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If the excitement of the World Series wasn’t enough, the Mets can also celebrate the success of Michael Conforto and Steven Matz in 2015. Both look like solid fantasy options moving forward. As much as it hurts my insides as a Phillies fan, the Mets should be good for a while with that pitching staff. On the farm there aren’t a ton of impact fantasy players if you’re not counting Matz anymore. Dom Smith might be your best bet, but he’s yet to show his game power. Amed Rosario hasn’t taken off offensively, and Marcos Molina went under the knife. There’s a lot of international talent in the low minors however, and those signings will keep feeding the system. What this farm lacks in star power it makes up for in depth.

2015 Graduates
Michael Conforto | Rafael Montero | Kevin Plawecki | Dilson Herrera

Tier 1: Specs On The Beach
Potential stars. Consensus T100 prospects with premium fantasy ceilings.

Steven Matz, LHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AA/AAA/MLB
2015 Stats:
105.1 IP, 2.05 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 9.1 K/9

Matz has all of the characteristics of a #2 starter on paper, and when you combine that with his proximity and pitcher-friendly home park it adds up to a solid Top 50 prospect that’s attractive in redraft formats. A six-point difference between his strikeout and walk rates in his 35-inning MLB stint last year points to the potential for a Top 50 starter overall in 2016.

Dominic Smith, 1B | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats:
497 PA, .305/.354/.417, 6 HR, 0 SB, 7% BB, 15% K

Smith’s bat is not in question and his approach is sound, but he has yet to show the power that we typically look for in a fantasy first base profile. That power may come in time, but it may also be an issue of Smith choosing to steer his approach towards average instead of power. Even if that’s the case, there’s still 15-20 homer potential, so this is one of those prospects who might actually be underrated at this point.


Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.

Gavin Cecchini, SS Age: 22 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA
2015 Stats: 485 PA, .317/.377/.442, 7 HR, 3 SB, 9% BB, 11% K

Cecchini will have more value in deep formats, but there’s 15/15 upside at short and the grades on his defense bode well for him to stick at the position. Positive growth in both his plate discipline and average in Double-A in 2015 mean that he’s probably ready to give Triple-A a whirl. He could be in line for some MLB time this year as well, but the Mets infield is a bit blocked up.

Brandon Nimmo, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AA/AAA
2015 Stats:
434 PA, .269/.362/.372, 5 HR, 5 SB, 11% BB, 18% K

Nimmo’s plate discipline and defensive skills give him a relatively high floor, but there aren’t enough fireworks in the bat to make him a future fantasy stud. He could still get to 15 homers and 15-20 steals, which is solid, but none of the offensive tools are looking to be more than average across the board. He’ll most likely start the year in Triple-A with a chance for some MLB time later this summer.

Jhoan Urena, 3B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: Rk/A+
2015 Stats:
241 PA, .222/.274/.302, 2 HR, 3 SB, 6% BB, 17% K

Urena might actually be one of the best fantasy bets in this tier despite not reaching the upper levels of the minors yet. A switch-hitting third baseman with above-average pop and a solid hit tool, it could all gel together as a middle-of-the-order hitter down the road. The potential for 20 dingers is obviously nice, but it’s still a long way off and he hasn’t shown much game power yet. There’s an interesting ceiling here but also one of the longest waits of this group.

Matt Reynolds, MI | Age: 25 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AAA
2015 Stats:
496 PA, .269/.321/.402, 6 HR, 13 SB, 7% BB, 19% K

In most systems there are the 25-27 year old “prospects” who take a back seat to the higher ceiling guys in their early twenties.  Reynolds fits the mold of the former. He could end up being an empty batting average utility player or one that hits for some power and speed, but in both cases there won’t be enough to warrant owning him outside of mono formats. Even then it’s a stretch with the options the Mets currently have ahead of him up the middle.

Champ Stuart, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats:
382 PA, .176/.271/.242, 4 HR, 21 SB, 10% BB, 37% K

Stuart is basically a SAGNOF type, but it’s an awfully risky profile to invest in. Not only does he have the crazy strikeout rate (he hasn’t struck out in less than 29% of his plate appearances in the last three seasons) but there’s just not enough in the stolen base column for a guy who grades out at an 80 for his wheels. In other words, I’ll swallow the dicey bat if you’re putting up crazy steals totals, but not if you’re barely cracking 30 in the low minors – even if it’s in <400 plate appearances.

Others: Gabriel Ynoa, Robert Gsellman, Jeff McNeill, John Mora, Akeel Morris


Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs.

Amed Rosario, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A+/AA
2015 Stats:
427 PA, .253/.302/.329, 0 HR, 13 SB, 5% BB, 18% K

I listed Rosario as a top 50 prospect at this time last year, but unfortunately he didn’t do a whole lot offensively to make that look like a good call. There is still upside to like and he’s obviously been young for each level, but he’s morphing into one of those defense-first 15/15 profiles that we probably won’t care too much about in fantasy. He’s an interesting buy-low in deeper formats but somebody you can probably ignore for now in shallow leagues.

Desmond Lindsay, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk/A(ss)
2015 Stats:
134 PA, .263/.364/.386, 1 HR, 3 SB, 13% BB, 30% K

The Mets took Lindsay in the second round of the 2015 draft (53rd overall). It’s a power/speed combo that will take some time to develop, but the reward down the road could be an outfielder that contributes in all of the standard fantasy cats. The easy plus tool is his speed, but the bat and power aren’t too far behind. He’s a projectable high school bat that makes sense to target in first-year player drafts.

Eudor Garcia, 3B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats:
429 PA, .296/.340/.442, 9 HR, 5 SB, 5% BB, 22% K

Garcia was recently suspended for PEDs, which will put a little dent in his development but doesn’t really change the long-term picture. He’s a big guy with big power, and the potential is there for 20+ homers. Savannah is one of the toughest places to hit in the minors and the drug suspension adds a kink to the profile, so right now it’s a little tough to judge what we have here. I’d cautiously buy in most deep formats though and wait to see how he performs on the other side of his 80 games.

Greg Guerrero, SS | Age: 17 | ETA: 2020 | 2015 Level: DNP
2015 Stats:
 N/A

Both Guerrero and Gimenez were J2 signings last summer, and both look like they’ve got some potential in fantasy. Guerrero has the hit/power profile that we like and some baseball in his blood as the nephew of Vlad Sr. The Mets liked him enough to hand him a seven-figure bonus. Baseball America liked him enough to rank in the top ten of a solid international crop. Obviously you’re only peeping him in deep leagues with big farms, but he’s a name to tuck away.

Andres Gimenez, INF | Age: 17 | ETA: 2020 | 2015 Level: DNP
2015 Stats: 
N/A

Gimenez also got over a million dollars last July 2nd, but he’s more of a table-setting hit/speed profile with gap power. Ben Badler, the international guru over at Baseball America, ranked this kid second among all of the J2 signings. That’s a nice endorsement and scouts in general like Gimenez’s advanced approach. You’ll need to wait a long time for the tools to cook, but he’s an interesting stash.

Marcos Molina, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk/A+
2015 Stats:
44.1 IP, 4.26 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

The big concern with Molina at this point is his health. The overall outlook probably doesn’t change much (mid-rotation starter) but missing time with Tommy John will dampen his value for at least the next year or two. Luckily the Mets have plenty of young pitching to rely on while they take their time getting Molina back to full strength. For this year he’s safe to ignore but I might look to buy low since he’s still young and showed flashes of a quality arsenal before the injury.

Wuilmer Becerra, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats:
487 PA, .290/.342/.423, 9 HR, 16 SB, 7% BB, 20% K

I’m just going to start adding vowels wherever I feel like it. My new name will be Muike. Done. Becerra does a little of everything well and at the end of the day it’s probably a fourth outfielder profile. That won’t get much love in most leagues, but there’s enough pop and speed to keep him interesting in the deep leagues. He should spend the majority of this season in High-A with the possibility of some Double-A reps by the end of the year.

Luis Carpio, MI | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats:
207 PA, .304/.372/.359, 0 HR, 9 SB, 8% BB, 16% K

A lot of organizations have little patterns or mini-trends within them. The Mets seem drawn to middle infielders, or at least they have a bunch of quality players up the middle at this moment. Carpio is more about defense than offense, which really limits his fantasy value. He’s just 18, and a lot of development can happen with bats when there’s this long of a lead until they reach the majors. The current grades on his offensive tools don’t suggest anything special outside of some steals though.

Others: Milton Ramos, Luis Guillorme, Kenny Hernandez, Ivan Wilson, David Thompson


2016 Minor League Preview Index

   
  1. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    I love Dom Smith, outside of Devers he might be my favorite corner guy in the minors. We tickle each other and he knows the spot.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha

  2. JohnnyBeGood says:
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    Hey Mike! Great recap…i need some help with my keeper selections for this year.

    Need to choose only 3 out of these following (5×5 Roto):
    – Arrieta in 4th round
    – Stroman in 8th
    – Familia in 10th
    – C Seager in 10th
    – B Hamilton in 16th
    – Hosmer in 17th
    – Darvish in 18th
    – Granderson in 21st

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! Seager, Arrieta, Hamilton

  3. RePete says:
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    What projections would you give Matz this year? Do you have an idea when you’ll post your top 100 keepers this year? Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      mid 3’s ERA, 160 innings…8ish K/9

  4. malamoney says:
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    You can only keep one for 2016. Tyler Glasnow or Blake Snell?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Snell

  5. BigEasy says:
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    Mike, I’m in a deep dynasty league and could use a catcher. With alfaro and Sanchez already owned, is willson contreras worth adding?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup, definitely

  6. Malicous Phenom says:
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    Best long term 1B prospect:

    Bellinger, Olsen, Bauers, Gillespie, Travis.

    Cheers mate

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Olson

  7. “As much as it hurts my insides as a Phillies fan, the Mets should be good for a while with that pitching staff.”

    As a Mets fan, your hurt insides warm my insides. ;)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha nice

  8. Hakuna Machado says:
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    Hey Mike – 14 team H2H keeper league (Categories: R/HR/RBI/SB/OBP/SLG, QS/Ks/ERA/WHIP/SV/HLD)

    Need to keep 6 of: Altuve, Encarnacion, Cespedes, Gomez, Felix, Kluber, Aroldis, K Jansen, W Davis, Belt, Duda

    Need to keep 2 of: Salazar, Gattis, A Wood, Trevor Story

    Thanks for your help!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Altuve, E5, Ces, Gomez, Kluber, Belt

      • Hakuna Machado says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike. What about picking two of the bottom 4 guys? The Felix domination seems to have reached its end.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Hakuna Machado: def not a.wood, he’s in minors and was awful anyway. i’d think with previous keepers salazar’s gotta be one of them.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          hmmm…Chapman and Felix I guess

          • Hakuna Machado says:
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            @Mike: Sorry I don’t think my initial question was clear – the second group is Salazar, Gattis, Story, A Wood. These guys are considered young keepers in my league and take up my last two picks. I’m definitely keeping Salazar. In a 14 teamer (only 3 OFs) are any of the other 3 worth keeping? I’m leaning no, but Story’s interesting. Do you think there’s any way he’s a full time SS by April/May?

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              yeah I’d go Story and Salazar

              • Hakuna Machado says:
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                @Mike: You rock! Thanks, buddy…BASEBALL!!!!

  9. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    20 team dynasty with 1 per position (exact OF spots), 1 util, 5 SP, 7 RP (at most 1 BN pitcher to prevent hoarding, so at most 6 SP, i don’t do that SP in RP slots, i want holds/saves guys there). keep up to 25 predraft (so gotta drop at least 9 to be able to pick somebody at pick 6 overall). H2H. added stats are doubles, triples, hits, BB’s, OPS, and defensive stuff like Putouts, double plays, OF assists, assists, and fielding % for hitters, and holds, QS, doubleplays, relief wins, pickoffs, relief appearances, OBP against, K/9. 5 DL/5 NA slots to stash guys. I’m TEX here and have to keep at least 9 TEX players at all times.
    C – none yet, later i will either stream or maybe grab both of perez/chirinos, we have to have at least 3/4 of Bn slots for hitters
    1B Fielder (sucks for putouts that he doesn’t actually play 1B, it hurts in this one)/forsythe
    2B – forsythe
    SS – andrus
    3B beltre
    LF upton
    CF hicks
    RF stanton
    Util Franco
    BN Choo
    BN tomas
    NA – tim anderson/tapia
    SP – darvish/d.holland/hammel/heaney/liriano/quintana/fiers (6 Max, and might be better off dropping 2 of them to keep best prospects can stream later)
    RP – k-rob/tolleson/giles/kela
    NA – urias/bradley

    1. which 3 should i drop, i’m guessing they should come from d.holland (i still have 9 TEX without him)/heaney/hammel/fiers/t.anderson/tapia/bradley/forsythe. If all of gallo/profar/bradley do in fact start year in minors i’d have to drop one of the NA guys anyway, making i guess bradley a very likely 1 out of the 3 to drop.
    2. if i can’t move yes…many (and i could give pretty much any draft pick but 6th overall to do it) for odor is franco for odor a decent idea as well? only reason i’m hesitant is franco’s projections are much better outside steals (which i need though with leonys gone, choo quit stealing)
    3. should i trade a 2nd rounder for shark? that is pick 26 overall, and i’d have to drop an additional starter to do it. this would only be done if i wasn’t able or didn’t need to while doing the yes…many for odor. which extra SP would be the drop to do so.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      that’s a tough call on the drops…I guess the arms

      I’d hold Franco

      nah

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Mike:
        1. i’m guessing the arms being bradley/holland and 1 other. if i think i can get back the other later who is least (use roster context though) out of t.anderson/tapia? this one is hard, Grey said dump prospects if given choice (have to drop 1 SP, or at least when darvish comes back i would)
        2. i’m hoping to be able to move yes…many for odor. odor owner has serious lack of 3B (spangenberg his only one). since i can’t use any pick after 1st round i’m willing to move all of them since they will be keepers anyway.
        3. with 26th overall, i simply can’t use that pick if i save the 24 i’m expecting to, so i guess shark not much better than fiers/hammel/heaney, one of which would have to be dropped to get shark.

  10. J-FOH says:
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    I heart you Mike and all the work you do

  11. MB says:
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    Man that is sad, I grabbed Becerra and Rosario in my draft last year, time to ship them away I guess. Thanks for another killer article man

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem…thanks for reading

  12. Birdmann says:
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    Your the best Mike thought you should know

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks dude :)

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: best resource on entire internet for deep/prospect knowledge i’ve ever seen. Like Kevin for IDP’s and football rookie info in general on football side (albeit this stuff Mike does is harder to find at all). Kevin is now gone as well.

  13. goodfold2 says:
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    nice to see so many decently high (3-5th) long shots available in my deep league, and that part of this list meshed more than most with my work making my lists from a month ago during my draft. eudor, guerrero, gimenez i’ll likely be targeting in the summer bidding period. thought ivan wilson with his power would be higher.

    on the dropping of yarbrough and l.encarnacion, interesting as you were higher on than them than most last year, you had them 8th and 10th overall in your lists. encarnacion isn’t even shown in mlb.com’s top 30 (but we’ve seen other decent names that you have in yours missing in those other times this year), he must’ve had a pretty ugly 2015. Yarbrough still checks in as 8th overall at mlb.com’s lists (albeit they do tend to overvalue boring possible SP), and i’m guessing you think his bullpen risk is higher than they do right? Heredia still has better upside than Yarbrough i guess.
    yet another thing fantrax kicks ass in is that it remembers your previous searches in players tab, which is great when searching which of these guys is already owned.

    -with that trade of
    my rosario (.4 till end of 2018) + austin jackson (6.4 mil this year with no team) for alex gordon (10.5 mil this year) + zagunis CUBS (.4 till end of 2019 when called up by me)
    is the biggest thing rosario has such great value and is a starter? along with maybe gordon isn’t that much better than a-jax (this sounds hard though since a-jax doesn’t have a job and probably isn’t a starter if/when he gets one, unless it’s at LAA). The extra 4.1 million could be something big too maybe since i need to fill 8 more spots with it.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, I guess I thought we’d see more from Encarnacion….still super young, yeah I think as long as Rosario has a job he’s got some value

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: not as worried about a-jax’s landing spot and role once he gets it? i don’t need to decide on this trade this minute of course, but it would make which guys and how much to bid on easier (bidding starts this week and goes on for 4 weeks, guys broken up into 4 groups). i’d also have to drop yet another prospect to take on zagunis, and i have tons of OF guys as is.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          you gotta do what’s best for your team

  14. nick the dick says:
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    Hey man appreciate you letting me in such an awesome league and all the work you put in here. We will miss your writing and knowledge, you’re the coolest.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime…thanks!

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: are you leaving too?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yup, I’ve got some personal stuff I need to handle

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: right after team lists like this i guess, i don’t know how i missed this. You have any idea about new guy’s skills. Get that personal stuff fixed up.

  15. Curt C says:
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    2016 is the year of the Metropolitans…..F the Phillies!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha…excelsior!

  16. Shill Team 6 says:
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    But the stars that marked our starting fall away.
    We must go deeper into greater pain,
    for it is not permitted that we stay.
    Ya know? I reread The Divine Comedy because of a brief back and forth we had.
    What I mean is, you’re more than just a fountain of spec knowledge to me (and others). You inspire. You’ll be missed.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      awesome read that one…thanks bud!

  17. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Just wanted to stop by and say that you’re awesome, Mike. And kind of a douche for making me room with J-FOH in AZ all by myself. But mostly awesome.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Big Magoo: Hey, it could be worse, could be Sky

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      lol…thanks Magoo! sorry!

  18. Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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    Mike you are the kitties titties man, a damn sterling fellow. case closed.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks R’az! you too!

  19. Csifu says:
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    Hey Mike, thanks for all the great work!

    Hannibal

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks Hannibal!

  20. S.H says:
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    Mike thanks for all your work in narrowing down my prospects picks. What do make of the future Cingrani of the reds

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime…looking a lot like a reliever at this point

  21. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    (holds/QS/OPS/XBH added) 20 team H2H. keep 7-9 each year. hold heyward or trade for kang (could probably get pick upgrade with kang as well, his name isn’t worth as much as yet)
    C
    1B piscotty
    2B cano
    3B carpenter
    SS
    OF – cargo 1, heyward, a.jones, ellsbury start 3 OF, 1 util
    SP -rodon
    NA – dahl

  22. Raoul Duke says:
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    Thanks for all the great articles Mike, and the advice. I’ll miss reading your stuff. Good luck.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks bud!

  23. What's a Drexl? says:
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    sorry to see you leave, is your top 30 (or 50) best prospects for 2016 (or long term) still coming (i’m guessing only if you already wrote it earlier)? I think you mentioned this a couple of posts ago when somebody asked.

    16 team roto dynasty with OBP replacing AVG, net steals steals, net saves and holds saves, QS wins, and total bases, K/BB added 6X6. 1500 max innings (so 7 or so SP smart), 2 RP, 4 P (so 6 RP smart). can only keep up to 25. actually glad maybin is backup, it would’ve been harder to let a steals CF go otherwise. 2 utils. 25 total active slots. 5 DL/5 NA.
    C sal perez
    1B rizzo
    2B kipnis (he’s better in OBP/total bases league)
    SS
    3B bryant
    LF dave peralta
    CF ellsbury
    RF jew don
    util (x 2)
    NA dahl, tapia, jp crawford
    SP cole, liriano, pineda, buchholz
    RP romo, giles, watson, a.miller, britton
    NA stephenson

    team drafts at 14th in each round (non-snake since dynasty)

    I’m at 20 now, keep how many of Fiers,Ryu, Wheeler, Joe “the boss” Ross, Lind (might be able to get better power bat, maybe not if i don’t keep Lind). Could keep the 3 pitchers and still draft 1st 2 rounds, but i do have 3 starting hitting holes to fill.

    Really about which are best 3 SP out of those 4 for dynasty.

  24. While I guess he is technically a graduate, Montero is not guaranteed a spot in the pen and could start the year in AAA as a starter. While the pitching staff is awesome, it is not very deep. If an opening happens before Wheeler comes back, Montero may be next in line to start.

    Someone to keep an eye on in the Mets Minors.

    • Christine Michael: one Unlucky Whitehead (just pop him or not) says:
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      @The discarded head of ted williams: same as last year then when he did some starts, if my montero you mean rafael montero.

  25. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    in that dynasty 20 teamer where i’m TEX i thought it was lock to grab mazara at 6th overall. but my lineup is RF heavy and speed needy (less power needy). better off with brinson here? or maybe drop tapia and draft both?
    C none yet
    1B fielder
    2B forsythe (trying to trade for odor with yes many)
    3B beltre
    SS andrus
    LF upton
    CF hicks
    RF stanton
    util franco or choo
    BN franco or choo
    BN yesmany tomas
    NA t.anderson/tapia/gallo/profar
    i have to assume of course that at least one of gallo/profar starts year in MLB. have urias in other NA slot. I’m seeing Brinson/Mazara’s hit tools are similar with Brinson having speed edge and Mazara power edge.

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