Trailer Reaction: Aladdin

So the official, official trailer for the Aladdin movie has hit and man has the social media world set fire.

So I am here to breakdown my thoughts of the trailer.

  • The music/score throughout the trailer was fantastic. I really enjoyed the variety of the tone as the trailer went up and down. Which honestly isn’t shocking, Disney is well known for great scores.
  • The BIG REVEAL…… Man did set the social media world on fire last night with some amazing commentary and amazing memes. Including my favorite (only cause I made it)
Will Smith vs. Paul Giamatti (From Big Fat Liar)
  • My initial thoughts are WHAT DID YOU REALLY EXPECT? I mean honestly? What did you think a Live Action version of a Cartoon Genie would look like? – I do believe Will Smith could bring a lot of the comedy that Robin Williams brought to the table, I look forward to his performance.
  • This is going to be one BEAUTIFUL film, just from the snippets in the film that we get to see, it’s artsy and very colorful.
  • I really have my concerns with this film being a live action but honestly from the trailer, it really sold me.

Aladdin hits theaters May 24th.

Tell me what you thought of the trailer, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter
@rickygangster

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Thinking Out Loud: Miss Bala

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Thinking Out Loud where I take running notes throughout the movie.

I went to see Miss Bala, I really had semi-low expectations for this movie but I’ve been proven wrong plenty of times over movies that looked awful.

This will be obviously SUPER HEAVY on Spoilers (mind you not a whole lot of twist or turns in this one), you can check out my non-spoiler review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickygangster/film/miss-bala-2019

Well with all that mumbo-jumbo out of the way.


Here we go…

(Only person in the theaters, this movie is going to make billions)

We’ve got fashion week folks, oooooooooooooooo he just said honey we ain’t paying you to think.

Fashion show people seem so mean.

We’re going to Mexico and in this movie there are no walls.

Based on a Spanish language film? Had no clue.

Sisters are excited to see each other, dancing and now reminiscing over old pictures and drinks.

He bought the kid a toy, he said holy shit. Yikes, parenting is not a plus here.

Miss Baja America …. I think I could win

Cheese anyone? (I deserve a model contract)

OMG FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

Oh, she just got her but grabbed, dudes are dicks. She’s in the bathroom and now dudes are breaking into the club.

She’s American, sooooooo they let her go? Interesting.

They are now shooting up the club, Bala is running outside and now tried to call the best friend.

She left the best friend in the club? Wow worlds worst best friend.

So wait, she fell asleep in the diner? And just woke up? And they let her? I’m confused.

She got in a cop car and said she saw everything and the cop said when we get to the police station tell them everything. Hahahahaha he pulled over and said he was going to get his lunch and walked into a hotel and she just sat in the car. LOL

She’s in deep shit now. The big boss is now interrogating her.

He’s cutting deals, she helps, he lets the friend go. I totally trust him.

He’s now making her drive a car to some random place, (obviously scene from trailer) we about to blow up the safe house. She doesn’t seem thrilled that she had a part in that. He signed her up for the pageant, ha.

He gave her one of those Motorola flip walkie talkie phones.

She broke free, she’s now running in heels, and ran towards a guy, welp. This ain’t good. Oh wait, it’s the FIVE-O.

He’s awfully handsie for a cop, and a dick.

Cops making promises that I’m sure he can’t keep.

This is like taken but with a female lead. The little kid turned on her phone to find games on that old ass flip phone only to get her in trouble with the big man.

So they’ve now taken over her house, to save one of their fallen soldiers.

Ummm he’s making her take his boots off, cause he’s had a long day. He’s making her strip, I mean he’s making sure she ain’t wearing a wire duh.

Oh no, Rueben is dead!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just got to know him. (As the lifeless body they tried to save in this random ladies house)

He’s now telling stories about a girl he knew in high school.

They strapping money to her, Wolf of Wall Street style. Loading her car fully of dope.

Homie sidekick has some issues with the American, he’s going to gut her Godson like a chicken, that’s a little harsh.

Driving through the border looks like driving through downtown Nashville during rush hour traffic.

Anthony Mackie has arrived. Does he make good movies?

DEA has a mole inside his operation.

So a powerful guy in Mexico and she’s going to try and get him arrested by setting him up? She does understand other bosses exist? Dumb American.

GUN FIRE, repeat GUN FIRE …. she’s making a run for the double doors!!!!!! The cops lied, repeat the COPS LIED…. shocking. No cop was waiting for her. The cop just said she was on her own. Wow.

I get it, she saved him after he got shot but hundreds of bullets flying and not one hits him, unreal. One thing that really bugs me about action movies.

Anyone remember the Mole TV show? That was I think on Fox? That was such a good show.

Set the kitchen on fire and now going through the phones and replacing the chip in another phone. Smart move. That was single handily the best part of this whole movie.

He’s teaching her how to shoot. AR-15 made in the USA comment felt forced.

This is extremely boring. And now we get story time.

Damn she put the police bug inside the chicks phone, damn. That was predictable.

I seriously skipped nap time to see this movie.

They found the best friend, she’s being sold as a sex slave. Sounds like a very familiar storyline.

She had to win Miss Bala American, get invited to the party and get in the police chiefs bedroom, he kills him and she gets her best friend. Sounds really easy.

She WON OMGGGGGGG SHE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She’s awful with these fake ass tears.

The sisters have reunited!!!!!!!!!!! She just realized that her new boy toy is a liar. Duh. I am absolutely shocked he was lying to her.

Gun fire everywhere, LOUD NOISES ….. LOUD NOISES

Oh man. She’s fired a gun once and now she’s about to shoot everyone. BIG EYE ROLL.

Oh no, she shot him. Didn’t see that coming.

Anthony Mackie is a cop, that kind of surprised me.

Shoot gun once, shoot bad guy and now work for the CIA… cool

Overall Thoughts:

* out of ***** stars

This movie was super predictable from start to finish. It has become so frustrating that in ALL action movies trained shooters can’t seem to shoot a target in the middle of the field.

The story was bland, lacked a lot of substance, it felt very Taken like. Nobody will mistake any of this cast for award nominations any time soon. It was just really lazy writing, poor execution, and overall poor movie.

Maybe catch it on RedBox?

Thinking Out Loud: Serenity

So I went to the theaters to see Serenity, it’s been a little while that a movie has had such drastic differences in opinion, either people liked the film or they hated it.

I decided to have a little fun with this review and jotted my thoughts down as stuff transpired during the movie, it was more of a running blog. I will share my thoughts throughout the film as I saw it and my overall review of the film will be at the bottom.

THIS IS HEAVY ON THE SPOILERS, so if you want to just see the review scroll on down to the bottom or check out my review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickygangster/film/serenity-2019/

Off we go!!!!!!!

Matthew McConaughey voice has really become the same on every movie 

McConaughey takes his fishing way too seriously. Pulling knifes on these guys.

Suit guy just took off his dress shoes to walk into about 3 foot deep of water. 

Oh, well hello Diane Lane

Her cat is missing, please someone call John Wick, or does he only care about dogs? 

So wait, he’s hooked this tuna 4 times since New Year (don’t know time frame) but that seems like an awful big letdown? McConaughey has been friend zone by this tuna and he doesn’t even realize it.

McConaughey just fired his buddy and blamed not catching this fish on his dead wife, that’s brutal.

Well Hello Blonde Anne Hathaway.
 
McConaughey didn’t show up to his high school reunion? What? Really? No way? Doesn’t know what Facebook is.

Frank doesn’t seem like a swell guy

Oh snap, Anne had McConaughey baby? Son looks like neither one of them? That’s weird. 

Hathaway is hiring baby daddy to kill the husband? 10 million cash? Sweet. 

So wait, he lives in a he lives in a ship container? That’s kind of cool, also takes showers in the ocean? That doesn’t seem fun. 

I have seen a whole lots of McConaughey butt in the last few minutes.

Now I have seen his package, and he is underwater and is seeing things. 

What in the world is happening? He is running the table that has water in it, and he’s kid is too, they are talking to each other.

This is getting weird. 

Hello Jason Clarke!!!!!!! I love this guy!!!!! 

Naked Anne Hathaway.

Clarke is analyzing her body, dissecting scratches, yikes. He’s a dick.

These recliner seats with seat warmers are rather comfy. 

Wow, he beat her with his hands and the belt for an hour and half, wow, yikes. Clark is really a dick. 

Well that was a fun first exchange between Clark and McConaughey, it was intense, spot on, the right amount of words were said, the acting was perfect, and the point was made. 

Lane is a tad jealous of Hathaway. 

Hounsou is a solid actor, he is a perfect supporting actor. 

Wait the son hears him through his computer? Wait what? Again. Weird. 

Side note: fishing doesn’t look fun, my uncle rocky took my when I was a kid, I enjoyed it at that time but now? Nope. I’m good. Plus I don’t eat fish, so why fish? Right?

Clarke is such an amazing villain. Just the mannerisms, the voice, I just love every single thing he does in these types of roles. Very Gatsby like here. 

If I didn’t find a way to catch fish all day, I would kill you. 

Again intense scene between the two, Clarke plays the asshole, talking about his son, not knowing it’s his son, being just a straight dick, and McConaughey using very little words. 

Hathaway is playing a nice damsel and distressed. 

Damn, McConaughey took the bait, him seeing the welts on her back, yikes. 

Hathaway is fucking nuts, I mean who didn’t see these two eventually getting it on. More McConaughey butt. 

Strange briefcase dude has finally caught up with McConaughey, at 2:30 in the morning. 

So wait, this guy is selling him a fish finder at 2:30 in the morning? Shits fishy. (see what I did there) 

This escalated quickly!!!! Weird dude knows everything. Wtf? It’s a game? He’s son made a game with him in it? Holy shit, this just got twisted. 

Wait was that a dream? The hell? 

Welp, one big map, with just that island on it. This is a big mind ****. 

Are these the same fields from Signs? 

So now McConaughey thinks it’s a game, but it might not be a game, but it might be a game.

If you are reading this, I am just as confused as you are. 

What light goes Red, Yellow, Green? Is that a real thing? 

Wait Clarke got his ass kicked, best buddy Duke saved the day!!!!! What kind of name is Baker Dill anyway?

This movie is twisted. This is how I like my thrillers. Still don’t know what they hell is going on.

Oooooo back to the Signs fields are back.

Hathaway is a nuts, she’s absolutely nuts. 

I love the fact this Reid Miller guy shows up in a suit and tie but refuses to get his dress shoes dirty.

McConaughey became a much better driver in a span of 5 minutes. 

BIG TUNA IS BACK… WARNING BIG TUNA IS BACK

Holy shit this movie is deep, this kid created the game to have the balls to kill his abusive step dad holy shit.

My god, I love this movie. 

And now he changed the game so he can be with his dad, no you’re crying. 

Just spoke to a lady walking out, she put it really good, “that’s one you are going to have to ponder for a while” 

Overall Thoughts:

**** out of ***** stars

I am completely and utterly blown away by what I just witnessed.

The pace of the movie was spot on, I felt every act and every sequence came at the right time. You were left guessing for quite awhile but you were left enough throughout to nibble on.

Several twist including the big one, that was a really turning point in the film that I really loved and honestly didn’t really see coming.

I will say the writing in this, man its deep. And to be honest you wonder if this comes from a place that hits at home. But this movie is absolutely crazy, and crazy for all the right reasons,

The acting was just perfect.

Clarke (who will one day play in a movie I write), he is one of my favorite actor that always brings his A game to the table. 

McConaughey and Hathaway both were really strong in their roles.
The rest of the cast, Hounsou, Lane and Strong were all spot on and all played their roles.

Go into this film with an open mind. Just do it. It’s a top notch thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

Date Night Review: The Upside

Welcome to another edition of the Date Night Review, where I give you my review of the movie, my wife gives her thoughts and we collectively help you decide if this movie is worthy of a Date Night.

I will dive right in, give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts

The Good

Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston: This pairing just works for all the reasons you think it would work. You have Cranston who can be very witty but at the same time he can bring a very dry sense of humor as well, mix that up with probably the funniest man in the planet in Kevin Hart, you have a solid on-screen duo.

Hart: He plays a struggling Dad who has paid for his mistakes by losing out on the raising of his son. He really embodies the role well, I think he shows a little of his acting chops you don’t get to see in some of his over the top funny roles. He makes you feel all the things you need to feel, whether he makes laugh, whether he pulls at the heart strings in the moments he realizes the mistakes he’s made.

Cranston: These roles are not the easiest to play, to play a role in which you have no body movement really, where you just basically can move your face. I have really wanted to see Cranston break out of some sort after how amazing he was in Breaking Bad, while these might not have been that groundbreaking, I do think it’s a step in the right direction.

Nicole Kidman: You know I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Kidman in this, I didn’t get the vibe she would be in this a whole lot and honestly thought she was really good in this. She fit in well with the duo (not acting wise, she’s a rockstar) and really brought some good stuff to the film.

The Funny: I won’t spoil anything but the “Penis Scene” is one of those just hilarious moments in movies that you will be talking about for hours after the movie is over.

The Bad: Predictability? Maybe?

Overall Thoughts


*** 1/2 out of *****

It won’t go down as one of the best movies of the year but it certainly will go down as one of the most heartfelt movies of the year.

The directing, the pacing, a fun redemption/overcoming story to fire along a solid on-screen combo makes the movie really enjoyable.

The Wife’s Thought’s: Great movie! I knew it would be a feel good movie but didn’t anticipate the true friendship that was formed. They forced each other to self-evaluate and their banter kept me laughing the entire movie. Thumbs up!!!

Date Night Worthy: Absolutely, a fun, warm, heartfelt movie? It’s the key to the perfect Date Night movie.

Date Night Review: Glass

I’d like to thank you for joining me for the inaugural edition of the Date Night Review. My wife came up with the idea, so I am running with it. Weekly, we watch a movie, whether we RedBox it or we go catch a movie in theaters.

So collectively decided to help you couples out with being able to pick a movie together based on whether we think it’s a good Date Night movie or not. (Means you only have to fight about what you are going to eat)

So let’s dive right into the movie review, I’ll give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts of the film.

The Good

James McAvoy– He was born to play this role, it isn’t an easy one either. He is portraying characters from a 8-year-old little kid to an older lady to a “monster”. He picked up right where he left off of from Split (which I thought was amazing), he is believable, he is raw and he is very real. To have to change characters the way he does within scenes isn’t an easy task and he does so with such ease and every time he is on the screen, you are captivated by him.

Willis & Clark – I enjoyed the relationship between these two, I thought they had good chemistry and the sympathetic figure Clark played was really solid towards the end.

Paulson – I love her, she’s a fantastic actress, and she plays a great role in this. She has a niche and she rocks it. She was one of the few things in this movie that was great.

The Bad

M. Night Shyamalan – The Story was just mediocre, I was so excited coming off Split and this movie really just disappointed. He was all over the place, he tried to fit pieces into spots that didn’t need too.

Samuel L. Jackson – I didn’t care for his character, he had some funny moments which made you chuckle but outside of that I don’t feel like he really brought anything to the table

Overall Thoughts:

** stars out of *****

I was extremely disappointed in this film, this was one of my most anticipated movies of 2019 and it’s the first swing and miss of the year. The movie starts pretty good but somewhere between Act I and Act II it gets lost and never recovers. The ending was drawn out, and I never thought it would end. McAvoy & Paulson are really only great things about this movie, McAvoy was made for this role and I would love to see another Split.

The Wife’s thoughts: I loved James McAvoy, loved Sarah Paulson, loved that key players in Split and Unbreakable were in it. It definitely pulls at the heart strings at times but a very drawn out movie. Momentum was good at first then it kind of fizzled out. The ending was better than expected. Thumbs Down

Date night worthy: Absolutely not, I would not recommend seeing this in theaters, I would maybe wait until it hits RedBox but I don’t think it would be a Date Night worthy.

Ricky and Scob’s Cereal Recipes

I am sure you are clicking here after watching the very first edition of the That Ain’t It Cooking show. In cased you missed it here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzhQL3dUgyQ

Are first episode we showed you how to make a Bowl of Cereal, Gourmet Style from scratch and as promised in the show, we are going to provide you with the recipes from the show.

So check them out below and let us know how you make your cereal.

        Scob’s Cereal Recipe

        Milk
Great Value Fruit Spins
Bowl
Spoon

  • Pour the cereal into the bowl, leave room at the top.
  • Bounce the bowl against the counter to straighten out the cereal
  • Tap the top of the milk and open up the Milk
  • Next put your left hand over the bowl, pour the Milk between the thumb and the pointy finger. When the cereal touches your hand, stop pouring.
  • Insert the spoon and swish it around a little and you are ready to eat.

    Ricky’s Cereal Recipe

    Milk – 2 Cups
    Great Value Fruit Spins
    Bowl
    Spoon

  • Pour straight into the bowl, over fill a little so you can grab a little and take a little sample of what you are eating.
  • Take a measuring cup and pour 1 cup of milk over the top of the cereal. You need to drizzle it over like its syrup.
  • Take a second cup of milk and repeat the process.
  • Grab and spoon and dive right in.

 

Make sure to hop over to the YouTube page hit the like button and subscribe so the next That Ain’t It Cooking episode drops right into your email.

My 10 Takeaways From See Fifty Shades of Grey

So I went and saw Fifty Shades of Grey over the weekend. All the hype from the movie was hard to resist taking myself to the theaters and seeing it for myself. I do warn all my readers that I have not read the book, so don’t shoot me for liking or not liking something in the movie that was or wasn’t in the book. But after all that here are my 10 takeaways from seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.

untitled

Synopsis: Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

This review Contain Spoilers

1 – I really feel they missed the boat on the casting of Christian. While I had never read the books I have heard a lot about them and heard a bunch about this “Christian” guy. He is this hot-shot rich guy that just woman go crazy over, well this guy didn’t do that for me.

2 – I was fond of the Dakota Johnson casting though. While she wasn’t overly drop dead gorgeous, she fit the role of innocent girl Anastasia. I looked at her IMDB page and really didn’t know she was in as many movies as it stated but this was her first “big time” role in a movie. I would also like to applaud her for having the “balls” to be naked for like 75% of the film.

3 – Seattle is a beautiful city.

4 – The rest of the cast really didn’t matter. It was all about Christian and Anastasia. This was a key to me in making this movie enjoyable. I didn’t have to buy into the other characters, they were selling me on the vocal point of the story and I enjoyed that.

5 – You can’t help but laugh at certain parts of the movie. Certain things about the movie were funny to me. I had no problem with the contract of confidentially but the sex contract really made me laugh.

6 – The scene where Anastasia dissects Christians contract in this very low lite room, HOW COULD THEY SEE WHAT WAS ON THE PAPER? It was way too dark in that room to see any lighting at all. (Side note: I do love how Anastasia worked up Christian in this scene, just to walk out on him.

7 – Chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan was pretty good. You felt it from there first scene and throughout the movie. They worked well together. This is very vital in a movie based on the two main characters.

8 – Placement of the music/the score was fantastic. They used the songs at the perfect time, I loved the change they brought to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love mix they had in the film. It was a harder version of the song that really fit perfect in the film.

9 – A lot less sex in the movie than I thought which really shocked me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought for sure there would be more than what happened in the movie.

10 – The movie for me was all about building the background story for Christian and Anastasia. It was a decent build and my first thought walking out of the theater was they set this whole thing up to make the 2nd one. I know there are 3 books and that’s the purpose but as a person never have read the books I knew as soon as it ended, another was to follow.

Overall Review

3 out of 5 Stars 

This will never go down as a great movie but it was very enjoyable. While at times I couldn’t help but chuckle at certain things, I couldn’t help but find myself invested in the main characters. It was a well-directed, well shot and the score was fantastic. I bought into the movie and that to me is a big reason I liked it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is Rated-R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.

In theaters now

Transaction Scripts: Evan Gattis to Houston

Evan Gattis is presently the 7th catcher taken in NFBC ADP's but that number is sure to rise with the move to Houston.
Evan Gattis is presently the 7th catcher taken in NFBC ADP’s but that number is sure to rise with the move to Houston.

News broke in the afternoon about Evan Gattis being in Houston for a physical and by late in the evening it was confirmed that he indeed was being traded by Atlanta. The Braves will receive three more prospects as they continue an interesting offseason combined with stockpiling minor leaguers and signing veteran stopgaps for the upcoming season. As will be profiled, the big winner here in fantasy terms is Evan Gattis taking his powerful swing to the short left field fence in Minute Maid Park where he will take aim on the railroad tracks. On the other end of the spectrum is Freddie Freeman whose protection has been traded to San Diego (Justin Upton) and now Evan Gattis to Houston. It will be hard to project any improvement over last year’s stats for Freddie now that the Braves are in a complete rebuild and he will not be pitched to in any big situation this season.
But this is geared to look at how Evan Gattis can fare in Houston, so I will start by letting you know that the average distance of his fly balls hit last year traveled on average 300.63 feet which ranked him eleventh in the major leagues, two spots ahead of former teammate Justin Upton. Using ESPN’s home run tracker, I made the following overlay showing what his 2014 home runs would look like in Minute Maid Park here:
Evan Gattis Astro Overlay
Observing the overlay is nice but here is a picture of Minute Maid with the dimensions displayed with the distances of the fences along with the knowledge of how far an average fly ball by Gattis travels:
Minute Maid Park with Dimensions
It also helps to take note of where Evan Gattis hits the ball. According the chart courtesy of MLBFarm.com, it is pretty clear that Gattis is a pull hitter:
Gattis hit location chart
So we can see that if and when Gattis puts the ball into play, he will have a chance to hit home runs. While the move to Houston does help his fantasy prospects for 2015, what effect will it have upon his draft or auction status? In last week’s published money NFBC drafts, Gattis was the seventh catcher drafted with an average ADP of 124.31 going one pick after Salvador Perez and one before Yadier Molina. I can see a case being made to move Gattis up to the top five in catcher rankings and I would have a hard time taking Brian McCann ahead of him. Over the past two seasons Gattis has hit 43 home runs in 213 games played. That ties him with McCann for second for catchers over this time frame and the only player they trail is Carlos Santana who will not have catcher eligibility in leagues with a 20 game minimum.
Even if Gattis maintains his 16.8 HR/AB ratio his projections have to rise in Houston. However, this is a matter of health. Last year he only played in 108 games but if he can adjust to some left field and get some at bats at designated hitter, Gattis should eclipse that number. For projections, it will be all about the at bats. With simple extrapolation 400 at bats would equate to 24 home runs, 450 to 27 and 500 to 30, but this ignores the ballpark effects. According to Fangraphs.com’s ball park effects numbers Atlanta rates as a 99 for home runs and 97 for right handed hitters. But Houston jumps to 105 for home runs and 104 for right handed batters. The ballpark alone should account for about two more home runs per jump in at bats which could move Gattis projections to 26 for 400 at bats, 29 in 450 and 32 if he could get 500 in 2015. These may be on the aggressive side of projecting but if you are paying for 24 home runs and he hits 32 then profit is generated.
It will be interesting to see if his move has any real effect on his ADP in tonight’s FSTA draft which is the first one that gives insight to how experts value players. I venture to say he will jump into the top five drafted and with people worried about Devin Mesoraco’s regression this year, Gattis could be, dare I say a top three option at his position. Here are some of his early projections:
Gattis Projections
If you are in a league that uses on base percentage, then some of Evan Gattis’ value is taken away but at a time when power hitters are in high demand, this is a relative inexpensive chance today at one. With health he and Matt Wieters are relative sleepers at this point according to ADP’s. What is nice about his projections, they sort of represent the three scenarios that Gattis could provide. CBS shows a possible peak, Steamer is where I can see him getting realistically and ZiPS shows the worst case scenario. Personally I will buy Gattis for the Steamer projection but if he jumps his home run totals into the 30-32 range, it would not be a surprise.

Braves Prospects

It would appear that the Braves were dead set upon restocking the farm system this off-season. By moving Gattis, this cements the plan and the Braves did receive three more prospects acquiring Mike Foltynewicz, Rio Ruiz and Andrew Thurman. According to MiLB.com Foltynewicz moves into the second slot for Braves prospects and Rio Ruiz to number six so netting two top ten minor leaguers for a power hitter may be enough in return. Houston does have third baseman prospects still in the system so Ruiz was a player they could afford to part ways with. For fantasy purposes, Mike Foltynewicz is the most likely to appear in 2015 so I will focus on his move to Atlanta.
Moving to a better pitcher’s ballpark and the National League has to improve Foltynewicz’s fantasy stock going forward. He has a blazing fastball along with a curve and changeup as can be seen in the chart below thanks to BrooksBaseball.net:
Foltynewecz Pitch Speeds
My concern about him is can he throw enough strikes to remain a starting pitcher? The talent is there, but his career WHIP of 1.4 in the minor leagues is concerning and frustrating. Foltynewicz was able to strike out ten hitters in a game but his 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio in AAA last year is cause for concern. I can see two outcomes with Folty moving forward: a viable number four starting pitcher for the Braves or their eventual replacement for Craig Kimbrel at closer if they trade him. But the latest tweet by their beat writer Mark Bowman is a head scratcher to me:

I do not see how this Braves team as presently built can compete in 2015. As much as I like Freddie Freeman, Alex Wood, Julio Teheran and Craig Kimbrel, that is not enough to make the Braves a playoff contender. Jim Callis likes how the Braves have rebuilt their farm system:

So why not continue doing that and build for 2016. Signing Nick Markakis and A.J. Pierzynski is not enough to replace the losses of Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis. I think the A’s last year showed that pitching is not enough to win a playoff series or one game play in. A team needs balance and not only does the Braves lack it, there is room for much improvement.
Statistical Credits:
Baseball-Reference.com, ESPN.go.com Hit Tracker, Fangraphs.com, Steamer Projections, CBSsports.com, BrooksBaseball.net
Picture Credit:
Evan Gattis pic: http://www.foxsports.com/content/dam/fsdigital/RSN/South/2014/2/14/PI-MLB-Atlanta-Braves-Evan-Gattis-021414.jpg
Greg Jewett is the senior fantasy writer for the Sports Script and you can follow him on Twitter @gjewett9

Draft Scripts: Using NFBC ADP’s to evaluate Outfield

In anticipation of the FSTA draft this week, I continue my early look at NFBC ADP’s, concentrating on the top 200 in money drafts. While the names continue to shuffle others stay the same. Outfield will be about trust, mixing some power with guys who can steal some bases and catching that bargain that others either overlooked or were burned by last year. It is evident in the ADP information that it will take due diligence and maybe a little luck to hit on the breakouts this year. Due the fact there are forty nine names to digest I made one chart and took the liberty of splitting up their strengths by color:

Red – 20+ HR, 8 < SB (Power); Green – 10 < HR, 20+ SB (Speed); Blue – 10+ HR, 10+ SB (Blends)

Here is how the outfield stacks up. I listed their draft rank below and also inserted their average ADP’s in the NFBC drafts to give an early indicator of their value prior to Thursday’s FSTA draft.

OF NFBC Avg ADP Chart Update 2

Keeping with the format, I have processed each player drafted in the top 200 in charts with their respective Steamer Projections courtesy of Fangraphs.com. After each group I will give some thoughts about how the outfielders stack up and then move to the next one. The first two charts will be in groups of seventeen then the last group will round out to the 49 outfielders according to the ADP numbers.

Group One – 4 Power, 1 Speed and 12 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 1-17

I mean the first seventeen at most positions should be rock solid and for the most part the outfielders are. I have sort of clumped some highlights into categories since the Golden Globes just happened, so here goes. By the way I am not scared of either Matt Kemp or Justin Upton in San Diego but I wrote about that already here.
Safety in numbers: Adam Jones, Baltimore
He is not flashy and is always a regression candidate and he just keeps producing. It is like you do not feel great drafting him at his ADP but he is consistent while not flashy, which in the first round is not so bad.
Bounce Back: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
I was warning drafters last year to avoid Ryan, but I am back. Since his ADP is trending down, his health may be up and guys who produce 28 home runs and 12 steals are dwindling with a batting average near .300, so I am here with open arms.
Trust Issues: Michael Brantley, Cleveland; Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
While I am intrigued by the price on Carlos Gonzalez, his checkered health past, last year makes him a very risky option this early. But he could deliver a season like Michael Brantley did last year. Let that marinate a minute. Brantley broke through for a strong 2014, are you feeling lucky paying for a repeat? If you are the cost may alarm you.
Wild Cards: Bryce Harper, Washington; George Springer, Houston
Two guys who could determine how teams finish. I mean there is a 25 home run and 15 steal season while hitting .290 just waiting for Harper who people seem to forget is only 22 years old. With batting averages dropping across baseball again, a guy who could hit 30 home runs and if his legs stay healthy, steal 20 is tolerable if he hits .240, but the .240 could be iffy. If Springer gets his average to .250, then he is a potential top 10 outfielder. There, I said it.
Upside Play: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh
At the same cost as Carlos Gonzalez who may strain a pinkie or Billy Hamilton I can get a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury who is younger with more upside? Twenty picks later? Absolutely.
Group Two – 6 Power, 2 Speed, 9 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 18-34

Safety in numbers: Nelson Cruz, Seattle
It is clear that Nelson Cruz’s huge 2014 netted him the Mariners contract which is twofold, first he will protect Robinson Cano and second he adds a power right handed bat that they have craved. While I am not saying to invest heavily in a repeat, he can still hit 25 home runs and you know what you are getting with Cruz.
Bounce Back: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati
At a time when power hitters are craved a strong return by Jay Bruce at a deflated cost would be huge for his fantasy value. We know he can hit for power, or at least should, but will his batting average return to respectability? Or does the shift have another victim?
Trust Issues: Charlie Blackburn, Colorado; J.D. Martinez, Detroit
One had a career year in Coors field and the other was an outcast from the Astros and found success in Motown? If I had to pick from the two, I think a repeat in power by Martinez is possible with some losses in batting average but his Steamer projection supports a solid season. I think Blackburn is a nice story but to invest in him this early when there are other options available late is a tough pick to justify.
Wild Cards: Rusney Castillo, Boston; Jorge Soler, Chicaco Cubs
A Cuban theme here in the wild card section so all kidding aside, they both have immense ability. If Castillo can translate his winter season statistics to the major leagues then the Red Sox have an even deeper outfield and should be dealing Allen Craig sooner than later. Not to kill the theme, but a power hitting outfielder is becoming rarer and rarer, so Jorge Soler has to be on radars. Since he could hit more home runs without destroying a team’s batting average I may venture to gamble on him since he can develop over say a Jay Bruce….the shift….
Upside Play: Jason Heyward, St. Louis
On my tombstone it will read, he trusted in in Jason Heyward. He has not hit left-handed pitching, well, at all lately and even though I sang his praises from the rooftops last year Heyward was replaced in Atlanta by Nick Markakis? Yes, that Nick Markakis. I am not saying that 20/20 is a guarantee but would it surprise anyone that being a Cardinal unlocked his potential? Would not be the first guy to have that happen.
Group Three: 3 Power, 4 Speed, 7 Blends, Melky Cabrera

OF NFBC Projection Chart 35-49

Safety in numbers: There is not really safety out here….

Bounce Back: Shin-Soo Choo, Texas
With health, it is hard to imagine a prohibitive top twenty outfielder in 2014 draft preps has fallen so precipitously, but Choo has. How many owners did he upset? In NFBC formats this means he is a tenth round pick and chance well worth taking. Unless the curse of Kinsler is real.
Trust Issues: Same as the safety problem, there are going to be trust issues here as well. Just look at the ADP’s of Alex Rios and the aforementioned Choo.
Wild Cards: Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox; Yasmany Tomas, Arizona
It takes some stones to invest in players out here in drafts and when you see the pitching options you will see why I am going to get power and hitters early and try to target pitching later. But I will take a chance on Avisail Garcia here since he could have a ceiling of 20 home runs with ten steals at an ADP of 172 on average. All day every day. The White Sox are going to score some runs. Yasmany Tomas will come with some hype especially with the breakout that Jose Abreu had last year but I fear that Tomas will resemble a different White Sox teammate, Dayan Viciedo. Tread lightly here….
Upside: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh
There are all kinds of terms, post-hype sleeper for example, whatever you want to say I think Polanco had a tough go after his promotion last year but he is talented. After watching him in person I was a fan and he has presence. Though his ceiling in 2015 is probably 13 home runs and 25 stolen bases that is a bargain where he is going.
It is getting late so I am going to offer up one more chart with player that are beyond the top 200 in each category for outfield with their projections included. When you speak of me, please speak nicely.

OF NFBC Undrafted Chart with Projections Updated

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.go.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/DKf0LS

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Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!