Please see our player page for Max Meyer 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 lot of the best prospects are now big leaguers, but the top of this list remains stocked with ready-now impact fantasy talents. 

Graduated from Volume 3: Wink if You’re Ready or What’s the Rush, Man? 

Royce Lewis, Oneil Cruz, Luis Garcia, Roansy Contreras, Riley Greene, Elehuris Montero, Josh Winckowski, CJ Abrams, Caleb Kilian, Edward Cabrera, Jonathan Aranda, and Zack Thompson.

Graduated from Volume 2: Royce Lewis Rolls Into Town Wearing Pink Like Kirby 

George Kirby, Adley Rutschman, Alek Thomas, Vidal Brujan, Nolan Gorman, Ryan Pepiot 

Click here to see Volume 1: Oneil Cruz Control

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List season continues this week here at Razzball. It’s a stressful time for yours truly, if I’m honest with myself, as I don’t have time to write about everything I’m noticing just under the surface of prospect world. Stress isn’t negative all the time. It’s also exciting in this case. Tickles the geek inside my haunted carnival of a baseball mind to check in with each and every prospect and rearrange them rung by rung, tier by tier. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Here’s a link to the top 25, Prospect Rankings Update: Corbin Carroll Headlines Top 25 for June 22.

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Feels like we get big prospect headlines every weekend. Makes sense on the baseball calendar. Adley Rutschman, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore all got that call this week, and I got an invitation to reshuffle the stash list.

Graduated from Volume 2: Royce Lewis Rolls Into TownGeorge Kirby, Adley Rutschman, Alek Thomas, Vidal Brujan, Nolan Gorman, Ryan Pepiot 

If you cared to look back that far, you’d see two graduates in this list from the class of Volume 1, Oneil Cruz Control featured again here in Volume 3, but that’s just the nature of the nomenclature these days. Confusing times when the top guy on the stash list just got demoted after dominating for a couple weeks, but here we are, and away we go. 

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First, the bad news, Tyler O’Neill hit the IL with a right-shoulder impingement. Took how long for him to come up with some made-up injury? Hope it wasn’t very long, because it’s not believable. His exit velocity on his lame-ass excuse is almost as bad as his hitting. Take a TO, TO, you disappoint me. Replacing him…*drum roll*…Nolan Gorman is being called up for today’s game. Lezzzzzzzzzzzzzz Fudginnnnnnnnnnnnnn Gooooooooooooooooo! *jaw comes dislocated from screaming, goes to the hospital, doctor diagnoses me with Gormania* Gormania can’t be cured, according to WebMD. Does it matter that I keep wanting to call him Norman Golman? No, dude. So, he’s going to start at 2nd base, and Edman likely moves to the outfield. It’s about to get crowded in Saint Louie. Ugh, seeing they might have a cure for Gormania, it’s called a 35% strikeout rate. That’s not cool. Gorman could hit 45 homers, and .170. Here’s my Nolan Gorman fantasy; some stats might be a little off, but sentiment stays same. Also, I am go over Nolan Gorman at our Youtube channel. Click that link, hit subscribe and come back. Thank you! We’re halfway to thousand. Get us to thousand and never hear about it again. Here’s the video:

Also, getting the call was Matthew Liberatore to start on Saturday. If you think I’m slightly less enthused for Liberatore than I am for Gorman, you’re right. It’s a hitter vs. pitcher thing. Not much else. In 40 IP in Triple-A, Liberatore had 10.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 3.83 ERA, and he should have better command than that. Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “For a while, Liberatore seemed fated to become a blip in trivia history as the player acquired for Rays postseason beast Randy Arozarena. After 2021, skies look a little clearer. The club jumped him over AA and let him throw 124.2 innings at AAA, where he was six years younger than his average competitor. He struggled at first (5.21 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.87 HR/9 through 11 starts) but got better results over his final ten turns (2.67 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.78 HR/9). The WHIPs here show some luck both ways, but the home run ball was clearly his bugaboo early, and he cut that by more than 100 percent over the 2nd half. His pitch shapes could still leave him vulnerable in that department (his fastball doesn’t ride), but he’s adding velocity as he ages and was burying that big curve with consistency by season’s end. If he keeps that up, he’ll be a nice addition to the Redbirds’ rotation this year. And Grey is a big dummy.” Honestly, that’s fair. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

Max Meyer has got *palms out, fanning them out in the shape of a rainbow* flash, kid! He’s got a 11+ K/9 in the minors and pinpoint control! Max Meyer has got *palms out, fanning them out in the shape of a rainbow* pizzazz, kid! He’s only six-feet-tall, but he’s got the heart of a gorilla that just took one in the keister for a little kid! Max Meyer *palms out, fanning them out in the shape of a rainbow* is the future, kid! He’s got only two pitches, but, boy, do they sing! Like Ethel Merman in a too-tight brassiere! Max Meyer is *palms out, fanning them out in the shape of a rainbow* stuck behind Elieser Hernandez? C’mon, anyone believe Max Meyer can’t get out from under that cloud of mediocre? He will be called up any day now and, when he is, he could be as good as the Marlins’ 2nd best pitcher, and, for those slow on the uptake, the Marlins have four great pitchers. If you missed out on George Kirby, then Max Meyer is your man. He’s got panache, and I’m not just saying that because I’m pretending to be his agent in 1950. Fix him up with a dame for photos! No one likes a bachelor, see! They wanna imagine themselves with him! In Prospect Itch’s top 25 starting pitcher prospects, Meyer’s been said to have a shot at being an ace-level asset. See, he’s got zing! Also, Prospect Hobbs just gave you his Max Meyer fantasy. We are full-court pressing Meyer, and that’s no bologna! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? For the 497th day in a row, my magic mirror replies, “Not you, stupid.” It’s really a wonder I still have that mirror. I’ve really learned to control my rage. On days I’m especially composed, I even have theluxury of hearing the rest of what my magic mirror has to say: “Hold, a lovely Marlin is what I see. Rags cannot hide his dominant ways. Alas, Max Meyer is far more fair than thee.” That pale Minnesota skin has undoubtedly tanned since arriving in Pensacola and now Jacksonville, but the increase in sun exposure has done nothing to thwart Meyer’s prowess on the hill. The fireballing right-hander continues to impress with a fully-developed arsenal of three plus pitches, and it is only a matter of weeks (days?) before he gets the call to the bigs. Here’s my case for Meyer as the top prospect in the game to stash. Buckle up!

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We’ve come a long way from the 2020 college pitching class that featured Max Meyer, Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock, Reid Detmers, Garrett Crochet, Bryce Jarvis, Cade Cavalli, Jared Shuster, Bobby Miller… the list is as long as Mandred’s balls are deformed and unpredictable. Think of the 2020 class as Max Scherzer and the 2022 pitching crop as Patrick Corbin. Collegiate hurlers continue to go down with the injury bug, as yet another first-round talent has hit the shelf since the last Collegiate Corner update. In MLB Pipeline’s latest mock, only one college pitcher is projected in the first 26 picks — the recently-recovered Blade Tidwell out of Tennessee. For comparison, eight college arms went in the top 26 selections in both the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. Safe to say, dynasty managers should be looking at this year’s crop and strategizing far differently for first-year player drafts compared to the last two seasons. Personally, I recommend placing a pair of old boxer shorts over your head and pecking at the keyboard with your elbows to make each selection. Truthfully, there’s a lot to like about the bats at the top of the class and a plethora of value options on the hill later on. We’ll discuss a handful of those hitters today in addition to touching base on the health of the pitching class.

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Over the past few seasons, I’ve grown confident in my ability to play the timeline game along with major league front offices. This year feels different. We’re beyond what’s typically the first Super Two threshold, and I’m ready to spin the wheel, but I’m uncertain about the rules. 

Will teams slam the brakes if they didn’t promote a guy on opening day, knowing they’ll be “punished” if that player earns rookie of the year votes? 

Survey says . . . probably, if past behavior is the best predictor of future choices. 

By the way, before we go further, I should say I hope and pray some of the baseball writers know the rules enough to push good rookies up their ballots. I don’t really care about who finishes in the top five in these awards, and I think the same goes for most fans, but I want to see the players get a W at the negotiating table for the long-term health of the game, particularly where young players are concerned.

So who’s potentially stuck in this no-win position created by the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement? Let’s check the list.

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On the eve of Opening Day, I’m trying to recall the last time so many high-profile rookies were scheduled to break camp with the big club. Might’ve been . . . never? Prospect coverage has come a long way these past few decades. Used to be cool to bash rookies and the prospect lovers who drafted them. Now you’re just leaving money on the table if you ignore the possibility that Julio Rodriguez opens the season in center field for Seattle. 

Focusing on Rodriguez in particular, I moved earlier than Average Draft Position at the time to select him in the 18th round of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. Pick 265. He went inside the top 75 this week. Incredibly weird to me that three weeks of stats is worth 200 draft spots in the echo chamber, but that’s the illusion of certainty for you. Object permanence. I guess there was an outside chance Julio stayed in the minors until July, but not really. Not without a catastrophe of some kind. 

I’m already eager to see how next year’s crop of potential rookies is treated during draft season. Will we overweight the 2022 outcome, which happened partly due to a backlog built from the paradigm of punting combined with a CBA in flux and a lost 2020 season? Or is this simply the new reality? If a player is ready to help generate major league wins for a contending team, he will open the season on the roster. Sounds crazy, I know. 

So let’s run through the list, consider the fates of each player, and celebrate what we all hope will be a new chapter in baseball history, where service time suppression starts to creep away from center stage. 

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When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.

Let’s bring this thing home!

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On June 10, 2020, Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy was drafted fourth overall by the Kansas City Royals and Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock went sixth overall t0 the Seattle Mariners. 12 college starting pitchers went in the first round that year including the competitive balance picks (first-37 selections). If we were to redraft today, most would still take Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer as the first collegiate arm off the board, but there’s a good chance Lacy and Hancock would be drafted after the likes of Reid Detmers and Cade Cavalli — possibly even Garrett Crochet. If you ask me, Tanner Burns is the sleeper name to know from the tail-end of the 2020 first round, and someone I hold in just as high of a regard as Lacy and Hancock. But we’re here today to discuss the second and third college hurlers selected back in 2020, and how their stock has shifted since that memorable day.

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To win most dynasty leagues, especially ones that have been around for a few years, you need elite pitching. In my experience, farming prospects is not the most efficient way to accrue elite pitchers. It can work in fits and starts, but you’ll probably need to supplement your staff via the trade market, swapping sizzling young bats for established WHIP suppressors. This winter I saw Elly De La Cruz and Andy Pages traded for Tarik Skubal, and that’s a fun version of this kind of trade: huge upside all around, good chance both teams are happy with it in two years. In my spot on the win curve, I prefer Skubal, but I see the rationale for getting two topside hitters, who you could argue should be swapped instead for an older arm with a better WHIP history. Gotta throw them bones sometimes to win it all. No such thing as a risk-free trade. 

A third way is to never pay for pitching. I’ve yet to put it into function, but I’d like to try it someday. I’ve developed a skill (or perceived skill, anyway, good fight confidence in the words of Shea Serrano) for scooping the Quantrills and Gausmans of the world at the right moment. I also like looking for the Luis Garcia types. This year’s candidates include Cody Morris, Jayden Murray, Jacob Lopez, and Matt Canterino, among others, and I’m holding last year’s versions like Peyton Battenfield and Joe Ryan. I think maybe this is the way, especially in deep leagues where it’s exceptionally hard to build a well-rounded offense, but I’d be nervous to try it in full. Probably I’d break down and start looking for veteran arms on the cheap. Adam Wainwright has been ridiculous the past two seasons, for example, though you could mark him as yet another reason to never really pony up for the big arm when a team in your league decides to shop Gerrit Gole or Max Scherzer. 

It’s hard for me to ignore that kind of moment. Feels like dynasty leagues are often decided in tiny windows when someone decides to make a big sell-off. Typically worth your hustle to get an offer in, even if just to provide some kind of competition in the pricing. This is in an ideal world where you have any idea such a sell-off is happening. In my experience, it’s often kept secret until suddenly Trea Turner has been dealt for Blake Snell a half hour after the midnight trade deadline. Circling back the original thought, it might be better to just let it go. Over the past few years in a 15-teamer, I have traded for Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Shane Bieber, Chris Bassitt, Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, all shortly before their injury or, in Darvish’s and Snell’s case, their dip in production. The Buy High-Priced-Pitching strategy has not been kind to me. The toll of talent lost is incredible: Vlad Junior, Bo Bichette, Ozzie Albies, Julio Urias, Will Smith the Dodger and Byron Buxton (who also brought back Lance Lynn). Brutal. I still won the league in 2021, but that was due to Quantrill, Ranger Suarez, Walker Buehler, Lance McCullers, and some clutch relief help from Kendall Graveman, Paul Sewald, Dylan Floro, Joe Barlow and Jake McGee. I only lay all this out to explain why I’m more in the pan-for-pitching camp than the pay-for-pitching one, so let’s grab our gear and start sifting through the waters. 

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