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It’s the last day of fantasy baseball. Bummer… I know, I don’t want to talk about it either, but I’ve run out of ways to open posts at this point in the season. So, I’m going to just state the obvious, and awkwardly fumble into the purpose of this pointless, yet verbose opening. I have a surprise for you, a sneak peak if you will of my forthcoming memoir “Fights & Prospects: Life as a Crab & The Top 100 Prospect List”. I’ve decided in an effort to market myself as a Rick Flair-esque persona, I’m going to write a tell all autobiography. Only I’m not going to talk about myself at all, but simply give you an updated Top 100 next Sunday. Today is the first ten from that list. So the Top 10 Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball if you will. Titles are fun! It’s drawing heavily from my Positional ranks that we just finished, and bridges the gap to the Top 100 and beyond. In closing, thanks for reading this season, and remember to check here for prospects rundowns for all 30 MLB systems throughout the off-season.

 

1) Ronald Acuna, OF Braves | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .325/.374/.522, 21 HR, 82 RBI, 44 Steals

The undisputed top prospect, unified heavyweight champion of the world!!!! The breaker of chains, the unburned, the bringer of power and speed, father of dragons, and all the other titles you can dream up. I’m in the midst of Justin Mason’s 2Early Mock Draft, and I snagged Acuna in the tenth. The prospectors loved it, and the redrafters called me names. I’m the 50 Cent of fantasy baseball, beefing with all comers, and making hit records. As for Acuna what else is there to say? His production has been historic, jumping from A+ all the way to AAA, never slowing down, always the best player at the level. Few minor leaguers have ever been as good as Acuna was in 2017. There’s a real chance Acuna is up by May 1st, but there’s an equal chance he’s in AAA for more than half the season. My rose colored glasses see his ETA on the early side. For now he heads to the Arizona Fall League.

2) Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B Blue Jays | 2017 Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .323/.425/.485 13 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB

Unquestionably one of the top 5 prospects in all of baseball, Vlad Jr.’s hype is about to reach mania type levels over the next 6 months. At just 18, the spawn of Vlad started flashing very real game power over the last few months. Advanced approach, more power to come, and the bloodlines, Vlad Jr. looks like a middle of the order masher in the making. The only real negative is the questions surrounding Guerrero’s future position. Will he stick at 3rd or settle in across the diamond at first? Some foresee a future in a corner outfield spot, time will tell.

3) Eloy Jimenez, OF White Sox | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .312/.379/.568, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 1 SB

The second superstar prospect traded by the Cubs in the last year, Jimenez went on a tear post trade hitting 11 homers in 34 games. We more than likely won’t see Eloy in the South Side until September of next year, but much of that depends upon what he does in the first half of 2018. We’ve seen what Devers has done his first month + in the bigs, and I imagine Eloy’s debut won’t be much different. He’s an elite power + contact hitter, and those are rare.

4) Victor Robles, OF Nationals | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .300/.382/.493, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 27 SB

A late season callup totaled about 25 at bats, and not much to show for the 20 year old. Not a huge shock, as it was a bit of surprise that Robles even got the call in the first place. I’ve likened Robles to Straling Marte, and I think that’s a likely outcome, though there’s always the possibility Robles actually meets his ceiling of 30/30 stud. He’ll be patrolling the outfield for the Mesa Solar Sox in Arizona.

5) Kyle Tucker, OF Astros | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .274/.346/.528, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 21 SB

Another power/speed talent playing at an advanced level at a very young age. Tucker was 20 for all of 2017, and after destroying the Carolina League saw promotion at the end of May to AA. He’s had his struggles there, but through it all has hit for power, driven in runs, and displayed dynamic offensive ability. He wore down a bit in August but that shouldn’t come as a surprise for a player so young. There’s more questions about the hit tool now than there were coming into the draft, but the power has already exceeded my expectations. Should see promotion at some time next summer. At peak I foresee a line of .280/.360/.520 with 30 homers, and 15-20 steals.

6) Fernando Tatis Jr., SS Padres | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .278/.379/.498 22 HR, 75 RBI, 32 SB

Not since his father was a pretend Microsoft Paint artist have I been this jacked about a Tatis. He ranked 55th in my Mid-season prospect list, but has done nothing but hit for power, steal bases, and shown ability far beyond his years. To me he’s the top offensive shortstop prospect in the minors hands down. The James Shields trade will be the Padres Herschel Walker.

7) Gleyber Torres, SS Yankees | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .287/.383/.480 7 HR, 34 RBI, 7 SB

We’ve all forgotten about Gleyber haven’t we? The man was on a rocket ship to the Bronx before a freak injury sliding into home plate ended his season. With TJ on his non-throwing elbow, it’s fair to question just how much this impacts Torres’ future offensive ability, particularly in the short term. I believe in the all around offensive skillset, and still think Torres has the upside of a superstar, even if he doesn’t have a standout category.

8) Michael Kopech, RHP White Sox | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: 9-8, 134.1 IP, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 172 K’s, 65 Bb’s

The flamethrowing righty acquired in the Chris Sale deal has taken a major step forward with the command of his secondaries (slider and change), and the results have reached elite levels. He was solid in his AAA debut late in the season, and looks to be on the radar for a summer 2018 callup to the Southside. My biggest concern with Kopech is health, but that’s mostly based on his insane triple digit velocity. Great competitor, elite stuff, inning eater’s build.

9) Nick Senzel, 3B Reds | 2017 Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .321/.391/.514 14 HR, 65 RBI, 14 SB

While Senzel’s ceiling is far lower than Vlad Jr’s, his floor is as high as anyone. The former 2nd overall pick is as ready made for an everyday role in the majors as any prospect. He’s shown the ability to hit for average, get on base, and provide moderate power, that might play up in Great American Ballpark. My expectations for production are very similar to that of Alex Bregman. Very good across the board player, but his greatest strengths lie within his hit tool. He was shut down for the remainder of the season with a bout of vertigo. I could see how that might limit ones ability to hit a baseball. Cust Kayin.

10) Willie Calhoun, OF Rangers | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .300/.355/.572, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 4 SB

On the heels of his major league debut this September, Willie C cracks the top 10. Elite power and contact, not to mention, one of the more fun-loving personalities in baseball, it’s hard not to fall for the Rangers outfielder. Acquired for Yu Darvish, so there’s big expectations on Calhoun’s bat. I do think he has the ability to hit for 25+ homers while rarely striking out.

 

Follow me on Twitter @ProspectJesus and Check the Minor League Preview Index for all off-season content

   
  1. Nick says:
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    Hey Gandalf Ralph ^^

    here is my dynasty team at the end of the season:
    finishing 4th overall, with a loosy pitching team

    preparing for 2018:
    i would like to add Willie C but my batters are stuck
    i like SP Honeywell , avalaible !, for next season

    let me know who to drop , who’s not worth keeping during the off season
    (caus i’ll need to activate Cespedes sooner or later)

    C: there’s no C ! ( Grey’s joke) seriously there ‘no C,,, awaiting Tyler Stephenson from my dynasty players – maybe Tom Murphy? …

    1B. ABREU
    2B. SCHOOP
    3B. RENDON
    SS. LINDOR
    OF1. JD Mart
    OF2. Avisail Garcia
    OF3. W. MERRiFIELD
    Util: K. DAVIS
    BENCH:
    Justin Turner 3B, r HEALY 1B/3B
    Adam JONES, BUXTON OF
    NA: ACUNA
    DL Y. Cespedes

    SP1. COLE HAMELS
    SP2. TANAKA
    SP3. R.HILL
    SP4. CUETO
    RP1. KNEBEL
    RP2. B.PARKER
    P. D. LAMET
    P. J. UREñA
    P. Ed RODRIGUEZ
    RP. Chad GREEN ( for holds) will he ever close?

    i’d drop Healy for Willie
    and Chad for Honey… do you thing he’ll start next season?

    other of consideration:
    Batters: Brett Gardner – Josh Reddick – Zack Cosart – Mark Reynolds
    Pitchers : Chase Anderson (i’d pick him over ? edRod?) – J HAPP – Andrew Albers – Mengden –

    my dynasty pitchers are :
    Hunter Harvey BAL
    B. Loux CHC
    K. Stewart MIN
    Brady Aiken CLE
    Kodi Medeiros MIL
    Nick Howard CIN
    Bukauskas HOU

    thanks, Nick

    • Dave says:
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      @Nick:

      For catcher, I’d just pick up $1 players if possible. Unless you have the top guys, it’s hard to wait. I learned this season by waiting for Murphy, those points are valuable. If I had just played a serviceable catcher, I’d be in the money right now. Instead, I waited because I was in a rebuild too.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Dave: Yeah Murphy got dropped all over for me once he got hurt.

        I agree unless you own Mejia, Collins, or Keibert just add a catcher.

        • Dave says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz:

          I have McCann and Sanchez……..would you go Collins and/or Stephenson as a 3rd option for the season, until one of them get called up? Or is a 2018 promotion in the works for either?

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Dave: If you have Gary and McCann if just hold

    • Dave says:
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      @Nick: That said, thoughts on Stephenson?!?!:)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nick: Gandralph???

      I’d drop Healy, Urena, and Green to add Honey and Willie.

      I’d try and upgrade everyone but Bukauskas in your minors.

  2. Bryce as Nice says:
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    1) With the rumors of the Cardinals wanting Donaldson, do you think the Jays acquire Tyler O’Neill as part of the returning package?
    2) Where does Brendan Rodgers land in this?
    3) Thanks for the bookmarked link at the bottom!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bryce as Nice: Yes, they want that Maple Syrup back in America’s Hat. I’d guess they push for Bader and others too. Perhaps an arm or too. Cardinals draft well, they have lots of unheralded pitching in the minors.

      • Dave says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        That would really elevate his value.

  3. M says:
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    Great stuff! Dynasty really is a year-round sport!

    Do you see Tatis’ mlb eta being “fast-tracked” with a good winter ball showing? Also how concerned are you with Senzel’s vertigo? Do you think he makes it up to Cincy mid-summer next year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @M: Year round baby!

      No, I think Tatis is assigned to AA right out camp and spends 75% of the season there.

      No idea with Senzel’s vertigo, I don’t know a lot about it. I know it’s somewhat common and people get better.

      • Oddball Herrera says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I used to have horrible vertigo related to ear problems, just went away on its own.

        I would call it more of a symptom than a problem in itself, hard to know what’s up just from knowing there’s vertigo, but odds are against it being serious.

  4. Dave says:
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    Here’s my dyansty team going forward:

    C – Sanchez ($1), McCann ($1)
    1B – Abreu ($25), Hoskins ($1)
    2B – Polanco ($1), Peraza ($1)
    3B – Devers ($1), Bregman ($1), McMahon ($1), Vlad ($1)
    SS – Rosario ($1), Rodgers ($1), Tatis ($1)
    LF – Polanco ($1)
    RF – Mazara ($1)
    CF – Benintendi ($1)
    OF – Judge ($1), Kepler ($1), Acuna ($1), O’Neill ($1)

    SP – Kluber ($39), Stroman ($16), deGrom ($40), Urena ($1), Pivetta ($1)
    RP – Vizcaino ($1), Reed ($1), Giles ($1), Rivero ($1), Edwards Jr. ($1)

    In dynasty where we lose points for HR allowed. I added Urena and Pivetta for last day streaming. We get points for saves and holds, hence my bullpen.

    Everyone above can be kept, however, I’d like to drop Peraza, Urena, Pivetta, Kepler and Polanco….leaving me 5 spots, maybe 6 if I drop Rodgers, but he’s good trade bait post draft. I will hopefully have the most money to spend with the least amount of spots to fill ($159 for 5 spots). I’m hoping to get Rizzo for 2B ($40), Scherzer ($55) and Kershaw ($55) with those spots, and then $1 players for wherever.

    I’m looking to win next season. Am I on the right track?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: Sounds like a plan. You’re on the right track.

  5. ferris says:
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    I might be crazy but I like Reyes despite the arm injury. I think he can be every bit as good as Otani even if we have to wait a couple extra months.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @ferris: I like Reyes a lot, have him ranked 18.

      • ferris says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Out of curiosity, where did or would you put Otani assuming fantasy providers are only going to allow his pitching stats to count?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @ferris: He’s number 2. Might even be 1 depending on scoring, but standard 5×5 it’s Acuna.

  6. Trout says:
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    Between Jason Groome, Forrest Whitley, Triston McKenzie and Jack Flaherty, how would rank in terms of dynasty impact?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Trout: Whitley would be first. I’m putting out the Top 100 on Sunday. You can see the rest then… :)

  7. Aaron says:
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    Morning Ralph,

    I have an open spot on my roster and looking for guy that might have some impact next year. How would you rank cheslor Cuthbert, boog Powell, and Dan vogelbach?

    Thanks
    Aaron

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Aaron: Vogelbach, Powell, and then Cheslor.

  8. Another Dan says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Looking forward to reading the next instalment already. Am currently updating my dynasty league stuff so that I am ‘ready to go’ for the FYPD. Got to lose/promote a couple of players who no longer have minor league eligibility. My roster looks strong (I won this year, although it is H2H and I finished 4th in regular season), my minors look strong too (thanks to you).

    Football update : wild celebrations yesterday as my team scored in the last minute to draw 2-2. Replay is Tuesday. We’re in the hat for the draw for the next round!!

    Best wishes,

    Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Awesome on all fronts! I hope they pull off the win on Tuesday.

      Nice work on the title.

  9. Another Dan says:
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    Good stuff Ralph,

    Only own Acuna and Senzel in my 12 team H2H dynasty. Am just starting to prepare for my FYPD. Working out who is available, who I have to promote or cut etc. Have two picks in this years first round though – might try and get first pick if Otani has signed for someone before we start drafting.

    Football update : wild celebrations yesterday as we equalised in the last minute yesterday to force a replay in the FA Cup. The replay is Tuesday. The draw for the next round is Monday so we’ll know who we could play before the replay.

    Best wishes,

    Dan

    • Another Dan says:
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      @Another Dan:

      Sorry, re-posted because the original message wasn’t appearing. Now it’s there.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Another Dan: So nice had to say it twice

  10. Tommy says:
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    Thanks for all the amazing write-ups, Ralph. Your rankings are biblical to me.

    Any thoughts on the slightly older Jordan Luplow in a dynasty after his good season in the minors? Also, is Brett Phillips an impact bat and where do you see Daz Cameron after this year?

    Thanks,
    Tommy

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tommy: I like Luplow, think he’s got a shot to be a Haniger type older breakout.

      Phillips can be a solid 5th outfielder in 12 team mixed IMO. He’s got some power and speed, ut is streaky.

      Daz looks like he’s on the cusp of the top 100 IMO.

  11. james says:
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    duking it out in the final (hate that it is the last week of the season as half our rosters are resting irl).
    i will need to cut between 4 and 6 (must cut 4, and need to cut to use draft picks, and i have 2 first rounders, likely 7 and 11/12)

    my roster is:
    sal perez
    anthony rizzo
    jonathon schoop (thank you here for making me keep the faith)
    kris bryant
    xander bogerts
    mookie betts
    marcel ozuna
    bryce harper
    giancarlo stanon
    ut- anthony rendon
    bench- javier baez, yoan moncada, christian yelich, ahmed rosario, justin upton
    prospects- robles, senzel, b rodgers, acuna

    sp-kershaw, nola, price, walker, weaver, strasburg, faria, degrom, madbum, andreise, ryu, aaron sanchez
    rp- rivero, holland, minor

    i assume minor is gone unless he is the clear closer going into next year, sanchez has been a mess this year when he did play, but is practically a prospect still, ryu is aging but still been a mid rotation fantasy guy this year, andreise feels like the same level as ryu.

    if i cut all of those guys, the question is if senzel will be good enough to keep sitting on?
    is rodgers still too raw to keep sitting?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @james: Minor, Andreise, Ryu, Walker, Faria, Rodgers are my 6 in order. You have a lot of higher end pitching, meaning you can dump some of the less reliable guys.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Good showing in the RCL, maybe next year you’ll trade for two 1st rounders with a waiver wire pickup and get within ten points of me!

    • Another Dan says:
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      @Grey:

      Can you give us a link to it please Grey ?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Grey: I’ll play in 3 leagues next year instead of 24 like I did this year. You got 60% of Ralph…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Only took you a day to come up with that excuse?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Grey: Nah, I was actually a normal person yesterday. It was odd.

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Played in too many myself this year. It was too much, I lost a roto league by 2 points where if I had run out Carrasco in the last week I would have won it, but I missed that he had an early start and that cost me.

  13. Smoooth Jimmy says:
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    Of your top ten who might make an opening day roster?
    My money is on calhoun

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Smoooth Jimmy: Yeah Calhoun is the best bet, I’m not sure I see anyone else breaking camp. Acuna could be up quick.

  14. TarmanGotHim says:
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    I just took those the championship!! In a first year keeper..

    Problem… my league decided it’s a Keeper league since everyone enjoyed it towards the end and voted on TWO keepers. Super bummed about that (don’t know why they didn’t vote 3, everyone has 3 people worth keeping on their team and won’t affect the draft)

    Anyhow, who would you keep? First q, second, are any of the top 3 prospects worth drafting and stashing next year? Acuna?

    C – Castillo
    1B – EE
    2B – Taylor
    3B – Bryant
    SS – Bergman
    OF – Blackmon
    OF – Stanton
    OF – Bellinger
    UTIL – Judge
    UTIL – Hoskins

    I won’t keep any SP so I won’t name them. You see why I won right? Haha.

    Now I’m going to ask Grey’s opinion again as a couple months ago he said keep Bellinger and Bryant.

    I’m definitely keeping Bryant, but I’m leaning towards Judge (Bryant is 1B eligible)

    I would of done those 3 if it were 3

    I want to keep Stanton but the other 3 are younger on better teams right now.

    Blackmon too but he’s 31/32?

    Plus I have to remember I keep 2 of those guys and I can always deaft Blackmon or Stanton next years draft (I will have the last 1st round and 1st 2nd round pick next year so one of those 2 type of players will be mine nonetheless)

    I think if I keep Bryant and Judge I could get Bellinger 12th overall anyways, Judge and Bryant are gone in the top 12 and I think Bellinger will fall to a second rounder (if I don’t get him I’m sure I’ll snag 2 top tier young players in the first two rounds)

    Thank you.

    What do you think?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @TarmanGotHim: I’d go Blackmon and Stanton, but if you want to balance I’d go Bryant and Bellinger.

  15. Mike L says:
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    Got a real problem here. Need closers but not sure who to drop for dynasty with these starters.
    Thor, Severino(no brainers) Berrios, Taillon, Ed Rod, Snell, Gausman, L Castillo or Kopech? The only way to compete with saves is by adding 1 or 2 closers because all I have is Diaz. How can you drop any of these guys? Trading is very difficult btw. Oh, and if I hold my pitchers Im looking at dropping Dahl, Brinson, or B. Rodgers. Help Wanted….

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike L: Drop Gausman and Snell

  16. JoeBuckYoSelf says:
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    Here is my prospect list right now:

    Austin Meadows
    Luis Robert
    Lewis Brinson
    Victor Robles
    Eloy Jimenez

    My question is about Meadows. Here are a few guys available:

    Soto
    Yusniel Diaz
    Kingery
    Hiura
    Taylor Trammell

    Would you drop Meadows for any of them or hold and give him a chance?

    Thank you!

    • Mike L says:
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      @JoeBuckYoSelf: Maybe Kingery since all those guys are OFers.

  17. Dave Kemper says:
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    Hi Ralph, I love your work! I have been checking all day, when will the updated top 100 be listed?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave Kemper: Coming next week, I decided to take a week off. Sorry!

Comments are closed.