Despite their lack of fanfare from a player development standpoint, the Baltimore Orioles have done as good a job as any in developing major league talent. The usual knocks are their inability to develop, and keep major league starters. As players like Jake Arrieta, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Zack Davies have found varying degrees of success outside of Avon Barksdale’s home turf. While starters have alluded the Orioles, top notch bullpen talent has not. There’s little questions as to who’s developed the best homegrown bullpen in the world. In addition to the pen they’ve cultivated young superstar Manny Machado, and nurtured Rangers washout Chris Davis into a perennial 40 home run threat. In fact they were tied for the most homegrown players of any team in the 2016 MLB playoffs. At present the Orioles system lacks high impact fantasy talent, but features several intriguing players for deeper dynasty leagues. In other words, it could suck more than it does….

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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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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 Baseball

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I got you something for Chrimbus! It’s a jar of tartar sauce. Oh, you don’t like it? Then how about some Baltimore Orioles pitching prospects instead? That tartar sauce is looking a lot better now, you ungrateful reader. Pitching prospects break all the time, but the Orioles seem especially good at it. Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey still have a lot of upside, and of course they will still be perched atop most Orioles lists, but both will also need to prove healthy to regain their lost fantasy value. I own a share of Bundy myself, so I feel your pain out there. Harvey is just a big bowl of I don’t know. Get past those two risky arms, and there are two hitting prospects I like a lot…power lolita Jomar Reyes and 2015 breakout Trey Mancini. If you need more instant gratification, Baltimore is currently in the process of signing Korean import Hyun-soo Kim. Praise Rang! So while this system isn’t a treasure trove of impact fantasy talent, there’s at least enough here to pass the time while you wait in line to see Winter Man. Remember – keep your Chrimbus bush trimmed and wet for Winter Man and he’ll bring you that pasta bear you’ve had your eye on.

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A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

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Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (12) | 2013 (17) | 2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL East
AAA: [65-79] International League – Norfolk
AA: [72-70] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [65-72] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [27-48] New York-Penn League – Aberdeen

Graduated Prospects
Jonathan Schoop, INF | Kevin Gausman, RHP

The Gist
The Orioles’ farm is headlined by two solid pitching prospects, although both have dealt with elbow injuries of late. Dylan Bundy may see MLB time later this year along with hitting prospects Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez. The top half of this farm is pretty solid from a fantasy standpoint, and the Orioles already have nice young talent at the major league level in Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, and Jonathan Schoop. Gausman was a good arm to own in the second half of 2014 after yo-yoing in the first, and may take a major step forward this year. Meanwhile, Schoop popped 16 homers in his rookie campaign. Machado is still just 22 years old and obviously has massive potential. With a bounce back from Chris Davis, this could be a very nasty offense in 2015.

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