As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues.  I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day.  Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day.  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here.  To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every other week Razzball ranks the prospects closest to contributing to your fantasy roster. The list is limited to players who still have rookie eligibility (less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched) and who are currently in the minor leagues. It’s not a list based on talent alone, but rather it’s a mixture of talent and opportunity. It will change frequently over the course of the season as prospects graduate to the majors, injuries occur, or service time roadblocks are passed. While chatting with J-FOH this week, he mentioned how important it is to look at your team’s needs at this point in the year, so I’ve divided the list into three needs-based “chunks”. With the minor league season winding down and September call-ups almost here, this will be the last edition of the power rankings. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week I looked at some players who are more or less widely available and could be useful to rebuilding teams in keepers and dynasties. All of these players are available in the majority of leagues in both the CBS and Fantrax formats, which cater to dynasty players. There’s obviously some risk attached to all of them, but I chose to focus mainly on players who are already in the majors or the upper levels of the minors…the reason being you don’t want to get stuck in a rebuild forever by missing on guys who are four-plus years away. I was able to get my hands on these names in 12, 16, and some even in 20-team formats. They’re not necessarily superstars, but rather interesting pieces given the option to keep them heading into next year. Grabbing them now in free agency can save you the headache of chasing them down in the spring once everyone’s “sleepers” etc. are announced.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (16) | 2013 (8) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (23) | 2010 (28)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [64-98] NL West
AAA: [81-63] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [79-58] Southern League – Mobile
A+: [75-65] California League – Visalia
A: [83-56] Midwest League – South Bend (2015: Kane County)
A(ss): [48-28] Northwest League – Hillsboro

Graduated Prospects
Chris Owings, SS | David Peralta, OF | Chase Anderson, RHP | Tuffy Gosewisch, C | Alfredo Marte, OF | Vidal Nuno, LHP | Mike Bolsinger, RHP | Ender Inciarte, OF

The Gist
The Diamondbacks made a splash this offseason with the signing of Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who immediately becomes their best fantasy prospect. Apparently they weren’t finished though, recently signing Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez. This system has five legitimate pitching prospects, three of which are close to contributing at the major league level. Despite the hitter-friendly home park, these arms have solid fantasy upside thanks to their strikeout potential. Recently graduated prospect Chris Owings will now man shortstop on an everyday basis. His combination of power and speed make him an interesting late round target in 2015 drafts. And while we’re here…don’t forget about Randall Delgado, who is currently slated for long relief but could run with another opportunity in a rotation.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Hump Day (cue the Geico camel) fellow prospect hounds! Another week of minor league action is in the books as the top prospects continue jockeying for spots on various “up and coming” lists, and try to better position themselves for promotions closer to their ultimate goal — a call to “The Show”. Time for our weekly look at some of the prospects that have made some noise recently in the hope of climbing a little closer to the big leagues, whether that step ultimately comes this season or a little further down the road. Refill your coffee cup, get comfortable, and let us guide your continuing research as we try to help you scoop your fellow fantasy competitors with our Wednesday Twelve-Pack.

We’ll start by mentioning the obvious, Cubs fans that follow me on Twitter got the news Monday afternoon that Javier Baez was on his way to join the big club in Denver for last night’s game. Batting second and playing 2B (where he likely winds up for the long haul at this point), he struck out against Brett Anderson in the 1st, grounded out to Nolan Arrenado in the 3rd, struck out against Franklin Morales in the 4th and 6th, and lined out to Brandon Barnes in RF with the bases loaded in the 7th against Matt Belisle after the Rockies pen imploded and walked half the guys on the Cubs’ 40-Man Roster. (EDIT: Baez did deliver his first big league hit, a solo shot off of Boone Logan in the top of the 12th, and was 1-6 with 3 Ks at publishing deadline.) Don’t fret Chicago hopeful, Kris Bryant isn’t far behind.

A couple of the guys we’ll take a look at this week had help clearing their way when the smoke cleared on one of the wackier non-waiver trade deadline days in memory as players on their organizations’ big-club rosters were moved. The deals won’t necessarily create immediate openings for them at the MLB-level, but they’ll help move timetables and ETAs along. Here’s who I’m watching closer going into week 19…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Good Sunday morning gang!!! The weather forecast remains unseasonably cool and rainy here in the south, but it’s having little effect on many of us who look forward to this time of year regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. It’s only been a couple of days since the unofficial second half started but the MLB non-waiver trade deadline looms, the days seem to flash by in minutes, and every baseball nut everywhere barely looks outside to see if the sun is shining since they’re too busy refreshing Twitter, MLBTR, and every other information source they can find on the internets. The deals are coming, the playoff races are changing, and the prospects are rising – seemingly quicker than the sun.

Here’s our weekly Sunday Twelve-Pack – our peek at prospects who may be taking another step up their ladder as they climb towards The Show (including my thoughts on Taylor Lindsey, the prime piece acquired by the Padres this weekend). These are twelve players to keep your eye on as someone you can potentially expect to see a promotion to the next level soon as paths become cleared when deals are made and performances simply can’t be ignored much longer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (8) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (23) | 2010 (28) | 2009 (26)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [81-81] NL West
AAA: [60-84] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [79-60] Southern League – Mobile
A+: [77-63] California League – Visalia
A: [81-58] Midwest League – South Bend
A(ss):  [34-42] Northwest League — Hillsboro

Graduated Prospects
A.J. Pollock (OF); Didi Gregorius (SS); Adam Eaton (OF); Will Harris (RHP); Tyler Skaggs (LHP)

The Run Down
The Arizona farm has been one of great interest to fantasy players over the past few years, and that trend holds true for 2014.  The D’backs have done a fine job in acquiring impact talent through recent drafts, and the trade market has been friendly to their system too.  I’ll admit, though, that this 2014 crop of prospects is a little more top-heavy than what we’ve grown used to seeing from Arizona — once Archie Bradley, Chris Owings, and Braden Shipley surface in the bigs,  this will be a system in need of high-end talent to emerge.  Fortunate for them, lower-levels prospects like Stryker Trahan, Justin Blair, and Jose Martinez seem poised for breakouts in the year ahead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?