So here we are more or less half way through the minor league season, Super Two has come and gone, and we wait for those sweet, sweet rookies to get the call and make an impact. More often than not my comments are filled with questions regarding who I think will have the greater impact this season, player A or player B. Today we take a look at the Top 25 prospects for 2016 impact. I’m going to start with a ranked list and follow that up with my general thoughts on the players listed. I’m ignoring anyone already in the majors like Jameson Taillon, Blake Snell, and Tim Anderson. Things I’ve taken into consideration when building this were impact, proximity, and team situation. So understand this is not a straight top 25. It’s strictly 2016 focused, which why a prospect like Lucas Giolito is further down the list than he would be in a straight top 25 prospects for dynasty list.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Throughout my time as a dynasty player, I’ve learned that there’s one thing that’s as inevitable in this format as death and taxes….. turnover. Sometimes it’s simply because a manager no longer likes the format or league. Sometimes it’s a lack of the time element that needs to be applied to properly compete. Other times it’s an incident that disenfranchises owners, and leads them to quit. Well over the last month I’m pretty sure all of these apply to outgoing managers within our Razzball in-house dynasty the Razznasty. There’s been drama, tears, a gang-related shooting, and an arm wrestling tournament in a truck stop. Actually I think I’m confused, all those things happened during my Memorial Day weekend with my in-laws. You know what they say, “sometimes you join the Hell’s Angels, and other times you marry into them”. Moving along, let’s discuss the standings, trades, and wavier claims for the month of May.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So far this season we’ve focused our prospect content on dynasty specific purposes with the intent of getting you prepped up to master your leaguemates and colleagues for years to come. We’ve looked at incoming players for 2017, re-ranked the top 25, profiled numerous players, while also updating you on Razzball’s in house dynasty the Razznasty. Today we’re going to take a bit of a different approach, today we look at the more immediate impact of up and coming prospects. The players we’ll review have short ETA’s, and could be up within the next two-three months. I’ll add in a guesstimate ETA on my behalf. I mean I’ve had a sterling record with such prognostications so far, and by sterling I mean awful. I am the man that told you Turner would up by today, which now looks like June, as well as the man in the preseason predicting Nomar Mazara wouldn’t be up until August. So yeah, I’m great!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oakland’s pitching-friendly park might ding the overall upside of its hitting prospects, but on the flip side the pitching gets a slight boost. The Athletics have a balanced farm with solid prospects both in the box and on the mound. What this organization lacks in blue chip prospects, it makes up for with depth and a slew of players on the verge of joining the show. At the 2015 trade deadline, the A’s turned Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist, and Tyler Clippard into three of the prospects listed below. Billy Burns emerged as a table-setter, while fellow graduate Mark Canha was third on the team in both homers and runs batted in. Oakland will pick sixth overall in the 2016 draft.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (21) | 2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League – Sacramento (2015: Nashville)
AA: [77-63] Texas League – Midland
A+: [85-55] California League – Stockton
A: [55-84] Midwest League – Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Vermont
Marcus Semien, INF (from CWS)
The Athletics were in win-now mode in 2014, which prompted them to trade their prized prospect Addison Russell (and to a lesser extent Billy McKinney) to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. That left this already light system even lighter, but recent offseason moves have restocked the farm moving forward. By trading Samardzija to the White Sox and Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, the A’s acquired four of the ten prospects listed below as well as recently graduated middle infield prospect Marcus Semien. There may not be any “elite” fantasy prospects in this top ten now that Russell is gone, but there are still several players that could be useful fantasy options in the near future. High-A Stockton was loaded with talent and three of the top four on this list played their 2014 seasons on that team.
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (3)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League — Sacramento
AA: [62-78] Texas League — Midland
A+: [69-71] California League — Stockton
A: [77-62] Midwest League — Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League — Vermont
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Ryan Dull (RHP); Omar Duran (LHP); Seth Frankoff (RHP); Bruce Maxwell (C); Max Muncy (1B); Addison Russell (SS)
Nate Freiman (1B); Stephen Vogt (C); Dan Straily (RHP); Sonny Gray (RHP)
The Run Down
The first rule of Oakland Athletics prospecting is to never write off a pitcher. These guys are going to be spending the bulk of their time pitching in the cavernous O.co Coliseum, so any starting pitching prospect who’s pushing through the Athletics system is probably worth consideration in fantasy leagues. That said, the list that follows is a little light on the pitching side of things — with arms like Sonny Gray and Dan Straily graduating their prospect status, there aren’t many high-impact starters left in this group. Michael Ynoa can certainly fill that void with a healthy year, but for now, the bulk of the fantasy excitement is focused around Addison Russell and Michael Choice.