David Dahl | OF, Rockies | Born:  4/1/1994

Background

The Rockies drafted Dahl 10th overall in 2012 out of high school. The lofty draft status was warranted — Dahl’s raw tools had baseball folks tabbing his upside among the highest in the class. His pro debut only reaffirmed his touters, as the 18-year-old’s impact was profound from the moment he stepped on the diamond at Grand Junction for his rookie-level assignment. Through 67 games that year, Dahl posted a line at .379/.423/.625 with 9 HR and 12 SB, earning the Pioneer League MVP. Naturally, he entered 2013 with enormous expectations. But after a curious misjudgment to begin the season brought fourth character concerns, and then a subsequent hamstring injury ended his season early, Dahl faded somewhat from the prospect spotlight.

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On occasion, it works out where a notable prospect gets called-up to the bigs during the weekend, allowing me to post some notes on him before Grey gets the opportunity. That happens to be the case today, as LA has summoned 1B prospect, C.J. Cron, to the big club. Of course, when it’s me providing the spin on a call-up like this, we miss out on Grey’s clever wordplay in the title. Something like, “Angels Finally Embrace Pot Legalization, Will Roll with Cron(ic)” seems sufficient. In any case, Cron can mash. He established his power potential in 2012 at High-A, hitting 27 homers in 129 games. Then last season, he followed that effort with a puzzling 14 HR year at Double-A Arkansas, causing many to cool at the idea of Cron as an everyday 1B at the highest level. The pop appears to have returned in 2014, though: Through 28 games at Triple-A Salt Lake, Cron slugged .602 with 6 HR. At least for the short-term, there’s opportunity for the 24-year-old to earn regular plate appearances from the middle of the LA order. The upside in his stick is worth the gamble in deep leagues, especially if you’re hurting at CI.

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Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, we’re going to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a biweekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent.

1.  Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Previously Ranked #2): He’s hitting .400/.457/.632 with 4 HR and 4 SB through 105 PA at Triple-A Indianapolis. Need I say more? If I do need to say more, then please refer to Sunday’s Minor Accomplishments post, where Polanco headlined.

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In his first plate appearance of spring training, a big league camp AB versus David Phelps, Gregory Polanco turned on a breaking pitch, sending it over the right field wall. Such things happen to 22-year-olds during spring training, and most of the time, they’re anomalies. In Polanco’s case, however, that moment, in retrospect, seems profound — a statement as to his readiness to produce at the highest level from the instant he stepped on a diamond this spring. Reassigned to Triple-A to begin the season, Polanco’s statements have only grown louder. Through 92 PA, he’s hitting .417/.467/.679 with 4 HR and 4 SB, making him the best mixed league stash in the minors. The Bucs have been fortunate thus far to squeeze some production out of their Travis Snyder/Jose Tabata platoon, but the upside with Polanco is unquestionably higher and it’s only a matter of time before Pittsburgh slots him into their lineup as the everyday RF. His incredible start at Indianapolis should allow him to segue into big league ball with a shizzload of confidence.

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2013 was supposed to be a breakout year for Trevor Story, who was coming off of an exciting 2012 campaign at Low-A Asheville where hit .277/.367/.505 with 18 HR and 15 SB. That line, combined with the fact he was stepping up to the hitter-friendly environment of the Cali League, made for some serious hype last spring – hype which his on-field performance couldn’t match. Story ended 2013 with a forgettable .233/.305/.394, 12 HR, 23 SB line. He’s out to repair his image in 2014, though. In a repeat assignment at High-A Modesto, the 21-year-old SS/3B is hitting .306/.394/.516 with 9 XBH (1 HR), and 11 SB in 71 PA.

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Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, we’re going to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a weekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent.

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The early stages of the MiLB season have brought loads of speculation with regard to Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty, and which prospect the Cardinals will summon to St. Louis first. I’d love to be able to provide some clarity to that question, but frankly, such call-ups depend on so many different proprietary factors, and it’d be pretty stupid of me say something like, “Piscotty is gonna be the guy ’cause he’s hitting a bunch of singles at Triple-A.”  Piscotty, by the way, has collected 15 hits (12 singles) through his first 37 AB at Memphis.  He’s a fine prospect, and he’s zoned in right now, but the gaudy average (.405) is probably drawing a bit more attention than it should.  Meanwhile, Taveras is slugging north of .500.  He’s still the higher-impact fantasy talent, and he’s still the better prospect.  This is not to suggest that Oscar will definitely be up before Piscotty — only that it’d be silly to lose perspective on the situation.  Taveras is the true prize.

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Rafael Montero | RHP, Mets | Born:  10/17/1990

The assumption around foresighted fantasy circles is that Mets ace-in-the-making, Noah Syndergaard, will force his way into the big league rotation at some point before this year’s All-Star break.  It’s not a poor assumption to make — Syndergaard is loaded with size and stuff and athleticism, and he baffled Double-A hitters last season to such a degree that one would think he’s ready to do the same at the highest level.  And maybe he is.  What folks around fantasy are ignoring, though, as they make room at the ends of their benches to stash Syndergaard, is that he’s probably not the first man the Mets will ask to start ballgames once a need presents itself this season.

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It’s Saturday morning while I’m putting this post together, which means that the Minor League Baseball season is just two days old, and during those two days, we’ve had some bullshizz weather and a whole slew of postponements.  This is all to say that there just aren’t too many accomplishments to speak of just yet — we’ll save those for the week 2 post.  For this week, then, let’s run through some notable prospect assignments, team by team.  For those of you tracking your dynasty league players, this should help sort out which box scores to keep an  eye on.  We’ll go in the order of my organization fantasy rankings.

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For those of you who don’t remember, here’s the gist (and we’ll keep this blurb here all season so as not to confuse any newcomers):  Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise.  Back in February, I rolled out my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2014 (part 1, part 2), and those are already garbage.  The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time.  So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, we’re going to keep a running ranking throughout the season.  This post will run every Wednesday, providing a weekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent. 

It’s our first PPR list of the year (don’t get confused, football meatheads), and I’m too excited to chat, so let’s get right to it:

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