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?
Jorge Soler was off to a great start at High-A Daytona, batting .435/.519/.739 with 2 homers through his first six games. The was promising news for the Cubs, who inked him to a nine-year, $30 million contract last summer. The 21-year-old Cuban is not a cost-controlled prospect — there’s an opt-out clause that would make him eligible for arbitration after three years service time, but both sides would be thrilled if it came to that. In any case, there’s incentive for the Cubs to develop him quickly in order to make sure the bulk of those nine years are spent at the highest level. Chicago was smart to make such a long-term investment in Soler — it gives them a little developmental cushion — but they’re still trying to avoid unnecessary setbacks. Things were going well in that department up until Wednesday, when Soler decided to brandish a baseball bat as he sprinted toward the opponent’s dugout following a benches-clearing incident. The league suspended him five games, which isn’t a huge setback, but the Cubs are reportedly investigating the matter further and could tack on more time. I doubt it’ll come to that, but the ordeal still raises some major character concerns. Let’s hope this was an isolated incident and that the new regime in Chicago doesn’t enable such behavior as the old group did with headcases like Carlos Zambrano.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?
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.
The title of this post was nearly, “F*ck Luis Cruz.” If that guy gets in the way of my last round draft pick of Dee Gordon, I’m gonna be none too happy! Or is that “I’m gonna be some unhappy?” While Hanley Ramirez is out with a thumb injury, I want Dee Gordon to play for a month and for the Dodgers to say they won’t play Luis Cruz. I homophoned you! If anyone out there drafted Hanley already, I want to see your faces. Push them against your computer monitors or your handheld mobile devices. You are traitors to Razzball. I said specifically — or pacifically if you’re on a boat off the coast of California — not to draft Hanley. Word for word, “I’m done with Hanley until we see a return to his previous glory.” I didn’t even bury the lede. That’s the first freakin’ sentence of my Hanley blurb on the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball. I hope Hanley’s out for 3 months, returns to hit 7 homers with 12 steals and someone drafts him in the 3rd round of 2014, too. Know why? Because no matter how many times I tell people to ignore position scarcity, they don’t listen. You need to jam a cotton swab in your noggin like Lena Dunham and clean out your wax. (BTW, season two of Girls — meandering, pointless, adjective. Biggest drop in quality from season one to season two for a TV show since Heroes.) The Dodgers are saying Hanley could be out anywhere from two weeks to ten weeks. If you drafted him, you don’t read this so I’m talking to all the people who didn’t draft him. Send an email to the Hanley drafters. Subject: Trade Offer. Body of email: Any interest in trading for Yunel Escobar? I’ll take Paul Goldschmidt. Click send. Now unfriend them on Facebook. Done. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
This top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball goes to about forty-two. Every time I thought I was out, I looked at another 1st baseman that pulled me back in. Unlike any other position, there’s a few guys that can give you some huge numbers, then there’s about 25 players that can give you roughly the same stats. Unlike years past, I’m not going to tell you to either draft a top 1st baseman or insist you remove my name from your Trapper Keeper. We can still be BFFs without the drafting of Pujols, Fielder or Votto. For the first time in a while, any of the top 20 1st basemen (that’s the actual top 20 1st basemen not the 42 or so that are on this list; shizz gets a little wonky further along the list). The first basemen position is going through a serious transition. Right now, vets like Howard, Konerko and Te(i)x could still be valuable, but they have some major question marks. Then there’s guys like Trumbo, Davis or even Hosmer that have a different set of concerns. By next year, I have a feeling we’ll see that the next class of 1st basemen move up while the vets continue to fade. But, for now, it’s not clear. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2013 fantasy baseball, and all the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m not sure what the L stands for, but Josh Hamilton obviously felt LAA was a good fit for him. What I’d like to know is how is California a bankrupt state? The Dodgers and Angels’ salaries combined are equal to the GDP of every country, except China and Switzerland. Mozambique couldn’t afford just Pujols and Hamilton. Forget Greinke, Hanley, Vernon Wells, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford. Alone, Arte Moreno could sell the Angels and buy Africa. Africa Moreno, that’s what they would call it. Burundi would become Aybarundi, Djibouti would become Dbootyhole and Chad would stay the same name, because that’s a badass name for a country, but Arte would put a country-wide golf course there, because anything named Chad and golf go hand-in-hand. The Angels now have Trout, Aybar, Pujols and Hamilton at the top of their lineup. October 1st called and said Aybar just scored his 197th run. Batting fifth, Kendrys could hit .220 and drive in 100 RBIs. Howie Kendrick… Well, he’ll still disappoint, but this is slightly bizzonkers to have three of the top hitters in baseball all in the same lineup. Trout, Hamilton and Pujols alone hit 103 homers last year. The Astros whole team only hit 146. Specifically about Hamilton, I could throw a lot numbers at you about about how his June through September were well short of his April/May. How his BABIP in April/May buoyed his season average. How not quoting these exact numbers but saying how I could quote them is a lot easier. Honestly, none of these numbers matter. I’d take six months straight of 5 homers/month and a .280 average. I don’t need a .380 average month with 12 homers. The bigger issue for me is you have no idea what you’re going to get from Hamilton year-to-year. One year, he hits 10 homers; one year, he misses 30 games; one year, he misses 55 games. Last year, his K-rate wasn’t good and his homer/fly ball rate was obscene. His swinging strike rate was the worst in the majors. This wasn’t just bad for this year. He had the worst rate since 2002. Mark Reynolds set a strikeout record one year and had a better swinging strike rate. Oh, and he’s 32 years old as of May 21st. He could be in for a huge year, but he’ll probably be drafted before I’m willing to look at him. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 92/29/109/.277/7. You think adding a top hitter to an already stacked lineup will make it exponentially better, but for fantasy it just spreads out the wealth, as the Angels and Dodgers should do. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Doozy’s on line two. Doozy, “Yeah, I got no words for this trade.” Holy Crapballs on line three. Holy Crapballs, “What’s there to say?” You’ve Got To Be Kidding’s on line four. You’ve Got To Be Kidding, “Hey, I’m here with Doozy… Hold on, I’m gonna merge the calls with Holy Crapballs. Okay, HC, you there? You’re on with Doozy and You’ve Got To Be Kidding. What do you make of this trade?” Holy Crapballs, “Well–Shoot, Are You Effin’ Joking is buzzing in.” Recently, I went over my Wil Myers 2013 fantasy. Yeah, that’s pretty much toast. Set a fire to it. Not literally. It’s on your computer. The Royals are basically the guy who held onto his virginity for thirty years then woke up one day and said, “Eh, I’m going to a hooker.” Wow. I’m speechless. Sure, they have Frenchy. But, um, it’s Frenchy. Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery were only, what? A few months away? Sure, Montgomery’s lost some luster, but Odorizzi’s still a top prospect. He could be Wade Davis this year. Maybe Shields next year. Wil Myers, though, well Wil (almost stutterer!) is the meow’s cat. I wonder if the Orioles wish they had Erik Bedard still to trade for Myers and others. Wil Myers is ready to contribute and the Rays don’t hold back their prospects. He’s starting on Opening Day in the majors unless something unforeseen happens. As I said in that Wil Myers fantasy post, he’s a number three hitter, and a damn good one. He’s not going to give us a Trout-type rookie year, but those only come around once in never. He doesn’t possess blazing speed like Trout. He’s a 30+ homer, 110+ RBIs, .300+ average guy in his prime. Think easily fantasy 2nd round value numbers when he hits his groove. In October when I thought he’d start the year in Triple-A, I gave him the line of 40/18/50/.280/5. Now, I’ll up that to a full season of at-bats and 62/24/72/.277/8 with upside for more. Yeah, he plays in shallow, three-outfield fantasy leagues. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what I said in August of last year about Mike Olt, “Don’t you love when New Yorkers say the expression, “I got your _____ right here!” Coming out of the right taxi driver’s mouth, it’s like a cello being played by Yo-Yo Ma.Please, blog, may I have some more?