Please see our player page for Yasmani Grandal 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.

Being a former junior-varsity back-up catcher with a pop time of about 5 and a caught stealing percentage of 0% — I have the perfect qualifications to write this column. 

Pop time for the un-initiated is another in a long line of new-age states that we nerds are using to quantify the game of baseball. The long and short of this stat is quite simple: it reflects how quickly a catcher can grab the ball from his glove and whip it to a certain base to catch the stealing runner. The lower the number, the better! However — that doesn’t tell the whole story of a catcher’s success rate at throwing out a runner. You can have a pop time of half a second and throw it over the second baseman’s head every single time and you quickly realize why you never made it to the varsity back-up catcher level.

For the purpose of this article I took a look at each team’s projected starting catcher (or catchers) and ranked them via their 2019 pop time (couldn’t find 2020’s data — sorry!) and paired this with their caught stealing percentage from 2019 and 2020 combined. There are some guys (like Ryan Jeffers) who didn’t record a pop time in 2019 so they’re only being judged on their caught-stealing rate. Unfair? Maybe. Happening anyway? Oh you betcha! 

Below I’ve grouped these guys together by the division they’ll be playing in so I can point out who benefits/suffers based on who they’re playing their most games against. I could’ve ranked and tiered them — but what fantasy info is there to glean from that if you’re not using defensive categories? At least this way, maybe you’ll see that a certain team/division has strong or weak catchers in it which helps certain runners or hurts certain pitchers.  

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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.

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First Base is back baby! It’s good again!!!! Shout it from the mountains!!! Read this in one of those culturally appropriated Robin Williams voices. After a few lean years the first base position has some sizzle. Or perhaps this is the hangover of the catcher episode. “Catchers: The Ugly Friend/Slump-Buster of Fantasy Baseball”. Anyway, Grey, yours trues, and crews (there is no crew) chew through the top bats at first base. A serious run through 50+ names you need to know for 2021 Fantasy Baseball.

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*KICKS DOWN DOOR* (Loud non-descript 80s metal plays; a man steps to the mic). Are you ready? *Crowd Cheers* Are you ready for… *Crowds cheers more loudly* Are you ready for 2021 catcher ranks? Everyone stops cheering, looking at each other with bewilderment, turns away sadly and leaves. Except one man, the hero America needs. Position scarcity man, stands there unshaken by the thought of ranking catchers, for he remembers the hey day of position scarcity, he owned Mike Piazza and he’s never letting go. We’re ranking catchers this week. Enjoy!

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The top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball are fascinating, at least according to early ADP. There’s some top guys to draft, a few, at least. But, unlike past years, there’s also quite a few 1st basemen to draft after the top 100. Usually I’d scream at you in the most shrill of voices that if you didn’t have a top five 1st baseman you were going to lose your league. I’m not against drafting one of those top guys, but there’s also quite a few later 1st basemen that I could see getting hip wit’. It’s wit’ because it’s hip, get it? Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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After we went over the top 10 for 2021 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball. Am I at all selling you on the top 20 catchers being good? No? Good, don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections noted in this post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Back in my playing days, coaches would always talk about playing to win.  If you are trying not to lose, then you have already lost the game as fear has let itself in.  They were right and maybe if I had listened, I would be dominating the little league circuit rather than writing this article.  Alas, here we are and playing not to lose is finally coming in handy!

There are three categories that can ensure a team does not win a championship at the draft table.  These categories are not sexy enough or simply forgotten in the draft before it gets too late.  For that reason, I take a specific yet simple strategy on these categories…Do Not Draft Player X!  Within the first 10 rounds of a draft, I will intentionally avoid certain players to ensure the floor of my team is where it needs to be going into the later rounds of the draft where I must fill out my roster.  I do not care how far a guy falls, he damages the overall picture I am trying to paint with my roster.  Here is the breakdown of those categories:

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On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2021 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Randy Arozarena:  rookie, customer of Big Bossman’s Bail Bonds, and first ballot Hall of Famer — a triple threat! In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2021 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2021 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! Seriously, in a year as crazy as 2020, take a moment and thank those you truly love:  Me.

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*insert musical note* Hello, darkness, my old friend. It’s something-something, me again. So, I don’t know the words. Are you here for musical theory or for a recap of the craziest season in recent memory? I thought so! Today’s jazz handsy recap is of the catchers. Please don’t ask if this is ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season (last two months?). Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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In the first of sixteen doubleheaders yesterday, we were treated to The Bobby Dalbec Show, starring…Bobby Dalbec. *Bobby enters stage right and the crowd quiets* One boy in the front row of the black & white audience stands and points, “It’s the resurrection of the great Red Sox legend, Bobby Doerr!” Then an usher points, “Oh, my God, Dalbec is present tense for Doerr!” Another argumentative guy screams, “Yo, Bobby Dalbec, what’s the deal with Red Ruffing? He die from huffing? From being a Red? Screw socialism!” Yesterday, Bobby Dalbec, local hero, and all-around Red Sox player, went 3-for-6, 4 RBIs with his 4th and 5th homer in, like, two games. His power isn’t without its ceiling, but that ceiling is on the moon. He could be a 35-homer guy in the majors. The big drawback is–Wait a second, did he have a 50% strikeout rate going into the doubleheader? Hey, Dalbec, B. Doerr, don’t B. Don’ter. Dalbec might hit .205 for the immediate future, but he eventually finds contact once he gets comfortable in a league. For this year, Dalbec or Moistasskiss? Ya know what I’m saying, go with the hot hand and Bobby Doerr’s present tense. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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