Quarantine Day 568 and I remember baseball, but only faintly. I believe it involves a bat, which I’m hearing might be responsible for the virus. This is all because of those bat swallowers, as my father calls them, though I’m not sure that’s what he means. The irony that we didn’t see anything coming in the year 2020. A long rueful sigh. Fellow mans and five womans, I feel like a late-era Eric Clapton song. Totally off-key, “Tears….in….heaven!” So, the top 80 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. With this series, I will take a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 80 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:
61. Alex Verdugo – My love for Verdugo has taken more routes this preseason than father when he refuses to use his phone’s GPS app.
“Verdugo on the Dodgers? Well, that sounds decent, but they have such a crowded outfield. Where’s Pollock–” Slams on brakes, and cars narrowly skid around.
“He was traded to the Red Sox? Wow! Verdugo’s shooting up my draft board! He has such a line-drive heavy approach and that short fence and Fenway’s BABIP-strong and…” Puts on blinker and merges onto freeway.
“The Red Sox trade was called off? What? Damn, I didn’t expect that–” Throws car into reverse, cars on freeway lay on their horn, skid around.
“It’s back on? Awesome!” Turns wheel for U-turn and goes over freeway median.
“His back hurts? That sucks!” Throws car into reverse, driving backwards on freeway.
“His back will be fine for Opening Day!” Throws car into park, as cars whizz past, and waits for window to roll down to scream.
“His back won’t be ready until May!” Gives passing motorists the finger.
“The season won’t be ready until July!” Reclines driver’s seat and takes a nap on freeway.
This is exhausting. I didn’t move Verdugo back up after it was revealed he would be fine by the time the season rolls around, because I no longer believe him. He hurt his back last season and it never got to 100% over the winter, and don’t really want any part of him, but he is in a favorable tier — so many hedges! I like him if he’s healthy, I just have concerns.
67. Lorenzo Cain – I write the players’ names I’m going to cover and write a super short note about what I’m going to talk about, then go back and fill in thoughts. My note for Cain was, “These players suck.” Pithy Grey ain’t wrong. My projections for Cain are 44/7/33/.258/8 in 336 ABs. Steamer’s projections are slightly less awful: 57/10/40/.277/12 in 358 ABs. Still, kinda barf. Here’s the thing, in a shortened season, think about this: If you were to own a 4th outfielder in August who wasn’t producing, would you drop him? Of course you would. So, any 4th outfielder (or 5th or any borderline hitter) is gonna have about two weeks of this season to impress, otherwise they’re going to get cut lightning fast. In shallower leagues, this season is going to be best played without your ADHD medicine, because everyone’s going to have a super short leash.
74. Dylan Carlson – The last two guys are in similar boats, but on opposite ends of spectrum. What is going on with Carlson’s playing time coming out of a three-month hold on life? He was winning the job in the spring, but does that matter when we resume in July? Is there any point to starting his clock? Or, in the shortened season, does it matter more to start his clock because every team has a chance to make the playoffs? If he struggles in the two weeks of spring training teams will get before we resume in July, does that doom him? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. My guess is Carlson is still in lead for an Opening Day job, but I have less faith in that now.
78. Sam Hilliard – 2nd side of the same coin as Carlson. Hilliard was playing himself out of a job in the spring. He also has Bud Black, who still wants to play Ian Desmond without a tinge of irony. But Hilliard has little to no competition and could still come back and hit in the final two weeks of spring training that I’m assuming they will have before the season starts. Every possible outcome is on the table for the Rockies left field spot. My guess is Hilliard and Tapia will platoon, but put two guesses in a car you’re driving and you’re not allowed in the carpool lane, because guesses aren’t real things.