True story:  I was walking through the mall in spandex shorts and a headband, strutting really.  The year was 1981.  I was perhaps the most handsome, well-groomed five-year-old the planet had seen.  Okay, a seven-year-old pretending to be a five-year-old.  Who wants to be older?  Not me, Cousin Sweatpants.  So, I’m cruising for chicks, crushing the scenario, when I see this total fox.  I stop her and ask for a name.  She says, “Jennifer Beals,” and I say, “You’re gonna be a star, kid,” then covering my mouth I say how her fame will be short-lived but how she will get some decent character work later in life.  I spotted her sex appeal two years prior to her breakout role in Flashdance.  I can always spot sex appeal.  It’s my cross to bear.  Speaking of crosses to bear, holy Jesus Harry Christ my Tout Wars team is sexy!  The league is 12-team, two-catcher, NL-Only and perhaps the most respected fantasy league in the country.  Sure, we’re still mocked by 99.9% of the world, but a solid chunk of other fantasy baseballers respect the Tout!  Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars team and some thoughts:

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Get yourself a cheesesteak, a roast pork sandwich, a Primanti Bros. sandwich, and a Yuengling cause we’re going full Pennsylvania in this Bee-yatch! We’re bringing you a jam packed double episode with the Phillies and Pirates. POW! We talk Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, J.P. Crawford, Mickey Moniak. Debate Dylan Cozens name pronunciation and potential ceiling. We play everyone’s favorite game Hoskins or Joseph.  My daughter stops by with her talking pig, and just a whole host of other madness. How much fun can you have on a single episode? Who knows, but we push the limits. Ralph and Halp, this time with 3 times more disagreements! Just like Facebook only your Aunt isn’t calling your younger brother “snowflake”. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast!

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Oh the Pirates, a team I was excited to write about due to my fondness for their high end prospects. But much like a beautiful woman with a pretty face and a giant set of sweater puppets, they top heavy. I mean top heavy AF, as the kids say on the Snapface. Seriously, after Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, Mitch Keller, and Josh Bell, the system falls off a cliff. I found myself 10 players in trying to figure out if there was anyone else to write about besides Steven “freaking” Brault. Sorry Noise, I really didn’t want to add insult to injury after that thorough stomping the Pats gave the Steelers, but it is what it is. Razzing aside, it is RAZZ-ball after all, the Pirates have 4 prospects I’d like to own everywhere. Meadows, Glasnow, Bell, and Keller, and all offer potentially premium ceilings with relatively safe floors. Though Meadows is blocked at the MLB level now, I think we all anticipate that changing. One of the great things about owning prospects from small market systems, is they need those players to strive at the major league level to control costs. I’m not saying it’s a value boost, but it leaves their futures less murky than say a Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox prospect. Ahhhh whatevs, let’s talk the Top Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.

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He was well hyped in advance of his final promotion, so much so that Prospector Ralph’s pleated khakis looked like a circus tent. To his benefit, Trea Turner deserved the hype in preseason, he had the youthful vigor and the stats to back it up.  Alas, he wasn’t ever promoted and we played the waiting game while cursing the very existence of Danny Espinosa.  Then he got promoted and it was for a two game stint, sadness for all parties involved.  So the waiting continued, and what we were so patiently awaiting for has been a 39-game stretch by the youngin that has him slashing .341/.366/.548, good for .914 OPS.  To me, this is going to be one of the lads next year that is completely over-drafted and at the same time under-drafted, but next year is next year.  What we want from him is everyday line-up ability and to continue to be the steal every fourth time on base and 7-over-the-last-15 type of hitter.  That is impressive in itself, now take the fact that he is in a stacked RBI producing line-up and over the last 30 games or so could be a top 2-3 option at his position adding his speed into the equation.  His 26 runs scored over the last 30 games played trails only Bryant, Blackmon, Dahl and Brian Dozier. He still needs to learn how to take a walk, but even at less then 3%, his OBP is sexy.  I can keep spewing details that you can just easily look up yourself, but it’s fun to point out how good someone is now and will be next year.  So SAGNOF away, and if by some oddity of the world he is available, go say hi and invite him on your roster.  Be weary that rosters expand midweek and some situations will change for some teams out of the race…

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Psst!  This post is gonna list 2nd basemen that you should target in your 2016 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m whispering because you don’t want everyone to see this post.  No, I can’t whisper louder, then it WOULDN’T BE WHISPERING!  Okay, gig’s up (or maybe that’s jig’s up), the love I’m about to reiterately (Made Up Word of the Day!) confirm are guys I love later in drafts.  I’m not going to mention Rougned Odor other than this one mention of him where I say I’m not going to mention him.  I love Odor, and not just because when he chops a 3-2 pitch into the dugout the announcer says, “Foul…Odor stays alive.  Hey, Bill, change your shirt.”  I’m not mentioning Odor other than this mention of not mentioning him because these are players that you’re looking at later and all of them have ADPs after 200.  Some could be the 2nd baseman on your team, they are more than likely MIs.  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Spanish-speaking-ones) supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2016 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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It’s going to be a tough act to follow for the rookies of 2016. After the “Year of the Rookie” in 2015, what can we expect from the freshman class this year? Will we have another deep class featuring numerous high impact players to fill our fantasy squads? Or will we scale back this year, and only have a few true must own froshes? Below we’ll dive into the high impact rookies to target in drafts, and keep an eye on for later season call ups. For these reasons, I’ve broken them into two tiers; those that should break camp with big league club, and those that should be high impact call ups during the season. Just for fun I’ve added top 5 lists from some of your favorite Razzball personalities to give you idea of what others besides myself are thinking. Enjoy!

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Well here it is the post you’ve been hollering for in the comments since November hit. That’s right ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, cats and dogs, pastrami sandwiches and tuna melts, white wall tires and low profile tires, good guys and bad guys, curved brims hats and flat billed caps, and anyone else that reads Razzball; it’s the top 100 live from my garage in suburban Massachusetts. Ahh-huh you’re being magically whisked away to a garage, with flickering lights and an awkwardly handsome gentleman with a laptop. That’s me, and on my computer is a list, it is yours to read, berate, discuss, commit to memory, burn to keep you warm. What you do with it, is really up to you I suppose. This ranking is pretty straightforward, it lists each player, their position, and a link to their team’s minor league preview. Within each preview you’ll find that players blurb. On one final note, all of these ranks take into consideration a variety of factors including ceiling, proximity, and floor. Consider this post interactive, instead of me waxing poetic after each player explaining why I rank so and so where, I leave it to you to call me to the mat and defend my rankings. Without further ado the 2016 Top 100 Prospects for Fantasy Baseball

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Avast ye mateys treasures of prospective goodness lies within. It’s everybody’s favorite C+ student back again with our second to last minor league preview of the year. Our top 100 prospect list will drop a week from today, so for those of you asking, it’s coming. Now for all of you swashbuckling buckaroos out there let’s have a deeper look at one of the more successful minor league systems over the past decade, the Pirates. In fact in the past 10 years they’ve graduated players like Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Gerrit Cole. Despite the recent MLB success, the Pirates still own one of the top farms in all of MLB. Boasting at least 4 top 100 guys on most lists as well as a handful of specs just outside. From a fantasy perspective their aren’t many teams with a more exciting group of perspective players.

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To make sure I don’t miss any player in my rankings, I go through every team’s depth charts and I go through every eligible player who is projected for at least one at-bat by Steamer.  After I looked through the players with at least one at-bat at 2nd base, I vomited in my mouth, then spit said vomit onto the ground and it spelled out, “Gnarly.”  My vomit is right.  2nd base is not a pretty position.  Shortstops got younger in the last year and some guys are coming to make it even better.  The top 20 1st basemen wasn’t straight gorge, but there was plenty of talent there from veterans.  The top 20 catchers are always ugly, but these top 20 2nd basemen are giving the catchers a run for their money.  There’s only three guys with legit 20-homer power and three guys with easy 20-steal speed.  One that will hit .300 and zero that will get 100 RBIs.  I don’t know what happened to the latest crop of 2nd basemen, but I have a theory.  Twelve years ago, when these 2nd basemen were learning the position, their role model was Bret Boone.  Boone used to frost his hair blonde, so all the kids learning 2nd base at that time, frosted their hair too.  Then their friends beat the crap out of them, and that was the end of all future 2nd basemen.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

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