Last week I looked at some players who are more or less widely available and could be useful to rebuilding teams in keepers and dynasties. All of these players are available in the majority of leagues in both the CBS and Fantrax formats, which cater to dynasty players. There’s obviously some risk attached to all of them, but I chose to focus mainly on players who are already in the majors or the upper levels of the minors…the reason being you don’t want to get stuck in a rebuild forever by missing on guys who are four-plus years away. I was able to get my hands on these names in 12, 16, and some even in 20-team formats. They’re not necessarily superstars, but rather interesting pieces given the option to keep them heading into next year. Grabbing them now in free agency can save you the headache of chasing them down in the spring once everyone’s “sleepers” etc. are announced.Please, blog, may I have some more?
All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Many famous gingers have helped make me the man I am today. Lion-O from Thundercats, Jessica Rabbit, and the fat kid from The Sandlot immediately come to mind. Then there have been a few nightmares featuring this guy. But now that prospects are my focus, my new bro with the orange fro is Clint Frazier. Frazier got some hype as a stud fantasy prospect when he was drafted 5th overall by the Indians in 2013, but when he didn’t completely murder A-ball pitchers last year he may have lulled us to sleep. After a roller coaster first half, Frazier is killing it again in July – hitting .486 with three homers and three steals in his last ten games alone. He now has 11 homers, 23 doubles, and 12 steals on the year despite a really poor June where he hit .216/.337/.364. Bradley Zimmer recently leap-frogged Frazier to Double-A, but keep in mind Zimmer is also two years older than him. Practice patience with Frazier if you own shares and you’ll be rewarded. He’s more Lion-O than Carrot Top…trust me. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Entering June, it’s becoming a two-horse race between Hannibal Montana (Csifu) and Razzball’s own J-FOH in our dynasty league – the Razznasty. There’s a group duking it out behind them, but both teams have pretty much dominated the league so far. Since our last update, J-FOH has pulled away from R’azbahl Al Ghul and closed the gap on Csifu’s first-place lead. Csifu’s squad continues to pitch incredibly well with an absurd 2.56 team ERA. J-FOH leads the league in homers (by 18), and has gone toe to toe with Csifu in wins and saves. His 3.04 team ERA is good for second in the league while his WHIP is sitting third. Somehow these two teams managed to avoid the starterpocalypse and forgot to invite the rest of us into their bunker. Read on for a look at the full standings, this month’s trades, and our league’s FAAB report.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In what was another fantastic week (bias much?) here at Razzball, we passed what is commonly known as the unofficial “first day of summer”. As I mentioned last week, Memorial Day should be the mental marker to start analyzing your team, maybe even to begin to seek out what you need and what that might cost you. That could mean finding possible trade partners, weighing free agency additions, or even doing nothing. All that matters is that you take the time to assess your situation and problem solve it. You should still be in the middle of this process, Rome wasn’t build in a day after all, but with Memorial Day in the rear-view, the “dog days of summer” are on the quickly approaching horizon. (The metaphors in this whole lede is just so next level.) Take that into account, as players will start getting “nagging” injuries, hot starts will soon start to regress, pitchers will start to get aches and pains… you’ll need to be on top of your game even more for these next crucial months.
Follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week four AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alen Hanson was signed by the Pirates as a teenager way back in 2009, so it probably feels like he’s been around forever. I guess this post is my way of saying I hope you didn’t fall asleep on him, as he’s finally getting close to the major leagues. Don’t get me wrong – he won’t be up anytime soon with Neil Walker established at second base, but we could see Hanson take over at the keystone in 2016. There are a couple of factors that I think have made Hanson an underrated fantasy prospect. One is that he’s simply in a loaded system. The Pirates have one of the best farms in baseball. The other is that he falters on traditional prospect lists thanks to concerns over his defense as well as his makeup. So why does Hanson raise my Jolly Roger? Let’s take a closer look in this week’s profile…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (1) | 2013 (7) | 2012 (13) | 2011 (19) | 2010 (15)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] NL Central
AAA: [73-71] International League – Indianapolis
AA: [61-81] Eastern League – Altoona
A+: [78-61] Florida State League – Bradenton
A: [54-81] South Atlantic League – West Virginia
A(ss): [35-40] New York-Penn League – Jamestown
Gregory Polanco, OF | Tony Sanchez, C
30 teams…300 prospects…and we’ve reached the mountaintop. The Pirates continue to have a very strong farm system this year with a nice balance of hitting and pitching. Adding IFA Jung-Ho Kang makes it even stronger. While they’re thin on southpaws, they’re stacked with solid right-handed pitching. Gerrit Cole has already come up and established his value, but Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, and Nick Kingham should be ready to join him in the rotation at some point this year or next. The Pirates have had success developing Latin American talent like Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte, and they’ll look to continue that trend with prospects like Alen Hanson, Harold Ramirez, and Tito Polo. On a side note, this last minor league preview is a little bittersweet for me, as it will also be my last post with the site. I’ve accepted an offer to scout for the Phillies. The offer was just too good to pass up and hopefully I can help them find the next Domonic Brown. I wish you all the best and really appreciated my time here at Razzball.
Time to check back in on some winter league action. I mentioned him two weeks ago, but we need to talk about Randall Delgado again. Since our last update, the right-hander has pitched 12 innings with 12 strikeouts, eight hits, two walks, and one earned run allowed. He currently leads the Dominican Winter League in strikeouts with 41. Here’s what I said about him last time “Delgado isn’t a lock for a spot in the rotation this spring, but he’s throwing as a starter this winter after getting only four starts in all of 2014. Two things I like about Delgado are his strikeout numbers and his age/potential for more growth. Last season he posted a 10.0 K/9 in 77+ innings pitched and his FIP was a full run lower than his ERA.” He now has an 11.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 33 innings in the DWL. While he’s currently listed as long relief on the Diamondbacks’ depth chart, I really think he’s going to get his chance to start at some point this year and run with it. Entering 2012, Delgado was listed as Baseball America’s #46 prospect. He was still with the Braves at that point, then was traded in 2013 along with Martin Prado in the Justin Upton deal. The Diamondbacks looked like the losers, but the jury is still out on Delgado at just 24 years old. This has prospect fatigue and breakout written all over it. Here are some other recent highlights from the winter leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Futures Game was yesterday, and while I’m writing this post prior to the game actually being played, here’s about what I’d expect the broadcast booth banter to sound like – “Player X has a lot of loud tools. He has a bright future in the bigs. This kid is going to be a perennial All-Star. Comps, hyperbole, etc.” Sounds cynical, but unfortunately there are no crystal balls. It’s fun to dream on these guys, though, and really that’s what the Futures Game is all about to me – showcasing the best young talent in the game at the moment. Be sure to check out the Futures Game edition of the Minor Accomplishments series from Chris yesterday. On this short week let’s see if there are any players in the minors we should have our eye on from a steals perspective. Players like George Springer, Gregory Polanco, Mookie Betts, and most recently Arismendy Alcantara have already come up this year. They all have the ability to make an impact in the stolen base department. So let’s see who’s next. Whether they are close to the bigs or a ways away, these players should make an impact when their time comes.Please, blog, may I have some more?