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…
Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I think this is the part of the article where I mention something about Mets starting pitching, and then something else about elbow injuries. Let’s check those two boxes right from the gate, and talk about how boring any, and all homegrown Mets hitters are. When was the last time the Mets produced a bat that wasn’t kind of boring? David Wright? Jose Reyes? Okay, okay Michael Conforto is exciting, but often for the wrong reasons. Like “I’m freaking excited to not own Michael Conforto any longer.” That was you after April 30th. The problem is none of the upcoming bats have first round fantasy upside. Nevertheless, the divide between pitching talent and hitting talent is never so evident as it is at the major league level. The lineup is littered with talent acquired in trades and free agent mercenaries. While the rotation runs 7 deep with major league starters from within the organization. The stats bear this out too, as good as the Mets were at preventing runs (ranking third in 2016 in team ERA), were as bad as they were at scoring them (ranking 25th in runs scored). Maybe some of that’s park aided or maybe some of it’s talent. While the light (and I use that term lightly) at the end of the tunnel, is still more than likely a year or two away, there are some bats progressing through the system that should be on fantasy owners radar’s. Players like Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, and Brandon Nimmo all offer fantasy impact (to varying degrees) in the next two years. However, true to form the best talent lies in the pitching ranks, with the highest upside prospects coming in the form of pitchers like Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki. I certainly wouldn’t rank Amazin’s system in the top 10, but they’re in the top half, and that’s better than being the Marlins. Enough of the lead-in, hop into the post, and learn why I’m moderately enthused about the Top New York Mets Prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
New year, new Halph! Not that different from the old Halph, but Halph nevertheless. This week’s episode involves us delving into a duo of systems in the Mets and the Twins, with plenty of the typical mindless banter for good measure. We crush on Thomas Szupucki together, and figure out where Rosario slots in among the elite shortstop prospects. Over the course of the show we come to a pair of conclusions that Amazin’ has an underrated system, and that the Twins have 4 prospects. Seriously, 4. Maybe 5, could be a stretch. There’s a lot of pitching prospect talk on this one, but knowing top Mets prospect pitchers is to love them. Amirite? Yeah, you’re nodding your head, it’s cool. So grab a cold one, or a hot one, and tune into the latest episode of the Razzball prospect podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hey yo! We’re back for another episode of the Prospect Podcast with Michael Halpern of Imaginarybrickwall.com, and of course, Prospector Ralph Esq!!! In this week’s edition, Michael calls me out for the high energy tongue lashings I’m throwing around on the football side in the Razzball Dream League. We then jump back into prospects, and go through some young guns making noise lately in the minors like A.J. Puk, Alec Hansen, and Steven Duggar. We drool over the tools, and future superstar potential of High School heavyweight Hunter Greene. Yes, he’s a Crayola crayon color, and a baller. Michael runs through a couple of high upside, off the radar specs, in Yermin Mercedes and Harol Gonzalez. We then go through our top 10 corner infielders, and debate the value of Joey Gallo, Nick Senzel, Bobby Bradley, and Rafael Devers, among others. We round it out with those that just missed the cut, and some of the sleepers that are out there at 3rd and 1st. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.
Note: And be sure to check out the latest Fantasy Football Podcast episode with special host Pod Vader (former ESPN producer) which covered BlogTalkRadio’s Expert League that Razzball is a part of!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Salutations my loyal Razzscalians, and welcome to the latest installment of The Minor League update. I’m your Prospector and Chief Ralph Lifshitz and today I’d like to discuss a mighty slugger from The Great White North. A man with the forearms of a spinach swigging Popeye. A hitter with a swing so strong, that balls explode off his bat head like forgotten land mines in former war zones. The thunderous prospect I speak of is none other than the Mariners Tyler O’neill. The outfielder was a player that popped into many managers favorite prospects lists over the past few months, including yours truly. I mean what’s not to like about Tyler O’Neill “Prospect Power King of the North.”Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tell me this isn’t the most American thing you’ve ever heard. I sit mere miles from Cooperstown, NY, sipping an American made brew, working away on the final stretches of my Mid-Season Top 100 Prospects for Fantasy Baseball, while fireworks crackle overhead. The smell of beer and lawn clippings fill the air, and I just cooked some bacon on the barrel of my rifle. The last sentence was complete bullshizz, but the part before it is fairly accurate. I mean I’m not enough of a tool that I would sit in the yard with my laptop writing. But I am enough of a tool that I was formulating what I would type, once the pack of wild animals I affectionately call my children decide to finally retire to their beds for the evening. Well, the time has come and here I am writing to you, and you alone. Without anymore rambling incoherent non-sense, allow me to introduce the Top 100 Prospects Fantasy Baseball. This list is built with an eye to the future, in other words my goal is for this list to be more reflective of a pre-season 2017 list than the pre-season 2016 lists. I went bold, and I avoided the boring. Meaning I have no use for your Julio Urias’, your Lucas Giolito’s, A.J. Reed’s, Cody Reed’s and the like. You know those guys, they’re playing in the bigs, at this point they’re A. owned in your dynasty or B. owned in your redraft league so C. they’re owned. You thought I was going to say there’s no C right? What do I look like Grey? Nope I’m much taller and my facial hair is more Don Johnson than John Oates.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome back campers to the second season of Razzball’s homegrown dynasty baseball league, “The Razznasty”, filled with readers, writers, commenters, and J-FOH. It’s with great pleasure that I ring in the second year of updates. Since we last left you a few teams have changed hands, a commissioner switch took place, a whole lot of trades before the winter trade deadline, and our inaugural 10 round draft comprised of the unkept, free agents, 2015 draftees and internationals. A couple of teams with ownership changes included, J-FOH pulling a Jay-z and retiring for like 5 seconds after winning last year, and then handing the M-I-C to commenter and hip-hop aficionado Nick the Dick. This was then followed by the “Hatest that ever did it” coming out of retirement to manage the first vacancy available. We also welcomed Smokey into the fold, as he stepped in to take over an up and coming squad. Finally this club will have the quality ownership to match it’s competitive roster. In addition to those three changes, we were gifted a real wheeler and dealer by the name of Raskals. An owner, that from his first day in the league, has aggressively built what seems to be a formidable contender.
In our latest installment we’ll discuss a couple of the trades from the deadline, and hear from some of the members of the Razznasty on their takeaways form the draft. Yes there were takeaways, just like the Oscars, but more like the swag from an insurance conference. Yeah another stressball!!! Well here it is Razzball’s 2016 dynasty baseball league.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?
If the excitement of the World Series wasn’t enough, the Mets can also celebrate the success of Michael Conforto and Steven Matz in 2015. Both look like solid fantasy options moving forward. As much as it hurts my insides as a Phillies fan, the Mets should be good for a while with that pitching staff. On the farm there aren’t a ton of impact fantasy players if you’re not counting Matz anymore. Dom Smith might be your best bet, but he’s yet to show his game power. Amed Rosario hasn’t taken off offensively, and Marcos Molina went under the knife. There’s a lot of international talent in the low minors however, and those signings will keep feeding the system. What this farm lacks in star power it makes up for in depth.Please, blog, may I have some more?