Happy Easter/Passover/holiday weekend Razzballers: Easter Weekend is upon us at my household, meaning there is plenty of delicious food/drink to be consumed, talk of World Series aspirations are still reasonable for my fellow Yankee and Met fans, and my grandfather will be asking me about the merits of investing in Bitcoin. Great times! We’ve had […]

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First things first: ever wonder why people say that? Of course, first things should be first, or else we’d call them second things. Can you imagine if I started this post, “first things second, let’s begin with thirds?” That wouldn’t make sense, and you’d probably disregard my introduction and move right on to one of Grey’s eloquently-written masterpieces. So, first things first: I am not The Itch. I am Hobbs: modern marvel of man and owner of over 500 antique bottlecaps. This brings us to second things second: these rankings, therefore, detail my own assessment of the top-10 prospects for 2022 fantasy baseball, and not Itch’s. Itch composes the official prospect rankings for Razzball and knocks it out of the park year after year. But here is how I see this year’s top-10 for both dynasty and re-draft purposes, with a heavy emphasis put on 2022 projections. You may be surprised as to how the first-few names came out this year.

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You can’t judge a prospect by his draft position, the same way you can’t judge a middle-aged man for walking around shirtless in your neighborhood. A player could get drafted 40th overall solely due to signability and financial asking price, but still be a top-15 overall player (more on that later). Along those same lines, that middle-aged man could have recently burnt his nipples on a saucepan while reaching across the stovetop to adjust a knob, and now walking around shirtless is the only comfortable way he can go for an evening stroll. You simply never know the underlying circumstances at play, which is why it’s always best to ask questions and gather reliable intel before rushing to judgment. That exact premise is the motivation for this piece: don’t treat the 2021 draftees as shirtless middle-aged men. Assess the tools and how each player aligns with your fantasy team’s winning timeline, and draft the top players available regardless of where they were selected in the 2021 MLB Draft. Draft position should not directly correlate with first-year player draft (FYPD) order and rankings.

So here’s a few shirtless, middle-aged men to target in your upcoming FYPDs — of the baseball variety, of course!

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Ahh, fantasy baseball. Coming back to writing baseball is more refreshing than a long swig of a double IPA after a day with the in-laws. It sure is good to be back, dear readers. After a seasonal hiatus during which I contributed to Razzball Fantasy Football, I’m finally back and ready to talk college draft hopefuls, prospects, rookies and beyond. Being away from you all, I felt like Pumba without my Timon. DJ Lemahieu without his chaw. Tony La Russa without someone to drunkenly yell at. You see, this is where I belong. And after reading some of Grey’s 2021 fantasy outlooks on the rookie class, there’s one debate I have been waiting and waiting to dip my Dunkaroos into: do I prefer Sixto Sanchez, Ian Anderson or Triston McKenzie for 2021 fantasy baseball? And where might be a good starting point to value each player heading into draft season?

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If you’re a hardcore baseball fan, you’ve probably already mulled through your fair share of 2020 MLB mock drafts. It seems like every website worth a damn posts one, yet no one really knows what to expect, and it only takes one curveball to throw the entire equation out of whack. Even so, I figured I’d give it a try for Razzball’s sake, if for no other reason than to give Grey some spicy motivation to tune in on Wednesday night. See, now it’s a mock draft.

There’s a lot of uncertainty with this draft. Nobody knows for sure just how college heavy teams are ultimately going to go with the unique situation created by COVID-19, and which teams will elect to play the strategic bonus tomfoolery game. It’s difficult to project just how these factors will play into each and every team’s respective strategy. We might see more teams than ever taking on the “best-available” approach.

But as it relates to fantasy baseball, Wednesday’s draft is relevant because it sets the stage for the ensuing trajectory of every drafted player’s stock as a prospect. Not only does draft position tend to influence how people value prospects in first-year player drafts, but who drafted said player can also go a long way in determining what their Minor League journey will look like and how confident we are as fantasy owners that they will develop successfully. That being said, here is my carefully-concocted mock draft of the first 29 picks this upcoming Wednesday. Mush! Onward into the unknown!

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What a great week. Any time I have a legitimate excuse to binge watch Star Wars one day and bloat myself with an excess of Mexican food and homemade margarita slushies the next, it’s a good week. Making matters even better, I was able to catch some quality KBO action on TV, something that revealed that my thirst for baseball can be temporarily quenched by just about any bat-to-ball action – other than that time I was on a cave tour in Pennsylvania and a big brown bat flew into my crotch.

Although I know not every Razzball reader and writer is a die-hard Star Wars fan such as myself, this got me thinking: how can I incorporate these two loves of baseball and late 1970s-early 1980s science fiction? Since there are only three truly great Star Wars films, I had the idea to split my prospect writing into three categories: 1) A New Hope (breakdown of the six top-100 prospects in the Marlins farm system), 2) The Empire Strikes Back (analysis of Yankees right-handers Clark Schmidt and Deivi Garcia) and 3) Return of the Jedi (what to expect from Brent Honeywell’s long-awaited comeback).

As I began this project, it didn’t take long before I completely lost track of time down in a Honeywellian rabbit hole. What I mean by this, is that I was trudging along, minding my own business with my eyes glued to 2017 Honeywell tape on my iPhone, when I literally fell into a hole in the ground and had no choice but to research Honeywell’s outlook for the next three-to-four hours while I called for help. And that is how this piece went from one of my typical, wide-ranging prospect breakdowns to one focused on a singular arm: Brent Honeywell, the young Jedi Knight, the man who can do things on the hill that no one else can, but has long been struggling with his own inner battle of health and spiritual clarity. In this piece, I will not only break down Honeywell as a prospect, but speculate on his return to the mound, reasons behind his recent arm injuries and what level of health (or lack thereof) we might be able to predict moving forward.

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A wise man once said, “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are usually both right.” That was Confucius, who also once remarked to a bright young pupil on a particularly overcast day in 531 BC that “He who places his livelihood in the hands of starting pitching health is indeed the king of fools among us all.” I can assure you he said both of those things, and I can assure you that I will do my best to heed his insightful words as I reveal the pitchers on my 2023 All-COVID Team.

Like I said, Confucius was a wise man. He would have never dared use ESPN’s rankings to set up his fantasy baseball draft board. No, he would likely make his way to a site like Razzball, where he would study my 2023 All-COVID Team with great satisfaction before stumbling across this post. At this point, we would likely faint out of mere displeasure.

Projecting the top pitchers in fantasy three years from now is an asinine task in nature. Experts such as Grey who are able to nail preseason fantasy pitching rankings year-by-year have achieved quite a feat as is. To venture further into the unknown is, quite frankly, setting oneself up for failure. But, to heed my good friend Confucius’ words, I will be “he who says he can,” and I shall be right.

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A Rays fansite (Now, quiet, they have a few fans. (And, sorry to do a parenthesis inside a parenthesis, but I just wanted to point out I was gonna do that super-snarky thing when a blogger crosses out a word, but you can still read it, but I don’t know how to do strike-throughs. Alas…)) […]

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