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The MiLB season may be winding down, but “the kids” continue to battle in an effort to catch everyone’s eye before off-season organizational meetings that will determine timetables and ETAs. The number of youngsters making noise as their seasons come to a close as players scramble for the chance to get a taste of “The Show” seems to grow each day.  Time once again for Razzball’s midweek look at what’s become the most important commodity in our favorite game – prospects. Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on late in Week 20 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). Our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top-50/Top-100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.

Disclaimer: The bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top-50/Top-100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.

(Keep checking in daily for information regarding our end-of-season Top 100 and Organizational Top-10 Lists that will be rolling out as the minor league season ends – those of you following me on Twitter will be notified there as well.)

 

Aaron Blair, RHSP, ARI — The D-Backs’ 2013 #36 overall pick has been dealing, and is quietly trying to supplant Archie Bradley as Arizona’s top pitching prospect. Blair features a mid-90s fastball with movement, and is coming off of a 6 shutout inning performance where he limited Mississippi (AA) to 4 hits with 7 Ks and 1 BB. He’s posted a 3.36 ERA over 56.1 IP with a 55/16 K/BB Ratio in his last 10 starts for Mobile.

Byron Buxton, OF, MIN — The Twins thankfully pulled the plug on Buxton’s lost season this week following his ugly OF collision while chasing down a gapper. He showed minor flashes of the player who was the consensus #1 prospect on the planet coming into the 2014 season after returning from a wrist injury, but the way Minnesota handles his off-season rehab may well wind up being the most intriguing story of the winter. He remains one of the top prospects in the game based on talent alone, but the chance he had at starting 2015 as Minnesota’s Opening Day CF has surely vanished.

Andrew Heaney, LHSP, MIA — The Marlins pulled the plug on Heaney following a stretch where he struggled at the MLB level but he was pushed a bit, and seems to be settling back in and getting comfortable again following his demotion to AAA New Orleans. Heaney’s been lights out in his last two appearances for the Zephyrs – 15 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits allowed, and a 16/4 K/BB Ratio. Andrew should be given every opportunity to open 2015 in the Marlins’ rotation, so if you’re in a keeper league where someone got a little antsy and cut bait on him he’s likely worth a late-season pick up and stash.

Colin Moran, 3B, HOU — Moran still doesn’t project as a sexy corner IF because of lack of power, but he’s going to hit (Atlanta’s Chris Johnson is probably a pretty good comp – someone that sprays line-drives all over the yard). He can still be a very productive hitter because he can be slotted somewhere between the Astros’ big power guys (Carter, Springer, and Singleton). Matt Dominguez has more power, but there are only so many places you can afford to slot swing-and-miss guys in your lineup if you expect to be successful against MLB pitching. Moran has displayed a much better approach than Dominguez thus far, and if he can maintain his superior OBP he should make the competition for the hot corner for the big club next spring something worth watching.

James Ramsey, OF, CLE — The Indians appear to have done very well by liberating Ramsey from the purgatory he faced while buried in the Cardinals’ impressive organizational depth chart when they got him in exchange for Justin Masterson at the deadline. Assigned to AAA Columbus upon his arrival (a promotion he deserved yet couldn’t get while with the Cards), he’s shown the type of player he can be when finally challenged, slashing .306/.403/.516/.919 with 5 2Bs, 1 3B, and 2 HRs in 62 ABs with a 9/21 BB/K Ratio. Look for Ramsey to get a chance to crack Cleveland’s Opening Day lineup next spring.

Julio Urias, LHSP, LAD — The Dodgers’ 18 year old phenom continues to build an impressive resume as he forces his way into the conversations revolving around the game’s best pitching prospects. He’s building late season innings as the organization considers becoming more aggressive with his progress, and has only allowed 1 earned run and 7 hits with an 18/3 K/BB Ratio in his last two starts (covering 10 IP). Those starts signal a willingness to allow Urias to increase his pitch count for Rancho Cucamonga (Hi-A) that could well foreshadow being placed on the fast track to an opportunity to pitch in Chavez Ravine as early as late next season and a chance to compete for a rotation spot coming out of camp in 2016.

Tyler Wagner, RHSP, MIL — The-23-year old Brewers’ farmhand continues pushing his way into contention to be a member of the big club’s rotation sooner rather than later. Following 13 scoreless innings covering his last two starts for Brevard County (Hi-A), Wagner’s delivered a line of 8-1 (63.1 IP) while allowing only 42 hits with a 0.99 ERA and a 59/18 K/BB Ratio. There’s no immediate opening for a SP in Milwaukee, but Tyler’s nudged his way into consideration for the next one available.

Remember, you can always hit me up on Twitter @clvclv_razzball, as well as in the comments section here.

From Around The Web

  1. Beastman says:
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    Hey Chris, likelihood of seeing Heaney this year?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Beastman:

      I do think we’ll see Heaney for s September start or two – he’s already on the 40-Man Roster, so you’re not really slowing anything down by not giving him a little more experience at this point.

  2. Alex says:
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    Chris, you did a great job.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Alex:

      Thank you – everybody here at Razzball works hard to try to provide everything our readers want and need to succeed in their leagues – these guys are the best in the business…they won’t lead you wrong.

  3. MB says:
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    Since you know prospects, interested in how you would answer this:

    As of right now, if you could not make any trades, who would keep in a yahoo roster 7×7 with QS, Holds, OBP, SLG? We keep five as first five round picks. I get Gregory Polanco for free as last round sixth keeper if that matters.

    Thanks in advance.

    Justin Upton
    Freddie Freeman
    Robinson Cano
    Kyle Seager
    Corey Dickerson
    Chris Davis
    David Ortiz
    Christian Yelich
    Kris Bryant
    Hisashi Iwakuma
    Jon Lester
    Kenley Jansen
    Jose Fernandez

    Bryant and Yelich are so enticing but keeping them maybe eliminates the benefit since they will be so expensive.

    Take care

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @MB:

      Awfully tough call – I personally can’t fathom turning any of Fernandez/Lester/Cano/Freeman/Upton loose. I’m as big on Bryant as anyone else is, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t keep Seager over him as well if Bryant’s going to be due a comparable salary. I guess I’d rank your potential keepers Fernandez/Freeman/Cano/Lester/Upton/Iwakuma/Bryant.

      (There’s been very little national airtime devoted to discussing the fact that Upton’s quietly turning into what the Braves traded for because the rest of the offense has been so bad.)

      • Alan says:
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        @Chris: Thanks man

  4. Alan says:
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    What happened to Brian Goodwin? He has just fallen off

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Alan:

      Goodwin”s always been much more of a “tweener” than a “can’t-miss” guy – he has a couple intriguing tools, but their value can never be maximized unless they turn into top of the order hitters. The interest in the Goodwin/Jackie Bradley types over a Billy Hamilton type is the hope that those guys eventually turn into consistent double figure HR threats because they’ll be able to turn on mistakes and make you pay when you make them – the problem is that they haven’t developed enough patience to take 1B when it’s given to them.

  5. Nightpandas says:
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    Hey Chris,

    I am looking at keeping two young guns for next season.

    My first 9 keepers are: Rizzo, Dozier, Tulo, Braun, Jones, Bruce, Darvish, Scherzer, Stroman

    I am debating between D Santana, Correa, Eaton (all would be bench bats) or going to the wire for Giles or Rodon. Giles is intriguing as the top tier closers will all be kept. 15 team roto

    Which two do you like?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Nightpandas:

      I understand I’m in the vast minority of people who don’t value Tulo and CarGo like the rest of the world wants to but I’m not interested in keeping either of them, and I’m not a huge fan of Braun – I’d personally drop Braun for Adam Jones in just about every league.

      I understand valuing “elite” production, but if I’m holding onto guys that provide elite production for 3 months that constantly leave me scrambling for someone to provide even average production to fill the holes they create when they go down completely hamstrings owners – Tulo, CarGo, and Braun are three of the most overvalued early picks in fantasy baseball for me. I got Carlos Gomez 20+ picks later than those guys were picked in redraft leagues and he’s been twice as valuable as any of them.

      • Nightpandas says:
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        @Chris: the first nine I was planning on keeping, just looking for thoughts on picking my 10th and 11th keeper….

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Nightpandas:

      I would prefer to hold onto Correa and Rodon over Tulo and Braun and roll the dice that I could get similar SEASON-LONG production back in the draft if I don’t get them back.

  6. AJax says:
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    Thanks, Chris.

    I’m losing my 3B at the end of the year. Would Sano be a good pickup? Do you think there’s even a decent chance he’ll open 2015 in Minny? Gallo and Bryant are gone, and the top waiver 3B are guys like Plouffe and (gulp) Moustakas.

    AJax

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @AJax:

      I don’t think there’s much chance he opens the year with the big club, but do think he could be their everyday guy by midseason if things go well. He’s definitely worth stashing IMO.

  7. brewce says:
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    I’m in a keeper (6 per year) league with salaries
    Still plenty of minor leaguers available

    Right now I am definitely keeping Bryant, Pederson at 1$ probably Taijuan Walker, maybe Lindor as well.

    The only already owned are Russell and Soler.

    Who else should I target? I only care about 2015 value. Should I be looking at Gallo? Sano?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @brewce:

      I don’t look for either of those guys to force their way into lineups before the second half of next season. The highest ranked players in our Midseason Top 50 that I expect to break camp with their MLB clubs (other than those you mention) are Dylan Bundy, Francisco Lindor, and possibly Jonathon Gray, Archie Bradley, and Henry Owens.

      • brewce says:
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        @Chris:

        Thanks for the thorough response. Might pick up Bundy.

  8. Flunkie says:
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    ETA on Gallo and Buxton? Worth keeping in a 14-team 14-keeper league? It’d be over the likes of Gausman, Gyorko, Carpenter, for example.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Flunkie:

      Don’t expect to see either before the second half of 2015 – however, I wouldn’t drop either of them to keep Gausman, Gyorko, or Carpenter personally.

  9. Digger Phelps says:
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    Hey Chris,

    Great write up, per usual. Love these. I’m curious how you would rank these players in a keeper league for 2015 alone: polanco, pederson, Myers, or arenado. Am leaning towards polanco for his upside but do you see him hitting for a better average next year?

    Thanks!

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Digger Phelps:

      Pretty tough one really. I do think Polanco will adjust with more experience and hit for a higher average than he has thus far, but do think Pederson’s going to have better power numbers. I think a lot of people are going to get frustrated and cut bait on Wil Myers too early – he still has the most upside in the group for me. If you put a gun to my head and made me pick for myself, I’d have to say Pederson, Myers, Polanco, Arenado, but the first three are REALLY close (not to say Arenado’s chopped liver – I just think he’d be the easiest of the four to get back).

  10. al koholic says:
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    yeah great job thanks for the hard work,razzball is number 1 all the way around for football also,

  11. Eric says:
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    Love the prospect insight. Do you think Tijuan Walker is even worth holding onto for this season right now or is he just taking up a roster spot on my bench during my playoff push?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Eric:

      Would be awfully tough for me to turn Walker loose in anything other than the absolute shallowest of keeper leagues.

      • Eric S. says:
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        @Chris:

        I’m a half game out of first place with two weeks left till the playoffs and he hasn’t done shit for me all year except take up a roster spot. With Jose fernandez, goldy on my DL and my pitching staff struggling as of late I really need someone that’s going to help me now.

        Best bet is probably hector Santiago which speaks to how deep this league is. 12 team head to head 4 player keeper league. I understand his abilities forfeiture seasons but I’m separate to fill a hole with pitching on my roster.

        • Eric S. says:
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          @Eric S.:

          *for future seasons

  12. Chris says:
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    In a dynasty league who is the guy you need to own right now:
    Joc Pederson or Joey Gallo? I already have Bryant
    For next year and beyond…

    Thank you!

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Chris:

      Pederson for me – he’ll be the earlier to make an impact.

  13. bored says:
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    16 Team H2H Dynasty standard categories + K for hitters and HR allowed for pitchers.
    Trade (my) Fister for Taillon and Belt. Am I ready to hit the accept button? Would have to drop either Liam Hendriks, A. Ranaudo, C. Carrasco, A. Hanson.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @bored:

      Not sure I could make that deal as well as Fister’s been pitching. You’ll get nothing from Belt the rest of this season.

      • Allen says:
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        @Chris:

        I am not competing this year. I am in a complete rebuild.

  14. Creekdiver says:
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    A keeper question, 16 team roto 6×6 w/ OBP & QS. Salaries are for 2015 and increase $5 per year after that. Need to choose 5 from; Arenado $6, Marte $6, M. Adams $6, Bogaerts $6, Buxton $6, Castellanos $5, Bryant $1, Singleton $1, & Profar $1.

  15. Chris

    Chris says:
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    Bryant, Profar, Buxton, Arenado, Adams for me. The first four are locks – I could see keeping Singleton or Bogaerts over Adams if you’re high on one of them.

    • Creekdiver says:
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      Where would you rate Springer at $6 on that list?@Chris:

Comments are closed.