Alright 12 readers still with us in late October, get your firecrackers, noisemakers, and elated cheers ready. For the return of Minor League Preview season is upon us. I know, I know, exciting times across Razz Nation. With that said let’s curb your enthusiasm a little, we’re starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lower case yay…. What can be said about the Diamondbacks system that hasn’t already been said about Detroit? It’s been decimated, depleted, and burned to the ground. Mostly by Dave Stewart, but I’m sure Tony LaRussa had a hand in that too. Top prospects like Dansby Swanson, Isan Diaz, and Aaron Blair were shipped off, and to make matters worse they lost their first round draft pick after signing Zack Greinke. So we’re looking at a handful of second division regular types, some back of the rotation arms, and some long term toolsy players. Not exactly the bang you were looking for, but at least we have the Braves to look forward to. Heck they have at least 70 former Diamondback prospects. Holla Touki!!!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Two Saturdays ago, I released the top 15 picks in my First Year Player Draft Rankings. I then followed this up with the latest edition of the Prospect Podcast this past Saturday, where Halp and I mocked out the first 32 picks of a First Year Player draft with Matt Thompson of Friends With Fantasy Benefits, and Smokey. Today we complete the dynasty nerd trilogy with the resolution of my rankings. Because I’m incapable of making difficult decisions and setting boundaries I went a little past 30. Don’t complain, I’m giving you extra. How ungrateful can you be? In today’s post I get a little deeper into the J2’s, as I included 10 of them. This year we had a solid J2 class and a weak draft class, so there’s more of an International flavor in the 2017 rankings than there might have been in past years. (Hopefully the international flavor is Jerk seasoning, but I will settle for Chimichurri, or a solid curry.) It’s also a pitching heavy class, with it being an extremely soft year for college bats. I can’t remember having so many pitchers, particularly prep, in my rankings. Enough with the “Hi, hows ya fathers”, let’s get into it!

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I’m not sure why, but I love the South Atlantic League. It could be it’s well known moniker of the Sally League that I like so much. Maybe it’s the new and improved packaging? Or, quite frankly it could just be the plethora of talent. Though more than likely, it’s the Sally part. I mean just picture a whole league full of Sallys. Which would either be made up entirely of men your grandfather dismissed as feminine, or it’s a league full of men and women named Sally. Only the best Sally’s need apply. On a personal bias note, I’d like to think that Sally Jesse Raphael is a 20/20 threat with intangibles. I mean her glasses were swagtastic. While we’re on the topic, let’s be honest, the game has really been deficient on swaggie glasses since Chris Sabo stopped trappin’. Wow, I get off topic quicker than a “Town-Hall Style” debate. Don’t worry no locker room talk here, we save that for the comment section. So without further ado, the 2016 Sally League Review (#spitfire).

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It’s been a rough couple days. What can I say, sometimes I leave fantasy behind, and actually dabble in the realm of investing my emotions into real baseball. For shame, my Red Sox have let me down. It’s okay, I have things to take my mind off these hard losses. Sure, I have my loving wife, and three beautiful children; most normal people would seek solace in those they hold most dear. Not me, I’m far too twisted for that. I need to bury my face in minor league stats and scouting reports. Thinking somewhere in all this I’ll find my happy place. Well now that I’ve gotten my rambling incoherent emotional discharge out of the way. Let me tell you I’m excited. Not because I’ve been doing Google image searches of busty actresses, but because it’s time to release my First Year Player Draft (FYPD) post. I’ve been working on it, and kicking around the names for a few weeks to a month now. Hopefully this can help you navigate the upcoming first year player drafts in your leagues. In addition to today’s post, Michael Halpern and I will be inviting two special guests onto next week’s episode of the Prospect Podcast. The four of us will mock out our top 32 picks, and speak a little on each. Look out for that… Speaking of Halp, he put out his first year player draft top 10 over on imaginarybrickwall earlier this week. Make sure you check that out. Today I’ll hit you with my top 15, and finish off the top 30 on Wednesday.

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No joke, this is how my day opened. I woke up (amazing!), went for my usual run, came home and begin my usual shizz, shower, and shave routine. The thing is, during the first part of my usual triple S routine, I was checking my email. BTW more emails get checked on the throne than anywhere else in the world. In fact if you don’t bring your phone into the hopper, you’re a sociopath. Simple and plain. Anywho, I check my email and am greeted by this beaut.

“This morning we received a report that an individual wearing a clown costume was seen on a school campus in Your Random Massachusetts town. All schools were alerted and schools responded consistent with safe school readiness practices. Our police investigated and have reported that this is confirmed to be hoax. I appreciate the quick response by our schools and police. Thank you.”

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In my never ending quest to overturn every stone, and scour every corner of fantasy prospectdom; I’ll be going through all of the MiLB leagues over the next couple of weeks. Each post will touch on a handful or so, of the most interesting prospects in each circuit. For our purposes, these lists are always with a fantasy slant, because intangibles, defensive prowess, and leadership, ain’t winning nobody no fantasy title. Unless you play in a league where the scoring is created by Yadier Molina. Any the who, today we go to Carolina….in my mind. Our minds? James Taylor anyone? Okay no Sweet Baby James fans eh?!?… Okay then, we go to the Carolina League, and finish off the reviews of the High-A circuits for our weekly Sunday Prospect sermon. On Wednesday we’ll then begin our look at the Class A Leagues, with the exciting Midwest League. This may be the first time exciting and Midwest were used in the same sentence.  So let’s get into the names of note, and the juicy prospect booty that lurks. I meant Prospect Booty the pirate way….. You don’t believe me do you?

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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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