for some of this. Back in 2010, I was stopping at Wal-Marts off the highway, tiny town Targets and roadside Casey’s in search of 2010 Bowman blaster boxes. They cost 19.99 in stores and sold for about $40 online. Inside a blaster box were eight packs, two chrome prospect cards per pack. (Today, Topps has shrunk the pack count to six but kept the pricing.) Some of the craze was that a Strasburg base 1st Chrome rookie went for about $50 on eBay. Some of the craze was due to the high-end market. An attorney bought the Strasburg 1/1 Superfractor–not autographed–from 2010 bowman for $10,000 and sold it a short while later for $26,000.

Ten years later, Bowman is the biggest thing in baseball, and Jasson Dominguez is growing the game yet again.

Here’s a table I put together built from the elite group of my Top 200 for easy viewing and comparing.

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I’ve been looking forward to this post for a while.

The shut down threw the content-creation world one hell of a curveball. Many outlets have been using the dead time to catch up on unfinished 2020 organizational prospect rankings, but I completed Razzball’s back in January, so I moved on to another large project I didn’t have the winter minutes to complete but spun it forward to next season, ranking just about everyone across each position from a long-term perspective. 

Got some push back early. “So we’re just skipping to next season? smdh”

But I kept riding through the Wild West of dynasty baseball’s future, mapping middle-aged aces alongside yet-to-be-drafted youngsters. This led to wonderful conversations with Razzball’s brilliant readers, who helped me build a set of rankings I hope we can all use to find fantasy fun and glory in the seasons to come. 

I’m proud of this project, thrilled to be working with so many smart fantasy players, and eager to distill the past few months of work into this one post. Can’t wait to keep chatting and building with you all! Happy scrolling!

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In the first two parts of this series, we covered the infielders that I’ll be relying on this fantasy season, starting with catchers and corner infielders in part one and looking at middle infielders in part two. While players like Francisco Lindor, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo, and Tim Anderson provide a nice, stable foundation to build off of, you need more to field a top-notch offense in competitive formats. Safe, high floor players alone aren’t going to get the job done. It’s important to find some impact hitters that’ll make a real difference. That’s where the outfielders come into play. Not only does the outfield represent the largest player pool in fantasy baseball on the offensive side of things, but it is also the most demanding position in terms of starting lineup requirements (5 OF in both the online championship and draft champions NFBC formats). Outfielders are similar to middle infielders in that you can find anything you need here: power, speed, counting stats, and batting average. I’m looking for production in all of these categories, and since there are quite a few players to cover, let’s get started, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In part one of this little mini series, we looked at all of the catchers and corner infielders that I’ll be relying on once the 2020 season gets underway. As much as I enjoy talking about Yadier Molina and Jose Abreu, those guys aren’t exactly dripping with excitement. They’re high floor foundation pieces who are useful fantasy assets, but aren’t the types of players who will carry a team to a fantasy championship. It’s like going to your local burger joint and ordering a plain cheeseburger – it’s not likely to disappoint, but it won’t be a particularly memorable meal either. Middle infielders and outfielders are the bacon, caramelized onions, and special sauce that can be added to that plain burger to make it exceptional. Sometimes, experimenting with exotic ingredients like spicy peppers can lead to indigestion, but it can also lead to a special, unique experience. And there’s plenty of spice to go around in these groups.

All of these ingredients are represented at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield. Power, speed, average, and counting stats – they can all be found in abundance here. The key is to determine who to target and when to target them. Today, I’ll be sharing the middle infielders that I targeted and ended up drafting across my five NFBC leagues for the 2020 season. I originally intended to cover outfielders as well, but since Magoobot’s self-editing mechanism malfunctioned years ago, there’s only room for the guys up the middle today. There’ll be a whole post dedicated to outfielders in part three.

Just like last week, I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up drafting. Both the 12 team NFBC Online Championship and 15 team NFBC Draft Champions formats require that you start 1 2B, 1 SS, and 1 MI at all times, so that’s something to keep in mind during this exercise. As a quick refresher, each player will be placed into one of the following four categories:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today we put the finishing touches on one of dynasty baseball’s toughest positions. 

People just don’t trade speedy outfielders who can hit. 

Or at least they shouldn’t. 

Sure a Jarrod Dyson might get vacuumed up at basement pricing every now and then, but if you’ve got Starling Marte, Victor Robles or Oscar Mercado, you’re probably not that interested in the offers you’ve gotten for them. Speed players who contribute across the board are the dodo birds of our game. Outfield and middle infield are typically the only places to find them, apart from the occasional Jose Ramirez or prime-age Paul Goldschmidt. You flat out need some speed covering the green if you’re hoping to compete in the category, and I’m just not the type to advocate punting a category in 5×5. Trying to win leagues over here–not tell tales about fading saves and steals but hanging in with the top group anyway. 

Anyway, best to get ‘em young while they’re cheap. I wouldn’t be paying up for all the guys like Pache who show aptitude in the lower minors, but if I can take a fistful of freemium fliers on guys like Jasiah Dixon and Jeferson Espinal, I’m doing that all day.

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Nostalgia can be a funny thing. In challenging times, especially, it can be nice to revisit things that you think back on fondly. It wraps you in a warm, comfy blanket of good memories and better times. Even now, as I’m writing this, I just put on a random 90s alternative rock/grunge playlist that I found on YouTube. I have some very nostalgic feelings about the music from that era. Alice in Chains? Yes please. Soundgarden? Mmm… so cozy. Better Than Ezra? Sure, why not. Underrated band. Tal Bachman? Ahhhh, that’s… wait, what? Joan Osborne? Brrr… it’s getting drafty in here. Savage Garden? Hey, where the hell did my blanket go? Time to pull a Randy Savage and drop the big elbow on this list. Magoo’s gettin’ angry!

Well, so much for my nostalgic musical trip. That brings us back to baseball. It’s really the ultimate source of nostalgia for me. Whether playing, watching, or getting hooked on the fantasy side of things, it’s been a constant in my life since I was about four years old. A nice, warm blanket that’s always at the ready. So to be sitting here in late April with no baseball in sight feels weird. Really weird. And while nobody really knows when or where or in what form our national pastime will return, I’m hopeful that it will at some point this year. But instead of focusing on what we can’t control, let’s focus on what we can control, shall we?

Which brings us to the topic at hand. We might not know when and where baseball will be played this season, but we can certainly choose who we want playing on our fantasy teams. With that in mind, I’ll be discussing all of the players who I’ve drafted in my fantasy baseball leagues in 2020. It might sound like a lot, but it’ll just be covering five leagues in total – four NFBC Online Championship leagues, and one NFBC Draft Champions league. For some perspective, the four OC leagues are 12 team mixed with weekly lineup locks, weekly pickups, and the following starting lineup requirements: 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 SS, 1 3B, 1 MI, 1 CI, 5 OF, 1 Util, and 9 P. There is a 1000 innings pitched minimum, but no specific minimum or starting requirements for starting or relief pitchers. The Draft Champions is a 15 team mixed league format with the same starting lineup requirements as the OC format, except it’s a 50 round draft-and-hold with no in-season transactions. What you draft is what you’re stuck with until the end of the season. There is no trading and no injured list in both formats as well.

I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up pulling the trigger on. Since this article is already longer than a typical baby seal comment, I’ll just be covering catchers and corner infielders today, with middle infielders, outfielders, and pitchers soon to follow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remember that horrifying scene in The Conjuring where the kids are all playing that stupid “hide and clap” game together in the house? This poor little girl is wandering around her family’s demon-possessed hell-hole of a home, blindfolded and completely unable to see, playing a sick, vintage version of hide-and-seek that was apparently popular in New England in the early 1970s. Later in the film, their mom joins in on this foolishness and problems only escalate from there. I was forever scarred.

Why would anyone ruin something as classic and pure as hide-and-seek, or baseball for that matter, by throwing a blindfold into the equation? I can only imagine what that would have resulted in during my childhood. One second you’re walking around blindfolded looking for your friends, the next second one of them is punching you in the face. Great prank, guys. Thanks.

For baseball, however, the blindfold tactic can actually prove to be useful, though I recommend removing it prior to draft day to avoid assembling a roster similar to that of some of my league-mates. If we take an in-depth look at players without knowing their names, compare the numbers and trends side-by-side, formulate opinions and then restore their identities, we might actually be better off. It goes without saying that it’s always a good idea to revisit video after one of these exercises. No matter what the numbers say, I will never put stock in a guy whose swing makes me barf. Think exhilarating but gut-wrenching like chaw mixed with fair rides.

In this piece, I will be breaking down three different prospects who are almost undoubtedly owned in any dynasty league: Prospect A, Prospect B and Prospect C. Some may even be owned in mid-to-deep keeper formats. As we go through this exercise, I urge you to draw tempered conclusions about each prospect without looking elsewhere to determine who they might be. Don’t ruin the fun – I’m going to reveal the names of each at the very end anyway.

Please, blog, may I have some more?