I hate to be rude, so I won’t be Brash in the truest sense, but Seattle pitcher Matt Brash will make this list, so Brash this list will be. 

The individual predictions, however, are a step below that. I can’t exactly call them reasonable predictions for 2022, but I do think these are all within the realm of reason, and I think those kinds of predictions tend to be a little more sticky and useful than the boldest ones.

I hope you’ll join me in the speculatory fun. What are your most reasonably brash predictions for the coming season? Which of these seems most bold to you? (Thanks for reading! I’ll tally everything in this piece up for an article next season, so if you want to get something on the record to amplify your human memory, here is a place to do it.) 

Now into the future we go! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.

Let’s bring this thing home!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holy cow do I miss writing these. 

Actual prospect news? Yes, please!

PS: We’ll circle back to round out the Top 100 on Sunday. 

PPS: I’m building an overall dynasty rankings set, and it’s already a scramble to stay ahead of the draft room in the Highlander Dynasty Invitational. I feel like Indiana Jones running from a rock. We’re on pick 34 as I type this part, and I only feel really good about my rankings through pick 50 or so. I’m at 143 in terms of building the list from scratch. Wish me luck, dear reader, as this hallway is narrow, and my computer time is scarce. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I kept getting lost in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Nolan Gorman is definitively a better prospect than George Valera if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Here’s a link to the Top 25

And here’s a link to the Top 50

Drumroll please and away we go!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I kept getting lost in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that George Kirby is definitively a better prospect than Nick Lodolo if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Here’s a link to the Top 25 before we roll on down the mountain. 

Drumroll please and away we go!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Drumroll please and away we go!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If MLB implements a Universal Designated Hitter as expected this season, the new rule will impact more than just the lumbering gloveless wonders. A Universal DH opens up playing time for people all over the field, especially in the era of load management. If the DH spot adds something like 650 plate appearances, I suspect most teams will divide that up among several players. 

Seems important to note that some of this work will be obliterated or at least obfuscated by free agent signings shortly after the lockout ends. 

I could have sorted these guys out team-by-team, but I can be kind of a moron and wanted to go player-by-player instead. Things got messy in a hurry, but the completionist in me is pleased with the results: a document ranking just about every National League prospect who figures to benefit from the Universal DH. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last year around this time, we were all bright-eyed and razzy-tailed youths looking forward to a fresh new season through the lens of a fresh new format: The RazzSlam, a collection of 12-team best ball leagues to determine who is the Razziest baller of them all.  

I did what I could to find my way through the field and wrote about it here in Attack on RazzSlam: The Itch’s Final Draft Rundown. 

Mistakes were made. I drafted 19 pitchers, which is fine, especially considering the pitchers I got: Logan Webb at pick 447, Alex Reyes at 399, Trevor Rogers at 346, Jake McGee at 327, Dylan Cease at 303 . . . Hey, how come I didn’t win this league? 

Well, outfield weakness, for starters. Christian Yelich at 2.15 was not fun. Conforto at pck 63. Teoscar at 82 and Buxton at 134 were fine, but in general, I was short on corner bats (had Dom Smith, Andrew Vaughn, Eric Hosmer at 1B) and short on outfield bats. Was also weak at catcher: Vazquez, Tom Murphy and Torrens oh my. 

In most roto leagues, I think you can cover a weak spot with a strong one. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the RazzSlam, so I guess that was our blueprint heading into the draft: have good players at every position. Seems simple enough. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In case you missed the opening frames, here’s a link to the Top 25 Relief Pitcher Prospects for Dynasty Fantasy Baseball in 2022.

Of all the positions I’ve ranked, this one feels the strongest from 26-50, relatively speaking, held up against the elite players at that position in the majors. For example, Eric Orze could be pitching late innings in front of Edwin Diaz as early as April this year. Domingo Acevedo is at 26 here, and he could be universally rostered as the closer in Oakland at some point this season. Not, like, a one percent chance, either. We’re talking 25-plus percent, in my opinion. In a saves-only league, I’d have him on speed dial and maybe stashed away in my minors. Heck, they could clean house in the bullpen shortly after Wayne and Garth say “Game On.” Relief is a wonky endeavor. Wyatt Mills was cartoonishly dominant in AAA, with a 38.6 percent K-BB rate. It feels endless. You click in to watch someone then see a different guy come in throwing fire and have to go look him up. Rinse repeat. Lotta nasty stuff in the game today. Tough time to be a hitter. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The great thing about studying relievers is you only have to focus a half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. The bad thing about studying relievers is you can only do so half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. 

This year’s relief article involved more legwork than any before for a number of reasons, one being the void where pro baseball used to be. But it’s more than just the lockout, of course. My processes in general have evolved over time, and now I’m fast enough moving in and out of the game logs, finding the right inning to jump toward on the time scroll. I’m better at eyeballing what inning looks like it might be the sixth, just given the size of that time-scroll along the bottom. I feel like Dr. Who. Time and space are limitations of the past. I watched three weeks of Indigo Diaz’s career the other day, just in between and alongside doing other stuff: making bacon for my daughter, jotting down the bones of a lesson plan, writing a relief pitcher article in a separate window, doom-scrolling the socials on my phone, flipping the eggs, clicking back in as Diaz encounters some early wildness, digging for the next game, three days later in a different city, finding where he entered the game, and zooming to that moment in my tardis (laptop). 

Yes, dear reader, it’s a brave new world out there. Some of these MILB.tv feeds are terrible, mind you. Blimp view. My 2D video game brain is okay with it, like playing an RBI Baseball match-up on Nintendo: Clemens v. Tudor, but that’s so much more than I could’ve seen 25 years ago when I was 13 and burrowing deep into the baseball universe for the first time. Really seeing it from the ground up for the first time. My dad took us to see the Clinton Lumberkings when we were very young. Got some cards signed. And I guess the dig actually began in 1989, when my brother and I traded the Upper Deck Rookie Cards of Ken Griffey Jr. and a Gary Sheffield for the Upper Deck Rookie Card of . . . drumroll . . . Jerome Walton. I was six. I would, obviously, remember it forever. 33 years later, here we are. Sorry for the old-guy anecdote. It’s just, I couldn’t believe the breadth of my powers this week, compared to my powers then. I am defeated by time in so many other, very real ways, and yet, here I am, farting in its general direction as I prepare what has become my favorite article to create every year. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Woe be to ye who love pitching prospects in dynasty baseball. Seriously. No fun to learn the hard way how tricky it is to trade a big-named pitching prospect in a strong dynasty or keeper league. Even tricker to graduate them as mainstays of a winning staff. 

I already discussed a fair bit of this in the Top 25 Starting Pitcher Prospects for Dynasty Fantasy Baseball in 2022Hitters fail, too, but they can typically be traded earlier and later than pitchers in their minor league career arc. Pitchers can be traded the week or month they get called up and then again if they’ve been really good as rookies. If you’re lucky enough to land an Alek Manoah type, you probably don’t want to trade him anyway. The Daniel Lynch types can still be moved for pennies on the dollar, but they’ve have lost at least half the perceived value they had as top 25 prospects, which, again, isn’t much in a real strong dynasty league where everyone has been burned by enough pitchers to recount the scars. 

I really should be more positive in this intro, but honestly a lot of this group is made up of players I’d trade away in a heartbeat yin my leagues. Let’s look ’em over. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To win most dynasty leagues, especially ones that have been around for a few years, you need elite pitching. In my experience, farming prospects is not the most efficient way to accrue elite pitchers. It can work in fits and starts, but you’ll probably need to supplement your staff via the trade market, swapping sizzling young bats for established WHIP suppressors. This winter I saw Elly De La Cruz and Andy Pages traded for Tarik Skubal, and that’s a fun version of this kind of trade: huge upside all around, good chance both teams are happy with it in two years. In my spot on the win curve, I prefer Skubal, but I see the rationale for getting two topside hitters, who you could argue should be swapped instead for an older arm with a better WHIP history. Gotta throw them bones sometimes to win it all. No such thing as a risk-free trade. 

A third way is to never pay for pitching. I’ve yet to put it into function, but I’d like to try it someday. I’ve developed a skill (or perceived skill, anyway, good fight confidence in the words of Shea Serrano) for scooping the Quantrills and Gausmans of the world at the right moment. I also like looking for the Luis Garcia types. This year’s candidates include Cody Morris, Jayden Murray, Jacob Lopez, and Matt Canterino, among others, and I’m holding last year’s versions like Peyton Battenfield and Joe Ryan. I think maybe this is the way, especially in deep leagues where it’s exceptionally hard to build a well-rounded offense, but I’d be nervous to try it in full. Probably I’d break down and start looking for veteran arms on the cheap. Adam Wainwright has been ridiculous the past two seasons, for example, though you could mark him as yet another reason to never really pony up for the big arm when a team in your league decides to shop Gerrit Gole or Max Scherzer. 

It’s hard for me to ignore that kind of moment. Feels like dynasty leagues are often decided in tiny windows when someone decides to make a big sell-off. Typically worth your hustle to get an offer in, even if just to provide some kind of competition in the pricing. This is in an ideal world where you have any idea such a sell-off is happening. In my experience, it’s often kept secret until suddenly Trea Turner has been dealt for Blake Snell a half hour after the midnight trade deadline. Circling back the original thought, it might be better to just let it go. Over the past few years in a 15-teamer, I have traded for Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Shane Bieber, Chris Bassitt, Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, all shortly before their injury or, in Darvish’s and Snell’s case, their dip in production. The Buy High-Priced-Pitching strategy has not been kind to me. The toll of talent lost is incredible: Vlad Junior, Bo Bichette, Ozzie Albies, Julio Urias, Will Smith the Dodger and Byron Buxton (who also brought back Lance Lynn). Brutal. I still won the league in 2021, but that was due to Quantrill, Ranger Suarez, Walker Buehler, Lance McCullers, and some clutch relief help from Kendall Graveman, Paul Sewald, Dylan Floro, Joe Barlow and Jake McGee. I only lay all this out to explain why I’m more in the pan-for-pitching camp than the pay-for-pitching one, so let’s grab our gear and start sifting through the waters. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?