My infatuation with prospects is no secret – unless this is the first time you are here – so I decided to compile a list of the top 10 prospects in the minor leagues most likely to help your fantasy team in 2013, and for good measure (and dynasty leagues) I’ve included a P4P (Pound for Pound) list of the top prospects for 2014 and beyond. In this section I will overreact to a player’s performance (or lack there of ), update the rankings, and of course complain about their path to the majors being blocked by marginal talent.
Before we get started a few rules:
- Prospects must be in the minors at the time of the list to be included.
- Prospects must have less than the rookie minimums for ABs (130) or IPs (50) to be included.
- P4P 2014 & beyond players may make an impact this year, but I won’t include them until I believe they are serious candidates for promotion
- As prospects get promoted or injured I will move them to the appropriate list until I deem them irrelevant.
- P4P 2014 & Beyond will be updated but will rarely include commentary.
So this is my inaugural and updated list… at the same time. A hybrid of my preseason rankings updated for week 7 of the baseball season… some trippy stuff I know, but next week’s will be a bit more normaler. To make it easier for both of us, just assume that I did this last week and the changes in rankings below reflect such – otherwise it will be a giant headache.
By: Ian Hughes
In case you missed it…. There was a crazy weekend series in St. Louis as the Cardinals and Rockies offenses took extended breaks at the plate. First, rookie Shelby Miller retired 27 straight after allowing a lead off hit to start the game, then veteran teammate Adam Wainwright took a no-hitter into the 8th and had it broken up by Nolan Arrenado, ending a streak of 49 consecutive ABs by the Rockies without a hit. On Sunday the Rockies answered back as Jorge De La Rosa flirted with a no-hitter of his own through 6.2 innings before David Freese broke it up.
Now that you’ve had an interesting anecdote about baseball let’s get it started…
By: Russell Shaffer
It’s amazing how much more advanced kids are these days than when I was coming up. My daughter is entering kindergarten in August and is already able to do simple addition and subtraction. I’m pretty sure I could barely count to 10 at her age.
One concept I’m fairly certain I’ve still got a leg up on her in understanding is addition by subtraction. A popular management principle in both business and sports, it basically means you can make an organization perform better by taking something – or more often someone – away.
If you want to see addition by subtraction work, just look at any team before and after getting rid of Delmon Young or Milton Bradley.
In the spirit of addition by subtraction, we’re going to change things up this week in Free Agent Friday and focus on five players you need to cut right now. In some cases these guys are not only occupying a roster spot that could be had by a more productive player, their low AVG or high ERA and WHIP could actually be hurting your team if they’re in your lineup.
So with that let’s get ready to cut loose.
By: Russell Shaffer
I’m sure by now you all likely saw or at least heard about the liner off the bat of Desmond Jennings that made a sickening thud off the head of Toronto’s J.A. Happ Tuesday night in Tampa Bay. By all accounts Happ escaped serious injury, and for that he – and every fan of baseball – should be thankful.
Happ’s harrowing ordeal came less than a year after Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy (then with Oakland) suffered serious brain trauma after taking a similar shot to the head. And rather ironically, Happ’s situation happened on the 56th anniversary of one of the most infamous pitcher/line drive incidents in baseball history.
On May 7, 1957, Herb Score was just beginning the third season in what looked to be a Hall of Fame career for the Cleveland Indians. Score had been an All-Star in his first two years, and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1955 with 245 K (a total that set a rookie record that stood until 1984). Score followed that up with 20 wins and 263 K in 1956 before that fateful day in May 1957 when a line drive off the bat of the Yankees’ Gil McDougald crushed bones in Score’s face and left his vision distorted for several months. McDougald was actually so shaken by the play he ran to the pitcher’s mound to check on Score rather than running to first.
Score was never the same – missing the rest of 1957 and most of 1958. The mental trauma of the head injury coupled with an arm injury ended his career after the 1962 season. My dad was a 17-year-old Indians fan in 1957 and later told me Score was every bit the pitcher as Bob Feller. Score did go on to spend more than 30 years as an Indians broadcaster, and his is the beloved baseball voice of my childhood.
My thoughts are with Happ as he recovers, and I hope his close call doesn’t derail his career the way a similar play halted certain stardom for Score.
By: Ian Hughes
When possible I like to provide you with a .gif because, well intros are hard at times, and a picture is worth a thousand words as they say… and a .gif is like a thousand pictures, so you do the math and enjoy my million word intro, and the mini-intro that precedes it…
There was a scary moment on Tuesday night, when JA Happ took a comebacker to the ear. Happ apparently avoided serious injury, but left the hospital using crutches and wearing a knee brace on Wednesday.
Before we get started there will be a minor change to the format. Eight P’s will only be chiming in twice a week with streamers from now on. It will be on Sunday and Wednesday, this could eventually change to just Sunday at some point.I assure you that the picks will be the same mediocre to good quality that you have grown accustom to over the past few weeks, so please do not fear change (which I am told is called Metathesiophobia). As John F. Kennedy said, “Progress is a nice word, but change is the motivator,” and we aim to improve every time out, so change is necessary.
By: Ian Hughes
Hope everyone had a great weekend; Jose Fernandez made me look like a damn genius on Saturday, and Wandy turned in a quality start with 7 strikeouts and of course Mayweather dissected Guerrero for 12 rounds on the way to a unanimous decision… so I am content with my weekend picks.
We got some good streaming options and of course a two start chart, let’s get this week’s column started.
By: Ian Hughes
Prospects are an important part of Fantasy Baseball, whether you are in a league with a farm system or your team needs and injection of life at some point. The best part about prospects is that they are always intriguing, because the sky is the limit for their potential. Unfortunately, potential doesn’t always pan out (Damn you Matt LaPorta!!!), making predicting it a science slightly less reliable than the Electoral College, and just a tad more accurate than voodoo. Fear not friends, guys like Al Percolo and Clint Eastwood are out on the daily grind making it ever so slightly easier to find impact rookie.
My teammate here at TopTeamFantasy, Russell Shaffer (@RussellShaffer), hooked up you with a great Fishing Guide prior to the season, for finding the next breakout ballplayer (Mike Trout… get it? Words are fun), but what now? Here I am going to provide you with some notes from around the farm for each team (all stats are as of April 30th).
By: Russell Shaffer
Most big league managers will tell you every player on the roster is valuable. From the superstar slugger and the ace starter to the utility infielder and long reliever, all 25 guys have a role to play that can help their team win on a given night.
The same philosophy holds up in fantasy land. Stars obviously carry a disproportionately higher value than guys found on the waiver wire, but there are only so many elite players to go around. Of course you want to do what you can to land as many upper echelon players as possible, but when the well runs dry it’s how you fill out your team that typically distinguishes the winners from the losers.
Often disparagingly (and, in many cases, unfoundedly) referred to as “scrubs”, the players taken in the last few rounds of drafts or plucked from the free agent pool seldom have big names but they can have a huge impact on your league’s standings.
Just ask the owners who rode Fernando Rodney, Kris Medlen and Wilin Rosario to league championships last year. The fact is, every player on your roster does matter and one of the best things you can do for your team is leave your studs parked in the starting lineup and focus on maximizing the last 2-3 spots on your roster.
With that in mind, here are a few role players available in many leagues who can adequately fill an injury hole or help boost your output in a currently deficient category. Chances are these guys won’t stay on your team all season, but consider them like a minor-league call up who gives a big league club a temporary but vital shot in the arm. And just like minor-league call ups, you never know which one of these players is going to do enough to end up sticking around all season.