Please see our player page for Nico Hoerner 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.

Kyle Tucker has started the 2019 season cold. Like really cold. Like, the freezing point of helium cold. Shout out to my unfortunately-named high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Richard Sores. But, there is hope for the flowers. Tucker has hit safely in each of his last three games with a double and two homers in that span. Why is this important? If you own Tucker, who was a favorite to get called up at some point this season, he needs to play well to avoid getting leapfrogged by Yordan Alvarez and Myles Straw on the road to Houston. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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It is Wednesday my dudes! That means it’s time to put on my MAGA hat and pump out another minor league preview. If you have someone special in your life, good luck getting them that perfect gift for tomorrow. I suggest getting them a bottle of wine or two (or three). If you don’t have someone special in your life, get the wine anyway and just drink it yourself. That’s what I do. Meanwhile the Cubs minor league preview is my loving gift to you. They aren’t nearly the powerhouse system that they were in the past. Apparently St. Valentine was beaten with clubs and then beheaded. The last few blurbs of this preview might be a similar experience. Enjoy!

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It’s chucking down snow in my neck of the woods. Perfect time to hole up and make a list of the top 100 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. Before we begin…an observation. The roads are empty around here except for pizza delivery cars. Ordering a pizza in a blizzard seems like a dick move to me. So I’m dedicating this post to the real heroes – the pizza delivery boys and girls braving a foot of snow in their crappy car to make sure Edna has her half-pepperoni, half-bell pepper medium pie while she watches reruns of Friends on Netflix. Moving on, if you’re just tuning into this station, we’ve already gone over the top 25 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball as well as the top 50 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. For thoughts on every player and to see each team’s top ten prospects, visit our 2019 minor league preview index. Concerning these players listed below, my goal when drafting/picking up one of them is to net some sort of positive value and see them playing regularly. Essentially, this final group is composed of players with 50ish overall ratings on the scouting scale…not your superstars or even All-Stars, but a decent shot to carve out a career in the big leagues.

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It’s been a long two weeks. Gifts were purchased, wrapped, and un-wrapped. Traveling was done, and merry times were had by all. Unfortunately the by product of this joyous season is my co-host Lance Brozdowski is in high demand. As my better half traveled back to Chicago, I did what any philandering husband would do. I called my man Eddy Almaguer and we recorded a podcast behind Lance’s back. It’s all good though, Eddy’s part of the PL Team, and just so happens to be our in house Yusei Kikuchi expert. So of course we dig into our expectations for the Japanese lefty in 2019, the best place to draft him in mixed league redraft, and where we might pluck him in a Dynasty First Year Player Draft. After that we talk some ETAs for 2019 (Alonso, Tatis, etc.), before diving into ten players squarely on our radar going into 2019 dynasty drafts. It’s the Razzball Prospect Podcast powered by ProspectsLive.com. 

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Happy holidays! For your present this year, I’m pushing out the Top 50 First Year Player Prospects. I chose those words precisely because rankings to me are like childbirth. Painful. Everybody wants to see. And then your in-laws complain about the name you picked out. Wonderful! For reals though, these specs are the most unsurest of an unsure bunch, so tiers are chunked in tens. I won’t put up much of a fuss within tiers, but if you want to talk about a player being in the wrong tier altogether, I think that’s a discussion worth having. I’ve already gone over my Top 10 First Year Player Prospects, and in that intro I talked a little about where my head’s at when I do these. (Insert “up my ass” joke here). Enjoy!

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On Saturday Night my phone rang, my cellphone obviously I’m not a dinosaur. I quickly looked at my screen noticing it was Lance. This was unusual because Lance usually texts me. I feared the worst, perhaps Lance was kidnapped by a street gang and held for ransom. Was he lost? Cold? Did he forget his Keys IN CONNECTICUT?!? I put aside my panic for a moment and decided to answer it. **Deep breath** “Hey Lance, what’s up?” “WE HAVE EMILY COMING BACK THIS WEEK”. Lance then hung up and immediately texted me the rundown of his day like a normal person. Phone calls are for weirdos. Long story short, Emily Waldon of The Athletic Detroit and The Athletic MLB, joins us to talk some Arizona Fall League, Tigers Prospects, and some recent interviews she did with AA catcher Jake Rogers and AA outfielder Daz Cameron. (Yes, that’s Mike’s son.) It’s another episode of rapid fire minor league takes. I wouldn’t go that far but we talk a lot of players. It’s the Razzball Prospect Podcast powered by ProspectsLive.com. As always make sure you stop by Rotowear.com, and support our sponsor by picking up some of the freshest T-shirts out there.

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Every single time I spend weeks sweating over my rankings a player emerges as under-ranked by yours truly almost immediately. The current thorn in my recently released rankings side is one Wander Franco. Ranked 82nd on my most recent Top 500, an uber-talented middle infielder with a highly touted bat. I figured being 20 spots or so into the Top 100 on a 17 year old was a pretty big statement. I was wrong. Since the final look over of my list, Franco has gone bonkers, 15-for-33, with 3 homers, 2 doubles, a triple, and 14 runs driven in. Oh, and by the way, over that period he’s struck out once. “Yeah, yeah Ralph that’s great, but it’s rookie ball!” Sure, but it’s advanced rookie ball and he’s the second youngest player in the league, and one of two 17 year olds (the Yankees Everson Pereira is the other). After last night’s game he’s sitting on a 24 game hit streak, and has nearly as many homers (6) as he does strikeouts (8), all this while he hits .384/.418/.652.

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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.

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First we baked the cake, then we made the frosting. Today we put the whole thing together, for your consumption. What the hell am I talking about? It’s First Year Player Draft day for Monday’s 2018 MLB Draft. As has become annual tradition on the show, Lance and I release, debate and discuss the first edition of our 2018 First Year Player Draft rankings. We of course start the show with some of the top minor league news like Forrest Whitley’s return, and Shane Bieber’s promotion. We then jump into our 5×5, where Lance and I each choose 5 minor leaguers to discuss. Around minute 50 we start the ranks, making it as deep as 15-20 players. If that’s not enough coverage for you, Lance, myself, as well as others will be doing a live draft reaction show on Monday night. Make sure to check Twitter for that. And as always big shouts to our sponsor Rotowear! You can order the 1.01 Dad shirt I spoke about on the show by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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There’s no time of the year better for baseball junkies like us, than the dog days of August. The playoff races are starting to take shape, all levels and leagues in the minors are in full swing, the Cape Cod League playoffs are going, and there’s always a game, boxscore, or lineup to check. My wife calls this Ralphie-Phone-Hands season. Sorry I’m the creative one in the relationship, my wife just awkwardly creates puns from Tim Burton movie titles. Believe me, you don’t want to hear what she’s done with Big Fish. Any the who, this leads me to our lede topic for today, (lead-lede?) Brewers 2017 first rounder Keston Hiura. Coming into the draft many considered Hiura to be the most/best/pro-ready hitter in the draft. Once you’re done choosing your hyperbolic label, we’ll move along. Okay you done? Good, great, grand. There’s one issue with Hiura though, he hasn’t played the field in pretty much a year due to an elbow injury, that up to now, has not required Tommy John. Have I scared you off yet? If so, I hope we share a league and you’ve already gone back to asking Grey catcher questions. Why? Because I want Keston Hiura on all my dynasty teams. In a year where far off prep hitters, and high school arms are the crème de la crème, I’ll gladly target the advanced college bat with contact, power, and approach.

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