Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. It’s Prospector Christmas/Holidays/Festivus/Chanukah it’s Top 100 Prospects list time. Michael Halpern my cunning co-host, and I discuss the differences in our Top Prospect lists. Halp decided to be an overachiever and went a full 200 prospects over on his site Imaginarybrickwall.com. It’s brilliant, check it out. We flip flop Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi in our rankings. We then fight over Benintendi, and make up over Austin Meadows. We have some big swings on Cody Bellinger, Manuel Margot, Francis Martes, and Kyle Tucker. We mix in a little talk about my affinity for hit tool first baseman that no one else likes. Then Halp wonders how Stephen Gonsalves ended up on his Top 100 and not mine. It’s the latest episode of The Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I wonder if the Rays are mad at the Yankees for stealing their style? The kings of drafting/signing and stashing are back, with a whole new crop of youngsters, and there’s some underrated names to come. While their top specs may not have the name value the Yankees, or say the Braves have, many of them are destined to make an impact on fantasy in the coming years. One of my favorite shortstop prospects calls the Rays home in Willy Adames, who is at most a year away. As well as one of the more slept on corner infield prospects in Casey Gillaspie, who could have an impact this year. In fact the Rays have a lot of high floor, low ceiling types waiting in the wings in Durham ready to become wavier wire fodder, and hot schmotato’s. Not only do we have some Top 100 types, and some floorboreds, we also have some talented far off youngsters, ’round here we call them Lolita’s, for you to crush on. Without further ado, it’s the Top Tampa Bay Rays Prospects. That’s right, it’s TAMPA! Stevie J.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wait, what? This doesn’t look like Halph…SIGH, yucky words from Ralph. TL;DR…. Now that we got that out of the way. Yes, this Saturday you get yet another verbose, yet informative minor league rundown from Prospect Jesus himself. Not to worry, we just flip-flopped days, your weekly dose of the prospect podcast is coming tomorrow. Today we dig into the useful but always a little boring St. Louis Cardinals system. Only this time we got some sweet sweet muy caliente at the top of the system, with at least 4 members of my forthcoming Top 100 (dropping February 22nd Shameless plug). With Alex Reyes on the cusp of the major league stardom, and Luke Weaver and Harrison Bader not too far behind, the future remains bright in “The Lou”. Isn’t it always? Seems one generation leaves, and another comes up right behind it. Death, taxes, and the St. Louis Cardinals player development machine just keeps rolling along. It should come as no surprise that the 2016 draft yielded yet another strong crop of players including wunderkind Delvin Perez, and personal favorite Dakota Hudson. Not to worry there’s plenty more to discuss, and a lot of good names to be cognizant of for dynasty league managers. So off we go, let the trumpets blow and hold on because the driver of this mission is a pro. The Ruler’s back. The Top Cardinals Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hear Jerry Dipoto kills the whistling solo from the Scorpions “Winds of Change“. Then again, it’s a whistling solo in a rock song. But that’s not the reason he kills it. Oh no, it’s because JDP, as I call him, loves change. I mean, JDP walks into a room and changes everything just because he can. He only leases cars, and never moves in with his girlfriends. He loves a good month to month contract, and has had 7 different hairstyles in the past 17 months. Suffice it to say things at his workplace are changing too. His work place just so happens to be the Seattle Mariners baseball club, and he just so happens to run the joint. He’s already made dozens of trades over the last couple of offseasons, and overhauled the organizational philosophy. Running a hitting summit for their minor leaguers focusing on cutting strikeouts and improving contact rates. What followed were career years from some of their top power bats with contact woes, players like Tyler O’Neill, and DJ Peterson gained the most. All across the organization winning became a priority. In fact, all six of the Mariners minor league affiliates qualified for some sort of post season baseball, with Jackson their AA affiliate, and their rookie level Arizona League affiliate taking home titles. The changes are evident in the upside of their recent draft class too, spearheaded by 2016 Golden Spikes winner Kyle Lewis, and talented prep bat Joe Rizzo. Add that to trades for MLB ready talents, and the aforementioned break outs across the organization last year, and you have recipe for success. Big shouts to Tehol Beddict, Sky, and the rest of the Mariners fans here on Razzball. It’s the Top Seattle Mariners Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Giants are one of the more unheralded organization’s in sports when you step back and consider the immense success they’ve achieved over the past 10 years. Yet they seem to rarely get credit when talking about the top teams of the last decade. And from a player development standpoint they’re just as underrated. While they’re certainly no juggernaut on par with the Astros, Red Sox, and Dodgers of the world; they’ve done a good job of developing a solid core of players, including two of the best at their respective positions in Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. However, in recent years the Giants have been short on high impact prospects, instead churning out role players, and back end of the rotation pitchers. While not much has changed in that regard, there’s hope that Bryan Reynolds, Heath Quinn, and 2015 2nd rounder Andrew Suarez could give them a few above average major league players in the making. Real baseball Ralph…… Why do I care? Honestly, depending upon league size you don’t have to. But for those of you who are deep league junkies like myself, there’s a core of interesting fringe prospects that could offer sneaky value in the short term. So you’ll notice there’s no Tier 1: Specs On the Beach in this system, but they’re overflowing with Tier 2: Floorbored types, led by 2014 first rounder Tyler Beede. This falls in line with their overall draft strategy over the past few seasons, preferring high floor picks to those with higher ceilings. I think this year’s crop strayed from that mantra a little in the later rounds but I’m sure San Fran will boring them up. Okay, now that I’ve attached one hundred qualifiers to this intro, let’s talk some prospects! It’s the Top San Francisco Giants Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh the Pirates, a team I was excited to write about due to my fondness for their high end prospects. But much like a beautiful woman with a pretty face and a giant set of sweater puppets, they top heavy. I mean top heavy AF, as the kids say on the Snapface. Seriously, after Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, Mitch Keller, and Josh Bell, the system falls off a cliff. I found myself 10 players in trying to figure out if there was anyone else to write about besides Steven “freaking” Brault. Sorry Noise, I really didn’t want to add insult to injury after that thorough stomping the Pats gave the Steelers, but it is what it is. Razzing aside, it is RAZZ-ball after all, the Pirates have 4 prospects I’d like to own everywhere. Meadows, Glasnow, Bell, and Keller, and all offer potentially premium ceilings with relatively safe floors. Though Meadows is blocked at the MLB level now, I think we all anticipate that changing. One of the great things about owning prospects from small market systems, is they need those players to strive at the major league level to control costs. I’m not saying it’s a value boost, but it leaves their futures less murky than say a Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox prospect. Ahhhh whatevs, let’s talk the Top Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This Sunday I attempt to write the first Phillies Minor League Preview not from the magic fingers of former Prospector Mike. I will try my best today to carry the torch, and provide the best damn Phillies Prospect breakdown this side of Broad St. Thankfully it’s a deep system, filled with intriguing prospects with fantasy potential. The rebuild has been a slow burn in Philly, but with a young talented rotation, and a wave of youngsters in the pipeline, they’re a team on the rise. The great thing about the Philly system is the talent at every level. They have close to the majors players like J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, and Nick Williams. Players a year away in Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens, and low minors prodigies like Mickey Moniak and Sixto Sanchez. Power hitters, speedsters, hit tool guys, and pitchers, there’s something for everyone. So turn on the fan, light a match, and give me five minutes while you’re on the throne. It’s the Top Philadelphia Phillies Prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Whenever I write a post about Oakland, I open with a shout out to the King Of Hyphy, and fallen solider Mac Dre. I know he’s from the Valley-Jo, but the man gets a great deal of Oakland love. It’s only a half hour north after all. Or maybe all this is just a poor excuse to link to this video. So put on your best Thizz Face, and let’s get into some Moneyball A’s talk. You ready? After unloading eventual MVP, and mullet superstar Josh Donaldson, the A’s have been in full on rebuild mode. Of course treadmill hero extraordinaire Billy Beane is still pulling the strings behind the scenes, but the sort of prospect crop needed for the A’s to compete has alluded them for the better part of a decade. However, things changed last July, spearheaded by the signing of Cuban Hype Machine Lazarito. The A’s then became heavy players in an active trade deadline, settling on a solid trade with the Dodgers. Unloading the aging Rich Hill, and impending free agent Josh Reddick for three solid prospect arms with some upside. All three Jhael Cotton, Frankie Montas, and Grant Holmes should factor into Oakland’s rotation in the next few seasons. With Cotton the closest to the O.Co, followed by Montas, and Holmes bringing up the rear. They then followed both of those moves with the savvy December signing of Cuban pitcher Norge Ruiz for $2 million; a player many think was the best arm in the 2016 international class. Saying the rebuild of the once prospect and pitching rich A’s began this July is a little disingenuous, as they did swing a trade for 2016 breakout rookie pitcher Sean Manaea at the 2015 deadline. Unloading Ben Zobrist to the future World Series champion Royals in the process. With a crop of young hitters, and pitchers matriculating to Oakland over the next few years, we could be looking at an up and coming organization. Time will tell if that holds true. It’s the Top Oakland Athletics Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Not going to lie, this post should be in all caps. As any proud New Englander would, I got piss drunk before writing this opening. Was it convenient that there was a Patriots playoff game? Sure, but I could have limited myself. Instead I drank too many IPA’s and traded Gausman for Paxton, and can’t remember writing this as I answer your questions. If my grammar is correct, you should see how slow I’m typing. There is no fate for a tried and true Sox fan such as myself worse than writing up the Yankees farm system. Here’s the thing, this farm is sexy AF, as the kids say. I’m 35 Y’all! Things are changing, but I rap/write/live the fantasy life like I’m 22! So I am the kids! All right so maybe I’m trying not to say this, but….the Yanks might have the most exciting farm system for fantasy. Better than the White Sox, Astros, or Dodgers. They have legit high upside bats with close proximity. They have far out internationals. They have it all of course, it’s the Yanks. Their sellers mentality flew in the face of their traditional identity, but it was effective in obtaining a great deal of prospect talent. You know I got to drop the SEO bomb, it’s the Top New York Yankees Prospects, I repeat The Top New York Yankees prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?