Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (6) | 2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [97-65] AL East
AAA: [80-63] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [68-73] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [76-64] Carolina League – Salem
A: [51-87] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss):  [40-33] New York-Penn League — Lowell

Graduated Prospects
None

The Run Down
This Boston farm is exceptionally strong from a fantasy perspective, but it’s a different brand of strength from the top-of-the-league systems that we’ve recently discussed.  Orgs like the Cubs, Twins, Astros, and Pirates all feature a grouping of extreme high-impact prospects at the top of their ranks, whereas Boston’s main attraction is in its fantasy-relevant depth.  Excluding Xander Bogaerts from the conversation, there aren’t any sure-fire top 50 prospects in this group (although Garin Cecchini is certainly in the T50 conversation), but even so, it’d be difficult to find another farm as strong as Boston is from prospects #5 through #10.  Everyone here can be owned comfortably in dynasty formats, and that’s a rarity among these preseason top 10′s.

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Two-start hoarders, welcome back. First things first: I’m vacationing in Mexico with what, by now, is a potentially-fatal sunburn. Not to worry, though, because the cervezas at this joint are unlimited, and I’m feelin’ no pain. Zero. I just arrived here yesterday, and I’ll be here through next Friday. That means my esteemed Razzball colleagues will be filling in for me in the comments for my next few posts. In any case, we’ve got a deep list of two-start options, and plenty of good streamers this week. The usual tiered rankings are below.

NOTE: I looked ahead at the two-start landscape a few days earlier than usual this week, so this group of probable pitchers is especially subject to change. Apologies in advanced for anything I may have missed. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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Let me see if I got this right about Brett Wallace (I’m admittedly drunk from an all-day 4th of July BBQ). He’s a post-hype-little-less-hype-some-hype-no-hype-hype-what?-hype sleeper. Did that add up? Sometimes I forget to carry the last hype and I was doing it in my head. Wallace arrives with so little hoopla he’s poopla. Hang up the decorations, prepare for your friends to come over for a potluck, then everyone shows up late with gluten-free snacks. That’s when you say, “What’s with all of the poopla?” If I wanted my glutens free, I would’ve freed them myself! Brett Wallace hit really well down in Triple-A (this last time; and every time really). 11 homers, .326 average and won Triple-A Player of the Month honors, which is like being the world’s tallest midget. There’s still not a whole lot of proof that Wallace can hit in the majors, but yesterday’s 3-for-5 with two homers was a nice step in the right direction. I could see grabbing him in deeper leagues for the chance that he finally figures out a way to transform his minor league success to the majors. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Diamondbacks said J.J. Putz needs elbow surgery. Imagine the doctor misreads Putz’s chart and J.J. walks out with a new putz that is an arm, elbow to hand. Would that have him get to third base and home all with one swing of the bat? It would help him avoid that awkwardness when you try to hug and undo a girl’s pants. He could also towel himself down while opening a door. Actually, this sounds like a plus-plus, or rather, a putz-putz! I’m reinventing the knuckle shuffle! The Diamondbacks also officially announced yesterday what I announced the day before, Heath Bell would be the closer. Ya know this means he’s going to crap your face and call it Google Glass, right? You know this, right? I do, and I still grabbed him. I’d also grab David Hernandez in case the only thing Bell rings in are blown saves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started.

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Yes, Matt Harvey was terrific, but I’d like to talk on a real baseball note for a second. If you’re a White Sox fan, you should be mad. No one on your team looks like they care. It’s like you have nine Alex Rioses (Rioii? Riii?). I don’t care how pumped Hawk Harrelson gets. You can put it on the board…This team is bored! Your ambition…It gone! The White Sox have more lackadaisical swingers than a Hedonism resort that only has decaf. “Okay, everyone grab the guy next to you, we’re gonna have a tug of war. C’mon, you guys have to stand for this.” That’s the emcee at decaf Hedonism. As for Harvey, he threw a gem even if he was facing the White Sux — 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, Zero Walks, 12 Ks. I still think you should sell him. It’s not a frantic sell like the roof is on fire and you’re having Sotheby’s over at your place tomorrow to walk through and see your Gregg Jefferies rookie card collection. I wouldn’t take anything less than a number one of something for Harvey, but I’d field offers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury.

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Ryan Zimmerman is hitting the DL with a hamstring strain, and to replace him, the Nats are calling up their top prospect, Anthony Rendon. Rendon showed he was big league ready during spring training, and many wondered if he might begin the season at the highest level. But in an effort to maximize the 22-year-old’s plate appearances, Washington opted to reassign him to Double-A Harrisburg where through 65 PA he’s hit .292/.462/.500 with 2 homers. With Zimmerman shelved, Rendon becomes the starting third baseman, and you should certainly grab him if he’s still available. Featuring a plus-plus hit tool and an advanced approach at the dish, he’ll help immediately in AVG and OBP categories, and he might even toss in a few homers. For more detail on Rendon, here’s my Nationals’ top ten, where he ranked #1. Also, check out this Scouting the Unknown post from last August.

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As the Season draws closer, hell, it’s basically here tomorrow, the Closer Apocalypse of 2012 is starting to be as ritualistic as a Mayan prediction. So, for those not in the know, it’s basically going to happen again, and has already started. Injuries either that are lingering from last year or new ones that get covered with Snoopy boo-boo strips are popping up. It’s going to happen, but don’t fret. Smokey is here with a doomsday prepper’s guide to handling the relief situations that are always in flux. So grab your prepper’s bible and 12 lbs. of powdered eggs and let me settle you down some. Here are some guys that I am storing away for the inevitable next closer carousel situation, because staying ahead of the waiver wire is cool and gets you stickers.

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (10) | 2011 (17) | 2010 (5) | 2009 (13) | 2008 (2)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [69-93] AL East
AAA: [79-65] International League – Pawtucket
AA: [68-73] Eastern League – Portland
A+: [68-69] Carolina League – Salem
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Greenville
A(ss): [36-40] New York-Penn League — Lowell

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguaros
Chris Martin (RHP); Pete Ruiz (RHP); Michael Almanzar (3B); Bryce Brentz (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Will Middlebrooks (3B); Ryan Lavarnway (C); Pedro Ciriaco (INF); Felix Doubront (LHP); Junichi Tazawa (RHP)

The Run Down
With impact talent at nearly every level of the farm, this is a deep system, and a good one. Xander Bogaerts, a top-10 overall prospect, headlines the group and will arrive within the next year-and-a-half as a big time fantasy asset. Behind him, Boston features a great mix of high-ceiling guys and high-floor guys, making this system not only high-impact, but rather safe as well. The Red Sox might be another year or so away from contending again in the crazy-competitive AL East, but the club has done a quality job of trimming some fat, and setting itself up for long-term success in the process.

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