Welcome to the All-Star break gang – the unofficial beginning of the second half signals the time to reorganize, revamp, and re-think approaches for us, as well as the folks making the calls for your favorite MLB teams. And, coincidentally, it also marks the time for me to revisit my Prospect Rankings. These are the current top-50 guys on my board that haven’t accumulated the standard minimum 130 AB/50 IP at the MLB level that most fantasy leagues recognize. When compiling my rankings, I try to consider as many variables as possible, but my main focus tilts toward future “difference-makers”… those guys that have the potential to make significant impacts when they reach “The Show”. Some players you’ll find on this list may be further away from making that impact than others, some may be struggling a bit right now (they may have been recently promoted to the next level to challenge them and are adjusting to stiffer competition), some may be on the shelf because of injury, etc., but this list represents the top-50 players I’d pick if you give me the first 50 picks in the MiLB phase of a draft in a newly forming fantasy league. These are the prospects GMs “dream on”, regardless of their current minor league level – the players they plan to build their rosters around at some point in the near future.

So here we go…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With Dylan Bundy having returned to live baseball, the focus around the 21-year-old phenom shifts from “when will he throw again?”, to “when will he throw in the bigs again?”. At the time of this writing, Bundy is preparing to take mound in Aberdeen for a start in the short-season New York Penn League. It’ll be his second outing since Tommy John surgery — the first one was quite good: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Now, while it’s terrific see Bundy pitching so well upon returning to game action, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s still a long rehab process ahead of him, and the O’s won’t jeopardize his progress by pushing him too quickly. Baltimore has scripted Bundy’s recovery, and barring any setbacks, I believe their plan includes some big league action this season, but I wouldn’t expect more than 1 or 2 starts in August/September.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Mets aren’t thrilled with the Jenrry Mejia’s production lately, opponents having tallied 16 runs against him through his last 3 outings. Mejia has always been a pitcher who profiles best as a short-stint arm out of the bullpen, but you can’t blame the Mets for exploring the possibility of him as a SP — Mejia features filthy stuff, and if the arsenal were indeed sustainable over a starting pitcher’s workload, he’d be a great asset to any rotation. It appears, now, that the Mets have seen enough. Mejia will be moved to the bullpen and Rafael Montero will fill the void in the Mets rotation. Montrero, age 23, is one of the more polished arms in the minors, bringing immediate upside in both whiffs and ratios. About a month ago, I wrote my Rafael Montero fantasy. Check it out it for further intel.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18) | 2009 (12)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [73-89] NL East
AAA:  [72-72] International League — Lehigh Valley
AA:  [62-80] Eastern League — Reading
A+:  [67-68] Florida State League — Clearwater
A:  [56-80] South Atlantic League — Lakewood
A(ss):  [37-38] New York-Penn League — Williamsport

Arizona Fall League PlayersPeoria Javelinas
Ken Giles (RHP); Mike Nesseth (RHP); Kyle Simon (RHP); Austin Wright (LHP); Cameron Rupp (C); Aaron Altherr (OF); Cameron Perkins (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Darin Ruf (1B/OF); Cody Asche (3B); Jonathan Pettibone (RHP); Tyler Cloyd (RHP); Justin De Fratus (RHP); Jake Diekman (LHP)

The Run Down
Two of the top four prospects here weren’t in the system a year ago, so it goes without saying that the Phillies have made it an initiative to improve their farm. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?