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Please see our player page for Brailyn Marquez 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.

One glance at the Estimated Time of Arrival column here provides a lens into the Cubs’ timeline, or at least their next big wave of hitters. It’s a promising group, and bah gawd it better be, given the club’s firesale focused on these teenage, back-to-the-future lottery tickets. I’m not calling the front office yellow, but we all saw them flee from the fight in 2021 like Marty McFly after the time jump, and the rewards for doing so look bountiful at the moment. 

But it’s not all about a half-decade from now. To their credit, the club has a middle infield combo ready to roll in the superhero team of Punch and Judy. I’m not sure which is Nick Madrigal and which is Nico Hoerner, but I do think the club would be thrilled to get ten total home runs from the pair, which could combine with 3B Patrick Wisdom, 1B Frank Schwindel and C Willson Contreras to create a passable big league infield. Add that to outfielders Ian Happ, Rafael Ortega, Jason Heyward and (eventually) Brennen Davis and the team looks like a rebuilder. 

Sorry, I meant to say “contender” there, I think, or something more than rebuilder because you really can squint and see the start of something above the Mendoza line here. It takes a lot of wishful thinking to see much more than that, but they do have an interesting group at the top level, at least on the position-player side, and their minor league system is the deepest of the six I’ve ranked so far, so as the team’s most famous fan might say, they’ve got that going for them. 

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Four names have left this list since its last iteration: Twins OF Alex Kirilloff, Cubs 2B Nico Hoerner, Pirates RHP Miguel Yajure, and today, Rays RHP Luis Patiño.

With a pang of goodbye riding astride the hope of new beginnings in our hearts, we turn the page to a new edition of the 2021 Stash List. 

Click here for a look back at 2021 Prospect Stash List Week 1.

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Once upon a time, the Cubs represented the gold standard of how to complete a rebuild. Now they’re sort of stuck in neutral—still a silver standard in how to compete year over year but not much of a threat to the Dodgers and Rays of the world. Where they go from here is unclear. They missed their window to sell high on Kris Bryant, an unforgettable misstep after they manipulated his service time badly enough to all but guarantee he’d never resign. They have him and Kimbrel on the books for one more year at an inflated rate, so it seems like they’re stuck on the tracks they’re straddling now, sliding their way into the decade with little idea of how the roster will look just three or four years from now. 

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The playoff stage is set in the American League, and the prospects of Tampa Bay, Oakland, Minnesota, Cleveland, New York, Houston, Chicago, and Toronto are ready to grab the nation’s eyeballs. Randy Arozarena has already tripled out of the 3-spot in Tampa’s lineup, and some is right with the world. 

Here’s my AL playoff breakdown: Expanded Playoffs Invite Prospect Impact

The National League wasn’t settled when I went to press Saturday night, but the musical chairs are all silent now and waiting for the real music to start. Let’s take a lap. 

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Major League Baseball is pushing through time lapses in testing procedures in its quest to fake having a plan until it makes one, but two things have become crystal clear: 1) players will be opting out, and 2) players will be catching the virus. 

Players can opt back in at any time if the situation changes, so that could make for some interesting faab runs.

Other side of that coin: players can opt out at any time. 

Along with the danger and chaos comes opportunity, so let’s scan the NL Central for players poised to climb that ladder.

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Cubs affiliates spent 2019 enjoying the most minor league talent they’ve seen in a while—a welcome sign for a fan base whose dynasty dreams have died a little each year. 

The developmental wing of the organization has been realigned this off-season, so we don’t know much about how the new team will help (or hurt) the players. I’m betting they help, especially the enhanced focus on nutrition and strength training. I think an argument could be made that four hours in a weight room combined with healthy food intake would help teenage players almost as much as four hours at the ballpark. Might be safe to say a whole-human approach would be best in most endeavors where you’re betting on said humans to improve over time. 

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For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have played a game of Would You Rather using the entire prospect universe.

Or wait, am I thinking of the right game? Not that F, marry, kill game but the one where you have to decide on either/or propositions . . . there’s not sex stuff in that one, too, is there?

Sorry, I’ve been thinking about these young men a long time.

Hope you get some fun out of considering the sequence, reading some words, and playing your own (sex) games!

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Not going to lie, I couldn’t be more excited to release this podcast to the public at large. The band is back together for one night only as the Halph Reunion Tour sets up shop in your ear holes. That’s right Michael Halpern joins me as the host stand-in this week. So you know we had to bring it back to the good old days as Halp and I touch on the wave of top prospects breaking camp. With all of these talents likely to exhaust their prospect eligibility in the coming months, we decided to hit you with 16 players we view as the next wave of elite players. It’s back to the future this week on the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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It is Wednesday my dudes! That means it’s time to put on my MAGA hat and pump out another minor league preview. If you have someone special in your life, good luck getting them that perfect gift for tomorrow. I suggest getting them a bottle of wine or two (or three). If you don’t have someone special in your life, get the wine anyway and just drink it yourself. That’s what I do. Meanwhile the Cubs minor league preview is my loving gift to you. They aren’t nearly the powerhouse system that they were in the past. Apparently St. Valentine was beaten with clubs and then beheaded. The last few blurbs of this preview might be a similar experience. Enjoy!

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