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)

2017 Top 200 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospects Rankings: 1-200

Prospects season is finally here, and I am ramping it up to a top 200 this year. I took a breath after 100, and put out a traditional top 100 list, but then I continued on. There were just too many legitimately exciting prospects to stop at 100. Without further ado, here is the Complete 2017 Top 200 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospects Rankings:

*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/3B – The betting man’s #1 prospect in baseball. Power/speed combo is unmatched, but feel free to ignore the 30% K rate at Double-A. Prime Projection: 102/22/89/.275/.360/.479/32 ETA: Mid 2017

2) Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – The safe choice. Triple-slashed .295/.359/.476 with 2 homers and 1 steal in his first 118 MLB PA. Prime Projection: 93/21/97/.300/.362/.477/11 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

3) Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Across the board production with both a high floor and a high ceiling. Prime Projection: 96/20/86/.293/.351/.470/14 ETA: Late 2017

4) Brendan Rodgers COL, SS/2B – Middle infielder with a plus hit tool and plus power playing in Coors Field. Worth the wait. Prime Projections: 89/27/103/.281/.338/.495/7 ETA: 2018/19

5) Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Not the highest upside, but safe and MLB ready at a premium position. Prime Projection: 94/17/78/.282/.342/.451/17 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

6) Victor Robles WASH, OF – 5-category stud. Just might be the top prospect in baseball by this time next year. Prime Projection: 96/16/77/.289/.339/.449/30 ETA: 2018/19

7) Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Excellent prospect on his own merits, and Coors Field could turn him into a perennial batting champ. Prime Projection: 92/15/70/.308/.335/.442/18 ETA: Late 2017

8) Lewis Brinson  MIL, OF – Upside rivals any of the guys ranked above him, but plate approach is still raw. Prime Projection: 84/24/89/.262/.329/.473/17 ETA: Late 2017

9) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – First college hitter selected in the 2016 draft, and completely destroyed full season pro ball. Safe 5-category production going to a great hitter’s ballpark. Prime Projection: 90/20/90/.282/.354/.469/14 ETA: 2018

10) Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Austin Meadows 2.0. Prime Projection: 94/21/86/.286/.357/.482/16 ETA: 2018/19

11) Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – Nobody had scouts buzzing like the 6’4’’, 205-pound Jimenez did this year. Highest upside of any power hitting prospect in the game. Prime Projection: 85/29/96/.278/.332/.496/8 ETA: 2019

12) Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Stuff is unhittable, but the red flags are getting harder to ignore (control/command, third pitch, repeating delivery). Prime Projection: 3.27/1.20/216 in 200 IP ETA: Mid 2017

13) J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Advanced plate approach against older competition is impressive even without the fantasy friendly numbers. High floor and the ceiling isn’t too bad either. Prime Projection: 96/14/62/.282/.371/.410/17 ETA: Late 2017

14) Lucas Giolito CHW, RHP – Rough MLB debut had people questioning his “elite” fastball. Trade to the AL didn’t do him any favors, either. Prime Projection: 3.36/1.18/214 in 209 IP ETA: Mid 2017

15) A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – I hope to see Spring Training reports that Reed “is in the best shape of his life,” because poor conditioning didn’t help his bat speed or lower body injuries last year. Prime Projection: 79/31/95/.266/.351/.496/1 ETA: Mid 2017

16) Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Strikeouts got worse, but excellent plate approach and power/speed combo still shined. Prime Projection: 87/20/80/.255/.340/.453/24 ETA: Mid 2017

17) Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Very similar fantasy profile to Zimmer, except he can hit lefties too. Prime Projection: 81/23/85/.259/.342/.459/17 ETA: Late 2017

18) Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Ignore the Colorado Springs inflated Triple-A numbers, and focus on the nasty stuff and ridiculous Double-A numbers. Miller Park is no picnic, but it is much worse on righties. Prime Projection: 3.38/1.18/196 in 185 IP. ETA: Mid 2017

19) Tom Murphy COL, C – Raked for two years in a row in his September cups of coffee. This is the year he gets fully unleashed at Coors. Prime Projection: 70/27/85/.256/.312/.467/2 ETA 2017 Opening Day

20) Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Elite power and contact numbers, but lack of position leaves his MLB future murky. Wrote about Willie (and a bunch of other sleepers I hit on last off-season) in Reviewing My 2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Prospect Sleepers Post. Prime Projection: 79/28/91/.280/.324/.484/2 ETA: 2018

21) Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – Developed a solid plate approach at Double-A to go along with his prodigious power. One of the hardest workers in the minors. Prime Projection: 80/27/90/.265/.323/.482/9 ETA: 2017/18

22) Zack Collins CHW, C – Top college bat who immediately put up a triple-slash of .258/.418/.467 with 6 homers and a 39/33 K/BB in 36 games at High-A. If he has any chance to stick at catcher, Chicago will be the team that lets him. Prime Projection: 78/26/87/.269/.364/.485/2 ETA: 2018

23) Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Ranked Judge #1 in my 2017 Top 10 New York Yankees Fantasy Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 80/28/90/.254/.336/.474/6 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

24) Clint Frazier NYY, OF – Nothing to say other than watch this badass 45 second video of Frazier working out. I’m just gonna assume his epic bat speed comes from throwing humongous balls against the wall. Prime Projection: 84/23/86/.280/.343/.479/10 ETA: Late 2017

25) Gleyber Torres NYY, SS – Dominant AFL performance has him rocketing up top 100’s. Doesn’t have a true elite fantasy skill, but should be a legitimate 5-category producer. Prime Projection: 85/21/84/.282/.346/.467/12 ETA: 2018/19

26) Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B/OF – Improved walk and strikeout rates while maintaining power at Double-A. Extreme uppercut swing still gives me some caution. Prime Projection: 77/27/93/.263/.354/.486/7 ETA: 2017/18

27) Franklin Barreto OAK, SS/2B – Looked like toast in the AFL, but had a very strong season as a 20-year-old at Double-A. May not be long for the shortstop position. Prime Projection: 89/17/80/.285/.337/.450/19 ETA: 2018

28) Hunter Renfroe SD, OF – Triple-slashed .371/.389/.800 with 4 homers in his 11 game MLB game debut. Destroyed the PCL too, but look for pitchers to exploit his 3.9% walk rate. Prime Projection: 74/26/91/.260/.304/.470/5 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

29) Dominic Smith NYM, 1B – Went from sneakily overrated last year to sneakily underrated this year. In final 63 games, he slashed .348/.419/.554 with 10 homers and a 29/29 K/BB at Double-A. Just look at that one more time. Prime Projection: 80/22/95/.294/.360/.488/2 ETA: Late 2017

30) Rafael Devers BOS, 3B – Hit tool and hard contact are elite for his age group, but still needs work on getting to his plus raw power in games without selling out for homers. Prime Projection: 83/23/98/.287/.332/.483/7 ETA: 2018/19

31) Ozzie Albies ATL, SS/2B – Jose Altuve is the ceiling, and Jacoby Ellsbury as a middle infielder is … another ceiling comp. Prime Projection: 94/9/59/.292/.369/.438/27 ETA: 2017/18

32) Josh Bell PIT, 1B/OF – Dropped 23 pounds this off-season with the help of Yoga. Honestly not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Prime Projection: 79/19/88/.288/.345/.458/4 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

33) Alex Reyes STL, RHP – Tommy John surgery puts a major damper on the previously near unanimous #1 pitching prospect in baseball. Adds more risk to a profile that already had some risk baked in with his shaky control and command. Prime Projection: 3.36/1.22/200 in 183 IP ETA: 2018

34) Jose De Leon TB, RHP – Fly-ball pitcher with one of the best fastball/changeup combos in the minors. Gopheritis is the biggest risk. Prime Projection: 3.55/1.18/199 in 188 IP ETA: Mid 2017

35) Ian Happ CHC, 2B/OF – All he’s done is rake since his Freshman year of college (.934 OPS in the Big East). Who knows where or if he fits in with the Cubs, but he should be a solid 5-category contributor wherever he plays. Prime Projection: 85/19/76/.277/.358/.447/13 ETA: Late 2017

36) Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – MVP of the Carolina League with a league leading 29 homers and 102 RBI’s. And no, he didn’t lead the league in strikeouts too … he was tied for second. Prime Projection: 83/32/99/.250/.361/.501/3 ETA: 2019

37) Jesse Winker CIN, OF – Easy left handed swing is currently geared for contact. Smart hitter with a great approach, so at 6’3’’, 215 pounds, I’m betting on him to make the proper adjustments to unlock more power. Prime Projection: 82/19/85/.290/.371/.480/4 ETA: Mid 2017

38) Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – Would have ranked at least 20 spots higher if not for the devastating knee injury. Tireless worker who has been continuously updating his progress on Twitter, so it is easy to give him the benefit of the doubt. Prime Projection: 83/24/87/.275/.346/.487/7 ETA: 2018

39) Amed Rosario NYM, SS – Took off after his promotion to Double-A with a .341 AVG, but it also came with a 21.5% K rate (12.4% at High-A) and .443 BABIP (.345 at High-A). Plus SS defense will push him higher on traditional lists. Prime Projection: 90/13/70/.288/.338/.435/18  ETA: 2018

40) Harrison Bader STL, OF – Bat speed and hard contact are as impressive as anyone’s in the minors. Still needs to work on his plate approach. Prime Projection: 84/21/80/.271/.320/.471/12 ETA: Late 2017

41) Manuel Margot SD, OF – Homerun power has yet to develop, but maintained plus contact and speed at every level. Prime Projection: 89/11/63/.286/.328/.436/26 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

42) Corey Ray MIL, OF – Top power/speed combo in the draft, but hit tool is a legitimate question mark. Tearing meniscus in instructional league wasn’t great either. Prime Projection: 86/16/71/.261/.328/.443/20 ETA: 2018

43) Ronald Acuna ATL, OF – Demolished Winter Ball in Australia, and also had a strong showing in full season A-Ball as an 18-year-old. Might be a consensus top 10 prospect next year. Prime Projection: 90/20/83/.290/.340/.474/15 ETA: 2019

44) Yadier Alvarez LAD, RHP – Pro debut exceeded the hype for the flame throwing, $16 million bonus baby. Put up a pitching line of 2.29/1.07/55/11 in 39.1 IP at Single-A. Prime Projection: 3.35/1.19/194 in I82 IP ETA: 2018

45) Michael Kopech CHW, RHP – Control improved in the AFL, and had a jaw dropping Fall Stars Game performance. Bullpen risk is still present, and also yet to eclipse 74.1 IP in a season. Prime Projection: 3.41/1.22/197 in 183 IP ETA: 2018

46) Willy Adames TB, SS – Improved his K rate, BB rate, and ISO as a 20-year-old at Double-A. Doesn’t have one standout fantasy skill, and may not stick at short. Prime Projection: 84/18/78/.281/.347/.447/11 ETA: 2018

47) Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – Three true outcome slugger. Plus 3B defense should keep his bat in the lineup. Prime Projection: 76/29/88/.248/.341/.463/4 ETA: Late 2017

48) Christin Stewart DET, OF – Led the Florida State League with 24 homers and tacked on another 6 in his 24-game promotion to Double-A. Hopefully his horrible OF defense doesn’t keep his bat out of the lineup. Prime Projection: 79/28/93/.262/.350/.478/3 ETA: 2018

49) Francisco Mejia CLE, C – Elite hit tool with a little pop at the catcher position. Prime Projection: 78/17/86/.291/.332/.450/2 ETA: 2019

50) Anderson Espinoza SD, RHP – Teenage pitchers who are a few years off aren’t my favorite fantasy investments, but Espinoza has superstar raw talent. Prime Projection: 3.34/1.13/200 in 193 IP ETA: 2020

51) Robert Gsellman NYM, RHP – MLB ready with a high floor in a pitcher’s park. Some sneaky deGrom-like upside too. Prime Projection: 3.42/1.21/180 in 194 IP ETA: 2017

52) Anthony Alford TOR, OF – Shook off an injury plagued first half and slashed .266/.389/.464 with 8 homers, 13 steals, and a 61/39 K/BB in final 57 games at High-A (and very similar numbers in the AFL too). That raw power is starting to translate to games. Prime Projection: 81/18/81/.270/.338/.459/17 ETA: 2018

53) Mickey Moniak PHI, OF – Loved to see the report he tacked on 20 pounds of muscle this off-season, because he already had the best hit tool in the draft. This might sound weird, but don’t sleep on the #1 overall pick in the real draft in fantasy drafts. Prime Projection: 91/15/68/.290/.357/.440/19 ETA: 2020

54) Ramon Laureano HOU, OF – Burst onto the scene this year with one of the more exciting power/speed combos in the minors. Made hard contact all season, first at High-A (.945 OPS), then at Double-A (.981 OPS), and finally in the AFL (.817 OPS). Prime Projection: 86/14/74/.273/.341/.444/20 ETA: 2018

55) Luke Weaver STL, RHP – Elite fastball/changeup combo, but is homer prone and needs to develop the curve. 45/12 K/BB in 36.1 MLB IP shows his upside. Prime Projection: 3.54/1.18/187 in 193 IP ETA: Mid 2017

56) Isan Diaz MIL, SS/2B – It seems like small second baseman are finally starting to get some mainstream list love. Diaz has a quick, powerful swing that led the Midwest League with 20 homers. Prime Projection: 82/20/79/.263/.337/.464/9 ETA: 2019

57) Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – Proved back injury is behind him by throwing 12 shutout innings during the minor league playoffs while reaching a career high of 99.2 IP. Can bury plus curve wherever he wants. Prime Projection: 3.35/1.11/185 in 185 IP ETA: 2019

58) Jorge Mateo NYY, SS/2B –  Named “Player Most Likely To Have His Dad Threaten To Turn This Car Right Around If He Doesn’t Stop Whining In The Backseat” in my 2016 MiLB Player Superlatives/Awards. Other than the suspension and down statistical season, still flashed his double plus speed and plus bat speed. Prime Projection: 87/10/60/.275/.320/.410/33 ETA: 2018/19

59) Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – I can only rank an AL East pitcher with good but not great strikeout upside so high, although it is hard not to like a guy who features the endangered screwball. Prime Projection: 3.49/1.14/179 in 190 IP ETA: 2018

60) Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Great stuff but control and command still raw. Looked winded in the AFL with a 4.91 ERA. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.20/183 in 187 IP ETA: 2017/18

61) Alex Verdugo LAD, OF – 12.7% K rate, 8.3% BB rate, and .134 ISO at Double-A while being the same age as the incoming 2017 college draft class. Plus bat speed is his most impressive physical skill. Prime Projection: 80/18/80/.286/.350/.463/6 ETA: 2018

62) Jorge Alfaro PHI, C – Plate approach hasn’t improved at all in 7 years of pro ball, but athleticism, raw power, and bat speed have been enough at every level. Has worked diligently on catcher defense, so like many catchers, refinement at the plate may come later. Prime Projection: 64/20/76/.252/.303/.447/5 ETA: 2017

63) Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – Groundball pitcher with advanced control and command. Effortlessly mowed down Single-A hitters using a hard, tailing fastball, plus curve, and developing change. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.15/173 in 182 IP ETA: 2019

64) Vlad Guerrero Jr. TOR, 3B – True 17-year-old who went straight to advanced, stateside Rookie Ball and slashed .295/.366/.500 with 5 homers and a 14/15 K/BB in his final 31 games of the season. Is a dead ringer for his dad at the plate, so you don’t have to search very hard for a good comp. Prime Projection: 80/30/100/.277/.338/.500/7ETA: 2021

65) David Paulino HOU, RHP – Major injury risk, but legitimate top of the rotation upside. One of the more uncomfortable at-bats in the minors coming in at a long 6’7”, 215 pounds. Prime Projection: 3.38/1.16/177 in 172 IP ETA: Mid 2017

66) Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – Recently converted reliever with prototypical size (6’5’’, 200 pounds) and a plus fastball/changeup combo. Knocking on the door of the bigs. Prime Projection: 3.40/1.17/179 in 185 IP ETA: Late 2017

67) Kevin Maitan ATL, SS – Some guys are just worth the wait. Could be used as a valuable trade chip in only a few short years too. Prime Projection: 85/27/98/.273/.345/.507/6 ETA: 2021/22

68) Will Craig PIT, 3B – Triple-slashed .379/.520/.731 with 16 homers and a 35/47 K/BB in 55 games in the ACC, and then slashed .280/.419/.362 with 2 homers and a 37/41 K/BB in 63 at Low-A. One of the toughest outs in the minors, but has yet to show power with wood bats. Prime Projection: 79/21/88/.284/.360/.472/3  ETA: 2018/19

69) Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – Calling him a string bean would an understatement. Has advanced feel for pitching with 3 plus pitches and projection to get the fastball into the mid 90’s. Prime Projection: 3.44/1.13/205 in 195 IP ETA: 2020

70) Juan Soto WASH, OF – Tore through Rookie Ball as a 17-year-old (.361/.410/.550), and then went 9 for 21 in his 6 game Low-A cameo. Smooth lefty swing projects for plus hit and at least above average power. Prime Projection: 80/21/90/.293/.340/.465/7 ETA: 2021

71) Thomas Szapucki NYM, LHP – Classic high upside lefty with a plus fastball, plus curve, and raw control/command. Prime Projection: 3.44/1.23/193 in 180 IP ETA: 2019

72) Jharel Cotton OAK, RHP – Would have ranked in my top 100 last off-season but the Dodgers pitching depth kept him on the outside looking in. That is no longer an issue in Oakland, where he will unleash his plus changeup and various fastballs in their spacious home ballpark. Prime Projection: 3.50/1.22/173 in 180 IP ETA: 2017

73) Erick Fedde WASH, RHP – After a rough start to the season, put up a pitching line of 1.76/1.13/88/20 in 87 IP. Looks like that is the full recovery from Tommy John surgery Washington expected when they took him 18th overall in 2014. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.19/175 in 186 IP ETA: 2017/18

74) Travis Demeritte ATL, 2B – Strikeouts are getting untenably high (33% at High-A) even for my taste, but athleticism, bat speed, power, and speed is too exciting to ignore. Prime Projection: 75/24/83/.243/.322/.449/10 ETA: 2018/19

75) A.J. Puk OAK, LHP – Still raw for a top 10 draft pick out of the SEC, but 6’7’’ lefties with mid 90’s heat and wipeout sliders are a rare breed. There is definitely bullpen risk, but Oakland will give him every opportunity to start. Prime Projection: 3.51/1.26/195 in 185 IP ETA: 2018/19

76) Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – May not have that obscene strikeout upside, but already has solid control with three pitches that flash plus. At a projectable 6’3’’, 170 pounds, there could be a higher ceiling than many are giving him credit for. Prime Projection: 3.39/1.16/184 in 190 IP ETA: 2020

77) Jason Groome BOS, LHP – The inherent risks and development time of high school pitchers, mixed with pitching in Fenway Park and AL East, leads me to be a bit cautious on Groome for fantasy. The 12-to-6 curveball is undoubtedly a beast though. Prime Projection: 3.45/1.20/195 in 190 IP ETA: 2020

78) Mauricio Dubon MIL, SS/2B – Elite contact numbers, plus speed, and emerging power. Seems to be underrated by everyone but Milwaukee. Prime Projection: 85/12/65/.281/.328/.417/18 ETA: 2018

79) Matt Thaiss LAA, 1B/C – If I was confident he could retain catcher eligibility, he would slot in right around Francisco Mejia’s spot as a safer, less upsidey version of him. As a first baseman, the profile just isn’t as exciting. Prime Projection: 78/18/84/.288/.347/.452/4 ETA: 2018

80) Cal Quantrill SD, RHP – Hasn’t pitched a full season since his freshman year of college, but stuff looked nasty upon his return from Tommy John surgery in pro ball, throwing mid-90’s with a double plus changeup and average curveball. Prime Projection: 3.50/1.22/180 in 180 IP ETA: 2018

81) Jahmai Jones LAA, OF – Built like an NFL cornerback at 6’0’’, 215 pounds, which is no coincidence because he comes from a football family. Plus speed with a quick and powerful line drive swing. Prime Projection: 89/15/71/.283/.341/.437/21 ETA: 2020

82) Desmond Lindsay NYM, OF – Has the swing and raw tools to become an impact 5-category contributor, but hamstring injuries have kept the hype in check. Slashed .297/.418/.450 with 4 homers, 3 steals, and a 26/20 K/BB in 32 games at Low-A as a 19-year-old. Now is the time to buy in. Prime Projection: 84/17/78/.278/.337/.449/17 ETA: 2019/20

83) Heath Quinn SF, OF – Destroyed the Southern Conference for 3 years and then did exactly the same in Low-A. Power hitter with underrated athleticism, but strikeouts and AT&T Park hold him back from ranking higher. Prime Projection: 79/23/85/.263/.339/.468/6 ETA: 2019

84) Bobby Dalbec BOS, 3B – Boston took advantage of Dalbec’s down junior season and stole him in the 4th round. After triple-slashing .386/.427/.647 with 7 homers and a 33/9 K/BB in 34 games at Low-A, nobody should be sleeping on him anymore. Prime Projection: 76/25/86/.250/.322/.454/6 ETA: 2019

85) Max Fried ATL, LHP – Last 4 starts had everyone buzzing, striking out 44 batters in 25.1 IP. Considering his pedigree (7th overall pick in 2012) and that it was his first year back from Tommy John surgery, those 4 starts could mean more than the small sample would normally suggest. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.24/181 in 183 IP ETA: 2018

86) Bryan Reynolds SF, OF – Consider him kinda like a poor man’s Ian Happ, except he won’t have a chance at 2B eligibility and AT&T Park can put a serious damper on offensive upside. Prime Projection: 83/18/77/.265/.340/.442/13 ETA: 2019

87) Taylor Trammell CIN, OF – Another football prospect who spurned the pigskin for the horsehide. Yes, baseballs are actually made of horsehide or cowhide. And no, footballs are no longer made of pigskin. Where were we? Oh yea, Trammel is a great athlete with plus speed and viscous bat speed that leads me to believe more power is coming. Prime Projection: 88/14/74/.273/.340/.434/26 ETA: 2021

88) Blake Rutherford NYY, OF – Being old for his high school class and lack of a standout tool are why I’m not completely buying in, but there is no denying the sweet lefty swing that put up a .986 OPS in his pro debut at Rookie Ball. Prime Projection: 86/18/82/.280/.333/.453/13 ETA: 2020

89) Dylan Cease CHC, RHP – Easy mid-90’s heat that he can dial up over 100 with a curve that flashes plus. 2.22 ERA and a 66/25 K/BB in 44.2 IP at Low-A. Prime Projection: 3.48/1.24/190 in 180 IP ETA: 2020

90) Justus Sheffield NYY, LHP – My favorite part of Sheffield’s season was him going into Double-A Reading’s wind tunnel of a stadium for his final start and spinning 4 IP, 2 Hits, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, shutting down their fearsome middle of the order (Alfaro, Cozens, Hoskins). Prime Projection: 3.54/1.23/182 in 188 IP ETA: 2018/19

91) Sean Newcomb ATL, LHP – Control/command hasn’t improved in 3 years of pro ball, but strikeouts and homer suppression are still an enticing combo. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.28/191 in 186 IP ETA: Late 2017

92) Stephen Gonsalves MIN, LHP – The rare pitching prospect who doesn’t try to light up the radar gun, but focuses on high spin rates instead with an extremely easy left-handed delivery. It’s been working for him so far, putting up a pitching line of 2.06/1.02/155/57 in 140 IP split between High-A and Double-A. Prime Projection: 3.59/1.25/187 in 195 IP ETA: 2018

93) Alex Kirilloff MIN, OF – Graduating from the Pennsylvania Cyber School, the home schooled Kirilloff was raised to be a major league hitter, taking batting practice in the afternoons at his dad’s indoor training facility while other kids were suffering through Calculus. It is no wonder he is mature beyond his years at the plate. In other words, he’s a Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000 hours prototype. Prime Projection: 81/22/87/.277/.330/.466/8 ETA: 2020/21

94) Chance Sisco BAL, C – Plus hit tool at the catcher position with not much else. More raw power than game power, so banking on at least average power down the line isn’t the worst bet. Prime Projection: 76/13/74/.282/.350/.420/5 ETA: 2018

95) Renato Nunez OAK, 3B/1B – Great to see him kill it in Winter League after putting up a decent, but still disappointing season in the PCL. This is a former $2.2 million international signing who has displayed power and a solid hit tool at every level. Prime Projection: 78/24/87/.266/.320/.466/2 ETA: 2017

96) Rowdy Tellez TOR, 1B – As my Razzball Prospect Podcast co-host Ralph Lifshitz once said to me, “You’re kinda a bat speed whore,” and while Tellez doesn’t have that explosive bat speed, he checks just about every other box. Prime Projection: 74/22/86/.274/.335/.470/2 ETA: 2018

97) Austin Riley ATL, 3B – Has shown some of the best raw power in his class, hitting 20 homers at Single-A as a 19-year-old, but it comes with average bat speed and mediocre K and BB rates (27.1% and 7.1%, respectively). Prime Projection: 77/25/87/.258/.331/.460/2  ETA: 2020

98) Chase Vallot KC, C – Now this is more my style. Raw power and bat speed leads to Vallot hitting absolute moon shots that have received such gripping Youtube titles such as, “Chase Vallot KILLS this Baseball” and “Chase Vallot just obliterated that baseball.” Ability to stick at catcher is a coin flip at best. Prime Projection: 73/27/84/.253/.339/.466/1 ETA: 2020

99) Leody Taveras TEX, OF – Let’s close out the top 100 with a couple lottery tickets. The production isn’t quite there yet, and they are a long way off, but the upside is elite. Prime Projection: 93/13/72/.287/.332/.435/23 ETA: 2021

100) Fernando Tatis Jr. SD, SS – Hopefully these two lottery tickets turn out better than the one sitting on my coffee table right now. Prime Projection: 83/20/84/.280/.330/.460/11 ETA: 2021

101) James Kaprielian NYY, RHP – Could be ranked higher based on pure scouting reports and video. Velocity ticked up in pro ball, but was shut down for the season with elbow inflammation after his first 3 starts. He did return for 27 IP in the AFL. Prime Projection: 3.57/1.24/171 in 175 IP ETA: 2018

102) Braxton Garrett MIA, LHP – One of the best curveballs in the 2016 draft class. Doesn’t have the huge fastball, but has advanced control and command. Prime Projection: 3.42/1.17/180 in 190 IP ETA: 2020

103) Adrian Morejon SD, LHP – Another pitcher who could be ranked higher based on scouting reports and video, but still too young and too many unknowns to have a clear idea of his future. Prime Projection: 3.43/1.19/185 in 185 IP ETA: 2021

104) Roman Quinn PHI, OF – Brett Gardner is the ceiling. 4th outfielder is the floor. Prime Projection: 81/9/57/.266/.338/.392/31 ETA: 2017

105) Mitch Haniger SEA, OF – Former 1st round pick in 2012 who was slowed down by injuries. Broke out in 2016 with 25 homers and a .999 OPS split between Double-A and Triple-A, and then 5 homers in 109 MLB at-bats. Trade to Seattle dampens the excitement a bit. Prime Projection: 68/22/80/.257/.319/.461/7 ETA: 2017

106) Dan Vogelbach SEA, 1B – Trade to Seattle opened up a path to playing time, but won’t help the power play up. Should be a solid hitting first baseman. Prime Projection: 76/21/84/.280/.355/.468/1 ETA: 2017

107) Max Schrock OAK, 2B – Struck out an absurdly low 7.3% of the time in his first full year of pro ball. It comes with some speed and pop, as well. He did the exact same thing in his 3 years in the SEC, so this didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. Prime Projection: 85/10/68/.283/.324/.423/15 ETA: 2018

108) Shedric Long CIN, 2B – Great find by Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs. Played solid in part time duty working for Keith Law at ESPN, and then put it into another gear in his full time gig at Fangr … oh wait, we are supposed to be talking about Long here. Just read Longenhagen’s take on him. Prime Projection: 78/18/72/.265/.325/.441/18 ETA: 2019

109) Dustin Fowler NYY, OF – Ranked Fowler 7th in my 2017 Top 10 New York Yankees Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 76/15/70/.273/.306/.420/18 ETA: 2018

110) Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – Triple-slashed .281/.377/.566 with 38 homers and a 125/71 K/BB in 135 games at Double-A. He was 23 years old and in one of the best hitting ballparks in the minors, so I’m not quite ready to jump in with both feet. Prime Projection: 72/23/86/.273/.341/.466/3 ETA: 2018

111) Brett Phillips MIL, OF – Strikeout rate jumped to 30% at Double-A without adding any power. Did more of the same in the AFL. Still showed a good plate approach, so don’t mind me hanging off the end of the bandwagon here. Prime Projection: 76/18/72/.255/.323/.414/11 ETA: 2018

112) Tyler Beede SF, RHP – Groundball pitcher with some control/command issues. 1.58 ERA with a 51/21 K/BB in final 45.2 IP. Any starter in AT&T Park will get the benefit of the doubt with me. Prime Projection: 3.69/1.26/167 in 184 IP ETA: Late 2017

113) Walker Buehler LAD, RHP – Flashed ace stuff in his brief return from Tommy John surgery, but only time will tell if he can keep that up for 180+ innings. Prime Projection: 3.51/1.22/175 in 175 IP ETA: 2018/19

114) Jack Flaherty STL, RHP – Just a very solid, unexciting season at High-A. Didn’t add the extra mile per hour or two on the fastball, but showed the same advanced pitchability and room for projection that he flashed last season. Prime Projection: 3.55/1.20/172 in 190 IP ETA: 2019

115) Yu-Cheng Chang CLE, SS – Wrote a Yu-Cheng Chang, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper/Breakout Post for him mid-season, and nothing has changed since then. Prime Projection: 84/16/78/.271/.330/.443/12 ETA: 2019

116) Luis Alexander Basabe CHW, OF – Overshadowed in the Chris Sale trade by Kopech’s 100+ MPH fastball and Moncada’s 30/30 upside, but Basabe is an exciting prospect in his own right. Good athlete with power and plus bat speed. Prime Projection: 83/18/77/.263/.330/.451/16 ETA: 2019

117) Reynaldo Lopez CHW, RHP – Strikeout totals started to match the stuff this season, striking out 10.4 per nine in 109.1 IP split between Double-A and Triple-A. Might ultimately end up in the pen, but Chicago will almost certainly give him every opportunity to start. Prime Projection: 3.70/1.27/169 in 176 IP ETA: 2017

118) Luis Ortiz MIL, RHP – Solid mid-rotation starter headed for a park that is death on righties. Also has injury concerns. Prime Projection: 3.68/1.23/172 in 185 IP ETA: 2018

119) Lucas Erceg MIL, 3B – One of those non 1st round pick, pro debut breakout guys. Smacked 7 homers with a .281 average in 42 games at Single-A. Prime Projection: 72/19/83/.277/.314/.448/7 ETA: 2019

120) Michael Gettys SD, OF – Contact and plate approach still raw, but looks like a star when he does get the bat on the ball. Volatility is very high on this projection. Prime Projection: 75/15/67/.254/.303/.408/21 ETA: 2019

121) Cody Reed CIN, LHP – Underwhelming at Triple-A with a 3.08/1.25/65/20 pithing line in 73 IP, and then atrocious in the majors with a 7.36 ERA and 12 homers against in 47.2 IP. Upside is more of a mid-rotation type, and you just saw the downside. Prime Projection: 3.77/1.27/167 in 183 IP ETA: 2017

122) Yusniel Diaz LAD, OF – Shoulder injury kept the season numbers in check, but closed out the year slashing .295/.336/.500 in his final 27 games at High-A as a 19-year-old. Prime Projection: 77/16/74/.279/.327/.438/14 ETA: 2019

123) Jorge Ona SD, OF – Swing looked oh so sweet in his 2014 Youtube clips, but not quite as good in Instructional League a few months ago. Still has a quick, powerful swing, and hopefully he was just working the rust off. San Diego paid him $7 million for a reason. Prime Projection: 74/24/90/.260/.330/.476/5 ETA: 2019

124) Matt Manning DET, RHP – Prototypical starter build with an athletic delivery and huge fastball. Everything else is in its infancy. Prime Projection: 3.72/1.28/200 in 187 IP ETA: 2020

125) Sean Reid-Foley TOR, RHP – I want to rank him higher, but the SkyDome (Rogers Centre) and the AL East scares me. Maybe I’m dinging him too much, because he has a workhorse build with an electric fastball/slider combo. Prime Projection: 3.80/1.28/190 in 184 IP ETA: 2019

126) Nick Williams PHI, OF – The improvements he made in 2015 with contact and plate approach completely vanished in 2016. Raw tools are still there, so not completely giving up. Prime Projection: 71/18/78/.248/.293/.408/9  ETA: 2017

127) Ryan McMahon COL, 1B/3B – Struggled on the road, slashing .242/.325/.399 with a 30% K rate and .157 ISO, but hitters do most of their damage at home anyway, where McMahon slashed .000/.000/.000 with 0 homers and a 0/0 K/BB in 0 games. Prime Projection: 73/21/81/.262/.320/.458/5 ETA: 2018

128) Delvin Perez STL, SS – Has a chance to be a special and extremely entertaining SS. While the bat is still raw, showed more refinement than expected in his pro debut. Prime Projection: 84/10/66/.269/.309/.381/24 ETA: 2020/21

129) Jake Bauers TB, 1B/OF – Power is the only thing lacking, which isn’t great for a 1B, but everything else is above average. Prime Projection: 75/19/78/.280/.337/.443/6 ETA: 2018

130) Ronald Guzman TEX, 1B – Former $3.5 million international signing who broke out at Double-A, hitting .288 with 15 homers in 102 games. Sweet lefty swing, but at a long 6’5’’, 205 pounds, there are some holes for pitchers to exploit. Prime Projection: 69/20/81/.275/.322/.447/2 ETA: 2018

131) Josh Naylor SD, 1B – Huge raw power but has focused on contact early in his career. Could take a similar developmental path to Dominic Smith. Prime Projection: 76/23/90/.276/.330/.472/4 ETA: 2020

132) Mike Soroka ATL, RHP – Probable mid-rotation starter who is still a few years off. Pretty safe as far as 19 year olds go. Prime Projection: 3.56/1.23/168 in 186 IP ETA: 2019/20

133) Dylan Cozens PHI, OF – Got into a scuffle with his Winter Ball teammate, Boog Powell, after getting made fun of for his inability to hit a breaking ball. He does have some serious raw power though, so if this whole baseball thing doesn’t work out, he should give MMA a try. Prime Projection: 70/23/76/.236/.311/.430/9 ETA: 2018

134) Eric Lauer SD, LHP – Possibly the safest starter from the 2016 draft class. Lack of a huge fastball or devastating off-speed pitch has kept the bandwagon from filling up, but at 6’3’’, 205 pounds, let’s see what a full off-season with professional trainers can do before capping his ceiling. Prime Projection: 3.73/1.25/175 in 190 IP ETA: 2018/19

135) Dakota Hudson STL, RHP – Fast moving college starter with electric stuff and a reliever-ish delivery. Has the build to start, but it might be tempting for St. Louis to use him out of the pen for at least a couple years. Prime Projection: 3.79/1.27/174 in 182 IP ETA: 2018/19

136) Luiz Gohara ATL, LHP – The fact that a deal with Cincinnati fell through due to what team doctors saw in Gohara’s shoulder isn’t a great sign, but if you want to take the leap of faith, there is frontline starter potential here. Prime Projection: 3.53/1.22/165 in 165 IP ETA: 2019

137) Lourdes Gourriel Jr. TOR, INF/OF – Started off hyped to death, then got shit on everywhere, and now seems to have settled in somewhere in between. Prime Projection: 77/17/67/.272/.329/.431/12 ETA: 2018

138) Jacob Faria TB, RHP – Couldn’t quite maintain his 2015 breakout, but the plus fastball/changeup combo still managed a 9.4 K/9 in the upper levels of the minors. Prime Projection: 3.82/1.24/176 in 178 IP ETA: 2017

139) Wladimir Galindo CHC, 3B – Wrote a Wladimir Galindo, 2017 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Sleeper post. Prime Projection: 73/24/86/.257/.331/.464/3 ETA: 2020

140) Garrett Stubbs HOU, C – Wrote a Garrett Stubbs, 2017 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Sleeper post. Prime Projection: 74/10/54/.273/.338/.388/11 ETA: 2018

141) Peter Alonso NYM, 1B – Dominated the SEC and then did more of the same in Low-A. I don’t see a spot for him in New York with Dominic Smith in town, so hopefully he gets traded rather than being used as a pinch-hitting bench bat. Prime Projection: 75/21/84/.271/.329/.452/2 ETA: 2019

142) Fernando Romero MIN, RHP – Flashes some of the nastiest stuff in the minors, but delivery carries some reliever risk, and has yet to eclipse 90.1 IP in a season due to Tommy John surgery in 2014. Prime Projection: 3.59/1.23/167 in 171 IP ETA: 2018

143) Justin Dunn NYM, RHP – Upside is high with a mid-90’s fastball and potentially 3 average+ off speed pitches, but there are a lot of unknowns considering he has barely pitched as a starter for any extended period of time. Prime Projection: 3.61/1.24/173 in 180 IP ETA: 2019

144) Greg Allen CLE, OF – Reminds me a lot of Rajai Davis in both how he looks at the plate, and how he profiles as a player. Speed and contact are his game. Prime Projection: 78/9/57/.271/.323/.387/26 ETA: 2018

145) Franklin Perez HOU, RHP – Impressive full season debut as an 18-year-old, putting up a pitching line of 2.84/1.23/75 in 66.2 IP. Has protypical starter size and build at a broad 6’3’’, 197 pounds, and a delivery that is reminiscent of Freddy Garcia. Prime Projection: 3.67/1.25/181 in 190 IP ETA: 2020

146) Sandy Alcantara STL, RHP – Can ramp the heat up to over 100 MPH, which he used to strike out 11.2 per nine in Single-A and High-A. Everything else is still raw. Prime Projection: 3.71/1.29/187 in 176 IP ETA: 2019

147) Richard Urena TOR, SS – These next two shortstops seem destined to become fringe 12-team starter types for the next decade. Urena will be the guy you take late in redrafts if you need some extra power … Prime Projection: 73/17/65/.268/.311/.420/9 ETA: 2019

148) Nick Gordon MIN, SS – … and you’ll scoop Gordon if you need average. Prime Projection: 78/7/51/.278/.318/.377/14 ETA: 2019

149) Chris Paddack SD, RHP – Here is your chance to “Washington Nationals” your Dynasty League prospect draft by taking a high upside pitcher who just underwent the Tommy John knife. Prime Projection: 3.60/1.18/184 in 175 ETA: 2020

150) Hunter Harvey BAL, RHP – Look up one inch. Although, he has probably been owned in your league for at least 2 years. Prime Projection: 3.48/1.22/153 in 150 IP ETA: 2018/19

151) Tyler Jay MIN, LHP – Stuff wasn’t as electric as hoped after his transition from the bullpen to a starter, but still had a very solid year at High-A with a 2.84 ERA and a 68/21 K/BB in 69.2 IP. Prime Projection: 3.69/1.27/166 in 173 IP ETA: 2018

152) Brock Stewart LAD, RHP – Came out of nowhere in 2016, making his MLB debut after rolling through all three levels of the minors. Rumor has it he is the guy Los Angeles was unwilling to include to close the Brian Dozier deal. Prime Projection: 3.78/1.25/167 in 179 IP ETA: 2017

153) Matt Strahm KC, LHP – Chances of starting this year plummeted when Kansas City signed Jason Hammel. Starters have a way of dropping like flies, though, and he can always transition from the pen in a year or two. Prime Projection: 3.67/1.26/167 in 174 IP ETA: 2017

154) Sam Travis BOS, 1B – Boston’s long term 1B/DH job is wide open, and if Travis can fully recover from a torn ACL, he has a chance to position himself to be the front runner for the position by 2018, if not late 2017. Prime Projection: 68/18/76/.277/.328/.453/3 ETA: 2017/18

155) Amir Garrett CIN, LHP – I’ve scouted Garrett in person multiple times. He has no range on the jumper and poor court vision. They say he has mid-rotation upside as a pitcher, though. We are looking at an elite BASEketball prospect here apparently. Prime Projection: 3.84/1.28/161 in 178 IP ETA: 2017

156) Andrew Toles LAD, OF – Seemed to finally put his off-the-field problems behind him and broke out in 2016, slashing .314/.365/.505 in 105 MLB at-bats. Has a chance to be an almost everyday player for Los Angeles right out of the gate. Prime Projection: 76/11/64/.273/.319/.418/17 ETA: 2017

157) Hunter Dozier KC, 1B/3B/OF – Short of a surprise playoff push, Kansas City almost has to sell off their valuable expiring contracts to replenish a depleted farm system. When that happens, we will find out if the former 8th overall pick is a late bloomer, or an older dude putting up inflated minor league numbers. Prime Projection: 66/19/74/.252/.318/.436/6 ETA: 2017

158) Jose Albertos CHC, RHP – Started one game in Rookie Ball where he spun 4 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 BB, 7 K, touching 98 MPH with a plus breaking ball and change-up. Then was shadily shut down with “arm soreness,” aka, please don’t ask about him in a trade. Prime Projection: 3.63/1.22/175 in 175 IP  ETA: 2021

159) Patrick Weigel ATL, RHP – Overshadowed by the higher profile arms in Atlanta’s system, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Weigel ended up better than all of them. He is built like a rock, hides the ball well, and can pump the heat into the upper 90’s. Only reason I’m hesitant to rank him higher is that he was far more physically advanced than the A-Ball hitters he was facing, and wasn’t quite as impressive in his brief Double-A debut, although he was at a career high IP. Prime Projection: 3.80/1.27/158 in 172 IP ETA: 2018

160) Norge Ruiz OAK, RHP – Thrives by commanding his off-speed pitches and is a true artist on the mound. One of those guys who just owns the rubber (the 13-year-old in me tells me I should probably rephrase that). Prime Projection: 3.76/1.24/149 in 171 IP ETA: 2018

161) Robert Stephenson CIN, RHP – The results weren’t there but the stuff still was. Prime Projection: 3.92/1.31/167 in 173 IP ETA: 2017

162) Chris Iriart OAK, 1B – Wrote a Chris Iriart, 2017 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Sleeper post. Prime Projection: 68/23/79/.253/.317/.450/1 ETA: 2019

163) Randy Arozarena STL, INF/OF – The soon to be 22-year-old Arozarena signed with St. Louis for $1.25 million, and if you are going to trust one team’s scouting department, it is St. Louis’. He profiles as a prototypical leadoff man. Prime Projection: 79/9/57/.273/.334/.382/20 ETA: 2018/19

164) Grant Holmes OAK, RHP – Basically the same pitcher he was when he was drafted 22nd overall in 2014. As is, he can be a groundball back-end starter, but the raw stuff leaves room for more. Prime Projection: 3.86/1.30/159 in 171 IP ETA: 2019

165) Miguel Andujar NYY, 3B – Ranked Andujar 10th in my 2017 Top 10 New York Yankees Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 68/19/74/.277/.330/.434/5 ETA: 2018

166) Ke’Bryan Hayes PIT, 3B – Hayes was the guy Weigel was facing in that video I linked to above. He has a mature approach at the plate and should develop into a solid overall hitter. Plus, how can I not root for the kid that came from this guy’s loins. Prime Projection: 73/18/77/.282/.334/.440/4  ETA: 2020

167) Casey Gillaspie TB, 1B – 1st round pick in 2014 who has hit well every year in pro ball. The power and hit tool aren’t super exciting for a first baseman, but I can see him sitting in someone’s second UTIL spot in a few years. Prime Projection: 69/20/77/.265/.338/.450/3 ETA: Late 2017

168) Trey Mancini BAL, 1B – MLB ready with a legitimate shot to be an average-ish hitting first baseman. Just doesn’t have a spot right now. Prime Projection: 63/20/77/.267/.320/.448/2 ETA: 2017

169) Phil Bickford MIL, RHP – The fastball velocity dropping into the low 90’s is more concerning than the 50-game suspension. Prime Projection: 3.75/1.27/153 in 161 IP ETA: 2018/19

170) Chance Adams NYY, RHP – My prospector in crime, Ralph Lifshitz, just loves his small righties, so I’ll let him wax poetic about Adams for you. And while you’re at it, you can read his take on the rest of the Yankees prospects, because Yanks prospects just never get the hype they deserve 😉 Prime Projection: 3.93/1.29/163 in 166 IP ETA: 2017/18

171) Frankie Montas OAK, RHP – 6’2’’, 255 pounds with an elite fastball/slider combo. Bullpen risk is considerable, although Oakland consistently gives pitchers like him a chance to start. Prime Projection: 3.76/1.32/159 in 162 IP ETA: 2017/18

172) Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – High tempo, violent delivery which Chicago tried to calm down to disastrous results. Looked better after ditching the new delivery, but there is a reason Chicago tried to change it in the first place. Prime Projection: 3.99/1.34/163 in 164 IP ETA: 2017

173) Kevin Newman PIT, SS – Solid defensive SS with excellent contact numbers and not much else. Prime Projection: 81/9/58/.288/.342/.394/13 ETA: 2018

174) Trent Clark MIL, OF – I’m obviously not that high on Clark, but I’m willing to blame his poor 2016 on injuries. Still has enticing 5-category upside if it all comes together. Prime Projection: 80/15/70/.269/.338/.436/15 ETA: 2019

175) Brady Aiken CLE, LHP – Stuff didn’t look the same after returning from Tommy John surgery, but next season will be the true barometer of his future potential. Prime Projection: 3.75/1.25/165 in 165 IP ETA: 2019/20

176) Ryan O’Hearn KC, 1B – Sweet lefty swing with power and strikeouts. Prime Projection: 60/20/76/.254/.324/.432/2 ETA: 2018

177) Dillon Tate NYY, RHP – Yanks bought low on Tate in the Carlos Beltran trade, and while his stuff looked much better in the AFL, it was still a long way off from what he showed in 2015. Prime Projection: 3.94/1.28/162 in 175 IP ETA: 2018

178) Anfernee Grier ARI, OF – One of my favorite pre-draft sleepers, but pro debut exposed how raw he still is. Legitimate power/speed combo is worth taking a chance on. Prime Projection: 76/15/68/.257/.313/.426/17 ETA: 2019

179) Will Benson CLE, OF – A very raw blend of bat speed, power, and athleticism. Like many guys ranked in the back of this top 200, he is high risk, high reward. Prime Projection: 77/25/82/.244/.326/.462/11 ETA: 2021

180) Joey Wentz ATL, LHP – The epitome of a risky, high upside teenage pitcher. Stuff, velocity, and health have all been inconsistent, but at his best, flashes top of the rotation upside. Prime Projection: 3.66/1.23/179 in 177 IP ETA: 2020

181) Magneuris Sierra STL, OF – Plus contact and speed, but will need to improve his plate approach to hit at the top of a MLB lineup. Prime Projection: 78/10/54/.273/.320/.397/21 ETA: 2019

182) Forrest Whitley HOU, RHP – I was going to make a Forrest Gump joke here, but then I realized I haven’t seen a Forrest Gump joke in like a decade, so I’m not gonna be the one to open up that box of chocolates. Prime Projection: 3.77/1.29/173 in 190 IP ETA: 2020

183) Chris Shaw SF, 1B – Hopefully he gets traded away from AT&T Park, and considering Brandon Belt is locked up until 2021, it’s not a bad bet to make. Prime Projection: 65/22/79/.260/.321/.462/0 ETA: 2018

184) Vladimir Gutierrez CIN, RHP – Signed for $4.75 million with Cincinnati. Prototypical starter size at an athletic 6’3’’, 173 pounds, and has the fastball/curveball combo that scouts love to dream on. Prime Projection: 3.78/1.26/167 in 174 IP ETA: 2019

185) Domingo Acevedo NYY, RHP – Fastball can rival Kopech’s, but a delivery that will very likely lead to the bullpen. Prime Projection: 3.93/1.31/146 in 151 IP ETA: 2018/19

186) Jordan Sheffield LAD, RHP – Electric stuff with mid 90’s heat, but there is size, injury, and bullpen risk. Prime Projection: 3.83/1.32/158 in 168 IP ETA: 2018/19

187) Teoscar Hernandez HOU, OF – Solid power/speed combo with nowhere to play. Not the type of guy I would hold, but has fantasy friendly skills if he can force his way into the lineup. Prime Projection: 71/15/63/.255/.316/.431/12 ETA: 2017

188) Jeimer Candelario CHC, 3B – Smart hitter without quite enough power to get really excited about him. Nowhere to play in Chicago either. Prime Projection: 58/17/72/.276/.332/.438/1 ETA: 2017

189) Luis Almanzar SD, SS – Almanzar is so raw and toolsy, it even extends to his Twitter game. He has only 112 followers, but if his profile picture is any indication, that will only rise. Prime Projection: 80/20/80/.279/.334/.461/10 ETA: 2022

190) Lazaro Armenteros OAK, OF – Armenteros and Almanzar have so many tools, it would make Tim “The Toolman” Taylor jealous. Yea, I just dropped a 90’s Home Improvement reference on you. Prime Projection: 78/22/85/.270/.330/.468/15 ETA: 2022

191) Freudys Nova HOU, SS – Bat first SS with quick bat speed and natural loft in his swing. Has drawn comparisons to Hanley Ramirez. Prime Projection: 76/22/84/.265/.327/.465/13 ETA: 2022

192) Chris Okey CIN, C – Underrated first year player draft target. Has legitimate power and almost certain to stick at catcher. Prime Projection: 67/19/75/.258/.319/.447/4 ETA: 2019

193) Sixto Sanchez PHI, RHP – Short but thick righty who sits mid-90’s with raw secondaries. Just started pitching about 2 years and is only 18 years old, so there is plenty of room and time for further refinement. Prime Projection: 3.70/1.20/155 in 170 IP ETA: 2020

194) Jose Almonte TEX, OF – Wrote about Almonte in my 2017 Deep Dynasty Prospect Sleepers post. Prime Projection: 73/23/87/.240/.302/.454/7 ETA: 2020

195) Josh Lowe TB, 3B – 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft. All raw power and strikeouts right now. Prime Projection: 79/23/82/.269/.345/.466/9 ETA: 2021

196) Nolan Jones CLE, 3B – 36.6% K rate in Rookie Ball is concerning considering he was known for his hit tool in high school, especially when it comes with 0 homers. I don’t want to ding an 18-year-old too much for a poor pro debut, though, and he did have a .388 OBP. Prime Projection: 76/21/81/.267/.348/.460/8 ETA: 2021

197) Aristides Aquino CIN, OF – Should be nicknamed, “Double-A, Awesome Aristedes,” for all my old-school Howard Stern fans out there. With all these 90’s references, maybe I’m starting to get nostalgic about nearing the end of this top 200. Prime Projection: 71/22/78/.249/.294/.448/14 ETA: 2018

198) Oscar De La Cruz CHC, RHP – Power pitcher with big time strikeout upside, but missed over half the season with forearm soreness, and still hasn’t pitched above Single-A as a soon to be 22-year-old. Prime Projection: 3.93/1.26/166 in 162 IP ETA: 2019

199) Cionel Perez HOU, LHP – Plus fastball and curve with an athletic delivery, but signing bonus was cut by more than half when the medicals didn’t come back great on his left arm. Prime Projection: 3.88/1.27/150 in 160 IP ETA: 2019

200) Victor Garcia STL, OF – Bat speed and raw power are mesmerizing in batting practice, but hit tool is a major question mark. With strikeouts exploding around MLB and pitchers throwing harder than ever, elite bat speed prospects like Garcia become more and more valuable. Prime Projection: 74/27/91/.250/.315/.484/2 ETA: 2022

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

2017 Top 200 Dynasty/Fantasy Baseball Prospects Rankings: 1-25

Prospects season is finally here, and I am ramping it up to a top 200 this year. After 100, I will take a breath and put out a traditional top 100 list, but then I am continuing on. There are just too many legitimately exciting prospects to stop at 100. Consider this more like Prospect Hanukkah rather than Prospect Christmas, because this ranking is gonna be a slow burner. Let’s get started:

Click here for the complete Top 200

*Prime Projection: R/HR/RBI/AVG/OBP/SLG/SB

1) Yoan Moncada CHW, 2B/3B – The betting man’s #1 prospect in baseball. Power/speed combo is unmatched, but feel free to ignore the 30% K rate at Double-A. Prime Projection: 102/22/89/.275/.360/.479/32 ETA: Mid 2017

2) Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – The safe choice. Triple-slashed .295/.359/.476 with 2 homers and 1 steal in his first 118 MLB PA. Prime Projection: 93/21/97/.300/.362/.477/11 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

3) Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Across the board production with both a high floor and a high ceiling. Prime Projection: 96/20/86/.293/.351/.470/14 ETA: Late 2017

4) Brendan Rodgers COL, SS/2B – Middle infielder with a plus hit tool and plus power playing in Coors Field. Worth the wait. Prime Projections: 89/27/103/.281/.338/.495/7 ETA: 2018/19

5) Alex Reyes STL, RHP – Flashed his considerable upside by going 46 IP, 8 ER, 33 Hits, 23 BB, 52 K in his MLB debut. Still some control/command risk. Prime Projection: 3.21/1.19/228 in 208 IP ETA: 2017 Opening Day

6) Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Not the highest upside, but safe and MLB ready at a premium position. Prime Projection: 94/17/78/.282/.342/.451/17 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

7) Victor Robles WASH, OF – 5-category stud. Just might be the top prospect in baseball by this time next year. Prime Projection: 96/16/77/.289/.339/.449/30 ETA: 2018/19

8) Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Excellent prospect on his own merits, and Coors Field could turn him into a perennial batting champ. Prime Projection: 92/15/70/.308/.335/.442/18 ETA: Late 2017

9) Lewis Brinson  MIL, OF – Upside rivals any of the guys ranked above him, but plate approach is still raw. Prime Projection: 84/24/89/.262/.329/.473/17 ETA: Late 2017

10) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – First college hitter selected in the 2016 draft, and completely destroyed full season pro ball. Safe 5-category production going to a great hitter’s ballpark. Prime Projection: 90/20/90/.282/.354/.469/14 ETA: 2018

11) Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Austin Meadows 2.0. Prime Projection: 94/21/86/.286/.357/.482/16 ETA: 2018/19

12) Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – Nobody had scouts buzzing like the 6’4’’, 205-pound Jimenez did this year. Highest upside of any power hitting prospect in the game. Prime Projection: 85/29/96/.278/.332/.496/8 ETA: 2019

13) Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Stuff is unhittable, but the red flags are getting harder to ignore (control/command, third pitch, repeating delivery). Prime Projection: 3.27/1.20/216 in 200 IP ETA: Mid 2017

14) J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Advanced plate approach against older competition is impressive even without the fantasy friendly numbers. High floor and the ceiling isn’t too bad either. Prime Projection: 96/14/62/.282/.371/.410/17 ETA: Late 2017

15) Lucas Giolito CHW, RHP – Rough MLB debut had people questioning his “elite” fastball. Trade to the AL didn’t do him any favors, either. Prime Projection: 3.36/1.18/214 in 209 IP ETA: Mid 2017

16) A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – I hope to see Spring Training reports that Reed “is in the best shape of his life,” because poor conditioning didn’t help his bat speed or lower body injuries last year. Prime Projection: 79/31/95/.266/.351/.496/1 ETA: Mid 2017

17) Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Strikeouts got worse, but excellent plate approach and power/speed combo still shined. Prime Projection: 87/20/80/.255/.340/.453/24 ETA: Mid 2017

18) Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Very similar fantasy profile to Zimmer, except he can hit lefties too. Prime Projection: 81/23/85/.259/.342/.459/17 ETA: Late 2017

19) Jose DeLeon LAD, RHP – Fly-ball pitcher with one of the best fastball/changeup combos in the minors. Gopheritis is the biggest risk. Prime Projection: 3.41/1.16/208 in 190 IP ETA: Mid 2017

20) Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Ignore the Colorado Springs inflated Triple-A numbers, and focus on the nasty stuff and ridiculous Double-A numbers. Miller Park is no picnic, but it is much worse on righties. Prime Projection: 3.38/1.18/196 in 185 IP. ETA: Mid 2017

21) Tom Murphy COL, C – Raked for two years in a row in his September cups of coffee. This is the year he gets fully unleashed at Coors. Prime Projection: 70/27/85/.256/.312/.467/2 ETA 2017 Opening Day

22) Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Elite power and contact numbers, but lack of position leaves his MLB future murky. Wrote about Willie (and a bunch of other sleepers I hit on last off-season) in Reviewing My 2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Prospect Sleepers Post. Prime Projection: 79/28/91/.280/.324/.484/2 ETA: 2018

23) Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – Developed a solid plate approach at Double-A to go along with his prodigious power. One of the hardest workers in the minors. Prime Projection: 80/27/90/.265/.323/.482/9 ETA: 2017/18

24) Zack Collins CHW, C – Top college bat who immediately put up a triple-slash of .258/.418/.467 with 6 homers and a 39/33 K/BB in 36 games at High-A. If he has any chance to stick at catcher, Chicago will be the team that lets him. Prime Projection: 78/26/87/.269/.364/.485/2 ETA: 2018

25) Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Ranked Judge #1 in my 2017 Top 10 New York Yankees Fantasy Prospect Rankings. Prime Projection: 80/28/90/.254/.336/.474/6 ETA: 2017 Opening Day

Click here for the complete Top 200

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

2016 Complete End of Season Top 35 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings

Top 100 season is not until early February, but nobody said anything about doing a top 35. Without further ado, here are the 2016 End of Season Top 35 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings:

1) Yoan Moncada BOS, 3B/2B – Struggled with contact in his first 20 MLB PA (60% K rate!), but has unmatched 5-category upside. Prime Projection: 108/22/85/.275/.362/.479/30
ETA: Will likely compete for 3B job in Spring Training. Worst case scenario he is the next man up at Triple-A.

2) Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – Not gonna lie, it hurts a little bit as a Yankees fan that the top two players on this list are both Red Sox. Only silver lining is that I’m really happy Boston fired the guy who built this Red Sox team and farm system. Prime Projection: 93/21/97/.300/.367/.477/11
ETA: Three months ago

3) Brendan Rodgers COL, SS/2B – Power showed up this year with 19 homers in 110 games at Single-A. OPS was much higher at home than on the road (.978 vs. .682) but I just call that good ole’ fashioned practice for Coors Field. Prime Projection: 89/27/103/.281/.338/.495/7
ETA: Cup of coffee in 2018. DJ LaMahieu will be a free agent after the 2018 season, so Rodgers looks to have a wide open spot in 2019, either at 2B, or at SS with Trevor Story moving to 2nd.

4) Alex Reyes STL, RHP – Averaged 96.8 MPH on his fastball in his MLB debut, to go along with a plus curveball and an 88 MPH changeup that looks more like a normal pitcher’s two seam fastball. If you watched his Futures Game performance, you realized this was a man against boys. Prime Projection: 3.18/1.18/237 in 204 IP
ETA: Will compete for a starting job in Spring Training, but St. Louis hasn’t been afraid to use their top pitching prospects in relief during their rookie season.

5) Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – If you’ve waited this long for Giolito, you are not about to give up now. He had an up and down year in the minors and got hit around in the majors, but the plus fastball/curveball combo is still intact. Prime Projection: 3.25/1.15/217 in 209 IP
ETA: Washington has good rotation depth, so he will likely start the season in Triple-A before the inevitable injuries/ineffectiveness opens a rotation spot for him.

6) Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Glasnow and Giolito are basically tied for me, but gave the edge to Giolito because Glasnow’s 5.2 BB/9 is one huge red flag. His stuff is unhittable, so once he learns to repeat his delivery and improve his command, the sky is the limit. Prime Projection: 3.15/1.19/222 in 200 IP
ETA: Will depend on free agent signings, but the door is wide open for him to win a rotation spot out of Spring Training.

7) Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Safe 5-category production from the SS position. Was one at-bat short of losing rookie eligibility, slashing .302/.361/.442 with 3 homers and 3 steals in 129 MLB at-bats. Prime Projection: 89/18/83/.282/.346/.458/16
ETA: 10 weeks ago

8) Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Working through an orbital bone fracture in the beginning of the season and hamstring injury mid-year, Meadows still managed to significantly up his power output and slash a respectable .266/.333/.536 with 12 homers and 17 steals in 87 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. Andrew McCutchen is the only thing between him and a starting job. Prime Projection: 96/20/86/.293/.351/.470/14
ETA: In a classic prospect blocked situation. It will take a trade, injury, or NL DH to get him in the lineup.

9) Victor Robles WASH, OF – The 19-year-old Robles slowed down a bit at High-A after dominating Single-A, but he still flashed 5-category upside that only Moncada can top right now. Prime Projection: 96/16/77/.289/.339/.449/30
ETA: Type of prospect that can be up in a hurry. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was starting sometime in 2018.

10) A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – Rough MLB debut was a major bummer (.532 OPS), but if it’s any consolation, he did rake in the PCL (.924 OPS). I’m still fully on board with him becoming a big time power hitter, it just might not happen as quickly as I originally hoped. Prime Projection: 79/30/100/.269/.351/.499/1
ETA: Will have to earn playing time with a Houston franchise that is stacked with talented hitters. Has ability to carve out an everyday role vs. righties in 2017, but may struggle to find at-bats vs. lefties. Should have an everyday 1B/DH job available in 2018 if he performs.

11) Lewis Brinson MIL, OF – Struggled in the first half due to a shoulder injury, but exploded in the PCL after being traded to Milwaukee. Plate approach took a step back this season, so Milwaukee’s new front office will have to prove they are as good at developing talent as they are at acquiring it. Prime Projection: 82/24/86/.262/.329/.473/17
ETA: Could win the CF job of out Spring Training, but likely needs a few more months of seasoning at Triple-A.

12) Jose De Leon LAD, RHP – Biggest concern is that he will be too homer prone, and giving up 5 homers in his first 17 MLB IP did not exactly alleviate those concerns. He did dominate in the PCL with a pitching line of 2.61/0.94/111 in 86.1 IP. Prime Projection: 3.41/1.16/208 in 190 IP
ETA: MLB ready, but Los Angeles has a number of different rotation options. Working him in as a long man/2-3 inning reliever next season isn’t out of the question.

13) Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Couldn’t overcome possibly the worst pitching conditions in professional baseball, Colorado Springs, but absolutely destroyed Double-A earlier in the year. Maintained his nasty, strikeout stuff all season. Prime Projection: 3.34/1.18/196 in 185 IP
ETA: Probably isn’t a great idea to send him back to that pitching hell hole, but Milwaukee has enough mediocre pitching options ahead of him that it might be inevitable for the first couple months of the season.

14) Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Elite hit tool with plus speed and a little power playing at Coors Field. Cut strikeouts almost in half this season too. Prime Projection: 92/14/70/.305/.333/.442/19
ETA: All 3 Colorado outfielders are injury prone (Dahl, Blackmon, Gonzalez), plus, Blackmon and Gonzalez are both candidates to be dealt this off-season. Worst case scenario, a full time gig should open up when Gonzalez’s contract runs out after this season.

15) Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Strikeouts spiked at Triple-A (37% K% in 150 PA), but the explosive power/speed combo is too good to pass up. Prime Projection: 87/20/80/.255/.340/.453/24
ETA: Clearly needs more work at Triple-A. Should still be able to debut at some point next season, likely in the 2nd half.

16) Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Repeated in Double-A and Triple-A what he did in A-Ball last year. Contact issues remain, but like Zimmer, the power/speed combo is an enticing one for fantasy. Prime Projection: 81/23/85/.259/.342/.459/17
ETA: Fisher and Zimmer are almost prospect doppelgangers right now. Like Zimmer, he should debut sometime in the 2nd half of 2017.

17) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – I covered Senzel in my 2016/17 Top 40 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings, but here is a cool video I found of him plowing into a catcher when he was 10 years old.  Prime Projection: 90/20/90/.282/.354/.469/14
ETA: Should be on the Bregman/Benintendi/Swanson timeline, which means he will show up in the 2nd half of next season.

18) Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – The athletic 6’4’’, 205-pound Jimenez has the scouts drooling over him, and the stats at Single-A to back it up. Prime Projection: 85/28/96/.281/.335/.490/8
ETA: 2019. There is no obvious opening for him in Chicago, but a lot can change between now and when he will be big league ready, including the uniform he is wearing.

19) Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – I’ve been hyping O’Neill for about a year now, and the rest of the prospect world has finally caught up after he improved both his K% and BB% as a 21-year-old at Double-A. Prime Projection: 79/27/90/.265/.321/.480/9
ETA: Seattle’s mediocre OF options leaves the door wide open for him as soon as Seattle thinks he is ready. Could be as soon as June 2017, or as late as June 2018.

20) Zack Collins CHW, C – I covered Collins in my 2016/17 Top 40 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings. Prime Projection: 78/26/87/.269/.364/.485/2
ETA: Should be on the same track to the bigs that I think Senzel will be on. Working on catcher defense could delay him a bit longer.

21) Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Power started to emerge towards the end of the year, which tacked on to the advanced hit tool, plate approach, and surprising speed he displayed earlier in the season. Standing a lanky 6’4”, there is likely even more power coming down the line.  Prime Projection: 94/21/86/.286/.357/.468/16
ETA: 2019/2020. Houston is in no rush to call him up, and there is plenty of development time to go for the 19-year-old.

22) J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Continued to display an advanced plate approach despite being more than five years younger than his competition for most of the season. I understand being turned off by his lackluster home run and steal totals, but he is a sure bet to stick at SS and is knocking on the door of the bigs. Prime Projection: 96/13/62/.282/.371/.403/17
ETA: Freddy Galvis is keeping the seat warm until Crawford is ready, which should be sometime in the 2nd half of next season.

23) Tom Murphy COL, C – Ranked 32nd overall on my top 100 back in February, Murphy went on to easily handle the PCL (1.008 OPS in 303 at bats), and then did more of the same in his September cup of coffee (1.006 OPS in 44 at bats). He is going to strike out a lot, but Coors Field and his positional value gives him a major boost. Prime Projection: 70/27/85/.256/.312/.467/2
ETA: Starting job is his for the taking in 2017, but I would still expect some kind of time share with Tony Wolters.

24) Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B (kinda) – Has an almost unmatched combo of contact and power, cranking 27 homers with a 65/45 K/BB in 132 games at Double-A. Most of his power is to his pull side, so smart defenses will be able to limit his BABIP. Prime Projection: 78/26/89/.278/.324/.475/2
ETA: Defensive concerns make his ETA murky. Howie Kendrick’s contract is up after next season, so if Calhoun improves his defense to an acceptable level, he can be starting for Los Angeles as soon as 2018.

25) Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Strikeout rate exploded in the Majors, but has a history of struggling at a new level before making adjustments. His 6’7’’, 275-pound frame is both a gift and a curse when it comes to hitting a baseball. Prime Projection: 80/28/92/.254/.336/.474/6
ETA: 2017 Opening Day starting right fielder.

26) Clint Frazier NYY, OF – Struggled at Triple-A in 30 games, but handled his business at Double-A, slashing .276/.356/.469 with 13 homers and 13 steals in 89 games. Has legendary bat speed and Instagram game. Prime Projection: 84/23/86/.280/.343/.479/10
ETA: Definitely needs more development time at Triple-A, plus, there is no obvious spot for him as long as Gardner, Ellsbury, and McCann are still on the roster. Post trade deadline 2017, or early 2018 is my best guess.

27) Franklin Barreto OAK, SS/2B – Stat line doesn’t particularly stand out (.763 OPS), but his performance as a 20-year-old in a pitcher’s park at Double-A is a legitimate step forward. Sticking at SS would be a big help, but that isn’t a sure bet. Prime Projection: 89/17/81/.285/.337/.450/19
ETA: It sure seems like Oakland has their foot on the pedal with Barreto, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the 2nd half of next season. The more conservative estimate would be a few months into the 2018 season.

28) Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – Would have liked to see him take a step forward with his hit tool, but maintaining his homer/walk/strikeout profile as a 20-year-old at High-A will have to do. Prime Projection: 80/33/106/.250/.366/.510/3
ETA: 2019. Don’t think he will be fast tracked because there will likely be adjustments to make as he faces more advanced pitching in the upper minors.

29) Josh Bell PIT, 1B/OF – Power took a step forward this year while maintaining his plus hit tool. Looked strong in his MLB debut too, slashing .273/.368/.406. Prime Projection: 78/19/88/.288/.345/.458/4
ETA: Likely to get at bats at 1B and corner outfield this year, before taking over at 1B full time when John Jaso’s contract runs out after this season.

30) Jesse Winker CIN, OF – Maintained elite hit tool and plate approach in Triple-A. Power dropped off a cliff, but that can be blamed on battling a wrist injury all season. Prime Projection: 87/20/90/.292/.373/.487/4
ETA: Will probably begin the season in Triple-A and be the first OF up if/when one of the starters get hurt or struggles.

31) Ian Happ CHC, 2B/OF – Solid power/speed combo with a good plate approach, but has some contact issues. Is completely blocked in Chicago, and could be used as a super utility guy in his first few seasons. Prime Projection: 85/19/76/.273/.358/.447/13
ETA: Late season call up next year before slowly being worked into the lineup in 2018.

32) Hunter Renfroe SD, OF – Was a bit of a mixed bag at Triple-A (PCL), jacking 30 homers, but striking out 20% of the time and walking a measly 3.9% of the time. Hit 4 homers in his brief 11 game MLB debut. Prime Projection: 74/26/91/.263/.304/.470/5
ETA: 2017 Opening Day starting right fielder.

33) Rafael Devers BOS, 3B – Was too pull happy early in the season, which led to a disastrous first two months at High-A, but turned it around in the second half when he went back to hitting frozen ropes all over the field. Still some projection left on his homerun power. Prime Projection: 83/23/98/.287/.332/.483/7
ETA: Will be interesting to see what Boston does with Moncada and/or Pedroia when Devers is ready, which should be around 2018/2019 if things go relatively well.

34) Gleybor Torres NYY, SS – Has been getting rave reviews in the Arizona Fall League where he is slashing .308/.426/.590 with 3 homers. The power has certainly arrived for the 19-year-old Torres. Prime Projection: 82/21/87/.277/.346/.467/13
ETA: The Yanks have been known to be relatively conservative with their hitting prospects, so I wouldn’t expect him until the 2nd half of the 2019 season.

35) Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B/OF – Significantly improved both his walk and strikeout rate at Double-A while maintaining his considerable power. Prime Projection: 77/24/91/.268/.357/.480/6
ETA: Is lining up perfectly to take over 1B when Adrian Gonzalez’s contract runs out after the 2018 season.

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

2016 MiLB Player Superlatives/Awards

What better way to honor the youngsters in the Minor Leagues than to hand out some good ole’ fashioned high school superlatives? Yeah, I can probably think of a few better ways too, but handing out these bullshit awards is just more fun. Here are the 2016 MiLB Player Superlatives/Awards:

Player Who Hasn’t Even Begun To Peak, And When He Does Peak, He Will Peak All Over Your Face: Tim Tebow NYM, OF – For being just as delusional about his abilities as Dennis Reynolds is from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Most Likely To Succeed: Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B/3B – Kinda cheating because signing a $31.5 million signing bonus is already considered succeeding, but he is now the #1 prospect in baseball too.

Most Likely To Have His Dad Threaten To “Turn This Car Right Around” If He Doesn’t Stop Whining In The Backseat: Jorge Mateo NYY, SS/2B – For being suspended 2 weeks after throwing a tantrum about not being called up to Double-A when he wanted to be called up.

First To Get Married: Chase Vallot KC, C – Do you want to be the one to tell @craycray_tay that it’s over right before breaking into the big leagues? … I didn’t think so.

Most Likely To End Up In Prison: Danry Vasquez HOU, OF – For getting arrested after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in a stairwell at the stadium of the Corpus Christi Hooks. No joke here, just a logical guess.

Teacher’s Pet: J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Isn’t he so perfect with his great plate approach, contact numbers, up-the-middle defense, and high ranks on prospect lists. But with only 7 homers and 12 steals, he is no fun for fantasy.

Most Likely To Have Keith Law Call Him A Reliever All Off-Season: Josh Hader MIL, LHP – We get it, he has a funky delivery.

Most Likely To Kneel During The National Anthem: Dan Vogelbach SEA, 1B – Not in protest, but because he just gets easily winded being 6’0’’, 250 pounds.

Most Likely To Actually Still Be In High School: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR, OF – We were all “Party(ing) Like It’s 1999” with Prince to bring in the new millennium, while Guerrero was sucking on his momma’s teat, being about 9 months old at the time and all (born 3/16/99). He literally still has braces on in his player picture.

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 14

Every Monday, I will be running down some of the notable performances from around the Minor Leagues, or anything that might have caught my eye in general. Here is the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 14:

Alex Bregman HOU, SS/3B – If you missed last night’s Futures All-Star Game, you might have missed one of the most exciting baseball games of the year. Bregman put on a show in the first half of the game, going 3 for 3 with a homer short of the cycle. He was mic’d up and giggling like a little school girl about hitting a homer in his next at-bat to anyone who would listen to him. He didn’t, making outs in his final 2 at-bats.

Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – Moncada picked up where Bregman left off, crushing a 2nd deck bomb to give the World team the lead in the 8th inning, which secured him the MVP award. He also laced an opposite field single on a nice inside out swing vs. hard thrower Jeff Hoffman in his second at bat, and then swiped second easily. That power/speed combo is why I ranked him #1 in my mid-season top 100.

Alex Reyes STL, RHP – By far the most impressive pitcher of the night, striking out 4 batters in 1.2 IP. He was hitting 100 MPH easy and dropping good curveballs in for strikes. He also flashed some solid changeups that I originally mistook for two seam fastballs because they were almost hitting 90 MPH. There is still plenty of refinement to go, but his fantasy upside is unrivaled.

Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – Had the entire Cubs organization holding their breath as he made a daredevil catch over the RF fence down the foul line, and then launched a homerun derby quality homer in the 9th inning. Not bad for a 19-year-old who has played in Single-A all year.

Yu-Cheng Chang CLE, SS – Did Imaginary Brick Wall just get the Asian market bump that I hear so much about in baseball? After writing a sleeper post for Taiwanese SS Yu-Cheng Chang last week, my website hits from Taiwan spiked by 20%! That gives me over 100 hits all-time from Taiwan! Ni hao, all my new Taiwanese friends. Chang had a 4-hit game just hours after I wrote that article too.

Josh Bell PIT, 1B – It didn’t take long for Bell to show off the power he added this year, crushing a grand slam in his 2nd Major League at-bat. Too bad it doesn’t look like Pittsburgh is going to make a point of getting his bat in the lineup.

Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Willie just keeps on hitting, smashing 3 more homers this week on his way to the Futures All-Star Game (where he went 0 for 2).

Harrison Bader STL, OF – Promoted to Triple-A and went 5 for 22 with 2 doubles and a homer in his first 5 games at the level. He was also caught stealing and put up a 6/0 K/BB.

Austin Byler ARI, 1B – The adopted step child, black sheep, the one we only speak about in whispers of my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article is starting to show a pulse, slashing .417/.481/.792 with 2 homers this week after getting a late start to his season due to suspension. He is 23 years old with a 52/14 K/BB in 36 games at Single-A, so I’m going to need to see a lot more and at a higher level to start really getting excited.

David Dahl COL, OF – Dahl made Bader’s Triple-A debut look like child’s play, slashing .500/.536/.846 with 2 homers and 0 K’s in 6 games. If you took Urias, Giolito, Glasnow, and Reed out of my mid-season top 100, Dahl would have been a top 5 fantasy prospect.

Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – 2 more dingers this week, and continues to impress with his power/contact skills, slashing .295/.362/.505 with 13 homers and a 55/24 K/BB in 68 games at Single-A. I gave Rodgers the slight edge over Bregman on my top 100 because of Coors and a better chance to stick at SS, but they are basically even in my book.

Tom Murphy COL, C – Smashed 4 homers this week, giving him 11 on the year in only 44 games. It also comes with a fun 55/5 K/BB. That huge power at Coors Field from a catcher is why I ranked him 69th in my mid-season top 100, but the lack of contact skills and plate approach is why he dropped from my 32nd ranking of him in the off-season. All in all, I’m still on board.

J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Slashed .480/.515/.840 with 2 homers this week at Triple-A. He is definitely a better real life prospect, but I still think he is going to be an impact fantasy player too.

Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – Ranked 45th on Baseball America’s mid-season top 100! And oh yea, Hader (#22), Bader (#89), Fisher (#94), and Calhoun (#98) also cracked their top 100. I mean, I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have a few fans over at BA. They obviously know what they are doing over there, and I love that my favorite sleepers are starting to get some national hype!

Jacob Faria TB, RHP – Continues to pitch well at Triple-A, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 9 K. He hasn’t shown up on any other mid-season top 100’s so far, so it looks like he is still being slept on.

Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – Got a spot start at Triple-A this week, and impressed by going 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BB, 7 K. This guy has the look of a big time lefty starter, and he is putting up the numbers to back it up too.

Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – The #1 ranked prospect from my MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings is starting to show why I liked him so much, slashing .435/.519/.913 with 3 homers and a 2/5 K/BB this week at Low-A. He has a 12/13 K/BB in 21 games on the season, and considering strikeouts were thought to be the main concern with Lewis, he is off to a very encouraging start.

Nick Senzel CIN, 3B –  Playing exactly as advertised in his first 19 pro games, displaying an advanced plate approach (11/11 K/BB), speed (10 steals), and doubles power (6).

Christin Stewart DET, OF – 3 more homers in his last 5 games, and his monster power season in the pitcher friendly Florida State League earned him a spot in the Futures All-Stars Game.

Luke Weaver STL, RHP – 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BB, 7K in his start this week, which continued his excellent season. Scouts love to drool over dominant curveballs, but it seems like devastating changeups have been slightly undervalued recently, and Weaver has one.

Alen Hanson PIT, 2B – I was seriously starting to think a hot streak was never going to come, but Hanson found his groove this week, slashing .423/.484/.462 with 4 steals. His overall numbers are still unimpressive, but he is stealing bases and the raw talent is still there.

Cody Ponce MIL, RHP – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 12 K in his best start of the season as he he is ramping up after having early season forearm fatigue. Ponce stands a physically imposing 6’6’’, 240 pounds and throws a mid 90’s fastball with a solid slider and inconsistent curveball and changeup. The risk is high here as with many other pitching prospects, but his talent is equal to any of the pitchers showing up on the back half of mid-season prospect lists.

Max Schrock WASH, 2B – I stumbled upon Schrock in early June during the same search that I found Ronald Acuna with (who I wrote about in that week’s rundown) when I went searching for sleeper prospects that Carson Cistulli has made famous, underrated low-k/contact guys. I didn’t mention him because he was 21 years old in Single-A, didn’t have much power, and I just have more fun writing about underrated bat speed/power guys. But Schrock was promoted to High-A recently, and hit 3 homers in his first 13 games (2 in the last week), along with continuing to display his excellent contact skills (27/24 K/BB in 68 games on the year) and speed (19 steals). I would be more excited about him as a real life prospect, but even in fantasy, it is looking more and more like he has the potential to make a legitimate impact.

Luis Urias SD, 2B/UTIL – I found the 19-year-old Urias during that same search, but was even less inclined to mention him because he gets caught stealing more than he is successful (26 for 58 in his MiLB career). He has just kept on hitting, though, and is now slashing .327/.401/.438 with 5 homers, 8 steals, and a 31/30 K/BB in 82 games. He hit a homer in Triple-A last night too. I think I’m gonna start mentioning these guys …

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

2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-100

Here we go again. It’s ranking season! Well, maybe a week or two before ranking season, but close enough. Over the past week, I have been slowly ranking the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects in all The Land. And I mean that literally, not the lame nickname that Cleveland now has to make them seem cooler. To be clear, I was not just ranking prospects in Cleveland. Today, I put it all together, and without further ado, here are the 2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-100 (previous ranking in parenthesis):

2016 Off-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-100

Graduates: Corey Seager (#1) LAD, SS, Byron Buxton (#2) MIN, OF, Steven Matz (#10) NYM, LHP, Nomar Mazara (#19) TEX, OF, Trevor Story (#30) COL, SS, John Lamb (#40) CIN, LHP, Aaron Blair (#81) ATL, RHP, Michael Fulmer (#82) DET, RHP, Archie Bradley (#83) ARI, RHP, Mallex Smith (#91) ATL, OF, Jon Gray (#100) COL, RHP

1) Yoan Moncada (#3) BOS, 2B – Picked up right where he left off in the 2nd half of 2015. No prospect has the 5-category upside that Moncada has. Prime projection: 98/15/82/.280/32

2) Julio Urias (#7) LAD, LHP – Completely destroyed the PCL as a 19-year-old, and is now more than holding his own in the majors. This will likely be his last appearance on top 100 prospect lists. Prime projection: 2.90/1.00/225 in 210 IP

3) Brendan Rodgers (#24) COL, SS – Hits for average and power, plays SS, and will call Coors Field his home. What more is there to say? Prime projection: 89/25/100/.285/7

4) Alex Bregman (#26) HOU, 3B/SS – Has a legitimate case to be the top fantasy prospect in baseball. Elite contact skills with emerging power. Might have to move off SS to accommodate Carlos Correa. Prime projection: 94/22/86/.297/10

5) Lucas Giolito (#4) WASH, RHP – It hasn’t been the smoothest ride in Double-A so far, but he was beginning to turn it around before a poor outing in his last start. The stuff is still electric, so I’m holding tight for now. Prime projection: 3.10/1.10/220 in 210 IP (Update: Looked good in his MLB debut after I released the top 10 last Friday)

6) Tyler Glasnow (#5) PIT, RHP – Control might have actually taken a half-step back this season, but it hasn’t hurt his pitching line all that much (1.61/1.14/100 in 84 IP). I’m still betting on his unhittable stuff. Prime projection: 2.98/1.17/223 in 200 IP

7) A.J. Reed (#6) HOU, 1B – Was nicked up with various injuries early in the year, but slashed .307/.366/.587 with 5 homers in the last month. One of the premiere power hitting prospects in the minors. Prime projection: 85/32/110/.274/2

8) Andrew Benintendi (#8) BOS, OF – After destroying High-A, Double-A has slowed him down a bit. The plate approach, power, and speed are all still there, so I don’t think he is going to stay down for long. Prime projection: 89/21/93/.288/15 (Update: He really didn’t stay down for long, going on a tear in his last 7 games)

9) David Dahl (#47) COL, OF – One of the top fantasy breakout prospects in 2016. Slashing .283/.375/.528 with 13 homers and 15 steals in 67 games at Double-A. Has all the raw talent in the world, and will be unleashed at Coors Field. Prime projection: 91/20/82/.276/18

10) Joey Gallo (#17) TEX, 3B/1B/OF – Has taken a step forward in Triple-A this year, lowering his strikeout rate to a more workable 26.8% while maintaining his massive power. The only thing left is for Texas to give him a shot. Or trade him. Prime projection: 80/38/100/.250/5

11) Victor Robles (#35) WASH, OF – Displaying the same elite contact and speed profile in his first full season of pro ball that he did in Rookie ball and Low-A. Perfect combination of raw tools and current production. Prime projection: 96/14/75/.304/28

12) Alex Reyes (#11) STL, RHP – 13.9 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 really does say it all. Can dial it up to 100 MPH, and I’ll take the risk for his through the roof upside. Prime projection: 3.35/1.20/240 in 210 IP

13) Jose Berrios (#12) MIN, RHP – Not going to let his poor 4-start MLB debut scare me off. Future value remains the same. Prime projection: 3.39/1.11/190 in 200 IP

14) Blake Snell (#13) TB, LHP– Look up one inch. Prime projection: 3.36/1.17/209 in 198 IP

15) Jose De Leon (#14) LAD, RHP – Slowly ramping it up at Triple-A after returning from a sore arm. 14.2 K/9 in limited action shows the elite K potential is still there. Prime projection: 3.41/1.16/220 in 190 IP

16) J.P. Crawford (#15) PHI, SS – Having an elite plate approach is like the missionary position for prospects. Not the most exciting, but it gets the job done. Prime projection: 94/12/65/.289/18

17) Brad Zimmer (#16) CLE, OF – 28.8% K rate is higher than we would like, but the power/speed combo is still popping. Prime projection: 86/21/81/.260/24

18) Derek Fisher (#20) HOU, OF – Wrote a sleeper post for him in the off-season, and he is not making me regret it with his strong first half in Double-A. Prime projection: 84/22/84/.270/17

19) Josh Hader (#21) MIL, LHP – Ranked him #3 in my pre-season Dynasty League Prospect Sleepers post. Putting up a pitching line of 1.87/1.13/99 in 77 IP split between Double-A and Triple-A so far this year. Prime projection: 3.31/1.18/198 in 190 IP

20) Jameson Taillon (#86) PIT, RHP – Has looked no worse for wear after not pitching for two full years. Stuff is nasty and has already reached the bigs. Prime projection: 3.38/1.13/180 in 190 IP

21) Willson Contreras (#52) CHC, C – Added power to his already elite hit tool this season. Is now clearly the top fantasy catcher prospect in the game. Prime projection: 70/20/85/.293/3

22) Lewis Brinson (#9) TEX, OF – Shoulder injury cut short his disappointing first half. Hitting profile looked completely different this year, which makes me think he was trying to make an adjustment that wasn’t working. He drops in the rankings, but I would hold if I owned him. Prime projection: 90/25/90/.274/17

23) Bobby Bradley (#18) CLE, 1B – Might as well be named Joey Gallo Jr. Lots of HR’s, BB’s, and K’s. Prime projection: 80/33/105/.250/4

24) Austin Meadows (#53) PIT, OF – Power has ticked up this year, and if he can continue that power surge in Triple-A, will rank even higher in the off-season. Prime projection: 92/18/80/.295/13

25) Tim Anderson (#22) CHW, SS – Not the type of hitter to put up pretty K/BB numbers, but can hit for a solid average with top end speed and sneaky power. Prime projection: 90/12/61/.273/28

26) Dansby Swanson (#25) ATL, SS – Looks to have the inside track on Atlanta’s SS job over Albies. Will do a little bit of everything, but doesn’t have a standout tool. Prime projection: 87/17/77/.282/14

27) Trea Turner (#23) WASH, SS – MLB ready but has been prospect blocked by Danny Espinoza as I suspected he would be in my off-season top 100. Played CF last night in an attempt by Washington to find another path to the big leagues for him. Prime projection: 90/9/55/.282/26

28) Orlando Arcia (#27) MIL, SS – Hasn’t quite kept up his 2015 breakout in Triple-A this season, but is still flashing the same offensive skills. Would rank higher on a non-fantasy list due to his plus defense. Prime projection: 87/11/70/.279/25

29) Max Kepler (#29) MIN, OF – Quietly putting together a very strong season. .757 OPS with 3 homers and 2 steals in 33 MLB games. Prime projection: 85/17/85/.288/15

30) Josh Bell (#60) PIT, 1B – Like Contreras, added power to his already elite hit tool. I expected the power to show up, projecting him for 19 homers in the off-season, but it is still nice to see. Prime projection: 78/19/90/.293/5

31) Gary Sanchez (#31) NYY, C – Doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers, but is still displaying good contact and power skills in a pitcher’s park at Triple-A. Gets a bump for positional scarcity due to the wasteland that catcher has become. Prime projection: 67/22/83/.280/4

32) Raimel Tapia (#42) COL, OF – “Elite contact skills. Above average speed. Average power. Gets the Coors Field bump.” – – Same blurb as the off-season. Nothing changed except he is doing it in Double-A now. Prime projection: 92/13/70/.297/17

33) Willie Calhoun (#43) LAD, 2B – Discovered him in my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article that I wrote in January, and also wrote a Willie Calhoun, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him this season. Prime projection: 85/24/91/.287/2

34) Ian Happ (#50) CHC, 2B/OF – Going back and forth on Willie vs. Happ. Gave Willie the edge because he has been doing it in Double-A all year, but if you prefer the added speed that Happ brings, I can see swapping them. Happ also has a legitimate logjam ahead of him in Chicago. Prime projection: 85/19/76/.273/14

35) Aaron Judge (#34) NYY, OF – On an absolute tear in the last month, slashing .341/.464/.714 with 9 homers. It brings his OPS up to .845 in Triple-A. Prime projection: 75/26/90/.260/7

36) Jorge Mateo (#38) NYY, SS – Speed is the #1 calling card here. The bat hasn’t taken a step forward this year, but the underlying skills and talent remain the same. Prime projection: 87/11/60/.275/34

37) Jesse Winker (#41) CIN, OF – Maintaining his elite contact skills and plate approach in Triple-A, but the power hasn’t fully emerged with only 2 homers on the year. Prime projection: 88/19/92/.292/4

38) Clint Frazier (#58) CLE, OF – I called him “a breakout waiting to happen” in my off-season top 100, and he is breaking out, slashing .295/.381/.488 with 9 homers and 9 steals in 67 games as a 21-year-old in Double-A. Prime projection: 88/23/88/.284/8

39) Harrison Bader (#51) STL, OF – Discovered him in my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article that I wrote in January, and also wrote a Harrison Bader, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him this season. Prime projection: 85/20/81/.280/14

40) Tyler O’Neill (#78) SEA, OF – Wrote a sleeper post for him in the off-season, and he has drastically improved his K rate while maintaining his power in Double-A this season. The arrow is pointing up. Prime projection: 76/27/88/.265/8

41) Cody Reed (#65) CIN, LHP – Big lefty with a mid 90’s fastball and wipeout slider. That is a recipe for success. Prime projection: 3.40/1.18/192 in 200 IP

42) Ozhaino Albies (#75) ATL, SS/2B – The 19-year-old Albies zoomed through Atlanta’s system faster than anyone could have expected. Knocking on the door of the bigs, but it looks like it will be as a 2B. Prime projection: 91/8/54/.295/27

43) Eloy Jimenez (NR) CHC, OF – Ranked him 7th (but 1st on this list) on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime Projection: 83/25/93/.281/7

44) Kolby Allard (#36) ATL, LHP – Pitched only 16 innings after returning from off-season back surgery. Will know a lot more about him by the end of the year. Prime projection: 3.25/1.09/200 in 190 IP

45) Anderson Espinoza (#37) BOS, RHP – Solid but unspectacular as an 18-year-old in Single-A. Talent is immense but still a few years off. Prime projection: 3.38/1.11/194 in 190 IP

46) Raul Mondesi Jr. (#56) KC, SS – Not going to ding him for his 50 game PED suspension. Potential remains the same. Prime projection: 79/15/71/.267/28

47) Kyle Tucker (#89) HOU, OF – Power hasn’t emerged with only 2 homers in 61 games at Single-A, but is displaying a great plate approach (43/22 K/BB) and speed (25 steals). Prime projection: 86/16/84/.284/18

48) Brett Phillips (#39) MIL, OF – K rate has spiked to 31.8% in Double-A, but is still hitting for power with a few steals. Prime projection: 84/20/78/.260/11

49) Nick Williams (#59) PHI, OF – Hasn’t done much in Triple-A to move the needle in either direction. Prime projection: 85/18/78/.276/10

50) Hunter Renfroe (#61) SD, OF – Slashing .325/.345/.597 with 18 homers in 76 games in the PCL. He is using a more contact oriented approach this year, cutting his K rate to 18.0% and BB rate to 3.1%. Prime projection: 74/24/86/.266/5

51) Kyle Lewis (NR) SEA, OF – Ranked him 1st on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 82/25/87/.278/8

52) Corey Ray (NR) MIL, OF – Ranked him 2nd on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 90/14/64/.281/24

53) Rafael Devers (#63) BOS, 3B – .637 OPS as a 19-year-old in High-A. Regardless of the poor numbers, raw talent is still elite. Prime projection: 80/21/96/.287/5

54) Manuel Margot (#64) SD, OF – Contact/speed profile remains unchanged at Triple-A this year. Prime projection: 85/10/60/.278/27

55) Franklin Barreto (#57) OAK, SS/2B/OF – Numbers don’t stand out, but is still flashing power (7 homers) and speed (16 steals) as a 20-year-old in a pitcher’s park at Double-A. Prime projection: 86/14/77/.281/22

56) Renato Nunez (#73) OAK, 3B – Triple-slash looks weak (.243/.293/.433) but is still hitting for solid power (.193 ISO) and contact (17.9% K%). Prime projection: 76/21/85/.280/1

57) Matt Chapman (#94) OAK, 3B – 17 homers and a 102/36 K/BB in 74 games at Double-A. Expect more of the same in the majors. Prime projection: 76/26/86/.254/4

58) Chase Vallot (NR) KC, C – Wrote a Chase Vallot, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him. Prime Projection: 77/27/87/.258/2

59) Jose Peraza (#44) CIN, 2B/SS/OF – Collected 7 steals in 11 games since being recalled to the majors on June 15th. Prime projection: 84/6/51/.272/32

60) Sean Manaea (#45) OAK, LHP – Makes the prospect cut by under an inning. Struggled in his MLB debut, but still has enticing K upside. Prime projection: 3.49/1.21/195 in 185 IP.

61) Forrest Wall (#62) COL, 2B – Got off to a slow start, but has picked it up of late, slashing .329/.352/.476 with 2 homers and 5 steals in the last month. Prime projection: 87/14/73/.279/20

62) Francis Martes (#66) HOU, RHP – Got his season back on track after struggling in the early going. Fastball is still reaching upper 90’s and the curve is nasty. Prime projection: 3.39/1.10/176 in 185 IP

63) Gleybor Torres (#93) CHC, SS – Putting up modest numbers with an uptick in power from last year as a 19-year-old in High-A. He isn’t my favorite fantasy prospect, but his stock is on the rise. Prime projection: 81/15/70/.283/15

64) Travis Demeritte (NR) TEX, 2B – Wrote a Travis Demeritte, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him. Prime projection: 78/22/81/.247/9

65) Christin Stewart (NR) DET, OF – Ranked him 2nd on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 80/24/83/.255/4

66) Phil Bickford (NR) SFG, RHP – Ranked him 10th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime Projection: 3.54/1.18/188 in 183 IP

67) Kevin Maitan (NR) IFA/ATL, SS/3B – I wasn’t planning on ranking Maitan this high when I started this list, but nobody can even touch his upside at this point in the rankings. His hype is so stratospheric with comparisons to Miggy and Chipper Jones, that at the very least, his trade value will be high right from the get go. Prime projection: 90/25/100/.285/6

68) Jacob Faria (#68) TB, RHP – Maintained his K spike from the 2nd half of last season, and looked great in his 1st start at Triple-A last week, going 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 6 K. Would rank higher if he didn’t have to pitch in the AL East. Prime projection: 3.59/1.19/187 in 187 IP

69) Tom Murphy (#32) COL, C – Both his K rate (34.0%) and BB rate (2.7%) have seriously regressed as a 25-year-old in the PCL. He is still hitting for power (.255 ISO) and has the luxury of Coors Field at his back, so I’m not completely off the bandwagon. Prime projection: 62/25/77/.241/3

70) Jorge Alfaro (#79) PHI, C – Has absolutely no plate approach to speak of (49/4 K/BB) but has jacked 9 homers in 50 games at Double-A. With the current offensive state of the catcher position, guys like Murphy and Alfaro have value. Prime projection: 62/20/75/.245/5

71) Yadier Alvarez (NR) LAD, RHP – 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BB, 10 K in his first two starts at Rookie Ball this year. Still a bit of a mystery, but all reports have been glowing with praise since Spring Training. Upper 90’s heat with ace upside. Prime Projection: 3.30/1.18/203 in 190 IP

72) Yohander Mendez (NR) TEX, LHP – 6’5’’, 200-pound lefty with a big fastball and improving secondaries (curveball, slider, changeup). The raw talent and upside is obvious. Check out this video of him battling my boy Harrison Bader, and eventually striking him out (and then scroll down and watch the second video of Bader homering off a reliever later in the game). Prime projection: 3.40/1.17/185 in 185 IP

73) Grant Holmes (#48) LAD, RHP – Both his K/9 (8.8) and BB/9 (3.2) are down this year in the Cal League. Excellent raw stuff, but the development is going to take some time. Prime projection: 3.44/1.26/199 in 188 IP

74) Luis Ortiz (#96) TEX, RHP – Big, strong righty who is built like a workhorse starter, but has had arm troubles in the past. Pitching well as a 20-year-old in Double-A. Prime projection: 3.41/1.16/177 in 185 IP

75) Ryan McMahon (#49) COL, 3B – Struggling badly at Double-A, slashing .218/.313/.327 with 3 homers. Coors Field is really buoying his value right now. Prime projection: 78/20/88/.261/6

76) Jack Flaherty (#69) STL, RHP – Has been on fire in his last 4 starts after a slow start to the season. This is as much a vote of confidence in St. Louis’ organization as it is in Flaherty’s talent. Prime projection: 3.37/1.18/178 in 195 IP

77) Brent Honeywell (#71) TB, RHP – Season has been immaculate other than being sidelined for 6 weeks with a sore arm. Prime projection: 3.46/1.14/179 in 190 IP

78) Anthony Alford (#76) TOR, OF – Hasn’t been the same since injuring his knee, but has started to turn it around this week. He deserves the benefit of the doubt to see if he heats up the further away he gets from that knee injury. Prime projection: 81/16/79/.272/18

79) Dominic Smith (#77) NYM, 1B – Still waiting on that power breakout, but the contact skills and plate approach have been strong in Double-A. Prime projection: 78/19/90/.289/2

80) Cody Bellinger (#95) LAD, 1B/OF – Not hitting for as much power as he did last year in the Cal League, but is still putting up solid numbers as a 20-year-old in Double-A. Prime projection: 79/21/87/.271/6

81) Tyler Jay (#98) MIN, LHP – Minnesota’s gamble looks to be paying off. Transition to starter has been a smashing success so far. Prime projection: 3.51/1.19/180 in 180 IP

82) Will Craig (NR) PIT, 3B – Ranked him 3rd on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 77/22/92/.281/1

83) Zack Collins (NR) CHW, C – Ranked him 4th on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 79/21/88/.277/2

84) Nick Senzel (NR) CIN, 3B – Ranked him 5th on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 80/14/80/.283/13

85) Mickey Moniak (NR) PHI, OF – Ranked him 6th on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 89/12/63/.290/19

86) Josh Ockimey (NR) BOS, 1B – Ranked him 5th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 85/23/93/.268/4

87) Luke Weaver (NR) STL, RHP – Dominated in his first 5 starts of the season, going 31.1 IP, 4 ER, 30 Hits, 3 BB, 37 K. Velocity has ticked up and is still displaying his plus changeup. Prime Projection: 3.47/1.17/179 in 193 IP

88) Alen Hanson (#33) PIT, 2B – Wrote a sleeper post for him in the off-season, and unlike Fisher and O’Neill, he is making me regret it, slashing .246/.285/.365 with 5 homers and 18 steals in 62 games. The speed still looks good and he is popping a homer every now and then, but it’s now his second year in a row of struggling at Triple-A. Prime projection: 82/10/60/.267/20

89) Sean Newcomb (#54) ATL, LHP – From my off-season top 100: “Tantalizing stuff, but major control issues. High risk, high reward.” – – Same old, same old for Newcomb this year. 9.15 K/9 and 4.46 BB/9. Prime projection: 3.48/1.28/192 in 180 IP

90) Roman Quinn (#92) PHI, OF – Speed is what you are buying here. 25 steals in 50 games at Double-A. His injury history still scares me a bit. Prime projection: 81/8/57/.270/31

91) Ronald Guzman (NR) TEX, 1B – Ranked him 6th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 82/19/88/.279/3

92) Dylan Cozens (NR) PHI, OF – Ranked him 4th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 74/21/78/.241/9

93) Chris Shaw (NR) SFG, 1B – Ranked him 9th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 78/23/87/.270/1

94) A.J. Puk (NR) OAK, LHP – Ranked him 7th on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 3.59/1.27/198 in 183 IP

95) Ian Anderson (NR) ATL, RHP – Ranked him 8th on my 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings. Prime projection: 3.39/1.16/184 in 190 IP

96) Alex Verdugo (NR) LAD, OF – Slashing .288/.349/.440 with 8 homers and a 38/21 K/BB in 67 games as a 20-year-old in Double-A. He deserves to crack the top 100. Prime Projection: 80/17/80/.286/6

97) Mitch Keller (NR) PIT, RHP – Ranked him 8th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). Prime projection: 3.45/1.14/182 in 188 IP

98) Hunter Harvey (#87) BAL, RHP – Has been out all season with a sports hernia injury before making a rehab start last week in the GCL, striking out 5 batters in 2 IP. Reports were positive on his stuff, and we are still in wait and see mode on Harvey. Prime projection: 3.48/1.18/160 in 150 IP

99) Francisco Mejia (NR) CLE, C – Monster breakout repeating Single-A this season, slashing .347/.384/.532 with 7 homers in 60 games. Promoted to High-A yesterday and proceeded to go 2 for 4. He is one of the better lottery ticket catchers out there to take a shot on. Prime Projection: 72/16/79.280/1

100) Chris Paddack (NR) SD, RHP – Insane 6-start run to begin his season in Single-A, going 28.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BB, 48 K. Best pitch is a plus, plus changeup. It’s a very small sample, but I’ll take the shot on his clear upside at this point. Prime Projection: 3.60/1.17/190 in 180 IP

**101) Justus Sheffield (#70) CLE, LHP – It got really tight at the end here, and I didn’t want to not mention these last 3 guys at all, so here is 101-103 of my top 100 😉 Sheffield’s K/9 is down (7.8) and BB/9 is up (3.6) in High-A this season. While he drops on this list, his overall potential remains basically unchanged. Prime projection: 3.53/1.22/180 in 180 IP

102) Carson Fulmer (#28) CHW, RHP– Nothing short of a disaster season. 5.88/1.57/75 with a 5.3 BB/9 in 75 IP at Double-A. Went 7 scoreless with 7 K in his last start, though, and I wouldn’t count him completely out yet. Prime projection: 3.55/1.28/175 in 180 IP

103) Dillon Tate (#46) TEX, RHP – Maybe I should call this the hanging on by a thread section. These guys have the ability to turn it around in the 2nd half, but they are being put on notice until then. Prime projection: 3.67/1.20/180 in 190 IP.

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

2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 11-40

Here we go again. It’s ranking season! Well, maybe a week or two before ranking season, but close enough. Through Thursday, I will be ranking the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects in all The Land. And I mean that literally, not the lame nickname that Cleveland now has to make them seem cooler. To be clear, I will not just be ranking prospects in Cleveland. Enough monkey business, here are the 2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 11-40 (previous ranking in parenthesis):

2016 Off-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-100

Graduates: Corey Seager (#1) LAD, SS, Byron Buxton (#2) MIN, OF, Steven Matz (#10) NYM, LHP, Nomar Mazara (#19) TEX, OF, Trevor Story (#30) COL, SS, John Lamb (#40) CIN, LHP, Aaron Blair (#81) ATL, RHP, Michael Fulmer (#82) DET, RHP, Archie Bradley (#83) ARI, RHP, Mallex Smith (#91) ATL, OF, Jon Gray (#100) COL, RHP

1-10
41-70
71-100
Complete Top 100

11) Victor Robles (#35) WASH, OF – Displaying the same elite contact and speed profile in his first full season of pro ball that he did in Rookie ball and Low-A. Perfect combination of raw tools and current production. Prime projection: 96/14/75/.304/28

12) Alex Reyes (#11) STL, RHP – 13.9 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 really does say it all. Can dial it up to 100 MPH, and I’ll take the risk for his through the roof upside. Prime projection: 3.35/1.20/240 in 210 IP

13) Jose Berrios (#12) MIN, RHP – Not going to let his poor 4-start MLB debut scare me off. Future value remains the same. Prime projection: 3.39/1.11/190 in 200 IP

14) Blake Snell (#13) TB, LHP– Look up one inch. Prime projection: 3.36/1.17/209 in 198 IP

15) Jose De Leon (#14) LAD, RHP – Slowly ramping it up at Triple-A after returning from a sore arm. 14.2 K/9 in limited action shows the elite K potential is still there. Prime projection: 3.41/1.16/220 in 190 IP

16) J.P. Crawford (#15) PHI, SS – Having an elite plate approach is like the missionary position for prospects. Not the most exciting, but it gets the job done. Prime projection: 94/12/65/.289/18

17) Brad Zimmer (#16) CLE, OF – 28.8% K rate is higher than we would like, but the power/speed combo is still popping. Prime projection: 86/21/81/.260/24

18) Derek Fisher (#20) HOU, OF – Wrote a sleeper post for him in the off-season, and he is not making me regret it with his strong first half in Double-A. Prime projection: 84/22/84/.270/17

19) Josh Hader (#21) MIL, LHP – Ranked him #3 in my pre-season Dynasty League Prospect Sleepers post. Putting up a pitching line of 1.87/1.13/99 in 77 IP split between Double-A and Triple-A so far this year. Prime projection: 3.31/1.18/198 in 190 IP

20) Jameson Taillon (#86) PIT, RHP – Has looked no worse for wear after not pitching for two full years. Stuff is nasty and has already reached the bigs. Prime projection: 3.38/1.13/180 in 190 IP

21) Willson Contreras (#52) CHC, C – Added power to his already elite hit tool this season. Is now clearly the top fantasy catcher prospect in the game. Prime projection: 70/20/85/.293/3

22) Lewis Brinson (#9) TEX, OF – Shoulder injury cut short his disappointing first half. Hitting profile looked completely different this year, which makes me think he was trying to make an adjustment that wasn’t working. He drops in the rankings, but I would hold if I owned him. Prime projection: 90/25/90/.274/17

23) Bobby Bradley (#18) CLE, 1B – Might as well be named Joey Gallo Jr. Lots of HR’s, BB’s, and K’s. Prime projection: 80/33/105/.250/4

24) Austin Meadows (#53) PIT, OF – Power has ticked up this year, and if he can continue that power surge in Triple-A, will rank even higher in the off-season. Prime projection: 92/18/80/.295/13

25) Tim Anderson (#22) CHW, SS – Not the type of hitter to put up pretty K/BB numbers, but can hit for a solid average with top end speed and sneaky power. Prime projection: 90/12/61/.273/28

26) Dansby Swanson (#25) ATL, SS – Looks to have the inside track on Atlanta’s SS job over Albies. Will do a little bit of everything, but doesn’t have a standout tool. Prime projection: 87/17/77/.282/14

27) Trea Turner (#23) WASH, SS – MLB ready but has been prospect blocked by Danny Espinoza as I suspected he would be in my off-season top 100. Played CF last night in an attempt by Washington to find another path to the big leagues for him. Prime projection: 90/9/55/.282/26

28) Orlando Arcia (#27) MIL, SS – Hasn’t quite kept up his 2015 breakout in Triple-A this season, but is still flashing the same offensive skills. Would rank higher on a non-fantasy list due to his plus defense. Prime projection: 87/11/70/.279/25

29) Max Kepler (#29) MIN, OF – Quietly putting together a very strong season. .757 OPS with 3 homers and 2 steals in 33 MLB games. Prime projection: 85/17/85/.288/15

30) Josh Bell (#60) PIT, 1B – Like Contreras, added power to his already elite hit tool. I expected the power to show up, projecting him for 19 homers in the off-season, but it is still nice to see. Prime projection: 78/19/90/.293/5

31) Gary Sanchez (#31) NYY, C – Doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers, but is still displaying good contact and power skills in a pitcher’s park at Triple-A. Gets a bump for positional scarcity due to the wasteland that catcher has become. Prime projection: 67/22/83/.280/4

32) Raimel Tapia (#42) COL, OF – “Elite contact skills. Above average speed. Average power. Gets the Coors Field bump.” – – Same blurb as the off-season. Nothing changed except he is doing it in Double-A now. Prime projection: 92/13/70/.297/17

33) Willie Calhoun (#43) LAD, 2B – Discovered him in my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article that I wrote in January, and also wrote a Willie Calhoun, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him this season. Prime projection: 85/24/91/.287/2

34) Ian Happ (#50) CHC, 2B/OF – Going back and forth on Willie vs. Happ. Gave Willie the edge because he has been doing it in Double-A all year, but if you prefer the added speed that Happ brings, I can see swapping them. Happ also has a legitimate logjam ahead of him in Chicago. Prime projection: 85/19/76/.273/14

35) Aaron Judge (#34) NYY, OF – On an absolute tear in the last month, slashing .341/.464/.714 with 9 homers. It brings his OPS up to .845 in Triple-A. Prime projection: 75/26/90/.260/7

36) Jorge Mateo (#38) NYY, SS – Speed is the #1 calling card here. The bat hasn’t taken a step forward this year, but the underlying skills and talent remain the same. Prime projection: 87/11/60/.275/34

37) Jesse Winker (#41) CIN, OF – Maintaining his elite contact skills and plate approach in Triple-A, but the power hasn’t fully emerged with only 2 homers on the year. Prime projection: 88/19/92/.292/4

38) Clint Frazier (#58) CLE, OF – I called him “a breakout waiting to happen” in my off-season top 100, and he is breaking out, slashing .295/.381/.488 with 9 homers and 9 steals in 67 games as a 21-year-old in Double-A. Prime projection: 88/23/88/.284/8

39) Harrison Bader (#51) STL, OF – Discovered him in my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article that I wrote in January, and also wrote a Harrison Bader, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post for him this season. Prime projection: 85/20/81/.280/14

40) Tyler O’Neill (#78) SEA, OF – Wrote a sleeper post for him in the off-season, and he has drastically improved his K rate while maintaining his power in Double-A this season. The arrow is pointing up. Prime projection: 76/27/88/.265/8

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 7

Every Monday, I will be running down some of the notable performances from around the Minor Leagues, or anything that might have caught my eye in general. Here is the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 7:

Corey Seager LAD, SS – My #1 ranked prospect in my pre-season top 100, Seager has been scorching hot of late, launching 5 homers in his last 12 games. The recently turned 22-year-old Seager is now slashing .273/.328/.472 with 7 homers in 44 games in MLB this season, after dominating there in 27 games last season. I think it’s time for the Dodgers to call him up to the next level. Oh wait, MLB is the highest level, you say? Damn this kid is good.

Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – It looks like Double-A might have actually slowed Benintendi down a little bit, as he has struck out 5 times in 4 games, after striking out only 9 times in 34 games at High-A. I think he will figure it out and be just fine, but it is a reminder that he was far too advanced for High-A to begin with.

Anfernee Grier Auburn University, OF – Meet the Andrew Benintendi of the 2016 MLB Draft. I ranked Grier 11th overall in my continuing 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 11-21, and he has smacked 2 more homers since then. He is now slashing .366/.457/.576, with 12 homers, and 19 steals in 56 games in the SEC. I was tempted to rank Grier higher at the time I wrote the article, and I’m no longer tempted, because he will be in my top 10, and maybe even top 5 when I finish the rankings and put it all together.

Corey Ray Louisville, OF – My #2 ranked prospect on my MLB Draft Fantasy Prospect Rankings: 1-5, Ray jacked another homer and swiped another bag this week, giving him 14 homers, 37 steals (0 CS), and a .326/.398/.581 triple-slash in 56 games in the ACC. I ranked Kyle Lewis #1, but there is a real case to be made for Ray. They are really 1A and 1B at this point depending on what type of production you are looking for. While we are talking about draft prospects, my #3 ranked Draft Prospect, Zack Collins, launched another homer this week too, giving him 11 on the season.

Harrison Bader STL, OF – Little ole’ 3rd round pick Harrison Bader didn’t even need High-A, as he continued his assault on Double-A pitching this week, hitting another bomb (8) and stealing another base (6). If you haven’t checked out this excellent interview he gave to David Laurila over at Fangraphs, you should definitely give it read. My favorite part of the interview is where he talked about his hitting approach, and finished up by saying, “my primary goal is to make consistent hard contact.” That’s the attribute that made me so high on him to begin with, and if you hit the ball hard, the homers will come.

Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – Everyone can’t stop gushing over Moncada’s hitting ability, and for good reason, but he has been nothing short of elite with his legs this year too. He stole 5 more bases this week, and now has 30 steals in 40 games, being caught only 6 times. That brings his minor league career total to 79 steals on 88 attempts in 121 games. For some reason, I still can’t get that excited about him. Oh that’s right, it’s because I’m a Yankees fan, and can’t get over how we let him slip through our fingers. I think I am in the 2nd stage of grieving, which is anger. That means bargaining and depression are coming next. Fun stuff.

Victor Robles WASH, OF – Popped 2 more dingers this week, bringing his season total up to 5 homers in 39 games. The power is showing up faster than anybody expected, and he is doing it while maintaining a .340 AVG and 20/10 K/BB. His upside is so sky high that it has to ask Air Traffic Control for clearance.

A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – Reed got back in action last night, going 1 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout. With Tyler White struggling of late, Reed can reach the big leagues in a hurry if he can get hot. If he is still available to stash in your league, now is the time to grab him.

Blake Snell TB, LHP/Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Snell: 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BB, 9 K – Hader: 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 ER, 8 K. Just two of the best lefty pitching prospects in the game doing their thing.

Julio Urias LAD, LHP – The 19-year-old Urias threw another shutout this week, and he hasn’t given up an ER in 6 of his 8 starts this year in the PCL. He now sits comfortably as the best pitching prospect in baseball. Unfortunately, he has risen in the Dodgers system faster than his yearly IP totals could keep up, and he is likely to be used out of the Major League bullpen in order to trick his arm into thinking pitching 3-4 times per week is less stressful than just starting once every five games. Baseball teams just love to exploit that imaginary loophole.

Alex Reyes STL, RHP – Reyes made his season debut last night after being suspended for 50 games to start the season, and he dominated, going 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BB, 8K. He might never be able to paint the black, but when you throw 99 MPH, you really don’t have to. Definitely get Reyes back on your redraft stash radar.

Dillon Tate TEX, RHP/Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP/Tyler Jay MIN, LHP – This three headed monster will forever be linked after they were all taken in the top 10 of the 2015 Draft. Tate (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BB, 1K) and Fulmer (2.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BB, 2 k) both threw up absolute stinkers in their last outing, while Jay (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BB, 6 K) kept rolling. Looks like Minnesota’s risk of taking a college reliever in Jay just might pay off.

Grant Holmes LAD, RHP – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BB, 8 K in his start this week. He now holds a 9.6 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9 in 42 IP at High-A. It’s nice to see his walk rate improve this year (4.7 BB/9 in 2015), but he’s been a bit more hittable, as well.

David Dahl COL, OF – 2 more homers and 2 more steals this week. Just another week at the office for one of the most exciting fantasy prospects in the game. The fact that he will get to play his home games at Coors Field almost makes my head want to explode.

J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Promoted to Triple-A this week, where I’m sure he will continue to display his great, but thouroughly unexciting plate approach and moderate power/speed combo. I did still rank him 15th overall in the pre-season, and he can provide solid 5-category production at the SS position in the not too distant future.

Joey Gallo TEX, 3B – Gallo returned to action in Grande fashion this week after being out with a groin strain, mashing a homer in his 3rd game back. You can expect him to continue to be prospect blocked, and if I were a Gallo owner, I would be hoping he gets traded away at the deadline. Edit: He was just called up by Texas! I guess the Rangers are going to find playing time for him wherever they can.

Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Has really turned it up a notch this week at Double-A, slashing .357/.400/.536 with 2 homers. It is nice to see him getting the power stroke going a little bit, and he now has 4 homers and 10 steals in 43 games this season. I honestly have no idea what Atlanta’s plans are with him and Ozzie Albies.

Alex Bregman HOU, SS/3B – Bregman mentioned in an interview recently that he gained 20 pounds of muscle this off season. Combine that with the 10 bombs (3 this week) that he has hit this season in Double-A, and I’m starting to think the power explosion is definitely for real. I projected him for 15 homers in the preseason, which was on the high side from everything I read, but 20+ looks to be the new expectation now. He does have only 3 steals on the year, so he might have traded some speed for power.

Jorge Mateo NYY, SS ¬ Mateo has now been successful in his last 7 steal attempts, after struggling there early in the season. He also tacked on another homer this week, and is slashing .313/.369/.528, with 5 homers, and 15 steals in 41 games at High-A. If he can keep this production up when he gets moved to Double-A, his prospect stock will soar even higher than it already is.

Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – Keller has been long overdue to make the Rundown, as he has been one of the fastest risers among the pitcher ranks this season. After struggling with a forearm injury last season, he has been on fire to start 2016, putting up a dominant pitching line of 1.40/0.69/52 in 45 IP. He has walked 3 guys all season. He throws a low 90’s fastball, plus curveball, and a developing changeup. Considering the success that Pittsburgh has had with pitching prospects in the recent past, Keller has a good chance of cracking many top 100’s if he can keep up his success this season.

Daniel Mengden OAK, RHP – Mengden is another fast rising pitcher who is long overdue for the Rundown. After dominating for 23 IP in a pitcher’s park at Double-A, he has done just as well at Triple-A in the PCL, going 27 IP, 2 ER, 16 Hits, 4 BB, 23 K in 4 starts. He fastball was seen topping out at 98 MPH earlier this year, and he throws a solid curveball and changeup as well. Mengden has a good chance of joining Oakland’s rotation later this season.

Jacob Faria TB, RHP – After struggling with his control all year, it was nice to see Faria absolutely dominate in his last outing at Double-A, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 0 BB, 11 K. His K/9 has looked great this season at 10.1, but the 4.9 BB/9 is concerning. Considering he hasn’t had major control issues in the past, I think he will figure it out, and his last start was definitely a step in that direction.

Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B – After returning from a hip injury, Bellinger was ice cold to start the season, but he has absolutely caught fire of late, smashing another homer last night, giving him 3 this week and 4 on the season in 22 games at Double-A. He was a Cal League superstar last year, smashing 30 dingers, so displaying that power at Double-A is nice to see. I ranked him 95th in the preseason, and if he keeps powering up, he will rise fast in the rankings.

Hunter Dozier KC, 3B – The 24-year-old Dozier is officially back on the prospect map, as he has dominated since getting called up to Triple-A. He hit 3 more homers this week, bringing his season triple-slash up to .309/.382/.625, with 12 homers, and 4 steals split between Double-A and Triple-A. If you have been holding Dozier since he was a hyped 8th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, it looks like your patience is finally beginning to pay off.

Hunter Renfroe SD, OF – It must be hunting season, because Hunter Renfroe has been killing it this week as well, crushing 3 homers, bringing his slash line up to .327/.355/.588, with 8 homers, and 3 steals at Triple-A. He should get the call to the bigs at some point later this season.

Ryan McMahon COL, 3B – Smacked homers in back-to-back games this week, and McMahon is finally starting to break out of his early season slump. He also struck out only once, and there are finally some positives to point to for McMahon owners to get excited about.

Chris Shaw SFG, 1B – Shaw’s coming out party continues, smashing 3 more homers this week (one inside the park), bringing his season total up to 10 homers in 39 games at High-A.

Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – The 19-year-old Jimenez is starting to unleash that massive plus power that made him a hyped international signing back in 2013. He crushed 4 homers this week, giving him 6 on the season, to go along with a .327/.363/.526 triple-slash in 39 games at High-A. The time to scoop him is definitely now.

Phillip Ervin CIN, OF – The 27th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Ervin is slashing .228/.347/.439, with 5 homers, and 17 steals in 36 games at Double-A. I like a bunch of the other deep sleepers who I wrote about in previous Rundowns more than Ervin, but he has the kind of power/speed combo that is worth keeping an eye on in case he can even moderately improve his hit tool. He doesn’t have major strikeout issues, and he knows how to take a walk, so I don’t think hoping for improvement there is a bad bet.

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 5

Every Monday, I will be running down some of the notable performances from around the Minor Leagues, or anything that might have caught my eye in general. Here is the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 5:

Byron Buxton MIN, OF – Turned it on for real this week, hitting his first three homers of the season. He’s now slashing .276/.344/.534 at Triple-A, and it looks like whatever had to be corrected with his swing has been corrected. If I were a betting man (I am), I would bet a lot of money that he will not hit like a little leaguer when he gets called back up.

Chris Shaw SF, 1B – In the comments section of my Finding the Next A.J. Reed article, “The Baltimoron” mentioned Chris Shaw could be an underrated breakout candidate as well. And boy was he right, as Shaw is crushing it at High-A, slashing .337/.402/.615 with 6 homers. You modest bastard you, “The Baltimoron,” more like “The Baltigenius.”

Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – The power is starting to come around, as Moncada launched his first three homers of the season this week, and is slashing .317/.450/.510 with 19 steals in 28 games at High-A. With Corey Seager and Buxton officially losing their prospect eligibility, Moncada is probably in a battle with Julio Urias to be the #1 fantasy prospect in the game right now.

Julio Urias LAD, LHP – Speaking of which, there have been rumors the Dodgers may call up Urias to pitch out of the pen this season, because when has rushing a 19-year-old pitching prodigy, with less than 100 IP above A-ball, to pitch out of the bullpen ever backfired on a team?

Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – A legitimate argument can be made that Rodgers is the top fantasy prospect right now too. He is treating Single-A pitchers like cable companies treat their customers, completely bulldozing them to the tune of .358/.421/.642, with 7 homers, and 2 steals in 27 games. I doubt High-A will cause him many problems, either.

Jose De Leon LAD, RHP – Didn’t take long for De Leon to remind me of why I ranked him the 14th overall fantasy prospect coming into this season, as he went 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, and 9 K’s in his first of the year. His K upside is as good or better as any pitcher in the minors.

Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – Fulmer has looked a lot better after his terrible first two starts, and he further solidified himself this week with a 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BB, 7 K performance. His fastball command was giving him trouble in the early going, which he blamed on being too amped up. If you have ever watched Fulmer pitch, you know his intensity is always dialed up to 11, so that is quite believable. If he keeps pitching well, it is not out of the question for him to force his way into Chicago’s rotation later this season. I would have him on my radar as a deeper league redraft stash.

Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – Fulmer’s command issues have now been passed on to Giolito, and we unfortunately have to add Giolito to the slow start watch list. After four very mediocre starts to begin the season, he threw up an absolute disaster this week, going 3 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BB, 4 K. It has only been 18.2 IP, and I’m sure he will eventually find his rhythm and turn it around.

Blake Snell TB, LHP – Well, this will teach teams to call up their stud prospects for spot starts with no intention of keeping them up, and at Yankee Stadium to boot. Snell has lost all control and command since being sent back down, and I have to believe it is a just an issue of losing focus after getting back on that minor league bus and $25 per diem grind. He’ll be fine.

Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP/Jameson Taillon PIT, RHP – Glasnow: 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 11 K – Taillon: 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 3 K. It is literally a full blown arms race to see who gets the call first.

Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Promotion to Double-A hasn’t slowed Swanson down at all, as he is slashing .310/.444/.517 in his first 8 games at the level. He still has only 3 homers in 51 career minor leagues games, and he is not considered a burner, so I’m not sure the hot start moves the needle much in either direction. I ranked him 25th overall in the off season, and he is a good fantasy prospect, but he may never develop that big power or speed. Considering he is also contending with Ozzie Albies to be Atlanta’s SS of the future, I would be sniffing out some sell high opportunities right now.

Trea Turner WASH, SS, – Who needs a stud 22-year-old SS slashing .321/.391/.455, with 2 homers, and 12 steals at Triple-A, when you have a .200 hitting Danny Espinosa and .143 hitting Stephen Drew tearing it up in the majors? 2022 is probably much more important. To be fair to Washington, Turner does have 5 errors in only 26 games, and there have been more than a few scouts who have suggested he is better off at 2B long term. For now, I would still assume we see Turner in the big leagues by July at the latest.

J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – The only thing to note about Crawford’s start to the season is how there is remarkably little to note about it. He is just doing what he does best, controlling the strike zone, and displaying his moderate power/speed combo.

Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Triple-slashing .177/.255/.195 in his first 11 games at Double-A. It’s almost like fracturing the orbital bone in his right eye has negatively affected his hitting.

Harrison Bader STL, OF – I’m seriously not trying to write about Bader in every rundown, but he keeps topping his performance from the previous week and it makes it hard not to. He put up a .407 batting average this week, struck out only 14% of the time, and is 2/2 in stolen base attempts since May 1. The K% and steals were both areas of concern even with his scorching start. The arrow continues to point up.

Paul DeJong STL, 3B – Went on a homer binge this week like I binge on Netflix and Chinese food. He has hit 5 homers in May, bringing his season total up to, um, 5. He hit 9 dingers last year splitting time between Rookie ball and Single-A, and ho hum, St. Louis has another underrated hitting prospect who they scooped in the 4th round of last year’s draft.

Tom Murphy COL, C – Murphy finally got his season underway after being out with the dreaded, lingering oblique injury, and he wasted no time in showing why I loved him so much, smashing a homer in his second game back. Nick Hundley is currently dealing with an oblique injury of his own, and it may open a door for Murphy to make an impact this season if he keeps playing well. The oblique giveth and taketh away.

Willson Contreras CHC, C – Contreras has already been displaying his elite plate approach and contact skills in the early going at Triple-A, and now he has added some power as well. He hit his first two homers of the year this week, and he remains one of the very best fantasy catcher prospects in the game.

Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Power, speed, and K’s galore. The 6 homers and 11 steals in 27 games is drool worthy, but striking out 31% of the time as 23-year-old in Double-A is concerning. I’m starting to think his batting average will be closer to .250 than .270.

Aaron Judge NYY, OF – After treading water for most of the season, Judge Dredd lived up to his nickname by crushing 3 homers this week, bringing his season total up to 6. He also still has a 27% K%. I think we are definitively starting to see the player Judge is/will become, a low average, high K power hitter with very good, but not elite power.

Gary Sanchez NYY, C – The Sanchize (Mark Sanchez has really ruined that nickname forever, huh) has also started to mash this week, going deep 3 times. He is slashing .283/.336/.566, with 5 homers, and 2 steals in 24 games at Triple-A. Considering he plays in an extreme pitcher’s park, the line looks even more impressive.

Brett Phillips MIL, OF – Phillips must have heard me when I was talking shit about his power potential in last week’s rundown, as he cranked 4 homers this week, and hit 3 in one game! Needless to say, the power is looking better now.

Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Finally got it going this week, slashing .304/.360/.652, with 2 homers, and 1 steal at Double-A. Time to take him off the slow start watch list.

Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS – Remember when I said it might be time to start getting excited about Mondesi? Well, it wasn’t time, as his season line has now fallen to .230/.280/.440, with 5 homers, and 11 steals in 24 games at Double-A. He is still flashing that tantalizing power and speed, so we just have to stay patient.

Tyler Jay MIN, LHP – Got back on track this week (6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BB, 7 K) after getting hammered by the Hammerheads last week. It’s a good sign to see him bouncing back after rough starts.

Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – Just keeps dominating High-A hitters. I was questioning whether I should have even included him in the rundown because his dominance is getting kinda mundane at this point.

Jose Pujols PHI, OF – The 20-year-old Pujols has always had huge raw power and plus bat speed, but it is just now starting to show up in games. He hit 3 homers this week, and that gives him 7 homers on the season in 27 games at Single-A. He is striking out 33% of the time, but he is still an intriguing deep league power prospect.

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