Cubs 1B Matt Mervis (24, AA) looks like a prototypical, left-handed hitting, middle-of-the-order masher at 6’4” 225 lbs who has already blasted 19 bombs in 66 games across High-A and Double-A this season. His strikeout rate has been around 24 percent at both levels along with .644 and .650 slugging percentages, but he has almost doubled his walk rate from 4.6 percent in High-A to 7.7 percent in Double-A. Gotta watch this one closely. Never-nervous Mervis got a little lost in the covid-draft chaos but raked in the wooden bat Northwoods League in 2018 and did the same in the wooden bat Cape Cod League in 2019. He looks more athletic to the eye test than the statsheet and profile might suggest.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Heston Kjerstad 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.
A few years ago, I joined a CBS dynasty league in motion one year after it had begun. The team owner quit mid-April after some sort of rules dispute. My entry fee was paid. I started trading. I cannot remember all the moves because I am an incrementalist on the market, for the most part. I do remember trading Yu Darvish and more for a High-A hitter named Juan Soto, which made someone else quit the league, so foolish was I to have done so. Soto got promoted to AA shortly after that, played eight games there, then jumped to the major leagues.
This is not what I came here to discuss, but it’s hard for me to think about that league without rolling through its gruesome history. I joined in 2018, won the league in 2019, and it dissolved before 2020. I loved the team I’d built there by buying early on Soto and Tatis (two of my first three trades). 2021 would have been a blast. But I gained a ton from that league. I know to pump the brakes sometimes if my play style is tilting a league, for one thing. But most importantly, I learned the value of collecting impact outfielders. When I looked around to add speed or outfield help, I always came back to the same team because they had all the upside. Their minor league system was just outfielders with some shortstops sprinkled in. Every single guy had speed. And I learned something: Power/speed combo outfielders are a finite resource.
No shit, right? Well, if we have a look around the prospect lists, we’ll find corner bats everywhere. Speed-free profiles are everywhere. Pitchers and catchers are everywhere. I’m not saying they have no place; I’m just saying it’s easy to wind up with a team peppered with all sorts of players. Might even be preferable. Not so easy to hold ten of the best power-speed outfield prospects at a given time. If you can pull that off, you’ll be on the rich-folks side of the supply/demand curve. Thus far, I’ve found the strategy a bit less profitable in practice than in theory because the people who aren’t focused on speed tend to want it cheap, and the people who collect speed already have enough to get by. That’s fine though. I’ve been running away with the stolen bases category in my four dynasty leagues for years now, and I’ve cashed in all four, so even if I’m not regularly charging rent on Boardwalk anytime someone wants stolen bases, I’m ringing the register in other ways.
That intro got long in a hurry. Always dangerous when a writer veers anywhere near their own leagues, I think, but here’s hoping we came through it okay and that it made connective sense to the focus point today: Outfielders: What do they steal? Do they steal things? Let’s find out.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?
I’ve been fielding a lot of questions recently about my own playing career and former prospect status (I haven’t). What I’ve told people is that, unfortunately, there were no takers in the 40th round for a sub-.200 Division III college bat (this part is true). If there was ever a world where eighth-inning defensive replacements got a look, I was not around for that era. But what a truly fulfilling era that would have been. In the current landscape, it’s harder than ever to have your name called on draft day. Even with last year’s draft up to 20 rounds from five the year prior, fewer players are being drafted than 10, 20, 30 years ago. Not to mention, the quality of the talent from top to bottom is out of this world, forcing the competition for those spots to be fiercer than ever. I say this as a segue to this week’s unveiling of college prospects 6-10 in my way-too-early 2022 draft rankings. None of the players I will talk about today have hit under .200, and I’m pretty sure they all could have topped my collegiate OPS several days out of the womb. They are, however, somewhat unconventional in a draft landscape that can find a red flag in anyone. Here’s what we have: a five-foot-nine second baseman, a southpaw who allowed 13 runs to non-con competition in his first two starts last year, a catcher with 61 career games under his belt, an ACC corner outfielder (what an outlier!), and a pitching prospect that has thrown eight innings in two seasons. Bundle that all together, and you’re asking yourself why you take prospect advice from a guy named Hobbs. Or maybe you’re asking why some guy named Hobbs is openly admitting he sucked in college. Perhaps you’re even second-guessing if Hobbs is even a guy at all, and is actually a beautiful maiden from a faraway land called Miamidelphia. If you’re curious about the first two, fair. But if you’re wondering about the third, then you’re just plain weird. In which case, you’ve come to the right place. So here are college prospects six through 10 for 2022, without further adieu, just for you, and you and you and you.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Instead of inserting a witty lede to kick of this week’s prospect post, I decided I would share three major breakthroughs I’ve made in life over the past 24 hours. Some may be more relevant to you than others, but the first is the most essential — and also the most blatantly obvious. One: if you’re building your dynasty league strategy based on MLB Pipeline’s top-100 prospect rankings and not The Itch’s, you’re putting yourself at an incredible disadvantage. If you’re reading this, then you’ve navigated to Razzball for a reason — so utilize the resources we have for you. Without a doubt, The Itch’s prospect rankings are the best out there for fantasy purposes and I base my personal strategy off of them while incorporating my own evaluations. Two: moving forward, I will be alternating between a Prospect Watch piece (this week) and unveiling five new college prospects in my Way-Too-Early Top 25 for the 2022 MLB Draft. That makes one of each per month as every post will arrive on Tuesdays on a bi-weekly basis. Three: Colton Cowser is a somewhat-cool name aided by alliteration, but it’s even better and far-more fierce when you flip it backwards: Reswoc Notloc. How awesome? It honestly sounds like something out of a Lord of the Rings novel: Reswoc the Warlock. Anyway, Reswoc is the focus of this week’s Prospect Watch piece. If you’ve been following my collegiate prospect coverage the past two years, then you’re already somewhat familiar with him. Today, I’ll provide an update and let you know how you should be evaluating Mr. Notloc in your dynasty league moving forward.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
With escapism impossible on the football side, we turn to the baseball team in Baltimore. After a surprising season that saw the Orioles playing meaningful games in October, 2021 looks like the opening of a window.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Baking, Baseball, and Baseball not being played that’s the theme for this week’s show as Shelly Verougstraete of several websites (Rotographs, Dynasty Guru, Pitcher List, Prospects 365, and Over the Monster) and the best baking Instagram you’ll ever witness joins us. We indulge in our virtual sweet tooth as Grey and Shelly talk baking and I just drool at Shelly’s Instagram. Boy that sounds different when read aloud. No matter, we get into last week’s draft and some of the top fantasy names to look for, as well as discuss a little of the current MLB versus MLBPA drama. It’s another can’t miss episode of the Razzball podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alright, readers! Prepare yourself for the most highly-anticipated expansion project since the Florida Marlins were awarded a bid to join Major League Baseball in the June of 1991! Oh, what a glorious two years it was, as new GM Dave Dombrowski quickly got to work assembling what he hoped would soon become a career trademark project. By Opening Day 1993, the Marlins were all systems go with the likes of Gary Sheffield, Walt Weiss, Benito Santiago, Bret Barberie, Orestes Destrade, Chuck Carr and bright young rookie, Jeff Conine. Simply tantalizing, wouldn’t you say?
Yes, yes. I know what you’re thinking. One, the 1993 expansion season also featured the Colorado Rockies. Two, no one cares about the Marlins. Three, I failed to mention the fact that the Florida franchise was purchased for $95 million by the former CEO of Blockbuster Video. And finally four, no one cares about the Marlins. Take it from a me, a guy who can unfortunately say that he has been to both Sun Life Stadium and new Marlins Park. Remember how many names the old stadium had? I can think of like six just off the top of my head.
That being said, I would like to announce an ever greater undertaking, as I will be expanding from my Top 25 College Prospects to Target in Dynasty Leagues to an even 100 in this piece. Although the painstaking effort I have put into this list will likely never live up to what Dombrowski and the Marlins accomplished throughout the nineties, I can do my best to fill that void.Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I began this series of rankings with the top 10 college baseball prospects, it was explained that I would be detailing “the top 10 college baseball prospects to target mid-season (and beyond).” As we embark on this incredible journey (which is a wholesome, classic film chronicling the beautiful friendship of dog, cat and dog again), I must forewarn you that we have officially crossed the threshold into the “beyond.” Yes, that is correct – I am indeed your tour guide, Michael Newman (as played by Adam Sandler), who will now use his universal remote control to reveal to you with 100% projection accuracy college prospects No. 11-25 as it relates to future fantasy output.
Before getting into the thick of things, I need to make two very brief and entirely unrelated remarks that will in no way provide any meat to the bones of this article. First, I apologize for the excess of film references I have made already, but don’t expect them to be curtailed any time soon. Second, if you truly have not seen The Incredible Journey, drop what you’re doing right now and buy it on Amazon Prime for $2.99. Best three dollars you’ll ever spend. Even better than the authentic George Springer banging stick I snagged off ebay for three measly bills.
As we dive into the latter stages of these rankings, one thing needs to be made seriously clear: with the exception of a few names on this list, the vast majority to follow likely fall under the category of finds for deeper leagues only. If you’re in a serious dynasty league in which the draft is primarily prospects and upcoming college guys on an annual basis, I would consider all of these players. Use the information given below and then draw your own conclusions about who to target based on the specificity of your league.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I sit at my laptop, staring aimlessly into an abyss of text, numbers and a series of minimized Incognito windows dedicated to my side-hobby of sending Trevor Bauer unsolicited romantic couplets, I find myself wondering how to properly attack my first article as a Razzball contributor. I debate whether Eddie Murphy felt this way before his public debut in a Gumby costume, or if Christopher Columbus experienced similar inner musings prior to the first time he pretended to discover a piece of land.
I’m sure they did. When it comes to matters as essential as fantasy baseball, impersonating a childhood cartoon character and kind-of discovering the free world, it’s only natural to want to put your best foot forward and start off on a positive note.
Amidst these trying times, I have prepared a list for the great readers of Razzball which may ordinarily seem premature, but in the age of Coronaphobia and near-world downfall, it unfortunately is not. Today, I present to you the top 10 college baseball prospects to target mid-season (and beyond) in dynasty formats.Please, blog, may I have some more?