Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The Indians just unloaded Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to the Braves, which created some breathing room on the roster. Bradley Zimmer could be one of the guys that benefits the most from all that extra oxygen. I ranked Zimmer 14th on my power rankings last week on a whim, but this recent trade has me looking at him as a legit call-up option as we head into September – one that could make a fantasy impact. I get to the Rubber Duck games in Akron a bunch, and seeing Zimmer in person you can definitely see where the Yelich comps come from. He has a long stride with sneaky plus speed, squares everything up, and shows good instincts on the basepaths. He’s one of those players that stands out on the field without even seeing him make a play. Already big and tall, it looks like a frame that could pack on even more muscle. Zimmer is following the typical path of a college bat, and while Double-A is one of the hardest jumps for a prospect, he’s holding his own with a .244/.359/.462 slash line, three homers, six doubles, and six steals through 21 games. He has yet to be caught stealing and his strikeout rate hasn’t spiked against the tougher arms either. He passes the eye test, the stats are yummy, and we could be looking at not only a September call-up but also a quick promotion to the bigs next summer. His ceiling would look something like .270 with 20 homers and 20+ steals in center or right field. Scoop him up in keepers and keep your eyes on him in redrafts for help down the stretch. Speaking of Akron, come say hi if you’re at the Jim Gaffigan show or the Hamburger Festival today. I’m easy to find. Just look for the depressed guy in the Expos cap. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Growing up near Philly and being a fan of The Roots, I couldn’t help but picture Bobby Evans calling Walt Jocketty to negotiate last week’s trade and it going a little something like this: “The way we do it like this, that for my Mella my man. It’s like that for my Mella my man?” asks Walt. “No, no. We do it like that, this for my Mella my man. It’s like this for my Mella my man,” replies Bobby. And so on and so forth until Mike Leake is a Giant. Anyhoo, Mella was one of the best arms in the Giants’ system, and I actually ranked him #1 on their preseason preview. The 21-year-old had a 2.9 BB/9 and 9.1 K/9 in High-A this year prior to the trade. His value will take a small hit given the Giants’ success with pitching and friendly home park. GABP is less kind to its starters. The Reds will also get corner infielder Adam Duvall in the deal. He goes from being blocked by Matt Duffy, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey…to being blocked by Joey Votto and Todd Frazier. Words can’t describe his current shizzuation as well as this can. Here are some of the other notable prospects traded at this year’s deadline…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline is approaching fast, and we’ve already seen a few major deals go down. I’ll wrap up the rest of the trades next Wednesday, but here’s a look at a few of the notable prospects who have changed teams so far. As always, we’ll look at them through the Cheeto-dust-covered lens of fantasy baseball. Not every prospect is going to have a significant change in value, but a few could see their stocks rise or fall with a new organization. One such player is Brandon Finnegan, who got mad famous when he jumped from the College World Series to the actual World Series in just one summer. Kansas City may have been more inclined to let him settle into a relief role than the Reds will be, so the trade to Cincinnati has helped his stock if they truly intend to give him a long look at starting. Finnegan could potentially get stretched out in time to help the Reds this year, but it’s more likely we’ll see him in early 2016. The 22-year-old southpaw – if he makes it – has #3 starter upside with a middle-reliever floor. For some evaluators the difference between those two outcomes lies in the progress of his changeup and his durability. At any rate this trade doesn’t hurt him, and obviously NL pitchers are preferable anyway. Here are some other notable prospects that were traded this week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Many famous gingers have helped make me the man I am today. Lion-O from Thundercats, Jessica Rabbit, and the fat kid from The Sandlot immediately come to mind. Then there have been a few nightmares featuring this guy. But now that prospects are my focus, my new bro with the orange fro is Clint Frazier. Frazier got some hype as a stud fantasy prospect when he was drafted 5th overall by the Indians in 2013, but when he didn’t completely murder A-ball pitchers last year he may have lulled us to sleep. After a roller coaster first half, Frazier is killing it again in July – hitting .486 with three homers and three steals in his last ten games alone. He now has 11 homers, 23 doubles, and 12 steals on the year despite a really poor June where he hit .216/.337/.364. Bradley Zimmer recently leap-frogged Frazier to Double-A, but keep in mind Zimmer is also two years older than him. Practice patience with Frazier if you own shares and you’ll be rewarded. He’s more Lion-O than Carrot Top…trust me. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the Futures Game! USA vs. the World, and this time it counts! That’s right, at the Futures Game the youth of this fine country will take on the youth of the world in a game of based ball, with the winner claiming the rights to a new “spice” cache recently discovered on the planet Arrakis. MLB is hoping that this year’s event will have fewer robotic umpires going rogue and maiming spectators. I wouldn’t count on it, since they are using the same software as their MLBTV apps. Connecting to server…buffering 33%…playback failed…we’re sorry that your child was thrown into a hot dog stand by one of our robotic umpires. Please accept this signed batting glove from Eric Sogard with our sympathy. At least this year we’ll have hoverboards to get around on! Oh, and then there’s the Tron-style jai alai match between hologram Pete Rose and hologram Bud Selig during the seventh-inning stretch! Wait…none of this is happening? The Futures Game is just some prospects playing an exhibition?! *throws computer across the room…sighs deeply* Fine, here are a few of the prospects from today’s game you may not have heard of…I’ll be in the garage working on my hoverboard blueprints.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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