There’s always a handful of player every season that are past their “rookie limits”, but they’re still kind of prospects. For many dynasty leaguers, like myself, these players are of keen interest. If you’re in a league where no minor leaguers past their limits can be stashed in minor league roster spots, then these guys are almost droppable. You watch the spring training box scores, scouting reports, and tweets, praying for news of a starting job. You don’t care if it takes injuries, suspensions, or jail time to the players ahead on the depth chart. If they don’t make the club out of spring then they’re burning a hole on your bench. What other option do you have besides dropping or holding? Might be the worst case scenario depending upon your league size, and setup regarding salary. Players like this can really put you in a pickle, and there’s a few hanging around this spring that could get you caught between first and second. Don’t get caught, get caught up, and hold or sell before it’s too late.

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Yesterday, I went over the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball, and, today, you guessed it (if you didn’t read the title and just fell here from outer space), it’s the top 20 1st baseman for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Something weird happened last year — okay, a lot weird happened last year, but I’m going to focus on fantasy baseball.  Middle infield got deep and 1st base got shallow.  I have some theories why this happened.  First theory, a lot of kids who are playing now grew up watching Bret Boone and Alex Rodriguez and their frosted hair and, like a moth to a flame, or peroxide to a hairstyle, kids became middle infielders.  Second theory, it happened just cuz.  So, I don’t have a lot of theories on it, per se, but offense is deep this year, but not 1st basemen.  My projections are included, and here’s all of our fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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It seems like only yesterday the Astros were the laughing stock of the AL. Times were lean, with very little talent and a decade of futility, there seemed to be little to no light at the end of the tunnel. In just a few short years General Manager Jeff Luhnow has turned around both the farm system and major league club, to the point that each is bursting at the seams with talent. The last two years have brought about the dawn of a new era in Houston; defined by young talented players all over the field, and an aggressive approach in free agency, the trade market and draft. In the last two seasons alone the Astros have welcomed multiple impact rookies in the form of Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, and Alex Bregman. With a host of others not too far behind, the ‘Stros look set to compete for years to come. Seriously, you can’t imagine how much work it is to do a Podcast on Houston Astros Prospects and follow it up with a magnum opus post about Houston Astros prospects? They have so much dynasty goodness it’s unbelievable. I’m not joking when I say I feel like I could just draft Astros players and manage to field a solid squad. Albeit one that needs to trade some of it’s prospect depth for pitching, but that’s besides the point. This is a long one, so enough with the small talk let’s discuss some Houston Astros Prospects! Wooooooo!!!

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After a week of action like this week, I feel like I need a cigarette now that the winter meetings have come to a close. Lots of prospects moving, mostly to the Southside of Chicago, and lots of player evals to update. The work of a Prospector is truly never done. Of course your Loyal H.P.I.C, and my digital Sherpa Michael Halpern of imaginarybrickwall.com have to give you our two cents on the prospects changing laundry. We’ll let J.B. and the one true Fantasy Master Lothario Grey Albright update you on the re-draft league side of things. We have no need for yucky major leaguers. Oh and bee-t-dubs we go through the expansive and nearly never-ending talent pool that is the Houston Astros farm system. We talk some A.J. Reed, Francis Martes, Yuleski Gurriel, Kyle Tucker, and a whole bunch of others. It’s the closest thing Halp and I will ever have to a double album, it’s the Top Houston Astros Prospects on the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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Can a guy already feel like a bust before losing his rookie eligibility?  With the help of A.J. Reed, I’m going to say yes.  Already post-hype prospect while still being a rookie?  Already past his prime at 23 years old?  Reed is accelerating expectations, which isn’t nearly as good as exhilarating expectations.  It’s actually much worse.  Like a barista who can’t make foam worth a damn, Reed was a first cup of coffee flop.  Could it have been nerves or did we overestimate his potential?  In 2015, Reed hit 34 HRs across High and Double-A with an average north of .335.  Then, last year in Triple-A, he hit 15 HRs and .291 in half a season.  He averaged about five homers per month with a solid average, which translates to 30 HRs and .270 in the majors, with all things being almost equal.  “With All Things Being Almost Equal” sounds like one of the dozen of books written by Dave Eggers that no one has read.  “Oh my God, I love Dave Eggers!”  “Have you read anything by him after his debut book?”  “God no.”  That is every conversation about Eggers since 2002.  Okay, off track!  Anyway, what can we expect from A.J. Reed for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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God really doesn’t want us to have nice things as prospectors, so he’s blessed us with his other begotten son, Tim Tebow! That’s right it’s a Tim Tebow-centric pod today, as we open up this week’s show discussing his immaculate connection with a batting practice fastball in instructional ball. Michael Halpern and I have a much longer discussion of The Tebow’s baseball prospects, then either of us ever hoped to have. The conclusion: I think we may have a superstar brewing in the NL East……and his name is Kevin Maitan. (See what I did there?) We talk about the top international signing, since the last top international signing, and where we’ll be ranking him come February. We then run wild with the theme of this week’s show, the Top 10 Prospect Disappointments of 2016. So we spend most of the hour dumping on players we expected to have big seasons. It’s just the level of negativity I thrive in. Hold on tight y’all it’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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I had an idea to make the Olympics more watchable.  You know how you watch it now and you’re like, “Damn, he just ran the length of two football fields in 20 seconds?  I mean, it looked like he was going fast, but the guy next to him ran it in 21 seconds, so it’s hard to tell exactly how fast he was running.”  Enter my idea:  in every event, there should one normal person competing so we get a better idea of how great the Olympians are next to average schmos.  Tell me you wouldn’t watch the platform diving if between the North Korean and Chinese diver, I was there trying to get the nerve up to jump from three floors up, then plunging awkwardly into the water on my back.  Or running next to Usain Bolt, doing an 85-second 200 meter dash.  So, this brings me to Kris Bryant, who right now is making other major leaguers look like ‘normal people.’  Yesterday, he went 5-for-5, 4 runs, 5 RBIs with his 29th and 30th homers.  On our Player Rater, he’s in the top five for the season.  Member in the preseason when people were saying Bryant was going to strike out too much to draft in the 1st round?  Those people are enjoying themselves some Jose Abreu!  For 2017, it’s gonna be hard to rank Bryant much later than the top five, as he enters only his age-25 season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Rather than list fifteen closers that all became available in the last week, I’m going to tell you a story.  Ken you dig it?  Ooh, Giles (Things Are Gonna Get Easier) was a song they played at my prom.  This was going to be the best day of my life.  My date, Susie, had just broken up with her boyfriend, Jake, and she looked radiant that night, Barretts lined her hair like a crime scene.  Only not a bad crime scene like some gruesome murder, but instead like a yellow rose Tyler’d around another rose’s Thornburg like a noose.  A rose murder, which is heartbreakingly beautiful.  Also, in play on this great night was Prom King, I was going to Edwin it, right as I was Diaz’ing to the Macarena.  Wait, maybe my dancing would help me win a Tony too, ya know, this wasn’t elementary school my dear, Watson.  This felt like a scene out of an 80s movie with Charlie Sheen née Carlos Estevez.  When the announcement came, I held Susie’s hand, it was hot — 373 on the Kelvin scale — and her palm was Herrera.  Gadzooks, I exclaimed.  Then Jim won, and I went home with my Johnson, but no Herrera palm.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to take down my Cam I set up by my Bedrosian.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Stashed Orlando Arcia in a few of my deepest leagues back in March.  What a waste.  Well, 59 games left — guess that’s something.  If he Lindors.  No idea why he hadn’t been called up until now.  Milwaukee’s 3rd base position has been bratwurst casings all year and Jonathan Villar plays shortstop like the guy who hacks the meat to fill those casings.  Were the Brewers afraid Arcia would’ve been too confused by the fact Will Smith was white?  Did they need to first move Jeffress due to language stipulations?  “Wait until we trade Jeffress — he might hurt his tongue saying the R’s in Orlando Arcia’s name.  Remember Higuera hit the DL when he yelled Robin Yount.”  If the Brewers didn’t drag their heels worse than the kielbasa in the sausage race after he bet five-large on the chorizo, I would’ve had Arcia months ago!  *takes deep breath*  Okay, I’m good.  So, what can we expect from Arcia?  A little pop and solid speed — think Jean Segura or Villar over the course of the final two months.  Yes, I’d grab him if I were hurting at shortstop.  Speaking of hurting at shortstop (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!), Trevor Story hit the DL with a torn UCL in his thumb, and will be out for the season.  Colorado already has DL forms with SS written in.  Just have to cross out Tulo for Story.  Save that piece of paper for rolling!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m doing fine without games every day.  Thanks for checking in on me.  *nervous giggle, looks into the mirror, laughs hysterically*  I’m just fine!  The other day at 7 PM EST, I took a magic marker and every few minutes I wrote on my computer, giving my fantasy team a run, RBI and the occasional home run.  Sadly, even with my fantasy fantasy team accruing stats, Chris Archer gave up four earned in six innings.  Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different.  This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues.  Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys.  The other day on our podcast I asked JB if he knew the one and only white reggae artist, Snow, because he has a doppelganger on the Pirates, Ja-Snow, but JB didn’t know Snow because JB was born in the 2000s.  But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half.  For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.”  Spit it out, Grey!  You know how your own voice sounds weird?  I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy.  Finally, I said David Price, who I will get to shortly.  Yes, that was the worst intro ever to Michael Brantley.  I was trying to squeeze Brantley into my top 100 for the 2nd half, then I was like, “Grey, you’re handsome, smart and other words for those two traits.  You’ll find a way to squeeze in Brantley if you really think he belongs.  Also, what are we having for lunch?”  Salmon poke, but no dice on Brantley.  At the end of the day, that day specifically, I decided Brantley’s shoulder injury worries me too much for inclusion, but I’d still stash him on my DL or buy him crazysupercheap, which is also the price for the CrazySexyCool album on CD.  “These things will never go out of style!”  That’s me spending thousands of dollars on CDs.  For the 2nd half, Brantley’s projections look like Yunel’s 5 HRs, 4 SBs, .295, but maybe his last cortisone shot will take and he’ll be his old self for six weeks to two months.  For the price you can get him right now, it’s worth it to find out.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?