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There are several questionable farm systems in baseball, but the Chicago White Sox are certainly one that stands out.  For years now, the Sox have maintained a firm MLB-first approach to player personnel.  They’re a principled franchise that would rather allocate its baseball operations budget toward free agent signings and MLB extensions than toward draft spending.  And when they do stumble upon a real-deal prospect, they usually like to trade him for a veteran dude, someone to help that playoff push.  It’s a model that occasionally works — they won a World Series by it in 2005 — but it’s not one that’s built to sustain success.  And now, in 2013, the White Sox are awful.  They’re in total rebuild mode — everything is for sale.  This is finally their opportunity to change direction, to try to build a system that cultivates and utilizes impact talent.  They’ve already dealt Matt Thornton to Boston for Brandon Jacobs, an upside outfielder with a skill set that might be very useful in the fantasy game.  Don’t stop there, Chicago.  Tear it all down.

Marcus Stroman | RHP, Blue Jays – I mentioned Stroman here last week after his 13 whiff, 1 walk performance.  He followed up that outing with 8 K’s and zero free passes in his most recent start.  He’s undersized as a SP, but his stuff is explosive and his huge strikeout potential makes him a very intriguing fantasy prospect.  He starts again today for New Hampshire.

Kyle Zimmer | RHP, Royals –  Equally impressive as Stroman’s recent work is Kyle Zimmer’s.  The 5th overall pick last June got off to a slow start at High-A Wilmington, but he’s been utterly dominant over his past two starts, posting a 20/0 K/BB during that stretch.  The 21-year-old features a FILTHY fastball-curve combo.

Manny Ramirez | OF, Rangers – Manny has two homers in six games at Triple-A Round Rock.  The youngster has some fantasy appeal, but it remains a mystery as to whether or not the Rangers are comfortable starting his service time clock.

Avisail Garcia | OF, Tigers – I’ve always been a fan of Garcia and it was frustrating to watch him waste valuable development time on Detroit’s big club bench.  It’s a relief to see the 22-year-old back getting regular PA’s at Triple-A Toledo, where he’s hitting .430/.444/.633 through 18 games.  It’s also probably worth noting that he hit for the cycle this past Sunday.  He’s not as polished as Nick Castellanos, but his fantasy ceiling is higher.

Mark Appel | RHP, Astros – The #1 overall pick had 5 K’s in 3 IP in his second pro start.  Houston has since promoted him to Low-A Quad Cities, where he’ll get his first taste of full-season baseball.

George Springer | OF, Astros – George Springer is good.  This we know.  But he’s been crazy good of recent, batting .444/.524/.944 with 5 homers through his last 10 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City.  I’m still thinking he’ll get the Wil Myers treatment and we won’t see him in Houston till next June, but there’s little doubt at this point that he’s ready to contribute now.

Chris Owings | SS, D’Backs – Didi Gregorius’s production continues to decline.  Meanwhile, Chris Owings is batting .353 and doing things like hitting 3 homers in one game at Triple-A Reno.  He certainly could join the Diamondbacks before long.

Xander Bogaerts | SS, Red Sox – Bogaerts continues his improved power production at the Triple-A level, knocking three more homers in his last six games.  He now has more HR at Triple-A Pawtucket (7) than he had at Double-A Portland (6), and he’s done so in fewer than half the plate appearances.

Francisco Lindor | SS, Indians – Cleveland will promote Lindor to Double-A following today’s Futures Game.  The 19-year-old just might be the best defensive prospect in the game, and he’s shown good speed and decent hitting ability this season.  More on him here.

Wilmer Flores | 3B, Mets – When news broke this off-season that the Mets were moving their Triple-A affiliate to Las Vegas, my first thought was of the mouthwatering numbers that Wilmer Flores would produce.  Vegas is perhaps the best launching pad in Minor League Baseball, but to this point, Flores’s power figures haven’t quite lived up to my lofty expectations.  Still, he’s batting .322 on the year and his ISO is north of .200.  On top of that, he’s spending most of his time on the field at second base.  There’s no impending call-up, but I can’t help but fantasize about slotting the 21-year-old at MI on one or two of my fantasy rosters.

102 Responses

  1. low walk high k says:
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    Any word on why Jonathan Villar hasn’t played since July 6th? Glad ta have ya back from mexico! Hope ya had a good time

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’ve seen nothing definitive on this, could be that they’re holding him out because they plan to call him up after All Star break, but that’s purely speculative. If it were an injury, you’d think they would’ve made it official by now…

  2. Iceman says:
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    Hey Scott, great work on here! Both cosart and Salazar had fantastic debuts last week. Between them and cmart, who do you think is going to be best ros (in the bigs) and get the most k’s?

    • ALLEN says:
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      @Iceman: As a tribe fan, I don’t see Salazar making much of an impact with Mccalister coming back and Masty, Ubaldo, Kluber, and Kazmir all pitching well. Seems like he may be added to bullpen as a fresh arm down the stretch or brought up for a spot start or two. Although, most of us Tribe fans are still not sold on Kazmir keeping this up, even though he has been pretty solid. Salazar is def the guy though if we need a 5th starter. Carrasco has been a disaster when given a chance and Bauer clearly isnt ready. But we could also be trading for Garza or Gallardo, if that happens then you really ignore Salazar.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      First, I like Allen’s take on the Salazar situation. C-Mart is best of bunch if he’s pitching as a starter, but Cosart probably the safest bet to contribute fantasy-wise for ROS.

        • Allen says:
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          @Allen: Also, regarding Lindor, what current SS MLB’er does he project to compare to offensively? Is he similar to Andrus with slightly better avg and pop?

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            Andrus is a good comp. Could develop 10 HR power, so yeah, slightly better pop than Elvis.

  3. Shitbird says:
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    Ah, to be young again like Manny. Maybe the chisox will trade for him to add to their farm system.

    • zk says:
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      @Shitbird: The Manny capsule is the kind of humor Razzball excels in. Not so much the “faux-porn” drudgery. Well played.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Ha! This is good. Peavy 4 Manny.

  4. inertiatic says:
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    Dynasty trade question for you Scott;

    Would you trade Votto and R. Braun for Stanton and Oscar Taveras? I want the second two on my tm for the future but I worry I’m giving up too much in the immediate future. Also Braun may be suspended forever and/or suck without the drugs, so I’m in a conundrum. What say you future baseball guy man?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      No, I’d hold. Not against the idea of dealing Braun, but Votto kills the deal for me.

  5. bossmanjunior says:
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    Did you catch any baseball in Mexico? I heard there was a pretty good pitcher down there named Steve Nebraska. Too bad he’s a horrible actor.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Ha! I was in Oaxaca & I actually spoke to one guy about how Vinny Castilla has a baseball academy setup down there… I get the feel the sport is growing down there, but maybe that’s just because I’m narrow-minded & only focused on baseball.

  6. Matt P says:
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    Would you drop either of the following for Avisail, Owings, or Flores?

    Tyler Glasnow, Lucas Sims, Maikel Franco.

    I could also promote Ozuna and drop Eric Young to add one of those 3… Thanks!!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’d hold.

  7. TheNewGuy says:
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    Hi Scott see Tim Lincecum throw a gazillion pitches last night in his no-no? Good for him but thats certainly not gonna help his arm from falling off, gotta wonder why managers play to the stat over the health of their pitchers sometimes.

    Looks like im gonna sell up and play for next year in my roto keeper. Thought I might aswell be realistic and try to aquire some nice keepers/prospects. my team was never gonna be good enough this year, especially my pitching, whereas theres 3 or4 really tough teams this year.

    So that said could you rank these prospect targets for me, particularly favouring ones that should be up by next year at the latest? Some are already up:

    Boegartes, Sano, W Myers, Fernandez, Rendon, Castellanos, S Miller, Yelich, Taillon, Wacha, Gausman, Zunino, Puig, Almora, C-Mart.

    Lot of targets and this is only from the top 4 teams!

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Sorry add Springer to that list too, missed him off.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Timmy can throw a ton… not too concerned w/ the pitch count in this particular case.

      Bogaerts, Myers, Jo-Fer, Shelby, Springer, Sano, Puig, Rendon, Yelich, Taillon, C-Mart, Gausman, Wacha, Castellanos, Zunino… Almora can’t really factor in because he won’t see the bigs for a couple more years.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Fan-bloody-tastic stuff.

        Thought id asked too much of you with all those names, seemed impossible to rank them all but you delivered again. You’re truly the minor league guru, you da man!

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Gonna have some darn tough decisions soon deciding on what keepers/prospects to take in my Miami style fire-sale. Only guys im keeping are C Davis, Encarnacion, Yadi and Segura on cheap contracts.

        Hope you’re prepared man! Should hopefully have some rolling your way tommorow. Got one offer in right now but wont post it yet as theres nothing to compare with.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Haha, cool. I’ll be here.

  8. jeffjam says:
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    Scott, what prospect, currently in minors, projectiong to play LF/CF, outside of Yelich, Buxton and Taveras, do you think has the best shot to be 5 tool contributor? In other way, could you please rank 3 OF prospects after aforementioned trio?

    • jeffjam says:
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      @jeffjam:
      To be more specific, those 3 OF prospects should have a5-tool potential, not really interested in Hamilton.

      • Grey's Goatee says:
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        @jeffjam:

        I’m not Scott, but keep an eye on Joc Pederson from the Dodgers. He’s currently battling an injury just like Taveras, but he’s flashed signs that he can be a erious 5-cat contributor once he’s up.

        Only worry is he’ll probably have to get traded or he’ll need another injury to the Dodger OF in order to get PT.

    • Rob says:
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      I would look at Polanco. One of my favourites and rising fast.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Here are 5: G Springer, G Polanco, C Frazier, R Liriano, A Almora

  9. Racehorse says:
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    Scott

    16 team Dynasty League

    Trade Will Middlebrooks for Avisail Garcia?

    If so, do I throw in Aaron Hicks to make this deal happen or is that too much?

    Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’d consider it straight up, not w/ Hicks.

  10. Racehorse says:
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    Also…

    As a Sox fan – and a fantasy baseballer (Grey’s Mom’s term) – I totally appreciate your analysis of the Palehose’s farm system and how they choose to run it.

    Whenever I peruse the various fantasy BB sites to read up on prospects I always will see slings and arrows hurled at the Sox farm system. Yes, I would LUV to see my Sox stacked with prospects like Profar, Taveras, etc., and I agree that now would be a great time to tear it down and start over. Instead of trading away blue chippers for veterans, use them to re-load the big club. Whether that happens is a different story.

    Last year Tito Francona opined on this very topic while doing an ESPN game. Francona reiterated how the Sox farm system always seems to get a bum rap, but pointed to its strength of consistently producing quality major league arms (i.e. Hector Santiago & Addison Reed)… I admit, not exactly sexy for fantasy purposes but useful IRL baseball.

    Anyway, thanks, and Go Sox!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, I truly do respect that they stick to a model. Too many teams tiptoe the line between MLB-first & prospect-first philosophies, so it’s nice to see the Sox take a firm stance. And they do actually pump out some nice pieces from the farm, but as you say, nothing really of fantasy significance. I hope Courtney Hawkins can shore up his approach & turn into a masher for the Southsiders.

      • THE_FREAK says:
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        @Scott Evans: Didn’t Chris Sale spend at least a couple of days in the Sox farm system? Not that they really did much to his “development”…aside from allowing him to continue with the ugliest and most painful delivery in baseball

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Ha! Sale was a great pick, but was basically a big leaguer from day 1

  11. sange-da-man says:
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    2 questions…. ESPN h2h points league

    Got offered my Rios and Shields for Profar and Jose Fernandez?

    Also is it worth it to drop one of Gyorko, B. Lawrie or Franklin for one of Eaton or Ozuna? I got a small middle infield party going on….

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Hold. Jo-Fer is working with an innings cap. I’d grab Eaton & drop Gyorko.

  12. Racehorse says:
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    Kluber or A.J. Griffin ROS?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Griffin

  13. Racehorse says:
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    Jose Tabata or Aaron Hicks ROS?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Hicks

  14. mcBlunty says:
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    jeter or brett lawrie for my bench spot? current starters are peralta and trumbo

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Lawrie

  15. daniel says:
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    Good stuff Scott. What do you think about Cesar Puello? Having a solid season in double a so far. Does he have a shot at a September call up?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Absolutely has a chance at a Sept call-up. He’s taken some big steps forward this year, but Mets might be cautious w/ him considering he’s wrapped up in this biogenesis scandal & facing possible suspension.

      • daniel says:
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        @Scott Evans: Oh didn’t realize he was involved. Thanks for the heads up

  16. mike says:
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    Hi scott..I need power pretty bad…I was offered encarnocion for marte and greinke..
    What do u think?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      You gotta address your need, but I think that’s too much of an overpay. I’d counter w/ something less & see if you can work out a better deal.

  17. Brooks Jacoby says:
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    Prospect SP who is either about to be promoted or has been and will make an impact in the 2nd half of the MLB season? Zach Wheeler? Gerrit Cole?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cole & Erasmo would be my top 2.

  18. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Thanks for this great piece, Scott. It looks like you nailed the Springer situation…I read somewhere that the Astros GM said he’ll finish out the minor league season in the minors. I’m really excited about Lindor getting promoted already…Akron is a forty minute drive from my place.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, Luhnow is a really smart GM… wouldn’t be prudent to start Springer’s clock this year. And awesome news on Lindor, I agree… Looking forward to a firsthand account from ya!

  19. Oz says:
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    ETA on Noah Syndergaard? He’s looking really good in the futures AS game. Also who gets called up first, Xander Bogarts or Springer? Thanks Scott.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Syndergaard could be up by this time next year. Bogaerts before Springer.

  20. Benny says:
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    Do you think Carlos Martinez makes it into the rotation this year? If not is it safe to assume next year he will? What type of pitcher do you project him out to be? And do you think he’ll be better fantasy than Wacha over the next few yrs? Oh… And welcome back to the States. Hope you enjoyed your time away!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      The Cards have so many options, it’s tough to say… I was surprised by the move to bring him back as a reliever. Could mean now that guys like Carpenter, Wacha & Lyons all will get a look before C-Mart. He’s profiled best as a late-innings guy all along, so if he can sneak into a setup type role with his huge stuff, it might be tough to remove him from it. Keep in mind Rosenthal could be an option to start next season… I’d say the odds are stacked against C-Mart becoming a full-time starter before late next season, but can’t rule it out entirely.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: in light of this (grey already said this too), should carmart be the drop when peavy comes back. 16 team league. all leaguemates are in st. louis so blew last weekly pickup (now with j-up hurt, and arcia demoted i may only have 2 OF for last 3 days of fantasy week july 19-21) on carmart back when he was brought up again. So you really don’t think if Kelly looks bad again (he did look good this week) carmart gets 5th SP spot? Other pitchers are
        smyly
        robertson
        rivera
        perkins
        scherzer
        bailey
        gee
        hefner
        porcello
        medlen
        eraser
        kluber
        milone
        cole.
        so grey said carmart is the drop when peavy’s back, possibly immediately post break. sounds about right seeing how smyly gets more innings/higher leverage/vulture wins and saves, if carmart doesn’t start. also, willy peralta has been great last 2 starts. are any of these droppable for him? thanks scott.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          I agree w/ Grey. Martinez is your drop.

  21. Scott says:
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    Trade away Seager for Bogaerts in an AL keeper?

    • Scott says:
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      I@Scott: To give you better context, I have Longoria at 3rd and Seager is my corner infielder. I know how valuable that pairing is in AL only because of how shallow 3rd is and how quickly it drops off after about 6 guys (Cabrera, Machado, Donaldson, Beltre, Encarnacion). My middle infielders are Andrus, Franklin, and Miller. So the real question is would the upgrade from Miller to Bogaerts be worth downgrading Seager to the 3rd base scraps. The more I think about it, I say no but I wanted your opinion.

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        I think Xander’s upside justifies it. It will require a bit of patience, but I think this one works out in Bogaerts’s favor for the long-term.

        • Scott says:
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          @Scott Evans: Yeah it’s very tempting. What do you see Bogaerts doing in his first year, 2014?

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            Could go off like Machado, could be more of a learning curve. He has the ability to be great right away, but it’s tough to project big numbers from a 21 y.o.

  22. Scott says:
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    Is it time to move on from cole? He’s had a string of very mediocre starts and I’m worried about his future pedigree which I once thought very high. Any updates on seeing boegarts this year?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I still like Cole a lot. Projection hasn’t changed for me. Nothing new on Bogaerts.

  23. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    I’m dropping Hultzen (fed up with him) for Stroman in my minor league system. What’s that guys name for the Giants (he’s like their best pitching prospect), and would you rather have him than Stroman? Thanks.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’d go with Kyle Crick SFG… I’m pretty sure that’s who you’re talking about…

      • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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        @Scott Evans: That’s exactly who I meant, thanks man.

  24. Justin says:
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    Hey Scott, I know tomowrow is the start of the all star break- with games not resuming until Friday (July 19), and the week 16 matchup going til Sunday July 28, when will the starting pitchers be announced from the clubs/ “two-startpaloza”

  25. L-Boogie says:
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    In a standard, 1 year, 5×5 league, which 1 offensive prospect will have the biggest impact in the second half based on production and nearness to call-up? I want to stash one.

    Thanks dude.

    • MB says:
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      @L-Boogie: Gotta be Yelich, MAYBE Castellanos

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yelich has biggest upside. Castellanos is more of a lock to arrive, though.

  26. MB says:
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    Is Alex Gordon for Addison Russell even in dynasty league?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’d probably give the edge to the Gordon side, but Russell has enormous potential.

  27. low walk high k says:
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    How high are you on Glasnow? And whats a possible eta for him? Would you prefer glasnow over cmart or erasmo? Salazar or Cosart? Or is he too far away? How bout Glasnow vs Giolito? Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Very high on Glasnow… 2015 ETA. In long-term dynasty, he’s more valuable than Erasmo & Salazar & Cosart, but not C-Mart… way too far away for short-term leagues. Better outlook than Giolito considering health concerns…

      • low walk high k says:
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        @Scott Evans:

        Cool thanks. My league is a 12 team, keep 25 out of 36, h2h weekly 5×5. Ill list my staff and my prospect bats and wanted to see if you saw someone I could drop for Glasnow or if should i jus stay pat? Scherzer, Zimmerman, Samardzija, shields, liriano, cashner, eovaldi, erasmo, cosart, salazar, mujica, archie bradley, taillon, c mart, crick and giolito. As you can see i only have one closer and not much depth of mlb arms (we start 8 P slots) but i love to keep talent lol.

        Heres the prospect bats in case i wanna swap glasnow for one of them. Sano, Taveras, Springer, Correa, dahl, franco, cecchini and villar.
        I basically roll my starting lineup out there and have a prospect bench lol but i cant help it and am still faring well in league and have a team that can compete for a championship. So any advice to get me glasnow as well would be appreciated, i have a liking for him.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Cut Dahl for him.

  28. B says:
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    Hey Scott, I know springer is crushing the ball right now and singleton is slumping a bit. Who do you think makes a better pro and fantasy player? Who arrives sooner? And does Singleton being 1B in a currently thin minor league class up his value? Please and thanks.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Both will be fantasy monsters & both should arrive June next year. I’d rank Springer ahead of Singleton, but it’s close. 1B status for Singleton hurts his value… gotta consider that many future 1Bs aren’t playing 1B right now…

      • B says:
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        @Scott Evans: also, do you like singleton more or less than matt Adams as a major contributor at 1B next year? If not those guys, who is the next rizzo — a power guy you can start everyday for the next 3-5 years at 1B? Seems shallow and hard to plan for the future…

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Similar outlook for Singleton & Adams. I might like Singleton a bit more, but it’s close.

          • B says:
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            @Scott Evans: is there anybody else at 1B you like better than those two — excluding guys who have arrived like goldschmidt and rizzo (ish)? I’m including guys like belt, yonder, moss, Wallace, and anyone else that isn’t top 75.

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              Singleton & Adams would be my top two… if we’re looking more long term, Joey Gallo is a beast.

  29. malamoney says:
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    How soon do you expect to see Danny Salazar and Jarred Cosart called back up?

    Any updates on Taveras’s ankle?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cosart should get an extended look after the All Star break… Salazar might only be used as a spot starter & bullpen arm. Taveras still working his way back to full strength.

  30. B says:
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    Will we see taveras in the majors before September?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Maybe. Depends on others’ health.

  31. Jon says:
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    I can only hold 3 of these guys (as minor leaguers) in a keeper – who do you prioritize?

    Gausman, Archer, Skaggs, Erasmo

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Gausman & Skaggs… you can promote the others.

  32. Larry says:
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    Win-this-year mode, trade Wisler for Lackey? Also have Slade Heathcott to trade

    thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      You can do it with Wisler.

  33. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Springer over Arenado for a stash for next year? Crick, Biddle or Stroman? Thanks.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Springer, Crick.

  34. TheNewGuy says:
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    Kipnis for Encarnacion. Kipnis is currently $6 and is resignable for $9 (1 year), $$12 (2 years) or $14 (3 years. Encarnacion is only signed through 2014 at $8.

    I would be getting Kipnis. Easy call right?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, sounds like a good swap.

  35. TheNewGuy says:
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    Greys top 100 just out, great stuff.

    Could we get a top 50 prospects list or something for the top guys remaining in the minors? That would be awesome.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      We’ll see…

  36. TheNewGuy says:
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    Heard a lot more talk about Delino again recently, what kind of player do you see him becoming and how soon. Could he be a 2B version of Segura, little pop and good speed, in that case he would be worth rostering surely.

    He’s still available in my keeper league, would you take him over Crick or Hultzen?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I wouldn’t drop either of those for Delino… he’s more of a 2015 ETA, and I don’t think he matches Segura’s upside. And don’t drop Crick for anyone… Hultzen is your bottom man for now.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Its just the ETA difference between those guys though isnt it, Hultzen should be called up this year still, whereas Crick is what another year or two away.

        Just wondering whats caused you to sour on Hultz? He was all the talk last year when he was dominating AA.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          I never was huge on Hultzen, although there was a stretch around this time last season that I thought he might be better than I was advertising. Injuries this season are concerning & he’s looking more & more like a mid-rotation guy, maybe even a back end type. Crick, on the other hand, has front-of-the-rotation potential.

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