On the Farm

(Lobman’s Note: Soooo everyone, someone decided to grace us with some #content for the blog. After much formatting issues and margaritas THANKS SEAN, I have decided to really put this together so Brian could have himself a good read. And guys, it’s like 5000 words or so. I have left this bitch raw, but I have decided to put my input from time to time. But without further ado)


Written by: Gregory P Heroy


-With our newly improved minor league system now set in place after our First Year Player Draft, I figured it was the best time to take a look at everyones current minor league situation. I will review each team’s high minors, low minors and Draft Rights’ Players, with MLB.com’s prospect rankings (and only their rankings, who do you think I am Sean? I don’t have the time to research a million articles for fluff, this shit is all my opinions, so its 100% FACT). I will add in my thoughts, and how each player fits into the future for that team. I know we still have a little over a month until rosters need to be set, so I won’t try to penalize teams for not having their minors filled out just yet, but it will come into consideration with overall grades. Now onto the good stuff:

The teams listed are in no particular order, other than from ESPN’s drop down list

(Lobman’s note: Its fucking shitty to use MLB.com’s rankings, because they’re, in fact, bad. But OK let’s do this)


Springfield Isotopes

The ‘Topes decided to give this young guy a shot
Level Player MLB.com Ranking  
High Minors Josh Bell 27 128 AB’s
  Aaron Judge 45 84 AB’s
  Manuel Margot 23 37 AB’s
  Mauricio Cabrera NR 38.1 IP
Low Minors Cody Bellinger 12  
  Erick Fedde 60

High Minors: To start, the Topes have some decent talent in their high minors system. Josh Bell is only ranked 27, but had a nice start to his MLB career last year with the Pirates. He burst onto the scene with a grand slam, but also had his struggles along the way, mainly in the field. Which cost him a lot of AB’s which may be a good thing for the Topes since he is still minor league eligible. He will need to sure up his defense if he looks to get consistent AB’s on the Pirates team this year, and only has 2 AB’s left of minor league eligibility. So that will be another bench bat for the Topes after his first game.

They also just acquired Margot to add some steals to their repertoire, and he should help them in CF with his DRS metric…. right fantasy baseball here. He should get them some steals that this team desperately needs. Back to the power side that this team is more known for, Aaron Judge. Let’s just say Aaron Judge can hit some monster homeruns, but the most intriguing storyline following Judge this year is if he can hit at least 10 less homers than Bryce Harper. There is a nice $100 bet riding on the fact that he can’t and won’t. Mauricio Cabrera is on the roster since he can get some holds, and keeps his minor eligible status for now. He is on a bad team with at least two other pieces in front of him to garner saves.

Low Minors: This won’t take long. The Topes are notorious for not knowing players born from 1986 on, and it shows with his low minors and draft rights players on his roster. Cody Bellinger isn’t a bad player to own, he has power from the 1B position and the Dodgers have an eye for talent and developing them into stars over recent years. The Topes were also able to pick up Erick Fedde in the FYPD that took place over the weekend. Another promising piece for the future that has a chance to show up in Washington as early as this year, especially with the Nats other top pitching prospects out of the picture.

Draft Rights Players: None

Overall Minor Grade: C-

Even though the Topes have a few nice pieces in the high minors, the cupboard is only half full in the low minors, and completely bare when it comes to any DRP’s. The fact that Bell only has 2 AB’s remaining doesn’t help his case, and I’m not sold on anyone else being a true difference maker moving forward.


River City Bad Dudes

Bryce Harper: Cuban Style
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Frankie Montas NR 15 IP
Low Minors Vlad Guerrero Jr. 34
Ahmed Rosario 5
Francis Martes 20
Yadier Alvarez 49
Joe Jimenez NR
Amir Garrett 66
DRP Lazarito Armenteros NR

High Minors: The Bad Dudes only have one player in their high minors system, and they aren’t a very exciting “prospect”. Frankie Montas wasn’t picked up to be a stud but to fill a need. He is a minor eligible holds guy, so he fits the bill for the team from River City.

Low Minors: This is the meat of the farm system (pun not intended, but works nicely) for the Dudes. Rosario is the headliner of the group and at a premium position, for the Dudes favorite team nonetheless. He finally put it altogether this past year in the minors and showed why he deserves the top 5 ranking. One to watch for the future and can slot into the starting lineup once he comes up. To reminisce for a moment, I remember watching a guy hit a ball that bounce to the plate over the wall for a homerun, and then throw someone out at the plate from RF on the fly. That man was fun to watch, and that man now has a kid coming up in the Blue Jays system. Mikey T would be able to tell you all about Vlad Guerrero, since that was the last time he watched baseball. Back to the Bad Dudes, there are already tales about the kid hitting balls out of stadiums. Who knows what Vlad Jr. can become, but if its half what his dad was, he will be a good one. To compliment his young bats, Lobman also has some power arms in the system. Francis Martes is a hard thrower who really took a step forward in 2016 after struggling in the early part of the season. Alvarez looks to be a future pen piece for the Dodgers, and the same can be said for Joe Jimenez. With the value of bullpen pieces skyrocketing in The Backyard, those are two arms to keep an eye on. Amir Garrett profiles as a nice middle of the rotation arm, and has the opportunity to compete for the 5th rotation spot this year with the Reds.

DRP: Nicknamed “The Cuban Bryce Harper” was all the Bad Dudes needed to hear to spend their third round pick on Armenteros. With not much out on this guy, all I know is that he has a nickname that makes me think he will be the next Yasiel Puig. Sell high.

Overall Minor Grade: B+

The Bad Dudes boast one of the top hitting prospects at a premium position and a power arm that will end up in the top end of the rotation. To top that off, they have some intriguing pen pieces for now and the future.


Main St. Mooninitez

Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Dan Vogelbach NR 12 AB’s
Carl Edwards Jr. NR 36 IP
Grant Dayton NR 26.1 IP
Alex Reyes 14 46 IP
Low Minors Lewis Brinson 18
Mitch Keller 48
Michael Soroka 78
Kolby Allard 53
David Paulino 54
DRP AJ Minter NR

High Minors: We all know the story behind Alex Reyes, but to rub it into Sean’s hippy wounds a little more, LET US DISCUSS MORE. Reyes was destined for the Cardinals rotation and to dominate the NL Central this year. Sean was envisioning a boatload of strikeouts and still had a few IP left of minor league eligibility, BUT he went down for the season and now Wacha won’t become a holds eligible SP. Since the Moonz loves to use the system to aid him in the current season, he has a few holds players on the roster. Nothing flashy about them, but they are there for a purpose and serve that purpose well. They also recently traded for Dan Vogelbach, and I don’t think we really need to discuss him, ON WE GO.

Low Minors: If this was written a week ago, Sean would get my full support of his low minors for owning a future stud. That stud was shipped out of town with another promising prospect for Keon Broxton. Back on track of what he does have, stock in the Braves pitching coaches. Since he went crazy and picked up three overall (2 low minors) Braves prospects. It is well publicized that the Braves have a lot in their minor levels, so Sean is banking that his curse is only on Cardinal’s prospects. Insert Oscar Taveras jokes here, followed by Alex Reyes elbow pictures. To pile on top of the old saying, “You can never have enough pitching”, the Moonz also added Mitch Keller and David Paulino to their growing stable. I like both of those young fellows and it sure seems anything the Pirate’s touch turns to gold. So Keller is someone to watch in the next few years. The cream of the crop is Lewis Brinson. Brinson has shown flashes through his time in the minors. From climbing the ladder from High A ball to AAA in the same year, but then showing he isn’t quite ready, .280 OBP at AA last year. After being dealt to the Brewers at the deadline, he was red hot in AAA and should get his chance to start for the lowly Brew Crew.

DRP: AJ Minter is another one of those Braves pitching “prospects” that I honestly don’t know much about. He is a reliever that pitched at 3 levels of the minors last year and had a very nice K rate. Not someone who is going to move the needle.

Overall Minor Grade: B-

Sean gets saved from receiving a C because of his depth in the minors and having Alex Reyes. One of the many pitchers he has on the roster, has to turn into something just based off percentages (I’m not researching the percentage of pitching prospects to turn into something, you can do that if you are so inclined). Brinson and Reyes are top prospects that will be contributing by next year.


Rojo’s Resurgence

At least he has beans. Beans in this case is Tom Murphy
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Tom Murphy NR 44 AB’s
Andrew Toles NR 105 AB’s
Ty Kelly NR 58 AB’s
Edubray Ramos NR 40 IP
Chris Beck NR 25.1 IP
Low Minors Kyle Tucker 35
Corey Ray 30

High Minors: While the first edition of this was being written, the Resurgence had an abundance of high minors players, and some that served a pretty good purpose. Things have since changed with a shakeup from management earlier today. The Resurgence had a useful speedster that hit for good average in Andrew Toles, but he was shown the pink slip earlier today. So was Ty Kelly, and the only reason that upset me is because I had a joke that his age almost matched his number of AB’s (there I still fit the joke in anyway!). With those two gone it leaves Rojo with two minor league eligible relievers that will attain holds. It seems that is how a lot of teams are using their high minors these days. It makes sense for a man who is already losing every week he begins without a closer on his roster. He also has Tom Murphy, and well he seems to be a bench bat with the addition of Stephen Vogt earlier today.

Low Minors: Until the draft, the Resurgence were even more scared of the idea of getting younger than the aging Isotopes. With a new format, brings new ideas. Rojo was able to pluck two prospects ranked in the 30s which isn’t an easy feat at this point. A decent amount of teams loaded up on prospects after the Trout Fishing Club won their first ever title, be happy that is the first selfish plug so far. Although neither prospect will be confused for Mike Trout or Mookie Betts or Kris Bryant, they are a start for the Resurgence on their quest to find their Surgence.

Overall Minors Grade: D-

I don’t like failing anyone, especially if there is effort being put forth. Since Rojo finally added some low minors players in the draft, he avoids the daunting F. He still needs his parents to sign his test so they know how terrible he is doing to this point. Everyone is responsible!


Barnegat Banana Slugs

Actually, The Slugs did NOT end up with this guy
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Robert Gsellman NR 44.2 IP
Matt Strahm NR 22 IP
Low Minors Tyler Beede 88
Franklin Barreto 52
Tyler O’Neill 36
Derek Fisher 83
Kyle Lewis 29
DRP Zack Collins 81


High Minors: The Banana Slugs have a couple of very useful high minors in their system. With Gsellman, you get a Jacob DeGrom clone. Literally. He wants to be just like Jake, take a look at that hair. He can also pitch like DeGrom, when DeGrom was healthy. Since they are both Mets, I bet they don’t stay healthy. Still useful at this point though. Strahm is going to be extended this spring to become a starter, so we will see how this experiment works out. Last year he was a strikeout machine that got holds. As a minor leaguer in our system, that is as good as it gets.

Low Minors: Don’t let the MLB.com rankings fool you. The highest rated player is Kyle Lewis at 29, but Brian has had an eye for talent for quite a while. This is where I show Mikey T a proper segue. SPEAKING OF KYLE LEWIS, he was a top pick in the draft and had a great start with power and speed combo, until he went down for the remainder of the season with an injury. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back, but I think he will be fine. He is young and athletic. Other young and athletic talent on the roster is Franklin Barreto, a middle infielder with double digit power and plenty of speed to boot. These kind of players are hard to come by, so we will see if Franklin can make his skills translate to the majors when his name is called. Possibly flanking Lewis in the Mariners OF one day is Tyler O’Neill. He has shown plenty of pop throughout the minors, and may get his chance at a call-up at some point this year for the M’s. Brian keeps the talent coming with Derek Fisher. Another OF on the fringe of the majors with a nice power/speed combo. Instead of talking about Tyler Beede’s year at AA Richmond, I will just leave you with this: https://t.co/8b67RDwzCS?ssr=true

DRP: The only player designated with the DRP on the BS roster is Zack Collins. Another lower rated prospect whose numbers seem to show he should be ranked higher. The BS have an eye to the future with the selection of Collins. Martin is getting up there in age, and it seems Brian already his replacement waiting in the wings.

Overall Minors Grade: B

This is a very solid group when put together. The combination of power and speed from almost every player can have the Banana Slugs back to losing the Championship game in no time.


Point Loma X-Rayz

Can Keanu Reeves hit a homer tho?
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Roman Quinn NR 57 AB’s
Charlie Tilson NR 2 AB’s
AJ Cole NR 47.2
Low Minors Ozzie Albies 10
Willy Adames 21
Jorge Mateo 47
Victor Robles 7
DRP Delvin Perez 91

High Minors: For a team that normally relies heavily on their high minors to fill out their major league roster, it seems fairly light at this point. Roman Quinn is a player I have personally been waiting to get his shot in the Bigs. He is exciting and loves to steal every chance he gets. Although, he doesn’t get many chances because he has an extensive injury history that cannot be ignored. He played his most games in a season this year with a combined 92. He can steal plenty of bases when he plays, but don’t expect him to play too many games. Tilson was destined to start the season as the starting CF of the White Sox, until he also got injured. It sounds as if it isn’t anything serious, and if that is the case, he will provide the man from Point Loma with some more speed. Since we all know that is his weak area….The X-Rays also have AJ Cole sitting in their high minors, but only for another 2.1 innings.

Low Minors: What a difference a week makes for the PLXR. They were able to add a pair of top ten prospects via trades in Robles and Albies. Both players carry plenty of risk, but also plenty of reward if they pan out as expected. To go along with a few common themes of the X-Rayz minor league system, he has some more speed demons at the premium middle infield positions. Willy Adames, Jorge Mateo and DRP Delvin Perez all bring the speed element that X-Rayz management builds their team around.

Overall Minors Grade: B+

The X-Rayz almost adjusted the curve with the first A, but I am not one to buy into the ranking for Albies. Among other reasons, Robles carries a ton of risk, even though I believe he will still be a useful piece if he doesn’t reach superstar levels. Also, the one area where the X-Rayz need help is the power department, and these players will only help him extend his current all-time steals record.


Pine Lake Punchouts

Would you believe that this FUCKING dude is the #1 prospect?
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Andrew Benintendi 1 105 AB’s
Yoan Moncada 2 19 AB’s
Low Minors Rafael Devers 17
Austin Meadows 9
Anderson Espinoza 25
Blake Rutherford 37
Jason Groome 41
Alex Verdugo 61

High Minors: You know your high minors is set when your worst player is the second ranked prospect in all of baseball. Andrew Benintendi got the call-up to Boston last year and never looked back. He started producing from the second he took the field, and still has 25 AB’s as a minor leaguer. Moncada on the other hand, didn’t impress quite like Benintendi. That doesn’t mean he won’t be productive, its just a matter of time until he breaks into the White Sox lineup and shows why he got paid so much as the top international player a few years back.

Low Minors: To continue the prospect onslaught, the Punchouts roll out another three prospects in the top 25, with only one out of the top 50. Meadows should see time in the Pittsburgh OF this year, and will definitely see AB’s once that selfish, over-the-hill prick McCuthcen is traded (miss you buddy). Devers seems to get overlooked because of the talent in the Red Sox system. He is a power 3B that even provided 18 steals last year. Espinoza, another former Boston prospect, has a ways to go until he lands in San Diego’s rotation, but he has the stuff to get him there. The pitcher I am more excited to discuss is BARNEGAT native, Jason Groome. Brian just got angry seeing that Groome isn’t on his team again, and for some odd reason, that makes me happy. Groome was projected to go as high as the top pick in the draft in June, but fell to Boston at 12. He definitely has the stuff to be a front of the rotation arm, but there are questions about his maturity. Another first round pick last year was Blake Rutherford, this time by Boston’s rivals. The Yankees scooped up another top prospect that fell in the draft, and Ryan did the same when he drafted him in our FYPD. He also drafted Alex Verdugo, who honestly doesn’t deserve any other mention because he doesn’t compare to the other names on this list.

Overall Minors Grade: A+

It is hard to argue that anyone has a better farm system than Ryan right now. He has the top of the line stars, depth with all 8 slots filled and combination of bats and arms. Even if he doesn’t make it back to the playoffs this year, it won’t take him long to get there and be a force for years to come.


Ocean Gate Trout Fishing Club and defending Backyard Champions (Fuck you Greg)

Clutch your trophy for now, Fuckface
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Lucas Giolito 11 21.1 IP
Tyler Glasnow 8 23.1 IP
Jose De Leon 33 17 IP
Low Minors Brendan Rodgers 15
Eloy Jimenez 13
Ian Happ 28
Francisco Mejia 40
DRP AJ Puk 69
Cal Quantril 97
Kevin Maitan 32

High Minors: This is where you will find the future aces in the majors, or at least OGTFC hopes. With the stars not shining as bright as they did last year, Giolito and Glasnow hope to get their shot at a rotation spot instead of the spot starts they were awarded last year. Meanwhile, Jose De Leon looks to showcase his skills in both real life and fantasy. After coming over from the Moonz in an off-season BLOCKBUSTER, De Leon is hoping to stay healthy, and carry his minor league success to the OG.

Low Minors: The current champions won the title because of the talent they brought up through their system. Guys like Trout, Betts, Bryant, Turner, McCutchen, Posey and Bregman were all brought up by Greg. You would think after all of that talent graduated to the majors there would be nothing left in the minors, well you would be DEAD WRONG! This team still boasts some minor league talent with Rodgers and Jimenez showing they are ready for the next level. While Ian Happ had a successful spell across high A and AA, and Franky Mejia only had the longest hitting streak in the minors in like ever. It looks like the TFC’ers are ready for life after Posey.

DRP: The crown jewel of the OGTFC system is none other than Kevin Maitan. I will describe him using the words of professionals, “The Venezuelan teenager has been compared to Miguel Sano and his ceiling has been put side-by-side with the likes of Miguel Cabrera and Chipper Jones.” Those are two names that Mikey T actually knows, whereas Maitan will be one he wished he had. AJ Puk was recently acquired as a DRP from the Bad Dudes. He was successful at Florida and outside of one bad outing towards the end of the season, seems to have translated that success to the professional ranks. Quantril has a cool name and a semi successful father, which is why he was drafted.

Overall Minors Grade: A-

Even after offloading one of their more talented minors players in Bradley Zimmer this week, the OGTFC still own 8 players in the top 50 ranking. That is more than the Punchouts, and is why they have the second best grade to this point. The only downside of having that much talent in the minors is that they also have an exorbitant amount of talent on the major league roster. The toughest decision the TFC management will have to make this year is how to fit all of their talent on the same roster once players get their call-up.


Q-Tip City Morning Wood

The Phillies drafted a FUCKING TODDLER
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Dansby Swanson 4 129 AB’s
Hunter Renfroe 42 35 AB’s
Jharel Cotton NR 29.1 IP
Carson Fulmer 71 11.2 IP
Low Minors Dominic Smith 63
Gleyber Torres 3
Josh Hader 38
Michael Kopech 16
Brett Honeywell 31
Mickey Moniak 19
DRP Matt Manning 74
Braxton Garrett 43

High Minors: Shane came in and had a long road ahead of him to rebuild this team. One piece left from the previous owner was Dansby Swanson. Although he only has 1 minor league AB left, he is going to be a good player for a long time in Atlanta. As evidenced by his abilities at the end of last season. Hunter Renfroe was an addition that should help add some power the the Wood lineup. While Cotton and Fulmer are promising rotation arms moving forward with some major league time under their belts already.

Low Minors: Other than Dom Smith, everyone else on this list is a result of new management. Which is saying a lot when you look at the depth and talent that was added in such a short period of time. The Wood smartly picked Torres off the free agent list since no one else had faith in him. He went on to scorch his way through the Arizona Fall League and become the youngest MVP the league has ever seen. He also acquired fireballer Michael Kopech in a trade with the Bad Dudes (seems to be a theme that the Bad Dudes trade away a lot of talent). We have all heard the stories about Kopech and how hard he can throw, but there is a negative to throwing 105 MPH. That is sometimes you don’t know where the ball is going to go. He has enough time to work on some mechanics before he gets to the majors anyway. To help stabilize an already stacked pitching staff, Shane was able to bring in Josh Hader and Honeywell also. Honeywell had success in AA with a pitch that is rarely seen. He dominated with a screwball last year to the tune of a combined 2.34 ERA across high A and AA. Another addition was number 1 pick (real life and fantasy) Mickey Moniak to the Wood’s roster. With only a few games under his belt in rookie ball, the verdict is still out on Moniak.

DRP: As if this team didn’t already have enough pitching at all levels, they added a few more names in the FYPD. Garrett is a high risk high reward type player, but where the Morning Wood picked them, it was a no brainer. Matt Manning is a product of a Tiger fan trapped with the team of a former Met homer. He was also the number 9 overall pick this past year, so is obviously talented.

Overall Minors Grade: A-

With new ownership came a new approach regarding the minor league system. Shane decided he wanted to put an emphasis on improving the young talent in his minors, and in just a few months has accomplished just that. Adding Torres to go along with Dansby gives him a pair of superstars. He also has 8 prospects ranked within the top 50, which is why the Wood deserve this ranking. Top young talent and depth will help this team win more than four games in no time.


Forked River Three-Eyed Fish

Nice fucking mustache Freddie Mercury. Button that jersey! 
Level Player MLB.com Ranking
High Minors Trey Mancini NR 14 AB’s
Ramiel Tapia 90 38 AB’s
Matt Olson NR 21 AB’s
Low Minors Nick Senzel 26
Sean Reid-Foley 64
JP Crawford 6
Clint Frazier 24
Bradley Zimmer 22
DRP Ian Anderson 86


High Minors: The 3EF have some talent lying in their high minors system, starting with the talented Tapia. Even if MLB.com doesn’t like Tapia, it is hard to argue with his output over the years. He has never hit under .300 at any level of the minors, and has included some speed to go along with the hit tool. Olson is someone that is not far removed from power numbers at the minor league level. It hasn’t translated much with the A’s but he has plenty of time until he hits his minor league limit. Trey Mancini, well what is there to say about him, I honestly have nothing.

Low Minors: With the third pick in the draft, the 3EF were able to snag the top player available. So for that, Connor gets a kudos. Senzel started his pro career at Low A after being drafted this past year, and he put on a display. He can hit for power, average, and even throw in a few steals for good measure. Being a college player, he has the opportunity to move quickly through the Reds system and start paying dividends for the team from Forked River. Another recent addition, from yours truly, Bradley Zimmer brings a rare combination of power and super speed. In his two years in the minors he has an average of 41 steals and 15.5 HR. If Zimmer can cut down on his strikeouts and impress Terry Francona, he may earn his way to the Cleveland OF before the season’s out. Reid-Foley looks like a complete douche, but may be able to back up that terrible looking face with some nice stats. A team known for drafting talented pitchers recently, the Blue Jays took Reid-Foley, honestly who the fuck has hyphenated names now-a-days and get rid of that mustache. I’m done discussing him. Some believe that JP Crawford will be the real deal, while others believe he will be a better real baseball player than fantasy player. I fall into the latter. Although he will still provide enough stats to be relevant, I don’t see Crawford being a centerpiece of a fantasy team. Someone who may take those honors is Clint Frazier. The man is known for his elite bad speed, and if Sean was writing this article, you would be reading research from fan graphs about bat speed translating into some new age stat that helps guys hit more home runs and lower their estrogen levels. Well I am not Sean, and I am glad, because I’m not sure I could live with Herpes like he does. Back to Frazier, he will be in the bigs by 2018, and should produce solid numbers on a young talented Yankees roster.

DRP: The 3EF were able to somehow find another Braves pitching prospect, that somehow wasn’t picked up by the Moonz. They have a ton of young talent throughout the minors and Anderson is ranked towards the bottom, but still can emerge as a reliable option down the road.

Overall Minors Grade: B

This was a tough team to grade. I love the additions of Senzel and Zimmer to go along with Tapia and Frazier. I just don’t see Crawford and the rest of the bunch producing enough to grade the entire system any higher. In my book, a B is extremely solid and there are plenty of pieces to make this team better than the Isotopes which is all anyone really cares about.

On the Farm

Trade Review: A Really Practical Trade Demanding of Analysis

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins




FIRST A QUICK PROGRAMMING NOTE:  I can already read the tea leaves here, and I don’t mean to bring this up before reviewing THIS particular trade because I like this trade a lot and think it is sensible and such.  BUT I can see the writing on the wall, I can read between the lines, I can pick up what will be eventually put down, EVENTUALLY there will be a trade that comes along that is so mundane and unnecessary that I refuse to review it particularly thoroughly.  At which point in time these reviews will get A LOT shorter and might end up as more monthly trade roundups or such.  So now you can all compete to be the two teams that agree to such an unnecessary trade that I can’t bring myself to give it a word count greater than 50.

But again that isn’t this trade, this trade was so goddamn sensible (ish) that it almost is TOO sensible.  Annoyingly sensible.  Let’s look at it.  VERY PRACTICAL TRADE TO DISCUSS……



The Pine Lake Punchouts trade OF Jackie Bradley Jr. to Rojo’s Resurgence (evidently we are still mid-resurgence?  Is that supposed to be the takeaway here?) for C J.T. Realmuto.



The Punchouts entered the day yesterday with zero catchers and zero second basemen to trot out on Opening Day, and they ended the day with JT Realmuto.  Realmuto is the most interesting catcher in fantasy baseball, SO INTERESTING in fact that it puts him in the top 10 fantasy catchers convo.  And here’s how:  Realmuto is like KINDA FAST for some reason?  Like for a catcher he is fast as lightning?  For a regular position player he just might be of solid speed, but I dunno maybe a bit more folks.  In 2015 he stole 8 bases and ripped SEVEN triples in 441 ABs (21 doubles, 10 HRs, a blehh .290 OBP).  Now seems like a good time to mention that in 2015 Evan Gattis for some fucking reason hit 11 fucking triples and I will need to watch every single fucking one of them 11 fucking times to ever figure that out…… gonna blame that dumb hill for whatever ones came at Houston.  ANYWHO in 2016 Realmuto upped the SBs to 12, but downed the triples to zero, but upped the doubles to 31 in 509 ABs (with a yayyyyy .343 OBP).  And the ABs are important to note here, as Realmuto is expected to see time at 1B in 2017 which could give him a few more ABs than your average catcher. The Punchouts deal a good young OF to get this guy but SOURCES SAY that good young OF was up for drop consideration if a deal couldn’t be reached, as the PP (hehe) have a bit of a logjam out there in that OF of theirs (some rosters are still a work in progress blah blah).  The “speed from the C position” aspect is what puts Realmuto in top 10 conversation, even if 12 SBs represent his SB ceiling that’s a nice little chip in from an unlikely position.  Sometimes it only takes one steal people (unless you’re playing the X-Rayz in which case it takes like 20).



Jackie Bradley Jr. is a good young Red Sawk who had a fairly excellent season last year (.349 OBP, 30 doubles, 7 triples, 26 HRs, 94 Rs, 87 RBIs, 9 SBs).  REALLY GOOD NUMBERS and you can see why the Resurgence were happy to part with a catcher to acquire him.  He is probably the “best player” of the two here which satisfies RR management’s ridiculous claimed “rule” for trading; I see no risk with JBJ and he will be a great player.  There that’s out of the way.  Where I see possible risk, however, is what it means for the rest of the Resurgence roster (admittedly rosters are a work in progress blah blah).  Getting rid of Realmuto indicates the Resurgence are handing the catching reins over to their 2nd round FYPD pick, Tom Murphy.  Murphy is a minors eligible power bat playing for the Rockies, so he has the chance to be a very solid catcher in this league, however he is currently going to get AT BEST half the starts behind the dish for Colorado (They really like Tony Wolters’ defense so he may be in line for the lion’s share).  Generally our fantasy teams can expect their catchers to sit once, maybe even twice a week and most owners only keep one catcher and just sort of deal with it.  The issue is if the Rox have an off day here and an off day there and Murphy sits another few games on top of that, all of a sudden you are maybe leaving your catcher spot blank like 5 of the 7 days in a matchup.  Maybe Murphy hits his way into a majority of the starts for the Rockies, but for the moment it is something to watch.  The other issue here is that JBJ is stepping into the CF position for the Resurgence and pushing out like two other CFs, on top of another couple bats.  THERE’S LIKE 5 MAJOR LEAGUERS ON THE RESURGENCE BENCH RIGHT NOW, and a couple minor leaguers.  Without digging too far into the roster I can only assume he is currently terribly non-compliant and will have to end up parting with some solid players in the near future (get your Joc Pederson offers in now folks).  So AGAIN, JBJ is very good and I get why any team that doesn’t have a ban on Boston players might try and acquire him.  But the double R dealt from a position of (relative) scarcity to add to a position of (relative) surplus and a community college economics class tells me that probably carries some risk, or something.


The PUNCHOUTS.  Again not a bad trade for either side, but in trading away their starting catcher the Resurgers will be relying upon a minors eligible catcher who is headed towards a 50/50 split in playing time AT BEST unless he gets super duper hot at the dish (Wolters is a far superior defender which is why it may be more like a 60-40 with Murphy getting the 40).  JBJ is good and can be sort of a George Springer lite but now the Resurgence literally have like 5 major leaguers on their bench.  LOGJAM ALERT.  Give me the side that unclogged their logjam a bit and ends up with a speedy top 10 catcher to boot.  A SPEEDY CATCHER IS LIKE A GODDAMNED UNICORN.



Trade Review: A Really Practical Trade Demanding of Analysis

2017 Troll Series, Vol. 8: What The ‘Topes First Year Player Draft Means For The ‘Topes Future (Hint: Means Despair)


Springfield Isotopes fans (hint:  it’s Connor) realllllly thought a corner was being turned, and you can’t blame them.  The Isotopes longstanding philosophy of hoarding aging players seemed to take a tonal shift with the trade of a 31 year old Evan Longoria for a 27 year old Jean Segura (with two prospects swapping sides as well).  Follow that up with the acquisition of a 26 year old Wil Myers and a 28 year old Jose Quintana and FINALLY, the fans thought, the Isotopes were building a young core for the future.  Perhaps finally acknowledging there will come a time when the Robby Canos and Adrian Gonzalez’s and Miggy Cabreras and Cole Hamels’ of the world would no longer be able to answer the bell.  And with excitement buzzing for the team’s young core as it headed towards the inaugural first year player draft, the ‘Topes had a chance to show their fans they are a resilient franchise capable of adapting to a changing baseball landscape and that they are aware that Ryan Howard is no longer a good fantasy baseball option and so on and so forth.  With the best way to do so being a well-researched draft of prospects with which to plan for the future.  LET’S SEE HOW THEY DID SHALL WE……

Round 1:  ‘Topes select Javier Baez, and FAIR ENOUGH I CAN SEE IT.  Baez is 24 years old, very likely has a bright future, plays for a great offensive lineup, etc. etc. etc.  The problem being he currently has really no spot in the Cubs lineup, in terms of everyday ABs, and he is also many hundreds of ABs over our  high minors eligibility limits.  So I think we all see the writing on the wall, the Isotopes probably get tired of his spotty playing time and outright drop him by the end of April (my money is on Earth Day!).  But FAIR ENOUGH, got a young stud excitement is still high amongst ‘Topes fans.  Time to get their prospects and build for the future in Round 2 and Round 3.

Round 2:  ‘Topes attempt to select Josh Hader, whom is already rostered by the Woods of Morning.  This shows a lack of preparation.  ‘Topes management then panics and somehow blurts out Eric Fedde, HINTING AT SOME SORT OF PREPARATION.  Fedde is the 2nd ranked prospect for the Nationals currently (#52 overall BA, #60 overall MLB.com).  And really I have nothing bad to say here, well done ‘Topes.  BRING IT HOME WITH ONE LAST PROSPECT……

Round 3:  Mike.  Napoli.  AND IT ALL FALLS APART.

Round 3 is the crux of this entire troll post well-researched article.  Mike Napoli is everything wrong with Isotopes management, and Mike Napoli is why they may not win a playoff game or earn a bye until 2022.  Put aside the fact that there were MULTIPLE better options if you are just looking for a run of the mill aging power bat, put aside the fact that this is the same Mike Napoli the ‘Topes more or less gave away at the deadline last year, and it still makes little to no sense.  The ‘Topes roster REMAINS a logjam of bench bats with 2 current major leaguers, one player (Josh Bell) 2 ABs away from losing high minors eligibility, and 2 other high minors bats (Aaron Judge and Manuel Margot) that will likely start 2017 in the majors and would be absolutely fuckinggg wasted sitting on the ‘Topes bench.  Those are the types of high potential prospects that should get a shot in the real lineup, platoon a utility spot if you must, but for fucks sake they can free up roster spots and allow you to direct major leaguers elsewhere.  Like for example that super uninspiring pitching staff, WHICH IS ALSO A LOGJAM.  NOT PROMISING.  The ‘Topes picked up Mike Napoli because he ended up with 34 HRs last year, as if he’s even a good bet for 25 this year.  ESPN projections tend to inflates everyone’s numbers and they could only be comfortable projecting him for 22.  THE FANS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED.

In the end, Springfield Isotopes management chose Mike Napoli over giving their fans hope for a strong future.  Their owner’s lone title (and possibly last playoff win, TOUGH TO TELL) gets further in the rear view mirror every single year, and the road ahead seems bleak.  If Isotopes management has AIDS and just doesn’t know how to tell us quite yet, grabbing an aging “slugger” in a First Year Player Draft makes sense.  IF NOT, it is a troubling sign for a sputtering franchise.

More like this franchise is dead AMIRITE?! (really wish the ‘Topes didn’t go on that damned late season streak last year that made their record respectable, otherwise this could have been a lot meaner.)
2017 Troll Series, Vol. 8: What The ‘Topes First Year Player Draft Means For The ‘Topes Future (Hint: Means Despair)




I mean I guess the trading wasn’t THAT “high frequency” but there was certainly a handful of deals over the weekend and I CERTAINLY do not work on this blog unless paid to do so…..so now that we are back in the old office gonna cover them all now combined roundup.  LET’S DO THAT….




The Main Street MooniniteZ trade [High Minors] OF Roman Quinn and [Low Minors] OF Victor Robles to the Point Loma X-Rayz for OF Keon Broxton.


Keon Broxton.  Broxton is beloved in certain circles, and extra beloved by MooniniteZ management, because he hits the ball really fucking hard and also can steal a base or thirty or forty. And if that was all there was to this story that would be GREAT.  However it is not all there is to this story because he also swings and misses like a lot, to the point where “Chris Carter that steals bases” has been mentioned.  So there is jussstttt enough risk/reward here for me to break a mini one out JUST FOR ME:

Keon Broxton Risk:  AN ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS 36.1 K% last year (Carter was at 32%) over 244 plate appearances.  That is the biggie.  Pretty much everywhere he’s been he has ran a mid-20s K% at best and that ain’t great, 36.1% is atrocious.  If he fails to get that under control he probably ends up a good bit disappointing and MAYBE even ends up replaced in the Brewers OF by MooniniteZ top prospect Lewis Brinson.  Broxton also needed a .373 BABIP to hit just .242 last year, and that happens to be a pretty high BABIP even for someone who hits the ball as hard as Keon does.  So again, significant Chris Carter-esque risks here and there is a reason nobody currently owns Chris Carter in this league (just yet).  Oh yea one other thing, last year Broxton only hit .210 against righties NO BIGGIE.

Keon Broxton Reward:  BUT WHAT IF CHRIS CARTER STOLE BASES I ASK YOU?  I don’t want to really discuss that I just want to discuss the potential rewards more than the risks, for obvious reasons.  For starters, as stated Broxton hits the shit out of the ball.  A 90.2 mph exit velocity in 2016 puts Broxton in the 98th percentile in baseball.  High exit velocity combined with elite speed gives hope for maintaining an average at least above like .230 one should fucking hope.  Broxton’s numbers last year are also very much a tale of two appearances in the majors and dragged down by his first 28 games, where he hit .125 with a .254 OBP and just generally sucked balls.  After being sent down and returning Broxton hit .294 (.399 OBP) over his final 45 games, with 8 HRs and 16 SBs.  He also has strangely good plate discipline, with a 14.8% walk percentage in 2016 (11th best in baseball among batters with a minimum of 240 PAs).  He was only swinging at 22.1 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone in 2016 (16th best) and ended up with a .354 OBP, which absolutely plays in this league.  The real issue is that he just NEVER makes fucking contact on those outside the zone swings, and also ain’t exactly great at making contact in the strike zone either.  This is starting to sound like more stuff for the “Risk” section need to wrap this up….. POINT IS the (sometimes batshit crazy) ESPN projections have him pegged for 13 HRs and 42 SBs next year and more conservative projection systems have him going around 15 HRs/30 SBs.  Significant upside here if he fixes some holes in that swing, and MooniniteZ management is of the thinking that those final 45 games showed he already sorta has.


Those EVER-SAVVY X-Rayz managed to get the MooniniteZ to throw Roman Quinn in this deal, due to aforementioned Broxton love, and Quinn is a super speedy OF prospect that perfectly fits the X-Rayz philosophy and still has 73 ABs of high minors eligibility.  Last year, in a 15 game cup of coffee with the Phillies, Quinn posted a .373 OBP with 5 steals in 57 ABs.  Prior to said cup of said coffee Roman spent most of his time in AA, where he posted a .361 OBP and stole another 31 bags in 286 ABs.  Goes without saying that a guy that gets on base at a very good clip and then steals additional bases is a guy that can be very very valuable within the parameters of our fantasy league, and at least for now Quinn has shown himself to be nothing short of that…kinda…guy.  He is currently blocked in the Phillies OF by veteran bums such as Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders, but they will move out of the way one way or another and he will eventually be back to the show in 2017.  When when he is he will very likely provide the X-Rayz with excellent value.  Even with his potential Quinn is not the centerpiece prospect in this deal; that title belongs to a one 19 year old (soon-to-be 20 year old) Victor Robles.  Robles is widely regarded as the top prospect for the Nationals and is currently the #13 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America, #7 according to MLB.com.  Considered a potential “5 tool player” in the future, for fantasy purposes the tools that the X-Rayz will look for are the bat and the wheels.  And Robles has flashed both in his young minors career, last year popping 8 HRs and swiping 37 bases over 401 ABs.  Those numbers come at A ball (.305 AVG/.405 OBP in 285 PAs) and A+ ball (.262 AVG/.354 OBP in 198 PAs), but if the power develops and the bat stays solid at the higher levels this is a potential fantasy superstar.  Even if the power never arrives you have a potential .300 hitter that can steal like 40+ some odd bases, like a slightly slower version of Billy Hamilton that can actually fucking hit.  So we are talking a ceiling of “best CF not named Trout” type superstar, albeit with all the usual PROSPECT VOLATILITY risks in mind.  This blog is all about the word “volatility.”


The MOONINITEZ.  That’s right I am siding with myself because I feel like I should probably always do so.   Once I broke this rule below I figured I should come back and amend this, THE X-RAYZ SIDE WINS.  Of course prospects are volatile and of course Robles could go the way of AJ Reed or [insert better example of failed prospect here] OH I GOT IT LASTINGS MILLEDGE…… but yea, Keon Broxton is at the moment just as volatile as anyone despite the buzz in those “certain circles” I keep inventing.  Wide range of possible outcomes for how good of a player Broxton will be by the time Robles arrives in Washington, but in the meantime the X-Rayz get to reap the benefits of some minors eligible speed in 2017 once Roman Quinn returns to Philly.  A smart move by the X-Rayz to capitalize on KEON BROXTON FEVAH, of which MooniniteZ management has a particularly bad case.



The Main Street MooniniteZ trade C Yasmani Grandal  to the Q-Tip Morning Wood for [High Minors] 1B Dan Vogelbach.


This fucking team again.  Being that I am plugged into the MooniniteZ roster plans I know for a fact that they were just trying to get ANYTHING for Yasmani Grandal before resorting to dropping him, and in this case the ANYTHING turns out to be Dan Vogelbach.  Vogelbach enters 2017 fresh off a 2016 cup o’ coffee where he hit 1 single in 12 ABs while also walking once and striking out 6 times.  So….unimpressive.  Prior to that he had been raking away for the Cubs AAA affiliate, and then the Mariners AAA affiliate, to the tune of a .400+ OBP and 23 HRs in 459 ABs.  Who the hell knows if that translates to the bigs, the Mariners are hoping so as they have him penciled in as the strong side of a first base platoon.  And the MooniniteZ are hoping so as well, in the sense that at worst they would like a few HRs from Vogelbach subbing in from their bench during his 118 remaining high minors ABs.


Now HERE IS A  MAN whom knows a good deal when he sees one.  Shane smartly balked at Grandal offers that asked for Josh Hader back and then wisely jumped on an offer of Yasmani Grandal for Vogelbach (MooniniteZ management unwisely tried to use ESPN’s “personal message” box to request a draft pick in the deal as well but that failed, MooniniteZ management regrets the error).  YASMANI GRANDAL IS A REALLY GOOD PITCH FRAMER.  Nobody gives a shit about that in fantasy though, so here is what Grandal is in fantasy:  A CATCHER, that weak ass position, that just hit 27 HRs in 390 ABs with a .339 OBP.  One that will likely bat 5th in a Dodgers lineup that will likely score some runs.  Grandal’s pitch framing abilities keep him in the Dodgers lineup as long as he stays healthy, and he actually ran an even higher OBP (.353) in 2015 thanks to his elite walk percentages (14.6% over the past 2 years, 8th best % in baseball for batters with a min. of 500 PAs in that span).  So what we have here is a probable top 10 catcher in our particular fantasy league, with the potential to end up top 5.  Nearly dropped and instead sold for some fat fuck “prospect”.


The MORNING WOOD. Forget what I ALMOST said above about siding with myself always, it isn’t always about me. Sometimes I “lose” the particular trade, like for example this time (and maybe the time above). This was a pure roster dump trade where the MooniniteZ attempted to get ANYTHING AT ALL for Grandal prior to resorting to dropping him. And it is to be determined whether or not Dan Vogelbach will qualify as “anything at all,” but it IS determined that the QMW (starting to already resent this ode to boners team name) got themselves a likely top 10 (possibly top 5) catcher at a STEEP discount. If I am the QMW I make that deal every time and I am not them but they are them and they made that deal and good on them and SHAME ON ALL OF YOU who didn’t want Grandal. You know who you are.



The Point Loma X-Rayz trade [High Minors] 1B AJ Reed and their 2017 Player Rights Draft 1st Round Pick to the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club for [Low Minors] SS Ozzie Albies.


As usual the X-Rayz find themselves at the forefront of Backyard innovation (sounds kinda like a sex thing), becoming the first and only team to trade a Player Rights draft pick (name subject to change there). And in doing so they put the cap on an impressive couple days or so of DRAMATICALLY upgrading their low minors roster, a la the White Sox or some shit.  After acquiring Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo and Nationals top prospect Victor Robles in earlier trades, the X-Rayz were not content to rest and went out and got themselves Atlanta Braves 2nd ranked prospect SS/2B Ozzie Albies.  Don’t let the #2 ranking there fool you, as Albies would be the Braves top-ranked prospect if not for SS Dansby Swanson.  And it is the presence of SS Dansby Swanson that probably leads to a position change for Albies, with a potential promotion to play second base in ATL as early as this season.  Albies is the 11th best prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America (#10 according to MLB.com), and in typical X-Rayz fashion represents a significant speed threat because WHAT FUCKING ELSE DID YOU EXPECT.  Ozzie struggled a bit across 222 ABs in AAA last year but was far more comfortable in AA, stealing 21 bases with a .391 OBP across 330 ABs.  If he can display that comfort in AAA to start this season and continue to play strong defense at second, he will be up as soon as the Braves get tired of trotting out old man Brandon Phillips.  As such, the Oz man represents the Low Minors X-Ray most likely to see time in the majors in 2017, and before long he could be just another X-Ray frustrating opponents with 5+ SB weeks.


Credit where credit is ALSO due, as the Fishing Club becomes the first team to trade for a “player rights drafts pick” and generally seemed to be the team most devoted to the idea of acquiring a few extra selections in the inaugural draft. Placeholder player headed back to the Fishing Club in this deal ends up being familiar face AJ Reed here, one time top prospect who famously looked fucking LOST last year at the major league level. Reed still fits in a High Minors slot as of right now, but unfortunately will only have 8 ABs to show something before the Fishing Club will have to decide if he is worthy of a major league roster spot. My money is on that decision not being even possible after 8 ABs, so look out for AJ Reed coming to a waiver wire near you. MIGHT BE WORTH A FLYER EVENTUALLY. As for the draft pick that went to the OGTFC, that was spent on A’s hurler Sean Manaea and I view that as a quietly excellent selection as someone whom is very high on Sean Manaea. Manaea jumped to the majors after only 18 AAA innings last year, and scuffled in the first half to the tune of a 5.24 ERA over 67 innings. After landing on the DL in June Manaea returned and pitched much better, a 2.67 ERA over 77.2 IP and a 1.13 ERA over 24 IP in September. IN OTHER PEOPLE’S DRAFTS Manaea has been in the mid 40s in terms of starting pitchers off the board, going around and ahead of names like Vince Velasquez, JA Happ, Lance McCullers, and James Paxton. You will note that I just named most of my pitching staff, which is to say that Manaea would have been a great fit with the MooniniteZ and POSSIBLY their 2nd round pick had he made it all that way. So I am a Manaea fan, is what I’m saying. Could be pretty damn good pretty damn quickly.


The X-RAYZ.  Manaea may turn out to be pretty great but SO MIGHT ALBIES, and it stands to reason that an Albies-type prospect would not have been available to the X-Rayz had they kept the 10th pick in the draft’s first round. AJ Reed is gonna be a weak low-energy loser over 8 ABs and then dropped.



The Springfield Isotopes trade OF Adam Duvall and 1B Freddie Freeman to the Forked River Three-Eyed Fish for 1B Wil Myers, RP Mark Melancon, and SP Jose Quintana.


THIS ONE HERE, this one was the one tried and true blockbuster over this last weekend.  So it is probably the most interesting, and it only included MLB players (Typical ‘Topes, remember this theme for later), and I am tired of talking fuckin’ prospects, so LET’S DISCUSS EVERY PLAYER INVOLVED HERE A BIT:

Wil Myers:  Up until last year Wil Myers had seemingly done nothing but spend all of his time in the majors breaking his wrists and shit, but then that allllll changed. Last year Myers finally cashed in on the prospect hype that has followed him around all these years and put up a super impressive 28 HRs 28 SBs season as the Pads first basemen. If you believe that shit was for real then you may conclude that the ‘Topes ended up trading a really good young 1B for the next best young 1B, plus other stuff.  And that ain’t bad. There’s a bit of “show me it again” with regards to both the HR and SB numbers but if he can stay healthy he’s probably a good bet for SBs at least in the teens and HRs at least in the twenties. And that is a nice little combo to get out of your 26 year old first basemen.

Jose Quintana:  The quietest ace in all of the fantasy world, JOSE QUINTANA IS A QUALITY START MACHINE. Seriously look it up:  23 QS last year, 25 the year before that, 21 the year before that, 17 the year before that. All of these years over 200 IP, all of these years an ERA of about 3.50 or under (3.20 last year), all of these years 7.5 or so Ks per 9 (7.83 last year). Quintana has quietly been a stud fantasy pitcher for a longggg time now and sadly now that Amateur Fashion Model Talent Scout and 3EF Team Owner Connor FINALLY agrees to part with him it is to Mikey T. Quintana’s value also figures to take a bump at the trade deadline, at the latest, when the White Sox figure to ship him off to some contending team or wannabe contending team. Possibly for another major haul, those crafty White Sox.

Mark Melancon:  Mark Melancon is a perfectly serviceable closer who will no doubt save a good chunk of games for the San Fran Giants, probably with a mid 2s ERA and mid 8s Ks per 9. Last year he only gave up 3 HRs over 71.1 IP, and that number could shrink somehow even smaller in that HR killing stadium the Giants play their games in. For a team that desperately needed a good closer, being able to add one of Melancon’s caliber as the 3rd best player in the package is a nice get for the Springfield Isotopes. And if I have to keep saying that I will vomit in my mouth, or on my keyboard if you prefer.


Freddie Freeman:  Ohhh Frederick Freeman. FOREVER IMMORTALIZED by what I will continue to feel is the worst trade I have ever seen in this league, when the then-Missiles sent him to the Isotopes for Trevor Rosenthal while YOUR FAIR WRITER was in the woods of Delaware unable to talk some sense into anyone. But I am not allowed to talk about how terrible that trade was here (I’ve talked about it at length elsewhere), so let’s instead focus on how good Freddie Freeman was last year. Again citing what I’ve already written about it:

“But let’s look at what Freeman did in June: .426 OBP, .656 SLG, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HRs, 13 runs, 14 RBIs, FUCKING EVEN THREW IN TWO STEALS.”  –Me

So that was just Freddie’s June, and to be fair it came after an uneven April and May but the final numbers were this:  .400 OBP, 43 doubles, 6 triples, 34 HRs, 102 Rs, 91 RBIs, 6 SBs. Just a MONSTER season, to the point where one wonders why T was so willing to trade him rather than finally cutting the cord on Miggy or something. The Braves will be in a new stadium this year and I’ve even seen it argued the new dimensions could lead to a few more HRs for Freddie, but even if it doesn’t Freeman is only 27.5 years old and just put up his best season eva. Possibly a top 5 fantasy 1B heading into next season, possible room to grow. HELLUVA PLAYER.

Adam Duvall:  This writer has always been of the thinking that Adam Duvall kinda sucks, and no amount of research arguing otherwise will change his mind. Duvall ripped 31 doubles, 6 triples, and 33 HRs last year (albeit with a .297 OBP) and will bat directly behind Votto in the Reds lineup. He even chipped in 6 SBs, albeit while also being caught stealing 5 times. So this writer is actually sort of invested in him not sucking with the whole batting behind Votto thing.  But still feels like he sucks. Those are pretty solid numbers though, even if they were HIS ABSOLUTE CEILING. Sucks. He sucks it is decided.



The ISOTOPES. AND I HATE THAT THIS KEEPS HAPPENING. I like this trade for both teams in a lot of ways (except for the Adam Duvall part cuz fuck him) but I think the Isotopes did an excellent job of extracting value from their Freddie Freeman sale, EVEN MORE SO if you describe it as basically trading Trevor Rosenthal for this package. Lobman’s FUCK UP isn’t the 3EF’s fault of course, and Freeman I think is an absolute beast, but at the end of the day I just think Mikey T made yet another wise trade in a quietly solid offseason for him (I still project him to miss the playoffs because it is fun).



UPDATE:  Now with two fucking more to discuss because everyone’s throwing relievers all around…..



The Forked River Three-Eyed Fish trade RP Ken Giles to the OceanGate Trout Fishing for [Low Minors] OF Bradley Zimmer and RP Tony Watson.


The Three-Eyed Fish infamously took Ken Giles in the first round of our last ever post-keepers draft, and now after one rocky season Giles is shipped out of town. But the return is NOT A BAD LITTLE RETURN:  Bradley Zimmer and Tony Watson. Zimmer, the Indians’ 2nd best prospect according to Baseball America (#62 overall, but #31 after the 2015 season and currently #22 according to MLB.com), projects to possibly settle into an OF gig in Cleveland as early as this season. And once he does he has the chance to be an impact player in fantasy baseball, as he has displayed a good blend of speed and power throughout his minors career.  Most recently, in 2016, Zimmer hit 14 HRs and stole 33 bases over 340 ABs at the AA level, with a .371 OBP to boot. The power evaporated over a 37 game stint with the Indians’ AAA affiliate while the strikeout % rose, and that might be the one area to watch for Zimmer going forward. He posted a strikeout rate of 28.3% at AA and 37.3% in his brief AAA stint, and rates that high at the minor league levels can sometimes spell trouble for future major league production.  But the tools are all there to be a valuable fantasy OF for many many years. And in Tony Watson, the 3EF get themselves a middle of the road closer who could also eventually end up in a setup role elsewhere WHO KNOWS. But he’s fine. It’s fine he’s fine.


The Fishing Club fortifies the bullpen a bit here, mayyyyybe at the expense of the future mayyyyybe who cares about the future FLAGS FLY FOREVER. And back to back championships are an even harder flag to come by, I HAPPEN TO KNOW. So yes Ken Giles, he of the terrible start and terrible finish leading to an overall terrible year last year.  Giles gave up 10 runs in 10 IP in April, and then closed with 9 runs in 11.1 IP in September, but in between that he wasn’t toooo bad. And his previous season in Philadelphia he was quite good, which is how he ended up traded to the Astros in the first place. If he is right Giles has the chance to be a top 10 closer with room for more.  All these reviews have been heavy on me throwing the “top ____” phrase around BUT I BELIEVE IN ALL OF THEM. Stand by ’em all.


The 3EF. Solely because it gets Ken Giles off his team after he fucking picked him in the first fucking round. Also Bradley Zimmer might end up really good. Onwards and upwards for Live Action Shrek Stunt Double and 3EF Owner Connor.



The River City Bad Dudes trade SP Dylan Bundy  and the rights to [Low Minors] SP AJ Puk to the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club for RP Francisco Rodriguez.


The Bad Dudes, in a transparent attempt to gain the early upper hand in their highly anticipated Week 1 matchup with the MooniniteZ, go out and get themselves another closer in Francisco Rodriguez. To which MooniniteZ management reportedly says “LET THE GAME OF CHESS BEGIN.” K-Rod, as he was affectionately nicknamed 15 years ago back when he could throw the ball fast, saved a whopping 44 games for the Tigers despite a fastball that now averages 89.2 mph. He is no longer the double digit Ks per 9 threat that he once was (8.02 K/9 in ’16, down from 9.79 in ’15) but he can still get the job done, as long as he doesn’t break down due to being like 35 or whatever. This was a case of the Bad Dudes knowing they wanted another closer, looking out into the FA pool and not liking what they saw.  WHICH IS THEIR PREROGATIVE. I personally think there might have been some better options in the FA pool but it’s whatever, the Bad Dudes got their (old) man. Gotta start the “we are playing each other” pettiness early in case you couldn’t tell.


The Fishing Club return = Dylan Bundy  and the rights to [Low Minors] SP AJ Puk. And what can be really said, about these two. Here I will try. Bundy remains chock full of potential, and had an all time high trade value after putting together two really good starts last August.  Unfortunately for Heroy and the OGTFC, they didn’t trade him and he didn’t keep it up.  His final result was an ERA that actually beat his FIP (usually doesn’t happen), 4.02 to 4.70.  His struggles mostly related to a HIDEOUS “third time through the order” FIP of 9.30, which may have been partly a stamina issue as his fastball loses a full tick off its speed around that time.  If he can get the stamina up there is potential there, but also maybe he CAN’T hack it as a starter and the Orioles start to get creative.  POTENTIAL FUTURE SP ELIGIBLE RELIEVER ALERT. As for AJ Puk, I don’t know anything about him.  Notta thing.  Currently the A’s 2nd best prospect according to BA (#83 overall BA, #69 overall MLB.com), Puk was the 6th overall pick of last year’s draft and pitched like 32 innings in low A last year and that is it.  THOSE INNINGS LOOK DECENT I GUESS:  11.02 K/9, 3.03 ERA, 1.93 FIP.  He also allegedly made a “strong impression” on A’s manager Bob Melvin in a recent bullpen session.  So good on him.  And he’s 6-7.  NEXT RANDY JOHNSON JEFF NIEMANN?!


The Fishing Club.  Which isn’t to say I don’t get why the Bad Dudes made the deal, because they traded two likely lottery tickets for a proven closer, but that closer is old and also fuck Lobman and also MAYBE THIS IS WHEN DYLAN BUNDY PUTS IT ALL TOGETHER.  Making him the only young pitcher on the OGTFC roster to “put it all together.”  I have already discussed at length how the rest won’t.




Draft 2017!

OK GUYS, so the draft is over! Here’s the results (THIS COLOR denotes Rights Players):

Round 1 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) via X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Mickey Moniak – OF Jason Groome, P Nick Senzel,    3b Javy Baez, Utility Joe Kelly, SP/RP Kyle Tucker,    OF  Kevin Maitan, SS Kyle Lewis,       OF  Mitch Keller,   SP Sean Manaea,     SP
Round 2 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) Point Loma X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Matt Manning,   SP Alex Verdugo,    OF Ian Anderson,    SP Eric Fedde,       SP AJ Puk,              SP  Corey Ray,      OF Kyle Barraclough,    RP Zack Collins,     C Grant Dayton,     RP Eric Thames,     LF
Round 3 Morning Wood (Shane) Pine Lake Punchouts (Rmac) FR Three Eyed Fish (Connor) Springfield Isotopes (Mikey T) RC Bad Dudes (Lobman) Rojo’s Resurgence (Rojo) OG Trout Fishing Club (Heroy) Barnegat Banana Slugs (Brian) Main St Mooninitez (Sean) Point Loma X-Rays (Odom)
Pick Braxton Garrett,            SP Blake Rutherford ,    OF Sean Reid-Foley,              SP Mike Napoli,   DH Lazarito Armenteros,      OF Tom Murphy,    C Cal Quantrill,    SP Ryan Buchter,    RP AJ Minter,        SP Delvin Perez,   SS 

Now, the players who are actually on the system will be added tonight to all your active rosters. The rest, well as you know, are draft rights players (hereby called “Rights Players”), and will be posted in a sticky on the blog, and on the message board. A quick note:

  • Rights players are tradable in ANY format, but make sure the move is plainly spelled out in the narrative of  the chat.
  • If ANYONE sees that your player is added to the player pool, they’ll call it out and you’ll be given the first right of refusal. IF YOU DONT PLAN ON USING YOUR OPTION, YOU MUST STATE IT IN THE CHAT OR TO ODOM OR MYSELF. You will then have to wait until after waivers to pick him up, as you’ve given up your rights on the player. Once the player is a full fledged free agent, he will be free for you (or anyone) to pick up.
  • IF you use your right on the player, you MUST put a waiver claim in on said player. If you don’t he will not be on your team.

I mean, its pretty simple and I wrote a whole thing about this, so I don’t think I need to expound any further.

Anyone want to write a review of the draft or anything? Hit me or Sean up…


Draft 2017!

Trade Review: Isotopes and X-Rayz Cut A Deal



The Point Loma X-Rayz trade SS Jean Segura and [High Minors] OF Manuel Margot to the Springfield Isotopes for 3B Evan Longoria and [Low Minors] SS Jorge Mateo.



Evan Longoria:  Evan Longoria comes with the general aging risks (more on this in a sec) but also comes with the strongest track record, leaving the X-Rayz with perhaps a low “ceiling” as far as what numbers to expect from him but also a high “floor”.  There is a beauty in Longoria’s consistency (20+ HRs, 70+ Rs, 70+ RBIs in each of last 4 seasons) and durability (160 games in 3 of his last 4 seasons, the full 162 in the other).  Longoria represents a power bat headed to a team where power bats are at a premium, traded for a speed bat from a team where speed is very much in surplus.  FOR THAT ALONE a fascinating deal for the X-Rayz in that it represents an attempt to balance the offense a bit.  There is nothing to indicate that in 2017 Longo won’t play a lot of games and drive in a lot of runs with a solid HR total, all of which could prove helpful in giving the X-Rayz lineup some balance week to week.  If there is a risk it is in his changing batted ball profile, and here is where I will plug Fangraphs and say that if you haven’t looked at hitter contact quality reports YOU ARE MISSING OUT:

The Longoria section in question:  “Now for a word about ‘harvesting.’ This is what I call it when a player begins to elevate and pull more, with his K and BB rate suffering in the process, all in pursuit of the long ball. Evan Longoria meets those criteria. He narrowly missed a grounder-pulling penalty. His fly-ball rate has always been high, but was dangerously so in 2016. It has nowhere to go but down. Harvesting gives a short-term boost to the power numbers, but ultimately opens holes that pitchers will exploit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairly substantial decline in performance over the next couple of seasons.”

Whether or not this guy generally knows what the fuck he is talking about is open to interpretation (predicting declines after 31 isn’t exactly groundbreaking), but it will be interesting to see where Longo’s power numbers end up in 2017 and where the X-Rayz roster evolves from here.

Jorge Mateo:  Jorge Mateo is perhaps less interesting, as he profiles as your typical young prospect with typical prospect volatility.  The most recent “Baseball America top 100 prospects” has dropped him down to #85, but he was as high as #26 after the 2015 season and was #19 last August.  So VOLATILITY the name of the game with prospects, and who knows what the fuck they are doing over there at Baseball America and I know for a fact X-Rayz ownership understands these things.  If Mateo is right, he is probably up at some point in 2018 and would again give the X-Rayz above average speed and base stealing from the shortstop position (something they are parting with in this trade).  If Mateo flames out along the way, he did end up suspended last July for a stretch, then he will just be another FAILED Yankee prospect in a long line of failed Yankee prospects.  Their farm system is actually a farm system these days but STILL I can make that point and I did.


Jean Segura:  THE WILD CARD IN THIS WHOLE DEAL, and I am not just saying this because it fit in with the copy and pasted previous version of risk/reward’s section on Dexter Fowler.  Jean Segura has probably the widest range of possible outcomes here, as last year in Arizona he put together a top 20 fantasy season and prior to last year had two seasons that were pretty fucking awful in Milwaukee (I think he had a child death at some point which you can argue played a role in at least one of those seasons)(also his first full season in 2013 was good I will give him that).  Now Segura takes himself to Seattle, and a home hitter’s environment that is markedly worse than the one he enjoyed in Arizona.  It would be simple to conclude that Segura’s numbers will suffer based on this fact alone, but a deeper look at the numbers and one can’t be so sure:

Jean Segura 2016 Home:  .362 OBP, 21 doubles, 5 triples, 12HRs, 37RBIs, 47Rs, 12SBs

Jean Segura 2016 Away:  .375 OBP, 20 doubles, 2 triple, 8HRs, 27RBIs, 55Rs, 21SBs (14 fewer PAs)

Now one of those away environments was Coors YADA YADA YADA POINT IS you can’t say Segura’s year was helped by the Arizona air/stadium.  He turns 27 as the season starts and if he’s even 85% of what he was last year he’s a stud.  Just tough to declare if he has turned a corner of sorts or if the ‘Topes just paid for a career year.

Manuel Margot:  If Jorge Mateo’s risk/reward takes a hit from how far away he is from The Show, Margot’s takes a hit for the fact that he already arrived late last year.  And upon arrival, he quite frankly looked terrible (.243 OBP, couldn’t draw a SINGLE walk in 37 ABs).  Margot’s glove will give him some real world value likely no matter what but THIS IS FANTASY, and in fantasy you need to hit.  Fortunately for the ‘Topes, Margot’s track record in the minors and his AAA performance last year give hope. Last year playing in his first season of AAA, Margot ripped 12 triples and stole 30 bases with an OBP of .351.  That performance puts him on track to grab a starting role in the Padres OF as early as this spring, at which point in time the Isotopes will have 93 High Minors ABs to see what they have.  Anyone putting too much stock in 37 ABs last season is an idiot, but a similar line of thinking can go towards people putting too much stock in AAA stats.  Margot is currently the #24 ranked prospect in Baseball America’s top 100 (#56 after the 2015 season) and there is certainly a chance he becomes the top speed threat on the ‘Topes roster as soon as this season.


This trade forces me to confront the fact that I HATE the “winner” and “loser” term, because quite frankly I think there’s almost never a clear winner or loser in most trades and I like this trade for both sides.  So I will be switching this section going forward to SIDE I LIKE MORE, and in this case that goes to the Springfield Isotopes.  The Isotopes were due ANY DAY NOW to get some article about their aging roster but they went out and got themselves a possible stud 27 year old SS and a possible stud 22 year old CF.  If Segura does it again he is clearly the best player in this deal and the average draft positions between the two for this season certainly reflect that (Segura around 52-63, Longoria around 102-105).  However that does not mean Longo’s consistency and power production aren’t a great addition to the X-Rayz, and they could certainly just plug a Jose Peraza in Segura’s place and possibly keep on chugging.  On the other end, Margot did absolutely nothing in a limited appearance last year but he did plenty in AAA prior to the callup.  My personal prospect philosophy says I would take his AAA numbers and possible 2017 contributions over Mateo’s A+ numbers and possible 2018 or 2019 contributions in this scenario, although both seem to ultimately have about the same boom or bust potential (Mateo arguably at a more valuable position).  GOOD DEAL ALL AROUND, I like the ‘Topes side slightly more and THAT’S HOW I AM GOING TO TERM THESE INTO THE FUTURE.

Anddd one more piece of Simpsons based X ray based content to close this out, DAMMIT if I am not getting good at this……
Trade Review: Isotopes and X-Rayz Cut A Deal

Trade Review(s): The Dark Side of the Moonz (We traded for an African American Player), The Homer Side of the Dudes (Mike traded for a Met)


UPDATE TO THE TRADE REVIEW FORMAT:  It has occurred to me, already, that not every trade will necessarily have this clear-cut “risk/reward” component that one might have when one is sayyy trading for Andrew McCutchen so I don’t want to marry these reviews to that format.  So these reviews will have a fluid format until otherwise noted.  (lolz “fluid”).  TWO TRADES TO DISCUSS……


The Main Street MooniniteZ trade RP AJ Ramos to the Point Loma X-Rayz for [High Minors] RP Carl Edwards Jr. and SP Jake Odorizzi.


As someone who knows the MooniniteZ strategy (I AM THE MOONINITEZ STRATEGY) it is easy for me to sit up here and say relatively low risk deal all around, and that’s why it was made with a trusted friend and trade partner.  First there’s Carl Edwards Jr. whom presents both no risk and a bit of risk, ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN.  Carl Edwards Jr. pitched 36 pretty good innings in relief in 2016.  A quick ESPN search shows this.  What some of you may not know is that he also pitched 4.2 MEH innings in 2015.  Those innings don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things but they DO mean that the MooniniteZ only have 9.1 innings with Carl Edwards Jr. to determine if he deserves a spot on the major league roster, a spot that would surely require the release of some other major leaguer.  If he doesn’t end up pitching high leverage situations and grabbing holds in those first 9.1 innings he is likely released once his minors eligibility expires.  But if he DOES seem to be 7th or 8th inning guy then the MooniniteZ end up with a decision to make, possibly as early as late April.  Jake Odorizzi is another fairly low risk addition to the MooniniteZ roster, a roster that recently traded away one stud starter and lost another potential stud starter to TJ surgery IN FUCKING MID-FEBRUARY.  Odorizzi is not at all expected to earn that “stud” label any time soon, but he is a young pitcher that’s currently around the 50th starting pitcher coming off the board in drafts ’round the country (might talk a little “average draft position” this time around) and he will have an opportunity to stick with the MooniniteZ rotation should he display some consistency.  The bottom line here is the MooniniteZ wanted to add a bit of SP depth while also shedding a (major league) reliever and that’s what was done.


AJ Ramos saved 40 games last year for the Marlins, while striking out 10.27 batters per 9 and posting a 2.81 ERA.  VERY GOOD NUMBERS, which is why the X-Rayz traded for him and why the closer market may be DEVASTATED by the return the MooniniteZ fetched for the fella.  If there’s one thing to be said about that it is that the closer market is much stronger at the trade deadline, fantasy imitates life.  If there is a second thing to be said about that it is that the Marlins seemingly HATE AJ Ramos and that has to be mentioned in any potential deals here.  The Fish openly courted both Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman all damned offseason, as well as being tied to Raisel Iglesias in trade rumors, and just generally acted like a team that does not at all want AJ Ramos as their closer.  In the end they only ended up with Brad fucking Ziegler, but one still must wonder what kind of leash AJ is working with.  If he is the closer all year he can flirst with 35+ saves again and great K numbers, if he falters early he can be reduced to a holds guy and concede the closer job to Ziegler or BEARCLAW.  But as long as he keeps striking out batters and limiting the earned runs, the X-Rayz should have a roster spot for him in either scenario.


The MOONINITEZ.  Mostly because I plan on declaring Lobman a trade loser in just a few brief moments and so I need to declare myself a trade winner just to best prepare for the inevitable retaliation.  Really the best player in this trade went to the X-Rayz (UNLESS HE IS TORPEDOED BY WALKS AND/OR DON MATTINGLY), but hey maybe Carl Edwards Jr. continues his 13 K/9 pace and leapfrogs a few relievers to become the Cubs go-to 8th inning guy (must happen in April) or hey maybe Odorizzi makes a LEAP and becomes this generation’s uhhh Jeff Niemann.  I WIN.


The River City Bad Dudes trade [Low Minors] SP Michael Kopech and [High Minors] OF Hunter Renfroe to the (ugh) Q-Tip City Morning Woodoin for SP Steven Matz and OF Michael Brantley


The Bad Dudes, lead by real life bad dude Mike Lobman, went out and got them some pitching depth is what they did.  Steven Matz is a fine player and nobody is denying that, currently around the 37-42 range for SPs coming off the board in these fake news drafts I keep citing.  And Michael Brantley USED to be a fine player, which always leads to the assumption he can be one again.  Now the risky parts:  Matz had a bone spur removed from the elbow last year, which allegedly makes the elbow less stable and more prone to injury in the future.  TYPICAL METS AND THEIR PAPER MACHETE PITCHING STAFF.  So perhaps slight injury concerns for Matz.  YUGE injury concerns for Brantley, who is already getting the “not ready for start of spring training” talk and quite frankly if he never logged a 100 AB season again I don’t think anyone would be too surprised.  QUESTIONS.


Firstly let me just say that I agree that the morning wood logo is terrible and features another team’s player and needs to go.  HERE IS A SUGGESTION:

Look at this charming fella….

Allllright now that that is taken care of, let’s see what the Morning Wood has got for himself this morning.  Firstly there is some powerful wood in the form of Hunter Renfroe, a guy with 95 ABs left before he has to be added to the MW’s major league roster and a guy perfectly capable of hitting like 8 HRs in those 95 ABs.  Wouldn’t be badddd production for a minors bat, and the MW can likely plug Renfroe into a utility spot and see what they have over the first month or two there.  Hunter was not the headliner for this return however, the headliner being Michael Kopech.  Kopech is fairly well-known for folk tales about a 105 mph fastball, but regardless of the veracity of that claim it can be verified that he absolutely dominated High A last year.  Dominated to the tune of a 40% K rate (14.19 K/9) and a 2.25 ERA.  There are the usual concerns of youthful pitching here, as pitching prospects are always a risk and Kopech did have a 14% walk rate (5.02 BB/9) to go along with the Ks.  But the upside is immense here, hence why he was included in the Chris Sale trade, and it isn’t difficult to imagine Kopech dominating in fantasy as soon as 2018.  A good piece for a Backyard expansion team that might struggle to contend in its first year, and a great trade chip in the event the MWs find themselves in need of a playoff push in 2017.


The Morning Wooders but of course.  It is best to look at this as Matz for Kopech, Brantley for Renfroe.  Matz was once ranked as highly as the 13th overall prospect by BA, but that was when he was ALREADY 24 and now he is DAMN NEAR 26 with a loosey goosey elbow.  Kopech is not quite 21 and already ranked 37th and throws the ball really fast, simple math says he’s a better bet (and probably up in the majors at age 22 in 2018).  Renfroe should never be a strong OBP guy but should be a good bet for 20+ HRs in 2017, whereas I am not yet comfortable giving Brantley 20+ ABs.  Seems pretty cut and dry to me folks.

Trade Review(s): The Dark Side of the Moonz (We traded for an African American Player), The Homer Side of the Dudes (Mike traded for a Met)

TRADE ANALYSIS: Risk/Reward For The Backyard’s First Deal of 2017

Dexter Fowler and Ian Desmond have switched teams (IGNORE YOVANI GALLARDO)

As everyone is aware by now, it is commonplace for any and all trades to be IMMEDIATELY scrutinized by the entirety of the league in order to declare an instant “winner” and “loser”.  While this is a silly exercise (particularly in the preseason) that violates the MANAGE YOUR OWN DAMN TEAM code, it is also kinda fun and THE BACKYARD WAY.  SO with that in mind I am introducing a new trade review format to the blog that addresses EVERY DAMN TRADE, no matter how big or small, and looks at risk/reward for all of the involved components.  When possible (and/or when best for trolling purposes) I shall also declare a winner and loser, just to further harm the interpersonal relationships that clutter my life.  Since this is the first installment I wanted to give a bit of an intro but NEVER AGAIN, so lets get onto the trade already…..


The Main Street MooniniteZ trade OF Dexter Fowler, SP Danny Duffy, RP Andrew Miller, and SP Jose De Leon to the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club for OF Andrew McCutchen and OF Ian Desmond.


Andrew McCutchen:  Probably the big question mark in this trade, what kind of player will Cutch be going forward?  The 2015 version of Andrew McCutchen had a 114 wRC (be prepared for a lot of ANNOYING FANCY NEW AGE STATS in these things in the future), good for 10th best in baseball.  the 2016 version had a wRC of 85, 69th best in baseball and 1 behind Curtis Granderson A GUY VERY AVAILABLE IN THIS SUNDAY’S DRAFT.  If you think McCutchen is on a steady decline and closer to last year’s version than previous versions, you are wrong and I disagree with you but also that makes him not a very attractive trade target.  If on the other hand you think he was rather banged up last year and due for a large rebound, he’s not a bad guy to have on your roster.  One other tidbit is that he is set to move to RF this year and may maintain only that eligibility going forward but that is not of the MooniniteZ concern so forget it even came up.  The bottom line is as recently as 2 or 3 years ago this was a top 10 fantasy player, and the question now is how much has he aged since then.  TIME SHALL TELL.

Ian Desmond:  For Desmond, both the risks and the rewards are potentially great.  Let’s look at the possible rewards first:  This guy has gone 20/20 in 4 of his last 5 seasons and is now moving to Coors Field.  INTRIGUING.  Now the risks:  his second half last year was butt.  Have a look for yourself

Ian Desmond 1st Half:  .375 OBP, 22 doubles, 2 triples, 15HRs, 55RBIs, 65Rs, 15SBs

Ian Desmond 2nd Half:  .283 OBP, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 7HRs, 31RBIs, 42Rs, 6SBs (91 fewer PAs)

This terrible second half is why the MooniniteZ refused to trade for Ian Desmond prior to learning his new home ball park, and remains a cause for concern despite the cozier confines (GREAT SENTENCE SEAN).  There is also plenty of uncertainty about positional eligibility going forward, as the Rockies are idiots and claiming they will play him at first (really idiots for even signing him but why digress) and that is not necessarily where he would have the most value in both the real and fantasy world.  In 2017 the MooniniteZ will utilize him as a LF, in 2018 WHOM KNOWS.


Dexter Fowler:  THE SAFEST BET IN THIS WHOLE DEAL, Dexter Fowler is just a consistently solid but not spectacular fantasy player who contributes across the board without taking away in any category whatsoever.  I have nary a bad thing to say about him, and only traded him because I don’t want a bunch of Cardinals spreading their “Cardinal Way” and poisoning my roster.  Fowler will bat leadoff for a less potent but still strong offense over in St. Louis and will contribute solidly in LITERALLY EVERY CATEGORY, with a high OBP to boot.  Just a great guy to have, no risks you get what you expect (SBs and HRs in the teens, a handful or two of triples, an infectious smile).

Danny Duffy:  Danny Duffy has the potential to be a top 20 starting pitcher in fantasy baseball.  You know it I know it everyone should know it.  His 16Ks across 8IP game against the Rays last year was a fucking thing of beauty.  IF there is a risk with Danny Duffy it is that he just hasn’t been doing this whole “really good starter” thing for too long, so there will be skeptics that would like to see him do it again.  After spending some time in the bullpen and learning he prefers working solely from the stretch, Duffy put it all together and upped his fastball velocity from an average of 93.6 mph in ’15 to an average of 94.9 mph in ’16.  That increase in velocity is probably as important to his success as anything else, and when he lost a few ticks towards the end of the year performance suffered a bit (5.50 ERA across 36 innings in September).  This is mentioned only to highlight there is stamina concerns here, but there’s risk with most pitchers and most of them also don’t come with Duffy’s fantasy ace potential.

Andrew Miller:  Andrew Miller is one of the 5 best relievers in baseball, and either the best or second best current non-closer depending upon your feelings on Dellin Betances and depending upon whatever the fuck Francona does with his bullpen this season.  And that is the only risk here, usage.  Will he become closer will he stick as a holds guy will he just randomly come in and throw 3 innings and then be unavailable for 3 days?  All legitimate questions for some damned reason.  I suppose worst case scenario is some combination of the 3 where he always seems to get the one category the Fishing Club doesn’t need at that moment.  BUT bottom line is when Andrew Miller pitches Andrew Miller will be dominant and rack up Ks and stuff.  Nobody denying that.

Jose De Leon:   Jose De Leon is the piece here with the widest range of possible outcomes, for he is a 24 year old SP that dominated the minor leagues for several years and then struggled mightily across 17 major league innings in 2016.  If he blossoms into a true major league strikeout artist, for the Rays no less, the MooniniteZ will be sad to have parted with him (particularly with the recent Alex Reyes NATIONAL TRAGEDY).  If he never PUTS IT ALL TOGETHER (like the rest of Heroy’s rotation, see Troll Series Vol. 2 for details) well then he was kinda just a throw-in anyways.  I still think he can be a really solid fantasy starter, he can also end up some version of like a poor man’s Francisco Liriano (<3) or worse.  The point is I don’t think the Fishing Club will lose sleep over it if Jose never amounts to nothing, but as a loose supporter of Rays baseball I hope that is not at all the case.


FAR TOO CLOSE TO CALL.  A lot of moving parts here, some unproven some seeking bounce back years some changing teams.  Preseason trades have a tendency to look like a bit of a toss up and this fits that bill.  If McCutchen fails to return to form and Desmond continues to hit like 2nd half Desmond, the MooniniteZ probably gave up too much to get those two.  On the other hand if McCutchen still has some mojo left in the ollld mojo tank and Coors treats Desmond kindly to very kindly, OR if Duffy and/or De Leon scuffle, perhaps the return for the Fishing Club ends up looking a little weak.  The bottom line is the Fishing Club had offense to spare and the MooniniteZ had a weak OF and a deal was struck and MANAGE YOUR OWN DAMN TEAMS (*cue next trade that doesn’t involve me where I declare a clear winner and loser and insult everyone involved*)

(Lobman’s View: In my opinion, its a very fair trade in terms of Sean’s risk assessment, but I PREFER the idea that Cutch will bounce back and Desmond will hit for more power in Colorado to Fowlers steady consistency and whatever Miller is gonna give you over the course of the season. I pick the Mooninitez)

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Andrew ain’t got no time for y’alls trade critiques and thinks y’all should manage y’all own damn teams……
TRADE ANALYSIS: Risk/Reward For The Backyard’s First Deal of 2017

Draft Rights: A Primer

If you know who this is, I’m both impressed and sad for you (both of us)

– Well, as most of us could have guessed, ESPN done screwed us yet again. This time, they have neglected to add some of those OH SO IMPORTANT low minor leaguers that some (maybe 3) of us covet so greatly. The low minors was basically predicated on getting some of the dudes as early as possible, which could build some continuity in our systems, and add an extra element to trade talks and future negotiations in the league.

FEAR NOT, my friends, as your league leadership has heard your concerns and have devised a plan to rectify these issues that maybe 1 or 2 of you care so deeply about. This plan may seem complex and even needless at first, but it will be useful to all who want it, and if you’re not into the whole prospect thing, the great part is you just really don’t have to participate. A secondary or possibly tertiary goal for me in this league is to make you all more well-rounded baseball fans, and I believe this low minors strategy will enhance the experience from bottom to top. But yea, so, without more word filler, this is the strategy that has been brought forward by me, your minor league coordinator, and streamlined by your commish and his underling:

(Quick note: Before you say “This is needless and stupid, and I disagree with its merits”, please note that there have been MULTIPLE owners who welcome and are excited for these minor leaguers to be available, and this process is a conduit in which everyone could be satisfied, and nobody will be slighted.)



  • The draft will give you an opportunity to draft the rights of UP TO (3) minor leaguers who are not already involved in the LOW ENERGY ESPN player pool. It will shake out like this:

    • Draft will (as stated) be done in order of reverse regular season standings.

    • You will be given the opportunity to draft any player of your choosing from the ESPN player pool OR research and draft a player of your choosing who is NOT already in the player pool itself.

    • The draft will be completely on GROUPME, so we control how the picks are made and managed. A spreadsheet of draft picks and the tracking will be compiled by the staff and tracked on the league blog.

    • Drafting rights to players are totally up to the individual drafting to formulate their involvement or strategy. You can draft anywhere from 0 to 3 players from the tangible player pool, and backfill the remainder with rights players.

    • The rights pick has to involve a player who is PAID BY AN MLB ORGANIZATION. No International players who don’t have an attached organization. This is not a negotiable situation.

    • Before you ask, yes, you will theoretically be able to own 11 minor league eligible players, but you really don’t. You have to make a roster move to actually own a rights player when they become available to the system, which means you will have to drop a player on your roster.

    • Breakdown on how rights picks will be done:

      • Owner A wants to use his #1 pick to draft last year’s #1 pick, Mickey Moniak, but obviously his name isn’t accessible through the ESPN system.

      • Owner A will take Mickey Moniak as a DRAFT RIGHTS player with Pick #1.

      • This means: Owner A has not filled 1 spot in his roster, instead acquiring rights to a player to be added to the league at a later date.

      • They will essentially own Mickey Moniak for WHENEVER he enters the league.

      • This player’s rights will NOT count toward your teams minor league requirements. You will still need to make your roster compliant before March 31st. There are no exceptions.

      • Mickey Moniak’s rights will not be available to anyone but Owner A for as long as he is NOT in the ESPN player pool.

      • Once Moniak is discovered to be in the player pool, Owner A will be given the FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL. This means: They will have to drop a player from their team and use their waiver claim on Mickey Moniak (NO MATTER YOUR WAIVER PICK NUMBER). If you decide you have a nice and high waiver claim and don’t want to waste it on your minor leaguer, you MAY pass on the pickup.

      • If Moniak is entered somehow into the player pool and passes through waivers before discovered, the commissioner will manually put Owner A to the back of the waiver list if Owner A decided to act on acquiring Moniak.

      • If you pass on the pick, the rights to Moniak have been absolved and he is a free agent, available to anyone in the league without the use of a waiver pick.

      • These rights players are absolutely tradable if you so choose, as any player on your active roster would be.

      • After the draft, they will have the opportunity to place a waiver claim on a player to fill that empty roster spot for the upcoming season. This means you could own all 3 rights picks in the draft, and backfill your roster spots with active player pool players AFTER the draft.


So basically that’s it. It’s as simple as it sounds, and there are no loopholes that will be exploited here. This is not a living breathing system, where you can randomly claim a players rights at your own whim in the future. It is ONLY FOR THE 3 DRAFT ROUNDS, and that’s only if you choose. Your level of involvement is entirely up to you, and you have every opportunity to own any player you choose who’s not in ESPN player pool.

Again, your level of involvement is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. Feel free to participate or not. The caveat is you will not have the license to belly ache at all about not having access to a minor league star if you don’t participate, because you had the opportunity. With anything, there will be penalties that will be enforced for compliance, but these will be covered when the PENALTIES for non-compliance come out in relatively short order.

I encourage and welcome questions, comments, or criticisms which will inevitably rise.

Draft Rights: A Primer


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A bit of league business:

Ok, so, I don’t know how many of you I’ve spoken to about all this, but MLB.TV is good. I don’t even know how many of you even use it to watch random Twins games on a Thursday in July, but I do, along with Iron Pigs games on random Wednesday afternoons in June. Or whatever you get my point.

Well the point is I want to see if the league had any willingness to pool together and buy MLB.TV memberships and/or MiLB.TV memberships, in light of our current league structure. MLB.tv is 112.99 for the year, while MiLB.tv prices are not yet available. I am buying both for myself, and would like to subsidize the cost by sharing with everyone. If you’re interested (or already buy it), lets work this out.

@ ME on the chat or text or whatever and we’ll build a list and work out costs.

Love always,