The beginning of any minor league options article has to start with the definition of what is a minor league option. Well, I don’t feel like re-hashing it and there are plenty of places that you can obtain that information, so, I’ve placed a few links below that can provide you with you all the information that you’re looking for about minor league options.
Now that we have the formalities out of the way, it is time to get into the actual information. For each team, I listed every player that was out of minor league options, and then color coded them based on the key below, ranging from players that won’t likely be sent down to players that are not on the 40 man roster.
What better topic to get Grey’s blood boiling early in the week than top starting pitchers for fantasy. If you don’t know, not sure how you couldn’t, but Grey hates pitchers in the top three rounds. He’d rather live out his days as Pablo Sandoval’s bosom sweat mediation pad than draft Clayton Kershaw. So we use Grey’s Top 40 Starting Pitchers as our guide, and dive into the strategy of building a pitching staff. We go tier by tier, directing you on who to avoid, who to draft, and where to buy the best boba filled refreshments. #Bobalife. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:
We all believe in Grey. That is why we are here. It is why we read every recap, every buy/sell, and why we all spend hours, and countless reams of paper, printing Grey’s rankings. We want to dominate our fantasy baseball drafts and our leagues and do everything in our power to humiliate and destroy our friends (which is what true friendship is all about).
Razzball was built on the power of Grey’s Greydar and his ability to spot fantasy baseball studs before anyone else. It works because Grey’s Greydar is a million times better than anyone else’s Greydar since he is Grey and everyone else is not. Keep in mind, however, that ranking players is not black and white. There are many shades of grey, which explains why Grey is the best Grey there is.
Nevertheless, even the best will have a few misses when ranking hundreds of players. This is why I have been tasked with questioning the Greyness of Grey’s great Greydar, specifically the players that Grey may have overrated for this upcoming season. We are calling this analysis: Over the Greydar.
In this first installment of Over the Greydar I focus on the high-end starting pitchers that I think Grey may be a little too high-end on this season:
I spent a good amount of time swimming through all of the hitter rankings and just had the opportunity to dive into the vast pool that is Grey’s starting pitching rankings. Sifting through this list is much more difficult due to volume. Number 30 on this list is much more impactful than number 30 on the 3B list. As I scrolled through to find a surprise Grey wasn’t too hot on, I mostly saw players he’s a tad bullish on. Trevor Bauer in the top 20, Ohtani at 21, those definitely piqued my interest. A few more in the top 30 like Luke Weaver, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Pomeranz had me thinking too. I also like these guys, but maybe not enough to push them up there. This is where I stumbled across the topic of this article, a player I felt should outperform all those mentioned above, Gerrit Cole.
I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…
Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round! Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.
If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.
Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?
Eno Sarris has departed from Fangraphs. One of my favorite writers in the industry was a dream interview of mine and I spoke with him twice (one; two). He is an inspiration for how I’ve adapted as a writer in this space, taking a clever approach to analysis… and music. [Jay’s Note: And he really knows his beers. Like, more than we all think. He actually filled the hotel bathtub with ice and microbrews and was the beer sommelier the whole night at a Spring Training party with Grey and other industry peeps. I’d say I smelled his hair when he wasn’t looking, but his hair is OMNIPRESENT. If you’re in a 100-foot radius you can’t help but run into it…]
Prior to any of his chats on Fangraphs, he would a link to a song; good, bad, weird, or confusing, your taste didn’t matter. It was there for you to consume. While I won’t do this religiously as the 2018 season nears, for I question where my musical taste falls among our audience of readers, when opportunity presents itself, I act.
Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode. I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up! They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.” Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing! As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators! I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers! I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers! I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned! I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children! See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids. Like a baller! A shot caller! An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!” My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:
One word about this top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2018– Ah, I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 428 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 530. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2018 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball:
The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April, and then they disappear. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:
So I took a catcher with my first pick in the draft. I’m not one to bury the lead, plus you’re intrigued, no? Whether you stick around to understand my point of view or to ridicule me, you stick around the same. So before we go into my wild dynasty adventure, why don’t I do you the courtesy of explaining what exactly I’m talking about. The Rotowire Dynasty Invitational!!! It’s in the title, stupid. In case you were wondering what any of those words mean. First it’s not a Golf Tournament, though I hear Green Jackets could perhaps be involved. It’s actually a new dynasty league organized by the fair, handsome and illustrious James Anderson of Rotowire. Dynasty lesson numero uno muchacho, always talk about your commissioner in glowing terms. When you finally sucker some poor schlub into sending you Mike Trout for a washed up prospect, a back end of the rotation arm, and a kid with a name you can’t spell, who can’t legally buy tobacco products in Utah, you’re going to need that guy. So James approve my trades, I’ll say nice things. Deal? Moving on, this is a 20 team dynasty league organized by Mr. Anderson and comprised of some of the top names in prospects, dynasty, and just fantasy in general. Also the guy that played George Washington in Turn: Washington’s Spies. Don’t worry, I refer to him as “The General” 100% of the time. Anything less would be uncivilized. Plus little known fact, George Washington is my spirit animal. We both have wooden teeth!