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…

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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.

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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…

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It happens every year. Bath time is disrupted by the ringing of my flip phone. Thinking it’s Subway getting back to me about my sandwich artist application, I rush out of the tub to answer. Alas, it’s just a college buddy wanting me to fill an abandoned team in his dynasty league. Now there’s water all over the floor. These teams are almost always terrible. It’s like buying a car and finding out there’s no engine and the seat cushions smell like homicide. Now what? We rebuild it baby! Whether the team’s suckiness is your own doing or the work of a deadbeat previous owner, rebuilding can be painful. If the team is just completely barren or is full of bloated contracts, there are players you can target now to speed up the process and get things moving in the right direction.

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. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Indians just unloaded Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to the Braves, which created some breathing room on the roster. Bradley Zimmer could be one of the guys that benefits the most from all that extra oxygen. I ranked Zimmer 14th on my power rankings last week on a whim, but this recent trade has me looking at him as a legit call-up option as we head into September – one that could make a fantasy impact. I get to the Rubber Duck games in Akron a bunch, and seeing Zimmer in person you can definitely see where the Yelich comps come from. He has a long stride with sneaky plus speed, squares everything up, and shows good instincts on the basepaths. He’s one of those players that stands out on the field without even seeing him make a play. Already big and tall, it looks like a frame that could pack on even more muscle. Zimmer is following the typical path of a college bat, and while Double-A is one of the hardest jumps for a prospect, he’s holding his own with a .244/.359/.462 slash line, three homers, six doubles, and six steals through 21 games. He has yet to be caught stealing and his strikeout rate hasn’t spiked against the tougher arms either. He passes the eye test, the stats are yummy, and we could be looking at not only a September call-up but also a quick promotion to the bigs next summer. His ceiling would look something like .270 with 20 homers and 20+ steals in center or right field. Scoop him up in keepers and keep your eyes on him in redrafts for help down the stretch. Speaking of Akron, come say hi if you’re at the Jim Gaffigan show or the Hamburger Festival today. I’m easy to find. Just look for the depressed guy in the Expos cap. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Growing up near Philly and being a fan of The Roots, I couldn’t help but picture Bobby Evans calling Walt Jocketty to negotiate last week’s trade and it going a little something like this: “The way we do it like this, that for my Mella my man. It’s like that for my Mella my man?” asks Walt. “No, no. We do it like that, this for my Mella my man. It’s like this for my Mella my man,” replies Bobby. And so on and so forth until Mike Leake is a Giant. Anyhoo, Mella was one of the best arms in the Giants’ system, and I actually ranked him #1 on their preseason preview. The 21-year-old had a 2.9 BB/9 and 9.1 K/9 in High-A this year prior to the trade. His value will take a small hit given the Giants’ success with pitching and friendly home park. GABP is less kind to its starters. The Reds will also get corner infielder Adam Duvall in the deal. He goes from being blocked by Matt Duffy, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey…to being blocked by Joey Votto and Todd Frazier. Words can’t describe his current shizzuation as well as this can. Here are some of the other notable prospects traded at this year’s deadline…

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. Here are the top 15 prospects on the cusp of the major leagues for 2015 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline is approaching fast, and we’ve already seen a few major deals go down. I’ll wrap up the rest of the trades next Wednesday, but here’s a look at a few of the notable prospects who have changed teams so far. As always, we’ll look at them through the Cheeto-dust-covered lens of fantasy baseball. Not every prospect is going to have a significant change in value, but a few could see their stocks rise or fall with a new organization. One such player is Brandon Finnegan, who got mad famous when he jumped from the College World Series to the actual World Series in just one summer. Kansas City may have been more inclined to let him settle into a relief role than the Reds will be, so the trade to Cincinnati has helped his stock if they truly intend to give him a long look at starting. Finnegan could potentially get stretched out in time to help the Reds this year, but it’s more likely we’ll see him in early 2016. The 22-year-old southpaw – if he makes it – has #3 starter upside with a middle-reliever floor. For some evaluators the difference between those two outcomes lies in the progress of his changeup and his durability. At any rate this trade doesn’t hurt him, and obviously NL pitchers are preferable anyway. Here are some other notable prospects that were traded this week…

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Many famous gingers have helped make me the man I am today. Lion-O from Thundercats, Jessica Rabbit, and the fat kid from The Sandlot immediately come to mind. Then there have been a few nightmares featuring this guy. But now that prospects are my focus, my new bro with the orange fro is Clint Frazier. Frazier got some hype as a stud fantasy prospect when he was drafted 5th overall by the Indians in 2013, but when he didn’t completely murder A-ball pitchers last year he may have lulled us to sleep. After a roller coaster first half, Frazier is killing it again in July – hitting .486 with three homers and three steals in his last ten games alone. He now has 11 homers, 23 doubles, and 12 steals on the year despite a really poor June where he hit .216/.337/.364. Bradley Zimmer recently leap-frogged Frazier to Double-A, but keep in mind Zimmer is also two years older than him. Practice patience with Frazier if you own shares and you’ll be rewarded. He’s more Lion-O than Carrot Top…trust me. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?