The Rangers have one of the deepest systems in the majors and it’s packed with upside for fantasy. Even after trading away three good prospects in the Cole Hamels deal, it’s still a beast. The appeal for our game is the type of player – toolsy, power bats, power arms…all good stuff. One of the pleasant surprises on the MLB roster was Delino Deshields, who the Rangers selected as a rule 5 pick from the Astros organization. If you’re like me, you threw Deshields on your farm for some depth and by the end of the season it was all like ‘whoa this is a solid player right here’ and then Grey’s writing a sleeper post on him and next thing you know he’s got an ADP in the teens. Grey is influential like that. Coincidentally, the Rangers also lost Odubel Herrera in the rule 5 draft to Philly, and that young man had a hell of a season too. Just goes to show that this whole prospect game isn’t always easy to peg, and you have to stay on your toes and roll with it. Back over to the Texas farm now, which features three top 50 fantasy prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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The Yankees have a strong system, and by holding on to their prospects last summer they’re going to enter the 2016 season with a lot of potential energy. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge are poised to help the big club this year. So is Greg Bird, although he technically lost his eligibility. Because the Yankees are active in the international market, there’s a solid crop of teenagers coming up in the low minors. It’s not going to be anytime soon, but you can sort of see how this might converge into an even stronger group in the next year or two, especially when you factor in their crop of new draftees stateside. Of course not all of them will make it, but the more lottery tickets you own the better your chances, right?Please, blog, may I have some more?
What a wild year for the Astros. They made the playoffs, called up their star shortstop Carlos Correa, and made some big trades that have changed the look of this farm heading into 2016. It’s still very strong and full of great fantasy options, but just look at the list of players who left this system – Brett Phillips, Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Domingo Santana, Rio Ruiz, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Tropeano. Not to mention losing Delino DeShields in the rule five draft and the quality graduations. That kind of hit would cripple most systems, and yet here we are with still one of the best farms in the game right now. Last year’s draft netted the Astros two top bats in Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker, and they saw a big breakout in A.J. Reed, who could be in line to play first base for Houston early in the 2016 season. It’s a good time to be an Astros fan.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This system is what’s known as a three-bagger. You’ll need one brown paper bag for its head, one brown paper bag for your head, and a third brown paper bag handy in case one of the two paper bags currently in use happens to rip. Sean Newcomb was a lefty arm that would have easily topped this list if he hadn’t been traded to the Braves. Sad trombone. The Angels had a first round pick in 2015 (26th overall) but used it on Taylor Ward, a glove-first catcher with pretty limited fantasy value. All in all, you’re going to have a tough go finding prospects worth your time in shallower formats. Some of the players listed might not even be worth your time in really deep ones. And yet together, hand in hand, we march on…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today I will continue my proud tradition of not watching football and instead focus on the most notable fantasy prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization. As usual, they don’t have a true blue chip prospect. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t players on this farm who will develop into good fantasy pieces. In fact, over the past few years the Giants have been pretty good at bringing guys up that weren’t on the prospect radar and presto-changeo they are suddenly on everybody’s fantasy team. Matt Duffy comes to mind. Joe Panik is another. The pitching-friendly home park and the Giants’ success in developing arms also makes the pitching prospects a little more interesting than they’d normally be.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re more than halfway through the minor league previews, and this Nationals list was the first one I really had a hard time whittling down to fifteen names. It’s not that it’s packed with studs, it’s more that there’s lots of interesting upside. You’ve got your no brainers like Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner of course, but we also saw a big breakout with Victor Robles. There seems to be a focus on speed, toolsy outfielders with good defensive skills, and up-the-middle talent. It’s all good stuff for fantasy players, and since even your great-grandmother has heard of Giolito, I find the lower levels of this system to be a lot more interesting to talk about. Don’t believe me? She has a cross-stitching of his curveball grip. Stepping away from the farm, 2016 will be the sophomore campaign of Michael Taylor, whose power and speed will probably come cheap in drafts this year. He doesn’t have to rack up that many more hits to make his average palatable as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Hey, I managed to write the whole intro without mentioning Bryce Harper! D’oh!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Twins are a fun system to look at. They have the elite guys like Buxton and Berrios, but now we have the breakout Max Kepler and the international signee Byung-ho Park. Outside of the Aaron Hicks trade to New York, the Park signing was the biggest news of the Minnesota offseason. The Twins had some surprising success in 2015, thanks in part to the arrival of their young slugger Miguel Sano. 2016 will see even more prospect talent surface in Minnesota though, and things could gel together quickly. It’s probably do or die time for Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia, but there’s a lot of young talent to work with this year at Target Field.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indians have a balanced system with good bats, good arms, and fantasy upside at all levels. At the tippy top there’s Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier. Both should arrive in the next two years and the one you like better depends on whether you’re more of a speed freak or a power geek. You really can’t go wrong with either at this point. 2015 was the debut of Francisco Lindor, who exceeded expectations with his bat and was as advertised with his slick fielding at short. Given how hard it is to find offense at the position, it will be interesting to see how strongly fantasy players believe in his rookie year numbers and how high he’ll go in 2016 redrafts. I’m guessing pretty high. The Tribe had, in my humble opinion, a great 2015 draft and walked away with good players at great values. Their low minors is well stocked and it was honestly difficult to choose which players to profile down there.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I got you something for Chrimbus! It’s a jar of tartar sauce. Oh, you don’t like it? Then how about some Baltimore Orioles pitching prospects instead? That tartar sauce is looking a lot better now, you ungrateful reader. Pitching prospects break all the time, but the Orioles seem especially good at it. Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey still have a lot of upside, and of course they will still be perched atop most Orioles lists, but both will also need to prove healthy to regain their lost fantasy value. I own a share of Bundy myself, so I feel your pain out there. Harvey is just a big bowl of I don’t know. Get past those two risky arms, and there are two hitting prospects I like a lot…power lolita Jomar Reyes and 2015 breakout Trey Mancini. If you need more instant gratification, Baltimore is currently in the process of signing Korean import Hyun-soo Kim. Praise Rang! So while this system isn’t a treasure trove of impact fantasy talent, there’s at least enough here to pass the time while you wait in line to see Winter Man. Remember – keep your Chrimbus bush trimmed and wet for Winter Man and he’ll bring you that pasta bear you’ve had your eye on.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tampa Bay’s farm system isn’t the best on the block for shallow league players, but there are a bunch of interesting fantasy pieces here to sift through if you play in a deeper dynasty format. The biggest news from the 2015 season was the explosion of left hander Blake Snell. He earned all kinds of accolades with his performance and now he’s set up to join the rotation in 2016. The Rays have good pitching depth again this year, and they’ll get Alex Cobb back at some point as well. Outfielder Steven Souza was a trendy sleeper prospect in 2015, but injury and strikeouts limited his value in his rookie year. He could be a decent buy low in dynasty leagues since the power and speed that made him interesting in the first place are still there.Please, blog, may I have some more?