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This isn’t a new take, but it’s one that bears repeating; baseball is the only sport where the best starting lineup isn’t on the field all season. The service time game does nobody any favors, actually that’s incorrect, it does huge favors for the owners of the biggest market clubs. It hurts the fans, it hurts the players, it hurts the small market teams, and most of all, it hurts the product on the field. The most glaring example at present is the peculiar case of Amed Rosario. The Mets’ farmhand has been smoking hot all season long, slashing .363/.400/.536 for AAA Las Vegas, while chipping in with 4 homers and 9 steals.

Just to compare and contrast, as of May 25th the Mets have gotten a .225/.307/.345 slashline from the shortstop position. I might be going out on a limb here, but that’s not good. The production from the hot corner for the Mess hasn’t been much better, as they’ve gotten a .240/.302/.374 line from the 3rd base position. It’s pop quiz time, hot shots! What do you think, could Amed Rosario possibly help the Mets? There’s only one answer, and it rhymes with mess. To add salt to the wounds of Mets fans (sorry 1 F), and Rosario owners alike, the shortstop prospect extended his hit streak to 11 games last night. The most remarkable part of that streak isn’t the 11 games, but the fact that 8 of those games have been multi-hit efforts. So not only is Rosario hitting in every game the last two weeks, he’s pretty much collecting multiple hits in each contest.

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Rosario fan in the fantasy community, but that’s also not to say I don’t like Rosario, because I do. He has an excellent hit tool, never strikes out, and his glove will keep him in the lineup. My questions about Rosario lie in just how much pop is in his bat, and just how many steals are in those legs. There’s certainly pop, and there’s certainly speed, but just how much he possesses will determine his ultimate value. Don’t get me wrong Crabs, haters, and countrymen, I’m not saying a high batting average and lots of counting stats won’t be helpful, they will.  What I am saying, if Rosario can get to 15 homers and 20 steals in a single season, we could be talking about a superstar. Now, will he reach those numbers this year? Hell to the no, but 8 homers and 12 steals the rest of the way wouldn’t be absurd. If you’re wondering just how soon Rosario will be called up, my best guess is any day now. It could honestly be any time between today and mid-June. The Mets have had him take some reps at 3rd as of late too, so they’re looking at different ways of getting him into the lineup. Well, at least I think they want him in the lineup. After all, it’s The Mess. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB.

  • The King in the North Tyler O’Neill has awoken from his early season thunder to smite his enemies with his whooping stick. Not really, to be honest as he connected for his first homer in a month yesterday for Tacoma. He has hit .280 over the last three weeks, and seems like he’s primed to go on a tear. When it’s comes to prospects it’s easy to get caught up in early season production. I’m here to tell you not to panic, and sell O’Neill low.
  • Reds pitching prospect Tony Santillan has been en fuego through his last 3 starts. The righty has gone 18.2 innings and accrued an ERA of .93, batting average against of .129, a whip of 0.43, a K/9 of 10.61, and a Bb/9 of, get this, 0.00. That’s right, in his last three starts Santillan has struck out 22 batters, allowed 8 total hits, and walked no one. His high 90’s fastball, that touches 99, and plus slider have earned him the dreaded pen risk label, but the step forward with control so far in 2017 bodes well for his future in the rotation. With prototypical size and stuff, Santillan is a worthy buy in all dynasty formats.
  • Speaking of buys in dynasty formats; have you added Jon Duplantier yet? Well if you haven’t you should right now. The Diamondbacks prospect has been amazing this season, he ran his scoreless streak to 17 innings last night. As he went 6 strong, allowing just 3 hits, no walks, and striking out just 2. If you’re at all alarmed by that last number, don’t be. Why? Because prior to last night’s game Duplantier has averaged a boner inducing 11.48 K/9 in his first 7 starts. There’s some injury history here, dating back to his time at Rice, but he’s a worthy gamble with high octane stuff and pedigree. If Duplantier is on your waiver wire and you’re looking for an off the radar pitching prospect, give the Dup a look.
  • Braves super prospect Ronald Acuna continued his assault on AA pitching last night, connecting for a long homer in Mississppi’s win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Just 15 games into his AA career, and the 19 year old Acuna is slashing .364/.446/.618 with 3 homers, and 9 steals. I wrote up a Ronald Acuna Fantasy a few weeks back. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Acuna is the highest ceiling player in the minors. BOLD STATEMENT!
  • Speaking of the Mississippi Braves, and it seems like we talk about them every single week. Starter Mike Soroka went 5 2/3rds last night allowing 1 run, on 3 hits, and 2 walks, while striking out 10 in the process. On the season the righty is 5-3 with a 2.96 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 48.2 innings.
  • Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need. That seems to be the case with Yankees righty Domingo Acevedo, who’s yet to allow a run in his two starts since joining AA Trenton. The 6’7 righty can touch 100 with the heat, and there’s some debate as to what his best secondary is, his slider or his change. There’s tons of relief talk with Acevedo, with some, Fangraphs Eric Longenhagen chief among them, that are bullish on Acevdeo’s future in the pen.
  • Another day, another Minor League Update where Rhys Hoskins is doing something great, as he went 3 for 3 with 4 runs scored and connected for his 13th homer of the year last night. I’m sorry but Tommy Joseph has started to suck again the last week, there’s no way Hoskins isn’t the everyday first baseman in Philly by August 1st. Don’t worry he’ll be up a month plus before that.
  • For the second consecutive game and third time in the last week, the Yankees Clint Frazier connected for a homer. Despite the recent power surge for the Ginger Hammer his underlying stats haven’t been great. He’s striking out a ton, and hitting for a low average. Regardless of Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury I don’t see Frazier coming up until he figures out some of his swing and miss issues
  • Now back in the minors, Raimel Tapia extended his dormant hit streak to 17 games, and his on base streak to 26. If Tapia can add some approach this season, he could be a monster in the steals, average, and runs department once he finds a full-time gig in Denver. I pray Tapia isn’t traded in the next two months, as he’s the perfect profile for Coors.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb, and check out my weekly Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST

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  1. Slimbo says:
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    whats up

    time to give up on jp crawford? have isan diaz and rodgers cooking at ss in the minors

    would you drop crawford for one of acuna, triston mckenzie or tapia

    thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Slimbo: Yes Acuna 100%

  2. OddBall Herrera says:
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    Last couple posts you brought up Derek Fisher and I’m starting to buy into the guy, especially since the high minors for OFers is kind of sparse short term. Think there’s any chance Aoki gets pushed to a bench role, or is Fisher’s most likely call up preceded by a trade to another team? He seems an obvious trade chip with Tucker coming along behind him.

    I am eyeing Altherr’s projected ROS stats as an optimistic baseline for this guy:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=11270&position=OF

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OddBall Herrera: Perhaps on the projections, similar power and speed guys. I think he does get called up to replace Aoki. He’s a better player, and wouldn’t his trade value be higher at the deadline if he comes up and performs?

  3. Cyler says:
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    What are the thoughts on AJ Reed? I still have him on my minor league list in my dynasty league. So far he looks decent at AAA this year 273/373/5/25

    Worth holding onto or make a switch to Hoskins?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Cyler: Make a switch to Hoskins. I don’t like AJ Reed

  4. Steve says:
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    Meadows, Hoskins, Happ. Can only stash 2.

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve: Meadows and Happ. Love Hoskins, but Meadows is the highest upside of the group, and Happ is up and hitting.

  5. Big W says:
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    I added Hoskins in my keeper…and then I check out the box score and see that Joseph hit a HR today…

    Damn that Joseph!!! Stop occupying Rhys’ spot!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Big W: Yeah Tommy Joseph stop being a Pros-blocker!

  6. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    Is Willie Calhoun also getting the Rosario treatment or is his defense just that bad? Seems like there’s a better argument for playing him than Chase Utley right now.

    Hader only walked 3 yesterday!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Clogged Rosterman: Hahaha on Hader, man he’s a mess.

      Yeah Rosario is a gold glove defender. Seriously, he could come up and vaccuum up some grounders. Calhoun’s D at 2nd not good, but who cares Cody Bellinger is so good he can play both positions.

  7. OaktownSteve says:
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    Hey Ralph. Good as usual.

    Thoughts on Mountcastle?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wolfgang von Mountcastle?

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        I often regret not having taking the opportunity to name my son Wolfgang.

        • Steve Stevenson says:
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          @OaktownSteve: I feel the same about my daughter.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Eddie Van Halen did that

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OaktownSteve: I’m a huge fan, great power, good contact, low strikeout guy. Doesn’t walk much, but he puts the bat on the ball. Would like to see if his approach plays long term. He can hit though! I’ve talked him up a few times. I’d really like to see him walk more, but that’s not his game.

  8. Slappy Jack says:
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    I know I am late to the ‘comments get read/answered’ time of day
    But, I honestly just wanted to say thanks for all the prospect work you razzballians have been doing this year.
    You guys are great, much appreciated.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Slappy Jack: Thanks Jack! Not too late, I’m only unavailable between 10 pm and 6 AM EST! Ask away!

  9. westcoastpete says:
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    Who’s your best guess for 2018 fantasy rookie of the year

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @westcoastpete: Brendan Rodgers

      • Lance

        Lance says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:
        Where does Trevor Story go? Like the Rodg-man a lot

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Lance: I wonder if the DJ gets dealt.

  10. Sport says:
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    I just took over a 16 team dynasty for a rebuild. Picked up walker Buehler, Faria, Kolby Allard, Acuna, and Tatis Jr. Then traded Dee Gordon to get Danny Salazar and Robles to a guy who needed speed!

    I would like to favor more bats for prospecting but a lot of your favorites are snatched up. Should I drop Buehler or Faria for Isan Diaz, Willie Calhoun, Derek Fisher, Rowdy, Chavis, Kingery, or Schrock?

    I couldn’t resist a dynasty takeover after reading your stuff having only one team to play with prospects was just no fun!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: I’d dump Faria for Diaz, Calhoun, or Fisher. The later two are the safest, while Diaz has the highest ceiling IMO.

      Good moves, love that Dee trade.

  11. Lance

    Lance says:
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    Ralph!

    This may be one of the best catch all write ups on Rosario I’ve read, love it.

    Later/Earlier than a June 15th call up for Rosario?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Lance: Thanks a lot Lance! Means a lot coming from the muse of my Crab Army! I’ve been waiting to get into Rosario, now felt like the right time.

      I think earlier by a few days. He really could be up at anytime.

      • Lance

        Lance says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:
        Anytime man.

        He’s flipped on and off a few of my rosters, if there was ever a time, I agree it’s right now

        Committed to holding him in a CBS pts league with Malamoney, been on and off my team in the Razz writers’ league with every dumb Reyes/Cabrera headline I see haha

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Lance: Hahaha Yeah he’s tough to hold with all the bullshit

  12. Rob says:
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    I am in a really deep keeper league. Would you trade Miggy and Josh Naylor for Victor Robles, Clint Frazier, and Jake Bauers?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Rob: If I was rebuilding I think I would. Those are two very goods pieces in Robles and Frazier. Plus you get Bauers who’s value is about equal to Naylor. Obviously, Bauers is close to the majors but has less upside than Naylor.

  13. ClemsonCrushers says:
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    Newest member of the crab army. Do you think Devers get the full time gig in 2018? When do you expect a call up? What current MLB player would you compare him too?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @ClemsonCrushers: Claws Up good sir! I do think Devers gets the full-time gig next season. If Panda doesn’t come back and the position lacks any production, then I think he’s up this season. Probably not until mid to late July, maybe even August.

  14. Joe Shmoe says:
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    Hi there,
    Just wondering about Houston pitcher Joe Musgrove. Is he a next year kind of pitcher? He is taking his lumps and is inconsistent. Do you think he sticks to the rotation and at 24 will he get better?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Joe Shmoe: I think he’s someone you can sit on if you can stomach it, he’s been getting killed by homers. Not a great option in redraft. He has 5 pitches, his SwStk is getting better, and he’s always had good control. He can and will get better. Mid-rotation upside.

  15. James says:
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    Hi Ralph, love the column. You have been a life saver for me and have helped me out a lot. I’ve joined a dynasty league where I am taking over a team that is starving for a SS where Eduardo Nunez is my only option. I picked up Isan Diaz, Kevin Newman and Lourdes Gurriel in our draft this year and I also picked up Carter Keiboom recently. I know all four are years away from contributing, but I will need to drop one or maybe two of these guys and could really use your advice on which ones to keep. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James: I like Diaz and Newman the best, but Kieboom and Gourriel may not be far off. Can you wait until the end of the season?

      • James says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I’m actually looking at another loss this week which puts me at 2-6 and in sole possession of last place and the front runner for the Luis Robert sweepstakes. I’m going to purge my roster and hold on to all four. Keep up the awesome work!

  16. Pete Incaviglia says:
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    Hey Ralph. Wanted your thoughts on Mark Appel. Any chance he makes it to the show this year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Pete Incaviglia: Perhaps, he’s been junk all year though. A serious failure this far.

  17. Martin says:
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    Hey Ralph, thanks for all of your amazing work. Love reading these as well as listening to the podcast.

    In my dynasty I have Brendan Rodgers, Eloy Jimenez, Senzel, Kyle Tucker, Barreto and now Acuna on my bench. If I had to drop one, who should it be? Leaning barreto, but he’s the one that might get called-up soon, whereas the others are all 2018 earliest.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Martin: I’m actually leaning Senzel, but Barreto is #2.

  18. Knighttown says:
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    In a redraft league is it worth stashing someone like Rosario? I have Addison Russel manning my SS and Bregman at MI.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Knighttown: Hmmm I think so, I’m not sure you need him. But if you can stash him do it.

  19. Sport says:
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    Giolito!!!!

    He worth a grab in in redraft? Still think his best will be 2018?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Hahaha I know! Good to he can still do something positive. I wish the kid the best.

  20. David says:
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    Ralph, I inherited a pretty bad dynasty team, so looking out to the future. I need pitching, and was thinking of trading one of Robles, Accuna, Benintendi (blasphemous I know) or Springer for a top notch pitcher. With your eye down the road, which one would you trade and for what type pitcher? Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: I wouldn’t trade for pitchers until you’re competing, stack those bats, and trade the spare parts for pitching. It works!

  21. Dave says:
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    Offered m. Brantley for Berrios. Who ya got? 12 team root. My pitching is pretty tight and weak on offense. Sips are Carrasco, maeda, nova, severino, taijuan walker and paxton

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: I’d take the deal

  22. Gamby says:
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    Your thoughts on Francis Martes? He’s been struggling.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Gamby: Well, it’s not great and he’s been pretty bad, so he’s been moved down in my ranks. That said, he’s very young for the level, and struggled early last year.

  23. David says:
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    Who would you rather have long term, Bregman or Story? Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: Bregman, I’m really worried about Stroy

  24. Dancin Homer says:
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    Awesome write up as usual, Ralph.

    I’m in a redraft league with 1x “NA” slot. I currently have Gleyber Torres in that spot.

    In your opinion, do I keep him, or swap him for 1 of the below:
    Rosario
    Acuna
    Hoskins

    Thanks in advance

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dancin Homer: No hold on Gleyber, and if and when he’s called up in a month add Acuna

      • DancinHomer says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        sorry if I’m feeling a little illiterate today, but are you saying you “no, hold on to Gleyber” or “no hold on Gleyber” as in he’s not worth holding right now.

        thanks again

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @DancinHomer: Keep Gleyber is what I’m saying

          • DancinHomer says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            message received.

            thanks again

  25. Luvdarooks says:
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    Looking to move up in the standing and trade one or two of these players what’s the order that I should keep and which 2 to trade
    I Diaz ( mil)
    delvin Perez –
    Soto -(Was)
    Yadier Alvarez on LA Dodgers

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Luvdarooks: Diaz, Soto, Alvarez are all really close, I’d move Perez.

  26. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    Im in an interesting league, where the timing of free agent pick ups is big.

    We have 5 keepers for a total of 5 years, including the year you drafted them.

    Do you see any of these players being called up before september?

    Acuna
    Torres
    Tapia
    Brinson
    Senzel…

    Any guys that arent on my list that I should keep an eye on?

  27. RAZZIE says:
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    Hi, I have a trade question if you don’t mind. I am in a 12 team standard 5×5 dynasty league. I got offered Jose Ramirez, Sean Manaea, Brad Hand, and a late first rounder for my Jose Berrios, Devon Travis, and Robert Gsellman. I have Altuve at 2nd, so Travis is mainly on the bench. I don’t mind losing Gsellman. I really hate to part with Berrios. Would I be getting enough in return for him? Are you a believer in Manaea?

    Thanks!

  28. Cyler says:
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    Would you trade Meadows for Robles?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Cyler: Yeah fair trade.

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