2017 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Spring Training, Take Two

Spring Training stats should always be taken with a grain of salt, but if a player transformed his body, or improved his swing, or impressed coaches with a renewed mindset and work ethic, it could be a sign of legitimate improvement. Here is the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Spring Training, Take Two:

Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – If you are concerned about Benintendi’s .179 batting average and 36% K% in his 33 MLB at-bats against lefties, maybe this rocket shot he crushed last night that cleared the fence in .2 seconds will help ease those fears. This guy is going to absolutely wear out Pesky Pole. Actually, the Red Sox are already preparing for the assault, reinforcing Pesky Pole with 40 feet of new steel, among other repairs.

Steven Matz NYM, LHP – Well, that was quick. Shortly after listing Matz 1st on my Post-Tommy John Surgery Death Zone Watch List, he was scratched from his next scheduled start due to “irritation” in his left elbow. He won’t have an MRI, but don’t worry, the trusty Mets PR department and front office assures that there is nothing structurally wrong. “There is nothing structurally wrong” sounds like the new “dreaded vote of confidence” mangers get right before being fired.

A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – The work Reed put in this off-season on conditioning and bat speed has clearly paid off, as not only has he raked in Spring, but Houston coaches have been raving about him. This is how you like to see young players respond to adversity, because it won’t be the last time they have to overcome obstacles, whether it be due to injury or the constant game of adjustments that is MLB hitting.

Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – I’m no doctor, but this video certainly looks like an encouraging sign that Lewis’ knee rehab is going well. Feel free to draft him with increasing confidence in prospect and Dynasty drafts.

Corey Ray MIL, OF – Ray also returned to game action this week after tearing his meniscus in October. While we are on the topic of injured 2016 college bats …

Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – Doubled in his first game back after taking a pitch to his wrist in live batting practice a couple weeks ago. There is nothing worse than a wrist injury for a hitter, so hopefully this will be the last we hear of it.

Jesus Aguilar MIL, 1B – Spring Training stats don’t matter, unless you are a 26-year-old bad bodied first baseman who basically has to hit like Babe Ruth in order for somebody to give you a shot. And that is exactly what Aguilar is doing this Spring, hitting .462 with 5 homers in 52 at-bats. He has been completely outplaying the Korean sensation, Eric Thames, and is making Milwaukee rethink their opening day roster. If you are looking for an Adam Duvall like breakout in the next couple years, keep your eye on Aguilar.

Jose Berrios MIN, RHP – Minnesota claims Berrios won’t make the MLB team because the WBC prevented him from being properly stretched out, but I have a sneaking suspicion it might also have something to do with his 8.02 ERA in 14 starts last year. I’ve jumped so far off the Berrios bandwagon that I actually had a Coors pitcher (Gray) and an AL East pitcher (Bundy) ranked ahead of him when I Re-Ranked the Graduates from My 2016 Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings back in early January (I would probably put Turner #1 now).

Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS/2B – It’s odd that people seem to completely ignore the obvious step forward Mondesi took last year in the upper levels of the minors, OPS’ing .779 at Double-A and .863 at Triple-A in 172 combined at-bats, while they overly focus on the inevitable struggles he had in the Majors. He hit well in Winter Ball, has been raking in Spring, and even if he doesn’t break camp with the team, I wouldn’t expect him to be held down for long. This is a potential elite speed/power combo who is not being valued like that in Dynasty drafts.

Franklin Barreto OAK, SS/2B – Billy Beane can’t wait until he can finally show something from that awful Josh Donaldson trade, and with Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder the only thing in the way of that, you can bet Barreto will be called up sooner rather than later.

Cody Reed CIN, LHP/Amir Garrett CIN, LHP – I think I could have made a run at a rotation spot in Cincinnati’s dumpster fire of a starting rotation. Their ballpark is a launching pad and while I think both of these guys can be solid mid-rotation starters long term, they look like nothing but landmines for this season.

Alen Hanson PIT, UTIL – MLB’s cockamamie team control rules will finally help the player and not the team, as Hanson is out of options, and if he doesn’t make the big league club, there would be no shortage of teams who would jump at the chance to claim him. Plus, the United States doesn’t look all too keen about letting Jung-ho Kang back into the country, so there could be more playing time available than originally thought.

Jose Quintana HOU, LHP – Seriously Houston, just pull the trigger already. You have a million talented outfielders who deserve a shot and a highly volatile starting rotation.

Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Speaking of Houston outfielders, Fisher hit well this Spring, but has really impressed on the base paths, jacking 10 bases in 34 at-bats. It can be hard to know how much to trust minor league steal numbers, but it sure does seem like this man loves to run.

Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Meadows crushed a ball out of the ballpark against a lefty on Saturday, which continued his torrid Spring. I don’t care that he doesn’t have a spot yet (Polanco did just get scratched with shoulder soreness), I would be going out of my way to grab him in any Dynasty drafts where he is still available.

Koda Glover WASH, RHP – Dusty Baker knows who the closer is, but nanny nanny poo poo, he’s not telling.

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)

2016/17 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings: 1-10

The MLB regular season may be over, but that means Dynasty Leagues are just starting to ramp back up. Leading up to Friday’s special edition of the Razzball Prospect Podcast: First-Year Player Mock Draft, I will be ranking the top draft picks and international free agents who signed with pro teams this season. Here are the 2016/17 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings: 1-10:

*All projections are now juiced, like the balls

1) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – I ranked Senzel 5th in my Top 30 MLB Draft Rankings, but his impressive pro debut (.305/.398/.514), combined with Kyle Lewis’ knee injury, Corey Ray’s struggles in High-A, and Will Craig’s mediocre power output, has undoubtedly vaulted him to the top spot. Prime Projection: 90/20/90/.286/.354/.469/14

2) Zack Collins CHW, C – The 10th overall pick in the draft, Collins responded to his aggressive High-A assignment, slashing .258/.418/.467 with 6 homers and a 39/33 K/BB in 36 games. Chicago is also the type of organization to stick with him behind the plate, despite his questionable catcher defense. Prime Projection: 78/26/87/.264/.364/.485/2

3) Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – Would have ranked #1 overall if not for the devastating knee injury, but I’ll bet on modern medicine and not drop him too far. He has been updating his rehab progress on Twitter. Prime Projection: 83/24/87/.278/.350/.491/8

4) Corey Ray MIL, OF – Unlike Collins, Ray struggled at High-A, slashing .247/.307/.385. He still flashed his enticing power/speed combo, but the struggles just exacerbate the questions that surrounded his hit tool coming into the draft. Prime Projection: 86/16/71/.261/.328/.441/22

5) Will Craig PIT, 1B/3B – The power didn’t show up, with only 2 homers 63 games at Low-A, but his .412 OBP and 37/41 K/BB proves he is one of the most advanced hitters in the draft. Prime Projection: 80/22/90/.284/.359/.480/3

6) Kevin Maitan ATL, SS – Pure projection and scouting reports. Highest upside in the rankings, but he is 16 years old … seriously, he was born in the year 2000. Prime Projection: 90/27/100/.285/.345/.510/6

7) A.J. Puk OAK, LHP – More projection than you would like for a college starter, but he is a big, hard throwing lefty who put up a pitching line of 3.03/1.07/40 in 32.2 IP at Low-A. Prime Projection: 3.51/1.26/195 in 185 IP

8) Mickey Moniak PHI, OF – Not the most exciting fantasy prospect, but has a plus hit tool, speed, and pumped up trade value being the #1 overall pick in the draft. Prime Projection: 89/12/63/.290/.357/.420/19

9) Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – 2.04/1.13/36 in 39.2 IP in rookie ball debut. Has an advanced 3 pitch mix for his age, and will be in a great pitching situation in Atlanta and the NL East. Prime Projection: 3.39/1.16/184 in 190 IP

10) Jason Groome BOS, LHP – 6’6’’, 220-pound lefty with a devastating curveball. Drafted 12th overall but had the talent to be the top overall pick in the draft. Unlike Anderson, will be facing adverse pitching conditions in Fenway and the AL East. Prime Projection: 3.44/1.20/197 in 195 IP

11-20 – 2016/17 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings
21-30 – 2016/17 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings
31-40 – 2016/17 Dynasty League First-Year Player Draft Rankings

You can check out my Top 30 MLB Draft Rankings for more in depth information and scouting reports on most of these players.

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 19

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 19:

Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS/Orlando Arcia MIL, SS – They can’t all be Francisco Lindor, a light hitting shortstop in the minors who ripped it up immediately upon stepping foot in the majors (and hasn’t stopped ripping it up). Mondesi and Arcia have both predictably struggled since being called up, slashing .196/.211/.250 and .184/.259/.245, respectively. If I was going to put my money on one guy to be the next Lindor, it would be J.P. Crawford, but I wouldn’t bet on that either.

Francisco Mejia CLE, C – The hit streak is over at 50! But it was really kinda already over at 49 after the umps gifted Mejia a hit on Saturday night by overturning a correctly called error after the game had already ended. Hit streak or no hit streak, it doesn’t change the fact that Mejia has exploded onto the prospect map, and might have the best hit tool of any catcher in the minors.

Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Big Willie Style (yes, I actually owned that CD back in the day) launched 2 homers last night, and continues to add to his cult-like status in the fantasy prospect world. I can’t wait for him to actually get the call to the bigs, hopefully sometime next season.

Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – The inconsistent Giolito looked good this week, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 5 K. He isn’t exactly Stephen Strasburg’ing his way to the Majors, but not many do.

Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – Promoted from Rookie ball to Rookie ball, but the better Rookie ball, and looked good over 3.2 IP. Here is an excellent scouting report from Kyle Glaser over at Baseball America on the start.

Michael Kopech BOS, RHP – Exploded this week, going 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BB, 11 K. His only plus pitch is his fastball right now, but damn is it a plus pitch, carrying him to 60 K’s in 38.1 IP.

Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – If you want to know why Lewis’ knee injury scares me so much, just watch this video he posted on Twitter of some of his early rehab work. I’m far from a doctor, so feel free to ignore my concerns, although I have been known to be one helluva internet diagnostician.

Corey Ray MIL, OF – Showing a pulse at High-A, hitting 2 homers and stealing 2 bases this week. The power/speed combo isn’t going anywhere, but the hit tool still needs improvement.

Aaron Judge NYY, OF/Gary Sanchez NYY, C – Judge and Sanchez both knocked their 2nd career Major League homer last night. I don’t own these guys in any fantasy leagues, unfortunately, but I’m just excited as a Yankees fan. I know it’s hard to believe, but watching declining veterans chug their way to 80 something wins isn’t very exciting.

Kolby Allard ATL, LHP/ Sean Newcomb ATL, LHP – Who is the best pitching prospect in Atlanta’s minor league system? Ralph held my feet to the fire on this question in Episode 2 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast (we also talked about the Gourriel brothers and swapped childhood WWF stories), and I stuck to my guns and went with Allard. He rewarded my faith with a gem of a performance this week, going 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BB, 9 K. Newcomb is his biggest competition, and he had his 3rd dominant outing in a row, going 17.2 IP, 2 ER, 10 hits, 6 BB, 25 K over that span. The 23-year-old Newcomb is much closer to the majors, but the 19-year-old Allard already has better control and command.

Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Promoted to Triple-A and smacked 2 homers with 8 K’s in 6 games. The power/speed combo looks great, but his already weak hit tool has regressed this year, striking out 29% of the time.

Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Promoted to Triple-A and hasn’t missed a beat, slashing .444/.464/.741. He has quieted a lot of the doubters by not only thriving in the upper levels of the minors, but also drastically cutting his K%.

Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – 3 more homers this week, giving him 29 on the season in a pitcher’s park. He is never going to hit for average, but he is a sure bet to stick at 3B, and there doesn’t look to be a doubt that his power will play in Oakland Coliseum.

Travis Demeritte ATL, 2B – Finally got on the board for his new team, knocking out 2 homers in one game. That gives him a .218/.394/.473 triple-slash in 16 games outside of the High Desert.

Jake Junis KC, RHP – His name makes him sound like a talented but troubled musician who died too young, but he is really just a boring future number 3/4 starter. I mentioned him way back in Week 9, and he has continued to pitch well, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 7 K in his first start at Triple-A. If you are in a deep league and are looking for a “safe” starter, it is time to scoop Junis.

Thomas Szapucki NYM, LHP/ Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – I know I can’t stop writing about these guys, but they keep putting up notable performances that continue to back up their breakout seasons. Szapucki threw up another double-digit K outing in 5.1 IP, albeit giving up 4 ER in the process, and Mendez threw his third straight shutout in the PCL (one of which came in July), giving up only 1 hit and striking out 6.

Austin Riley ATL, 3B – The hype has cooled dramatically since being a favorite off-season sleeper of many, but he has quietly put together a very respectable season as a 19-year-old in Single-A. He knocked 4 homers this week, and now has 14 homers and a .749 OPS on the season.

Erick Fedde WASH, RHP – Impressed in his first start at Double-A, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BB, 3 K. He still needs to develop a third pitch, but he’s dominating the minor leagues right now with the two plus pitches he does have (fastball/slider).

Erik Swanson NYY, RHP – 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 9 K as a 22-year-old in Single-A. I know the Yanks just got their hands on this guy a few weeks ago, but I think it’s time to move him up a level.

Yusniel Diaz LAD, OF – The talented Diaz is starting to turn it back on, hitting 3 homers in his last 7 games, including one last night. He is only 19 years old in High-A, so the .272/.338/.420 slash line really doesn’t look all that bad.

Dylan Davis SF, OF –  Surprise, surprise … San Francisco looks to have themselves another underrated prospect who can be the next in a long line to “come out of nowhere” and become a legit contributor to the big league club. Davis clubbed homers in back-to-back-to-back games this week, giving him 20 homers, to go along with a strong 97/45 K/BB in 107 games. He was a 3rd round pick in the 2014 draft, which seems to be the area where the good drafting teams do their best work. He just turned 23 years old and has done most of his damage in High-A, but the plus raw power and plus bat speed are for real. Don’t expect a star, especially at AT&T park, but he definitely has a shot at being a legitimate power hitting corner outfielder.

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

Checking in on the Top 30 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospects

I went on road trip after road trip in the last month and checked out as many of my Top 30 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospects as I could. The players I didn’t see, I got multiple reports on from team scouts, executives, and industry insiders … Just kidding, I did none of that stuff. I’m a blogger with none of the resources or connections to do that (I wish I could, though). But I have pored over the early numbers, looked at every available video of them online, and read every article I could find in Google news. That will have to do for now. Here are how the Top 30 2016 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospects are performing so far:

Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – My #1 ranked prospect on my MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings, but the #11 overall pick in the MLB Draft, Lewis is off to the best start of all the highly touted draft prospects. He’s slugged his way to a .897 OPS in Low-A to go along with a 15/14 K/BB in 24 games. The Mariners have simplified his swing a bit, and it is showing up in his excellent contact numbers without losing any power. Combined with Tyler O’Neill’s success, Seattle’s hitter development reputation is on the upswing, not that it could have gotten much worse.

Corey Ray MIL, OF – Milwaukee was aggressive with Ray’s assignment, sending him immediately to High-A. He has played in only 8 games on the year but has struggled, slashing .209/.217/.209 with 1 steal and a 7/1 K/BB. He’s recorded 7 hits in his last 4 games, so we are going to need a much larger sample to conclude anything.

Will Craig PIT, 3B – The samples are obviously very small for everyone, but I expected Craig to hit much better at this point. He is slashing .159/.337/.203 with no homers in 21 games at Low-A. He does have a 14/14 K/BB with a .337 OBP, so I do think it is just a matter of time before he starts making better contact and more hits start dropping in.

Zack Collins CHW, C – Played in only 3 games at Rookie Ball, but struck out 7 times with no walks and 1 hit in those games. Long way to go.

Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – As I wrote in this week’s Fantasy Prospect Rundown, “Playing exactly as advertised in his first 21 pro games, displaying an advanced plate approach (12/11 K/BB), speed (10 steals), and doubles power (7).”

Mickey Moniak PHI, OF – Hitting for a decent average (.277) at Rookie Ball, but is striking out (10 K) and not hitting for much power (2 extra base hits, albeit a triple and a homer). He is a raw high schooler who is not projected to hit for much power, which is why I originally ranked him 11th in my rankings, but bumped him to 6th after he was drafted 1st overall. Even I can’t resist that extra shine that being a #1 overall pick brings.

A.J. Puk OAK, LHP/Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – Puk made his pro debut at Low-A Tuesday night, pitching 2 innings of no hit ball, and recording all 6 outs on the ground (including an error and double play). I caught up with him after the game and asked him how he felt out there, “My command was really good,” Puk said. “I threw my fastball wherever I wanted to, moved it in and out. They were just reaching out for it and beating it into the ground. I had some good secondary offerings as well and got a lot of quick at-bats.” Here is the actual article I got that quote from if you want to read more about the start. Anderson made his pro debut in Rookie ball last night, going 3 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 2 K. I ranked both of these guys in the 90’s on my mid-season top 100.

Anfernee Grier ARI, OF – My favorite sleeper from the draft, ranking him in my top 10. Grier hasn’t been great in the early going, but is showing flashes of why I love him so much. He hit his 2nd bomb of the season last night, and is now slashing .246/.297/.377 with 7 steals in 18 games. He has hit much better in the last week and remember that he is one of the younger college hitters in his draft class. I’m definitely still in on Grier.

Taylor Trammell CIN, OF – Another one of my favorite sleepers, Trammell is off to an excellent start in Rookie ball, slashing .307/.366/.360 with 6 steals and a 16/6 K/BB in 19 games. Considering he was supposed to be raw after spending a lot of time playing football in high school, this is a very encouraging start. (Note: Nolan Jones, who is ranked one spot ahead of Trammell in my rankings, is 2 for 9 in his 3 games in Rookie ball).

Eric Lauer SD, LHP/Justin Dunn NYM, RHP – Two college pitchers with not much to note. Lauer went 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BB, 3 K in his debut and Dunn has made 2 appearances out of the pen, going 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BB, 3 K. They both got drafted into great fantasy situations for pitchers, and both have the potential to be impact fantasy starters.

Matt Thaiss LAA, C/1B – Thaiss is living up to the billing of being one of the most advanced hitters in the class, slashing .341/.400/.561 with 2 homers and a 7/6 K/BB in 19 games. He has already collected 6 hits and 2 BB in his first 4 games at Single-A. He will likely end up at 1B (he has played only 1B so far this year), and doesn’t have monster power, but his arrow is pointing up right now.

Heath Quinn SF, OF – Ranked 14th on my rankings and drafted 95th overall, so I think that qualifies as a sleeper. Quinn is off to a very promising start, slashing .306/.403/.468 with 1 homer and a 12/6 K/BB in 17 games mostly at Low-A. Getting drafted into one of the worst hitter’s parks in the majors, AT&T Park, is a little discouraging, but I have to respect how good San Francisco is at drafting.

Bryan Reynolds SF, OF – Another San Francisco steal, Reynolds was considered one of the safer bats in the draft, and he hasn’t disappointed, slashing .364/.488/.455 with no homers or steals. There is some swing and miss in his game (11/6 K/BB in 10 games) and he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, so I wouldn’t be too excited for fantasy.

Chris Okey CIN, C – Cracked a couple homers and not much else (.179/.211/.313). He is likely to stick at catcher, and there is enough power here that he has a legitimate chance of being fantasy relevant in 12 team leagues.

Blake Rutherford NYY, OF/ Delvin Perez STL, SS/Alex Kirilloff MIN, OF – 3 high schoolers who have all been solid at Rookie Ball in the early going. Rutherford hit his first pro homer on Tuesday, Perez is hitting .358 with 7 steals, and Kirilloff is hitting .326 with a homer and 6 K’s in 12 games.

Matt Manning DET, RHP/Will Benson CLE, OF/Josh Lowe TB, 3B/OF – 3 high schoolers who I ranked 25th, 26th, and 30th in my draft rankings, respectively, but were drafted 9th, 14th, and 13th in the draft. Manning is getting hit around in Rookie ball, giving up 9 hits and 7 ER in 5.1 IP, but he is flashing his K upside with a 10/1 K/BB. Benson is hitting .167 with a 15/4 K/BB in 11 games, but is flashing his power upside with a .143 ISO. Lowe is hitting .083, and doesn’t have much of a silver lining to mention other than he is walking 20% of the time.

Ronnie Dawson HOU, OF – A sleeper who cracked the back end of my list, Dawson has struggled in his first 22 games at Low-A, slashing .145/.276/.181, but he is flashing his power/speed combo with a dinger and 7 steals.

Joey Wentz ATL, LHP – Already has 3 starts on the year, going 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BB, 12 K. He is someone I liked early on in the draft process, but he kept dropping with reports of reduced velocity. He’s a great athlete with an effortless delivery and will be pitching in a great environment in Atlanta. Keep an eye on Wentz.

Stephen Wrenn HOU, OF – Not ranked in my top 30, and drafted by the Houston Astros in the 6th round, Wrenn has been the best hitter in the class so far. He is dominating Low-A, slashing .308/.397/.635 with 8 homers in 25 games. I wouldn’t be calling him the next Harrison Bader/Willie Calhoun quite yet, though, as those guys mashed in college, while Wrenn hit only 5 homers with a .799 OPS in the SEC this year.

By Michael Halpern
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: 41-70

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: 41-70 (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
11-40
71-100
Complete Top 100

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 – Ranked him 3rd on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts (not on my off-season top 100). 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: 80/23/80/.255/3

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

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

Thoughts Following Day 1 of the 2016 MLB Draft and Re-Ranking the Top 30

1) You are dead to me Riley Pint. Pint was my top fantasy pitching prospect coming into the draft, but after being picked by the Colorado Rockies 4th overall, I wouldn’t touch him. Just check out his face after finding out he was going to Colorado. I feel for the kid, but he still falls completely out of my top 30.

2) I guess it wasn’t enough that my top pitching prospect got drafted by Colorado. My top hitting prospect, Kyle Lewis, got drafted by the Seattle Mariners, a team who has left a graveyard full of failed hitting prospects in their wake. My boy Tyler O’Neill has taken a step forward this year in Double-A, and the Mariners were smart enough to jump on Lewis when he fell to #11, so maybe they are actually starting to figure things out. Lewis remains my top overall prospect.

3) I was not the biggest fan of Blake Rutherford, a 19-year-old high school player, so of course my beloved Yankees were the team to pick him. When I was 19 years old, I was a junior in college at Penn State, and I would have ripped up high school baseball then too 😉 I’m still not a huge fan of Rutherford for fantasy, but I’m all aboard the hype train in real life. Sometimes you just gotta buy in when it is your favorite team.

4) I was already relatively high on Ian Anderson (#9) before the draft, but I was tempted to rank him even higher, and I should have. Anderson was drafted #3 overall to the Atlanta Braves, which is obviously a great situation for pitchers. He jumps Jason Groome, who got drafted 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox, and he is neck and neck with A.J. Puk, who went 6th overall to the Oakland Athletics. Braxton Garrett (#22) also moves up in the rankings after being scooped by the Miami Marlins at #7.

5) I’m still concerned about Mickey Moniak’s ultimate power potential, but I can’t deny that being the #1 overall pick puts some extra shine on him. At the very least, his trade value will be very high right from the start. I bumped him from #11 to #6.

6) As expected, my top 30 looks nothing like how the draft actually played out. Drafting for fantasy is obviously much different than drafting for real life, and in some cases, I just straight disagreed with the pick. Anfernee Grier (#10) went 39th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nolan Jones (#12) went 55th overall to the Cleveland Indians, Taylor Trammell (#13) went 35th overall to the Cincinnati Reds, Bryan Reynolds (#17) went 59th overall to the San Francisco Giants, Chris Okey (#19) went 43rd overall to the Cincinnati Reds, Ronnie Dawson (#25) went 61st overall to the Houston Astros, and Heath Quinn (#14) went 95th overall to the San Francisco Giants. These are my favorite sleepers right now before we learn a lot more about all of these guys in pro ball.

Post-Draft 2016 Top 30 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings:
(You can click here for a more detailed analysis of each player)

1) Kyle Lewis SEA, OF
2) Corey Ray MIL, OF
3) Will Craig PIT, 1B/3B
4) Zack Collins CHW, C
5) Nick Senzel CIN, 3B
6) Mickey Moniak PHI, OF
7) A.J. Puk OAK, LHP
8) Ian Anderson ATL, RHP
9) Jason Groome BOS, LHP
10) Anfernee Grier ARI, OF
11) Nolan Jones CLE, SS/3B
12) Taylor Trammell CIN, OF
13) Eric Lauer SD, LHP
14) Braxton Garrett MIA, LHP
15) Matt Thaiss LAA, C
16) Heath Quinn SFG, OF
17) Dakota Hudson STL, RHP
18) Chris Okey CIN, C
19) Bryan Reynolds SFG, OF
20) Cal Quantrill SD, RHP
21) Justin Dunn NYM, RHP
22) Blake Rutherford NYY, OF
23) Jordan Sheffield LAD, RHP
24) Delvin Perez STL, SS
25) Matt Manning DET, RHP
26) William Benson CLE, OF
27) Ronnie Dawson HOU, OF
28) Alex Kirilloff MIN, OF
29) Forrest Whitley HOU, RHP
30) Josh Lowe TB, 3B/OF
31) Joey Wentz ATL, LHP

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

Final Updated 2016 Top 30 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings

The 2016 MLB Draft will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2016, and for fantasy baseball, that means a huge influx of talent is about to join the player pool. For fantasy, I generally prefer college over high school players, because most fantasy leagues have limited space for minor leaguers and there is a greater incentive for them to quickly reach the big leagues. Value can also change post-draft depending on what team/ballpark a player gets drafted to. For example, you should upgrade hitters drafted by Colorado and downgrade pitchers. How players perform once reaching pro ball can also have a big impact on their value. With that in mind, here are the 2016 Top 30 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings:

Update: Thoughts Following the 2016 MLB Draft and Re-Ranking the Top 30

1) Kyle Lewis Mercer, OF – Elite bat speed, power, and athleticism is just about all that you can ask for in a top fantasy prospect, and Lewis possesses all three. The 6’4’’, 195-pound Lewis jacked 20 homers this year (17 last year), and he is triple-slashing .395/.535/.731 in 61 games in the Southern Conference this season, a middle of the pack D1 conference. I wouldn’t be surprised if that 195-pound weight is outdated, though, because Lewis is built like a solid rock, and when he steps up to the plate, he does so with bad intentions. Just check out this quick video to see the talent we are dealing with here. There are a lot of moving parts in his swing, and he is still a bit raw, but I don’t even think those things are negatives. He is only 20 years old, and if he is this good already, imagine how scary good he can be with continued refinement and improvement. Lewis is the guy I want with the top pick in fantasy drafts.

2) Corey Ray Louisville, OF – Ray presents the best power/speed combo in the draft, as he is slashing .319/.396/.562, with 15 homers, and 44 steals in 62 games in the ACC, one of the best conferences in D1. He has top end bat speed, athleticism, and base running ability, and he is a 5-category producer who is bound to hit atop a Major League lineup in a few short years. He doesn’t have the physicality of Lewis, but considering the tougher competition he has faced, and more well-rounded production, I can see a case for Ray being #1 overall, as well.

3) Will Craig Wake Forrest, 1B/3B – Craig is an “unathletic,” poor defensive player who just destroys the highest levels of D1. He has blindingly fast bat speed, and is triple-slashing .379/.520/.731 with 16 homers in 55 games in the ACC. At 6’3’’, 235 pounds, Craig has been criticized for his soft body and speed that you can time with a sundial, but actually being able to hit is much more important than just looking the part; Craig is in the mold a Lance Berkman. Ignore his relatively low ranking on real draft lists due to his defensive concerns, Craig should be treated as one of the top hitters in this draft class for fantasy baseball.

4) Zack Collins Miami, C – Collins smashed 11 homers as a 19-year-old freshman in the ACC in 2014, and he has kept raking since then. He is slashing a ridiculous .358/.534/.631, with 13 homers in 57 games this season, and there are no questions about his advanced bat. The only question is if the 6’3’’, 225 pound Collins can stick at catcher, but for fantasy, that would just be icing on the cake. Being able to mash is much more important, and he can obviously mash. Once again, ignore his relatively low ranking on real baseball draft lists, Collins is the type of fast moving college hitter who can pay dividends for your fantasy team very quickly.

5) Nick Senzel Tennessee, 3B – Senzel would rank even higher if not for his moderate home run power, but he is still one of the most advanced college hitters in the draft, and he has some speed, as well. He is currently dominating the best conference in D1, slashing .352/.456/.595, with 8 homers, and 25 steals in 57 games in the SEC. He has displayed more raw power in batting practice than in games (don’t we all), and he has a good chance of sticking at 3B. If you want a fast moving, safe college bat who should provide solid numbers across the board, Senzel is your man.

6) Riley Pint HS, RHP – If I’m taking a risky high schooler, I’m going all the way, and taking the riskiest of them all. Pint has by far the most electrifying stuff in the draft (skip to the 45 second mark), and it is not just his upper 90’s heater with great movement, but also his excellent, deceptive changeup. His biggest problems are that his delivery is a bit of a mess, and his control and command are all over the place, but safe high school pitcher is an oxymoron to me, anyway. The 6’4’’, 210-pound Pint has raw ability that you can’t teach, and after the top college bats are off the board, I want the player with the highest upside and most freakish talent.

7) A.J. Puk Florida, LHP – A.J. Puk sounds like the name of a bad guy in a Mighty Ducks movie, and he has the size to fit the role too, standing a gangly 6’7’’, 230 pounds. His best pitch is a mid-90’s fastball that has good deception and swing and miss ability, and he pairs that with an inconsistent slider and changeup. He strikes out a ton of batters (12.21 K/9), but it comes with serious control and command issues (3.99 BB/9). Puk is a high risk, high reward college pitcher who tops out as a strong #2 fantasy starter, and bottoms out as a guy who just can’t command his pitches well enough to remain an effective starter.

8) Jason Groome HS, LHP – The 6’6’’, 220-pound Groome is known for his devastating curveball that he already has good command over. He also throws an effortless low 90’s heater that he can dial up to the mid-90’s at times, along with a still developing changeup. There is no denying that if you were going to build a pitcher from scratch, he would look something like Groome, but without the no doubt upper 90’s heater, and considering the development time and inherent risks with high school pitchers, I can’t place him higher than 8th.

9) Ian Anderson HS, RHP – Anderson doesn’t have the upper 90’s fastball, either, sitting 91-95, but he has an advanced feel for pitching and can already throw 3 above average pitches in any count (fastball, changeup, curveball). This video at the 25 second mark is a great example of his easy, repeatable delivery, and how he can throw all of his pitches with the same arm speed and arm angle. He has a projectable frame, and if he gains velocity as he ages, he can become a legitimate fantasy ace. I actually really like Anderson a lot and I’m tempted to bump him up over Puk and Groome.

10) Anfernee Grier Auburn, OF – Grier looks like he has two tree branches for arms, and he uses that power to absolutely crush the baseball. He is the breakout college player of the 2016 class, and is slashing .366/.457/.576, with 12 homers, and 19 steals in 56 games in the SEC so far this year. There are some strikeouts in his profile, but the power/speed combo is too much to ignore, and Grier has the potential to be a fantasy stud. He is also almost a full year younger than many of the other college prospects, as he is not turning 21 until mid-October.

11) Mickey Moniak HS, OF – Moniak is considered the best pure high school hitter in the draft. He has a loose and easy swing that sprays line drives all over the field, and he pairs that with plus speed. While his slight build leads to some questions about his ultimate power potential, Moniak is a good bet to hit for high average with 15+ steals. If he bulks up and adds more power down the line, he can truly be a special player.

12) Nolan Jones HS, SS/3B – The 6’,4’’, 200-pound Jones has a quick swing that is geared for both average and power. He is one of the best athletes in the pool, and he recently gained 30 pounds of muscle. He is likely to end up at 3B long term, but the bat profiles just fine there. If you are looking for an upside power hitting corner infielder, Jones is your guy.

13) Taylor Trammell HS, OF – Trammel very well may be the best pure athlete in the draft. He could have played college football after rushing for 2,479 yards and 36 touchdowns on route to winning Georgia’s Offensive Player of the Year Award this season, but he chose baseball instead. His best tool is plus, plus speed, but the bat has potential too, displaying vicious bat speed (54 second mark) and the ability to hit for both average and power. He is higher risk than even your typical high school player, because he is still raw after splitting his focus between football and baseball, but he has the potential to end up the best player in this draft. I’ll take the risk at this point in the rankings.

14) Heath Quinn Samford, OF – The 6’3’’, 220 pound Quinn can flat out hit. He loads his hands well and creates excellent bat speed with his swing. It has resulted in him absolutely dominating the Southern Conference for 3 straight years, doing his best work this season, slashing .343/.452/.682 with 21 homers in 61 games. While the Southern Conference is only a middling D1 conference, Quinn also performed very well in the Cape Cod League last year, slashing .317/.384/.486 with 4 homers in 39 games. He might not be able to completely keep up his mammoth homerun power on the next level, but he has some to spare, and I might actually be a little too low on him at #14.

15) Eric Lauer KENT ST, LHP – Lauer might be the safest college pitcher in the draft. He has absolutely dominated the MAC, putting up a pitching line of 0.69/0.74/125 in 104 IP. He throws a traditional 4 pitch mix, but his fastball sits in the low 90’s, and he doesn’t have a real put away pitch. If he threw his fastball in the 93-96 MPH range, he might be the top pitcher in the draft, but without that big fastball and/or put away pitch, I can’t justify ranking him higher. If you hear reports of added velocity at any point before the draft or into his professional career, I would jump on Lauer very quickly.

16) Dakota Hudson MISS ST, RHP – Hudson is your typical low risk college starter who can reach the Big Leagues in a hurry. He is a sturdy 6’5’’, 205 pounds, with a 92-96 MPH fastball, and a MLB ready hard curveball/slider. There isn’t even much projection left to see a mid-rotation starter with some strikeout ability, but don’t expect a true difference making fantasy starter.

17) Bryan Reynolds Vanderbilt, OF – Reynolds is a high floor, low ceiling college bat who hit very well in the SEC this year, slashing .330/.461/.603, with 13 homers, and 8 steals in 62 games. He strikes out a bit too much, and while he does have opportunistic speed, he is far from a burner. Reynolds is a nice college bat to scoop up at this point in the rankings.

18) Matt Thaiss Virginia, C – Thaiss is an elite contact hitter, striking out only 16 times and walking 39 times in 60 games in the ACC. He has some power too, hitting 10 homers last season and 10 this season playing his home games in a pitcher’s park. There is some concern that he won’t be able to stick behind the plate, but he has one of the most advanced bats in the draft, and should be a fast mover.

19) Chris Okey Clemson, C – Okey is a good bet to stick at catcher, and he has a strong bat as well, slashing .339/.465/.611 with 15 homers in 64 games in the ACC. He is a strong dude, and while he doesn’t project to be a star, it is not hard to imagine him becoming a top 12 fantasy catcher in what has become an especially weak offensive position.

20) Justin Dunn Boston College, RHP – Dunn has only 7 starts on the year after being converted to a starter mid-season, but he has seriously impressed in those outings, and even with the short track record, he deserves a spot in the top 20. His best pitch is a mid 90’s fastball which he pairs with a plus slider, average curveball, and developing changeup. He’s on the small side at 6’1’’, 170 pounds, but he has electric stuff and should reach the big leagues relatively quickly.

21) Blake Rutherford HS, OF – I have to admit that I am not the biggest Rutherford fan. He is a year older than many other players from his high school class and he did not take a step forward in the power department this year. He is obviously immensely talented and the guy can hit, so I readily admit that I might end up being too low on him.

22) Braxton Garrett HS, LHP – Garrett is like the less advanced version of Lauer, except with higher upside being that he is 2 years younger. He throws a low 90’s heater that he pairs with a plus curveball and developing changeup. If you prefer the upside of Braxton over the safety and proximity to the majors of Lauer, I can see swapping them in the rankings.

23) Jordan Sheffield Vanderbilt, RHP – Sheffield is a small right handed pitcher with nasty stuff and a high effort delivery. He is dominating the best conference in D1 right now, putting up a pitching line of 3.01/1.20/113 in 101.2 IP. He has a strong 3-pitch mix and baseball bloodlines (Gary Sheffield is his Uncle – Update: Turns out that is a false internet rumor. Gary Sheffield is not his Uncle). I might be falling into the same trap that many others have in undervaluing small right handed pitchers, but he has some control issues (3.28 BB/9) and there is injury and bullpen risk, as well.

24) Delvin Perez HS, SS – Perez looks like a sure bet to be an exciting, above average shortstop, but there are questions surrounding his bat, which is not what fantasy owners like to hear. He has plus speed and he does have the raw talent to figure it out at the plate, so Perez still cracks the Top 25.

25) Matt Manning HS, RHP – The 6’6’’, 185-pound Manning is the son of former NBA player Rich Manning. His best pitch a big fastball that sits in the mid 90’s, with recent reports having it all the way up into the upper 90’s. He pairs that with an inconsistent curveball and changeup. Manning is your prototypical projectable high school starter, and I can see wanting to bet on his big frame and big fastball.

26) Ronnie Dawson Ohio St, OF – Dawson has an intriguing power/speed combo, slashing .331/.419/.611, with 13 homers, and 21 steals in 65 games in the Big 10. He hit well from his very first year in college, and with his power explosion this season, I would prefer to take a shot on him rather than one of the many upside high schoolers still on the board.

27) Alex Kirilloff HS, OF – His best tool is his plus raw power, which is exactly what fantasy owners like to hear. He won the 2015 Home Run Derby at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, and if you are looking for a lottery ticket power bat, Kirilloff if your guy.

28) Forrest Whitley HS, RHP – The 6’7’’, 250-pound Whitley throws a low 90’s heater, power curveball, and developing changeup. There isn’t much projection left, but he already has the build of a workhorse starter, and the raw stuff to go with it, too.

29) Josh Lowe HS, 3B/OF – Lowe is one of the best athletes in the draft and he displays plus raw power and speed. The skills aren’t completely refined yet, but his upside is as high as anybody’s.

30) Joey Wentz HS, LHP – Wentz is another high upside high school pitcher in a draft jammed packed with them. He has an easy, athletic delivery which he fires a 90-95 MPH fastball from, and he pairs that with an above average curveball and changeup. He is also a good enough power hitting first baseman that he is considered a legitimate prospect there too. In other words, the guy is an elite athlete who can do anything on a baseball field. There is some risk here as with any high school pitcher (Update: And that risk has already reared its ugly head, as reports have Wentz’s fastball sitting in the high 80’s now), but Wentz has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter.

31) William Benson HS, OF – Nothing to say other than watch this video of Benson hitting. High risk, very high reward.

* Cal Quantrill Stanford, RHP – Quantrill might have been the top pitcher chosen in the draft if not for needing Tommy John surgery in March 2015. Before the surgery, he threw a traditional 4-pitch mix with his plus changeup being his most dangerous weapon. His dad is longtime Major Leaguer Paul Quantrill. If you want to bet that Quantrill can fully recover from the surgery, I can see slotting him as high as #15.

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