Growing up, some of the best players in baseball were legacies. Juniors, so to speak. Think Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Cal Ripken Jr., so on and so forth. Well, the Toronto Blue Jays have taken it upon themselves to bring the Jr.’s back to the game. It started unsuccessfully with Dwight Smith Jr., but has taken a turn for the better with the latest crop of Juniors. On yesterday’s podcast we briefly discussed Vlad Guerrero Jr. and his Lansing Lugnuts debut. Mostly because it was going on while we were recording, and I for one, love a good distraction. What I’m getting at is, we might have done you a disservice not listing this team as one to watch. With an exciting combination of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette (son of Dante), they’re definitely the best set of juniors out there. In fact the pair showed their oodles of upside Friday night, as each homered in the game. On Saturday they continued their assault on A ball, combining to go 3 for 8 with a run and an RBI. Some solid start for the duo, huh? Scouts rank Vlad Jr. amongst the top power prospects in the minors, and Bichette is viewed as a high upside middle infield prospect with 20+ homer upside. For our first Minor League Update of the season, it’s only right we go back to the future. Here’s what else is going on during opening weekend of Minor League Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did anybody else forget that the Texas Rangers led the AL in wins last year? Because I do…early playoff exits, right Red Sox? I feel like I’ve never been so down on a winning program. The Rangers need pitching, and they need it bad. Despite finishing 7th in runs scored in all of the MLB, they barely had a positive run differential. The third worst team ERA in the AL will do that to ya. So all this to say, the Rangers need pitching, and they need it badly. Is there any help on the way from the farm system? That’s a good question, but unfortunately there’s only Yohander Mendez ready to make an impact this season, and how much of an impact he makes is up for debate. Most of the exciting arms in the Texas system are 2-3+ years away, at least. So they’ll have to look elsewhere for reinforcements. The system has been raided in recent years by promotions, and big trades to acquire, first Cole Hamels, and then Jonathan Lucroy, among others. In fact, four of the team’s last five first round picks have been moved over the last two seasons. So yeah son, the cupboard is bare. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst system I’ve ranked, but it could be in the bottom ten, and it’s certainly in the bottom half of the league. Have I got you excited to read this yet? Don’t worry, as a special treat for reading this, you get my Top 100 Prospects post coming Wednesday! However, for today it’s the Texas Rangers Top Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t know where you’re from, by where I’m at everyone is getting High-A. I have no idea why I find this funny, it’s not. Then again they don’t pay me to be funny, actually they don’t pay me for anything. If I was paid for anything though it would probably be this, writing about prospects. Particularly those in the low minors and a few years away. Today, we’ll take a long look at the breakout players in two of the three High-A level leagues, the California League and the Florida State League. Though they share the distinction of being even in terms of level, the two circuits couldn’t boast more divergent offensive profiles. As the California League is known for its hitting and power friendly environment, the Florida State League is known for the opposite; low scoring games, and pitching friendly statistics. On Sunday we’ll dig into the numerous breakouts and players of note in the third High-A syndicate, the Carolina league. We’ll also touch on some of the top performers in the A level Midwest League. If there’s anyone else you feel I neglected to include that’s on your radar in the Cali or FSL, post it, I’d love to discuss them. You know what the old timers say, Prospecting takes a village.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Rangers have one of the deepest systems in the majors and it’s packed with upside for fantasy. Even after trading away three good prospects in the Cole Hamels deal, it’s still a beast. The appeal for our game is the type of player – toolsy, power bats, power arms…all good stuff. One of the pleasant surprises on the MLB roster was Delino Deshields, who the Rangers selected as a rule 5 pick from the Astros organization. If you’re like me, you threw Deshields on your farm for some depth and by the end of the season it was all like ‘whoa this is a solid player right here’ and then Grey’s writing a sleeper post on him and next thing you know he’s got an ADP in the teens. Grey is influential like that. Coincidentally, the Rangers also lost Odubel Herrera in the rule 5 draft to Philly, and that young man had a hell of a season too. Just goes to show that this whole prospect game isn’t always easy to peg, and you have to stay on your toes and roll with it. Back over to the Texas farm now, which features three top 50 fantasy prospects.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wednesday again (even if it does feel like Monday for the third day in a row following a short week!), so it’s time for another Panning For Gold – Finding The Prospect Hidden Gems – our weekly look at some of those lesser-known prospects that are beginning to generate the type of buzz that starts their climb up organizational ranking lists, leading to more discussion about them in more well-known circles. Think of these guys as players you may not necessarily have at the top of your lists in shallow keeper leagues, but names you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on as you begin to participate in deeper leagues – the types of player you can wind up scooping up before your mates in your quest to become another fantasy baseball “guru”…respected and adored whenever draft time rolls around (not to mention mumbled about under your opponents’ breath) for years to come.
This week we’re going to shine the light on Jairo Beras, an OF for the Texas Rangers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 with his 21st homer yesterday, and now has five homers in his last 4 games. On the year, he’s batting .371. For s’s and g’s, I went back to look at April comments about McCutchen when he had zero homers and only 7 RBIs through the first month. Please, blog, may I have some more?Please, blog, may I have some more?