Went over the catchers1st basemen2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Guess what’s next!  No, not pitchers. Read the title, man.  In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, 14 in 2012, in 2013 there were 3, a small bounce back with 6 in 2014 and last year there were eight.  This year:  less than you likely think.  The infield had a ton of homers.  Outfield was decent, solid, thesaurus word.  Was it the best home run count since 2010?  No, actually, it wasn’t.  It was the 2nd best.  11 outfielders hit 30 homers.  If you were to include outfielders that hit 29 homers, that shoots up to 15.  Also, there were 35 outfielders who hit 20 homers; last year, there was 24.  As for steals, there were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2012, 10 in 2013, 11 in 2014, and only five outfielders who stole 30 bases (only seven players total) last year.  This year:  seven outfielders stole 30 and 14 overall.  Hello, offense, my old friend.  As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Mookie Betts – Didn’t just have the honor of being the best outfielder, but he won AL MVP during our live simulcast of the Razzballies coming from Reno, Nevada, and Betts also had the honor of being the number one player on the Player Rater.  Guys and five girls, you don’t get to the mountaintop and then fall without a serious injury. Mookie Best because he is.  He had the 2nd most runs in the majors, 5th most RBIs, 7th best average, 27th best homers, 17th best steals, the most ABs and 2nd most hits.  Betts the Don’t Pass Line, because everyone can get behind him.  Preseason Rank #6, 2016 Projections: 105/24/67/.307/22, Final Numbers: 122/31/113/.318/26

2. Mike Trout – If you have the number one pick in a draft and you don’t take Trout, it’s because you don’t understand you don’t just want the best player, but you also want the most reliable.  Trout has been ranked number one for four years; he’s returned top 10 value every year.  May not be the best, or the Betts, but he’s the safest of the best.  Preseason Rank #1, 2016 Projections: 108/40/101/.303/16, Final Numbers: 123/29/100/.315/30

3. Kris Bryant – Went over him in the top 20 3rd basemen.

4. Charlie Blackmon – A bit baked into my preseason projections for Chazz Noir, and might be again next year, is I was worried he was going to get traded at some point in the middle of the season.  I will say that if I think a Rockies hitter is going to stay on the team all year and play 140+ games, I should bump up their runs and RBIs 20%.  Every Rockies hitter I projected has this low counting stat problem.  If he’s on the Rockies, he’s going to get 20% more runs and RBIs, Chazz Noir or noir-t.  Preseason Rank #13, 2016 Projections: 96/19/64/.285/35, Final Numbers: 111/29/82/.324/17

5. Wil Myers – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

6. Nelson Cruz – Him hitting 40 homers is like a 40-year-old being confused by Snapchat, you just know it’s going to happen.  But — and this is a Serena Williams well-defined but — Cruz hit under 30 HRs for three years in a row prior to his last three 40 homer seasons, so what gives?  Which sounds like a self-help book.  “‘So What Gives?’ helped me conquer my greatest fears.”  Preseason Rank #19, 2016 Projections: 85/35/98/.270/4, Final Numbers:  96/43/105/.287/2

7. Ian Desmond – Went over him in the top 20 shortstops.

8. Mark Trumbo – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

9. Ryan Braun – Of course, JB took Braun in our 2017 fantasy baseball mock draft.  You expecting different makes you look dopey.  With that said, Braun sure can’t stay on the field, huh?  He’s now played 135 games in two of the past three seasons and the third season was only 140 games.  He’s like the King of Nagging Injuries.  Did I just coin a nickname?  No, not really.  Now if I said Nag King, that would be something.  Preseason Rank #15, 2016 Projections: 90/25/98/.280/14, Final Numbers: 80/30/91/.305/16

10. Hanley Ramirez – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

11. George Springer – If his steals didn’t go Machado — or simply Machago — I would’ve nailed Springer’s projections almost perfectly.  I was pretty close on his ranking too.  Which brings me to my point, why does Springer not feel like a top 20 guy?  30/10 without killing you in any other category is nothing to sneeze at, unless you’re allergic to productive hitters.  Preseason Rank #9, 2016 Projections: 104/31/89/.269/22, Final Numbers: 116/29/82/.261/9

12. Starling Marte – And, for all intents and porpoises, he didn’t play in September.   Prior to missing September, he was a top 7 outfielder, which means, unless you owned him in a very deep league, you probably got a top seven season from his slot because you filled in for Marte when he was out unless you were trapped under a pile of phonebooks.  Yes, there were two unlesses in that sentence, deal with it!  With that said, Marte was straight speed, and that’s not usually his game.  Gonna have to take a long look at him for next year.  Such a long look I’m going to need eye drops.  Preseason Rank #5, 2016 Projections: 86/20/93/.282/31, Final Numbers:  71/9/46/.311/47

13. Matt Kemp – If we’re being honest — and we are because you are my harshest critic; damn you! — I wasn’t in the realm of right on Kemp.  And not simply because the only other time I’ve seen realm in a sentence is “The slogan of Germany’s Nazi Party in the 1930s was, One realm, one people, one leader.”  Not only was I off by 12 spots in his ranking, but I was opposed to drafting Kemp.  See Khris Davis for an example of wrong realm, but right reasoning.  Preseason Rank #25, 2016 Projections: 68/22/85/.259/10, Final Numbers: 89/35/108/.268/1

14. Khris Davis – I’d like to welcome everyone from Kemp’s blurb.  There’s tea and biscuits by the door.  No, wait, that’s the dog biscuits!  Oh well.  So, as I was saying in Kemp’s blurb, I was off on Davis’ ranking, but I told everyone to draft him, and I was one of the few ‘perts not worried about him moving to Oakland.  Did he still exceed my expectations?  Oh, hells yeah, but I was warmer for Davis than Kemp, even if the preseason to end-of-the-season rankings are further apart.  Preseason Rank #32, 2016 Projections: 67/32/79/.249/5, Final Numbers:  85/41/102/.247/1

15. Carlos Gonzalez – And just as I figured out in Chazz Noir’s blurb that I need to up every Rockies’ counting stats by 20% CarGo comes along and waves bye-bye to my new greatest shortcut.  Thanks, Cargo, for…um, did you see where I put the end of this sentence?  It was right there on the tip of my brain.  Hmm, maybe I left it in the bathroom.  Nope, nothing there.  Wait, that is the end!  Thanks, CarGo, for nothing!  Preseason Rank #21, 2016 Projections: 81/27/88/.269/3, Final Numbers:  87/25/100/.298/2

16. Christian Yelich – All jokes aside about Yelich not having pubic hair yet, his year was exactly right, in opposite world.  I get how he found some power.  He’s getting old — almost legal to vote now — and his power is developing.  He’s still only 24, so where’s the speed?  Did Don Mattingly not want to run out of innings because he wanted Prado to get his at-bats?  Because I’m trying to think of the stupidest reason Mattingly didn’t let Yelich run and that’s the best I got.  Maybe Yelich was tired from his early morning paper route?  Preseason Rank #34, 2016 Projections: 89/12/61/.294/23, Final Numbers:  78/21/98/.298/9

17. Bryce Harper – Such a great example of why you draft hitters early and often.  Even when they’re bad compared to how they’re projected to be, are they ever that bad as long as they’re not injured?  And, in Harper’s case, he was injured.  Whereas the top 20 preseason SPs were a field of landmines Princess Di would’ve had a problem getting around in her heyday, and her ‘alive day.’  Preseason Rank #2, 2016 Projections: 104/36/107/.297/12, Final Numbers: 84/24/86/.243/21

18. Jackie Bradley Jr. – And you thought JBJ was only good for walking four times in a game.  I pfft at you!  Right after I grabbed JBJ, Prospector Ralph asked me to trade Bradley to him for Billy Hamilton.  I nearly did the trade, because I liked Hamilton better, but I didn’t need steals.  A few days later, PR dropped Hamilton and I ended up owning JBJ all year.  It was a 12 team league where I had 600+ moves, so owning anyone all year is an accomplishment.  *rips open wrapping paper*  A plaque for owning someone all year after 600+ moves?   Aw, guys, how’d you know?!  Preseason Rank #84, 2016 Projections: 52/12/59/.244/5, Final Numbers:  94/26/87/.267/9

19. Adam Duvall – I don’t feel like doing the research, but I actually think I was higher on Duvall than most in the preseason, because if you remember, he was a bench guy, according to the Reds.  Looked like he might only face lefties.  Too bad, because I was between him and drafting Schebler in my Tout Wars draft, and since it’s a weekly league with no chance of me platooning, I went with the guy that was set to face righties.  And that was only like my 10th worst draft move in that league!  Preseason Rank #75, 2016 Projections: 48/19/56/.225/4, Final Numbers: 85/33/103/.241/6

20. Carlos Beltran – I was seriously off in projections and ranking with Beltran, but you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think there’s at least a 50% chance of him only hitting 16 homers next year.  You lie to yourself enough, why do it about Beltran?  Seriously, you should read, So What Gives?  It’s self-help at its finest.  Preseason Rank #111 2016 Projections: 46/16/57/.255/1, Final Numbers: 73/29/93/.295/1

 
  1. Packers says:
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    Good morning, everyone. Jumping to pitchers while I still have a chance at the FA wire.
    My league has a luck category in net wins. I didn’t do to good with Archer and Ray but I loved the K’s. So following is my staff and the best names on the wire. What switches should I make now for 2017? It’s a dynasty keep all 12 team start 10 pitchers weekly.
    Kershaw,Archer,Stoman,Ray,J. Ross,Velasquez,Pomeranz,Liriano,Phelps.
    Closers are Jansen,Allen,Thornburg and Ramos. Not to bad there.
    FA. Gsellman,Lorenzen,McHugh,Neris,and Pineda.
    I’m thinking Gsellman and McHugh for Phelps and Liriano.
    Thank you in advance.
    I’ve been thinking of trading Kershaw for 2 or 3 Quintana types but I don’t see a good match on other teams rosters. Would that be good idea?

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Packers:
      Gsellman and McHugh for Phelps and Liriano – I do that.

      Kershaw – hold

  2. M says:
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    Great work. Is it just me or did Coors inflate every Rockie’s final numbers more than usual this year?

    Exception: I did notice Blackmon actually hit just as well on the road if not better.

    Also, what do you think of Dahl next year? A .280avg, 20/20 guy with about 80rbi?

    • Cram It says:
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      @M: The only thing he did better in on the road was HR. More runs, more RBI, more SB and .22 pts higher BA at home, all in less AB’s. I’d have to say you noticed incorrectly.

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Cram It: just to play devils advocate. Wouldn’t it be a wash with more road dongs and higher home average since runs and RBI’s are situational stats and require a man on base when you get you hit or someone to knock you in for the run. Also as a whole the Rockies score more runs at home so of course this will be higher. I would think most teams score more runs at home than the road.

        • Cram It says:
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          @Big Odio: I can humor that. If we’re talking straight fantasy categories, his #’s are better at home, end of story, As for real baseball stats, he’s walked more and struck out way less, again in less AB’s at home. If we’re trying to add park factor into the equation to determine whether he truly was a ‘better hitter’ at home or away, that’s next level shizz that I don’t care to entertain.

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Cram It: I love how you hate the advanced stats

            • M says:
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              @Big Odio: thanks for the insights Cram & Odio

            • Cram It says:
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              @Big Odio: It works for me. I don’t like to complicate things.

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Cram It: it’s a double edged sword. Yeah it can talk you out of a player you should of been on but it also saves you from anecdotal nightmares. I prefer to know..

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Big Odio: It makes sense if you’re scouting a relatively unknown player. But even then, there’s a limit for me. Like, I don’t care about hard hit rate.

                  • Big Odio says:
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                    @Cram It: I like to know why someone got better, was it real or was it a fluke? Who got lucky or unlucky? Who is due to break out?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @M: Coors always does magic… Likely closer to 17/25, but maybe 20/20 for Dahl

      • M says:
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        @Grey: Coors does magic-never heard a truer baseball adage haha thanks Grey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, No problem

  3. Jay says:
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    In a keeper league with no limits on keeper length, and all keepers being equal (need to keep 4 and they automatically are your first 4 round picks in next years draft), would you keep George Springer over Gary Sanchez for next season and going forward?

    • Cram It says:
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      @Jay: Springer for me.

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Jay:
      agree, Springer

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jay: Agree with others

  4. Cram It says:
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    Ya know, I gave the Atmosphere album another shot, and it’s more solid than my initial reaction. He’s coming around next month so I’m finally going to get to see him!

    • Big Odio says:
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      @Cram It: which album? And is this your first atmosphere album?

      • Cram It says:
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        @Big Odio: Fishing Blues. No, I’ve been an Atmosphere fan from when Seven’s Travels came out.

        • Big Odio says:
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          @Cram It: I assume youve listened to God loves ugly?

          • Cram It says:
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            @Big Odio: I’ve listened to all of his stuff that I know of.

            • Big Odio says:
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              @Cram It: you would know if you listened to God loves ugly. It’s far and away his best album

              • Cram It says:
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                @Big Odio: No, I know. I meant as far as I know, I’ve listened to everything he’s put out.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Cram It: Yeah, I like it… Well, mostly a few songs… Don’t love the whole album

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey: Sames. I hated it though. Now I don’t.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You’re not the only one, it got a lot of terrible reviews

  5. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    Great write-up! Loved it, committed to memory!

    a. True story. In that RCL made the most moves of any manager – just under 400 moves! I also kept JBJ all year. Kept Duvall, had Rajai for a while longer than I should have, same going for Naquin. Also had Holldiay, dropped him before I should have. Drop kicked King Felix early and dropped Gonzo just before he hit those 2 HRs one weekend. Not having a 1B in a 12-teamer is not really intelligent.

    b. [SNAFU] cubed over the weekend and this AM but all cool now.

    c. Nice start from CK and even better from Jansen. Los Doyers stole one from the Cubbies, they have to make it count by winning all 3 at home! If they don’t it’ll be tough. Also do or die time in Toronto – if they lose they won’t come back from 0-3. Also, remember the stadium Toronto plays in is called ‘Skydome’ not the Skydome! Remember it’s important to Blue Jays fans!!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Big Odio says:
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      @Ante GALIC: I like how they call it the rocket center

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks! A. I was likely to blame for the A-Gon and Rajai moves… They were difficult b/c Rajai wasn’t a full-time, and A-Gon was miserable for a lot of the year (except now) C. I know, the Dodgers could’ve easily won both games… Cubs are lucky they gt Saturday’s… I’m going to Wednesday’s game

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: are you taking cougs? Can I be a back up in the case she gets sick?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Cougs is a Cubs fan… so she’s taking me… I should put Cubs fan in quotes, she went to college in Chicago and doesn’t know who Bryant is… or anyone on the team…

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: I would hate for her to get some bad sushi or food poisoning between now and then. *picks up phone and orders suspect chocolates for cougs*

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Hahaha… I’ll see what I can do

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Grey: just a backup plan. Marriage is all about taking your wife to a baseball game with her team playing and not knowing who anyone is. “Hey grey is that Hawk guy still playing for the Cubs”

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  When we were watching the other day she legit asked me about Larry Bowa

                  • Big Odio says:
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                    @Grey: oh my. That’s bad.

                    • Rufus T. Firefly says:
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                      @Big Odio: My own beloved wife spent a few years in Chicago and still talks about Vance Law, Luis Salazar and, of course, Ryne Sandberg. She is also able to ID Greg Maddux even when he’s wearing his glasses and white-guy golf shirt. I grew up with Jose Cardenal and Manny Trillo. I am old. Go Cubs!! Let me see them win before I die.

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey!

        a. Enjoy the ball game, man! I’ll look for you all if the KissCam rears its ugly head. Will download the game when I get to civilization.

        b. You weren’t responsible for anything. Gonzo is traditionally very good in April/May and then tanks the rest of the way (until the playoffs start and then he and Ethier take off like they’re on an episode of Bosom Buddies!!). So dropping him, King Felix and similar players was the best thing that could have happened because it forced me to look at the player rater, see who the hottest player is in the last 15 days and just sign up the best of the best available on waivers! Frank Voila, a very simple and effective approach.

        c. I was in first place in that RCL up until early September! Just schmotatoing along and then everything dried up and the fact that I drafted poorly reared its ugly head. Gotta draft properly AND schmotatoe to be a winner in fantasy. Doing ONLY one well is not enough.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. I hope Christie Brinkley is sitting to the other side of me for that exact reason B. I’m responsible for everything! Don’t kill the illusion! Speaking of Bosom Buddies, I saw Holland Taylor at a red light about 3 years ago and screamed, “Bosom Buddies!” and she replied back, “That was 30 years ago, I’ve been on about 20 shows since then.” C. Always next year!

  6. Squat Cobblers says:
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    Nice wrap-up Grey. Is it me, are is there frequently a one-for-one trade-off between HRs and Steals? If one is up, t’other is down and vice versa … by a near equal amount. (I’m pretty sure ‘t’other’ is a word.)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      T’other is a word. I think it’s you, no more homers for steals as there homers for a pitcher

  7. Packers says:
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    Would you speculate on Herrera or Neris for saves over Santana. I have plenty of SP with Santana being the weak link but the Twins ace…. I only have 2 closers though. This is a different league from my previous post.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sure, Herrera

  8. Noah says:
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    “Him hitting 40 homers is like a 40-year-old being confused by Snapchat, you just know it’s going to happen. ”

    Hey, F-U. Now where are my glasses and dentures?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  9. Rabbit says:
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    If “King of Nagging Injuries” is too long of a nickname for Braun, how about shortening it to its acronym KONI? Then you could dole out nicknames for King of Never Yawnstipating, and King of Nosejobs Extraordinairre (Niese!), and then you could draft all three and name your team like a 90s R&B group: “Kony! Koni! Kone!”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Koni sounds delicious, like Hawaiian coffee… I do like Kony! Koni! Koni!

      • CMUTimmah says:
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        @Grey: Coney is delicious. I’m in Detroit and now I know what I’m doing for lunch…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Now I want that in my mouth

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: you should really watch how you write some comments

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              What?

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Grey: to quote you above “now I want that in my mouth”

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  A Coney? Yeah, in my mouth

  10. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    I was going to say something witty about dropping JBJ and then trying to trade for him, but I’m coming up dry. Probably because I dropped him, and he’s in the top 20.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hehe… sorry Rappin!

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: at least Ralph didn’t peg JBJ and Duvall as deep league and 12 team late round fliers then didn’t even own them in perts.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sounds familiar though!

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: kills me when I had yelich and khris davis on my squad….I can only imagine…

            Oh and is it me does this outfield crop feel very weak this year? I owned davis all year and he didn’t feel top 20 nor did yelich

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I think outfield was the weakest… I didn’t mind JBJ but to think about him as a top 20 outfielder doesn’t really compute, ya know?

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Grey: Totes McMotherfuxing Goats. Yeah I wanted to drop davis a half dozen times. A top 20 guy should never cross your mind to drop. And Mare was all speed and kinda whatevs. Bektrand? Really

                Dare I say is outfield the new infidel?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Throw in that you needed 5 of them, and it wasn’t very pretty… I did drop Rajai, and he was in the top 22

                  • Big Odio says:
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                    @Grey: a semi part time player? That’s nuts. I need to go look at the rater

  11. ChiCitySox23 says:
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    Thoughts on Conforto for next year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Could break out, doesn’t have huge power or any real speed though, so he needs to play 145+ games, hit .290 and hit 30 HRs

      • ChiCitySox23 says:
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        @Grey:
        So Terry Collins needs to be let go for the 145+ games to happen.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, purdy much

  12. The Situation says:
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    Hey @Grey! Hope all is well. Largely based on your advice, I drafted Khrush Davis everywhere in 2016. Now I need some keeper advice on Khrush (can’t believe I’m even mentioning Khrush and keeper in the same sentence)…

    In 2017, do you think Khrush will come closer to your 2016 preseason projections (67/32/79) or closer to his actual 2016 numbers (85/41/102)? Would love to know if you think there is a strong possibility that Khrush repeats his 2016 line next year.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d guess my projections are gonna be around 35 HRs, 95 RBIs for him

      • The Situation says:
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        @Grey: In a 12-team, 6×6 (+BBs & holds), keep 10 dynasty league, I think 35/95 is probably keeper worthy. With power up, it’s an arms race out there.

        I’m also liking that, in addition to the 23 bombs he hit on the road this season, he also hit 19 bombs at home. Like you said, shows he can hit plenty of bombs at O.Co going forward. And the 406.10′ average HR distance is further proof.

        I also just looked back to 2015 and it seems like he wasn’t a full time player until August-September, during which he hit 10 HRs each month. So that’s 62 bombs in his last 833 PAs, or a 45HR pace over 600 PAs, as a full time player.

        It really didn’t feel like he was anything special this season, but the numbers look awfully good.

        Thanks @Grey for giving me the extra nudge to grab him!

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