Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The midseason prospect rankings are upon us, and as I put together our own list here at Razzball, there are a few players who have seen significant changes in their rankings since my preseason list published. While most of the Top 50 will be familiar, there have been graduations and a couple of dropouts. That means a few new names will crack the list, which is pretty exciting. The full midseason Top 50 will publish a week from today, and unlike traditional lists, ours will be completely geared towards each prospect’s potential fantasy impact. If next week’s list is the main course, then I guess today is the appetizer. To be eligible, a prospect simply needs to retain their rookie eligibility, or less than 130 AB/50 IP. Here are ten players who were big ‘movers’…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So he’s not technically a prospect, but Jon Singleton returned to the majors on Friday after spending the first three months in Triple-A. Still just 23 years old, the slugging first baseman/designated hitter was on point in the minors to start the year – leading the Pacific Coast League in homers (17) and RBI (66!) while slashing .280/.387/.553 in 70 games with Fresno. Singleton got a taste of the bigs last year and hit 13 homers in 362 plate appearances. He also hit .168 and struck out at a 37% clip though, so the Astros put him back in the easy bake oven to start 2015. Hopefully the extra time in the minors has him better prepared for major league pitching this time around. The Astros seem to think so, as GM Jeff Luhnow mentioned that Singleton would likely eat into both Chris Carter and Evan Gattis’ playing time. He’s worth a look in pretty much any format thanks to his power, but don’t expect much more than .240 from him in the batting average department. It’s also worth mentioning that after hitting ten homers in May, Singleton only hit three in June and saw his slugging percentage dip to .457. Wet blanket…engaged! Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve used a similar open before, so rounding to the point – there’s a ton of players in baseball…  It’s why fantasy baseball rules the land – there’s no end to how deep it goes (that’s what she said!).  You can play 10 team, 12 team RCL, AL and NL only, and I’m hoping to start up a 30 teamer next year.  The possibilities are endless!

And even within the abyss of players that will contribute to an MLB season, I’m only looking at starting pitchers and even then I miss tons of things!  It’s not like I scan every starter’s game log and peripherals every single week, so guys will occasionally fall through the cracks.  One such example is Trevor May, who I thought was still having egregious control problems.  I looked at his ERA and WHIP in passing on the wire, and gave it an ol’ shrug-a-roosky.  But then I started digging into the numbers after his huge 7-inning two-hitter, and realized he was much more than a butterface.  Kinda like realizing you could hop on board of that!  “It’s not the sweater, but what’s underneath that counts!”  I was then on the verge of picking up May after seeing his 50:9 K:BB in 56.1 innings this year, remembering he was a pretty hot prospect despite walking everyone in his limited time last season.  I watched an early 2014 start and it was something like that uber-fail Tyler Matzek debacle (58 pitches, 20 strikes?!).  So I decided that May would be a perfect pitcher to Profile (and Peter Piper picked peppers!) to see just how dominant his start was last Wednesday at the Red Sox.  I know I usually pick a pitcher who started over the weekend, but I’m selfish and I’m using this week’s post for my own add/drop evaluation needs!  Here’s how May looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thank you, Jesus Guzman! Or Jesus Alou or Jesus Colome or David DeJesus or whatever baseball Jesus you pray to! Anthony Rendon was activated! “Hello, God, it’s me Grey. I have no more requests…Well, maybe one more. Could you allow Rendon to hit? Okay, you being such a literal God will prolly take that to mean, he’ll get at-bats and ground out. I mean, can you allow him to hit for a high average, some power, some speed and just be better than Logan Forsythe? I’ll take my answer off the air.” Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from Rendon. Some players — Josh Hamilton comes to mind — get countless injury updates from the media no matter how small the news. I feel like with Rendon it’s been radio silence since he was DL’d. Every few weeks there would be a ‘playing in rehab games’ update, but very little else. So, the realistic side of me wants to think he’s going to struggle like it’s spring training for him. The fanboy side of me thinks he’s gonna hit a zillion homers and steal a trillion bases and make everything right. Likely, he’ll be about as good as Yunel, but, due to his name recognition, will soothe my middle infidel nerves for a few weeks. Yesterday, he went 2-for-4 and, well, he’s back, and that’s all that matters. Thank you, Jesus Montero! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Adrian Beltre was diagnosed with a dislocated left thumb. The doctor said it could be anywhere, his glove compartment, upstairs by the hamper, in the basement by the weights we bought you in high school that you never used. Beltre will miss two to three weeks. So… the Rangers called up Joey Gallo! *searching Gallo on Google, coming across Orson Welles commercial outtakes* Damn, that Orson guy was a genius. Orson Bean too. You cannot go wrong with the name Orson! Could Gallo be Orson-like? I think he can, but, like the dentist tells you, there’s some caveats. Here’s what I said this offseason, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly last year in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter. In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate. That’s absurd. That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask. Fun fact! Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties. So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance here of him hitting above .200? Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts. Right now, he’d probably hit .150 in the majors. Jot noking, Spooner. Luckily, for the sake of all that is holy, I don’t think he’s going to break camp with the club and will have time to fix his swing tendencies. His power is completely for real, and I think he could hit 30 homers in the major leagues right now. Like the bowling alley that doesn’t cater to dwarfs, no small feat there. He’s only going to be 21 years old, so 30 homers from a guy that young is crazy.” And that’s me quoting me! So, did Gallo fix his swing tendencies this year in the minors? No, not really. His strikeout rate in the minors so far is 33.6%, which is awful for Double-A, and the Rangers have specified that Gallo is merely a two to three week call-up while Beltre gets right. I’d grab Gallo for power in any league, but not at the expense of anyone that worthwhile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Travel back in time with me if you will, to a place where fanny packs, male ponytails, and Jordache jeans were all the rage. A time when Bruce Jenner was a symbol of masculinity, and O.J. Simpson was America’s favorite star! Travel with me to the age of Nintendo, a time when video games had two buttons and you didn’t need a degree in molecular biology to play. That last sentence made me sound very old, oh well. Anyway the theme of this week’s two start pitchers soiree is Nintendo! No not Super Nintendo (which was awesome BTW, #GoldenEye4life) or Wii, just plan old “blow on the console” to clean it NES. If you were anything like me then you played your fair share of Zelda, Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Tecmo Bowl, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, RBI Baseball, Double Dribble, Blades Of Steel, the list goes on and on. [Jay’s Note: Where’s Excite Bike and Battle Toads?] Aww the good old days when video games had easily exploitable glitches, like throwing to the outside of the plate with Nolan Ryan. Or pressing the Duck Hunt gun against the screen because that damn pooch kept laughing at you. Don’t look at me swan! Anyway, this week we have one of the deeper rosters of two-start pitchers in recent memory, and arguably the four best arms in the game double dipping. Not to worry if you don’t own one of the four horsemen there’s plenty of other great options in week number 9. So get up off of that thang and take a gander at this week’s two start madness.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At first, it was reported that Alberto Callaspo rejected the trade to the Dodgers. Leaving Alex Guerrero (1-for-2) to stare at Callaspo’s smugshot-slash-you mad bro? face. Then, later in the evening, Callaspo apparently approved the trade of him going to the Dodgers and Juan Uribe heading the other way. A commenter mentioned how in the preseason, the management didn’t have faith in Mattingly to start Pederson, so they traded away Kemp. It’s a fun theory. One that might have a morsel of truth, but I think this trade might backfire. Here’s a scenario for our five girl readers: imagine you were trying to get your man to change their yellow-pitted t-shirt, so you remove all the stained t-shirts from their hamper and throw them away, even his Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier t-shirt. When he realizes all his stained shirts are gone, what does he do? Does he wear the new shirts you bought him? Or does he scribble an oddly racist-looking Bob Marley on a hand towel and tape it to his chest? Mattingly could play Alex Guerrero at third with Uribe gone, but Justin Turner had started at 3rd base five times in the last week, not Guerrero, even with Uribe still in LA, and Callaspo is a 3rd baseman. So Uribe’s gone, but I think Mattingly just wears a masking-taped, hand towel now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jacob deGrom threw 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 11 Ks, screaming at the top of his lungs that Metco will now be known as deGromercy Park, and if you missed deGame, then feast your eyes on deROM, because your underwear is now firmware after what he did to Wong — 2 Ks. Or if you’re Asian, then deNom-Nom-Nom, or into deRom-Com with meGrom Ryan and would be the deBomb dot gov. Okay, okay, deCalm down, deGrey, you sound like you’re trying to teach Gibberish to a foreigner. I was concerned about deGrom in the opening month, but he’s turned on the jets recently (sorry, Sharks). His K-rate is 8.7, walk rate is 2.1 and his xFIP is 3.26. That’s a little less than ace numbers, but not too far less. Solid number two, which is actually a good thing in this example. By the by, can someone get in touch with deGrom for me? I have a chapstick called deGrom Lip Balm and I need an endorsement. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to say Shelby Miller looks sensational, but then I Googled sensational to see its definition, even though I know it already. (Al Gore did originally invent the internet as a tool of procrastination.) So, the Oxford Dictionary defines sensational as: causing great public interest and excitement, example “a sensational murder trial.” Wow, even the Oxford Dictionary is trying to get in on the tabloid journalism of our day. Hey, Oxford, why not, “Kim Kardashian’s booty was sensational when she broke the internet that Al Gore had created and now needed to fix.” That gives me a great idea, a mash up of the Urban and Oxford Dictionary! Definition of a flake: A crazy or eccentric person. “Yo, that flake is three crumbs short of a Peek Frean.” Any the hoo! Shelby Miller did look sensational, murdering bats like The Riddler. Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.33. Is he this good? Oh, c’mon. But how bad is he? His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.7 and xFIP is 3.79. His BABIP is .203, LOB% is 88.8% and his ground ball rate is 50.4%. Essentially, Miller’s a 3.25-3.60 ERA pitcher with decent, but not great Ks, solid but not terrific control, and one great pitch that he’s figured out how to use, the cutter. He could easily have a month-long spasm of a 5.00 ERA just as easily as he’s done six weeks of a 1.33 ERA. Would I sell him high? Yes, indeed. Or as the Urban-Oxford Dictionary would say, “Does a corgi crap under the Queen’s bed and she calls it a soon-to-be truffle?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?