Baseball is back!  Our long wait through an absolutely ridiculous winter (in pretty much all aspects of life) is finally over!

I looked back at my re-ranks from last year to kick off the season, and can you believe this is Year 5 of the Pitcher Profiles?!  Who woulda thought Grey would let me write these silly things this long?!  I’m in my 5th year though, have a lot of seasoning, I’m ready to hit my prime!

As always, a lot had changed in the past month+ since I put out my ranks in late February, with big names falling to elbow issues/concerns this time out vs. a fairly injury-free 2016.  My Alex Reyes dynasty team weeps for this offseason!  Plus ya know, massive changes after opening day.  Drop Masahiro Tanaka everywhere!  Yeah, if I were in any schmohawk leagues, I’d offer buy lows non-stop for Tanaka.  Wait, I am in the Perty Perts league, I’ll try there!  Haha I keed, I can’t walk the walk, not like I’ve topped the Perts league my first two years against Grey’s 1,000+ moves every season…

We’ll be getting into the Profiling next week (everyone watched those first 3 games, seems silly to profile any of those Opening Day guys), so get ready for some mad GIFs!  And going to try a little something new for the GIFs too!  Hopefully you like em…

Here’s my updated top 100 SP for the first week of the fantasy baseball season:

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In case you live under a rock, which is actually Billy Butler in a boulder costume, and it wasn’t as obvious as the fact that Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura are going to combine for zero fantasy points this season, fantasy baseball draft season has begun. And in case I wasn’t aware of it, the unending requests for my rankings has surely served as a reminder. Last year I received quite a few emails in anticipation, some of which were rather entertaining. This year, however, one person has topped them all. The email read something like this. “Can you tell me when your rankings will be released? It’s the only post you write that I really care about. My draft is on the 12th.” To that guy I replied with a link to last year’s rankings. I wonder how his draft went. I hope his league gives points for honesty…

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. It’s Prospector Christmas/Holidays/Festivus/Chanukah it’s Top 100 Prospects list time. Michael Halpern my cunning co-host, and I discuss the differences in our Top Prospect lists. Halp decided to be an overachiever and went a full 200 prospects over on his site Imaginarybrickwall.com. It’s brilliant, check it out. We flip flop Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi in our rankings. We then fight over Benintendi, and make up over Austin Meadows. We have some big swings on Cody Bellinger, Manuel Margot, Francis Martes, and Kyle Tucker. We mix in a little talk about my affinity for hit tool first baseman that no one else likes. Then Halp wonders how Stephen Gonsalves ended up on his Top 100 and not mine. It’s the latest episode of The Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!

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Only week 1 into Spring Training and we’re already seeing some draft altering injuries. Some predictable (Homer Bailey,) some crushing (Alex Reyes,) and some hilarious (Brian Flynn–who falls through barns in 2017?!) Expect to see this article appearing more regularly now that we’re back in baseball season.

Here are some players who are ruining people’s fantasy lives already before the calendar even turns to March.  

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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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We’re coming to an end ladies and gentlemen, we’re almost through these damned system reviews, but not before we get through a couple we’ve been dying to talk about. Why are we excited to talk about Cardinals and Mariners? Couple of names for you Alex Reyes, Harrison Bader, Delvin Perez, Tyler O’Neill, Kyle Lewis, and many more. Lot of top 100 names to touch on, and some mixed league relevant guys too. I go on a rant about Tyler O’neill’s lack of love from the industry, and we make fun of Harold Reynolds making fun of the Baseball America guys. It’s our usual hijinks and prospect obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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Wait, what? This doesn’t look like Halph…SIGH, yucky words from Ralph. TL;DR…. Now that we got that out of the way. Yes, this Saturday you get yet another verbose, yet informative minor league rundown from Prospect Jesus himself. Not to worry, we just flip-flopped days, your weekly dose of the prospect podcast is coming tomorrow. Today we dig into the useful but always a little boring St. Louis Cardinals system. Only this time we got some sweet sweet muy caliente at the top of the system, with at least 4 members of my forthcoming Top 100 (dropping February 22nd Shameless plug). With Alex Reyes on the cusp of the major league stardom, and Luke Weaver and Harrison Bader not too far behind, the future remains bright in “The Lou”. Isn’t it always? Seems one generation leaves, and another comes up right behind it. Death, taxes, and the St. Louis Cardinals player development machine just keeps rolling along. It should come as no surprise that the 2016 draft yielded yet another strong crop of players including wunderkind Delvin Perez, and personal favorite Dakota Hudson. Not to worry there’s plenty more to discuss, and a lot of good names to be cognizant of for dynasty league managers. So off we go, let the trumpets blow and hold on because the driver of this mission is a pro. The Ruler’s back. The Top Cardinals Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.

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One quick note, our War Room guy from last year has dropped out, so if you guys (maybe four girls) want a War Room this year, someone needs to step up to make it happen.  I will take ready, willing and abled-bodied people in the comments.  Oh, who are we kidding, no one here is able-bodied!  I’ll take anyone, just comment and I’ll contact you.  This is for the downloadable Excel War Room.  Any hoo!  With the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  You might say to yourself, “Self, everyone is totally fooled by my toupee and do I really need to draft starters this deep in my friendly 12-team mixed league?”  You don’t, except you will own guys from this post this year either from the draft or from waivers or your leaguemates will own them and beat you.  Last year, in the tier of pitchers I liked in the top 80 starters was Aaron Sanchez (pitcher, not chef), Rich Hill (pitcher, not sniglets) and Tanner Roark (pitcher, not Tattoo’s boss).  If you owned just them, you had a 2.74 ERA in 512 1/3 IP.  You really still think you need starters drafted early?  You throw in two earlier starters, say, Kluber and Gausman, and you have way too much pitching now.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Earlier this week, I posted the first six rounds of the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. You’re never going to believe this, but I’m now going to post rounds 7-12. At the end of it all, there will be four posts and 23 total rounds. It’s a lot of work, but you guys are worth it.

Here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I did the last time, I’ll post the rounds below with some of my thoughts beneath the picks. I’ll keep the thoughts brief since we have a bunch of rounds to get through. That pissed off at least one commenter last time who apparently wanted more Mike Maher analysis and less Mike Maher patting himself on the back. Let’s see if I can do better this time around…

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