Please see our player page for Julio Rodriguez 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.

Well these have certainly been an interesting few days. Sunday, I hit the brakes on my 40-man scuba dive because I wanted to dance among the raindrops of roster decisions and come back soaked in fantasy baseball goodness. 

Making a team’s 40-man roster has always granted players an edge in getting a promotion. Every season when we’re waiting for our favorite prospects to get the call, we watch a parade of misfit toys already on the 40 get that chance first. Especially in some organizations that don’t like to toggle the 40-man. In the variation of baseball we’ll get this year, this under-contract advantage seems greater than ever. 

If you’re in a deep league, making semi-regular rounds dissecting 40-man rosters can give you a predictive edge. If you’re in any league, really, how can it hurt to know who’s likely to get called up next at a given position on a given team, no matter how anyone’s hitting or pitching?

Can’t hurt, right? 2020 will be all about maximizing short-term opportunities, so let’s hop in the pool and swim a lap around the American League West.

Note: everyone mentioned in this article is included in the 60-man player pool. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before taking a single at bat, Jasson Dominguez is dominating the baseball card world.

2020 Bowman Baseball is nowhere to be found in the retail universe. Year over year, Bowman baseball cards are one of the only products in late-stage capitalism that corporations cannot keep in stock.

Stephen Strasburg is to blame for some of this. Back in 2010, I was stopping at Wal-Marts off the highway, tiny town Targets and roadside Casey’s in search of 2010 Bowman blaster boxes. They cost 19.99 in stores and sold for about $40 online. Inside a blaster box were eight packs, two chrome prospect cards per pack. (Today, Topps has shrunk the pack count to six but kept the pricing.) Some of the craze was that a Strasburg base 1st Chrome rookie went for about $50 on eBay. Some of the craze was due to the high-end market. An attorney bought the Strasburg 1/1 Superfractor–not autographed–from 2010 bowman for $10,000 and sold it a short while later for $26,000.

Ten years later, Bowman is the biggest thing in baseball, and Jasson Dominguez is growing the game yet again.

Here’s a table I put together built from the elite group of my Top 200 for easy viewing and comparing.

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I’ve been dreading this next stretch for a hot minute.

Well–not “dreading” dreading. That word doesn’t fit many contexts now the world is experiencing existential dread on a daily basis.

But the faux fear is realish enough that my point stands: infield feels like pretty solid ground for fantasy baseball purposes. Pretty much every league uses a catcher, shortstop and first, second and third basemen. Some use one catcher, some use middle and corner infielders, some use an IF spot, but the needs across leagues, and the depth of each position, are fairly standard. 

Outfield and Pitcher feel like the dark arts. Snape describes them to Harry in book six, and Harry describes them to Dumbledore’s Army in book five, as a constantly shapeshifting, infinite battle for which there is no measure of readiness that reaches the level of being “prepared.” 

You do the best you can and react when the world changes. 

So that’s my task here, starting with the sequencing of the top 50 outfielders for 2021 dynasty baseball. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

During the moments I could focus enough to exercise the fantasy part of my brain, I’ve been brainstorming for what I should explore during the virus break. 

A fast forward to next March’s Top 100 list landed pretty high on my to-do list, but the task of going back to the future quickly became a complicated proposition. 

Will the Tigers have any incentive to promote Skubal, Manning and Mize? 

In a full season, players can push for the next level through dominance, putting a variety of pressures on the organization: fan frustration, developmental stall, player frustration, etc. 

It’s easy to project Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and Wander Franco to push their way up given a full season, but the math is all variables now. And mostly negative ones for young studs on non-contenders. 

Nonetheless, I grabbed some plutonium and had a lot of fun in the process. Feeling pretty good about the whole thing on publication day. Will have more to say about the future in future, specifically this Sunday. In the meantime, to paraphrase the great Red Green: if you don’t find this list handsome, I hope at least you’ll find it handy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in October I sequestered myself into a sound-proof booth to create a top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list free from the mad cries of the echo chamber. Shortly thereafter I went to work breaking down the top prospects for each MLB team. A week after coming up for air following my 30-team deep dive into the minor leagues, I’m excited to share my updated hundred!

 

*Note: I’ve written about each of these guys if you’d like more and are curious enough to follow the threads to October’s Top 150 for 2020 Fantasy Baseball or my organizational top ten lists.

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Top Seattle Mariners Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball with Tiers

Seattle General Manager trader Jerry Dipoto got us through last off-season, making what felt like a transaction every day to keep the baseball media grinding through a bleak, mostly silent winter. 

This time around has been so busily different in baseball that Dipoto’s big move sending Omar Narvaez to Milwaukee for Adam Hill and the 71st overall pick in the 2020 draft registered barely a blip on the radar. 

The Twitterati and me are grateful to be less bored this year and grateful to Dipoto for getting us through the free agency freeze of winters past. 

And hey along the way he’s put together a system that gives Seattle fans hope even as they bottom out in search of a winning wave.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.

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It’s opening day!

The Arizona Fall League begins early this year, and I’m interested to see how the prospect fallout differs now that the kids aren’t the only ballgame in town. The previous iteration created a month-plus layoff for the arms, which was deemed a bad thing for reasons known to someone, presumably.

Fantasy leagues might be frozen already, transaction-wise, but if you’re in one that’s not, it’s sound strategy to fit some fall-league prospects into your build. I think the echo-chamber value-bounce has increased year-over-year as more and more prospectors make their way to Arizona for live looks. Last year, Jazz Chisholm went from borderline top 100 to top 30 range in just those few weeks. Nico Hoerner made his first professional noise and climbed the lists under this same bright spotlight. So who’s likely to get that shine this time around?

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Angels prospect Michael Hermosillo (3-for-5, 3 HR) has decided to hit for power this August. After hitting four homers in all of June and July, the 24-year-old outfielder has hit ten dingers this month. There should be a glossary term for the minor league version of a hot schmotato. Hot schmotatito? Between Hermosillo’s track record for power, the Juicy Juice brand balls in Triple-A, and the near 30% strikeout rate, I’m convinced there’s nothing to see here. But any time a guy has three multi-homer games in his last ten this close to September callups it’s noticeable. Speaking of callups, now’s the time to start thinking about who to stash for the last month of the season. For many of us, this is also our playoff season, so any help we can get to advance will be well worth the roster slot. Better to be a week early and get the guy you want than a week late and miss out on a huge month. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez (3-for-5, HR, 6 RBI) won’t turn 19 until this winter. The right fielder is hitting .296 with ten homers and a steal through 66 games at Single-A West Virginia. Hanging with the big boys! To put that in perspective, there are only five players in all of Single-A who are 18 years old. One of them is Wander Franco, arguably the best prospect in all of baseball. Franco is hitting .318 with six homers and 14 steals through 62 games. Outside of the steals, Julio is right there with him. This is why Rodriguez made a big jump on my midseason list to 23rd overall and why he’ll probably jump again come fall/winter rankings season. To put that perspective in perspective, Luis Garcia of the Phillies (a “normal” 18-year-old) is hitting .195 at the same level. If it was big brain time and you’ve owned Julio Rodriguez for a while, pat yourself on the back and enjoy. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?