It’s my favorite time of the year, the time when I start to research the first taste of pro-ball for all recent draftees, and prepare for the first year player drafts in several of my leagues. Depending upon the league the rules can vary, but by in large, you’re picking players from the recent draft, the July 2nd International class, and the remaining players on the free agent pool. I’m going to be breaking this post into two parts, first the Top 25 today, followed by the next 25 on Sunday. If my math is right I’m ranking 50, but I had to use my hands three times, and my toes twice. Plus I have to double count my fourth toe, because I lost my pinkie toes after starting Kevin Gausman early in the season. So toe math aside, if you’re in a 12 team league with limited minors (5-10 per team), this is the only post you’re going to need. Ya dig? Moving on, I have to say, now that I’m finished with the top 50, and I’ve researched each team’s draft class from top to bottom, this year’s crop is far more interesting that I thought. There’s tons of talented hitters with combinations of power, and speed, high end power arms from all levels of amateur ball with ace upsides, and  some talented bats in the middle infield. These rankings are subject to change, but it’s unlikely, as all of these players are done with competitive baseball for the season. Feel free to chime in with players you love, players you think will bust, and the players you hope to see in the next 25. Thanks for reading, and good luck in all your first year player drafts this off-season.

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I know, you thought it was going to be 100 prospects right? Well, it’s a good news/bad news thing. The good news is I will be ranking the Top 100 Prospects and beyond, however I will be doing them in increments of 50. So the bad news is you only get 4,000+ words and 50 prospects to read. Lets be honest, we are amongst friends here right? Even 4,000 words is at least two, if not three bathroom sessions. I know that’s when you read these, and I’m cool with it. Now that we’ve made assumptions about your bathroom reading habits, lets move along. As always, I’ve tried to balance the right now value of “close to the majors” prospects vs the high end talent. While also trying to be somewhat objective, and conscientious of the general consensus, which is important to trade value. That’s not to say I don’t go rouge and aggressively rank some players I like. Ahhh, who am I kidding it’s all personal bias. So here you go, dig in. The next 50 will drop on Wednesday at the stroke of midnight.

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If you’ve been following along with the Prospect Podcast over the last few weeks. Then you’ll know that last week’s episode was a cheat sheet for today’s post. It’s not like discussing players like Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, or Victor Robles ever really gets old. I could talk about that trio of players all day. In fact if you check the Guinness World Records Book/Site/Twitter I’m listed as having spoke about nothing but Ronald Acuna, Eloy Jimenez, and Victor Robles for 37 hours consecutively. Needless to say it was a hell of a day(s). Quick aside, do people still call it the Guinness Book of World Records, or has that been scrapped because no one really reads actual physical books anymore? Seriously reading a book with a binding is right up there on the crazy meter just behind trench coats, which is just behind army fatigues. Sorry Stephen King but you look crazy with that book, now pay attention to the baseball game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google Stephen King Red Sox. It will just be images of him reading books from the front row at Fenway. Wow I got really off track there. Anyway you know what this post is about, outfielders, my favorite outfielders, the top 10 favorite outfielders right now. Remember these are my thoughts ladies and gentlemen, right or wrong, just what I was feeling at the time. Vibe with me,,,,(CU!)

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There’s really no need for any introduction on this one, it’s the post upon which all prospectors are judged. It’s the Mid-Season Update to my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Full disclosure, I was loosey-goosey with the eligibility rules this time around. So, while some players in the majors and under their limits might appear on this list (Clint Frazier, Franklin Barreto, Etc.), others don’t (Raimel Tapia). No rhyme or reason to it, what-so-ever. This list feels more upside heavy to me, but there was no slant or algorithm for my ranks. Just good old fashioned personal bias, of which I have plenty. Seriously, I’m an opinionated lad! But that’s why I do this in the first place. Please keep in mind, this list is 100% fantasy focused. Meaning it might differ quite a bit from other Top 100’s you may come across. Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy! The next 100 (101-200) will be out on Thursday.

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I start the podcast with what I thought was the excitement of Lucas Giolito’s no hitter on Thursday, but it turns out Ralph couldn’t have cared any less about it. I then try to lighten the mood and ask about his weekend, but it just sends him into a deeper spiral of despair. Amed Rosario and Luis Robert did start to pull him out of it, though, and then we really hit our stride by digging into the upcoming 2017 MLB Draft and First-Year Player Fantasy Baseball Drafts. We discuss if Hunter Greene is worthy of the #1 overall pick, and who the other top contenders for that slot are, including Brendan McKay, Royce Lewis, and MacKenzie Gore. We also debate the strategy of taking high risk/reward prospects, such as Austin Beck and Jordon Adell, over some of the safer college players, like Kyle Wright, JB Bukauskas, Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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It only took a little over 24 hours for the Luis Robert sweepstakes to come to a close. As news broke yesterday afternoon that the Chicago White Sox had struck a deal in the $25 million to $30 million dollar range with the 19 year old Cuban phenom. This is a significant development on a few fronts; for real life baseball, this will be the last deal signed under the old rules, where teams weren’t capped on international free agents under the age of 23. It’s also significant because, the White Sox, might just have in their possession, 2 to 3 of the top ceiling prospects in the minors at the moment. Those of course being Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, and now Luis Robert. The other element to this story is Moncada and Robert will forever be linked to each other, not just by nationally, or organization, but also by dollars and the expectations attached to those presidential flashcards. As for Luis Robert the player, much like Moncada, he’s as high end in terms of talent as they come. Many have graded Robert’s hit tool a touch below Moncada’s at a 55, with some concern about his swing and miss. Where Robert edges out Moncada is in his 70 grade speed mark, and 60 grade fielding. Some scouts see Robert’s power ceiling being higher, but even those scouts mark it as a splitting hairs difference. So we’re talking about a true 5 tool talent, with some additional polish to his fielding. Though it tends to be overlooked in fantasy it’s actually a major positive for his owners, as it might accelerate his ETA two years from now. There’s little doubt in my mind he’s the clearcut top overall choice in 2017-18 First Year Player Drafts, and it’s really not close at the moment. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB…

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Okay, so it’s not really new, that’s a lie. Really it’s a re-brand of a league that existed last year that you probably know as REL2. That’s right, Razz30 is the bastard son of JB’s REL, with a Macy’s makeover, from those dolled up chubby former homecoming queens that work the makeup counter. BTW, I can hear your inner-monologue because I have telepathic powers, and I know you’re asking “why did you rebrand a fantasy league?”. Well to put it bluntly last year was akin to pooping yourself while simultaneously driving head on into a tractor trailer truck, surviving only to find out your wife is now sleeping with your high school bully, and he doesn’t have a job, so he’s going to sleep in your spot in the bed going forward. Now you’re covered in poop, laid up in the hospital with more broken bones than Evil Kenevil, and you’re emasculated as well. Seem dramatic? Maybe, maybe not. Just talk to the guys that lost their best players from forced real life trades. I could go on and on, but why look back? We’re moving forward with a new and improved format, and I’m proud to announce we’re embarking on the first 30 team league in Razzball history. When this job was bestowed upon me, by my predecessor the Notorious M.I.K.E, I promised him I would take Razzball to places they’ve never been before. That place is a 30 team league where people are spending half their FAAB adding Raul Alcantara. It’s real out here!

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This Sunday I wanted to sort of shoot from the hip about no particular subject, but sort of just share some things I’ve been thinking, and other I’ve observed. Baseball is back in full tilt and there’s lots of prospects vying for major league gigs, while others hope to leave an impression. Regardless, there’s a ton of players that they could fill a major league role at some point in the season. There’s plenty to talk about, so why not get into some of it. I love this time of year because you get to see prospects playing against major leaguers. Allows you to get a read on who’s the goods and who still has work to do. Not that spring training is the be all and end all, it’s obviously not, but it’s fun to take a look at who’s doing what, and what it might mean for their 2017 Fantasy Baseball values.

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