We recorded the podcast too early to discuss the Tyler O’Neill for Marco Gonzales trade, but maybe that was for the best because Ralph Lifshitz and I were liable to wax poetic about “The King of the North” for the entire hour. Long story short, it really doesn’t change either of their fantasy values all that much other than the obligatory NL to AL drop for Gonzales. We did record the podcast right on time to get into the Blake Rutherford and JD Martinez trades, though, along with Yoan Moncada’s long awaited MLB debut. We talked Rafael Devers and Derek Fisher knocking on the door of the majors, and then dove deep into lower minor breakouts, including Michel Baez, Starling Heredia, Jahmai Jones, Royce Lewis, Heliot Ramos, and many more. Finally, we hammer home the insanely high quality of RotoWear.com‘s t-shirts, and implore you to head over there and enter promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s really no need for any introduction on this one, it’s the post upon which all prospectors are judged. It’s the Mid-Season Update to my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Full disclosure, I was loosey-goosey with the eligibility rules this time around. So, while some players in the majors and under their limits might appear on this list (Clint Frazier, Franklin Barreto, Etc.), others don’t (Raimel Tapia). No rhyme or reason to it, what-so-ever. This list feels more upside heavy to me, but there was no slant or algorithm for my ranks. Just good old fashioned personal bias, of which I have plenty. Seriously, I’m an opinionated lad! But that’s why I do this in the first place. Please keep in mind, this list is 100% fantasy focused. Meaning it might differ quite a bit from other Top 100’s you may come across. Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy! The next 100 (101-200) will be out on Thursday.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every few years a farm system develops to the point that it’s busting at the seams with talent. An organization builds  and before you know it they’ve cultivated more talent than they can possibly use, and therefore have reached what I call the “embarrassment of riches” phase. This time is now for the Atlanta Braves farm system, long thought to be propped up by the organizations pitching depth, that is no longer the case. So far early in the 2017 campaign the Braves have produced two of the breakout stars of the young season in Ronald Acuna, and newly (re)converted catcher Alex Jackson. To call Acuna a breakout star is probably a bit disingenuous, as he was well within my Top 100 in the pre-season, ranking 42nd overall. This is how I described him then, “Could be this season’s Victor Robles. Five tool player, that tore up Australia this winter, poised for a big jump in the mid-season list. Trade for him now.” I hope you listened to my advice and traded for him then, because after his entrance to AA on Tuesday he might be tough to wrangle from his owners. What exactly has the 19 year old outfielder done since his promotion on Tuesday? How about going 6/8 with 2 homers, 2 steals, 4 runs, and 4 RBIs. It’s funny how Acuna has exploded the last few weeks after initially struggling to start the season. After slashing .209/.261/.349 in the season’s first 11 games, Acuna is hitting .355/.398/.605 with 4 homers and 10 steals in the 18 matches since. As I said calling him a breakout is disingenuous, but he looks to be rising into another tier of prospects. As for his former and future teammate Alex Jackson the story is quite different. As the former 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft struggled for 2 1/2 years in the Mariners organization, before being traded to the Braves this offseason for a pair of fringe major league starters. Jackson at one point in time was one of the more decorated high school players in recent memory. Having been named a three time Baseball America All-American, a two time Under Armor All-American, and even winning Baseball Prospectus Prospect of the Year before even being drafted. A catcher in high school, the Mariners decided to move him to the outfield, where Jackson struggled. Slowly his body and skill set deteriorated, and many minor league experts, myself included had written him off. Bad move on our part. Since joining the Braves organization and being moved back to catcher, all Jackson has done is take siege of the notoriously pitching friendly Florida State League, hitting .296/.348/.592 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in 31 contests. He seems to have abandoned some patience in lieu of power, but when the results are good I’d take it every time. It’s getting to the point with Jackson, that if this continues into the summer he could easily rank within the top 5 fantasy catchers in the minors. Here’s the other happenings in the MiLB over the last few days.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Way back in the late fall, I released my Original edition of the first year player draft rankings. So, it’s been awhile since I first wrote those, and ranked these players out. I figured it was about time to update those now dated ranks. The question you may be asking yourself is “Ralph, why are you so handsome, and also what’s changed?” Well I’ll tell you, I “gots somes” experience now. Because, over the last month plus I’ve had several first year player drafts, meaning I “gots somes” actual real life draft knowledge to draw from. Not to mention my ever-evolving opinions and evaluations of players. So what better time to update the rankings, and give you an idea as to where my heads at after reviewing all of these youngins over the course of my team by team prospect rankings. I’ve fallen in love with some, soured on others, and been introduced to players I previously overlooked. If these rankings are too late for your league’s draft, my apologies, and I understand your angst. We’re deep into draft season, meaning our collective sweatpants smell of rot and butt cheeks, it’s okay to be ornery.  I’ll make it easy, use small words, and discuss lots of wildly inaccurate and inappropriate expectations to put on a teenager. It’s all good though because it’s in the name of fantasy baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not going to lie, this post should be in all caps. As any proud New Englander would, I got piss drunk before writing this opening. Was it convenient that there was a Patriots playoff game? Sure, but I could have limited myself. Instead I drank too many IPA’s and traded Gausman for Paxton, and can’t remember writing this as I answer your questions. If my grammar is correct, you should see how slow I’m typing. There is no fate for a tried and true Sox fan such as myself worse than writing up the Yankees farm system. Here’s the thing, this farm is sexy AF, as the kids say. I’m 35 Y’all! Things are changing, but I rap/write/live the fantasy life like I’m 22! So I am the kids! All right so maybe I’m trying not to say this, but….the Yanks might have the most exciting farm system for fantasy. Better than the White Sox, Astros, or Dodgers. They have legit high upside bats with close proximity. They have far out internationals. They have it all of course, it’s the Yanks. Their sellers mentality flew in the face of their traditional identity, but it was effective in obtaining a great deal of prospect talent. You know I got to drop the SEO bomb, it’s the Top New York Yankees Prospects, I repeat The Top New York Yankees prospects.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the show that Halp, my in-laws, Smokey, Short Round, Billy Crystal, Donald Trump and Jiggaman have been waiting for. It’s the New York Yankees top prospects podcast! I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited. Even though I’m what my New Jersey born and bred mother in law calls, “a Bawstin”. Yes, she actually calls me that, but often reassures me that besides Donnie Wahlberg I’m her favorite one. Mother in Law shade aside, we get into all the big prospects. The Gleyber, The Frazier, The Judge, The Justus, and The Rutherford. All Yankees prospects get a The in front of their name, like Ohio State in NFL introductions. Truthfully, I’m just hoping they don’t charge me with any sort of copyright infringement, or make me shave my beard, or cut my hair. You know it’s not my Boston roots that leave me emotionally unattached to the Bronx Bombers, it’s their strict dress code. I don’t do well with dress codes. Enough about my issues with authority, let’s talk some Top New York Yankees Prospects.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After a two week hiatus we’re back in the saddle again. This time we brought along a couple of friends to help us, well sort of. This week’s episode is a live mock first year player draft featuring two very knowledgeable prospect hounds in Matt Thompson, lead prospect writer for Friendswithfantasybenefits.com, and the ghost of Razzball’s very own Smokey. The four of us mocked out the first 32 picks on Twitter, so technically it’s not “live”, but not to worry this allowed us to discuss each player in detail. The goal is to get you prepared for your upcoming FYPD drafts this offseason. I know, I know, we’re such givers! Though it’s not all sunshine and Rose wine. Due to technical difficulties we lost out first run-through of the show with Smokey. So, this episode features Halp, Matt, and I trying our damndest to fill the void left behind by our grizzled vet, and to give you the rational behind the LOOGY’s picks. No need to fear prospect hounds, the Razzball Prospect Podcast is back, and stroking the flames of the hot stove all offseason.

P.S. For those following along at home I’ve included the draft results here

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a rough couple days. What can I say, sometimes I leave fantasy behind, and actually dabble in the realm of investing my emotions into real baseball. For shame, my Red Sox have let me down. It’s okay, I have things to take my mind off these hard losses. Sure, I have my loving wife, and three beautiful children; most normal people would seek solace in those they hold most dear. Not me, I’m far too twisted for that. I need to bury my face in minor league stats and scouting reports. Thinking somewhere in all this I’ll find my happy place. Well now that I’ve gotten my rambling incoherent emotional discharge out of the way. Let me tell you I’m excited. Not because I’ve been doing Google image searches of busty actresses, but because it’s time to release my First Year Player Draft (FYPD) post. I’ve been working on it, and kicking around the names for a few weeks to a month now. Hopefully this can help you navigate the upcoming first year player drafts in your leagues. In addition to today’s post, Michael Halpern and I will be inviting two special guests onto next week’s episode of the Prospect Podcast. The four of us will mock out our top 32 picks, and speak a little on each. Look out for that… Speaking of Halp, he put out his first year player draft top 10 over on imaginarybrickwall earlier this week. Make sure you check that out. Today I’ll hit you with my top 15, and finish off the top 30 on Wednesday.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to open this post with my favorite Future quote, but then I remembered that I don’t know what Future is saying ever. That’s okay, I just like humming along to the words anyway. Seriously, I think that’s Future’s appeal, you can hum to the words! Brave new world, ladies and gents! So why are we here? I know why I’m here, you should figure that out on your own. In the meantime read along, as I follow up my post from this past Wednesday updating y’all on the performances of the players taken in the first round of this year’s MLB draft. On Wednesday I’ll round out the series, with my later round draft sleepers. I’ll try and figure out what Future is saying between now and then. Today we’ll look at picks 17-34, and touch on a handful of players I like from the Competitive Balance Round. I mean I could have done the whole draft, but I don’t have time to write 2,000,000 words. I’m too busy watching minor league baseball, and trying to figure out what Future is saying.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In just 24 hours MLB draft madness will be upon us. While it certainly has the least amount of fanfare among the four major sports, I find it to be by far the most fascinating. In Football and Basketball so much of the focus is immediate, mostly due to the older nature of prospects, particularly in football. This relies heavily on opportunity and fit with a team’s style and system. The NHL in many ways sits in the middle between the other two sports and baseball. But baseball, that’s a whole different story. In baseball it’s all about projection and development. Even the most MLB ready player spends a year plus in the minors developing. The other end of the spectrum is prep players that can marinate in the lower levels for 3-4 years. It’s an animal unto itself. So today I give you the final installment of my pre-draft posts. You can check the other two here and here. I’m going to begin with a quick mock, and follow that up with some general notes and thoughts. Let’s make this interactive, as more information matriculates, and the draft rumors circulate feel free to post what you’re hearing in the comments.

Please, blog, may I have some more?