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?
Please see our player page for Estevan Florial 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.
Padres prospect MacKenzie Gore continues to dominate in High-A. The 20-year-old lefty struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings last night, lowering his 2019 ERA to 1.02. He now has 110 punch outs in 79 innings pitched and is holding lefties and righties to averages of .122 and .141 respectively. While I do think he’ll earn a promotion to Double-A in the second half of this season, it probably won’t be until next year that he’ll impact fantasy teams, maybe even earning a spot in the rotation a la Chris Paddack. The only thing that might stall his arrival is the fact that the Padre rotation is already lefty heavy. That’s picking nits though. If Gore pitches with anything close to this type of success in Double-A, it’ll be hard not to see what he’s got in spring training next year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper signs… Note that signing can instantly eliminate a position battle detailed herein (although it sounds like only NL teams are involved right now).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Time flies when you’re having fun. Well, at least I’m having fun. I can’t speak for you kind reader. We’ve only two more divisions to cover for minor league rankings and spring training is just around the corner. I can smell the pine tar! While lurking on Reddit last week, I stumbled upon a great tool created by a user named BoBtheMule. I reached out to him about it and it turns out he’s a Razzball reader. Basically, he compiled all the prospect rankings from free sites on one sheet. You can check it out here. It’s very well done. Anyhoo, I thought it would be fun to see where I’m higher or lower than some of the other big sites (six others to be exact, including Razzball’s own Ralph from ProspectsLive). Anyhoo part two, I’ve been out of the game for a time, and while I don’t peep other rankings when creating my own, I do think it’s interesting to go back and look at how my rankings compare to others in the industry. As Kierkegaard pointed out, “Life can only be understood backwards.” Let’s take a look!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Moving right along through our Top 100, we have the back half of the top 50 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. I could say that this is where the list gets interesting, but it’s just a list of (potential) baseball players on the internet, so “interesting” might be giving myself too much credit. If you’re just joining us, you may want to check out the top 25 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. And for full reports on each team’s prospects, you’ll want to hit the 2019 minor league preview index. Two things you’ll notice about this chunk of the list: 1) it’s where the better 2018 signees reside; and 2) more pitching. I find that this section of the rankings goes nicely with a 12-year-old Highland Single Malt. Or Dewars. Either way. It’s ten in the morning.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This year my New Year’s resolution is to complete all thirty minor league previews by Opening Day. And lose 50 pounds. And stop drinking. And stop smoking. One of those is doable. I’ll let you figure out which one! We’re about through the AL East with this Yankees preview, who recently lost one of their best prospects in a trade (Justus Sheffield). Once we take the turn into the National League, we’ll pause and start cranking out the Top 100 list. Something to look forward to! For now, let’s discuss what I believe are the ten best specs in New York’s system.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last night, MLB streamed the Arizona Fall League equivalent of an All-Star Game. In a cunning twist, it’s named the Fall Star Game. The game ended too late for a recap, so this is a preview of a game that has already been played. Welcome to time travel. I’d explain the intricacies of writing in the present about something in the future that will publish in the future about something that happened in the past, but it’s a bit complicated. All I’ll say is it requires weapons-grade plutonium, an internet connection, and a fifth of Dewar’s. The player I’m most excited to see is Keston Hiura (2B), the Brew Crew’s top prospect with the 70 hit tool. He’s kicking keisters in the AFL, hitting .343 with four bombs, five steals, and 27 runs batted in (the league lead). Here are a few other prospects I’m scoping out tonight (last night) in the Fall Stars Game…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?
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) August 11, 2018
This is for all the people that have come up to me over the last few weeks and asked “Yo, Ralph when’s that Top 100 droppin’ son?” And I said, “When it’s finished”. This is for y’all, one love! Oh but wait, there’s more to come too. This is simply a sweet, sweet 20% of the overall ranks. The full 500 will drop on Sunday. I want to thank all of my readers over the years for supporting me in all that I do here. These rankings posts are a lot of questioning your evaluations, and even more sleepless nights. So, I hope you enjoy. As for the Top 100, I’ve gone a little heavier in discounting pitching than in previous years, instead favoring upside bats. Why? Because pitching prospects are like reflections in side view mirrors, all much closer than they appear. Think about Shane Bieber vs. Tyler Glasnow, one guy was hyped to the max, the other was a boring strike-thrower that likely would never crack a top 250 for fantasy. Who would you rather own now? Speaking of upside, you’ll see the second half of this list is a little more upside heavy with some breakouts mixed in for good measure. What can I say? I like the young upside hitters. This exercise was a process,I began by listing nearly 700 players, then went player by player ranking each on a “would I trade this guy for this guy” trip, then I stared at the list changing ranks over and over again while I smoked like a German. That’s not a joke, this actually happened. All to whittle it down to the list below, the Top 100.Please, blog, may I have some more?
On a cold early April night in Connecticut, I got my first looks at both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in the flesh. In a matchup not short on prospects, I met fellow Razzball writers Paul (the) Martin, and Lance Brozdowski, as well as friend Scott Greene, founder of Prospects 1500. The four of us frequently paused baseball and fantasy discussion to get as many clips of Vlad, Bo, Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Garrett Hampson on our phones as we could. In the early going, I was impressed by the Yard Goats starter Jesus Tinoco, who was popping 95 with a wicked breaking ball. Second time through the order was not so kind however. We didn’t get a ton of offense from the trio of top prospects, but we did get a two run double from Bichette down the leftfield line, and a chopper just inside the third base bag that went for extra bases from Guerrero. Hartford’s Brendan Rodgers went 0-for-4, and Gurriel went 0-for-3 with two walks. One off the radar standout from last night was Yonathan Daza, who hit .341 last season at Lancaster, to go along with 31 steals on 39 attempts. He hit two hard ground balls up the middle, driving in Hartford’s lone run. All in all a good night, here’s some video from the game, as well as some other noisemakers in the early going of the MiLB season.Please, blog, may I have some more?