This year my New Year’s resolution is to complete all thirty minor league previews by Opening Day. And lose 50 pounds. And stop drinking. And stop smoking. One of those is doable. I’ll let you figure out which one! We’re about through the AL East with this Yankees preview, who recently lost one of their best prospects in a trade (Justus Sheffield). Once we take the turn into the National League, we’ll pause and start cranking out the Top 100 list. Something to look forward to! For now, let’s discuss what I believe are the ten best specs in New York’s system.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy holidays! For your present this year, I’m pushing out the Top 50 First Year Player Prospects. I chose those words precisely because rankings to me are like childbirth. Painful. Everybody wants to see. And then your in-laws complain about the name you picked out. Wonderful! For reals though, these specs are the most unsurest of an unsure bunch, so tiers are chunked in tens. I won’t put up much of a fuss within tiers, but if you want to talk about a player being in the wrong tier altogether, I think that’s a discussion worth having. I’ve already gone over my Top 10 First Year Player Prospects, and in that intro I talked a little about where my head’s at when I do these. (Insert “up my ass” joke here). Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s a busy time in the world of prospecting, as I and many others that cover the Minor Leagues crunch on mid-season lists, we’re also inundated with new prospects to research, project, and rank. The hardest part is trying to balance the handful of categories, or types, these players fall into. First we have the college hitters; usually the highest floor options in terms of fantasy, we’ve seen quite a few of these types return nearly immediate value over the last 5-7 seasons in dynasty leagues. Next we have the high upside prep hitters; another category that has done well of late, notables like Royce Lewis, Jo Adell, and Brendan Rodgers fall into this bucket. Prep bats offer some of the highest upside, but the floor can be pretty low. The next variety is July 2nd hitters; a group with a long and exciting track record, but due to the age of these prospects, there’s a high rate of failure, and a good chance many of them fall off expectations quickly. While there are major red flags, you still think to yourself “that upside tho”. The next three flavors are all pitchers, and each of them offers their own set of unique benefits and challenges. College pitchers, are the closest to the finished product, but you get a lot of “strike-throwing-so-so-stuff” types, and those types of players are available on every wavier wire from here to Beijing. Then we have Prep Arms, the most deceptive of investments. If you read enough prospect ranks, scouting reports, and particularly draft coverage you’ll find yourself enamored with some of these arms. Think MacKenzie Gore, Riley Pint, Jason Groome, or Forrest Whitley, that’s a very up and down record of success. The final bucket is one that I don’t bother paying too much mind to in most dynasty formats, July 2nd pitchers. Really, there have been some great arms to emerge from this bucket, but it often takes two years until we even know which arms really have any MLB projection. All this to say, my ranks are heavily influenced by this simple mantra. Draft hitters, add pitchers from the wavier wire. That’s the process, and it’s not to say it’s perfect, but more often than not I find myself filled with regret after drafting a pitching prospect. I am not saying that Casey Mize isn’t awesome, he is, and if this were a “real-life” list I would have ranked him first or second, but if I’m entering a draft today, there’s for sure 3 hitters I take in front of him. It’s fine if you disagree, but process is process. Below is the early version of my first year player draft ranks. I reserve the right to change my mind over the coming months, and plan to update these in early to mid-October.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We should just stop freaking out about Fernando Tatis Jr every April. He hates April. Tatis dislikes April the way the Joker dislikes Batman. All the native son of the world’s greatest fake Microsoft Paint artist has done is slash a cool .350/.421/.621 with 7 homers and 7 steals since May 1st. It gets even better! Over his last ten games Tatis is hitting .390/.432/.585, including a 4-for-5 performance last night where he scored three runs, drove in three, and stole a base. Are you excited yet? You should be, Tatis is a true middle infield talent with the ability to hit for power, run, and get on base at a fairly high clip. Now for the question on all of your minds; “when’s he up, Ralph?” Ehhh, you’re not going to like this answer. But, what reason do the Padres have to call him up? Net zero. He’s just 19, and will be for the entirety of the season. Likely the earliest we see Tatis is September, outside of some whacked out scenario where every usable middle infielder is injured. My guess is we’re looking at a June 2019 ETA, there’s a chance that timeline is moved up depending upon what the next few months look like, and how the Padres look a year from now. If their window opens earlier than expected, we could be looking at the Acuna timeline. I traded Tatis for Ozzie Albies in one dynasty recently, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of regret it. Crazy. Here’s what else went on in MiLB the last week.
Fernando Tatis Jr. HR #10 pic.twitter.com/VaA8jSZcz1
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) June 1, 2018