Just as we start to pick up speed with the Twins, the prospect preview train comes grinding to a halt with a mediocre Orioles system. I think the horse from Ren and Stimpy said it best – no sir…I don’t like it. I skipped many a Sunday morning church service in favor of watching new episodes of R&S. I seem to be no worse for wear, except that when my kids ask me about their faith I usually dodge the question by offering to sell them some rubber nipples. With just two (questionable) Grade A prospects, this is the rubber nipple of minor league systems. I’m about to do my best to sell it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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The first year player draft is an annual event for dynasty leagues, especially the really deep ones where everybody and their brother is already owned. They consist of players from the previous season’s draft and any international signings. These rankings will sometimes include MLB-ready prospects from abroad, and they’ll be relevant in standard redraft leagues. I’m spending a little extra time with the top ten, and next week the rest of the top 50 will roll out. That should get you through at least the first few rounds of a first year player draft. I’ve played in some really deep dynasty leagues and the approach changes dramatically depending on your competitive window, your draft position, and how many picks you have (some people collect FYPD picks like an 80’s kid collects Pogs). These rankings don’t take any of that into account and instead occur in a vacuum. I tend to value hitters over pitchers, hit tools over every other tool, and up-the-middle defenders over other positions. Also, these rankings consider 2018 performances in addition to the players’ scouting grades (some fared better than others in their first go at pro ball).Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve learned several important lessons in my adult life. Cheez-its are the ideal snack. Lauder’s whisky is just as good as the expensive stuff. Children want you to spend time with them. And yet, soaking Cheez-its in whisky to sneak it into the movie that you’re attending with your children is somehow not a sound plan. Oh, and Byron Buxton is probably not the next Mike Trout. Lessons learned. This year’s Minnesota preview was really hard to whittle down to ten. There’s a nice balance between high upside guys, specs that are close, and some decent pitching. It’s just a good, deep system. Good and deep like the flavor of Lauder’s Blended Scotch Whiskey. This intro has been brought to you by Lauder’s Blended Scotch Whisky. I present the Minnesota Twins top ten fantasy prospects for your disapproval.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re in a bit of a lull today with the offseason leagues winding down and the winter meetings set to start tomorrow, but there have been a few interesting transactions involving prospects. Next week’s rundown should be a tad meatier once the teams depart Vegas and have (hopefully) made some trades/moves. One of the teams that is kind of fascinating to watch right now is the Miami Marlins. I would expect them to move J.T. Realmuto this offseason (maybe this week), and I’d also expect the return to be centered around prospects. The team is obviously in rebuild mode, and since they’re not likely to be ready to compete in 2020, it makes no sense for them to hold the backstop. So let’s start with Miami, who signed a bunch of players to minor league contracts last Monday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was born just days after the 1980 World Series – a match between my beloved Phils and the focus of this minor league preview…the Kansas City Royals. Since I wasn’t really conscious, I totally missed out on perhaps the two greatest third basemen of all time (yeah I see you Brooks) going head to head. I do have old pictures though. My favorite is Schmidt and Brett clinking glasses with what appears to be spiked lemonade while sitting in director’s chairs and leaning on baseball bats. I don’t think the next George Brett is in this year’s KC system. In fact, the Royals are limited to only one Grade A prospect (a recently drafted pitcher) and half of this year’s list fell into the ‘C’ tier. So it’s not exactly a powerhouse. But hey, at least the Royals provided (in my opinion) the greatest moment of the 2018 season…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Baseball is beautiful and the thing I love the most about it is its minor league system. If you suck, there are a bunch of young, hungry players chomping at the bit to come up and take your job. But ETAs are difficult to pinpoint, and some players get straight up prosblocked. Some teams stir things up before spring training is even on our minds by simply saying sayonara to players at the non-tender deadline. So let’s discuss some of the major prospects that “won” on Friday thanks to a guy in front of him on the depth chart packing their bags. One small disclaimer…the offseason is still young, and a player could get signed or traded for, creating a situation where we’re right back to square one. Also, most of these players have been discussed by Grey (the guy who keeps his mustache beyond November) for their 2019 redraft value, so I’ve included links to his takes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If your holiday wish list included a whatever minor league system comprised mostly of right-handed pitching prospects, then strap the eff in and thank Santy Claus for the Detroit Tigers. Speaking of which, what’s the hot gift this year? When I was a youngster I would get pretty jazzed if there was a Starting Lineup figure under the tree. I had all the greats…Randall Cunningham, Reggie White, Mike Schmidt, Von Hayes, and of course Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian. Naturally, I didn’t know you aren’t supposed to take them out of their original packaging, so they ended up in violent skirmishes with Han Solo, Skeletor, and The Ultimate Warrior. Hey! I wonder if any of these Tigers prospects will end up with their own action figure? Nah!Please, blog, may I have some more?
You’re probably on your third straight day of eating turkey-based meals, dealing with annoying relatives, staying out of a cold drizzle, and/or shopping in full body armor. Let’s brighten up your Sunday by flying south to the Dominican Republic, where baseball is being played as we speak. LIDOM (which is what cool kids call the Dominican League) is actually pretty entertaining if you can find a stream somewhere. It’s a mix of non-MLBers, prospects of yesteryear, and legit current MLB prospects that you’ll find on the Top 100 lists. There’s also cheerleaders and exciting announcers! They make cans of corn to left field sound like Game 7 of the World Series. The AFL is as dried up as that turkey in your mom’s fridge, so let’s look in on some of the prospects in the DR.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s Thanksgiving Eve! After New Year’s, this is my favorite amateur hour for drunkards. No Karen, you shouldn’t take nine Fireball shots at Buffalo Wild Wings just because you have a four-day weekend…you need to be up bright and early to watch the people lip syncing show tunes in the cold. It’s only fitting that on this magical holiday we celebrate the minor league system of the Indians. According to my history textbook, Christopher Columbus flew to Newark in 1962. There, he met the Indians and together they shared a fantastic feast of pork roll and cheese and that’s why we trample each other for video game consoles today. In what’s easily the biggest move of the baseball offseason, the Indians of Cleveland have non-tendered Chief Wahoo, who coincidentally organized that original Thanksgiving feast but apparently was also an extreme racist. It’s about time the Tribe cut ties with the image of that awful man. Here’s Cleveland’s top ten fantasy prospects according to Mike, a man who knows very little but tries very much.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Arizona Fall League is a lot like my romantic relationships – short-lived, dry, and rarely televised. Yesterday’s championship game marked the end of the 2018 AFL season. We laughed, we cried, but mostly we paid attention to football instead. It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s basically Christmas, which means it’s basically spring. Time flies when your public water supply is spiked. January Grey will be here before you know it with projections for all the good boys/five girls and pop-up ads for all the bad ones. Small sample sizes aside, the AFL is basically a showcase for top prospects, so the ones who stood out warrant our attention. They’re the creme de la creme fraiche. So let’s take one last look back at the AFL leaders before we put these desert specs on ice and fly south to the Caribbean.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I like this White Sox club *dodges tomato*. Geez, that one wasn’t even ripe! Harsh. Seriously though. Hear me out. You’ve got the anchor at first with Abreu. That’s a solid middle infield of Moncada and Anderson. And you’ve got three decent arms to build around in Rodon, Lopez, and Giolito. If Kopech weren’t recovering from Tommy John, he’d have been a good bet to join them (spoiler: he”ll still rank somewhere on this list). But Mike, that’s only like six players. That’s true my over-the-internet-friend-holding-an-unripened-kumquat. But this is where our prospect list comes into play. The reinforcements are on the move, and right now this system has arguably the best outfield prospect in baseball scheduled to arrive in early 2019. Am I predicting they win the Central? Nah, I still think that’ll go to the Tribe. But I’ll bet Chicago leapfrogs the Twins and Tigers and puts together a winning record.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Luis Robert will rank highly in the White Sox top ten, which happens to be the system on deck to publish here. The outfielder extended his AFL hit streak to 14 games on Friday with three hits, two runs, and a steal for good measure. This raised his average to .386 – good for second in the league behind Tyler Nevin. Where you at Vlad Jr.? Step it up! Robert is an easy like for fantasy players with the ability to contribute in all five categories. He draws comps to fellow Pale Hoser Yoan Moncada, and while the profile right now is centered around his speed, he projects to trade some of that for power as he matures. With only one week left in the Arizona Fall League, there’s a good chance he’ll finish as one of this year’s top performers, sending his offseason stock even higher. Here’s what else happened in the desert this week…Please, blog, may I have some more?