Please see our player page for Deivi Garcia 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.

I teach in China for a month every summer, and all I really have access to for that month, entertainment wise, is baseball and whatever I can download or arrange ahead of time, so that leads to lots of podcasts and audio books.

The books I repeat most feature a certain group of young wizards invented by J.K. Rowling, and during this summer’s listen-through the whole Potter series, I had some new thoughts.

First, poor Filch. I mean what a awful gig that dude has. Whole castle full of magic, and he’s on his hands and knees scrubbing vomit and blood and snot and who knows what all.

Second, Summer for Harry Potter is a lot like Winter for baseball fans. Harry just sits around waiting for news. All. Summer. Long. So every little snippet of something takes on extra meaning. And The Daily Prophet has its head so far up it’s cauldron that even the snippets are just glances through a cracked mirror.

So who’s ready to fire up the rumor mill and speculate our way through the off-season!?

Not me.

I’m hanging onto Fall as long as possible.

If that appeals to you, let’s hop on a Thestral, fly over prospect country and pretend it’s still Summertime.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the post where I copy and paste…er…uh…I mean rerank the Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is a fantasy prospect list – not a real one. Therefore ergo such and such, you get the drift. I’ll say this about my rankings approach – I tend to chunk it and don’t get too caught up in ranks that are close to one another. So if you want to debate #35 versus #36 I’m going to have to put you in a timeout where you can debate yourself. I’m sure you are all master debaters. Anyhoo, I try not to let the first half of this season completely change the scouting reports we came in with at the beginning of the year. Then again, you do have to take this season into consideration, along with recent signings. Also, these are composite ranks averaged between myself and my five alternate personalities. My doctor says it’s healthy to include them in this process. It’s all an extremely complex algorithm that involves me, a bowl of cold spaghetti marinara, and a clean white wall. Oh, and one more thing…I don’t include players that I expect to exceed the rookie limits this year. That’s 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched for those keeping score. Not trying to waste your time on players that likely won’t be prospects in the fall. On to the list…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a few moons since I caught a Trenton Thunder game. Is Katmandu still a thing? “The Kat” was one of those clubs you’d hit after the ball game. It literally shared a parking lot with the stadium along the Trenton waterfront. But god almighty, you’d better leave before the house lights came on. You did not want a good look at the 45-year-old divorcee you’d been grinding on. Karen!? What brings you here? Aren’t you my son’s teacher? Anyhoo, big news out of Trenton last night. Yankees pitching prospect Deivi Garcia struck out fifteen Flying Squirrels. Yes, that’s the name of a minor league baseball team. I have the greatest job on the planet. Garcia is now rocking an even 3.00 ERA with 67 punch outs in 42 innings pitched since being promoted to Double-A. Let’s see, where did I rank this guy in my preseason Yankees Top 10? Nowhere! Excellent. Wonderful. He wasn’t on my radar. If your league mates are like me (god I hope not) and slept on Garcia, he might be available for a scoop in dynasty formats. Redrafts? Sorry, but I don’t think he’ll be up this year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…fade Usher’s Yeah! and cue the house lights…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s pretty well documented that pitching prospects are my Achilles heal. The funny thing is, I like pitching, it’s the most interesting position in all of sports in my opinion. Why? Because, there’s so much that goes into pitching development. Which is why the likelihood of development stalling, or going off the rails, is so high. Pitching is both physical and mental, and almost to an extreme. Not only does your body need to be in sync, constantly moving your momentum thru the pitch, bending and shaping your arm, torso, and lower half in ways it’s not meant to bend. You also need to think about what you’re throwing and then trying to fit that pitch into a space of about 6 square inches. The margin for error is so much smaller. Think about it, if a pitcher is successful 70% of the time, he’s not good. On the flip-side a hitter with the same success rate is a superstar. So, when we evaluate pitching we need to keep in mind that these kids are not only mastering the spin on their off-speed stuff, but also figuring out when to use it. All this to say that the learning curve is much greater with pitching prospects. This is why, when they flash poise and advanced understanding of pitching it’s something to take notice of. Below is a list of arms that broke-out in Low-A, Short-Season, and Rookie Ball.

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Late in the minor league season is a trip. It constantly has the ability to skew everything you’ve come to know over the course of an entire season. That can be good, and bad. On one hand, you might be guilty of reacting to smaller sample sizes. That’s obviously never great, but to act as if we’re not all going to fall victim to it, is naive. However, on the rare occasion a true breakthrough has taken place, we have to be agile, and prepared enough to adjust to that new information. While there’s numerous examples of the former late this season, there might be no better example of the latter than the Astros 2017 first rounder JB Bukauskas. The right-hander from UNC made his AA debut on Sunday with the Corpus Christi Hooks. Facing a San Antonio lineup featuring Josh Naylor, Austin Allen, Hudson Potts, and Buddy Reed, Bukauskas made quick work of the Missions. Going six scoreless frames, he allowed three base-runners, two via the walk, and a single hit (that came in his final inning of work). While striking out 8, throwing 94 pitches, 60 of them for strikes. I watched the entire game Sunday night, with extra attention on Bukauskas, and the verdict is he looked legit. Mixing the, as advertised, plus slider, with two plane break, and sharp downward movement, with (what looked like) a pair of fastballs, a plus mid-90’s sinking two-seamer with nasty downhill angle, and a four-seamer he wasn’t scared to elevate. He mixed in an inconsistent, but promising changeup, that looked nasty with fade and drop, to lefties, while at other times showed no shape at all. His Two-seamer + slider combo is a serious weapon, tunneling together and making it difficult to differentiate until late in the zone. The downward movement on his sinker is so sharp, he buried it a few times a s a wipeout pitch inside to lefties for ugly hacks. I came away from the start thoroughly impressed. He 100% looked like a starter to me, which has always been one of the biggest knocks on Bukauskas’ profile. I’d say take a flier if you’re looking for a high floor arm with some strikeout upside.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Prospects are funny, when things are going well all is expected of them. The sky’s the limit, the loftiest of comparisons are strewn about, and the helium pumps. Then the player struggles. Whether it be a command bout for a live arm, or a hitter stalling a little in his development. We all quickly jump off the boat. When often times, that player bounces back the following year, or late in the season, only to leave egg on our faces. Development takes time, and it’s just that, developing skills that lead to success at the major league level. Once such case of struggle, and recent revival is Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial. After an unproductive and injury plagued first half, the Haitian talent has returned with a vengeance. He’s looking more comfortable at the plate, and his swing and miss issues are trending the right way. If Florial can get his hit tool to a 45-50 level, his combination of speed and power could turn him into an impact player at the major league level. For now there’s still hit tool concerns, but you scout the athlete, and there’s few more impressive than Florial. I won’t back down from Florial as a top 25-50 prospect, and he’ll be around there in my update.

Please, blog, may I have some more?