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At the quarterly Prospector meetings many topics are broached. Favorite sweatpants style, least favorite fellow Prospector, gold tooth picks, but far and away the most popular discussion amongst my peers, “Who’s your favorite Atlanta Braves Pitching Prospect?”. If you know anything about the Braves farm system, then you know there’s so many names to choose from. Think about it, there’s Anderson, there’s Soroka, there’s Fried, and Gohara, the list goes on and on. However, I Prospect Versace, find myself enamored with the best and brightest of them all, Kolby Allard. As a 19 year old in AA he’s setting the Southern League ablaze with a 1.36 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 7.64 K/9 to a 1.91 Bb/9. The lefty was taken by the Braves 14th overall way back in the 2015 draft, and has really taken off since early injury woes. He’s made quick work of the lower levels of the minors, never sporting an ERA higher than 4 during his 90+ pro innings leading up to 2017. The stuff has never been an issue for Allard as he throws a plus fastball in the low to mid 90’s, a plus curveball (seen below), and an improving change. His control and command are advanced for a 19 year old, and with AA looking like just another notch in his belt, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Allard in Atlanta come next year. On the most recent episode of the prospect podcast, we discuss whether or not Allard is the highest upside starter in the minors, and it’s truly possible. The only thing holding the young lefty back is a checkered injury history, with a previous back surgery. While he’s more than likely owned even in the shallowest of dynasty formats, he’s a must add on the off change he’s not. A worthy trade target for rebuilding clubs too. Here’s your minor league update for May 7th.

  • While we’re on the topic of Braves prospects, youngsters Ronald Acuna and Alex Jackson each homered in last night’s losing effort for Atlanta’s Florida State League Affiliate. Alex Jackson is having some what of a renaissance, if you can call it that for a 21 year old. He’s currently slashing .301/.347/.584 with 9 homers, which is tops in the FSL. The best part is he’s playing almost all of his time behind the plate, boosting his value even higher. It’s amazing the turn around we’ve seen to Jackson’s value in such a short time. Must have been a Mariners thing…. Should be a lesson in patience for dynasty managers. Ronald Acuna on the other hand has gotten over his slow start, and continues to show the brilliant upside so discussed ad naseum this off-season.
  • I’m not sure what’s gone on since going to bed at 3 AM, but I have no idea whether Amed Rosario will be called up or not. I did add him all over just in case. He’s hitting .380+ at the moment, and daddy needs one of that heat.
  • Another multi-homer game for Kyle Tucker, the kid just does amazing things in many different facets. He’s by far one of the most exciting prospects to follow or own in dynasty. Kid’s got the ability to be a perennial All-Star, and contribute in a bunch of different ways.
  • We’re into groupings this week I guess. Astros outfield prospect Derek Fisher extended his hit streak to 11 games. So far he’s slashing .321/.382/.568 with 6 homers and 3 steals. The strikeouts are down, as are the walks, and his power is playing up more than ever before.
  • 2016 Oakland draft pick, A.J. Puk pitched the best game of his professional career last night, going 5 innings, striking out 9, and allowing only one hit. So far the ERA isn’t very good, but it’s the Cal League, and the peripherals are gorgeous. So I’d take the ERA with a grain of salt.
  • Red Sox 3rd base prospect Bobby Dalbec, clubbed his second homer of the season. So far it’s been a rough year for Dalbec, who’s K’s are way up at a near 35% rate. Maybe this is the beginning of a breakout.
  • An off the radar arm to take a look at in deeper dynasty leagues is Diamondbacks prospect Jon Duplantier. A third round pick in last year’s draft, the righty has an impressive line so far this year, with a 1.07 ERA, a 11.72 K/9, and a 2.49 Bb/9.  Duplantier looks like he could be a breakout candidate, if you’re looking for a high upside arm.
  •   Speaking of D-Backs prospects making noise, Marcus Wilson is enjoying a career year so far in 2017. At the moment he’s slashing .362/.470/.696 with 5 homers and 4 steals across 85 plate appearances. This is quite the breakout from a former second round supplemental pick, as he’s nearly doubled his career homer run total accrued over two and half seasons. The power and speed combo, make Wilson a worthy add in most dynasty formats.
  • A career night from Red Sox 2016 5th rounder, and former Maryland star Michael Shawaryn. As he struck out a career high of 12 batters, over 6 innings of 1 run ball. The righty has an almost side arm delivery seen below. His fastball jams in there in the low to mid-90’s, with an above average change, and an average slider. His arm slot plays up against lefties, but also raises some serious questions about injuries.

  • A player making some noise in the Saly League is Michael Halpern favorite Yanio Perez. The power-hitting first baseman is showing power, and advanced pitch recognition skills, even if he’s a little advanced for his competition he’s doing what he should be doing slashing .337/.421/.587 with 6 homers and 2 steals. A callup to Down East of the Carolina League seems imminent.
  • Dodgers outfield prospect Carlos Rincon of Rancho Cucamonga continues to flash power, going yard last night for the 8th time this season. His strikeouts are redonk at 37%, not to play Captain Obvious but there’s some risk here.
  • Here’s a high upside sleeper, whose pre-season buzz has diminished some, Jesus Sanchez from the Tampa organization. He’s hitting well at Class A Bowling Green slashing .302/.340/.542 with 5 homers in 23 games. The 19 year old slugger is arguably the Rays best position prospect after Willy Adames. He’s shown some improvement in approach so far this year raising his walk rate above 6%, while keeping his strikeouts under 20%, and making lots of hard contact.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb, and check out my weekly Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST

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  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Solid write-up prospector Lauren..lol..

    I added Alex Jackson in my league last night, always liked him and he could be a terrific bat @ Catcher, somewhere down the road!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: MP! I would fully agree, he looks awesome, and it’s obviously not too late to rediscover his Prospect status.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Mick9019: The man

  2. Nittanychris says:
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    Thanks for the excellent update! What do you think the chances are that the Red Sox call up Rafael Devers to solve their 3B problem this year?

    • James T Kirk says:
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      @Nittanychris:

      I hope the Sox learned their lesson from rushing Moncada. Devers needs more time in the minors. He is developing nicely, no need to rush him.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @James T Kirk: I don’t think Moncada was rushed, he came up in September. He just wasn’t ready. Moncada and Devers are two diffferent players. First, Devers is significantly better than Moncada defensively, and probably the Red Sox best defensive 3rd baseman. Second, they’re very different as far as hitting style. Devers is a low strikeout, bat to ball guy, with power. I really don’t think he’ll be as overmatched, Devers has less he needs to work on.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nittanychris: Yes, I think we see him in July.

      • OddBall Herrera says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        You think we see Devers instead of a trade for Moustakas? Moose to the Red Sox seems too obvious of a move, and as a rental he wouldn’t be *too* expensive either.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @OddBall Herrera: I think it will be Devers.

          • James T Kirk says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            I don’t see Devers being called up this year. They will make a deal….Todd Frazier?

  3. Exactly says:
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    Who’s the best pitcher prospect out there that you think will be called up first and is worth stashing on my bench? My team needs pitching help and no one’s trading.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Exactly: Does Jose Berrios still count because he’s in the minors?

  4. James T Kirk says:
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    So much love fir Amed Rosario, but another similar (yet younger) player is Luis Urias. I LOVE this kid! He has more walks than strikeouts in his career. He has a little bit of pop. And he just keeps hitting!! I see him making a HUGE jump up the charts this year.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: Yeah, I totally agree, Urias is an average machine. I wrote him up on Thursday.

  5. James T Kirk says:
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    Willie Calhoun’s power has returned! And I finally read a few reports saying his defense at second is improving. I am sure the Dodgers will pick up Forsythes option, so not sure how Calhoun ever gets a chance without a trade…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: Maybe if Forsythe remains hurt, or they trade Calhoun. All seem well within the realm of possibility. Love Willie!

  6. Packers says:
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    It’s nice to get the updates, fun read.
    I bought tickets to the Midwest All Star game on June 20th. Plan on getting some autographs on the program.
    Our local Astro’s and UM product Brett Adcock is off to a good start this year. Do you have much information or thoughts on him?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: Thanks! Yeah, he’s not a bad prospect, four pitches he can throw for strikes solid fastball and slider, nasty curve, and an average change. Not a big guy, but he’s got some weight to his frame. Looks like he’s blowing hitters away tab Quad City.

  7. Nelson says:
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    Whats a realistic ETA for Tucker?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nelson: Late 2018, best case scenario. He’s so advanced it’s hard to be overly cautious.

  8. Chris says:
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    Thanks Ralph!

    I wanted to get your thoughts on h2h vs straight roto. How much of a difference do you think luck plays into it with one vs the other. I’m tired of guys winning era and whip with a 5 + era and a 2 + whip. I’ve had a ton of rainouts where I lose a start and lose K’s by 5 or less and wins by 1.

    Guys say well it all evens out in the end, I don’t understand how they can possibly figure that? You can look at the standings breakdowns on cbs but even the breakdowns in h2h I don;t think give and accurate reading. I may go through and see what the standings would look like if we did roto. It’ll take a bit of work but maybe that will convince some guys.

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chris: Yeah, I’ve begun to hate roto after years of playing it. Points leagues are even more bat shit, it’s hard to be patient when every week you lose ground on random shit. I prefer roto, or category H2H. It’s a tough conversation to have.

      • Chris says:
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        Thanks!

        Category h2h though is often times weekly luck. Not a true measure of a full season of who has the best team.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Chris: Agreed, which is why I said I like roto. When it comes to head to head I’ll take category over points or single win. That’s all I meant.

          • Chris says:
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            Makes sense

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: oops typo! Should have said hate head to head. I love roto. That was a typo.

  9. Chris r says:
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    Thought I posted this earlier but don’t see it.

    Dodgers super fan in the league offered me Chris Archer and JA Happ for bellinger.

    I can keep bellinger for one year for free. 12 team 5×5 h2h daily moves

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chris r: I wouldn’t make that deal based on the free year.

  10. William Hung says:
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    I know the answer is probably “No”, but if Rosario does get called up – is he worth rolling the dice in lieu of say, Trevor Story? Bro is straight up testing everyone’s patience right now – all without the track record.

    Nightmares of when Mark Reynolds and Richie Sexson suddenly fell off a cliff are with me, and know the kinds of seasons that Story is trying to mimic can sink a team.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @William Hung: Yeah, I wouldn’t make that move. Be patient, at this point dropping Story for someone who might not stay up is too hasty.

      • William Hung says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: unfortunately there are whispers Story might get sent down if he doesn’t turn it around soon – he’s already been benched 2 days in a row, and his k-rate has yet to improve. He had that 3-4 game span that looked like he was getting himself right, but then followed that up by getting k’d 5 times in the next 7 ABs. He’s just chilling on my bench while the rest of my team is struggling between Betts, Rizzo, and Lindor (until his homer yesterday).

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @William Hung: I still wouldn’t drop Story for someone who hasn’t been called up yet, and there’s no guarantee he hits when up. I just wouldn’t do it.

  11. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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    Hey Ralph!

    Do you have any thoughts on Bucs farmhand Jordan Luplow? He’s someone who interests me as a Pirates fan. He’s in AA Altoona right now, do you think he’s got a shot to contribute?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OldMilwaukeePounders: He could, particularly if he’s be able to tap into his raw power, which so far it looks like he has. Nice power and speed mix, could play if he gets a shot.

  12. OddBall Herrera says:
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    I was a bit surprised to see Szczur, who is out of options, get demoted by the Cubs this week. I know Happ is on the minor league DL at the moment, but it’s not supposed to be a big issue. This transaction kind of flew under the radar on all the fantasy sites, because short term they filled the spot with a pitcher, but you have to think long run Happ factors in to this to some degree, since you don’t waive one of your bench bats without some plan to replace him (I suppose La Stella could be that plan). What do you think?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OddBall Herrera: He should factor in sometime this year.

  13. Tracy Clark Jr says:
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    Great updates as always. I am in a 10 team keeper league where we get to stash up to 4 NA [including minor leaguers].

    I currently have:
    Rhys Hoskins [thanks to you]
    Alex Reyes
    Gleybar Torres
    Brenden Rogers

    Would you drop any of these for Kolby Allerd? I could also pick up Franklin Barreto.

    Thanks in advance!

  14. Nightpandas says:
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    Partial keeper Ralphie,

    Dropping Gsellman for

    Hoskins
    Y Mendez
    Hoffman

    Looking for upside for this year

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nightpandas: To me Hoskins has the upside.

  15. BM says:
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    Wanting to add Luis Urias, but gotta drop Desmond Lindsay or Basabe. Which should I drop? I was higher on Lindsay to start the year, but he’s been pretty poor.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BM: Lindsey and it’s not even close. Do it hahaha

  16. Terrence Holland says:
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    Great info, Ralph! I have Brinson and Meadows on my bench in a deep keeper league. Assuming nothing out of the ordinary, how soon before you see both of them get the call?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Terrence Holland: Brinson will be soon me thinks like within the next 30 days. Meadows might be like July.

  17. Steve Stevenson says:
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    AL-only keeper, 5 OF, 3 minors slots. Once you fill your minors slots they stay on your roster until called up. No bench, can only drop guys from active roster if DL’d or sent down (or you have someone else called up or coming off DL).

    I have one empty minors slot now, and both Berrios and K. Tucker are intriguing. Long run obvs like Tucker much more, but he’s also farther away and my other 2 slots are younger OF (K. Lewis, Rutherford). Ideally I grab Berrios, get to call him up shortly and drop my worst P, and then still have the minors slot to grab Tucker. But there’s risk of Berrios not getting the call or getting it and sucking again and being stuck on my roster. But if I just grab Tucker, my minors slots are probably locked up till mid-2018 or so.

    So, do you grab one of them, or hold?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I’d grab Berrios and Tucker and dump Rutherford. Tucker > Rutherford ALL DAY.

  18. Trump yall says:
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    Ralph, I’m a Joseph owner. When do you recommend dropping him and picking up Hoskins?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Trump yall: Late May, or if there’s any injuries in Philly.

  19. Alcibiades Escobar says:
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    Ralph,

    At what level do you start to take SB totals seriously? I have guys that are getting nice totals in low A ball but I’m not really putting any stock into it.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Alcibiades Escobar: AA, the lower minors are meaningless quite often.

  20. Tweak says:
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    Sometimes it gets a bit tiresome waiting for prospects to come up. In one league with five MI positions (2x2B, 2xSS, 1xMI), I’m rolling with Devon Travis, Jose Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts, Zack Cozart and Adam Rosales at the moment. With Travis’ struggles and… Adam Rosales… I’m desperate for one of Amed Rosario or Gleyber Torres to get the call. I’ve also got Delvin Perez in the pipeline, but he’s a ways off, obviously.

    I’ve got Meadows, Brinson, Bader, Fisher, O’Neill and Verdugo in my OF future. Think it is worth dealing one for someone like Albies? Guy looks like a batting champ. Maybe could upgrade an arm alongside picking up another MI if I deal O’Neill.

    Also, what do you make of Ryan McMahon’s season thus far? I moved on from him after a mediocre season last year, but he’s sporting a .400 BABIP and cut his K rate in half through 30ish games. For real? Good numbers and Hartford, CT is no Albuquerque or Denver. If you’re buying, do you buy over Bauers and Tellez?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tweak: Yeah I could see moving some OF guys like Vedugo and Perez for Albies. Don’t go crazy though, you have great prospect depth.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I buy McMahon over Bauers, and Tellez is wait and see. He’s looked good and awful.

  21. kevin fitzpatrick says:
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    would you own Allard over Willie Calhoun? or Buehler?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @kevin fitzpatrick: Yes, but they’re all in range.

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