It’s opening day!

The Arizona Fall League begins early this year, and I’m interested to see how the prospect fallout differs now that the kids aren’t the only ballgame in town. The previous iteration created a month-plus layoff for the arms, which was deemed a bad thing for reasons known to someone, presumably.

Fantasy leagues might be frozen already, transaction-wise, but if you’re in one that’s not, it’s sound strategy to fit some fall-league prospects into your build. I think the echo-chamber value-bounce has increased year-over-year as more and more prospectors make their way to Arizona for live looks. Last year, Jazz Chisholm went from borderline top 100 to top 30 range in just those few weeks. Nico Hoerner made his first professional noise and climbed the lists under this same bright spotlight. So who’s likely to get that shine this time around?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The playoffs just started in my home league: a ten-team mixer. And it’s great to make the playoffs and all, but something seems weird about deciding our season during the only month when the real team’s seasons are decided. It’s not that nothing’s at stake in the real games, but the greatest motivator for most organizations might be their draft slot: a significant number in this Collective Bargaining Agreement whereby regular season record dictates both amateur acquisition budgets: draft and international.

The other exigencies still in play—development and health—have a variety of impacts in our game. Clubs want to see their young players on the field, but they’d rather not see them get hurt. Most young pitchers are running out of innings, and a lot of the good pitchers are resting/planning for the playoffs. On the swinger side, the idea of an everyday player in September is . . . nice, as an idea. But as a general rule, you’re looking at a lot of off days.

They’re not for you: the off-days. In fact, players’ days off make more work for you, which is where a lot of these late-season prospects come into play: as newly stream-able entities. Maybe you’re a little tired in these twilight weeks. Maybe you’re giving your fantasies to football. That’s fine. The players are tired too. Might be the same for everyone, no? The world belongs to anyone who gets out of bed, so let’s kick that alarm-clock Rocky music and punch these carcass—er, ugh, weigh the merits of this week’s newly minted major leaguers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome back to the mad scramble that is September in the prospect world. The commotion is dying down like a house party with an empty keg, but there’s still ample opportunity to make a connection, to link eyes across a room, to trade smiles through the backbeat, and to gain a few standings points or add a key piece for your head-to-head playoffs. Coffee is for closers, so get yourself some caffeine, block out the Antonio Brown noise, and finish strong like Kolten Wong.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Those sad Joker movie trailers are conquering the Internet, and I am afraid for us all.

Be well, dear reader.

And please enjoy the chaos.

2B SS Gavin Lux is earning all the headlines, but he’s probably owned in your leagues. If not, he should be.

2B Mauricio Dubon could provide a spark at the keystone in San Francisco. Dubon’s probably not as good as his .302/.345/.477 AAA line, but he’s popped 20 home runs and stolen ten bags across 123 games and should be tracked in all leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to September!

Fall has always been a time for baseball to get weird and bring all the kids along. The rules will change in 2020, dropping active rosters from 40 players to 28, so I’m thinking organizations might be even thirstier than usual for this last red-rover run through the end-of-summer sprinkler.

The thing about September: it used to be the seventh month, leading into months eight (Oct), nine (Nov) and ten (Dec). Eventually some guy named Greg came along and switched the script, so now the names don’t match the numbers. This reminds me of Fantasy Baseball: a game of numbers masquerading as a game of names, meaning the real game is navigating those gaps among the names and numbers. In that spirit, today’s dispatch will feature some players in that space between perceived and real value. These are not meant as Buy-Low suggestions as much as they are Buy-if-you-Can opportunities.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The minor league season is winding down and September calls are less than a week away, so it’s time for us to put a bow on the 2019 minor league season and my second stint here at Razzball. Big thanks to Grey and the team for all of the opportunities they’ve given me over the years. Writing about fake baseball on the internet is a great escape from real life. Too bad my real life is getting crazy enough that I won’t be able to do this again next year. You’ll be in great hands with Itch, and you won’t have to wait long for your prospect news. My guess is that the 2020 previews will be right around the corner! Good luck to all of you in your fantasy leagues and thanks for your support and comments.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The minor league season is winding down and so is my time here at Razzball. Indians prospect Yu Chang (3-for-5) blasted a pair of homers Friday night – his eighth and ninth dingers on the season. It’s been a disappointing year for Chang, mainly because he has above average power and yet hasn’t taken advantage of the homer happy Triple-A environment. You’re probably asking why I’m leading with him. Here’s why – prospect fatigue. Chances are a guy in your dynasty league is sick of Chang and is willing to sell him at a discount – believing he won’t amount to anything but a Quad-A type. But Chang is just two years removed from a 24-homer, 11-steal season at Double-A and his plate discipline is in line with his other MiLB years. Chang is now 24, and that’s another reason owners might be ready to give up. I’d be willing to take a flyer on him at the right price and hope I run into another Aquino or something even remotely similar. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Angels outfield prospect Jordyn Adams was a double shy of the cycle Monday night and is riding a seven-game hitting streak. Being one hit short of a cycle is like being one person short of a threesome. In my case, I’m consistently two people short of a threesome. Good thing I have you over-the-internet friends to cheer me up. Here’s what I said about Adams in the preseason, where he ranked fifth in the Angels top ten: “Adams is a toolsy former wideout drafted 17th overall in 2018. His double-plus speed will work as SAGNOF at the very least. It’s a wait-and-see approach like Maitan, but Adams could vault into the top tier pretty quickly after we’ve seen a full season from him. He’s the best lottery ticket in this tier in terms of overall upside. Upside like how I wish I could smack Grey upside his head.” Weird, I must have written that in a blackout. Sorry Grey! And apologies for ranking Maitan anywhere in that preview. Oof. Back to Adams…we’re in the midst of that full season and he’s hit .252 with seven homers and 12 steals for Burlington (A). Importantly, his strikeout and walk rates remained stable at the higher level and longer season. If anything, he’s gotten better as the year has gone on. Not shabby for a 19-year-old. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Angels prospect Michael Hermosillo (3-for-5, 3 HR) has decided to hit for power this August. After hitting four homers in all of June and July, the 24-year-old outfielder has hit ten dingers this month. There should be a glossary term for the minor league version of a hot schmotato. Hot schmotatito? Between Hermosillo’s track record for power, the Juicy Juice brand balls in Triple-A, and the near 30% strikeout rate, I’m convinced there’s nothing to see here. But any time a guy has three multi-homer games in his last ten this close to September callups it’s noticeable. Speaking of callups, now’s the time to start thinking about who to stash for the last month of the season. For many of us, this is also our playoff season, so any help we can get to advance will be well worth the roster slot. Better to be a week early and get the guy you want than a week late and miss out on a huge month. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?