Please see our player page for Vidal Brujan to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

For a two-time World Series Champion with over 40 years of experience in MLB front offices, Dave Dombrowski gets a bad rap. The consensus on the baseball operations veteran seems to be that his only formula for success is to either ink big contracts or swap top prospects for elite talent that comes accompanied with hefty salaries. However, Dombrowski’s maneuvers have largely come as a result of the hands he has been dealt and the relative competitiveness of his various organizations at the time of his hire. He turned the 1997 Florida Marlins, a 1993 expansion team, into a World Series Champion. He built one of the greatest starting rotations in modern history in Detroit. He came to Boston in 2015 with a mandate to take the Red Sox to the top and did just that in 2018. Is he perfect? Far from it. Can he win a championship? Clearly. You should desire the same.

I say this to explain why I frequently refer to my strategy in dynasty leagues as Dombrowski-esque. It is not simply because of Dave’s suave, shiny gray hair to which I look forward to sporting myself in my mid-50s. In these formats, managers are drafting using such polarizing strategies that the key is to seek out excess value by pitting your opposition’s own intelligence (or so it may seem) against them. Seek opportunity where it presents itself, and if that means honing in on proven talent to win now, then do so. There will always be newer, shinier (but not as shiny as Dave’s hair) prospects to target in these leagues down the line. That’s why today I will be reviewing my selections in the 12 team, H2H points dynasty startup mock that fellow Razzballer Dylan Vaughan Skorish and I partook in this past week. Although I will reveal all of my selections, my focus in this piece will be to review my strategy and discuss the prospects I targeted in this mock draft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, at my daughter’s suggestion, we drew our butts, my daughter and me, by which I mean we outlined our forms in chalk as we sat–kind of like making a hand turkey during Thanksgiving week at preschool. 

It’s raining today as I write this, so our butts will soon be gone. Washed away forever. 

Good thing I took some photos.

That alone makes our day drawing butts more productive than a whole week of MLB’s winter meetings, where Lowe was the high point. Very 2020.  

Let’s do the prospect thing. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With four home runs and a stolen base in his first seven games, Randy Arozarena finally bloomed this week. Better late than never. 

One highlight of my winter was plucking Randy Rose atop the 2nd round of a 30-team First-Year-Player-slash-Supplemental Draft. 

The pre-Rona times were a mood, man. We had plenty of stuff to be indignant or cosmically fearful about, but we kinda weren’t, you know? Like on the day-to-day basis? We were mostly thinking about Randy Arozarena’s flashy spring in the fantasy factory that is Tampa Bay. Or maybe that was just me. 

But Tampa’s the pivot-slash-segue here, if such a thing exists when a conversation wanders among the Rona thoughts. Tampa’s Rays have been getting a lot of winter shade the past few off-seasons because the front office there would prefer to platoon the planet. The reticence to embrace young Rays makes plenty of sense, but on the other hand, a lot of what Tampa touches turns to gold.   

Arozarena will cool off soon enough because nobody could sustain his pace, but I think he’s here to stay as an impact bat for our game. He posted 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases in about 400 plate appearances between AA, AAA and MLB in 2019, slashing better than .300/.400/.500 at every level. Only the Cardinals would look at a guy like that and say no thanks. The “industry” in general loved the trade for St. Louis because we can dream on LHP Matthew Liberatore for a long time. Maybe it’ll still break their way, but Arozarena is a perfect fit in Tampa as a lefty masher who’s been improving against righties the past few seasons to the point where I think he’ll be above average against same-siders. He’s also a plus defender across the outfield. If I have to pick between Arozarena and Dylan Carlson in 2021, I’m feeling Randy enough to pluck the rose. Might even prefer him over the balance of their careers, partly because I’ve always loved the guy, partly because I just trust Tampa’s touch. 

So who else do we need to monitor in Tampa?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Andujar could be used to describe the entire Yankees team this year. Not Miguel Andujar, but just walking around, looking at the team and saying, “Andujar?…Andujar?…Andujar?” It’s like a family reunion that you don’t want to be at.

“I’m Tyler Wade…Andujar?”
“That’s right, I’m Miguel Andujar.”
“I just said, I’m Tyler Wade.”

Their bullpen is especially, “And…u…jar?”

“I’m Adam Ottavino.”
“You sure don’t seem like ujar.”

If anyone were asking Miguel Andujar, “Andujar?” He could say a 2018 breakout, who had his 2019 cut short to only 12 plate appearances, so should be totally thrown out. How he went from a 2018 breakout to completely ignored by the Yankees in a Year of “Andujar?” is surprising, but likely has to do with his inability to play defense. Since the Yankees are all “Andujar?”, they don’t have many options to not Andujar, and he could be a solid bet for power. In a small sample — that’s what she said! — he has a ~43% Hard Hit%. His swing is kinda flat, bordering on ground ball-heavy, but well worth the flyer that he can hit more flyers. So, stop asking “Andujar?” and starting stating, “Andujar.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who doesn’t love reading something that starts with a disclaimer? Nobody, that’s who. Unless you do, in which case I’m sorry, but here goes: this list is built around players I don’t think will debut before 2021, in part because those were the parameters malamoney gave me in the comments section a few posts ago, in part because the AB and IP math won’t be settled for a while yet.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wait…Baseball!?  If I am being honest, I did not think we would have a season to watch and give us a distraction from the upcoming election season…ohhh and that whole Global Pandemic thingy.  But really, it is amazing to think we will have a season and there will be numerous unique adaptations from a fantasy perspective as we no longer have the benefit of patience over a long season.  A hot month can lead to an MVP campaign or the Mendoza Line!

We also cannot forget the bigger picture.  These players are real people in a highly unique situation.  All I can do is hope for their continued safety as they try their best to give us an escape from 2020.

So how am I reacting in the middle infield rankings?  Let us look at four key areas of change.

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At the end of my last post, Baseball is Back with a Whimper: Pandemic Draft Week Recapa Razzballer named Homer’s got the runs asked if Austin Martin might spend some time in the majors this year, and I had no idea. Well, I had some ideas, but they mostly circled the spires of HellifIknow Mountcastle, the official building of Major League Baseball in 2020. 

We got another noise out of Manfart this week completely disagreeing with the sounds Manfart made last week. Now he says there might not be baseball at all after saying there would definitely 100,000 percent be baseball in 2020. Hindsight, man. Farts. 

Main reason he said anything is the players were like, okay, we’ll play, let’s get started, and ownership was all, but wait, we’re not ready, and you might sue us because we don’t know if what we’re doing is legal. The players wouldn’t sign waivers that said it didn’t matter if the owners were street legal or not, so the owners trotted out this fool who gave away leverage on national television because he momentarily forgot every syllable is a war aimed at the 2021 Competitive Balance Agreement.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before taking a single at bat, Jasson Dominguez is dominating the baseball card world.

2020 Bowman Baseball is nowhere to be found in the retail universe. Year over year, Bowman baseball cards are one of the only products in late-stage capitalism that corporations cannot keep in stock.

Stephen Strasburg is to blame for some of this. Back in 2010, I was stopping at Wal-Marts off the highway, tiny town Targets and roadside Casey’s in search of 2010 Bowman blaster boxes. They cost 19.99 in stores and sold for about $40 online. Inside a blaster box were eight packs, two chrome prospect cards per pack. (Today, Topps has shrunk the pack count to six but kept the pricing.) Some of the craze was that a Strasburg base 1st Chrome rookie went for about $50 on eBay. Some of the craze was due to the high-end market. An attorney bought the Strasburg 1/1 Superfractor–not autographed–from 2010 bowman for $10,000 and sold it a short while later for $26,000.

Ten years later, Bowman is the biggest thing in baseball, and Jasson Dominguez is growing the game yet again.

Here’s a table I put together built from the elite group of my Top 200 for easy viewing and comparing.

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On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then we explored next year’s dynasty landscape at catcher and first base.

Today, we’ll stay on that future theme, continuing our position-by-position focus by zooming in on second base.

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I doubt there’s any good way to explore this, but this week I found myself wondering if this year’s rays prospect list might be the fastest top 10 in baseball history or at least in the last several years. Perhaps the turf-burning Cardinals and Royals of the 80’s could measure up in parts, but they wouldn’t have three 80 runners and a Wander, I think. 

Fantasy baseball players love the Tampa Bay Rays to some extent already, I think, but they should probably just lean in and pick up all the profit. Avisail Garcia was a great example of this last year. As were Emilio Pagan and Nick Anderson and Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. And that’s all just last season. Oh, Brandon Lowe, too, though he was from within. 

This year it’s Brendan McKay and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo; Kevin Padlo and Joe Ryan; Josh Lowe, Colin Poche and Brent Honeywell Jr.

Also Hunter Renfroe.

Because crazier things have happened. 

Presumably.

Jesus Aguilar did not drink the lazarus water in 2019, so it’s not like Tampa Bay bats a thousand, but the Midas touch element here is real. Consider Nick Solak. Traded for Peter Fairbanks. When a prospect leaves Tampa, it’s because there’s no room at the inn, and they see an angle they want to play now. Our move is to realize their bar is incredibly high, so when they “sour” on a prospect enough to move him, it means a little less than it might in other smart organizations. Solak is still probably a value, depending on how you acquire him, and Fairbanks should be tracked in leagues where his profile (high K reliever) matters. 

I veered off the path there. Suffices to say you could do worse in dynasty leagues than focusing on the organizations that are best at this particular game of finding talented players and helping them maximize their abilities. Or even just using it as a tiebreak when looking at two players of similar appeal. Estanli Castillo and Alberto Figueroa won’t make many lists this off-season, but I will be checking in on throughout the season because they’re with Tampa. I will check their game logs every few weeks or so just in case Castillo begins a noisy home run binge or Figueroa starts swiping bases in bunches. I just don’t want to be late to a Tampa party because a Tampa party rarely stops.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?