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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!

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A Loch Ness Monster waits nervously in a doctor’s office.  He turns to his left to a unicorn.  “What brought you in here?”  “I was having a weird pang behind my horn for a few weeks while in Candyland, and I went for an MRI when they found a growth.”  The unicorn chokes back its fears, finishing, “I’m having a biopsy.  You?”  The Loch Ness Monster hands the unicorn a tissue, then, through tears, “I’ve been pooping this tar-like substance, and they’re not sure…what…it…is.”  As the the two of them sob uncontrollably, they look across the receptionist area to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  The unicorn fights through tears and asks, “Why are you at the National Institute of Made-Up Injuries and Diseases?”  “The Jays said I had an oblique injury to delay my free agency.”  So, Vlad Guerrero Jr. has an oblique injury, which, honestly, is likely a real injury, but doesn’t sound serious.  Maybe it is just an aching venient injury.  Who knows.  I’ve been saying for a while that I’m not drafting Vlad, due to his ADP, and wrote a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. schmohawk, so this doesn’t affect me a ton.  Nor his MLB ETA.  He wasn’t starting the year with the Jays either way.  I haven’t changed his projections or ranking in my top 20 3rd basemen, though there have been a bunch of changes in my rankings, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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After going over the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball, I needed a cigarette.  A good after-sex cigarette, not a waiting-to-go-into-court-to-hear-if-you-have-to-spend-18-months-in-jail cigarette.  Subtle, but important differences.  We also hit up the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball.  In no way was that clickbait.  Okay, onto the hot corner.  Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Good times, dyn-o-mite!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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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:

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One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and all the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility.  Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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To paraphrase DJ Khaled, “We got a Minor key alert!  Another one.”  To paraphrase the cops that arrested Principal Rooney, “This is because of the Minors.”  *Donald Trump looking at the Rangers’ rotation*  “Glad to see Cole/Minor’s jobs are secure.”  Over Mike Minor‘s last four starts, he has a 2.06 ERA, 18 Ks, 5 BBs and 15 hits in 26 innings, after his sparkling one last night when he threw 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.64.  I know what you’re thinking, it was vs. the Padres.  Right, one of those starts was, the other ones were the Astros, Twins and Rockies.  So, it’s not all smoke and Minors.  Minor’s peripherals are nothing to write home about (unless his family lives in the Appalachian Trail, then they might like to hear from a Minor) — 7.4 K/9, 2 BB/9, 4.50 xFIP.  So, it’s been a good run (not Niko), but I can’t say I trust him in the big picture, unless it’s about Cole/Minor’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, played with spunk by Sissy Spacek (Spunky Spacek?  Sissy Spunkit?  Spunky Spunkit?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Well, you can’t fix this malady. After blowing a save on Monday night, Hunter Strickland punched a wall and broke his hand. He’s expected to go 6 to 8 weeks without blowing another save.. Stash or Trash: I’m in a 14 team league and I’m trashing him. Replacement: Yoshihisa Hirano (4.9%.) With Brad Boxberger looking far from perfect, expect the Diamondbacks to start switching things up. I have a feeling that they’ll leave Archie Bradley as the set-up man because “he’s good in that role” or whatever BS the manager wants to say which could leave Hirano as a major option for saves in the desert. Hirano hasn’t allowed a run since May 5th and has 18 Ks in 17.1 IP over that time. Don’t forget that Hirano averaged 28 saves over the last 5 years he was pitching in Japan.

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“Lower the koozie a little bit.  No, a little bit more.  Okay, now spray some mist on the outside of the can to make it look like it’s sweating.  Now rub your finger from the D in Dr. to the R in Pepper.  This is romance!  For me!”  That’s me explaining to Cougs how I want her to seduce me with a visual metaphor of Juan Soto.  Or as I like to call him, Sexy Dr. Pepper.  Last night he hit two more homers (2-for-3, 4 RBIs) and now has five homers on the year, hitting .344 since his call-up and he’s only 19 years old.  *puts handkerchief to head, faints*  He was the first 19-year-old to homer at a Yankee Stadium since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989.  He is the fifth youngest major leaguer with a two-homer game (Mel Ott, Danny Murphy (not that one), Griffey, Andruw Jones).  He is the third youngest major leaguer to show up at Yankee Stadium and say, “A concession guy offered his wife to me for sex.” (Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich)  Not to put the hype too much to eleven, but he is blowing away what Bryce and Trout did when they were both 19 years old.  19-year-olds who hit a home run in the last 40 years:  Soto, Bryce, Trout, Justin Upton, Andruw, Griffey and Juan Gonzalez.  Betting on a 19-year-old to fail who is already up in the majors succeeding is betting the Don’t Pass line, and no one likes that guy.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello and welcome back to another Monday. Too bad you have to go to work on this one. Can you imagine if all Mondays were holidays? I guess then people would get a case of the Tuesdays. Anyhoo, I’ve got a real case of the Mondays because today is a short slate. No not a clean slate, a short slate, as in there aren’t that many games. Now what does this mean for you? Well, first of all, it means you better draft Luis Severino today. Make him your top pick on Draft.com. He’s the only ace going today and it’s pretty slim pickins after him. Did I mention he’s been one of the best pitchers all season? And that now he’s facing Detroit, a team that, shall we say, hasn’t been the best? Add it all up and carry the one. Or don’t, I’m here to give fantasy advice, not teach math. Just make sure you prioritize Severino. The rest of the Yankees should be good options, too, and I’ll touch on some below.

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Trevor Cahill hit the DL.  Fun Fact!  If you have Hill in your last name, there’s a 100% chance you’re injury prone and will be on the DL for the majority of the season.  It’s a curse that began when Curt Schilling put ketchup on his ankle. With Cahill being DL’d, the A’s brought up Dustin Fowler to, uh, hit.  Yo, A’s, you lose a pitcher and bring up a hitter?  Michael Lewis is right, you do do things differently!  Speaking of do-do, how about those A’s?!  I’m being unnecessarily harsh.  A thousand apologies to the 1,200 A’s fans that are three-quarters of a mile away from the field, just past foul territory.  Any hoo!  Here’s what Prospect Ralph said about Fowler, “Fowler hints at an enticing set of fantasy tools. His combination of power, steals, and the ability to hit for contact make him a potential five category contributor in 5×5 roto formats. Could return a .270/20/20 season if his surgically-repaired knee holds up.  If only we could surgically repair Grey’s brain.”  What the hell, my dude!  Fowler should start at center over Canha, who should now platoon with Joyce, who should be out of the league.  I didn’t grab Fowler anywhere, but I could see it for a power/speed combo.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?