To begin, I should make it clear that this is not a list of my top overall prospects. No, this is a 2014-specific list, and it 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 fantasy contributions during the 2014 season. Those of you who follow my Prospect Power Rankings series during the season, understand that time-specific prospect rankings are fluid — it’s a tricky game, weighing potential impact against current opportunity, and outlooks can change drastically overnight. There are too many variables at work to peg these ETA’s accurately, and that is precisely why we revisit these rankings often throughout the year with the aforementioned power rankings. Consider this a starting point. Numbers 26-50 will run next week, but for now, let’s dig into the top-25.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (16) | 2012 (24) | 2011 (20) | 2010 (25) | 2009 (17)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL East
AAA: [81-63] Pacific Coast League — Las Vegas
AA: [86-55] Eastern League — Binghamton
A+: [71-60] Florida State League — St. Lucie
A: [77-61] South Atlantic League — Savannah
A(ss): [38-37] New York-Penn League — Brooklyn
Juan Lagares (OF); Josh Satin (INF); Anthony Recker (C); Zack Wheeler (RHP); Scott Rice (LHP)
The Run Down
Hoo boy, Mets fans, that R.A. Dickey trade is looking mighty nice these days. I liked the swap for the Mets from the moment it went down, but in the year that’s passed since the transaction, we’ve seen Dickey regress considerably and Noah Syndergaard emerge as a front-of-the-rotation prospect. Provided Travis d’Arnaud can stay healthy, that trade should be perceived as one of the more lopsided moves in recent history. Syndergaard and d’Arnaud are the headliners in this org, but there’s impact depth behind them, and plenty of it is set to surface in the bigs this season. For 2014 fantasy purposes, this Mets system should be one of the more influential groups in the game, as the top 5 names on this list prepare to step up to the highest level.
I’m gonna double-dip on what I wrote a year ago in my week 23 MiLB report because 1) I think it still holds, and 2) I’m a double-dipper: “The Minor League Baseball season has reached it’s glorious culmination. Well, actually, it’s not very glorious. No, no one really cares who wins in the New York-Penn semis, or the International League title, or the Midwest League championship. It’s just not that interesting. Not even for me. Sure, organizations do their best to instill winning attitudes throughout their farm systems, and I absolutely agree that’s important. It’s why Jeff Luhnow is still tweeting crap like “#JETHAWKS WIN”. Yay, Jethawks… It’s fun for the players, I suppose. It’s fun for the small-town fans, too. And it’s a small source of pride for player development types. But that’s about the extent of it. All that said, the various MiLB playoffs are still worth keeping an eye on, if only for the handful of real-deal prospects who’re performing on a slightly grander stage than usual. So, to wrap up this year’s Minor Accomplishments series, I leave you with a brief rundown of what’s happening with some of the more notable prospects in their respective postseasons.”Please, blog, may I have some more?
Quite a bit has changed since the 2013 MiLB season began in April, and folks have been clamoring for a mid-season prospect list. Well, here it is, 50-deep. But before we get into it, a quick primer on the criteria for this top 50: There was no specific timetable considered, so the rankings below can be considered a dynasty league list. You’ll notice that the ETA’s here range from this season all the way to 2016. To prevent any overlap with lists that Grey and JayWrong put together last week, I’ve included only prospects who are currently in the minor leagues. That means I had to remove Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from the board after news of their call-ups — Yelich was #7, Marisnick #40. It also means I couldn’t list Carlos Martinez, who’s currently working in relief for the Cardinals — he would’ve been ranked right around #20.
Anyway, I’ll be writing notes on all of these fellas during the off-season, once the dust has settled on the 2013 season and I’ve had a chance to take a more thorough look at depth charts, injuries, etc. For now, I’ve included only a few pertinent details: age, current level, fantasy impact categories, and ETA. Each player is linked to his player card on Baseball-Reference.com, or his Razzball player card where possible. My hope is that this list will help dynasty leaguers sort out their rosters as keeper deadlines approach. Enjoy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I told you last week about the implications of Xander Bogaerts’s Triple-A promotion. This week, we celebrate another Triple-A promotion, as the Mariners have bumped Taijuan Walker from Double-A Jackson to Tacoma. Walker has everything you look for in a pitching prospect — size, stuff, athleticism… the works. He’s as elite as they come. After an up-and-down 2012 at Jackson, the 20-year-old returned to Double-A in 2013, performing with much greater consistency this time through. Walker cranked it up a notch in June, though, posting a 33/3 K/BB in 25 IP this month. He’s only 20, and it’s probably a little premature to wonder about a 2013 arrival considering the M’s have arms like Erasmo Ramirez and Danny Hultzen waiting for an opportunity, but Walker’s ceiling is the best of the bunch. By far. Now that he’s just one stop from the bigs, he needs to be on your fantasy radar.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in May, while previewing some draft prospects, I mentioned that Marcus Stroman was well suited to climb the ladder quickly. And then just three weeks ago in my Week 18 MiLB report, I reiterated that sentiment, this time suggesting that Stroman might even be in line for a September call-up. Well, a lot can change in just a few weeks, especially when, during those few weeks, you test positive for something called Methylhexaneamine. That’s what Stroman did. And in case you hadn’t deduced it already, Methylhexaneamine is banned substance in baseball. Hence: Stroman was slapped with a 50 game suspension. The Jays’ first-rounder won’t see a pro ball field ’til late next May, and that’s truly bad news for a guy who should’ve been competing for a spot on the big club in spring training. With big time heat to go with a plus slider, Stroman has immediate high-leverage reliever potential. He certainly could’ve entered 2013 with hype similar to that with which Addison Reed entered 2012. Not anymore.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A week ago, I updated Jurickson Profar with news that his hitting streak had reached 21 games. Well, Profar’s streak has now swelled to 29, the longest in pro ball this year. With the graduations of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Matt Moore, Profar takes over as the game’s top prospect and it’s not too soon to start considering how and when he fits in with the Rangers. With Ian Kinsler signed through 2018, and Adrian Beltre through 2016, it seems Profar won’t have a clear path to Arlington ’til Elvis Andrus hits free agency after the 2014 season. I have to assume he’ll be ready before then, however, which leads me to speculate about a transition to outfield or a trade, perhaps. I suppose this is a good problem to have from the Rangers’ vantage point. It’ll be interesting to watch how the situation plays out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Toronto Blue Jays 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19) | 2008 (25) | 2007 (26)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [81-81] AL East
AAA: [71-73] Pacific Coast League – Las Vegas
AA: [77-65] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [79-61] Florida State League – Dundin
A: [77-60] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [39-37] Northwest League – Vancouver
The Run Down
The Toronto system is talented and deep and surely among the best in baseball. Most of the fantasy payoff is a year or more away from materializing, though. Huge upside guys like Travis D’Arnaud and Anthony Gose seem primed to arrive in 2013, while Jake Marisnick and a slew of nice arms follow. Clearly there’s reason for excitement here, but nothing immediate, so avoid these guys outside of deep keepers or dynasty leagues. Do, however, be jealous of Blue Jays fans, as their prospects are likely much better than yours. And this is after graduating guys like Lawrie, Drabek and Arencibia. Jeez.Please, blog, may I have some more?