Please see our player page for Wander Franco 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.

Back in October 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 hundred!

 

*Note: I’ve written about each of these guys if you’d like more and are curious enough to follow the threads to October’s Top 150 for 2020 Fantasy Baseball or my organizational top ten lists.

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I doubt there’s any good way to explore this, but this week I found myself wondering if this year’s rays prospect list might be the fastest top 10 in baseball history or at least in the last several years. Perhaps the turf-burning Cardinals and Royals of the 80’s could measure up in parts, but they wouldn’t have three 80 runners and a Wander, I think. 

Fantasy baseball players love the Tampa Bay Rays to some extent already, I think, but they should probably just lean in and pick up all the profit. Avisail Garcia was a great example of this last year. As were Emilio Pagan and Nick Anderson and Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. And that’s all just last season. Oh, Brandon Lowe, too, though he was from within. 

This year it’s Brendan McKay and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo; Kevin Padlo and Joe Ryan; Josh Lowe, Colin Poche and Brent Honeywell Jr.

Also Hunter Renfroe.

Because crazier things have happened. 

Presumably.

Jesus Aguilar did not drink the lazarus water in 2019, so it’s not like Tampa Bay bats a thousand, but the Midas touch element here is real. Consider Nick Solak. Traded for Peter Fairbanks. When a prospect leaves Tampa, it’s because there’s no room at the inn, and they see an angle they want to play now. Our move is to realize their bar is incredibly high, so when they “sour” on a prospect enough to move him, it means a little less than it might in other smart organizations. Solak is still probably a value, depending on how you acquire him, and Fairbanks should be tracked in leagues where his profile (high K reliever) matters. 

I veered off the path there. Suffices to say you could do worse in dynasty leagues than focusing on the organizations that are best at this particular game of finding talented players and helping them maximize their abilities. Or even just using it as a tiebreak when looking at two players of similar appeal. Estanli Castillo and Alberto Figueroa won’t make many lists this off-season, but I will be checking in on throughout the season because they’re with Tampa. I will check their game logs every few weeks or so just in case Castillo begins a noisy home run binge or Figueroa starts swiping bases in bunches. I just don’t want to be late to a Tampa party because a Tampa party rarely stops.  

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For your viewing and thinking pleasure, I have arranged a list of top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball. It’s just a snapshot, subject to change after hustle and bustle of Fall, but I had a lot of fun working through the scenarios. Would I trade Gavin Lux for Jo Adell? I’m not sure. Would depend on that build in that moment. But I am sure I’d lose some sleep over it because I already have.

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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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Tampa prospect Wander Franco (2-for-3 with a steal) was promoted to High-A this week at the ripe old age of eighteen. If he finishes out the year there, he could start the 2020 season at Double-A and a promotion to the bigs at nineteen wouldn’t be crazy talk. There’s not much to say about Franco that hasn’t already been said. He’s the best prospect in baseball with the chance to contribute in all five (or six) offensive cats. The big news here is that the promotion makes him the youngest player in High-A by a fair amount. The next youngest players are nineteen, there are only four of them in all of High-A, and they all play for the Padres. Fun facts for your next office birthday bash. Tell Karen that no the cake is not gluten free and yes she should stop referring to her cats as her “fur babies”. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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We got Broshitz back together again this week and brought along our favorite guest/unofficial third host Emily Waldon. If you don’t know Emily, she’s the bee’s knees, a minor league expert, and the foremost voice on the Detroit Tigers minor leagues. She’s also employed by two of the biggest outfits in sports (Baseball America and The Athletic). Do to Emily’s expertise we dig into the Tigers prospects and the Midwest League. If you’re a Tigers fan this is a podcast you cannot miss.

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This week Lance and Lifshitz are back in saddle after a long layover. Not to worry, we pickup right where we left off by diving into some of the callups over the last week, as well as a laundry list of live looks between the two of us over the first month plus. From Wander Franco to Casey Mize and all the looks in between, we give you the low down from the field from the Midwest to the International League. Maybe it’s been a month since you last heard the sweet sounds of Bro-Shitz, maybe you’ve been in coma and didn’t miss anything. Who cares? We’re back!

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Indians prospect Bobby Bradley (4-for-4 with two homers) is enjoying a strong start for the Columbus Clippers. Through 28 games, he’s hitting .299 with six home runs and 11 doubles. The average is inflated by an uncharacteristic and unsustainable .419 BABIP. The real Bradley is a low-average power hitter with the potential for 25+ dongs over a full season in the majors. That low-average is probably going to be pretty low though. Think .230s, maybe worse. Since his promotion to Triple-A last year, Bradley has seen his walk rate decrease by about 3% and his strikeout rate increase by about 7%, all the way to 33%. That approach doesn’t bode well for success in the majors, especially since he is already limited defensively to first base. We should find out soon enough though. I suspect Bradley will be with the Indians at some point this summer, where he’ll be a power flyer in AL-only formats, and maybe even some deeper mixed formats. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

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NL WestNL Central | NL East || AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper signs… Note that signing can instantly eliminate a position battle detailed herein (although it sounds like only NL teams are involved right now).

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As the off-season continues to creep by at a slow drizzle, Lance and I bend over backwards to bring you this tasty dynasty morsel. We start the show talking some Wander Franco and just how high of a ranking is justifiable. We follow that up with a pair of Royals prospects in Nick Pratto and M.J. Melendez, and make some predictions regarding their 2019s. Next we jump into Daniel Espino’s ever climbing draft stock, is he the high school righty ready to break the stigma? We end the show talking a collection of top talents in Jesus Luzardo, Forrest Whitley, Mark Vientos, and Danny Jansen. It’s another episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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