Please see our player page for Cade Cavalli 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.

Is there ever a bad time for a stash? 

On one hand, three of the top four prospects graduated from my last stash list, so it’s not only a good time to post a new one, the posting of a new one feels essential to the purpose of this space on the internet. 

On the other hand, the minor league tree of stashes looks a little picked over at the moment. It might replenish itself in a week or two if the Orioles can stay in the race or the Diamondbacks can rip off a Seattle-like string of victories, but right now, we’re waiting for some playing time to shake loose for most of the top guys to get their shot. 

Graduated From Stash List Volume 4: Esteury Ruiz is Ready for His Close-Up

Vinnie Pasquantino, Esteury Ruiz, Max Meyer, Nick Pratto. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rangers RHP Jack Leiter is a good place to start because he exemplifies what’s  weird about the Futures Game. Leiter hasn’t earned his spot on the field (6.30 ERA), but that’s not uncommon to this game, which different organizations use for different reasons on a player-by-player basis. It’s not an All-Star game, in other words. It’s not even an all-famous game, although that’s what gets Leiter on the roster. It’s not even really a combination of the two. Some organizations might send a middle reliever, like Baltimore did with Marcos Diplan in 2021, who the team DFA’d the other day, almost exactly a year after Diplan gave up home runs to Brennan Davis and Francisco Alvarez in Coors Field during the sixth inning of last year’s Futures Game. 

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We’ve come a long way from the 2020 college pitching class that featured Max Meyer, Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock, Reid Detmers, Garrett Crochet, Bryce Jarvis, Cade Cavalli, Jared Shuster, Bobby Miller… the list is as long as Mandred’s balls are deformed and unpredictable. Think of the 2020 class as Max Scherzer and the 2022 pitching crop as Patrick Corbin. Collegiate hurlers continue to go down with the injury bug, as yet another first-round talent has hit the shelf since the last Collegiate Corner update. In MLB Pipeline’s latest mock, only one college pitcher is projected in the first 26 picks — the recently-recovered Blade Tidwell out of Tennessee. For comparison, eight college arms went in the top 26 selections in both the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. Safe to say, dynasty managers should be looking at this year’s crop and strategizing far differently for first-year player drafts compared to the last two seasons. Personally, I recommend placing a pair of old boxer shorts over your head and pecking at the keyboard with your elbows to make each selection. Truthfully, there’s a lot to like about the bats at the top of the class and a plethora of value options on the hill later on. We’ll discuss a handful of those hitters today in addition to touching base on the health of the pitching class.

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When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.

Let’s bring this thing home!

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On June 10, 2020, Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy was drafted fourth overall by the Kansas City Royals and Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock went sixth overall t0 the Seattle Mariners. 12 college starting pitchers went in the first round that year including the competitive balance picks (first-37 selections). If we were to redraft today, most would still take Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer as the first collegiate arm off the board, but there’s a good chance Lacy and Hancock would be drafted after the likes of Reid Detmers and Cade Cavalli — possibly even Garrett Crochet. If you ask me, Tanner Burns is the sleeper name to know from the tail-end of the 2020 first round, and someone I hold in just as high of a regard as Lacy and Hancock. But we’re here today to discuss the second and third college hurlers selected back in 2020, and how their stock has shifted since that memorable day.

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To win most dynasty leagues, especially ones that have been around for a few years, you need elite pitching. In my experience, farming prospects is not the most efficient way to accrue elite pitchers. It can work in fits and starts, but you’ll probably need to supplement your staff via the trade market, swapping sizzling young bats for established WHIP suppressors. This winter I saw Elly De La Cruz and Andy Pages traded for Tarik Skubal, and that’s a fun version of this kind of trade: huge upside all around, good chance both teams are happy with it in two years. In my spot on the win curve, I prefer Skubal, but I see the rationale for getting two topside hitters, who you could argue should be swapped instead for an older arm with a better WHIP history. Gotta throw them bones sometimes to win it all. No such thing as a risk-free trade. 

A third way is to never pay for pitching. I’ve yet to put it into function, but I’d like to try it someday. I’ve developed a skill (or perceived skill, anyway, good fight confidence in the words of Shea Serrano) for scooping the Quantrills and Gausmans of the world at the right moment. I also like looking for the Luis Garcia types. This year’s candidates include Cody Morris, Jayden Murray, Jacob Lopez, and Matt Canterino, among others, and I’m holding last year’s versions like Peyton Battenfield and Joe Ryan. I think maybe this is the way, especially in deep leagues where it’s exceptionally hard to build a well-rounded offense, but I’d be nervous to try it in full. Probably I’d break down and start looking for veteran arms on the cheap. Adam Wainwright has been ridiculous the past two seasons, for example, though you could mark him as yet another reason to never really pony up for the big arm when a team in your league decides to shop Gerrit Gole or Max Scherzer. 

It’s hard for me to ignore that kind of moment. Feels like dynasty leagues are often decided in tiny windows when someone decides to make a big sell-off. Typically worth your hustle to get an offer in, even if just to provide some kind of competition in the pricing. This is in an ideal world where you have any idea such a sell-off is happening. In my experience, it’s often kept secret until suddenly Trea Turner has been dealt for Blake Snell a half hour after the midnight trade deadline. Circling back the original thought, it might be better to just let it go. Over the past few years in a 15-teamer, I have traded for Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Shane Bieber, Chris Bassitt, Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, all shortly before their injury or, in Darvish’s and Snell’s case, their dip in production. The Buy High-Priced-Pitching strategy has not been kind to me. The toll of talent lost is incredible: Vlad Junior, Bo Bichette, Ozzie Albies, Julio Urias, Will Smith the Dodger and Byron Buxton (who also brought back Lance Lynn). Brutal. I still won the league in 2021, but that was due to Quantrill, Ranger Suarez, Walker Buehler, Lance McCullers, and some clutch relief help from Kendall Graveman, Paul Sewald, Dylan Floro, Joe Barlow and Jake McGee. I only lay all this out to explain why I’m more in the pan-for-pitching camp than the pay-for-pitching one, so let’s grab our gear and start sifting through the waters. 

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Weirdest trade of the year award goes to the Nationals, who attached Trea Turner to Max Scherzer’s remaining contract and moved about 130 million dollars off the payroll over the next seven years for the pre-free-agency life cycles of Dodgers’ prospects RHP Josiah Gray and C Keibert Ruiz. It’s an intriguing build, provided they get anything from Stephen Strasburg, Carter Kieboom, Victor Robles, Patrick Corbin and Luis Garcia. The team doesn’t look particularly close at first blush, but if they can find a few clever free agent moves, I can see the bones of a contender if I squint hard enough. 

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I first wrote about Cade Cavalli in March of 2020. It was my second-ever article at Razzball, in which I was ranking college prospects 11-25 for dynasty leaguers to target leading up to the 2020 MLB Draft. Equipped with a projectible frame at 6-foot-4 and 225 lbs., I ranked Cavalli at No. 13, sandwiched between Heston Kjerstad and Daniel Cabrera. At the time, Cavalli was coming off a COVID-shortened 2020 junior season where he pitched to a 4.18 ERA with a .281 BAA in 23.2 non-conference innings. That created some pause in industry circles, as Cavalli had a 6.75 ERA/.269 BAA as a freshman in 2018 — so there was really just one season of bottom-line success to go off of (2019: 5-3, 12 GS, 60.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, .238 BAA, 8.8 K/9, 5.2 BB/9). But even in that lone, successful 2019 campaign, the walks stood out as a concern, and there was reason to believe that Cavalli might be one of those pitchers who struggles to produce consistently despite having all of the tools to excel. Enter 2021. Now we have more to build off of. MiLB results. Information to pair with Cavalli’s college track record that might unveil more of the shadowy picture. And what we’re beginning to see is the makings of an elite prospect; an arm capable of commanding one of the top-two spots atop a major league rotation. Could Cavalli unseat former Chicago Bears quarterback Cade McNown as having the best athletic career of any Cade in sports history? I’ll dive into that today and as a bonus, I’ll reveal why an East Coast native such as myself once dressed up as McNown for Halloween as a child.

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It is I, Hobbstradamus, here to predict all things as it relates to the 2021 fantasy baseball season! Well, rather, here to make eight detailed predictions about the upcoming campaign, all of which have played some role in how I constructed my onslaught of 2021 fantasy teams. What if we call it Baseball Hobbspectus? Any better? No? Okay, I’ll keep trying. But no matter what we call this or how creative I try to get, in the end, these are not empty predictions. I have stock in all of these. While some are much bolder than others, all of the statements to follow, if true, will translate to a varying degree of success across my teams this year. So, close your eyes, walk slowly towards the creepy humming sound reverberating through the walls, and enter the void with me as we run through some of my favorite and more interesting predictions regarding the upcoming season.

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Alright, readers! Prepare yourself for the most highly-anticipated expansion project since the Florida Marlins were awarded a bid to join Major League Baseball in the June of 1991! Oh, what a glorious two years it was, as new GM Dave Dombrowski quickly got to work assembling what he hoped would soon become a career trademark project. By Opening Day 1993, the Marlins were all systems go with the likes of Gary Sheffield, Walt Weiss, Benito Santiago, Bret Barberie, Orestes Destrade, Chuck Carr and bright young rookie, Jeff Conine. Simply tantalizing, wouldn’t you say?

Yes, yes. I know what you’re thinking. One, the 1993 expansion season also featured the Colorado Rockies. Two, no one cares about the Marlins. Three, I failed to mention the fact that the Florida franchise was purchased for $95 million by the former CEO of Blockbuster Video. And finally four, no one cares about the Marlins. Take it from a me, a guy who can unfortunately say that he has been to both Sun Life Stadium and new Marlins Park. Remember how many names the old stadium had? I can think of like six just off the top of my head.

That being said, I would like to announce an ever greater undertaking, as I will be expanding from my Top 25 College Prospects to Target in Dynasty Leagues to an even 100 in this piece. Although the painstaking effort I have put into this list will likely never live up to what Dombrowski and the Marlins accomplished throughout the nineties, I can do my best to fill that void.

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When I began this series of rankings with the top 10 college baseball prospects, it was explained that I would be detailing “the top 10 college baseball prospects to target mid-season (and beyond).” As we embark on this incredible journey (which is a wholesome, classic film chronicling the beautiful friendship of dog, cat and dog again), I must forewarn you that we have officially crossed the threshold into the “beyond.” Yes, that is correct – I am indeed your tour guide, Michael Newman (as played by Adam Sandler), who will now use his universal remote control to reveal to you with 100% projection accuracy college prospects No. 11-25 as it relates to future fantasy output.

Before getting into the thick of things, I need to make two very brief and entirely unrelated remarks that will in no way provide any meat to the bones of this article. First, I apologize for the excess of film references I have made already, but don’t expect them to be curtailed any time soon. Second, if you truly have not seen The Incredible Journey, drop what you’re doing right now and buy it on Amazon Prime for $2.99. Best three dollars you’ll ever spend. Even better than the authentic George Springer banging stick I snagged off ebay for three measly bills.

As we dive into the latter stages of these rankings, one thing needs to be made seriously clear: with the exception of a few names on this list, the vast majority to follow likely fall under the category of finds for deeper leagues only. If you’re in a serious dynasty league in which the draft is primarily prospects and upcoming college guys on an annual basis, I would consider all of these players. Use the information given below and then draw your own conclusions about who to target based on the specificity of your league.

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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?