Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. Back in February, I rolled out my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2013 (part 1, part 2), and those are already garbage. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, I thought it might be helpful to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a biweekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A year ago, Nolan Arenado was entering the 2012 season with loads of hype. Minor League production expectations were enormous, and most folks around baseball were already penciling the young 3B into the Rockies’ mid-season lineup. But a slow start at Double-A and a concerning lack of over-the-wall power quickly put an end to those 2012 Arenado arrival fantasies. The 21-year-old watched his prospect stock slip this off-season, dropping out of the top 50 on prospect lists from almost every publication. Fast forward to 2013: Arenado put together a terrific spring in big league camp, blasting four homers and posting a .852 OPS in 52 PA. And after reassignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs, he hasn’t slowed down whatsoever, going 7/14 through his first two games, including two long balls. Chris Nelson is not a long-term option for the Rockies at third, and Arenado finally appears to be ready to step into Coors field and entrench himself at the hot corner. He’ll be fantasy-relevant once he’s up, and I imagine that’ll be no later than mid-June.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rick Porcello won the 5th starter spot in Detroit over Smyly. Or Frownly, as the case may now be. Yawn. This is most unexciting news ever. This is like reading a Yelp review for The Cheesecake Factory. They have big portions. Yay. Who even writes Yelp reviews for The Cheesecake Factory? I want some of your free time, Cheesecake Factory reviewer. I don’t like Porcello and wouldn’t draft him in any leagues. He has a 5-ish K/9, which is atrocious. Which II, The Return of Which Mountain, leads Porcello to need good luck on balls hit into play. Though, no matter what I say, Porcello is invariably asked about in the comments for whether or not to pick him up, so y’all ain’t reading this anyway, and, since you’re not reading, I was the one who made heaving noises from the movie theater balcony and dropped cream of corn soup on your head. (Spoiler Alert for Game of Thrones: Was I the only one who was reminded of Chunk from The Goonies when Tyrion was confessing to the weird breastfeeding lady? Any the hoo!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you missed it, we went over Overvalued players in last week’s Deep Impact post.
This week, we’ll be going over guys I think are either going too low in drafts, or have some sort of stigma that’s keeping their cost low – undervalued in their current state. Remember, it doesn’t mean they are the elite bombz. Like I said last week, the most important aspect in advanced leagues is value. That’s what our goal is here. And depending where you are in your league, these summaries can either help you find some sleepers in an inaugural draft, or, if you are already some x amount of years in, you can look to these guys as good trade targets.
Now, without further ado…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (2) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (2) | 2009 (1) | 2008 (4)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [93-69] AL West
AAA: [69-75] Pacific Coast League – Round Rock
AA: [80-60] Texas League – Frisco
A+: [74-65] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach
A: [74-65] South Atlantic League – Hickory
A(ss): [28-48] Northwest League — Spokane
Yu Darvish (RHP); Robbie Ross (LHP); Michael Kirkman (LHP)
The Run Down
This Rangers system is stacked. I could’ve gone 20 deep here, and I’d still be listing guys with bigger upside than most systems feature at the back-end of their top tens. One guy I had a hard time not listing here is 2012 first-rounder Lewis Brinson. Consider him #11 for now, but Brinson has the type of explosive athleticism that could carry him to the top of this list in a year’s time (that’s assuming guys like Profar and Olt graduate, of course). There are other youthful, high-upside types, too, in Jorge Alfaro and Joey Gallo. And as we know, there’s a slew of high-impact potential at the upper reaches of the organization. I’ve been outspoken about the St. Louis system being the best system in baseball for fantasy purposes and otherwise, but this Texas Rangers system is not far behind.
A quick primer to begin: This is not a list of my top overall prospects — Shelby Miller would not lead that list. No, this list exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland. The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive contributions for fantasy owners in 2013. My method here was quite simple: each player was assigned a grade for both potential fantasy impact, and for current opportunity. Those variables were weighed equally, totals were then tallied, and finally, I sorted out the ties and adjusted here and there as I saw fit. Opportunity grades are always tough. At this point in the year, circumstances can shift overnight and a prospect’s ETA can change dramatically (see Miller). My plan is to revisit this list before opening day, and also to keep a running Top Ten Fantasy Prospects throughout the year in order to keep us posted at any given moment as to which fantasy-relevant prospects are next to arrive in the bigs. In any case, this list should suffice for those of us drafting early.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So this is weird, but the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball are deeper than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Here, my new favorite BFF, Josh Rutledge, is ranked 10th. On the 2nd basemen post he was ranked 8th. The middle tiers for the shortstops goes on forever, then it falls off a cliff, ending with a Cliff. (Symmetry points!) For those in leagues with a middle infidel, you have the answer to where you are drafting that slot from. Up until last year, I usually gave shortstops the short end of the stick with my drafting. I’d grab one late and that was that. I still don’t see any way I’m drafting a top shortstop. I honestly can’t remember the last time I drafted a 1st or 2nd round shortstop, and I play in about ten leagues per year. I could see grabbing one or even two from the 4th ranked guy here until the 19th ranked guy, where I’ll probably only have one 2nd baseman. Last year it was the opposite. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I almost didn’t write this post. Not because I was trapped under a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell Combo and unable to move my arms, but because Jurickson Profar will either be a huge boost for 2013 fantasy teams or he’ll be irrelevant and it’s not really on him which outcome comes to play.Please, blog, may I have some more?