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NoGimmicks

Team-by-team Fantasy Prospect Rankings

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Since my crummy fantasy team got knocked out early in the FB playoffs, I've started my rankings already and thought we could get kick this forum off with the minor league season and post-season now over. Doing it team-by-team like this will help a lot of us learn different prospects that may be buried deeper than you would find in just a standard top 100. I know there's a lot of prospect-watchers here so this should be educating. This way we can take our time since we got almost half a year before the next ST.

Two things:

1) Maximum is 10, I think anything more than 10 is a waste of time with the bust-rate of prospects

2) I agree with RotoRaysFan's general rule that bats > arms, pitchers are just too volatile and unreliable, and I think prospects should be valued accordingly. By extension, relief prospects have negligible value IMO.

3) This will be FANTASY BASED, so things like defense and arm strength will not be nearly as important as they are in real life rankings, though they will still be factored in to determine whether a player can stick at a position.

Without further ado I will kick it off with the rankings for the Toronto Blue Jays. These were difficult as graduations have really weakened this system and there is simply not much to look at here, so the exact rankings are not so important.

BLUE JAYS

  • 1) Kevin Ahrens 3B - Ability to play 3B well and good peripherals make him a solid though unspectacular fantasy prospect, despite a poor season
    2) Brad Emaus 2B - See above, position scarcity and all
    3) Justin Jackson SS - Again, a guy who had a terrible season, but only 19 and the ceiling as a shortstop batting leadoff with gap power and a little speed is too good to ignore for roto leagues
    4) Chad Jenkins RHP - Best ceiling in the system as a starting pitcher
    5) David Cooper 1B - Good potential with the bat, but destined for 1B/DH, hurting his fantasy value.
    6) JP Arencibia C - I think he's destined to be a backup, but power-hitting catchers aren't easy to find on the chance he does hit enough to start.
    7) Jake Marisnick OF - This is all projection on tools at this point, but he's got enticing power-speed potential
    8) James Paxton SP - Long way to go but good ceiling here with plus sinker and curve, just needs to work on third pitch
    9) Brad Mills SP - Nothing great, probably a back of the rotation guy, relies on deception and command. Will probably be starting next year if you're looking for that sort of thing
    10) Josh Roenicke RP - Closer at best

Discussion is welcomed.... up next when I find the time, Boston Red Sox

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Here are the Red Sox.... it's a good, deep system for real life baseball, but there's not much upside here for fantasy

NOTE: Correction on Blue Jays list, they never managed to sign Paxton. I thought they did.... sorry.

RED SOX

1. Ryan Westmoreland OF - 30/30 potential makes him easily the top prospect. Still far away, but nobody in the farm has this kind of ceiling, especially for roto leagues.

2. Casey Kelly SS/RHP - I like that he's got a chance to be a shortstop with solid power and actually stay there, but he hasn't proven anything as a hitter. Also has shown enough potential to be an above-average starter, probably better. So there's lots to like here, will be important to see where he ends up though.

3. Josh Reddick OF - Seems like he'll be a solid fantasy contributor at best, nothing special. Good average and decent power. Has hardly stolen any bases in the minors so he won't do much for you speedwise. Could get a chance next season if Bay leaves. #3/#4 Fantasy OF

4. Michael Bowden RHP - Mid-rotation starter at best. I don't like the declining K-rates since he started AA. Not sure where he fits in with the rotation and when he'll ever get a chance. Unimpressive ceiling and unclear opportunity hurt his fantasy value. His overall minor league track record however, is very good.

5. Junichi Tazawa RHP - Similar to what I said about Bowden, he's got a good arsenal but isn't going to overpower hitters. Could be a solid #3/#4, and give you good ratios.

6. Lars Anderson 1B - Stock is horribly low but not ready to give up on him. Terrible season, doesn't look like it was bad luck (though the previous season may have been good luck). Was a top-25 prospect but poor positional value and poor performance make him of marginal fantasy interest. Was he injured?

7. Daniel Bard RHP - As I said earlier, I discount relief pitchers massively, so he's only #7 despite the fact he's obviously very talented. Also may be awhile before you see consistent saves from him, until the Red Sox decide what to do with Papelbon (signed through 2011)

8. David Renfroe SS/3B/RHP - High school SS drafted by the Sox in the 3rd round this year. Probably going to end up at 3B, has some pop in his bat. Very raw as a pitcher, has made it clear he wants to hit. I'd really keep an eye on him.

9. Reymond Fuentes OF - BA compares him to Johnny Damon, BP says Ellsbury with more pop. Could be a great source of steals, but very far away

10. Stolmy Pimentel RHP - Young but has done fairly well in AA and flashes two potentially plus pitches.

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Casey Kelly will end up a pitcher. He looked like a stud compared to being a SS. I'd probably put him ahead of Westmoreland only because Westmoreland seems to be injury prone so far.

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Casey Kelly will end up a pitcher. He looked like a stud compared to being a SS. I'd probably put him ahead of Westmoreland only because Westmoreland seems to be injury prone so far.

Thanks for the input, but I still like Westmoreland's potential over Kelly's despite the injury concerns. I have seen a lot of Red Sox fans put Kelly as their #1 list right now. Can't go wrong really, both are clearly the cream of the crop in Boston.

Up next, New York Yankees.

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YANKEES:

1. Jesus Montero C - This is a no brainer. He's not going to stick at catcher but the bat is so good he's easily the best prospect in the system. Still…. I think he is a little overrated as a fantasy prospect, he has zero speed and if he ends up DHing he will have to really mash to have a lot of value. It's a lot to ask for

2. Austin Jackson OF - Not impressed with this guy but there's little else here. Bad K/BB ratios, little power, a lot of his value is not fantasy relevant (CF defense). He'll steal maybe 20-25 bags.

3. Slade Heathcott OF - This is a bit of a gamble but the power/speed upside is worth it. He's going to have to turn his tools into performance. There are also some makeup issues, apparently.

4. Austin Romine C - Good shot at replacing Posada as the everyday catcher. He's got a decent bat and in that lineup and ballpark might end up being fantasy relevant if he can take over behind the plate. More likely though he'll end up as a backup

5. Aroydis Vizcaino RHP - High ceiling, but far far away. Another gamble. Performed well in lower levels but needs to continue to prove himself. Injury/small-frame concerns.

6. Manny Banuelos LHP - Another young pitcher with a decent ceiling.

7. Zach McAllister RHP - Nothing interesting here. #5 fantasy starter, at best

8. Mark Melancon RHP - Only put him here because there's a chance he could succeed Mo as closer. Joba/Hughes might throw a wrench in those plans though, or Melancon could just plain suck.

Up next: Rays

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Since my crummy fantasy team got knocked out early in the FB playoffs, I've started my rankings already and thought we could get kick this forum off with the minor league season and post-season now over. Doing it team-by-team like this will help a lot of us learn different prospects that may be buried deeper than you would find in just a standard top 100. I know there's a lot of prospect-watchers here so this should be educating. This way we can take our time since we got almost half a year before the next ST.

Two things:

1) Maximum is 10, I think anything more than 10 is a waste of time with the bust-rate of prospects

2) I agree with RotoRaysFan's general rule that bats > arms, pitchers are just too volatile and unreliable, and I think prospects should be valued accordingly. By extension, relief prospects have negligible value IMO.

3) This will be FANTASY BASED, so things like defense and arm strength will not be nearly as important as they are in real life rankings, though they will still be factored in to determine whether a player can stick at a position.

Without further ado I will kick it off with the rankings for the Toronto Blue Jays. These were difficult as graduations have really weakened this system and there is simply not much to look at here, so the exact rankings are not so important.

BLUE JAYS

  • 1) Kevin Ahrens 3B - Ability to play 3B well and good peripherals make him a solid though unspectacular fantasy prospect, despite a poor season
    2) Brad Emaus 2B - See above, position scarcity and all
    3) Justin Jackson SS - Again, a guy who had a terrible season, but only 19 and the ceiling as a shortstop batting leadoff with gap power and a little speed is too good to ignore for roto leagues
    4) Chad Jenkins RHP - Best ceiling in the system as a starting pitcher
    5) David Cooper 1B - Good potential with the bat, but destined for 1B/DH, hurting his fantasy value.
    6) JP Arencibia C - I think he's destined to be a backup, but power-hitting catchers aren't easy to find on the chance he does hit enough to start.
    7) Jake Marisnick OF - This is all projection on tools at this point, but he's got enticing power-speed potential
    8) James Paxton SP - Long way to go but good ceiling here with plus sinker and curve, just needs to work on third pitch
    9) Brad Mills SP - Nothing great, probably a back of the rotation guy, relies on deception and command. Will probably be starting next year if you're looking for that sort of thing
    10) Josh Roenicke RP - Closer at best

Discussion is welcomed.... up next when I find the time, Boston Red Sox

I'd keep an eye on Zach Stewart......he was definitely the more integral piece in the Rolen deal than Roenicke.

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I'd keep an eye on Zach Stewart......he was definitely the more integral piece in the Rolen deal than Roenicke.

I almost put him in. Is he starting? I heard he might be able to start but I wasn't sure

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I see him as a starter and a solid #3 or #4 starter that eats up innings and has a decent K/9 ratio. I'm not sure of the reasoning why he was moved to the bullpen after getting promoted to AAA.

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YANKEES:

1. Jesus Montero C - This is a no brainer. He's not going to stick at catcher but the bat is so good he's easily the best prospect in the system. Still…. I think he is a little overrated as a fantasy prospect, he has zero speed and if he ends up DHing he will have to really mash to have a lot of value. It's a lot to ask for

2. Austin Jackson OF - Not impressed with this guy but there's little else here. Bad K/BB ratios, little power, a lot of his value is not fantasy relevant (CF defense). He'll steal maybe 20-25 bags.

3. Slade Heathcott OF - This is a bit of a gamble but the power/speed upside is worth it. He's going to have to turn his tools into performance. There are also some makeup issues, apparently.

4. Austin Romine C - Good shot at replacing Posada as the everyday catcher. He's got a decent bat and in that lineup and ballpark might end up being fantasy relevant if he can take over behind the plate. More likely though he'll end up as a backup

5. Aroydis Vizcaino RHP - High ceiling, but far far away. Another gamble. Performed well in lower levels but needs to continue to prove himself. Injury/small-frame concerns.

6. Manny Banuelos LHP - Another young pitcher with a decent ceiling.

7. Zach McAllister RHP - Nothing interesting here. #5 fantasy starter, at best

8. Mark Melancon RHP - Only put him here because there's a chance he could succeed Mo as closer. Joba/Hughes might throw a wrench in those plans though, or Melancon could just plain suck.

Up next: Rays

Will Montero be up in the majors this year?

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Will Montero be up in the majors this year?

No, doubt he will be fantasy relevant till 2011. It also depends on what they do about his position... when they decide to give up on him being a catcher, and where he finds a new home on the field, and how quickly he will adapt to it. His bat is probably very close to being ready.

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No, doubt he will be fantasy relevant till 2011. It also depends on what they do about his position... when they decide to give up on him being a catcher, and where he finds a new home on the field, and how quickly he will adapt to it. His bat is probably very close to being ready.

Do you think any of my minor leaguers will be up this year? Will any help my fantasy team?

Justin Smoak

Tim Beckham

Aaron Hicks

Jesus Montero

Chuck Lofgren

Joshua Fields

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Justin Smoak - probably mid-season call up

Tim Beckham - No

Aaron Hicks - No

Jesus Montero - No

Chuck Lofgren - Will get called if a starter gets injured, don't see much upside in him though

Joshua Fields - mid-season call up as middle reliever

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Finally a farm with lots of talent for fantasy owners to drool at.... pay attention to this one....

RAYS:

1. Desmond Jennings OF - 5-tool Roto stud on his way to the majors. Probably top 10 prospect in all of baseball and hopefully he'll be up next year sooner rather than later. Still a little worried about his health.

2. Wade Davis SP - Ace in the making, as long as he develops that third pitch and keeps the walks down. Found success in a short stint in the majors last season. Will be targeting him in all my redraft leagues for 2010

3. Tim Beckham SS - Weak performance in the low minors but still young and potential for a .290-.300 hitter with solid power from the shortstop position is still there. Only concern is that he won't steal many bases, and I'm reading now that he may have to be moved to third base. I wasn't sure about putting him ahead of Hellickson but I still believe in him.

4. Jeremy Hellickson RHP - He's been a stud in the minors and looks like a #3 fantasy SP at least, with potential for more.

5. Matt Moore LHP - Young frontline starter, needs to sharpen command, far away

6. Alexander Colome RHP - Led the New York Penn League in strikeouts, has great stuff, far away again but great ceiling here as a front-line fantasy starter.

7. Nick Barnese RHP - Also young and far away, not as much potential as Moore or Colome but might be a solid fantasy SP

8. Reid Brignac SS - I'm not a huge fan of this guy for fantasy but he's good enough to play shortstop everyday and will be worth a look in deeper leagues. Obviously he's blocked, but I believe he has an option left so the Rays may not be in a rush to trade him. On the other hand, if they want to get back to the world series they'll need to fill other holes on their roster, like catcher, and he's an obvious trade chip

9. Kyle Lobstein LHP - Great numbers at the lowest level, keep an eye on the kid

Up next, Orioles....

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I forgot one, Alexander Torres from the Kazmir trade. Put him between Colome and Barnese. Man this system is loaded.

7. Alexander Torres LHP - Good strikeout/groundball combo. Improve command of his secondary pitches and he could be a stud

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ORIOLES

1) Josh Bell 3B - Managers say his defense at 3rd has improved a lot, as a future middle-of-the-order masher with patience and plus power from the hot corner I like him better for fantasy owners than Matusz. Cleanup hitter behind Wieters if everything goes well. Main weakness right now is his hitting ability from the right side.

2) Brian Matusz LHP - Should be a #2, barely qualified

3) Jake Arrieta RHP - Will get a shot at the rotation next year, wasn't so great in AAA but he was a little unlucky and in a hitters league, if he continues to work on his changeup he could be a solid fantasy starter

4) Zach Britton LHP - Groundball machine and he's missing bats at the lower levels, improved secondary pitches will make this guy a beast. Very underrated

5) Brandon Erbe RHP - Good stuff but not sure if he's gonna start or relieve

6) Mychal Gyvens SS/RHP - Very raw so this is probably a little high but as a shortstop prospect he's interesting, and the Orioles have no one in the depth charts blocking him at all.

7) Matt Hobgood RHP - Mostly projection at this point but high-ceiling, young arm.

8) Brandon Snyder 1B - Not a fan of this guy for fantasy, limited power potential

9) Troy Patton LHP - Arm troubles and limited ceiling keep him near the bottom of the list.

10) Kam Mickolio RHP - Deserves a mention because he might be the best power arm in the Orioles bullpen, and has a shot at a wide-open closer job (I don’t believe Jim Johnson is the answer long-term)

Next, Indians....

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INDIANS

1. Carlos Santana C - Stud, no explanation needed

2. Jason Knapp RHP - Highest ceiling as a pitcher in the system but a lot of risk here

3. Hector Rondon RHP - Another high-ceiling arm but may wind up in the bullpen

4. Nicholas Weglarz OF -Slash line wasn't great in AA, but maintained excellent peripherals. Watch out for this kid.

5. Nick Hagadone LHP - Will have to prove he can stay healthy as a starter… but very high ceiling as a lefty that can throw in the mid-90s with a plus slider. Worth taking a chance on

6. Alex White RHP - Long way to go, but high ceiling as well if he can develop his secondary pitches

7. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B - Could be a solid fantasy 3B

8. Beau Mills 1B - Struggled in AA but offensively he has still has a lot of potential

9. Carlos Carrasco RHP - #3 fantasy starter

10. Jason Donald SS - Marginal fantasy hitter and might have to move to 2nd or 3rd base

I had to leave some guys off. Next up, Twins

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ORIOLES

1) Josh Bell 3B - Managers say his defense at 3rd has improved a lot, as a future middle-of-the-order masher with patience and plus power from the hot corner I like him better for fantasy owners than Matusz. Cleanup hitter behind Wieters if everything goes well. Main weakness right now is his hitting ability from the right side.

2) Brian Matusz LHP - Should be a #2, barely qualified

3) Jake Arrieta RHP - Will get a shot at the rotation next year, wasn't so great in AAA but he was a little unlucky and in a hitters league, if he continues to work on his changeup he could be a solid fantasy starter

4) Zach Britton LHP - Groundball machine and he's missing bats at the lower levels, improved secondary pitches will make this guy a beast. Very underrated

5) Brandon Erbe RHP - Good stuff but not sure if he's gonna start or relieve

6) Mychal Gyvens SS/RHP - Very raw so this is probably a little high but as a shortstop prospect he's interesting, and the Orioles have no one in the depth charts blocking him at all.

7) Matt Hobgood RHP - Mostly projection at this point but high-ceiling, young arm.

8) Brandon Snyder 1B - Not a fan of this guy for fantasy, limited power potential

9) Troy Patton LHP - Arm troubles and limited ceiling keep him near the bottom of the list.

10) Kam Mickolio RHP - Deserves a mention because he might be the best power arm in the Orioles bullpen, and has a shot at a wide-open closer job (I don’t believe Jim Johnson is the answer long-term)

Next, Indians....

Do you think Josh Bell will be the starting 3rd basemen for the orioles this year?

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INDIANS

1. Carlos Santana C - Stud, no explanation needed

2. Jason Knapp RHP - Highest ceiling as a pitcher in the system but a lot of risk here

3. Hector Rondon RHP - Another high-ceiling arm but may wind up in the bullpen

4. Nicholas Weglarz OF -Slash line wasn't great in AA, but maintained excellent peripherals. Watch out for this kid.

5. Nick Hagadone LHP - Will have to prove he can stay healthy as a starter… but very high ceiling as a lefty that can throw in the mid-90s with a plus slider. Worth taking a chance on

6. Alex White RHP - Long way to go, but high ceiling as well if he can develop his secondary pitches

7. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B - Could be a solid fantasy 3B

8. Beau Mills 1B - Struggled in AA but offensively he has still has a lot of potential

9. Carlos Carrasco RHP - #3 fantasy starter

10. Jason Donald SS - Marginal fantasy hitter and might have to move to 2nd or 3rd base

I had to leave some guys off. Next up, Twins

Do you think Jason Donald will be the starting 2nd basemen for the Indians this year?

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Donald: No he will not start, the job will go to Luis Valbuena, who has a better glove and showed good on-base skills in the minors. Donald should get some playing time but he will not be starting out the gate. Between them, I like Valbuena better but not by a lot.

Bell: He will not be starting, he needs to work on hitting lefties, and Ty Wigginton is still signed for 2010. Should be on schedule for 2011

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I'd keep an eye on Zach Stewart......he was definitely the more integral piece in the Rolen deal than Roenicke.
I almost put him in. Is he starting? I heard he might be able to start but I wasn't sure
I see him as a starter and a solid #3 or #4 starter that eats up innings and has a decent K/9 ratio. I'm not sure of the reasoning why he was moved to the bullpen after getting promoted to AAA.

He was moved to relief just to limit how many innings he'd have. As a Reds fan that's on a Reds message board I can say that the trade wasn't real popular and Stewart was the main reason why. One of the more respected posters on the Reds prospects said at the time "Over the last 5 years the only prospects we have had on the same level of Stewart is Bruce, Votto, Bailey, Cueto and Alonso..." .

He should probably be at least one of the top 5 prospects for Toronto.

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He was moved to relief just to limit how many innings he'd have. As a Reds fan that's on a Reds message board I can say that the trade wasn't real popular and Stewart was the main reason why. One of the more respected posters on the Reds prospects said at the time "Over the last 5 years the only prospects we have had on the same level of Stewart is Bruce, Votto, Bailey, Cueto and Alonso..." .

He should probably be at least one of the top 5 prospects for Toronto.

Wow, I don't know if I'd go that far. I have lived in Cincy all my life and am a huge Reds fan who follows the minors pretty thoroughly and I envision his ceiling as more a John Garland type. Solid #3 starter, but never a real "ace". I like Wood and Sulbaren as better prospects than Stewart.

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TWINS

1) Aaron Hicks OF - Potential roto phenom who didn't do well in A-ball last season, but he's very young and he showed good peripherals. Still highest ceiling in the system.

2) Ben Revere OF - He did okay in the minors, but didn't show any power. Still, a guy who can hit .300+ with 50-60 steals is very valuable in fantasy.

3) Miguel Sano SS - Years before he'll be relevant, but high offensive ceiling. Probably winds up at 3B.

4) Angel Morales OF - Another toolsy outfielder, with some speed and great power and like Hicks didn't do well in A-ball, but unlike Hicks his ratios weren't good either. Still good potential here.

5) Kyle Gibson RHP - Top pitching talent out of the draft with good sinker/slider combo, and a changeup. Might be a #3 fantasy starter.

6) Danny Valencia 3B - Nothing special about this kid, average to below-average power, .280 hitter, but he'll have a shot at the never-ending revolving door at third base for the Twins in 2010 and beyond

7) Chris Parmalee 1B - Power hitting first baseman in the lower levels, poor at making contact

8) Wilson Ramos C - 25-homer potential from the catcher spot but he's not worth anything until traded or Mauer leaves.

9) Deolis Guerra RHP - Making a comeback? Nice K/BB and FIP in AA.Still only 20 years old

10) David Bromberg LHP - Back of the rotation starter

Next: White Sox

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TWINS

1) Aaron Hicks OF - Potential roto phenom who didn't do well in A-ball last season, but he's very young and he showed good peripherals. Still highest ceiling in the system.

2) Ben Revere OF - He did okay in the minors, but didn't show any power. Still, a guy who can hit .300+ with 50-60 steals is very valuable in fantasy.

3) Miguel Sano SS - Years before he'll be relevant, but high offensive ceiling. Probably winds up at 3B.

4) Angel Morales OF - Another toolsy outfielder, with some speed and great power and like Hicks didn't do well in A-ball, but unlike Hicks his ratios weren't good either. Still good potential here.

5) Kyle Gibson RHP - Top pitching talent out of the draft with good sinker/slider combo, and a changeup. Might be a #3 fantasy starter.

6) Danny Valencia 3B - Nothing special about this kid, average to below-average power, .280 hitter, but he'll have a shot at the never-ending revolving door at third base for the Twins in 2010 and beyond

7) Chris Parmalee 1B - Power hitting first baseman in the lower levels, poor at making contact

8) Wilson Ramos C - 25-homer potential from the catcher spot but he's not worth anything until traded or Mauer leaves.

9) Deolis Guerra RHP - Making a comeback? Nice K/BB and FIP in AA.Still only 20 years old

10) David Bromberg LHP - Back of the rotation starter

Next: White Sox

When do you think Hicks will be in the majors? Will he be a 30-30 player?

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When do you think Hicks will be in the majors? Will he be a 30-30 player?

2012, 30-30 is a lot to ask out of any prospect, I'm not sure about 30-homer power but he should be able to swipe that many bags

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I'd have to rank Chisenhall higher. He had a really good season and made it up to AA. Good stuff so far. Keep it up.

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