Giving you a little looksie behind the curtain at Razzball HQ, where I’m not wearing pants and have had multiple lawsuits levied against me, I asked Prospect Itch to give me about 20 names of prospects who will be relevant for 2020, and rank them in order of 2020 relevancy, so I could give you a breakdown of each one, from best to worst. He’s our prospect writer, hence the 1st name, and he knows all of these guys way more in-depthly (totally a word!) than I. My focus is on 2020. After watching some videos of these guys, I could see why they’ll be relevant in 2020 and beyond, but this is about 2020 for me. This is why I didn’t write a post about Wander Franco, and might not. (Still debating it, seems super doubtful though.) With that said (Grey’s turning the ship around!), I don’t know if Michael Kopech will be relevant in 2020, and, therefore, ergo, vis-a-vie, we’re getting towards the end of my fantasy rookie series, when I’m going over guys who might not be relevant this year. (If you have any names of rookies for 2020, who I haven’t covered yet, mention them in the comments.) So, what can we expect from Michael Kopech for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Can I say nothing and move on? No? Okay. Michael Kopech went under the knife for Tommy John on September 19th of 2018. Tommy John is one freaky-deaky, watching people have surgery, huh? That puts Kopech at about 18 months from surgery on Opening Day. Even longer if you’re on the Jewish calendar. That’s plenty of time for him to return to pitching in 2020, which is why I’m even talking about him. White Sox have already said he will have no restrictions in 2020. If his path leads him right to the majors, it would mean he went from the minors to the majors for 14 1/3 IP to Tommy John surgery and back to the majors. That feels a bit aggressive, no? Even if the surgery fell at an opportune time, giving him two full offseasons. Johnny Cueto had his Tommy John about a month prior, and just returned at the tail end of this year. Lance McCullers had his a little after Kopech and hasn’t returned yet (likely ticketed for Opening Day though). So, Kopech should be ready to throw in March, get sent to the minors for a hard-to-determine amount of time, then return to the majors. That middle peccadillo is the pickle — pickle-dillo? Will Kopech be in the minors until May? June? July? August? September? I have no idea. My guess is June, but that timetable could be wildly optimistic. Why do we care at all? Because he could be the best minor league arm to come up in 2020. He’s a boneheaded one, too. He used to date the daughter of the crazy white lady from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, then he dated that girl from Riverdale, and I guess when I say Kopech is boneheaded, I should explain I wouldn’t mind boneheading like him. Yo dude is a baller! He’s also legit dopey. At one point, he broke his hand punching a teammate. This guy has years of ridiculousness headed our way, and we should be grateful for that. He reminds me of Syndergaard with command issues, but those could clear up quickly; he’s only 23. (Reminder that Tommy John usually adds some command issues upon return.) He chucks a plus-plus fastball that touches triple digits, a plus slider and respectable change. He’s the kind of arm that could be way more valuable in fantasy than real life, even if he doesn’t get his shizz together. Think Trevor Bauer, Robbie Ray or any big-time strikeout arm that is wild eh-eff at times. For 2020, I’ll give Michael Kopech projections of 4-6/4.29/1.40/72 in 64 IP with obviously a chance for much more (or less).

 
  1. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    How about Ke’bryan Hayes? He was fairly mediocre at AAA but has pretty good sb potential (12 for 13). If the power comes he has a good path with his defensive ability. Pirates have resisted tinkering with the swing but with a new coaching crew maybe there is hope.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Seems like he has to get a shot this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Meh, 12 for 13 in 110 games? His numbers are so bleh… I’m not writing a post on him, but might add him into my rankings

  2. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    How about a post for Jorge Mateo. Will he be relevant in 2020?

    Spencer Howard, Philles SP, Philly certainly needs arms in their rotation.

    • Dave D says:
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      Well MP, Ive been eyeballing Mateo as well, even drafted him late in a DC last year. It’s confounding what OAK is doing with him. After playing 29 games in OF in 2017 in the minors he has played O games there the last two years. Last year he played 100 at SS and 14 at 2nd. There’s no way he plays SS without injury, so it seems like the only path ahead on OAK seems to be bumping Barreto who they clearly favor. I say, barring injury, the bury him again in AAA, hope he rakes again and package him in July for an arm or something.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Hey Dave, agreed on Mateo, I’ve been a fan of his since his Yankees days, have him on my dynasty team. I would prefer if Oakland traded him so he can play in the majors already.

        Why do you think he gets hurt if he stays at SS?

        • Dave D says:
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          My wording wasn’t clear. I meant an injury to Semien. But, yeah, the guy needs a break and has earned a chance. Hopefully it comes sometime this year. I’ll be keeping tabs.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Yea I think Mateo contributes this year, good one.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I actually picked up Jorge Mateo last year in one league and am still waiting on that… A’s ignoring him might mean something like it meant something with Franklin Barreto… I don’t know, I could see putting him in my rankings, but not sure he warrants a whole post right now…

      Itch likes Spencer Howard a lot, he’s a definite possibility

  3. bill says:
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    Fantasy Master Lothario, what can we expect from Franchy Cordero or Myles Straw?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I love Franchy, he’s such a fun player. It’s too bad he couldn’t get healthy last year, but it’ll give us a chance to grab him at bargain bin prices this year.

      Roster Resource has him penciled in as the starting CF hitting 2nd between Tatis and Manny. Yes please.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I bet Franchy gets buried again in San Diego… We’ll see… Depends on Margot and if they bring anyone over… These are platoon guys

  4. packers2018 says:
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    Manning and Mize of the Tigers.

    • Dave D says:
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      Shhh

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They are on the end of the list as of right now…. They’re 100% dependent on ETA

      • Dave D says:
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        I actually entered a DC on Friday. I decided I really wanted a draft before ADPs get determined and are visible, which should happen in about 10-12 days. My draft is totally nuts. We are just beginning round 9 and some guys I was hoping for a little later are already gone: Zack Gallen, Oscar Mercado to name two off hand that suprised me. I can probably list some stuff later.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nice! Yeah, list away! I had computer issues end of last week, so actually talking to Greg from NFBC this afternoon

          • Dave D says:
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            Sorry I couldn’t wait. I got the itch and with a three day weekend had the time to get it rolling. Ill post more soon.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              No problem! Hope you’ll still get in one with Donkey and I once we get it off the ground

  5. Smitty says:
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    Seems Mateo is ready – great potential. Like Manning too, but still pretty young. One guy I’ll be tracking is Nate Pearson, who worked his way up to AAA in ’19. Both him and Manning stand at 6’6″ with howitzers. Toronto’s staff needs arms and Pearson could be up early.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I was looking at Nate Pearson too…He’s another one with a maybe, the problem is rookie pitchers aren’t great bets, and this is about 2020

      • Dave D says:
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        They really babied Pearson last year with that super low pitch count every other start. I can’t imagine they let him throw enough innings to warrant much value. He’s for sure starting in minors, but can’t imagine they ever let him exceeed 90 pitches until 2021. Long term his stuff is tantalizing though.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, tend to agree… He feels like a no for now on 2020 in most leagues

        • Smitty says:
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          Once Pearson was sufficiently stretched out in ’19 his pitch counts in his last 7 starts were 91, 81, 93, 101, 88, 95, and 104. Don’t think he was babied. Not saying he’ll break camp with the big club, but could get 1st call up unless that service time bullshit comes into play.

      • Smitty says:
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        Agree he isn’t obviously 2020 relevant…..for now

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup

  6. Dave D says:
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    I was second to last in priority so I landed the 14 slot, just like in our Razz DC last year. I never seem to get top 4. In my last 10 NFBC’s have never gotten top 3. Based on my top for I don’t feel like there is any cause for complaint.

    1 1 Acuna Jr., Ronald OF
    2 1 Yelich, Christian OF –
    3 1 Trout, Mike OF
    4 1 Betts, Mookie OF
    5 1 Lindor, Francisco SS
    6 1 Bregman, Alex 3B –
    7 1 Bellinger, Cody 1B –
    8 1 deGrom, Jacob P
    9 1 Cole, Gerrit P O` –
    10 1 Arenado, Nolan 3B
    11 1 Turner, Trea
    12 1 Story, Trevor SS
    13 1 Soto, Juan OF
    14 1 Tatis Jr., Fernando SS –
    15 1 Torres, Gleyber 2B-
    16 2 Buehler, Walker P
    17 2 Flaherty, Jack P
    18 2 Verlander, Justin P
    19 2 Freeman, Freddie 1B
    20 2 Martinez, J.D. OF –
    21 2 Bieber, Shane P
    22 2 Scherzer, Max P
    23 2 Alonso, Pete 1B
    24 2 Ramirez, Jose 3B
    25 2 Clevinger, Mike P
    26 2 Snell, Blake P
    27 2 Harper, Bryce OF –
    28 2 Strasburg, Stephen P
    29 2 Villar, Jonathan SS –
    30 2 Rendon, Anthony 3B
    31 3 Bogaerts, Xander SS
    32 3 Marte, Starling OF
    33 3 Altuve, Jose 2B
    34 3 Devers, Rafael 3B
    35 3 Judge, Aaron OF
    36 3 Blackmon, Charlie OF
    37 3 Sale, Chris P
    38 3 Morton, Charlie P –
    39 3 Baez, Javier SS
    40 3 Giolito, Lucas P
    41 3 Merrifield, Whit 2B
    42 3 Corbin, Patrick P –
    43 3 Springer, George OF D-
    44 3 Hiura, Keston 2B –
    45 3 Nola, Aaron P –
    46 4 Alvarez, Yordan UT –
    47 4 Mondesi, Adalberto MI –
    48 4 Marte, Ketel 2B –
    49 4 Jimenez, Eloy OF –
    50 4 Rizzo, Anthony 1B –
    51 4 Kershaw, Clayton P –
    52 4 Meadows, Austin OF O –
    53 4 Muncy, Max 2B –
    54 4 Stanton, Giancarlo OF
    55 4 Albies, Ozzie 2B –
    56 4 Guerrero Jr., Vladimir 3B –
    57 4 Castillo, Luis P
    58 4 Paddack, Chris P –
    59 4 Severino, Luis P –
    60 4 Greinke, Zack

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice! Thanks! Wow, did you go Flaherty in the 2nd round at pick 17?

      • Dave D says:
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        Yes!
        Top 4:

        14. Tatis
        17 Flaherty
        44. Hiura
        47 Adalberto

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I love those bats… Pretty wild to think Flaherty is going that high tho

        • Smitty says:
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          Tatis!!

          • Dave D says:
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            I’m very happy to get that Donkey reject!!!

            • Smitty says:
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              Love Tatis and not sure he’ll make it to the 2nd round (in my 12 teamer) Agree to go out and get who you want – ADP’s be damned. Love the groans in the draft room when I precede my pick with “Well this a reach…”

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Agreed, it’ll be fun to go back at the end of the year and look at which picks elicited groans and “that’s a reach” bc they could easily be the best picks, no one has any idea

                • Smitty says:
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                  Albombso

      • Dave D says:
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        I really wanted him and no way he makes it back at #44. So much upside with his age. Verlander was an option but age is in my mind there. Buehler was gone just before too. Similar to Flaherty IMO.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I saw that on Buehler, that’s also kind of wild… I guess if you know a guy will be gone by 40s then you have to…Just crazy to think Flaherty is now a top 20 guy

          • Dave D says:
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            If we get too hung up on ADP’s we can lose out on guys we really want. I’ve kinda learned that if Im super optimistic about a player to not be afraid of going 15-18 slots early. I’d rather get the roster I want than feel Im getting the biggest discount and then somebody else beats me to it.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, completely but I’m not convinced I wouldn’t be fine with just another SP around 40

              • Dave D says:
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                Maybe, but I got Hiura at 44, Adalberto there and would have not later. If you focus less on the ADP and just who’s your top 4 picks, I’m quite happy with those as my top 4. Draft position really affects what combos are available, but I think of what picks I wanna make in rounds 3,4 when I’m picking in rounds 1,2. So, I’m probably more happy with getting Hiura at 44, and especially Adalberto at 47, than I am with “where I got” the first two. But Tatis this year seems nearly identical to Tildaddy going into 2019. And you’ve covered Flaherty’s awesomeness already. I can’t complain or nitpick.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, I love all the guys you have so can’t complain much… It’s more academic and just how crazy it is that Flaherty’s going in the top 20… I wonder if that will be the norm

                  • Dave D says:
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                    He’s probably not top 20 overall. He went 24 and 30 in the two others Ive seen. But, like I mentioned, if you like a player better pull the trigger when you can, and I think his value will warrant it. Maybe Verlander will outperform, but the older I get the more ageist I become!!! Naturally.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, me too! Yeah, I don’t hate thinking Flaherty will be better than Verlander… They’ll at least be close

    • Bamabterry says:
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      This was an interesting draft dave. Had some people fall a lot farther than i expected. I was picking 7th and happy to have bellinger

  7. Dave D says:
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    While I waited until round 34 for my first catcher in our Razz DC last year, I did an about face suprisigly with Realmuto at 74. Philly really helped his already good counting stats an he is the only forseeable 5-tool catcher who is ++ in every category. He’s the catcher I’d probably draft before 200. Other one, I really was hoping for Berrios at 104, but he went two picks ahead. I took two pichers there. I took Bum (I know) because his high K/low WHIP balances EdRods high WHIP, and I think he will double his win total when he signs with ATL if he stays on field.

    61 5 Darvish, Yu P
    62 5 Rosario, Eddie OF
    63 5 Olson, Matt 1B
    64 5 Robles, Victor –
    65 5 Syndergaard, Noah P F
    66 5 LeMahieu, DJ 1B –
    67 5 Bauer, Trevor P
    68 5 Soler, Jorge
    69 5 Suarez, Eugenio 3B-
    70 5 Pham, Tommy OF –
    71 5 Ryu, Hyun-Jin P
    72 5 Chapman, Matt 3B
    73 5 Goldschmidt, Paul
    74 5 Realmuto, J.T. C –
    75 5 Benintendi, Andrew OF –
    76 6 Bryant, Kris 3B
    77 6 Abreu, Jose 1B
    78 6 McNeil, Jeff OF
    79 6 Chapman, Aroldis P
    80 6 Soroka, Mike P
    81 6 Machado, Manny CI –
    82 6 Ohtani, Shohei UT –
    83 6 Gallo, Joey OF
    84 6 Bichette, Bo SS
    85 6 Luzardo, Jesus P –
    86 6 Gurriel, Yuli 1B
    87 6 Woodruff, Brandon P
    88 6 Glasnow, Tyler P
    89 6 Paxton, James P
    90 6 Bell, Josh 1B
    91 7 Anderson, Tim MI
    92 7 Hader, Josh P
    93 7 Semien, Marcus SS
    94 7 Moncada, Yoan CI –
    95 7 Cruz, Nelson UT
    96 7 Gray, Sonny P
    97 7 Yates, Kirby P
    98 7 Correa, Carlos SS c –
    99 7 Laureano, Ramon –
    100 7 Osuna, Roberto P –
    101 7 Brantley, Michael OF
    102 7 Berrios, Jose
    103 7 Castellanos, Nicholas –
    104 7 Rodriguez, Eduardo P
    105 7 Kluber, Corey P
    106 8 Kimbrel, Craig P
    107 8 Bumgarner, Madison P
    108 8 Sanchez, Gary
    109 8 Robert, Luis OF
    110 8 Ozuna, Marcell OF
    111 8 Mancini, Trey OF
    112 8 Hoskins, Rhys 1B –
    113 8 Lamet, Dinelson P
    114 8 Conforto, Michael OF
    115 8 Andrus, Elvis SS
    116 8 Puig, Yasiel OF
    117 8 Gallen, Zac P –
    118 8 Garver, Mitch C
    119 8 Polanco, Jorge SS
    120 8 Mercado, Oscar

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wow, Kluber’s staying on the board forever… It wasn’t an injury that should linger into this year… I kinda love a lot of guys in this final 15 picks…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I know I’m unlikely to be alone in that love

        • Dave D says:
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          Yeah, several great names that apparently you can’t wait on in NFBC. Some of the names still on board will likely outperform some of these though. New guy=sexier.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Always, indeed!

        • Smitty says:
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          I’m in on Kluber pending Spring outlook. I’ll be waiting on Snell, Sale and Severino as well. All 4 should be discounted somewhat and have me hesitating to go SP that early unless I see deGrom (although got lucky last year hitting on Verlander at 16). Very risky, but I had same feeling on Verly in ’19 that Dave has on Flaherty in ’20. Have to go with your gut.
          Personally, I’m banking on Snell or Sale to drop between 25-36 (both did) to get my ace. The Grey effect has me sitting in the waiting room looking at L. Castillo, Paddock & Severino at 57, 58 & 59! Thanks for posting this list Dave, very interesting!

      • Dave D says:
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        Well, Kluber did suck before the two injuries and will be 34 in April. That is why I passed on him.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, but 34 and how old is Greinke, Verlander, etc

          • Dave D says:
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            Yeah, I know, but also how long did Verlander suck in his age 33ish years recovering from injury. Still too much risk for me with Kluber there given other options.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              But at 100-something overall, that’s not a bad gamble… him or Carrasco?

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, Id give Kluber a shot at 120-150. Not Carrasco though. I think his medical condition is pretty serious and may really affect him given his age. I wouldn’t touch him in top 300.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, tend to agree… I love Carrasco’s story for real life, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in middle relief by July/August

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Bingo!

    • Bamabterry says:
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      I was the one who snagged realmuto there…

      • Bamabterry says:
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        Wait. Nevermind. That was a different nfbc draft that we just finished. Just saw bellinger 7th and assumed. My bad

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yo, bamabterry, if you want to get in our draft, follow the link

  8. Hernan says:
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    Yo Grey, is Randy Dobnak(Twins) someone that’s can be on your impact rookie radar for 2020??, seems with Twins losing some starters(Piñata, I mean, Pineda, Odorizzi, Martin Perez), Dobnak can be someone in line for 150 big league innings(close to 160 minors/majors), only 28 MLB innings but impressed with 3 plus pitches and good swinging outside the zone and swinging strike %s…, /seems BALDELI likes him a lot, enough to the throw him out there’s against Yankees in playoff start, KRate seems low but he could be a Kyle Hendricks type…, p

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Meh, I might rank him in my rankings, but I don’t think he warrants his own post… He feels more serviceable then some of the sexy names tho, you’re right about that… I could see him being a 7+ K/9, solid command, maybe high-3 ERA to low 4, which isn’t awful if he has the IP

  9. Harley Earl says:
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    You said rookies for next year, so I was wondering if you had thought about doing anything on Tommy Edman? Maybe you already have? I know you did something early on Dylan Carlson but can’t remember about Edman. Is he even worth a post? I’m just curious what you think about him for this year. Maybe he’s just too boring to write much on.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Edman’s not a rookie anymore, exceeded eligibility

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Oh man, I thought he was right on the bubble. My bad!

  10. Darren says:
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    I’d be interested in a Carter Kieboom outlook. I know Itch has been lukewarm on him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s already been written, will be up in next few days

Comments are closed.