If you’re a fan of a baseball team, chances are good at least one of your team’s coaches got fired this week. Maybe even the manager. Eleven Major League clubs don’t have one today.

And if you’re a fan of HBO’s Succession, you’ve been promised a “blood sacrifice” tonight.

This landscape littered with scapegoats is, ironically enough, a land of opportunity. Management wants to get young players on the field for extra cap-feathers on evaluation day. Look no further than San Diego, where Fernando Tatis and Chris Paddack may have saved A.J. Preller from a moment on the chopping block even though everyone else got canned.

All that is to say, even with service-time suppression suffocating our game, kids like these in the Top 150 can still come quick.

Review the Top 25 here.

Top 50 here.

Top 75

Top 100

Top 125

 

126. Jaylin Davis | OF | Giants 
127. Mitch Keller | RHP | Pirates 

We might need a rancher to cover the range of outcomes for Davis in 2020 and beyond. He could play 140 big league games and pop 35 homers. He could slump early and spend most of the season in AAA. I’d rather buy early than be too late.

Ray Searage is no longer employed by Pittsburgh, so that’s one reason for optimism on Keller despite his 7.13 ERA in 48 MLB innings.

Keller’s opponents enjoyed a .475 BABIP. I would’ve thought that number an impossibility if it hadn’t just been reality. He also posted a near-elite Shove Score and a 3.19 FIP. Baseball’s a funny game, and Mitch Keller will be free in 2020 fantasy baseball. You can probably even stream him early.

 

128. Joe Ryan | RHP | Rays
129. Nick Lodolo | LHP | Reds
130. Miguel Vargas | 3B | Dodgers 
131. Noelvi Marte | SS | Mariners
132. Orelvis Martinez | SS | Blue Jays
133. Bryson Stott | SS | Philles

Ryan produced a scary statistical season, logging huge K-BB percentages across three levels while playing with his pitch mix and developing a devastating cutter. He’ll be an interesting challenge for pitch-tracking mechanisms because he can really manipulate his fastball.

Equaling Ryan’s numbers but in a smaller stretch, Nick Lodolo gets two arrows pointing straight up—one for his talent, one for his organization’s recent approach.

Speaking of stats, few have started their careers as well as Miguel Vargas, who’s run similarly impressive K and BB rates on the hitting side while always being much younger than his competitors.

Noelvi Marte got a ton of hype as prospectors panned for the next nuggets of WanderVlad, but I think that’s most of what his hype amounts to—dream-casting onto a bonus baby. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—just saying he’s not among the hyper-elite talents at present.

Same goes for Orelvis Martinez. I like the player, but lede time and probability work against him, and he’s not so loud tools-wise that he’s top group while we wait.

Coming off a nice debut, Bryson Stott carries momentum and eyeballs into 2020. He’ll be 22 in A ball, so he’s at a crossroads of sorts. He’ll either fit right in and get promoted ahead of the age-curve or struggle and fall a little behind. The perception of his value hangs in the balance.

 

134. Luis Frias | RHP | Diamondbacks 
135. Luis Medina | RHP | Yankees
136. Daniel Johnson | OF | Cleveland 
137. Bryan Mata | RHP | Red Sox
138. Pavin Smith | OF | Diamondbacks 
139. Sam Huff | C | Rangers
140. Heriberto Hernandez | 1B | Rangers

Frias looks truly dominant—a bully on the mound and one of the few arms I’d put in a potential-ace bucket. He’s a long way away, but the talent is extreme.

That same bucket is where we find Medina, whose three-pitch mix of fastball curve change can be as impressive as any minor leaguer’s repertoire.

Daniel Johnson took some big steps forward in 2019 and figures to be looking at an everyday gig sometime in 2020. He’d ideally give us a little bit of everything—something like Avisail Garcia’s 2019–but his topside is limited.

It really doesn’t Mata much that Bryan got hit around in AA. He was 20 and shows the sort of feel for spin that opens infinite doors for pitchers these days.

If you’d told me last year that I’d be ranking Pavin Smith in this year’s top 150, I’d have laughed because I’ve always been out on him. He was too stiff in his lower half, and his shoulder-turn trigger cost him timing. But he’s been getting more sudden in his base and better at accessing his power, and the juiced ball awaits (maybe) in AAA and the majors.

You might know Sam Huff from his MVP turn in the 2019 Futures Game. If not, just know he’s not Aubrey who hates baseball but is a plus power catcher who can handle the defensive demands of the position despite his 6’4” frame.

You might not know Heriberto Hernandez, but he can rake. If you’ve got leaf issues this fall, Heriberto is your guy. He also smashes baseballs and has preternatural feel for the barrel.

 

141. Ethan Hankins | RHP | Cleveland 
142. Kris Bubic | LHP | Royals 
143. Pedro Martinez | SS | Cubs
144. Jeferson Espinal | OF | Diamondbacks 
145. Brayan Rocchio | SS | Cleveland 

Hankins and Bubic are solid upside arms with vastly different repertoires. Hankins is a power rightly with a crazy curve while Bubic thrives on command and a disappearing change up.

Young Pedro is a well-rounded flier with great feel for the game.

Guys like Jeferson Espinal are what makes lists like this fun. His ceiling? Could be anything. 20/20? Sure! 10/40? Why not! It’s all sunshine and rainbows when you’re as young and gifted as this kid.

Rocchio was a hot property this time last year but struggled enough with the jump to full-season ball that his stock has slid just a bit.

 

146. Vladimir Gutierrez | RHP | Reds
147. Andes Gimenez | SS | Mets
148. Angel Martinez | SS | Cleveland 
149. Daniel Espino | RHP | Cleveland 
150. Josh Jung | 3B | Rangers

Ranking a guy 146 hardly equates to a clarion call, I think everyone should check on Gutierrez. He was good down the stretch last year thanks to improved command of his plus-plus curveball. He’s a half-tick away from a plus fastball, and Kyle Boddy of Driveline fame could certainly help him find that. One outcome of Driveline is typically more streamlined mechanics, which enhances not only velocity but also command. Combine Boddy with Derek Johnson and you have perhaps the most exciting pitching philosophy outside Houston or Tampa. I’m buying, and Vlad’s a low-cost, high-talent way to invest.

Andres Gimenez will be higher on other fantasy lists. I think you should try to sell if you’ve got shares. He’s blocked across the diamond and a little more physically limited than most hyped middle infielders.

Jason Pennini is among the best scouts writing public content, and he sent Martinez’s stock soaring with a single tweet this summer. We’re still pretty close to ground-floor pricing, but one hot month would end that in a hurry.

Espino is kind of a pitching version of Espinal. He’s got so much talent he could be anything. I still can’t believe he fell all the way to Cleveland at pick 24 in this June’s draft.

One the front-end of this process, I thought I’d be pretty high on Jung, but it’s just so easy to keep bumping a 21-year-old corner bat in A-ball. I like the player, but the profile demands he become an excellent hitter soon to be a fantasy asset.

  1. knucks says:
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    Was just revisiting a Yordan trade that I had been posting at you about. You think this return is close?

    My Yordan

    For….
    Bichette
    Kieboom
    Oneil Cruz
    Gorman
    Kopech
    Daniel Lynch
    The #14 Pick in the FYPD

    • knucks says:
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      We were talking (me and you) about pieces like Luzardo and Mize previously. But he’d prefer to move Gorman, Kieboom, Cruz instead of the arms.

      And here are my currently rostered arms that I plan to compete with come 2021 and beyond, so I feel pretty good about that already if having to take the bats he’d rather move instead of Luzardo or Mize.

      Glasnow
      Gallen
      Pablo Lopez
      Trevor Richards
      Canning
      Deivi Garcia
      Logan Gilbert
      DL Hall
      Luis Patiño
      Grayson Rodriguez
      Michael King
      Brady Singer
      JB Bukauskas

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Hmmm so it sounds like he has made that other offer with all the pieces he’s hoping to sell?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      It’s a lot of value, but it’s spread across too many pieces, and part of the advantage in a rebuild is clearing roster spots and filling them across time.

      I’m trading away the Kiebooms, Gormans and Lynches. They’ve all got hype that exceeds their topside, in my opinion. If you can be over the roster limit all offseason, I’d be more interested because you’d have time to shop those pieces.

      If you could get one big bat instead of those three, I’d like it much more.

      I also worry Bichette is a little inflated on the strength of a pre league-adjustment splash. Have no such worry about Yordan.

      Still think pick 14 is free, so even tho I like the possibilities there, it doesn’t move the needle.

      Is this offer on the table now? I’d leave it up and think it through for a while, probably. Might even ask someone else if they’d have interest in Kieboom, Lynch or Gorman.

      My instinct is that Yordan’s too good to cover with quantity.

      I also still think you can get Bichette and Alonso.

      Makes sense that he’d balk at that bc he’s trying to spin quantity into quality, but if you send Cesar back, I think it’s too close to reject if he’s identified Yordan as a decade-plus top 20 player, especially with the extra hitting categories (which I’m guessing he has).

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      It’s a lot of value, but it’s spread across too many pieces, and part of the advantage in a rebuild is clearing roster spots and filling them across time.

      I’m trading away the Kiebooms, Gormans and Lynches. They’ve all got hype that exceeds their topside, in my opinion. If you can be over the roster limit all offseason, I’d be more interested because you’d have time to shop those pieces.

      If you could get one big bat instead of those three, I’d like it much more.

      I also worry Bichette is a little inflated on the strength of a pre league-adjustment splash. Have no such worry about Yordan.

      Is this offer on the table now? I’d leave it up and think it through for a while, probably. Might even ask someone else if they’d have interest in Kieboom, Lynch or Gorman.

      My instinct is that Yordan’s too good to cover with quantity.

      I also still think you can get Bichette and Alonso.

      Makes sense that he’d balk at that bc he’s trying to spin quantity into quality, but if you send Cesar back, I think it’s too close to reject if he’s identified Yordan as a decade-plus top 20 player, especially with the extra hitting categories.

      • knucks says:
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        Really appreciate you laying all this out like this. This is great stuff for me to hear, as a new Dynasty player.

        It was more or less on the table, in conversation though, not necessarily inside of Fantrax.

        We continue to talk and one thing that he just asked me was, “ What about Adell”. So I’m thinking maybe there would be a way to pare down the talent in the deal. This is where we kind of stand at the moment…

        Bichette
        Adell
        Cruz
        Kieboom
        The #14 pick in the FYPD

        For Yordan

        He is saying he would actually prefer this one over any of the others that we have talked about so far. But isn’t necessarily ready to pull the trigger.

        I guess my question is, bringing Adell into the mix like this. You like this better than the other one I commented about this morning? And if yes, how much more?

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Thanks knucks!

          Glad to be of use! Also I’m digging it! All my leagues are closed at the moment so I’m living vicariously through yours : )

          And I’m thrilled by the idea of turning Gorman, Lynch and Kopech into Adell. He’s probably more valuable for your purposes than Alonso anyway. I’d snap this one up if he sends it along.

          • knucks says:
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            Good stuff! Yea I figured that. The more I read into Adell and the more of these AFL clips I’m seeing of him, the more gaga I am getting. I’m gonna apply the pressure and see if I can get it done

            • The Itch

              The Itch says:
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              I’m always nervous in these final moments when both sides are on board with a trade. Never know what’s the best path from there.

              • The Itch

                The Itch says:
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                And now I’m in some leagues with people who’ll float stuff in the chats just to see what happens.

                And some who agree to a trade in a chat only to change the terms when working in the league site.

                Godspeed in making this one a reality.

      • knucks says:
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        I been trying to spin Cesar off for something in the league and not getting much bite. I really appreciate you looking back at my other posts and keeping in mind all the convo we had thus far about this rebuild in this league. Having someone to work through all this with has been a big help.

        As Hits is a category in this 7×7 Roto league… I do feel like Cesar has value to offer. Living in the Philly area, I can tell you that the fanbase is ready to move on from him and just stick Kingery at 2B instead of moving him all over the field. Maybe Gabe getting fired will help/hurt the outlook for Cesar in Philly in the coming weeks/months (not sure how or if that makes any sense). Cesar does have 1 year left on his deal though, according to Roster Resource. So he would be coming back for 2020 it seems at the moment.

        But I know lots can change in the winter and that with him being 30 years old, he prob isn’t a guy that’s in my starting lineup when it’s my turn to start winning this league. But if I can’t include him in something now, to get me back what I want (ie young talent)… maybe him having 170+ hits in 2019 is something that will help me in April when I try to package him up in a deal at that point.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          I like Cesar quite a bit, but that makes sense as he’s the type of guy who’ll have more value to contenders in-season. No need to force a trade if nothing’s there. And who knows maybe he starts hot and makes it easy.

          • The Itch

            The Itch says:
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            And hits is exactly the sort of category most owners will only really value in-season. Adds some value to Bichette too.

            • knucks says:
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              Yea great points. Have a lovely Football Sunday man, I’m sure I’ll be back with an update on trade
              chatter during the week.

  2. The Itch

    The Itch says:
    (link)

    It’s a lot of value, but it’s spread across too many pieces, and part of the advantage in a rebuild is clearing roster spots and filling them across time.

    I’m trading away the Kiebooms, Gormans and Lynches. They’ve all got hype that exceeds their topside, in my opinion. If you can be over the roster limit all offseason, I’d be more interested because you’d have time to shop those pieces.

    If you could get one big bat instead of those three, I’d like it much more.

    I also worry Bichette is a little inflated on the strength of a pre league-adjustment splash. Have no such worry about Yordan.

    Still think pick 14 is free, so even tho I like the possibilities there, it doesn’t move the needle.

    Is this offer on the table now? I’d leave it up and think it through for a while, probably. Might even ask someone else if they’d have interest in Kieboom, Lynch or Gorman.

    My instinct is that Yordan’s too good to cover with quantity.

    I also still think you can get Bichette and Alonso.

    Makes sense that he’d balk at that bc he’s trying to spin quantity into quality, but if you send Cesar back, I think it’s too close to reject if he’s identified Yordan as a decade-plus top 20 player, especially with the extra hitting categories (which I’m guessing he has).

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Great stuff, Itch! Every time I read Ray Searage is out of Pittsburgh brings me extra joy

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Thanks Grey!!

      I’m planning a pitch-to-contact party in the Razz offices to celebrate the end of an era! Hope you can make it!

      Tom Kelly’s bringing Big League Chew, and Donkey Teeth’s on carrots and eggplant.

      Brad Radke mentioned lollipops, Fireball and face paint. Says he’s gonna do some Braveheart role play.

      Could get pretty wild.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Sounds like my cup of tea!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
          (link)

          Don’t touch my eggplant, guys!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Haha

  4. knucks says:
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    Hey man, hoping to check in with you about where I stand on that Yordan situation we were talking about yesterday.

    So he asked about Hampson, who finished the year strong in Colorado, but we never know what to expect with the Rox. I’m thinking best case scenario, I could see him starting in CF out of the shoot. And that speed is nice. This offer below is pretty much where we stand atm. I wanted to check in with you on how your valuing Hampson and how you would handle this.

    Yordan
    G Hampson

    Bichette
    Adell
    C Kieboom
    Oneil Cruz
    D Lynch
    #14 Pick in the FYPD

    I’m thinking about saying it’s kinda close, but asking to add Kopech in there. I think he would go for it, if it nets him Hampson. But who knows.

    Adding in Kopech, would the return of those 6 players do it for you? I’m not super enthralled by the 14th pick, so I’m kind of just evaluating this deal as if its not a part of it. I am expecting a guy that is around 150-200 on most fantasy prospect lists to be available around the 14th pick. Does that logic sound right to you though?

    • knucks says:
      (link)

      Actually, in sifting through your ranks so far for the FYPD guys, this is what I’ve seen…

      1) Vaughn
      2) Adley
      3) Jasson Dominguez
      4) Witt
      5) Corbin Carroll
      6) Eric Pena
      7) Puason
      8) Bleday
      9) Greg Jones
      10) Riley Greene
      11) Brett Baty
      12) Bishop
      13) Tsutsugo
      14) Cavaco
      15) Luis Rodriguez
      16) Lodollo
      17) Stott (Your #133 Overall)

      So I have picks #1 and #15 (no snake in this 14 Teamer) and could potentially be adding the #14 pick, allowing me to get 3 of the above guys. So maybe I was dismissing the value of that #14 a bit too quickly.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
        (link)

        Hi knucks!

        Where we at on this today?

        Sorry for the delayed reply. Was grinding on Miami’s minors with all my pre-deadline free moments.

        I don’t like the idea of moving Hampson. One of the balancing acts of a long-term rebuild is keeping some high upside players on the MLB side if your league requires a full active MLB lineup.

        Also I feel like we keep getting close and this team tweaks the terms to toggle the value matrix in his favor. Makes sense from his side, but he’s trying to buy the biggest asset in the deal—one of the best long-term pieces on the board in a 7×7 dynasty and probably the only one available in that league he can justify this kind of consolidation play for—so it’s going to have to hurt some on his side.

        The Hampson ask seems a way to balance the Adell speed-pain. He’s offered a lot of trades that wouldn’t hurt him much if at all. Which is why I think you’re smart to more or less disregard the pick value. It’s a non-thing in his perception—at least compared to the pieces in play—so even if you do value it, best to just play it like you don’t really. Oh and you left CJ Abrams off the FYPD list, so that’s another little value bump for that pick we don’t want but would placidly take.

        • knucks says:
          (link)

          Just saw the new article, pumped to see that you’ll be running through each team.

          He actually tabled the trade last night. We had the one on the table where I add Hampson in and he gives me the 6 guys plus the pick. I was letting it marinate and he just cancelled it. I told him I’m more than fine with NOT making the deal and hanging on to Yordan for 2020 and beyond. I was starting to sour on losing Hampson, so I’m glad to hear you lay things out the way that you did. Thanks again for working through all that with me so far. This is helping me for future player evaluations in this league.

          I did make a diff deal though (without your itchy consent), will post it in the new article, so you don’t feel you’d have to come back here to reply.

  5. Worm Burner says:
    (link)

    Hey Itch, thanks for these lists.

    If Luis Urias was still in the prospect list, what range would he be in your rankings?

    Thanks again!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
      (link)

      Hi Worm Burner!

      And thanks for reading!

      Scanning through I think he’d be 50-70.

      66 just after Jake Fraley looks about right, but that area was pretty fluid.

      Something to note though: If Manfraud unjuices the ball, he might be in trouble.

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