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We don’t spend much time with the stragglers around Prospect World, but a lot of highly ranked guys have struggled this season. That sentence reads like a timeless nothing-statement when I see it on the page, but it’s a pretty accurate description of my thoughts as I scoured the landscape to find the best 100 minor league players for the fantasy game. 

If you think of a name that you figured would be here, there’s a good chance they’ve scuffled to start this season. The Nicks, Yorke, Gonzales and Pratto, missed the list in surprising fashion. Perhaps I was more demanding of them because my human-person-walking-around name is also Nick, and I am subconsciously more disappointed with them than I would be with a non-Nick player. Seems unlikely, but you never know. 

Also a pretty good chance the player(s) you’re looking for were covered:

either here in the Top 25

or here in the Top 50

or here in the Top 75.

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

Anyway, the buns are in the oven. No changing the recipe now. Smells pretty good already, now that the prep’s done and the kitchen’s clean. Ish. Clean as it’s gonna get anyway. Let’s dig in. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

These birds are in no rush, man.

They’re just getting going on the international front, so even though we might pounce on players who sign for big deals, I’m skeptical of the infrastructure in place to ease those teenagers’ transitions to professional baseball in the states. I’m skeptical of the whole plan, to be honest, given the slow-roasting, historical-losing outcomes we’ve seen so far. If Baltimore can follow the path the Astros and Cubs laid out by being truly abysmal for a half-decade just before the dawn of a successful stretch, the fans will appreciate the end point, assuming any remain. The AL East piece suggests their hands were tied to some extent–that the only path was full-tank with no on-field investments in the pitching or hitting side. I dunno. It’s just tough for me to get super hyped about the big future all these guys might have when we’ve seen what it took to acquire them. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Years of ignoring the international market left the Orioles behind the rest of baseball in the absolutely critical world of talent procurement and development. Ownership, beloved by all Baltimore fans, finally decided to amend this practice last year, hiring General Manager Mike Elias away from Houston. As his first move, Elias hired Houston colleague and former NASA engineer Sig Mejdal to be his “General Manager for Analytics,” a new job title in the baseball world. 

Elias and Mejdal were central in the process that brought Houston so far into the future they decided scouts were outdated. The baseball world will watch their work in Baltimore with bated breath. Was what happened in Houston a magical confluence of hyper-competitive individuals that can’t be replicated outside that moment in time and space? Or can the secret sauce be imported and applied even in the most barren landscapes? 

As with pretty much everything, truth is somewhere in the middle, but I’m leaning toward the latter—that yes this duo will be successful in Baltimore, and yes this would be an ominous outcome for the future employment of scouts on the ground. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.

I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”

I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.” 

We’re in talks about a Sam Hilliard, Jorge Mateo spin-off/mash-up.

In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!

Review the top 25 here and the top 50 here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just as we start to pick up speed with the Twins, the prospect preview train comes grinding to a halt with a mediocre Orioles system. I think the horse from Ren and Stimpy said it best – no sir…I don’t like it. I skipped many a Sunday morning church service in favor of watching new episodes of R&S. I seem to be no worse for wear, except that when my kids ask me about their faith I usually dodge the question by offering to sell them some rubber nipples. With just two (questionable) Grade A prospects, this is the rubber nipple of minor league systems. I’m about to do my best to sell it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The preview season is upon us, and we’re kicking it off with the Diamondbacks and Orioles. Lower case yay… On their own these are two relativity boring systems, but combined they create a super system, still less exciting than next week’s topic the Braves. Another lower case yay. Lance and I kick off the show with some discussion of the Dee Gordon trade, the prospects headed the Marlins way. We touch on Kevin Maitan signing with the Angels, and some other “hot stove” news, before delving into discussions of Jon Duplantier’s mechanics, Ryan Mountcatle’s leg kick, and how good Austin Hays really is. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Time was, when you looked terrible in a photograph, it was something you and the other people in the photo would get a good laugh over. These days, it gets blasted out to thousands of people, destined to be immortalized for eternity. Let’s all get a good laugh at the worst photo of Ralph ever taken. If you’ve ever watched his YouTube show, you know he doesn’t actually look like that, which is what makes it so funny. It would be pretty messed up otherwise. On to the podcast! We start by talking about the recent call-ups of Derek Fisher, Lewis Brinson, Matt Chapman, and Tom Murphy, before moving on to discuss our post MLB Draft thoughts on where certain prospects landed, including DL Hall, Jeren Kendall, and Pavin Smith. Finally, we close the show by figuring out where Mickey Moniak, AJ Puk, and Bo Bichette would fit into a top 100 ranking, and also try to predict who will be the next big-time prospects to get the call. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The MLB Draft is finally upon us and I’m sure about 10% of Razzball’s readership actually cares. It’s cool, I’ll sit here and nurture these babes into big strong fantasy studs, feeding them from my prospector teet. I’ll do the dirty work too, scolding the bad seeds, and killing off the runts. Wow, in two sentences I pissed off 90% of Razzball and animal rights folks. Picketers please stay off my newly planted grass, it’s taken rather well with the deluge of rain recently and I’d like to see it reach full lush maturity. Now back to the lecture at hand, this post is really just my big board from the most recent episode of the Prospect Podcast where Halp and I mocked out the Top 30. I’ll touch on each player so you’ll have a general familiarity with their skills and profile. I might also include turn-ons, and dream dates, but you’ll have to read and find out. As always there’s been lots of flips and flops in my ranks since I dropped my Top 10. So don’t judge me for being a dirty flip-flopper! Forgive me, I fell in love with some high schoolers…. ummmm I mean prep players. Found some reliable college studs…ummm hitters! So on and so forth. You get the point, it’s my MLB Draft Top 25 Fantasy Prospects.

Please, blog, may I have some more?