Let’s just get this out of the way, my name is Ralph Lifshitz Esq., and I am an A.J. Preller fan boy. It hasn’t always been this way. Oh no, at one point I was just like you, wide-eyed and lost in his trades of the 2015 offseason. I appreciated the 2016 exodus of MLB stars, as Preller added top talents like Manuel Margot, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Anderson Espinoza. But where Preller really hooked me was the 2016 July 2nd International period. Over the duration of that signing window Preller landed the top rated Dominican talent in Luis Almanzar, Cuban starters Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Ronald Bolanos, in addition to Jorge Ona, Tirso Ornelas, Jession Rosario, Jordy Barley, and today’s focus Gabriel Arias. At least four of these talents have found their way into various versions of my Top 100 and Top 200, while I was on Arias early, he was merely a mention earlier this offseason in my 2018 Dynasty Sleepers list. Since then, Arias has shipped off to the land down under to further hone his craft, with a head full of zombie. No word on whether there’s any truth to the rumor that a man from Brussels handed him a Vegamite sandwich. Anyway, here’s why Gabirel Arias is a 2018 Dynasty Sleeper.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Player projections for each of the next 7 days. A kick-ass DFS lineup optimizer and projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!.
Alright Cincinnati, let’s just get this out of the way, your chili is gross, but your prospects are tasty. With high picks over the last few years, and a definite Cuban connection, the Reds have done well to add to their farm system of late. Their first round drafting over the last two seasons in particular has been a source of real talent, adding Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jeter Downs. While the days of highly volatile upside starters seem to be over, there’s still some upside arms to dream on, Tony Santillan specifically. With Tyler Mahle, Senzel, and Jesse Winker all in the mix for gigs on the major league squad out of camp, there’s some higher end close to the majors talent here too. I may not have any Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees takes, but I got plenty of Top Cincinnati Reds prospects to talk up. After all it’s the 2018 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Preview.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Legit, nothing happened for about five weeks since the end of the season. Literally. I went into such a vegetative state, a farmer, in overalls, walked by me, poked my eye and said, “This spud won’t be ready for a few more weeks.” Then I thought about how much a farmer is like a pimp. You don’t see them much, except when with their hoes. They work rain and shine and they hate the movie, Food, Inc. Okay, maybe they’re not that similar. Then I went back into my vegetative state. During the offseason, I’m like a landlocked Delaware. Any hoo! We have some offseason moves to speak on — Choir at black church, “Speak!” Dee Gordon was traded to the Mariners because Jerry Dipoto got a call from his mother that went like this, “How many titles did Theo Epstein have by the time he was your age?” Jerry Dipoto put down the phone, turned to a mirror and yelled, “You’re better than this!” The Mariners have tried this whole center field SAGNOF gambit before: Jarrod Dyson, Chone Figgins. All a play to get back to the days of wine and roses and Ichiros? Maybe. Trading for a guy turning 30 in April who relies on his legs seems to be a meh move — mehve? — but we’re here for the fantasy. Last year, Gordon stole a league-high 60 bags, though Hamilton had an award-winning musical. Gordon’s line drive rate was up year over year, but he did have a PEDs suspension, so not much to learn there. His batted ball profile is eerily similar for the last few years, and I see no reason why anything would change in 2018. He’s going to be playing center field now, which should make for some interesting relay throws involving the entire outfield, but that won’t affect Gordon’s hitting. For 2018, I’l give him the projections 108/2/36/.292/54 in 633 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well look at us, we have the Braves, and now the White Sox systems done and it’s only December 3rd. I guess it’s all down hill from here, no? We’ve covered the top two systems, and the World Series ended just about a month ago. Damn, I’m going to have to hustle to make the rest of this series entertaining. Perhaps I should write in all caps all the time. Then again that might be difficult to read after awhile. Instead I’ll go about my business of bringing you my thoughts on as many minor league players as I can stomach. As for the White Sox they are the only team with three players in my top 20 prospects (Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, and Luis Robert). However, the really interesting slant to that narrative is, none of them were in the system this time last year. No team, not the Braves nor the Padres, has done so much to restock their system. Not only do they have some close to the majors talent on both sides of the ball, they also have good depth, with no shortage of power-hitting. I went 17 deep today, but probably could have gone 25-30 if I wasn’t so lazy. The White Sox graduated Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito last year, with some players like Carson Fulmer just slipping under their limits. It’s an understatement to say the youth movement is on in the South Side. A looming Jose Abreu trade may fetch even more talent to a system already bursting at the seams. But for that news we wait and see. It’s the 2018 Chicago White Sox Top Prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate using the term sleeper, it means so many different things to different people. I recognize that there’s a wide spectrum of knowledge amongst my readership. So to some of you the Yankees Jorge Guzman is a sleeper, but to other’s he’s not. That said, with the ease I added Guzman in my 16-20 team leagues this Fall, I’m willing to go out on a limb from first hand experience, and slap and big ole ZZZZZZZ… label on Guzman. Over the last few months if you follow the minors leagues, The Yankees, or more specifically the Yankees minor leaguers in the Arizona Fall League, then you’ve probably heard all about Justus Sheffield and Albert Abreu, but more specifically Sheffield. A lot. Justus got the BX Bump (which is also a great interracial porn film BTW). If you’re a Yankees fan staying hip to all the up and coming prospects, then you’re probably aware of Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, and Dillon Tate. I’m sure you read about Guzman too, but I’m willing to guess the next statement might shatter all of you pre-conceived notions about the Yankees current minor league pitching oligarchy. Jorge Guzman is the best pitching prospect the Yankees have. That’s it, post over. I led you to the cliff only to push you off and leave. I have Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa shopping to do… I’M JUST PLAYING BABY! Of course I wouldn’t have left you without some gems to help you. Here’s why Jorge Guzman might be a player to target in off-season dynasty leagues in 2018.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The once mighty Cubs system is no more. What was once the premier talent pool of young prospects, is now little more than a glorified waiting room for long shot arms, and future fringe MLB regulars. Not to be confused with Future’s M.O.B Regulators, which is a mix tape made entirely in Future’s bathroom following an aggressive lunch at a local Chi-Fil-A. In fact if you listen hard enough, you’ll catch a half dozen flushes between mumbled vocals. That’s all besides the point though, you’re here to get up to speed on the Cubs farm system, and the never-ending list of projectable starting pitchers that litter their list at the moment. So this begs the question… Am I low on the Cubs system? Ahhhh, does a frog bump it’s ass when it hops? Of course I’m low on the Cubs system it’s a bunch of projectable arms! Have you even read me before brah? I hate projectable arms for fantasy! Cause they’re always projecting, and breaking, and breaking, and projecting!! Then again after spending the better part of the week digging into it, there are some bright spots, as well as a handful of breakout candidates. It’s the Top Cubs Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy weird nether land between Thanksgiving and Christmas just known as holidays. But not in the “Happy holidays” way that pisses off my Aunt on Facebook. No room for Red Cup anger in this piece, there’s important news to discuss. Not sure if you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, but something is amiss in the A-T-L. At the moment 13 prospects from the past few international classes have been declared free agents, including big names like Kevin Maitan, Yunior Severino, Abraham Gutierrez, and Livan Soto. To sort through all this madness I’ve brought on one of the few people on the planet that’s had eyes on a majority of these prospects. That man is Jason Woodell of Prospectstorm.com, Prospect 1500, and @jasonatthegame on the Twitter machine. Jason and I discuss the penalties, repercussions, and the potential outcomes. Jason then goes player by player, giving you scouting reports on each of the fantasy worthy names among players released. Truth be told, the audio is a little rough, Jason was traveling for Thanksgiving, and made the call from the car. Enjoy the smooth sounds of the road.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s with heavy hearts that we bid adieu to the dynamic duo of Halph. That’s right, it is with great sadness that I inform our listening public that Michael Halpern has moved on to the high stakes world of Bird Law. Our once loyal podcast host is needed by our feathered friends. Remember loyal listeners, bird law in this country is not governed by reason. With that said, the one the only Lance Brozdowski will be joining me as my permanent co-host until, he too grows up. I’m Peter Pan y’all, not to worry, old Ralphie ain’t going nowhere. Unfortunately Lance is unavailable until after Thanksgiving, so you got me for at least an episode. In today’s show I touch on Peoria’s stacked Arizona Fall League team. As well as my thoughts on Luis Urias, Mitch Keller, Kyle Lewis, and Eric Filia. It’s sure to be more Endorphin Ralph than you can handle. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The concept is simple: phrase hypothetical scenarios where events that didn’t happen actually did, or events that did happen actually didn’t (I’m already confused). Detailing how these changes – or lack thereof – would have impacted the coming 2018 fantasy baseball season creates some interesting “what ifs”.
What if Giancarlo Stanton didn’t adjust his mechanics?
For anybody with an idea of what Giancarlo Stanton looked like in the box from years prior, his shift from June to July of 2017 was noticeable – very noticeable. While I often find more satisfaction in subtle changes – 2017 Chris Taylor comes to mind – if a change pushes said player into the MVP discussion, I put my particulars aside.
I’ve always found Stanton’s motions in the box exceptionally rhythmic. Flat bat, considerable bat speed, two-handed follow through with a uniquely refined path to contact that creates head-scratching home runs like this one.
Stanton closed off his stance considerably, becoming an aesthetic comp to Adrian Beltre, plus 20 pounds and six inches (of height – get your mind out of the gutter!). “TewksbaryHitting.com” has a nice breakdown of this evolution, despite having nothing to do with Barry Manilow or whatever a “tewk” is. Their freeze frame gif captures the gradual rotation of Stanton’s upper body prior to the pitch, making his numbers more visible to the pitcher.Please, blog, may I have some more?