Soda Glover, Yoda Glover, Coda Glover, but no Koda Glover.  That’s my constant struggle with my autocorrect.  Let’s break down those typos, shall we?  Soda Glover has been better than 7-Up and seven down.  Me strike out batters you like, man with toothpick, says Yoda Glover.  The concluding event at the section of the baseball game called the ninth inning will be the Coda Glover.  Dusty Baker hasn’t yet named a closer, but, unless they trade for someone (and this isn’t out of the question), all indications are that Koda Glover will be the Nats’ closer.  Jon Heyman wrote, “….but with Shawn Kelley not considered a closer candidate due to two past Tommy John surgeries…”  Such a throwaway line.  Like it’s common knowledge.  Either Heyman heard something from the Nats, which led him to believe everyone knew this, or Heyman’s totally in the dark.  Could be either, but I’m thinking Nat-Nat-Nat-Nats’ all folks for Shawn Kelley, who has barely thrown this spring.  In my fantasy baseball rankings and my top 500, I’ve moved Koda Glover above Blake Treinen and Kelley.  Also, adjusted my Fantasy Baseball War Room.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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There are some big names dropping this week. I am less worried about players with broken bones because for the most part they break, they heal. They play. Ligament, muscle, and other meaty bits of your body are a bit trickier to play with. So Ian Desmond and Tom Murphy? Will come back and be fine. Draft ‘em and stash ‘em for a month. Carlos Carrasco, Anthony deSclafani, Jason Kipnis and Sonny Gray? Cause me a bit more concern. These injuries can often linger or flare back up.

Here’s who’s meaty bits have been swelling, inflaming, and tightening this week:

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Let the overreaction to Spring Training numbers begin! Gregory Polanco went 3-for-3 with 2 stolen bases in his debut — 115 SB prediction for Polanco! Jason Castro went 2-for-2 with a HR in his first game — 60 HR for Castro! Shelby Miller allowed 2 runs, 3 hits over 2 innings — that is actually pretty on-brand for Shelby Miller. Do not trust Shelby Miller! Health is really what you’re looking for in Spring Training and these guys are failing that test so far…

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Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Technically, Charlie Tilson could’ve been listed in my fantasy baseball rookie series, and Tom Murphy could’ve been listed in the fantasy baseball sleeper series, and Jason Heyward could’ve been listed in the “I will never draft him again” series if there was a “I’m never going to draft him again” series, but here we are.  When I first heard of Charlie Tilson, I thought it was a mispronounced dinner reservation for the former Dallas actress.  “Is there a Charlie Tilson here?  Your table is ready.”  “It’s Charlene Tilton.”  “And this is P.F. Chang’s, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t care.”  Damn, P.F. Chang’s needs to watch their customer service!  By the by, P.F. Chang’s might be the only restaurant where I look more forward to the free sauce they mix at the table than their actual food you pay for.  Me going there is like someone going to Burger King for their ketchup.  Okay, Charlie Tilson, or as you like to call him, “Who the fudge is Charlie Tilson?”  He’s the guy that stole 46 bases in Double-A in 2015 and was traded to the White Sox for Zach Duke.  He’s also penciled in as the White Sox starting center fielder.  Oh, and if you haven’t heard, the White Sox have already punted 2017.  So, what can we expect from Charlie Tilson for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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A year to forget for the Southside faithful. 2016 started with the Drake LaRoche controversy and ended with the first World Championship for the crosstown Cubs in 108 seasons. A strong April, was followed by an awful May, and a downward spiral for the whole organization. Team MVP Chris Sale voiced his distaste for retro fashion going Edward Scissorhands on an unsuspecting jersey. Leading many to speculate he could be on his way out the door. The rumor mill hasn’t exactly slowed with the ignition of the hot stove, and stocked organizations like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and Nationals circle Sale. Any of these rumored suitors could significantly alter the look, shape, and depth of this system immediately. As currently constituted it’s probably bottom 5, with a handful of interesting players in Collins, Burdi, and Fulmer. Followed by a corps of solid floor-bored types. With that said, it’s a system to know in deep dynasty formats. It’s the top Chicago White Sox Prospects, get excited!

**UPDATED 12/6 Post-Moncada Trade**

 

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So here we are, the final Minor League Preview of the offseason, and just in time for pitchers and catchers. It’s been a long grueling road that spanned four months, two writers, and countless late nights, study, and pizza rolls. Only punk rock pizza rolls, none of that commercial shizz! All of this has led us to today, and your payoff….THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS!!! Okay, so it’s not that exciting, unless you like far away hitting specs, and loads of floorbored material arms. As far as I know the Cards Floorboreds do not cause cancer, but the same can’t be said about the Angels. As for the St. Louie’ system, they’ve certainly churned out their share of high end talent over the years, and 2015 was no different. As the Redbirds graduated two top half of the order type bats in Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty. I still can’t help but think that 2015 should have been the year of Oscar Taveres. My prospector eyes still weep for Oscar. Regardless, there’s still plenty to be aware of in the higher and lower levels, and a couple of beachy specs too! No not Brandon Beachy, because then their arms would be falling off. The Cards leave that to the northern most birds, the Blue Jays. Ha! Prospector humor kills me!! Let’s take a look at the St. Louis Cardinals Prospects, shall we?

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There are just two divisions left to cover in our breakout prospects series. These are players who “broke out” statistically in 2015 and were either ranked in the bottom half of their team’s preseason top ten list or didn’t make their team’s list at all. Some of these names will look familiar and have already been scooped up in many dynasty formats. Others may still be flying low enough that their big performances have gone undetected. Today we’ll look at five breakout prospects from the NL Central.

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (7) | 2013 (1) | 2012 (12) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] NL Central
AAA: [79-64] Pacific Coast League – Memphis
AA: [68-72] Texas League – Springfield
A+: [76-63] Florida State League – Palm Beach
A: [72-67] Midwest League – Peoria
A(ss): [48-28] New York-Penn League – State College

Graduated Prospects
Kolten Wong, 2B | Carlos Martinez, RHP | Oscar Taveras, OF

The Gist
Heading into 2015, the Cardinals have another strong farm system featuring interesting fantasy plays for the current season as well as down the road. As always one of the strengths of this system is its pitching, but there are also a handful of attractive outfielders. There’s plenty of young talent emerging on the major league squad as well. Kolten Wong is a sexy pick this year at second base and fellow sophomore Carlos Martinez could break camp in the rotation. It’s hard not to mention Oscar Taveras, who we lost before we really had the chance to see what he could do.

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