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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I think this is the part of the article where I mention something about Mets starting pitching, and then something else about elbow injuries. Let’s check those two boxes right from the gate, and talk about how boring any, and all homegrown Mets hitters are. When was the last time the Mets produced a bat that wasn’t kind of boring? David Wright? Jose Reyes? Okay, okay Michael Conforto is exciting, but often for the wrong reasons. Like “I’m freaking excited to not own Michael Conforto any longer.” That was you after April 30th.  The problem is none of the upcoming bats have first round fantasy upside. Nevertheless, the divide between pitching talent and hitting talent is never so evident as it is at the major league level. The lineup is littered with talent acquired in trades and free agent mercenaries. While the rotation runs 7 deep with major league starters from within the organization. The stats bear this out too, as good as the Mets were at preventing runs (ranking third in 2016 in team ERA), were as bad as they were at scoring them (ranking 25th in runs scored). Maybe some of that’s park aided or maybe some of it’s talent. While the light (and I use that term lightly) at the end of the tunnel, is still more than likely a year or two away, there are some bats progressing through the system that should be on fantasy owners radar’s. Players like Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, and Brandon Nimmo all offer fantasy impact (to varying degrees) in the next two years.  However, true to form the best talent lies in the pitching ranks, with the highest upside prospects coming in the form of pitchers like Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki. I certainly wouldn’t rank Amazin’s system in the top 10, but they’re in the top half, and that’s better than being the Marlins. Enough of the lead-in, hop into the post, and learn why I’m moderately enthused about the Top New York Mets Prospects.

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New year, new Halph! Not that different from the old Halph, but Halph nevertheless. This week’s episode involves us delving into a duo of systems in the Mets and the Twins, with plenty of the typical mindless banter for good measure. We crush on Thomas Szupucki together, and figure out where Rosario slots in among the elite shortstop prospects. Over the course of the show we come to a pair of conclusions that Amazin’ has an underrated system, and that the Twins have 4 prospects. Seriously, 4. Maybe 5, could be a stretch. There’s a lot of pitching prospect talk on this one, but knowing top Mets prospect pitchers is to love them. Amirite? Yeah, you’re nodding your head, it’s cool. So grab a cold one, or a hot one, and tune into the latest episode of the Razzball prospect podcast.

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The minor league season is over, so allow your favorite Prospectors to light the hot stove. It’s like an outside fire pit on an autumn night type of stove. You know, hoodies and shorts. We’ll save the pellet stove for the December doldrums, whatever those are. Enough about heating units! This week yours truly, and Michael Halpern of imaginarybrickwall.com kick things off with some Padres talk, as they called up the quartet of Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, and Austin Hedges. We then touch on top playoff performances from Billy McKinney, Jason Martin, “King of the North” Tyler O’Neill, and Braves pitching prospect Max Fried. We then get into our top 5 sleeper/breakout hitters, and top 5 sleeper/breakout pitchers for 2017. Never mind the bollocks, it’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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This is one of those posts where I feel like I’m writing as much for guys researching their minors draft in early January, as I am the few hardcores still checking out prospect blogs in the throws of Fantasy Football season. Hardcores, excuse me if you will, while I direct a few questions at the January readers. January readers, here are my questions:

  1. Did the Cubs win the World Series?
  2. Did the Red Sox win the World Series?
  3. Has Strasburg had TJ yet? How about Salazar?
  4. Is Trump President?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk a little about why we’re gathered here today. Dearly beloved….Wait, sorry! I was about to read the notes from the last wedding I did. BTW Prospector Ralph is a fully licensed Justice of the Peace. Imagine hiring me to do your next wedding! I could talk specs, oogle at your wife’s cans, and the best part is you can pay me in scotch! Sounds like a win-win-win. Right? Anyway, I’m actually here today to finish off my 2016 All-Prospect team, and with the help of our very own bullpen specialist Smokey. Who just so happened to be nice enough to throw me three bullpen specs he’s excited about. So I’ll give you my top 10 minor league pitchers of the year, and Smokey will give you his 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys for our imaginary farm team. Do Smokey a solid, and go read some of his stuff over on Razzball Soccer. Do me a solid while you’re at it and subscribe to the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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Back in 2012 a 26 year old Phillies first base prospect by the name of Darin Ruf hit 38 homers while playing for AA affiliate Reading. Ruf never approached a season like that before or since, and quickly washed out as he reached AAA and the majors. Over the seasons that have followed any Reading player with a power surge is looked at with skeptical looks and side eye. Dylan Cozens is the latest in a long line of Phillie farmhands to bear this cross. Over the past week Cozens has accelerated the home run pace of his magical 2016, hitting 6 homers and slashing .360/.429/.1.240. As of Saturday night Cozens’ home run total for the season sits at 32 in just 106 games. I’ve written about Cozens a few times over the past few months, and quite honestly the gaudy offensive numbers are tough to ignore. Prior to the 2016 breakout, Cozens was an intriguing prospect. Built like an NFL tight end, and blessed with raw power and base running ability. Cozens presents raw potential that would entice any dynasty owner to take a second look, but the red flags are there and shouldn’t be ignored. First and foremost, though Cozens has always produced raw power it never materialized until he reached Reading. To say that Cozens success is Reading aided is an understatement. Of his 32 homers he’s only connected for 6 away from FirstEnergy Stadium. The home and away slugging % splits are staggering, as he boast a Bondsian .801 SLG% at home, but a .415 on the road. That’s an absurd difference of .386! Or he’s a full Dee Gordon different at home. Next on the red flag rundown is Cozens long lefthanded swing. While it’s picturesque when it connects for a long fly, it’s down right ugly when he misses, particularly on balls to the outside part of the plate. Look no further than his nearly 30% k rate for evidence. The last, and in some ways, the most alarming of the red flags is Cozens splits vs southpaws. A .307/.391/.677 hitter vs righties, he morphs into Freddy Galvis when a lefty is on the mound, slashing .204/286/.387. Cozens has certainly made improvements this season, but he does come with risk; and even if he’s only a 15/15 threat with some split issues, he’s worth a spot in your minors in dynasties where 100-150 prospects are owned.

Please, blog, may I have some more?