Adrian Beltre was promoted to the Dodgers the same year I moved to Los Angeles.  I distinctly remember listening to AM sports radio a lot that summer, and, man, did people in LA hate Beltre.  With justification too, he struggled for six seasons.  When he finally broke out in 2004 (48 HRs, .334), no one believed it.  If you would’ve told people in LA, Beltre would be a surefire Hall of Famer, they would’ve thought you were related to him.  This would be the same as now saying Nick Castellanos will be a Hall of Famer in 14 years.  Yesterday, Beltre went 1-for-5, 2 runs and secured his place in history with his 3,000th hit.  Good on, Beltre, may all your cheap beers and head remain untapped.  As for fantasy, well, doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a hat tip, while a hat pat is forbidden.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Lately, Eric Hosmer has been living up to his nickname, Mini Joey Votto.  Hmm, that’s a bit long for a nickname.  How about Mini Joey?  Oh, I know, Embryonic Kangaroo!  That rolls off the tongue!   *Grey puts on a terrible Aussie accent* “Embryonic Kangaroo is a fair dinkum chockers!  What a ripper!  I need a sickie, a slab and a barbie on the back of the ute!  Or just watch that Toni Collete movie where she’s in the wheelchair singing ABBA.  That gets me knickers on the soddy poop schmear!”  Yesterday, the Embryonic Kangaroo went 5-for-6, 5 runs, 6 RBIs and a slam (16) and legs (5), hitting .319.  He has four homers post-ASB in 50 ABs, and seems to finally have the chockers on dinkum.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.

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I remember when I got the call to the big leagues like it was just a few weeks ago. I was lounging on the couch, re-watching all of my favorite Paul Giamatti flicks, Lady in the Water in particular, when the name “Grey Albright” flashed across my cell phone. I knew immediately. I was being called up to the big league podcast. I texted Ralph, and he confirmed what I already suspected, that he was being called up to the MLB pitching staff, as well. All of this to say, Ralph and I could perfectly relate to Ian Happ, Brad Zimmer, and Anthony Alford getting called up to the Major Leagues this week. We discuss just how long we expect them to stay up, along with how much damage they can potentially do. We then move on to some of the other minor leaguers knocking on the door, including Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, Austin Meadows, Derek Fisher, Erick Fedde, and many more. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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It’s gotta be tough having the same name as a famous person. You’re some how indirectly responsible for whatever they’re doing, or have ever done. I can relate, for mine is the same as world renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Well, at least his government name. So perhaps that’s my bias when rooting for Astros outfield prospect Derek Fisher. I feel his pain… While sharing a name with the former Lakers point guard turned homewrecker isn’t what it used to be. He’s got to be sick to death of silly puns like my title, Amirite?  Celebrity names aside, Fisher has been one of the best performers in the minors this season. He’s in the midst of a 16 game hitting streak, that’s seen him slash .394/.429/.712 with 5 homers, and 2 steals. An Astros outfield that once seemed so hard to crack doesn’t seem so insurmountable. Make no mistake that last statement has as much to do with Fisher, as it does anyone else’s lack of production. Since first being promoted to AAA on August 7th of last season, Fisher’s numbers are eye-popping. Over his first 52 AAA games the outfielder is slashing .309/.373/.547 with 13 homers, 9 steals, and a 8.3% walk rate. That’s not to say there aren’t some flaws, he’s always struck out around 25% of the time, and he’s not the most efficient basestealer either. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he struckout over 25% of the time in the majors, and saw his steal totals capped around 10-12 per season. But that’s not why I’m excited, it’s the fact that Fisher seems to be getting better. Following a roughish start to 2016 in AA, Fisher was promoted to Fresno as a challenge last season, and he rose to the occasion. I think he can be a very ownable outfielder in 12 team mixed leagues, if he finds himself seeing a majority of the starts in Houston this summer. Expect a .270ish average 20+ home run pop, and some steals mixed in. He’s an exciting player, and one that should be owned in all leagues with prospects or minor leagues of any kind. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB.

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Under the guidance of Gm Mike Rizzo, the Nationals have experienced a successful, yet frustrating run in their franchise’s history. With five straight winning seasons, but nothing to show for it, the Nationals were once again aggressive on the trade market. Sending top prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, along with 2016 first rounder Dane Dunning to the White Sox for Adam Eaton. Despite moving some very good prospects in Giolito and Lopez, the Nationals activity in the International market, and a strong 2016 draft crop, has helped restock the lower levels of the system. Due to diligent scouting, and astute drafting, Washington has been able to maintain organizational balance throughout all of the levels of the system. They have a potentially ready made replacement for Bryce Harper, should “Make Baseball Fun Again” walk for Greener Pa$trues. There’s far less arms in the upper reaches of the system than there used to be, but Erick Fedde isn’t that far from contributing on the major league level. There’s exciting young power hitter Juan Soto, and top international signing Yasel Antuna, as well as another Tommy John reclamation project in Jesus Luzardo. The Nats keep churning out the talent, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue. It’s the Top Washington Nationals Prospects.

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Baseball is back, and Halph cannot contain their excitement. With this week’s installment, we finish up our review of the top fantasy prospects in all 30 major league systems. The Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals: The Final Frontier. We once again butcher a few, if not all of the names. Sorry Justin Maese, I think. We discuss the always polarizing Rowdy Tellez, gorge ourselves on a little statutory Vlad Jr. love, and talk about why we both rank Anthony Alford highly. We fall asleep for a few minutes talking backend starters who throw sinkers. Then get our blood rushing again with the Washington Nationals now semi-depleted system. So there’s some butchering of Victor Robles name. A little talk of buzzy teenage power bat Juan Soto, followed by some Erick Fedde, and the rest of the Nationals system. It’s the latest episode of The Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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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!

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In my never ending quest to overturn every stone, and scour every corner of fantasy prospectdom; I’ll be going through all of the MiLB leagues over the next couple of weeks. Each post will touch on a handful or so, of the most interesting prospects in each circuit. For our purposes, these lists are always with a fantasy slant, because intangibles, defensive prowess, and leadership, ain’t winning nobody no fantasy title. Unless you play in a league where the scoring is created by Yadier Molina. Any the who, today we go to Carolina….in my mind. Our minds? James Taylor anyone? Okay no Sweet Baby James fans eh?!?… Okay then, we go to the Carolina League, and finish off the reviews of the High-A circuits for our weekly Sunday Prospect sermon. On Wednesday we’ll then begin our look at the Class A Leagues, with the exciting Midwest League. This may be the first time exciting and Midwest were used in the same sentence.  So let’s get into the names of note, and the juicy prospect booty that lurks. I meant Prospect Booty the pirate way….. You don’t believe me do you?

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The minor league season is over, so allow your favorite Prospectors to light the hot stove. It’s like an outside fire pit on an autumn night type of stove. You know, hoodies and shorts. We’ll save the pellet stove for the December doldrums, whatever those are. Enough about heating units! This week yours truly, and Michael Halpern of imaginarybrickwall.com kick things off with some Padres talk, as they called up the quartet of Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, and Austin Hedges. We then touch on top playoff performances from Billy McKinney, Jason Martin, “King of the North” Tyler O’Neill, and Braves pitching prospect Max Fried. We then get into our top 5 sleeper/breakout hitters, and top 5 sleeper/breakout pitchers for 2017. Never mind the bollocks, it’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

Please, blog, may I have some more?