2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 71-100

I don’t know about you, but my favorite lists usually take about 3 weeks to finish 🙂 Without further delay, here is the 2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 71-100:

Click here for 1-15
Click here for 16-41
Click here for 42-70

71) Jahmai Jones LAA, OF – A poor start to the season dragged his overall stat line down, but in his last 59 games he is slashing .311/.385/.472 with 5 homers, 13 steals, and a 38/26 K/BB. I’m targeting Jones everywhere in upcoming trade deadline deals. Prime Projection: 89/15/71/.283/.341/.437/21 ETA: 2020

72) Adrian Morejon SD, LHP – 18-year-old who loves to attack the strike zone with 3 pitches that all flash plus (fastball, changeup, curveball). Prime Projection: 3.43/1.17/180 in 185 IP ETA: 2020

73) Keston Hiura MIL, 2B – I ranked Hiura 9th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 93/17/81/.288/.372/.464/9 ETA: 2019

74) Yordan Alvarez HOU, 1B – It’s a good sign when two of the best player scouting and development organizations in baseball target you. Los Angeles signed Alvarez for $2 million last season and then Houston basically immediately traded for him. Standing 6’5’’, 225 pounds he has obvious raw power, good plate discipline, and strikeouts are not a major issue (23% K%). Prime Projection: 80/29/90/.260/.360/.496/3 ETA: 2019

75) Shed Long CIN, 2B – Shed has struggled since being promoted to Double-A, slashing .162/.269/.324 in 68 at-bats, but his underlying numbers are still strong and his power/speed combo isn’t going anywhere. Prime Projection: 83/19/76/.262/.325/.448/17 ETA: 2019

76) Luiz Gohara ATL, LHP – 6’3’’, 210-pound lefty with an electric fastball/slider combo. Had off-the-field concerns in the past and some injury red flags too. Prime Projection: 3.48/1.20/176 in 174 IP ETA: 2018

77) Michel Baez SD, RHP – 6’8’’, 225-pound $3 million international signing who is cruising through the low minors with a 1.17 ERA and 31/4 K/BB in 23 IP. Chris Kusiolek seems to have been the first guy on Baez, and his twitter account is a must follow if you are trying to get the early scoop on Rookie ball breakouts. Prime Projection: 3.71/1.21/188 in 183 IP ETA: 2019

78) Cal Quantrill SD, RHP – Still shaking off some rust coming off Tommy John surgery, but he has remained healthy and his stuff has come all the way back. Prime Projection: 3.65/1.20/176 in 181 IP ETA: 2018

79) Franklin Perez HOU, RHP – Watch out Anthony Davis, Perez is coming for your best unibrow in pro sports crown. Prime Projection: 3.58/1.22/183 in 195 IP ETA: 2019

80) Lucas Giolito CHW, RHP – There have been a lot of excuses for Giolito since his fall from prospect grace, but his stuff is still good enough that you have to stay patient. Although, he is starting to feel like the type that breaks out when he is 27 years old, long after you already dropped him. Prime Projection: 3.81/1.27/187 in 196 IP ETA: 2017

81) Josh Naylor SD, 1B – Dom Smith 2.0. Prime Projection: 83/24/91/.283/.347/.472/6 ETA: 2019

82) Ryan Mountcastle BAL, SS/OF – Great feel to hit and added more power this year, but 3.7% walk rate needs improvement and is likely to move off SS. Prime Projection: 78/22/85/.277/.318/.468/9 ETA: 2019

83) Blake Rutherford CHW, OF – I always thought Rutherford was a little overrated, so I’m happy the Yanks were able to cash him in for a hell of a lotta win now and win later production. While Cashman’s free agent signings could use some work, nobody fucks with him when it comes to trades. Prime Projection: 86/18/82/.280/.333/.453/13 ETA: 2020

84) Nick Neidert SEA, RHP – Guys who rely on their plus changeups consistently get underrated in the minors (cough, Jacob Faria, cough), and I’m sure Neidert will follow that same path. Along with the changeup, he also has plus control and command with a measly 1.3 BB/9. Prime Projection: 3.49/1.18/180 in 195 IP ETA: 2019

85) Dylan Cease CHW, RHP – The White Sox are collecting quite the crew of hard throwing righties, with Kopech, Giolito, Alec Hansen, and now Cease joining the mix. These guys might not be able to find the plate, but hitters have an equally hard time of finding the ball. Prime Projection: 3.57/.1.26/196 in 182 IP ETA: 2019

86) Yadier Alvarez LAD, RHP – Alvarez’s Futures game performance mirrored his season to date, showing great stuff and elite athleticism, but ultimately getting hit and giving up runs. He was tagged with the loss for the World team. Prime Projection: 3.63/1.30/188 in 180 IP ETA: 2019

87) Luis Urias SD, 2B – Maintained his elite contact, no power profile as a 20-year-old at Double-A. DJ LeMahieu without needing Coors Field is the upside. Prime Projection: 93/10/59/.294/.363/.402/10 ETA: 2018

88) Cristian Pache ATL, OF – I’m doubling down on upside this year, and while Pache doesn’t have eye popping numbers (0 homers and a .698 OPS), he has been holding his own as an 18-year-old in full season ball. At prospect value peak, you are hoping for a Victor Robles type. Prime Projection: 100/14/75/.285/.363/.445/25 ETA: 2020

89) J.P. Crawford PHI, SS Just when people were ready to pour dirt on Crawford he’s caught fire in his last 26 games, slashing .289/.384/.598 with 6 homers and a 18/14 K/BB. He is still a special talent, and as a 22-year-old at Triple-A, you have to remain patient … well, kinda patient, since I dropped him about 70 spots from my off-season ranking. Prime Projection: 85/14/66/.271/.352/.420/11 ETA: 2018

90) Miguel Andujar NYY, 3B – Homerun power has ticked up while maintaining his excellent contact percentage. Prime Projection: 78/21/90/.284/.329/.462/4 ETA: 2018

91) Jordan Luplow PIT, OF – Power exploded with 20 homers in 86 games (4 in his last 14 games at Triple-A) while maintaining his advanced plate approach (55/37 K/BB). Prime Projection: 79/25/89/.277/.340/.474/7 ETA: 2018

92) Austin Hays BAL, OF – All Hays has done is rake and get underrated since being drafted. I might be guilty of it too, because his 10.7% K% and .247 ISO at Double-A is nothing short of elite. Prime Projection: 76/23/84/.280/.327/.468/6 ETA: 2018

93) Isan Diaz MIL, 2B/SS – Sometimes in the minors it can hard to tell if a player is having a true breakout or just a “career year,” and vice versa with unlucky or down seasons. Diaz’s overall profile has remained the same, so I’m inclined to think the average and power will both tick up down the stretch. Prime Projections: 82/20/79/.258/.327/.460/10 ETA: 2019

94) Erick Fedde WASH, RHP – After a short, mostly unsuccessful stint as a reliever, Fedde is being stretched back out into a starter. Apparently, this was Washington’s plan all along. Considering the mess Giolito turned into under their watch, and now the cockamamie handling of Fedde, Washington looks like it has a long way to go in the player development department. Prime Projection: 3.58/1.21/175 in 189 IP ETA: 2017 bullpen

95) Carter Kieboom WASH, SS – A hamstring injury back in May seems to have people completely forgetting about the torrid start Kieboom got off to as a 19-year-old at Single-A. He slashed .333/.398/.586 with 6 homers and 2 steals in 29 games. There isn’t huge power or speed here, but he was a 1st round pick last year who profiles as a solid all around player. Prime Projection: 85/22/85/.275/.330/.470/7 ETA: 2020

96) Jorge Mateo NYY, INF/OF – Mateo has unexpectedly come to life at Double-A, hitting .354 with 3 homers and 9 steals in 19 games. Maybe the Yanks should have listened to him when he threw a fit over not being called up to Double-A last year. Prime Projection: 87/13/62/.258/.317/.409/33 ETA: 2019

97) Austin Beck OAK, OF – I ranked Beck 3rd in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 81/24/77/.255/.311/.461/20 ETA: 2021

98) Zack Collins CHW, C – Word out of Chicago is that Collins has been fully focused on defense this season and they aren’t concerned about his low average. Great news for real life, not so much for fantasy. Prime Projection: 70/21/80/.253/.348/.465/2 ETA: 2019

99) Stephen Gonsalves MIN, LHP – Continues to dominate the minors with less than traditionally dominate stuff, thriving by focusing on spin rates over velocity. Prime Projection: 3.65/1.25/178 in 184 IP ETA: 2018

100) Colton Welker COL, 3B – Welker has been out since June 15th with an undisclosed injury. It seems like it is basically a free for all when it comes to disclosing injuries with minor league players. Before the mysterious injury, he was displaying a plus contact/power profile, and if he sticks with Colorado, that is one dangerous combination at Coors. Prime Projection: 82/24/90/.278/.334/.466/5 ETA: 2020

101) Bubba Thompson TEX, OF – I ranked Thompson 10th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 86/16/76/.270/.330/.435/24 ETA: 2021

*) Dustin Fowler NYY, OF – If it wasn’t for the knee injury, Fowler would have ranked much higher after outplaying Clint Frazier at Triple-A and beating him to the big leagues too. The injury was very serious, though, and it is hard to guess if his plus athleticism will completely return.

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 42-70

Mid-Season Top 100 prospect list season is just heating up, and Imaginary Brick Wall will be ranking at least the top 100 dynasty/fantasy baseball prospects over the next week. Here are the 2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 42-70:

Click here for 1-15
Click here for 16-41

42) Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – With added weight, an uptick in velocity, and continued development of his changeup, McKenzie will be a no doubt top 20 prospect. As is, he already has a great feel to pitch, and the fastball plays up due to his elite release point (he releases the ball super close to the plate). Prime Projection: 3.40/1.17/192 in 188 IP ETA: 2019

43) Estevan Florial NYY, OF – If Florial would have moved to Cuba and changed his name to Luis Robert he would be a lot richer right now. And far more hyped too. He has an elite power/speed combo with legitimate contact issues (30.4% K%), and considering he already has full season ball success, there is a case to be made that he should be ranked higher than Robert. Prime Projection: 84/25/90/.248/.334/.466/25 ETA: 2020

44) Michael Kopech CHW, RHP – It’s a battle of the 100+ MPH fastball vs. the 6.1 walks per nine. This is a bet on pure talent, because the numbers have been underwhelming this year. Prime Projection: 3.48/1.26/210 in 190 ETA: 2018

45) Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – The type of starter who relies heavily on locating his big sinking fastball and is consistently at the mercy of the BABIP gods and infield defense. Keller has a chance to be among the best of those types … that is if he can stay on the field. Prime Projection: 3.42/1.11/174 in 186 IP ETA: 2018

46) Ryan McMahon COL, 1B/3B/UTIL – Turns out that playing zero home games and not having a home ballpark might actually have a negative impact on a player’s season. Dunkin’ Donuts Park was ready to go for this season, though, and McMahon took full advantage by dramatically cutting his K% from 30% to under 20% and OPS’ing .998.  It wouldn’t be the first time slow Dunkin Donuts service caused someone to arrive late. Prime Projection: 83/24/92/.278/.337/.475/8 ETA: 2018

47) AJ Puk OAK, LHP – Puk has pitched as advertised with an elite strikeout fastball/slider combo to go along with control and command issues. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.24/207 in 184 IP ETA: 2018

48) Jay Groome BOS, LHP – Still just 18 years old with consistent mid 90’s heat and a true 12-6 curve. Wayne Cavadi at Minor League Ball had an awesome breakdown of his latest dominant start. Prime Projection: 3.36/1.15/195 in 195 IP ETA: 2020

49) Taylor Trammell CIN, OF – Trammell already cracked my top 100 this off-season because of his elite speed/power combo and solid Rookie ball debut. Single-A hasn’t slowed him down at all either, as he has added homerun power while maintaining a 22.8% strikeout rate and 11.8% walk rate. Prime Projection: 90/17/72/.268/.340/.455/ 28 ETA: 2020

50) Jordon Adell LAA, OF – I ranked Adell 4th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. I had Austin Beck ranked ahead of him on my pre-draft list, but my rankings got razor thin after Royce Lewis, and Beck’s ugly 1 hit, 12 K and 0 BB in 21 at-bat debut has him slipping just a bit.  Prime Projection: 94/25/89/.274/.347/.473/20 ETA: 2021

51) MacKenzie Gore SD, LHP – I ranked Gore 5th in my 2017 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection:
3.30/1.10/200 in 200 IP ETA: 2021

52) Sixto Sanchez PHI, RHP – If Sixto wasn’t a small righty, he very well might be the runaway best pitching prospect in baseball with an elite fastball and multiple secondary offerings. Baseball Prospectus doesn’t seem all too worried about the height, though, as they just set the market on him in your Dynasty League by ranking him 18th overall on their mid-season update. Prime Projection: 3.33/1.07/182 in 187 IP ETA: 2020

53) Harrison Bader STL, OF – Batting line in last 30 games basically says it all, slashing .344/.385/.659 with 9 homers and a 32/4 K/BB. The high strikeout, low walk thing isn’t the best profile, but Bader makes some of the hardest contact in the minors. It will be fun when everyone acts like he came out of nowhere, meanwhile, it was easy to see this coming for like 2 years now. Prime Projection: 84/23/85/.272/.320/.471/9 ETA: 2017

54) Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – A man with this kind of bat speed, exit velocity, and neck width can only be held down for so long, as O’Neill has launched 8 homers in his last 14 games. Strikeouts will always be an issue, but hitting the shit outta the ball is one thing you can 100% count on translating to any level. Prime Projection: 76/28/88/.253/.332/.482/9 ETA: 2018

55) Christin Stewart DET, OF – A homerun and on base machine with reasonable strikeout rates throughout his young career. His powerful lefthanded swing is a thing of destructive beauty. Prime Projection: 81/29/93/.268/.360/.490/3 ETA: 2018

56) Jack Flaherty STL, RHP – The major uptick in velocity has yet to come, which would vault Flaherty into ace territory, but his advanced pitchability already has him on the doorstep of the Majors. Prime Projection: 3.55/1.20/178 in 190 IP ETA: 2018

57) Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Stuff is still unhittable but control took a step back this season. Bullpen risk looms larger than ever, but if you own him in a Dynasty League (like I do), you have no choice but to hold. Prime Projection: 3.47/1.29/190 in 180 IP ETA:2017

58) Luke Weaver STL, RHP – On the latest prospect podcast, I assumed Weaver was somehow related to Jered/Jeff Weaver because of how much they looked like each other on the mound (and obviously because of the last name). He isn’t related at all, but it turns out that I’m not crazy, as I dug up this quote from Luke Weaver shortly after he was drafted in 2014: “I model my baseball game after Jered Weaver. No relation, but we could be bro’s one day, but that’s his decision.” Prime Projection: 3.64/1.24/189 in 184 IP ETA: 2017

59) Michael Chavis BOS, 3B – The mediocre 7.4% BB% keeps me from completely diving in head first, but the power, bat speed, and exit velocity are undeniable and the reason Chavis was drafted 26th overall in 2014. Prime Projection: 77/27/89/.265/.322/.485/2 ETA: 2019

60) Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – The 21-year-old Bradley is quietly having an excellent season in Double-A, slashing .266/.355/.506 with 15 homers and a 69/35 K/BB in 76 games. He cut his strikeout rate from 29.7% last year to 22.5% this year and has a sweet lefty uppercut that is sure to deliver power. Prime Projection: 80/30/95/.252/.350/.489/3 ETA: 2019

61) Nick Gordon MIN, SS –  The poor man’s Amed Rosario in that he should chip in a little bit in every category. His value will probably be tied heavily into where he is hitting in the order and if Minnesota’s power hitters can drive him in. Prime Projection: 88/11/61/.276/.334/.415/17 ETA: 2018

62) Mickey Moniak PHI, OF – Having a boringly decent season at Single-A (101 wRC+), which is what I fear will be the story of his career. Considering his plus CF defense, that won’t be a bad outcome for him in real life, but not so much for fantasy. Prime Projection: 91/15/68/.286/.349/.445/19 ETA: 2020

63) Adam Haseley PHI, OF – I ranked Haseley 6th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 86/18/79/.280/.340/.455/15 ETA:2019

64) Brendan McKay TB, 1B/LHP – I ranked McKay 8th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 83/22/87/.283/.350/.470/4 ETA: 2019

65) Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – John Calvagno of Notes from the Sally wrote a great breakdown of an Ian Anderson start that sums up Anderson perfectly. I loved his changeup coming out of the draft, and I think mastering that pitch can have him rise above his probable mid-rotation destiny. Prime Projection: 3.58/1.23/181 in 181 IP ETA: 2020

66) Forrest Whitley HOU, RHP – Whitley is a physical beast who carved through Single-A before dropping a no hitter in 5 IP with 9 strikeouts in his High-A debut. I should never doubt a Houston draft pick. … now let me get back to underrating JB Bukauskas. Prime Projection: 3.67/1.25/193 in 200 IP ETA: 2020

67) Mike Soroka ATL, RHP – Just another 19-year-old Braves prospect who is ripping up Double-A. Soroka is putting up a pitching line of 2.55/1.11/73/21 in 91.2 IP, and while he currently doesn’t have the huge strikeout upside, if he is this good already, I’m not going to doubt that he may learn a new trick or two as he gains experience. Prime Projection: 3.51/1.22/173 in 187 IP ETA: 2018

68) Kyle Wright ATL, RHP – I ranked Wright 7th in my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 3.67/1.24/183 in 189 IP ETA: 2019

69) Chance Adams NYY, RHP – Adams has dominated since being converted into a starter just last season, but I am a little cautious of a right handed mid-rotation starter at Yankee Stadium. He is ranked here more for proximity than upside. Prime Projection: 3.77/1.28/ 173 in 176 IP ETA: 2017

70) Corey Ray MIL, OF – When hit tool concerns materialize, it looks a little something like what Ray is doing this year at High-A. He has a minor league career batting average of .238 with 158 strikeouts in 124 games. He is only 22 years old and the speed/power combo is still there, but he has a lot of work to do. Prime Projection: 80/16/70/.242/.318/.432/20 ETA: 2019

Click here for 71-100

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 16-41

Mid-Season Top 100 prospect list season is just heating up, and Imaginary Brick Wall will be ranking at least the top 100 dynasty/fantasy baseball prospects over the next week. Here are the 2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 16-41:

Click here for 1-15

16) Ozzie Albies ATL, SS/2B – 21 for 23 on the base paths and has already surpassed his career high in homeruns with 7. If it seems like a lot of minor league players have seen an uptick in power, that is because a lot of minor league players have seen an uptick in power. Every single league (other than the Cal League which changed ballparks) has seen a legitimate spike in homeruns per game, with the Midwest League leading the pack at a 50% increase (as of June 29). Prime Projection: 103/13/67/.288/.379/.432/32 ETA: 2018

*Upon further contemplation, Albies with rise to #11 overall

17) Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B/OF – I’ve been preaching to buy Willie’s elite contact/power profile since the 2015 off-season, way back when he was a lowly 4th round pick out of Yavapai Junior College. Well, he’s all growns up now, completely destroying the PCL with a .296 AVG, 18 homers, and a career high .269 ISO. The PCL has seen about a 19% increase in HR/game, so his wRC+ is almost identical to what it was last year at Double-A. Prime Projection: 81/30/97/.286/.329/.498/2 ETA: 2017

18) Francisco Mejia CLE, C – What do you know? Mejia has a career high ISO of .220 while maintaining his elite average and contact profile. When the homerun spike was affecting only Major Leaguers, it was fair to expect called up prospects to experience an immediate jump in homerun power, which is what happened with guys like Trea Turner. Now that things seem to be evening out for whatever reason (maybe they wound the minor league balls tighter too this year?), we can’t make that same assumption. Prime Projection: 86/18/91/.305/.356/.470/3 ETA: 2018

19) Walker Buehler LAD, RHP – A groundball machine with elite strikeout upside and good control. Alex Reyes is a man amongst boys, but Buehler is already fully recovered from his August 2015 Tommy John surgery, and has everything you look for in a top pitching prospect. Prime Projection: 3.28/1.12/203 in 189 IP ETA: 2017 bullpen piece

20) Alex Reyes STL, RHP – At full health, Reyes would have ranked as high as 8th on this list, but he was not a finished product at the time of the injury, and even though many Tommy John survivors come back to full health, there is still some inherent risk. Prime Projection: 3.36/1.22/212 in 187 IP ETA: 2018

21) Kevin Maitan ATL, SS – With every offensive player breaking out on the Major League level (literally all of them), it has me leaning upside more and more with prospects. There is still very little to go on with Maitan (currently 2 for 5 in Rookie ball), but if he were draft eligible, I would have ranked him #1 overall. Prime Projection: 90/29/100/.285/.360/.505/7 ETA: 2021

22) Hunter Greene CIN, RHP – I ranked Greene #1 overall on my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 3.18/1.09/220 in 200 IP ETA: 2020

23) Royce Lewis MIN, SS/OF – Slashing .310/.394/.552 with 1 homer, 2 steals, and a 2/3 K/BB in his first 7 games in Rookie Ball. I ranked Lewis #2 overall on my 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 104/17/71/.285/.348/.467/28 ETA: 2020

24) Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – Like Reyes, Lewis is another player who would have ranked much higher if not for a debilitating injury. He is back to playing rehab games in Rookie ball (he homered on July 2nd), so we should have a much better idea of who he is by the end of the season. Prime Projection: 87/27/96/.273/.354/.488/10 ETA: 2018

25) Anderson Espinoza SD, RHP – It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Espinoza needed Tommy John surgery at some point before breaking into the big leagues considering how young he is and hard he throws, and it just so happens that those are the two traits that get people so excited about him. It is quite the conundrum for young pitchers (and really all pitchers). He is also a plus athlete with a curveball and changeup that are advanced beyond his years. Prime Projection: 3.34/1.13/192 in 185 IP ETA: 2019

26) Scott Kingery PHI, 2B – The top pop up prospect of 2017, Kingery saw a massive spike in power, which is corroborated by a legitimate approach change, and is now being doubly validated by keeping it up outside of Reading in Triple-A. He is also very fast with an elite SB%. Prime Projection: 91/20/74/.270/.332/.452/30 ETA: 2018

27) Anthony Alford TOR, OF – In the midst of his best, most complete season until fracturing his left hamate (which required wrist surgery) 4 games into his MLB debut. Hand/wrist injuries are notorious for lingering for up to a couple of years, so it is something to monitor when he returns. Prime Projection: 88/18/84/.277/.355/.469/20 ETA: 2018

28) Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – Hasn’t been all that great at Triple-A with a 4.54 ERA, but the strikeout to walk numbers are still elite and nobody doubts his advanced pitchability. Honeywell would rank higher if not for the AL East. Prime Projection: 3.47/1.16/196 in 193 IP ETA: 2018

29) Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Houston is going through more starters than the rotund Martes does before his main course, so they were forced to call him up whether he was ready or not. He has gotten by on pure stuff alone so far, as he is walking 5.1 per nine after walking 7.8 per nine at Triple-A. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.20/204 in 196 IP ETA: 2017

30) Fernando Tatis Jr. SD, SS – The 18-year-old Tatis Jr. might have as much upside as anybody in the minors, and he is standing out at Single-A with a .274/.360/.466 triple-slash, to go along with 12 homers, 15 steals and a not unreasonable 26.2% K rate. Now may be the very last chance to buy at anything resembling a reasonable price. Prime Projection: 89/25/87/.280/.360/.479/12 ETA:2020

31) Leody Taveras TEX, OF – Speaking of upside, Taveras has a 14.8% K% as an 18-year-old in full season ball while also flashing some power (5 homers) and speed (12 steals). This is a potential #1 overall fantasy prospect in just a couple of years. Prime Projection: 98/16/76/.290/.353/.452/27 ETA: 2020

32) Alex Verdugo LAD, OF – Might have the best pure hit tool of anybody in the minors with a ridiculous 9.6% K% and .350 AVG as a 21-year-old at Triple-A. The tape backs up the numbers, as Verdugo has some of the best bat speed in the minors too. Prime Projection: 102/18/80/.310/.378/.449/14 ETA: 2018

33) Willy Adames TB, SS – My second favorite Willy, Adames has come on like gangbusters of late, bringing his season line up to a respectable .280/.371/.432 with 6 homers and 6 steals. Like Verdugo, he is around the same age as this year’s incoming college draft class, so the power has time to come around. Prime Projection: 87/17/81/.283/.355/.446/12 ETA: 2018

34) Franklin Barreto OAK, SS – Strikeout rate exploded to around 30% out of nowhere, but he is still hitting the ball hard and has above average speed. He is currently in the Majors, but might be sent down when Semien is activated from the disabled list tomorrow. Prime Projection: 83/22/85/.267/.328/.458/17 ETA: 2017

35) Juan Soto WASH, OF – 0 for 5 since returning from an ankle injury, but Soto was on track to be ranked even higher than this with a 8.3% K%, 10.4 BB%, and .163 ISO as an 18-year-old in full season ball. Prime Projection: 84/22/95/.296/.364/.471/6 ETA: 2020

36) Bo Bichette TOR, 2B – Talking about all of these 18-year-olds at Single-A makes Bichette look a grizzled vet as a 19-year-old, but he has been obliterating the league, slashing .388/.448/.633 with 10 homers and 12 steals in 69 games. Prime Projection: 85/26/97/.270/.338/.483/8 ETA: 2020

37) Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – Leads the International League by a wide margin with a .977 OPS (next highest is .917) and is clearly showing he is no Reading mirage. The only knocks on him are that he is already 24 years old and a right handed first baseman. Prime Projection: 82/29/93/.277/.348/.491/2 ETA: 2017

38) Dominic Smith NYM, 1B – You can flip a coin between Hoskins and Smith to decide who the best first base prospect is in the minors right now. Smith is two years younger and can match Hoskins’ strikeout to walk numbers, but he hasn’t come close to matching his power. Prime Projection: 80/22/91/.292/.366/.487/2 ETA: 2017

39) Luis Robert CHW, OF – This type of elite power/speed combo is rare to find, and while the hit tool is still a question, Robert has managed to put up a pretty impressive debut in the Dominican Summer League, slashing .255/.479/.392, with 1 homer, 8 steals, and a 14/17 K/BB in 17 games. Prime Projection: 88/21/83/.255/.342/.469/23 ETA: 2020

40) Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – Strikeout numbers have been underwhelming at 7.7 K/9 and home ballpark went from a positive to a negative, but Allard is more than handling himself as a 19-year-old at Double-A, and his curveball is an MLB ready pitch. Prime Projection: 3.39/1.14/185 in 193 IP ETA: 2018

41) Jesus Sanchez TB, OF – A 6’3’’, 210 pound 19-year-old who has a 15.8% K rate and .193 ISO in Single-A. Sanchez has top 10 fantasy prospect potential by this time next year. Prime Projection: 89/25/97/.280/.340/.490/10 ETA: 2020

Click here for 42-70

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-15

Mid-Season Top 100 prospect list season is just heating up, and Imaginary Brick Wall will be ranking at least the top 100 dynasty/fantasy baseball prospects over the next week. We begin today with the top 15. Here are the 2017 Mid-Season Top 100 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-15:

*Prime Projection: R/HR/RBI/AVG/OBP/SLG/SB – These projections are meant to give you a general idea of what I think about a prospect’s future stat profile in a relatively good outcome scenario.

1) Yoan Moncada CHW, 2B – 28.1% strikeout rate makes it reasonable to drop Moncada from the top spot, but his power, patience, and speed are all still there, and he is knocking on the door of the bigs. Prime Projection: 105/24/85/.273/.365/.482/34 ETA: July

2) Victor Robles WASH, OF – Power has ticked up at High-A with a career best .235 ISO while maintaining his plus hit tool. Prime Projection: 107/18/78/.293/.361/.457/28 ETA: 2018

3) Rafael Devers BOS, 3B – Dave Dombrowski is known for his propensity to both call up prospects directly from Double-A and to also flip them like flapjacks. Will he trade Michael Chavis and a couple pitching prospects for some mediocre MLB 3B rental, or will he just give Devers the call already? Prime Projection: 90/31/110/.287/.358/.511/5 ETA: 2017

4) Vlad Guerrero Jr. TOR, 3B –  Absurd 10.9% strikeout rate as an 18-year-old in full season ball, and looks so much like his dad, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Vlad Jr. was really a clone from some super-secret government program. Maybe the future of baseball will be all Ted Williams clones created from his frozen head. Prime Projection: 96/30/108/.290/.369/.508/8 ETA: 2019

5) Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – Dominated High-A with a .400/.419/.700 triple-slash in 48 games, and Trevor Story’s struggles leaves the door wide open for him at SS. The 2.7% walk rate does give me some pause that there could be an adjustment period at higher levels.  Prime Projection: 88/28/105/.279/.334/.497/7 ETA: 2018

6) Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – The power explosion already happened towards the end of last year, but everyone seems to be just catching up to it now, as Tucker has blasted 16 homers in 74 games split between High-A and Double-A. Prime Projection: 93/26/97/.278/.363/.488/14 ETA: 2018

7) Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – The shoulder injury hasn’t slowed Eloy down at all, as he smashed 7 homers in his first 35 games at High-A, all while improving both his BB% (11.1%) and K% (15.6%). Prime Projection: 87/34/112/.276/.347/.513/6 ETA: 2018

8) Amed Rosario NYM, SS – Does a little bit of everything with more raw speed and raw power than shows up in his minor league numbers. If anyone is going to be the next Derek Jeter, I think it will be Rosario. Prime Projection: 100/15/71/.291/.342/.442/19 ETA: When the Mets get their head out of their ass

9) Gleyber Torres NYY, SS/3B – Before the elbow injury, Torres was proving scouts right about his advanced make-up and baseball mind, slashing .287/.383/.480, with 7 homers, 7 steals, and a 47/30 K/BB in 55 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. The injury shouldn’t dampen his long term outlook all that much. Prime Projection: 95/22/92/.285/.361/.476/9 ETA: 2018

10) Ronald Acuna ATL, OF – I’m really digging Atlanta’s strategy of being aggressive with their top prospects, and not one of them has made them regret it, including Acuna, who is OPS’ing .823 with 5 homers and 16 steals in Double-A as a 19-year-old. Prime Projection: 93/21/88/.282/.350/.473/18 ETA: 2018

11) Lewis Brinson MIL, OF – 31 at-bat MLB debut was ugly (.097/.200/.161), and the stellar Triple-A numbers (.942 OPS) are boosted by Colorado Springs and the PCL (.684 Road OPS), so while the raw ability remains the same, the hit tool is still very much a question. Prime Projection: 86/26/81/.260/.327/.466/17 ETA: 2017

12) Clint Frazier NYY, OF – Power has ticked up while maintaining his contact and walk rates. Also, every prospect writer is obligated by law handed down from the prospect gods to mention his “legendary” bat speed and flowing orange hair. Prime Projection: 88/24/89/.280/.348/.479/10 ETA: 2017

13) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – A doubles machine at High-A with 26 doubles in 62 games, and has more or less done what he was expected to do. The over the fence power hasn’t shown up yet, but Cincinnati’s bandbox will help, and he has the stolen base speed to make up for it in fantasy anyway. Prime Projection: 91/19/85/.280/.343/.468/14 ETA: 2018

14) Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Another hamstring injury has him on the shelf for the next few weeks, and while his 16.7% K% and 8.2% BB% show that he wasn’t overmatched at Triple-A, his power was almost non-existent. If not for the hamstring injury, I would have been tempted to mostly give him a pass, but the down numbers and accumulating injury red flags are too much to ignore. Prime Projection: 89/20/81/.281/.354/.465/16 ETA: 2017

15) Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Why play one of the best outfielders on your team when you are far and away the best team in the AL without him? I don’t know the answer, but MLB needs to figure out a way to incentivize teams to actually play their best players instead of playing washed up vets just because they are on the payroll. Prime Projection: 84/25/86/.264/.346/.470/14 ETA: 2017

*Raimel Tapia was excluded from this list, although he is still technically a prospect

Click here for 16-41

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Compete Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

You won’t find a bigger proponent of drafting college players, in particular, college bats, at the top of the MLB Draft/First-Year Player Fantasy Baseball Draft, but this year’s college class is so uninspiring, I’m shooting for the moon in 2017. The college players are still the much safer play, but the combination of their lack of upside and the extreme upside of the top high schoolers, has me thinking this is the year to roll the dice. Here is the 2017 Compete Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

1) Hunter Greene (6’3’’, 205) HS, RHP/SS – Greene is the type of generational talent you just don’t pass up. He is both a power hitting shortstop and a flame throwing starting pitcher. The first “comp” to pop in my mind when watching him pitch was Satchel Paige from those old black and white documentaries where the film was sped up so everything looked so fast, except with Greene’s videos, that’s just his normal speed. His secondary pitches are still raw, but the easy mid-90’s heat, extremely athletic delivery, and top notch work ethic/mindset makes him the best bet to emerge as a superstar from this class, regardless of where he plays on the field.

2) Royce Lewis (6’1’’, 190) HS, SS/OF – The best combination of tools, athleticism, speed, and feel to hit in the entire draft. The 17-year-old Lewis can also take some vicious hacks at the plate that foreshadows his future power potential. The best case scenario in his early professional career would be a Victor Robles type, but it’s doubtful the hit tool will be quite that good.

3) Austin Beck (6’1’’, 200) HS, OF – Controlled aggression is the best description of his swing, as it looks like Beck has channeled all of his pent up anger into crushing baseballs. The plus bat speed is almost guaranteed to play at any level, and he mixes that with plus raw power and plus speed. He can still struggle against breaking pitches, and hasn’t gotten many reps against elite competition, which is partially due to tearing his ACL and meniscus last May, but his power/speed combo is truly elite.

4) Jordon Adell (6’3’’, 200) HS, OF – When Major League Baseball talks about losing the best athletes in the country to football, Adell is usually the type of player they are talking about. His dad was actually a star football player at North Carolina State, and was selected in the 12th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. But Jordon smartly wanted nothing to do with football, and the only choice he had to make was between pitching or hitting. It looks like hitting is winning out, as Adell has put on a massive power display this Spring (video of him hitting 3 homers in a game on May 3rd) while rarely striking out. He is still far more projection than current refinement, but this is a recently turned 18-year-old kid, not a college junior. I’m betting on plenty of refinement down the line, and count me among the Adell believers.

5) MacKenzie Gore (6’2’’, 180) HS, LHP – I am a sucker for a big lefty with a funky delivery, and Gore not only checks those boxes, but he also has elite control of a low 90’s fastball, along with three different secondary pitches (slider, curveball, changeup) that flash plus and project as above average or better. Nothing about him screams ace, and maybe we are all being pulled in by that leg kick (something I am seriously considering, ha), but all together, there doesn’t seem to be many weakness, either.

6) Adam Haseley (6’1’’, 195) Virginia, OF – Haseley possesses the best combination of contact, power, and speed in the college class, slashing .390/.491/.659 with 14 homers, 10 steals, and a 21/44 K/BB in 58 games. He currently looks more like a solid across the board type, rather than a true impact 5-category fantasy contributor, but if any college bat is going to creep up the rankings as draft day approaches, it will likely be Haseley … unless Brendan McKay gets drafted as a hitter (more on that next week).

7) Kyle Wright (6’4’’, 220) Vandy, RHP – Solid as a rock, both in build and performance. Wright has a very clean, non-deceptive delivery with an advanced four pitch mix (fastball, curve, slider, changeup). His stuff is clearly MLB quality across the board, but none of his pitches standout as truly dominant. He looks the part, though, and has also pitched very well in the toughest conference in college baseball (SEC). If he lands in a good environment for pitching, I can see a relatively quick moving #2-3 fantasy starter, but I don’t think he is the type of guy who will win you a league or carry your pitching staff.

8) Brendan McKay (6’2’’, 212) LOU, 1B/LHP – McKay is a total wildcard for First-Year Player Drafts because we may not find out his ultimate position until next season. On the hitting side, he has a very loose, quick left handed swing with natural loft and the ability to hit for both average and power. On the pitching side, he profiles as a safe mid-rotation starter. I’m rooting for the bat to win out, especially for fantasy.

9) Keston Hiura (6’0’’, 185) UC Irvine, 2B/OF  – Hiura is possibly the best college bat in the class, and he has the numbers to prove it, slashing .442/.567/.693 with 8 homers, 9 steals, and a 38/50 K/BB in 56 games. His plus bat speed creates loads of hard contact, and he combines that with a plus hit tool and an advanced plate approach. This is a potential stat stuffing “glue guy” on your fantasy squad who will contribute in a different way every night. If he wasn’t likely headed for Tommy John surgery right after the draft, he might have snuck into my top 5.

10) Bubba Thompson (6’2’’, 180) HS, OF – An elite athlete, Thompson turned down multiple major D1 football scholarships in order to finally focus on baseball full time. He is a plus-plus runner with a very projectable frame and plus bat speed. He is still raw, but he looks damn smooth taking swings in batting practice, unleashing some savage hacks. With continued refinement, Thompsom has a legitimate chance to end up the best player in this draft.

11) J.B. Bukauskas (6’0’’, 195) NC, RHP – The “small righty” seems to be one of the last vestiges that traditional scouts have to hang their hats on, much to the dismay (or maybe delight) of Billy Beane, who looks to be collecting them by the dozens. Bukauskas is in the plus fastball/slider mold, leaning heavily on the slider, leading many scouts to pigeonhole him as a typical power righty out of the pen. His college numbers are undeniable, though, putting up a pitching line of 2.53/1.07/116/37 in 92.2 IP, and the team that ends up drafting him is very likely to believe in him as a starter.

12) Pavin Smith (6’2’’, 210) Virginia, 1B – It’s all about that absurd contact rate, as Smith has a 12/38 K/BB in 228 at-bats, along with 13 homers and a .342/.427/.570 triple-slash. Only problem is, you need your first baseman to provide more than “solid” power, especially in today’s homer happy landscape. In 16+ team leagues, I can see giving Smith a bump, but in 10-14 teamers, I’m probably shooting for more upside if I’m drafting in the top half of the first round.

13) Nick Pratto (6’1’’, 193) HS, 1B – The first thing that jumps out at you when watching Pratto hit is how effortlessly he creates plus bat speed and how hard the ball comes off his bat. He combines that with an advanced, patient approach at the plate, along with plus athleticism for a first baseman. If you are looking for a potential .300/.400/.500 slashing first baseman, Pratto is your best bet.

14) DL Hall (6’0’’, 190) HS, LHP – Hall might have the best curveball in the entire draft (or at least my favorite one), reminiscent of Kolby Allard’s, but he doesn’t command it quite as well and his delivery is not as clean, either. I’ve been flipping a coin between him and the next guy on my list for the last two weeks …

15) Shane Baz (6’3’’, 190) HS, RHP – Baz is a big, physical righty with plus spin rates and several secondary pitches. The ingredients are definitely there for him to be a true ace, but there are still some command issues, and the results haven’t played up quite as high as the pure stuff.

16) Evan White (6’3’’, 177) Kent, 1B – During the Razzball Prospect Podcast: MLB Draft Edition, I challenged my co-host, Ralph Lifshitz, to talk me into White, and he did a damn fine job (Ralph and I did a 2-man mock draft on the podcast last Saturday). White is a plus athlete (and not just for a first baseman), with a great feel to hit and very projectable power considering his skinny, broad frame. He reminds me a little bit of the recently broken out Ryan Mountcastle, although Mountcastle is actually one year younger.

17) Jake Burger (6’2’’, 210) MissouriSt./3B – I’m not extremely excited about Burger, but this is fantasy baseball, and there aren’t many big-bopping college hitters out there this year, especially at the top of the draft. Burger is slashing .333/.448/.663 with 22 homers and a 36/42 K/BB in 61 games. He has solid bat speed, plus raw power, and is surprisingly nimble for his physique, although he may still end up at 1B long term. His body type, swing, and approach reminds me of Kevin Youkilis, except without the extreme walk rate, which was kinda what made Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Youkilis.

18) Jeren Kendall (5’10’’, 180) Vandy, OF – I’m not extremely excited about Kendall, either, but he has the best overall tools and power/speed combination in a depleted college hitting class, albeit with an awful hit tool (71/24 K/BB in 60 games). If I’m going to take someone who is raw, I would rather take a shot on one of the teenagers ranked ahead of him, although his plus CF defense has a chance to keep him on the field and force a team into being patient with him well into his mid-20’s.

19) Logan Warmoth (6’0’’, 190) NC, SS – Solid power/speed combo with a chance to stick at SS. Warmoth is a Keith Law favorite (link behind paywall).

20) Trevor Rogers (6’6”, 185) HS, LHP – A big, slingin’ lefty with a nasty delivery and plus fastball/slider combo. Rogers is old for his class, but all of the ingredients are there for him to be a strikeout machine on the next level.

21) Nate Pearson (6’6”, 240) JC, RHP – An absolute beast on the mound, Pearson lights up the radar gun with an upper 90’s fastball, which he pairs with a plus slider and developing changeup. There is some bullpen risk, but the upside is elite.

22) David Peterson (6’6”, 240) ORE, LHP – The Eric Lauer of this year’s draft, except all of the draftnik’s seem to like Peterson better. He destroyed the Pac12 by pounding the strike zone with a plus fastball/slider combo, while occasionally mixing in a curveball and changeup too. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff and it seemed like he dominated the competition more on guile and experience, but Peterson is one of the safer starters in the draft.

23) Alex Faedo (6’5’’, 225) FLA, RHP – The two arthroscopic knee surgeries gives me some pause, but Faedo has been excellent all 3 years in the SEC, and has one of the best sliders in the draft.

24) Heliot Ramos (6’1’’, 188) HS, OF – I don’t love his swing, but Ramos has elite power/speed potential, and being one of the youngest players in the draft, there is plenty of time for refinement.

25) Drew Waters (6’2’’ 185) HS, OF – A switch-hitter who looks smooth from both sides of the plate, although his left-handed swing looks like it is geared to do much more damage than the right. He is a good athlete with plus speed too.

26) Blayne Enlow (6’4’’, 180) HS, RHP – One of the prettiest curveballs in the draft with a low 90’s fastball and an athletic delivery. He is still a bit raw, but Enlow has top of the rotation potential.

27) Sam Carlson (6’4’’, 195) HS, RHP – Carlson has prototypical size with a fastball that just explodes out his hand. His changeup and slider both project to be plus, as well, and has solid control of all of his pitches. Like Enlow, there is still some work to do, but these are the qualities you look for in a high school pitcher.

28) Brent Rooker (6’4’’, 215) MissSt., 1B – Already 22 years old, but Rooker put up some of the best offensive numbers in all of college baseball, slashing .392/.498/.820, with 23 homers, 18 steals, and a 56/47 K/BB in 66 games. He made legitimate improvements to his underlying hitting profile this season, and if you want to ignore his advanced age, I can see ranking him much higher than this.

29) Seth Romero (6’3’’, 205) HOU, LHP – Major off-the-field issues and has problems with his weight too, but Romero is a hard throwing lefty with electric stuff. Before Houston kicked him off the team, he was striking out 15.7 batters per nine.

30) Griffin Canning (6’1’’, 170) UCLA, RHP – Safe, fast moving college starter without dominating stuff, but has a great feel to pitch. Unless his stuff mysteriously ticks up like James Kaprielian’s did after the draft, mid-rotation starter is likely his upside.

31) Brian Miller (6’0’’, 187) NC, OF – A plus-plus runner with a sweet lefty swing and excellent numbers in the ACC (.343/.422/.502 with 7 homers, 24 steals and a 35/38 K/BB). Doesn’t have much power right now, but has plenty of room to pack on mass. Miller is an excellent late round target in dynasty drafts if you are looking for quick moving speed.

32) Stuart Fairchild (5’11’’, 180) Wake, OF – Already built like a rock, Fairchild put up some of the best fantasy numbers in college baseball, slashing .360/.437/.640, with 17 homers, 21 steals, and a 51/29 K/BB. His hit tool is questionable and the swing isn’t all that pretty, but everything else is there.

33) Nick Allen (5’8’’, 158) HS, SS – Everyone loves an underdog, and Allen fits the role at 5’8’’, 158 pounds. He has a plus hit tool, plus speed, and is a sure bet to stick at SS.

34) Mark Vientos (6’4’’, 190) HS, SS – Inconsistent, but looks like one of the very top prospects in the draft during batting practice. At his best, Vientos has a beautiful swing with plus bat speed and natural loft. He is likely to move off SS, but has the plus power potential to profile at any position.

35) Luis Campusano (6’0’’, 200) HS, C – The best catcher prospect in the draft, Campusano has big raw power with plus bat speed, but there are some strikeout concerns on the next level.

36) Tristen Lutz (6’3’’, 220) HS, OF – Lutz is more physically developed than some of the college juniors I was watching, and unsurprisingly, makes harder contact than many of them too. He still hasn’t fully tapped into his raw power, but it isn’t hard to see Lutz turning into one of the best power hitters in this draft.

Just missed: Gavin Sheets, Hans Crouse, Tristan Beck, Clark Schmidt, Garret Mitchell, Tanner Houck, Matt Sauer, Quentin Holmes

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 7-18

After a short hiatus, the 2017 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings continues today with numbers seven through eighteen. Let’s get right to it:

Click here for the Complete 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

7) Kyle Wright (6’4’’, 220) Vandy, RHP – Solid as a rock, both in build and performance. Wright has a very clean, non-deceptive delivery with an advanced four pitch mix (fastball, curve, slider, changeup). His stuff is clearly MLB quality across the board, but none of his pitches standout as truly dominant. He looks the part, though, and has also pitched very well in the toughest conference in college baseball (SEC). If he lands in a good environment for pitching, I can see a relatively quick moving #2-3 fantasy starter, but I don’t think he is the type of guy who will win you a league or carry your pitching staff.

8) Brendan McKay (6’2’’, 212) LOU, 1B/LHP – McKay is a total wildcard for First-Year Player Drafts because we may not find out his ultimate position until next season. On the hitting side, he has a very loose, quick left handed swing with natural loft and the ability to hit for both average and power. On the pitching side, he profiles as a safe mid-rotation starter. I’m rooting for the bat to win out, especially for fantasy.

9) J.B. Bukauskas (6’0’’, 195) NC, RHP – The “small righty” seems to be one of the last vestiges that traditional scouts have to hang their hats on, much to the dismay (or maybe delight) of Billy Beane, who looks to be collecting them by the dozens. Bukauskas is in the plus fastball/slider mold, leaning heavily on the slider, leading many scouts to pigeonhole him as a typical power righty out of the pen. His college numbers are undeniable, though, putting up a pitching line of 2.53/1.07/116/37 in 92.2 IP, and the team that ends up drafting him is very likely to believe in him as a starter.

10) Keston Hiura (6’0’’, 185) UC Irvine, 2B/OF  – Hiura is possibly the best college bat in the class, and he has the numbers to prove it, slashing .442/.567/.693 with 8 homers, 9 steals, and a 38/50 K/BB in 56 games. His plus bat speed creates loads of hard contact, and he combines that with a plus hit tool and an advanced plate approach. This is a potential stat stuffing “glue guy” on your fantasy squad who will contribute in a different way every night. If he wasn’t likely headed for Tommy John surgery right after the draft, he might have snuck into my top 5.

11) Pavin Smith (6’2’’, 210) Virginia, 1B – It’s all about that absurd contact rate, as Smith has a 12/38 K/BB in 228 at-bats, along with 13 homers and a .342/.427/.570 triple-slash. Only problem is, you need your first baseman to provide more than “solid” power, especially in today’s homer happy landscape. In 16+ team leagues, I can see giving Smith a bump, but in 10-14 teamers, I’m probably shooting for more upside if I’m drafting in the top half of the first round.

12) Bubba Thompson (6’2’’, 180) HS, OF – An elite athlete, Thompson turned down multiple major D1 football scholarships in order to finally focus on baseball full time. He is a plus-plus runner with a very projectable frame and plus bat speed. He is still raw, but he looks damn smooth taking swings in batting practice, unleashing some savage hacks. With continued refinement, Thompsom has a legitimate chance to end up the best player in this draft.

13) Nick Pratto (6’1’’, 193) HS, 1B – The first thing that jumps out at you when watching Pratto hit is how effortlessly he creates plus bat speed and how hard the ball comes off his bat. He combines that with an advanced, patient approach at the plate, along with plus athleticism for a first baseman. If you are looking for a potential .300/.400/.500 slashing first baseman, Pratto is your best bet.

14) DL Hall (6’0’’, 190) HS, LHP – Hall might have the best curveball in the entire draft (or at least my favorite one), reminiscent of Kolby Allard’s, but he doesn’t command it quite as well and his delivery is not as clean, either. I’ve been flipping a coin between him and the next guy on my list for the last two weeks …

15) Shane Baz (6’3’’, 190) HS, RHP – Baz is a big, physical righty with plus spin rates and several secondary pitches. The ingredients are definitely there for him to be a true ace, but there are still some command issues, and the results haven’t played up quite as high as the pure stuff.

16) Evan White (6’3’’, 177) Kent, 1B – During the Razzball Prospect Podcast: MLB Draft Edition, I challenged my co-host, Ralph Lifshitz, to talk me into White, and he did a damn fine job. White is a plus athlete (and not just for a first baseman), with a great feel to hit and very projectable power considering his skinny, broad frame. He reminds me a little bit of the recently broken out Ryan Mountcastle, although Mountcastle is actually one year younger.

17) Jake Burger (6’2’’, 210) MissouriSt./3B – I’m not extremely excited about Burger, but this is fantasy baseball, and there aren’t many big-bopping college hitters out there this year, especially at the top of the draft. Burger is slashing .333/.448/.663 with 22 homers and a 36/42 K/BB in 61 games. He has solid bat speed, plus raw power, and is surprisingly nimble for his physique, although he may still end up at 1B long term. His body type, swing, and approach reminds me of Kevin Youkilis, except without the extreme walk rate, which was kinda what made Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Youkilis.

18) Jeren Kendall (5’10’’, 180) Vandy, OF – I’m not extremely excited about Kendall, either, but he has the best overall tools and power/speed combination in a depleted college hitting class, albeit with an awful hit tool (71/24 K/BB in 60 games). If I’m going to take someone who is raw, I would rather take a shot on one of the teenagers ranked ahead of him, although his plus CF defense has a chance to keep him on the field and force a team into being patient with him well into his mid-20’s.

Click here for the Complete 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-6

You won’t find a bigger proponent of drafting college players, in particular, college bats, at the top of the MLB Draft/First-Year Player Fantasy Baseball Draft, but this year’s college class is so uninspiring, I’m shooting for the moon in 2017. The college players are still the much safer play, but the combination of their lack of upside and the extreme upside of the top high schoolers, has me thinking this is the year to roll the dice. Here is the 2017 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-6:

Click here for the Complete 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

1) Hunter Greene (6’3’’, 205) HS, RHP/SS – Greene is the type of generational talent you just don’t pass up. He is both a power hitting shortstop and a flame throwing starting pitcher. The first “comp” to pop in my mind when watching him pitch was Satchel Paige from those old black and white documentaries where the film was sped up so everything looked so fast, except with Greene’s videos, that’s just his normal speed. His secondary pitches are still raw, but the easy mid-90’s heat, extremely athletic delivery, and top notch work ethic/mindset makes him the best bet to emerge as a superstar from this class, regardless of where he plays on the field.

2) Royce Lewis (6’1’’, 190) HS, SS/OF – The best combination of tools, athleticism, speed, and feel to hit in the entire draft. The 17-year-old Lewis can also take some vicious hacks at the plate that foreshadows his future power potential. The best case scenario in his early professional career would be a Victor Robles type, but it’s doubtful the hit tool will be quite that good.

3) Austin Beck (6’1’’, 200) HS, OF – Controlled aggression is the best description of his swing, as it looks like Beck has channeled all of his pent up anger into crushing baseballs. The plus bat speed is almost guaranteed to play at any level, and he mixes that with plus raw power and plus speed. He can still struggle against breaking pitches, and hasn’t gotten many reps against elite competition, which is partially due to tearing his ACL and meniscus last May, but his power/speed combo is truly elite.

4) Jordon Adell (6’3’’, 200) HS, OF – When Major League Baseball talks about losing the best athletes in the country to football, Adell is usually the type of player they are talking about. His dad was actually a star football player at North Carolina State, and was selected in the 30th round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. But Jordon smartly wanted nothing to do with football, and the only choice he had to make was between pitching or hitting. It looks like hitting is winning out, as Adell has put on a massive power display this Spring (video of him hitting 3 homers in a game on May 3rd) while rarely striking out. He is still far more projection than current refinement, but this is a recently turned 18-year-old kid, not a college junior. I’m betting on plenty of refinement down the line, and count me among the Adell believers.

5) MacKenzie Gore (6’2’’, 180) HS, LHP – I am a sucker for a big lefty with a funky delivery, and Gore not only checks those boxes, but he also has elite control of a low 90’s fastball, along with three different secondary pitches (slider, curveball, changeup) that flash plus and project as above average or better. Nothing about him screams ace, and maybe we are all being pulled in by that leg kick (something I am seriously considering, ha), but all together, there doesn’t seem to be many weakness, either.

6) Adam Haseley (6’1’’, 195) Virginia, OF – Haseley possesses the best combination of contact, power, and speed in the college class, slashing .402/.492/.693 with 14 homers, 9 steals, and a 19/35 K/BB in 51 games. He currently looks more like a solid across the board type, rather than a true impact 5-category fantasy contributor, but if any college bat is going to creep up the rankings as draft day approaches, it will likely be Haseley … unless Brendan McKay gets drafted as a hitter (more on that next week).

Click here for the Complete 2017 Top 36 MLB Draft Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-36

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Minor League Prospects Rundown: Week 5-ish

It’s been a little while since I banged one of these out, so let’s forego the small talk and get right to it. Here is the 2017 Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Minor League Prospects Rundown: Week 5-ish:

Yoan Moncada CHW, 2B – Apparently, a triple-slash of .342/.414/.538 with 6 homers and 9 steals at Triple-A isn’t enough for the Chicago White Sox to call up one of the best 21-year-old baseball players in the world. Sorry baseball fans, you’ll have pay $50 for MiLB.TV if you want to catch a glimpse of Moncada on video equipment that looks like it was purchased from the Salvation Army.

Derek Fisher HOU, OF – One of my favorite sleepers for two years running, Fisher is going ham at Triple-A, slashing .325/.390/.563 with 7 homers and a 35/13 K/BB in 31 games. Unfortunately, due to Houston’s outfield surplus, the only other place Fisher can go ham is at Boston Market, because that is all he can afford with a Minor League per diem of $25.

Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – Don’t forget about Rodgers, who is slashing .365/.388/.566 with 2 homers and a 12/3 K/BB in 15 games at High-A since returning from a hand injury. With Trevor Story struggling, the odds are increasing Rodgers sticks at SS.

Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Hitting over .400 in 24 games at Triple-A, and isn’t hitting the ball on the ground an exorbitant amount of the time either (44.5%). Without Coors Field, his fantasy value would take a major hit, and with Colorado in the playoff hunt this year, I’m a little worried.

Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Just a friendly reminder that I was the only person on Earth (can’t account for the advanced civilization that is living inside of Earth) to have Judge as the #1 ranked prospect in the Yankees system, as evidenced by my off-season New York Yankees Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Would you trade Judge for Gleybor Torres right now?

Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B/OF – Just an unfriendly reminder that I was close to the low man on Bellinger this off-season, but I stand by my analysis of his insane swing when nobody else was really mentioning it. Turns out I should have just been insanely high on it, instead of worrying it was too extreme. Viva la Swing Path Revolucion!

Hunter Renfroe SD, OF – .202/.226/.349 with 5 homers and a 38/4 K/BB in 34 games in the Majors. I know it is the era of the K and everything, but turns out you still have to take a walk every now and then too.

Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – I ranked Tucker in the top 10 in my off-season Top 200 due to his late season power surge, and that has continued into this year with 8 homers in 31 games at High-A. Houston’s High-A affiliate isn’t in Lancaster anymore either, so nobody can just mindlessly dismiss the power numbers.

Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – On pace for 103/24/108/.328/14 in his rookie season, but I’m sure Texas and Minnesota are just as happy with Dillon Tate (er, 2 months of Carlos Beltran) and Tyler Jay (already being converted back to a reliever), respectively. Please MLB, get better at drafting.

Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – Coming on after a slow start, slashing .339/.397/.516 with 2 homers and 3 steals in his last 16 games. The 20+ homerun power is still a question mark, but the floor is a solid 5-category contributor.

Zack Collins CHW, C – Another top college bat from the 2016 class who is coming on after a slow start, Collins is slashing .324/.415/.500 with 1 homer and a 6/5 K/BB in his last 10 games. More importantly, all reports on his defense have been positive.

Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – Pulled early from his latest start when a bee stung his forearm. I was watching MLB Network last week when host Lauren Shehadi mentioned an ex-boyfriend of hers would sting himself with frozen bees, because bee venom supposedly has some amazing healing qualities. I’m giving it a 50/50 chance that Keller now has a superhuman forearm.

Luke Weaver STL, RHP – Looked strong in his return from lower-back stiffness, going 13 IP, 7 Hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K in two starts. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, odds are good that he sees plenty of time in the Majors this year.

Josh Naylor SD, 1B – After focusing on contact earlier in his career, Naylor is unleashing the beast this season, slashing .306/.358/.531 with 5 homers and a 22/7 K/BB in 23 games as a 19-year-old at High-A. He hit the ball on the ground almost 50% of the time last season, and he has that number down to 38% this year. Considering his raw power, it is safe to say this is the power breakout we were waiting for.

Jorge Mateo NYY, SS/OF – It might be time to officially jump off the Mateo bandwagon, if you haven’t already. He is slashing .220/.270/.315 with 0 homers and a 38/8 K/BB in 32 games at High-A. The elite speed probably makes him a Major Leaguer, but the lack of hard contact could preclude him from a starting job.

Eric Lauer SD, LHP – Don’t sleep on my boy Eric Lauer, who is putting up a 2.22 ERA with a 10.8 K/9 in 28.1 IP in the Cal League. There isn’t one thing that stands out with him, but he couldn’t have found himself in a better situation than with San Diego and the NL West.

Patrick Weigel ATL, RHP – Everyone’s favorite pitching prospect sleeper was promoted to Triple-A this week. The early numbers on SunTrust Park put it firmly as a hitter’s park, so while it is still the NL East, it’s something to keep in mind with Atlanta prospects in general from here on out.

Scott Kingery PHI, 2B – A recent comment I got from Paste says it best, “Halp! I’m kinda diggin’ on Scott Kingery. Looks like he has joined the launch angle revolution this year and is hitting a TON of fly balls (54.5%) and very few ground balls (24.7%), which is a far departure from his previous seasons in the Minors. Also, he’s showing a much better approach at the dish with an 11.8% walk rate while striking out 22.8%. He’s a smallish dude listed at 5’10” 180, but also has speed to burn. I’d love to hear you and Ralph go in on him and perhaps his teammate at AA Reading Andrew Pullin. Let’s find some sleepers! Shhhhhh” … Sorry, Paste. Couldn’t keep it a secret for very long 😉

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2017 Early Season Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Sleepers: Hitters Edition (and Jacob Barnes)

It is never too early to dig for underrated prospects. Here are the 2017 Early Season Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospect Sleepers: Hitters Edition (and Jacob Barnes):

Phillip Ervin CIN, OF – I probably would have ranked Ervin very high had I been writing back in 2013, but let’s see if I can make up for it in 2017. He’s a former 1st round pick (#27 overall) who has displayed a plus power/speed combo at every level in the minors, and is now slashing .286/.352/.531, with 3 homers, 2 steals and a 10/5 K/BB in 14 games at Triple-A. Almost all of the damage was done in 2 games, so this may very well be a blip on the radar rather than legitimate improvement on making consistent hard contact, which he has struggled with in the past. Nevertheless, Ervin’s raw talent is too good to dismiss the hot start.

Colton Welker COL, 3B – Welker’s skills have completely carried over from his impressive rookie ball pro debut into full season ball this year. He is slashing .386/.440/.568, with 2 homers, 4 steals, and a 6/4 K/BB in 12 games at Single-A. This is a big, strong 19-year-old with a powerful uppercut swing that is made for today’s game, along with an obvious feel for contact. Tack on Coors Field to that profile, and Welker has a chance to blow up soon.

Jacob Barnes MIL, RHP – I mentioned Barnes on the podcast this the off-season and in my MLB Rookie write-up a few weeks ago, and he has continued to dominate since then. He notched his first save of the season last night, which came off back to back appearances where he struck out the side. I have no idea when/if Milwaukee will use him in the closer’s role, but he has the kind of elite stuff that can provide value in any league, regardless of his role.

Daniel Johnson WASH, OF – 5 homers in 13 games is going to get anyone noticed, and that is exactly how Johnson started his season at Single-A, along with a .354/.415/.708 triple-slash and 2 steals in 13 games. Taken in the 5th round of the 2016 draft, he was known as a toolsy, but very raw prospect, and if the early going is any indication, he might be starting to put some things together. Johnson has the talent to make an impact in any size league, but the 21-year-old is going to have to produce at higher levels before the hype can truly start rolling.

Daniel Brito PHI, INF – The power is showing up quicker than anticipated, as Brito knocked 3 homers with a 25% K rate in his full season debut. Known as a toolsy prospect with a good feel to hit coming into this year, it is quite possible Brito is already going about making the swing changes that is sweeping across all levels of baseball, although he is still hitting the ball on the ground about half the time.

Ryne Birk HOU, 2B – Birk put himself on my radar last year with his impressive pro debut, and he is off to another hot start at High-A this year, slashing .319/.365/.574, with 1 homer, 2 steals, and a 12/4 K/BB in 13 games. He hit well in all three years he played in the SEC, and A-Ball pitching has yet to slow him down, either. We are still talking about a very deep sleeper, being a 13th round pick without a standout skill, but don’t be surprised if you start to hear his name pop up more and more in the next few years.

Tyler Stephenson CIN, C – Stephenson is proving he is healthy after season ending wrist surgery last year, slashing .267/.365/.467 with 2 homers and a 14/6 K/BB in 12 games at Single-A. He was drafted as a power-hitting catcher in the 1st round of the 2015 Draft, and it is nice to see those skills showing up as he enters his 20’s. His ability to stick at catcher is still a question, but other than Chris Okey (who is struggling at High-A), there aren’t many other long term internal options for the position.

Khalil Lee KC, OF – Another prospect whose skills have carried over into full season ball, Lee is slashing .294/.368/.510, with 2 homers, 3 steals and a 16/5 K/BB in 13 games. He has a patient approach, lying in wait for a pitch he can smack with his powerful uppercut swing, so strikeouts will likely always be a part of his game. While there is still a lot of volatility here, the power/speed upside is worth taking a shot on in deep leagues.

Austin Hays BAL, OF/Ryan Mountcastle BAL, SS – Two Baltimore hitting prospects who I liked coming into the year and are off to good starts at High-A. Mountcastle stands at a broad 6’3’’, 195 pounds with a great feel to hit that got him drafted 36th overall in 2015. Hays was a 3rd round pick in 2016 who can do a little bit of everything, but doesn’t have one standout tool/skill. I would add Cedric Mullins in this group, but he has been getting talked up so much I’m not sure he is still underrated.

Edwin Rios LAD, 1B – I would be remiss not to mention that Rios is destroying Double-A pitching to start the year, slashing .352/.375/.593 with 3 homers and a 12/2 K/BB in 13 games. I don’t love his consistent lack of plate approach, but I have no doubt that the ball will jump off his bat with authority no matter what level of baseball he is playing. Rios would be better off if traded to an AL team with a DH, because it seems inevitable he will serve as a pinch hitter if he stays with Los Angeles.

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

Early Season Risers and Fallers from My 2017 Top 100 Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings

The 2017 season is still young, but Dynasty owners do not have the luxury of large sample sizes when trade offers start rolling in at all times of the year. Here are the Early Season Risers and Fallers from My 2017 Top 100 Fantasy/Dynasty Baseball Prospect Rankings:

Risers

Aaron Judge (#23) NYY, OF – The boom in strikeouts across Major League Baseball over the past decade is one of the reasons I am not as scared off by high strikeout prospects as I would have been 20 years ago. Back in December, I wrote about MLB breaking its own strikeout record for an amazing 9th straight season, and they are at it again this year, currently sitting at an all-time high mark of 8.3 K/9 and a 21.7% K rate. That is why I remained high on Judge even when many others were jumping ship, because although he would strike out (like everyone else), I knew when he did make contact, he would do damage. And that is exactly what is happening in the early going, as he is slashing .250/.341/.583 with 3 homers and a 11/5 K/BB in 11 games.

Cody Bellinger (#26) LAD, 1B – Fuck it. There isn’t a single at-bat in the minors I find myself gravitating towards more than Bellinger’s. I’m down to ignore that Looney Tunes, Tasmanian Devil swing just like everyone else. Let’s see where this crazy train takes us. Also, maybe my podcast co-host, Ralph Lifshitz, will stop taunting me on twitter every time he gets a hit 😉

Dominic Smith (#29) NYM, 1B – Picked up right where he left off from his dominant second half in 2016, slashing .372/.413/.535 in 11 games at Triple-A. The beginning of his MLB career could look a lot like Stephen Piscotty’s.

Ian Happ (#35) CHC, 2B/OF – Happ is just destroying Triple-A with 6 homers in his first 11 games at the level. I’m starting to think it isn’t so much that the Cubs are especially good at drafting and developing, as much as it is that the other teams are particularly bad. Mark Appel was drafted ahead of Kris Bryant. Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, and Carlos Rodon were taken ahead of Kyle Schwarber. Dillon Tate, Tyler Jay, and Carson Fulmer were selected ahead of Ian Happ. It doesn’t take a staff of Ivy League geniuses and a room full of super computers to understand you don’t let the very best college bats slip through your fingers when drafting in the top half of the 1st round.

Francisco Mejia (#49) CLE, C – I have always been a little skeptical of the plus hit tool Minor League guys, and my rankings the last two years can attest to that. Jeff Zimmerman over at Fangraphs has been doing some great research this off-season on Minor League hit tool grades, and the early findings have backed up my apprehension about ranking guys very high based on their plus minor league hit tool. Having said that, what Mejia is doing is just above and beyond silly. After a 50-game hit streak last year, which grabbed the attention of prospect hounds everywhere, he started this season at Double-A hitting safely in all 8 games. There is only so much skepticism a guy can have in the face of such an undeniable skill. My boy Ralph has loved Mejia from get go, and he is also a favorite of Season 1 Top Chef winner, Harold Dieterle, as heard on the star-studded Razzball Baseball Podcast three weeks ago.

Anthony Alford (#52) TOR, OF – The breakout already happened in the second half of last season when everyone was still hemming and hawing over his poor, injury riddled 1st half, but his hot start to this season has put any doubt to rest, as he is slashing .464/.571/.607 with 1 homer and 4 steals in 8 games at Double-A.

Brent Honeywell (#59) TB, RHP – Tampa Bay management must be listening to the Razzball Prospect Podcast, because right after I mentioned how ridiculous it was getting for Honeywell to still be pitching against the clearly inferior Double-A competition, they bumped him up to Triple-A. I know he still has many pitchers ahead of him, but it is not unheard of for truly superior prospects to jump the line. He will get a chance to prove he is worthy of that treatment at Triple-A.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. (#64) TOR, 3B/Juan Soto (#70) WASH, OF – Possibly the two most talented 18-year-old hitters in the world have been carving through full season ball pitching as easily as they did Rookie ball pitching. Other than proximity to the bigs, there isn’t much left to doubt with either of these phenoms.

Rhys Hoskins (#110) PHI, 1B/Trey Mancini (#168) BAL, 1B/Chris Shaw (#183) SFG, 1B – Three hulking first baseman who are proving they are the real deal at higher levels. Shaw is doing it at Double-A (.382/.475/.765), Hoskins is excelling in a non-Reading aided environment at Triple-A (.324/.452/.676), and Mancini is going insane in the Majors with 4 homers in 24 PA. “Nonathletic” first baseman need to rake and force their way into the lineup, and these guys are doing it so far.

Fallers

Tyler Glasnow (#12) PIT, RHP /Lucas Giolito (#14) CHW, RHP – Man is it frustrating to own pitchers in Dynasty Leagues, no matter how hyped they have been throughout their minor league career. Glasnow has shown little improvement on his command, and Giolito’s elite fastball disappeared somewhere along the way. You can throw Alex Reyes in this mix too, who went down with Tommy John surgery.

J.P. Crawford (#13) PHI, SS – I like sitting up in my Ivory Tower and acting all unaffected by minor league numbers as much as the next guy, but Crawford’s continued struggles is making it hard to keep the ruse up. After struggling at Triple-A last year, he is slashing .086/.200/.143 with a 30% K rate in 40 PA this year. His potential is obvious when you watch him play, but you have to start producing at some point.

James Kaprielian (#101) NYY, RHP – The velocity bump followed by arm troubles is what kept Kaprielian out of my top 100, and also the reason I was one of the few (along with Ralph) to place him behind Justus Sheffield on my Top 10 New York Yankees Fantasy Prospects Rankings. As I’m sure you have heard, he will undergo Tommy John surgery this week, and while it’s always sad to see someone get injured, that is the risk associated with adding velocity. Although, in today’s game where everyone is throwing harder and striking everyone out, maybe he felt like he had no choice.

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)