Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (4) | 2013 (12) | 2012 (14) | 2011 (16) | 2010 (14)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [73-89] NL Central
AAA: [74-70] Pacific Coast League – Iowa
AA: [66-73] Southern League – Tennessee
A+: [67-69] Florida State League – Daytona (2015 Myrtle Beach)
A: [91-49] Midwest League – Kane County (2015 South Bend)
A(ss): [41-35] Northwest League – Boise (2015 Eugene)

Graduated Prospects
Javier Baez, 2B | Arismendy Alcantara, OF | Mike Olt, 3B

The Gist
This is about as stacked as a system can get. There’s upside all over the field including the graduated prospects listed above. Granted, they are still prospects and where everybody ends up playing is a good question. Heading into 2015 we’ll all wait for the arrival of Kris Bryant and later in the year we’ll be chomping at the bit for Addison Russell’s debut. Meanwhile, Javier Baez might be one of the most polarizing players on this team and there’s a chance he could start the year in the minors. But that would just give fellow sophomore Arismendy Alcantara some more time at the keystone and he’s no slouch either. Even the rotation looks good with Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta one-two. Can the bespectacled one take this team to the promised land? *grabs popcorn*

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Kris Bryant, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
594 118 160 34 1 43 110 14.5% 27.3% 15 4 .325 .438 .661

Bryant is arguably the best fantasy prospect in the game right now. I say arguably because I have him #2 behind Buxton on my personal Top 50. Besides putting up video game numbers last year between Double-A and Triple-A, Bryant is hitting .435 with six home runs in 26 plate appearances this spring. He has also helped numerous elderly people cross the street, has striking eyes, and craps diamonds. The power is double-plus and some have graded it 80, meaning 35-40 homers are in the cards. Whether that type of power comes this season or not is to be determined, but folks seem pretty confident with his NFBC ADP of 106. The Cubs would be silly to promote him any earlier than April 17th, the cutoff for saving themselves a full year of his services down the road, so try not to get caught up in discussions of him on the Opening Day roster.

2. Addison Russell, SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
280 39 76 14 1 13 45 7.0% 17.1% 6 4 .295 .350 .508

Like Bryant, Russell is one of the best fantasy prospects in the game. You’re looking at a high-average, 20-homer player at the shortstop position with 10-15 steals tossed in for fun. The Cubs landed him from the A’s in the Jeff Samardzija deal, giving their already stacked infield another great piece. Russell missed some time with a hamstring injury early last year, but came back strong with solid numbers as a 20-year-old in Double-A. There’s a chance we see him in the majors late in 2015 and starting at short for the Cubs in 2016, but the Cubs will have to move some pieces around to make that happen. I’m looking in Starlin Castro’s general direction.

3. Jorge Soler, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
236 42 68 23 2 15 57 14.0% 20.3% 0 1 .340 .432 .700

Soler is a player that should be targeted in redraft leagues since he’ll be the right fielder on Opening Day. He has the typical right field profile and could produce 25+ home runs as soon as this year. I’m drafting him as an OF3 in 2015 and pursuing him aggressively in keepers and dynasties. Injuries and questions around his makeup dogged him in the minors, but the 23-year-old Cuban has the makings of a fantasy stud in the HR and RBI departments. He’s projected to hit fourth this year (behind Rizzo) and that lineup is only going to get better down the road.

4. Kyle Schwarber, C/OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
311 55 90 18 2 18 53 12.5% 18.3% 5 2 .344 .428 .634

Baseball America tagged Schwarber as the best pure hitter and best power hitter of the 2014 draft class. The 4th overall pick pretty much tattoos baseballs so it’s easy to see how he got that label. He’s a good grab early in dynasty first-year player drafts this offseason regardless of whether he ends up as a full-time catcher or not. The 22-year-old could provide plus hit and plus power (.280/25 HR) and if he catches just enough to keep that eligibility while playing some left field, all the better. Expect to see him in Double-A to start this year with his MLB debut in late 2016.

5. Albert Almora, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
529 75 137 27 4 9 60 2.6% 13.0% 6 4 .270 .291 .392

Almora is a center fielder who gets some love for his defense on traditional prospect lists, but should still be targeted in fantasy leagues thanks to an above average hit tool coupled with average power. That could look like a .280 hitter with 15-20 homers and a handful of steals at the highest level. Almora was one of the youngest players in Double-A in 2014, and struggled in a 36-game stint. He’ll head back to Double-A to start 2015 with a chance to show he can make the necessary adjustments against better quality arms.

6. Billy McKinney, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
543 72 123 24 6 11 69 11.2% 18.4% 6 3 .264 .354 .412

Remember the Samardzija deal from the Russell blurb? I know it was so long ago. McKinney was the “other guy” that came over from the A’s. McKinney can hit, and there is the chance he hits for an average in the .290-.300 range. He can also run a bit and hit for at least average power. All in all it’s a pretty well-rounded profile either as a starter or a fourth outfielder. The 20-year-old should get a shot at Double-A this season.

7. Gleyber Torres, SS | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
215 37 54 8 6 2 33 13.5% 18.6% 10 7 .297 .386 .440

Torres was a J2 signing in 2013 and like McKinney has a hit tool that stands out. Coming from the shortstop position, this could be a little more valuable than in the outfield, but you’re also looking at a longer ETA with Torres. He could see a full season assignment this year as an 18-year-old though, and his advanced makeup and feel for hitting could speed up the overall clock. The real shame is that the Cubs don’t have anybody that can keep the shortstop position warm for him while we wait.

8. Dan Vogelbach, 1B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
560 71 129 28 1 16 76 11.8% 16.3% 4 4 .268 .357 .429

Vogelbach’s big draw is his plus power and above average hit tool which could lead to some 20-homer/.280 average seasons from the first baseman. His bat will have to carry him to the majors since he really is limited to first base, but so far he’s shown he can handle the stick with 20+ doubles and 15+ homers each of the last three years, including his most recent stint in the pitching-friendly Florida State League. He’ll head to Double-A to start 2015 and could make a case for top 5 in this system next year if the power continues to surface against tougher competition.

9. Pierce Johnson, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
5 5 2.54 20 19 0 102.2 64 30 29 9 5.0 8.7 .187

Johnson has #3 starter upside with a plus fastball and curve combo that could lead to some nice strikeout totals. He missed time with leg injuries in 2014, but still logged 91 innings at Double-A. He’ll likely head back there to start 2015 where he’ll look to improve his command and control. There’s a bit of bullpen risk attached to Johnson, but he has the stuff to be a high-leverage reliever if that’s where he indeed ends up. I had a really hard time choosing between Johnson and C.J. Edwards at this spot, and opted for the guy with more innings under his belt at Double-A.

10. Eloy Jimenez, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
164 13 34 8 2 3 27 6.1% 20.0% 3 1 .227 .268 .367

Similar to Torres, there’s a longer wait attached to Jimenez but the end result could be worth it. He was another of the 2013 J2 signees and offers a classic right-field profile not unlike current Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler. Jimenez had a shoulder injury this past year, but it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. Right now Jimenez is a big kid with big tools. Time will tell if his he can refine his approach and develop into an everyday MLB player.

Cubs Previews: 2014 | 2013

NL T10 Prospects Index

  1. MB says:
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    You keeping soler over C Davis, Seager, Lester, Ortiz, Yelich, arrieta or kuma?

    7×7 with ops, obp, Qs, holds; other keepers are freeman, j up, dickerson, cano

    first five picks are our five keepers, 11 team league so it is shallow. 10 hitter spots (1 C, 1B, 2B, Ss, 3B, 3 OF, 2 UT; 2 SP, 3 P, 2 RP, 1350 inn limit) Daily lineup settings.

    Lester avg adp is 45, ortiz 51 (yahoo) judging by adp i could get the rest back but no guarantee since i pick 11th.

    No prices and can keep forever

    Thanks for your time and great work. Own Kris Bryant in dynasty and loving life.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      nice! Soler. You need a corner, but Bryant will help there

  2. Grays Sports Almanac says:
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    Finally I’ve been dying to read the Cubs minor league preview for months. Thanks Mike!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime…I hope it was worth the wait!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      do it!

      • ChrisR says:
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        @Mike:
        League is full! Great job everyone!

  3. Ante GALIC says:
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    Mike!

    Great stuff, man, and again, great series! This looks like ‘la creme de la creme’. Could there be a more stacked system (Rhetorical question, no need for a response.)?

    Have a question from my seasonal, H2H redraft points league. Roster 21 – 9 bats, 5 SP, 2 RP, 5 any bench. Lineup is as follows.

    YGomes, Abreu, Rendon, CDavis, DSantana, JUpton, AJones, CarGo (Rox), Goldscmidt
    Bench Encarnacion
    SP Cole, ‘Kuma, Fiers, Ross, Shoemaker, Paxton, Salazar, YVentura, ASanchez
    RP Robertson, Allen

    A. Wanted to bolster pitching by trading one of Goldschmidt, Abreu or Encarnacion for a front-liner SP. Which of these would you use and which group of four or five SP would you target? the league is super shallow and all primo SPs went within the first four rounds.

    B. Was offered Teheran for Encarnacion? Who comes out on top?

    C. In an other league, (all the same shallow format) whom do you prefer and by how much on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most Joc Pederson or Wil Myers?

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @Ante GALIC: B. Encarnacion- not close

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks!
      A: don’t trade a top hitter for an arm
      B. agree with Chicken on B
      C: in a redraft prolly Myers, but not by much, maybe 2 or 3 on the Galicometer

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Mike: Ty, Mike and Chicken Dinner.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          No problem

  4. jacque jones says:
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    Quickie here… 14tm roto $300 cap kept [email protected]$15, [email protected]$12,yelich and [email protected]$5….auction is tonight what’s your max $ amount on bryant? (I realize he has zero mlb ab’s but I’m lookin @ the sand oval or c.davis as best 3b options) or I could get Castellanos/valbuena, on the cheap to hold it until bryant gets there…all aboard the epstein express. Thanks in advance.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      around 20 bucks. My guess is somebody will go higher though. At that point, I would just draft Castellanos for cheap and walk away looking really smart :)

  5. Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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    Just puttin it out there – Bryant will be a career .243 hitter. Remember remember the 22nd of March, when Papa Ghul warned you not to stumble whilst hopping on the Kris Bryant hype train. That BABIP, those K’s.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Ghul has spoken…take heed!

      • Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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        @Mike: Mentok would be proud :)

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Ra’zball Al Ghul: that walk rate? I think thats a wee bit nuts. .275 hitter

      • Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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        @J-FOH: Not sure if that can save him. High O’s and unsustainable BABIPs and contact issues scare me away – this didn’t help http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/kris-bryants-one-offensive-question-mark/

        We’ll see. I’m feeling the “man amongst boys in milb, boy amongst men in MLB” narrative creeping in here, spring jacks be damned. Quint-A if you will. The bombs will always be there; what else will be there… well, let’s talk in September. In the end I think he is a plus Trumbo, or a plush Pedro Alvarez if you will. Still valuable, but not the savior.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Ra’zball Al Ghul: I was commenting on him as a career .275 in reference to your bold prediction. This year is such a crap shoot like anyone who comes up. The walk rate was to demonstrate that he does have a good eye. I think more Trumbo than Pedro, and I would like to point out how much conservative Rudy likes Bryant.

      • Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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        @J-FOH: High *K’s

  6. Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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    Good grief though, what a list! Psyched to see what Russell does this year. Almora has looked good this spring

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      for real…tons of talent

      • Ra'zball Al Ghul says:
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        @Mike: Dare I ask about ceiling with some of these guys? You nabbed Gleyber in the RazzNasty, what are you hoping to see this year/beyond? McKinney could be a real nice player. Vogelbach intrigues me, Freemanish? Body of a Greek unGod though

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          With Torres I think you’re looking for some more power to develop, since that’s the only tool that’s in question with him. Kinda the same deal with McKinney. They can both hit, but if they start showing more pop their fantasy stock will obviously rise. Vogebach looks like a good play in OBP and should get to 20 homers pretty regularly if he reaches his ceiling. Yeah, it’s not a swimmer’s build on that one haha

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      HA!

  7. The Great Knoche says:
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    Package a few of these guys up and go get Hamels and this team will be breaking the curse later his fall. (or Maybe 2016)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Phils fans would be happy to take a few of these guys off their hands

  8. Malicious Phenom says:
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    Hey mike, would you know anything about the war room. i am having trouble deleting players that have been taken..Any idea what it could be..

    thanks in advance

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’m not sure how to troubleshoot that one. Sorry bud

      • Malicious Phenom says:
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        @Mike: Seems to me the only way to delete the taken player is to keep on clicking on his name until he is gone…lol

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha…persistence pays off!

  9. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    great write up on these future stars,i have Bryant already in a keeper league and want to add russell and schwarber

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! that would be a nice trio

  10. Nuke Laloosh says:
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    Speaking of having those guys…I inherited a dynasty team 2 years ago that was absolutely brutal. I’ve since hoarded prospects like they were going out of style. I’m sitting on Bryant, Soler, Russell, Schwarber, Gallo, Devers and Alex Jackson. And yes I’m still able to field a full lineup….

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      that’s really solid…nice work!

  11. El Diablo says:
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    hey mike, drafting a family 10 team roto redraft today. two questions…

    Rendon with injury or Donaldson?

    Kris Bryant or Chris Davis?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I had that same choice in a draft a couple of days ago and I went with Donaldson.

      Tough choice between the two corners. I’d say it’s a coin flip but I’d lean Davis in a redraft.

  12. Comickaze says:
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    Thanks as always for the insightful commentary as I get ready to finalize my plans for two keeper drafts next week. A quick question- I was pretty set on keeping Goldschmidt (3rd round value) and Jose Fernandez (15th round value) in one 12-team head-to-head league. Obviously I will be hanging on to AuShizz but I am starting to question whether J-Fer is a better value than these options with the uncertainty of his return:
    Joc Pederson, Corey Dickerson, Lorenzo Cain, Kolten Wong, Adam LaRoche (all 22nd round values as waiver pick-ups last year) or Nolan Arenado ( a 14th round value). Midnight is my deadline– am I missing an obvious choice? Thanks for the advice–

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem!

      I’d take Arenado in the 14th all day.

  13. Birdmann says:
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    So unlike Razznasty, My 14 team yahoo draft is today and we have only one NA slot to hold onto a minor leaguer. Last year I stashed Baez, this year I am leaning toward Gallo or Sano. Who has more of a chance to produce power late in this season. I am leaning toward Sano since he is still SS elig. Someone kept Bryant so he is not an option.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d go with Sano

      • Birdmann says:
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        @Mike: Why Yahoo still has him with SS amazes me. He only touches ML if there is an injury right?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yeah, the eligibilities are wacky…I think Sano could be a mid-to-late-season call-up this year

  14. Birdmann says:
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    Oh and great article as always, love my Sunday morning read while drinking my coffee

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks!

  15. Baezaworldseries says:
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    Lovin the young Cubbies!!! I only wonder how many get moved to make a push at the Fall Classic 2016.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I say we create superplayer mashups. Russtro at short. Almoralcantara in center.

  16. Alex says:
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    Thanks for touching on the J2 guys, really helpful

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem

  17. mark says:
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    No CJ Edwards?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I mentioned him in the Johnson blurb, but no he didn’t make the list sorry.

  18. Fungazi says:
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    If you were starting a fresh, no restrictions 12 team keeper league today. What round would you target Bryant?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I doubt he’d last past the fourth round.

      • Fungazi says:
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        @Mike: I have a tough decision whether to take him in the first round (after 6 keeper players from last season) or to focus on improving my team’s needs like pitching. Thanks.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime…if you can keep guys forever, I think it’s fine to take Bryant there

  19. Wake Up says:
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    My take on Russell

    If the Cubs are winning, will be hard to move Castro and bring up Russell.

    If they’re not, no reason to start the clock.

    I don’t think we see him til cup of coffee time…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup

      That’s a strong take. It’s like you’ve seen this movie before

  20. Mike says:
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    Dynasty league trade. Both players last rounders. Who would you rather have Arrieta or Joey Gallo

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Gallo

  21. Alex says:
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    One to keep in 7×7 with ops, obp, Qs, holds:

    Seager, Lester, Ortiz, Soler, Yelich, arrieta, C Davis

    Keeping Dickerson, Cano, Upton, Freeman as first four picks, next keep would be my 5th pick.

    11 team (10 hitter/1350 inn limit) yahoo league. Five keepers per team as first five picks

    Can keep forever; no prices

    Lester and Ortiz are highest in ADP (I pick 66th) so probably can get others back

    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      wait, isn’t this the same question as the first comment on this post or am I losing my mind?

  22. Joeg414 says:
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    Whata think of Graveman ? 6×6 mixed 13team roto.

  23. Joeg414 says:
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    What do you think of Graveman ? Was going to pick him up as it’s looks like Marco Gon won’t be starting for the Cards. 13 Team Mixed 6×6 roto

    • Joeg414 says:
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      @Joeg414: sorry for the double post.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        no worries

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      @Joeg414: if jamie is healthy they ain’t paying him 9 million + to bullpen it up. good news is he won’t be healthy long. Also, don’t start Jamie in road starts (seriously, dude is such a head case he’ll fall apart if his dinner isn’t just so, or his pillow is too hard/soft. not kidding)

  24. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    did the 10 team NL only snake draft with rendon/rizzo as keepers. weird categories, with no AVG, hits total instead, and IP instead of whip, so high whip guys who don’t allow runs (i.e. rosie and walden with their high walk rates) are stronger. ER against instead of ERA also. (). It’s H2H this year, was roto last year. So guys that eat innings (even maybe with less K’s) might go up in value here also, if they have safe jobs.
    C – ruiz (25)
    1B Rizzo (keeper 1)
    2B Rendon (keeper)
    SS Rollins (8)
    3B – Pedro for PIT (missed wright and r.zimm barely, in different rounds, 11th)
    MI – Owings (15)
    CI – Duda (10)
    OF – Marte (3)
    OF – Bruce (effectively i could’ve only had 2 out of Arrieta/Bruce/Soler/Yelich, 5)
    OF -Myers (knew i could get him or Polanco cheap, 9)
    OF – Crawford (by far best steals guy left here, 14)
    util Dom Brown (sat at top of draft board for a while too, 17)
    util – Flores (21)
    BN – Hundley (18)
    SP1, Hamels (4th)
    SP 2, Arrieta (6)
    SP 3, Peavy (12)
    SP 4, Burnett (13)
    SP 5, Leake (15)
    SP 6, Haren (17)
    SP 7, Hellickson (23)
    SP 8, C.Anderson (24)
    RP 1, Cishek (7)
    RP 2, Parnell (wait on DL and hope he closes later, like some think, 20th)
    RP 3, Walden (22)
    BN 4 Hatcher (he becomes RP 3 when Parnell is DL’ed, 27th)
    BN (stash) Syndergaard (26)
    I went Syndergaard when i thought i J.gomes (last halfway decent starting hitter) would still be around in one round. he wasn’t. Galvis/Z.Almonte/La Stella now only starters out there (not counting ARI catchers) starters out there.
    When Parnell gets DL’ed should i grab another closer spec like Marshall (ARI) or best bench bat?

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: i know not to chase wins, but damn, i have some SP on shitty teams here, PHI/ARI/CUBS/CIN/MIA, probably not many wins coming from 6/8th of my starters. didn’t notice that till now.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: all people that are currently starting hitters are sizemore/galvis/la stella/olt/z.almonte/t.gwynn jr. so the choice for parnell opened spot when he’s DL’ed is one of those or RP with possible saves like marshall/league/axford/howell etc.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          team looks good….RP replacement looks like a crapshoot

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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            @Mike: yeah, saves only league here (i’m playing in far far less of those by the year), so i let some of the big names go to other people, figuring having a medium strength or weak bullpen isn’t nearly as important as finding innings hogs. IP as a category, really only maybe 3 teams have better SP quality and depth than me at most, and their offenses are sick jokes because of it. Many teams simply grabbed more and more RP as draft went on, even though we have so many P slots total (and IP/K’s speak completely to a heavy SP imbalance), made no sense to me. I will lose earned runs each week, but likely win wins/K’s/IP most of the time.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              nice!

  25. Swfcdan says:
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    Now this is the kinda system write-up we’ve been waiting for! Stacked all over, though not sure Soler is a prospect technically anymore as he had 250ABs last year, he’s a graduate I guess you would call him.

    No CJ Edwards on the list though?

    Really looking forward to the Red Sox farm write-up, seem to have more of their prospects on my team than any others!

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Oh and any chance you can put a link up to your overall NL/AL team prospects review page that you made, so we can see pretty much ever team’s farm now. Thanks man.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Soler had 89 AB. I mentioned Edwards in the Johnson blurb, but no he did not make the list. The index is linked at the bottom of every top ten, and the indexes are also linked to one another once you’re there.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Ah gotcha, god bless the internet linky systems.

        Totally unrelated point, Alex Guerrero is having a good spring and could take the 3B job. Do you see that happening and is he worth a pickup in leagues?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha, sure he’s worth a flyer

  26. S.H says:
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    Mike I had a offer in ahead to head forever keeper league, of Devers and JP Crawford for F.Wall and H.Harvey, the other owner got cold feet and offered up Winker instead of Devers. Should I take Winker and Jp over Wall and Harvey.?

    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Winker and JP, yeah

  27. Clint says:
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    No one seems to have mentioned Addison’s service time clock in relation to when we could see him. Will we see a redux of Bryant next offseason assuming the Cubs free up a spot for this year, Mike, or will it be any less of a factor for him i.e. if they deal Castro would he simply start for them from there forward? I’m thinking of targeting him as a late round stash in my roto league since we have a pair of NA spots we can use for minors guys.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, it’s always a factor. He’s going to be a late season call-up with a full time gig in spring 2016 would be my guess.

      A trade of Castro could certainly change things, but I’m not sure they are in any rush to move him.

  28. b-murph says:
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    Hey Mike!
    Great write up as always. I’m looking to stash a SS for my auction keeper league, but am torn between Correa and Russell. If you had to choose one long term – who is your guy?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! I have Correa ranked 3rd and Russell 4th on my top 50, so it’s basically a toss-up, but I prefer Correa.

      Russell might be the better bet to stay at short long term though.

  29. Colonel Angus says:
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    Despite the low batting average, I’m intrigued by the skill set of Alcantara and so I drafted him in the 24th round of a 12 team keeper league. Our league doesn’t punish for BA instead it scores OBP and SLG. I was hurting for a 2B and he was there so I grabbed him which drew laughter from others in the league. Still available in the free agent pool are Jedd Gyorko, Scooter Gennett, Jace Peterson, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill. Should I bail on Alcantara for any of these guys?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      You’ll have the last laugh. I’ve drafted or traded for Alcantara in 3 of 4 leagues so far. He’s solid and will likely be Joe Maddon’s utility knife, which could give him tasty eligibility too.

  30. Rags says:
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    Weird question for a non-standard league.

    I play in a 12 team H2H points league, 30-man rosters not including 7 minor league draft spots. Heavy emphasis on hits and RBIs. Total budget is $340 but at least $30 has to spent on your minor leaguers (you can spend more). Minor leaguers can be kept indefinitely without price inflation until they get called up.

    Yoan Moncada and Kyle Schwarber both became available in our league. How much would you bid on them (which then becomes their future salaries)?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      tough one…the future salary is the kicker

      what do the top prospects normally go for?
      Both of those guys are top 50 and Moncada is top 10

      • Rags says:
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        @Mike: Last year Buxton went for 16 and Bryant went for 12 (although people are kicking themselves that they let him go so low). Addison Russell went for 11.

        I’m actually a little light on prospects after a bunch of guys got called up last year, so I’m overpaying for guys like Devers and Ruiz just to make my Minors minimum. So I can go over that, but obviously don’t want to bid 18 on a guy if he’s only going to be a $10 SS when he graduates up in two/three years.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          gotcha. I’d bid the 16 for Moncada. I think 10-12 works for Schwarber.

  31. Milarky says:
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    Hey Mike, love your rookie and prospect write-ups – it’s really helping me prep for my weekend draft. We dedicate a spot in our starting lineups for both a rookie hitter and a rookie pitcher, but we also draft prospects in a mid-year supplemental draft so the jewel rookies are largely gone. I find myself heading into the season without any of my prospects starting in the majors, so I’m going to have to draft both a rookie hitter and pitcher. Looking at available FAs, I’m startled with the lack of rookie pitchers that appear to be available. I literally see only a handful available, many of which aren’t guaranteed a job (Heaney, Syndergaard, Colome, Norris, Graveman, Tropeano, Rodon, Gray, Marco Gonzales, Raisel Iglesias, Joe Wieland). Any thoughts on some less obvious rookie pitchers I should have a look at?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! those guys are available? I’d take Syndergaard and Rodon

      • Milarky says:
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        @Mike: I can try, but no guarantees. What I’m hoping is you have some other suggestions beyond those guys? Syndergaard is a bit of a loophole in our format, but he may not even make the team out of spring. Any other deeper league rookies to recommend that I didn’t mention that look like they’re a good bet to make their rotations?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          maybe Wojo in Houston now that Straily is out of the picture…Nate Karns in Tampa, Aaron Sanchez in Toronto

          Outside of those you pretty much listed everybody already :)

          • Milarky says:
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            @Mike: Thanks Mike – that’s two more to add to my potential pool that I wasn’t aware of – appreciate it. Sanchez is already on someone’s roster as a prospect unfortunately. Hopefully one of those guys can keep me afloat until Stephenson makes the bigs.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              anytime

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Milarky: syndergaard is a top 5 arm in pretty much any prospect list, and with added bonus that he plays this year on top of it.

      • Milarky says:
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        @goodfold2: Thanks, I’ll do my best to get him, but I’ll also need someone to target who will start the year in the bigs. Appreciate the feedback everyone!

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Milarky: desclafani, but he’s likely gone.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @goodfold2: player rater really likes him more than other more tenured guys too.

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            good call

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @Mike: the joys of NL only research, i thought he’d be down in some much lesser guy territory. Nope. even in that stadium of his.

  32. Jake from State Farm says:
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    About to pick in my dynasty draft. Which arm do you go with? Kolek, Hoffman, Toussant, or the safe pick in Nola ? Thanks. Can you rank these for me also.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Kolek, Nola, Hoffman, Toussaint is how I would rank them.

      Nola is the guy you want if your window is now, since he has a chance to contribute soon.

    • Jake from State Farm says:
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      @Jake from State Farm: I can grab Margot or nick Gordon also

      • Jake from State Farm says:
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        @Jake from State Farm: I definitely have a win now roster but I always try to grab the guy with the highest upside. Is Nola a boring solid number 3?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yup, that’s him pretty much

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        I’d take Margot personally

        • Jake from State Farm says:
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          @Mike: Again thank you. Pitching is at a bit of a premium in this league and I read some great things about Toussant kolek and Hoffman. Getting a number one is always enticing. Usually I always go with the hitter over the pitcher. Much less risk.

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            no problem…I agree

  33. Skeezix says:
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    Hey Mike, I get to keep any three of the following – I think it’s pretty obvious, but thought I’d check on your thoughts:

    Sano (this year and one more)
    Correa (this year and one more)
    Stephenson (this year and one more)
    Taillon (this year only)
    Zimmer (this year only)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Sano, Correa, and Stephenson. I like Taillon, but you’d want him for longer than a year

      • Skeezix says:
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        @Mike: Thanks! Are you thinking Taillon may be better this year, or making an impact sooner vs. Stephenson? Or you think Taillon may be better long term once he gets fully back from TJ surgery?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem. Nah, I’d still take Stephenson over him

  34. Milarky says:
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    As explained earlier, I’m in a 10-team keeper where we keep 4 hitters, 2 pitchers. I’ve got Stanton, Cutch, Cano, Rizzo as my hitters. We also have prospects that are drafted in a mid-year draft, but Bryant fell through a loophole where he’s not on a roster as a prospect so he’s available in our draft. Do you consider taking him in the first round over guys like Dickerson, Frazier, Hanley (OF), Braun, Kipnis, Marte, Wong? I really don’t think he’ll last til the 2nd round, and he is the only one I can see making a keeper impact even if he take 3 weeks or so to arrive.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      sure, I’d take him or Marte there

  35. jacque jones says:
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    Off topic. 14tm standard roto. Need 1sp to fill out rotation need to add K’s without killing ratios. My sp are stras, arrieta, Liriano, E.Santana, W. Peralta, Lohse.
    RP Allen, papel, rondon, smith, watson, herrera.

    Possible adds SP Peavey, Hudson or take a flier on Greene or Nelson?(not a MIL fan, coincidence)

    Possible RP Adds Cingrani Quackenbush Strop Neil Ramirez, Parnell… I back loaded the RP for high K low ratio and sagnof but think I’m going to need another sp. First time in a league this big it’s slim pickings, what’s your move? Thanks for all you do I won 2/4 leagues last yr based on this site

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem…I’d take a flyer on Greene or Nelson. Probably a coin flip between those two, so take the NL guy in Nelson

      • jacque jones says:
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        @Mike: thanks you guys rule… throw away your f’n shine boxes, get paid you guys deserve it… best advice I’ve found on the internets I’d buy in @ $50 vs watching vids of Tristan gettin his Cockcroft

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ha! thanks Jacque

  36. Milarky says:
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    Hey, one more for you. How good is Hector Olivera, and where do you look at picking him? Looks like he’ll sign tomorrow (LAD or SD), and I’m trying to figure out where to rank him. As mentioned previously, we have to start a rookie hitter, so he’d be more valuable than a non-rookie (position isn’t overly important). I’m still trying to work out my first few rounds based on other guys who are also available (i.e. Dickerson, Frazier, Hanley (OF), Braun, Kipnis, Marte, Wong, etc.). Soler is also available to be drafted – are those two comparable, and where to rank them?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I wouldn’t take Olivera over any of the names you listed..more of a later round guy IMO.

      • Skeezix says:
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        @Mike: Thanks! What about Soler – do you consider him over any of those guys (or anywhere close)?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I love Soler…I’ve been taking him in the 6th round in my drafts this year. I’d still take Marte and Hanley over him though

  37. ichirosan says:
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    Olivera is actually available in my prospect draft. Where would you rank him in your prospect rankings, for 2015 and beyond?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      He’s a little tricky to rank but I gave it a go in my 2014 signees post

      https://razzball.com/minor-accomplishments-new-blood/

      The pros are that he can hit and hit for some power. The cons are his age and health concerns. I wouldn’t draft him among the top 50 prospects overall, and would probably put him in the 75-100 range.

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