Please see our player page for Yusniel Diaz 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.

Rumors abound that the 2020 MLB season will begin sometime soon in some shape or form. And boy do we need real games, so much so that ESPN is showing our brethren in Korea live in the early AM hours. On the bad side, Blake Snell speaking out can go from praised to vilified in moments. On the good, spring is about hope, and hope right now springs eternal, especially in places like Baltimore. The Orioles are among many teams that can figure in a shortened season with a potentially expanded playoffs ‘Why not us?’. They were dealt a blow with the Trey Mancini news. Ryan Mountcastle has the best chance to fill Mancini’s shoes in the lineup, but he’s at first base. So who is left to fill his shoes in the outfield?

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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 Baltimore Birds with orange on them have in store for you and your fantasy team?

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Years of ignoring the international market left the Orioles behind the rest of baseball in the absolutely critical world of talent procurement and development. Ownership, beloved by all Baltimore fans, finally decided to amend this practice last year, hiring General Manager Mike Elias away from Houston. As his first move, Elias hired Houston colleague and former NASA engineer Sig Mejdal to be his “General Manager for Analytics,” a new job title in the baseball world. 

Elias and Mejdal were central in the process that brought Houston so far into the future they decided scouts were outdated. The baseball world will watch their work in Baltimore with bated breath. Was what happened in Houston a magical confluence of hyper-competitive individuals that can’t be replicated outside that moment in time and space? Or can the secret sauce be imported and applied even in the most barren landscapes? 

As with pretty much everything, truth is somewhere in the middle, but I’m leaning toward the latter—that yes this duo will be successful in Baltimore, and yes this would be an ominous outcome for the future employment of scouts on the ground. 

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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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Short-season ball kicked off on Friday, allowing us to dig even deeper into the prospect player pool for some performance data. Short-season is a melting pot of players. You’ll get your injury recovery guys, your recent draftees, and your teenagers getting their first taste of pro ball. It’s also a great season to follow if you happen to live close to one of these parks. Small, intimate stadiums, cheap prices, good food, and good baseball. That’s what it’s all about, especially if you’re a dad teaching your son or daughter about the Game for the first time. By and by, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this today. Here’s what’s happening around the minor leagues…

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Kyle Tucker has started the 2019 season cold. Like really cold. Like, the freezing point of helium cold. Shout out to my unfortunately-named high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Richard Sores. But, there is hope for the flowers. Tucker has hit safely in each of his last three games with a double and two homers in that span. Why is this important? If you own Tucker, who was a favorite to get called up at some point this season, he needs to play well to avoid getting leapfrogged by Yordan Alvarez and Myles Straw on the road to Houston. 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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It’s chucking down snow in my neck of the woods. Perfect time to hole up and make a list of the top 100 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. Before we begin…an observation. The roads are empty around here except for pizza delivery cars. Ordering a pizza in a blizzard seems like a dick move to me. So I’m dedicating this post to the real heroes – the pizza delivery boys and girls braving a foot of snow in their crappy car to make sure Edna has her half-pepperoni, half-bell pepper medium pie while she watches reruns of Friends on Netflix. Moving on, if you’re just tuning into this station, we’ve already gone over the top 25 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball as well as the top 50 prospects for 2019 fantasy baseball. For thoughts on every player and to see each team’s top ten prospects, visit our 2019 minor league preview index. Concerning these players listed below, my goal when drafting/picking up one of them is to net some sort of positive value and see them playing regularly. Essentially, this final group is composed of players with 50ish overall ratings on the scouting scale…not your superstars or even All-Stars, but a decent shot to carve out a career in the big leagues.

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Just as we start to pick up speed with the Twins, the prospect preview train comes grinding to a halt with a mediocre Orioles system. I think the horse from Ren and Stimpy said it best – no sir…I don’t like it. I skipped many a Sunday morning church service in favor of watching new episodes of R&S. I seem to be no worse for wear, except that when my kids ask me about their faith I usually dodge the question by offering to sell them some rubber nipples. With just two (questionable) Grade A prospects, this is the rubber nipple of minor league systems. I’m about to do my best to sell it.

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Prospects are funny, when things are going well all is expected of them. The sky’s the limit, the loftiest of comparisons are strewn about, and the helium pumps. Then the player struggles. Whether it be a command bout for a live arm, or a hitter stalling a little in his development. We all quickly jump off the boat. When often times, that player bounces back the following year, or late in the season, only to leave egg on our faces. Development takes time, and it’s just that, developing skills that lead to success at the major league level. Once such case of struggle, and recent revival is Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial. After an unproductive and injury plagued first half, the Haitian talent has returned with a vengeance. He’s looking more comfortable at the plate, and his swing and miss issues are trending the right way. If Florial can get his hit tool to a 45-50 level, his combination of speed and power could turn him into an impact player at the major league level. For now there’s still hit tool concerns, but you scout the athlete, and there’s few more impressive than Florial. I won’t back down from Florial as a top 25-50 prospect, and he’ll be around there in my update.

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