Seems like I can’t write one of these posts any longer without tripping over a Junior. Hell, Ronald Acuña added one for good measure. I’m about to change my eldest son’s name to Ralph Lifshitz Jr. just to get the most of the current environment. While it would be entirely in my power, and justifiable, to dedicate this space to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., I will refrain, and instead turn your attention to another highly rated Junior, Fernando Tatis Jr. It was a rough beginning to the season for Tatis, and while you could still point to a pretty putrid slashline, over his last 11 games he has 5 homers, including 3 in the last 5 games. He was a nearly universal Top 10 prospect entering the season, and was aggressively assigned to AA San Antonio. Looks like the time to panic is over and Tatis is back on track. No adjustment in Tatis’ ranking from me.

  • Looks like the Braves are promoting pitcher Bryse Wilson to AA Mississippi. So far on the season he’s 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA, and 26 strikeouts to 7 walks in 26.2 innings. He’s still a few years away, but has the makeup to be one of the best prospects from this crop of Braves arms.
  • My 2018 MLB Draft prep has started and I’m crushing hard on Florida’s Jonathan India. The third baseman has a great swing and approach at the plate. In the early sketches of my rankings, India sits 4th.

  • I know J.D. Davis is 25 and has been shuttling back and forth between Houston and Fresno, but I’m intrigued by the thought of him with everyday at bats. His statcast numbers are good, and his AAA slashline is an otherworldly .410/.466/.628. Can we get a trade here? Davis might be able to do some serious damage with a clear path to playing time.
  • I said I wouldn’t talk about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. but I lied. He’s in the midst of a 10 game hit streak and has reached base safely in 21 of 24 games so far this season. For selfish reasons, I’d like to see him stay in AA for at least another two months, but I can’t see that happening.
  • Outside of Juan Soto, there are very few players doing as much to raise their prospect stock as the Astros Yordan Alvarez. In 2018 he’s slashing .301/.378/.553, with 6 homers in 26 games. Alvarez is 20 until late June and is doing all this at the AA level. His most impressive characteristic however is his approach, walking at a 12.8% clip, while keeping his strikeouts just under 20%. He makes slightly more opposite field contact as he does to his pullside, and has hit a few of his homers to the opposite field. He’s definitely a player I’m asking the trade price on in dynasty.

  • After missing the first few weeks of the season with a pectoral injury the White Sox Eloy Jimenez is back “doing the bull” and “feeling the flow”. He raised his average to .303 yesterday following a 2-for-4 performance, raising his streak of multi-hit games to 5, and his overall hit streak to 9. He has 3 homers in his last 7 games, and looks like he’s fully recovered.
  • How long until the Phillies have had it with Aaron Altherr and/or Nick Williams, and send him down for Roman Quinn? He’s slashing .309/.364/.457, with 2 homers and 11 steals in 12 attempts. He’s a total SAGNOF in RCLs, but he’s not a net zero everywhere else.
  • The Yankees Garrett Whitlock has been dominating hitters in the Sally league this season. He’s in the midst of a 25 inning scoreless streak with a 7 inning, 10 K effort on Saturday. He hits mid-90’s with the fastball, and compliments that with an off-speed pitch. As an 18th round pick out of Alabama Birmingham, there’s not a ton of information available. He’s easy to dismiss as an advanced college guy in low-A, but he’s pitching as well as anyone in baseball.
  • The Yankees promoted lefty Justus Sheffield to AAA and he’s making his debut with the Railriders at Pawtucket. Can’t say I know whether I’ll make it or not but I will try. In AA Sheffield was 1-2 in 5 starts, with a 2.25 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 39 Ks to 14 walks in 28.2 IP.
  • The other “other”  guy in the Chris Sale trade, Luis Alexander Basabe, is back on the map this season following a strong training camp. Through 25 games he’s slashing .302/.407/.604, with 5 homers, 20 RBI, and 3 steals. His defense is elite, so if he hits he can move up the ladder quickly. For now he’s in high-A at age 21, with a good chance to see promotion to AA Birmingham should he keep up his hot hitting ways.
  • As someone, who goes to a fair amount of Paw Sox games, and has a rooting interest in the Red Sox, I have no idea what to make of Jalen Beeks. He’s a 24 year old undersized lefty with a mediocre fastball, a decent breaking ball, and a good changeup. So far in 2018 he’s been simply awesome, going 2-1 in 5 starts with a 1.71 ERA with 46 Ks in 26 innings. He’s going to get a shot at a spot start sooner rather than later, and could find some re-draft relevancy if he gets a longer look due to injury.
  • While the Padres focus on seizing the means of production, unheralded  farmhand Franmil Reyes continues to mash. After slashing .247/.340/.472  in April with 5 homers, and a 10.7% Bb rate, Reyes is going full frontal in May, unleashing dongs on the PCL like Pee-Wee Herman in an XXX movie theater. In five May games Reyes has 7 homers, including three consecutive multi-homer games on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I’ve crushed on Reyes in the past. He’s a big righthanded bat, and big is an understatement, he’s 6’5 240. He’s got an above average approach at the plate for a power hitter, and at just 22, he’s hardly old for the level. He’s definitely a sleeper, as he didn’t even make the Padres top 30 for Baseball America this off-season. He’s cracked my Top 200 before, so I view him as a nice add in deeper dynasty formats. Looks like a better fantasy than real life prospect.

  • It’s been a tough beginning to the season for the Nationals juvenile duo of Luis Garcia and Yasel Antuna. The two youngest players in the Sally league have certainly struggled over the first month but it’s important to keep in mind the degree of difficulty applied to what they’re doing. Alas, not everyone is Vladito, brah. Antuna connected for his second homer of the season on Thursday night, and despite the puke-inducing slashline of .173/.259/.269, his 9.5% Bb% is encouraging. Antuna will be 18 all season long, and it wouldn’t shock me if it clicks at some point this summer, and the results significantly improve. Teammate Luis Garcia doesn’t turn 18 for 10 days and has been slightly better than Antuna slashing .227/.286/.309, with a homer and three steals. Two really exciting infield prospects I expect to make a lot of noise over the next few seasons.
  • Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League is one of the most fun rosters to follow at the moment. It features Akil Baddoo, Alex Kirilloff, and 2017 number one stunna Royce Lewis. So far through 18 games Lewis is slashing .356/.405/.411 with a homer and 9 steals in 10 attempts. He won’t be 19 for another month, and has been really impressive following a full-season assignment out of spring training.
  • How much longer until Dustin Fowler is patrolling center everyday for the A’s? As the homie Oaktown Steve mentioned on twitter the other night, the Athletics are rolling Mark Cahna out there in center, and Fowler seems to have found his sea-legs. He’s now up to .314/.339/.466 with 2 homers, and 8 steals in 10 attempts. If he’s running like that, then me thinks the knee is fine. Get ready to run to wavier wire to add Fowler upon promotion. He should be up soon, so if you need an outfielder, and some speed, stash Fowler now.

Find all of the 30 Minor League Previews, and Offseason Rankings on the Minor League Index
On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

 
  1. Play Ball says:
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    Thor or Cole ROS in standard, season-long roto league?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Play Ball: Give me Cole!

  2. eric says:
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    Kingham and Alen Hanson on fire. Odds either sustain for the season?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @eric: I think Kingham is legit.

  3. Charles says:
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    As far as making something of Jalen Beeks is concerned, he added a cutter to his pitch mix that’s looked above average at times, and it helps play up his fastball.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Charles: Yes, he has. I called it a slider, but agree. I’ve seen plenty of Beeks this year. Not sure I think he’s more than a back end starter.

      What do you think?

  4. Slappy Jack says:
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    Love the articles, hate that players in my keeper league read razzball lol
    keep up the great work!
    Beeks was someone I was going to ask you about when you next posted something, guess I don’t have to hah
    Yordan is a dude I was wondering how much longer he would be able to stay out of the spotlight, clock is ticking now ; think he’ll be up next year?

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Slappy Jack: OH yeah , a;so what about Franmil Reyes ? dude is beasting out

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Slappy Jack: I was going to write up Franmil this morning. You know what, give me ten and re-read the article. LOL, I’m feeling inspired this morning.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Slappy Jack: Beeks is tough, I think he’s worth an add in pitching heavy formats. Like a head to head points dynasty, but he’s tough in shallower 12 team dynasty leagues. His strikeouts put him in the 16 team radar for me.

  5. David says:
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    Ralph, what would you think the ceiling is for Bryce Wilson, a number 2?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: Yes, number 2 is an appropriate ceiling IMO.

  6. sport says:
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    Thanks Ralph. I was hoping for more grab or not grab on Beeks! It will be interesting to see what he does moving forward.

    I’m in a 10 team dynasty with 35 man rosters but I have little positional depth with Jo Adell, Keston Hiura, Tyler O’Niel, and Barreto. I have Billy Hamilton on the bench and never use him in my daily lineup so I’m thinking of dropping him. Available are Brandon Marsh, Yordan Alvarez, Jahmai Jones, Mountcastle, Seuly Matias, and Akil Baddoo. Any of these guys really grabbed your attention as a must add? Marsh has always been a target of yours. You mentioned Alvarez earlier in this article and that’s what I’m leaning toward but you Jones and Mountcastle ranked in your top 50.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @sport: Beeks as I said above depends on the league size and scoring. He’s interesting but not a must own, more of a flier.

      Mentioned in the podcast comments I’d go Marsh.

  7. Captain Kirk says:
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    Have to admit that Yordan Alvarez only recently popped up on my radar. In a league that really only cares about oba and slg, how would you rank alvarez, brandon marsh and taylor trammell? I can probably only grab one.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Captain Kirk: If only those categories matter, I think I’d take Alvarez over Trammell. In any other scoring it’s Trammell for me, but Yordan should kill the scoring.

  8. jbona3 says:
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    Ralph, great work as always! What’s your outlook on Luis Urias? Who’s a player in MLB that you see as a strong comp for his skillset?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @jbona3: Daniel Murphy. Kid can just hit.

  9. Mark says:
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    I have names I see that others have mentioned. The numbers seem impressive, but I am new to the whole minors thing, especially in keeper leagues as so on.

    I am looking at a guy in the Baltimore system, DJ Stewart he looks good last year and seems to be almost ready. Do you think he’s a starter in the bigs?

    I also noticed Ryan Noda in Toronto. Sure he’s in the lower minors, but those walks and k’s are interesting for a 1st baseman who was not THAT valued. I guess its too early to tell what he will be, but of looking at numbers in the minors, is there a general rule of thumb of what and when to take notice of a players performance?

    Any upcoming articles of sleeper prospects who may debut this summer….like the Mets have Oswalt who maybe needed soon for example or Marcos Molina and so on. I am watching Mauricio Dubon in Milwakee as Arcia and Villar are looking awful….just awful. Any articles like that that may be written by you King Ralph?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mark: Could be it’s the Orioles, who knows what they decide to do. He’s a decent bet to make MLB, but I’m not sure he’s an everyday guy. Decent skills across the board though.

      I need to see what Noda does up the next few levels. He’s an older guy and the walks are nice, but he’s not hitting anything. Need to be above the Mendoza line as a 22 YO in low-A.

      Yeah I have some sleeper stuff coming out, but none of those names are in it. My favorite Mets sleeper at the moment is Nabil Crismatt of Binghamton.

  10. Mark says:
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    Slightly different, but a guy like ANdujar…he looked good, but inside his numbers are worrisome, no walks in the minors really and it looks to be catching up to him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sent down in 2 weeks.

    How do you judge a batters eye in the minors….I assume walk percentage. What is a good percentage then? Is 10% the mendoza line you would say in the minors or it doesn’t matter that much?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mark: I’d be surprised if they send down Andujar for lack of walks. That’s kind of his game, and always has been. He certainly hasn’t been bad in his first extended look. He’s hitting .280 with a .500 Slug as a rookie in the biggest media market for baseball. Give the kid some leeway. 10% is hardly a Mendoza line. Maybe 6%. Not all hitters need to be on base machines. Some guys are simply better putting the ball in play. While I certainly gravitate toward high walk hitters, it’s not the be all and end all. Lots of ways to skin a cat.

  11. Tedy says:
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    3 years of Sano for 1 year of Gerrit Cole….which side would you take

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tedy: Do you need an ace? Can you win this year? That’s your answer.

  12. Trust The Process says:
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    Ralph! I love all your stuff… look forward to them all.. 12 team Roto… forever keep 10 + 10 farm/stash…

    I’m in complete rebuild + reload mode… collecting youth and finishing last on purpose to get 1st pick in everything next year…. Because of this and listening to you, my farm is awesome.. Go the point I have my 10 and I’m starting to take guys that will count against my MLB keepers cause they’ll be up eventually… I have :

    Senzel MLB
    Calhoun MLB
    Dahl MLB
    Robert F
    Bichette F
    Baez F
    Welker F
    Heliot Ramos F
    Rodgers F
    Royce Lewis F
    Dustin Fowler F
    Austin Hays F
    Marsh F

    My question is I have an opportunity to also get guys like Teoscar and Luis Urias via trade.. Will hafta give up guys like Taillon, Cron, Suarez, Trevor Williams, Puig, Kemp, Newcomb, etc.. Would you do that and keep collecting these young guys? Or keep a few of them to build around for the future (Taillon/Puig/Suarez/Newcomb) mainly? Thank you as always!

    • Trust The Process says:
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      @Trust The Process: also I’m looking at offering ANY combo of the MLB guys for Adell ..

  13. GrassyKnollRedding says:
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    Hey Ralph, Great info as usual! Can. Not. Wait. For Vladdy Jr to come up. I was such a big fan of his father’s. Except it looks like Jr wears batting gloves. He didn’t learn that from his Dad!

    Are you starting Soroka today at home vs SF? SON doesn’t like it, but I trust you more on rookies. You got me to start him in his last game. Thanks!

    • GrassyKnollRedding says:
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      @GrassyKnollRedding: PS: I know you had Luke Weaver’s end-of-year expectations as your 37 ranked pitcher. But at this point is he cuttable in RCL? I’ve been benching him hoping he lives up to the 11th round pick I used on him. But as time goes on, he’s not giving me a lot of optimism either in his peripherals or the eye test. Curious for your take on him. Could he be one mechanics tweak away or did we all go overboard on him given his end of 2017? Thanks again!

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @GrassyKnollRedding: He was always cuttable in RCL. You should only carry must own starters in that format. It’s all about the churn.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @GrassyKnollRedding: He’s different than Dad, he looks to have the knack for hard contact though.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Start Soroka for sure.

        • GrassyKnollRedding says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz: You’re the best! Thanks for all the feedback!

  14. Jake says:
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    Loving the Roman Quinn mention!! Get him up!!

    • Jake says:
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      @Jake: BTW- Thanks for putting the timeline on the bottom of the podcast. Always like to listen to it all but usually don’t have time for the whole thing so this helps me get some Ralphie time in!

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Jake: that’s Lance, thank him!

  15. Sam says:
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    ETA on
    Senzel
    Calhoun
    Fowler
    Tucker
    Eloy
    Robles
    Kopech
    Tatis
    Vlad Jr

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      Senzel – Was shutdown with dizziness the other day, and has not played since Thursday. His 2017 was cut short due to vertigo, so this is a concern. If he’s fine I’ll guess July 15th.

      Calhoun – June 3rd. (I have no idea, but early June)

      Fowler – Within the next week. Might even be before I post another minor league update. They have zero service time stuff I believe due to his time on the DL last season.

      Tucker – August or September, unless there’s a rash of injuries.

      Eloy – September, up for good next summer.

      Robles – depends on recovery, could be this summer.

      Kopech – I think mid-July

      Tatis – September, and then next July

      Vlad Jr., will be September, and then he ain’t going back down.

      • Sam says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks Ralph!! I imagine you’re probably right but am hopeful that they are all up earlier than that!!

  16. Nature Boy says:
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    Which 2 would be the better stashes for a 3 year keeper: eloy, Tucker, Calhoun? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nature Boy: Eloy and Tucker.

  17. Roma pizza stuart florida says:
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    I’m with Sam on a couple of these guys on ETAs
    Kopech
    Vlad jr
    Francisco Mejia

  18. I am the walrus says:
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    Drop Duffy for Matz?

  19. I am the walrus says:
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    Follow up —Matz or Caleb Smith?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      Give me Caleb Smith! RIDE THE WAVE!

  20. Chud says:
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    Glad to hear Quinn is back n ready to help my Phils!

    Is Berrios & Jack Flaherty enough for me to trade away CMart in a dynasty?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      For me it would be, I’m lower on C-Mart but think those are two good bets for a good five years of above average production.

  21. Slimcompoop says:
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    Good stuff. Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      No problem Slim! Thanks for checking in!

  22. Baggiejohn says:
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    Always look forward to your in-season prospect updates, Ralph. Living in the UK most of my baseball interest is fantasy-based, but your love of the game really shines through when you talk and write about it.

    Got to mention this on here – I can’t tell anyone I play fantasy with on Yahoo!, still hoping they haven’t found this site – but I am top of RCL #34 today. My first 2 years I think I was 11th and 10th, so I’m really pumped about this, even if it all goes pear-shaped tonight! Was hoping for top-half in all honesty.

    Also, thanks to you, I own Acuna in all 4 of my keeper and dynasty leagues! In a couple I own Robles and Guerrero as well, but Acuna cost me nothing after you wrote him up last year. BIG thanks for that Sir!

    A question – would you drop Austin Meadows in Dynasty for any of Royce Lewis, Yordan Alvarez, Roman Quinn or Dustin Fowler? 6×6 scoring, including Walks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      Thanks man, I like to “think” these are just baseball articles with some fantasy jargon. Glad you feel that way! Big compliment.

      Nice, just keep churning, and never let a day go by where you don’t have a full lineup of hitters and you’ll be good.

      Awesome! I want credit for any pints you buy with you future winnings. Tip one for your boy Ralph.

      Lewis for me.

  23. Eric says:
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    Would you drop Eduardo Escobar or Jose Martinez for Matt “Can’t Stop Hitting HRs” Adams”, Polanco, Puig or Josh Bell.

    Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      Esco for Puig

  24. batflix says:
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    “unleashing dongs on the PCL like Pee-Wee Herman in an XXX movie theater” hahahahahah

  25. Chris says:
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    Thanks Ralph!

    Who you like this week….
    Kinsler or Kendrick-?

  26. batflix says:
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    Juãn Soto Jr.
    in before they figure out a way to give him a Jr. and or ã

    The kid is making a mockery of single A plebs.. I thought he might see AA , now AAA seems obvious to me if he stays healthy

    • batflix says:
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      @batflix: hot take: he’s better than vladdy jr

  27. Swfcdan says:
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    Wander Javier dropped in my keeper. Not played a game in 2018, what’s up with him? Take bad boy Akil Baddoo over him for my last minor?

  28. AwesomeAuger says:
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    What’s a realistic expectation for Fowler steals if he gets called up soon?

  29. Bryan says:
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    Short bench (3) 12 team H2H. Worth stashing ANY prospect not yet in the majors? GVJr.?, Kopech? Thoughts on earliest call up?

  30. NameLeftBlank says:
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    Estevan Florial?? Off to a not so hot start at HighA. Cause for concern? Having a hard time getting over the strikeouts but don’t want to waive a guy with star potential either.

  31. Pouss-Pouss says:
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    Already seeing the first sportswriters calling for Vladito to be called up now. Do you see any circumstances wherein the Jays make the call before September? Dude is hitting .400 with insane advanced stats, too.

  32. wilto1be says:
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    Better Stash: Calhoun or Fowler, I do need steals and I have no idea what the Rangers are waiting on. Could also drop Addison Reed if that would be better?

  33. K2H says:
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    Great write up
    Any chance Schrock gets a shot in STL sooner than later

Comments are closed.