The trade deadline is approaching fast, and we’ve already seen a few major deals go down. I’ll wrap up the rest of the trades next Wednesday, but here’s a look at a few of the notable prospects who have changed teams so far. As always, we’ll look at them through the Cheeto-dust-covered lens of fantasy baseball. Not every prospect is going to have a significant change in value, but a few could see their stocks rise or fall with a new organization. One such player is Brandon Finnegan, who got mad famous when he jumped from the College World Series to the actual World Series in just one summer. Kansas City may have been more inclined to let him settle into a relief role than the Reds will be, so the trade to Cincinnati has helped his stock if they truly intend to give him a long look at starting. Finnegan could potentially get stretched out in time to help the Reds this year, but it’s more likely we’ll see him in early 2016. The 22-year-old southpaw – if he makes it – has #3 starter upside with a middle-reliever floor. For some evaluators the difference between those two outcomes lies in the progress of his changeup and his durability. At any rate this trade doesn’t hurt him, and obviously NL pitchers are preferable anyway. Here are some other notable prospects that were traded this week…

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Many famous gingers have helped make me the man I am today. Lion-O from Thundercats, Jessica Rabbit, and the fat kid from The Sandlot immediately come to mind. Then there have been a few nightmares featuring this guy. But now that prospects are my focus, my new bro with the orange fro is Clint Frazier. Frazier got some hype as a stud fantasy prospect when he was drafted 5th overall by the Indians in 2013, but when he didn’t completely murder A-ball pitchers last year he may have lulled us to sleep. After a roller coaster first half, Frazier is killing it again in July – hitting .486 with three homers and three steals in his last ten games alone. He now has 11 homers, 23 doubles, and 12 steals on the year despite a really poor June where he hit .216/.337/.364. Bradley Zimmer recently leap-frogged Frazier to Double-A, but keep in mind Zimmer is also two years older than him. Practice patience with Frazier if you own shares and you’ll be rewarded. He’s more Lion-O than Carrot Top…trust me. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

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Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

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It’s the Futures Game! USA vs. the World, and this time it counts! That’s right, at the Futures Game the youth of this fine country will take on the youth of the world in a game of based ball, with the winner claiming the rights to a new “spice” cache recently discovered on the planet Arrakis. MLB is hoping that this year’s event will have fewer robotic umpires going rogue and maiming spectators. I wouldn’t count on it, since they are using the same software as their MLBTV apps. Connecting to server…buffering 33%…playback failed…we’re sorry that your child was thrown into a hot dog stand by one of our robotic umpires. Please accept this signed batting glove from Eric Sogard with our sympathy. At least this year we’ll have hoverboards to get around on! Oh, and then there’s the Tron-style jai alai match between hologram Pete Rose and hologram Bud Selig during the seventh-inning stretch! Wait…none of this is happening? The Futures Game is just some prospects playing an exhibition?! *throws computer across the room…sighs deeply* Fine, here are a few of the prospects from today’s game you may not have heard of…I’ll be in the garage working on my hoverboard blueprints.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The midseason prospect rankings are upon us, and as I put together our own list here at Razzball, there are a few players who have seen significant changes in their rankings since my preseason list published. While most of the Top 50 will be familiar, there have been graduations and a couple of dropouts. That means a few new names will crack the list, which is pretty exciting. The full midseason Top 50 will publish a week from today, and unlike traditional lists, ours will be completely geared towards each prospect’s potential fantasy impact. If next week’s list is the main course, then I guess today is the appetizer. To be eligible, a prospect simply needs to retain their rookie eligibility, or less than 130 AB/50 IP. Here are ten players who were big ‘movers’…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So he’s not technically a prospect, but Jon Singleton returned to the majors on Friday after spending the first three months in Triple-A. Still just 23 years old, the slugging first baseman/designated hitter was on point in the minors to start the year – leading the Pacific Coast League in homers (17) and RBI (66!) while slashing .280/.387/.553 in 70 games with Fresno. Singleton got a taste of the bigs last year and hit 13 homers in 362 plate appearances. He also hit .168 and struck out at a 37% clip though, so the Astros put him back in the easy bake oven to start 2015. Hopefully the extra time in the minors has him better prepared for major league pitching this time around. The Astros seem to think so, as GM Jeff Luhnow mentioned that Singleton would likely eat into both Chris Carter and Evan Gattis’ playing time. He’s worth a look in pretty much any format thanks to his power, but don’t expect much more than .240 from him in the batting average department. It’s also worth mentioning that after hitting ten homers in May, Singleton only hit three in June and saw his slugging percentage dip to .457. Wet blanket…engaged! Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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When we started this series in the offseason, I asked for suggestions of who you’d like to see profiled. Alexander Reyes was one of the names that popped up immediately, so let’s take a look at the Cardinals’ right-hander as our first pick from the request line. Reyes checked in at #3 in my Cardinals Top 10 this offseason, just behind outfielder Stephen Piscotty and southpaw Marco Gonzales. The 20-year-old Reyes is off to a fantastic start this season with High-A Palm Beach and he’s a player that should get even more buzz when midseason prospect lists are launched over the next few weeks. Let’s see what all the fuss is about. WARNING: The velocity discussed in this post is not suitable for children.

Please, blog, may I have some more?