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.

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!

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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?

It’s opening day!

The Arizona Fall League begins early this year, and I’m interested to see how the prospect fallout differs now that the kids aren’t the only ballgame in town. The previous iteration created a month-plus layoff for the arms, which was deemed a bad thing for reasons known to someone, presumably.

Fantasy leagues might be frozen already, transaction-wise, but if you’re in one that’s not, it’s sound strategy to fit some fall-league prospects into your build. I think the echo-chamber value-bounce has increased year-over-year as more and more prospectors make their way to Arizona for live looks. Last year, Jazz Chisholm went from borderline top 100 to top 30 range in just those few weeks. Nico Hoerner made his first professional noise and climbed the lists under this same bright spotlight. So who’s likely to get that shine this time around?

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Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner hit his first career home run Friday night going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. He started off the Chicago onslaught with a 2-run shot in the first inning and added a 2-run single in the fifth! He was a BUY and here’s what Grey had to say about him, “Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value.” And that’s me quoting Grey! If that’s not a high endorsement, I don’t know what kind of waiver adds you’re looking for in mid-September but Nico might be your best bet. Does he make you Hoerner, baby? Woah, sick reference, bro, how old even are you? Nico is slashing .350/.435/.600 through his first 20 at-bats with a home run and 8 RBI, he’s also still available in most leagues, which is important since I don’t know how many of you are even left reading this at this point in the year. Just my mom and my stalker, most likely (hi mom, hi Gordon!). My stalker Gordon’s wondering why I had to stop playing WoW Classic for 4 hours to do other fantasy things. I’ll be right back, Gordon, I swear, please don’t send my family death threats again! Nico could be worth an add for any team in need of some runs and average, especially if the Cubs plan on scoring 17 every game from here on out.

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

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“…and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord smitten thee with wheat, maize and Christian Yelich, then said, ‘You can’t have all three, you must choose two,’ and the people of Jerusalem, Wisconsin, a small city outside of Milwaukee, received their bounty of corn and wheat to make beer and dispatched Yelich to a nearby hospital.” — The Book of Uecker. *makes sign of the cross* Sadly, it’s written, therefore it is, as they say in elementary schools using fifteen-year-old textbooks.  The bright side to come out of Yelich’s body issue — not the one that your sister touched herself to, the other one — is Trent Grisham should leadoff and play every day. Remember, he was a guy who hit 13 HRs and stole six bags, while hitting .381, in only 34 minor league games, and could be worth a pick up in all leagues for the stretch-run. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The playoffs just started in my home league: a ten-team mixer. And it’s great to make the playoffs and all, but something seems weird about deciding our season during the only month when the real team’s seasons are decided. It’s not that nothing’s at stake in the real games, but the greatest motivator for most organizations might be their draft slot: a significant number in this Collective Bargaining Agreement whereby regular season record dictates both amateur acquisition budgets: draft and international.

The other exigencies still in play—development and health—have a variety of impacts in our game. Clubs want to see their young players on the field, but they’d rather not see them get hurt. Most young pitchers are running out of innings, and a lot of the good pitchers are resting/planning for the playoffs. On the swinger side, the idea of an everyday player in September is . . . nice, as an idea. But as a general rule, you’re looking at a lot of off days.

They’re not for you: the off-days. In fact, players’ days off make more work for you, which is where a lot of these late-season prospects come into play: as newly stream-able entities. Maybe you’re a little tired in these twilight weeks. Maybe you’re giving your fantasies to football. That’s fine. The players are tired too. Might be the same for everyone, no? The world belongs to anyone who gets out of bed, so let’s kick that alarm-clock Rocky music and punch these carcass—er, ugh, weigh the merits of this week’s newly minted major leaguers!

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With Javier Baez lost for the year — *pours out a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil for the sexy one we lost* — the Cubs called up shortstop, Nico Hoerner (3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs). And the internet exploded. Everywhere I looked for a good 45 minutes (long in internet minutes), I saw things about Nico Hoerner. “Reinforcements on the way!” one Chicago sportswriter announced exuberantly.  Another exclaimed, “Hoerner is here to save the season!” A third declared they were, “Hoernier than ever,” though they might’ve just typed a search term into their tweet. Then I looked at Hoerner’s Double-A numbers — 3 HRs, 8 SBs, .284 in 70 games — and I giggled a little. Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value. He should play short since karma knocked Addison Russell in the head and Baez is out, even if Ben Zobrist is playing after just recovering from a five-month divorce, which was initiated because his wife was jealous of how much Maddon loves him. You can cyclops Hoerner or try him, but him or, say, Starlin Castro? Semper Fidelis Castro. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Angels prospect Michael Hermosillo (3-for-5, 3 HR) has decided to hit for power this August. After hitting four homers in all of June and July, the 24-year-old outfielder has hit ten dingers this month. There should be a glossary term for the minor league version of a hot schmotato. Hot schmotatito? Between Hermosillo’s track record for power, the Juicy Juice brand balls in Triple-A, and the near 30% strikeout rate, I’m convinced there’s nothing to see here. But any time a guy has three multi-homer games in his last ten this close to September callups it’s noticeable. Speaking of callups, now’s the time to start thinking about who to stash for the last month of the season. For many of us, this is also our playoff season, so any help we can get to advance will be well worth the roster slot. Better to be a week early and get the guy you want than a week late and miss out on a huge month. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?