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…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Put down the turkey leg and up your bandwidth. This is the part where we all huddle around the warm glow of our computer screens to watch streaming video from countries not buried in seven feet of snow. Dust off your Spanish dictionary – it’s time for the winter leagues. Granted there will be names you’ve never heard of but there are cheerleaders…and prospects. There are also some major leaguers getting in the extra reps before we put a bow on 2014. Several leagues playing now will continue until the end of December, but the majority of the players we follow are concentrated in the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues, so we’ll roll with them for the most part. Just like the AFL, these are small sample sizes and the competition varies, but some performances stand out and are worth mentioning. Plus dynasty players don’t know the meaning of the word offseason. Here, in no particular order, are some of the players that have stood out to me in the winter leagues so far (stats through Friday)…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (29) | 2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [82-80] NL Central
AAA: [77-67] Pacific Coast League – Nashville (2015: Colorado Springs)
AA: [77-63] Southern League – Huntsville
A+: [73-62] Florida State League – Brevard County
A: [72-67] Midwest League – Wisconsin
Jimmy Nelson, RHP
Heading into 2014, the Brewers checked in as the 29th ranked farm system according to Baseball America. This season was a step in the right direction though. The major league club looked like a playoff team for much of the first half before things fell apart in the second. Jimmy Nelson logged over 69 innings in the bigs and looks like a quality major league starter. Prospect Mitch Haniger was moved in the Gerardo Parra deal, but for the most part the farm stayed intact. With three picks in the top 50 of the June draft, the organization added a solid left-handed pitcher and two promising bats. This year saw a shake-up among minor league affiliates across all levels, and the Brewers were a part of that. Their AAA club is now Colorado Springs, formerly affiliated with the Rockies.
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (10)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League — Nashville
AA: [59-79] Southern League — Huntsville
A+: [66-68] Florida State League — Brevard County
A: [59-76] Midwest League — Wisconsin
Arizona Fall League Players — Surprise Saguaros
Tyler Cravy (RHP); David Goforth (RHP); Taylor Jungmann (RHP); Kevin Shackelford (RHP); Adam Weisenburger (C); Mitch Haniger (OF); Jason Rogers (OF)
Logan Schafer (OF); Jeff Bianchi (INF); Scooter Gennett (2B); Khris Davis (OF); Caleb Gindl (OF); Wily Peralta (RHP); Brandon Kintzler (RHP); Alfredo Figaro (RHP); Donovan Hand (RHP); Tyler Thornburg (RHP)
The Run Down
The upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system graduated quite a bit of talent into the bigs in 2013, as Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Khris Davis, and Scooter Gennett, among others, earned significant playing time in Milwaukee. What remains of the Brewers’ farm is a rather uninteresting mix of low-risk/low-upside, and high-risk/high-reward type prospects. It’s not the worst org in the game — no, the Angels have that locked up by a comfy margin — but it’s lacking severely in the high-impact department. Outfielders Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor can change that outlook with big seasons in 2014. And Orlando Arcia and Devin Williams are gifted enough to bring some excitement to the lower levels of this system. But until further notice, you should probably try to avoid stocking up on Brewers in your dynasty leagues.