When you write, research, and talk ad nauseam about minor league systems for four to five months exclusively, you look forward to some systems more than others. The Cincinnati Reds are a team I couldn’t wait to cover. From Nick Senzel to Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and the rest, this organization is full of talents with fantasy upside. My compadre Lance Brozdowski and I dive in on all the top names, and pretty much talk about the top three like they’re our children. Seriously I think we talk about Nick Senzel for 47 minutes. He’s that good… But in truth we cover the top 15 prospects, the arms, the bats, the 80 grade names. We learn that the words Cash and Case together form a massive tongue twister for Lance. Then again Cash Case is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, who speaks Mandarin. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

 

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

   
  1. David says:
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    11×11 keeper league. can keep 18 players between players rated 1, 2, and non-rated.

    1’s: encarnacion, segura, bruce, strasburg, greinke, ray (these guys are set)
    2’s: simmons, turner, eaton, rosario, clevinger, quintana
    n/r: myers, healy, guerrero, tucker, godley, reyes, gleybar, kopech

    I just traded for gleybar & kopech, so here are my option:
    1. decide between clevinger or quintana & drop one of the n/r players above to get to 18
    2. keep both clev & quint and drop 2 of the n/r players above

    What option you recommend and who would you drop?

    • Matt says:
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      @David:

      Do you have a MI spot? If not, I’m thinking Simmons is kind of redundant if you have to keep segura anyways. Gleybar will man 2b next season….honestly haven’t looked deep enough into Simmons to know if he’s a big regression candidate though.

      • David says:
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        (1) C
        (2) 1b
        (3) MI
        (2) 3B
        (7) OF
        (1) P

        I do have gennet as a #2 rated. I chose simmons because he filled more categories last year. both had good seasons.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @David: Simmons is safer. No way he’s out of the lineup.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: I’d drop Clevinger personally. You have 4 good starter plus Kopech and Reyes.

      • David says:
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        if I dropped clevinger, then have to drop a n/r player also to get to 18. Who’d that be in your opinion?

        I think its between godley, healy, myers.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @David: Healy is the easy drop there for me.

          • David says:
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            I’m really torn between him and godley. I think I will need the hitting more than pitching.

            just got offered upton for strasburg & turner

            • David says:
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              offer includes suarez

              • Ralph Lifshitz

                Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                @David: I’d hold

  2. dude says:
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    Huge Senzel fan. Excited to see what he can do.

    12 team 5×5 roto keeper league. Start C,1B,2B,3B,SS,IF,4 OF, U, 5 SP, 3 RP, 1 P. Very limited FA pickups on the year (12 total for year), which is why I like to start with a couple of “safe” closers and a balanced team.

    We have a salary cap of $320 for 15 players. These 11 put me at $260.

    1B – Hoskins (1B/OF) – $15
    2B – Rizzo (1B/2B) – $33
    3B – Arenado – $29
    SS – Lindor – $23
    IF – Machado (3B) – $33
    OF – Harper – $45, Benintendi – $15
    Bench – Senzel – $8
    SP – Kluber – $30, Ray – $20, Berrios – $10
    RP –

    That leaves me $60 for my last 4 players. Which 4 would you keep?
    C – Mejia $15
    2B – Murphy – $22
    OF – Zimmer – $8, Brinson – $11, Y. Tomas – $15, W. Calhoun – $15
    SP – Nola $20, Bauer – $15, Faria – $15, Happ – $11, Hammell – $8
    RP – Giles – $23, Colome – $17, Knebel – $15, Vizcaino – $10

    Options I’m entertaining so far

    1 – Murphy, Zimmer, Knebel, Vizcaino – $55

    2 – Nola, Zimmer, Knebel, Colome – $60

    3 – Murphy, Nola, Zimmer, Vizcaino – $60

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dude: Nola @ $20, Brinson @ $11, Knebel @ $15, Vizcaino @ $10

      • dude says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Thanks. Love Brinson, but worried about him getting playing time in that crowded MIL OF. How do you think things play out for the MIL OF and Brinson this year?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @dude: I just think he”s the best player long term. If right no value is more important go Willie C.

  3. John Stewart says:
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    HIS Eduardo Nunez ($9 re-sign up to 5 years)
    for
    MY Charlie Morton ($2 re-sign up to 5 years)

    My offense is solid but we can only bid on players once a week…so I like Nunez’s 2B/3B/SS/OF eligibility to fill in on off days and for injuries. It is a Quality Start league instead of Wins BTW.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @John Stewart: Sure, I say do it.

  4. Goldirocks says:
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    Hi Ralph;
    Contemplating a trade offer in my dynasty keep forever 12 team 5×5 roto league. Keep 20 MLBers, and 10 minor league prospects.
    I have CI and 3B slots filled with power 3B bats. However, not sufficient roster-wide speed.
    Sufficient SS/MI depth in system too with Correa up and JP Crawford B.Rodgers coming on.
    Q- Would you risk moving the proven developing power of M.Sano for O.Albies?
    I feel like that’s too much risk on my part – or at least, I’d be selling Sano very low at this time for the potential promise of speed at 2B, even if I expect their respective values to be closer together in a year?
    What if I threw JPCrawford in with Sano for a consensus top 10 prospect bat included in the offer? Maybe Senzel? Would that be a fair return for both sides?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Goldirocks: I would have done that pre-accusations. Now that this came up do it. Albies will be more valuable, and far less volatile for you for years to come. You get average, speed, runs, and his power keeps growing. I LOVE Albies. In fact, I would draft Albies in redraft before I would Sano and the same for dynasty.

      Take Albies for Sano.

  5. Matt says:
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    So, I have an milb draft dilemma that I’d love opinions on. 10 team hth points league where pitchers score better than bats. I am currently at the #3 pick. I assume otani goes #1. I’d love to get Tatis jr at 3, but if he is drafted at #2, would you take the next guy on your list (I think that would be Bichette) or skip to the next arm (Whitley, I think)?

    My MI is pretty good and young with Correa, moncada, and albies with senzel in my minors and possibly coming up next year with some MI eligibility. (I also have owings in my OF But has SS eligibility). I suppose I could also see what it would take to trade from 3 to 2….

    Gotta say thanks for giving advice on a previous #1 pick trade-I gave that #1, cargo, and some filler and got back kopech, Corbin, martes, a third rounder, and filler. Feeling good about that deal.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Matt: In points I’d go Whitley.

  6. Jose says:
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    Hi Ralph,
    What is the story with Gabriel Arias?

    First I want to say I am surprised that he is still playing. If I remember correctly Acuna left for the Christmas Holidays and never returned.

    He did not play Friday night and started Saturday night. He got a two RBIs double his first time up, his second time up he got a grounder to 2B and JOG to 1B, the 2B threw the ball away and he got to 1B. He was immediately removed from the game. The game announcer was interviewing a Taiwanese Diplomat and didn’t noticed until the next inning. He mentioned something about an injury? My question is was he removed because of the injury or “Luck of hustle”???? Have you read something?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: I haven’t read anything, but I’m sure we’ll hear one way or the other.

  7. Jean Genie says:
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    What do you think about Hunter Renfroe? Last year was pretty bad. I’d worried he doesn’t figure out righties and becomes lost in platoon purgatory.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jean Genie: I think platoon purgatory is a 60% and he figures it out and becomes Mark Trumbo is 40%.

  8. Jose says:
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    Ralp:
    I am planing on getting a new team. I am going to call it ” Classic 2020″ and load it with the best 18-20 years old available. This team already has Carlos Martinez (26), Luis Catillo (25), Julio Urias (21) and prospects Walker Buehler (23) and Mackenzie Gore (19). If i get it I will try to trade for Alex Reyes.

    The offense is not as promising, it has 1B W. Myers(27), 3B J. Lamb (27), SS F. Galvis (28), CF R. Grichuk (26) and R. Tapia (24). The other keepers are 30 to 32 years old.

    The elite prospects (Acuna, Robles, Senzel, Tatis Jr, etc) are gone, but there are a lot of the young ones available. I would like to pick up OBP machines Pavin Smith and Luis Urias, who walk more than they K, CF Taylor Hammell and sluggers Jhailyn Ortiz and Tristen Luts.

    I know, I wouldn’t get everybody I want, but as many as possible.

    What do you think? Is a good idea?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: Great idea makes sure you get Trammell then Urias then Ortiz then Smith then Lutz

      • Jose says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        I will keep in touch with you, for help.

        Also available are SP: M. Baez, S. Sanchez, S. Baz , A. Medina, J. Wentz and Duplantier. How would you rank this bunch? Would you insert any of this ahead of the other five?

        In our league, they remove the old players list, update the defensive ranges for position players and remove a lot of players that were not drafted the year before to shorten the list at every position. If you want to draft a player not on the list, you need to contact the office to add the player for you. it usually takes 8 to 24 hrs. for then to do it. I saw a few of our guys mark for removal. The one that jump to my attention was Ortiz. Usually if people are planning to draft a players they ask to have him included before the list is finalyzed.

        I will keep and eye to see witch of our guys are left off.

        The list is going to be finalized next Friday, and our keeper list must be turned in by February 9th.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jose: Cool, just hit me up.

          Pitchers rank as follows: M. Baez, S. Sanchez, Duplantier, S. Baz , J. Wentz, and Medina. Last three are interchangeable in many ways. Baez and Sixto are interchangeable. I prefer Baez, but I’m likely the minority. Both are a top tier type. Duplantier is that maxed out 2, more likely #3 profile. Like him a lot, but his ERA is deceiving. The final three all have big upside, but just aren’t as far a long developmently, or I haven’t gotten enough looks.

          Overall Rankings: Trammell, M. Baez, S. Sanchez, Urias, Ortiz, Smith, Lutz, S. Baz , A. Medina, J. Wentz and Duplantier…

          Hope that helps!

  9. goodfold2 says:
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    heard that sickels podcast, 1st off
    1. does bill james still live in lawrence? i’m right near there sometimes
    2. how awesome the quote that he’s “lucky to have the wife he has” when what he meant with that line was that the only reason he got his start with james was that james happened to be buying furniture in the store his wife worked at at the time
    3. you notice that BP’s prospect team listings all of a sudden, starting with NYY and now HOU have gone from just a top 10 list before those teams to full on super info? just awesome, it’s almost like the paywall accidentally opened up

    getting late in the draft, kinda worried 2 leaguemates might be scooping me to shit (particularly as one of these owners was a likely culprit in past year(s)) j.a. garcia taken RIGHT after our last talk about him. got 2 picks left, have nabbed some good pitching depth (j.guzman, w.crowe, m.sauer (barely after missing the higher upside l.medina also NYY by 2 picks) just curious about best overall players now. couldn’t hurt to have more pitching guys of course. am WAY stronger at OF depth than any other position as far as prospects though (adell, cozens, trammell, kirilloff, mags sierra)

    SP: s.jennings PIT (great athlete fairly new to pitching good tools), shore (floorbored), palumbo TEX, solis HOU
    CI: j.rizzo, c.santana LAD (you had him 13th in 1B prospects), ellis ARI
    MI: gray PIT, hall BAL
    OF: j.martin, velazquez CUBS, pereria NYY, , bishop. from the tools page at BA this looks like brannen for the OF anyway.
    what order’d you have say the top 5 or so of these?

    took brannen with my 2nd to last pick as in these speed deprived times a 70 grade (BA) speed with even moderate hit (50) and non awful power (45, all these BA grades, did hear you say he’s an upside ellsbury-type), so while i left the OF’ers on this even though i probably need anything else now more, still curious how say a topish ranking of these plays out.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @goodfold2:

      1. No idea. Google it?
      2. Crazy, and it was a briefcase.
      3.They have a ton of good writers, might as well use them.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: that league yr drafting, awesome idea of basically how to auction the draft slots for early slots, can’t believe i hadn’t heard of something like that yet. just as FAAB beats just rolling waiver order this appears to be wave of future for dynasty startup drafts.

  10. Miketron says:
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    Say you’re playing in a 30 team league, what do you think you could get for Taylor Trammell?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: Anthony Alford comes to mind… Seems like an even swap.

  11. JJ says:
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    Hey Ralph,
    I asked Grey this before. Wondering what you think?

    12 team H2H 5X5 keeper league. standard yahoo stats.We keep 10

    Bats-N.Arenado, C.Seager, J.Smoak, L.Cain, M.Ozuna, AJ Pollock, R.Acuna, Mi Cabrera, M.Conforto, B.Dozier, N.Mazara, M.Olson, A.Rosario,

    Pitching-C.Anderson, M.Bumgarner, A.Chapman, D.Salazar, J.Taillon, D.Duffy, K.Giles, G.Cole, Z.Godley, L.McCullers, J.Paxton, F.Rivero, C.Rodon

    Man I wish I could keep this whole group but unfortunately I have to narrow it down to 10.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @JJ: Arenado, Seager, Ozuna, Acuna, Mad-Bum, Rivero, Paxton, Pollock, Dozier, and Salazar. But that last keeper could be McCullers/Godley/Mazara/Miggy/Smoak/Cain and I would have no quarrel.

  12. Jose says:
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    @Ralph Lifshitz:

    I will keep in touch with you, for help.

    Also available are SP: M. Baez, S. Sanchez, S. Baz , A. Medina, J. Wentz and Duplantier. How would you rank this bunch? Would you insert any of this ahead of the other five?

    In our league, they remove the old players list, update the defensive ranges for position players and remove a lot of players that were not drafted the year before to shorten the list at every position. If you want to draft a player not on the list, you need to contact the office to add the player for you. it usually takes 8 to 24 hrs. for then to do it. I saw a few of our guys mark for removal. The one that jump to my attention was Ortiz. Usually if people are planning to draft a players they ask to have him included before the list is finalyzed.

    I will keep and eye to see witch of our guys are left off.

    The list is going to be finalized next Friday, and our keeper list must be turned in by February 9th.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: Above.

  13. car-tar says:
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    Doing a 12 team 50 man roster draft champions on NFBC. The structure is you set weekly line ups, but no add/drops entire season so what you draft is what you get. I’m relatively deep into the draft and have my general starting roster set. My question is what is the breakdown you like for a line up such as this? its a 5×5. Of the 50 players are you going 25 pitchers 25 hitters? What percent rp vs sp?

    Also obv you can never expect a Judge or Bellinger, but any prospects on guys who may break camp with the team who could be a flash in the pan that are a bit off peoples radars i.e not acuna, but somoene you could get in the 500 pick range.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @car-tar: He’s not a prospect per se but take a shot on Franchey Cordero. I like Ryan Borucki as a pitcher that ight give you some good innings that you could get really late, like last two rounds, I Chris Shaw to be a cheap rookie flier that might get you some production in the last 10 rounds.

      I would go pitching heavy and all types. If there’s guys with save potential take a shot, but the most important thing is innings and at bats, so a track record of health is a good tie breaker at the draft table.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: frenchy (franchy) just got redrafted in my 30 teamer just now, i thought he didn’t qualify anymore either but did (92 AB). weirdest part is he was drafted years ago and dropped, you don’t tend to forget a guy named that.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @goodfold2: No he’s kind of a sneaky dynasty target for me.

  14. InferiorHippo says:
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    In a dynasty league, Amed Rosario or Michael Brantley?

  15. Jenson says:
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    Nice stuff as always, v interested to see how Greene goes for the ceiling, and Mahle to see if he keeps the good floor.

    Just got an offer of Darvish for my Ozuna in a dynasty league…never thought I’d say it, but 31-year-old Yu doesn’t get my blood pumping for 28-year-old, 30 HR bat.

    I’ve got a tasty, young OF though (Trout! Betts! Acuna! Robles!) and lots of pop… Would a prospect upgrade make it more enticing? I almost never trade hitters for pitchers and I think I need more, but tier-wise it’s a 2nd tier hitter for a 2nd tier starter.

    • Lance

      Lance says:
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      @Jenson:
      Thanks for listening!

      Depends a little bit on your format for me. I trust pitchers less than hitters as well, but given your OF, and assuming the max your start is 5 with a UTIL, if you need the SP upgrade, I’m fine with pulling the trigger.

      I think it’s a pretty fair trade for 2018-2019, personally. Beyond that things could get a little bit wonky.

  16. Bigtimetimmyjim says:
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    Got an offer this morning for Kerhsaw in my roto dynasty-

    Senzal, Posey, S.Gray and Yadier Alvarez for Kershaw and Lucroy

    I am leaning to yes cause of Kershaw’s back and fact that Senzal , as you mentioned, could be something special.

    • Lance

      Lance says:
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      @Bigtimetimmyjim:
      I’m keeping Kershaw in this spot. Even in dynasty, I’m not as worried as some that Kershaw won’t be a top 10 value SP for the next 3-4 years. Especially given that he can do it – in roto leagues – with only 140 innings.

      Senzel I love, yes, but he’s still a prospect and getting the Posey/Gray/Alvarez combo doesn’t entice me enough to offload the potential Kershaw still has.

      I’d make the other owner consolidate Posey/Gray/Alvarez into or two upper-level players.

      • Bigtimetimmyjim says:
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        @Lance: would a posey/senzal for moncada/lucroy work for you ?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Bigtimetimmyjim: on the Posey/Senzel side

        • Lance

          Lance says:
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          @Bigtimetimmyjim:
          If you could get it to Sonny Gray/Posey/Senzel for Moncada/Lucroy, I think I would take that.

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