Please see our player page for Nico Hoerner 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.

The slew of emails from every business under the sun regarding their comprehensive COVID-19 protocol continued this past week. I was on pins and needles wondering how Jiffy Lube, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Cledus’s Used Cars might handle this terrible crisis. Now I can finally rest easy. Anyway, you’re probably tired of hearing about this virus stuff that’s ruining all of our lives. So let’s shift our attention over to one of my fantasy drafts which was only slightly more interesting than that bulletin detailing how often the garbage man is washing his hands. Last week you got Grey’s RazzSlam recap aka Pete Alonso love letter. Now here’s my RazzSlam, 12-team best ball points league draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It’s the age, I’m told. Then, with only the faintest of amber glowing from behind my Squidward Tentacles nightlight, I catch a glimpse of myself. It’s the middle of the night, yet my hair is still perfectly coiffed; my mustache tenderly manicured; my eyes a dazzling shade of hazel, and I can’t help but be taken aback by my handsomeness. Well, instead of myself greeting myself every night from now on, I’ve printed out my Tout Wars team and hung it from the mirror, because it is sexier than even I could ever hope to be. Frankly, I’m worried that I might be in my office when nature calls for a twinkle, and head into the other room to find my much older wife making out with my printed-out team. “Get off the printed name of Juan Soto, Cougs! That’s my fantasy team you’re dry humping!” For those unaware, it’s 5×5, with OBP instead of AVG, two-catcher, 12-team NL-Only league, so don’t ask me how much Mike Trout went for. Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars draft recap:

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The highlights of this post last year were Fernando Tatis Jr., Jorge Polanco and Brendan Rodgers. So they’re not all winners, but 2nd basemen to target and the shortstops are necessary evils like changing your underwear. Whether you want to or not, it is a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you should still expect to get crapped on. Unlike previous years, I’m hopeful that everyone owns at least one shortstop prior to getting to the sleepers in this post. Top shortstops are the bees knees and bees do have knees; I’m a scientist. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2020 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points. 

I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as Gammons explained how excited St. Louis fans were to see Ray Lankford and Brian Jordan roaming the same outfield and Rick Ankiel on the mound. 

It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 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 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just over a year and 89 minor league games after he was drafted, Nico Hoerner made his debut with the Chicago Cubs, going 3/5 with 4 RBI in his debut, as the Cubs starting SS on September 7th. While the rest of his first month in the majors wasn’t quite as spectacular, Hoerner’s debut was a bit of a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Cubs. His .282/.305/.436 grades out as below average overall, but it displayed his plus hit tool, as well as surprising power. Hoerner has been somewhat of a hot commodity this offseason, so my goal here is to help you realistically guide your expectations for Nico Hoerner, both for 2020 and moving forward.

When Hoerner was drafted, he was seen as a safe, but unexciting pick, yet here he is getting people excited about his fantasy potential. Hoerner’s hit tool has always been his best tool, as he was a .300 hitter through both his last two years of college, and the two summers he spent in wood bat collegiate summer leagues. While he’s shown to be a competent fielder, and can run pretty well, Hoerner didn’t seem to have anything outside of his hit tool that could help him contribute in fantasy, yet here we are. Nico Hoerner’s AA stats seem pretty in line with how he fared in his major league debut. He walked a bit more, and didn’t show as much power, but the overall slash line was very similar.

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Cubs affiliates spent 2019 enjoying the most minor league talent they’ve seen in a while—a welcome sign for a fan base whose dynasty dreams have died a little each year. 

The developmental wing of the organization has been realigned this off-season, so we don’t know much about how the new team will help (or hurt) the players. I’m betting they help, especially the enhanced focus on nutrition and strength training. I think an argument could be made that four hours in a weight room combined with healthy food intake would help teenage players almost as much as four hours at the ballpark. Might be safe to say a whole-human approach would be best in most endeavors where you’re betting on said humans to improve over time. 

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For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have played a game of Would You Rather using the entire prospect universe.

Or wait, am I thinking of the right game? Not that F, marry, kill game but the one where you have to decide on either/or propositions . . . there’s not sex stuff in that one, too, is there?

Sorry, I’ve been thinking about these young men a long time.

Hope you get some fun out of considering the sequence, reading some words, and playing your own (sex) games!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day I stumbled on this: Highest average for a 22-year-old in the past 100 years (min 300 PA): .406 Ted Williams; .358 Freddie Lindstrom; .357 Stan Musial; Luis Arraez; .346 Joe DiMaggio — four Hall of Famers and Arraez. Since that faithful day (three days ago), I’ve been on Team Arraez. I’ve called six local-area Spanish restaurants and asked them to change “arroz” to “Arraez.” I called a local biker bar, where the Spanish Kings Motorcycle Club hangs out, and asked them to change the “mind eraser” to the “Mind Arraez” and asked them to tell people it’s “mind” as in to pay attention to like, “Mind the Gap.” Finally, I called the Kiwanis Club of Madrid and said, “Hola, yo quiero Arraez to tengo a key-o to the ciudad.” In each case, the person I talked to said either, “What?” or “¿Que?” and hung up on me, which is why I’m here to tell you all about Arraez! Wait! Don’t hang up! I’m not done yet! With a minimum of 300 PAs, Arraez has the lowest strikeout rate in the major leagues (8.5%), and his walk rate is around top 50 (10.3%). No one in the league is particularly interested in OBP — sorry, Michael Lewis! — but Arraez would be top 5 in OBP if he qualified. Not exactly a guy who gives a ton of power or speed, which hurts his 5×5 redraft value, but he gets a ton of hits, and I got this stupid Team Arraez jersey and I was obliged to shine a light on him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?