Welcome to the post where I copy and paste…er…uh…I mean rerank the Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is a fantasy prospect list – not a real one. Therefore ergo such and such, you get the drift. I’ll say this about my rankings approach – I tend to chunk it and don’t get too caught up in ranks that are close to one another. So if you want to debate #35 versus #36 I’m going to have to put you in a timeout where you can debate yourself. I’m sure you are all master debaters. Anyhoo, I try not to let the first half of this season completely change the scouting reports we came in with at the beginning of the year. Then again, you do have to take this season into consideration, along with recent signings. Also, these are composite ranks averaged between myself and my five alternate personalities. My doctor says it’s healthy to include them in this process. It’s all an extremely complex algorithm that involves me, a bowl of cold spaghetti marinara, and a clean white wall. Oh, and one more thing…I don’t include players that I expect to exceed the rookie limits this year. That’s 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched for those keeping score. Not trying to waste your time on players that likely won’t be prospects in the fall. On to the list…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kristian Robinson (4-for-4 with a double) is slashing .307/.405/.592 with five homers in 25 games for Short-A Hillsboro. He’s one of the sexy prospects that I overlooked in the preseason and now he’s making me pay for it. Granted Robinson is only 18 years old, but his power and speed ceilings are fun to dream on. I’m not too keen on his strikeout rate (28%) but that’s probably more a reflection of his age than anything else. In the preseason, I comped him to Eloy Jimenez. That might seem crazy given he plays center and has wheels, but I think he’ll fill out and slide over to right in the long run. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yup, so we’re just chugging right along here in minor league land. There were/are plenty of games yesterday, today, and tomorrow for those of you who can’t go a day without baseball. While we were all watching Albombso win the Derby Monday night, Atlanta Braves first base prospect Bryce Ball made his own statement with a pair of homers in the Appy league. That’s seven on the year in seventeen games, hitting .373 with eleven walks to nine strikeouts. That’s the real good stuff from a lefty bat who was drafted in the – let me check my notes here – yup, drafted in the 24th round last month. 727th overall if you’re keeping score. Bryce is a big boy and obviously old for Rookie ball at 21, but here’s a fine example of why prospects are cool, this is all guesswork, and if you talk about prospects in absolutes you usually end up looking like a complete idiot. So hedge your bets. Keep your arms healthy, your mind open, and drink a cold Coor’s Light while you watch a full slate of MiLB games today. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re about halfway through the marathon folks. I hope for real that your teams are doing well. Wait, who am I kidding? You read Razzball. Of course your teams are doing well! This is the month we celebrate our independence from the evil French, from whom we captured many an airport in the early 1700s to win the war of 1812. When I reflect on my country, I usually do so in blissful ignorance of how things actually work while I drink beer and narrowly avoid catastrophic injury via fireworks. Is there any other way? Heading into July, here are the prospects I think have the best chance of promotion and an impact for redraft leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Padres prospect MacKenzie Gore continues to dominate in High-A. The 20-year-old lefty struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings last night, lowering his 2019 ERA to 1.02. He now has 110 punch outs in 79 innings pitched and is holding lefties and righties to averages of .122 and .141 respectively. While I do think he’ll earn a promotion to Double-A in the second half of this season, it probably won’t be until next year that he’ll impact fantasy teams, maybe even earning a spot in the rotation a la Chris Paddack. The only thing that might stall his arrival is the fact that the Padre rotation is already lefty heavy. That’s picking nits though. If Gore pitches with anything close to this type of success in Double-A, it’ll be hard not to see what he’s got in spring training next year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Put on a nice shirt. Floss. I meant your teeth. Stop doing that stupid dance. Get serious. You need to look presentable when he comes to save your fantasy rotation. He’s Jesus Luzardo and he’s the cat’s pajamas. The real nice ones with the pockets. Luzardo is still building up after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the first half of the season, but in Thursday’s start at Triple-A he threw 66 pitches over five innings. There shouldn’t be too much further to go from here before he’s able to join the Athletics rotation, which is where we thought he’d be back in March. My guess is he’ll be promoted after two, maybe three more starts, or shortly after the All-Star Break. Luzardo was the headliner in Grey’s buy column this past Friday, and outside of maybe Dylan Cease, there aren’t many impact pitching prospects left in the minors for this season. So accept Jesus in your heart and on your fantasy team. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tampa prospect Wander Franco (2-for-3 with a steal) was promoted to High-A this week at the ripe old age of eighteen. If he finishes out the year there, he could start the 2020 season at Double-A and a promotion to the bigs at nineteen wouldn’t be crazy talk. There’s not much to say about Franco that hasn’t already been said. He’s the best prospect in baseball with the chance to contribute in all five (or six) offensive cats. The big news here is that the promotion makes him the youngest player in High-A by a fair amount. The next youngest players are nineteen, there are only four of them in all of High-A, and they all play for the Padres. Fun facts for your next office birthday bash. Tell Karen that no the cake is not gluten free and yes she should stop referring to her cats as her “fur babies”. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m a stone’s throw from Cleveland, and a lot of the talk on the radio (that isn’t about the Browns) is about when the heck the Tribe is going to promote Bobby Bradley. He’s been featured in my stash lists two months in a row and has just been crushing it for Triple-A Columbus (24 dingers, hitting .290+). Chief Wahoo is working his magic from beyond the grave because apparently the prayers have been answered. With Leonys Martin DFA’d, today’s a great day to bring up the young slugger and see what he can do. Bradley has always lurked in the Top 100 lists, so I doubt he’s available in your dynasty league. It’s possible he’s on the wire in redrafts however. BB has a lot of swing and miss in his game so don’t expect a pretty average or K-rate in the bigs. But he’s cheap power, and even with everybody and their brother hitting 40 homers nowadays, the potential for 20+ homers down the stretch is still useful. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been a few moons since I caught a Trenton Thunder game. Is Katmandu still a thing? “The Kat” was one of those clubs you’d hit after the ball game. It literally shared a parking lot with the stadium along the Trenton waterfront. But god almighty, you’d better leave before the house lights came on. You did not want a good look at the 45-year-old divorcee you’d been grinding on. Karen!? What brings you here? Aren’t you my son’s teacher? Anyhoo, big news out of Trenton last night. Yankees pitching prospect Deivi Garcia struck out fifteen Flying Squirrels. Yes, that’s the name of a minor league baseball team. I have the greatest job on the planet. Garcia is now rocking an even 3.00 ERA with 67 punch outs in 42 innings pitched since being promoted to Double-A. Let’s see, where did I rank this guy in my preseason Yankees Top 10? Nowhere! Excellent. Wonderful. He wasn’t on my radar. If your league mates are like me (god I hope not) and slept on Garcia, he might be available for a scoop in dynasty formats. Redrafts? Sorry, but I don’t think he’ll be up this year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…fade Usher’s Yeah! and cue the house lights…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Short-season ball kicked off on Friday, allowing us to dig even deeper into the prospect player pool for some performance data. Short-season is a melting pot of players. You’ll get your injury recovery guys, your recent draftees, and your teenagers getting their first taste of pro ball. It’s also a great season to follow if you happen to live close to one of these parks. Small, intimate stadiums, cheap prices, good food, and good baseball. That’s what it’s all about, especially if you’re a dad teaching your son or daughter about the Game for the first time. By and by, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this today. Here’s what’s happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The White Sox front office announced that top pitching prospect Dylan Cease could be up in July. My guess is it will be post All-Star Break, which by and by is the perfect time to make roster moves while the rest of your league is in rest mode. Cease is one of my favorite pitching specs, even though he hasn’t had the best of seasons in Triple-A (4.10 ERA) and his player photo looks like a second grader who was told to say ‘cheese’. I still think Cease is one of the best stashes for the second half of 2019 and will eventually round into a 2/3 starter in the majors. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m becoming increasingly infatuated with Zac Gallen. Like any good researcher, I’ll first call attention to a significant bias. I could chuck a rock from my hometown and hit his hometown. South Jersey for the win. But home cooking aside, Gallen is currently the best pitcher in Triple-A, and it isn’t particularly close. This year that kind of dominance is especially impressive. Triple-A started using the same juiced ball as MLB, and the Pacific Coast League of Triple-A was already notoriously friendly to hitters. To quote a caller from the Mike Francesa show on Friday: “They took the juice out of the players and put it into the ball.”
We’ll dive deeper into the specifics of Gallen’s performance after the jump. In the meantime, take a hard look at stashing Gallen in all formats if you haven’t already done so. He’s begun to appear in Grey’s buy column, and has been a member of both the May and June stash lists. Consider today’s individual spotlight on Gallen similar to the giant neon sign I put up about Austin Riley a few weeks ago.Please, blog, may I have some more?