The Dodgers were one of the hottest clubs offensively coming into this game, so, what happened?  Baseball happened, and Matt Moore throws a gem — 8 2/3 IP, 1 Hit, 3 Walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.95.  There’s no sport like this anywhere in the world.  Though, my 89-year-old Italian grandfather says the bounce on the bocce ball court can be tricky.  By the way, I recounted the other day on the podcast how he drove back from Florida, non-stop, in flip-flops.  So, yesterday, he went to the doctor because his foot was bothering him and the Pakistani doctor said it was due to the flip-flops.  He said, “Get out of here!  Your people wear nothing but sandals!”  So, great start by Matt Moore, no dur, but he threw the most pitches in a game this season at 133 pitches.  Why do you think?  Because he can’t throw strikes.  Dodgers just happened to feel like swinging at balls.  That’s what I hope she didn’t say!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tell me this isn’t the most American thing you’ve ever heard. I sit mere miles from Cooperstown, NY, sipping an American made brew, working away on the final stretches of my Mid-Season Top 100 Prospects for Fantasy Baseball, while fireworks crackle overhead. The smell of beer and lawn clippings fill the air, and I just cooked some bacon on the barrel of my rifle. The last sentence was complete bullshizz, but the part before it is fairly accurate. I mean I’m not enough of a tool that I would sit in the yard with my laptop writing. But I am enough of a tool that I was formulating what I would type, once the pack of wild animals I affectionately call my children decide to finally retire to their beds for the evening. Well, the time has come and here I am writing to you, and you alone. Without anymore rambling incoherent non-sense, allow me to introduce the Top 100 Prospects Fantasy Baseball. This list is built with an eye to the future, in other words my goal is for this list to be more reflective of a pre-season 2017 list than the pre-season 2016 lists. I went bold, and I avoided the boring. Meaning I have no use for your Julio Urias’, your Lucas Giolito’s, A.J. Reed’s, Cody Reed’s and the like. You know those guys, they’re playing in the bigs, at this point they’re A. owned in your dynasty or B. owned in your redraft league so C. they’re owned. You thought I was going to say there’s no C right? What do I look like Grey? Nope I’m much taller and my facial hair is more Don Johnson than John Oates.

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The rebuild is in full swing and the Phils are sporting a new general manager. They sold off their best trade chip in 2015, Cole Hamels, and regardless of your opinion on the return, the Phils landed three of the prospects in this year’s preview in addition to some pitching depth. 2015 also featured solid performances from rookies Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola, and Odubel Herrera, which gave fans of this team reason for optimism – something they’ll need in 2016 as it will almost certainly be a continuation of the rebuild. Philly will also have the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, which will add a premium prospect to what is now a deep and impressive collection of minor league talent.

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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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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…

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Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (9) | 2013 (3) | 2012 (2) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (2)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [67-95] AL West
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – Round Rock
AA: [80-59] Texas League – Frisco
A+: [82-56] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach (2015: High Desert)
A: [80-59] South Atlantic League – Hickory
A(ss): [40-36] Northwest League – Spokane

Graduated Prospects
Rougned Odor, 2B | Nick Martinez, RHP | Michael Choice, OF

The Gist
This system is full of risk/reward prospects with big ceilings. It’s also deep, and I had a hard time narrowing it down to just 10 to be honest. Fringe top ten guys like Keone Kela could help the major league bullpen as soon as 2016, and Kela’s triple-digit heater looks like the stuff of a closer. Then there’s Delino DeShields Jr. who was a Rule 5 selection from the Astros. DeShields hit 11 homers and stole 54 bases in Double-A last season. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a fantasy relevant prospect on this farm. Heading into 2015, Rougned Odor will get another extended look at second base while Jurickson Profar continues to battle shoulder issues. For what it’s worth, I still like Profar in dynasty leagues and at just 22 years old he still has plenty of time to get things back on track.

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The title pretty much says it all, so instead of a big intro this opening paragraph will link you to some more helpful information regarding prospects. Here are the Top 30 prospects for 2015 redraft leagues. Here are the American League and National League Top 10 prospect indexes. We also have the Top 20 2014 signees for first-year player drafts in dynasty formats. Last but not least, here are my Top 100 keeper rankings. In the prospect rankings below, more specific ETAs are given as well as links to the organizational top ten list for each player. Just click on the team abbreviation to view my comments on individual prospects. Only two-thirds of the teams are written up, so apologies if not all of the links are live just yet. Ages listed are as of Opening Day 2015. Here are the Top 50 prospects for 2015 fantasy baseball…

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Wednesday again already??? Time flies when you’re having fun (or the Braves are playing terrible baseball) it seems. That signals time for our Razzball midweek look at what’s become the most important commodity in our favorite game– prospects. Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on heading into Week 20 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). Our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top 50/Top 100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.

We will continue our “Panning For Gold” series moving forward for owners in deeper leagues, but these won’t be a regularly-scheduled feature, but keep checking in for true “sleepers” daily… I’ll continue trying to “shine the light” on players that may not impact your leagues in the short-term, while revealing players you might scoop your fellow owners with as time warrants and permits. Our prospect coverage will always be a work in progress as we try to provide pertinent information that will help owners that participate in deeper leagues as well, and features will be adjusted and added in our effort to be able to help fantasy GMs as much as possible regardless of the depth of league you compete in.

Disclaimer: the bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top 50/Top 100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.

Now it’s time to refill that cup of coffee or take your lunch break and open your spreadsheets – here’s who I’m tracking over the next few days…

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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…

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