(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)
Me and seven guys who I picked up in a Home Depot parking lot are bringing home a life-sized cutout of Grayson Rodriguez in a wheelbarrow. “Cory, please help me get my make-believe son, Gray, uh, son, onto my couch.” Cory and my new Home Depot friends, who I paid with Venmo, manages to lean the 6’5″, 220-pound cutout onto the couch.
Later, me and Cougs are watching The Staircase and between us is my make-believe son, Grayson. “Say hello, Grayson,” I say. I nudge the Grayson cutout with my arm, and it falls over crushing my wife’s foot. At the Urgent Care, I explain to Cougs that Grayson Rodriguez is the best pitcher the Orioles have right now. As a horsey might say, nay, he’s a top five arm in the AL East right now. If he’s healthy, it’s stuff you’re not seeing from many pitchers in the major leagues. Five above-average to plus-plus pitches with control. Through nine starts in Triple-A as the 9th youngest pitcher at the level: His K/9 is 13.7; his BB/9 is 2.9; his FIP is 1.77.
I shush Cougs’s sobs. I ask, “Are you sobbing from your broken foot from my make-believe son cutout falling on you or are you worried about his slider?” Before she can answer, I anticipate and tell her his fastball sits 95 MPH with a plus whiff rate, and his two plus secondaries are his curveball and changeup with whiff rates above 50%. Oh, and by the by, he has a slider and cutter that grade as average or better too. Is this man a hydra? What kind of water do they have in the Rio Grande that they’re giving this Texan? He’s unreal, like an alien. He just needs a nickname to play off Grayson, and being an alien. Oh, I know! Call him Spawn. Grayson’s going to be the best thing you’ve seen since the last future Hall of Famer was promoted. A chip right off the old block that fell on Cougs, that’s my Spawn!
Also, here’s me talking about Grayson Rodriguez (please subscribe to this friggin Youtube channel — click that and click subscribe):
Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
MJ Melendez – Already gave you my MJ Melendez fantasy. I also gave you my Adley Rutschman fantasy. What a time to be alive! Orioles have exciting names and there’s lots of fantasy catcher pickups! Oh, and William Contreras. Eff me, catchers up the wazoo.
Christian Walker – I saw he was only rostered in 21% of ESPN leagues and I started cackling until Cougs called a nurse to come look at me and help me put on a robe.
Hunter Dozier – “What’s good, my main man?!” That’s Dozier to Christian Walker, who just rolls his eyes.
Juan Yepez – It’s honestly hard for me to know what to do with some waiver wire guys. Clearly, Yepez (and the guys above) should be rostered by now, but at a certain point, maybe next week, I will just stop recommending them because I’ve recommended them three weeks in a row, and, unless a guy is Ty Wigginton and this is June and July of 2011, I’m not going to recommend a guy every week he stays under 50% rostered.
Patrick Wisdom – I want you to go pick up Wisdom and scream, “Look, ma, I’m smartening up!”
Pavin Smith – Big week for rando 1st basemen. Didn’t hurt that the Diamondbacks’ entire lineup went from caca to cuckoo, aided by the 180 MPH winds in Wrigley last weekend. That reminds me, whatever happened to the Bermuda Triangle? 80s kids had all the best weirdo conspiracies: Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Nancy Reagan as throat goat.
Josh Rojas – I like when I see a site calling him Joshua Rojas, like they’re recognizing his Hebrew name. Well, recently Hebrew up some hits! Huh?! High five me so hard! No? Okay.
Nolan Gorman – Incredibly, I gave you a Nolan Gorman fantasy too. Boy, my fingers be working overtime! And all I’ve ever ask of you is you subscribe to our Youtube Channel. Click that and click subscribe. How’s the guilt working? At all?
Jonathan Villar – He seems to have gotten old, and useless, which is not me misdirecting so you can grab him and your opponents don’t. I’m being serious. Pretty meh on Villar. Call him Villa de los Hobos. Put his stats in a tied handkerchief at the end of a stick and hop him onto a rattley-old train. Okay, you get the point, but Villar has been hot recently.
Royce Lewis – Twins are playing Lewis at 3rd base in the minors, not to inspire Gio Urshela to be better, but to get Lewis back in the minors. I’d guess sooner in that landmark case of sooner vs. later.
Isaac Paredes – He’s looked like a 15-homer, .260 hitter at every stop in the minors and majors, which is bizarre. Usually a guy is great in Single-A eventually, then Double-A eventually, and so on. Not Pared. He’s consistently, just fine.
Ramon Urias – Weird that no one abbreviates his name Ram-Urias. Or puts that on their shirt. Or bumper sticker. Or spraypainted around manholes. Just weird, huh? Any hoo! He’s been hot too!
Harold Castro – Sadly, I could only put one Harold in this week’s Buy, due to some arcane law, and I debated Castro vs. Harold Ramirez, and thought that if I said that, in some ways, I was mentioning both, and getting around that law. So far, so goo–*door knocked off hinges* Chill, I’ll get on the ground!
Luis Rengifo – True (and boring) story alert! Though, if you call an alert an “awert,” like you’re Elmer Fudd, it becomes less boring. I had Amed Rosario listed (and what do you know? There he is!), and looked at his season-long stats, and laughed at how bad they are, and removed Rosario from this column, but left Rengifo, even though his numbers are nearly as yawnstipating.
Christopher Morel – Depends on how deep your league is on whether or not you should find mushroom on your team for Morel. He has solid speed and power, but the Cubs seem content platooning him, which lessens his value, but not total shiitake.
Emmanuel River Hey, it’s Ozark. Ya know, the Missouri Rivera. He could have 20-homer power and he doesn’t strike out much at all, so maybe a .260+ average. 20-homer and .260? I’d take that from Matt Olson at this point!
Kevin Kiermaier – If I were Spanish and my name was Kevin, I’d go be Kevin, and walk around like a sommelier, just swishing everything around in my mouth and spitting everything in a bucket, and people would call me, Nick Swisher, and I ‘d say, “No, Kevino.”
Kole Calhoun – Wisdom and Walker, which sounds like a mall store that caters to the elderlies, have surpassed Kole as the hottest schmotato in Schmotatoland, but it doesn’t mean Calhoun can’t keep it going.
Brett Phillips – I feel bad for those that look at Ohtani as the only two-way player, and don’t recognize the genius of Brett Phillips. He’s just waiting for a rotation spot with his 51.8 MPH fastball. This week’s video at the top of the page is dedicated to the first two-way player. You can see all the videos a day before they come out here on the Youtube channel. Subscribe!
Tyrone Taylor – Supplanting Jace Peterson as the Brewers’ player you don’t really want, but should want.
Alek Thomas – Just discovered MF DOOM, that’s embarrassing, but there it is. Way late to the game. The most intentionally funny rap song is Can I Watch? by Viktor Vaughn aka MF DOOM. Not even sure what’s 2nd, maybe something by Biz Markie or ODB. I mention this now because I’m listening to DOOM (between Kendrick Lamar’s new album on repeat), and I feel like people are going to discover Alek Thomas at some point. Might not be until next year. He’s a 20/20/.280 guy with upside; people should know him; they don’t; semicolons are fun.
Riley Greene – Starting a rehab assignment and that comes with an assignment for you, pick him up.
Kyle Lewis – He could be a top 50 guy on the Player Rater for the two months he’s healthy. Two months? That’s it? Yes, maybe, I don’t know. Let’s see him stay on the field longer, before going any further.
Lane Thomas – Mentioned this on this week’s podcast, but Lane Thomas was one of my preseason darlings, who was Nadir Bukis for fantasy value early on, but now challenging he’s starting to heat up.
Cal Mitchell – *pours a bottle of More Suds Sudsy Suds into the tub, submerges body* Calm Itchell…take me away. The other day I said, “Calm looks like Alek Thomas, but on the Pirates. At 23, he has solid power/speed and great contact. Had five homers, six steals and .306 in 34 games in Triple-A. Prospectonator (projections for every rookie) actually likes him.” And that’s me quoting me!
Jose Urquidy – This is a Streamonator call. Like the call it makes to its local Staples.
Brady Singer – This is also a Streamonator call. “Last time I called I had a lovely conversation with a fax machine, can you connect us again–What do you mean you threw it out? Why?!”
Brooks Raley – Wouldn’t say Raley is the Rays’ closer, but I also wouldn’t say anyone else is the Rays’ closer either, ie, his name anagrams as “Rays’ bloke or…?” and that feels pretty fitting.
Paul Sewald – Wasup el lad? Okay, now I’m just doing anagrams. Mariners’ closer is an unknown quality like how long to put Totino’s pizza rolls in the microwave so they don’t become the surface of the sun hot and burn your mouth, but Sewald has the best stuff and has recorded a few recent saves.
Ryan Helsley – His numbers are ridiculous, man and five girl readers. Like outside of the realm of reality really real. Like he’s the vigilante Charles Bronson sitting on a car made of butter in the sun making the noise of a revving engine, and the butter car starts moving just based on the sound. That’s good.
Teoscar Hernandez – Sigh. His expected batting average is .219, and, as someone who’s watched too many of his at-bats, let me be the one that tells you that expected batting average seems high. He’s making Kevin Newman look mannish. He’s doing a number two compared to Diner-Falafel’s chickpeas. He’s saying, “Et tu,” to Cesar Hernandez. He’s making Chazz Noir’s side-saddle look like a gallop and not a squat and trot. Starting to wonder how long until we hear Teoscar’s been nursing his oblique this whole time. Teoscar should be a black tie affair, but now it’s just a bunch of poop and circumstance. Teoscar looks like a seat filler. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get platooned if he keeps going down as “the easiest 0-for-5 you’ve ever seen.” Not saying I’d trade him for a pre-licked envelope, but I would go to our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and explore options.