Please see our player page for Emerson Hancock 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. 

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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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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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Omaha! Omaha! Either Peyton Manning just put together a quick game of pick-up flag football in my backyard, or the College World Series is officially underway in Nebraska. *editor buzzes into my earpiece* Manning is in fact in Canton learning how to properly construct a Super Bowl trophy out of a Wheaties box for the next incredibly average Peyton’s Places segment, so it must be the latter — which is good for him, because my backyard is currently infested with slime mold and being treated for turf diseases, so that simply wouldn’t be advised for the local neighborhood youths. But alas, the CWS is here, and we have the luxury of scouting an excess of 2021 MLB Draft talent from June 19-30. Six players in my top 30 were able to advance to college baseball’s ultimate event, but countless others such as Arizona’s Ryan Holgate, Vanderbilt’s Isaiah Thomas and NC State’s Luca Tresh made the Omaha cut as well. This not only means that these rankings are fluid and will undoubtedly change prior to the July 11-13 draft, but also that I recommend taking the below intel and doing some of your own personal scouting over the course of the next week-plus. So, who has made the cut as we inch closer to the release of the complete college top 100? Check it out below, as there are a handful of new names previously excluded from the preseason list that utilized excellent 2021 campaigns to springboard their stock — such as Washington State’s Kyle Manzardo and Florida State’s Matheu Nelson. Where they’ll ultimately fall in the draft, nobody knows! For that reason, I like to refer to such players as this year’s “unsupervised children flying off trampolines at the annual Memorial Day reunion.” There’s always bound to be one or two.

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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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For a two-time World Series Champion with over 40 years of experience in MLB front offices, Dave Dombrowski gets a bad rap. The consensus on the baseball operations veteran seems to be that his only formula for success is to either ink big contracts or swap top prospects for elite talent that comes accompanied with hefty salaries. However, Dombrowski’s maneuvers have largely come as a result of the hands he has been dealt and the relative competitiveness of his various organizations at the time of his hire. He turned the 1997 Florida Marlins, a 1993 expansion team, into a World Series Champion. He built one of the greatest starting rotations in modern history in Detroit. He came to Boston in 2015 with a mandate to take the Red Sox to the top and did just that in 2018. Is he perfect? Far from it. Can he win a championship? Clearly. You should desire the same.

I say this to explain why I frequently refer to my strategy in dynasty leagues as Dombrowski-esque. It is not simply because of Dave’s suave, shiny gray hair to which I look forward to sporting myself in my mid-50s. In these formats, managers are drafting using such polarizing strategies that the key is to seek out excess value by pitting your opposition’s own intelligence (or so it may seem) against them. Seek opportunity where it presents itself, and if that means honing in on proven talent to win now, then do so. There will always be newer, shinier (but not as shiny as Dave’s hair) prospects to target in these leagues down the line. That’s why today I will be reviewing my selections in the 12 team, H2H points dynasty startup mock that fellow Razzballer Dylan Vaughan Skorish and I partook in this past week. Although I will reveal all of my selections, my focus in this piece will be to review my strategy and discuss the prospects I targeted in this mock draft.

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Last week, we began this series with the First-Year-Player Draft Top 25 for 2021 Fantasy Baseball

As we move into the next group, my favorite league is beginning it’s draft. I suspect we’ll be right around my pick, 26 of 30, by the time these pages hit the newsstands. Not that I expect anyone in the league much cares. Lots of good FYPD rankings out there. But still, it’s an odd game: drafting with 30-ish teams who mostly know my thoughts are public if they care to take a peak. I suppose you get numb to it across time. A leaguemate told me last night that my Wilman Diaz ranking (No. 6) helped finalize his decision to draft Diaz at 16 rather than trade the pick to me. I’d been trying to move up since the ninth pick. Long night. Only one way to go after burning up the chats trying to make a play only to fail: Forward. On to the next play. Plenty of talented dudes on the board. Missing out on one is never a make or break scenario unless you let it become that. So here we go! 

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back to talk some college prospects leading up to the MLB Draft with 2 resident Razzball prospectors, Hobbs and The Itch. We start by discussing the newest proposal from the MLBPA and how a shortened season might affect our willingness to play in high stakes leagues.

Then, we move on to discuss Hobbs’s top 10 college prospects. We start with at the top with Spencer Torkelson, the projected #1 pick. Hobbs and The Itch talk us through what kind of profile we can expect from Torkelson and whether they’d have a comparable asset from last year’s draft, Andrew Vaughn. We then ask our prospect gurus to give us some information on the top college pitchers including: Reid Detmers, Emerson Hancock, Max Meyer, and Asa Lacy.

Our analysts then move on to discuss how this different season could affect this, and future, drafts along with how a minor league system may look down the line. Finally, we wrap up with some Jasson Dominguez talk to find out if he’s worth all of the hype.

Please, blog, may I have some more?