Monday, September 25, 2023

Rookie of the Year Spotlight: Wil Myers


Some of the collections I have been working on over the years are starting to get filled out and my goals are being reached. As a result, I'm starting to slow down a little when it comes to acquiring many cards for some of my mini-collections. Now that the collection is feeling more and more complete, I wanted to start showcasing the cards I have, player by player.

One such collection is my Rookie of the Year collection. I love collecting players who have won the award as the top newcomer in each league. This wasn't born of hot rookie hype and the desire to prospect. Rather, I became fascinated thinking about the careers of guys like Eric Karros, Jerome Walton, and Tim Salmon, who experienced varying degrees of success but may not have become superstars. I thought it would be fun to have a collection that chronicles the individual career journeys of rookie stars--whether they burned bright and flamed out quickly, regressed to the mean, or wended their way to Cooperstown.
My goal has been to fill a binder page for each player who won the award in my lifetime and to fill a row for older players. I may expand that later as I expand my vintage collection. The ultimate goal of my binder is to show a card from every different uniform the player wore, from fresh-faced rookie to grizzled vet. This series is to commemorate each Rookie of the Year's career and show my collection of their cards. I placed all of the past winners into and got my order. Today we highlight

Wil Myers

Myers debuted with Tampa Bay on June 18, 2023, going 0-4 against the Red Sox. By the end of the year, he had appeared in 88 games, slashing .293/.354/.478. His OPS+ was 130 in his rookie season--the highest it has ever been up to this point in time. He was solid in right field, too, committing no errors in 142 chances. He won the AL Rookie of the Year with 23 of 30 first place votes. Jose Iglesias picked up 5 votes, and Chris Archer and Dan Straily both garnered one vote each.

The next year, Myers dropped off significantly. His 2014 OPS+ was nearly cut in half, falling to 77. It was his last season in Tampa. In the offseason, he was dealt to San Diego in a massive three-team trade. Among other things, Joe Ross was shipped from San Diego to Washington, which sent Steven Souza to Tampa Bay. A prospect by the name of Trea Turner went from San Diego to Washington.
He found some power in 2016, blasting 28 home runs--his first time hitting more than 13 in a season. He received his sole All-Star nod for the Padres that year. His best season was 2020, when he posted a .959 OPS and received his only MVP votes in a shortened season. He spent eight seasons in San Diego, mostly at 1st base. During that time, he hit .254/.330/.451 and averaged about 17 home runs. After the 2022 season, he signed with Cincinnati as a free agent. He lasted only 37 games as a Red; he was released in June of this season after batting an abysmal .189.

Since he's now nearly 33 years old and unemployed, we can probably assume his career is about over. He played in the Majors for 11 years, finishing with a career slash line of .252/326/.427, 156 homers, and 533 RBI. He proved to be a fairly versatile defender, playing every defensive position except catcher and shortstop and even pitched 3.2 innings. He appeared in one All-Star game.

My Myers collection was complete until this year. Now I lack a Reds card of him. I really like the cards in my collection. The 2018 Stadium Club Chrome Refractor is nice, but I think my favorite Myers card is the 2014 Bowman Platinum Cutting Edge Stars (1st card in the middle row, first picture).

Friday, September 8, 2023

Fantasy Football Kickoff 2023

Another football season is here! While my Cubbies are in the thick of a division race with the Brewers, football is officially beginning. This is just one of the reasons that September is one of my favorite months every year.

The season kicked off last night, but I'm still saying that I'm not late with this post because I didn't have any fantasy players with my main team playing in the game. My annual NFL kickoff post is to present my work league fantasy team.

Without further ado, here are the 2023 Myopic Chihuahuas. All cards shown are cards in my collection.

QB: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore

This was the most I've ever spent on a QB, but since I missed out on some of my top WR targets early in the draft, I had a little extra cash and decided I should target a potentially high-scoring QB. I think Lamar could be huge this year.


RB1: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas

Just a couple of weeks ago, I didn't think I would touch Jacobs with a 10-foot pole. But then he ended his holdout and I think he's ready roll for another big year. He was the lowest of my acceptable RB1 targets, but my competitors priced me out of the top guys I was really targeting. So I picked him and turned my eye to filling out a quality roster at discount prices after everybody else broke their budgets on the studs.

RB2: Dameon Pierce, Houston

This doesn't excite me too much. I haven't seen enough from Pierce yet to fully trust that he will be a big fantasy scorer. But the Texans are kind of void of talent, and with a rookie starting at QB, they have to give the ball to somebody. Hopefully Pierce can pull the volume to make him high-end RB2.


 WR1: Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson looked like a stud last year. This year, he has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. This is 100% a pick based on a projected breakout. I hope it pays off.

WR2: Amari Cooper, Cleveland

Cooper has been in three uniforms since the one pictured on this card, but I don't own a Browns card of him yet. Rolling with him as my WR1 is scary to me. He has the talent and has produced in the past, but the Browns have a few different weapons and all of them are banking on Deshaun Watson returning to form and looking better than last year. I'm worried about my receiving corps, which feels kind of boom-or-bust, with a fairly high chance for bust.

TE: Darren Waller, New York Giants

Waller has proven in the past that he is effective for quarterbacks who aren't known for big, downfield plays. I'm hoping he's healthy this year and that Daniel Jones will be that QB for him.

FLEX1: Rachaad White, Tampa Bay

Leonard Fournette is gone. Tom Brady is gone. This is another boom/bust player who needs a breakout season.

FLEX2: Christian Watson, Green Bay

Watson showed flashes last year. I think he's ready to be the Packers' WR1. We'll just have to wait and see how well the offense runs with Jordan Love at the helm. You may notice that this is the fourth second-year player in my starting lineup. I actually have four more on my bench. I'm usually not the gambler that relies on lots of young, unproven talent and hopes for an explosion. But you take what the draft gives you, especially in an auction draft. With a 12-team league, I think I got a good collection of talent without overspending on any one player.

DEF: New England

As always, I'll stream defenses. New England gets the first call for me.


Brian Robinson, RB, Washington
Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh
George Pickens, WR, Pittsburgh
Skyy Moore, WR, Kansas City
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams

 As per usual, Yahoo doesn't love my team.

But FantasyPros does.

Once again this year, my work league is the one that I count. New this year, however, is a TCDB league. This one is a new experience: I've never played with a superflex before; I've never had 14 teams in a league before; and I've never played with any sort of buy-in before. The buy-in is cards and everyone involved is a TCDB user. Here is a quick glance at my roster in this league:

QB: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia
RB1: Tony Pollard, Dallas
RB2: Dameon Pierce, Houston
WR1: Chris Olave, New Orleans
WR2: Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay
WR3: Jahan Dotson, Washington
TE: Evan Engram, Jacksonville
FLEX: Miles Sanders, Carolina
SUPERFLEX: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
DEF: Denver

I honestly think my TCDB team is a bit better than my other league. Fantasy Pros also likes this draft.

Let the games begin! I'm so glad it's football season again!