As the Durham Bulls took the best little minor league pitching circus this side of Mississippi, literally, on the road. I promised myself I’d check out at least one game during the nearest stop on their International (League) tour. This is a rotation that now features the struggling, but still talented Blake Snell, recently activated off-season acquisition Jose De Leon, top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell, and the strikeout king of AAA Jacob Faria. I’ve discussed Faria a lot of late, because he’s obviously a prospect that fascinates me. On Saturday in Pawtucket he went 4 strong innings before ending his night after completing the 4th. The early exit was more than likely due to the line drive he took off his leg earlier in the inning. It was really too bad, as Faria looked to have his best stuff on the night, outside a two run homer to Bryce Brentz nothing was hit hard at all. The first thing that strikes me when watching Faria is I love his change up. It has some nice break, and he throws it from a similar arm slot to the fastball. Speaking of the fastball, it too is a solid pitch getting some sink, and making it tougher on the hitters to barrel cleanly. This 1-2 punch gives Faria all the fuel he needs to pile up the strikeouts in bunches, however he has a tendency to nibble and that limits how deep into games he can get. Saturday was one of his more efficient performances, making the injury all the more upsetting. I have to admit I came away impressed by Faria, and think he has solid mid-rotation upside with some nice K potential. I mean look at that gif below and tell me you don’t like what you see. Amirite?!? Today I venture back to Pawtucket to check out the Rays top prospect Brent Honeywell, who just so happens to check in as the 7th most valuable pitcher on Rudy’s Prospectornator. Don’t worry I promise to give you all the details on Honeywell….Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB…
During the winter I made a somewhat bold statement, that I’m not sure many agreed with it at the time. I stated that, I’d rather have Rhys Hoskins long term than Tommy Joseph. There was a great deal of skepticism regarding Hoskins 2016, mostly because it took place in the comfy confines of FirstEnergy (not a typo) Stadium. And really, who can blame them? The ballpark is so bananas, it tricked people into thinking Darin Ruf, and Dylan Cozens were actually good. That said, there was a lot to like about Hoskins profile, FirstEnergy (not a typo) Stadium not withstanding. Throughout his professional career he’s hit for power (.233 ISO), average (.291), gotten on base (.375), and walked at a high rate (10.4%). He’s also done all this while striking out at a sub-20% clip. Tell me that doesn’t scream MLB worthy? In the offseason I was by far the high man on Hoskins, ranking him 57th in my top 100. Fast forward two and half months, and Hoskins is the new danger, hitting a robust .350/.447/.675 with 8 homers, and 15 RBIs in just 24 games. Meanwhile Tommy J struggles in Philly, and the calls for Hoskins in Philly get louder. Sure he’s a righthanded throwing first baseman, but Paul Goldschmidt scoffs at you scoffs at your concerns. I put my money where my mouth is on Hoskins, and dealt Nick Gordon, and T.J. Friedl in the Basbeall Prospectus expert league, The Devil Rejects, back in November, and am quite happy with how my gamble looks to paying off. This prospector’s word of advice, go get Hoskins. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week in the minors.Please, blog, may I have some more?
What if we’re all living inside a Boston masshole’s dream? This is Inception, and we all fell asleep sometime after Tom Brady was drafted, but before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl. Then, due to some plantains you ate before you went to sleep, the Red Sox grabbed David Ortiz from Minnesota for nothing, and you got a kidney stone and were peeing blood but it all came out on Curt Schilling’s sock, and the Red Sox won the World Series, and then, because you fell asleep to The Apprentice, Trump became president, and now Andrew Benintendi goes 5-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .347. This has to be possible, doesn’t it? What if our world is like Herman’s Head, but we’re inside Prospector Ralph’s head? Is Somalia in a famine because Prospector Ralph is too worried about Rick Porcello and forgot to eat? Eat, Ralph! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wait, what? The Mariners got Jean Segura AND Mitch Haniger for the continually underachieving Tai Walker? The same Haniger who’s third in offensive WAR in the AL (through Friday), first in the AL in runs scored with 16, leading the AL in times on base, fourth in the clubhouse in jersey-chaser takedowns, and first in my heart for being part of the heist that was the Taijuan Walker trade. Coming off a year where he masta-donged 25 and 94 with a .321 BA in AA/AAA last year, the D-Bags felt the urge to dump another diamond in the rough, a la Max Scherzer. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that trade all those year ago. I couldn’t believe at the time and couldn’t believe they weren’t making a bigger deal about it.
I may be going too far as I’m a Walker fan, but Haniger clearly has All-star capabilities and hitting in this loaded lineup is going to keep him relevant all season long. Much unlike myself, it’s really easy to be a fan of this dude.
Here’s what else intrigued me this past week… Take heed!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It only took 33 episodes, but we finally have the Supreme Leader/Fantasy Master Lothario/The Uno/Capo dei Capi Grey Albright. We talk about some of the camp battle winners, interesting rookies and young players for 2017. Grey loses his mind at the thought of a joint business venture with Dusty Baker. We Get into Eric Thames vs Jesus Aguilar. We cry a little over Koda Glover, hug it out over Aaron Judge, and debate the merits and pitfalls of Korean pitching. After Grey leaves to get lunch, Halp and I jump into some of the top prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft. IT’s early but we wanted to get you introduced to some of the names we’ll be covering in the coming months. It’s the 33rd Episode of the Razzball Prospect PodcastPlease, blog, may I have some more?
True story: I was walking through the mall in spandex shorts and a headband, strutting really. The year was 1981. I was perhaps the most handsome, well-groomed five-year-old the planet had seen. Okay, a seven-year-old pretending to be a five-year-old. Who wants to be older? Not me, Cousin Sweatpants. So, I’m cruising for chicks, crushing the scenario, when I see this total fox. I stop her and ask for a name. She says, “Jennifer Beals,” and I say, “You’re gonna be a star, kid,” then covering my mouth I say how her fame will be short-lived but how she will get some decent character work later in life. I spotted her sex appeal two years prior to her breakout role in Flashdance. I can always spot sex appeal. It’s my cross to bear. Speaking of crosses to bear, holy Jesus Harry Christ my Tout Wars team is sexy! The league is 12-team, two-catcher, NL-Only and perhaps the most respected fantasy league in the country. Sure, we’re still mocked by 99.9% of the world, but a solid chunk of other fantasy baseballers respect the Tout! Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars team and some thoughts:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s always a handful of player every season that are past their “rookie limits”, but they’re still kind of prospects. For many dynasty leaguers, like myself, these players are of keen interest. If you’re in a league where no minor leaguers past their limits can be stashed in minor league roster spots, then these guys are almost droppable. You watch the spring training box scores, scouting reports, and tweets, praying for news of a starting job. You don’t care if it takes injuries, suspensions, or jail time to the players ahead on the depth chart. If they don’t make the club out of spring then they’re burning a hole on your bench. What other option do you have besides dropping or holding? Might be the worst case scenario depending upon your league size, and setup regarding salary. Players like this can really put you in a pickle, and there’s a few hanging around this spring that could get you caught between first and second. Don’t get caught, get caught up, and hold or sell before it’s too late.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the Natti things just ain’t been the same. The chili has been more disgusting than usual, Hi-Tek’s beats just don’t slam like they used to, and Jerry Springer is no longer mayor. Outside of those three things I don’t know much about Cincinnati. What I do know about however is their Red’s freshly re-stocked farm system. After an excellent 2016 draft and international period the Reds boast a wide array of pitching prospects, and a handful of hitting prospects of note for owners in dynasty leagues. Of course the most sought after being this year’s number two overall pick Nick Senzel. Not only did the Reds net the best college bat in the draft, they also picked a high upside athlete in Taylor Trammell, and arguably the best catcher in the draft in Chris Okey. The international period saw the Reds make major splashes in the Cuban market adding top pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez. As well as a saavy signing in “through the cracks’ talent TJ Friedl. While the big league club struggles, the system shows glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel for the Reds, though it’s still year’s away. It’s the Cincinnati Reds Prospects from A-Z…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alright 12 readers still with us in late October, get your firecrackers, noisemakers, and elated cheers ready. For the return of Minor League Preview season is upon us. I know, I know, exciting times across Razz Nation. With that said let’s curb your enthusiasm a little, we’re starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lower case yay…. What can be said about the Diamondbacks system that hasn’t already been said about Detroit? It’s been decimated, depleted, and burned to the ground. Mostly by Dave Stewart, but I’m sure Tony LaRussa had a hand in that too. Top prospects like Dansby Swanson, Isan Diaz, and Aaron Blair were shipped off, and to make matters worse they lost their first round draft pick after signing Zack Greinke. So we’re looking at a handful of second division regular types, some back of the rotation arms, and some long term toolsy players. Not exactly the bang you were looking for, but at least we have the Braves to look forward to. Heck they have at least 70 former Diamondback prospects. Holla Touki!!!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chad Green was out there painting corners like he was on work release and someone decided the yellow curb needed to be yellower! Green ball in the corner pocket is what he felt! Green was dealing like a sad-looking, poker dealer at a poker room that is badly lit, which is known for having great dealers! Green for the money, gold for the honeys! Yesterday, Green was the envy of the league, though not a shizzton happened, admittedly. He threw 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. the Jays. Because his name is Green! Nah, that’s prolly not the reason, but it’s an interesting thought. Green has worked well in the minors (1.52 ERA in Triple-A), and gets strikeouts (9.5 K/9) with his mid-90s MPH fastball, and cutter. At this point, I’d still rely on the Stream-o-Nator with him for shallower mixed leagues, but I could see a flyer on him in keeper leagues for a chance there’s something here moving into 2017. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?