Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (20) | 2013 (4) | 2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [77-85] AL East
AAA: [75-69] International League – Durham
AA: [66-74] Southern League – Montgomery
A+: [63-70] Florida State League – Charlotte
A: [61-77] Midwest League – Bowling Green
A(ss): [46-30] New York-Penn League – Hudson Valley

Graduated Prospects
Jake Odorizzi, RHP | Brad Boxberger, RHP | Kevin Kiermaier, OF

The Gist
The Rays have had a very busy six months. They moved their ace David Price in a three-team deal that landed Willy Adames and major leaguers Nick Franklin and Drew Smyly. In July, they signed arguably the best international prospect available for just under $3M, which put them over their bonus pool limit. More recently they traded Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona for two quality prospects and sent Wil Myers in a surprising three-team deal that brought back another package of young talent headlined by Steven Souza of the Nationals. 2014 saw young arms like Jake Odorizzi, Brad Boxberger, and Chris Archer take steps forward in their development. It also surprised us with Kevin Kiermaier, who filled in for Wil Myers during his DL stint and proved to be a nice little power/speed combo in deep fantasy leagues. The Rays’ small budget won’t be any different in 2015, but the front office will – Andrew Friedman left for the Dodgers after ten years with Tampa Bay.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In many fantasy leagues, there’s a 20 games played requirement to retain eligibility at a position for the following year. With only 11 games played behind the dish in 2014, Carlos Santana will enter the 2015 season without catcher eligibility for the first time in his career. It’s a bummer for keeper league owners who were slotting him as a catcher, but he remains a solid keeper selection as a corner infielder too. Santana will be 29 to start the season. He already has strong power numbers under his belt – his 27 homers in 2014 matched a career high. He’s also a really nice piece in leagues that reward players for getting on base, leading the majors in walk percentage last year and consistently putting up good on-base percentages. Those walks help Santana’s overall offense, and it shows in Steamer’s 2015 wRC+ projection of 132 (24th overall). But there’s more than just walks to the story, and I think Santana is going to perform even better now that catching and the short-lived third base experiment are both in the rear view mirror.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (21) | 2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League – Sacramento (2015: Nashville)
AA: [77-63] Texas League – Midland
A+: [85-55] California League – Stockton
A: [55-84] Midwest League – Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Vermont

Graduated Prospects
Marcus Semien, INF (from CWS)

The Gist
The Athletics were in win-now mode in 2014, which prompted them to trade their prized prospect Addison Russell (and to a lesser extent Billy McKinney) to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. That left this already light system even lighter, but recent offseason moves have restocked the farm moving forward. By trading Samardzija to the White Sox and Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, the A’s acquired four of the ten prospects listed below as well as recently graduated middle infield prospect Marcus Semien. There may not be any “elite” fantasy prospects in this top ten now that Russell is gone, but there are still several players that could be useful fantasy options in the near future. High-A Stockton was loaded with talent and three of the top four on this list played their 2014 seasons on that team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Keeper and dynasty league owners have to approach drafts a little differently. The pool of players is smaller after a large chunk of players are protected. Prospects are in the mix even if they are years away. In many long term keeper leagues it’s against the rules to pick up players who weren’t signed by an MLB team at the start of the season. This means that each spring a new crop of international signings enters the pool along with players from the previous year’s amateur draft. Two such players for the upcoming 2015 season are Rusney Castillo and Yasmany Tomas. Both are outfielders from Cuba. Both created a great deal of buzz and signed with their respective clubs for multi-million dollar contracts. Both are major league ready and could make an impact in the fantasy game immediately. And yet both are relatively unknown and have question marks just as Jose Abreu did last year. Which one should we take in our first year player drafts in fantasy? That’s a question which has appeared more than a few times in the comments and is worth looking into.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (22) | 2013 (29) | 2012 (30) | 2011 (27) | 2010 (23)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] AL Central
AAA: [63-81] International League – Charlotte
AA: [60-80] Southern League – Birmingham
A+: [61-78] Carolina League – Winston-Salem
A: [62-75] South Atlantic League – Kannapolis

Graduated Prospects
Jose Abreu, 1B | Marcus Semien, INF | Erik Johnson, RHP | Jake Petricka, RHP

The Gist
Despite another losing season, the White Sox are headed in the right direction. Cuban import Jose Abreu looks like a steal after leading the team on offense and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Chris Sale continued to pitch like an ace and won’t turn 26 until March. Lefty Jose Quintana proved to be a reliable arm as well and is the same age as Sale. The recent acquisition of Jeff Samardzija adds even more firepower to the rotation. As part of the return, the A’s received first base prospect Rangel Ravelo, who was included on this list prior to the trade. Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia are two other young pieces ready to contribute in 2015 and are also good options in the fantasy game. Garcia lost most of 2014 to a shoulder injury but still managed seven homers in under 200 plate appearances. The bullpen was a battle all year, but the signing of David Robertson is an immediate boost and this year’s first round pick Carlos Rondon could contribute later this season before joining the rotation in the spring of 2016.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Time to check back in on some winter league action. I mentioned him two weeks ago, but we need to talk about Randall Delgado again. Since our last update, the right-hander has pitched 12 innings with 12 strikeouts, eight hits, two walks, and one earned run allowed. He currently leads the Dominican Winter League in strikeouts with 41. Here’s what I said about him last time “Delgado isn’t a lock for a spot in the rotation this spring, but he’s throwing as a starter this winter after getting only four starts in all of 2014. Two things I like about Delgado are his strikeout numbers and his age/potential for more growth. Last season he posted a 10.0 K/9 in 77+ innings pitched and his FIP was a full run lower than his ERA.” He now has an 11.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 33 innings in the DWL. While he’s currently listed as long relief on the Diamondbacks’ depth chart, I really think he’s going to get his chance to start at some point this year and run with it. Entering 2012, Delgado was listed as Baseball America’s #46 prospect. He was still with the Braves at that point, then was traded in 2013 along with Martin Prado in the Justin Upton deal. The Diamondbacks looked like the losers, but the jury is still out on Delgado at just 24 years old. This has prospect fatigue and breakout written all over it. Here are some other recent highlights from the winter leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This index is a compilation of the American League top ten prospect lists publishing this offseason at Razzball. Click on a team name to view the original posts with commentary on each player listed. Clicking on a player’s name will take you to their Razzball player page with stats, projections, etc. The index will be updated as each new top ten is released, but the rankings will not change once they are posted.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (23) | 2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL East
AAA: [66-78] International League – Lehigh Valley
AA: [66-76] Eastern League – Reading
A+: [49-89] Florida State League – Clearwater
A: [53-84] South Atlantic League – Lakewood
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Williamsport

Graduated Prospects
Ken Giles, RHP | Cesar Hernandez, 3B

The Gist
The rebuilding process has begun in Philadelphia with an aging core and bloated contracts on their way out between now and 2017. Cole Hamels returned from offseason surgery to have another great season in 2014, and he could either be a part of the next good Phillies team or trade bait for some nice prospects along the way. The younger talent is already starting to arrive. Ken Giles emerged as a major force in the bullpen and could be the next closer once Papelbon is gone. Maikel Franco is on the verge of being an everyday player and should be an asset in fantasy leagues soon. The farm system is relatively thin, but there are some toolsy prospects in there. They are just too far away to be relevant in most leagues at the moment. If the organization is able to move veterans in trade this year and next, the farm could get very healthy very quickly. The Phillies’ first round pick in 2014 was Aaron Nola – a college arm that has a good shot at cracking the rotation in the spring of 2016.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the Phillies minor league preview coming up this week and recent trade rumors surrounding the Phillies’ ace, I thought it would be worth checking in on Cole Hamels and where his value stands right now in fantasy – particularly in keeper leagues. In some very early 2015 rankings, Hamels has appeared in the #10-#12 range. I don’t disagree with that ranking, but I’ve also seen him listed as a pitcher to avoid and some scuttlebutt about Amaro being to aggressive in his asking price for Hamels in trades. There is never a shortage of opinions on the internet, and attempts to devalue assets in real life sometimes carries over into our fantasy rosters – leading us to question our players. I’m hoping that’s not the case with Hamels, who remains one of the best pitchers in baseball and is deserving of the #1 slot in fantasy rotations. Anything less is undervaluing him in my mind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This index is a compilation of the National League top ten prospect lists publishing this offseason at Razzball. Click on a team name to view the original posts with commentary on each player listed. Clicking on a player’s name will take you to their Razzball player page with stats, projections, etc. The index will be updated as each new top ten is released, but the rankings will not change once they are posted.

Please, blog, may I have some more?