I’m going to cackle very shortly.  It’s going to be a full-throated cackle.  The cackle to end all cackles.  The cackle that has you turning around in your seat at the movie theater to look at me.  Okay, here it comes.  Jesse Winker hit three homers last year in 448 Triple-A plate appearances.  THREE?!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE!  OH MY GOD, MY HEART!!!  “Here lies a man who loved baseball as much as his much older woman and he was totally healthy until he saw how many homers Winker hit in a full season of at-bats.  I, the tombstone, would tell you how many homers it was that Winker hit but I’m afraid you might die too.  You’re welcome.”  Damn, my tombstone is considerate!  Three homers in 448 PAs?  How is that even possible?  Sorry, some of you might need a primer.  Three homers from a 65-steal type makes sense.  Winker had zero steals last year.  Again, some of you might need more info.  Winker is considered a top prospect.  Or was, I guess.  The one positive, and it is big, he has insane plate discipline.  He had a .397 OBP and hit .303 in Triple-A last year while walking and striking out exactly at 13.2% of the time.  Terrific for both.  Plus, that’s some crazy OCD to walk and strike out 59 times for both.  That’s As Good As It Gets, now put your neighbor’s dog down the garbage chute!  Anyway, what can we expect from Jesse Winker for 2017 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Looking at Bradley Zimmer‘s minor league stats is like this, “Damn, girl, you look good,” and you follow her with your eyes from her legs up until you get to her face when you realize it’s your sister and you nearly vomit.  An illustration:  there’s a suitcase labeled Bradley Zimmer.  You begin to unpack the suitcase and you find solid power.  Next thing you know you find great speed.  The ability to walk is in there too.  Nice!  Then, you see that your toiletries have exploded and you have toothpaste all over the ability to lay off a curve and there’s Ks all over the place.  NO!  Not on my one pair of fancy jeans!  I’m Crest-fallen, pun noted and intended.  Everywhere I look Zimmer is considered a top 25 prospect.  Prospector Ralph has him as a top 10 prospect in his top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list, Baseball America has him at 26 overall, MLB has him at 25 and Prospector Ralph’s other half Halp from the Prospect Podcast has him at 15.  Of course, BA and MLB need to be taken with a grain of salt and more weight should be placed on Ralph and Halp (shouldn’t they just be Halph?).  They’re not more important here simply because they’re Razzball, but because BA and MLB are considering real baseball not fantasy.  So, what can we expect from Bradley Zimmer for 2017 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A year to forget for the Southside faithful. 2016 started with the Drake LaRoche controversy and ended with the first World Championship for the crosstown Cubs in 108 seasons. A strong April, was followed by an awful May, and a downward spiral for the whole organization. Team MVP Chris Sale voiced his distaste for retro fashion going Edward Scissorhands on an unsuspecting jersey. Leading many to speculate he could be on his way out the door. The rumor mill hasn’t exactly slowed with the ignition of the hot stove, and stocked organizations like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and Nationals circle Sale. Any of these rumored suitors could significantly alter the look, shape, and depth of this system immediately. As currently constituted it’s probably bottom 5, with a handful of interesting players in Collins, Burdi, and Fulmer. Followed by a corps of solid floor-bored types. With that said, it’s a system to know in deep dynasty formats. It’s the top Chicago White Sox Prospects, get excited!

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Another week of prospecting, another pair of systems to review for your strapping heroes of dynasty and fantasy baseball. I’m speaking of course, of yours truly Warrior Poet Ralph Lifshitz Esq. and Grand Master Michael C. Halpern of Imaginarybrickwall.com. Just in case you’re wondering, the C stands for cunning, don’t ask me, ask Mike. As for the actual show this week, we get the already juiced up Cubs fans more jacked up, as we delve into their impressive farm system. Once we’re done creaming our jeans over Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, and Dylan Cease, we move onto the rejuvenated Cincy system. We spend the second half of the show singing the praises of Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Chris Okey, and Amir Garrett. The big news is I admit defeat in my Jesse Winker hate-o-thon, and agree with Halp that he has 2017 breakout written all over him. As for the rest you gotta listen for yourself. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Prospect Podcast.

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The Cardinals said Alex Reyes will be in the rotation to start the year.  Schwing.  Or, in relation to him, schwing and miss.  If I haven’t mentioned this before (I have but deal with it), I focus on redrafts with rookies.  I want to know what a guy is going to do in 2017.  A good way to eliminate a lot of mystery is to hire a talking dog and a group of stoner kids.  One dog; you can keep Scrappy-Doo.  Another way to eliminate mystery is to focus on players that have already gotten a strong taste in the majors.  *reaches into top hat*  Ali Cadabra… Ali Kazam… Alex Reyes.  Frank Voila!   A rookie has a starting job for 2017 and I’m immediately more interested in said rookie over said rookie who has unsaid starting job.  Then you throw in the Cards, whose pitching admittedly looked like crizzap last year, but they have history on their side of being better than they should be.  Or herstory if one of our five girl readers are following along.  Or theirstory if we have Social Justice Warriors reading and they just can’t stand non-gender neutral language.  Not to completely 180 this snitch, I don’t know how Alex Reyes is supposed to be in the rotation when they already have five without him.  It’s all right, Lance Lynn, Mike Leake, Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright have never seen an unexpected injury they can’t get themselves into, so Reyes will get his innings, and he can’t throw 200 next year anyway.  So, what can we expect from Alex Reyes for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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Can I yawn on someone’s face?  The floors are moving up on prospects and ceilings are lowering.  It feels like with the promotion of Alex Bregman the minor leagues lost a lot of high octane prospects.  Moncada has a chance to be a 1st or 2nd round fantasy guy one day; Prospector Ralph has a fathead for Benintendi and I don’t mean a life-sized wall decal of Benintendi; Judge could hit 40 HRs and .210 and Manuel Margot, well, good but Padres.   What I’m saying is the high minors are sorta depleted right now.  I don’t see a huge rookie bat coming up this year.  Next year might be an issue too depending on how well Brendan Rodgers progresses this year, but rookies are always going to surprise and, hence, their allure.  That reminds me of a magazine that Cougs put into my bathroom that I’ve been subjected to reading when I forget my phone, it’s called Allure.  The previous two sentences could’ve also been Pitbull lyrics, rhyming allure with Allure.  Interesting iambic pentameter, Mr. Bull.  So, all of this rambling preamble — preramble? — brings us to the gingie one, Clint Frazier.  He was traded to the Yankees (with others) this past year for Andrew Miller.  I love that deal for the Indians.  On one hand, one of the best relievers in baseball.  On the other hand, a lottery ticket.  This gingie wasn’t one of those Powerball lottery tickets either.  This lottery ticket looks to be one of those scratch-offs where you win $500 a year for ten years.  Would you take $500/year for ten years?  Sure, why not?  Would you trade away a top five reliever for it?  Unlikely, but I also might’ve mixed metaphors.  Anyway, so what can we expect from Clint Frazier for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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What do you do now Cubs fans? You waited 108 years to drink from the lips of victory, and it happened. So, what’s left to wait for? The hope springs eternal known as the Northsiders minor league system, enters a very new phase in the team’s history. No longer is it the breeding ground of hope and promise, but the feeder system to continue stocking the newly minted juggernaut. While players like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Willson Contreras all played pivotal roles in the Cubs run, they still surprisingly had the lowest number of home grown players on their playoff roster. Of course young talents like Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo don’t count, even if we barely remember them elsewhere. All this to say the Cubs have a young and talented roster with few spots for everyday players to breakthrough. This leads me to believe, that much like the jettisoned Gleyber Torres, many of these youngsters discussed today will end up breaking through with other clubs while the Cubs chase titles. Exciting times to be a Cubbies fan, even if you jumped on the bandwagon on the way to the victory parade.

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Manuel Margot reminds me of an Uber ride I took recently.  I was heading to the airport with Cougs and I said to our Uber driver, “Are you Panamanian?”  And he nodded his head rapidly, shocked like someone who just had their weight guessed at a carnival.  He asked me how I could tell, so rather than telling him how I knew, I said I lived in Panama for the past ten years.  My Spanish wasn’t the least bit convincing for someone who supposedly lived there for the last decade.  “Yo tengo beisbol,” I said with a smile.  He looked confused; I guessed his nationality, but had no hard data to backup the how.  Finally, we got to the airport and stepped out of the Uber ride, when Cougs was like, “How did you know he was Panamanian?”  I said it was obvious, he looked exactly like Manuel Noriega, but I wasn’t telling him that.  Our Uber driver and Noriega could’ve literally had a face-off with their pockmarks.  Any hoo!  How does this remind me of Manuel Margot besides his name?  His stats say this guy is going to be great, but I look at him and I see one thing:  Padres.  That big dopey monk swinging a bat.  Is it me or does the Swinging Friar look like Ed Asner in a muumuu with a phone cord belt?  Meh, prolly me.  So, what can we expect from Manuel Margot for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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Nomar Mazara was ownable for a good part of this past year in all redraft leagues.  He waned a little towards the end of the year, but, as a rookie, Mazara had 20 homers and hit .266, which is more than respectable.  What does this have to do with Lewis Brinson?  Glad you asked, Clunky Segue Question.  Lewis Brinson was ranked higher than Nomar Mazara in the Rangers’ minor league system entering last season.  Then Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz were sent to the Brewers in a midseason Lucroy trade.  By the way, Luis/Lewis is the Spanish version of tomato-tomahto.  Brinson above Mazara though, well, interjection, that makes me say hmm… That’s interesting, because, like Mary J. Blige, I have real love for Mazara.  So, I went to look at tape of Brinson and now I’m typing this with my drool.

Damn, that’s some gorge shizz that’s got me engorged.  He looks like a young Alex Rios.  It’s hard to separate ourselves from what Rios became, but a young Rios was a perennial top 10 outfielder.  Okay, a bi-perennial, but that was more to do with Rios’ attitude and less to do with his talent.  An art collector friend told me, “If you give a piece of art a few seconds, you get a few seconds of pleasure.  If you give a piece of art more time, you get more from it.”  That GIF is like a piece of art that you keep getting more from the more you look at it.  We first see his swing (against what looks like Brad Penny), but you can see his speed just by how he leaves the batter’s box.  If one swing can show you a five-tool player, I’d contend that swings does it.  He should have “Fun Zone” above him every time he swings.  You can also tell how far that homer goes by the pitcher and 2nd baseman’s reaction.  There’s people on a trampoline in right-center expressing their enthusiasm for Brinson and, as the outfield fence tells us, we’re getting Intel from looking at this.  Finally, who is Brinson?  H.E.B….Or simply he be…This.  Oh, and I have an art collector friend?  *makes farting noise with hand under armpit*  Ha!  Anyway, what can we expect from Lewis Brinson for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Here it is, the comprehensive guide to all things Prospector Ralph for the 2017 Offseason. Each and every team’s Preview from 2016 and 2017 is here. As well as, links to the Fantasy Prospect Podcast episode where each system is discussed. You’ll find links to last year’s Pre-season and Mid-season Top 100’s, and the Top 100’s for 2017 will eventually be linked here as well. This should be a handy tool to help you navigate through roughly 500+ prospects, and all the draft prep-material you could possibly need for minors, dynasty, and first year player drafts. Pretty much the only thing we don’t do is read it for you, and based on my illustrious typo career, neither do I!

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