With Yoan Moncada and Ozzie Albies graduating to the Majors, the second base prospect class is so uninspiring that we talk about Moncada and Albies anyway. And sneak in some Rihanna talk too. None of the blame for this mediocre class lies at the feet of Scott Kingery, though, who is one of the top breakout prospects of the season and someone who Ralph and I both put in the near elite fantasy prospect range. We debate Isan Diaz vs. Keston Hiura, how much power Max Schrock and Luis Urias are going to develop, and if we still believe in Shedric Long. We cover everybody from Travis Demeritte, Nick Solak, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., to Kevin Kramer, Esteury Riuz, Ryne Birk, Garrett Hampson, and many more. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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What a difference a year makes. Had I wrote this post in 2016 we’d be discussing one of the deepest positional player pools going. But just 12 months later, and there’s no Moncadas, Albies, or Calhouns to be found. Players that would have graced the back end of my top 10 last year, are now ranked at the top of the heap. That’s not to say there aren’t some impact bats in the mix at the keystone. But it’s a mix of transformative players losing rookie status, and the talent not being as close to the majors as it had been in previous years. There’s another element to all this too. Much like with third base, some of the top 2nd baseman are still playing shortstop. It wouldn’t shock anybody if Bo Bichette, Brendan Rodgers, Franklin Barreto, or even Gleyber Torres ended up at 2nd. So there’s a lot to debate in this ranking. Everyone is bound to have some variance and disagreement. But what’s wrong with some disagreement amongst the consensus? Call me crazy, but it’s a lot more fun when there’s debate and a wide range of opinion. I mean you’ve seen my twitter, right? Without further delay, it’s the Top 10 2nd Base Prospects for 2018.

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Over the past few seasons few positions have gotten more hype than shortstop. With players like Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Alex Bregman, Addison Russell, Amed Rosario, the names go on and on. Some of these names were obviously major difference makers in fantasy, while others have ridden “real baseball” prospect hype to overrated status. Much like with catchers on the mainstream prospect lists, the demands of the position defensively significantly increase these player’s values. We don’t care about defense though, there’s only two questions we ask ourselves as dynasty managers. Does this Rotowear shirt make me look fat? No, wait, wrong question. We ask ourselves A. Can he hit? B. Will he stick at the position? The latter of which is ehhh, with a side of meh sauce. I really only care if they can hit. If a player is moved to second, third, or center, it really doesn’t matter, you know, as long as the skills play. I understand position scarcity, but my focus when drafting, adding, or trading for prospects in fantasy leagues is to land the best possible hitters. With this in mind I present to you the Top 10 Shortstop Prospects for 2018 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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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.

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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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Johnny come latelys like the Yankees and White Sox may think they’re hip for acquiring prospects. But the Brewers have been doing it since before it was cool. Starting with the trade of Carlos Gomez, the Brewers have brought in a bounty of talented youngsters. In fact 8 of the 17 prospects discussed were acquired via trade. Including 4 of their top 5. So good work Doug Melvin and David Sterns, you guys are the prospect hoarding dynasty league owners of MLB. Truthfully, they’ve made a lot of good moves, and have a solid, and deep up and coming core. With good young players like Orlando Arcia, Jonathan Villar, and Keon Broxton already in Milwaukee, the revolution has started. There’s lots of fantasy gold to uncover in the Brewers system, so I went a little longer than usual. I’m sure you won’t mind. It’s the Top Milwaukee Brewers Prospects.

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We know how much you miss JB’s Brewers takes after only getting a small sliver in the Winter Meetings episode of the Razzball Baseball Podcast. So we brought North Cackalacky’s number one Brewers fan to aid Michael Halpen (of Imaginarybrickwall.com *plug*) and I in our disection of the Brew Crew’s system. Some how, some way, I managed to not quote Alice’s Cooper’s “The Good Land” rant from Wayne’s World. I’m full of surprises, and Christmas cookies. Any the who, we talk all the Top Brewers prospects, and damn are there a lot of them. I’m talking a system with a stacked amount of talent featuring names like Lewis Brinson, Josh Hader, Corey Ray, Isan Diaz, and many many more. Seriously so many I needed two manys. JB, a stocked system, a jelly donut disagreement, this is guarenteed to be a classic episode. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast. Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

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No joke, this is how my day opened. I woke up (amazing!), went for my usual run, came home and begin my usual shizz, shower, and shave routine. The thing is, during the first part of my usual triple S routine, I was checking my email. BTW more emails get checked on the throne than anywhere else in the world. In fact if you don’t bring your phone into the hopper, you’re a sociopath. Simple and plain. Anywho, I check my email and am greeted by this beaut.

“This morning we received a report that an individual wearing a clown costume was seen on a school campus in Your Random Massachusetts town. All schools were alerted and schools responded consistent with safe school readiness practices. Our police investigated and have reported that this is confirmed to be hoax. I appreciate the quick response by our schools and police. Thank you.”

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A large part of success in fantasy, and dynasty leagues in particular, is identifying player trends. It’s a matter of knowing when to move on from a player before it’s too late, and it’s knowing when to buy a player before his stock explodes. In the coming weeks we’ll have a few posts dealing with who I’m targeting in dynasty leagues, and players I’m moving on from. In mid-September it’s still a bit too early to get into those discussions. So, let’s continue to look back at the year that was in prospects, shall we? In this vein, today we’ll discuss the players that broke out in the second half after bad first halfs; and on Wednesday we’ll speak on the lads that faltered in the second half after starring roles in the first. To add a bit of the tomfoolery Razzball is known for, let’s christen each post with the name of a like minded spirit. We’ll call the second half breakouts Samuel L. Jackson’s, and the second half stumpers Corey Feldman’s. There couldn’t be two stars with divergent career paths. I mean have you seen Feldman lately? He’s pretty much a novelty EDM act cult leader, but seems completely oblivious to this unlike the rest of the world.

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