Based on my affinity for one Andrew Benintendi, I’m starting to think players “with the good hair” might be my thing. Why do you ask? Oh, because this whole “Benny with the flow” thing is not an isolated incident. Oh no, we have Dansby Swanson, who ranked highly on my pre-season list, I wrote a pitching profile of Mike Clevinger on Monday, another brother of the flow, and now, I introduce to you one of my favorite low minors prospects Brandon Marsh of the LA Angels.  (Is that their name still?)  The 2016 Angels second round pick was a Georgia prep standout who hit .559 his senior season, leading Buford, his suburban Atlanta high school, to the state championship series. After signing late in the post draft period last year, Marsh was assigned to the Angels Rookie level Arizona League affiliate, where he didn’t play a game due to a back injury. Throughout the following fall, and into the spring, “under the radar” reports on Marsh’s workouts were hitting the web, and all of them were glowing. Many praising his all around tools, and potential star ceiling; it caught my attention. Scouts, cited his plus raw power, athleticism, and the long term ability to stick in centerfield. This obviously drew some over the top hyperbolic comps to Mike Trout, but when you only have 6 prospects, and one good player, they all feel like family.  Then again, he did injury his thumb sliding into a base last week, a la Mike Trout. Perhaps they are related? So, what is it about “Marshie with the Good Hair” that makes me want to go all Philandering Jay-Z/Blac Chyna with Robbie’s Amex? Well, my tulip of knowledge seeking, shutup, and I’ll tell you.


Power and speed, it’s this athletic profile that makes go gaga. Don’t believe me? Check my Top 100, I ranked lots of power/speed bats well above the industry consensus, and went full on Crazy Eddie insane with my Marsh rank at 62! You know why? Because good power and speed guys are exciting, they contribute in the two most desirable roto categories, and above all they help you win leagues. If you want 1,000 words on guys with empty batting averages, and solid hit tools, holler at Keith Law. You can pay $6 a month, masturbate to his prose, and finish in 5th every year in your dynasty league. (lower case yay)  Fortune favors the bold, and the bold like Brandon Marsh. Why do the bold like Brandon Marsh? Imma let the numbers do the talking, through Marsh’s first 7 professional games he’s slashing .500/.546/.800 with a homer and 4 steals. Of course he hasn’t played in a game in a week since the thumb injury, but that’s because god doesn’t want us to have nice things. Injury aside, keep in mind, Marsh jumped the Angels lower rookie level in the Arizona League, and has been doing this in the more advanced short season Pioneer League. Marsh’s quick lefthanded swing, and general all around ability have drawn comps to Colby Rasmus, but for his sake, and for the sake of his facial hair, I hope that’s not the case. I do understand the Rasmus comps, as they have a similar batting stance. Both stand upright, with their hands loaded higher, both also employ pronounced leg kicks. So upon observation it’s easy to see the comp, though Marsh is a bit more compact in his pre-swing motion.

As you can see above he’s got a quick swing, if you’re not into the slow motion breakdown, check out this Instagram video from February of Marsh hitting down in the Angels Spring Complex in Tempe, AZ. As you can see, 60 grade bat speed, 80 grade flow. Coming into last season Marsh was considered a bit of pop-up prospect, having not been active on the showcase circuit, so he was an unknown to many scouts. That was until an impressive showing at Perfect Game’s High School Showdown where Marsh showed gap to gap power, plus speed, and that quick lefty swing. Following that performance the loud tools definitely caught the attention of scouts.  Even beyond the power and speed, Marsh has a cannon for an arm from the outfield, and an advanced plate approach for a teenage prep player. So essentially they saw then, what we’re beginning to see now, an exciting talent with all-world upside. Guys like that should be owned in all formats.

In closing I’m not saying Marsh is can’t miss, not even close. In fact it’s quite the opposite, I’m going out on a limb here based on good scouting reports, batting cage videos, and 7 professional games. But when I watch Marsh, I see a potential 5 category stud, that can be had for pennies on the dollar. Remember prospectors, no one built a dynasty playing it safe.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb, and check out my weekly Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST

Going to a minor league game? Lend a hand to our crowd sourced scouting project. Simply take a quick 30 second video of an at bat and email it to me at [email protected]

  1. Larry says:

    Thanks for continuing to believe in Tyler O’Neill and forcing me to hold on to him. Your mans is RAKING!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:

      @Larry: That’s the word! He dropped in my ranks, but the talent is there. You can’t teach power, you need steroids and juiced balls to do that!

  2. Brian says:

    Got offered an interesting Dynasty league (16 teams, H2H; both OBP and BA are hitting categories) trade and would like your take on it.

    I give: Daniel Murphy
    I get: Carlos Carrasco, Victor Robles, and Dustin Pedroia

    For context, I’m in first place right now, so am definitely competing for this year, but that seems like a lot for Daniel Murphy.

    In terms of my roster, I have Howie Kendrick on the DL and Willie Calhoun in the minors to back up Pedroia.

    We can carry 7 SPs and I currently have Kluber, Darvish, Mananea, Samardzija, Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Bud Norris (who would move to RP… OR I could trade Mananea for Rafael Devers), and a droppable Luke Weaver.

    In OF, where we only start three, I’m stocked (Betts, Pollack, Thames, Mallex Smith, Tommy Pham, Schebler, Kepler, Kole Calhoun, Grichuk… AND Lewis Brinson in the minors!) as all get out, but I find Victor Robles hard to resist, either as a dynasty hold or trade bait down the line…

    Thoughts? Should I accept the trade? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Wheezy says:

      @Brian: Accept that before its too late!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:

      @Brian: I honk you have to accept it, too much for Murphy. I’d do Manaea for Devers too ignore you have the minors spots.

      • Brian says:

        Did the trade. Thanks — please see my overly long and detailed question for you about the potential Mananea for Devers trade. :)

  3. Brett says:


    I know you song high praise for tapia prior to the year. Do you think he can stay in the line up in colorado this year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:

      @Brett: I do, there’s always going to be injuries and I think he gives them some dynamic offensive ability beyond just mashing.

  4. Wacha Wacha says:

    Hey Ralph

    Would you drop Conforto for Tapia or pham in 10 team obp redraft or just hold through the altar break when he comes back?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:

      @Wacha Wacha: I think I’d hold, unless it’s a league where you can drop Conforto and add him right back.

  5. Robert says:

    Is Wacha more than a streamer in a 10 team h2h league?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:

      @Robert: No definitely not.

  6. Jose says:

    Ralph Miguel Cabrera or Andrew mccutchen rest of the year?

  7. Swfcdan says:

    Woohoo a chance to finally get my prospect musings answered!

    Love these lists, long time awaiting finally arrives! Few musings:

    Seems utterly crazy for Maitan to rank so high when we haven’t seen a pro game from him you think? I know otherworldly tools but again we haven’t seen one pro AB from him lol, who knows how he handles different pitches, plus proximity sours me on him.

    Loving the “best pitching prospect since Price” comment about Honeywell! That’s hearty praise my man with all the minor league arms they have. And I agree, love his stuff and think he’s widely undervalued. Bit puzzled by his year though, think he’s just working on pitches and we see him up soon?

    You say Collins year been a disappointment, but really has it? He’s been intensely working on the catching side of his game this year which he had to and by all accounts he’s improved it. That must take up a lot of his practice right now, so can’t we give him a pass on the offense? He’s still walking a ton and hit a few bombs also- still remains a high upside catcher in OBP leagues and catchers are sooo shitty anyway. I can still see him hitting bombs in the cell but not sure his likely timetable for promotion.

    So saying all that, if you were to deal a prospect away (in a package to try and get Kyle Tucker…hell yeah), would it be Espinoza or Collins? OBP league and with the proximity difference and health concerns (small righty!) I’m tending to lean trade Espy.

    And love these lists for grabbing under the radar guys in my 350 minor dynasty ! Now deciding between Rios and Arozerena. Keep up the great work skinny fat guy haha.

    • Swfcdan says:

      @Swfcdan: And damn Marsh is owned. Oh well looking forward to next weeks guy already!

  8. Jibbs says:

    Good find! Is he worth an add over Mahle? I’ve got a lot of studs that are far away, a la Maitan and Robles, so I’m inclined to stand pat.

    On a prospect note, been offered Hamilton and a 3rd rounder for Tapia. Will likely need to keep him as a major leaguer next year, but am I just filled with Tapia helium thinking he might already be as valuable as B-Ham?

    It’s also a H2H league and 10×10, so in my head Hamilton is only giving you 2 cats there (runs and SB), and I have Arenado and Story, but I don’t mind a Rockies stack.

    • Jibbs says:

      Also been offered Hamilton for a 2nd rounder which I might be able to push to a 3rd, but have Trout, Solarte and Semien coming off the DL either today or in the near-ish future.

      I have no F’ing idea what steals are worth in H2H!

    • Raoul Duke says:

      @Jibbs: Not speaking for Ralph but I am guessing he would take Marsh over Mahle since Mahle wasn’t even on his top 100 he just released. He admitted to being the high man on Marsh though.

  9. Brian says:

    First off, thank you both. I did the trade. This is my first time doing H2H and my first dynasty league, so I appreciate all the advice. Wanted to follow-up with full details and context before I traded Mananea for Devers.

    It’s a $200 entry H2H 16 team league where BA and OPS are hitting categories and holds and IP are pitching categories. There is a hard cap of 30 men on the roster and one can never have more than 7 SPs and 5 RPs active (meaning not on the DL or in the minors) at any time. Each owner is limited to five roster moves weekly.

    I’m currently in first place in both my league (worth $400; second place is worth $200) and overall. Advancing to the finals nets another $350 and wining it all nets another $950. All this to say that I’m playing for this year.

    It’s also important to know that each team can keep between 7 and 13 players each year. I’m butting up against 13 right now (at least I think I am; you be the judge), but I could always trade a few keepers for one stud. My roster is below:

    C: JT Realmuto
    1B: Joey Votto
    2B: Dustin Pedroia
    3B: Jake Lamb
    SS: Dansby Swanson
    OF (start 3): Mookie Betts / AJ Pollack / Eric Thames (1B eligible as well) / Scott Schebler / Mallex Smith / Max Kepler / Tommy Pham / Kole Calhoun

    DL: Eduardo Nunez (typically starting SS; also eligible at 3B and OF)
    DL: Howie Kendrick (eligible at 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF)

    Minors: Willie Calhoun / Victor Robles / Lewis Brinson

    SP1: Corey Kluber
    SP2: Yu Darvish
    SP3: Carlos Carrasco
    SP4: Sean Mananea
    SP5: Jeff Samardzija
    SP6: Brandon McCarthy (currently on the DL, but off on Saturday)
    SP7: Mike Foltynewicz

    RP1: Edwin Diaz
    RP2: Addison Reed
    RP3: Bud Norris
    RP 4: Cam Bedrosian

    Minors: Walker Buehler

    I LOVE Devers, LOVE the thought of having three of Ralph’s Top Ten minor leaguers (and two of the top three!), and like that trading Mananea allows me to use Bud Norris as an SP most days.

    On the other hand, I also want to not weaken myself too much this year, especially since IP is a category. Also, by my count, I have 18 (!) potential keepers (9 No Doubt Keepers in Votto, Lamb, Betts, Pollack, Kluber, Darvish, Carrasco, Brinson, and Robles; 5 likely keepers in Thames, Swanson, Pedroia, Realmuto, and 5 possibles in Nunez, Schebler, Mallex Smith, Walker Buehler, and Willie Calhoun. While I can certainly trade some in a package now or in the offseason, that makes me nervous.

    Now, knowing the context, should I still trade Mananea for Devers?

    And deepest thanks for all your help. Taking over last year’s last place team and remaking it into a first place team should pretty much be credited to Razzball!

    • Raoul Duke says:

      @Brian: If you can actually get Devers for Manaea you take that all day long.

      • Brian says:

        The offer is sitting in my inbox! Thanks for your opinion. Would love to hear Ralph’s too given the context… if you both agree, I’ll pull the trigger.

  10. dfrench23 says:

    14-team 2 year keeper league (5×5 OBP.)

    A guy is dumping 2nd year talent. I’m after Scherzer, McCutcheon and Danny Duffy.

    I am offering 3 – first year guys who each have a $10 salary. Smoak, Alex Wood and Jeff Samardzjia. I threw in a guy who isn’t helping me right now in Alex Meyer since I don’t have a place for him. We are allowed 2 $5 Minors guys. I have Devers and Robles.
    Now he wants Robles. Fair?

    • dfrench23 says:

      @dfrench23: Another guy just offered me his 1st year $32 Stanton along with 2nd year Braun and de Grom for my $2 Bellinger. Hmmmmmmmmmmm… What do you guys think?

  11. Chris says:

    Thanks Ralph!

    I’m in a 14 team league h2h 10 cats: this is my team:
    Flowers-Morrison-Sogard-Simmons-Frazier-Kyle Seager-Flores-Deshields-Upton-Hamilton-
    Pham-Pillar-Schebler-Dyson-Clint Frazier-

    Staff-Sale-Scherzer-Wood-Berrios-Tyson Ross-Guerra-Verlander-Chase Anderson-Nolasco-Syndergaard-Cody Allen-Britton-Kimbrel

    I’m in 4th overall and 1st by a big stretch in the breakdowns Should I stay put or take the trade? I’m kind of screwed at 2nd right now all I have is sogard.

    I got an offer of Wood and Cody Allen for Cano and Conforto-Stay put or take it?


  12. Chris says:

    One more thing-I also have Hoskins and Devers on my bench I didn’t mention them.

  13. Yager says:

    Just got offered a trade I give Wood, I get Hill and Altherr. I think I have to make this trade right?

    • Swfcdan says:

      @Yager: Travis Wood? Do it. Alex Wood? Nooooooooo way.

  14. David says:

    T. Turner/R. Ray or K.Davis/Britton in an OBP, SLG, and XBH dynasty. Which side Ralph?

  15. Milarky says:

    Awesome stuff Ralph! I keep trying to catch you on your recent posts – your prospect list update is just in time for my mid-season prospect draft! Question for you – are there any international players that you would insert anywhere in the top 50, using similar criteria that you used in your list? My league isn’t a dynasty, but we get 3 prospect picks that we can carry for an extra few years. Otani was taken last year so he’s out, but I’m wondering about any other potential difference makers in the upcoming year or two.

  16. DisEnFranchised says:

    Great stuff Ralph.

    Just thought I’d pop in and let you know that I got to see Cole Ragan pitch on the 4th. I was impressed by the way he handled his outing. He seemed to be throwing 4 pitches based on the speed ticker but my seats didn’t allow a good view of the pitches. He seemed to be throwing a 91-92 fastball, 87 2seam, 77 change, and 71 curve. He got a few Ks looking on his changeup and curve and had hitters biting on 3rd strike curves in the dirt. He was in a bases loaded jam with 2 outs after allowing a run and K’d the 3rd out. (My 4 yr old called it as he just had to get his K card right before the at bat. ) He seemed advanced for that level. None of the other Spokane Indians did anything noteworthy, besides 4 errors. Bleh. Next time I will try to get a clip of the notable players.

  17. ichirosan says:

    Hi Ralph,

    forgot to ask you the other day when you published your mid-season list. How far from the top 100 are Matt Manning and Lourdes Gurriel?

  18. Nightpandas says:

    Hey Ralphie,

    Got offered Martes a 2nd and 7th next year in a 15 team keep 11 for my Schwarber. I could then use my last move to grab Mejia for catcher. Playing for 2018. Sound good? Schwarber would only be a keeper candidate or he keeps Yahoo catcher eligibility anyways.

  19. Drewbaca says:

    Drop Tom Murphy for Bruce Maxwell? Point league, 2 catcher……ROS, but moreso for next year and beyond. I have Sanchez.

  20. JC3Bagger says:

    Faria has obviously been really good his first 6 starts, but is he in sell high territory?

    In a keeper league where you keep 6 players, 3 from the “green” tier, 2 from “yellow” and 1 from “red”. Tiers are based on round drafted, and once a player is kept once at green they move to yellow, then twice at yellow they move to red, and then twice again at red before getting thrown back into the draft.

    Thinking of attempting to trade for Bumgarner for Faria straight up, since Bum’s owner is in second to last place and close to selling off his pieces. Of note, I still would be able to keep Bumgarner as a red for one more year (next year). Thoughts?

Comments are closed.