When you’re a skinny, nerdy, teenager with a 24 inch waist, and an unhealthy obsession with Gal Gadot, breakouts are no bueno. In fact, it can put a real damper on those “extended” bathroom breaks, where you’re just trying to get a “handle” on your burgeoning adulthood. You sit there in the mirror getting familiar with yourself like the protagonist in a Diablo Cody movie with her pants off. So it might come as shock to you, high school reader, that some times, breakouts, can in fact be great. I’m of course talking about minor league breakouts! I’m a minor league writer, not a dermatologist brah! Over the years, some of the most important moves I’ve made in my dynasty leagues have been adding mid-season breakouts from the wavier wire. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the names added last year in my 30 team dynasty league’s mid-season signing period. Luis Urias, Chance Adams, Koda Glover, Seth Lugo, Ben Gamel, Max Schrock, Greg Allen, Shed Long, Jose Albertos, and Fernando Tatis Jr, just to name a few. Keep in mind this is a 30 team dynasty league where over 900+ prospects are owned, and almost half the teams are managed by prospect writers. Still some good names right? The point I’m trying to make here is, there’s always new talent, breakouts, and undervalued assets in every format. With half of the full season leagues in their all-star breaks, let’s take a look at some of the names making hay here in the early going. Today we’ll take a look at the hitters, we’ll go into the other side of the ball with pitching breakouts on Sunday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Way back in the late fall, I released my Original edition of the first year player draft rankings. So, it’s been awhile since I first wrote those, and ranked these players out. I figured it was about time to update those now dated ranks. The question you may be asking yourself is “Ralph, why are you so handsome, and also what’s changed?” Well I’ll tell you, I “gots somes” experience now. Because, over the last month plus I’ve had several first year player drafts, meaning I “gots somes” actual real life draft knowledge to draw from. Not to mention my ever-evolving opinions and evaluations of players. So what better time to update the rankings, and give you an idea as to where my heads at after reviewing all of these youngins over the course of my team by team prospect rankings. I’ve fallen in love with some, soured on others, and been introduced to players I previously overlooked. If these rankings are too late for your league’s draft, my apologies, and I understand your angst. We’re deep into draft season, meaning our collective sweatpants smell of rot and butt cheeks, it’s okay to be ornery. I’ll make it easy, use small words, and discuss lots of wildly inaccurate and inappropriate expectations to put on a teenager. It’s all good though because it’s in the name of fantasy baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the Natti things just ain’t been the same. The chili has been more disgusting than usual, Hi-Tek’s beats just don’t slam like they used to, and Jerry Springer is no longer mayor. Outside of those three things I don’t know much about Cincinnati. What I do know about however is their Red’s freshly re-stocked farm system. After an excellent 2016 draft and international period the Reds boast a wide array of pitching prospects, and a handful of hitting prospects of note for owners in dynasty leagues. Of course the most sought after being this year’s number two overall pick Nick Senzel. Not only did the Reds net the best college bat in the draft, they also picked a high upside athlete in Taylor Trammell, and arguably the best catcher in the draft in Chris Okey. The international period saw the Reds make major splashes in the Cuban market adding top pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez. As well as a saavy signing in “through the cracks’ talent TJ Friedl. While the big league club struggles, the system shows glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel for the Reds, though it’s still year’s away. It’s the Cincinnati Reds Prospects from A-Z…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Another week of prospecting, another pair of systems to review for your strapping heroes of dynasty and fantasy baseball. I’m speaking of course, of yours truly Warrior Poet Ralph Lifshitz Esq. and Grand Master Michael C. Halpern of Imaginarybrickwall.com. Just in case you’re wondering, the C stands for cunning, don’t ask me, ask Mike. As for the actual show this week, we get the already juiced up Cubs fans more jacked up, as we delve into their impressive farm system. Once we’re done creaming our jeans over Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, and Dylan Cease, we move onto the rejuvenated Cincy system. We spend the second half of the show singing the praises of Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Chris Okey, and Amir Garrett. The big news is I admit defeat in my Jesse Winker hate-o-thon, and agree with Halp that he has 2017 breakout written all over him. As for the rest you gotta listen for yourself. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hey everybody welcome back for another episode of the Razzball Prospects Podcast. This week JB Gilpin from the big show takes over the Prospect Pod, so of course Michael Halpern and I talk Brewers. Seriously, JB has blinders on with the Brew Crew, but he gives us his fan first perspective on our top 10 Brewers prospects lists. We jump into the hot callups and promotions throughout the majors and minors, talk some Tyler O’neill, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Hill, and of course Dansby Swanson. We also discuss why I’m so damn angry lately. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in 2012 a 26 year old Phillies first base prospect by the name of Darin Ruf hit 38 homers while playing for AA affiliate Reading. Ruf never approached a season like that before or since, and quickly washed out as he reached AAA and the majors. Over the seasons that have followed any Reading player with a power surge is looked at with skeptical looks and side eye. Dylan Cozens is the latest in a long line of Phillie farmhands to bear this cross. Over the past week Cozens has accelerated the home run pace of his magical 2016, hitting 6 homers and slashing .360/.429/.1.240. As of Saturday night Cozens’ home run total for the season sits at 32 in just 106 games. I’ve written about Cozens a few times over the past few months, and quite honestly the gaudy offensive numbers are tough to ignore. Prior to the 2016 breakout, Cozens was an intriguing prospect. Built like an NFL tight end, and blessed with raw power and base running ability. Cozens presents raw potential that would entice any dynasty owner to take a second look, but the red flags are there and shouldn’t be ignored. First and foremost, though Cozens has always produced raw power it never materialized until he reached Reading. To say that Cozens success is Reading aided is an understatement. Of his 32 homers he’s only connected for 6 away from FirstEnergy Stadium. The home and away slugging % splits are staggering, as he boast a Bondsian .801 SLG% at home, but a .415 on the road. That’s an absurd difference of .386! Or he’s a full Dee Gordon different at home. Next on the red flag rundown is Cozens long lefthanded swing. While it’s picturesque when it connects for a long fly, it’s down right ugly when he misses, particularly on balls to the outside part of the plate. Look no further than his nearly 30% k rate for evidence. The last, and in some ways, the most alarming of the red flags is Cozens splits vs southpaws. A .307/.391/.677 hitter vs righties, he morphs into Freddy Galvis when a lefty is on the mound, slashing .204/286/.387. Cozens has certainly made improvements this season, but he does come with risk; and even if he’s only a 15/15 threat with some split issues, he’s worth a spot in your minors in dynasties where 100-150 prospects are owned.Please, blog, may I have some more?