The Rotoworld Draft Guide is … Go!

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Yes, I’m shilling something here. But it’s a good something.  The Rotoworld Draft Guide drops today, and you really should consider buying it.

What is it?  Tons of analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball.  Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for all teams and all manner of other goodness.

And I even wrote some stuff in it.  Yes, I’m a fantasy baseball moron, but don’t worry: my stuff is not fantasy-related. It’s for the yuks.  Specifically, my 2011 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious predictions of what might come to pass this year, such as:

February: Given the addition of Cliff Lee to a rotation that already includes Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, Commissioner Selig decides to call off the rest of the season and award the Phillies the 2011 World Series trophy.  Phillies fans still complain, however, saying that they were “disrespected” by virtue of the fact that Selig did not have the words “and all of the rest of you are losers” engraved under the team’s name on the trophy.

August:  The pennant races really begin to heat up:

  • The Red Sox – powered by Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez – hold a commanding 10-game lead over the Yankees.  Yankees fans complain about the Sox “buying a championship.”
  • The White Sox, Tigers and Twins are in a three-team dogfight for the AL Central.  The White Sox begin to fade, however, when team chemistry goes in the toilet after Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney buys a six-pack of Four Loko and decides to spend a quiet evening at home on Twitter telling everyone exactly what he thinks of the current White Sox roster.

And it just goes on and on like that.  I also have a rundown of the top 25 offseason moves, though that may actually be baseball writing rather than my usual snark-fest.

The real appeal, here, however, is for you fantasy players.  It’s chock full ‘o the kind of goodness you need to pwn your leagues.  Arron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others worked a metric-butt-ton of hours to put this bad boy together.  It’s great stuff.

Take it for a test drive here, and then order it.  You won’t be sorry.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

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The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

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Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.