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Please see our player page for Zac Veen 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.

Phillies RHP George Klassen (22, A) was not particularly effective as a college pitcher, posting ERAs of 5.72 and 14.09 in his two seasons as a Golden Gopher in Minnesota. Nonetheless, he showed enough plus stuff for the Phillies to select him in the sixth round of the 2023 draft. When he started generating hype this spring as a pitch-lab find for Philadelphia, I was skeptical because it’s hard to just hand-wave those kinds of outcomes. Plus, 22-year-old college pitchers should fare well against Low-A hitters. Even so, Klassen’s gone full Pickle Rick this year. His 0.33 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 34.3 percent strikeout-minus-walk rate are eye-popping numbers that suggest he’s already graduated from that level, skills wise. He might be in High-A right now if not for a short trip to the injured list. His three-pix mix now includes a four-seam fastball at about 98, a cutter at ~90 and a curveball at ~86; all three play as plus. 

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1. SS Adael Amador | 20 | AA | 2025

A plus hit tool combines with above average power and excellent plate skills to make Amador the easy number one in this organization. A switch-hitter at 6’0” 200 lbs, he slashed .302/.391/.514 with nine home runs, 12 stolen bases, 26 strikeouts and 31 walks in 54 games at High-A Stockton. His ten games in Double-A didn’t go as smoothly, but it’d be premature to care. More useful to note that he earned that promotion as a cherry on top of a good season than to parse the small sample. I have 2025 as the ETA here, but that’s partly because the Rockies figure to be out of contention by the time Amador might be ready to graduate Triple-A if he has another strong season.

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We all have bad days. 

Weeks.

Months.

Years.

It happens. 

Nothing to do but peel yourself off the pillow next morning and try again. 

Just this week, my last day of classes for the year was a total shitshow. We had to squeeze in the last few speeches from the last few stragglers and foot-draggers. Didn’t even have time to say goodbye. Just four life-draining speeches then welp, that’s our time, see you around, maybe. So it goes. I’ll try to do something to prevent that next year. Live and learn. Then get Luvs. In case you keep shitting yourself in the clutch the way today’s featured players have been so far in 2023. 

Sitting next to me on the struggle bus is Giants LHP Kyle Harrison owns a 1.98 WHIP through six Triple-A starts. He’s walked 21 batters in 15.2 innings. Get this man some Dramamine. He seems dizzy from motion sickness. 

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Braves announced that Raisel Iglesias has a low-grade shoulder inflammation, and Orlando Arcia will fill-in. Wait, that’s wrong. That’s the next Braves news. This is the third time in Raisel’s career he’s missed time with shoulder issues, but it’s been about seven years since the last time. He won’t throw for a week, then will see where he’s at. To see where he’s at, put your hands together in prayer. Okay, that’s Iglesias, and here’s the steeple. Now, crack them slightly, and that’s the people picking up A.J. Minter. Now turn your hands inside out and that’s the people getting *ucked once again drafting a closer high. Where’s all my genius-brained people who told you to draft closers high? Are they now pretending like this is a fluke and not that closers are easily the most fickle position? It won’t show up in end-of-the-season rankings, but remember I told you not to draft Edwin Diaz and Raisel Iglesias in the first five rounds. That was other people, who will do the same thing again next year. And the year after. Don’t worry, some brain geniuses are still drafting a guy who had, like, 12.00 ERA last 2nd half. Josh Hader is great, don’t you know? Any hoo! The 2023 fantasy baseball rankings are up to date, and the top 500 for 2023 fantasy baseball was updated for Iglesias, Minter, and Joe Jimenez (and others I will get to in this post). My guess is they’re in that order to replace Iglesias. For how long? I haven’t the foggiest. I’d guess a month, but you shouldn’t have drafted Iglesias anyway. Here’s the Fantasy Baseball War Room too, and good luck in weekend drafts! I will be in Vegas for the Main Event. I will be fighting Donkey Teeth. I mean, drafting with him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2023 fantasy baseball:

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76. Pirates 2B Termarr Johnson | 18 | A | 2025

A double-plus hit tool leads the way for Termarr Johnson, a 5’7” 175 lb left-handed hitter who calls Jose Ramirez to mind on a quick visual evaluation. The organization will be thrilled if Johnson follows a similar path, grinding his way up the chain before growing into power at the highest level. He’s off to a great start, slashing .275/.396/.450 with one home run and four stolen bases in 14 Low-A games. He also walked 18.9 percent of the time. Scouts have hung a lot of superlatives on Termarr. Some called him the best high school hitter they’ve ever seen. It’s a high bar, but I’m not going to bet against him.

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Prospect News: Top 50 for Dynasty Leagues, Post-Draft Update

Here’s where the introductory words for part two would go, if I thought any of us wanted to see those.

And here’s a link to the Top 25, in case you want to see those.

26. RHP Taj Bradley | Rays | 21 | AAA | 2023

27. OF Zac Veen | Rockies | 20 | A+ | 2024

28. LHP Ricky Tiedemann | Blue Jays | 19 | AA | 2023

Taj Bradley is getting knocked around a bit at Triple-A (5.25 ERA in three starts), but this is Tampa we’re talking about. Nobody suppresses their own pitchers’ ratios like the Rays. 

Zac Veen has 50 stolen bases in 54 attempts with a 129 wRC+ in 92 games. The Rockies have more good hitting prospects than usual. Can’t wait to see how they screw them up. 

Give Ricky Tiedemann another couple dominant starts in Double-A and he’ll have a case for the top ten. He might be there already on some lists. No real argument with that from me. The rankings feel especially fluid right now. It’s a time of putting your money in your mouth and then chewing it up and chasing it down with a shot of tequila. 

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Rangers RHP Jack Leiter is a good place to start because he exemplifies what’s  weird about the Futures Game. Leiter hasn’t earned his spot on the field (6.30 ERA), but that’s not uncommon to this game, which different organizations use for different reasons on a player-by-player basis. It’s not an All-Star game, in other words. It’s not even an all-famous game, although that’s what gets Leiter on the roster. It’s not even really a combination of the two. Some organizations might send a middle reliever, like Baltimore did with Marcos Diplan in 2021, who the team DFA’d the other day, almost exactly a year after Diplan gave up home runs to Brennan Davis and Francisco Alvarez in Coors Field during the sixth inning of last year’s Futures Game. 

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Cubs 1B Matt Mervis (24, AA) looks like a prototypical, left-handed hitting, middle-of-the-order masher at 6’4” 225 lbs who has already blasted 19 bombs in 66 games across High-A and Double-A this season. His strikeout rate has been around 24 percent at both levels along with .644 and .650 slugging percentages, but he has almost doubled his walk rate from 4.6 percent in High-A to 7.7 percent in Double-A. Gotta watch this one closely. Never-nervous Mervis got a little lost in the covid-draft chaos but raked in the wooden bat Northwoods League in 2018 and did the same in the wooden bat Cape Cod League in 2019. He looks more athletic to the eye test than the statsheet and profile might suggest. 

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We don’t spend much time with the stragglers around Prospect World, but a lot of highly ranked guys have struggled this season. That sentence reads like a timeless nothing-statement when I see it on the page, but it’s a pretty accurate description of my thoughts as I scoured the landscape to find the best 100 minor league players for the fantasy game. 

If you think of a name that you figured would be here, there’s a good chance they’ve scuffled to start this season. The Nicks, Yorke, Gonzales and Pratto, missed the list in surprising fashion. Perhaps I was more demanding of them because my human-person-walking-around name is also Nick, and I am subconsciously more disappointed with them than I would be with a non-Nick player. Seems unlikely, but you never know. 

Also a pretty good chance the player(s) you’re looking for were covered:

either here in the Top 25

or here in the Top 50

or here in the Top 75.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Anyway, the buns are in the oven. No changing the recipe now. Smells pretty good already, now that the prep’s done and the kitchen’s clean. Ish. Clean as it’s gonna get anyway. Let’s dig in. 

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When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I found myself getting caught up in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Bobby Witt Jr. is definitively a better prospect than Julio Rodriguez if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality.

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index.

Let’s bring this thing home!

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