Imagine you’re turning six years old and your birthday is right around the corner. It’s the day before the big celebration, and you’re pretty much wetting your pants just thinking about it. Actually, scratch that, you really are wetting your pants as you envision the festivities, thinking of the big family trip planned for tomorrow. If you were a super weird kid like me, here’s what it looked like: your family travels about an hour away, but it feels like an out-of-state trip to another land because you have a practically non-existent attention span. You’re going to see one of those interactive childhood shows where they grab kids from the audience to play random parts in the play (if I’ve lost you, you made it to the teenage years unscathed, congrats). But the grand finale of your birthday is that you get to go spend a whopping $100 at Toys “R” Us and pick out anything that falls within that budget. Damn. What a day.

The first part of this tale is a true story, as are all the anecdotes I share in my weekly fantasy articles. I remember to this day what I purchased with my $100: the Pokemon Silver Game Boy game and a new skateboard. Clearly, I was the fliest kid in town. But let’s rewind back, revert to the day before the long-awaited birthday when you’re wetting your pants. What if instead of the grand festivities detailed above, your mother or father came to you and said that they’d simply be giving you your Halloween costume instead. Sure, tomorrow will still be your birthday, but we’ve decided to focus on an entirely irrelevant celebration even though the big show is supposed to be tomorrow. Well, that’s kind of what this article is. The MLB season is just over one week away, but as one of Razzball’s prospect writers, I’m writing about something almost one full year in the future. Opening Day is within our grasp (or so we think), but today, I’m going to discuss my “way-too-early” college baseball prospects for the 2021 draft, while attempting to weigh their future fantasy value into the equation.

My top 12 have remained unchanged, although Jaden Hill has been moved from No. 12 to No. 9. There will be an incredible amount of movement on this list as we progress to next June, but for now, this is where I stand with the top 25.

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Ouch. *cues voice of a young British child named Harry* That really hurt! I can’t say I  actually know the level of pain Harry felt when his younger brother Charlie bit his finger that fateful day, but I do know this: last Wednesday really hurt. I mean, yes, it was glorious. It was day one of the 2020 MLB Draft, and it was real. It was baseball, or at least something relevant to the product we so desperately wish to see dancing before our eyes on the diamond during these summer months. It was consumable. It was on live television. It was something I needed and I know a lot of you needed as well.

But as it related to my 2020 MLB Mock Draft, it was a disaster — it truly hurt. It was like being brutally bitten by a bald-headed baby (alliteration on fleak!). I won’t even hide from it. There’s the link. Check it out. There isn’t a whole lot that I got right. Then again, most everyone who took a shot at it got it utterly wrong this year. I love Heston Kjerstad and he’s an incredible player. I believe he’s an excellent prospect to target in upcoming fantasy first-year player drafts (FYPD). But find me a mock that had him going No. 2 overall. Find me a mock that had Nick Yorke going No. 17 to the Red Sox. There were a lot of surprises, even within the top 10. And now, with it all over, we’re left to pick up the pieces.

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter if you watched or not. Even if you didn’t, you can look up who was drafted where, get lost in the hype, and decide who you want to target in your dynasty league. I play in a few home leagues where I already know I’ll have the most efficient FYPD of anyone in my league. While many people select prospects based on where they were drafted, or what Harold Reynolds said about them on TV, I’ll be picking out the future fantasy gems hidden along the way. Just because someone went 30 picks later than another player doesn’t mean they should necessarily be drafted later in FYPD. Hopefully, if you’re in a high stakes league, you already understand that concept. But the MLB Draft, regardless of your own personal philosophy of how teams should pick players, does not provide an outline for the top 150 players to target, ranked from best-to-worst.

If I were you, I would draft Tanner Burns (No. 36) over Jared Shuster (No. 25), just like I would select Daniel Cabrera (No. 62) or Isaiah Greene (No. 69) instead of Hudson Haskin (No. 39). That doesn’t mean I don’t like Shuster or Haskin, it just indicates I won’t be letting MLB Draft position dictate how I draft, and neither should you. That being said, here are 16 players I think should be targeted much higher than their draft position indicates. No one within the first 25 picks was under consideration (I made an exception for Sabato, that incredible hulk of a man), as they likely come with gaudy FYPD stock as is.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re a hardcore baseball fan, you’ve probably already mulled through your fair share of 2020 MLB mock drafts. It seems like every website worth a damn posts one, yet no one really knows what to expect, and it only takes one curveball to throw the entire equation out of whack. Even so, I figured I’d give it a try for Razzball’s sake, if for no other reason than to give Grey some spicy motivation to tune in on Wednesday night. See, now it’s a mock draft.

There’s a lot of uncertainty with this draft. Nobody knows for sure just how college heavy teams are ultimately going to go with the unique situation created by COVID-19, and which teams will elect to play the strategic bonus tomfoolery game. It’s difficult to project just how these factors will play into each and every team’s respective strategy. We might see more teams than ever taking on the “best-available” approach.

But as it relates to fantasy baseball, Wednesday’s draft is relevant because it sets the stage for the ensuing trajectory of every drafted player’s stock as a prospect. Not only does draft position tend to influence how people value prospects in first-year player drafts, but who drafted said player can also go a long way in determining what their Minor League journey will look like and how confident we are as fantasy owners that they will develop successfully. That being said, here is my carefully-concocted mock draft of the first 29 picks this upcoming Wednesday. Mush! Onward into the unknown!

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Remember that horrifying scene in The Conjuring where the kids are all playing that stupid “hide and clap” game together in the house? This poor little girl is wandering around her family’s demon-possessed hell-hole of a home, blindfolded and completely unable to see, playing a sick, vintage version of hide-and-seek that was apparently popular in New England in the early 1970s. Later in the film, their mom joins in on this foolishness and problems only escalate from there. I was forever scarred.

Why would anyone ruin something as classic and pure as hide-and-seek, or baseball for that matter, by throwing a blindfold into the equation? I can only imagine what that would have resulted in during my childhood. One second you’re walking around blindfolded looking for your friends, the next second one of them is punching you in the face. Great prank, guys. Thanks.

For baseball, however, the blindfold tactic can actually prove to be useful, though I recommend removing it prior to draft day to avoid assembling a roster similar to that of some of my league-mates. If we take an in-depth look at players without knowing their names, compare the numbers and trends side-by-side, formulate opinions and then restore their identities, we might actually be better off. It goes without saying that it’s always a good idea to revisit video after one of these exercises. No matter what the numbers say, I will never put stock in a guy whose swing makes me barf. Think exhilarating but gut-wrenching like chaw mixed with fair rides.

In this piece, I will be breaking down three different prospects who are almost undoubtedly owned in any dynasty league: Prospect A, Prospect B and Prospect C. Some may even be owned in mid-to-deep keeper formats. As we go through this exercise, I urge you to draw tempered conclusions about each prospect without looking elsewhere to determine who they might be. Don’t ruin the fun – I’m going to reveal the names of each at the very end anyway.

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Every night before an ensuing flight, I go through this recurring ritual of dumping out the contents of my entire backpack onto the floor. I go through everything piece-by-piece to make sure I never end up looking like Ice Cube in the first Are We There Yet? movie. Nope, no corkscrew hiding on this guy, thank you very much. If you’re familiar with the kind of ritual I’m talking about, then you’ll understand the concept of this post.

I live a modest life. I’m not hopping on any charters or flying first class anywhere. Usually, I fly economy with one carry-on and one personal item. Even if it’s free, I usually avoid checking bags as a means of circumventing the lines and getting the hell out of the airport as quickly as possible. Even if I’m leaving for two-plus weeks, I’m keeping it light and walking straight to security.

This means I have to ensure that I’m not leaving any accidental surprises in any of my bags and that I’m preemptively planning where to grab a bottle of contact solution upon landing. Nothing adds to an already sucky, dirt-cheap red-eye flight like stalking the aisles of a random Wal-Mart in the wee hours of the morning for some Biotrue.

In this piece, I’m going through that same ritual, but with MLB prospects. Since I began writing for Razzball, I have been leaving some items in my bag (A.K.A. the comments section) that have yet to be dumped out. Now, as I embark on my next trip (A.K.A. this post), I am dumping out my satchel to ensure I’m covering every Razzball reader’s need as it relates to fantasy baseball prospects.

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Welcome to the 2017 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I do mean everything, everybody. We’ve got line-ups, charts, numbers, projections, questionable questions, smarter answer, potent potables and well, that’s a lie. No potables here, but plenty of potent fantasy names brimming with potential. Now’s the time to be an eternal optimist. For a few more days, at least. So, we’ve got a team to preview and questions to ask. Let’s get after it!

A quick note on the format. Each preview will feature six questions to a team’s blog writer. Are there only six great fantasy questions for each team? Of course not, but THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR! So, enjoy the thoughts of another writer, the dialogue on each team, and then continue the conversation in the comments!

We have a very special guest for this post, John Stolnis, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2017 holds for the Philadelphia Phillies!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Game-of-Thrones-Season-4-Episode-7-Tyrion-Bronn

“I’d be a bloody fool if he didn’t frighten me. He’s freakish big and freakish strong. And quicker than you’d expect for a man of that size.”

Edwin Encarnacion is known for his size, bat speed, and his Herculean power. Sir Edwin is tall (he is 6’2″, so I guess not that tall). He possesses massive shoulders and arms thick as the trunk of small trees. Edwin weighs over twenty stone (230 lbs), practically all of it muscle, making him near in-humanly strong. Encarnacion’s strength allows him to wield a bat so humongous, it would make Greg Oden’s wang look like a thumb tack, giving him enormous reach, making him all the more lethal with his eagle-eye vision. Such is the power of Sir Edwin’s strength, that he has been known to literally obliterate baseballs upon contact with just a single blow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?