Please see our player page for Austin Martin to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Major League Baseball teams have to draft a lot of young pitchers. You do not. 

This discrepancy is a big part of what makes dynasty prospect rankings fascinating and fun for me. Simply put, at any given moment, more quality pitching prospects exist than dynasty leagues have minor league roster spots to accommodate. 

You can always pick up a relevant pitcher. 

You cannot always add a relevant speedster, and you very rarely add a legitimate bat with stolen base upside. . 

The TheoCubs tried to build a dynasty the way we would in fantasy baseball: drafting high-floor, well-developed hitters and buying pitchers via free agency and trade. This brought the Cubs a title but has proven difficult to maintain once they started stealing from the future to tread water in the present.

I attempted something similar in this space before the draft, building my Top Ten for 2021 First-Year-Player Dynasty Drafts by anticipating which international signings would crack the list on both the amateur and professional sides. 

A funny thing happened on the way to part two: MLB owners decided they didn’t want to pay up on the July 2 signing date and pushed that all way into January. Just like that, illegal handshake deals worth millions of dollars went poof. Families sacrificing toward this date for a decade were told to eff off, if they were personally told anything at all, and the dynasty draft season went up in smoke, at least in its typical form, at least for the time being. 

To that end, I’m ranking just the draftees here this time. Can’t really count on January signings or international free agency to actually happen in this climate when MLB just makes shizz up as it goes along. 

It’s not a coincidence that baseball’s head McDucks waited to see how the $20,000 per player free agent bonanza went before pushing the international deadline. Very dark timeline stuff all over in 2020, including the post-bonanza, post-postponement note from MLB for teams to be miserly with any scholarships connected to the ultra cheap sweepstakes. 

Just so ironic to bang the drum about pace of play and fan interest for years only to say screw it all in 2020, but here we are. Let’s talk baseball! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was having a blast watching the 2020 Major League Baseball Rule 4 Draft, but at some point in the 4th round, the whole pageant started to feel gross. 

All these billion dollar teams focused on doing little maneuvers to afford the high school kids they actually wanted. 

In the draft.

When you presumably add the players you want. 

It’s incongruous. 

And it’s not some pandemic 2020 thing. 

That’s just the base design of the thing made even more salient by the compressed variation MLB farted together in what passed for their attempt to rise to these unique circumstances.

Seniors’ ages are leveraged against them.

Juniors’ ages are leveraged against them.

Sophomores’ ages are leveraged against them in a slightly different, Wilcoxian way.

All this so owners can acquire laborers who’ll make less than minimum wage as cheaply as possible. It’s a salary cap for amateurs, designed to be much, much smaller budgets than a free market would generate. 

One might think the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers or just about anyone competitive would campaign for more, maybe even better, but it turns out: who doesn’t love the leverage provided by an artificial line beyond which you must not go?

Easy way to end negotiations. 

Just like writing some bullshit god-power rule into the bylaws of a short-term agreement built to get through a pandemic. I knew the players shouldn’t have signed that noise. 

Anyhow, onto the shizz, making my best Karl Ravich face. 

Let’s start with my least favorite few drafts so we can end on a high note. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

During the Major League Baseball Rule 4 Draft, I am usually in China, eating my favorite breakfast in the world: a crispy pork bun and a pizza-shaped, spicy-salty bread that I don’t think I could describe, except maybe to say “mouth heaven.”

And that’s kind of the thing about China: the food. The cultures are old and the ethnicities are varied. Mainland China is comprised of some 57 different people groups with different cultures and cuisines. Food is a national pride and pastime. The word “variety” doesn’t even begin to describe the diversity of dishes and flavors. 

Mock drafts are not like Chinese cuisine.

Sure you might encounter a spicy pepper or two, but you’re not going to find sauteed eel, boiled jellyfish or barbecued squid on a stick. 

Maybe you’ll think it’s good to not find these specific foods, but if you don’t try everything once, you’ll be missing out on that miracle dish you’re surprised to find is perfect for you—the flavor combination you’ve been waiting a lifetime to find–and I’m happy to report that sauteed eel is incredible. 

So that’s what we’ll do here: saute some eel, boil some jellyfish, taste some chaos.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Rule 4 Draft kicks off this Wednesday! Time to get amped for an actual sporting event! 

Or not. I mean it’s your call. Would totally understand if you’re so irritated by big-wig greed you can’t pretend MLB doesn’t suck at being a professional league for a couple of weeknights. 

2020’s will be a supremely weird draft, but I’m geeked for it. I’ll post a mock draft here midday Wednesday, after which I’ll continue these rankings. I know some leagues like to do their First-Year-Player Drafts immediately after the July 2 signing date for international amateurs (in a typical season), so I figured the time was right to start synthesizing the talent trickling into our game this summer. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Eric Cross (@EricCross04) from Fantrax joins the show to dive into this years prospects and MLB draft. We discuss his top 10 highlighted by Wander Franco, Luis Robert and Jo Adell. We also go over guys he thinks could work their way into the top 50. Julio Rodriguez or Jarred Kelenic? We look at the loaded Seattle Mariners farm system and who we think could become the next wave of MLB stars. Eric gives us his top 5 draft picks and why that organization will take them. Who goes first overall? Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, Nick Gonzales.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks ago, I ran into a white-haired “scientist” trying to sell me a souped-up DeLorean. He was on the run from some Libyans, he said, and figured his best move was to cover his tracks. Said the car could travel through time–that it had just enough gigawatt juice left for one round trip. 

I didn’t have much scratch on hand so had to trade my own car in the exchange but figured, hey, let’s go back and fix this Corona thing. 

Then I remembered the butterflies. What if I made it worse? Who would I even visit? So many Ashton Kutcher-esque variables. 

If you’re reading this in quarantine, you know I chickened out. Flashed forward to next March and watched baseball instead. In this article, I’ll discuss what I saw and how I built the 2021 top 100.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I sit at my laptop, staring aimlessly into an abyss of text, numbers and a series of minimized Incognito windows dedicated to my side-hobby of sending Trevor Bauer unsolicited romantic couplets, I find myself wondering how to properly attack my first article as a Razzball contributor. I debate whether Eddie Murphy felt this way before his public debut in a Gumby costume, or if Christopher Columbus experienced similar inner musings prior to the first time he pretended to discover a piece of land.

I’m sure they did. When it comes to matters as essential as fantasy baseball, impersonating a childhood cartoon character and kind-of discovering the free world, it’s only natural to want to put your best foot forward and start off on a positive note.

Amidst these trying times, I have prepared a list for the great readers of Razzball which may ordinarily seem premature, but in the age of Coronaphobia and near-world downfall, it unfortunately is not. Today, I present to you the top 10 college baseball prospects to target mid-season (and beyond) in dynasty formats. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

During the moments I could focus enough to exercise the fantasy part of my brain, I’ve been brainstorming for what I should explore during the virus break. 

A fast forward to next March’s Top 100 list landed pretty high on my to-do list, but the task of going back to the future quickly became a complicated proposition. 

Will the Tigers have any incentive to promote Skubal, Manning and Mize? 

In a full season, players can push for the next level through dominance, putting a variety of pressures on the organization: fan frustration, developmental stall, player frustration, etc. 

It’s easy to project Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and Wander Franco to push their way up given a full season, but the math is all variables now. And mostly negative ones for young studs on non-contenders. 

Nonetheless, I grabbed some plutonium and had a lot of fun in the process. Feeling pretty good about the whole thing on publication day. Will have more to say about the future in future, specifically this Sunday. In the meantime, to paraphrase the great Red Green: if you don’t find this list handsome, I hope at least you’ll find it handy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?