The minor league season is over, so allow your favorite Prospectors to light the hot stove. It’s like an outside fire pit on an autumn night type of stove. You know, hoodies and shorts. We’ll save the pellet stove for the December doldrums, whatever those are. Enough about heating units! This week yours truly, and Michael Halpern of imaginarybrickwall.com kick things off with some Padres talk, as they called up the quartet of Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, and Austin Hedges. We then touch on top playoff performances from Billy McKinney, Jason Martin, “King of the North” Tyler O’Neill, and Braves pitching prospect Max Fried. We then get into our top 5 sleeper/breakout hitters, and top 5 sleeper/breakout pitchers for 2017. Never mind the bollocks, it’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh the deadline, where championships are dreamed about, and futures are mortgaged. Is there ever a time where the worlds of redraft and dynasty collide more? You have your redraft owners hoping their closers don’t lose their jobs, or that their hitters, and pitchers are moved to better surroundings. The dynasty owners are worried about those same things, but also hoping their blocked higher minors prospects get moved to greener pastures with opportunities waiting with a big league club. It’s also a time when veterans are moved out to make way for those potential future stars waiting in the wings. It’s a busy time for your humble Prospector. I have a lot of thoughts about prospects on the move, some got the call, some got the other kind of call, and some are waiting for one or the other. Obviously I’m alluding to a call from their doctors regarding their “tests results”….Actually I might have just had a flashback to that time I wrote for the Des Moines Medical Journal. Corn farm injuries are gruesome people.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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 BaseballPlease, blog, may I have some more?
When your farm system graduates four top 100 prospects in one season, like the Cubs did, it’s only natural that your overall minors grade takes a hit the following year. After coming into 2015 with one of the most talented groups in recent memory the 2016 version is a bit of a letdown. Don’t misunderstand me, the Cubs system is still head and shoulders above the last two systems we previewed, but it’s a far cry from the level it’s been the previous two springs. There’s still a solid group of hitters left and some upside arms with ETA’s a year or two out. So there’s still a lot to discuss, but none of the current crop has the through the roof tools of Bryant, Russell, Soler, or Baez. In closing its not the prospect pants tent of yesteryear, but it hasn’t dipped to Angelic levels either.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (4) | 2013 (12) | 2012 (14) | 2011 (16) | 2010 (14)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL Central
AAA: [74-70] Pacific Coast League – Iowa
AA: [66-73] Southern League – Tennessee
A+: [67-69] Florida State League – Daytona (2015 Myrtle Beach)
A: [91-49] Midwest League – Kane County (2015 South Bend)
A(ss): [41-35] Northwest League – Boise (2015 Eugene)
Javier Baez, 2B | Arismendy Alcantara, OF | Mike Olt, 3B
This is about as stacked as a system can get. There’s upside all over the field including the graduated prospects listed above. Granted, they are still prospects and where everybody ends up playing is a good question. Heading into 2015 we’ll all wait for the arrival of Kris Bryant and later in the year we’ll be chomping at the bit for Addison Russell’s debut. Meanwhile, Javier Baez might be one of the most polarizing players on this team and there’s a chance he could start the year in the minors. But that would just give fellow sophomore Arismendy Alcantara some more time at the keystone and he’s no slouch either. Even the rotation looks good with Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta one-two. Can the bespectacled one take this team to the promised land? *grabs popcorn*
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (3)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League — Sacramento
AA: [62-78] Texas League — Midland
A+: [69-71] California League — Stockton
A: [77-62] Midwest League — Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League — Vermont
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Ryan Dull (RHP); Omar Duran (LHP); Seth Frankoff (RHP); Bruce Maxwell (C); Max Muncy (1B); Addison Russell (SS)
Nate Freiman (1B); Stephen Vogt (C); Dan Straily (RHP); Sonny Gray (RHP)
The Run Down
The first rule of Oakland Athletics prospecting is to never write off a pitcher. These guys are going to be spending the bulk of their time pitching in the cavernous O.co Coliseum, so any starting pitching prospect who’s pushing through the Athletics system is probably worth consideration in fantasy leagues. That said, the list that follows is a little light on the pitching side of things — with arms like Sonny Gray and Dan Straily graduating their prospect status, there aren’t many high-impact starters left in this group. Michael Ynoa can certainly fill that void with a healthy year, but for now, the bulk of the fantasy excitement is focused around Addison Russell and Michael Choice.