Brian, Rankings, Third Base

Brian’s Top 15 Third Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

I don’t really feel like adding any obnoxious intro for these guys. So enjoy the video and the rankings.

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Brian, Projections, Rankings, Second Base

Brian’s Top-13 Second Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

Robinson Cano might be shipwrecked in Seattle for years.

Robinson Cano might be shipwrecked in Seattle for years.

With less than a week before Opening Day in San Diego between the Padres and Dodgers, we release our second basemen rankings and projections. In the coming days, there will be rankings and projections for third, shortstop, outfield, starting and relief pitching. Check back here throughout the week for those. Here are the rankings for second base. [Note: Jurickson Profar has been struck out due to a 2-3 month stint on the DL].

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Brian, First Base, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top-24 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

"Yeah, it's this big."

“Yeah, it’s this big.”

First base continues to be one of the deepest positions in fantasy. Food for thought: 14 of the men on this list of 24 ended the year ranked in Yahoo!’s top-100 players. In drafts this year, 15 of these guys are going top-100. There’s no excuse to not have a serviceable first baseman in 2014.

Here’s something else to think about: Albert Pujols’ ADP this year is 47.4. Albert freakin’ Pujols. Going in the 4th-5th round. Don’t get me wrong, the man who talks to photocopiers in ESPN commercials hasn’t been his usual self the past few seasons, but he’s Albert Pujols. Talk about potential value.

Potential busts at the position: Chris Davis (ADP: 8.1), Joey Votto (15.8), and Allen Craig (57.0). I have no doubt in my mind that Davis’ power is legit, but because of what he was just two seasons ago, I still have icky feelings. I’ve never been a Votto fan, so maybe I’m biased here, but when we’re celebrating a player who hit 24 HR with 74 RBI the year before, it makes me want to break things. And Craig is just a walking injury and if you’re a really good roulette player, go ahead, take a spin.

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Brian, Catcher, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top 16 Catcher Rankings and Projections for ’14

Jon Heder stars as Buster Posey in the drama "Catching: Life on My Knees"

Jon Heder stars as Buster Posey in the drama “Catching: Life on My Knees”

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be doing rankings this year, but here I am, on a Sunday morning (with plenty of actual work to be doing) thinking about baseball, watching baseball, and projecting baseball. Like every year, I begin with the men behind the plate, not because they’re an integral part of fantasy, but because they’re the generals of the infield; everything has to go through these squatting men.

There are probably 2-3 catchers I would entertain taking in the top-100 (entertain, not necessarily enact). Outside of the top three, all backstops are created equal. I know I’ve said this many times before–in conversation, on message boards, and right here on Rotoballs, but–do not waste a mid-round pick on a catcher (unless you’re in a league that requires two catchers). As my projections will show, the difference between Carlos Santana and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is negligible.

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Brian, Circle of Trust, Closers, Relievers

Closer Circle of Trust: May 2013




Heath Bell Greg Holland Kevin Gregg
Jose Valverde
Edward Mujica
Andrew Bailey Addison Reed Huston Street Grant Balfour
Casey Janssen
Ernesto Frieri Sergio Romo Craig Kimbrel Aroldis Chapman Joe Nathan Tom Wilhelmsen
Jim Henderson Jim Johnson Mariano Rivera Jonathan Papelbon Jason Grilli  
Jose Veras Fernando Rodney Chris Perez Rafael Betancourt
Rafael Soriano Bobby Parnell
Steve Cishek Brandon League Glen Perkins  

Notes: Trusted pitchers are “set it and forget it” guys. Solid pitchers have a reasonable chance at recording 30 saves. Danger pitchers have a reasonable chance at having the door closed behind them, very soon.

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Brian, Fantasy Potpourri, Rumblings

Fantasy Potpourri: Let’s All Pass Some Judgement

[The following are mostly fantasy baseball notes with a sprinkling of pop-cultural snippets]

  • As if Giancarlo “Michael” Stanton wasn’t already having the season that dreams nightmares are made of (3 HR, .227 BA), Ed Guana of has reported that Stanton left Monday’s tilt with a hamstring injury. Hey, if he’s not getting at-bats, he can’t strikeout, right?
  • Super prospect Nolan Arenado made his major league debut on Sunday, going 0-3 with a BB. While he’s a must add in NL-only leagues, mixed leaguers should let him swim with the likes of Mike Moustakas and Pedro Alvarez in the free agent pool until he shows us something. A lot of oh-fers are in his future.
  • ESPN’s Chris Broussard came out of the closet Monday as a Bible thumping douche bag. The sports reporter/analyst/talking-head, when referring to Jason Collins announcement that he’s gay, stated that homosexuality is “an open rebellion to God.” So is getting a tattoo, wearing polyester, and, oh yeah, getting divorced. Maybe Broussard should come down on NBA players who augment their bodies, wear jerseys, and have hoes in different area codes. Continue reading
reality blog, Wooden

The Reality Blog: Anatomy of a Baseball Fight

He likes confrontation.

He likes confrontation.

The always quotable Earl Weaver once said: “I think there should be bad blood between all [baseball] clubs.”

If true, Weaver would certainly love to be in the heart of the latest saga in the on-again, off-again rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and their kid brothers down south, the San Diego Padres. The blood between the two clubs is currently so bad that the medieval practice of using leaches to suck out the toxins is a viable option. It’s a rivalry with a growing dislike that at times has compared to some of the greatest rivalries we’ve seen: Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi; Mac vs. the PC;  Lakers vs. Celtics. David vs. Goliath.

Perhaps that last analogy is the one that suits this current edition of the Dodgers-Padres rivalry, for it certainly feels as though the free-spending Dodgers and their quarter billion dollar lineup qualify as Goliaths in their own right and the Padres, with their Dollar Tree pitching staff and their lineup full of “hopefuls” are the scrappy David. It’s telling that the scouting reports for both teams couldn’t be any more different. For the Dodgers most would use the ‘if everything goes wrong’ caveat in describing how their season could unfold, for it is almost a foregone conclusion that the season will go well. For the Padres, the only optimism lies in the ‘if everything goes right’ line, and there are a LOT of ifs for that to happen this season.

However, when these two teams show up on the same diamond to square off, wins and losses, payroll discrepancies, and star power are tossed aside. This is one of those rivalries where the intensity is always there, records aside (I still remember going to a Padres-Dodgers tilt a few years back when both teams were mediocre at best and the stadium had playoff-level intensity). It may not be quite what the Dodgers-Giants rivalry has been in recent years, but that’s more attributed to the fact that the Pads haven’t held up their end of the bargain by winning.

So, when Carlos Quentin went all Jerome-Bettis-at-the-goal-line on Donald Zachary Greinke (thank you for sourcing this awesome name discovery) last week, it seemed inevitable. A rule of thumb is if the fans of both teams are fighting in between beers in the parking lot before the game, the players on the field probably feel much the same. A broken collarbone and an eight-week DL stint for Greinke and an eight game suspension for Quentin has sparked controversy and dialogue. Is it fair for one team to lose a core player for two months while the other team only misses the guy who hurt that player for a couple weeks? Let’s examine.

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