Please see our player page for Tyler Freeman 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.

Once upon a time, Cleveland had too many catchers.

The fantasy baseball community knew just what to do in this scenario: throw a killer New Years party, trade Yan Gomes, start Francisco Mejia, and bench Roberto Perez. 

Cleveland scanned this obvious play and disregarded it, attempting instead some inverse combination of the above by staying home to watch a movie, trading Mejia for Brad Hand and starting Gomes, who played well and endeared himself to a fan base that was frustrated to see Mejia go. 

That off-season—last winter—fans were livid to see the club swap Gomes for Jefry Rodríguez, Daniel Johnson and Andruw Monasterio. Yanny G was set to cost about $7 million, and the inferior Roberto Perez was under contract for about two million. Nasty things were said. Baseball Universe decided Cleveland was cheap and dumb for how it handled the catching surplus. 

One year later, Roberto Perez is a solid OBP source with excellent defense and plus power for the position, while Yan Gomes is a $7 million backup in Washington. 

So my thinking in regard to this Kluber trade or any Cleveland move: que sera sera. 

The Yandy Diaz trade for Jake Bauers did not go as well, but in general, Baseball Universe loved that one, and this team knows what it’s doing. I’m sure it’s depressing to lose the Klubot and Bauer in a matter of months, but if anyone can develop the pitching to make fans forget, it’s Cleveland. Maybe it’s not the perfect trade, but Emmanuel Clase is going to bring positive value across the life of his contract. Open-market relievers are pricey these days. And we have little reason for confidence regarding the state of Kluber’s health. Could be this one looks bad next New Year, but whatever will be, will be. 

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Everyone in the baseball world is keeping at least one eye on the postseason, and everyone has the same question: is A.J. Pierzynski likable now? He looks like a nice dude, no?

Maybe that’s just me.

Humans are definitely wondering about bat flips and unwritten rules, though. Especially Grey, who wanted me to delete all Braves from the list because that organization is the worst thing that’s happened to baseball since Grey touted Rudy’s Tout Wars success on Twitter.

Take heart, though, baseball fans. No matter how many bats get flipped this Fall, I’ll be here talking about all the good players our future selves can enjoy (unless they flip bats).

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As your dynasty league seasons come to a close in the coming weeks, much of the real work of the off-season begins. One of the biggest components of success in fantasy is based on the research you put in, particularly in the off-season. This is only magnified in the dynasty when much of the player movement likely takes place. Whether it be via trades, first year player drafts, or some form of free agency, now is when you build the foundation of your squad for the year to come. One of the best exercises in this preparation process for me historically has been digging in on short season and rookie ball performers. It’s good to know the landscape, and identify, through research of first hand scouting reports and video, which strong stat-lines are skills based versus statistical mirages. The next wave of buzz-worthy Top 100 types usually comes from these ranks with some mentioned below already there (See Franco, Wander; Rays). This is typically a great source of talent to focus on when building out your minor leagues, as many of these investments could return serious dividends on next year’s trade market come deadline time. Below we’ll touch on some of the names you should be targeting. Obviously depending upon your league rules and depth some suggestions might be more helpful than others. None of the players discussed will be 2018 draftees, they will be covered in a followup post.

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I’m just going to milk his Vlad Jr. thing as long as I can. After all, it’s only a matter of time before he’s out of my hands and off to the world of Grey A.M. writeups, and ESPN highlights. Make no mistake the heir to the Canadian baseball throne is the genuine article, and on the cusp of the majors. After destroying AA for two months, he missed the next five plus weeks with a knee injury. Only to return to the Fishercats lineup for a few weeks in July, before heading off to AAA. In his 8 games in Buffalo Vlad is slashing .455/.581/.682, smacking his first International League homer off highly touted Braves righthander Kyle Wright. In fact he abused Wright yesterday evening, going 3-for-3 with the aforementioned homer, a double, and a single. One of our loyal Crab Army members was in attendance and was nice enough to share the below video. At this point it’s just a waiting game, and unfortunately for those of us wishing on an impending callup it might not be in the cards. That’s not to say it won’t happen later in September. The problem is, after saying all this he could be called up tomorrow. Stash away if you have the room to spare, but I’d be prepared to burn that spot for most, if not all of August.

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Wake up Sheeple! I bet the mainstream media will tell you that the Indians system is top heavy and that outside of the top four it’s all high upside teenagers. I bet you’re hearing that! I’m here to tell you that’s totally #fakenews. The Indians system is three really nice talents and a whole bunch of high upside teenagers. Then again I’m not sure where that leaves Yu-Cheng Chang, who is neither a teenager or one of those elite level talents. He’s a nice power and speed player in the Indians top 5, who happens to be currently generating traffic to this post from his homeland of Taiwan. I learned this trick from Halp. True Story! Any the hootie-hoo, this is one of the more hitter heavy lists I’ll write this year. Which is probably okay for the Indians, they won’t have too many spots to fill in the rotation with Kluber, Carrasco, Bauer, Salazar, and Mike Clevinger under contract until 2020. So, if you’re a fan of some of the quad-A types destined for middle relief littered throughout the Tribe’s system, then you’re going to be severely disappointed. Overall it’s a farm in flux, some talented players with an arrival window in the next two years, and a lot of lottery tickets with four year+ ETAs. Also switch-hitters, the Indians love switch-hitters. Don’t be frightened off though, there’s some jewels in these here blurbs! Read on noble future dynasty champion, it’s the 2018 Cleveland Indians Top Prospects.

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I’m going to keep this brief, because it’s more or less an intro in the middle of a post. Or maybe it’s because I’m lazy. Or maybe the W is ruined on my computer? Then again you saw that perfectly healthy W, so that’s not going to work as an excuse. But I’m too lazy to come up with another. Blah, blah, blah, stuff, stuff, oh yeah! I released the Top 25 First Year Player Draft Rankings on Wednesday, because I wanted to take your work week bathroom reading to the next level. Can’t have a newcomer just show up and steal the show. Not that there’s a new comer, but Lance has been known to steal the show. That’s if by “the show” you mean “my pants” (heart eyes emoji). But in all seriousness, Lance stole my pants. Okay, I’m done with the buffoonery I pinkie swear! Below is the next 25 players on my big board for first year player drafts. Keep in mind, every league’s scoring can be slightly different, so adjust accordingly, and use my words to guide you. I’m Prospect Mufasa. Onto picks 26-50!

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