I don’t know where you’re from, by where I’m at everyone is getting High-A. I have no idea why I find this funny, it’s not. Then again they don’t pay me to be funny, actually they don’t pay me for anything. If I was paid for anything though it would probably be this, writing about prospects. Particularly those in the low minors and a few years away. Today, we’ll take a long look at the breakout players in two of the three High-A level leagues, the California League and the Florida State League. Though they share the distinction of being even in terms of level, the two circuits couldn’t boast more divergent offensive profiles. As the California League is known for its hitting and power friendly environment, the Florida State League is known for the opposite; low scoring games, and pitching friendly statistics. On Sunday we’ll dig into the numerous breakouts and players of note in the third High-A syndicate, the Carolina league. We’ll also touch on some of the top performers in the A level Midwest League. If there’s anyone else you feel I neglected to include that’s on your radar in the Cali or FSL, post it, I’d love to discuss them. You know what the old timers say, Prospecting takes a village.

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Each week over the next couple of months, I’ll be profiling a few players that you need to own in all of your dynasty leagues. Wait, did I just more or less repeat the title in the first sentence? I think I did. I must be really trying to drive the point home, eh? Well of course, I mean after all, what’s the point of reading along if you don’t want to be brow beaten with points. Amirite? You’re here to spend your coffee sipping hours on Sunday morning with your old buddy Ralphie. I’m like a dynasty/prospector Charles Osgood, but with less joker face, like a lot less…Now that the space filling mumbo jumbo is out of the way, let’s get into the crux of the matter at hand. We’re going to look at four players each week. One major leaguer I feel you can get on the cheap compared to where I see his value. A top 100 type bat that I just need to own. A pitching prospect with some upside you won’t pay through the nose for. Then we’ll touch on a young low minors player you can snag in the later rounds of your 18-30 team dynasty league’s first year player draft.

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For today’s post I draw my inspiration from the spirit animal of this post, the incomparable Corey Feldman. There’s a couple of reasons for this; first and foremost his recent viral-worthy Today show performance. The general message of the performance was be yourself, dance like no one’s watching, and go for it. Yes, ladies and gents, I’m the Tony Robbins here at Razzball, looking to get you up and out there, getting yours. Seriously, be yourself Corey. Be. Your. Self…….That goes for you too Angels, even if the look in your eye is one of a captured animal who’s freedom has been stripped of them one Lost Boys themed orgy at a time. The other reason Mr. Feldman is such an inspiration for this post, his career. It started out bright, and successful, but quickly spun out of control, as the remainder has been a trainwreck. Sorry dude, but 80’s drug use is no excuse (cough, cough Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr. did okay, if only for a little while). This narrative is not much different than the prospects we’ll discuss today. They too started their seasons with a spectacular run of success, rubbing elbows with the Michael Jackson’s of the minor leagues (That’s Tito BTW), on their way to great first halves. But that’s where the plot thickens. As they hit the second half they faltered, and the results weren’t anywhere close to their previous levels. So today let’s talk about some of these first half heroes, the ones that went full Cinderellay, as their production went pumpkin. Here are this year’s Corey Feldman’s.

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A large part of success in fantasy, and dynasty leagues in particular, is identifying player trends. It’s a matter of knowing when to move on from a player before it’s too late, and it’s knowing when to buy a player before his stock explodes. In the coming weeks we’ll have a few posts dealing with who I’m targeting in dynasty leagues, and players I’m moving on from. In mid-September it’s still a bit too early to get into those discussions. So, let’s continue to look back at the year that was in prospects, shall we? In this vein, today we’ll discuss the players that broke out in the second half after bad first halfs; and on Wednesday we’ll speak on the lads that faltered in the second half after starring roles in the first. To add a bit of the tomfoolery Razzball is known for, let’s christen each post with the name of a like minded spirit. We’ll call the second half breakouts Samuel L. Jackson’s, and the second half stumpers Corey Feldman’s. There couldn’t be two stars with divergent career paths. I mean have you seen Feldman lately? He’s pretty much a novelty EDM act cult leader, but seems completely oblivious to this unlike the rest of the world.

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This is one of those posts where I feel like I’m writing as much for guys researching their minors draft in early January, as I am the few hardcores still checking out prospect blogs in the throws of Fantasy Football season. Hardcores, excuse me if you will, while I direct a few questions at the January readers. January readers, here are my questions:

  1. Did the Cubs win the World Series?
  2. Did the Red Sox win the World Series?
  3. Has Strasburg had TJ yet? How about Salazar?
  4. Is Trump President?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk a little about why we’re gathered here today. Dearly beloved….Wait, sorry! I was about to read the notes from the last wedding I did. BTW Prospector Ralph is a fully licensed Justice of the Peace. Imagine hiring me to do your next wedding! I could talk specs, oogle at your wife’s cans, and the best part is you can pay me in scotch! Sounds like a win-win-win. Right? Anyway, I’m actually here today to finish off my 2016 All-Prospect team, and with the help of our very own bullpen specialist Smokey. Who just so happened to be nice enough to throw me three bullpen specs he’s excited about. So I’ll give you my top 10 minor league pitchers of the year, and Smokey will give you his 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys for our imaginary farm team. Do Smokey a solid, and go read some of his stuff over on Razzball Soccer. Do me a solid while you’re at it and subscribe to the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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Many consider the break between the Super Bowl and the beginning of Spring Training, to be the most boring weeks of the sports calendar. For us Prospectors it’s probably from the end of the MiLB regular season until the beginning of the Arizona Fall League. This is a time for us to put our pick axes, and helmet lights down, and reflect on the year that was. So in that vein, today we embark on the first part of a two part series, detailing my 2016 All-Prospect Team. Today’s feature, focuses on the position players, or the lineup for our Minor League dream team. Wednesday’s post will look at our rotation. I’ve eliminated players I view as graduated, whether MLB guidelines agree or not. So no Alex Bregman, Joey Gallo, Andrew Benintendi, Gary Sanchez, or Ryon Healy etc. I’ve also provided a runner up for each position, listed as bench options. These bench options deserve considerable acclaim, but unfortunately for them, I deemed the player ahead of them to be more deserving. Obviously these picks can’t be argued with, because what I say goes, and should be accepted as fact. So if you try and argue with me in the comments about my choices, I’m going to head to your house and pummel you while wearing foam Hulk mitts.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve wondered if mentioning Colin Kaepernick in any way, shape, or form would boost readership here in the doldrums of the fantasy baseball season. Maybe I could say “click here to see so and so nearly naked”, or “this celebrity didn’t want this to get out”. What if I took the plunge into full on click bait and left the days of insightful minor league analysis for dynasty and fantasy baseball behind. Would it be me whining about Odell Beckham Jr. ignoring me at the Met Gala? Imagine prospector Ralph rubbing elbows with the A list. I mean seems appropriate, they’re A-list and I’m known for making a list. Thank you, thank you, you’re all too kind I’ll be here all week. In all seriousness, we’ve come to the end of the regular season in minor league baseball, and with it the end of my minor league updates for 2016. Don’t worry I’m going absolutely nowhere. I’ll be updating you on all things dynasty and prospects throughout the offseason. In fact you’ll probably have a triple dose of me with the podcast and all. So pump the volume on this track, throw some BBQ on the grill, and save some sticky ribs for your homie Ralph. The final minor league update of the 2 dot oh 1-6 is here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Nasty Nas is correct, and sleep is in fact the cousin of death, then these guys are whistling past the graveyard on the way to see Uncle Quilly. Today we climax together, like a perfectly symmetrical couple only we’re probably two dudes who like the most deviant of fantasy baseball hobbies, dynasty leagues. By climax I don’t mean actual climax, that would be weird, and could have lasting repercussions on my marriage, but rather we’re climaxing by finishing off my draft update series. Calm down guys it’s here; today’s post will be focusing on sleepers. This series is in no way a ranking of the best fantasy players in the most recent draft. I’ll save that for the early part of the offseason. So for today, we’ll leer at those outside the first round and compensation round, and look at who could be the next breakout guys a la Willie Calhoun.

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I was going to open this post with my favorite Future quote, but then I remembered that I don’t know what Future is saying ever. That’s okay, I just like humming along to the words anyway. Seriously, I think that’s Future’s appeal, you can hum to the words! Brave new world, ladies and gents! So why are we here? I know why I’m here, you should figure that out on your own. In the meantime read along, as I follow up my post from this past Wednesday updating y’all on the performances of the players taken in the first round of this year’s MLB draft. On Wednesday I’ll round out the series, with my later round draft sleepers. I’ll try and figure out what Future is saying between now and then. Today we’ll look at picks 17-34, and touch on a handful of players I like from the Competitive Balance Round. I mean I could have done the whole draft, but I don’t have time to write 2,000,000 words. I’m too busy watching minor league baseball, and trying to figure out what Future is saying.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the 2015 MLB draft was a damn good one. In just 14 months this class has already produced three everyday MLB players. It’s pretty much unheard of for THAT many players to move THAT quickly through the minors, and it’s not like any of the three look particularly lost. The real beauty lies here, the draft wasn’t particularly top heavy, we’ve had plenty of very interesting players already emerge from outside the first round; Willie Calhoun, Harrison Bader, Thomas Szapucki, and Cody Ponce to name a few. On the heels of this dynasty windfall, the question on everyone’s mind is; who are the studs and gems from this draft? Over the next few posts (today and Sunday) we’ll take a long look, maybe an awkwardly long look, at the first round and the gems of the later rounds. Did I say that already? I feel like I did….I try to sound like a sports reporter, but I kill too many brain cells to pull off the act. Meh, whatevs let’s talk about Nick Senzel!

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