In just 24 hours MLB draft madness will be upon us. While it certainly has the least amount of fanfare among the four major sports, I find it to be by far the most fascinating. In Football and Basketball so much of the focus is immediate, mostly due to the older nature of prospects, particularly in football. This relies heavily on opportunity and fit with a team’s style and system. The NHL in many ways sits in the middle between the other two sports and baseball. But baseball, that’s a whole different story. In baseball it’s all about projection and development. Even the most MLB ready player spends a year plus in the minors developing. The other end of the spectrum is prep players that can marinate in the lower levels for 3-4 years. It’s an animal unto itself. So today I give you the final installment of my pre-draft posts. You can check the other two here and here. I’m going to begin with a quick mock, and follow that up with some general notes and thoughts. Let’s make this interactive, as more information matriculates, and the draft rumors circulate feel free to post what you’re hearing in the comments.

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We all have certain prospects we’re partial to. Players that for whatever reason strike your fancy, and you’ll forever view them through rose colored glasses. For example I think Peter Gammons is still hyping up Matt Murton. Grey wrote like 7 sleeper posts about Jedd Gyorko. Former prospector Mike legally changed his name to Maikel Franco. I on the other hand trekked down to Pawtucket, RI on consecutive days in April to watch Nick Williams first hand. Did I like what I saw? Was I impressed? Click that button, find out.

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Has summer officially begun? When’s the official cut off date of spring? Did you come to Razzball this morning with the intent of discussing the seasons? What about the weather? Could I write a more boring intro? Yes, but only if I discussed common core math, and the best method for folding a t-shirt. Actually that sounds a lot like a TED talk. Is it a TED talk? Probably, anyway this is the point in the foreword where I transition to baseball. Okay, go! This Sunday instead of doing another minor league update, I’m going to try something different. Let’s take a look at ten minor leaguers that are making some noise. These are players that should be on your radar, particularly in leagues of 16 teams or above with 10+ minor spots. We’ll give you a quick introduction to who they are and why you should care. Then let you do some digging on your own, and figure out if these players are owned or not, and if they fit into your team’s long term plans. Not to worry we have the comment section if you’re feeling anxiety. None of this is exactly earth shattering shizz, but a tidy package nonetheless, like my man parts after a Brazilian.

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As the weeks go by, all of you will notice that these posts will be increasingly more influenced by your questions, and the players you the readers and commenters show interest in. In the same way, all that attended a New Kids On The Block concert in 1990, were dubbed honorary “Newest Kids”, you are all my Shitz Stiks, and will be such forevermore. So it is with great excitement and anticipation that I begin today’s post dedicated to the hottest swinging bat this side of Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Bregman. I know a player is generating a ton of buzz not only when I get questions about them, but when people start asking Grey questions about cats in AA. It’s almost as if you people dropped the A.J. Reed punch for Bregman lemonade and have no plans of letting up. (After all lemonade is a popular drink, and it still is.) When you’re putting up the sort of crooked numbers that Bregman has for Corpus Christi that will happen. So let’s get into this helium tank and see where it leads us.

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After serving a 50 game suspension because all he do is smoke mad izm, the Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes returns this afternoon for AAA Memphis. If you’re not familiar with Reyes, then leave…seriously get the heck out of here. Okay, I’m kidding, but really you should be generally aware of the right handed flamethrower. If all goes well, I could easily see him in the big league rotation come late July, with a chance at being one of the most impactful rookies of the 2016 term. After all this is a player that averaged a 13.4 K/9 in 101 innings across three levels last year. He’s also starting his season just a step away from St. Louie in AAA Memphis. With “ironmen” like Jaime Garcia and Carlos Martinez in the Cardinals rotation, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where he’s in the bigs rather quickly. Going forward he needs to be considered amongst the top ten potential promotions, and a top 3-5 pitcher in the minors. In keepers or redrafts where you can stash minors, grab Reyes if he’s available.

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I didn’t want to open this post with just any old sentence. I needed to come up with an unbelievable opening. Something that screamed brilliance. Something that truly captured my feelings for Andrew Benintendi. I held off on really gushing about him in an opening, because the time needed to be right. You know popping his opening cherry, so to speak was special stuff….(WOW! those were some words you could quote me out of context on, and it would look real bad on my part.) The time is here! So off we go, let the trumpets blow, and hold on because the driver of this mission is a horse proctologist by the name of Jan Wilbury. Is that my real name? It shall remain a mystery!! Oh yeah, Andrew Benintendi was promoted to AA Portland on Monday. The long and the short of it, or the “those Grey readers who just read the openings to other posts and scoff” version of why you should care. He’s a future 5 category, 6 if you’re in OBP leagues, contributor, and he’s going to be in the Boston outfield in short order. I suppose he could be in someone else’s outfield too, if there’s a …..gulp….trade. I’d just like to suppress those thoughts for today.

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Today we pickup where we left off last Wednesday, with the second part of our 2016 MLB draft preview. I tried to write the entire thing in emojis, but it didn’t work, and I was told explicitly by Grey that wing dings is never appropriate for print on Razzball. Then again who prints anymore? Seriously where have all the paperboys gone? What are our children to do to learn entrepreneurship? Lemonade stand? Pffft!!! Whatever!!! I can see this is going into a “get off my lawn” type rant…So let’s move along. After reviewing the top 10 prospects in the first installment of the draft preview, this morning we look at the next 15+ prospects that should be on the first round radar. This should take us through the first 30 or so selections. So you know, there’s 30 teams, so that means there’s a player for each team figuratively. I didn’t know math would be involved either….Life hack; use calculators….they work.

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If you were to refer to Kevin Maitan as the LeBron James of international baseball prospects you wouldn’t be wrong. How many 13 year old’s pop up on the prospect radar, and not only that, but inspire gushing articles almost immediately. To say he’s the buzziest July 2nd signing since Miguel Sano would be an understatement. This is the world we live in, a place where a 13 year old from Venezuela can demand the kind of attention reserved for AAU basketball standouts. All this to say the time has arrived , and the age of the Mighty Maitan is almost upon us. That’s right the July 2nd date is right around the corner, and a juicy crop of internationals look to test the water. Chief among them is Maitan, the 16 year old shortstop with the big power and even bigger reputation. Let’s jump into why he matters, and what sort of resources you should allocate to land him.

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I know I promised all of you the second installment of my MLB draft preview…..I lied. Sometimes I get an idea between Wednesday and Saturday, and I just go with it. Forgive me, if you can find space in your heart to do that. Besides, we have plenty of time before the draft to get into another 25-40 players, and we will. Not mention some sweet, sweet international action before the J-2 signings. But not today! No, today we update you on the ongoing happenings of the minor leagues, and players making news. So, in that light it’s only appropriate we open with what has to be the buzziest name in all of minor league baseball at the moment. Tyler Glasnow. He who went 7 strong and punched out 11 hapless Louisville Bats hitters last night, the second time he reached that number in his past three starts. His ERA now sits at 1.64, with a ridiculous K/9 of 13! If it wasn’t for The Man and his oppressive super two rules, he’d be facing major league hitting right now. But we’re just not living in a perfect world run by Supreme Leader-Emperor Trump…. just yet. Don’t laugh I’ve been to the future…Regardless, Glasnow needs to be stashed NOW in any league where starting pitching matters. So pretty much everywhere. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to be sitting on him for a month or more. Just bite the bullet and do it, he’s got huge K potential, for a winning team in the National League. That’s a tasty package…..

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With the MLB draft right around the corner it’s time to start looking at the players entering our prospect sphere and what they could bring to the table for our virtual dynasty teams. We’ll start today with the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing on 2016 draft prospects. We’ll start with the 30,000 foot view and dial down the closer we get. So if you’re a MLB draftnik this might be relatively rudimentary, but the vast majority of the fantasy baseball playing world barley knows beyond the top 100 or so prospects. So, in other words, you’re special. You probably also rarely leave your house and are entirely unproductive at work between the months of February and September. Seriously I’m a model employee for 4 months a year, and the rest I do work between baseball stimulation of one kind or another. So today we dive into ten prospects that should have your attention.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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