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.

Last night I awoke in a rush. I was sweating, panting almost – awakened by a nightmare more ghastly than you can imagine. One more horrific than the chronic nightmares I had as a child in which the tiny troll figurines stalked my bedroom through all hours of the night. One quick Google search and I’m reliving those dreams – and it’s all too real. Yet, even such horrors do not compare to the demons which disturbed my slumber last night.

Over the past several weeks, I have been struggling to cope with the delay of the Major League Baseball season – something I’m sure you can all relate to. While trying to keep a healthy perspective concerning the real issues and concerns of the present, I have been unable to keep my mind from wandering to the darkest corners of the baseball world. Before the Coronavirus even put the MLB season on hold, I dreamed of such harsh realities taking form. *queues Danny Glover voiceover* You can call it a vision. You can call it a coincidence. I don’t care what you call it, but last night, it got worse.

I found myself walking through an unfamiliar land in which Airpods were even more popular than they are now. Wandering through the streets, I was passed by an Amazon drone engaged in an air delivery. While gazing at its sheer beauty, I stumbled through the gates of Camden Yards and a game program subsequently blew though the wind and onto my startled face. As I pulled the flier away and began to read its text – I instantly gasped in disbelief. 2023 All-Star Game: The Long-Awaited Return of the Midsummer Classic it read, with an action shot of superstar catcher Adley Rutschman spread across the front page.

As I stood in disbelief, I overheard a conversation between two young fans, arguing who indeed was the top backstop in the game, Rutschman or San Francisco’s Joey Bart. But what about J.T. Realmuto, I thought? Or the mid-career development of Willson Contreras? I continued to eavesdrop with the hope that more details would soon become clear.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No one is playing baseball, which means there’s a lot of wives around the country telling their husbands to stop scratching themselves, and that’s just the wives of fantasy baseballers. Imagine those poor ballplayers’ wives. “Why do you keep spitting into my potted plants?” and “Stop with the complicated signs when you’re calling in our basset hound. He doesn’t understand.” We should be complaining about Bud Black not playing Sam Hilliard or Raimel Tapia while opting for Ian Desmond, but instead Bud Black is home deciding to go with mustard on his hamburger for the last 17 days and refusing to give ketchup a chance. Ketchup is good, Bud, give it a shot! New things don’t have to scare you! Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should be on the field, reminding everyone of his father, but instead he’s home reminding his father to wash his hands. After 1st hearing about the restrictions, Vlad Sr. replies, “Forget shaking hands, I wouldn’t even elbow bump with Moises Alou.” Since everyone has been home for the last two-plus weeks, we’ve culled all the important player news from around the league for your fantasy teams and bring it to you now:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks ago, I ran into a white-haired “scientist” trying to sell me a souped-up DeLorean. He was on the run from some Libyans, he said, and figured his best move was to cover his tracks. Said the car could travel through time–that it had just enough gigawatt juice left for one round trip. 

I didn’t have much scratch on hand so had to trade my own car in the exchange but figured, hey, let’s go back and fix this Corona thing. 

Then I remembered the butterflies. What if I made it worse? Who would I even visit? So many Ashton Kutcher-esque variables. 

If you’re reading this in quarantine, you know I chickened out. Flashed forward to next March and watched baseball instead. In this article, I’ll discuss what I saw and how I built the 2021 top 100.

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During the moments I could focus enough to exercise the fantasy part of my brain, I’ve been brainstorming for what I should explore during the virus break. 

A fast forward to next March’s Top 100 list landed pretty high on my to-do list, but the task of going back to the future quickly became a complicated proposition. 

Will the Tigers have any incentive to promote Skubal, Manning and Mize? 

In a full season, players can push for the next level through dominance, putting a variety of pressures on the organization: fan frustration, developmental stall, player frustration, etc. 

It’s easy to project Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and Wander Franco to push their way up given a full season, but the math is all variables now. And mostly negative ones for young studs on non-contenders. 

Nonetheless, I grabbed some plutonium and had a lot of fun in the process. Feeling pretty good about the whole thing on publication day. Will have more to say about the future in future, specifically this Sunday. In the meantime, to paraphrase the great Red Green: if you don’t find this list handsome, I hope at least you’ll find it handy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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