It’s not often a team makes the playoffs and picks at the top of the draft in the same year, but the Twins have done a good job of syncing up their rebuild. With a core of some nice homegrown talent, the Twinkies have plenty more on the way. An exciting mix of five tool athletes, power hitters, power pitchers, and hit tool middle infielders, make this system one of the top to follow for fantasy purposes. With players like Royce Lewis, Wander Javier, Brent Rooker, Akil Baddoo, and Brusdar Graterol there’s some potential stars in the mix. Maybe it’s just my perception, but this feels like one of the more underappreciated systems. There’s a few diamonds in the rough to uncover, so let’s get this shindig started! It’s the 2018 Minnesota Twins Top Prospects for Fantasy Baseball.

 

1) Royce Lewis | Age: 18 | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .279/.381/.407, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB

A five tool talent from the California prep ranks, Lewis was a “surprise” at 1.1 to the Twins, but not a shock. He was well within the top 5 of most pre-draft rankings dating back to early 2017. Lewis’ swing is still a little raw, but if you compare his pre-draft swing to his pro swing, it’s obvious he made adjustments to clean up his hip rotation, allowing him to get more out of his trademark leg kick. This allowed him to tap into more raw power as you can see here. His swing is still a little long, but he gets the bat around quickly, and with natural loft. He runs well, and has natural base stealing instincts, getting good jumps and reads. His hit tool proved to be more advanced than some of the more skeptical scouting reports anticipated, and he’s consistently seen it graded at 60 hit this off-season. There were whispers that Lewis might move off of short and into centerfield, but his future, at least for now, lies at short. ETA: 2020

2) Wander Javier | Age: 19 | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: .299/.383/.471, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 4 SB

A toolsy shortstop with advanced offensive skills, and a likelihood to stick in the middle of the infield. Above average pop, above average speed, and good bat to ball skills make Javier a wise investment on the ground floor. Still needs to refine his approach as 49 Ks in 157 at bats ain’t cutting it. That said, he’ll be 19 for the entirety of 2018 and should see a full season assignment out of camp. It will be interesting to see if they hold him in extended spring until May to get Royce Lewis the starting reps, or if they alternate reps at short between the two, while getting looks at other spots on the diamond. Javier has the arm for third base, and may ultimately grow into that role if he adds more muscle onto his frame. As it stands now he’s a five tool type with some raw plate discipline kinks to work out. He can take a walk, but is still susceptible to chase pitches off the plate, which limits how aggressive I’d be on his hit tool grades. Javier worked with hitting coordinator Rick Eckstein to clean up his swing, and eliminate some of the noise in hands and lower half. The type of prospect that could rocket up Top 100 lists with a strong season. ETA: 2021

3) Alex Kirilloff, OF | Age: 20 | Level: N/A | 2017 Stats: Did Not Play Injured

Sometimes injuries have the worst timing, and that’s the case with Kirilloff. Shut down with elbow inflammation following an impressive professional debut, Kirilloff tried rehab, but ultimately needed Tommy John. Fast forward one year, he’s in camp, ready to go, and with 30 pounds of muscle added over his hiatus. If Kirilloff can pick up where he left off, we could be talking about a special player. After all, this is a kid that was home schooled to pretty much play baseball full time. Seems like it worked out, as he went 15th overall, and the Twins were confident enough in his abilities to skip the Gulf Coast League for the more advanced Appalachian League. He more than rewarded the organization’s faith winning league MVP honors. During his brief debut, Kirilloff flashed all fields power, advanced barrel control, pitch recognition, and great instincts. If we can get the natural contact hitter we saw in his debut paired with the added raw power from his bulk up, we might be looking at yet another ascending talent on this Twins list. I came into this list sort of lukewarm on Kirilloff, but now I view him as a legit Top 100 Fantasy Prospect. ETA: 2020

4) Brusdar Graterol, RHP | Age: 19 | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: 4-1, 40 IP, 2.70 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 45 Ks, 13 Bb

So one blurb after Alex Kirilloff, we discuss another Twins prospect that went under the knife following their pro debut, and returned with a remade body. Similarly accentuated by a yoked up lower half. Graterol added a pitching booty like a Instagram model looking for a sugar daddy. Only instead of pre-nup free marriage, he added nearly 10 MPH to his fastball, getting clocked as high as 101. He mixes in a plus late-breaking slider, an above average hard curveball, and an average change. With a work horse body, elite velocity, and a bevy of pitches, there’s a lot to dream on with the stocky righty. However, there are quite a few concerns in the profile, meaning that he might not be the right prospect for everyone. Particularly if you’re risk averse. We are talking about a player with an injury history, a limited track record, and a really funky short stride delivery. I suppose the strength of his lower half might allow him to drive more force with less effort, but it looks like it puts some strain on his upper body. At the end of the day, fears aside, Graterol will crack my Top 100, and has everything going to be one of the top pitching prospects in the game over the next two years. ETA: 2021

5) Brent Rooker, 1B/OF | Age: 23 | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .281/.364/.566, 18 HR, 52 RBI, 2 SB

Though he was ranked behind players like Pavin Smith and Brendan McKay heading into this June’s draft, Rooker has had arguably the most impressive showing of any player entering pro-ball in 2017. After just 22 games at rookie level Elizabethton, Rooker earned promotion to high A Fort Myers of the Florida State League. From there he hit 11 homers in 40 games while slugging .552, splitting time between first and the outfield. There’s 40 homer pop potential in Rooker’s bat, and he’s consistently measured with elite exit velocities, averaging 92 MPH in both the college season, and during his time in the Florida State League. On one hand he passed one of the most difficult challenges a power hitter can face (the FSL) with flying colors, on the other he was a pretty advanced college hitter with a ton of power in A ball. He has some swing and miss to his game too, but that comes with the territory with the sort of shoot for the fences approach Rooker brings. My feeling is Rooker does turn into a 30+ homer bat with some inconsistent batting averages. ETA: 2019

6) Akil Baddoo, OF | Age: 19 | Level: Rk | 2017 Stats: .323/.436/.527, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 9 SB

I already wrote a ton of words on Baddoo earlier this off-season, he’s one of my favorite targets in dynasty leagues. ETA: 2020

7) Nick Gordon, 2B/SS | Age: 22 | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .270/.341/.408 9 HR, 66 RBI, 13 SB

Unlike his brother Dee, Nick isn’t a speed demon or even a one category superstar. He might be a better all around player than Dee, certainly providing more pop in his bat, but that’s not saying a ton. He’s a does everything well, but no standout tool type player, that should be fantasy relevant, but never a superstar. His swing is designed more to rope line drives than knock homers, but there’s at least a possibility of mid-teen homer totals. He’s got a shot at contributing in fantasy whether as a second baseman or a shortstop, but he’ll need to find average power, get on base, and score runs to be a factor. He might just be a solid MLB player, but never a must own player in 12 team leagues. ETA: 2019

8) Yunior Severino, 2B/SS | Age: 18 | Level: RK | 2017 Stats: .286/.345/.444, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB

A talented teenage switch hitter with plus bat speed, powerful wrists, and plus raw power, Severino is a favorite target of mine in first year player drafts. One of the top talents released in the Braves signing scandal, Severino has earned signing bonuses of $1.9M and $2.5M in consecutive signing periods. This speaks volumes, not only about his amateur pedigree, but the belief in his continued improvement during his 2017 stateside debut. I’ve heard some go as far as to say he’s a better player than Kevin Maitan. He’s a longways away, and is an all hit tool and power middle infielder with little to no speed. So, he must hit to make his way up the ladder, leaving him less margin for error. Sounds simple, but easier said than done. I’m putting my money on Severino, but I wouldn’t be the first(…or second). ETA: 2021

9) Stephen Gonsalves, LHP | Age: 23 | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 9-5, 110 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 118 K, 31 Bb

Is Gonsalves the most underrated pitching prospect in the minors? He misses bats, doesn’t have control issues, and mixes four pitches, two of which are considered plus. He challenges hitters up high, generating lots of popups and lazy flyballs, he uses his plus changeup to both sides of the plate and really does a nice job of working on the black and painting corners. Struggled in AAA, but should see promotion at some point next year. ETA: 2018

10) Lewin Diaz, 1B | Age: 21 | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .292/.329/.444, 13 HR, 68 RBI, 2 SB

Diaz is the unusual power first prospect that pairs 70 grade raw power with feel to hit. Much of his early success is rooted in excellent mechanics at the plate, and superior bat control. Diaz is among the most likely to bust out huge in 2018, with the potential to shoot up top 100 lists with a good showing in high A. I guess it’s Diaz’s lack of athleticism, and future first base only profile that keeps his prospect status down, but bat to ball skills,
and untapped raw power is a nice combo. Great sleeper pick. ETA: 2020

11) Fernando Romero, RHP | Age: 23 | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: 11-9, 125 IP, 3.53 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 120 Ks, 45 Bb

Blessed with two plus pitches in his upper 90’s fastball, and a high 80’s slide piece with some serious tilt. Romero has always struck me as a future reliever. He has difficulty repeating his mechanics consistently which has led to some problems with control. His changeup isn’t fringe, but it’s not effective against lefties which should really be it’s main purpose. I foresee an elite back of the bullpen arm, getting swings and misses and lots of grounders with his heavy sinking fastball. He’s on the 40 man, so it would not surprise me if we saw some Romero this season, likely out of the pen. ETA: 2018

12) Jose Miranda, 2B | Age: 19 | Level: RK | 2017 Stats: .283/.340/.484, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 2 SB

Every time I write up a system, my goal is to walk away with a new appreciation for a player that wasn’t on my radar prior. One such player is Miranda, a 2nd round supplemental pick in the 2016 draft out of the Puerto Rican prep ranks. An advanced approach at the plate, plus hit tools, and raw power, Miranda is a diamond in the rough. He managed to keep his strikeout rate under 10% while hitting for an ISO north of .200 in 2017. In addition to his hitting acumen, he’s lauded for his athleticism and ability to stick at second, Miranda is yet another bat first middle infielder in a system full of them. ETA: 2021

13) Blane Enlow, RHP | Age: 18 | Level: RK | 2017 Stats: 3-0, 20 IP, 1.33 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 19 Ks, 4 Bb

A third round pick, and highly rated prep arm with a big league body, a fastball with mid-90’s velocity, and room for growth. Enlow’s most dangerous weapon is his plus plus curveball, that many considered one of the better breaking balls in the 2017 class. His other secondaries consist of a changeup and a cutter, but neither are more than a fringe offering at the moment. Enlow has a long ways to go, but he does have the building blocks of two plus or better pitches to start with. ETA: 2021

The Next Five: Jacob Pearson, Zack Littell, Lamonte Wade, Travis Blankenhorn, Tyler Jay

Find all of the 30 Minor League Previews, and Offseason Rankings on the Minor League Index
On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

  1. Notorious D.A.N. says:
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    How close was Palacious to making the list? Seems like a really light return on a fairly solid, moderate priced SP.

    • Fanciful Basesball says:
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      @Notorious D.A.N.: Palacious is With Tampa Bay.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Notorious D.A.N.: He wasn’t even in my top 30

      • Notorious D.A.N. says:
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        Yikes. I would have thought that Odorizzi a Top 15 org talent.

  2. Randy says:
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    I hope Lewis stays at SS, it will help his value a decent amount. I say this because even though some fantasy experts say position doesn’t matter and to load up on elite OFers, I totally disagree with this from experience. In deep leagues, even 5 outfielder leagues, my experience is MI and CI types are way more valuable. I have heard a lot in trade discussions “I have plenty of outfielders”. This also applies to pitching, when the season starts, the most values commodities are the SS, 2B and even 3B.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Randy: You right, there aren’t as many elite options in the middle infield, but at the end of the day you want the best hitters regardless of position.

  3. Miketron says:
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    I like the addition of GIFs! I am intrigued by Lamonte Wade, think he is only a 4th OF type?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: Thanks Mike! I figured why not.

      Lamonte is super interesting. All he’s done is hit and he has pop and speed.

      • Miketron says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Yeah nice to see Wade mentioned rather than Zach “KATOH loves me” Granite. Another guy who I’ve been tracking is Lewis Thorpe. Has had some injury issues and is a bit wild, but good stuff.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Miketron: Thorpe was in consideration another Aussie.

  4. Packers says:
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    Who or what current MLB player is my K. Tucker worth? I feel I’m in a strong position to win my 12 team dynasty league and another guy wants to know who I want for Tucker. Quite frankly he doesn’t have anyone who would make a big difference on my team. He has Votto, Faria, Cano…but I have Hoskins,Odor and plenty of SP’s. I could move Hoskins to the outfield to replace ODB but that’s it. I’m thinking I should just hold. What do you think? I don’t want a chump dump and lose him.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: I’d hold and have a chip for when you need it, or the right offer comes along.

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Ralph! 12 team keep 7 forever (+$3 / year), which guy from the below doesn’t make the cut?

    $4 Godley (really believe in his potential degrom style ace hood)
    $15 Schoop (probably draftable for $18-24)
    $11 Devers (no clue where he’d go at auction)

    FWIW – other keepers are Goldy ($18) Bellinger ($3), JDM ($13), Blackmon ($26), Robbie Ray ($10).

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I know right?!

        I like it. Love Schoop but for whatever reason his draft price seems perfectly fine if not a bit underpriced. Plus, his ceiling = a repeat of last year (compared to Devers who could end up being something very special).

        I had planned to drop Godley hoping he’d sneak by but the hype train on him has been justifiably very strong.

        Also have a $3 Sonny Gray but less excited about him despite loving him as a yankee fan.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Yeah it’s one of those times you need to figure out what’s going to give you more $ and still find something that slips through.

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: exactly. This is a cbs league, which has Schoop at $19 and Godley at $15 (!) so $4 seems like the best value there. Like you said in the 2B and SS pods, there’s a lot of interesting value plays in the 2B and MI area (love an odor and story rebound, plus peraza ablies etc if not kept).

  6. Raider says:
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    Nick Gordon might be a better rapper than baseball player! Check out Nick G Cinco on youtube, worth your time.
    Got my first look recently at gonsalves from video, deceptive release, poised, i hope he can log 80-100 innings in the bigs this year.
    Great write up!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Raider: thanks! Oh, yeah I’m familiar haha!

  7. sport says:
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    Love the GIF’s touch! You take Razzball to another level!!!!

    When are you putting out your Top 100 SP? I’m looking forwa d to it! Am I wrong to feel like there is not as many late rounds fliers for SP this year like we had with Robbie Ray and Severino last year? I think Snell is entriguing but I’m not excited about under 9 K/9 guys like Corbin. What are your thoughts?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @sport: I’m so deep into the prospect ranks now I’m not thinking about it a ton.

      I like Bauer, Garrett Richards, David Price, Gohara, Reyes, Shoemaker, there’s some hidden gems me thinks!

  8. Robert Sherwood says:
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    Gifs are awesome, no loading weirdness on mobile. So pissed Brusdar was owned in the razz30 FYPD.. totally had him lined up. I like the ranking

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Robert Sherwood: Love a man with an ass than could win an equestrian Booty contest.

  9. Mindicohn says:
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    Dynasty question here…Been offered the following and I’m undecided…

    1 – Schoop $17 + Kyle Tucker (no cost yet) for my C.Seager ($12) + Taylor Trammell (no cost yet)…

    2 – Kopech (no cost), JP Crawford ($1) and S. Castro for my C.Seager….

    Can easily hold onto Seager…I don’t need to move him but want to see what I can get.

    • Mindicohn says:
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      @Mindicohn: u

      Also been offered schoop/j.flaherty/dustin fowler for c.seager.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mindicohn: The first Schoop one is the best offer IMO.

  10. mrbasketball says:
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    Clint Frazier – Do you see any playing time and if so – do you see him as a good hitter

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @mrbasketball: I think Frazier can hit. He has insane bat speed, but just needs an opportunity. He’s going to get it somewhere.

  11. J-FOH says:
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    Cron for a PTBNL? Am I missing something there?

    They sign crispy and Carter? Double huh!

    Barnes vs Grandal. Reading LA Times and beat writer said if Grandalmis healthy and hitting (he had a thumb injury during the 2nd half last year) and Dodgers tech department (my term) found flaws that hurt him down the stretch. They alluded to what we should know is Barnes will play some 2nd base. I always felt Grandal was a good fit in Oakland. Do they go after Manea mid season? Feels like the upside arm they love to fix.

    Oh and nice write up. With the hype I would think Gonsalves would be higher or is it others added to the org have already passed him by in fantasy potential?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @J-FOH: Yeah other names that have jumped up over the last year. They’ve done a really nice job drafting and developing.

      That’s interesting on Grandal. Maybe I’ll give him a go as my C2 in this dynasty I’m drafting.

      Cron is a weird one, I’m glad he has a place to play.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: the cron dog has a home where he might feel wanted. Scisocia treated him like a booty call.

        Good callmon Twins. Quietly making something competitive. Like a hot chick in baggy clothes.

        I’ll send you the article. Just food for thought. I also looked in other places. It so rational

  12. Saints says:
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    Hay ralph great stuff,
    But im a little bit confused on this list. In your top 100 you had diaz at 83.
    Now you have kirilof, graterol, Baddo and Severino ahead of him who werent even mentioned in your Top 100. Have you lowered Diaz a lot or have you changed your mind on those 4 guys ?
    Will love to hear your thought process betweeen those 2 lists :)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Saints: Lists change constantly. I unfortunately can’t really catchup on everything until half way through the offseason. So I start to get more reports from those rgatvhave scouted first hand, and get a better understanding of who the industry is high on. I watch tape, decide if I agree or not and adjust accordingly.

      Severino wasn’t in the system at the time.

      Kirilloff’s injury updates and added muscle boost him up.

      I’m just more into Baddoo now that I was in October.

      I hadn’t watched a lot of Graterol.

      • Saints says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:
        Thats fine and i can completely understand it. I was just surprised that there are so many guys who moved up or if it was just that you knocked diaz down quite a lot. But youre text wasnt indicating this :)

        Will you renew your Top 100 before the season starts again or only at the Mid Season point ?

  13. Louder than bombs says:
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    Ralph, if you knew Ryan McMahon would be the opening day starter at 1B, where do you think you’d place him in your 1B rankings? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Louder than bombs: Top 15, not kidding. I’d draft him everywhere.

      • Louder than bombs says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I’m kind of convinced the Rockies won’t sign Reynolds. My league mates are good I think he will go well before his adp in that 20 team league. My plan is to split the difference between his current adp and the 15 rank you say you’d draft him at if he’s opening day 1B. So 15th round in a 20 teamer. Agree? And thanks Prospector.

  14. Scott says:
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    Two questions

    1) Re. Twins farm, who do you like better, Kohl Stewart or Lewis Thorpe>

    2) In a 5×5 dynasty league, should I trade either of the below two packages for Keuchel? (I would be getting Keuchel)

    Package A: I give up Ozzie Albies
    Package B: I give up Ryan McMahon and Maikel Franco

  15. Brian says:
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    hey ralph. in a 16 team dynasty league, h2h, 6×6 with OPS and k/bb extra cats plus QS instead of W. we roster 276 prospects and I need to determine who I’m going to drop so I can participate in the draft. I traded my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rd picks last year to make a successful charge at the title so i’m going to be drafting really late.

    I have caratini, mountcastle, blankenhorn, andres gimenez, yu cheng chang, starling, pache, jhailyn, yusniel, kiriloff, luzardo, pete lambert, alex reyes, funkhouser, de la cruz, ragans, fernando romero.

    right now i’m probably throwing caratini, blankenhorn, funkhouser, lambert, and de la cruz back. I’m torn on whether i should toss back gimenez and/or chang. Gimenez seems like he’s tracking to be a better IRL prospect than fantasy so even though he has some support, not sure I feel like he’s going to break out this year. as for chang, i like his general profile as one that has a chance to have some nice value even though he’s more under the radar. so who would you drop from my minors list? and would you keep gimenez and/or chang?

  16. mrbasketball says:
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    KEEPER LEAGUE NEED TO DROP 1 PLAYER HERE

    Austin Hays Bal – CF,RF

    Ryan McMahon Col – Util

    Adrián Béltre Tex – 3B

    Josh Hader Mil – RP

    Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, Util, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, RP, P, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL, DL, NA

    Batters Stat Categories: Runs (R), Doubles (2B), Triples (3B), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), Batting Average (AVG), On-base + Slugging Percentage (OPS)

    Pitchers Stat Categories: Wins (W), Saves (SV), Strikeouts (K), Holds (HLD), Earned Run Average (ERA), (Walks + Hits)/ Innings Pitched (WHIP), Strikeouts per Walk Ratio (K/BB), Quality Starts (QS)

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