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You don’t really care about prospects, and I get that. You’re a redraft player, and probably a damn good one. You don’t want a top 100 list where half the guys won’t sniff a major league field for the next 2 years +. You need the right now, the rookie nookie, the sleepers in the waivers. The ones waiting in the weeds until the call comes, and the earliest bird plucks them minutes before the rest of the league, to a collective of moans and groans. This is the song of the RCL rookie scavenger. The man beating you to Trea Turner by 3 minutes, the guy who stashed Alex Bregman on and off for a month. You need to beat him this year, let this be your map, and the Twitter/MLB/Traderumors alerts be your batphone. I think I just mixed metaphors. Whatevs!!! You get the jist. Behold! The Top 25 Rookies for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. By the by, this list is 100% 2017 focused, so ETA, lack of a platoon or temporary fill-in status matters. I don’t care what he’s going to be in 2 years. THAT DOESN’T MATTER!!! It’s all about the right now, the present. I’m listening to Right Now by Van Halen. I’m wearing white jeans. I’m holding up signs that say, “Right now someone is drafting Ian Desmond unaware of his injury”. It’s that real.

 

1. Andrew Benintendi, OF Red Sox: Y’all can call me cray cray, but I’m going down with the ship. You know what? Funk this jazz, I’m going to summon my former self to battle these fools. People be yapping about 12 home runs/I’m on a kamikaze mission chopping manbuns/damn son/snitches always knock the hustle/meanwhile, Benni third, flexing 20 lbs of muscle/how else can I get it into their brains?/mans GOAT status do his whole workout with chainz/gainz is inevitable, power’s more than projectable/next offseason he’s going to be a one man tractor pull/you can say it’s hype and I’m a homer/but I’ll have the last laugh in ‘tember rocking sweatpants with a boner.

2. Hunter Renfroe, OF Padres: Do you like home runs? Do you play in a standard 5×5, and think OBP is for the birds? If so, I have the prospect for you. If it wasn’t for Benintendi Da God Emcee, we’d be ranking Renfroe at the top of the charts. Value wise he’s head and shoulders ahead of Benintendi. One’s going between pick 75-110 in RCL’s, the other is going after pick 225. That’s not to say I don’t think Benintendi is a better player, just saying it wouldn’t surprise me if the gap between them in terms of value was less than 150 spots. Will break camp with San Diego, and hit in the middle of the order.

3. Manuel Margot, OF Padres: It looks like he’s healed, and the recent news on Alex Dickerson might make an opening day ETA not out of the question. If he gains the opening day job, it’s his for the next 5 years +. Could be a dynamic top of the order run producer. Makes hard contact, and everyone hits more homers in the majors, right?

4. Dansby Swanson, SS Braves: Maybe these ranks are all about the flow, Beni got flow, Dansby got flow. Coincidence? I think not. He’s really really safe, or at least seems that way. Wouldn’t surprise me if he finds his way into a top 10 SS season. I’m not betting on it, but he should be on the fringes of mixed 12 team leagues from the jump.

5. Aaron Judge, OF Yankees: He’s hitting this spring, is he ready to finally come of age, and bring the boom we’ve all been waiting for? He just may be, I’ve been grabbing him in the last round of many redrafts.

6. Josh Bell, 1B Pirates: Back on the field following a knee injury, and has a great shot to make the team out of camp as the everyday first baseman. I’m not sure I see the power hitter many hope for, but he could be a very solid Eric Hosmer type player, only with no speed. Meaning he won’t hurt you, but you’re always going to want more power. He’s a perfect CI/Util type of player.

7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B Mariners: The Jelly Donut of Swat has a higher floor than many realize, but the ceiling is dependent on the power. He’s always had elite on base ability, and solid bat to ball skills. Don’t sleep, sleep is the cousin of death.

8. Robert Gsellman, RHP Mets: He better get the 5th starter job, because I’m heavily invested. Made tweaks to his delivery last year, and all of his pitches played up following. He’s a groundball machine, and the park and division couldn’t be friendlier. Hopefully his elbow stays healthy, and one of his teammates doesn’t. Is that wrong?

9. Lewis Brinson, OF Brewers: Looking good in the spring, and at the moment he’s blocked. It only takes one injury, slump, or trade, and Brinson comes dancing in. He’ll bring power, he’ll bring speed, you’ll have to ask Phil Bick(ford) the weed.

10. Bradley Zimmer, OF Indians: Am I the only one seeing Zimmer maybe breaking camp? I’m serious, I think he may push Naquin to left until Brantley is back. I know the later is playing minor league games soon, but still I don’t know. Zimmer’s their best defender in the outfield, possibly their best baserunner, and he looks to be reaping the benefits of a swing adjustment this spring.

11. Yulieski Gurriel, 1B/3B/OF Astros: The rust is wearing off, do we see a breakout from Yuli in 2017. Those that believe in Gurriel will say he can hit anywhere from 3rd to 6th, others will sell you the Cuban hype. But in the middle we stay calm, we just drop bombs, asking where we come from, Razzball slums.

12. Raimel Tapia, OF Rockies: The injuries are piling up in Colorado. One more outfielder down, and we’re talking about Tapia time!!!! He’s still raw in a lot of ways, but he knows how to put the bat on the ball. That works better in Coors than anywhere else. Except the moon, it works great up there according to MLB The Show 2007.

13. Jharel Cotton, RHP Athletics: Missed tons of bats in the minors, so far that hasn’t translated in his limited major league exposure. Has a bit of a homer problem too, but he has a good fastball, and an elite secondary offering in his changeup. A good back end of the rotation starter for your H2H, deep league, and dynasty teams.

14. Koda Glover, RHP Nationals: He’s been stellar so far this spring, allowing 2 baserunners, and striking out 8 over 5 scoreless frames. I think he’s a great potential closer flier at the end of drafts, and a good gamble for some nice relief innings in RCL type formats.

15. Tom Murphy, C Rockies: Halph can’t have anything nice, so of course Murphy gets hurt. Broken forearm be damned, because if he doesn’t hurt himself, Murph is #2 behind Benintendi. Should still be a factor at some point this season, but it may not be until July. Hands, Wrists, Arms, and Elbows: The Story of the 2017 Colorado Rockies.

16. Mitch Haniger, OF Mariners: Was a burnout prospect this time last year, then he stopped hanging out with Tim Lincecum and Phil Bickford. Blew up the Southern League and PCL, before hitting Arizona. Haniger was the player that put the Seattle side over the top in the Walker-Segura deal, and so far Haniger is making it look like his 2016 breakout was no fluke. Mashing the ball this spring to the tune of .444/.500/.806 with 7 XBHs, and 2 steals. He might be too low, but I’m playing it safe, just in case it strikes midnight, and Hanig-time turns pumpkin on us.

17. Jesse Winker, OF Reds: Not sure if he breaks camp with the Reds, but he’s hit well in the spring, and he’s as polished a hitter as there is in the minor leagues. On base machine, the hope is his lack of power in 2016 was due to a wrist injury. Outside sleeper for NL Rookie of the year if he gets the at bats and can flash 12-15 homer pop. Look to Winker when he gets the call as a chance to fix your batting average.

18. Josh Hader, LHP Brewers: Assigned to minor league camp on Tuesday. Bummer. Here’s the thing, he was good, and the Brewers have no reason to start his service clock….yet. He’ll be up some time in June, striking out lots of fools, and destroying your ratios on occasion. He’s a rookie pitcher, what more do you want?

19. Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF Dodgers: I love Bellinger, hell I ranked him 6th in my Top 100, but he’s still a year away from really breaking through. There’s a solid chance he exceeds his limits this year, mostly as an outfielder, before taking the reins at first from A-Gon. So far strikeouts are an issue this spring, maybe Halp is right about his uppercut swing, or maybe Bellinger always sucks until June 1st.

20. Lucas Giolito, RHP White Sox: He’s been worse than what the numbers have shown this spring, and there seems to be more and more questions popping up about Giolito by the day. Could be this generation’s Archie Bradley, for those of you too young to remember Archie Bradley, he was a good prospect once, now he’s a AAAA pitcher. Wait Bradley is only 24?

21. Yoan Moncada, 2B White Sox: Wha wha whatttttt? Why’s Moncada so low? Shutup, and I ‘ll tell you. He’s not fully baked. Needs to go back in the oven (AAA) for a little more crisping. You’ve seen the moments of brilliance, and the strikeouts in spring training. He needs more time, I’m not ready to panic and pull the Buxton/Soler alarm yet though.

22. Tyler Glasnow, RHP Pirates: I worry that Glasnow never puts it all together and becomes the dominant pitcher we all envision. Was the highest rated pitcher on my Top 100 at #13, but he’s looked awful this spring. There’s whispers that maybe he does end up in the bullpen long term.

23.  Luke Weaver, RHP Cardinals: He’s returned from his back spasms, and so far looks like he’s on the losing end of a battle for the last rotation spot with Trevor Rosenthal and Michael Wacha. Here’s the thing, there’s like a 0.0% chance all of those goons in the Cards rotation stay healthy.

24. Austin Meadows, OF Pirates: Voted most likely to pull a Trea Turner if and when he gets the call. I’ve resigned myself to the belief that Cutch ain’t getting traded, and Meadows will marinate in Indy for at least 3 months, if not the full year. For this reason Meadows sneaks to the back of the list. If Cutch is traded tomorrow, Meadows jumps to the 2 hole.

25. Jose De Leon, RHP Dodgers: Is the shine off De Leon a little? I’m not saying he’s a bad player, but he’s certainly not as good as I thought he was a year ago. He misses bats, but the hard contact, and health is an issue. In a similar situation to last season, and he needs to perform, the Rays have plenty of arms on the farm.

26. Casey Gillaspie, 1B Rays: Outside of Casey Gillaspie’s mom I might be his biggest fan. Lacks bat speed, but he makes up for it with an excellent understanding of the strike zone, and plus power. The switch-hitting first baseman should see some time in Tampa this summer.

27. Amir Garrett, LHP Reds: I didn’t think he’d break camp, but that might have changed after an outstanding spring. I’m expecting some serious struggles at times for Garrett. His control has long been an issue, and Cincinnati is not the easiest place to pitch, particularly for young arms.

28. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP White Sox: He can touch 100 on the gun, and he’s loved in some circles, but I don’t see it. Lopez looks like a bullpen guy to me. However, he should get a rotation spot, and has a shot to be a relevant player. He’s pitched the most innings for the White Sox this season, and it looks like he’s in the good favors of manager Rick Renteria.

29. Roman Quinn, OF Phillies: SAGNOF, filthy stinking SAGNOF. If Quinn could stay healthy he’d have more (of my)confidence and a higher rank on this list.

30. Trey Mancini, 1B/OF Orioles: I wish the Orioles would stop signing power hitters with no real position and give Mancini a shot at everyday at bats. He went ham on ’em at the end of 2016, and could do the same should the O’s sustain injuries to Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo.

31. Yohander Mendez, LHP Rangers: Already optioned to the minor leagues where he’ll open the season at AAA Round Rock. Should be the first call when the Rangers need reinforcements to their rotation. I don’t see him as a high ceiling player, but he could be a useful mid-rotation arm down the stretch this year.

32. T.J. Rivera, INF Mets: Has a shot to see some time at first base for the Mets, this is an absolute long shot, but he did look good in his limited time in Flushing last season, slashing .333/.345/.476 in 113 at bats.

 

Butterfly Effect: Those that need a string of situational occurrences in order to earn playing time. Might be injuries, or just a service clock thing, but something’s gotta give. This are listed in no particular order. 

J.P. Crawford, SS Phillies, Franklin Barreto, SS Athletics, Nick Williams, OF Phillies, Amed Rosario, SS Mets, Tyler O’Neill, OF Mariners, Ozzie Albies, 2B/SS Braves, Erick Fedde, RHP Nationals, Derek Fisher, OF Astros, Willy Adames, SS Rays, Willie Calhoun, 2B Dodgers, Clint Frazier, OF Yankees, Francis Martes, RHP Astros, Nick Senzel, 3B Reds, Alex Verdugo, OF Dodgers, Tyler Beede, RHP Giants, Ty Blach, LHP Giants

 

Follow me on twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb and check out my video work with Fantrax.

 
  1. henncoop says:
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    I just asked Grey the same question …just wondering your take since you are the prospect’s pert.

    In a 12 team dynasty league using yahoo settings 6X6 roto with OPS & QS with a pretty solid team.
    We are able to keep 25 players to fill 30 roster spots incl 5 NA then have a 5 player draft in a
    week.
    Definitely keeping Arenado, Goldy, Correa, JD, Myers, K Davis, Lucroy, Segura, Schoop, & Franco as bats
    Keeping Thor, Archer, Kendricks, Cole, Diaz, Oh,& K Herrera
    I have 8 spots left to fill unless I can make some trades very quickly.
    For bats my choices are: Dahl, D.Santana, B Hamilton,T Murphy, Kipnis, Altherr, & Arcia.
    For arms: Hill, Shoemaker, Cotton, Pineda, Smyly, Weaver, Zych. Fedde, Beede, Giolito, R Lopez, Montas, Gonsalves & the injured DeSclafani.

    I figure these are deep rosters & dynasty league so Dahl seems like a no-brainer.
    I feel like with Kipnis hurt; he could be cut loose. I’d like to see what D Santana does in a full season if healthy. I have a nice stable of young arms but I can’t keep them all.
    What’s your take if you would please?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @henncoop: Dahl, Kipnis, Hamilton, Pineda, Hill, Giolito, Shoemaker, and Cotton

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: You can take Dom Santana over Cotton too.

  2. Branta says:
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    Perfect timing for me. Just snagged Judge and Gsellman with back to back picks in my keeper league draft in the 21st round.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Branta: Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice

  3. Wojo says:
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    No Martes on this list?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Wojo: He’s down the bottom, I think there would need to be an injury for him to get the call. Even then Paulino is ahead of him for this year at least.

  4. Bill Lumbergh says:
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    14 team dynasty 5×5 – pick a side: Encarncion/Saladino/Kintzler or Ozuna/KHerrera/Albies

    Thx!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bill Lumbergh: It’s pretty even. Encarnacion is the best player, but the other side gets three good players.

      • Bill Lumbergh says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks Ralph! As a dynasty player, I really enjoy your articles. BTW- I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this deal. I’ve also got Goldy at 1B and Abreu at CI, so E5 was expendable. Keep up the great writing and analysis!

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Raindoggg: @Bill Lumbergh: I think that was a good move for you for the next few years.

  5. Raindoggg says:
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    In the world of everyone and their dog making useless lists just for the sake of making lists and having them published on the Net with their names on them…..THIS list is really, really solid……gonna bookmark this one for future usage…..thanks…..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Raindoggg: No problem, I appreciate the kind words.

  6. Steve Stevenson says:
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    I’m the expansion team in parallel AL- and NL-only dynasty leagues and get the 1st pick in the minor league draft for each. Only 3 minors slots, and you sign them to a contract upon callup. In the AL Moncada’s a pretty easy choice among the available guys, but in the NL it’s tougher:

    Swanson, Margot, Rodgers, Robles, E. Jimenez, Urias and Meadows all available. Who do you pull first there? It’s a 5OF league and I’m starting with no MI and an OF core of Blackmon, Giancarlo and Broxton.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: After Moncada I go Urias, Swanson (due to lack of MI), Meadows, Robles, Rodgers, Margot, Eloy

  7. BigE says:
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    Dynasty league question:
    When do you target otani? I know he’s at least a year away but if he’s half as good as people say he’s a must have.

    If yes, would you drop someone like berrios to get him? I have wheeler who I’m worried about as well

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BigE: Is drop either to get him. If he was a rookie rightness now he’d be #1 on this list, and the #1 prospect ahead of Benintendi.

  8. Olesky says:
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    Just a heads up, you have lopez on the Nats.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Olesky: Bahahaha! I’ll fix it now.

  9. Nick says:
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    Hi Ralph

    Dynasty team:
    traded today my Swanson for Carpenter + Roark, dropping Shae Simmons (headed to DL)
    i added KKiermaier (over Margot) , i need speed, but KK is more “allround” (dropped Inciarte)
    i can activate Renfroe from my rookie team soon (when Y! open DL spot)
    i have Cotton and Gsellman, and KGlover in my pitchers …

    Nice?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nick: Yeah, I like everything you did except Kiermaier over Margot. That’s more long term though, and if you own Renfroe you probably don’t want too many Padres.

  10. Mark Munoz says:
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    Is Andrew Toles not a rookie for the purposes of this article?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mark Munoz: I often forget he’s below his limits. That’s what happened here. I’ll add him in around 17.

      • Mark Munoz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Nooooooooooo! Above Haniger please. That’s all I wanted from this list was Toles to be above Haniger. One spot below…Ouch. Haha

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mark Munoz: Haha I think I may have sold Haniger short. Dude looks for real.

  11. BootsyBaby says:
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    Are you buying that Jesse Winker is, at best, Nick Markakis, as advocated by some prognosticators? Or are you in the camp to say he is more than that long term? I have Winker at $10 in a NL dynasty league and could drop him for an Eloy Jimenez-type at the same salary. If Winker only has Markakis upside, what’s the point of holding him at $10, no?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BootsyBaby: I don’t think he’s like Markakis at all. At least a young player. People forget how good Markakis was. Is he like Markakis now? Maybe. I think Winker could hit .300 with a .375-.400 OBP with mid-teens power. That said I would drop him for Eloy. Look where I had Eloy in my top 100.

  12. jeff says:
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    Would anyone trade Dansby Swanson straight up for Steven Matz in an NL only 5×5 league if both their salaries were the same ($5)? I have plenty of hitting and in need of pitchers.
    Thanks!!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @jeff: I feel like you’d hate yourself for this trade in short order.

  13. Thorbs says:
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    Nice writeup as always…very interested to see how De Leon does, now that the AL East is back to being an absolute slaughterhouse for pitchers.

    Quick Q: 10×10 H2H Dynasty…

    Been offered:

    1. B Miller/Acuna/2nd overall pick for my Chapman/prospect of my choice
    or
    2. B Miller/Vlad Jr/2nd overall pick for my Chapman/Verdugo

    I’ve got Britton as well, and as it’s H2H and 10×10 with Saves/Holds I think Chapman is overvalued.

    So…#1 or #2?

    AND, with the 2nd overall, my head tells me to take Lewis but I kind of want to take Maitan and let him incubate. I’m planning on keeping Robles, Tapia, Verdugo, Bader, Tellez, Chapman, Weaver and one of Gohara/Aiken, so I’ve got OF prospects in spades already.

    So…Lewis or Maitan?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Thorbs: It’s the AL Beast!!!

      I’d lean 1 for Acuna, and the prospect of choice.

      Lewis for me, but either is reasonable.

  14. Dougie says:
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    Ralph! What up homie? hey, Im in a 12 team h2h league with 3 keepers. I have Freeman, EE, JD, Cruz, Thor, and Benintendi… do you think that the potential of benintendi is woth keeping him so for to have him as a perennial keeper, or should I hope he falls to me in the draft?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dougie: I love Beni, but not over those other dudes.

  15. Buggs Bunty says:
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    Is Almora useless for fantasy? Where would he fall on this list if he was eligible?

    • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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      @Buggs Bunty: good question

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Buggs Bunty: I’m really unsure how much time he sees. There’s better outfield options, and I imagine that Zobrist might end up in the OF more to get Baez in the lineup.

  16. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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    Took Gillaspie at 500 in my dynasty the other day. Ralph’s stamp…geah boi.

  17. Fungazi says:
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    Who would you draft first from remaining players in a 12 team keep 6 with no restrictions – strasburg, k seager, kinsler or polonco? I’m stuck between high risk, high floor, needs based as 2b falls off quick and there’s a MI spot so people draft them higher, and lastly upside of polonco. Thanks man, great list.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Fungazi: Polanco for me, no question.

  18. Organigram Dan the Met Fan says:
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    T.J. Rivera… I wish my Mets would give him a shot, kid can hit, doesnt like a walk to 1st but who cares, he can play and he belongs

  19. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Any chance we see Kevin Maitan this year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike: Depends what dose of Winstrol John Coppolella is feeding him. Or if he’s really a 33 year old man named Max Williams.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        thanks for your replonse. i dropped tapia (i don’t like is unorthdocks swing)

        on a side note…is Big Bird in China a great movie or the greatest movie?

        i’ll hang up and glisten

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike: Yeah no idea why he holds the bat upside down. It works though!

          Easy top 5, Only behind movies with Madonna.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Mike: man i thought you used to be very high on tapia (but this might’ve been the prospect guy before you actually, can’t remember)

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @goodfold2: Evil twin

  20. SallyCips says:
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    First article I’ve read this season. Hi Ralph! Hope all y’all Razzies had a great offseason. This was a perfect day to drop this kind of science. Thanks, man!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @SallyCips: Thanks!

  21. tyler says:
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    what happened to former number one overall pick Mark Appel, i dont see him on the top 100, ortop 500 or anywhere….all hope is gone?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @tyler: He’s probably in the top 200-250 prospects now. I’ve seen a few of his sytarts live over the last couple years, and I think he’s a back end of the rotation type. Happens, pitching prospects are the worst.

  22. Chud says:
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    Ralph,

    Great list to help me start my dynasty draft this weekend!

    Can only keep 2 of the 3 for my full keeper: Bradley Zimmer, Jose De Leon, or Michael Conforto. I’m assuming you would choose Zimmer (based off of your rankings) but De Leon or Conforto for the last spot?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chud: Conforto, I’m really starting to doubt De Leon, and the AL East isn’t a great place for a flyball guy with a homer problem.

  23. malamoney says:
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    Good stuff man. Two questions:

    1. Who are the guys that will be late season call-ups that have a good chance of breaking camp in 2018 and making a difference in fantasy baseball

    2. Who are the guys that will finish 2017 in the minor leagues and have a good chance of making a difference in 2018?

    Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @malamoney: Whats up $?

      1. Lots of SS, Crawford, Rosario, Adames, Barreto, Albies. Could also be players like Bellinger, Frazier, Senzel, Brinson, Tapia, and the best of the bunch Austin Meadows. Many of these might fit into column two as well.

      2. A few repeats, depends on their season, and the team’s injury situation shakes out. Senzel, Zack Burdi (could be an elite closer), Calhoun, Fisher, Frazier, O’Neill. I’m not really sure, there’s so many variables at this point. If you search my Top 100 by ETA 2018. It could be any of those guys.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Gleyber is probably king of the 2018’s now that I think about it.

      • malamoney says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks man. I see you and Mike talking Maitan above. When do you think is the earliest we see in in the big leagues?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @malamoney: Tomorrow! Kidding, 2019 if he’s LeBron of baseball.

          • malamoney says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: In one of my leagues we can stash one minor leaguer. Where is this kid playing now? When will he be in the minors?

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @malamoney: He was in instructs this fall, my guess is he sees short season ball this summer. Best case scenario he’s in Hi-A in 2018, sees some AA at the end of the season, returns there in 2019 rakes, pushes AAA, and then the Braves roster. That’s best case scenario, more than likely it’s 2020, or 2021.

  24. Ace Man says:
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    Hey Ralph! Great write up as always! Im a prospect fan myself and you are pretty on point with lots of these. So, I am in a keeper league. We keep 7 each year, but each yeah they are kept they lose a round (4th round this year = 3rd round next year). This makes you want to wait on prospects so that you can keep them longer and later. Im sitting on Bryant (R14), Correa (R13), Odor (R20), Springer (R26), Mookie (R3). Im trying to get a handle on who the best guys are to target this year as nobody on this list is owned as of yet. How early is too early for Benni, Renfroe, Margot, Moncada? Also, any shot the Yanks dont send down Torres? He is looking great and is ready for this year. Thanks for the insight!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ace Man: I think Gleyber gets sent down, and maybe sees some last September time.

      It really depends Benintendi is going between 75-110 in redraft, and this is a keeper. I’m thinking Benintendi has to be pretty early, like top 5 rounds. Really all of those guys could be.

      • Ace Man says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Was hoping to see him later to keep him longer but im thinking he wont be there later sadly. Thanks!

  25. Tweak says:
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    Love all this Ralph. Great advice on da youts.

    Grabbed Zimmer in a short dynasty draft this spring. I figure that with all of Cleveland’s OF problems and the serious questions about Brantley, he has to get some solid ABs this year. I don’t think there’s any way for the Indians to justify throwing someone like Michael Martinez out there if they can bring up Zimmer.

    Loving Gsellman (picked up in same draft as Zim) and Glover (last pick in my RCL) this season. My only concerns about Glover are playing for Dusty Baker; I think he’d rather sign Gagne to close than trust a youngster with responsibility. Besides, there’s no room for relievers out there when every one of his starters has to throw 400IP this year.

    Last thing: Assuming equivalent number of PAs this season, who do you take – Bell, Vogie or Gurriel? Am I crazy to think that Gurriel is the choice here because of his potential and surrounding cast?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tweak: Yeah It might be Gurriel, they’re all pretty close. I’d put my money on Bell though. I think he can be a difference maker in batting average.

      Who knows with those guys, maybe Baker is nutty like Planters factory. He’s maybe their best option, and they have a team full of solid setup guys. Kelley is probably the right guy on paper. Problem is he’s had two elbow surgeries how much do you want to trust that?

      Zimmer’s D is just as good and he gives you offense too. They would be nuts to keep him down. He should be their everyday CF even with Brantley. Brantley, Zimmer, Naquin. They can use Chisenhall to spell these guys, and Jose Ramirez, when he comes back to earth.

  26. brad says:
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    my league has 3 spots for minor leaguer that we can carry from year to year until they get the call and lose their minor league eligibility. You cannot make moves to your minor league roster in-season, except adding them to your MLB roster. So i only have the chance to pick up a different minor leaguer at the draft. Should I drop Bell and/or Winkier for any of these, assuming i will have the opportunity to get them. I am leaning toward dropping both to try to get players with more high-end potential.

    Acuna, Maitan, Jimenez, Senzel, Rutherford, Riley.

    • brad says:
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      @brad:

      if it helps, im in a roto league and batting categories are R, HR, RBI, Total bases, BA and OBP

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @brad: I’d agree with all but Riley. While his potential is high, I’d still rather own Winker or Bell at the moment.

  27. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    everyone seems to be loving Barreto this year and he’s killing it in spring training, which is obviously the single biggest litmus test for future success.

    I might try and grab a few shares.

    Curious what your thoughts are on AJ Reed getting some playing time in Houston? Or do you think Gurriel holds it down all year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Talented hitter, seems to be coming into his own. Power/speed mix with a good hit tool. I’d go after him.

      I think there would need to be an injury in the infield for Reed to get the starting gig. Problem with Houston is all the young talent. We talk about Reed on the podcast posting tomorrow.

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: alright well Reed just went in this NFBC. We’re at like 500 ovr, and took Gallo as a lotto ticket for power. How many PAs do you seem him grabbing in the bigs this year? Beltre and the legendary Napoli are getting older, not that I’m banking on it, but I feel like he might get a shot in left maybe?

        Lastly Alfaro – looking at him as my 3rd catcher looking for a 2nd half callup; so you think he’s definitely up latter half?

        Thanks mang

  28. Mad Beach Bums says:
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    Considering multiple good sources like Bellinger a lot
    ( you, longenhagen, katoh) and the lack of depth at first base in both MLB and minors prospects is it crazy to target him over meadows or all the SS specs? But what are the chances he moves off 1B completely to the OF in the bigs since he’s so athletic? I guess it’s a scarcity issue but I don’t want to overvalue him just cuz of that. I have a h2h keeper league with only 1 na spot that meadows currently occupies but thinking about nabbing bellinger and stashing one of them in a bench spot, if he falls to me at 3rd pick.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mad Beach Bums: Hey what’s up bud?

      Yeah, not crazy at all. I had him 6th in my top 100, and my top 5 was 4 OF’s and Moncada. I did have Meadows at 3, and think he can be a superstar talent, but so can Bellinger. So, short answer: I prefer him to all the SS, and Meadows is neck and neck with him, at a far deeper position (OF).

      • Mad Beach Bums says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: thanks dude, on the meadows note I’m impressed that a dude with the bit of injury history he’s had is ranked so highly everywhere. I mean you gotta be a damn special talent almost can’t miss, for evaluators to love him that much despite the health red flags, that can usually scare people off despite ones talent.
        Also I’m in the rio Ruiz league Sunday evening under rakers nation, might change it to odelay vottos tho. Not sure tho. also going to the USA v PR game tonight F’ing pumped about that. Downtown will be absolutely insane tonight.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mad Beach Bums: Yeah he’s amazing as a talent. Nice! I look forward to catching you in the draft.

          How was the game?

  29. Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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    In a points AL only dynasty…

    My infield is lacking clarity and talent and production.

    1B I have Brad Miller, but Kendrys Morales and Yuli Gurriel will be joining him within the first month.

    2B i have Devon Travis, but Brad Miller will gain eligibility

    SS I have Brad Miller and Jose Iglesias, Matt Duffy gaining soon

    3B i have Donaldson, Duffy, Gurriel

    There’s a lot of versatility and depth, but maybe not much production?

    I’m strongish elsewhere where i think i can get away with cobbling together the infield, but i might have to make a move for a SS or 1B at some point

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry: I’d look for SS reinforcements. Your 1B is deeper than it looks. I really like Kendrys and Yuli for this year. Could be a problem next year though.

      • Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks. I’ve got Tellez for next year and beyond.

        Will look for SS help or maybe wait until one gets traded into the AL

  30. Geno says:
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    I have Renfroe for 6 years (our league Max is 5, but he’s in his free year still based on his rookie status). Been offered 4 years of Joc Pederson for him. Is this a fair trade? I feel Pederson has a breakout year.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Geno: Yeah that’s totally fair, I prefer Joc, now and forever.

  31. Drexel Hill Dragons says:
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    Hi Ralph, love your prospect stuff.

    I have back-to-back picks in a Dynasty slow draft right now. Round 8, I have a solid base of a team, but just looking for long term upside guys at this stage of the draft (we keep 20, so these will be close to the 30th man on my roster. Who are your favorite two?

    Szapucki
    Dalbec
    Jorge Ona
    C. Stewart
    A. Garrett

  32. MB says:
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    Got Heath Quinn in the 50th round of my 15-team dynasty start up. Thanks to you and Keith Law.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MB: Keith likes him too? No way Jose, that’s cool. Not going to lie I’m not up on his stuff this year.

  33. Brett says:
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    Bronson or moncada who do you think is up first?

    • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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      @Brett: you have bronson for brinson just like grey has mazouza for mazara, it’s quite awesome as i think i’ve seen you type bronson every time, so it’s no accident or mistype

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Brett: I love Action, dude loves his Octopus. Brinson.

  34. WestGaFresh says:
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    Keep Moncada or Swanson with my 22nd round pick? I have Correa at SS already if that matters. 5X5 OBP league with an open N/A roster spot for minor leaguers. Thanks!

  35. BigSeph says:
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    “Don’t sleep, sleep is the cousin of death.”

    Least that’s what NAS says

    -Fat Greg Dulli

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BigSeph: Gospel, Fat Greg

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Dulli! My buddy used to play in his band

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Grey: How have I never heard this?

  36. B says:
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    No Bauers! Lol. Number 20. – 32. With exception of Moncada is a joke.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @B: I guess we’ll see, it’s a top rookie list not a top 100, Bauers wasn’t on there either. Good real life player, having a great spring, I’m not sure how much time he sees this season in Tampa. No reason to start his service clock. I buried a lot of pitchers later in the list.

      What’s your other critique besides no Jake Bauers?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I have one, why Goodman in avatar on post, but gray-haired Jobs guy in comment avatar?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Grey: That’s the real life Ralph Lifshitz, Grey. AKA Ralph Lauren.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Oh yeah! Very considerate pose

  37. Aaron says:
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    Appreciate the article – would like to get your take on something. In a 14-team salaried keeper league, should I wait for Opening Day and plug Murphy into one of two DL spots (I also have Desmond going in the other… damn Rockies), or should I dump him and find another bat to stash, like Pillar, Valencia, Mallex, Naquin, Wong, etc. I have Contreras to start at C and we only start one. Thanks in advance.

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