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Back in September, I sequestered myself into a sound-proof booth to create a top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list free from the mad cries of the echo chamber. Shortly thereafter I went to work breaking down the top prospects for each MLB team. A week after coming up for air following my 30-team deep dive into the minor leagues, I’m excited to share my updated 200!

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Mookie looking like we all looked at the news. All the news.

With the recent blockbuster trade between the Dodgers, Red Sox and Twins now null and void, what was supposed to be a week-long extravaganza of both real and fantasy analysis all around the interwebs has now turned into broken dreams (for Dodgers fans), confused relief (Twins fans), and a strange sense that all the middle fingers in all the universe raised all at once (MLB fans in the direction of Boston). But as one who goes left (max three times, or you know, it’s just the Daytona) when the world goes right, instead of talking about the trade, or if the Red Sox know what they’re doing or ever did, or about what a medical report reveals, I wanted to take a step back in time (twang it like Huey!) and highlight some of the most notable three-team trades that have taken place in the 21st-century (this one like Duck Dodgers!)…

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Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the Padres have in store for you and your fantasy team? (I’m sure it’s postpartum depression, but hey! “Life isn’t as sweet without the sour.” I’m pretty sure that’s what Wil Myer’s spirit animal told him.)

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As fate intended, the Padres dominated baseball news throughout their week as Razzball’s featured organization, trading SS Luis Urias and LHP Eric Lauer for OF Trent Grisham and RHP Zach Davies before signing LHP Drew Pomeranz. I think it was a pretty great few days for them, cashing out a hyped asset like Urias for a less beloved piece with better floor and topside in Grisham. In doing so, they’ve brought some balance to a righty-heavy lineup and secured an everyday outfielder to lead their island of misfit fly-chasers. They achieved something similar with Pomeranz, adding a burgeoning lefty to a bullpen loaded with the opposite. The move also opens a spot for Ty France, who hit .400 with power and limited strikeouts all season at AAA and has more than earned this opportunity. I even think Davies has sneaky upside in a better park for him. As a bonus, anytime you can move on from a guy named Lauer . . . right? 

Anyway, these are not your father’s Padres. Or your older brother’s Padres. Or even last December’s Padres. It’s hard to imagine how last winter’s San Diego fans would have reacted if you showed them today’s depth chart, but I’m guessing they’d be excited. Stay frosty! And stay tuned: there’s likely more moves where these came from! 

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I teach in China for a month every summer, and all I really have access to for that month, entertainment wise, is baseball and whatever I can download or arrange ahead of time, so that leads to lots of podcasts and audio books.

The books I repeat most feature a certain group of young wizards invented by J.K. Rowling, and during this summer’s listen-through the whole Potter series, I had some new thoughts.

First, poor Filch. I mean what a awful gig that dude has. Whole castle full of magic, and he’s on his hands and knees scrubbing vomit and blood and snot and who knows what all.

Second, Summer for Harry Potter is a lot like Winter for baseball fans. Harry just sits around waiting for news. All. Summer. Long. So every little snippet of something takes on extra meaning. And The Daily Prophet has its head so far up it’s cauldron that even the snippets are just glances through a cracked mirror.

So who’s ready to fire up the rumor mill and speculate our way through the off-season!?

Not me.

I’m hanging onto Fall as long as possible.

If that appeals to you, let’s hop on a Thestral, fly over prospect country and pretend it’s still Summertime.

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Brewers prospect Trent Grisham hit for the cycle last night, going 5-for-5 with two homers (25, 26). That’s now a six-game hit streak for the slugger and multi-hit games in each of his last four. Grisham is batting a ridiculous .381 with 13 homers and six steals in just 34 games for AAA San Antonio. He was a first-round draft pick back in 2015, but struggled prior to this year – hitting just .229 since he left the rookie leagues. He’s always had some patience and some power potential, but this year the breakout is on. He hit 13 homers in 63 games at Double-A earlier this year with the “no-juice” version of a baseball. To put that in perspective, he hit 17 total homers in 299 games across the previous three seasons. To boot, das boot, he’s joined the select “walking more than I strike out” club in 2019. To give you an idea of how big this breakout has been, Grisham went from a guy not even being considered in my Brewers Top 10, to a guy I strongly considered putting in my Midseason Top 50 overall. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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Welcome to the post where I copy and paste…er…uh…I mean rerank the Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is a fantasy prospect list – not a real one. Therefore ergo such and such, you get the drift. I’ll say this about my rankings approach – I tend to chunk it and don’t get too caught up in ranks that are close to one another. So if you want to debate #35 versus #36 I’m going to have to put you in a timeout where you can debate yourself. I’m sure you are all master debaters. Anyhoo, I try not to let the first half of this season completely change the scouting reports we came in with at the beginning of the year. Then again, you do have to take this season into consideration, along with recent signings. Also, these are composite ranks averaged between myself and my five alternate personalities. My doctor says it’s healthy to include them in this process. It’s all an extremely complex algorithm that involves me, a bowl of cold spaghetti marinara, and a clean white wall. Oh, and one more thing…I don’t include players that I expect to exceed the rookie limits this year. That’s 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched for those keeping score. Not trying to waste your time on players that likely won’t be prospects in the fall. On to the list…

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It’s been a few moons since I caught a Trenton Thunder game. Is Katmandu still a thing? “The Kat” was one of those clubs you’d hit after the ball game. It literally shared a parking lot with the stadium along the Trenton waterfront. But god almighty, you’d better leave before the house lights came on. You did not want a good look at the 45-year-old divorcee you’d been grinding on. Karen!? What brings you here? Aren’t you my son’s teacher? Anyhoo, big news out of Trenton last night. Yankees pitching prospect Deivi Garcia struck out fifteen Flying Squirrels. Yes, that’s the name of a minor league baseball team. I have the greatest job on the planet. Garcia is now rocking an even 3.00 ERA with 67 punch outs in 42 innings pitched since being promoted to Double-A. Let’s see, where did I rank this guy in my preseason Yankees Top 10? Nowhere! Excellent. Wonderful. He wasn’t on my radar. If your league mates are like me (god I hope not) and slept on Garcia, he might be available for a scoop in dynasty formats. Redrafts? Sorry, but I don’t think he’ll be up this year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…fade Usher’s Yeah! and cue the house lights…

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“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.

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Rankings season is upon us. Rejoice and be glad! Just like when your dad lets you open one present on Christmas Eve before Santa comes the next morning, I’m dropping the first of three Top 100 prospect rankings on January Grey Rankings Eve. January Grey Rankings Day should be a gosh dern national holiday. This Top 25 will be followed by a Top 50 on Wednesday and finally the rest of the Top 100 next Sunday. For detailed info on any of these prospects, go to the 2019 Minor League Preview Index. There, you’ll find links to all thirty team pages, their top ten prospects, and my (vague and misinformed) thoughts on each of them. Later this offseason, I’ll release a special list just for redraft leagues once some playing time etc. situations come into sharper focus. Enough chatter. Here’s the Top 25 fantasy baseball prospects for 2019…

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