Not too long ago the words “Chicago Cubs Prospects” meant something. It was a system deep with talented positional players with premium fantasy upsides. In recent years those talented positional payers have debuted on the big stage, succeeded (for the most part), and broke an 108 year old curse. So to say things are good in Wrigleyville is an understatement. While the farm is not what it was two years ago, it’s been essential in reinforcing both of the Cubs recent playoff runs. This leaves Lance and myself to pick up the pieces of what remains. It’s a system lacking standout talent, but one that’s deep with mid-rotation starters, fringe positional players, and middle relief types. We go through the high points in Jose Albertos, Adbert Alzolay, and Aramis Ademan. Then cover some of the recent draftees, and scour the system for upside. Not the most exciting collection of talent we’ll cover, but there’s a few names to watch for. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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The once mighty Cubs system is no more. What was once the premier talent pool of young prospects, is now little more than a glorified waiting room for long shot arms, and future fringe MLB regulars. Not to be confused with Future’s M.O.B Regulators, which is a mix tape made entirely in Future’s bathroom following an aggressive lunch at a local Chi-Fil-A. In fact if you listen hard enough, you’ll catch a half dozen flushes between mumbled vocals. That’s all besides the point though, you’re here to get up to speed on the Cubs farm system, and the never-ending list of projectable starting pitchers that litter their list at the moment. So this begs the question… Am I low on the Cubs system? Ahhhh, does a frog bump it’s ass when it hops? Of course I’m low on the Cubs system it’s a bunch of projectable arms! Have you even read me before brah? I hate projectable arms for fantasy! Cause they’re always projecting, and breaking, and breaking, and projecting!! Then again after spending the better part of the week digging into it, there are some bright spots, as well as a handful of breakout candidates. It’s the Top Cubs Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

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Can you name the top five in the AL for batting average?  I’m talking those qualified.  The person who said Erik Kratz for being 1-for-1 on the year is unqualified to answer.  By the way, if you’ve taken too many quaaludes to answer, does that mean you’re unquaaludified?   I pose this question to you while sprawled on a tiger-skin carpet like Burt Reynolds in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan.  “Loni, feed me grapes, would you doll face?”  Totally making current references right now.  The top 5:  Altuve, Avisail Garcia, Hosmer, Reddick and Jose Ramirez.  Yo, batting average leaders nowadays are weird.  There’s only ten guys in the league over .300, and two of them are Joe Mauer and Lorenzo Cain.  Yesterday, Avisail went 5-for-5, 2 runs, 7 RBIs and his 17th homer, as he hits .333.  Let me be the first to tell you, he has not really broken out like your teenaged face.  He’s hitting 52% ground balls, a .397 BABIP (!), not even top 70 for Hard Contact percentage, a high HR/FB% for him and still only has 17 homers.  There’s very little to point to that he’s breaking out, and not just getting crazy lucky.  Now watch him win the batting title and go full Terry Pendleton.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Doesn’t it seem like every summer the national press needs a narrative to link onto and dubs it the “year of the something or other”? Think about it for a second, in recent seasons we’ve had “The year of the rookie”, “The other year of the rookie”, “The year of the homer”, “The year of the juiced ball”, so on and so forth. You get the point, sports writers are boring and unoriginal the whole lot. Well, I for one would like to follow in the grand tradition of sport writers, and apply this lazy, tired, haphazard, and cliche approach to my minor league baseball coverage. Therefore, I am dubbing 2017 MiLB “The Year of the 19 year old”.  Why? Because between Ronald Acuna, Bo Bichette, Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, and now the Astros Forrest Whitley, the biggest news-makers have been 19 years of age.

Speaking of Whitley, recently promoted to AA Corpus Christi, the righty went 6 scoreless Thursday, allowing two hits, and striking out a career high 11 batters. Not too shabby for a kid facing high school competition 15 months ago. I ranked Whitley 75th overall in my top 100 back on July 2nd. Which was right about the point that his season took off. It was a high rank on a fantasy focused list for a teenage starter in A ball. I can recall really not being able to explain why I liked Whitley 25 spots higher than Ian Anderson when asked by Halp on the Prospect Podcast. I just fell in love with the idea of a 6’7 240 lbs monster with a arsenal of offerings. Since that date Whitley has rewarded my faith, dominating the Carolina League in a way no teenager should. Going 3-1 over his next 6 starts, while racking up 50 k’s to 9 walks in 31.1 innings.

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Good Sunday morning gang!!! The weather forecast remains unseasonably cool and rainy here in the south, but it’s having little effect on many of us who look forward to this time of year regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. It’s only been a couple of days since the unofficial second half started but the MLB non-waiver trade deadline looms, the days seem to flash by in minutes, and every baseball nut everywhere barely looks outside to see if the sun is shining since they’re too busy refreshing Twitter, MLBTR, and every other information source they can find on the internets. The deals are coming, the playoff races are changing, and the prospects are rising – seemingly quicker than the sun.

Here’s our weekly Sunday Twelve-Pack – our peek at prospects who may be taking another step up their ladder as they climb towards The Show (including my thoughts on Taylor Lindsey, the prime piece acquired by the Padres this weekend). These are twelve players to keep your eye on as someone you can potentially expect to see a promotion to the next level soon as paths become cleared when deals are made and performances simply can’t be ignored much longer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?