L-L-Let Me Know What IS Yo Fant--t-t-SY!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

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It’s March 1st. Have you started thinking about your fantasy baseball team(s) yet?
With spring training well under way and Opening Day looming in roughly a month I think it’s okay to started thinking about how you’re going to be drafting this year. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to manage more than one team per season but this year I am attempting to run 2 teams. One league is a paid league and that one I will take more serious because of the prize and all. I’ll be in a 14 person league so top players will go fast as we draft snake style. Last year I did okay. I came in 2nd in this league and I dominated in all offensive categories except stolen bases. Pitching was where I lacked at. I picked Arenado in the first round, then Greinke in the 2nd round only to have him be injured. Then 3rd round I picked Joey Votto, then 4th David Price who was anything but spectacular. He stunk up my team pretty good. Marcus Stroman was easily my standout pitcher last year if that gives you an idea. I had a rotation of 4 guys who are average and a rotating spot for any pitcher available pitching the current day.


I want to share some of my insight and thinking behind my plans for drafting. A lot of my thinking is basic and obvious, some picks will be no question, as others are more for statistical balance. A lot of this will be debatable and I totally understand that a lot of the “locks” will be off the table very quickly.  I’ve compiled a list by position and have it in order by priority. With that said here we go.

1st Base
Joey Votto
Anthony rizzo
Paul Goldschmidt
Miguel Cabrera
Freddie Freeman
Adrian Gonzalez
Chris “Crush” Davis
Edwin Encarnacion



Anyone after this to me is on an "any available basis". I pick Votto above all first basemen because I am clearly biased with him being my favorite player, but also that he reigns in OBP, second only to Mike Trout. The guy simply is arguably the best hitter in baseball and he doesn’t drive to the ballpark… he walks. (See what I did there?)
Anthony Rizzo is coming off arguably the most entertaining World Series to date. This guy is a superstar and should be mentioned alongside guys like Harper, Trout, Correa but he is now overshadowed in Chicago by the monster that is Kris Bryant. Holy Cow is that a scary 3-4 punch in the batting order! I can’t shake the feeling the Rizzo is going to play even harder this season to try and get into the MVP conversation. It’s hard to route against that guy. My recommendation is to pick one of these 2 for certain if they’re available when you pick for first base.


2nd Base
Jose Altuve
DJ LeMahieu
Robinson Cano



Anybody that says Altuve isn’t the best 2nd basemen in baseball is nuts. The guys hits for AVG, has a little pop in his bat, plays gold glove defense, and he steals 50+ bags a year. If you considered any other 2nd basement over him you should reconsider just on the stolen bases alone.
DJ LeMahieu is a guy who is quietly making a presence. The guy hit over .340 in 2016. Robinson Cano is a guy who needs to argument. He is aging sure, but aging well. He is playing in Seattle though and with an inconsistent lineup so you may not see a ton of runs score from him and he is known to slump, but the power is appealing.


Shortstop
Corey Seager
Francisco Lindor



Those guys are locks, but the shortstop position is so deep throughout baseball that you could bare to wait a few rounds and still land a good player here.

Dansby Swanson (Who is a bit of an unknown but shows a lot of promise), Addison Russell, Tulo, Correa, Jonathan Villar is a guy who will hit for AVG and steal bags, Brandon Crawford, Xander Bogaerts. I’m not too worried here if I missed Corey Seager. I’d much rather draft a first or third basement before shortstop.


3rd Base
Kris Bryant
Nolan Arenado
Josh Donaldson
Manny Machado




An argument can be made for any of those four guys. Personally I think you’re a fool to take anyone over Kris Bryant in this position if you pick a 3rd basemen in the 1st round.
Once those 4 guys are gone there are still great options left. Adrian Beltre still puts up numbers, Kyle Seager is quietly a great 3rd basemen, Todd Frazier is going to put a lot of balls in the seats.


Catcher
Jonathan Lucroy
Buster Posey



This is a position that is not deep at all. There are a few other good catchers but Schwarber may end up in the OF leaving little star power at the position. Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez, Wilson Ramos…. It’s kind of weak, you may end up with a Devin Mesoraco or Nick Hundley if you wait too long here. I had Posey and Ramos last year and Ramos had an incredible year in Washington but he is in Tampa now with a sad offensive core compared to where he left. I would draft him with caution if you’re basing it off of 2016 numbers.

DH
Albert Pujols
Ichiro
Kendrys Morales



I honestly would not take Ichiro too high in the draft, he may only be playing part time. He is 40+ now. He definitely is no everyday player either and plays in the NL.
Pujols is an obvious pick. The guy (when healthy) can still mash with the best of them.


Outfield
Mike Trout
Mark Trumbo
Ryan Braun
Bryce Harper
Billy Hamilton
Mookie Betts
Yoenis Cespedes
Adam Duvall
Andrew McCutchen
Adam Jones



The Outfield position is great in fantasy because you don’t have to have a left, center or right fielder. You can have 3 left fielders if you wanted to. So I think it goes without saying that if you get the #1 or #2 overall spot in the draft you’re probably going to go after Mike trout. The guy is simply amazing and for him to draw comparisons statistically to Mickey Mantle is astounding. Would you pass up Mickey Mantle in a draft? Me neither. Mark Trumbo is a guy I put a lot of stock in and always have despite his injuries. The guy has crazy power and makes very loud contact with each at bat. Ryan Braun is a perennial all-star player and is always consistent. He plays on a bad Brewers team right now though which means he may score more runs than he gets RBIs. Bryce Harper had a horrific year in 2016 so you can probably assume he is coming into 2017 to make a statement that he is still the best in the game. The same can be said about Andrew McCutchen. Another player to really consider grabbing is Mookie Betts who many believe should have won the AL MVP over Trout. There is a lot of room to argue over that one but this guy is playing on a LOADED Boston ball club coming off an MVP worthy season, and you can only expect him to build on that growth. Billy Hamilton is also another guy worth considering for the stolen bases. He also showed improvement later in the season with getting on base and has been taking hitting instruction from teammate Joey Votto. The outfield has enough power in it for you to land a couple big bats and not have to risk losing out on infielders or pitchers.

Pitching
Max Scherzer
Clayton Kershaw
Jake Arrietta
Jon Lester
Chris Sale
David Price (with caution to his "sore elbow")
Porcello
Corey Kluber
Johnny Cueto
Marcus Stroman
Madison Bumgarner
Thor (Noah Syndergaard)
Jacob Degrom
Steven Matz
King Felix (Hernandez)
Dallas Kuechel



Pitching is very available this year. But the same goes for fantasy as for card collecting, never put all of your focus on pitching. With Tommy John Surgery being so common today and injuries and setbacks with pitchers, I would advise against wasting a first round pick on a pitcher simply because position player quality is so much better this season. I'm hoping after I draft my centerpiece player that Max Scherzer is available. If not there are plenty of valuable options. I'll probably avoid David Price but I have a feeling he is looking to bounce back and I am hoping he is not on the way to a major surgery.

So I am hoping for a fruitful year as I attempt multiple teams this season. The excitement and stress that comes with it, and the woes of watching players go through rough patches only for them to get hot as soon as you bench them for some scrub on the waiver-wire. What do you think about my breakdown? Agree, disagree? What is your game plan? Drop a comment, and share this with your fellow fans.

Until next time….

Times Are A Changin'

Friday, February 17, 2017

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Throughout the offseason there has been more focus from the commissioner and great baseball minds in the industry to improve the pace of play. Many ideas have been kicked around since 2015. Some implemented. We had the instant replay that a manager can enact at any point during a game to have an umpire’s call overturned. We have also seen the minor leagues adopt the idea of a pitch clock where 20 seconds resets after every play.

There are some new ideas being kicked around that I don’t think would be too terrible, all the while believe some of these ideas being entertained are downright disrespectful to the game and it’s lineage and the fans who don’t just go to the ballparks for cracker jacks.

  1. There is more an more support for the pitch clock to be implemented into the majors and along with that support I am right there with it. I attended a Louisville Bats AAA game during the 2016 season (To which I seen Reds top pitching prospect Amir Garrett get rocked for ⅔ of the 1st inning before being pulled) and I witnessed the pitch clock at work and it did seem to keep the flow consistent. The pitcher never seemed too rushed. I think this is also good to keep batters locked in as well. They’re not allowed to step outside of the box now so no more walking 10 feet away to tug on your shirt and tighten your gloves anymore they they need to be. Pitching clock is a good move if you asked me.



  1. My favorite idea that I am a huge supporter of more than any of the other ideas. And that is to make relief pitchers face at least 3 batters per appearance. I love this. We are currently in an era of dominant pitching and only have a handful of premiere hitters. Of course the other side of that coin is pitchers are constantly at the mercy of hearing the 3 words no pitcher wants to hear. Tommy. John. Surgery. Now before anyone yells at me, I do understand the purpose of having a left handed specialist to come in and get that right handed clean-up hitter out. I understand matching up a pitcher against a batter who he traditionally has done well against as well. Typically with this influx of great pitching in bullpens there aren’t many lead changes in games. This causes fans to leave the park in the 7th, 8th, innings because the game is over to most people. That doesn’t help the ballparks bottom line when it comes to money I’m sure. When people aren’t in the ballpark they aren’t spending money. And let’s be honest, offense is the best part of the game! Nothing like an 8th inning 2 run bomb into the 10th row of right field to take the lead. If that doesn’t get the crowd amped up then they’re probably sleeping through the excitement around them. We currently are in the stalemate of relievers getting starting pitching salaries to work 35-60 innings a year maybe?  Poppycock I say, good day sir! Let’s see the relief pitchers earn their money and face more than one batter.
  1. Eliminate the DH. So the American has the DH and this has been a constant debate for as long as I can remember now. This is always going to be debatable and it depends on who you ask. Why is it not exciting to watch pitchers hit? Well because they are so focused on their craft that they don’t spend as much time learning about the other team’s pitcher. Why could it be exciting for a pitcher to hit? I think that it’s super exciting when a pitcher gets a hit because it’s a pleasant surprise every time. I watched Mike Leake simply rake in Cincinnati for a number of years. You have Madison Bumgarner who is simply notorious at the plate. And my absolute favorite is Michael Lorenzen. In 2016 this guy is making an extended relief appearance and ends up going to bat for himself just days after losing his father. He sends a pitch into the seats for a 3 run homerun. It was the most emotional moment for me as fan of baseball and the Reds in 2016. A pitcher did that. Granted he played Center field in college and is incredibly muscular and well conditioned, it is still impressive. So I guess what I am saying it I have no dog in this race. If you take away the DH there will be defensive lacking great hitters out of jobs, but if you keep it that keeps the AL pitchers on the mound. I simply can’t pick a side.

Lorenzen hitting a 3 run bomb and giving it up to his late father.
  1. Another idea that makes no sense to me. Limiting how many times a pitcher can throw over to first when a runner is on. What. The. F#!@? This will have statistical trickle downs effects when it comes to inflated numbers for baserunners. I mean I get it when Pablo Sandoval is on 1st base he might lead off and you chase him back. Nobody expects him to steal. But what happens when you’re a pitcher with 2 outs facing George Springer in the bottom of the 9th and the Astros are tied and who else is on 1st but Jose Altuve. Are you telling me that the guy trying to disrupt the flow of the game and spark a winning run is on and the pitcher with all the pressure can only chase him back 2 times? I need someone to give me a few reasons why this makes sense. Does it help improve pace of the game? Sure. But let’s respect the game and what it means to us all. If pitchers cannot throw over more than twice then perhaps the base-runners shouldn’t be allowed to lead off when they steal then. I say this needs to just be left alone.


Dee Gordon, taking 2nd because the pitcher already threw over twice (not really)




I believe change is inevitable as proven throughout time but at some point we have to leave well enough alone and respect the game.

I’d love to hear what other people think about this.  

Death in the Family

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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    Well here it is...we are sitting at the doorstep of another baseball season! 2017 will be beginning in just days with the opening of spring training. Pitchers and catchers reporting first of course. But it seems the last few seasons have been marred slightly by death. This season unfortunately will not be any different.
     It seems to me that we haven't had time to get over the passing of one of my favorite young pitchers Jose Fernandez of the Marlins, may he rest in peace.
     Then I get the news of one of my local guys..one of what I call my family, my community..Yordano Ventura died in a car wreck in his homeland of the Dominican Republic. And not only that career minor leaguer and one time top prospect Andy Marte also suffers the same fate. Then before I can even fully ponder how I want to write this blog entry I saw the news the other night that Detroit Tigers owner and beloved local businessman Mike Ilitch also passed away.
     Before you start getting too depressed by me re-reporting all the bad news let me get to my point. Here in Kansas City these ballplayers are like family. I have heard that there are already plans to remember Ventura and celebrate his life. My father recently passed away as well and as sad as it was the best way to remember him for me was to celebrate his life. Remembering the good times have gone a long way for me on the road to healing.
     So when we root, root, root for the home team remember that we aren't just cheering or jeering for professional athletes. We are rooting for our families, our friends, our community. In my opinion baseball is the last professional sport where it still feels that way. We have been blessed to have a game that can represent life that way. Baseball I love you and all your fallen heroes! We will miss you Jose, Yordano, Andy and Mike. May you rest in piece and thank you for your contributions to our game.

Let's Catch Up A Bit...

Friday, February 10, 2017

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The anticipation hurts

It’s a cold but mild winter in comparison to the typical today in Cincinnati as I sit here on this February morning. I realize I have not posted in a long time but have found it difficult to keep up with the website alone and really just want to enlist a few writers.

I’d like to start this overdue post by recapping some of the things we have seen since the All-Star break. We have (as baseball fans) witnessed a running joke come to an end, all the while another begins in it’s place. The Chicago Cubs go on to beat the formidable Cleveland Indians in 7 games in very dramatic fashion. I watched glued to the tv screen until midnight and after watching post-game feeds despite having to be up for work at 4 a.m. I didn’t care, too much was on the line for the sport I love. History was hanging in the balance and no matter who would have won that series it was going to be magical and iconic for either franchise in a lot of the same ways.
Cleveland has seen 3 World Series now in the last 20 years and has lost all three. There is something to be said about that. You cannot credit them as champions but in the same breath don’t they deserve some recognition for getting there? We recently have seen Cleveland call up young superstars like Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin. Jason Kipnis is stellar, Gomes is nice. The pitching staff looks excellent with Kluber leading the helm. Andrew Miller is an integral piece to a bullpen and was an all-star break trade acquisition that paid off better than Cleveland could have planned it. This is me giving credit where credit is due. I have never been a Cleveland fan but I’ve also never hated them either. They’re underdogs and I like to see the underdog do well but to change the tune a little they came up against a bigger underdog in October 2016.

The Chicago Cubs… The curse of the goat.... Bad luck incarnate.

Let’s talk about the front office trend of rebuilding a team by gutting it and look at this example of it paying off beautifully! And let’s look at the Houston Astros and how they picked Carlos Correa over Kris Bryant in the 201 ametuer draft (which in hindsight seems insane!).
Chicago played one of the franchise’s best seasons ever with a loaded lineup and all the right key elements. Their backs were against the wall but they went on to quiet the skeptics. Their reigning Cy Young award winning pitcher Jake Arrietta co-led a rotation with acquired ace Jon Lester with an ace-quality pitching staff. Then you have Rizzo and Bryant as the obvious superstars but then you have Russel, Baez, Zobrist, Contreras, Soler, Schwarber. The line-up is deep and the talent shined in the playoffs.
Since the world series ended we’ve seen a flurry of trades and free agent pick-ups but for the most part it’s all been dull and uneventful this offseason. Dexter Fowler leaves Chicago. Edwin Encarnacion signs with Cleveland as they attempt to stay atop the AL Central. David Ortiz retires, Boston acquires Chris Sale. New York gets Aroldis Chapman back after renting him to Chicago for top prospect Gleyber Torres. It baffles me how players like Jason Hammel and Chris Carter (Who led the league in homeruns!!!) took this long to be signed.
So we are now caught up for the most part with the exclusion I’m sure of many significant bits of information that I’m sure I missed. I sit here pained as I wait for spring training to begin and for baseball to step back into the spotlight. This offseason I’ve gone mad without it and found myself engaged with college basketball more than I normally am and I got to say it’s exciting but it’s no baseball to me. I feel like I’m faking interest in the absence of spring and summer.
I’m planning to take a day off of work to attend the Cincinnati Reds opening day festivities and just get back into the excitement of the impending season. My home team has a lot of reasons to be optimistic but also a lot of uncertainties that make it hard to argue and debate they won’t lose another 90+. It was just announced that Homer Bailey had surgery again to have bone chips removed from his elbow. This guy annoys me to no end. Throws 2 no-hitters and gets paid a whopping sum of money that probably should’ve gone to Johnny Cueto and then gets hurt for a few years while he collects checks and majorly impacts payroll. And people wanna gripe about what Joey Votto gets paid. The difference here is Votto is an everyday player who deserves his contract but is being wasted by the team around him in his prime years.

Rant over.

Let’s get back to baseball! I can smell the Spring weather! (figuratively of course)



Here is a countdown clock for Spring Training

http://www.springtrainingcountdown.com/#sthash.83sv7v0D.dpbs


The 2016 MLB Draft

Saturday, June 11, 2016

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      With no definitive #1 pick in this draft, the Phillies, Reds & Braves had to just hope for the best with who they liked. Many mock drafts pegged AJ Puk to go #1 overall. I was thinking Jason Groome might, and I also was very big on Corey Ray. I looked into Corey Ray a little more and really wanted the Reds to grab him but nothing happened as I expected. The Phillies took Mickey Moniak, an Outfielder out of La Costa Canyon HS. He projects very well but wasn't expected to go #1 overall. The Reds were pegged to pick 3B Nick Senzel by a lot of analysts and that's exactly what happened. Senzel is a polished bat who hits for average and makes a lot of contact. He is coming from Tennessee #2 overall. The Braves took the first pitcher of the draft. Ian Anderson is a right handed high school pitcher. He leaps over AJ Puk, Jason Groome, Riley Pint, and several pitchers projected to be picked before him. Puk dropped to #6 going to Oakland and Groome fell out of then top 10 going #12 to Boston. Let's hope the Braves history of developing pitching holds true here with Ian Anderson.
      This year's draft was full of talent but lacked that exciting "stand-out" player to talk about. I look forward to reading up on some of these first round guys. With these three teams in obvious rebuilds it seems like the Phillies are on track to contend first because they're having a much better year right now than people expected them to have. In my opinion I don't know why rebuilding teams draft high schoolers in the first round. I feel like you should go for the safer bet being the proven talent. That's all I got for tonight.


Another Streak Ends, Trumbo, Bumgarner and his bat

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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In the past week…


      Here is a quick snapshot of what’s been going on in the majors this past week.
We’ve seen Xander Boegarts hitting streak come to an end. I really love watching
a hitting streak once it is over 20. It creates such excitement and you just want to
see that player go deeper into the streak. Boegarts may have seemed like an
unlikely person to chase this but so did Bradley Jr. the week before.
Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio holds a record that may never be broken, but man oh man is
the chase exciting!


      We’ve seen Corey Seager turn up the heat as of late. He hit 5 homeruns in a series.
One game he sent 3 into the seats and just like that I’m back to being convinced he is
the real deal. In my neck of the woods, Cincinnati seems to have found their left fielder
that has eluded them for the entirety of them being in contention. Adam Duvall is his
name. Duvall was acquired from the Giants in a trade that sent Mike Leake to the Bay.
Duvall is currently batting over .260 and has 16 homeruns. It’s still early but could we
possibly be talking about a NL ROY? Corey Seager, Aaron Nola, Adam Duvall? We’ll see….




      In Baltimore you have one of my favorites, Mark Trumbo. This guy was a stud coming
through the minors and when he debuted with the Angels he seemed like he was going to
be a huge powerhouse. Then injuries progressed and he seemed to have lost his talent.
Well, he is back! As I write this Trumbo leads the majors with 19 homeruns and batting .295.
Those are pretty nice numbers considering you’re in a lineup with Crush Davis, Adam Jones, & Manny Machado. I want to see him succeed and wouldn’t mind seeing the O’s take the east. Now if only they could address the pitching.


      In the AL Central we recently seen the Indians make a statement by sweeping the Royals. With a young core in Cleveland we may be in the midst of watching a team getting it’s feet underneath them. Last night Trevor Bauer got the win and had 10 K’s. Salazar isn’t looking too bad at all. Guys are clicking right now and it’s exciting. I’m excited to see how the playoffs shake out this year with all of the unfamiliar faces (in recent years) playing baseball in October. With that being said, what happened in Chicago? I mean the Cubs are still playing like they have a purpose but at one point this season the White Sox were right there with them and now they’re almost a .500 ball club. Touting a 29-28 record fans have got to be upset after such a hot start. Frazier coming to the south side seems to have sparked some excitement with him performing well but now something is wrong. They recently acquired James Shields from San Diego but will that be enough to get back in this? The question to ask may be, will Shields even be an impact player now? Perhaps his best days were in Tampa when him and David Price were the 1-2 punch. It will be interesting to see what happens before the all-star break.


      Madison Bumgarner has made it clear that he is interested in being in the home run derby this year. Whaaaaaat?!? The pitcher has hit 11 homeruns now in his career and there are some interesting stats floating around that suggest he is just as good a hitter as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in the last 190 plate appearances. I’m not convinced that he is that good of a hitter given that he isn’t consistently getting at-bats every night but it is definitely something that I’d like 
to see assuming that it doesn’t take away from a more deserving hitter.


Dj Sports Podcast

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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      Hello everyone, my name is Jeris and I am starting up sports podcasts with a good friend of mine. We talk about every sport from hockey to baseball. We plan to do one podcast per week either on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. We would really like to get our listener base up, just trying to spread the word around. We are based in Ohio. So give us a chance!

Here's our Facebook page:
https://m.facebook.com/Dj-Sports-Podcast-1556403001328474/

We will post our links to our podcasts on the Facebook page! Go ahead and like the page!! And don't forget to spread the word!
Thanks guys!
Dj Sports Podcast