It’s been a big year for Cleveland sports, but that all takes a back seat to a big week for Cleveland here on Razzball. Earlier in the week Grey gave you his take on top prospect Bradley Zimmer, yesterday we gave you the latest edition of the prospect podcast where we went through the top prospects in the Indians system. Always one to beat a dead horse, today we go over Zimmer and the Indians system again. Will we discuss anything new? Maybe. Sort of depends, if you read Grey’s post and listened along to the podcast, I’d lean toward the negative. If not than everything is new. Dollars to doughnuts it’s not a bad system to get hung up on. They have solid talent at the upper levels of the system and solid talent at the lower levels as well. Players like Francisco Mejia, Triston McKenzie, and Greg Allen all enjoyed breakouts. While Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff took home another haul in this year’s draft. Needless to say it’s a fun system to dive into. So let’s dive into it, shall we?

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A very special Black Friday edition of the Prospect Podcast this week. Where we discuss two teams that are like stores with completely different inventory. One being the well stocked Cleveland Indians system with plenty of merchandise for prospect hounds. The other being the Detroit Tigers and their going out of business sale with only candle holders and shell shaped soap on the shelves. Yes Ohio vs Michigan and just in time for Ohio vs Michigan. Myself and Michael Halpern of ImaginaryBrickWall.com maintain order so no one can rush the doors and crush other shoppers. Wow I’m really lost in this analogy. Nevertheless it’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Prospect Podcast.

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Happy Black Friday!  Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday!  As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!”  The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.  What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker.  Mariners, you’re the sucker.  If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder.  If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker.  As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.”  Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee!  Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP.  That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA.  The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet.  He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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In the Natti things just ain’t been the same. The chili has been more disgusting than usual, Hi-Tek’s beats just don’t slam like they used to, and Jerry Springer is no longer mayor. Outside of those three things I don’t know much about Cincinnati. What I do know about however is their Red’s freshly re-stocked farm system. After an excellent 2016 draft and international period the Reds boast a wide array of pitching prospects, and a handful of hitting prospects of note for owners in dynasty leagues. Of course the most sought after being this year’s number two overall pick Nick Senzel. Not only did the Reds net the best college bat in the draft, they also picked a high upside athlete in Taylor Trammell, and arguably the best catcher in the draft in Chris Okey. The international period saw the Reds make major splashes in the Cuban market adding top pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez. As well as a saavy signing in “through the cracks’ talent TJ Friedl. While the big league club struggles, the system shows glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel for the Reds, though it’s still year’s away. It’s the Cincinnati Reds Prospects from A-Z…

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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?

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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?

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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!

**UPDATED 12/6 Post-Moncada Trade**

 

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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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