Here’s what I said last year about Triston Casas, “There’s likely a lot of factors that go into fantasy baseball prospects, but here’s two I look at:
1. Ready and it’s up to the club.
2. Not ready.
Frank Voila! That’s it! Well, maybe not it it, but it is close enough to it. That it is in the It Crowd. In the big broad, general sense. If the player is in the 2nd category, then I’m not going to cover them. It’s why we have Prospectors Itch and Hobbs. They’ll tell you the guys who will be ready, eventually. My job is to tell you the guys who are ready, then leave it up to the team on whether or not they’re going to promote them. Triston Casas aka The House of Triston, as he’s known to George RR Martin, is ready. Honestly, Triple-A is a way station, in general. If a guy is in Triple-A, he could be in the majors. There’s no more “learning” for Triple-A guys. Maybe some are just not good enough for the majors, so they sit in Triple-A for years, but even those guys are Quad-A guys, not Triple-A guys. See, there’s no such thing as Triple-A. You’ve been woke’d up. You’re welcome. This doesn’t mean the Red Sox will call up Triston Casas, just because he’s in Triple-A. But they could at any time.” And that’s me quoting me!
I quote that long passage because it annoys me so much, and I thought I’d annoy you too. You’re welcome! What were the Red Sox doing last year? I get it, manipulating service time, but when teams like the Red Sox are doing that, what hope do we have for a team like the Pirates? The Red Sox went to Yu Chang, Franchy Cordero, Eric Hosmer and do I have to continue with how terrible their 1st basemen were? It makes me sick. I have RedSoxbotcheditulism. Only cure of RedSoxbotcheditulism is they finally turn to Triston Casas this spring. So, what can we expect from Triston Casas for 2023 fantasy baseball?
I’m not sure what has gotten into general managers, but they are making trades like it is the midseason deadline and free agents are already coming off the board.
This action has me so excited, I can’t wait to get into this week’s 2023 Top Keepers – First Basemen edition.
What Kind of First Baseman Do You Want?
Today’s first basemen are all over the board. Some fall into the category of the traditional first baseman – the dudes who hit with power but didn’t do too much more at the plate. You also have your high average, high OBP first basemen who didn’t hit for a lot of power. And there are the few that do it all – or at least get close to doing it all.
Then you have your utility first basemen. Today’s game features plenty of first basemen who also play two to three other positions. We have second baseman who are playing first, or first basemen playing in the outfield or third base.
Because of this versatility, the position is no longer the home of just sluggers. You have to pick a first baseman to keep who best fills your specific needs because the complete first baseman – a run producing power hitter who hits for average and gets on base, are a rare breed.
Usually start writing these posts after the game has concluded, but for the Orioles game yesterday, I started working on the Anthony Santander lede about five hours before the game ended. The game was like: Run, run, five runs, seven runs, eleven runs, then fifteen pitcher changes. Has the game ended? I don’t know, and, at this point, it’s no longer my concern. Anthony Santander (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer) is my concern. He now has four homers in the last two games; six homers in four games; 33 homers in 153 games–Wait, that becomes less impressive again. Santander becomes the 2nd player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game four times in a season, joining Ken Caminiti, who did it during his MVP year. Six homers in a four-game span hasn’t been done since the hottest schmotato of all-time, Luke Scott. During Luke Scott’s run, he actually went on Fallon with a schmotato that resembled him. Crazy times. Lucky the season’s gonna end soon or Anthony Santander would pass Judge in…*does quick math*…twelve days. For 2023 fantasy, I bet Santander is still underrated even though he has a 18.6% strikeout rate (excellent for a power hitter), 14.5% HR/FB (not at all obscene), and expected stats that back up just about everything he’s doing. Is he Anthony Santander or Anonymity Santander? Damn, Guy Fawkes, don’t be so Anonymous. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.
The regular season will soon be coming to and end, which means the major league debuts of two of the games top prospects will also be coming to an end.
VERY DIFFERENT PLAYERS
This week we are going to take a look at Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers and Tristan Casas of the Boston Red Sox.
Both players entered the season as two of the top prospects in the game. Riley was a consensus Top 10 prospect, entering the season ranked fourth by Baseball America, fifth by MLB.com and sixth by Baseball Prospectus.
Greene was one of the top hitting prospects in the 2019 draft and has remained so since become a professional.
Meanwhile, Casas entered the 2022 season as the 19th best prospect by Baseball America, 16th my MLB.com and 44th by Baseball Prospectus. Unlike Greene, Casas was not drafted because of his hit tool. He was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft because he can hit the ball a long way.
GETTNG THEIR FEET WET
While Greene and Casas are very different players, both have one thing in common – they have both reached the majors this season.
So far, their debuts have been a mix of good and bad. Both have struggled at the plate at times. Greene is currently hitting under .250 while Casas is barely hitting about .100 during his brief time with the Red Sox.
But both players have shown off the tools – Greene’s overall hitting skill and Casas’ massive power – that got them promoted from the minors.
WooWeeWooWaa.mp3. HolyCow.wav. Sound of eyes popping from Sylvester the Cat. Kyle Bradish did what? Kyle Bradish did: 8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks vs. the Astros. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna sue somebody for making my heart pitter-patter too fast. Who do I contact for that? Oh, no, I’m…*puts handkerchief to forehead, faints into a beanbag that’s wearing Giancarlo jersey and pasted-on magazine face of his* Oh my goodness, I’m talking like a Southern belle. So, Streamonator‘s got steam rising from its robot ears that was so gorgeous. Looking at Kyle Bradish big picture, long-term, for 2023 fantasy baseball, and, well, he’s got four pitches — 95 MPH fastball, 87 MPH slider, 83 MPH curve, and 90 MPH change. His command is kinda atrocious, though better in his 100+ IP in the majors than it was in the low minors. Maybe he’s figured out something here as he turns 25. Not going to write him off completely, because Camden is now one of the best pitchers’ parks, and his stuff was solid in search of command. If the command’s there, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a name we go back to next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH)
Giants’ President Farhan Zaidi puts some soil on top of a newspaper clipping of Jonathan Villar’s DFA’ing. Waters it every day for five weeks straight, then what slowly crops up from it is David Villar. Do they have to now feed and take care of David Villar or does he take care of himself? Are there rules to caring for a newly sprouted David Villar? I don’t know, but there’s nothing Farhan Zaidi can’t do. Zaidi is the original Zaddy, amiright? What is a Zaddy? I have no idea. In order to give you some cold hard facts (facts that I place in an Igloo at the foot of my bed), I went to look at the Giants’ lineup to make sure David Villar was an everyday starter, and that team is so hilariously bad. Their lineup is, “What happens when reasonably thought-out platoons go very bad.” Joc Pederson should be in a platoon? Okay, and so should Lewis Brinson. LaMonte Wade Jr.? He’s gotta be in a platoon, and so should Austin Dean! J.D. Davis? Oh, he must be in a platoon. Great, because Wilmer Flores has to be in a platoon too! The only problem? One of these platoons would be fine, but to have seven of them? Ha, my gawd, bro. That’s awful. Someone said they could have an entire lineup of platoons, and no one asked if they should. So, is David Villar in a platoon? I don’t think so. He seems to be the only one not in a platoon. Of course, the only reason any of this matters is because he’s been crazy hot, and has big-time power. In 84 games in Triple-A, he hit 27 homers, and .275. In the majors, his average is likely not going to ever be that high, but the ball off his bat might. Bam! Hashtag nailed it! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Rocco Baldelli asked to see James Karinchak’s hair this past weekend to see if he had any foreign substance in there, to see if he was cheating, and I said, in my head, “Karinchak is getting a call from the manager, so that makes Baldelli a Karencheck,” and now Karencheck pulled Joe Ryan (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.83) from a no-hitter in the 7th with 106 pitches thrown. Karencheck! You wanna make new rules, MLB? (By the way, in the video at top of this post, it’s this week’s podcast, where BDon and I discuss the new rules — it’s about 10 minutes in.) How about this new rule, no matter what, if the player is healthy, they have to pitch if there’s a no hitter? Make that a rule, you sissies! *puts chew in bottom lip, accidentally swallows chew, vomits up chew and vomit spells out “THAT’S WHAT REAL MEN DO”* My vomit is calling you out, Karencheck! Joe Ryan’s peripherals are 9.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 4.40 xFIP and a hilariously terrible ground ball rate (26.6%), so he’s very susceptible to homers, and that burned him at times this year. How’sever, Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy, I’m still a believer, as long as he doesn’t show up at camp with a dead arm (lots of IP this year). He’s a rookie, who had excellent command in the minors, and hasn’t scratched that surface yet. Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy will be an ace or need to be shutdown in the spring with arm issues. Roll that dice, you momma’s boys, and don’t make me spell out things in my vomit anymore! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Grey and B_Don are back and maybe it’s time to start adjusting the award names until somebody other than Ohtani gets the MVP award. O, you think Aaron Judge should win it? Well, you’re wrong. After we ramble about Ohtani and Babe Ruth and other non-sense, we move on to a few of the call […]
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH)
This week, instead of going to the 7-day Player Rater, and just grabbing guys who have been hot, I’m going to let the computer pick. “Siri, being a computer, you’re smarter than me, so I don’t even have to say what I’m going to ask for, right? You must know.”
“I do know, Grey. There are fifteen Etsy sellers who make full-body pillows in the shape and spirit of Giancarlo Stanton. Would you like me to purchase one for you?”
“Uhh…Haha, no. Please grab me the top pickup in fantasy baseball, Siri.”
“At 2% rostered, Jose Siri is the top Siri in fantasy baseball.”
“Okay, Siri, great, but are you giving me Siri because he’s a Siri and you’re a Siri? I don’t need a Siri, per se.”
“Excuse me, but you are the one who asked me.”
“I’m asking you, Siri, but not for a Siri.”
“Have you tried Alexa?”
“Fine, Siri! Give me Jose Siri.”
“Are you sure? I could just give you that seller’s information about the full-body pillow.”
“Siri, are you playing games with me?”
“No, of course not. Though, Jose Siri would love to play games with you. He’s toolsy as all get-out. Capable of big-time power, speed and has been playing a lot for Kevin Cash. Of course, you can’t ever expect Kevin Cash to play a guy every day. Would you like me to find a way to replace Kevin Cash?”
“What? No! …But, if you were, how traceable is it?”
“There’s just one replacement in your area named Joe Maddon.”
“No! Let’s go back to full-body pillows. Just to, ya know, browse.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Feels like a rare thing when baseball gets something right. We could build a case against the new CBA, I think, but it would have to be stacked up against an ideal world. In comparison to the collective bargaining agreement that came before it, this one feels like a dream. Every other day, another wave of prospects gets called up, whether to push for the playoffs or just to settle in before next season.
Red Sox 1B Triston Casas came up a bit later than expected, but that’s partly due to an early slump and an injury that cost him almost two months in the middle of the season. The team calling him up now feels like an indication they hope to open next season with him in the majors despite adding Eric Hosmer’s salary at the deadline. Maybe they can find a dance partner for him this winter. Maybe they intend to use both, but Casas can almost certainly claim an Opening Day roster spot with a warm September. In 40 games after coming off the Triple-A injured list in July, he slashed .309/.416/.537 with six home runs and a 14.6%-to-19.7% walk-to-strikeout rate.
“With that trade, the Giants will now be seeing if they can turn a Harry Styles Chia Pet into a halfway decent 2nd baseman. We just now he’s not gonna wanna ride the pine!” Announcers laugh, but, before they can finish, the Harry Styles Chia Pet slaps a ball over the fence for a three-run shot. “I’ll tell ya what, Jon, that Harry Styles Chia Pet has got some pop!” Okay, so Lewis Brinson (1-for-4 and his 3rd homer, and 3rd homer in two games) isn’t quite turning a Chia Pet into a major league All-Star, but it’s not that far off. As Jesse would scream in Breaking Bad, “The Giants can’t keep getting away with this!” ‘This’ being turning cast-offs from other teams into bona fide major leaguers. Of course, Giants turning Lewis Brinson into something would be their “making the Statue of Liberty disappear” of player reclamations, but they did it with Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis…They got someone named B. Johnson in right field, and I half expect it to be Boris Johnson, after losing 10 Downing. Do I think Lewis Brinson is fixed for 2023 fantasy? I’m not sure he’s fixed for this week! but he’s clearly hot and show be rostered until further notice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Hola, fellow español speakers! Today’s word is Triston Casas (1-for-4)! Let’s break it down into parts! Triston is pronounced Tris like a Tris Speaker. Not the old-timey baseball player, but like a speaker who is saying the word Tris. Next part is ton like, “I ate a ton of churros and now I am sneezing cinnamon sugar.” Say the last name with me now…Ca-thathss. The last part you say like a Spanish snake. Like a snake you find in the desert outside of Barth-a-lona. A snake with a lisp. Try the whole thing now, Triston Cathathss. Bueno! *maracas around room* Cathathss! Cathathss! Cathathss! So, yesterday or today or last week doesn’t really matter for when the Red Sox called up Triston Casas, but if you think he was called up on Sunday simply because now he’s earned his place, like he got the ring from Gollum and deposited in the mouth of some volcano or whatever that quest was of those hill trolls, you’re sadly mistaken. Triston Casas has been ready for a while, but baseball is still broken for when prospects are called up. Rather than change the world’s problems today, let’s look at Triston Casas. Hey, what do you know, I already gave you my Triston Casas fantasy! So ridiculous that I figured (correctly) he’d have 300+ ABs this year. Because he’s been ready! If you don’t care what I say, here’s what Itch said, “Triston Cases has learned late at-bat traits to help him hang against a variety of experienced pitchers, and perhaps he’s carried some of those hang-in-there strategies to early-count situations against pitchers he’s never seen before. Whatever it is, I like it. Unlike Grey, who I hate.” Really not cool! I’d grab Triston Casas in every league. He’s got elite approach and power. For what he will do the final month? No one knows, because it’s a small sample, but worth finding out. Finally, Casas is home. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: