Please see our player page for Nick Gonzales 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.

Ian Smith (@FlaSmitty), Pit Master and prospect analyst, joins the show to breakdown this years MLB draft. We discuss the teams that had the best draft as well as the Top 10 picks. We breakdown Max Meyer and Zac Veen who may have the most upside in this years draft class after Spencer Torkelson. Ian gives us the best tips and tricks to make the best BBQ. Brisket, Ribs and burgers are some of his favorites to cook. What are yours?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Itch recaps the 2020 MLB Draft. Spencer Torkelson leads an ambush of young Tigers. Austin Martin books a surprise gig with a band of Blue Jays. Nick Gonzales leads a promising crew of Pirates. Ed Howard hops the El train to join the Cubs.

Throw in a whole bunch of other players along some conspiratorial thoughts connected to the post-draft signing period, and you’ve got mail! Or a notification, anyway. It’s a Razzball podcast! Back after an MLB-sized hiatus to gather around the prospect fire, gaze into the dancing future flames, and see what we can see.

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Major League Baseball teams have to draft a lot of young pitchers. You do not. 

This discrepancy is a big part of what makes dynasty prospect rankings fascinating and fun for me. Simply put, at any given moment, more quality pitching prospects exist than dynasty leagues have minor league roster spots to accommodate. 

You can always pick up a relevant pitcher. 

You cannot always add a relevant speedster, and you very rarely add a legitimate bat with stolen base upside. . 

The TheoCubs tried to build a dynasty the way we would in fantasy baseball: drafting high-floor, well-developed hitters and buying pitchers via free agency and trade. This brought the Cubs a title but has proven difficult to maintain once they started stealing from the future to tread water in the present.

I attempted something similar in this space before the draft, building my Top Ten for 2021 First-Year-Player Dynasty Drafts by anticipating which international signings would crack the list on both the amateur and professional sides. 

A funny thing happened on the way to part two: MLB owners decided they didn’t want to pay up on the July 2 signing date and pushed that all way into January. Just like that, illegal handshake deals worth millions of dollars went poof. Families sacrificing toward this date for a decade were told to eff off, if they were personally told anything at all, and the dynasty draft season went up in smoke, at least in its typical form, at least for the time being. 

To that end, I’m ranking just the draftees here this time. Can’t really count on January signings or international free agency to actually happen in this climate when MLB just makes shizz up as it goes along. 

It’s not a coincidence that baseball’s head McDucks waited to see how the $20,000 per player free agent bonanza went before pushing the international deadline. Very dark timeline stuff all over in 2020, including the post-bonanza, post-postponement note from MLB for teams to be miserly with any scholarships connected to the ultra cheap sweepstakes. 

Just so ironic to bang the drum about pace of play and fan interest for years only to say screw it all in 2020, but here we are. Let’s talk baseball! 

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During the Major League Baseball Rule 4 Draft, I am usually in China, eating my favorite breakfast in the world: a crispy pork bun and a pizza-shaped, spicy-salty bread that I don’t think I could describe, except maybe to say “mouth heaven.”

And that’s kind of the thing about China: the food. The cultures are old and the ethnicities are varied. Mainland China is comprised of some 57 different people groups with different cultures and cuisines. Food is a national pride and pastime. The word “variety” doesn’t even begin to describe the diversity of dishes and flavors. 

Mock drafts are not like Chinese cuisine.

Sure you might encounter a spicy pepper or two, but you’re not going to find sauteed eel, boiled jellyfish or barbecued squid on a stick. 

Maybe you’ll think it’s good to not find these specific foods, but if you don’t try everything once, you’ll be missing out on that miracle dish you’re surprised to find is perfect for you—the flavor combination you’ve been waiting a lifetime to find–and I’m happy to report that sauteed eel is incredible. 

So that’s what we’ll do here: saute some eel, boil some jellyfish, taste some chaos.

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The Rule 4 Draft kicks off this Wednesday! Time to get amped for an actual sporting event! 

Or not. I mean it’s your call. Would totally understand if you’re so irritated by big-wig greed you can’t pretend MLB doesn’t suck at being a professional league for a couple of weeknights. 

2020’s will be a supremely weird draft, but I’m geeked for it. I’ll post a mock draft here midday Wednesday, after which I’ll continue these rankings. I know some leagues like to do their First-Year-Player Drafts immediately after the July 2 signing date for international amateurs (in a typical season), so I figured the time was right to start synthesizing the talent trickling into our game this summer. 

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Eric Cross (@EricCross04) from Fantrax joins the show to dive into this years prospects and MLB draft. We discuss his top 10 highlighted by Wander Franco, Luis Robert and Jo Adell. We also go over guys he thinks could work their way into the top 50. Julio Rodriguez or Jarred Kelenic? We look at the loaded Seattle Mariners farm system and who we think could become the next wave of MLB stars. Eric gives us his top 5 draft picks and why that organization will take them. Who goes first overall? Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, Nick Gonzales.

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Alright, readers! Prepare yourself for the most highly-anticipated expansion project since the Florida Marlins were awarded a bid to join Major League Baseball in the June of 1991! Oh, what a glorious two years it was, as new GM Dave Dombrowski quickly got to work assembling what he hoped would soon become a career trademark project. By Opening Day 1993, the Marlins were all systems go with the likes of Gary Sheffield, Walt Weiss, Benito Santiago, Bret Barberie, Orestes Destrade, Chuck Carr and bright young rookie, Jeff Conine. Simply tantalizing, wouldn’t you say?

Yes, yes. I know what you’re thinking. One, the 1993 expansion season also featured the Colorado Rockies. Two, no one cares about the Marlins. Three, I failed to mention the fact that the Florida franchise was purchased for $95 million by the former CEO of Blockbuster Video. And finally four, no one cares about the Marlins. Take it from a me, a guy who can unfortunately say that he has been to both Sun Life Stadium and new Marlins Park. Remember how many names the old stadium had? I can think of like six just off the top of my head.

That being said, I would like to announce an ever greater undertaking, as I will be expanding from my Top 25 College Prospects to Target in Dynasty Leagues to an even 100 in this piece. Although the painstaking effort I have put into this list will likely never live up to what Dombrowski and the Marlins accomplished throughout the nineties, I can do my best to fill that void.

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Last night I awoke in a rush. I was sweating, panting almost – awakened by a nightmare more ghastly than you can imagine. One more horrific than the chronic nightmares I had as a child in which the tiny troll figurines stalked my bedroom through all hours of the night. One quick Google search and I’m reliving those dreams – and it’s all too real. Yet, even such horrors do not compare to the demons which disturbed my slumber last night.

Over the past several weeks, I have been struggling to cope with the delay of the Major League Baseball season – something I’m sure you can all relate to. While trying to keep a healthy perspective concerning the real issues and concerns of the present, I have been unable to keep my mind from wandering to the darkest corners of the baseball world. Before the Coronavirus even put the MLB season on hold, I dreamed of such harsh realities taking form. *queues Danny Glover voiceover* You can call it a vision. You can call it a coincidence. I don’t care what you call it, but last night, it got worse.

I found myself walking through an unfamiliar land in which Airpods were even more popular than they are now. Wandering through the streets, I was passed by an Amazon drone engaged in an air delivery. While gazing at its sheer beauty, I stumbled through the gates of Camden Yards and a game program subsequently blew though the wind and onto my startled face. As I pulled the flier away and began to read its text – I instantly gasped in disbelief. 2023 All-Star Game: The Long-Awaited Return of the Midsummer Classic it read, with an action shot of superstar catcher Adley Rutschman spread across the front page.

As I stood in disbelief, I overheard a conversation between two young fans, arguing who indeed was the top backstop in the game, Rutschman or San Francisco’s Joey Bart. But what about J.T. Realmuto, I thought? Or the mid-career development of Willson Contreras? I continued to eavesdrop with the hope that more details would soon become clear.

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As I sit at my laptop, staring aimlessly into an abyss of text, numbers and a series of minimized Incognito windows dedicated to my side-hobby of sending Trevor Bauer unsolicited romantic couplets, I find myself wondering how to properly attack my first article as a Razzball contributor. I debate whether Eddie Murphy felt this way before his public debut in a Gumby costume, or if Christopher Columbus experienced similar inner musings prior to the first time he pretended to discover a piece of land.

I’m sure they did. When it comes to matters as essential as fantasy baseball, impersonating a childhood cartoon character and kind-of discovering the free world, it’s only natural to want to put your best foot forward and start off on a positive note.

Amidst these trying times, I have prepared a list for the great readers of Razzball which may ordinarily seem premature, but in the age of Coronaphobia and near-world downfall, it unfortunately is not. Today, I present to you the top 10 college baseball prospects to target mid-season (and beyond) in dynasty formats. 

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While it seems so far away, before you know it the 2020 MLB Draft will be here. For us fantasy players, that means some first year player drafts will start happening as well (although you should really wait until the end of the season), and players who many know little about could soon become the future of your dynasty team. Many of you may also be participating in best ball drafts, where some of these guys have the potential to contribute to your team in the next 5 years. The point is, it’s never too early to start looking into the players in the MLB Draft Class. I’m going to talk about a few names that stick out for me, and talk about their fantasy outlook, as well as where they could end up.

Please, blog, may I have some more?