Okay, this is weird, but Sonny Gray and I are complete opposites. Sonny Gray is in Bay Area, and it’s Grey Albright in Los Angeles. Weather you like it or not, that’s weird! Pun noted too! Grey Albright plays fantasy baseball; Sonny Gray plays reality baseball! It’s freaking me out! Grey Albright’s face is mustachioed; Sonny Gray’s is not. Sonny Gray is athletic; I am not. He works for a newspaper called Ballrazz, which is super-terse and serious. It’s uncanny! Yesterday, Gray (him) went 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.34. Okay, time to take a new look. I did like him at one point in his career, before everything went sideways. His velocity and two-seam fastball are back. Right now, his two-seam is his best pitch, however, his curve is not back to where it was in 2015. Watching some video on him showed a guy that can get swings and misses, but had a bit of a favorable strike zone yesterday. I’d be careful in shallower leagues, but he looks closer to his breakout from two years ago than he has in a while. Now, if he’s married to a younger woman, I’m gonna plotz over all of our opposites. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.
Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.
In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Astros corner infielder Yulieski Gurriel continues to mash going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, his second home run and two RBI. Opposing pitchers be like, why you all up in my Gurriel, Yuli? When you’re on fire and everyone knows you’re flame. The Gurriel is hot, where da burgers and dogs at? Dude is hitting .436 (17-for-39) over the past two weeks with 7 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI. Sure he hit just .260 with 3 homers and 15 RBI in 36 games last year with Houston, but he ALSO hit .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba in 2016 which are the better stats that I will cherry-pick for the purposes of this blurb. I’m just saying it’s not like this success is coming out of nowhere. He’s a good Gurriel and he knows it, and he’s batting 6th in a stacked Houston lineup. If we take a look at some of the advanced metrics (NERD!), the .371 BABIP may unsustainable, but fantasy is about riding streaks and Yuli Gurriel is a hot little potato right now. Grey told you to BUY and he’s available in about 75% of leagues. Pick him up you only Yuli once! Whoa, now that’s two Drake references in the same lede. That’s how you know it’s going to be a good day!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Amir Garrett, or as he’s commonly referred to as, Muslim Mrs. Garrett, took Natalie, Jo, Blair, Tootie and that little white kid, who no one remembers, to school last night. Muslim Mrs. Garrett was like, “Listen, child, I’m your boss while you’re in this park and I’m going to rule over you with sweet motherly affection, but an iron fist like you get from a male Gulag prisoner.” Yesterday, he straight dazzled — 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.83. MMG is so out of nowhere I feel like we need to start at the beginning. He was born– Okay, flash forward Lost-style and they’re off the island and Garrett is a former basketball player, so his age isn’t as old as it seems for his development level. I think because of that he could also sneak up on people. His control gets wonky at times, and he doesn’t read as a strikeout pitcher, but there he was doing just that last night. He could surprise some people, but A) Reds and their ballpark. B) Rookie. C) There’s no C. To take this back to 80’s sitcoms, there could be some Boners along the way through Growing Pains, but I’d grab him if you feel like Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, or can just handle the risk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One-time Mariner Tom Paciorek was the face of the organization for the better part of the last 40 years. Ken Griffey Jr. once said of Paciorek, “For many years, Seattle fans came up to me and asked if I was a very tan Paciorek, because Paciorek left such an indelible mark.” Edgar Martinez once said of Tom Paciorek, “You can’t think of the Mariners without thinking of Tom Paciorek. He’s so gutsy, you’d think he got those guts from a local abattoir that provides Wilson with its top-notch tennis racquets.” Randy Johnson has said, “I got the idea for my mullet from Tom Paciorek’s back hair.” All of this flattery heaped on Paciorek, and he said, “You guys need to check out Mitch Haniger! Now amscray before I dazzle you with a bon mot.” Wow. The modesty on that Paciorek. In Triple-A last year, Haniger had 20 HRs, 8 SBs and a .341 average. His BABIP was a bit high, but he likely won’t drain your batting average below, say, .250. He already has 3 HRs and one steal, and is 26 years old, so his time is now. Plus, the Mariners are playing him, and batting him in a good place in the order. There’s little reason why you shouldn’t at least give him a shot on all fantasy teams. After all, he has the Tom Paciorek Seal of Approval (ToPa SeaApp, trademark pending). Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Okay, hooligans and hooligals! I did my best to ward off Rudy from recommending the title, “I’m Keano For Severino.” Or his 2nd recommended title, “Poop Breath < Severino.” I think Rudy’s been drinking. So, as they say when they remove tassels from cow udders in Tennessee, “Playtime’s over, let’s get down to business!” Yesterday, Luis Severino threw 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks to lower his ERA to 4.50. Maybe not so much better than poop breath? I keed! Much better. Between the lines, where the game is played as I sound vaguely like George Will, Severino looks dominant. Fastball: 97 MPH, ground balls around 45%, xFIP at 1.95. Okay, I just put tassels on my udders, because those numbers are gorgeous. There’s not much fun to be had in his division and park, but his stuff should play anywhere. I’d absolutely look to add him in all leagues; he’s dramatically better than poop breath! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.
If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.
Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.
Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2017 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers. Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that years ago. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections. This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2017 fantasy baseball. Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like J.T. Realmuto if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late. Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.
Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.
Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It took us a few weeks, but we have arrived at the finale. We can finally wrap up the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft recaps. It feels like just yesterday I was getting started on what was likely to be a 60,000-word article on all 23 rounds of this mock draft before Grey slapped me and told me to put down the bourbon and split this into multiple posts. Below, I’ll be posting the results of rounds 19-23, my thoughts on said results, and the final team for every owner.
In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:
This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).
Links to previous recaps:
Now, let’s get rounds 19-23 out of the way so that we can get to the good stuff!Please, blog, may I have some more?