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On Saturday’s edition of the prospect podcast Halp and I discussed our updated first year player draft rankings. Each of us agreed that the number 1 pick in this June’s draft had slipped ahead of Hunter Greene and into the top spot on our respective ranks. Yesterday afternoon, the Twins did us a great service. They affirmed our decision with the promotion of Royce Lewis to full season Cedar Rapids of the Midwest league. So far the top pick has been an exciting take, and surprisingly polished. The numbers are more good than great, but then again, he was playing high school baseball three months ago. Still .271/.390/.414 with 3 homers and 15 steals, ain’t too shabby in 36 games. The young shortstop has the ability to be an impact fantasy player in multiple categories at peak. Meaning his ability to stick in the middle infield doesn’t dictate his value. He was in the lineup hitting leadoff last night for Cedar Rapids, and went 4 for 5 in his debut, with 2 runs scored, an RBI, and a steal. As for my updated first player draft rankings, you can hear my thoughts on this week’s podcast, but the actual updated list we’ll save for October… Here’s what else I saw in the MiLB

  • Okay, I’m going to open this post with a dedication to the dude who was mad I didn’t mention Isaac Paredes on Thursday. He’s the player the Tigers received in the Justin Wilson deal, and he’s a very intriguing low minors bat. Paredes has a highly regarded hit tool, and a little pop in his bat. If he progresses to the majors he’ll make his bones on his approach, as its highly advanced for an 18 year old.
  • The Twins other first rounder (well kinda supplemental first), Brett Rooker connected for his third homer in his last five games Saturday. The former Mississippi State standout was the top power bat in the NCAA last year, and that’s held true. He’s shown no problems transitioning to hitting with wood bats, consistently channeling his power the last few months. He’s going to struggle to hit for average, but looks like a solid source of power in the future.
  • Just one night after becoming the second 20/20 player in pro-ball this season, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 21st homer of the season. The shortstop set the Fort Wayne TinCaps single season home run record with the shot. He’s comfortably within my top 25 right now.
  • Another excellent start from the White Sox Michael Kopech last night. The right-handed flamethrower continued his run of electric (10 K’s) but efficient pitching. He threw 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing 5 base runners (3 hits, 2 Bb) over 7 scoreless innings. I’d love to see Kopech get a couple of starts in September. Seems like a long shot, as the White Sox really have no reason to promote him.
  • The Royals first rounder Nick Pratto homered last night, extending his hitting streak to 8 games. He’s been a little inconsistent since entering pro-ball, but has an advanced bat for his age, with a fairly high offensive ceiling.
  • Enyel De Los Santos of the Padres pitched a gem for AA San Antonio yesterday. The righty went 8 strong, allowing 1 run, on 1 hit, 2 walks, and 7 k’s. He took a no hitter into the 8th before relinquishing it. Enyel has a nasty high 90’s heater, an above average change, and he tosses an average curveball too. Most of his success however, is off his offspeed-fastball combo.
  • Excellent start from the Tigers top pitching prospect Beau Burrows. He went 6 hitless innings, but didn’t come back out for the 7th after 83 pitches. He struck out 8 in the process walking 2. Despite a rough patch early in his AA assignment, Burrows has shown moments of brilliance as well. He got a ton of swings and misses on his fastball-slider combo, and located well all night.
  • The rather heavily hyped Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hasn’t done much in his 44 game stateside stint. He’s batting a paltry .231/.259/.338 with 2 homers, and 2 steals. Maybe the Cuban import needs time to get acclimated to the American game, but it’s not an ideal start.
  • After struggling in July upon returning from the DL with a hamate bone injury, the Blue Jays Anthony Alford has been on fire in August. He’s slashing .343/.351/.514 with a homer and a steal in his last 10 for AA New Hampshire. I still love Alford long term, just wish he’d stay healthy.
  • Another big night for Eloy Jimenez who hit two bombs last night. One in the 4th, followed by this shot in the 6th.

  • I haven’t spoken enough about my love for 19 year old Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite, if not my favorite backstop spec behind Francisco Mejia. Across two levels of A ball Ruiz is hitting .316/.365/.456 with 29 extra base hits. He’s got something in common with the aforementioned Mejia as well, they’re both switch hitters.
  • The Astros promoted two promising young arms to AA yesterday in 19 year old Forest Whitley, and 20 year old Cionel Perez. The younger Whitley is one of my favorite pitching prospects in the minors. He’s 6’7 throws with some wicked downhill plane, helping him miss bats in bunches. This is easy to spot all you really have to do is check the numbers (117 K’s in 77.2 IP). He’s the rare young big man with repeatable mechanics and strong control, walking just 30 over those nearly 80 innings. Perez on the other hand possesses elite control, pounding the strike zone and rarely allowing free passes. In 5 starts with Buies Creek his ERA sits at 2.84.
  • It seems like I’m going to be writing a lot about Austin Hays the next 6 months. The breakout prospect of 2017 had another big night Friday, going 3 for 3 with a homer and a pair of singles. Over his first 143 professional games since being drafted in June of 2016, Hays is hitting .335/.374/.593 with 32 homers and 102 RBI.
  • After an awful first four months we’re finally seeing signs of life from Rowdy Tellez in August. The rotund slugger is hitting .395/.458/.465 for the month. He won’t see Toronto this season, but at just 22, and without Rule 5 protection this offseason, Tellez should be added to the 40 man. This paves the way for his MLB debut in 2018.
  • A great start from the Braves Kolby Allard on Thursday night, he went 6, striking out 10, while allowing 1 run on 5 hits, and 2 walks. Allard has now thrown 123.1 innings at AA this year in his age 19 season, while maintaining a a respectable K rate (19.3%) and ERA 3.50. Allard is still the most promising of Atlanta’s arms.
  • I’m getting the feeling that we see Nick Senzel for a September cup of coffee. He went 2 for 4 last night, only a couple of nights after for going 3 for 4 with 2 homers. He’s hitting .345 in 46 AA games with 7 homers, and a .552 slugging percentage. I’ve likened Senzel to Alex Bregman, with more power and less speed.

 

**Going to a minor league game? Get in on our crowdsourced scouting video project! Use your phone to shoot at bats, pitches, etc of some of the top prospects, and email them to me at [email protected]**

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshtzbb and Tune on Tuesday’s @ 9PM (EST) to my Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube.  (and join the Crab Army in the chat)

   
  1. David says:
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    Great stuff Ralph! Thanks for all of your help and insight.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: Thanks for reading

  2. Jeff says:
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    Don’t worry, Ralph, I won’t snipe any more minor leaguers from your list this December.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jeff: Ha! I’m releasing it after the SSDL draft starts.

  3. Packers says:
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    Ralph, great stuff. Thanks.
    I’m trying to set myself up for 2018. 12 teams with 5 outfielders in the lineup. Dynasty keep all. I have Tucker as one of my 4 reserves. I also have Tapia in the starting lineup for now. How would you rank Renfroe, O. Herrera, D. Peralta, Altherr,and Grichuk for 2018? I need 2 of those 5.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: Peralta, Herrera, Altherr, Renfroe, Grichuk.

  4. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Hey Ralph, where would I find your top 50/100 SP prospects list?

    Solid write-up as usual, my friend, new and fresh stuff, packed full of useful info every-time, not the same old stale trying to be funny stuff like some other writer we know..LOL

    Cheers,

    MP

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: Yeah! Who’s that? Haha

      I don’t have a starting pitcher only list.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Well you better get one, lol, no worries.

        Where would I find the overall top 100 prospects from the games BEST prospector guru!!

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Malicious Phenoms:Top 100 and 200 lists are up top in the rankings tab

  5. Kevin from ESPN's "Get Him In Your Lineup" Department says:
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    Yo ralph, what do you think about OF Garrett Whitley? He’s shown HUGE power gains (11HR vs 1 last year) and has also chipped in 15 steals. Should be a top 200 spec with that power/speed profile, no? Also, are you concerned with your boy Heath Quinn’s step back this year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      Whitley has certainly rebounded from an awful first few years. He’s only 20 so there’s still a ton of upside, he’s got the ability to run, hit for power, and get in base.

      Yeah Quinn was good up until that June DL stint and has been garbage since.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: yay finally some good news for my 1st round pick last year.

  6. Sport says:
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    Thanks as always. The information is awesome. Thoughts on Luis Urias? Is he still in your top 50 (47), and you still think middle of 2018 for him? Seems like it woo the be flashy numbers but a solid AVG/OPS?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Yeah still like him a lot he’s pretty advanced for a bat so young. Not many .300 hitters left.

  7. demribbies says:
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    When do you think Mejia becomes the everyday starter for the Tribe?

    Who do you like as a player comp for Acuna (assuming he keeps up the pace he’s on)?

    Would you rather go with Rhys or Calhoun over either of the above?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @demribbies: Prolly mid-late next season. He’s a catcher so he shouldn’t be rushed.

      The Braves people throw around Andruw Jones a lot.

      Acuna over all of them. He’s #1 for me at the moment.

  8. James T Kirk says:
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    Austin Hays is my new favorite prospect! I’d like to see him take a few more walks, but the fact he isn’t striking out at a high clip is a great sign. My only question is where is his ultimate position, center or corner?

    Do you think we see him up before the break next season?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: I think Hays is a corner guy, and it wouldn’t shock me if he spends most of next season in Baltimore. He doesn’t walk much at all, but as you said he’s not striking out at all. Seems like he could be the new Adam Jones.

      • James T Kirk says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        I already have Tucker. Assuming long term, Tucker is the better option. But for next year….Hays?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @James T Kirk: That’s close, Hays has a much clearer path to playing time in 2018.

  9. Dave says:
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    Interesting name there with Ruiz….hadn’t heard of him before now and he’s not even on Yahoo……ETA?!?!

    Thanks again, as always.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: Yeah he’s really had a nice breakout this year.

      Knowing catchers and the Dodgers prolly a good three years. A 2020 ETA seems right.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Dave: in any respectable top 200 at least 60 or more won’t be in yahoo, much less a guy who isn’t (or wasn’t, don’t know how high he’s moved up)

  10. Mad Beach Bums says:
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    Good Morning Ralph, does going to Padres games count as minor leagues? I could get some video next time I go for your crowd sourced scouting project.
    What type of SB potential does Kingery have in the majors?
    Thanks for the write ups bro!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mad Beach Bums: MBB! Sure go for it! Haha! Hell of a battle in Rio Ruiz down the stretch.

      Prolly 12-15 steals.

  11. JoeyBagofDoughnuts says:
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    Playing for this year and pretty safe that I make H2H playoffs (BB, OPS, and 2B are extra cats for us). Drop Brantley and use my high waiver claim on Hoskins?

  12. Justin Ralph says:
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    Thanks for the info Ralph!

    We get to have three minor leaguers on our roster. I currently have Margot, Brinson and Tapia. I was going to drop Tapia for Senzel but someone beat me to it. Should I drop him for Tatis Jr?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Justin Ralph: If you can hold for a couple years yes.

  13. Big League Choo says:
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    12 team dynasty H2H 7×7 total bases and OBP

    My Brinson for McMahon straight up?

    1B Goldy
    2B Odor
    3B Rendon
    SS Semien
    MI Wong/Villar
    CI Smoak
    OF Pollock
    OF khris Davis
    OF Puig
    OF TRumbo
    OF Derek Fisher
    Util Thames

    Min Willie Calhoun
    Min Triston McKenzie

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Big League Choo: I’d hold Brinson i dont trust your OF depth.

  14. Screwballs says:
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    Ralph,

    Great stuff as usual.

    I am preparing for the play-off run in a 20 term H2H league and wondering which of the following you think could see a call up with some real playing time: Scott Kingery, Harrison Bader, Anthony Alfore, Jack Flaherty, and Chance Adams.

    Also how do you rate Matt Chapman ROS?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Screwballs: I think Alford could be up and I suppose KIngery but he needs a place to play.

      • Screwballs says:
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        Ralph,

        Great stuff as usual.

        I am preparing for the play-off run in a 20 term H2H league and wondering which of the following you think could see a call up with some real playing time: Scott Kingery, Harrison Bader, Anthony Alfore, Jack Flaherty, and Chance Adams.

        Also how do you rate Matt Chapman ROS?

        Thanks in advance!@Ralph Lifshitz:
        Thanks!

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Screwballs: Matt Chapman looks like a that will feast and famine. Perfect streamer type. Power is very real.

  15. mUshi says:
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    hi. in a keeper, which side?

    freeman/bum or rizzo/degrom?
    thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @mUshi: Freeman and Bum

  16. SR says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    You mentioned in the podcast the other day that JP Crawford is probably back around your top 50, probably a bit higher. I guess my question is, how much of a gap is there in value between a guy like Senzel and Crawford?

    I think we’re finding SS isn’t nearly as deep as we were expecting this year with a lot of guys either stagnating or regressing – Story, Bogaerts, Russell, Villar, Swanson, Tulo, Barreto, etc.

    That combined with the fact that Crawford has now demonstrated he’s a guy who can hit 10+ HR across a quarter of a season is encouraging for his value. And it’s not like he was hacking away since early July either – healthy 13.2% BB, 18.6% K, .314 BABIP in that stretch.

    Got an offer of Odor, Eaton, and Crawford for my Arrieta, Senzel, and a draft pick in my 16 team dynasty (5×5, 40 man rosters). .Seems like it’s a great time to cash out Senzel since his value won’t be nearly as high if he settles in as a non-top 5-8 3B option, but the prospect rankings love him. Maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into a deal though.

    (Contributing factor – I have other young, upsidey 3B eligible options in Devers, Gallo, McMahon, and Andujar rostered)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @SR: With that third base depth I’d make the deal. Senzel is the better player but adding three hitters that can all contribute across the board. If Odor rebounds next year and hits say even .260 you’re looking set. That said Senzel could be a very a top 25-30 hitter at peak, don’t see that for Crawford.

  17. Jake from State Farm says:
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    2 keep forever league questions. I’m currently in first. Definite win now team. Injuries have killed me lately. Harper last night hurt deep. Today is our trade deadlines. I was just offered Nunez, Dickerson, inciarte, Cobb and porcello for my Acuna and Happ. Acuna is my pride and joy but in a 14 team league this is a nice haul. We keep up to 40 players per team so waivers are light. I can try to get more. I reallly dont want to trade Acuna. I maybe able to hold them off for a bit till I get health
    Second question is Tim Anderson vs Brandon Crawford this season and beyond in the same keeper league if I take this trade I can get Nunez to fill SS.

    • Jake from State Farm says:
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      @Jake from State Farm: ss has been a black hole all season. He does have segura I can go after. Thanks. This is a big trade. I need help lol

      • Jake from State Farm says:
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        @Jake from State Farm: I was just offered Xander for Acuna. Would solve my Crawford/Anderson problem but I don’t love him.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jake from State Farm: I like the big deal more than the Xander one. Dang, I don’t want to sell Acuna. The first one makes a lot of sense, but it gives me pains in my belly.

  18. Marti says:
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    Jimmie sherfy closing for d backs next year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Marti: Why not Archie!

  19. Andrew Edenbaum says:
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    Ralph. Please rank Flores/Hoskins/Smith for R.O.S. Now that Flores appears to have a “secure” every day job, I’m thinking that he may be the best choice.
    Notwithstanding your response to the above questionn, would you drop Winker for all 3 of Flores/Hoskins/Smith ?
    I can drop Gyorko or Brad Miller AND Winker. Will need a b/up s.s. so I can’t drop BOTH Gyorko and Miller. Given the Cardinals piethora of starters, I’m thinking the ice cold and injured Gyorko would be the preferred drop over Miller.
    Thanks in advance !

    • Andrew Edenbaum says:
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      @Andrew Edenbaum: Guess I can add Gamel as a potential drop. Hope to get a response before our deadline at 7 p.m.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Andrew Edenbaum: Sorry kids and writing tomorrow’s post.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Andrew Edenbaum: He could be Hoskins has the most upside for me.

      Yes I’d dump Winker for him.

  20. ferris says:
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    1. Ryan McMahon – if I am looking for ROS value nl-only, do you think he’s a drop given pretty obvious playing time concerns?

    2. Javier Baez or Brandon Belt ROS? Obviously, Addison Russell uncertainty versus concussion uncertainty. Also, would have to drop McMahon if I acquired Baez.

    Grazi

    • Another Dan says:
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      @ferris:

      1) Can you hold for a couple of days ? Arrenado took one on the hand earlier today. x-Rays have come back negative but it might be worth watching …..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @ferris: I’m holding strong on McMahon but it’s a gamble. Baez is the smart choice.

  21. Nightpandas says:
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    Good stuff Ralph…

    Keeping 11 next year:

    Go offered a 4th round pick for B Zimmer and a 5th for Michael Taylor…(rounds 15, 16)

    Would you make one or both of these moves ?

    • Nightpandas says:
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      @Nightpandas: other potential of keepers: Desmond, Dickerson, Brinson

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nightpandas: I’d want to hold on Zimmer, but if you’re not keeping him make the deal.

  22. David says:
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    Ralph, please rank for dynasty going forward: Taillon, Glasnow, Allard, Gohara. Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: Taillon, Glasnow, Allard, Gohara. I like them all though.

  23. Robert says:
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    I have 3 moves left and have to choose wisely, ROS : Wacha or Bundy?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Robert: Wacha hands down.

  24. Another Dan says:
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    Thanks for the read Ralph. The podcast was a good listen too.

    best wishes,

    Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Dan! The season open up yet? My boys looked marvelous today!

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Yeah, we drew 0-0 at home against a team tipped to be a promotion rival. Team looked very solid but lacked a ‘cutting edge’. Had the biggest crowd in our division and bigger than the division above too. Next game is Tuesday against the team that beat us in the play-offs last year, our next league home game is against the favourites for the division. Not an easy start to the season.

        Lukaku looked sharp yesterday.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Another Dan: I’m pulling for you guys! Love this element of English Football.

          Yes he did, he’ll look bad for a month by October though, he’s Lukaku. Pogba and Matic together is amazing though. That mid-field is very legit, and to win in Europe you need the great midfield.

  25. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    when do we see Calhoun or Kingery and who do u like better to have a starting job in 18

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: September for both, I think both have a starting job. Less moving parts to find Kingery one. That Choo contract is a major albatross for the Rangers.

  26. Redbirds 4 Life says:
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    Ralph has Piscotty lost it or can he be better than the player he was last year #3 Ofer ? Also Weaver just needs a spot to perform imo I know you are higher on Flaherty but figure Weaver has inside track.

    With that said better stash Weaver or Piscotty?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Redbirds 4 Life: I’d stash Weaver, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Piscotty, but Weaver’s upside is higher.

      I’m pretty even on he and Weaver, I think Flaherty’s floor is higher.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Redbirds 4 Life: piscotty’s mother has lou gehrig’s, this is EXACTLY like the jean segura situation from a few years ago. player blows up, player has major tragedy that is slow cooked (in segura’s case his kid came out weird and died slowly, like over a year or so slowly); player gets over it eventually goes back to what he was before. problem here is that unlike with segura’s kid lou gehrig’s takes like 3-5 years. if it has a cure i’ve not heard of it. the timeframe also matches up exactly with the performance, just as in segura’s case. tragedies people tend to get over, slow rotting deaths take a while (my mother similar thing it’s not only speculation here)

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @goodfold2: judging by your name you might have already known this.

  27. Frank White says:
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    hey Ralph.. How you feel about Junis? Id only have to drop Castillo unless you think i should hold. h2h mixed points.. Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Frank White: Ehhh not much different from Castillo for value IMO.

  28. I’m assuming it’s me you dedicated your Paredes post for. I’m humbled by the mention, and the only reason I called my dragons on you is because you’re normally so on top of things I assumed Paredes would be featured. Consider my barrage of flames a sign of respect, kind sir.

    I hope you’ll accept my sword, and a harem of virgins as penance.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jackson: Nice! Yeah no problem man, I’m just playing. Thank god I wasn’t burned.

  29. malamoney says:
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    Does Mejia win the job next year out of Spring Training? And do you see either of Acuna or Eloy doing the same?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @malamoney: what’s up $!

      Eloy and Mejia are prolly a year away, Acuna has the best shot of the three, but even he may not be up till June. The Braves held Albies in AAA forever.

      Best bet Acuna.

  30. Hammer says:
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    Hi Ralph,

    In a 10-team keep forever league, with deep waiver availability (small rosters). I’m in 2nd, so in a win-now mode, and have Devers and Albies already on the team (current 2B is Odor – thanks Grey!; current SS is Correa, 3B is Arenado). Been scouting pitchers, though Senzel and Calhoun are both available. Chance Adams v. Kopech for future?

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