Take everything you know about Byron Buxton’s defensive prowess and throw it out the window. It means nothing in his fantasy valuation.

I’ve avoided even mentioning all-encompassing phrases for the majority of my time writing about baseball, but this theme of defensive value permeating fantasy esteem has emerged from the depths of the internet to catch my intrigue; Buxton has rekindled that curiosity.

Fantasy sports deal so much with numbers, the latent reasons why we make some decisions are never actually recognized. I traded Xander Bogaerts and Michael Conforto for Francisco Lindor after a month of baseball in a redraft categories league. For a short period of time, I felt duped by the name value of “Mr. Smile,” attributing my fault to the wizardry he has displayed at shortstop. But I was wrong. Lindor has quietly produced a season good for 61st overall in roto leagues, a rare contributor in each of the five hitting categories. Conforto left that fantasy team of mine with the hopes of all Mets fans acutely pressed on his shoulders. Reflecting on the only healthy individual on the Mets season – jk lolz – I’m surprised the outfielder still sits as a top 100 player (85th overall). With Bogaerts struggling mightily in the second half, I’d give the advantage to myself in the deal, with the extra credit that Lindor’s production right now is vital to my title run chances.

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If you’ve been following along with the Prospect Podcast over the last few weeks. Then you’ll know that last week’s episode was a cheat sheet for today’s post. It’s not like discussing players like Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, or Victor Robles ever really gets old. I could talk about that trio of players all day. In fact if you check the Guinness World Records Book/Site/Twitter I’m listed as having spoke about nothing but Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, and Victor Robles for 37 hours consecutively. Needless to say it was a hell of a day(s). Quick aside, do people still call it the Guinness Book of World Records, or has that been scrapped because no one really reads actual physical books anymore? Seriously reading a book with a binding is right up there on the crazy meter just behind trench coats, which is just behind army fatigues. Sorry Stephen King but you look crazy with that book, now pay attention to the baseball game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google Stephen King Red Sox. It will just be images of him reading books from the front row at Fenway. Wow I got really off track there. Anyway you know what this post is about, outfielders, my favorite outfielders, the top 10 favorite outfielders right now. Remember these are my thoughts ladies and gentlemen, right or wrong, just what I was feeling at the time. Vibe with me,,,,(CU!)

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Ralph and Halp are taking over the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast, and we do our darndest to make up for the absence of Grey, starting the show by talking about Ralph’s vasectomy, my wisdom teeth, and the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight. We then dive deep into possible September call-ups, discussing Willie Calhoun, Ronald Acuna, Scott Kingery, Franklin Barreto, Tyler Glasnow, Harrison Bader, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler O’Neill, JP Crawford, Willy Adames, Alex Verdugo, and Walker Buehler as the cream of the crop. We also talk about some underrated prospects who could make an impact, including Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler, Daniel Palka, Teoscar Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario, Rusney Castillo, and many more. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game (now shipping to Canada). It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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What do Ryen Russillo, Louis CK (allegedly), and Ralph Lifshitz all have in common? Hint: It has nothing to do with the fact that they are all from Boston. After getting that out of the way, we dive into the very deep and talented class of minor league outfielders. We discuss if Ronald Acuna is the #1 prospect in the game, how far should Austin Meadows fall, Victor Robles vs. Kyle Tucker, and if we are still underrating Willie Calhoun. We debate the rankings of Alex Verdugo, Anthony Alford, Kyle Lewis, Tyler O’Neill, Estevan Florial, Austin Hays, Taylor Trammell and many more. We close the show by talking our favorite sleepers (Tristen Lutz, Bubba Thompson, Brandon Marsh, Christian Pache, etc ..) and also our biggest fallers (Mickey Moniak, Blake Rutherford, and Corey Ray.) As always, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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Doesn’t it seem like every summer the national press needs a narrative to link onto and dubs it the “year of the something or other”? Think about it for a second, in recent seasons we’ve had “The year of the rookie”, “The other year of the rookie”, “The year of the homer”, “The year of the juiced ball”, so on and so forth. You get the point, sports writers are boring and unoriginal the whole lot. Well, I for one would like to follow in the grand tradition of sport writers, and apply this lazy, tired, haphazard, and cliche approach to my minor league baseball coverage. Therefore, I am dubbing 2017 MiLB “The Year of the 19 year old”.  Why? Because between Ronald Acuna, Bo Bichette, Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, and now the Astros Forrest Whitley, the biggest news-makers have been 19 years of age.

Speaking of Whitley, recently promoted to AA Corpus Christi, the righty went 6 scoreless Thursday, allowing two hits, and striking out a career high 11 batters. Not too shabby for a kid facing high school competition 15 months ago. I ranked Whitley 75th overall in my top 100 back on July 2nd. Which was right about the point that his season took off. It was a high rank on a fantasy focused list for a teenage starter in A ball. I can recall really not being able to explain why I liked Whitley 25 spots higher than Ian Anderson when asked by Halp on the Prospect Podcast. I just fell in love with the idea of a 6’7 240 lbs monster with a arsenal of offerings. Since that date Whitley has rewarded my faith, dominating the Carolina League in a way no teenager should. Going 3-1 over his next 6 starts, while racking up 50 k’s to 9 walks in 31.1 innings.

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It’s taking everything out of me not to dedicate every lede to White Sox Prospect Eloy Jimenez. Last night my new novio debuted in AA with a bang, going 2 for 4 with a homer. At the moment with Victor Robles struggling somewhat in AA, and Devers in the majors, it’s a battle between the Braves Ronald Acuna vs Eloy Jimenez for the number one prospect in the minors. Before you dismiss this as a silly discussion, think about what type of prospects and players you prefer. Are you the type to bet on a middle of the order bat like Rafael Devers or Eloy Jimenez? Or do you prefer the 5 category stud with Mike Trout upside like Yoan Moncada or Ronald Acuna? It’s a tough call, and as my Uncle Manny would say, “I ain’t going to kick either of them out of bed for eating cookies”. Yeah, my uncle is a strange guy when it comes to baseball, and you thought I was bad. All this to say, it’s a battle that will rage well into 2018. In the words of the street poets Black Sheep, you can get with this or you can get with that. The choice is yours. I waffle back and forth, as I typically prefer the mashers, but Acuna’s assault on AAA is hard to ignore. I’m going to hold judgement until I have to… Here’s what else I saw in the MiLB.

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Jose Siri is locked in, not just because he’s found a way to avoid iPhone jokes for a majority of the season, but because lately Siri has the answer. What? You didn’t think I’d go there? It’s like you hardly know me. (BASEBALL FOCUS.) Not since Francisco Mejia’s 50 game hit streak have we had a streak so epic. So not since last year, and even that, meh not really true. Regardless Reds outfield prospect Jose Siri is in the midst of a 34 game hitting streak, one that’s raised his average to .299, and left him with the very healthy slashline of .299/.343/.541. Siri has never been much of a contact guy, and has fallen into the power/speed upside camp. So far in 2017 the strikeouts are way down, the walks are up, the average is up, and the homers and steals have nearly doubled! So things are going good for Siri. Here’s a look at Siri cranking a homer against South Bend earlier this season.

He is however, still only a depth prospect in most dynasty formats. Despite recent success, he’s had a history of swinging and missing, inconsistency with his approach, and some off the field concerns. Despite all that a high upside low minor player remains, and one that might be worth a speculative grab in 16+ team leagues. At 22 he’s old for A ball and he could use a promotion to high A to really put this breakout to the test. No matter the details the streak pushes on… Here’s the rest of the happenings in MiLB.

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With the rapid speed at which Ronald Acuna has ascended through the minors, I ought to take every opportunity to write about him while I still can. If you hadn’t heard, Acuna was promoted to AAA on Wednesday evening, and the Braves best position prospect since Jason Heyward is now just a call away. Exciting news for dynasty league owners all over. In my updated Mid-Season Top 100 I ranked Acuna 5th in all of baseball, and after seeing the confidence the Braves have in the precocious 19 year old, how could you not? He brings to the table hard contact with an all-fields approach, 30 steal speed, and a huge ceiling. The plate discipline could be better, but to put things in perspective, he’s 19 and playing at the highest levels of full season ball while many of his contemporaries are just beginning short season and rookie ball. So I expect plate approach to be an area where things should improve as Acuna matures as a hitter. What he does at Gwinnett will be telling, particularly if he really struggles for the first time in his career. How he deals with that, adjusts, and rebounds will be the true test of his metal. It’s tough to say if he will struggle or not, but if he hits the ground running, I could picture a world, maybe as soon as a month, where Acuna is considered the top prospect in the game. Trust me I’ve made bold proclamations about Acuna before. Here’s what I said when I ranked him #42 overall in the pre-season, “Could be this season’s Victor Robles. Five tool player, that tore up Australia this winter, poised for a big jump in the mid-season list. Trade for him now”. I was right on both fronts, but was more conservative with his ETA setting it at 2019. That’s obviously no longer the case, outside of unforeseen circumstances of course. **KNOCK ON WOOD** Anyway, Acuna has a strong chance of seeing at least a few weeks of action in September, but I wouldn’t expect a call-up in the next few weeks. Though the possibility of Acuna breaking camp in 2018 is less remote than it was a few months ago, I’d be surprised by any promotion before mid-May next year. He’s a name to know for players in all formats, as this could be a stud in the making. Here’s what else I saw in the MiLB…

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July 9th at 4pm marks the exact time I’m certain Prospector Ralph’s mind will explode with excitement. That feeling of pure elation can only be achieved in one scenario. Watching the game’s budding talents in the 2017 Futures Game – streaming on MLB.com – after spending countless hours researching and following prospects of this caliber (From the Razzball family and its incredible base of readers, we sincerely thank you for your work Ralph!). Well, maybe there are a few other scenarios. According to BuzzFeed there are 42 others where this pure form of joy and satisfaction arises. They include unraveling knittingcrunching leaves, and breaking the yolk. Aside from the fact that I’m certain breaking the yolk is a sexual innuendo for something completely different, we live in a truly sad world if these things make people as happy as Ralph on Futures Game Sunday.

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There’s really no need for any introduction on this one, it’s the post upon which all prospectors are judged. It’s the Mid-Season Update to my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Full disclosure, I was loosey-goosey with the eligibility rules this time around. So, while some players in the majors and under their limits might appear on this list (Clint Frazier, Franklin Barreto, Etc.), others don’t (Raimel Tapia). No rhyme or reason to it, what-so-ever. This list feels more upside heavy to me, but there was no slant or algorithm for my ranks. Just good old fashioned personal bias, of which I have plenty. Seriously, I’m an opinionated lad! But that’s why I do this in the first place. Please keep in mind, this list is 100% fantasy focused. Meaning it might differ quite a bit from other Top 100’s you may come across. Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy! The next 100 (101-200) will be out on Thursday.

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