If your holiday wish list included a whatever minor league system comprised mostly of right-handed pitching prospects, then strap the eff in and thank Santy Claus for the Detroit Tigers. Speaking of which, what’s the hot gift this year? When I was a youngster I would get pretty jazzed if there was a Starting Lineup figure under the tree. I had all the greats…Randall Cunningham, Reggie White, Mike Schmidt, Von Hayes, and of course Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian. Naturally, I didn’t know you aren’t supposed to take them out of their original packaging, so they ended up in violent skirmishes with Han Solo, Skeletor, and The Ultimate Warrior. Hey! I wonder if any of these Tigers prospects will end up with their own action figure? Nah!Please, blog, may I have some more?
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Is it too early to update my first year player draft rankings? Because we have a battle to replace Alec Bohm at the top of the list. In one corner we have Cardinals wunderkind Nolan Gorman. A power-hitting prodigy, with Herculean raw power, and a bat so quick and compact he could turn on a hollow-point on the inside. At 18 he already has a big league body, and the pretty swing to match. St. Louis was aggressive with him, skipping the Gulf Coast League for the more advanced Appy league. The results have certainly backed that decision, through 33 games the third basemen is slashing .341/.437/.682. In yesterday’s game he connected for his 11th homer of the season, as part of a 4-for-6 performance. He’s in the midst of a 7 game hitting streak and has homers in three straight. Actually he has homers in four of his last five games, slugging two doubles on Tuesday in his homer-less game. So this leads us back to our original question; Is Gorman the number 1 pick in FYPD? The question is yes and no, for me it’s a two man battle between Gorman, and Jonathan India, more on him later. But it’s tough to argue against Gorman’s bat at the moment. If you were to say he was the best hitter in the draft, you might be right. He’s been great so far, and a promotion to the full season Midwest League could come shortly. For now consider Gorman a major mover in my forthcoming Top 500 update.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
3rd day on JC #Cardinals, 3rd day Nolan Gorman yacked. This one a 1st pitch FB 88, inner third. Picked ball up early, kept hands to body, bat speed, barrel, elevate/celebrate. pic.twitter.com/AbdKMfffeb
— John T Eshleman (@2080_John) August 5, 2018
Hey world! (Hand waving emoji) Meet Eloy Jimenez, you might know who Eloy is. You might think “Ralph, he’s a top 2-3 prospect dude, we know Eloy!”. It’s true, you know Eloy, you’ve seen the production, you’ve seen me tell you Eloy for Jose Quintana was a mistake (please, lets not rehash this Cubs fans. Cool?), but what you haven’t seen, more than likely, is this big boy bang out in the flesh. I had the distinct pleasure of taking in Eloy over the weekend in Pawtucket, and man, he didn’t disappoint. Easy power, from a simple, but refined swing, breathtaking plate coverage, bat speed, and strike zone awareness. I’ve been fortunate this year to see some of the top bats in the minors since the beginning of the season. I’ve seen Vlad, more than I’ve seen my children since April, same goes for Bo Bichette, and Brendan Rodgers. Ronald Acuna, I caught in April in AAA, and in early May at Fenway. So suffice it to say, I have a good measuring stick for offensive prowess at the moment. From a hitting perspective, absent of athleticism, and other tools, only Vlad is better than Eloy in that regard. Really an impressive talent, he went 3-for-4 on Sunday, connecting for an opposite field shot in his first at bat, before knocking two singles later in the game, one to right, and the other to left. It’s really a beautiful swing, here’s a look at an open face swing on his homer in the third. Look how clean the bat path is, how quick his hands are, and how he engages his lower half. It’s beautiful.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
— Ralph Lifshitz (@ProspectJesus) July 29, 2018
On a cold early April night in Connecticut, I got my first looks at both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in the flesh. In a matchup not short on prospects, I met fellow Razzball writers Paul (the) Martin, and Lance Brozdowski, as well as friend Scott Greene, founder of Prospects 1500. The four of us frequently paused baseball and fantasy discussion to get as many clips of Vlad, Bo, Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Garrett Hampson on our phones as we could. In the early going, I was impressed by the Yard Goats starter Jesus Tinoco, who was popping 95 with a wicked breaking ball. Second time through the order was not so kind however. We didn’t get a ton of offense from the trio of top prospects, but we did get a two run double from Bichette down the leftfield line, and a chopper just inside the third base bag that went for extra bases from Guerrero. Hartford’s Brendan Rodgers went 0-for-4, and Gurriel went 0-for-3 with two walks. One off the radar standout from last night was Yonathan Daza, who hit .341 last season at Lancaster, to go along with 31 steals on 39 attempts. He hit two hard ground balls up the middle, driving in Hartford’s lone run. All in all a good night, here’s some video from the game, as well as some other noisemakers in the early going of the MiLB season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re moving slower than expected, so instead of the next 100 prospects, I’m cutting it into two posts of 50 prospects. Disappointing? Possibly, but you still got 6500 words to read, ponder, debate. It’s all there for the taking. What am I talking about? Honestly I’m not sure, I’m writing this at 3 AM, delirious from the research, coffee, and myrcene rich leaves. It’s the next bunch of blokes with big dreams and lots of upside for your fantasy roster. I’ve tried to get a little more “groupie”. Wait, what? I tried to group similar types together here. There’s an insane amount of upside guys in this post. So if that’s your jammy jam, you’re going to be pleased. Or maybe not, possibly you’re always grumpy, but that’s not my problem. Editing these posts is my problem! AHHHHHHH PROSPECTS. For the Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects. Here’s the Top 150 Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Thomas Jefferson once said “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. This is a lesson the 2017 Detroit Tigers took to heart. They knew their window was honestly closing, and sold off aging stars, and spare parts for something Detroit has lacked for a long time, organizational depth. Over the past two drafts and the 2017 trade deadline (both of them), the Tigers added seven of the top ten players on the list below. They’ve focused heavily on adding arms with front of the rotation upsides, and have succeeded for the most part, plucking a handful of exciting pitching talents. The positional side of things is a little thinner, but there’s a small collection of bats with some serious fantasy allure. With the top pick in the upcoming 2018 MLB draft there’s a good chance the Tigers add a couple of impact players before this time next year. The future is bright in the Motor City, with a majority of their top talents years away, this could be a system on the rise over the next 24 months. One side note, I was well trained for this post, by Tigers Prospect writer and friend Emily Waldon. If you’re not following Emily now on twitter you really should. I’ll give you a minute… Now that you’ve obeyed my every command, let’s get into the Detroit Tigers Top Prospects for 2018.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s my favorite time of the year, the time when I start to research the first taste of pro-ball for all recent draftees, and prepare for the first year player drafts in several of my leagues. Depending upon the league the rules can vary, but by in large, you’re picking players from the recent draft, the July 2nd International class, and the remaining players on the free agent pool. I’m going to be breaking this post into two parts, first the Top 25 today, followed by the next 25 on Sunday. If my math is right I’m ranking 50, but I had to use my hands three times, and my toes twice. Plus I have to double count my fourth toe, because I lost my pinkie toes after starting Kevin Gausman early in the season. So toe math aside, if you’re in a 12 team league with limited minors (5-10 per team), this is the only post you’re going to need. Ya dig? Moving on, I have to say, now that I’m finished with the top 50, and I’ve researched each team’s draft class from top to bottom, this year’s crop is far more interesting that I thought. There’s tons of talented hitters with combinations of power, and speed, high end power arms from all levels of amateur ball with ace upsides, and some talented bats in the middle infield. These rankings are subject to change, but it’s unlikely, as all of these players are done with competitive baseball for the season. Feel free to chime in with players you love, players you think will bust, and the players you hope to see in the next 25. Thanks for reading, and good luck in all your first year player drafts this off-season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The MLB Draft is finally upon us and I’m sure about 10% of Razzball’s readership actually cares. It’s cool, I’ll sit here and nurture these babes into big strong fantasy studs, feeding them from my prospector teet. I’ll do the dirty work too, scolding the bad seeds, and killing off the runts. Wow, in two sentences I pissed off 90% of Razzball and animal rights folks. Picketers please stay off my newly planted grass, it’s taken rather well with the deluge of rain recently and I’d like to see it reach full lush maturity. Now back to the lecture at hand, this post is really just my big board from the most recent episode of the Prospect Podcast where Halp and I mocked out the Top 30. I’ll touch on each player so you’ll have a general familiarity with their skills and profile. I might also include turn-ons, and dream dates, but you’ll have to read and find out. As always there’s been lots of flips and flops in my ranks since I dropped my Top 10. So don’t judge me for being a dirty flip-flopper! Forgive me, I fell in love with some high schoolers…. ummmm I mean prep players. Found some reliable college studs…ummm hitters! So on and so forth. You get the point, it’s my MLB Draft Top 25 Fantasy Prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It only took 33 episodes, but we finally have the Supreme Leader/Fantasy Master Lothario/The Uno/Capo dei Capi Grey Albright. We talk about some of the camp battle winners, interesting rookies and young players for 2017. Grey loses his mind at the thought of a joint business venture with Dusty Baker. We Get into Eric Thames vs Jesus Aguilar. We cry a little over Koda Glover, hug it out over Aaron Judge, and debate the merits and pitfalls of Korean pitching. After Grey leaves to get lunch, Halp and I jump into some of the top prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft. IT’s early but we wanted to get you introduced to some of the names we’ll be covering in the coming months. It’s the 33rd Episode of the Razzball Prospect PodcastPlease, blog, may I have some more?
It’s Sunday, and I’m feeling a little scatterbrained this morning. With my AM coffee I’m looking to cover a wide variety of dynasty/prospect/small righty related content. Some of the low hanging fruits from the tree of prospector knowledge. With such a bountiful harvest it’s a crime not to share. There’s a lot of nothing to talk about, which is a polite way to say spring training stats. If you’re anything like me, then you wish you could press fast forward on the next week, right up until the moment the games begin. Hit play, and immerse yourself in baseball until late October. So far in 2017 I’ve given you my sleepers, my breakouts, my Top 100 Prospects, and my top prospects from every damn team’s farm system. It’s been a busy offseason, to say the least. One that never really ended or began. As good Ole Rust Cohle would say, time is a flat circle. In my case it’s a flat circle that spans 30 minor league systems, and a non-stop quest to know every player that ever played baseball. Today’s post is me just rounding out some performances, and giving you some of my takes on names I feel we’ll be discussing quite a bit in 2017. If there’s anything or anyone you’d like to discuss, then you know the drill, come with any and all Fantasy related questions in the comments.Please, blog, may I have some more?