Please see our player page for Curtis Mead 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.

The devil is in the details. Since dropping the hellish adjective, the Tampa Bay Rays have etched their way into the baseball zeitgeist by being better than anyone else at squeezing every last drop of value out of every single roster spot throughout the entire organization. They’ve made their fair share of mistakes skating at the edges of 40-man roster management, particularly off-loading Nate Lowe and Joe Ryan for little return, but it’s a difficult balance to strike, and I’d rather a team remain aggressive than disappear into their own silo. Tampa initiates a lot of transactions, and most of them work out to their benefit. 

On the other hand, they’ve been so good throughout the system that you could make a case for the club to stop trading for a season or two just to see how it looks for them to field a whole team of their own prospects. It’s not an option, of course. When you’re developing as many prospects as this team, you stand to lose them in 40-man waves every winter, so you reshuffle the deck, moving some ready-now players running out of minor league time for some far-away prototypes who’ll comprise another roster-crunch wave a few years down the road. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sun’s getting real low on stash season

Hope remains its sparkly self in the nooks and crannies of the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

If an organization thinks a young player will break camp on the major league roster in 2023, it has incentives to bring him up in September while he’s in rhythm. Downsides remain, of course, from a player-control perspective, but they’re mostly in the form of injury and marginally compromised roster flexibility, but those always exist. 

Graduated From Stash List Volume 5Miguel Vargas, DL Hall, Kerry Carpenter, James Outman, Cade Cavalli, Will Benson, Stone Garrett.

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Prospect News: Top 50 for Dynasty Leagues, Post-Draft Update

Here’s where the introductory words for part two would go, if I thought any of us wanted to see those.

And here’s a link to the Top 25, in case you want to see those.

26. RHP Taj Bradley | Rays | 21 | AAA | 2023

27. OF Zac Veen | Rockies | 20 | A+ | 2024

28. LHP Ricky Tiedemann | Blue Jays | 19 | AA | 2023

Taj Bradley is getting knocked around a bit at Triple-A (5.25 ERA in three starts), but this is Tampa we’re talking about. Nobody suppresses their own pitchers’ ratios like the Rays. 

Zac Veen has 50 stolen bases in 54 attempts with a 129 wRC+ in 92 games. The Rockies have more good hitting prospects than usual. Can’t wait to see how they screw them up. 

Give Ricky Tiedemann another couple dominant starts in Double-A and he’ll have a case for the top ten. He might be there already on some lists. No real argument with that from me. The rankings feel especially fluid right now. It’s a time of putting your money in your mouth and then chewing it up and chasing it down with a shot of tequila. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

List season continues this week here at Razzball. It’s a stressful time for yours truly, if I’m honest with myself, as I don’t have time to write about everything I’m noticing just under the surface of prospect world. Stress isn’t negative all the time. It’s also an exciting time. Tickles the geek inside my haunted carnival of a baseball mind to check in with each and every prospect and rearrange them rung by rung, tier by tier. 

51-75 was the toughest group on the list, in terms of my mind’s ability to settle on a decision and turn the page to the next task. It chewed through hour after hour of my life like the hungry caterpillar, and now I have a tummy ache. 

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

Here’s a link to the Top 25, Prospect Rankings Update: Corbin Carroll Headlines Top 25 for June 22.

And here’s a link to the Top 50, Prospect Rankings Update: New Top 50 for June 2022

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thirty third basemen thumping? What is this the Twelve Days of Christmas?

Well, yes and no. The gifts in that song, except for the golden rings, seem awful, and the third base position has gone down something of a  barren road the last few seasons. Vlad Jr. wound up at first base. Nolan Arenado wound up in St. Louis. He’s still fine, and Anthony Rendon is still good, probably, when healthy, and there’s still elite bats at the top, but in general, this position needs a talent infusion from a fantasy baseball perspective, and it might be about to get just that. Are there five golden bats in this group? We’ll have to peel our way to that truth one day at a time. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the Island of Misfit Toys!

That wannabe dentist elf is plucking the bumble’s teeth in the igloo over yonder. Rudolph’s in the corner puking his guts out (crying his eyes out). Except igloos don’t have corners. 

And just like the Island of Misfit Toys, First Base Archipelago seems like a pretty cool place to end up after a journey around the diamond looking for a place to fit in. Players wash up here for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s just a depth chart issue. Cody Bellinger, for instance, could play anywhere in the outfield. More often, it’s a last-chance stop for players who’ve proven themselves below replacement level everywhere else on the field. If they hit enough to keep their head above water where bat-first prospects go to drown, they can find their way home in time for the big Christmas party at the end of the movie/season.

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Witchcraft. That’s the plainest explanation. We need to get some ducks and a big old scale and sort this out once and for all. 

It’s no exaggeration to say the Rays have changed baseball. Has there ever been a more successful stretch by a team who didn’t win a single World Series? Perhaps, but probably not if you’re giving them bonus points for thrift, which I think we should probably stop doing at some point. We’re just really into discounts, is all, so when we see a team win as something of a walking clearance rack, we like that. It’s hard-wired. The success here is built from the ground up–a long-term developmental outlook that perennially puts Tampa in the top tier of minor league systems. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Curious events in Cincinnati lead the way this week, as it probably hasn’t since Jerry Springer was running that town. Director of Pitching Initiatives / Pitching Coordinator Kyle Boddy has stepped away from the club this week, citing creative differences with the front office while heaping praise on major league pitching coach Derek Johnson. 

Click here for the full press release

The timing is odd, given the Reds success on the farm this season and proximity to a post-season on the big league side, but I suppose there’s never an ideal time for a break-up. Cut to early-20’s me navigating the transition from summer love to school-year fade to long-term relationship fizzle to finding some fickle reason to finally call it quits. I used to really hate endings. Now I’m old as hell and appreciate any kind of pause in the monotony.

Please, blog, may I have some more?