We should’ve taken it as a sign of superhuman abilities, when Bo Bichette’s body digested his burst appendix last season. That’s so insane Chuck Norris is impressed. Matt Wieters facts never made a claim that lofty. That’s some X-Men, mutant baseball machine stuff. The craziest part is he unknowingly played through it for a week, and raked!!! I know, I know, a story this good, it’s really a lot to digest… Thank you, I’ll be here all week, literally. As exciting as it might seem to get a lesson in freaky anatomy happenings from me, that’s not why I bring up Bichette. Though it might be in line with his recent production. Freakish!! As I write this he just finished off a 4 for 5 night, with a double, a triple, and 2 runs scored. The game actually started as a 4 for 4 night, and was a diving grab away from being a 5 for 5 night. This isn’t an isolated incident either, but you knew that if you were paying attention.

After slashing .427/.451/.732 in 91 plate appearances during his stint in the Gulf Coast League in 2016. Bichette has continued that dominance in his first run at full season ball. He currently leads the Midwest League in batting average, OBP, slugging, and has an OCD like 7 homers and 7 steals. He’s riding a 13 game hitting streak, and needs to be owned in all dynasty formats of all types. He’s outperforming teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who by the way, is performing pretty well. Bichette is of course a year older, so any comps should be taken with a grain of salt. All this to say, Bichette, who didn’t make my Top 100 in February might be in my Top 50 now. Things change fast in the minors…… Here’s what else I saw in the MiLB.

    • The three outcome beast known as Christin Stewart ripped another homer for AA Erie last night. It was his 14th of the season, and first in 10 games. He’s been able to maintain his elite walk rates from 2016, and has continued to hit for power. So there’s a lot to be excited over. However, he’s got some warts too. The most glaring of which is his split issues vs lefties. That’s important for him to improve on, because he really only fits a DH profile, and a platooned DH is blah. You gotta see the power though! All of the AA tape from this season is grainy, so here’s a homer from the Arizona Fall League.

    • Speaking of three outcome players with split issues, Josh Ockimey continues to come out his neck in 2017. Slashing .320/.420/.517 with 7 homers and an 18 game hitting streak, he extended last night. Ockimey looks to be duplicating his first half success from last season, and possibly surpassing it. The most encouraging sign through the first two months, he’s slashing a respectable.284/.366/.463 vs left handed pitching. That’s a big improvement from last season. He continues to strikeout around 25% of the time, but his walk rates are elite, and he makes tons of hard contact to all fields. I’m back on the Ockimey train, Halp save your shaming for the podcast!
    • I went back and watched Max Fried’s start from Friday, and my initial impression is there’s still a lot to like. He mixes a nice fastball, and curveball combo, supplementing the change for the curve here and there. His mechanics are clean, but even when he’s locked in he can lose control and walk a batter or two. Not going to sugar coat it, I’m worried, but he’s certainly not moving off my top 100. But he ain’t move up it either, even as many of the top 50 graduate. Friday was a step in the right direction, even if he took the L.
    • Braves catching prospect Brett Cumberland is hitting .406 over his last 10. He’s a switch-hitting catcher with an elite walk rate, a .295 ISO, and a 57% FB rate, I like how that could play at SunTrust one day. If you’re looking to stash a catcher with upside give Cumberland an add.
    • So I suppose this is where I mention Michael Gettys hit 4 homers in two days for San Diego’s High A affiliate Lake Elsinore. Gettys is still just 21, and is toolsy with some power and speed. So maybe dismissing him is silly, but he strikes out a ton, and can look lost at times. I wouldn’t trade for him, but could see adding him if you’re looking for an upside outfielder in a deeper dynasty.
    • Lots of callups this week, as Kyle Tucker was promoted to AA, Ryan McMahon was called up to AAA, Jack Flaherty was called up to AAA, and Gleyber Torres was called up to AAA. Lots of good prospects are getting even closer to the majors. When you’re in AAA you’re just an injury away.
    • The last few starts have been a great development in the evolution of Jacob Faria. He’s gotten into the 7th in two of the last three, with the third being the game he was struck with a line drive. He’s currently sporting gaudy numbers with a 6-1 record backed by a 3.07 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, a .201 batting average against, and most impressively a 12.89 K/9. He should be in Tampa’s rotation sometime this summer.
    • A.J. Puk aka “Fire Crotch Zeke“, has been on a tear of late, tossing 6.2 innings of 3 run ball yesterday while striking out a career high 12 in the process. He’s now got 81 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. Pardon me while I adjust my sweatpants. The stuff is nasty, and it’s showing up in the form of swings and misses. Look no further than his elite 16.8% SwStr%, and his absurdly low 13.2% LD% against. So he misses bats, and when they do make contact with Puk’s pitches they’re rarely getting barrels. That’s good.
    • Kevin Kramer has been getting added almost everywhere in my dynasty leagues, and after his performance in AA I can see why. He’s always flashed a strong hit tool, and looks to be taping into power, and some speed as well. Looks like a guy that could eventually be a fringe MI in 12 team leagues, but a solid performer in deeper formats.
    • I said it on Twitter and we discussed it somewhat on this week’s edition of the Prospect Podcast. I love Ronald Acuna, he’s sneaking into the top 5 discussion and is firmly in my top 10. He’s now hitting .389/.438/.611 with 4 homers and 12 steals in 24 games at AA. I watched him in that same Max Fried start, and he’s so quick out of the box it’s nuts. This kid is gifted, and he might even see a September cup of coffee with the big club. Something I would have thought was absurd this winter.

  • My weekly Yoan Moncada callup date take is this, I think we’re looking July. Unless Yolmer Sanchez goes down with an injury, I don’t see his promotion as imminent.
  • Diamondbacks righty, and personal favorite Jon Duplantier’s scoreless streak came to an end yesterday. It occurred in the 3rd Inning of a 6.1 innings, 2 run effort, allowing 9 baseunners, with 4 strikeouts. Not a bad showing, and better to get that streak behind you, right? Maybe not…. Either way, he out-dueled (not really) highly touted international signing Cionel Perez (Astros: 5.2 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 earned, 1 walk, 1 K) on the other side.
  • I suppose I should discuss Chance Adams, the Yankees righthander who’s currently owning the minors with a 1.24 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 across 58 innings split between AA and AAA. Here’s what I said about him when I covered the Yank’s farm system in the off-season. “Adams brings a four pitch arsenal, and throws all his pitches for strikes. Led by a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s, a slider that is his best out pitch and secondary offering, as well as a change he throws from the same arm slot as the fastball. There’s a solid skill set.” Still holds true, and so far it’s playing in the the upper minors. The worry with Adams, is the same as all young pitchers in the parks of the AL East. Then again, I suppose baptism by fire is the ultimate test. Would not surprise me if he’s up some time in July if only for a start or two.
  • After a rough start to the season Sean Reid-Foley continued his resurgence as he went 6 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits, and no walks, while striking out 8. He’s been locked in for four of his last 5 outings after a couple of stinkers in the first month. He’s gone away from the groundball though, which is a little concerning.

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. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Loads of great info PR! You continue to impress week after week!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: Thanks MP you magnificent bastard!

  2. Chud says:
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    Great stuff as always!

    Bring up Meadows & Berrato!

    I have 1 ww pick this month n 2 legit options for my full keeper league: Alonso & Jimmy Nelson. Whose breakout do you believe more in?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chud: I believe in both, really depends on team need. Watched Jimmy’s last two starts and he’s really had it going with that two seamer and his curve. On the other side all of Alonso’s underlying stats point toward a real breakout. I’m always going to lean power hitter when given the option. So I’d go Alonso, but if you need pitching then it’s Jimmy

  3. BM says:
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    I tried dropping Fried for Chavis but got outbid by a $1 last Sunday. So I’m considering dropping him for Duplantier this week, but is it worth it? I feel like Fried has the ability to get hot go on a big run like last year when it all clicks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BM: I’d hold on Fried

  4. Joe Shmoe says:
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    Hi there,
    With about 65ABs in the majors, Ian Happ is looking , well hapless (corn). I already dropped him in rcl’s but what do you think about him as long term player and fantasy play.

    Thanks for any insights.
    Peace

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Joe Shmoe: I think he’ll have his struggles and will have bad periods. He’s always been streaky in the minors. So the power numbers will be solid, same with the counting stats, but his streakiness will mean he hits .260. Long term he’s still a keeper in most dynasty leagues.

  5. Cheese says:
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    How about Lewis Bronson? Any updates there or potential date on a call up?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Cheese: Brinson has continuted to look great and a couple of homers on Thursday night. He’s my number 1 guy at the moment and we should see him sometime in the next month or so. Really depends on the Brewers injury situation and Braun.

  6. dude says:
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    Have you had a chance to watch Senzel this year? A lot of people were expecting him to move through the system quickly and be the 1st bat to majors from that draft class. Curious on your thoughts.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dude: A couple times, very professional at bat, not as much power as I was hoping to see.

  7. Jared Culverhouse says:
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    Dynasty 14 team league roto-obp- every pitcher i own is injured and in dead last rebuild

    Sent Corey Dickerson
    James Pazos
    Brendan Rodgers

    For Ronald Acuna
    Walker Buehler
    Justin Bour

    This alright, I know Rodgers looks great but I was worried about those Lancaster power numbers being inflated.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jared Culverhouse: I’ll take Acuna over Rodgers, and Halp said the same in the pod yesterday. So no issue there, I’ll take Buehler over Pasos by a lot, and are Bour and Dickerson that far off? Good trade!

  8. Mike says:
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    Who would you take in a keeper league where its a pitching heavy league and proximity to the big leagues helps.

    Eloy, Acuna, Snell, Mejia, Tucker, Hoskins, Allard, McKenzie or Alvarez?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike: Is take Acuna, of the arms it would be a toss up between McKenzie and Allard. I love Acuna, so he’s my pick there.

  9. Tim says:
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    How do you rank Eloy, Acuna and Tucker for future ceilings?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tim: Acuna, Tucker, Eloy. All very close though. I take Acuna and Tucker due to the varied skill set.

  10. Butch says:
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    Is Walker Buehler in the top 3 of minor league pitchers right now? Who are your top 3?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Butch: He’s close but not there yet. I’d go Honeywell, Kopech, McKenzie. Then Allard, Alvarez, Espinoza and De Leon aren’t far off.

  11. Mitch says:
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    Allard has had some average outings lately. You still like him as a guy who could make it to Atlanta in 2018?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mitch: Yes, I think he could see some time in Atlanta in 2018. He’s only 19 and struggles will happen.

  12. Frank says:
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    Is Frances Martes worth a stash or is he regressing to much?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Frank: I’m a little nervous, I’m sure there are better options

  13. Sean says:
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    I want to believe in Snell. His recent AAA numbers are decent. Can he be a factor in Tampa this season and in the future?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sean: If he throws some more strikes, absolutely. His issue is command and control.

  14. Thorbs says:
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    Good stuff as always…would you drop Duplantier for Ockimey? My other minor leaguers are Maitan, Acuna, Robles, Verdugo, Tapia, Bader, Weaver and Duplantier.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Thorbs: No I’d still hold on Duplantier but its close. You have a lot of hitters.

  15. Toast says:
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    How bout a Top 5 call-up list for 2017 MLB production in an NL-only league? Thanks!

    • Ralphy says:
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      And AL please

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralphy: Moncada, Devers, Gleyber, Faria, Fisher, Barreto.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Toast: Brinson, Meadows, Hoskins, Rosario, and Albies.

  16. Ralphy says:
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    Nick Senzel or Raimel Tapia?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ralphy: Long term Senzel, but its close. Tapia has that elite contact and speed thing going + Coors.

      • Ralphy says:
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        Thanks Ralph. Where do you think he fits in on that roster? It’s already loaded and Dahl is about to return.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Ralphy: He’s either traded or Car-Go/Parra gets moved. He’s gives the Rockies cost control.

  17. BigNaturals says:
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    Can only roster 7 minor leaguers. Just sold off sime big name players and my current MILB roster is: Acuna, Kyle Tucker, Eloy, Brinson, Vlad Jr, Robles, & Calhoun. Drop Willie for Bichette, O’Neill, or Bader?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BigNaturals: Is hold Willie.

  18. Dave Weinnstein says:
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    When do you think we will see Dom Smith and Brett Phillips? Both are destroying AAA.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave Weinnstein: Really depends. Duda is hitting so Smith might not be until there’s an injury, or late August. Phillips could get the call at anytime, but there’s a lot of OF, and I imagine Brinson would get the call first. Might be another injury or late in the year guy.

  19. Sport says:
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    I can’t find Bo Bichette in yahoo leagues. Anyone else have that problem?

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Sport: he’s not there
      even tho guys like Kevin Maitan are… it’s weird

      they are also missing some older guys like Oswaldo Arcia

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Yahoo gon’ Yahoo!

  20. James T Kirk says:
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    I have a chance to grab two of the following: Acuna, Urias, KIngery, Hoskins, Bichette. Who would you take?

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @James T Kirk: Urias / Acuna

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: If it’s Julio Urias then yes Urias and Acuna. If it’s Luis Urias I go Acuna and Hoskins.

  21. Milarky says:
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    Good stuff Ralph! How is your former flame Hader doing these days? I’m assuming not so good seeing as how he’s rarely mentioned here…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Milarky: Ha! Nope, he’s not doing a whole lot, we’ve talked about him a lot of the prospect podcast. I’m still not writing him off. Colorado Springs is rough, as is the PCL.

  22. Marti says:
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    Nick Williams and Ryan McMahon are both available in my nl dynasty league. Should they be owned and who would u pick up first

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Marti: I’d add Williams just cause he’s so hot of late.

  23. Chud says:
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    1 more piece of expertise advice needed:

    Who would u rather have in a keeper league: M Franco or Alonso?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chud: It might seem very shortsighted but Alonso, if he keeps this up he’s a top 10 1B.

  24. My Seven Rizzos says:
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    Better option in a 12 team points keeper league ROS

    Brad Peacock
    Jimmy Nelson
    Tyson Ross

  25. Sport says:
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    I read you say once to keep more hitters than pitchers in a prospect perspective, then go after pitching once you are ready to compete. This sounds a little like a Grey Albright approach but in a dynasty mode of thinking. Do you tend Ron follow the same Greyism in catchers? Meaning do you spend a roster spot on Mejia or Collins or just wing it with the waiver wire when you are competing?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Only on the elite guys when it comes to catchers. So there’s space on my roster for a Mejia or Collins. Very few check that box though.

  26. Brett says:
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    Ralph I know pitcher rankings are tomorrow but taijuan walker or peacock?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Brett: If he stays in the rotation, I’m leaning Peacock. All the K’s and he’s in a great setup for W’s.

  27. Chris says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    What have you heard about Hamilton and Schebler? I have them both and the only back up I have for outfielders is Seth Smith. It says they shouldnt require a trip to the DL but it still says day to day. Would you sit one of them this week for Smith or take the chance that both will play. Lineups lock for the week 5 minutes before the first game on Monday.

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chris: Wait till the last minute, check the news, and start them if they should play. How many RHP do the O’s see this week?

      • Chris says:
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        Thanks Ralph,

        I’ll wait.

        Baltimore has: Nova-Kuhl-Ross-Montgomery-Severino-Tanaka.

        I wanted to say all those guys are righties, please correct me if I’m wrong.

        Also, what do you think of this trade?

        Syndergaard-Wood-Dyson
        for
        Belt Cespedes Gattis

        Thanks!

  28. Saints says:
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    Hay ralph great stuff as always.
    What do you think about Matt Reynolds and Mac williamson ? do you think they will become valuable MLB Starters ? Or are those guys useless and its time to move on ?

  29. Jack says:
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    Think Rosario gets the call within the next 2 weeks?

  30. Alan says:
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    Do you believe in Patrick Mazeika? Seems like he has good plate eye and power. But out of nowhere.

    Take care

  31. Wild Thing says:
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    Hi Ralph –

    Alex Reyes hit the waiver wire. What should I bid on him? Team and rules are below. Thanks!

    12 team $260 salary cap. Players keep salary for 2 years and then are signed to contracts based on $5 per year. So Hedges is $1 for 2017-2018 and then would be $11 for 2 years annually or $16 for 3 years, etc.

    Parentheses indicate year signed

    C – Hedges $1 (March 2019)
    1B – Bellinger $1 (2019)
    2B – Odor $16 for 3 years
    SS – Bogaerts $22 for 2 years
    MI – Moncada $11 (2018)
    3B – Healy $1 (2019)/Devers $1 (2018)
    OF – Desmond $16 (2019)
    OF – Benintendi $1 (2018)
    OF – Zimmer $1 (2019)
    OF – Robles $1/Jimenez $1/Tucker $1 (minor league roster so will be signed 2 years after 1st callup

    SP – Berrios $3 (2019)
    SP – Velasquez $16 for 3 years
    SP – Manaea $5 (2019)
    SP – Folty $1 (2019)
    SP – E-Rod $1 (2018)
    SP – Snell $3( 2019)
    SP – Cotton $1 (2019)
    RP – Robertson $12
    RP – Johnson $1 (2019)

  32. Tony Berkman says:
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    Faria vs. Snell for ROS?

  33. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    nice job,thanks for the work

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