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With a rash of Callups in the last week, there’s guaranteed to be numerous players exceeding their rookie limits over the coming weeks. This new batch of players will move up top 100 lists and into the discussion of the top 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 prospects in the game. A player who finds himself squarely in the conversation for top overall prospect in the game is the Dunedin Blue JaysVladimir Guerrero Jr. The highly touted 3rd baseman is easily one of the top 5 bats in all of the minor leagues at the tender age of 18. Over the last month he’s added to his already impressive 2017 campaign by slashing .385/.483/.646 with 6 homers and 23 RBI. With the power stroke taking a step forward it wouldn’t surprise me to see Vlad Jr. ranked as high as 1st overall in some off-season prospect lists. He’s easily the top prospect in the Florida State League this season, and in all levels of A ball. He matches his father’s uncanny ability to make contact with balls anywhere in and out of the zone, with a far more patient approach than his namesake. At this point Guerrero should be owned in all dynasty formats. Here’s what else is going down in the MiLB.

P.S. Here’s Vlad Jr. hitting a homer to clinch a FSL playoff spot on Thursday Night.

  • The Nationals Juan Soto recorded the first 5 hit game of his professional career on Saturday. He went 5 for 5 with a double, a triple, 2 runs, and 3 RBI with the GCL Nationals. The 2016 Gulf Coast League MVP is back in the GCL on a rehab assignment.  Working his way back from hamate and ankle injuries that cost him 4 months of the season. He just missed my Top 10 Outfield Prospects, ranking 12th overall.
  • One of the tough things about doing a rundown of the top 10-15 pitching prospects in the game is there’s so many interesting guys on the fringes of that position. One such player is the Braves Bryse Wilson. The 19 year old righty has spent his entire season at full season Rome of the Sally league, compiling a record of 10-7 in 25 starts with a 2.55 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 133 Ks to 36 Bbs in 134 IP. The righty mixes an above average fastball that sits mid-90’s, with average slider and changeup offerings. One of the better unheralded arms of the 2017 season.
  • Capping a big August Cardinals lefty Austin Gomber tossed 6 innings of 1 run ball last time out. Missing lots of bats in route to striking out a career high 11 in the effort. Over his last 6 starts Gomber is 5-0 with a 0.91 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, .134 BAA, and a 44 to 12 K/BB. He’s not that different from Jack Flaherty, from the sense that his secondaries (curve and changeup) play up his fastball. Worth a look in leagues where 200 minors are owned.
  • Big game from the Athletics Jorge Mateo on Friday night. He went 4 for 5, with a triple, 2 RBI, and 4 runs. He’s been batting leadoff for AA Midland, and continues to show elite speed, as his season steal total sits at 52. If Mateo can further hone his hit tool, he has the elite speed and average power to be a fantasy difference maker.
  • My number 7 overall starting pitching prospect and top rated lefty in my mid-season Top 100 Kolby Allard recorded his first career shutout on Friday night. The 20 year old lefty went 7 scoreless frames, striking out 5 while allowing one walk and one hit. He was efficient throughout the night throwing 65 of his 98 pitches for strikes. This closed the book on a very strong age 19 season for Allard, as he’s compiled a 3.18 ERA, over 150 innings pitched in AA. Highly impressive for a 19 year old starter.
  • The Pirates Mitch Keller struck out a career high 11, over 6 scoreless frames, as he allowed 4 baserunners to reach for AA Altoona. To cap off a big week, Keller (recently ranked 9th overall on my starting pitching prospect list) was named to the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs in the upcoming Arizona Fall League . He’s the highest rated arm going to the annual prospect Mecca, and certainly one to watch.
  • The gem of the Justin Verlander deal is 19 year old righty Franklin Perez. He posses a plus fastball, two above average secondaries in his curveball, and changeup, and a fringe slider. He limits hits, walks, and homers, while missing enough bats at advanced levels to think there’s at least average strikeout totals for fantasy.
  • The other fantasy relevant prospect acquired for Verlander was former prep standout Daz Cameron, son of former major leaguer Mike Cameron. After struggling through the first part of his pro career, he’s been on fire in the second half of this season. His slash line post all-star break is .332/.406/.552 with 8 homers and 17 steals. Right from the jump Cameron joins also recently acquired Issac Paredes as two of the top offensive prospects in an improving Tigers system. Over the last year the Tigers have drafted well, particularly in the pitching department, but have failed to draft any impact bats outside of Christin Stewart.
  • Congratulations to the Indians speedster Greg Allen on his promotion. I was a big fan of Allen during his breakout season of 2016, but an injury marred campaign has made him somewhat of a forgotten man around these parts. I’ve long been enamored with his combination of contact, on base ability, and speed. He’s an outside contender in the current game of thrones for Rajai Davis’ King of SAGNOF title.
  • Former Top prospect A.J. Reed has put together a really nice season in 2017 as he connected for his 33rd homer of the season Friday night. The dreams of him being an everyday power hitting cleanup hitter might be long gone, but he can still carve out a role as a lefty platoon bat vs right handed pitching. Unfortunately his inability to hit lefties limits his overall ceiling. Make no mistake Reed can still mash.
  • The Marlins first round pick Trevor Rogers is a name I’ve neglected to discuss at any length. However today I’m inspired to do so following Halp’s mention of him on the most recent Razzball Prospect Podcast. The 6’6 lefty is yet to pitch professionally, but was impressive over the last year on the showcase circuit. He features a mid-90’s fastball from a low effort delivery and wicked downhill plane from his 6’6 frame. His secondaries are raw, but there’s a moldable ball of clay. Whether the Marlins can harness Rogers is another story.
  • After an unbelievably unfortunate series of injuries the Orioles Hunter Harvey is working his back onto the prospect radar. After two elbow injuries, including one that required Tommy John, and a sport hernia, Harvey is finally heading into the offseason healthy for the first time since 2013. So far in 2017 he’s yet to allow a run over 15.2 IP racking up 25 Ks to 5 walks, and a .143 BAA. Harvey’s been on a strict 40-50 pitch count meaning he rarely sees a batter twice. A positive development is the return of his impressive curveball to go along with his solid low 90’s fastball, and above average changeup.
  • Despite 2017 feeling like a giant step backward for Tyler O’Neill, he still managed to reach the 30 homer mark for the second time in the last three seasons.  I’m not too concerned by the struggles early in his Cardinals tenure. A full offseason and spring with the organization should be good for his development as a hitter. Despite the explosive power, strikeouts have plagued O’Neill. I still believe he has the right skill set for the current environment. With a there being a very real possibility of 40 homer power. He’s hit 86 homers between 2015-2017, and he just turned 22 in June. There’s hope O’Neill can improve as a hitter to the point that a mediocre batting average is sustainable. He’s kind of Mark Trumbo with more pedigree. All hail the King In the North!
  • The Dodgers Wilmer Font had a big 48 hours, as he was named the PCL pitcher of the year, and then called up to the big club the next day. Font was one of the best stories in baseball this season, after signing as a 27 year old free agent in the offseason. He’s pitched his way into prospestc status..kinda. He got in a few MLB innings pitching in the majors with the Rangers back in 2103. After that he bounced around independent ball, eventually latching on with the Jays last season. This year he dun’ broke out riding increased fastball usage to great results. Font lead the PCL in ERA, Ks, WHIP, and K/Bb. He’ll be pitching out of the Dodgers pen for now, and might be a worthy pen stream in RCLs down the stretch.
  • The Phillies top prospect Sixto Sanchez, had one of his better starts since promotion to high A Clearwater. The 19 year old righty went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 baserunners (3 hits, 4 walks), while striking out 4. It’s been a tough go of it in the Florida State League for the highly touted starter, but it shouldn’t ding his value too much. Halp and I discussed Sixto on the last episode of the Prospect Podcast.
  • Another 19 year old starter struggling following promotion has been the Tigers Matt Manning. That all changed last night as the 6’6 righty went 5 scoreless innings for West Michigan allowing four baserunners (2 hits, 2 walks), while striking out 9.
  • The opposing starter for Manning’s start was an equally highly touted arm in Padres lefty Adrian Morejon. He also went 5 allowing 1 run on 7 baserunners (6 hits, 1 walk), while striking out 6. The lefty brings a polished arsenal for an 18 year old, and all things considered has pitched well in full season ball.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. had his best game since being promoted to AA San Antonio on Saturday as he went 4 for 5, with 1 run, and 2 RBI. I’m sure I’ll talk more Tatis in Thursday’s upcoming Top 10 Shortstop Prospects.
  • The White Sox Alec Hansen made his second start with AA Birmingham on Saturday striking out 9 after striking out 8 in his debut on Monday. He did allow 8 hits over 5.1 yesterday, but didn’t walk a batter in the start, and limited the damage to just 2 runs.

**Going to a minor league game? Get in on our crowdsourced scouting video project! Use your phone to shoot at bats, pitches, etc of some of the top prospects, and email them to me at [email protected]**

Follow me on Twitter @ProspectJesus and Tune on Tuesday’s @ 9PM (EST) to my Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube.  (and join the Crab Army in the chat)

   
  1. chris says:
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    Any concern sabout Sixtoo’s small stature and the rigors of pitching +150 innings and their effects on his body? Oh, and thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @chris: Yes 100% I echoed those exact concerns in my top 10 starters comments, and on the corresponding podcast from Saturday.

  2. Swfcdan says:
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    The king in the north!

    Can you inform me about the AFL aka prospect Mecca. I’ve never really understood what is the main point of it and how do they decide who gets chosen to go and to which team? I thought it was meant to be just for players needing more reps if they’d had injuries, but it isn’t just those players by any means. Aren’t the actual numbers less useful seeing as many players are already gassed by the time they go there?

    On another note Albies is really starting to rock and roll for the Bravos. But where’s the steals, you worried about him being more of a 20-25SB guy as the Braves don’t run much? I had Dee Gordon dreams when I acquired him part-way through the year, but at least he’s got the potential to have pop like Trea Turner now so 15 a year.

    Lastly do you sour on young players if they start out poorly at the mlb level? I had high hopes for Fisher but outside of a brief hot start he’s been really cold, not sure how much it should dim my outlook on him or does he just need to get acclimatised.

    Guess they can’t all start out like Rhys lightning, think we’ve dodged a bullet there fingers crossed! Great work as always, I want to give your/halps podcast a good review but can’t see a way to do it on android!

    • Dave says:
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      @Swfcdan:

      I was thinking the same thing about Fosher too. I know patience is key, but you hate to pass on other guys in the meantime.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Swfcdan: Perhaps, but players who have big performances there typically springboard that into big seasons the following year. Most of the players there typically have a month before the AFL starts.

      Your point about players missing time is true, but mostly applies to pitchers. Position players that are up and coming typically have at least one run through the AFL, hence Acuna and Robles going. Keller on the other hand is one of the few top pitching names headed to Arizona and that’s due to missed time. Lots of guys have had breakouts during the AFL and popped onto the radar, Josh Hader being one of them. At the end of the day part of the appeal for someone like me is Baseball in Novermber with notable names. Hahaha! Gives me and Halp something to talk about.

      Albies is more like Altuve to me, and they will run with him, it’s only a matter of time. He may very well be a 25 steal and not a 40 steal guy. The steals are there though.

      Fisher will come around, he has a long history of taking some time to adjust to a level. The power and speed is there.

  3. Dave says:
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    Good stuff as always.

    I have a lot of youth, but Vlad is available. Was thinkinof dropping Fisher for him. Is that a wise move? I can’t win this year, although I’ve been raking lately. My 3B are Devers, McMahon and Bregman. My OF are Mazara, Kepler, Benintendi, Polanco, Judge, Acuna. I don’t know if I need him, but he seems to have elite power and would be nice when called on (next year?).

    Thoughts? Points league keeper and he’d be $1 for 3 years (contract starts when he reaches minimum rookie qualifications.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: If you have a way to hold Vlad for a year + he has to be added.

      • Dave says:
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        These are the players I could drop, but keep in mind, I have Polanco on the dl and need the spot:

        Reddick (has been a streamer for me for open slots), Fisher, Flarety, Melky, Manaea, C. Allen.

        I’m trying to compete for the 2nd half prize where the top 2nd half owner wins $$. That’s why I have melky, who gets hits. But I could drop him too. The spot for Reddick will be used for Polanco soon. Flarety had one bad game but he’s young. Manaea has been awful but he’s going to be solid in 2018. Allen is a closer but he’s $12 and I have 5 other rp. And then there’s Fisher.

        Any picks?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Dave: If it means you get Vlad I’d drop Fisher.

  4. Marty Jannetty Was Set Up says:
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    Good stuff Ralph! Do you think Keller is getting called up anytime this year? Been following him pretty closely last 2 months and it looks like he’s been out performing Glassnow.

    On a separate subject, in a h2h points league (+5 for saves, + 1 for K’s, +1 for 1/3 IP, +1 for K, -1 for H,W,R,BB) I added Blake Parker and now have 6 closers and I can only start 5.

    Who’s the odd man out between Britton, Colome, Knebel, Ziegler, Parker, Shane Greene? Did I rank these correctly?

    Thanks for all your work this season.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Marty Jannetty Was Set Up: Keller is 100% not getting called up. He’s headed to the AFL and has barely played above A ball. Next season seems likely though.

      The Glasnow thing is tough, he has a 13.5 K/9 and a 1.93 ERA in AAA. Takes he big guys awhile to figure out mechanics, and seems like he has now that he’s only pitching from the stretch. Keller has been missing more bats of late, and he’s certainly safer than Glasnow. Both are really great pitching prospects still. Just different in terms of style.

      Prolly Greene.

      • jlfc42 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks for the insight. It looks like DET is punting this season the rest of the way which means less save opportunities.

  5. Wacha Wacha says:
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    Which 2 sp do you like best Ros for 10 team h2h with limited moves? Ryu, daives, Snell, l Weaver, duffy

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: Weaver and Snell, I’m a prospector! Most upside with those two. Ryu is safe, and Davis is blah. Duffy may not be back. Elbow injury + embarrassing DUI sounds like a good time to take the rest of the season off.

  6. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    No questions, just a big thank you for another solid and informative write – up.

    I’m with you on baseball in November!! How cool is that!!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: It’s like X-Mas in July! Or Hanukkah in June!

  7. Dan says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Great post. I’ve seen Bryse Wilson’s name a few times now and am considering adding him to a deep minor league system (25 guys). Do you think a high upside arm like Thomas Spazucki is worth dropping for him? Him having TJ and shaky mechanics have me wondering if he is worth holding onto.

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dan: I’d take him over Szapucki, super nervous that we might never see a ton out of Szapucki. Bryse looks great.

  8. James T Kirk says:
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    Hey Ralph – what’s your take on Dansby Swanson? His overall numbers are disappointing, but since returning he has been an onbase machine. I compare him to Bregman since they were drafted 1-2 (I think). Bregman had similar struggles and has turned it around in a big way. Does Swanson have a shot at doing the same next year? Does he have 15-20 homerun power?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: I will not give up on Dansby, I think a lot of people wrote him off after he struggled. Much like catcher there’s a lot of responsibility on young SS. He has offensive skill, good approach, solid contact, and enough power and speed to be relevant. Good buy low guy. I got into it with a few other experts last month when Dansby was demoted. People are so reactionary, and development isn’t clean or a straight line. It’s a flat circle! Totally a flat circle.

      I’m serious about everything but the Rust Cohle quote.

      • James T Kirk says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Yup! I was able to draft Conforto late and trade for Bregman b/c people had given up on them. I still really like Swansons overall game. Just hope to see a bit more power.

        So, if you had to pick three of the following for next year (basing your assessment on at bats, on-base, and slugging ), which rookies would you keep:

        Kyle Tucker
        Austin Hays
        Willie Calhoun
        Ryan McMahon
        Amed Rosario
        Yandi Diaz
        Fransisco Mejia

        I probably only want to keep one, maybe two outfielders.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @James T Kirk: Rosario, McMahon, and Tucker. You’re going to have to wait months on Tucker of that matters.

          • James T Kirk says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            Interesting. Who would be next? I already have Swanson and don’t want to give up on him yet. Plus, longterm, I still like him more than Rosario.

  9. Mike L says:
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    If people are in dynasty and they haven’t found a way to add Vlad they must be stacked or clueless unless he’s already owned. I have Bregman and Senzel now but think he will probably surpass both. That guy is the real deal.

    Need your thoughts on Conforto and David Dahl. I’m finally going to be in a competitive position next year and not sure if they’re both worth the hold. Dahl has been extremely frustrating. Is there an outfielder that is worth picking up over either one that’s going to be an early call next year? Robles, Meadows, Acuna, and Tucker are on rosters. The only reason I’m considering getting rid of Conforto is the seriousness of the injury. My other OF is Trout, Buxton, Polanco, Brinson, and Schwarber FYI. Thanks for any advice you can give.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike L: Yeah I agree by and large but there’s some “dynasty league”, and I use that term lightly that have 25-30 minors owned and weird forceup rules. The time has come for Vlad Jr. To be owned in those formats.

      Conforto is tough, but I’d wait to hear more and take the first reasonable offer. I’d hold on Dahl.

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Mike L: Is Eloy out there?

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Slappy Jack: Good call

      • Mike L says:
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        @Slappy Jack: No he’s gone too. I think he’s probably the best prospect in the game. Luis Robert came to mind but too far away.

  10. The JoGarza says:
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    Love the Bryse shout out.

    Can you further feed into my confirmation bias and tell me good things about Daniel Johnson, OF (WAS)? My most recent pick up in a deep dynasty.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @The JoGarza: Yeah Bryse is nyse.

      Like Johnson in deeper formats, showing some power and speed, little old for the level but it’s only his first full season and he’s been every hit as good in high A as he was in low A. Like a lefty with power and speed

  11. Another Dan says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Excellent stuff as usual.

    Just returning to prospecting after a 10 day family holiday. Hope things are good with you.

    Added a few prospects in a keeper league in which I have missed the play-offs. Will find a way to keep a couple of them.

    My Hoskins for Tom Murphy trade at the beginning of the season doesn’t look so good now!! Thought Murphy would be a fantasy asset this year. Doh!!

    Is the intention to keep writing a weekly article in the off-season? Or are you taking a well earned rest? I may need fantasy advice as one league is adding an MiLB roster and another will have a MiLB draft (2017 draftees, international signings and unowned prospects).

    Football update : league form is P4 W2 D1 L1. The loss was to the pre-season favourites when at 2-1 down we were reduced to 10 men. FA Cup run is still ongoing, won 1-0 yesterday at home to a team from the league above. The draw is tomorrow lunchtime.

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Hey Dan great to have you back panning with the minors! Boy that sounds creepy.

      Yeah dang that one hurts, it’s one of those speculative win now moves that hurts.

      I don’t take any rests! Sometime in October I’ll do my first yer player draft ranks (2017 draftees and J2’s, International Free Agents). I’ll go through all 30 systems, keep the pod going doing the same thing, still doing my YouTube stuff, and will be posting 2-3 times a week here. I might do top 50 prospects per position instead of a Top 100. We’ll see I have lots of ideas.

      Nice! Keep the updates coming. Can you drop a link to a homepage? That way I can favorite it, an check it.

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Managed to pick Hoskins up in a couple of other leagues, so it’s not all bad news.

        Of course you can have some links.
        Club website :- http://www.scarboroughathletic.com
        You can also YouTube ‘Scarborough Athletic FC’ and get match highlights, goals and post-match interviews etc.

        Remember, we’re a small town football club who are four promotions from the football league and seven promotions away from the Premiership. Don’t expect too much. But it’s my team.

        I have Realmuto at catcher in a 12 team H2H, also have Collins, Mejia, Murphy and Alex Jackson. Holding too many ? Have interest in Mejia, trade him for one of Kingery, Rosario, Bichette ?

        Best wishes,

        Dan

  12. Miketron says:
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    I have been keeping g an eye on Gomber. Good finish, but had some undisclosed injury earlier this year. Makes me a little leary if it was forearm and he throws all those breaking balls. Borucki from Blue Jays also looked great down the stretch in AA. Also some injury concerns.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: what’s up Mike? Yeah I like Gomber too, but he’s more of a deep league guy for me. Not way I’d own him in a 12-16 team dynasty. Razz30 he’s a solid depth arm.

      I like Borucki, I think my worry there is a Blue Jays developed starter. Don’t trust that organization. Right or wrong, best thing for Thor was that Dickey trade.

      • Miketron says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Stroman turned out OK. Still willing to give Sanchez a chance after a lost year to weird blister things. It has been disappointing to see Osuna as a closer rather than starter, but he has been great in the role. Curious to see how Reid-Foley shakes out, he has been a very mixed bag.

  13. SR says:
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    I have to say, it’s been a weird year for prospecting. After what felt like a few years of teams being aggressive and proactive in promoting prospects, this year has been a massive step backwards with several guys just festering in the minors before getting called up (Devers, Hoskins, Rosario, Mahle, Moncada, etc).

    At least those guys got the opportunity to establish them at the big league level. I’m sitting on a tall stack of prospects who should conceivably been MLB regulars at this point on performance alone – Tapia, Brinson, McMahon, Andujar, Buehler, AJ Reed, JP Crawford, and this is making my offseason plan pretty murky. Damn real baseball…

    Other note – Sickels released his (real life) top 20 prospects today, and he had Whitley at #12, with a comment that he could be ahead of Kopech (#11) as the best pitching prospect in baseball. Agree with him or not, he needs to be owned everywhere just based on the helium Sickels and Longenhagen have given him.

    With the minor league regular season wrapping up, I need to figure out which guys (pitchers especially) we’ll get another look at before next spring.

    Mahle had a solid start against the Pirates yesterday, I think he could be a high level #3 at the big league level. Another interesting guy in Max Fried is starting against the Cubs today, and is one to keep an eye on, even if the command let him down this year.

    • SR says:
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      @SR:

      And a couple of other things…

      Blake Snell is stringing together a nice set of starts down the stretch here, and going deeper into games while doing it. I think I’m buying a breakout, and expecting big things from him next year.

      You mentioned Hunter Harvey – he’s a guy who was a top 40-60 prospect and maybe higher before he had those injuries preceding TJ. You talked about top pitching prospects yesterday, but I wonder if a healthy Hunter Harvey slots into the back end of that Franklin Perez, Sixto Sanchez second tier. I think he slots into the 80’s range of a top 100, with Buehler type helium for 2018.

      • chris says:
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        @SR: Obviously I’m not Ralph, but if I recall @ Harvey was that he had crazy stuff. He was on the fast track, i think, to the majors until the TJS and shoulder injuries (i think that could have been the other way around) grounded him.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @chris: Close it was elbow stuff.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @SR: Snell has been good for a couple months now. I can buy it.

        Yeah if he’s healthy, very tough to trust this guys health. He’s a low risk flier in deeper format, anything more than that is a risky gamble.

        • SR says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz:

          Yeah – on Harvey it depends how you read it, I’m digging through his injury history, and it seems like he seemed more perpetually hurt than he actually was due to the Orioles way of managing things.

          He was sidelined with elbow issues a few times, but I would think these were fixed by TJ. Likely lost a season or so of time just trying to rest and rehab the elbow instead of having surgery in the first place.

          Groin issues – looks like he had a sports hernia repaired surgically eventually. Same story with trying to rest it numerous times before just having the surgery and resting up. Lost extra time on that one too.

          Fractured Fibula – hit by a comebacker. Can’t really call out durability on that one as a pitcher. I hold bone injuries against hitters because their plate approach can dictate how many pitches they get hit by – pitchers not so much.

          Maybe I’m just rationalizing the definition of can’t stay healthy. But it would seem like three actual injuries (two arguably just unlucky/unavoidable) turned into what felt like 12 due to the rest/rehab cycles the Orioles put him through.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @SR: Agree on Whitley he needs to be owned everywhere. I obviously disagree with him being the top pitching prospect, but I had him at 11. I ranked him 75th back on my mid season list before he had even really broke out. I’m a huge Whitley fan, but I do think he’s at least a year away. Guys like Kopech, Honeywell, Reyes, And Buehler are closer. Starting pitching is the most subjective sub-section of a really subjective art in prospecting.

      I think it was a transition year in terms of who was called up. Gleyber getting hurt didn’t help. The Phils sat on Hoskins. Devers needed some seasoning. Moncada continues to struggle, and the WS had no motivation to force him up. The Braves have no reason to force up Acuna, the Mets sat on Amed and Dom, the Rays never called up Honeywell, it goes on and on. Still even with Willie Calhoun!

      Yeah I’ve written about Mahle a bunch, Fried is okay, really struggled this year at every level. Needs to find his command. Not sure if I can be sold on him again. Coming into the year I loved his three plus pitches but he’s been awful.

      • SR says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Yeah, agreed on all of that. Fried is a guy who could put it together quickly, but he’s as likely as anyone at this point. I drafted him in one league back in 2012/13, so at least he’s contributing to the big league team now.

        One thought on Franklin Perez going to the Tigers – the Tigers aren’t shy about giving minor league pitchers opportunities at the big league level. We might see Perez as soon as sometime early next year if he performs at AA, it’s not like there’s a logjam ahead of him, and the Tigers are notoriously impatient with rebuilds.

  14. Bernie B says:
    (link)

    Is Gohara worth an add? Saw he was being called up…
    Long term, in dynasty, prefer Gohara or Whitley?

    Would you drop any of these for one of them?
    Schebler, Kipnis, Bour, Kepler? Ops scoring

  15. Smoooth Jimmy says:
    (link)

    Great read as always you keep me in the loop of the prospects and I thank you.
    Where do you see vladdy jrs eta?
    I’m thinking cup of coffee next year?

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