I was all set to open with Triston McKenzie’s 6 no hit innings, but then Rafael Devers collected his third hit of the night in his AAA debut. In the midst of writing this post while regretting my choice to spend my Saturday afternoon, and early evening, and night watching that Marathon Red Sox and Yankees affair, I had the alert pop up on my phone that Devers was about to make his 4th at bat of the night. So I turned away from McKenzie, turned away from Ronald Acuna (2 for 4, 2R, 1Bb, 1 RBI) and Ozzie Albies (1 for 5, 1R) vs Yoan Moncada (1 for 4, 1R, 2 SO’s) in the Charlotte vs. Gwinnett game, and tuned into the PawSox vs Syracuse affair to witness Devers 4th at bat of the contest. The Chiefs (Washington’s AAA affiliate) brought in veteran Neal Cotts of 10 years MLB experience to get the lefty on lefty matchup with Devers. Ahead of Cotts in a 2-1 count Devers hit a ball middle-up to right field for his first AAA homer.

The following inning he made a bare-handed play on the run, throwing out Pedro Severino.

The rumors are swirling regarding Todd Frazier to the Red Sox, with Ken Rosenthal deducing the trade was “almost inevitable”. I for one as a life-long Red Sox fan, and avid follower and fan of prospects, team-building, and organizational depth make this plea to one David Dombrowski. Sir, please don’t trade anything for Todd Frazier and his .210 batting average. Give Lin another week or two, let Devers shine in Pawtucket, and call the kid up around the trade deadline. It costs you nothing but a 40 man spot, why delay the inevitable for a rental? Xander Bogaerts came up late in 2013, and was better for his experience down the stretch and into the post-season. Much like Ronald Acuna has in the early stages of his AAA career, Devers may force the Red Sox hand, as he just looks so much better than anything they can acquire. Simple logic really, why give up assets when you don’t have to?… Anyway, here’s what else I saw in MiLB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s prospect list madness this week with mid-season top 100 prospect lists dropping faster than Ralph’s productivity at work. Ralph posted his top 100 last Sunday (and continued on to 200 earlier today) and I’ve been slowly ranking the top 100 over on my website ImaginaryBrickWall.com (currently up to 70). We discuss the discrepancies between our rankings, including Triston McKenzie vs. Walker Buehler and where we slot the 2017 MLB Draft guys, along with comparing our rankings to the behemoths of the industry, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. We talk similarities too, as we both gush over some of the top breakout prospects, such as Estevan Florial and Ryan McMahon. Finally, we rep our podcast sponsor RotoWear.com, who is hooking up all Razzball readers/listeners with 15% off their purchase by entering promo code “SAGNOF.” It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

It’s gotta be tough having the same name as a famous person. You’re some how indirectly responsible for whatever they’re doing, or have ever done. I can relate, for mine is the same as world renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Well, at least his government name. So perhaps that’s my bias when rooting for Astros outfield prospect Derek Fisher. I feel his pain… While sharing a name with the former Lakers point guard turned homewrecker isn’t what it used to be. He’s got to be sick to death of silly puns like my title, Amirite?  Celebrity names aside, Fisher has been one of the best performers in the minors this season. He’s in the midst of a 16 game hitting streak, that’s seen him slash .394/.429/.712 with 5 homers, and 2 steals. An Astros outfield that once seemed so hard to crack doesn’t seem so insurmountable. Make no mistake that last statement has as much to do with Fisher, as it does anyone else’s lack of production. Since first being promoted to AAA on August 7th of last season, Fisher’s numbers are eye-popping. Over his first 52 AAA games the outfielder is slashing .309/.373/.547 with 13 homers, 9 steals, and a 8.3% walk rate. That’s not to say there aren’t some flaws, he’s always struck out around 25% of the time, and he’s not the most efficient basestealer either. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he struckout over 25% of the time in the majors, and saw his steal totals capped around 10-12 per season. But that’s not why I’m excited, it’s the fact that Fisher seems to be getting better. Following a roughish start to 2016 in AA, Fisher was promoted to Fresno as a challenge last season, and he rose to the occasion. I think he can be a very ownable outfielder in 12 team mixed leagues, if he finds himself seeing a majority of the starts in Houston this summer. Expect a .270ish average 20+ home run pop, and some steals mixed in. He’s an exciting player, and one that should be owned in all leagues with prospects or minor leagues of any kind. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a big year for Cleveland sports, but that all takes a back seat to a big week for Cleveland here on Razzball. Earlier in the week Grey gave you his take on top prospect Bradley Zimmer, yesterday we gave you the latest edition of the prospect podcast where we went through the top prospects in the Indians system. Always one to beat a dead horse, today we go over Zimmer and the Indians system again. Will we discuss anything new? Maybe. Sort of depends, if you read Grey’s post and listened along to the podcast, I’d lean toward the negative. If not than everything is new. Dollars to doughnuts it’s not a bad system to get hung up on. They have solid talent at the upper levels of the system and solid talent at the lower levels as well. Players like Francisco Mejia, Triston McKenzie, and Greg Allen all enjoyed breakouts. While Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff took home another haul in this year’s draft. Needless to say it’s a fun system to dive into. So let’s dive into it, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A very special Black Friday edition of the Prospect Podcast this week. Where we discuss two teams that are like stores with completely different inventory. One being the well stocked Cleveland Indians system with plenty of merchandise for prospect hounds. The other being the Detroit Tigers and their going out of business sale with only candle holders and shell shaped soap on the shelves. Yes Ohio vs Michigan and just in time for Ohio vs Michigan. Myself and Michael Halpern of ImaginaryBrickWall.com maintain order so no one can rush the doors and crush other shoppers. Wow I’m really lost in this analogy. Nevertheless it’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Prospect Podcast.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve wondered if mentioning Colin Kaepernick in any way, shape, or form would boost readership here in the doldrums of the fantasy baseball season. Maybe I could say “click here to see so and so nearly naked”, or “this celebrity didn’t want this to get out”. What if I took the plunge into full on click bait and left the days of insightful minor league analysis for dynasty and fantasy baseball behind. Would it be me whining about Odell Beckham Jr. ignoring me at the Met Gala? Imagine prospector Ralph rubbing elbows with the A list. I mean seems appropriate, they’re A-list and I’m known for making a list. Thank you, thank you, you’re all too kind I’ll be here all week. In all seriousness, we’ve come to the end of the regular season in minor league baseball, and with it the end of my minor league updates for 2016. Don’t worry I’m going absolutely nowhere. I’ll be updating you on all things dynasty and prospects throughout the offseason. In fact you’ll probably have a triple dose of me with the podcast and all. So pump the volume on this track, throw some BBQ on the grill, and save some sticky ribs for your homie Ralph. The final minor league update of the 2 dot oh 1-6 is here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?