2018 MLB Top 100 Prospects

Below is a list of the top 100 prospects in MLB, as compiled by a non-scout, Language Arts teacher and father. With it being the holiday season, what better gift than to begin prospecting for your fantasy teams right now? Brief write-ups for top 25 only. Enjoy, comment, and share…share a lot!

The top prospect in all of baseball. Courtesty: Atlanta Journal Constitution

1. Ronald Acuna, ATL, OF
Acuna is the Mike Trout of prospects. He can do everything well. He’ll be in Atlanta as soon as the Braves can guarantee an extra year of service time.
2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR, 3B
The kid can hit, which is exactly what his father could do. He more than held his own as an 18-year-old in Advanced A-ball last season. He’ll continue to move quickly, likely filling third in Toronto by May of 2019.
3. Gleyber Torres, NYY, SS
Torres may be a little overrated here, but he will be an impressive player due to consistently improving parts of his game as he moves up through the system. Last season, his plate discipline drastically improved. He will be a very useful player in New York, but not as a shortstop.
4. Eloy Jimenez, CWS, OF
Jimenez has massive power potential. He had a .947 OPS last season at age 20, reaching Double-A for the White Sox. He’s a large man who continues to improve his hit-tool while showcasing his power.

Will he be an All-Star pitcher or outfielder?

5. Shohei Otani, LAA, RHP/OF
We will see just where Otani becomes most valuable pretty quickly. Due to an injury to his pitching elbow, it may be alongside of Trout in the outfield more often than not. Otani is a gifted talent, but, as always with these imported talents, we’ll need to see how it translates to MLB.
6. Victor Robles, WAS, OF
Robles has moved quickly, reaching the majors last season at the age of 20. He reminds me of Starling Marte with a little less speed (and, hopefully, fewer PEDs), but, if Bryce Harper leaves via free agency after 2018, Robles will be ready to step in as an impact talent.
7. Kyle Tucker, HOU, OF
The rich get richer in Houston. Tucker is an impressive offensive talent. He doesn’t have the same type of swing and miss to his game as George Springer, but he could be a similar producer from the left side of the plate.
8. Brendan Rodgers, COL, SS
Rodgers will always get Troy Tulowitzki comps due to being in the Rockies system and being a shortstop; however, no matter how gaudy the numbers may look, he has some flaws. He only walked 14 times in 400 plate appearances last year, something to monitor as he moves up. MLB will eat him up if he doesn’t make adjustments, but he is a legitimate power bat at a prime position, so he still warrants this ranking.
9. Nick Senzel, CIN, 3B
The Reds have a lot of young talent, but they’ll make room for Senzel, even if it means Eugenio Suarez moving off of third or Senzel possibly getting time at second. Senzel can do a little of everything and will move quickly towards the “Queen City”, giving their fans someone worth watching other than Joey Votto.
10. Michael Kopech, CWS, RHP
Kopech can absolutely bring it. His arm is electric…so much so that he is still erratic, at times. He had 172 Ks and just six home runs allowed in 134.1 innings last season, reaching Triple-A at just 21 years of age.
11. Francisco Mejia, CLE, C
Mejia will never look intimidating at just 5’10”, but he just hits the ball. It is what he has done since he became a professional. He earned a very limited look during Cleveland’s push to the playoffs last season, but the Indians will have to find a role for him, possibly a utility role, to get him more reps with the big club in 2018.
12. Brent Honeywell, TB, RHP
The Rays may be losing Alex Cobb to free agency and could be shopping Jake Odorizzi in a trade, but they have Honeywell ready to step in if they want to open a spot in their rotation for him. The 22-year-old made 24 starts in Triple-A in 2017, striking out 172 in 136.2 total innings last year.

There is another player with a Jr. on his name that needs to be watched.

13. Fernando Tatis, Jr., SD, SS
As a shortstop prospect, Tatis should probably be in the top five of this list; however, he needs to show he can adjust to the upper levels before totally jumping to the top of a list. He manhandled the Midwest League as an 18-year-old last season, posting impressive numbers, including a .910 OPS, before jumping to Double-A for San Antonio’s playoff push. He struck out 17 times in 55 at-bats there, but he should start the season in Advanced-A ball and get an opportunity to continue growing and showing mad skills at a more appropriate pace.
14. Lewis Brinson, MIL, OF
The Brewers have a gluttony of young outfield talent, but they’ll need to make room for Brinson very soon, possibly making Keon Broxton a part-time player or moving Domingo Santana in a trade, as they were rumored to be doing. Brinson can fill-up the stat sheet, but he likely won’t hit at the level that his Pacific League-inflated numbers showed in 2017.
15. Triston McKenzie, CLE, RHP
McKenzie could be a monster for the Indians. He has impressive stuff and just as impressive results to this point in his career. He needs to put some beef on his frame (he is listed at 6’5″, 165 pounds) to become another workhorse for the Tribe, but the stuff is there to become a No.1 or No.2 starter.
16. Walker Buehler, LAD, RHP
Buehler made several unimpressive appearances out of the Dodgers bullpen in 2017, but he is a starter in the long run. He has moved quickly, as he should’ve as a college arm, jumping four levels to MLB last season. He’ll slow it down a bit and get more experience in Triple-A before arriving and becoming a solid No.2 or No.3 starter for the Dodgers.
17. Forrest Whitley, HOU, RHP
Whitley’s numbers are crazy good and his 6’7″, 240-pound frame and stuff will make him an incredible workhorse for the Astros. He had 143 strikeouts in 92.1 innings last season, reaching Double-A at the age of 20. He could make a few starts for Houston late in 2018, but a better ETA is Spring of 2019…for good.
18. Bo Bichette, TOR, SS
Bichette somehow gets overshadowed by another prospect in the Jays’ system, but he is just as important for their future…and he has put up more impressive numbers than Vlad, Jr.! He hit a ridiculous .362/.423/.565 as a 19-year-old, reaching Advanced A. The 41 doubles and 14 bombs show that he could continue to improve his power numbers in the future. He’s a star in his own right.
19. Mitch Keller, PIT, RHP
Keller caught my eyes in 2016 due to his 19 walks and 138 strikeouts in 130.1 innings, but he continued to show pitchability in 2017, reaching Double-A at the age of 21. He has allowed just 12 home runs in 293.1 career minor league innings, walking just 80. He has Tyler Glasnow ahead of him in the system, but he could make some noise if the Pirates end up dealing Gerrit Cole and other players while beginning a new rebuild.

The Reds got the best player in the draft at No.2 overall, but where will he end up? Courtesy: MLB.com

20. Hunter Greene, CIN, RHP/SS
Greene is another possible two-way player, but the Reds really like the fastball, which can hit triple-digits, and overall stuff. Also a shortstop in high school, he was rated as the top talent in the 2017 draft and almost missed the signing deadline before finally signing on with Cincinnati. A tremendous athlete, it’s anyone’s guess as to where he ends up in the long-run, but he could accel at either position.
21. Austin Meadows, PIT, OF
Meadows has been around for what seems like forever. He’s still blocked in Pittsburgh, unless they trade Andrew McCutcheon, but he hasn’t done himself any favors by being injured so frequently while moving up through the system. He could afford more seasoning because of that; however, he could be a doubles machine upon his promotion.
22. Willy Adames, TB, SS
Adames hasn’t taken massive steps forward offensively, but he continues to produce consistently at each stop in the minors. He seems to be someone that you can count on for about 30 doubles, 12 homers, 10 stolen bases, and a .270/.360/.415 line, which isn’t bad at all for a shortstop!
23. Alex Reyes, STL, RHP
Reyes may have lost his luster after missing all of last seasons due to Tommy John surgery, but don’t forget about him. An innings-limit could hold him back, but he had the stuff to be a Carlos Martinez light. Keep in mind, his control wasn’t elite prior to the injury, so he could struggle with location…that’s just him.
24. Alex Verdugo, LAD, OF
Another prospect who is blocked by talent ahead of him, Verdugo is a hitter. He isn’t going to hit for tons of power, but he would be an excellent leadoff hitter to set the table for Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and company in Los Angeles.

It won’t be long before Robert is hitting in this bandbox.

25. Luis Robert, CWS, OF
Robert had the luxury of getting the next biggest deal after Yoan Moncada out of Cuba, getting $26 million. He has power, speed, and an awesome approach at the plate. He should move quickly this year and could settle into a full-time role in Chicago by the middle of 2019, possibly sooner due to the lack of outfield talent on the current Chicago roster.
26. Brendan McKay, TB, LHP/1B
27. Luiz Gohara, ATL, LHP
28. MacKenzie Gore, SD, LHP
29. Austin Hays, BAL, OF
30. Kolby Allard, ATL, LHP
31. A.J. Puk, OAK, LHP
32. Royce Lewis, MIN, SS
33. Leody Taveras, TEX, OF
34. Kyle Wright, ATL, RHP
35. Nick Gordon, MIN, SS
36. Franklin Barreto, OAK, 2B/SS
37. Franklin Perez, DET, RHP
38, Willie Calhoun, TEX, 2B
39. Mike Soroka, ATL, RHP
40. Cal Quantrill, SD, RHP
41. Justus Sheffield, NYY, LHP
42. Jesse Winker, CIN, OF
43. Juan Soto, WAS, OF
44. Kyle Lewis, SEA, OF
45. Mickey Moniak, PHI, OF
46. Jorge Mateo, OAK, SS
47. Anthony Alford, TOR, OF
48. Jay Groome, BOS, LHP
49. Scott Kingery, PHI, 2B
50. Jack Flaherty, STL, RHP
51. Blake Rutherford, CWS, OF
52. Christian Arroyo, TB, 3B/SS
53. Ryan McMahon, COL, 1B
54. Yadier Alvarez, LAD, RHP
55. Dylan Cease, CWS, RHP
56. Jake Bauers, TB, 1B/OF
57. Chance Sisco, BAL, C
58. Michel Baez, SD, RHP
59. Michael Chavis, BOS, 3B
60. Sixto Sanchez, PHI, RHP
61. Chance Adams, RHP, NYY
62. Jorge Alfaro, PHI, C
63. Luis Urias, SD, 2B/SS
64. Alec Hansen, CWS, RHP
65. J.P. Crawford, PHI, SS
66. Danny Jansen, TOR, C
67. Kevin Maitain, LAA, SS
68. Adrian Morejon, SD, LHP
69. Matt Manning, DET, RHP
70. Tyler O’Neill, STL, OF
71. Jesus Sanchez, TB, OF
72. Adbert Alzolay, CHC, OF
73. Domingo Acevedo, NYY, RHP
74. Carter Kieboom, WAS, SS
75. Estevan Florial, NYY, OF
76. Taylor Trammell, CIN, OF
77. Stephen Gonsalves, MIN, LHP
78. Dustin Fowler, OAK, OF
79. Luis Ortiz, MIL, RHP
80. Jon Duplantier, ARZ, RHP
81. Tyler Mahle, CIN, RHP
82. Austin Riley, ATL, 3B
83. Jeren Kendall, LAD, OF
84. Keston Hiura, MIL, 2B
85. Alex Faedo, DET, RHP
86. Corey Ray, MIL, OF
87. Jose De Leon, TB, RHP
88. J.B. Bukauskas, HOU, RHP
89. Ian Anderson, ATL, RHP
90. Corbin Burnes, MIL, RHP
91. Joey Wentz, ATL, LHP
92. Miguel Andujar, NYY, 3B
93. Erick Fedde, WAS, RHP
94. Harrison Bader, STL, OF
95. Bobby Bradley, CLE, 1B
96. Yusniel Diaz, LAD, OF
97. Jhailyn Ortiz, PHI, OF
98. Starling Heredia, LAD, OF
99. Max Fried, ATL, LHP
100. Ryan Mountcastle, BAL, SS


2017 Midseason Top 75 Prospects

I’m a little beyond the midpoint in preparing this, but…life. Find an updated list of my original 2017 prospect list below:

  1. Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B, Chicago White Sox

    One of several pieces from the Sale trade, Moncada is a freak
    Courtesy: Zimbio
  2. Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
  3. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
  5. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
  6. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
  7. Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
  8. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies
  9. Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
  10. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
  11. Nick Senzel, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
  12. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
  13. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
  14. Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
  15. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  16. Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals
  17. Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
  18. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
  19. Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
  20. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  21. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
  22. A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland Athletics
  23. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians
  24. Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins
  25. Kolby Allard, LHP, Atlanta Braves
  26. Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles
  27. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves
  28. Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics
  29. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
  30. Fernando Tatis, Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
  31. Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
  32. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
  33. Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
  34. Cal Quantrill, RHP, San Diego Padres
  35. Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  36. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

    The Reds got the best player in the draft at No.2 overall.
    Courtesy: MLB.com
  37. Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers
  38. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres
  39. Blake Rutherford, OF, New York Yankees
  40. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
  41. Franklin Perez, RHP, Houston Astros
  42. Carson Kelly, C, St. Louis Cardinals
  43. Chance Adams, RHP, New York Yankees
  44. Sandy Alcantara, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  45. Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins
  46. Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Baltimore Orioles
  47. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves
  48. Kyle Wright, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  49. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Tampa Bay Rays
  50. Isan Diaz, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
  51. Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies
  52. Jason Groome, LHP, Boston Red Sox
  53. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
  54. Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies
  55. Justus Sheffield, LHP, New York Yankees
  56. Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets
  57. Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
  58. Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  59. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  60. Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros
  61. Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  62. Alex Faedo, RHP, Detroit Tigers
  63. Kyle Lewis, OF, Seattle Mariners
  64. Anthony Banda, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
  65. Estevan Florial, OF, New York Yankees
  66. Kevin Maitan, SS, Atlanta Braves
  67. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Chicago White Sox

    Giolito hasn’t lived up to the hype, but the stuff is still there – and unharnessed.
  68. Beau Burrows, RHP, Detroit Tigers
  69. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  70. Adrian Morejon, LHP, San Diego Padres
  71. Chris Shaw, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants
  72. Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox
  73. Lourdes Gurriel, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
  74. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
  75. Willie Calhoun, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers


Atlanta Should Brave Another Trade

Atlanta is so hot this time of year, and nothing is much hotter than “The Freeze”, a man in an uncomfortably tight leotard who uses his blazing speed to embarrass challengers in between innings. However, “The Freeze” isn’t the hottest thing within the Braves’ new SunTrust Park. That label belongs to its short-term first baseman, Matt Adams.

Adams was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on May 20th, just two days after their All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman had his left wrist broken after being hit by a pitch. Since landing in the “A-T-L”, Adams has a .948 OPS with eight homers and 21 RBI in 24 games and 106 plate appearances.

“Big City” slimmed down and has lit up opposing pitchers
Courtesy: atlallday.com

“Big City” had become pretty useless in St. Louis, as the club decided to move Matt Carpenter to first base, with Jedd Gyorko, Aledmys Diaz, and Kolten Wong bringing “stability” to the rest of the infield. With Diaz in the midst of a sophomore slump and Wong dealing with injuries after his own bouts of ineffectiveness over the last two seasons, the Cardinals aren’t the same, competitive club as they seem to annually be. Still, they felt that Adams wouldn’t cut it in the outfield, even after his whopping 34 inning test-run in five starts there this season, taking a 19-year-old first base prospect in return to rid themselves of the 6’3″ slugger, even as the club rosters the likes of Tommy Pham, Chad Huffman, and Jose Martinez as options in left field today.

St. Louis’ focus on defense in left field has been the Braves’ offensive gain, and the Braves would be wise to continue to reap the benefits of Matt Adams when Freeman returns in July.

The Braves are in an interesting situation. Yes, they have the new stadium. Yes, they have an interesting blend of talent on their roster; however, they are in the midst of a rebuild, despite the presence of Matt Kemp, R.A. Dickey, and Bartolo Colon on their roster. Dealing Matt Adams at the deadline, or whenever Freeman returns, would benefit the club tremendously, as several teams could be interested in the slugger for their own playoff push.

Adams’ outburst should help the Braves more than his bat has
Courtesy: ESPN

Atlanta sits 10 games out of first place entering play today. Adams may be of value to a team like, say, the Yankees, whose first basemen have hit just .195/.298/.345 with eight home runs and 23 RBI all season (see Adams’ stats again since joining Atlanta!). Another team that could make some noise, if everyone gets healthy, would be Seattle, who could use an upgrade over Danny Valencia, who is the main culprit in the Mariners’ first basemen hitting just .244/.300/.368 with just six homers all season.

With an already crowded outfield and the likes of Ronald Acuna and Dustin Peterson racing their way to Atlanta and through the minors, the Braves should only consider Adams as a tradeable asset and not a piece of their future. If he continues to produce, his price tag only increases, but the club shouldn’t alter their current roster by trying to hold on to another solid first baseman…unless Major League Baseball suddenly adds the DH to the National League.


Statistically Scouting the Minors: 6/11

There are a lot of things that make prospects special – their incredibly smooth deliveries, their sweet swings, and their game-changing gloves; however, I don’t have time to travel around the country. Therefore, scouting becomes what baseball is all about – the numbers. Based on the numbers, here are some prospects to watch in the coming months:


Another solid Venezuelan shortstop?
Courtesy: Twinsdaily.com

Jermaine Palacios, SS, Low-A, Minnesota Twins

The Midwest League is a difficult league for hitters, but you wouldn’t know that by taking a look at this 6′, 145 pound shortstop’s numbers. His .936 OPS ranks third in the league, enhanced by his recent surge at the beginning of June, as Palacios has hit .448/.467/.931 with three homers in six games. The Twins have a solid young core that has them leading the AL Central. He is a couple of years away, but could be another in a long line of successful Venezuelan shortstops, especially if he keeps up this pace.

Bo Bichette, SS, Low-A, Toronto Blue Jays

Bichette, like Palacios, is tearing up the Midwest League. Although he was ranked as the Jays’ No.5 prospect by MLB.com, his production will lead to a lot of helium in his already solid stock. Having just turned 19 in March, Bichette has raked all season, posting a .381/.457/.614 line, pacing the league in OPS by 116 points. Playing alongside Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., the Lansing Lugnuts have the most productive left-side of the infield in the lower minors, with exquisite bloodlines to thank for a beautiful future in Toronto.

Can Duplantier overcome the abuse at Rice to continue his dominance?
Courtesy: mwltraveler.com

Jon Duplantier, RHP, Low-A, Arizona Diamondbacks

It is downright absurd that this 22-year-old is still in the Midwest League. His numbers are outrageous and warranted a promotion weeks ago. Overall, Duplantier has a 0.95 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 66.2 innings with a 71:14 K:BB. He has some issues, mostly the abuse that goes along with all of the pitchers who once attended Rice University, which shelved him in his debut last season when he had elbow soreness. Still, taken in the 3rd round last season, Duplantier ranked No. 8 in the D-backs system prior to this onslaught and he’ll only continue to rise with dominance like this. k

Jordan Humphreys, RHP, Low-A, New York Mets

Hey, look…another Mets’ pitching prospect. Maybe they won’t somehow ruin this arm. While he’s still 21 and successful in the minors, Humphreys is dominating the South Atlantic League to the tune of a 1.41 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, .164 BAA, and a 77:8 K:BB in 63.2 innings. An 18th round pick in 2015, Humphreys ranked 29th in the Mets’ system by MLB.com prior to the start of the season, and was said to be a “back of the rotation piece”; however, there could be more there.

Ryan Mountcastle, SS, High-A, Baltimore Orioles

At the age of 20, this former first round pick has managed to hit, probably more than expected. At 6’3″, he probably won’t be staying at shortstop, and with Manny Machado (pending free agency) around, Mountcastle will likely find himself in an outfield corner. Mountcastle’s 22 doubles and 12 home runs show a massive amount of potential for his bat to continue to mature as he continues to fill out his frame.

Long isn’t long for the minors if he keeps hitting like this.
Courtesy: redsminorleagues.com

Shed Long, 2B, High-A, Cincinnati Reds

After a breakout campaign over two levels last season, Long returned to the Florida State League to dominate once again. He shouldn’t be there much longer. The 5’8″ left-handed hitting second baseman has 26 XBH to go along with a .911 OPS. With the Reds possessing many solid middle infield prospects, Long continues to show that he could be a huge part of the future by 2019.

Andrew Pullin, OF, Double-A, Philadelphia Phillies

I don’t know much about Reading. It is either a hitter’s paradise or a place where Phillies outfield prospects prosper – at least over the last couple of years. Last year it was Dylan Cozens and this year it is Pullin, who has seemed to find himself since arriving in Reading last season. This season, Pullin has been solid again (.307/.373/.564), but over 104 games in Double-A, Pullin is hitting .324/.382/.562 with 30 doubles and 22 home runs. The 23-year-old is a left-handed hitter and wasn’t ranked in the club’s top 30 prospects by MLB.com, but maybe he works himself into a very crowded outfield of respectable prospects…maybe even becoming trade bait.

Jon Singleton, 1B, Double-A, Houston Astros

Yes, that one. What a sad way to go. After signing a $10 million deal before seeing his first pitch as a top prospect, Singleton is now in Double-A, wasting away as the Astros invest their playing time in other players, like A.J. Reed and Yuli Gurriel. After being removed from the 40-man roster, he has received his guaranteed money and may get a buyout before he becomes a free agent after next season. His .233 average this season is hidden by his home runs and walks, which have inflated his OPS to .920, so he still has some value. Perhaps he’ll get a chance to produce for another organization after this season, but it would require a release. He will only be 26.


How the Dickey Deal is Killing Toronto

Courtesy: Blue Jays Buzz

When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired RHP R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets following his 2012 Cy Young Award, they took a huge gamble. After all, this was a man who had just completed his age-37 season,  but Dickey was very good over his three full seasons with the Mets and knuckleballers are able to pitch “forever”, right? Well, after investing $41 million into the knuckler, the Blue Jays are still without a title and Dickey is now floating pitches for Atlanta.

Unfortunately, the Blue Jays didn’t just invest millions of dollars. They gave up prospects to receive Dickey from the Mets, including C Travis d’Arnaud and the majestical, golden locks of RHP Noah Syndergaard.

Dickey’s 49-52 record and 4.05 ERA over his four seasons to the north would ultimately cost the Blue Jays a legitimate ace. While Toronto made the playoffs in Dickey’s final two seasons with the club, he wasn’t the ace – by any means – as RHP Marco Estrada, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Marcus Stroman, and LHP J.A. Happ had gradually taken on larger roles in the rotation. The problem, however, was that none of the other pitchers could give the Blue Jays the innings necessary to go deep into the playoffs. With a lack of pitching depth around the incredible bats of 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Jose Bautista, and 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, the Jays faltered in the ALCS the last two seasons.

Courtesy: Fan Rag Sports

While D’Arnaud has battled injuries…constantly…Syndergaard has become one of the best young arms in baseball, even leading the Mets to a World Series in 2015, winning his only start against the eventual champion Royals. Since the World Series loss, Syndergaard has thrown 202.2 innings, striking out 238 (10.6 K:9), and posting a 2.44 ERA (2.15 FIP). Still just 24 (25 in August), “Thor” has a microscopic 0.95 ERA and 0.84 WHIP thanks to his 20:0 K:BB over his first three starts and 19 innings of 2017. The Mets have control of their young ace through the 2021 season, which, clearly, leaves the Mets as the winners of this trade.

However, hindsight allows us to look back at this as miserable; it wasn’t always the case:


Courtesy: New York Daily News

Getting Dickey with LHP Mark Buehrle and RHP Josh Johnson was, on paper, a huge, smart investment. Injuries to Johnson and age affecting the results of Dickey and Buehrle didn’t allow this wonderful offseason to culminate into anything but a last place finish in the AL East in 2013. Bleacher Report had a nice collection, including Stark’s, that you can check out if you’d like.

There are prospects dealt every year. Hell, OF Michael Brantley became the “player to be named later” in the Indians’ deal that sent LHP CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 – and nine years later, “Dr. Smooth” is still rocking a Tribe uniform. You would think that teams would have learned about the value of those cost and team-controlled years, but we still see these types of deals. Risks are the norm when a team is chasing a title. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays’ gamble will likely go down with the acquisitions of Frank Robinson, John Smoltz, and Jeff Bagwell as one of the worst trades in baseball history, and Toronto fans will long for “Thor” as he continues to lead the Mets’ rotation for several years.

The series of trades that Toronto thought would bring them a title left their system bare. Sure, Sanchez and Stroman came up through their system, but when Syndergaard, LHP Justin Nicolino, RHP Henderson Alvarez, and RHP Anthony DeSclafani were dealt, the club’s depth took a hit. Now, sitting at 2-10 to start the 2017 season, the club needs a starter with Sanchez heading to the DL. What are their options? LHP T.J. House, RHP Mat Latos, and RHP Brett Oberholtzer. Another season without a title and another season with very little pitching depth at the Major League level, as many of their top pitching prospects are getting their first tastes of Double-A. They can always continue to just outscore the opposition, but it hasn’t worked this year. While we can look at this as the “Dickey deal”, it was so much more than that. The philosophy of buying a title by mortgaging the future is what continues to be problematic for the Jays.


2017 Predictions and Useless Guesses

Last season was no different than seasons past. I, once again, wrote a prediction piece and I, once again, was wrong across the board. There’s nothing wrong with that, as someone has to be wrong – why not me? I’ll look at this again prior to Opening Day of 2018, realizing how silly I was, likely predicting another Manager of the Year who will be the first to lose his job, just like last year.  Anyway…here goes nothing!

American League

Courtesy: MLB.com

AL East

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. New York Yankees


AL Central

  1. Cleveland Indians
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Minnesota Twins
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Chicago White Sox


Courtesy: MLB.com

AL West

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Houston Astros
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Los Angeles Angels
  5. Oakland Athletics

AL Wild Cards

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Detroit Tigers

National League

NL East

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. New York Mets
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Philadelphia Phillies


Courtesy: MLB.com

NL Central

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Cincinnati Reds


Courtesy: rumorsandrants.com

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. San Francisco Giants
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Colorado Rockies
  5. San Diego Padres

NL Wild Cards

  1. New York Mets
  2. San Francisco Giants

World Series Prediction

Cleveland Indians over Chicago Cubs in seven – redemption.

AL Manager of the Year

Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

So close last season, Tito has a roster that is improved with the addition of Edwin Encarnacion. In addition to that, you’ll see a healthy Michael Brantley. With a roster and lineup as loaded as the Tribe’s, why does he deserve this award, do you ask? Francona will maneuver all of those pieces in ways that make him look like a master, including the usage of Cody Allen and Andrew Miller as situational closers, changing the way that the league will use the bullpen for years to come.

NL Manager of the Year

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers

Roberts, like Francona, has a lot of talent; however, Roberts doesn’t have the pitching depth that Cleveland has. He finds ways to win games, just like he found ways to be such a useful player during his career. He’ll find a way to help Yasiel Puig find success, and he rides Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias‘ breakout to a division title. Young players like Cody Bellinger and Urias are the difference in the Dodgers’ success, and Roberts plays a major role in their ascension to success.

Courtesy: teepublic.com


Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/DH, Cleveland Indians

The contract will look even more brilliant when “Edwing” lead Cleveland to a title. The right-handed pop in between Brantley, Jason Kipnis, and fellow Dominican masher, switch-hitting Carlos Santana, makes the Indians’ offense one for the ages, in a season for the ages from the 34-year-old slugger.


Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs

Certainly, it may be challenging to find a Most Valuable Player on a team that wins over 100 games, especially one with reigning MVP Kris Bryant, but Rizzo has even more support around him in 2017. Another impressive season from Bryant will be enhanced by further gains from Addison Russell and Javier Baez, while Jason Heyward finds his groove again. In the midst of all of that mashing is Rizzo, who will reach career-highs in home runs, RBI, runs, and OPS, leading the Cubs back to the World Series.

AL Cy Young

Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Cleveland Indians

Perhaps he is a darkhorse with Corey Kluber still around, but this is the year that it all comes together for this guy.  Carrasco will reach 200 innings, eclipse 220 strikeouts, and continue to show overpowering stuff that he has mastered to control.  Counting on more than 30 starts from Carrasco may be the new version of counting on ten starts from Brett Anderson, but…he will be part of the Indians domination over the AL.

NL Cy Young

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Since 2009, Kershaw has a 2.24 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP over 1,652.1 innings. While he has to share the spotlight with the likes of Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner, Jon Lester, and Johnny Cueto in the NL, a healthy Kershaw is by far the best pitcher in the world…and certainly the NL. Bank on his healthy back and another Cy Young award in 2017, his 4th prior to turning 30.

AL Rookie of the Year

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox

This seems like an easy one. Benintendi will be capable of spraying the ball all over the field, while his muscle growth over the winter seems to be the key in some of those balls flying out of the park in 2017. The 7th overall pick in the 2015 draft, he is already well-known, while his results and rapid arrival to the Red Sox have led to lofty expectations…expectations that he will reach in his first full season.

Courtesy: ATLallday.com

NL Rookie of the Year

Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves

Swanson was taken with the 1st pick overall in the 2015 draft, several picks before Benintendi. He, also, rose quickly, reaching the A-T-L and playing in 38 games last season. He just fell short of losing his rookie status, which will allow him to run away with the award in 2017. He is one of the fresh faces of the Braves’ youth movement as they open a new stadium this year, beginning a new foundation of talent for the former perennial powerhouse of the NL East. It won’t be long, thanks to players like Swanson, until the Braves are relevant again.

If you want to see a list of sleepers for 2017, check out these 12 players HERE!

Comment, Share, Like on social media! It will be a great season, no matter how terribly wrong we all may be in our predictions!



Don’t Sleep on These 12 Sleepers for 2017

In fantasy baseball, it is impossible to have all of your teams loaded with the top-tier talent necessary to win every season. Even keeper leagues have players at the top every year who struggle with injuries. You need depth, you need to find a diamond in the rough, and you need to take gambles in order to win. For that reason, you need to know some players who may fly under the radar. This is a list of 12 players who may be available a little later than you think in your baseball drafts who could ruin the lives of your fiercest competitors.

Pollock should return to All-Star status after missing most of 2016. Courtesy: CBS Sports

A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Pollock had all of 46 plate appearances in 2016 due to injuries. It isn’t so much that he is a legitimate sleeper as much as how low he may rank on several draft boards due to his extended absence. Remember, this is a guy who hit .315/.367/.498 with 39 doubles, 20 home runs, and 39 steals in 2015. He was the Yang to Paul Goldschmidt‘s Ying, worthy of an early selection last season. Don’t let him fall too far and reap the benefits if he falls into your lap.

Carlos Gomez, OF, Texas Rangers

Gomez struggled so mightily last season that the Houston Astros released him on August 18th. Two days later, Gomez signed with the Texas Rangers and promptly put up the type of line that Houston was looking for during his time there, erupting to a .284/.362/.543 line with eight home runs and 24 RBI in just 33 games – he had five home runs and 29 RBI in 85 games for Houston. He signed for one-year and $11.5 million to prove himself capable of All-Star production in his age-31 season. He is playing in the right place for another offensive outburst.

Buxton still has the tools that made you fall in love. Don’t run away now. Courtesy: ESPN

Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

Buxton has really disappointed a lot of fans and prospect fanatics with a pretty abysmal start to his career. He has struck out 162 times (with just 29 walks) in 469 plate appearances, which has led to a putrid .220/.274/.398 triple-slash in his brief career. While others will look at those numbers and run, you shouldn’t let the prospect fatigue and struggles lead you astray. Look at Buxton’s September from 2016:

29 29 113 101 24 29 6 2 9 22 1 10 38 .287 .357 .653 1.011 66 .370
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/4/2017.

While the strikeouts are still worrisome, this supposed clone of a young Eric Davis showed power and the abilities that made people drool. He was given the job for the month of September and ran with it, which is downright scary with his speed tool and the BABIP right where most speedsters have theirs. Look for a breakout in 2017.

Tomas can’t take a walk, but you don’t need to with power. A healthy lineup around him could lead to more power. Courtesy: Peter Gammons

Yasmany Tomas, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Tomas was just a part of my story about overpaid Cuban free agents, so why would I have him on a sleeper list, you ask? Because Tomas has some tools that you can’t find everywhere, namely his power. He tore things up in the second half of 2016, posting a .913 OPS, which is impressive for a guy who walked in just 5.5% of his plate appearances. It meant that the 18 bombs in the second half – and 31 overall – could be overlooked due to how ridiculously horrific the Diamondbacks have handled him. With Jake Lamb locked in at third, it appears that Tomas is officially a slugging outfielder, and his numbers could continue to climb with the return of the previously mentioned Pollock to the Arizona lineup.

Hernan Perez, 2B/3B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Over his first 351 career plate appearances (2012-2015), Perez was pretty useless, posting a .235/.251/.307 line with 15 doubles, three triples, one homer, and six stolen bases. Then, at age 25, Perez got an opportunity in Milwaukee, and, boy, did he make the most of it. In the second half of the 2016 season, this previously unknown, organizational depth player went on to post a .281/.313/.449 triple-slash with nine home runs, 14 doubles, two triples, and 24, count ’em…24, stolen bases. He’d total 13 bombs and 34 steals on the season, playing third, second, and outfield. While no one knows whether he will put up similar numbers, Perez has some value, even if it is only in deep mixed leagues. That position flexibility is Zobrist-like, while the production isn’t too far off, either. He would be a nice addition in late rounds for depth purposes, though the addition of Travis Shaw at third could lead to Perez being a one-year wonder.

Did you know who he was before September? Be honest…Keep an eye on him, but don’t go crazy. Courtesy:sacbee.com

Jharel Cotton, RHP, Oakland Athletics

Cotton was a 20th round pick by the Dodgers in 2012, acquired by the A’s in the Rich Hill and Josh Reddick deal last season. He had long had solid numbers in the minors, striking out 10 per 9 IP over the course of 490+ minor league innings. Upon reaching the majors for the first time in September, Cotton posted video game numbers over five starts with a 2.15 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 23:4 K:BB, and 6 H/9. It is anyone’s guess as to whether the 5’11” right-hander will continue to miss bats at that rate, but you don’t want to be the one who watches someone else benefit from the gamble. He’s penciled in as Oakland’s No. 4 starter, so continue to monitor him this spring.

James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners

If only this guy could stay healthy…which is exactly why he is a sleeper. After making only 20 starts in 2016, Paxton is the type of guy that Brett Anderson would like to be and every other pitcher avoids becoming; however, his final 11 starts were pretty impressive, injury-free, and worthy of fantasy acknowledgment. He posted a 71:9 K:BB over 67.2 innings, a 3.19 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and a .235 BAA. Seattle made a lot of deals this winter to become contenders, and Paxton could be a “guy” who improves enough or continues to pitch like he did last season, to help make that happen.

Daniel Norris, LHP, Detroit Tigers

Norris had an interesting year, spending a lot of time rebuilding stamina after beating cancer between the 2015 and 2016 season. Upon sticking in the Tigers rotation (from August 9th onward), the young left-hander posted a 3.04 ERA and 55 punchouts in 56.1 innings. While the 1.37 WHIP and 19 walks in the same 56.1 innings is worrisome, Norris has shown the ability to make it work. He will turn just 24 in April and he has to beat Matt Boyd and Mike Pelfrey to earn the No. 5 spot, but, if he wins it, he has the stuff and the teachers (Justin Verlander and Jordan Zimmermann) to learn on the job.

Robbie Ray, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Run in terror if you’d like, but don’t forget to look at the 11.3 K:9 that Ray posted in 2016. That led to a whopping 218 strikeouts in 174.1 innings. Sure, the 4.90 ERA is gross. Sure, the 1.47 WHIP is disgusting. There is something here. You don’t miss that many bats without having great stuff. This will be Ray’s age-25 season and he will take another step forward because he won’t be posting a .355 BABIP in 2017 and he won’t be losing 15 games again if he throws it by so many opposing hitters in 2017. Keep in mind, Ray’s FIP was 3.76 in 2016. Jose Peraza, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds

There could be a lot of this happening in Cincinnati. Courtesy: Getty Images

Jose Peraza, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds

Everyone is going to be on the Peraza bandwagon, with valid reasons. When the Reds traded Brandon Phillips (and millions of dollars that “small-market” teams don’t have) to the Atlanta Braves, it made fantasy baseball fans celebrate. Peraza posted a .324/.352/.411 triple-slash and 21 stolen bases in just 72 games and 256 plate appearances. With Peraza and Billy Hamilton around, the Reds could look a lot like the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1980’s, when Vince Coleman and Willie McGee ran wild on the league. They just have to get on base for that to happen, and Peraza has been more of a hit-tool and speed talent than an on-base machine.

Joe Panik, 2B, San Francisco Giants

After getting hit in the head on June 18, Panik battled some concussion symptoms, having played through them by passing concussion protocol through MLB. After the beaning, Panik hit just .215/.305/.346. Prior to that, he was hitting .263/.326/.411. Obviously, there could be something in the Justin Morneau area here that could scare you away from wanting Panik on your fantasy team, but he showed a couple of statistics that would warrant a rebound. Overall, including the times that he was apparently dazed, Panik walked more than he struck out in 2016, while posting career highs in homers (10) and RBI (67). In addition to that, Panik had a woeful .245 BABIP. While the league average is typically around .300, Panik’s was incredibly low. There are always outliers and it appears that Panik was one of them in 2016. Expect a rebound in 2017.

Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have a lot of interesting young pitchers. Finnegan was, prior to Anthony DeSclafani‘s return from injury, the only Reds’ pitcher worth owning in fantasy leagues. Like any young pitcher, there were growing pains…lots of them; however, it wasn’t all Finnegan’s fault. The Reds had Finnegan paired with Ramon Cabrera in 12 of his 31 starts and Cabrera was ranked 113th out of 114 catchers in pitch framing. Whether that is something you consider or not, you should know that he should have Devin Mesoraco back there again, barring another injury, in 2017. In addition to the potentially damning battery mate in 2016, Finnegan was able to change something in his approach down the stretch, throwing a changeup more often and posting some ridiculous numbers over his final seven starts: 1.93 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 47:16 K:BB, 37.1 IP, .199 BAA. Sure, the Reds will be one of the worst teams in MLB in 2017…unless they have players like Finnegan continue to grow while on the job. Consider adding him in late rounds and be willing to bail on him if he goes through battles of inconsistency in the middle of the year.