(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH)
Welcome to CES, the biggest electronics trade show in the world! In year’s past, I’ve debuted many different mind-altering products, and that was just the year I showed up with peyote! You might remember our booth from last year where we debuted the first Ay-I. It was AI, but it added a thick Italian accent to all its answers.“What is Death Valley?” “Ay-I suppose it’s-a desert! But it could be anywhere me and my buddies did an impromptu burial-ay-oh!” Then there was the year I debuted my chopsticks that attached to the end of fingers so you could get to the bottom of any snack bag! Pringles, you no longer defeat me! Then there was the year I debuted giant leafs. Now, instead of picking up after your dog, you just camouflage it! All ingenious products, to be sure, but this year we have something that’s only available in minors. Naïveté to believe in Santa? No! Christian Encarnacion-Strand! Maybe I’ll be shocked, like after sticking my finger in this plug, but I think there’s only one big minor league promotion left, bat-wise, and it’s CES. Maybe it will be Elly De La Cruz, but, because of his age, I think Cincy drags their heels with him. Maybe I’m wrong on that. Would love to be! If Cincy wasn’t so good as a park, CES’s insanely low walk rate might bother me. It doesn’t because he’s going to hit for so much power. He could be a top 20 overall power bat when he’s called up. There’s a chance here for a guy who hits 25+ homers in only three-quarters of the season. It might come with a .240 or lower average, but the power is going to be special. I’ve already stashed him in a few leagues, because it feels like it’s only a matter of time, and I know he’s a winner! Like that year I debuted pill compartments, but for clothes! (This seriously is a good idea. Hit me up on my mobile and let’s chat about emerging markets.) Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Connor Wong – Red Sox went from Reese McGuire to Wong, which is exactly the way McGuire goes whenever he’s alone in a parking lot.
Andrew Knizner – *sketches a brief outline of a knish* “Drew…Knish…ner…Andrew Knizner!” *high fives over the Pictionary game board* Also, would’ve been acceptable if I drew Willson Contreras collecting $87.5 million to be a DH because the Cards’ pitching coaches are telling people to pitch to contact, which is an awful idea and they’re blaming that on Contreras.
Eric Haase – You can Haase hot schmotato. On the 7-day Player Rater, four catchers had a huge week, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who was benched the other day because he showed up late to the pregame with the lame excuse of “becoming a U.S. citizen.”
Matt Mervis – Just gave you my Matt Mervis fantasy, which came right after giving you my Matt Mervis fantasy, which came after–Well, you get the point.
LaMonte Wade Jr. – Remembered that Wade had a couple of great months in 2021, so went to look at the Historical Player Rater to see what level OF Wade was that year, and I remembered correctly in that he had two good months, but he wasn’t great on the year (69th best OF — hey now!). Though, that was better than Yelich. Has anyone does as much with as little as Yelich across the last few years?
Nick Pratto – Surprised we haven’t heard much in the way of hype on Pratto after his call-up, but that goes to this being his 2nd call-up. There’s something about the shine coming off a guy that makes him less desirable even if he has as good a chance of clicking in the majors now. Though, it might also be because people have realized Pratto might hit.210. If he hits .240 though, he could be like another certain corner man. Call him Pratto Prizzo.
Alex Kirilloff – Just gave you my Alex Kirilloff fantasy. It was written while not taking sides in an argument between mom and dad.
Gavin Sheets – He’s been hot, but if I were making a trade, you couldn’t Gavin Two Sheets to get a deal done.
Enmanuel Valdez – Part of me wants to pretend this guy doesn’t exist until he changes his name from Enmanuel to Emmanuel. What’s the N for? Needlessly complicated?!
Chris Taylor – Was the top 2nd baseman last week for fantasy value, and, have I mentioned lately 2nd basemen are a mess?
Christopher Morel – Just gave you my Christopher Morel fantasy. It had multiple typos.
Nick Senzel – Just gave you a Nick Senzel fantasy. It was written while listening to Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten.
Geraldo Perdomo – Don’t call him Geraldo, call him Rico SAGNOF.
Ezequiel Duran – “I’m on the hunt I’m after you…” That’s me picking up Jarren Duran and Ezequiel Duran.
Maikel Garcia – Just went over him in this week’s podcast. My big takeaway is he’s so tiny! He’s listed at 145 pounds! I could arm wrestle this guy! Maikel can beat me in a race though. But if I catch him! Let’s go, Over the Top style!
Ezequiel Tovar – In seven years as Rockies manager, Bud Black’s been committed to starting two rookies, Arenado and Tovar, and I’ve been committed after trying to figure out Bud Black.
Orlando Arcia – The way the Braves keep going to Arcia you’d almost think he were great. Almost.
Emmanuel Rivera – Bit of a deeper league guy, but makes great contact, so I’m intrigued. Call him, Hmmanuel, and hopefully Himmanuel, one day.
Hanser Alberto – Fun fact! When I’m at a wedding and that song, you know the one, comes on, I sing, “Hanser, baby, Hanser! Gimme your heart! Gimme, gimme, your heart!”
Casey Schmitt – Here’s what I said the other day, “Schmitt made Itch’s top 100 prospects in the spring, but I think he’d even admit that’s because playing time seemed assured from his big Spring Training, but then he was sent down. Schmitt happens, as they say. Would’ve been smart to call Schmitt up two weeks ago when Brandon Crawford was first injured, but the Giants are not smart, they are Wisely. Or have been, at least. Schmitt was a guy I drafted in a bunch of deeper leagues because he was killing it this spring, and looked like the best Giants’ left-side infielder, but, again, Wisely, not smart. As much as I like him, Schmitt is more a deep-league, well-rounded bat without any huge upside in any category.” And that’s me quoting me!
Lane Thomas – Has been one of my favorites for a while, even wrote a sleeper post for him last year. Though, ignore everything I wrote in that sleeper post. Boy, was I way off!
Leody Taveras – I can’t hear his first name and not think of what all those people in Heaven’s Gate cult named themselves. Any hoo! Leody has been as hot as a fiery comet circling earth.
Harrison Bader – Trying to give you guys to pick up in the shallowest and deepest of leagues, but a guy like Bader being available in 85% of ESPN leagues makes me question humanity. How is he not rostered in at least 95% of leagues? In similar vein, I saw Josh Jung was available still in 70% of leagues and I didn’t even have the heart to list him.
JJ Bleday – Such a missed opportunity to not be named JJ Blejay, or a reason to get traded to Toronto.
Randal Grichuk – Should likely be started in all leagues when he’s in Coors, if he’s starting. Will he start? The quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” has a fantasy baseball counterpart “Insanity is trying to figure out what Bud Black is going to do.”
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – “On this episode of King of Collectibles, the rare Pokemon card, Lou-Gu-Ju, gets hot in the desert, and his price goes through the roof! As every person at our Pawn Stars rip-off annoys you.”
Eury Perez – Just gave you an Eury Perez fantasy. One quick note: Rookie pitchers are dangerous. Clayton Kershaw was not good his rookie year. Scherzer wasn’t great until year six! Worrying about Eury Perez, Bryce Miller, Luis Ortiz or any of these guys are the last/only option is like Leo worrying what he’s gonna do after he dumps his latest 25 year-old girlfriend.
JP Sears – This is a Streamonator call, like the call it makes at the front gate of a junkyard.
Tyler Wells – This is also a Streamonator call. “I see someone in a pile that I went to high school with.”
Michael King – Weird how I seem to be getting push back on King or a general lack of enthusiasm. He’s been great for two straight years, which is lot longer than Clay Holmes, and the Yanks seem to favor King now. Is it because baseball is the National Pastime and you can’t stand the thought of the Yanks turning to a King? If it makes you feel better, throw your Tetley tea bags in the trash.
Craig Kimbrel – Should be the Phils’ closer and he will absolutely suck. Like, wildly bad. Or maybe okay for a game or two, just to suck you in, then he will suck.
Mark Leiter Jr. – Am I giving you the Cubs’ closer or just a fantastic reliever? Who’s to say, and better yet, who cares? All I know is, you should 23 and Me Al Leiter and grab anyone related to that guy.
Dustin May – Is there some place I can whisper wishes into so I can stop hating what I see with every Dodgers’ starter? Like a Whisper Wish Well? Did I just invent that? Headed back to CES with my new invention, a Whisper Wish Well! It’s quite the brand I’ve made for myself to hate literally every pitcher on consistently, year-after-year, the best pitching team, the Dodgers. “Hello, I’m Grey Albright, and I hate good pitchers.” Okay, it’s not that I’m worried a giant rabbit will break into Dodger Stadium and grab Dustin May, the Giant Human Carrot, by his head of hair. Should I be worried about that? Seriously asking. No? Cool. I’m worried about May for the same reason I think Julio Urias is finally falling back to earth this year. The end of the shift will not treat pitchers kindly who rely on defensive alignment and ground balls. May could continue pitching well, if he can maintain an insanely low BABIP that makes him one of the luckiest pitchers in all of baseball. Not counting on it though! I wouldn’t trade Dustin May for a Whisper Wish Well prototype, but I would go to our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and explore options.