“Has it always been this way? Where we just f***in’ tell everybody everything? I’m f***in’ sick of this s***!” No ,that’s not me talking about social media (although that’s pretty much how I feel). Those quotes are from former Reds manager Bryan Price’s epic tirade during a post-game press conference. He famously dropped 77 f-bombs after a reporter basically asked him if Tucker Barnhart was available. Whoops! As a Philly fan I can respect that kind of passionate potty mouth as well as the frustration. There’s some hope for this rebuilding Reds club in 2019 though. And at least part of the optimism should stem from its solid minor league system.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Is it too early to update my first year player draft rankings? Because we have a battle to replace Alec Bohm at the top of the list. In one corner we have Cardinals wunderkind Nolan Gorman. A power-hitting prodigy, with Herculean raw power, and a bat so quick and compact he could turn on a hollow-point on the inside. At 18 he already has a big league body, and the pretty swing to match. St. Louis was aggressive with him, skipping the Gulf Coast League for the more advanced Appy league. The results have certainly backed that decision, through 33 games the third basemen is slashing .341/.437/.682. In yesterday’s game he connected for his 11th homer of the season, as part of a 4-for-6 performance. He’s in the midst of a 7 game hitting streak and has homers in three straight. Actually he has homers in four of his last five games, slugging two doubles on Tuesday in his homer-less game. So this leads us back to our original question; Is Gorman the number 1 pick in FYPD? The question is yes and no, for me it’s a two man battle between Gorman, and Jonathan India, more on him later. But it’s tough to argue against Gorman’s bat at the moment. If you were to say he was the best hitter in the draft, you might be right. He’s been great so far, and a promotion to the full season Midwest League could come shortly. For now consider Gorman a major mover in my forthcoming Top 500 update.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s a busy time in the world of prospecting, as I and many others that cover the Minor Leagues crunch on mid-season lists, we’re also inundated with new prospects to research, project, and rank. The hardest part is trying to balance the handful of categories, or types, these players fall into. First we have the college hitters; usually the highest floor options in terms of fantasy, we’ve seen quite a few of these types return nearly immediate value over the last 5-7 seasons in dynasty leagues. Next we have the high upside prep hitters; another category that has done well of late, notables like Royce Lewis, Jo Adell, and Brendan Rodgers fall into this bucket. Prep bats offer some of the highest upside, but the floor can be pretty low. The next variety is July 2nd hitters; a group with a long and exciting track record, but due to the age of these prospects, there’s a high rate of failure, and a good chance many of them fall off expectations quickly. While there are major red flags, you still think to yourself “that upside tho”. The next three flavors are all pitchers, and each of them offers their own set of unique benefits and challenges. College pitchers, are the closest to the finished product, but you get a lot of “strike-throwing-so-so-stuff” types, and those types of players are available on every wavier wire from here to Beijing. Then we have Prep Arms, the most deceptive of investments. If you read enough prospect ranks, scouting reports, and particularly draft coverage you’ll find yourself enamored with some of these arms. Think MacKenzie Gore, Riley Pint, Jason Groome, or Forrest Whitley, that’s a very up and down record of success. The final bucket is one that I don’t bother paying too much mind to in most dynasty formats, July 2nd pitchers. Really, there have been some great arms to emerge from this bucket, but it often takes two years until we even know which arms really have any MLB projection. All this to say, my ranks are heavily influenced by this simple mantra. Draft hitters, add pitchers from the wavier wire. That’s the process, and it’s not to say it’s perfect, but more often than not I find myself filled with regret after drafting a pitching prospect. I am not saying that Casey Mize isn’t awesome, he is, and if this were a “real-life” list I would have ranked him first or second, but if I’m entering a draft today, there’s for sure 3  hitters I take in front of him. It’s fine if you disagree, but process is process. Below is the early version of my first year player draft ranks. I reserve the right to change my mind over the coming months, and plan to update these in early to mid-October.

Please, blog, may I have some more?