Phillies top prospect Alec Bohm went yard for the first time this week. He’s off to a strong start with Lakewood in the Sally – hitting .311 with four doubles, three steals, and the dong. More importantly, he’s walking at a 15% clip with a .400 on base percentage. After going 121 plate appearances in his pro debut last summer without a homer, this was a welcome display of power from the 22-year-old, who should advance quickly in the Phils system. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Tigers prospect Matt Manning threw another gem this week. That makes two great starts to kick off the 21-year-old’s 2019 campaign for Double-A Erie. In 12 innings pitched, the former first round pick now has 15 strikeouts compared to three walks and has allowed just one earned run on two hits. In deep formats, I’d consider stashing him away now in case the Tigers decide to promote. In shallow leagues, he’s a name to be familiar with if you’re desperate for pitching and don’t mind some rookie nookie later this summer. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…

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Nestled between Moldova and Romania, Gormania is also known as the land of offense. Its lone citizen – Nolan Gorman – rules this tiny country with a mighty bat. Some say he was born human. Others say he emerged fully grown from the earth – eyeblack applied. Still others remember seeing him appear one night in a glowing crater, as if sent from some far away planet where he was weaned on Dubble Bubble, Skoal, and beer by the baseball gods. Wherever he came from, Gorman appears to be special. After hitting two more homers – in consecutive innings – on Monday, Gorman is now slashing .306/.393/.605 with 19 home runs in 298 minor league plate appearances dating back to last summer. He’ll turn 20 in a month, and my guess is the Cards will push him to High-A by the end of this season. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…

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Garrett Hampson is hitting .053 with seven strikeouts in 19 plate appearances. With injuries to Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon, owners figured Hampson would at least get regular reps at second and maybe work his way out of the slump. Not so fast. Enter Pat Valaika. He got the start over Hampson at second yesterday. I like Hampson and I own him in a couple of leagues, but I’m running out of patience. In redrafts, I’d move on. In keepers, you might want to give him a longer lead. Here’s what else is happening in prospect news…

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I was going to call this series the prospect power rankings, but I decided it’s not really helpful to rank players when we all have different specific needs for our teams. What this monthly article will (try) to do is identify prospects in the minor leagues that you should be tracking and possibly even acquiring because they are close to the majors. April is a tricky month to project. This is because many of the prospects that were worthy of a call to the majors broke camp with their respective teams. On the other hand, it’s quite early for the remaining specs in the minors to get promoted, and the minor league season doesn’t even start until Thursday. To make the jump in the next three weeks, a prospect is either; (a) having their service time molested; or (b) replacing an injured/crappy player on the roster. That said, I do think there are a few prospects that could be up this month.

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No matter the format, prospects are going to enter into the fantasy equation at some point or another. Since covering prospects is the only reason they let me into the Razzball offices, it’s my job to help you make the most of them. This post will map out what you can expect from me this year as far as prospect coverage during the 2019 regular season. What you shouldn’t expect from me is competence, insight, sobriety, or a sense of humor. I’m glad we’ve got that out of the way.

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This is the “obvs!” edition of minor accomplishments. Most of this news shouldn’t be news to you, but several prospects saw their redraft stock fluctuate in the past seven days. Nick Senzel got the double whammy. First, he gets sent down to the minors. Then the Reds host an ill-timed ‘Bring Your Banana Peels To The Park Day’ and he rolls his ankle. That’s no way to run an organization if you ask me. Senzel was almost a sure bet when the Reds announced he’d be in the running for the center field gig. Then Scooter got injured, so certainly he’d at least make the roster. Nope! The Reds said, “Louisville is nice this time of year and we’re going to manipulate your service time like a homeless guy trying to fish a quarter out of a pay phone change return.” The good news is Senzel (if healthy) should be up as soon as late April. Here are a few other prospect-eligible players who have gained or lost this week.

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After 30 posts and some 300 prospects, we’ve reached the end of the minor league preview series for the year of our Lord Grey 2019. Our final preview is the Washington Nationals. This system isn’t all that strong, but it’s top heavy with two top 50 specs (one in the top ten) and a youngster who should rise quickly. The offseason prospect journey from the Astros to the Nats has been long and full of scotch. Good luck in your drafts and I’ll see you Wednesday for the beginning of our regular season prospect content.

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Do you like roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe? Do you find John Kruk both devilishly handsome and well spoken? Can you recite from memory Michael Jack Schmidt’s retirement speech, including the exact moment he breaks down in tears? Do you know what jawn means? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re a Phillies fan. This jawn is for yous. 

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The big club has a decent shot at the division this year, which is good – because the farm is looking lean. And not in that good “I’ve lost twenty pounds and can touch my toes again” lean. No, this is the lean where every other spec is a pitcher and even the top prospects don’t touch 60 with their overall grade. Will it matter? Maybe. It’s nice to build a contender and still have some big chips to trade during a run. But that’s asking for cake and eating it too. Sixto’s gone. That leaves last year’s draft pick as their best prospect. Meh. Grab a roast pork and let’s do this jawn.

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