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Many, many years ago the old west was littered with once horse towns. This made travel problematic. With one horse you were destined to stand in endless lines waiting to get where you were going. Then again what’s the point of living in a one horse town? You might as well just walk to a town with multiple horses. Or maybe you could take the horse to a town with more horses and trade that horse for some magic beans….I think I just smoked my self stupid. This is just a really long and confusing way to say the Miami Marlins are a one prospect system. Seriously, I’d like to own Braxton Garrett in leagues that are 16 teams and shallower and that’s it. If you want to pick nits and tell me there’s another horse in this town have at it. I’ll be too busy walking to the next town over that has multiple horses. I suppose it should be noted that the Marlins have graduated a solid number of prospects over the past 5 years (Yelich, Ozuna, Realmuto, Jose Fernandez RIP) but have also given away a number as well. Players like Francis Martes, Josh Naylor, and Chris Paddack come to mind, and all they have to show for it is Jarrod Cosart. That’s bad business. While this will be my shortest system review of the year it’s for good reason, there’s not a lot to write about. It’s the Top Miami Marlins Prospects, hey at least it’s over. Oh wait, yeah you’re just starting it. Sorry…

Tier 1: Specs On The Beach
Potential stars. Consensus T100 prospects with premium fantasy ceilings.

Braxton Garrett, LHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: N/A

Well here he is, the one Marlins prospect you should consider owning. Besides being their most recent first round pick, he’s also the only player on this list we’ve yet to see in proball. The 6’3 lefty is the second high school arm the Marlins have taken in the first round in the last three years, the other being Tyler Kolek. Let’s hope it goes better than that…. Garrett brings to the table an incredibly high floor for a prep arm. He’s a polished strike thrower, that mixes three above average to plus pitches in his fastball, change, and curveball. The latter of which is by far his best offering, and one of the top breaking balls in last year’s class. His control and command are above average; mix that with his advanced pitchability, and he should be a relatively fast riser. For those of you praying for J-Fer’s replacement, Garrett is not, but a solid number two he should be. That’s the good number two FYI.

Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.

Brian Anderson, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA/A+

Anderson is such a floorbored we might as well just name this the Brian Anderson tier. Do I think Anderson is a future major leaguer? Sure, but in the same way I think McDonald’s is technically food. It’s food, technically, but I’m not enthused to eat it. In the same way I’m not enthused to own Anderson. Yes, he did just lead the Arizona Fall League in homers, and that’s not meaningless. Particularly when you consider the last three AFL home run kings were Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Kris Bryant. Do I see Anderson being on par with any of them? No. Maybe Bird, but even that seems like a weighty comp. Baseball America described him as a utility player with power, and then comped him to Ryan Raburn. That seems fair, as Anderson is a righty whose splits lean lefty heavy. The upside here is his hit tool is better than I’m giving him credit for, and he ends up a solid corner infielder with 20 homer pop, good average, and on base ability. I’d own Anderson in leagues where 200+ minors are owned.

Luis Castillo, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA/A+

Castillo is one of those players where I’m not really sure I like him, as much as I like the idea of him. He’s 24, throws an upper 90’s fastball that touches triple digits, mixes it with an above average slider, and the numbers were good. Here’s the thing, he doesn’t strikeout that many batters for a guy with a big heater and a solid breaking pitch. He’s also old for the levels he’s played in. So is he the second coming of Nathan Eovaldi? Maybe, but he’s a back of the rotation arm. I suppose I shouldn’t write a blurb about Castillo without mentioning that he was traded to San Diego in the Andrew Cashner/Colin Rea deal. Only to be returned to the Marlins when it turned out Rea’s arm was made of straw and overcooked spaghetti. Gotta respect AJ Preller’s gangster.

Jarlin Garcia, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2016 Level: AA/A+

Hey kids guess what we have here? You guessed it, yet another back end of the rotation starter! Garcia gets a lot of hyperbole about having the best stuff in the system, which is like being the shortest little person, or the most alive dead guy. All that to say, it doesn’t mean much. He does have a mid-90’s fastball, a solid curveball, and an average change. Yeah, that’s the guy with the best stuff in this system. If he was in the Houston system he wouldn’t even make the write up.

Others: Austin Dean, Austin Brice, Dillon Peters, Tayron Guerrero, George “Herman” Ruth

Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs

Tyler Kolek, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: N/A

Want a good reason to ignore all my advice? I bought into Kolek heavy a few years back, and drafted him in first year player drafts all over the place. If only I knew then what I know now, Tyler Kolek sucks. Seriously he’s not good. He’s big, from Texas, and threw really hard coming out of the prep ranks and heading into the 2014 draft. But like many of the people I grew up with, he peaked in high school. Since entering the pro ranks his velocity is way down, he doesn’t miss many bats, and is more or less a groundball specialist with pedigree. He missed last year after going under the knife for Tommy John, who is a sick sadistic bastard. Then again, what should we expect from a former Yankee. Will Kolek return with better velocity, control, and swing and miss stuff? Sure, it’s possible, but highly unlikely.

Stone Garrett, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: A-

If I ranked players in the system based simply on names, Garrett would be numero uno in the Marlins system. Only problem is I don’t and Garrett is just a long shot prospect with a good power/speed profile, and a nasty hand injury sustained at the blade of the Highlander Josh Naylor. The hand injury ended in nerve damage in his thumb. Greeeeeaaaaatttt…. Garrett is a long way off, but he offers one of the few interesting upsides amongst the marlins system of boring hitters.

Thomas Jones, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: Rk

Neck and neck with Garrett for the most upside among Marlins hitting prospects. Jones has raw across the board skills, making him a player with serious 5 tool potential. He’s got size, speed, and raw hitting talent. He’s a long ways away, so if you target him at the back end of your first year player drafts I’d be prepared to wait it out. He’s a low risk gamble worth taking in super deep leagues where 400+ minors are owned.

Others: Isael Soto, Edward Cabrera, Isaiah White, Jordon Holloway, Garvis Lara

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  1. goodfold2 says:
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    got the top 55 1st year guys list, got through the LAD team lists made up by the tiers, about 2/3 of the way through the podcasts. i saw a list you gave somebody back in your BOS podcast, (3 of them taken out since they were already in the top 55 another owned in my league, i’ve added the teams, and if possible ratings lines/ETA’s from MLB’s lists):

    -Austin Hays OF BAL 50/50/45 (19)
    -Ronnie Dawson OF HOU 45/55/50 (19)
    -Cody Thomas OF LAD (7th on your long shots)
    -Colton Welker CI COL 50/50/40 (20)
    -Taylor Hearn RP/SP PIT (bullpen risk) 65 (fast)/55 (slide)/40 (change)/45 (control) (19)
    -Eguy Rosario CI SD
    -Steven Duggar OF SF 50/40/70 (18)
    -Garret Stubbs C HOU 50/30/50 (18)
    – Kevin Gadea RP/SP TB (rule 5 so HAS to be on roster this year right away in bullpen, unknown too can probably draft VERY late)
    Sixto Sanchez SP/RP PHI 60 (fast)/50 (curve)/50 (change)/50 (control) (20)
    Thyago Vieira SP/RP SEA
    Melvin Adon SP/RP SF
    1. would these be guys you’d have just outside your top 1st year 55 guys? (seems so maybe since the list started with guys you had at bottom of that list (arrozarena (THAT’s why i couldn’t find him in fantrax, 2 R’s at first) bolanos, dj peters)
    2. could you give me something similar to those prospect grades for the ones i can’t find info on (thomas/rosario/gadea/vieira/adon), or just short stuff like C.thomas is power no average or speed or whatever they are.
    3. can’t find anybody named ruth either in just googling miami marlins at all nor fantrax (eric ruth on NYY is only one in fantrax), assuming this is a spelling issue. arrozarena was easy to find once i knew he has a 2nd R after the 1st R.

    i’ll be making makeshift lists similar to yours since draft starts the 3rd and it appears you’ll have about 3 more teams (MIL/MIN/NYM) done by the time my picks come up after your top 55 (plus maybe those others above) at roughly 97th, 101th, 122nd, 175th, and 186th so i’ll go backwards from WAS backward asking you about those, only resources i’m going off of are mlb.com’s top 30’s and minor league ball’s top 20’s (they do have 6 of the 12 remaining teams finished). asinine league where we draft from jan 3rd – early feb, do FA in feb and then have literally nothing to do in march, and most prospect stuff (both website and books) don’t come out till jan-feb. it does mean i’m way ready for all other shallower leagues (and every league is shallower than a league with up to 1050 prospects owned) by march when sane leagues draft, so there’s that.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @goodfold2: I think Thomas was in the top 55, he’s a power/speed threat with intriguing athleticism. He was actually a college QB at Oklahoma, and quit back in January to focus on baseball full time.
      Eguy Rosario is a raw teenager (16) signed in this prospect class Jeisson is the better one.
      Melvin Adon – don’t know much about him
      Vieria is basically a relief pitching prospect who throws crazy hard.
      Gaeda is a well rounded pitching prospect with mid-rotation upside, who will log some innings this year in the Rays bullpen.

      That’s Babe Ruth….i was kidding

      Sixto Sanchez would be within my top 25 in a first year player draft. If Juan Soto from the Nats is available, he’s someone I would slot around 10-12 in FYPD ranks. Another sleeper for you is Bryan Mata a Red Sox righty. I’d slot him about 30, but you can probably get him later.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: -thomas was 55th exactly (including the gurriels/otani), bolanos/peters also in the last 5 of it. got him mixed into the after list somehow. bolanos/peters/thomas were the 3 from the list itself that i can’t find grades for, not being in mlb.com’s top 20 at all on those teams, and minor league ball having not done LAD/SD yet.
        – jeisson rosario SD over eguy rosario. both on SD
        – sixto wasn’t before in the 2 posts from 1st year top 55, must’ve moved a lot since.
        – figured somebody else was named after babe ruth. haha.
        – looking like adon/vieria not especially guys just outside top 55 then.
        – j.soto drafted i think last year (maybe 2 years ago). i do remember his name (prospector Mike liked him too)

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @goodfold2: Sixto was signed back in 14 as a 16 YO I believe. He’s just been a big riser this year.

          MLB.com’s listed are over a year old, they just remove players as they reached their limits or are traded. You’ll notice he scouting reports are all mid-season. I’ve written and spoke about both. Peters is really underrated. Thomas, Peters, Hansen was a silly athletic OF this year for short season Ogden.

          Bolanos is a Cuban arm the Padres signed. You should be able to find a good scouting reports on BA

          Jession is a more highly touted player.

          Today’s the 97th anneversary of Babe being sold to the Yankees. Little trivia for you.

          Check out Bryan Mata, he’s the next breakout arm from the Red Sox system.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: i knew they were updated since i last looked at them in depth at mlb.com’s (of course that update could’ve been prior to 2016 real life MLB draft), i knew they were outdated but i didn’t know by how much. all the updated info (you/minor league ball/baseball america’s top 10 lists, prospectus not out yet, BA’s prospect handbook not out yet) are in the middle of updates/half-completed, it’s what makes my draft time so annoying. this outdatedness explains a lot of dalbec’s prospect grades there vs your love of him, they have him very low at 40/55/30 (obv the power a good number but not indicating anywhere near 21st overall in 1st year drafts). also explains how cody thomas/dj peters aren’t even on mlb.com’s top 30 list.

            the only hansen i can find on your list is alec hansen RP/SP WSOX at 49th. if you meant mitchell hansen OF LAD he’s owned (2nd rounder from 2015, most of them got drafted last year, esp with those tools i’m seeing). mata is so new he’s on WW in fantrax (i.e. just added to system)

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @goodfold2: Yes Mitch Hansen was in the same OF he was a 2015 pick.

  2. Clint says:
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    Dang. That’s some deep analysis Ralph. I honestly expected their farm system to basically be a blog w/one sentence and that’s about it considering they’ve nuked it so horribly.

    Will say this: Miami will be another interesting canary in the coal mine of the new MLB tactics as they appear intent on ‘rebuilding’ by basically signing big name bullpen arms to massive contracts & testing the theory you can sell them all off high for a mountain of players when your team inevitably sucks. If only they’d gotten Jansen or Chapman we’d really be able to see if that works or not.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Clint: Yeah, I’m not sure I get what they’re doing in Miami. The Fernandez tragedy certainly threw them for a loop. The biggest flaw is how many prospects they’ve given away in bad trades. I mean they had no idea what they had with Francis Martes, and they dumped Paddock for a useless rental.

  3. This system is depressing. Wish that whole Castillo/Naylor thing was revoked, not just the Castillo part. Also HATED the Paddack for Rodney trade. Of course we have the benefit of knowing that move didn’t lead to playoff success, and could any organization really be able to survive losing the heart of the organization in a freak accident (RIP forever JoFer!).

    I’m a little higher on Castillo than you, only because he has a live arm and is relatively new to starting pitching (I’ll overlook the age on that alone). Then again, Jose Urena was supposed to be better than ok :/

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Andy Singleton: Yeah they’ve made some awful trades. The Cosart one takes the cake. They just gave away Martes. I hated the Paddock for Rodney deal at the time, of course Paddack’s arm became unglued, but still that’s an awful price for a rental. I didn’t like the cashner deal either and was shocked they made it. All this to say, they make awful freaking trades.

      I don’t dislike Castillo, and I was remiss to not mention he didn’t play baseball competitively till he was 15. So it’s great that the arm’s not taxed. I just have trouble getting too jacked up over him when he’s got the heater-breaking ball mix and not missing a ton of bats. Maybe that comes as he learns to set pitchers up. He’s probably the best pitching prospect in the system outside Garrett though.

      Everytime I see Jose Urena, I think his name is Jose Urethra.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: me too, and i see his name probably more than you do, owning him in above league.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @goodfold2: Yeah you just might

  4. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Ralph! Not prospect related, but what are your thoughts on Brantley for 2017 on? Never been a huge fan, but his value is super low and I have an opportunity to acquire him at only $9 for 2 of my non-keepers in a keep 7 forever league. If I did so, he’d be my odd man out (8th keeper) but if he’s looking healthy and good in spring training I’d be able to make him my last keeper.

    In case relevant, my other hitter keepers are 2 safe guys (rizzo and Betts) and several risky high upside types (story moncada and Dahl, though he’s less risky). Thans!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: I’m very wait and see on Brantley. He wasn’t supposed to miss a ton of time last year, and he missed pretty much the whole season. Nothing scares me like shoulders, except maybe a world run by robots.

      If you aren’t keeping the two you’d trade for him, have at it. Whats the worst that happens, he’s hurt and you don’t keep him. Seems like no risk.

  5. Tweak says:
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    No idea what’s going on in Miami. The farm is scary bad, but the MLB squad is halfway decent. I don’t know how the organization survives down there; Loria’s a jerk and they’re not close to winning a World Series so they can have their subsequent fire sale.

    Maybe if the Yankees lose out on the Bryce Harper FA circus, they send prospects to Miami and get Stanton. Heck, maybe they do it anyway. They’ve got the young/minors talent to do it now and it might not cost them Sale prices if they take on the full contract.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tweak: The Stanton thing seems possible. Let’s see how this year shakes out. One would think Miami would be an attractive location for International signings, but they’ve been sub par the last few years in that regard too.

  6. Donks says:
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    I am compiling a list for my first year player draft. In addition to players drafted/J2 this year there are some players who were not previously drafted. Could you tell me where you would slot the following players amongst your first year player rankings?

    Travis Demeritte
    Mike Soroka
    Josh Ockimey
    Jahmai Jones
    Mauricio Dubon
    Dylan Cozens
    Rhys Hoskins
    Mitch Keller
    Harrison Bader

    Appreciate the write-ups/podcasts!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Donks: , Harrison Bader 3 or 4, Mitch Keller 4, Demeritte would slot 6, Hoskins 5, Dylan Cozens would slot 6, Jahmai Jones about 16, Dubon also around 16, Soroka around 28, and Ockimey 30 or so.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: oh hell yeah this is useful, if only to know how good my trade for demerritte was, my already owning cozens has become, and where ockimey slots.

  7. El Famous Burrito says:
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    16-T H2H Cats league

    Giolito and Bobby Bradley for Rafael Devers and Manuel Margot?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @El Famous Burrito: I like the Devers and Margot side.

  8. MB says:
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    Think Yefri Perez is more than a pinch runner?

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MB: No, he’s at most a pinch runner. I’m kind of shocked he’s even had MLB at bats.

  9. goodfold2 says:
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    ok, since minor league ball did finish WAS here’s my current WAS list (tools might be outdated from mlb.com). anybody obvious is already owned. likely anybody drafted in top 2 round real life is owned (maybe 3rd). not asking for absolute ranking just in case something you differ with big time from them. going from bottom of your list since you won’t get to these teams when i need to pick. if i’m lucky i still have top 60 types laying around at my picks in the 3rd or later round, but not assuming that.
    1. c.kieboom MI 55/50/45 (20 ETA)
    2. s.neuse CI 50/50/50 (19)
    3. koda glover RP 70 (F)/55 (SL)/40 (CH)/45 (CT) (17) (sounds like he’ll be up in bullpen soon)
    4. n.banks OF 55/50/40 (19)
    5. y.antuna MI 50/50/60 (21)
    6. j.luzardo SP/RP 55 (F)/50 (CU)/55 (CH)/55 (CT) (20)
    7. t.watson SP/RP 55 (F)/ 55 (CU)/ 45 (CH)/45 (CT) (19)
    8. r.wiseman OF 45/50/50 (18)
    9. t.barrera C 40/50/20 (18) but looks blocked by p.severino (much better catcher skills)
    10. k.gutierrez CI 50/45/45 (19)
    11. j.baez RP 70 (F)/ 50 (CU)/ 35 (CH)/ 40 (CT) (19)
    12. d.johnson OF 45/45/80 (20)
    13. b.perkins OF 50/40/60 (19)
    14. l.garcia MI 50/45/50 (21)
    15. r.read C 40/45/30 (18)
    16. a.agustin OF 50/35/55 (19)
    17. s.kieboom C 40/40/20 (17) sounds like backup though

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @goodfold2: I have to be honest I don’t think my ranks would differ much.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: good to hear. no diamonds i’m missing (from some of the far above names i sure could). diamonds (mata/thomas/peters/jaisson rosario) are where the value lie. as draft goes on it might appear that i could flip something for some 5th rounder(s) if there’s enough diamonds laying out there. all the time i see people that want to move up like 10 spots that often just give away a 5th (or more than one) to move up.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike: What a Philly! (I had too! Sorry)

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        ha! put her back in…she ain’t done yet

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike: Why could I watch that all day.

  10. Schwab says:
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    Hey Ralph,
    Keeper question. 8 Team H2H point based league. Each team keeps 10. I need 10 from this list:
    Goldschmidt, Machado, Story, Sano, JD Martinez, Hosmer, Moncada, Kluber, Lester, Taijuan Walker, Giolito, King Felix, Strasburg, Aaron Sanchez, Snell & Glasnow. Which 6 do you drop?
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Schwab: Goldy, Machado, Story, JD, Moncada, Sano, Kluber, Lester, Strasburg, and Sanchez.

  11. Nightpandas says:
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    Happy Holidays Ralphie,

    Got an offer of Giolito and A Reyes for my Harvey and intrigued.

    Keep 11,
    15 teams

    Keeping Rizzo Dozier Correa Dahl Crush Trumbo
    Wade Davis and maybe Brinson

    That leaves 3 spots for starters: right now would be between Harvey Matz Gausman and Taijuan

    Where do you rank these 6 sp ‘s for 2017 and beyond?

    Thanks bro

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nightpandas: Happy holidays bud!

      I’d make that trade in a minute. Get me out from under Harvey and his injuries and move into multiple players who could be his equal or better within a year or two. Reyes might be better than Harvey next year if Harvey doesn’t get back 100%.

      Reyes, Matz, Harvey, Gausman, Taijuan, Giolito for 2017

      Reyes, Giolito, Matz, Taijuan, Harvey, Gausman for beyond

  12. Alan says:
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    Hello, I was offered German Marquez and Greg Allen for Mitch Keller. At first I thought may as well keep Keller but it seems Greg Allen could be breaking out, which one you want?

    Thanks for your time

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Alan: I think I’d hold Keller he’s the best prospect out of the three by a sizeable margin

  13. chad says:
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    Ralph, when do we get to see your top 100?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @chad: top overall dynasty 100, i think he’s said right after he finishes the team lists, so i think mid-feb.

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