My wife thinks I worry too much. It’s a fair criticism manifesting itself more plainly each day with our daughter. She’s a bit older than one, and I can’t help but freak out about every little way she’s about to hurt herself. I was raised by an insurance adjuster who taught me life was a booby-trap parade. I used to tell him he saw the world only in landmines. It’s inevitable you’ll walk the wrong way and blow some up, but by God you’d better try your best to avoid em. He never disagreed with this assessment. 

I mention this because every one of Atlanta’s prospects worries me. I see the reason for optimism in a lot of them, but if I took over a dynasty loaded up with Braves, I’d be shopping a lot of them before they fall on their ass and look at me crying like it’s my fault. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thanks to years of top-left acculturation, I planned to write about the NL East first, so it’s pure chance that we’re looking at the Washington Nationals the week they’re playing the World Series.

In other news, we’ll be covering the Houston Astros next.

Or the Yankees. 

Then back to the NL East, where I’m getting the Nats’ potential sadness out of the way before the Series just in case the balls bounce against them.

And it’s not so sad: one off-season with a weak minor league system–a totally acceptable outcome the year your team makes the final game, especially if you’re already seeing Juan Soto and Victor Robles under the big lights. Still, this system is not fun. This will not be the kind of article one reads to console oneself after a bad beat in game seven. 

Someone will be ranked fifth, and sixth, and whatnot, but that’s about the best we can say, so let’s go ahead and do the rankings even if it is something of a soul-siphoning endeavor. 

But keep in mind: this front office has a strong track record for finding and developing elite talent. Even if you don’t love anyone on this list, someone in the Washington brain trust probably does, and they’ve been doing pretty well for themselves. Might even be the most honorable organization in D.C., what with the promoting of prospects when they’re ready or needed–not when they’re maximally price-suppressed. I think that’s an underrated motivator for everyone involved–from scouts to coaches to players to mascots. 

Well, everyone but the mascots. I weep for the mascots. But not for the Nationals: a fun success story in the first year A.H. (After Harper)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Miami Marlins are a baseball team. I mean the sport they play is recognizably baseball. 

Other than that, there isn’t a lot of certainty in Miami. Even 2019 Whit-alike contest winner Jon Berti seems as likely to fall back as spring forward in 2020. 

Is it really darkest before the dawn?

Anyway, hope floats just off the coast. Er, inland, where Marlins affiliates are loaded with the fruits of an organizational tear-down that would’ve been vetoed in my home league. 

“Fruits” feels kind of extreme. Maybe we should call it the “eggplants” of an organizational tear-down. 

The eggplants for all-world Christian Yelich were players who do everything but hit, which seems to be something of a type for the Front Office helmed by Derek Jeter and Gary Denbo. They whiffed on Lewis Brinson who whiffs at everything, and they face a similar fate for everything in those Yelich and Stanton deals from two winters past unless someone (looking at you, Monte Harrison) changes their trajectory. 

Either way, even with those brutal trades, the Marlins are trending up thanks to a deep farm with rich soil for arms. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re a fan of a baseball team, chances are good at least one of your team’s coaches got fired this week. Maybe even the manager. Eleven Major League clubs don’t have one today.

And if you’re a fan of HBO’s Succession, you’ve been promised a “blood sacrifice” tonight.

This landscape littered with scapegoats is, ironically enough, a land of opportunity. Management wants to get young players on the field for extra cap-feathers on evaluation day. Look no further than San Diego, where Fernando Tatis and Chris Paddack may have saved A.J. Preller from a moment on the chopping block even though everyone else got canned.

All that is to say, even with service-time suppression suffocating our game, kids like these in the Top 150 can still come quick.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Everyone in the baseball world is keeping at least one eye on the postseason, and everyone has the same question: is A.J. Pierzynski likable now? He looks like a nice dude, no?

Maybe that’s just me.

Humans are definitely wondering about bat flips and unwritten rules, though. Especially Grey, who wanted me to delete all Braves from the list because that organization is the worst thing that’s happened to baseball since Grey touted Rudy’s Tout Wars success on Twitter.

Take heart, though, baseball fans. No matter how many bats get flipped this Fall, I’ll be here talking about all the good players our future selves can enjoy (unless they flip bats).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I teach in China for a month every summer, and all I really have access to for that month, entertainment wise, is baseball and whatever I can download or arrange ahead of time, so that leads to lots of podcasts and audio books.

The books I repeat most feature a certain group of young wizards invented by J.K. Rowling, and during this summer’s listen-through the whole Potter series, I had some new thoughts.

First, poor Filch. I mean what a awful gig that dude has. Whole castle full of magic, and he’s on his hands and knees scrubbing vomit and blood and snot and who knows what all.

Second, Summer for Harry Potter is a lot like Winter for baseball fans. Harry just sits around waiting for news. All. Summer. Long. So every little snippet of something takes on extra meaning. And The Daily Prophet has its head so far up it’s cauldron that even the snippets are just glances through a cracked mirror.

So who’s ready to fire up the rumor mill and speculate our way through the off-season!?

Not me.

I’m hanging onto Fall as long as possible.

If that appeals to you, let’s hop on a Thestral, fly over prospect country and pretend it’s still Summertime.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.

I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”

I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.” 

We’re in talks about a Sam Hilliard, Jorge Mateo spin-off/mash-up.

In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!

Review the top 25 here and the top 50 here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have played a game of Would You Rather using the entire prospect universe.

Or wait, am I thinking of the right game? Not that F, marry, kill game but the one where you have to decide on either/or propositions . . . there’s not sex stuff in that one, too, is there?

Sorry, I’ve been thinking about these young men a long time.

Hope you get some fun out of considering the sequence, reading some words, and playing your own (sex) games!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Arizona Fall League is essentially a month-long series of all-star games among prospects across several levels of minor league baseball. 2019 brings our first opportunity to react to the outcomes during the fantasy season, so let’s check in and see how the kids are playing.

Miami Marlins OF Jerar Encarnacion brought some helium out of the Futures Game and has started hot among this super-talented field. He’s a premium athlete who’s already gone yard once in Arizona and can put on a show in batting practice. Scouts have expecting a bounce with the bat any day now. I’d add now in deeper dynasty and keepers (300 or so minor leaguers owned) and track closely throughout Fall.

Please, blog, may I have some more?