Rob Manfred presses the button on a contraption that looks like a skinny hose, and juices spurt out. Rob looks up to the store clerk, “So, I just push this end of the hose inside the baseballs and juice comes out and balls go zoom?” “Zoom, baby, zoom.” “I’ll take 300 of them.” “You only want 300 homers?” “You’re right, I’ll take 45,000.” “Will do, Kemosabe. Hey, wanna see where I store the white pine tar that pitchers can use undetected?” “No, that’s illegal!” So, what’s this, three days in a row with a hitter hitting three homers in a game? Shizz is bizzonkers. Every year I say the same for Nelson Cruz (3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homer) and Edwin Encarnacion. They will hit home runs until they’re 50. That’s if they’re not already 50, then make it 70. When reached for comment after the game, Cruz said, “I could’ve hit four homers, but then you find out why Mark Whiten was called ‘Hard Hittin.'” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There was a time when I thought Freddy Peralta (8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 11 Ks) was merely a starter. A guy who took the ball every fifth day, stared in at the catcher, shook off a sign or two and scratched his balls. Not like a Gaylord. Perry, not, um, yeah, Perry. Yesterday, we (me) gained a newfound appreciation for FP Saintdamnvelo. His command was gorge, and I’m engorged. In fact, I’m not typing this with my fingers. It’s whether he can replicate that command going forward like he’s a replicate in one of those sci-fi movies with replicates. I don’t know sci-fi, so you have to figure out your own analogy. Sci-fi is for nerds! That’s why I play fantasy baseball. Either way, you have to pick up Freddy Peralta after yesterday’s start to see if he can build off it. If Peralta continues that no-walk command, he’s a potential breakout. Speaking of breakouts (can you believe the ease of that segue), Matthew Boyd dropped the ew, dunked 13 Ks on the Yankees and that’s straight Matth. Like his most famous fantasy baseball owner would say, “Yeah, Boyd!” Damn right, Flavor Flav! Matthew Boyd (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 3.18) leads the majors in Ks. El oh cmon. He’s the first Tigers starter to start the season with back-to-back 10+ K games. This wasn’t the A lineup for the Yankees, but more “a Yankees lineup.” Still, I’m buying partly because of FOMO, and since he had 26 swinging strikes, i.e., he was fooling them real good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In last week’s article, we went over top-50 players that we want to fade. For this week, we’re going with players between 50-100 that we want to avoid. While these guys are much easier to fade, there are still noobs out there reaching on these players. Don’t be that guy! Be the guy who walks out of your draft and has a wonderful day. There aren’t many better feelings than walking away from a draft and knowing you killed it but we’re giving you that opportunity here. Drafting any of these players with give you prom night-like regrets and we don’t wanna go through that again. So, let’s start with the ugliest girl at the prom, Kimmy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well the first for-sure, definite, 100% confirmed, future Yankee free agent signing has signed with the Padres. And this kid is now every Yankee fan:
That was definitely me back in the early 90’s when my favorite player was Don Mattingly (because he lead the league in having a walrus mustache just like my Dad. Runner up: Dennis Eckersley.) Like all Yankee fans and the bandwagon Yankee fans, I then went through the arrogant highs of the late-90’s dynasty. Followed by the dark, lonely era of the Aughts which turned me into the bitter, jaded fan who grew sick and tired of the high-spending, future-sacrificing ways of the overpaid Yankees that I am today. My writer photo above is a sarcastic response to the Yankee fans who never grew out of the dynasty era and still yell “COUNT DA RINGS BRO! DEREK JETAHHH BABBYY!!!” Despite the Yankees only winning one championship in the last 19 years. But there is now a light at the end of that tunnel! Five of the players in the Yankees starting lineup are home grown players! Our ace came up through our own developmental system and wasn’t just plucked from some poor, small market, podunk team like the Reds! Our bullpen is TERRIFYING!
The eyes of Yankee Nation are set on only one thing: adding another championship ring to the trophy case. The team, fans and front office will accept nothing less. Right now, many experts have the Bombers tabbed as the World Series favorite — we’ll see how that all shakes out in October. I talked to Callen Elslager from the Fantasy Life Blog who just had his 2019 Yankees Team Preview published. Here are his thoughts on a few key questions the 2019 Bronx Bombers are facing:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper signs… Note that signing can instantly eliminate a position battle detailed herein (although it sounds like only NL teams are involved right now).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Is it possible I will have drafted a shortstop in the 1st round, a shortstop in the 2nd round for my MI spot and a shortstop in the 3rd round for my utility spot? Prolly not, but I don’t want to rule out anything with how great the shortstops look. During last preseason, Rudy told me I was too high on multiple shortstops. He never apologized, but that’s okay, I forgive him. As Napoleon said, “I forgive you for only putting two layers in my whipped cream dessert, but if you meant it as a dig on my height, I will never forget.” So, here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2019 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine. Let’s get to it! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was waiting for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper to sign before dropping the last bit of offseason signings before the rankings that start on Monday, but apparently the Phillies only have $300 million for each, and they want $325-plus respectively, so we need to go forward with the news without Machado and Bryce. The last bit of big news was Yusei Kikuchi signing with the Mariners. He reminds me of every other Japanese pitcher, but not in a raycess way. He reminds me of Miles Mikolas too, who was only Asian after being reborn. It’s something about Asian pitchers, and non-Asian pitchers who go to Asia and return; they exercise some serious control. Maybe it’s the culture. I had a robot watch Gung Ho 15,000 times to tell me what it thinks and now the robot is speaking super-racist. Yo, robot, why are you so culturally inappropriate? “I have no culture of my own, so I adopt yours. And I kill puppies.” AHHH!!! ROBOT MURDERER!!! RUN!!! Or roll your swivel chair towards a door if running is too much for you. Kikuchi, which is going to be fun for me to say this year, comes with a lot less fanfare than Ohtani, but I do think he can be better than him, pitching-wise, in his first full season. Ohtani is a unicorn in Babe Ruth’s body, we all know this. Kikuchi reminds me of Mikolas and Ryu and others in that mold. He’s a decent strikeout guy, but won’t blow people away, while also having impeccable command. I’m definitely looking to draft him this year, then passing him up every other year when he fails to throw 130 IP in consecutive seasons because the Japanese also completely overwork their starters. In fact (Grey’s got more!), the Mariners have already said Kikuchi will only throw an inning or so every fifth or sixth start to try to preemptively avoid the inevitable arm injury that befalls every Japanese starter. For 2019, I’ll give Kikuchi projections of 9-7/3.67/1.18/136 in 151 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Winter Meetings called it quits this week, and that was perhaps the worst Winter Meetings on record. Was it because it was in Vegas? Maybe there were a bunch more trades, but they all “stayed” in Vegas. The Mariners kept busy gathering veterans who will never play for them, as they grabbed Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians for Carlos Santana. You remember Santana, he was the last vet that the M’s traded for that won’t play for them. If the Mariners are trading for vets who won’t actually play for them, they should grab Harold Baines so he can’t go into the Hall of Fame, because last time I checked active players aren’t allowed into the Hall. Or why bother sticking with baseball players. C’mon, Mariners, trade for Michael Jordan or Big Show or Turtle from Entourage. It’s not like you have any expectation of them donning an M’s uniform. So, the assumption is that Edwin will go to the Rays to bury their recently acquired Yandy Diaz. You’d think a guy with guns like Yandy Diaz would be doing the burying. If you don’t know what I mean, see the picture below. If I don’t bring out the Crisco and apply the shortening, this post will be longer than The Fountainhead, so let’s just say you know Encarnacion, whether he’s on the Rays or Mariners. For my Encarnacion projections I am assuming he’ll be on the Rays, and putting him at 78/33/91/.241/2 in 523 ABs, and I already gave you my Carlos Santana projections after his last trade, but am upping him slightly to 74/24/84/.232/2 in 563 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The AL East is “big boy” baseball. Four teams from the division ended 2017 in the top 10 for home runs in all of baseball. The Yankees were first with 241, the Orioles were fifth with 232, the Rays were sixth with 228….Hold up. The Rays? Yes, the Rays. The final team was the Blue Jays with 222. With great power, comes great responsibility. Unfortunatley, there was a lot of DGAF’ing, as the Rays were second in MLB for striking out and the Orioles were eighth. From a pitching perspective, it would makes sense then that three of the teams (BOS, NYY, and TOR) ended top 10 in strikeouts. TB ended 11th. Big boy baseball indeed. To cement the point home, four of the teams (BOS, BAL, TB, and NYY) were bottom 10 in sacrifice hits. TOR was 13th. Small ball, schmal ball. Chicks dig the long ball. Ladies and gentlemen, the AL East.Please, blog, may I have some more?
And we have have our first stupid team decision! Don’t worry, there will be more. Or maybe I should say Willie be more. Or maybe should say Willie be less now. The Rangers decided to send down Willie Calhoun to start the year. I’d laugh if I wasn’t so horrified by this terrible decision. Talk about blatantly thinking about a bottom line vs. what’s best for the team. On one hand, Willie Calhoun was ready to help the team win right now. On the other hand, the Rangers are as cheap as my Jewish grandmother who used to order three free lemon wedges, two sugar packets and make lemonade at the table. Hey, she escaped Nazi Germany in the middle of the night. What’s your excuse, Texas Rangers?! In my Willie Calhoun fantasy from way back in October, I predicted Calhoun could be in the minors until June. Looks like I didn’t underestimate the Rangers’ boneheadedness (big word of the day!). Now the Rangers will go with a blahtoon of the Asian lion, Ryan Rua, and Drew Robinson. I’ve updated my top 100 outfielders, top 500 and War Room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?