This one feels a year away from fantasy production, but since the Dodgers promoted Alex Verdugo this past September, and let him get at-bats, I’m on a fence with hedges all around me.  Or maybe it’s a hedge maze like in The Shining.  Or the Shinning with Groundskeeper Willie.  Or maybe it’s a fence made of hedges.  Or a fence made of hedgehogs.  Ugh, I’m so indecisive I can’t even decide if I’m on a fence of hedges, a fence with hedges around me, a maze of hedges, or a fence of hedgehogs for Alex Verdugo.  Maybe a nap will help…*dozes off, wakes, sees a young Lea Thompson*  It’s 1955!?   Okay, let’s play out the Dodgers’ outfield.  Chris Taylor is in center, but can play the infield; Puig looks locked into right; there’s not enough screws loose in Home Depot for them to not play Cody Bellinger; Joc Pederson is still looming, but he’s starting to feel like a guy that might need a change of scenery or will be a platoon player and Kiké — not Gabe Kapler — can play outfield, but he’s a futility player.  Not a lot of wiggle room for Verdugo, and Los Angeles isn’t known for autumn, but that changing landscape leaves Alex Verdugo with a chance to play if Taylor plays infield.  So, what can we expect from Alex Verdugo for 2018 fantasy baseball?

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I know, you thought it was going to be 100 prospects right? Well, it’s a good news/bad news thing. The good news is I will be ranking the Top 100 Prospects and beyond, however I will be doing them in increments of 50. So the bad news is you only get 4,000+ words and 50 prospects to read. Lets be honest, we are amongst friends here right? Even 4,000 words is at least two, if not three bathroom sessions. I know that’s when you read these, and I’m cool with it. Now that we’ve made assumptions about your bathroom reading habits, lets move along. As always, I’ve tried to balance the right now value of “close to the majors” prospects vs the high end talent. While also trying to be somewhat objective, and conscientious of the general consensus, which is important to trade value. That’s not to say I don’t go rouge and aggressively rank some players I like. Ahhh, who am I kidding it’s all personal bias. So here you go, dig in. The next 50 will drop on Wednesday at the stroke of midnight.

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If you’ve been following along with the Prospect Podcast over the last few weeks. Then you’ll know that last week’s episode was a cheat sheet for today’s post. It’s not like discussing players like Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, or Victor Robles ever really gets old. I could talk about that trio of players all day. In fact if you check the Guinness World Records Book/Site/Twitter I’m listed as having spoke about nothing but Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, and Victor Robles for 37 hours consecutively. Needless to say it was a hell of a day(s). Quick aside, do people still call it the Guinness Book of World Records, or has that been scrapped because no one really reads actual physical books anymore? Seriously reading a book with a binding is right up there on the crazy meter just behind trench coats, which is just behind army fatigues. Sorry Stephen King but you look crazy with that book, now pay attention to the baseball game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google Stephen King Red Sox. It will just be images of him reading books from the front row at Fenway. Wow I got really off track there. Anyway you know what this post is about, outfielders, my favorite outfielders, the top 10 favorite outfielders right now. Remember these are my thoughts ladies and gentlemen, right or wrong, just what I was feeling at the time. Vibe with me,,,,(CU!)

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Maybe because I am not Prospector Ralph aka Endorphin Ralph aka The Prospector aka Prospect Jesus aka Peter, Paul and ‘I Know Prospects’ Mary Well aka The Pro-Spectulator aka I Am Still Not Beating Grey In Our League And Grey Beat Me To Waivers For Rhysus aka No, You’re Minor, I’m Major, But I Know Minors Just Not Like That aka Ralph Lifshitz, but this year’s September call-ups are kinda sad.  Do I like Jack Flaherty?  Sure, Flaherty is must SCTV!  But he’s kinda more to do with matchups.  Tyler Glasnow?  Well, more on him in this afternoon’s Buy column.  Willie Calhoun?  Great, but where does he play?  Harrison Bader and Franklin Barreto?  Haven’t we gone down that road already?  I would absolutely grab any September call-up if he was helping me in a redraft league, but the choice between Willie Calhoun platooning and, say, Howie Kendrick playing?  Kendrick all day, and twice on Muesday, that magical day between Monday and Tuesday.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What do Ryen Russillo, Louis CK (allegedly), and Ralph Lifshitz all have in common? Hint: It has nothing to do with the fact that they are all from Boston. After getting that out of the way, we dive into the very deep and talented class of minor league outfielders. We discuss if Ronald Acuna is the #1 prospect in the game, how far should Austin Meadows fall, Victor Robles vs. Kyle Tucker, and if we are still underrating Willie Calhoun. We debate the rankings of Alex Verdugo, Anthony Alford, Kyle Lewis, Tyler O’Neill, Estevan Florial, Austin Hays, Taylor Trammell and many more. We close the show by talking our favorite sleepers (Tristen Lutz, Bubba Thompson, Brandon Marsh, Christian Pache, etc ..) and also our biggest fallers (Mickey Moniak, Blake Rutherford, and Corey Ray.) As always, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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There’s really no need for any introduction on this one, it’s the post upon which all prospectors are judged. It’s the Mid-Season Update to my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Full disclosure, I was loosey-goosey with the eligibility rules this time around. So, while some players in the majors and under their limits might appear on this list (Clint Frazier, Franklin Barreto, Etc.), others don’t (Raimel Tapia). No rhyme or reason to it, what-so-ever. This list feels more upside heavy to me, but there was no slant or algorithm for my ranks. Just good old fashioned personal bias, of which I have plenty. Seriously, I’m an opinionated lad! But that’s why I do this in the first place. Please keep in mind, this list is 100% fantasy focused. Meaning it might differ quite a bit from other Top 100’s you may come across. Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy! The next 100 (101-200) will be out on Thursday.

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Every year, after finishing my Top 100 post, I have a player or two I immediately regret not ranking higher. This year those prospects were Zack Collins, and Kyle Tucker. The funny thing is, Tucker wasn’t ranked that low at 32. Granted my prospecting brother from another mother Halp ranked him 21st, and based on last night it looks like Halp’s right. What happened last night? Welp, Tucker: Man and My Dreams, went 4 for 5 with a homer, 2 doubles, and 7 RBIs. He’s now hitting .343 in the Carolina League, can you imagine what he would have done with a full season in Lancaster? BTW Lancaster is one of the most homer and hitter friendly environments in minors, and was the class A advanced affiliate of the Astros up until this season. As for Tucker, he’s a 5×5 player’s dream, with hit tool, speed, developing power, and massive upside. Seems only appropriate that I would open this week’s Minor League Update with a native son of Tampa, while I’m on vacation here. How meta.

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You don’t really care about prospects, and I get that. You’re a redraft player, and probably a damn good one. You don’t want a top 100 list where half the guys won’t sniff a major league field for the next 2 years +. You need the right now, the rookie nookie, the sleepers in the waivers. The ones waiting in the weeds until the call comes, and the earliest bird plucks them minutes before the rest of the league, to a collective of moans and groans. This is the song of the RCL rookie scavenger. The man beating you to Trea Turner by 3 minutes, the guy who stashed Alex Bregman on and off for a month. You need to beat him this year, let this be your map, and the Twitter/MLB/Traderumors alerts be your batphone. I think I just mixed metaphors. Whatevs!!! You get the jist. Behold! The Top 25 Rookies for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. By the by, this list is 100% 2017 focused, so ETA, lack of a platoon or temporary fill-in status matters. I don’t care what he’s going to be in 2 years. THAT DOESN’T MATTER!!! It’s all about the right now, the present. I’m listening to Right Now by Van Halen. I’m wearing white jeans. I’m holding up signs that say, “Right now someone is drafting Ian Desmond unaware of his injury”. It’s that real.

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Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!

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You may want to plan on a second poop if you’re going to read this entire post. Let that be my warning to you, before we begin my latest adventure in verbose prospecting. Today we tackle arguably the best system, certainly one of the deepest systems, in all of baseball. For today we discuss the Top Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects!!! You may say to yourself, “Hey self”, (then punch yourself in the face for saying self) where have I recently seen…or HEARD (big clue) someone talk about the Top Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects before? Hmmmm, maybe on the Razzball Prospect Podcast last week. You would in fact be correct, we even had a guest no-show us with a mysterious aliment. Last time I trust Michael Lohan. Either way, we talked about it once, and I’ll write about it now. The Dodgers have become a player development machine. They draft well (Kershaw, Pederson, Seager), they win the international market (Urias, Puig, Maeda), and most of all they develop players. They spend the most of any team on scouting and it shows. In the last few years they’ve nailed picks all over the draft, including picks in the 20+ rounds with players like Jose De Leon, and Jharel Cotton. This is a well oiled and functioning farm system, with players of interest and excitement across every level for dynasty owners. Sometimes when I’m writing these I know I’m highlighting several future fantasy relevant. This is one of those times. It’s the Top Doyers prospects.

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