In honor of one of my favorite comedians, Bill Burr, I decided to name this new weekly segment the Thursday Afternoon Monday Morning Minor League Prospect Rundown. It will be about half the size as my usual Monday Morning Rundown, but twice the fun (probably not). Here is the Thursday Afternoon Monday Morning Minor League Prospect Rundown:

Aaron Judge NYY, OF – It looked the Yanks were going to revert to their old ways for a second there, but in a moment of clarity, they finally named Judge their starting right fielder. He surely deserved it after slashing .345/.406/.569 in Spring, and more importantly, striking out only 20.3% of the time. I ranked him 23rd overall on my Top 200, and 1st on my New York Yankees Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings.

Rookie Davis CIN, RHP – Like Billy Beane in Moneyball, or Andrew Friedman in The Extra 2%, Brian Cashman struck gold when he brilliantly discovered a new market inefficiency, Domestic Violence. He stole Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati under the cover of darkness, flipped him for one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball, and then re-signed him to a long-term deal in the off-season. You see kids, having morals just doesn’t pay. All Cincy is left with is a back end starter, but I’m sure their fans will still show up and buy tickets to support their morally superior franchise anyway.

Yandy Diaz CLE, 3B – When I didn’t list Diaz as one of my favorite 2017 Rookie/Prospect Sleepers in yesterday’s post, one of my Twitter followers, Barry Baker, sent me along this message and picture. Not gonna lie, I’m kinda rethinking it now. He also smacked his 3rd Spring homer yesterday, which continued his dominant Spring. Consider this me running alongside the Diaz bangwagon, trying to find an opening to hop on.

Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – After putting up a 1.87 ERA in 20 starts last year at Triple-A, Glasnow really doesn’t have much more to prove down there, and it seems like Pittsburgh is leaning towards letting him figure out his inconsistent control on the MLB level. Nothing is official, and Trevor Williams is still in the mix, but if Glasnow locks down the job, I would look to pick him up in re-draft leagues of all sizes. His upside is unmatched, and there will always be safer options waiting to be picked up on the waiver wire. I always shoot for the moon on early season pick-ups.

Luis Severino NYY, RHP – Won the 4th starter job, but I really didn’t see anything much different from him this Spring than I did last year. He is obviously worth a pick up based on raw talent alone, but I’m personally staying away until he proves it, especially in the AL East.

Daniel Norris DET, LHP – Going through a “dead arm” period, and while it is easy to dismiss, things seem to keep popping up with him.

Dylan Unsworth SEA, RHP – Once upon a time, Doug Fister was an upper 80’s throwing, control master Seattle prospect who got zero respect until he came up to the Majors and had nothing but success right from the get go. Unsworth is following in that path. He has a career MiLB walk rate of 1.2 BB/9, and with a 7.7 K/9, it’s not like he can’t miss bats either. Unsworth is an excellent deep league sleeper.

Jacob May CHW, OF/JaCoby Jones DET, INF/OF – Allow me to introduce your by default centerfielders for the rebuilding Chicago White Sox and transitioning Detroit Tigers. May has already been named the starter and Jones is probably not far behind. At the least, Jones will fill in while JD Martinez is on the DL. I put my full trust in both of these guys to absolutely tank your batting average.

Albert Almora Jr. CHC, OF – Heavily overshadowed by just about every single one of Chicago’s young stars, both Majors and Minors, Almora is looking to change that this year, and has started by completely destroying Spring Training pitching. He finished the Spring by hitting .339 with 4 homers and 2 steals in 62 at-bats, and should get the majority of playing time in centerfield.

Steven Matz NYM, LHP – Shut down for the next 3 weeks and was given a platelet plasma rich injection. The MRI looked great though. And yes, every time someone from my Post-Tommy John Surgery Death Zone so much as gets an itch on their elbow, I will be there to tell you about it 😉

Washington Closer Update: Much like how most things run in Washington, days of gridlock and consternation has lead to a worst of all worlds compromise. Neither the progressives (Koda Glover), nor conservatives (Shawn Kelley) got their way, and now we are all left holding the bag with Blake Treinen.

By Michael Halpern (@MichaelCHalpern)
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

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