Over the course of the past few days, I’ve wondered if mentioning Colin Kaepernick in any way, shape, or form would boost readership here in the doldrums of the fantasy baseball season. Maybe I could say “click here to see so and so nearly naked”, or “this celebrity didn’t want this to get out”. What if I took the plunge into full on click bait and left the days of insightful minor league analysis for dynasty and fantasy baseball behind. Would it be me whining about Odell Beckham Jr. ignoring me at the Met Gala? Imagine prospector Ralph rubbing elbows with the A list. I mean seems appropriate, they’re A-list and I’m known for making a list. Thank you, thank you, you’re all too kind I’ll be here all week. In all seriousness, we’ve come to the end of the regular season in minor league baseball, and with it the end of my minor league updates for 2016. Don’t worry I’m going absolutely nowhere. I’ll be updating you on all things dynasty and prospects throughout the offseason. In fact you’ll probably have a triple dose of me with the podcast and all. So pump the volume on this track, throw some BBQ on the grill, and save some sticky ribs for your homie Ralph. The final minor league update of the 2 dot oh 1-6 is here!

 

Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers): We touched on Bellinger the last few weeks in the prospect pod. First in our top 10 corner infield rankings, and then as an update on our last episode. He’s been on a massive hot streak the last 9 games smashing 5 homers, and slashing .333/.410/.818. Yeah .818 is his SLG. Excited to see what Bellinger does upon promotion to AAA Oklahoma City, just in time for the PCL playoffs.

Jordan Yamamoto, RHP Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers): Hey everybody guess what? I’m writing about another small righty! I mentioned Yamamoto in my Mining the Numbers with Prospector Ralph a few months back. Since then he’s continued his assault on A-ball, well kind of. Actually he struggled through most of July, before kicking August’s ass. In fact in 6 starts since July 31st the Hawaiian native owns a 2.97 ERA, a 12.23 K/9, and a 8.83 K/Bb. In addition to that he’s more than likely going to win the strikeout title for the Midwest League, with 152 punchouts in 134.1 IP. Not too shabby for the 20 year old. From a scouting perspective he mixes a a mid 90’s fastball, with a plus slider, and an average curveball. He also induces groundballs at a near 50% rate. Strikeouts and groundballs, the two pillars of my dynasty pitching philosophy.

Casey Gillaspie, 1B Durham Bulls (Rays): Went 5 for 6 Friday night as he raised his AAA average to .304. Gillaspie is a prospect that gets ignored by the prospect community more often than not, and I’m never totally sure why. I understand that he’ll probably never be a 30 home run threat, but he’s always known how to take a walk. He also makes a ton of hard contact, boasting a 25% line drive rate. With his mix of hit tool and power, he could have a nice foundation for a string of productive fantasy seasons. Looks like an excellent player to target in .OBP and .OPS leagues. Should be up at some point next summer.

Erick Fedde, RHP Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): Through his first 5 AA starts, the 2014 first rounder has picked up right where he left off in Potomac. In his most recent turn Wednesday, Fedde went 6 strong, striking out 12, while allowing 1 run, on 4 hits and a walk. He’s projects as a mid 8 K/9 guy with good control, and high GB rates. I’ve written up Fedde before, and I’m really regretting not accepting him straight up for Mike Leake in my NL only dynasty. Might of really trashed him too. I’m sorry! Want to revisit? I know where I’m going once I finish working on that time machine.

Mike Soroka, RHP Rome Braves (Braves): The newly minted 19 year old and 2015 first round pick, Soroka has been very strong this year at class A Rome. In his most recent start he struck out 9 over 7 frames, allowing 1 run, on three hits and a walk. For as young as he is he’s shown real polish, handling a rather heavy workload (143 innings) without showing any signs of fatigue. He’s another groundball artist, in fact his batted ball profile is a bit extreme, allowing only 18% FB contact.

Tyler Beede, RHP Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants): Put the cap on an excellent year in AA Richmond with a complete game shutout, where he allowed just 3 base runners. I’ve mentioned it a few times recently when discussing Beede, the K’s are up and due to this he seems to have his swagger back. That same swagger made him a highly touted arm coming out of Vandy. Should join the Giants rotation next summer.

Triston McKenzie, RHP Lake County Captains (Indians): A very good season from the 2015 compensation round pick. Since promotion to Class A he’s been mowing down batters at a rate of 12.97 K/9, and has kept the walks under 2 per 9. Got worked a little his last time out, but I feel I’ve failed to mention him enough this season.

Franklin Barreto, SS Nashville Sound (Athletics): We discussed Barreto on this week’s podcast, and low and behold he was promptly promoted to AAA. Don’t need to thank us Frankie, just doing our jobs. After writing him off in the first part of the year, I’ve been seriously impressed by his numbers since June 1st. Slashing .320/.379/.478 with 6 homers and 17 steals. He brings true power/speed tools to the table from the middle infield, and now, he’s just a step away.

Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins): The lefty starter has continued to mow ’em down at AA. In fact Gonsalves might be my perfect pitcher, he’s a tall lefty with swing and miss stuff, and a solid groundball profile. With a popup rate nearly equal to his line drive, he rarely allows hard contact. Seriously he’s never had a HR/9 above .33. The walks are a touch worrisome, but it comes with package of high k lefties.

Eddy Alvarez, SS Charlotte Knights (White Sox): A silver medalist in speed skating at the 2014 Sochi games, Alvarez has made his way to AAA over the last few weeks. Sure he’s an old prospect at 26, but all things considered he only began focusing exclusively on baseball at 24. He mixes good speed, and excellent approach, with a little pop. In my estimation, looks like a worthwhile flier as a depth guy in uber-deep dynasties (300+ prospects).

Greg Bird, 1B Yankees: News broke that Bird will join Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Taylor Wade in the Arizona Fall League. Good luck to the Birdman. Put some Respek on that!

Sean Newcomb, LHP Mississippi Braves (Braves): I’m touching on all my Massachusetts boys today! Just need a Chris Shaw blurb! He’s really come on since mid-July dropping science to the funky tune of a 2.26 ERA, supported by a 10.45 K/9, a 3.66 Bb/9 (good for him), and a FIP nearly identical to his ERA at 2.39.

Justus Sheffield, LHP Trenton Thunder (Yankees): Made his AA debut on Friday, and went 4, striking out 9, while allowing 1 run on 3 walks and 2 hits. Not the most efficient of outings at 80 pitches over 4 though. Still, a nice showing for a 20 year old at AA.

Brian Mundell, 1B Asheville Tourists (Rockies): Set the minor league record for doubles with 58. He’s not a flashy name but he ropes line drives and is a Rockies prospect with power, they should all be owned.

Amed Rosario, SS Binghamton Mets (Mets): Number 6 on my list of top middle infidels from this week’s Pod. Yeah, I’m probably going to plug this now 15 times a week. Seriously I’m contractually obligated, if you have a product you want hawked let me know. I’m a whore! Moving along, Rosario has been converting me to a believer since being promoted to AA, slashing .328/.376/.468 with 12 doubles, 5 triples, 2 homers and 5 steals. He may not see a ton of balls clear the fence, but he does hit for extra bases, and possesses enough speed to make him a 15 steal threat in the bigs.

 

 Follow me on Twitter @ralphlifshitzbb and make sure you subscribe to the Razzball Prospect Podcast

 

  1. Noam says:
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    Ralph! The last one!? I appreciate your hard work this season. You’ve really helped out my dynasty team.

    If you had to pick three pitching matchup afoot next week, who would you roll with…with an emphasis on wins.

    Chad Kuhl (vSTL, vCIN)
    Jason Hammel (@MIL)
    Luke Weaver (vMIL, @PIT)
    Kevin Gausman (@DET)
    Jose de Leon (@MIA)
    Joe Musgrove (@CLE)

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Noam: Weaver, De Leon, and Hammel. Don’t like that St. Louis matchup for Kuhl.

  2. Dave says:
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    Thank you for everything you’ve done this year. You’ve had a huge influence on how I’ve constructed my team and am looking forward to 2017 and beyond.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: Thanks for reading. No worries, I’ll still be here twice a week with content, and the podcast weekly. I just won’t have any minor league action to really update you on.

  3. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    At first I really missed prospector Mike and all his knowledge on the specs..But you Ralph, have more than taken his place, you have run with the position and given us a whole new perspective on specs..

    Your write-ups are funny, entertaining and packed full of knowledge..

    WELL DONE and keep up the GREAT work that you do..

    Cheers

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: Thanks MP! As I said we’ll be hitting you with a ton of off season content, rankings, dynasty post etc. so stay tuned.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Looking forward to it!!

  4. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    If you only had room for one. who would you want going forward Travis Demeritte. Will Adames or Isan Diaz…

    thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: Diaz! I just ranked him third on my MI rankings on the prospect podcast.

  5. MJ says:
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    if you take stoelen bases out of the equation, how ould you rank them: Rosario, Adames, Crawford, Mateo and Torres?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MJ: With stolen bases out of the equation it’s probably Adames, Rosario, Crawford, Torres, and Mateo. Mateo is really boosted by SB, he’s 80 speed

  6. MJ says:
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    What’s your take on Max Kepler’s season? He had that one power burst but has been pretty quiet otherwise. Does he take a big step forward next season?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MJ: He could, I think he’s a quality hitter. I never thought he was a 25+ home run hitter. He’s a guy with a great hit tool that will work counts and that should only get better as he adjusts to the higher level. He’s more of a .280-.300/17-22/.375-.400 type guy. Love him in OBP leagues.

      • MJ says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        .375-.400 on base? So maybe .450-.475 slugging?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @MJ: yup seems right

  7. MJ says:
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    Have you or anyone else seen Gurriel enough to have an idea as to what he might be capable of over a full season?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MJ: Not really, he’s obviously an excellent contact hitter, and doesn’t look like he’s going to K a lot but I’m questionable about impact power. His comp has been Hanley, jury is still out on that one.

  8. B-Mac says:
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    Last off season in our dynasty league I traded 2 years of Brantley for the 3rd overall pick in our Minor League draft because I wanted a chance at Benintendi and got him at 3. (I obviously really lucked out with that trade). This year I’m targeting Senzel. Is trading 2 years of Donaldson for 2 years of Carpenter + 1st overall pick (Senzel) a good deal? We keep our ML players in a “Free year” until they go over 130ABs then can sign for up to 5 years.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @B-Mac: Yeah I like that trade, you’re still getting Carp and you add a potential future star for 6 years. Love Donaldson, but that’s a good haul.

  9. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Great work this season!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @malamoney: Thanks Money!

  10. Steve says:
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    Do you sill like Hader ROS given his last two horrific starts or have Meyer or Cotton leapfrogged him?

    Looking for that diamond for the playoff push.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve: Yeah still like Hader, but I’m not sure when or if he’s up. He’s better than the other two. Meyer starts Wednesday against Oakland which is good matchup. If Cotton gets recalled he could have the most value of the three.

      • Steve says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: thanks Ralph, I really enjoy your posts.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Steve: Thanks for reading Steve!

  11. Brian says:
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    Thinking of an NL Only league (where OPS replaces BA), who are some players not yet up that are likely to be receiving playing time next April (a la Hunter Renfroe)? I always try to snag a couple on the last day of the season and last year it netted me Trevor Story (!).

    The following players are already rostered:

    Hunter Renfroe
    Mallex Smith
    Alex Dickerson
    Josh Bell
    Dansby Swanson
    Manuel Margot
    JP Crawford
    Jorge Alfaro
    Jose De Leon

    Some players available that I am watching are:

    Andre Etheir
    Nick Williams
    Austin Meadows
    Mauricio Cabrera
    Zach Wheeler
    Carter Capps

    Who am I missing, either youngsters or injured veteran types that I should stash for next year? It’s not a dynasty league, just a keeper league, so I can grab whoever on the last day at no cost. Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Brian: Tom Murphy?

      • Brian says:
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        Never heard of him, so will google him now. Thanks!

        -Brian

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Brian: Yeah go look at his numbers from July 1st until he was promoted. Power hitting catcher for the Rockies

  12. Joeg414 says:
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    I see the A’s are calling up Cotton and Alcantara to start early this week vs the Angels . What’s your take ?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Joeg414: I lik the Cotton start, and Alcantara is blah.

  13. donpaulo says:
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    good stuff thanks Ralph

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @donpaulo: Thanks for reading!

  14. Steve says:
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    Drop Maybin for Tom Murphy for the playoffs? Who provides more overall production?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve: I’d go Murphy

  15. jack florida says:
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    thanks for all the great info with a little humor thrown in—very helpful

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @jack florida: Thanks for reading Jack

  16. thorbs says:
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    The great writeups continue! You’ve been my bible for minor leaguers and it’s paid off (finished the H2H season in 2nd place and have a bye for the first round of playoffs).

    Two last niggling questions – for my bench hitters, I’ve got Andrus and Ozuna, and am starting Trevor Plouffe. I could replace him with Tapia or Conforto from my minor league roster, or Broxton or Hernan Perez from the FA list.

    How would you rank these guys for the rest of the year? They’ve all got Qs of streakiness or playing time.

    Tapia
    Plouffe
    Perez
    Conforto
    Broxton

    Also, Tyler Skaggs…he’s in my streaming SP slot, but he’s got a Mariners-Rangers sandwich for his next 3 matchups. I feel he’s got to go because neither of those teams are great matchups (I just watched the Mariners absolutely slaughter Hamels). His upside is like an average third starter, no?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @thorbs: Thanks for following along, we got some more goodies for you in the offseason content starting tomorrow. Dynasty never sleeps.

      I’d gt Perez over Plouffe.

      Ranked: Perez, Plouffe, Tapia, Conforto, and Broxton

      Yeah those are tough streams, Skaggs hasn’t found his form yet.

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