9. Suplex City Shooters

Mike Trout | 2019 MVP Highlights ᴴᴰ - YouTube

Suplex City Shooters

2021: 5-15
14th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded prospects for Mike Trout

Favorite draft pick: Lonnie White Jr. in 4th round

Best auction find: Charlie Blackmon $29

Suplex may have had my favorite offseason. He used his extensive auction budget to acquire superstars in Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, and Mike Trout. He also made a move or two that made me scratch my head, but from last year to now, he has flipped his roster faster than anyone that comes to mind. Fantasy baseball is about having fun and this team is a lot of fun. Getting to root on Machado, Correa, and Trout is awesome for any fantasy owner. What I’m most interested to see is, where do we go from here? Does he decide to flip one or two of them at the deadline to add some much needed pitching depth? Or does he just keep this core because the team around them is still relatively cheap? There are also a few youngsters to really like here. What do we get from Joey Bart, Jazz Chisolm, Brandon Marsh, Shane Baz, and Casey Mize?

He had limited draft capital after all his moves, but Suplex used in on an all upside no floor guy in Lonnie White Jr. We will have to wait and see what he turns into. I also like him adding Charlie Blackmon in the auction for some much needed outfield help.

Now in his second season, Suplex has proved to be one of the most active traders in the whole league. His tear down took him all the way to the first pick last year, and this year we see the start of the rebuild. Hard to argue against any rebuild done around Mike Trout. His pitching staff still needs some improvement, and I think that keeps him from being a legitimate playoff contender. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack with the lowest floor of the group

10. Betters Bombers

Minnesota Twins 2022 Preview: Can Byron Buxton be an MVP candidate?

Betters Bombers

2021: 7-13
12th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded away Jasson Dominguez and Kristian Robinson for Byron Buxton

Favorite draft pick: Khalil Watson 1st round

Best auction find: Chris Sale $58

This is Betters sophomore season and he’s one of my favorite fresh faces in the league. Im certain that Betters Bombers are going to be a problem. Maybe not in 2022, but he’s coming. Every move he makes, makes sense. He’s got a plan and he’s executing it. Whenever I get the email notification of a Betters Bombers trade, I usually think he’s won the trade. He doesn’t just collect prospects, or trade all his prospects for MLB guys, he’s in the middle. Right where you wanna be. He just does the right things. 

 Betters added Byron Buxton in what I believe to be the best move of the offseason. Up until his injury Buxton was the best player in our format. He had a staggering 12.1 points per game in April!! Health will always be a concern with him, but this is a gamble I love for this team. He backed that up by adding reliable outfielders in Michael Brantley and Andrew McCutchen. I also really like the movement he’s made on the pitching side. Last year he got Justin Verlander for cheap. Now that he’s back, Betters can flip him (hey H-Town), or just keep him because he’s 30ppg when right. There’s some injury risk with his best pitchers: Chris Sale, Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, and Andrew Heaney, but I think he’s offset that well with up-and-coming pitching prospects George Kirby, Matthew Libertore, and Taj Bradley. 

Not sure if this is the year, but we’re gonna see Betters Bombers in the upper echelon of the league before too long. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack, could threaten a playoff spot

11. H-Town Trashcan Punch

He's here -- Julio Rodríguez makes Mariners opening day roster - Seattle Sports

H-Town Trashcan Punch

2021: 8-12
9th place finish

 

Favorite offseason move: traded away 5th round pick for Max Kepler

Favorite draft pick: Steven Hajjar 5th round

Best auction find: Joc Pederson $3

Julio Rodriguez. The J-Rod Show. That’s all that matters here. 

Kyle took over a putrid team last year, and has made the most of it. He might be another year or two from being a playoff contender, but I think he’s gonna be a problem. With his young core of Julio Rodriguez, Spencer Torkleson, Bryson Stott, CJ Abrams, and Hunter Green the future is now. He’s also stockpiling draft picks in 2023, which gives him lots of flexibility. Just like Squids is collecting all of the Mariners, Kyle is close to having all the Astros starting pitchers. Which is a pretty solid group to collect, just needs to hit up Betters for Verlander and his Astros infinity gauntlet will be complete. *snap*

I liked a number of Kyle’s offseason moves. Getting Max Kepler for a 5th round pick and winning Joc Pederson for $3 at auction provides some outfield stability along with Julio, Tommy Pham, and Harrison Bader. I also really like the Steven Hajjar pick in the 5th round, he was going to be one of my early waiver claims. 

I think we see H-Town Trashcan Punch in the middle clump of teams this year. If a couple of his uber prospects take off, he’ll be battling for a playoff spot. Not bad considering where his roster was last offseason. Kudos Kyle.

2022 prediction: middle group that could jump into the playoff picture

12. Lansdown Legends

Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. Q&A: MLB's top prospect on third base, Mahomes

Lansdowne Legends

2021: 6-14
13th place finish

Favorite offseason move: resisting the temptation to trade Brandon Lowe

Favorite draft pick: Jack Leiter 1st round

Best auction find: too many to name

Matt went into the auction with the most available budget, and did not disappoint. I usually don’t like the “build through the auction” strategy, but this year might have changed my mind. In years past we’ve seen most high dollar auction targets turn into a one year rentals because of the exorbitant cost, but not this year, and not with Lansdowne Legends. There’s just so much to like here. I see a number of these additions being multiyear guys, which I love. He also took calculated risks on Seiya Suzuki, Josh Donaldson, Patrick Corbin, and Kyle Hendricks. I started writing Lansdowne’s review before the auction, and scrapped the whole thing because he turned his team’s entire outlook around in this year’s auction. 

The best decision Matt made this offseason was resisting the temptation to trade Brandon Lowe. I’m sure there were plenty of teams that asked about him. Now he has a team that is viable and competitive, and Lowe will be a big part of that. His draft selection of Jack Leiter makes so much sense for him. A high quality college arm that should move quickly and help his veteran led pitching rotation sooner than later. It’s also nice to have Bobby Witt Jr., Jo Adell, and Jeremy Pena ready to contribute offensively. Lots to like here, still think we need to see a move or two on the pitching side to get over the hump.. 

Props to Matt for deciding against the full rebuild and instead making solid moves, drafting well, and crushing the auction. Future looks bright for Lansdowne Legends, but needs a couple arms. 

Addendum: I wrote this review before the Benintendi trade today, and didn’t feel like rewriting it. If that trade is an indication of a coming rebuild, I would tone down the positivity of my review a bit and have a more pessimistic take. Also, I would slot Dowd ahead of Lansdowne at this point. Congrats Cory!

2022 prediction: *shoulder shrug emoji*

13. Eastbound and Dowd

Trevor Story Adds Another Big Bat To The Explosive Boston Red Sox

Eastbound and Dowd

2021: 8-12
10th place finish

 

Favorite draft pick: Matt McLain 1st round

Best auction find: Clayton Kershaw $49

Dowd’s team keeps letting him down. On the offensive side, I see a lot of guys who have regressed or have a limited track record of success. Two years ago, a core of Cody Bellinger, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rendon would have been one of the best in the league. Now I don’t know what to think about any of them. I think Dowd has played this as well as he could. Each of them went from untouchables to untradeables in the blind of an eye. What’s a man to do? Riding it out is probably the only play at this point. If they all click, you’re good. If not, I think you’re a seller at the deadline. Ugh, it hurt me to write that. On the positive end, I bet Trevor Story finds his stroke again in Boston, because playing in Colorado has to be torture. Tyler O’Neill is exciting and built like a tank, Nelson Cruz is going to be a 6 points per game player until he’s 50, and Brennan Davis will make his long awaited debut. Maybe you hope JD Davis gets a change of scenery trade and lives up to his potential? Too many question marks for me to be confident. 

I like Dowd drafting Matt McLain. He’s a hit tool guy who should move quickly and will get to play in Great American Ballpark. Getting Kershaw at auction makes a lot of sense for Dowd, given how he’s constructed his pitching staff… but again, the risk. Hopefully for his sake we can see Zac Gallen return to form, Bailey Ober cement himself in the Twins rotation, and Roansy Contreras be a difference maker. 

As much as I like what Dowd has done, his team has underperformed and is often injured. There is playoff team upside here, but with all the teams around him taking a step forward, I think we see an Iosim participant here. Sorry to say.

2022: Iosim Bowl participant

14. Beantown Butchers

 

Is Eloy Jimenez ready to rejoin the White Sox? 'He'll be here soon.' - Chicago Tribune

Beantown Butchers

2021: 2-18
16th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded away Mark Vientos and a pick for Matt Chapman

Favorite draft pick: Frank Mozicotto 3rd round

Best auction find: Corey Kluber $23

Zach got stuck with a bad roster, and has done quite a bit to start turning the ship around. His offseason additions included Mookie Betts, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and Kyle Lewis. It’s nice to have this team owned by an owner that gives a damn. Prior mismanagement has left him with 22 open minor spots so there is still a lot this team can do to improve its future outlook. Hope you like prospects. 

I liked trading away Mark Vientos and a pick for Matt Chapman. At $19 and cost controlled, he could be a cornerstone piece for Beantown Butchers. There are reports that Chapman was dealing with a hip injury that contributed to his down season last year, so there is a probable bounce back in 2022. I didn’t really love trading away Fransisco Lindor for Kyle Lewis and a 3rd round pick. I think I would have rather kept Frankie and found a way to move Rizzo. Maybe Lindor was going to be a cut and you got what you could for him, I can squint and see that I guess. If JP Crawford and Adalberto Mondesi perform this year, it probably doesn’t matter much, but I think Kyle Lewis could easily be the odd man out in the Mariners outfield this season. There’s plenty to like in Butchers outfield. Adding Mookie Betts to team up with Eloy Jimenez, the surprising mini breakout from Akil Baddoo, and the underrated Mark Canha makes for some excitement. 

A healthy Jack Flaherty makes all the difference for Beantown Butchers. As much as I like Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer, Sean Manaea, and Marcus Stroman, I don’t think it’s enough to move up the rankings without J-Flare. Getting top 10 pick Frank Mozicotto in the 3rd round feels like a win, although he’s a long ways from the majors and a lot can happen between now and then. It’s the kind of risk I like a new owner taking. Hopefully Corey Kluber can turn into a deadline trade candidate, and paying $23 for that risk is a sound auction play. 

The rebuild has to start somewhere, and Zach wasn’t left with many meaningful pieces. He’s started to shake things up and it’s nice to see this roster moving in the right direction. 

2022 prediction: Iosim Bowl participant

15. Organized Chaos

Finding The Next Austin Riley - Breakout Hitter Candidates Part 2

Organized Chaos

2021: 3-17
15th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded two 5th round picks for Giancarlo Stanton

Favorite draft pick: Ty Madden in 2nd round

Best auction find: Reiver Sanmartin $15

The success of Chaos’s season will come down to his pitching. He has a rotation headlined by Ian Anderson and Dylan Cease, but after that, he’s gonna need help from the baseball gods. I could easily see Tanner Houck or Cal Quantill joining his top two. Either a couple youngsters have to figure it out, or Dallas Keuchel and Chris Archer need to find the fountain of youth for him to be competitive this year. The offense is fun however. Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley offer some balance to a team with streaky hitters like Pete Alonso and Giancarlo Stanton. Chaos has a number of guys with question marks behind them. Nico Hoerner is an impact bat, but needs to stay healthy. Cavan Biggio’s strategy to try and walk every at bat hasn’t worked. How long can a competitive Blue Jays team be patient with him? Can swing happy Austin Hays stay consistent? All three have big upside, but 2022 feels like make or break time for these guys. I also like Nolan Gorman, Royce Lewis, and JJ Bleday waiting in the wings to help contribute to the squad. 

This offseason Chaos used his massive available budget to acquire Giancarlo basically for free and take a number of dart throws at pitching in the auction. I like getting Ty Madden in the second round. I think there’s legitimate reliever risk with him, but Detroit will give him every chance to start. Reiver Sanmartin is getting some spring training buzz, and someone has to pitch for the Reds. Why not him?

 I still think a lot has to break right for Chaos to be in the playoff hunt. The offense has some highlights, but the pitching is a roller coaster. Cross your fingers and hope that Druw Jones falls in your lap. 

2022 prediction: Iosim Bowl participant

16. The Fantasy Baseball Team

 

Rowland-Smith: Why Mariners' Logan Gilbert could 'go off' this season - Seattle Sports

 

The Fantasy Baseball Team

2021: 9-11
8th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded Carlos Colmenares for Jameson Taillon and Dylan Bundy

Favorite draft pick: Gavin Williams in 1st round

Best auction find: Jesus Aguilar $9

 

Russell is in the early stages of his rebuild, so it’s not surprising to see him at the bottom of the rankings. In the talks we’ve had, I can tell that he knows his stuff when it comes to prospects, and he’s gonna need it. My only offseason criticism would be the Buxton trade with Betters, still wrapping my head around that one, but I think he’s quickly retooled his minors and will be a playoff contender in short order. Given his prospect depth and how active he is on the trade market he’s already proven to be a great addition to the league. 

If you like exciting young risky pitching, The Fantasy Baseball Team has tons of it. In a league like this pitching wins you championships, but it’s also the toughest thing to get right. So having a lot of cheap lottery tickets is a fun way to do it. Having a young core of Reid Detmers, Logan Gilbert, Shane McClanahan is enough to get you into the playoff picture, or make you pull your hair out. And I can’t wait to see which it is. Supplementing the young pitching with veterans like Dylan Bundy, Jameson Taillon, and Yusei Kikuchi makes for a serviceable pitching staff with plenty of upside. He’s also got tons of minor league pitching that I like. Too many guys to list. 

I loved the Gavin Williams pick near the end of the first round. Really looking forward to what the Cleveland Guardians can do with a guy like that. Adding a few innings eaters in Taillon and Bundy made a lot of sense for Russell along with some veteran bats from the auction. Looks like he’ll be wheeling and dealing all season considering the kind of guys he added, and Scherzer is already on the block. 

I can see the vision and like the direction that Russell is headed. I just think he’s a year or two away from competing. 

2022 prediction: Iosim Bowl participant

 

Brickman’s revenge and Lansdowne Legends

Brickmans revenge gets

Hunter Renfroe RF $11
Adbert Alzolay SP $0 CC
Enrique Hernandez  2B, CF $10

Lansdowne Legends gets

Nate Pearson SP  CC
Peyton Burdick OF
Adael Amador
5th round pick

 

Nate Pearson has a big fastball and some name recognition, as at one point he was the top rated pitching prospect in the minor leagues. The shine is fading as he has been unable to stay healthy and when healthy has shown command problems.  He very may well start the season in the bullpen where a lot of Jays fans are starting to think he makes the most sense at least in the short term. He needs to stay healthy obviously and get innings, to hopefully refine his command. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start as a 7th or 8th inning guy in the bullpen and then maybe he has success and gets stuck there. If he ends up a bullpen guy this trade isn’t going to be a win for Lansdowne.

Burdick, rated 14th on MLB’s top Marlins prospects. He has power and he has had some success in AA. As a 24 year old last year he hit .231/.376/.472 with 23 Hr’s and then struggled in a brief  28 AAA  at bats. So its make or break this year for Burdick, he needs to tear up AAA and get a promotion this year or his chances of being more than a 4th outfielder are small.  His ceiling is probably close to Hunter Renfroe with a bit higher OBP. As a 24 yr old in AAA Renfroe hit .306/.336/.557 with a bad 22BB to 115K’s.

Amador was a high bonus July 2nd signing.  Hit well in rookie ball with a good approach and some power for a MI. He is also Rockies property which is always an added bonus for a hitting prospect.

Alzolay is $0 and CC and is a better pitcher than Nate Pearson right now. As a 26 year old last year he made 21 starts giving up less than a hit per inning and striking out 128 in 125 IP. WHIP of 1.16. His floor is much higher than Pearson.

We all know Hunter Renfroe and Kike Hernandez. Both are not the sexiest names in fantasy baseball but are solid starters or depth depending on your roster  construction and are at very affordable prices. Both players will be 30 years old this season.

You can see why this makes sense for both teams. Lansdowne is clearly rebuilding and isn’t going to lose sleep over losing non stars like Kike and Renfroe, but to a competing team these kind of players have more value. In my mind the trade is a win for Brickman as he gets a young CC starter and two roster pieces on good contracts. The trade will morph into a win-win trade if Nate Pearson takes a step forward and joins the rotation. If he reaches his ceiling this may look like a laugher a few years from now. As a Blue Jay fan I hope that happens. A big spring training could make it happen quickly, but I am afraid patience may be needed. Its possible he gets bullpen duty with the eye of transitioning(we may need a new synonym) to the rotation later, if he can improve his command while in the pen.

 

Super-Palooza 2022