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In my last post two weeks back, we broke down six preseason collegiate risers for the 2024 MLB Draft. That list included prospects who are firmly in the discussion for the first round or two of this July’s draft but were not initially included in my way-too-early rankings back in late August. That list included LHP Josh Hartle of Wake Forest, but in fact, all three members of the Demon Deacon weekend rotation are top-35 draft prospects per MLB Pipeline: Hartle (No. 13), RHP Chase Burns (No. 16) and RHP Michael Massey (No. 31). This leaves us with a series of questions. What exactly is a Demon Deacon? Why does the Wake Forest mascot have buttcheeks for a chin? Why does he ride a motorcycle? Isn’t the term “Demon Deacon” an oxymoron? Am I a moron? And how does a rising albeit non-blue blood program like Wake Forest come to possess three weekend starters all with the potential to go in the first round?

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There are 300 NCAA Division I baseball programs. Assume an average of 35 players per roster and you’ve got 10,500 collegiate baseball players. Now, many of those are not on the MLB Draft radar, but it still speaks to the sheer volume of prospects to cover — many of which are far more polished than the extensive crop of prepsters. With those numbers, there will always be talented players who fall through the cracks. But here at Razzball, we do our very best to cover every fantasy-relevant college star. We already went over 20 players in the fall, but that left a lot to be desired. There are far more than 20 college prospects to have on your first-year player draft radar ALREADY. And things have already shifted since August with the coming and going of fall practice schedules as well as the unveiling of MLB Pipeline’s top-100 draft prospects. So who did we miss in the fall that you need to know NOW, before the upcoming college campaign kicks off on February 16? Here are six collegiate names to plug into your dynasty strategy and FYPD prep.

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There isn’t much of a consensus opinion surrounding the 2024 MLB Draft, particularly with this year’s grouping of collegiate talent. I’ve seen North Carolina’s Vance Honeycutt, West Virginia’s JJ Weatherholt, Tennessee’s Chase Burns, and Florida’s Jac Caglianone, among other players, all ranked as the No. 1 prospect by various publications. I have to agree because there are a lot of standout tools at the top of this draft but also a lot of high-ceiling players with unrefined aspects of their game or question marks in one or more areas. The fall practice season is going to go a long way in determining the 2024 preseason draft board, with the campaign to follow undoubtedly shaking the trees clean. Who knows, a bald-headed Jonathan Mayo even might come tumbling out of the timber after all of the information we uncover in this year’s crop. Anywho, here are my way-too-early rankings for the 2024 college draft class, with thorough insight to be provided on each player throughout the months ahead.

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Sal Frelick is going to be a star, to be quite Frank. More Frank than a Barrone waiting for linguini alfredo the dinner table. The Milwaukee Brewers rookie has quickly made an impact at the big league level, but there’s planty of reason to believe the best is yet to come, as is often the case with young players. Here at Razzball, we’ve given you plenty of opportunities for free licks at Frelick, which you can read more about below. So if you don’t have an shares yet, it’s time to self-reflect, or Salf-refleckt. Here’s why you need to be holding your shares or scrambling for additional ownership of my pal, Sal, in dynasty leagues moving forward.

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The draft has come and gone and as many suspected, LSU’s Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews went off the board with the first two overall selections. For many, those two prospects instantly became the most sought-after in dynasty leagues and first-year player drafts alike. Alas! How could thee thinketh otherwise? After all, generational prospects, as they’ve been labeled, are likely to cause such a reaction. And perhaps it’s for good reason. Sure, Skenes is a great choice at No. 1 in a first-year player draft. But I get up on my rooftop at this time every summer (it takes me roughly that long to tear down the holiday lights), and remind our readers that draft position should not dictate FYPD board position. There are many, many places to find and steal value along the way. Maybe there’s a bat that went outside the first 18 picks that you should consider in your top five players overall. Or a mid-second-round diamond in the rough that fell 20 spots past where he probably should have. It’s all about being creative and better informed than those around you. In this week’s column, we’ll break down five FYPD sleeper sticks from the 2023 college draft class, followed by another five to keep your eye on.

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We’ve reached the NCAA Super Regional round in college baseball, as just 16 of the nation’s best teams are left standing. All the others are either sitting patiently for next season or lying down quietly for a millenial power nap. The 16 remaining teams all face off this upcoming weekend in a best-of-three series to determine which eight programs are headed to the 2023 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, the land where hopes, dreams, and corn all come to fruition. The juggernauts that are Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Miami, Oklahaoma State and Coastal Carolina have all been eliminated, meaning countless MLB Draft prospects are now focusing their attention on the events of July. That or they’re one of several thousand players in the transfer portal. That being said, a group of highly talented players remains in the field, including LSU’s Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews, Florida’s Wyatt Langford and Hurston Waldrep, Tennessee’s Chase Dollander, Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder, Virginia’s Kyle Teel and Stanford’s Tommy Troy, among numerous others. For today’s exercise, we won’t be focusing on those premier names, rather we will be taking a deep dive into five Super Regional prospects you may not yet know — but should.

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As a first-generation, wholesome Pennsylvanian man, I am a sucker for a name like Colton Cowser. Maybe it’s the mooing I hear in the back of my mind every time his name is uttered, or perhaps it’s Colton’s efficient stroke that stays on plane so well through the baseball that has me hooked. When I was a child, my parents used to drive me past cow pastures to help put me to sleep. A lot has changed since then. Now, my wife drives me past cow pastures to help put me to sleep. It’s comforting. So is having a prospect like Cowser in your Minor League system when the likes of Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Ryan Mountcastle and more already producing in the bigs. Cowser has the chance to make a Rutschman-like impact in 2023. That could be for the Orioles, for your fantasy team, or both. Let’s get into just how much of a boost Cowser could provide for your squad this season, as well as when he can be expected in Baltimore with the Birdies.

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Happy NFL Draft Day, sports fans! Today it is April and next week it will be May. After May comes June, followed by July, otherwise known as MLB Draft month. To be frank, my preseason top-15 is already out-dated, as is MLB Pipeline’s top-100 posted months ago. I’d be willing to bet my second-born child (lost my first in a poker game last month) that Chase Dollander is NOT the second player off the board and is in fact not a lock to go in the top five. I’ll also tell you there’s a chance Dylan Crews goes second overall, not first. And there might even be a player currently ranked in the top-five overall that I could see falling into the 20s. Oh yeah, and only six of the top-20 are pitchers. Who are they? What has changed? Well, you’ll have to make like Oliver Twist and pound the button below to find out.

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As we reach the college season’s midpoint, I got to wondering: after you drink 50% of your ballpark beer, is it half-empty or half-full? On one hand, it’s half-empty because we don’t want the season to end, but on the other, it’s half-full because there’s still plenty of baseball left including the highly-anticipated College World Series. Then I remember that the disgruntled concessions worker that charged me $18 for my souvenir cup only filled it up two-thirds of the way, so really the ballpark beer is 33.3% full, unless you take into account the volume accounted for by the ice… and that’s how I successfully lost my entire audience before even beginning the discussion about the first overall pick for the 2023 MLB Draft. So how about this? Drink ALL of your ballpark beer, click “Please, blog, may I have some more?” and hit up the comments section with who you’d take first overall if you had the pleasure (or lack thereof) of being Mr. Ben Cherington.

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Without a doubt, the greatest movie ever made is Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. One of my favorite scenes is when Jenny (Cameron Diaz) ventures into the rich part of down to rob the affluent blind while dressed as a maid — a practice referred to as being a “turtle dove” in the film. As she pickpockets a flirtatious man’s wallet before getting off at her stop, he begins to get forward with her, asking if he may speak but trying to not be too ambitious with his remarks.

JENNY: I might like, sir. But I can’t say now.
MAN: Why?
JENNY: Because this is my stop.
MAN: May I walk with you a little, then?
JENNY (firmly): That — would be too bold.

At that point, Jenny exits and proceeds to rob countless New York City mansions blind. Absolutely classic. Now, think of today’s post the same way. We are going to be seriously bold, but we won’t be breaking bread with strangers. This is our Opening Day. Our chance to be the turtle dove and rob our leagues like none other. Be daring, but on your own accord. As long as no one recognizes you or gets wind of your plan, we’re in the clear. Luckily, the five players we’ll break down with bold predictions are former college starts turned MLB youngsters still waiting to make a name for themselves in The Show. Many are sleeping on them, but not us. Not today.

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As we head into the start of conference play in college baseball, I got to thinking about the first time I attended a conference. I was about seven years old, and my parents dragged me along to some three-day event where adults listen to four-eyed people drone on for hours about this and that and all the hoopla in the world. As a child, I was demoted to the childcare room, where I drew pictures while making a friend named Sean. Think of it as conference play, but with a twist. Where Sean is now, I don’t know, but happy trails, good buddy. At the end of the weekend, I never wanted to attend a conference again, although I did want to know what a “delegate” was. In college baseball, there are nine more conference weekends to enjoy after the first is done. Luckily for me, my relationship with conference play evolved dramatically in the 20-plus years since. Thankfully, that allows me to provide you, dear Razzballers, with yet another Collegiate Corner update as non-con competition winds down on the weekends. We’ll open with a two-way star that’s setting the college ranks on fire, followed by updates on a handful of other draft hopefuls.

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