<![CDATA[Mr. Fantasy Freak Your Home For Fantasy Sports News And Updates - Blog]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:29:54 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Holly Corbett's 2017-18 Second Period NHL Power Rankings]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 01:28:18 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/holly-corbetts-2017-18-second-period-nhl-power-rankings

Holly Corbett's
NHL Power Rankings


Second Period Power Rankings

31. Arizona Coyotes (--)
Starting the season 0-10-1 did not help their chances at making the playoffs. It did however, help their chances at missing the postseason for the sixth year in a row.

30. Buffalo Sabres (--)
Sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic is the Titanic... and the Sabres.
 
29. Vancouver Canucks (-4)
I went to a comedy show the other night and a Canucks game broke out.
 
28. Ottawa Senators (-10)
From November 16th, to December 12th, the Sens lost 12 of 13 (and 10 of those games were in regulation).

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Dennis Schneidler/Icon Sportswire
27. Colorado Avalanche (-1)
Losing Semyon Varlamov for a few weeks might not be a bad thing.
 
26. Florida Panthers (+3)
The Panthers moved up three spots this time by default. That’s the nice way of saying the Avs, Sens and Canucks have been SO horrible I had no choice, but to move Florida up.
 
25. Montreal Canadiens (-10)
Carey Price's current 2.88 GAA is a career high. 
 
24. Carolina Hurricanes (+3)
You're going to miss the playoffs again. Which will then make it nine straight years without sniffing the playoffs.
 
23. Philadelphia Flyers (+5)
Like the Eagles, I don't trust this team.
 
22. Detroit Red Wings (--)
After making the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons it looks like Detroit will be missing the postseason for the second year in a row. The last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons was 1978-1983 when they missed the playoffs five straight years. Here's a few things that happened in 1983: 
 
- Michael Jackson performed the "moonwalk" for the first time in 1983
- McDonald's introduced the McNugget in 1983
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983
- On September 10th, 1983 MLB star Joey Votto was born.

21. New York Islanders (+2)
If you're going to trade John Tavares please, please, please send him to Toronto. Please.

20. New York Rangers (+1)

They hold the second wild card spot as of today. 

19. San Jose Sharks (-2)
San Jose's lack of offense concerns me. 
 
18. Edmonton Oilers (-9)
What happened guys?

17. Anaheim Ducks (-4)
If the Ducks don't get things figured out over the next two weeks they are going to have a long winter.

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Marc DesRosiers/USA Today
16. Chicago Blackhawks (-4)
23 points in his first 41 games. Brandon happy. Zero points in his last four. Brandon Saad.
 
15. Minnesota Wild (+1)
They get bumped up one spot just for what the Vikings did on Sunday. #InstantClassic #MinnesotaMiracle
 
14. Calgary Flames (+5)
This team has flaws but I like what I'm seeing from Mike Smith recently.
 
13. Dallas Stars (+11)
Ben Bishop has been great for the Stars this season. He's 15-5-1 at home this year with a 2.01 GAA. 

12. New Jersey Devils (+2)
Anyone else take issue with the Devils having a player named Lovejoy on the team?
 
11. Pittsburgh Penguins (-7)
If I had to pick a team to sneak into the playoffs between Pittsburgh and New Jersey, I'd go with the Pens every time.
 
10. Columbus Blue Jackets (-5)
Hey Fantasy players, go pick up Josh Anderson right now!

9. Boston Bruins (+11)
Boston is the real deal and Charlie McAvoy is a star.
 
8. Nashville Predators (-1)
Pekka Rinne may be the most valuable Goalie to his team in the NHL today. The guy is money.
 
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Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
7. Winnipeg Jets (+3)
The Jets have the best power play in the Western Conference.
 
6. Los Angeles Kings (--)
The Kings rank first in goals against and penalty kill. 
 
5. St. Louis Blues (-2)
The loss of Jaden Schwartz really hurts this team.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (-2)
I'd like to see us go after Max Pacioretty as the trade deadline approaches. #WishfulThinking

3. Washington Capitals (+5) 

Washington has gone 17-4-2 in their last 23 games after starting the season 11-10-1 in their first 22. #FunFactsWithHolly
 
2. Vegas Golden Knights (+9)
The team is 18-2-2 at home this year. 

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Ross D. Franklin/AP
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (--)
We know their offense is amazing, but did you know Tampa has allowed the third fewest goals in the NHL this season? #VasilevskiyVezina

Holly Corbett
January 15th, 2018
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<![CDATA[2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide]]>Sat, 06 Jan 2018 17:07:12 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/2018-fantasy-baseball-draft-guide2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

My 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide will cover important statistics and give you the information you will need to win your leagues this season.

Fantasy Baseball is often-times broken down into two different scoring formats: Rotisserie (Roto) and Points. In a Points league, players will receive a predetermined amount of points for their daily stats. Point totals will vary from league to league so it's important to know how your league scores before you draft. In a Rotisserie league, you'll compete for specific categories such as ERA, Home Runs, WHIP and so on. Some Roto leagues are scored on a weekly basis, like head-to-head leagues, while other (often more popular) leagues will add up yearly totals.


A majority of the references in my Draft Guide will be in relation to a standard 5x5 rotisserie league with the following categories: Batting Average, Home Runs, Runs Scored, Runs Batted In, Stolen Bases, ERA, WHIP, Wins, Strikeouts and Saves. I prefer Roto scoring because, generally, the best team will win at the end of the regular season. In head-to-head leagues, you may have a few bad weeks and get burned in the standings. The Rotisserie format allows you to be as patient as possible and focus on the long-term goal of being the best team in the league when it's all said and done.

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Joe Camporeale/USA Today
Before I get into my Draft Guide I want to cover the three types of Drafts you'll encounter.

An Auction Draft is a draft in which every team owner is given a set amount of money to spend on players. A ball player will be nominated and every team owner will have an opportunity to bid on him. This is my favorite type of draft as it gives every team a chance to own any player they want.

A Snake Draft is when every team is locked into a spot in the draft order. Pretty self-explanatory.

An Autopick Draft is when team owners set their pre-draft values and the league will commence with the draft automatically, without human interference. This is my least favorite style of drafting as you lose all control after you set your player values.


Target Numbers

I'll give you a set of Target Numbers I want you to focus on when entering this season like I have for the past five years. My target numbers were created from years of studying and playing Fantasy Baseball and are meant to help you achieve a first place finish in your leagues. Here's a look at the numbers for this year: 

Home Runs - 330 or more
Batting Average - .282 or higher
Runs - 1,100 or more
RBI - 1,050 or more
Stolen Bases - 190 or more

Wins - 100 or more
Strikeouts - 1,500 or more
ERA - 3.30 or lower
WHIP - 1.15 or lower
Saves - 150 or more


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David Zalubowski/AP
If you reach these target numbers you will likely earn the max amount of points in each category. After years of reviewing my leagues I have identified that the winning teams usually have a total of 80 rotisserie points in ten-team leagues.

There are a few ways to reach 80 points. Below are a few examples: 

8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8=80
10+10+10+10+10+6+6+6+6+6=80
9+7+9+7+9+7+9+7+9+7=80
10+6+7+9+8+9+8+7+6+10=80
9+9+9+9+9+9+9+8+8+1=80

Each number represents a statistical category in rotisserie leagues. In the fifth example, you'll see "1" is the final number in the sequence; this number stands for a category that the owner gave up on. I'm not one to promote the "punting" of categories. In other words, I don't recommend giving up on any one category in an effort to bolster your chances of putting up more points in others. My strategy, as always, is based on competing in every category for a full year.


Draft Strategy

Now that you know my target numbers it's time to check out my hitting strategy for 2018. My strategy will focus on standard 5x5 Fantasy leagues with the following 13 roster spots:

Catcher (C)
First Base (1B)
Second Base (2B)
Third Base (3B)
Shortstop (SS)
Outfield 1 (OF)
Outfield 2 (OF)
Outfield 3 (OF)
Outfield 4 (OF)
Outfield 5 (OF)
Corner Infielder (1B/3B)
Middle Infielder (2B/SS)
Utility
(UTIL)

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Dustin Franz/NY Times
If you break down my target numbers into each of these starting spots, you'll need to average 25.39 home runs, 14.62 steals, 80.77 RBI, 84.62 Runs and a .282 batting average per slot.

That may sound intimidating but they are achievable goals. First, we should put those numbers into perspective.


Among Qualified Batters
25+ HR
15+ SB
81+ RBI
85+ Runs
.282 or higher BA

2017
74
52
60
54
49

2016
65
47
71
52
55

2015
41
50
47
39
48

For those of you who were under a rock last season, Major League Baseball set a new record, hitting a collective 6,105 home runs. That's an average of about 2.5 home runs per game (6,105 HR divided by 2,430 games played).
 
Several players had career years last season in terms of home runs hit.
 
Elvis Andrus hit 20 homers in 2017 after never hitting more than eight home runs in any one of his previous eight seasons. Eddie Rosario launched 27 bombs last season, 14 more than his previous career high. Joey Gallo hit 41 in his first full season in the Majors. Mike Moustakas set the franchise record for home runs in Kansas City with 38. Justin Smoak launched 38 after never hitting more than 20 in any of his previous seven seasons in the pros. Yonder Alonso mashed 28 homers last season after never hitting more than nine previously.


We also had several rookies burst onto the scene showcasing their power. Yankees' phenom Aaron Judge hit 52 homers, breaking the single season mark by a rookie (a record previously held by Mark McGwire). Matt Davidson hit 26 for the White Sox. Andrew Benintendi hit 20 for the Red Sox. Trey Mancini hit 24 for the Orioles. Matt Olson hit 24 homers in just 189 at bats for Oakland. Rafael Devers hit 10 homers in just 222 at bats for the Red Sox. Rhys Hoskins hit 18 in 50 games (just 170 at bats).

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Mike Stobe/Getty Images
From 2007 to 2013 Major League Baseball saw 5,000+ home runs in just one season (2009). In 2014 we saw 4,186 total homers hit, the lowest since 1995 which had just 4,081 long balls. In 2015 we saw 4,909 home runs, a significant increase from 2014 but still less than 5,000. In 2016 we saw 5,610 home runs, the most since 2000 when 5,693 homers were hit.

Whether you like it or not the increase in power is here to stay and should be accounted for in your drafts (especially in your keeper/dynasty league drafts). 
 
Today's analytics will tell you that there are three different types of outs players can have: ground out, strikeout and fly out. The worst type of out a player can make is a ground out. It increases the chances of a double play (if there are runners on base) and a ground ball is almost a for-sure out due to the high volume of shifts teams use on defense these days. 


Due to the large number of shifts, players don't want to hit the ball on the ground. Rather, batters these days want to lift the ball and try to hit home runs. If they fail to get it over the fence they still have a chance to help any runner on base tag up on a deep fly ball.
 
You also need to keep this in mind: a home run is instant offense while a ground ball or line drive will require multiple hits to score a run.

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Alex Brandon/AP
Follow along as I show you how to use this increase in power to your advantage on draft day through the use of complementary players and attention to detail.
 
By complementary players I mean guys that can "complement" your other hitters. I think it's key to target batters who specialize in high batting averages and stolen bases in the later rounds of your drafts. With the dramatic increase in power, you'll need to put in extra effort to find guys who can help you reach my target numbers.
 
Whit Merrifield, Ender Inciarte, Lorenzo Cain and Adam Eaton (if he's healthy) are four terrific examples of players who will complement the sluggers you picked up early in your draft.

Along with complementary players should come the notion of position scarcity and multi-position eligibility. The adage of “power in the corners and speed up the middle” is beginning to fade away as a majority of Major League players are terrific athletes and can do just about anything.

Still, there is something to be said for a corner infielder who can hit for power and steal bases with ease, as well as a power hitting shortstop with good speed (like Elvis Andrus).


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Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas News
Multi-position players can help your Fantasy teams this year but they shouldn't be given any extra value on draft day. It's nice to have a versatile player on your roster but I'd prefer a power guy (like Adam Duvall or Jay Bruce) or a speed guy (like Manuel Margot) on my bench rather than an average hitter that can play two or three positions (like Josh Harrison).
 
With that in mind we need to look at the depth at each position and make some choices about when to go after each one. If you're wondering when to take an Outfielder, Second Baseman, Third Basemen, etc., I have some advice: at the beginning of your draft during the first three rounds or so, take the best player available. In the next few rounds begin rounding out your roster.

Let me expand on that with a few blind resumes.


Player A
Projected 2018 ADP: 33rd - 37th

2017 Stats:
BA - .322
HR - 23
RBI - 93
R - 94
SB - 2

Player B
Projected 2018 ADP: 33rd - 37th

2017 Stats:
BA - .288
HR - 39
RBI - 119
R - 91
SB - 1

Player C
Projected 2018 ADP: 98th - 102nd

2017 Stats:
BA - .300
HR - 15
RBI - 49
R - 86
SB - 26

Player D
Projected 2018 ADP: 98th - 102nd

2017 Stats:
BA - .304
HR - 11
RBI - 57
R - 93
SB - 22

Player A is Daniel Murphy, Player B is Nelson Cruz, Player C is Lorenzo Cain and Player D is Ender Inciarte. Being able to pair a power hitter like Nelson Cruz with either Cain or Inciarte is a huge plus towards reaching my target numbers.
 
With the combined numbers between Cruz and Cain, you would have had 54 home runs, 168 RBI, 177 runs, 27 steals and a batting average over .290. When you average that out per roster spot you'd get 27 HR, 84 RBI, 88.5 R and 13.5 SB. According to my target numbers heading into this season (25.39 HR, 80.77 RBI, 84.62 R and 14.62 SB) those two would be a perfect pair should they repeat their 2016 numbers.
 
As for Murphy and Inciarte; they would have combined for 34 homers, 150 RBI, 187 Runs, 24 steals and a batting average around .310, maybe a little higher. When you average their numbers out you would have got 17 HR, 75 RBI, 93.5 Runs and 12 steals per slot. It was a good combination last season but if they repeat their numbers this season they'd fall short of my target numbers. Should you find yourself in this predicament in the Spring, I suggest going after someone who can bolster your power and speed numbers, even if it means sacrificing a little batting average. Someone like Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr. or Manuel Margot would suffice.


This year I'm expecting a deep core of Infielders and a relatively weak crop of Outfielders. I'd make it a point to go after elite Outfielders early in your drafts (Trout, Harper, Stanton, etc.) and then round out your roster with mid-tier Infielders like Bogaerts, Sano, Rendon, Cano, Odor, Hosmer and, if you're a believer in him, Rhys Hoskins. Late in drafts you should be able to snag high-upside guys like Paul DeJong who I'm a huge fan of.

Shoehei Ohtani will be a name that goes extremely high in Fantasy drafts this season. The Angels were able to lure the Japanese phenom to sign with them this off season but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be worth a Top 50 pick. I currently have him ranked just outside the Top 100 in my Rankings & Projections but I think he'll be picked much higher in drafts this year. I'd have no issue with you taking him in the seventh or eighth round but I have some concerns with him that would force me to wait on him like whether or not his skills on the mound translate to the Majors. If it helps, I think you should draft him with the mind-set that he's a good Pitcher with upside (I have him ranked close to Masahiro Tanaka and Gerrit Cole). I would not however take his hitting skills into consideration when drafting him. You're drafting him as a Starting Pitcher who can hit a little bit as opposed to doubling-up his value as a Starting Pitcher AND Designated Hitter.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today
My rule of thumb for this year, like last year, is to have three Starting Pitchers, four or five Outfielders (at least two in the first five rounds) and four or five Infielders with your first 12 picks. After the first 12 rounds I usually start looking at Catchers, Closers and high-upside Starting Pitchers that will help round out my rotation.
 
Keep in mind, my hitting strategy works if you reach the 40 point mark; that is your main goal. It will complement my pitching strategy which I’ll get into here in a bit. In short, follow my target numbers for each slot throughout the entire year. Do whatever you can to reach those numbers.


Pitching Strategy

As I segue into my pitching strategy I want to make a few things clear. Starting Pitching is still the deepest position in Baseball; however, there's a clear difference between the elite Pitchers and the second-tier guys. In all of my years playing Fantasy Baseball I have never drafted a Starting Pitcher in the first six rounds of any draft. As the elite Pitchers separate themselves I'm going to change things up and force myself to find an elite ace in either the fourth or fifth round of my drafts this Spring.
 
I've also noticed that all of my roto teams over the past few years do well in wins, strikeouts and saves but tend to fall towards the bottom of the league in ERA and WHIP. By taking an elite Pitcher early on and finding good streaming options late in the year I'll hopefully be able to buck that trend in 2018.


Remember my team target numbers for pitchers:

Wins - 100 or more
Strikeouts - 1,500 or more
ERA - 3.30 or lower
WHIP - 1.15 or lower
Saves - 150 or more

In consideration of the foregoing, it should be noted that among qualified Starting Pitchers...

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Steven Bisig/USA Today
In 2012
10 Pitchers had an ERA below 3.04 - 6 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower
5 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 - 4 of them had a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
10 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 6 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
30 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 14 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower

In 2013
15 Pitchers had an ERA below 3.04 - 10 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower
7 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 - 2 of them had a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
12 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 7 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
26 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 14 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower

In 2014
23 Pitchers had an ERA of 3.04 or lower - 13 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower
3 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 - 1 of them had a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
9 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 2 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
32 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 16 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower

In 2015
15 Pitchers had an ERA of 3.04 or lower - 11 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower
2 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 - 1 of them had a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
9 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 4 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
28 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 16 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower

In 2016
11 Pitchers had an ERA of 3.04 or lower - 6 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower
4 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 - all 4 of them had a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
8 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 6 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
17 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 11 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower
 
In 2017
8 Pitchers had an ERA of 3.04 or lower – 6 of them had a WHIP of 1.09 or lower.
1 Pitcher had an ERA between 3.05 and 3.16 – he did not have a WHIP of 1.14 or lower
6 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.17 and 3.40 - 4 of them had a WHIP of 1.19 or lower
14 Pitchers had an ERA between 3.41 and 4.00 - 9 of them had a WHIP of 1.24 or lower
 
By waiting on Pitchers you'll be able to draft a better hitter in the earlier rounds. I'd prefer to select Mike Trout, Bryce Harper or Nolan Arenado in the first round as opposed to taking Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer. If you select Kershaw or Scherzer in the first or second round, you'll force yourself to take nothing but hitters in the next several rounds possibly losing the opportunity to draft a good value-Pitcher in the middle rounds.

In order to achieve a team ERA of 3.30 (this year's target number) you have to...
Have 200 total starts that average 5 Innings Pitched allowing 1.84 Runs on average (367 total Runs).
Have 200 total starts that average 6 Innings Pitched allowing 2.20 Runs on average (440 total Runs).
Have 200 total starts that average 7 Innings Pitched allowing 2.56 Runs on average (513 total Runs).
Have 200 total starts that average 8 Innings Pitched allowing 2.93 Runs on average (586 total Runs).
 
Obviously, it won’t be easy to reach these numbers but I'll get to a trick I've been using for years to help here in a bit. But first I'll reiterate that I usually win my Fantasy leagues by following my above strategy AND this one rule: end your Draft with five or six Starting Pitchers and four or five cheap Closers on your roster.


That should allow you to build up a solid lead in the saves category over the first few months of the season which should put you in the “driver’s seat” when July rolls around and other teams in your league are looking, and willing to trade a lot, for Closers.

I would never use a high draft pick or spend a lot of my auction budget on a Closer. Every season we see several teams change Closers due to either poor performance or trade.

The best example of this from last season would be when the Yankees removed All Star Aroldis Chapman from the Closer's role. Chapman would later go on to regain the job but he finished the year with just 22 saves.


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Jim McIsaac/News Day
I also wouldn't worry too much about the amount of home runs Pitchers gave up last season. This is now part of the game and something that we need to get accustomed to. When rankings Pitchers I made it a point to turn my attention to walks allowed, strikeouts and batting average against with runners on base. I could care less if a Pitcher gives up 25 solo homers next season, I'd rather deal with that than a guy who allows a hit every time a runner is on base.
 
2017
April ERA: 4.09
May ERA: 4.29
June ERA: 4.63
July ERA: 4.36
August ERA: 4.38
September ERA: 4.35
Season ERA: 4.35

2016
April ERA: 3.98
May ERA: 4.19
June ERA: 4.44
July ERA: 4.03
August ERA: 4.33
September ERA: 4.17
Season ERA: 4.18

2015
April ERA: 3.94
May ERA: 3.82
June ERA: 3.77
July ERA: 3.84
August ERA: 4.21
September ERA: 4.24
Season ERA: 3.96

2014
April ERA: 3.81
May ERA: 3.77
June ERA: 3.77
July ERA: 3.77
August ERA: 3.71
September ERA: 3.60
Season ERA: 3.74

In addition to the chart above, Major League Baseball saw 97 games in the month of August in which a team scored at least nine runs in a single game. In September that number jumped to 115.
 
If you're concerned about not having enough starting pitching, don't worry, I have a way to account for that. Towards the final two months, depending on where I am in the standings, I turn to streaming starters.
 
Streaming Starting Pitchers will allow you to take chances on young prospects who get called up in July by teams who are trying to postpone their arbitration clock. If you don't know much about the minors right now go ahead and read my MLB Farm System Rankings (I really enjoyed writing it).


Delaying the Major League debut of these prospects is often a good sign as they are usually the prospects teams care the most about (think Kris Bryant in 2015 making his debut on the 13th day of the 2015 season so that he wouldn't be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season instead of the 2020 season). Cincinnati Reds prospect Luis Castillo was called up in June last season and subsequently went on to finish the season with a 3-7 record despite a 3.12 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in just 89.1 innings (15 starts).

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Steve Mitchell/USA Today
By streaming Starting Pitchers you'll also have the opportunity to go after guys who started the season poorly.

Case and point, Ivan Nova. Nova got off to a cold start in 2016 going 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA through his first four months of the season with the Yankees. After being traded to the Pirates, Nova finished the year strong going 5-2 in his final 11 starts posting a 3.06 ERA with Pittsburgh.
 
Here are some more interesting stats that back my strategy:

- Last August, among Starting Pitchers who made at least three starts, 34 recorded an ERA of 3.00 or lower. Of those 34 Starters, 21 of them posted an ERA of 2.56 or lower. Of those 21 Pitchers, eight of them posted an ERA of 2.00 or lower. Among those eight were Brandon Woodruff, Chris Stratton, Ryan Merritt, Luke Weaver, Dylan Bundy, Jake Arrieta, Corey Kluber and Stephen Strasburg. Only Kluber, Arrieta and Strasburg were considered Top 100 Starting Pitchers entering last season.

- In September, among Starting Pitchers who made at least three starts, 28 recorded an ERA of 2.74 or lower. Of those 28 Pitchers, 12 of them posted an ERA of 2.00 or lower. Among those 12 were Tyler Mahle, Mike Clevinger, Carson Fulmer, Daniel Mengden and Tyler Anderson, all guys who probably went undrafted in your leagues last season.
 
To expand on things a little more, guys like Cole Hamels (5.09 ERA in September), Jon Lester (4.18 ERA in September) and Chris Archer (7.48 ERA in September), all of whom were Top 20 Starting Pitchers entering the season, struggled down the stretch.

If that doesn't show you the importance of streaming Pitchers, and staying away from over-priced names, I don't know what will.

I would also never shy away from taking 8th inning guys to help solidify my ERA and WHIP while tallying a few strikeouts here and there without adding another start to my roster. Remember, standard Fantasy leagues have a 200 start limit on the season so adding a late inning Reliever like Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Mauricio Cabrera and/or Pedro Strop will help you add strikeouts and lower your ERA and WHIP cheaply. If you're curious, I tend to begin streaming pitchers around the 150 start mark or when there is about two months to go in the season (hence the August and September stats above).


Another reason I try not to take Pitchers high in my drafts is because their season could be over with one bad pitch. If a Pitcher's mechanics are slightly off, they increase their chances of getting injured. Speaking from experience (I pitched for two different Colleges back in the day) I can tell you that Pitchers risk injury every time they throw the ball - hitters don't have that same risk factor. If you've spent a high draft pick on Stephen Strasburg in the past (or Noah Syndergaard last season) you know the risk that I'm talking about.

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Nick Wass/AP
As you look to stream Pitchers down the stretch it'll be important to know what parks to target. It's no secret that Yankee Stadium is a homer-prone park, especially for left handed hitters but did you know that nine parks allowed more homers than Yankee Stadium in 2013. In 2014 only two parks gave up more home runs than Yankee Stadium. In 2015 only one park averaged a higher number of homers hit per game than Yankee Stadium (Oriole Park at Camden Yards). In 2016 Yankee Stadium saw the most home runs hit per game than any other park in the Majors. Only two parks saw more homers than Yankees Stadium last season: Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore and Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

If you're streaming Pitchers try not to pick one up that is facing any of the following teams on the road: Rockies (1st in runs scored at home last season), Diamondbacks (2nd), Yankees (3rd), Rangers (4th), Cubs (5th), Nationals (6th) and/or Indians (10th). These teams tend to hit better, and for more power at home.


2013 Top 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Yankee Stadium - 2.06 HR/G
9. Safeco Field - 2.10 HR/G
8. Wrigley Field - 2.16 HR/G
7. Citizens Bank Park - 2.17 HR/G
6. U.S. Cellular Field - 2.21 HR/G
5. Miller Park - 2.28 HR/G
4. Great American Ball Park - 2.30 HR/G
3. Minute Maid Park - 2.31 HR/G
2. Rogers Centre - 2.64 HR/G
1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 2.86 HR/G


2014 Top 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Chase Field - 1.85 HR/G
9. U.S. Cellular Field - 1.86 HR/G
8. Dodger Stadium - 1.88 HR/G
7. Minute Maid Park - 2.01 HR/G
6. Great American Ball Park - 2.04 HR/G
5. Miller Park - 2.09 HR/G
4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 2.16 HR/G
3. Yankee Stadium - 2.28 HR/G
2. Rogers Centre - 2.30 HR/G
1. Coors Field - 2.58 HR/G


2015 Top 10 HR/G by Ballpark
T10. Wrigley Field - 2.11 HR/G
T10. Citizens Bank Park - 2.11 HR/G
9. Globe Life Park at Arlington - 2.19 HR/G
8. Safeco Field - 2.22 HR/G
7. Great American Ball Park - 2.26 HR/G
6. Miller Park - 2.33 HR/G
5. Minute Maid Park - 2.44 HR/G
4. Coors Field - 2.49 HR/G
3. Rogers Centre - 2.51 HR/G
2. Yankee Stadium - 2.70 HR/G
1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 2.96 HR/G


2016 Top 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Rogers Centre – 2.51 HR/G
9. Comerica Park – 2.60 HR/G
8. Target Field – 2.62 HR/G
7. Globe Life Park in Arlington – 2.63 HR/G
6. Coors Field – 2.65 HR/G
5. Oriole Park at Camden Yards – 2.70 HR/G
4. Chase Field – 2.73 HR/G
3. Great American Ball Park – 2.81 HR/G
2. Yankee Stadium – 2.84 HR/G
1. Safeco Field – 2.89 HR/G
 
 
2017 Top 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Comerica Park – 2.68 HR/G
9. Miller Park – 2.68 HR/G
8. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – 2.81 HR/G
7. Guaranteed Rate Field – 2.83 HR/G
6. Citizens Bank Park – 2.85 HR/G
5. Target Field – 2.86 HR/G
4. Globe Life Park in Arlington – 2.95 HR/G
3. Yankees Stadium – 3.00 HR/G
2. Great American Ball Park – 3.01 HR/G
1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards – 3.23 HR/G


2013 Bottom 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Turner Field - 1.83 HR/G
9. PETCO Park - 1.80 HR/G
8. Target Field - 1.75 HR/G
7. Nationals Park - 1.67 HR/G
6. Dodger Stadium - 1.60 HR/G
5. Kauffman Stadium - 1.54 HR/G
4. AT&T Park - 1.35 HR/G
3. Busch Stadium - 1.33 HR/G
2. PNC Park - 1.31 HR/G
1. Marlins Park - 1.04 HR/G


2014 Bottom 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Angel Stadium - 1.58 HR/G
9. PNC Park - 1.46 HR/G
8. Tropicana Field - 1.44 HR/G
7. Fenway Park - 1.43 HR/G
6. Busch Stadium - 1.38 HR/G
5. Nationals Park - 1.33 HR/G
4. AT&T Park - 1.32 HR/G
3. Marlins Park - 1.28 HR/G
2. Kauffman Stadium - 1.26 HR/G
1. PETCO Park - 1.25 HR/G


2015 Bottom 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Chase Field - 1.91 HR/G
9. Comerica Park - 1.89 HR/G
8. Progressive Field - 1.86 HR/G
7. O.co Coliseum - 1.72 HR/G
T5. PNC Park - 1.60 HR/G
T5. Kauffman Stadium - 1.60 HR/G
4. Busch Stadium - 1.47 HR/G
3. Turner Field - 1.40 HR/G
2. Marlins Park - 1.37 HR/G
1. AT&T Park - 1.35 HR/G



2016 Bottom 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. PETCO Park – 2.17 HR/G
9. Minute Maid Park – 2.11 HR/G
8. Dodger Stadium – 2.09 HR/G
7. Wrigley Field – 2.01 HR/G
6. Kauffman Stadium – 1.91 HR/G
5. O.co Coliseum 1.84 HR/G
4. PNC Park – 1.83 HR/G
3. Turner Field – 1.62 HR/G
2. Marlins Park – 1.54 HR/G
1. AT&T Park – 1.47 HR/G
 
 
2017 Bottom 10 HR/G by Ballpark
10. Tropicana Field – 2.44 HR/G
9. Progressive Field – 2.28 HR/G
8. PETCO Park – 2.25 HR/G
7. SunTrust Park – 2.15 HR/G
6. Busch Stadium – 2.15 HR/G
5. Kauffman Stadium – 2.15 HR/G
4. Marlins Park – 2.09 HR/G
3. Fenway Park – 2.02 HR/G
2. PNC Park – 1.88 HR/G
1. AT&T Park – 1.47 HR/G


I also did some research on the eight worst offensive teams, in terms of runs per game, over the past five seasons. Below is the list of those teams in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Obviously, things can change due to free agency, injuries, slumps, as well as prospects getting called up; however, this is still a relevant tool to have entering the season.

2013 Fewest Runs Per Game
The Marlins scored 3.17 runs per game.
The White Sox scored 3.69 runs per game.
The Cubs scored 3.72 runs per game.
The Phillies scored 3.77 runs per game.
The Astros scored 3.77 runs per game.
The Twins scored 3.79 runs per game.
The Padres scored 3.81 runs per game.
The Mets scored 3.82 runs per game.
 
2014 Fewest Runs Per Game
The Padres scored 3.30 runs per game last year.
The Braves scored 3.54 runs per game last year.
The Reds scored 3.67 runs per game last year.
The Rays scored 3.78 runs per game last year.
The Cubs scored 3.79 runs per game last year.
The D-backs scored 3.80 runs per game last year.
The Cardinals scored 3.82 runs per game last year.
The Phillies scored 3.82 runs per game last year.
 
2015 Fewest Runs Per Game
The Braves scored 3.54 runs per game last year.
The Marlins scored 3.78 runs per game.
The White Sox scored 3.84 runs per game last year.
The Phillies scored 3.86 runs per game last year.
The Reds scored 3.95 runs per game last year.
The Rays scored 3.98 runs per game last year.
The Cardinals scored 3.99 runs per game last year.
The Padres scored 4.01 runs per game last year.

2016 Fewest Runs Per Game
The Phillies scored 3.76 runs per game last year.
The Braves scored 4.03 runs per game last year.
The A's scored 4.03 runs per game last year.
The Marlins scored 4.07 runs per game last year.
The Mets scored 4.14 runs per game last year.
The Brewers scored 4.14 runs per game last year.
The Rays scored 4.15 runs per game last year.
The Royals scored 4.17 runs per game last year.
 
2017 Fewest Runs Per Game
The Padres scored 3.73 runs per game last year.
The Giants scored 3.95 runs per game last year.
The Pirates scored 4.12 runs per game last year.
The Phillies scored 4.26 runs per game last year.
The Blue Jays scored 4.28 runs per game last year.
The Rays scored 4.28 runs per game last year.
The Royals scored 4.33 runs per game last year.
The White Sox scored 4.36 runs per game last year.


All of the above information is critical to know for next season. To close things out, I want to cover my approach to drafting Closers and Relief Pitchers. As I mentioned earlier, I typically try to snag four or five cheap Closers in my drafts as well as a few late inning Relievers. What I failed to mention is that I'm always on the lookout for new Closers to pick-up throughout the year.

In 2014 I had great success picking up guys like Hector Rondon, Cody Allen and Wade Davis. Davis was one of those 8th inning guys I picked up to help my team's ERA and WHIP but he also ended up racking up a few saves for me. In 2015 I grabbed Darren O'Day and had some success with him after Zach Britton went down with an injury. In 2016 I picked up Dellin Betances which benefited me greatly after the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman. Last season I was able to grab Blake Parker, Felipe Rivero and Blake Treinen; those three combined for 45 saves last season.

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Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Entering every season, I try to list off a handful of Closers I plan on targeting. This year will be no different. Here are a few I plan on picking up late in my drafts, you can check out my Rankings & Projections on the site to see how I'm valuing each of them individually.

Archie Bradley ARI
Sean Doolittle WSH
Mark Melancon SF
Brad Brach BAL
Kelvin Herrera KC
Blake Treinen OAK
Kyle Barraclough MIA
Shane Green DET
Fernando Rodney MIN

My motto for Closers will continue to be: Less Is More!

Remember that your main goal is to get 40 Roto points from your pitching staff as a whole. Closers will help you with saves obviously, but they are also a valuable asset to your team's WHIP, Strikeout and ERA totals.
 
Snake Drafts
A standard snake draft is considered the simplest form of drafting as everyone is given a spot in a draft order. The biggest problem you'll run into is reaching for players that you think will be taken before you get a second chance at them.

I see a lot of people reach for their favorite players a few rounds before they should get drafted because of fear of missing out on them. My advice would be to take what you're given and never reach for someone unless you're in the late rounds and want to sure up a few positions/categories. If you're in a snake draft I think you'll do fine simply by following my strategy and by being patient and prepared.

Auction Drafts
A standard auction league allows teams a budget of $260 with three bench spots, 13 starting hitter spots, nine pitcher spots and one DL spot. That's 25 total spots for healthy players. If you divide your $260 budget by 25, you'll allow yourself $10.4 per roster slot. I've never forced myself to stay under $11 per spot so you shouldn't either, it won't win you any leagues, I promise.


Instead, I try to take the same approach that I take in snake drafts in terms of each player's value. I try to grab one or two hitters that rank in my Top 15, after that I go after solid values. Auction leagues are won when a team hits big on a few late sleepers. Last year I did well with guys like Gary Sanchez ($10), Anthony Rendon ($8), Eduardo Nunez ($7), Andrew Benintendi ($6), Cody Allen ($4), and Hector Neris ($2). I'll do my best to find this year's steals but you can't pick them up if you waste most of your budget on five super stars.

A few years ago, I saw one team pick up Mike Trout ($46), Troy Tulowitzki ($30), Robinson Cano ($32), Miguel Cabrera ($45) and Andrew McCutchen ($46). That team finished in the bottom three in every pitching category and finished the year in 5th place. That owner spent a total of $199 (77% of their total budget) on those five players. I urge you not to take that approach this season.

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Christian Smith/AP
My final piece of advice is to take this Draft Guide, understand the information, and use it to your advantage. I release my information before other writers do in order to help you plan your draft strategy before they get a chance to chime in.

In conclusion, make sure you draft three Pitchers within the first 12 rounds but avoid the high-price aces. Also among those first 12 picks should be a balanced number of Outfielders and Infielders. After those picks you need to turn your attention to taking a Catcher and drafting multiple Closers and a few high-upside Starting Pitchers. Also, when going after late-round flyers focus on players with great power or speed potential and always be on the lookout for top prospects in the final few rounds.

Here's some more of my recent work:


I hope this Draft Guide helped. Please like our Facebook page and follow me on twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the year. Good luck to you and your Fantasy teams this season!

Alex Wiesner
January 6th, 2018
Archives
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<![CDATA[January 2nd, 2018 Fantasy Baseball Top 300 Keeper Rankings]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 03:28:07 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/january-2nd-2018-fantasy-baseball-top-300-keeper-rankingsFantasy Baseball Top 300 Keeper Rankings

My Rankings are based on a combination of: current value, future value, trade value, age, several batting splits and trends, position versatility, power and ability to stay healthy over the course of a career. My Keeper Rankings are based on my perception of a player's Fantasy value over the next three-to-five years.

Top 300 Keepers as of January 2nd, 2018

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Christian Petersen/Getty
Picture
Jim McIsaac/Getty
Picture
Jonathan Daniel/Getty
2018 Rankings & Projections:
Top 300
Late Round Flyers

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Hannah Foslien/Getty
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty
1. Mike Trout Angels
2. Bryce Harper Nationals
3. Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
4. Jose Altuve Astros
5. Nolan Arenado Rockies
6. Giancarlo Stanton Yankees
7. Aaron Judge Yankees
8. Mookie Betts Red Sox
9. Carlos Correa Astros
10. George Springer Astros
11. Joey Votto Reds
12. Kris Bryant Cubs
13. Corey Seager Dodgers
14. Freddie Freeman Braves
15. Francisco Lindor Indians
16. Anthony Rizzo Cubs
17. Manny Machado Orioles
18. Trea Turner Nationals
19. Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
20. Jose Ramirez Indians
21. Max Scherzer Nationals
22. Charlie Blackmon Rockies
23. J.D. Martinez Free Agent
24. Corey Kluber Indians
25. Noah Syndergaard Mets
26. Chris Sale Red Sox
27. Cody Bellinger Dodgers
28. Eric Hosmer Free Agent
29. Dee Gordon Mariners
30. Madison Bumgarner Giants
31. Miguel Sano Twins
32. Josh Donaldson Blue Jays
33. Daniel Murphy Nationals
34. Justin Upton Angels
35. Stephen Strasburg Nationals
36. Carlos Martinez Cardinals
37. Luis Severino Yankees
38. Christian Yelich Marlins
39. Billy Hamilton Reds
40. Elvis Andrus Rangers
41. Jacob deGrom Mets
42. Marcell Ozuna Cardinals
43. Alex Bregman Astros
44. Gary Sanchez Yankees
45. Michael Conforto Mets
46. Brian Dozier Twins
47. Zack Greinke Diamondbacks
48. Rhys Hoskins Phillies
49. Dallas Keuchel Astros
50. Jose Abreu White Sox
51. Carlos Carrasco Indians
52. Starling Marte Pirates
53. Khris Davis Athletics
54. Byron Buxton Twins
55. Robbie Ray Diamondbacks
56. James Paxton Mariners
57. A.J. Pollock Diamondbacks
58. Willson Contreras Cubs
59. Justin Turner Dodgers
60. Anthony Rendon Nationals
61. Wil Myers Padres
62. Andrew Benintendi Red Sox
63. Justin Verlander Astros
64. Edwin Encarnacion Indians
65. Yoenis Cespedes Mets
66. Chris Archer Rays
67. Gleyber Torres Yankees
68. Jonathan Schoop Orioles
69. Robinson Cano Mariners
70. Yoan Moncada White Sox
71. Marcus Stroman Blue Jays
72. Kenley Jansen Dodgers
73. Yu Darvish Free Agent
74. Shohei Ohtani Angels
75. Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
76. Tommy Pham Cardinals
77. Ryan Braun Brewers
78. Jake Arrieta Free Agent
79. Chris Taylor Dodgers
80. Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
81. Domingo Santana Brewers
82. Jake Lamb Diamondbacks
83. Eduardo Nunez Red Sox
84. Aaron Nola Phillies
85. Nelson Cruz Mariners
86. Buster Posey Giants
87. Andrew McCutchen Giants
88. Alex Wood Dodgers
89. Aroldis Chapman Yankees
90. Corey Knebel Brewers
91. Jean Segura Mariners
92. Aaron Altherr Phillies
93. Gerrit Cole Astros
94. Masahiro Tanaka Yankees
95. Sonny Gray Yankees
96. Whit Merrifield Royals
97. Danny Duffy Royals
98. Jimmy Nelson Brewers
99. Travis Shaw Brewers
100. Roberto Osuna Blue Jays
101. Mike Moustakas Free Agent
102. Michael Fulmer Tigers
103. Jose Berrios Twins
104. Didi Gregorius Yankees
105. Rafael Devers Red Sox
106. Julio Urias Dodgers
107. Alex Reyes Cardinals
108. Paul DeJong Cardinals
109. Lorenzo Cain Free Agent
110. Ken Giles Astros
111. Matt Olson Athletics
112. Nomar Mazara Rangers
113. Manuel Margot Padres
114. Justin Smoak Blue Jays
115. Trevor Story Rockies
116. Adrian Beltre Rangers
117. Kyle Seager Mariners
118. Jose Quintana Cubs
119. Rougned Odor Rangers
120. Edwin Diaz Mariners
121. Victor Robles Nationals
122. Drew Pomeranz Red Sox
123. Lance Lynn Free Agent
124. Ian Desmond Rockies
125. Starlin Castro Marlins
126. Jay Bruce Mets
127. Adam Duvall Reds
128. Gregory Polanco Pirates
129. Luke Weaver Cardinals
130. Jameson Taillon Pirates
131. Lance McCullers Jr. Astros
132. Brad Hand Padres
133. Lucas Giolito White Sox
134. Marwin Gonzalez Astros
135. Miguel Cabrera Tigers
136. Carlos Santana Phillies
137. Yasiel Puig Dodgers
138. Chase Anderson Brewers
139. Raisel Iglesias Reds
140. Tim Anderson White Sox
141. Dylan Bundy Orioles
142. DJ LeMahieu Rockies
143. Yuli Gurriel Astros
144. Archie Bradley Diamondbacks
145. Orlando Arcia Brewers
146. Hunter Renfroe Padres
147. Justin Bour Marlins
148. Gio Gonzalez Nationals
149. Alex Colome Rays
150. Clint Frazier Yankees
151. Adam Jones Orioles
152. Ronald Acuna Braves
153. Scooter Gennett Reds
154. Eloy Jimenez White Sox
155. Ender Inciarte Braves
156. Javier Baez Cubs
157. Josh Bell Pirates
158. Steven Souza Jr. Rays
159. Eric Thames Brewers
160. Tim Beckham Orioles
161. Ian Happ Cubs
162. J.P. Crawford Phillies
163. Addison Russell Cubs
164. Francisco Mejia Indians
165. Joc Pederson Dodgers
166. Franklin Barreto Athletics
167. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays
168. Wade Davis Rockies
169. Michael Kopech White Sox
170. Tyler Naquin Indians
171. J.T. Realmuto Marlins
172. Evan Longoria Giants
173. Jackie Bradley Jr. Red Sox
174. Maikel Franco Phillies
175. Kyle Hendricks Cubs
176. Nick Castellanos Tigers
177. Cole Hamels Rangers
178. Johnny Cueto Giants
179. Willy Adames Rays
180. Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays
181. Nick Senzel Reds
182. Brent Honeywell Rays
183. Stephen Gonsalves Twins
184. Felipe Rivero Pirates
185. Trevor Bauer Indians
186. Ryon Healy Mariners
187. Willie Calhoun Rangers
188. Lewis Brinson Brewers
189. Max Kepler Twins
190. Jose De Leon Rays
191. Justus Sheffield Yankees
192. David Dahl Rockies
193. Joey Gallo Rangers
194. Brett Gardner Yankees
195. Zack Godley Diamondbacks
196. Zach Davies Brewers
197. Ramiel Tapia Rockies
198. Adam Eaton Nationals
199. Hector Neris Phillies
200. Nick Williams Phillies
201. Andrelton Simmons Angels
202. Sean Doolittle Nationals
203. Cody Allen Indians
204. Greg Holland Free Agent
205. Greg Bird Yankees
206. Mitch Haniger Mariners
207. Trey Mancini Orioles
208. Corey Dickerson Rays
209. Matt Carpenter Cardinals
210. Kevin Pillar Blue Jays
211. David Peralta Diamondbacks
212. Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox
213. Dexter Fowler Cardinals
214. Ozzie Albies Braves
215. Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
216. David Price Red Sox
217. Mike Foltynewicz Braves
218. Vincent Velasquez Phillies
219. Matt Harvey Mets
220. Chris Owings Diamondbacks
221. Taijuan Walker Diamondbacks
222. Tyler O'Neill Cardinals
223. Avisail Garcia White Sox
224. Josh Reddick Astros
225. Stephen Piscotty Athletics
226. Jeff Samardzija Giants
227. Luis Castillo Reds
228. Kyle Schwarber Cubs
229. Odubel Herrera Phillies
230. Brendan Rodgers Rockies
231. Austin Meadows Pirates
232. Kevin Gausman Orioles
233. Salvador Perez Royals
234. Danny Salazar Indians
235. Hanley Ramirez Red Sox
236. Kyle Barraclough Marlins
237. Zack Cozart Angles
238. Ian Kinsler Angels
239. Eddie Rosario Twins
240. Rich Hill Dodgers
241. David Robertson Yankees
242. Mike Zunino Mariners
243. Kyle Tucker Astros
244. Nick Gordon Twins
245. Keon Broxton Brewers
246. Charlie Morton Astros
247. Jon Gray Rockies
248. Carlos Rodon White Sox
249. Jordan Montgomery Yankees
250. Sean Newcomb Braves
251. Ervin Santana Twins
252. Delino DeShields Rangers
253. Zach Britton Orioles
254. Kevin Kiermaier Rays
255. Chris Devenski Astros
256. Kolby Allard Braves
257. Mike Soroka Braves
258. Arodys Vizcaino Braves
259. Michael Wacha Cardinals
260. Zack Wheeler Mets
261. Scott Schebler Reds
262. Logan Morrison Free Agent
263. Brandon Nimmo Mets
264. Dellin Betances Yankees
265. Jedd Gyorko Cardinals
266. Christian Arroyo Rays
267. Mark Melancon Giants
268. Dustin Pedroia Red Sox
269. Hernan Perez Brewers
270. Anthony Alford Blue Jays
271. Jake Bauers Rays
272. Luis Robert White Sox
273. Alex Verdugo Dodgers
274. Dansby Swanson Braves
275. Steven Matz Mets
276. Ketel Marte Diamondbacks
277. Drew Smyly Cubs
278. Mitch Keller Pirates
279. Walker Buehler Dodgers
280. Chance Sisco Orioles
281. Yonny Chirinos Rays
282. Yadier Alvarez Dodgers
283. Brandon Belt Giants
284. Joe Panik Giants
285. Carson Kelly Cardinals
286. Matt Davidson White Sox
287. Scott Kingery Phillies
288. Roman Quinn Phillies
289. Dylan Cozens Phillies
290. Jose Urena Marlins
291. Travis d'Arnaud Mets
292. Shin-Soo Choo Rangers
293. Kelvin Herrera Royals
294. Jacob Faria Rays
295. Sean Manaea Athletics
296. Marco Estrada Blue Jays
297. Forrest Whitley Astros
298. Austin Hedges Padres
299. Jack Flaherty Cardinals
300. Max Fried Braves


Alex Wiesner
January 2nd, 2018
Archives
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<![CDATA[January 1st, 2018 Fantasy Hockey Keeper Rankings]]>Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:23:38 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/january-1st-2018-fantasy-hockey-keeper-rankingsFantasy Hockey Keeper Rankings

When determining long-term Keeper Rankings I take several things into consideration including: current statistics, injury history, projected ceiling, current team, contract situation as well as age, size and play-style.

I'll be basing my Rankings on roto scoring with the standard Goal, Assist, +/-, PIM, ATOI, PPP and SOG categories for Forwards and Defensemen and Wins, GAA and SV% categories for Goaltenders.

I think it's important once again to mention that in Hockey, age really is just a number. We've seen several players play into their late 30's and early 40's with extreme efficiency and effectiveness. Don't let a players age affect your long-term view of them.

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Scott Audette/Getty Images
With that in mind, I hope you enjoy these Rankings as much as I enjoyed putting them together. If you want to discuss them, please post a comment at the bottom of the page.

1. Connor McDavid EDM (C1)
2. Sidney Crosby PIT (C2)
3. Nikita Kucherov TB (RW1)
4. Steven Stamkos TB (C3)
5. Patrick Kane CHI (RW2)
6. Vladimir Tarasenko STL (RW3)
7. John Tavares NYI (C4)
8. Alex Ovechkin WSH (LW1)
9. Tyler Seguin DAL (C5)
10. Jamie Benn DAL (LW2)
11. Brad Marchand BOS (LW3)
12. Johnny Gaudreau CGY (LW4)
13. Jakub Voracek PHI (RW4)
14. Nathan MacKinnon COL (C6)
15. Auston Matthews TOR (C7)
16. Artemi Panarin CLS (C8)
17. Braden Holtby WSH (G1)
18. Andrei Vasilevskiy TB (G2)
19. Drew Doughty LA (D1)
20. Jack Eichel BUF (C9)
21. Victor Hedman TB (D2)
22. P.K. Subban NSH (D3)
23. Blake Wheeler WPG (RW5)
24. Filip Forsberg NSH (LW5)
25. Evgeny Kuznetsov WSH (C10)
26. Brayden Schenn STL (C11)
27. Dustin Byfuglien WPG (D4)
28. Brent Burns SJ (D5)
29. Anze Kopitar LA (C12)
30. Evgeni Malkin PIT (C13)
31. Patrick Laine WPG (RW6)
32. Mike Hoffman OTT (LW6)
33. Phil Kessel PIT (RW7)
34. Patrice Bergeron BOS (C14)
35. Claude Giroux PHI (C15)
36. Pekka Rinne NSH (G3)
37. Corey Crawford CHI (G4)
38. Carey Price MON (G5)
39. Jonathan Quick LA (G6)
40. Mark Scheifele WPG (C16)
41. David Pastrnak BOS (LW7)
42. Erik Karlsson OTT (D6)
43. Alex Pietrangelo STL (D7)
44. Aleksander Barkov FLA (C17)
45. Corey Perry ANA (RW8)
46. Sergei Bobrovsky CLS (G7)
47. Vincent Trocheck FLA (C18)
48. Joe Pavelski SJ (C19)
49. Jonathan Toews CHI (C20)
50. Eric Staal MIN (C21)
51. Tuukka Rask BOS (G8)
52. Shayne Gostisbehere PHI (D8)
53. Taylor Hall NJ (LW8)
54. Sean Monahan CGY (C22)
55. Max Pacioretty MON (LW9)
56. Jonathan Huberdeau FLA (LW10)
57. Brayden Point TB (C23)
58. Josh Bailey NYI (LW11)
59. Roman Josi NSH (D9)
60. Shea Weber MON (D10)
61. Sean Couturier PHI (C24)
62. Wayne Simmonds PHI (LW12)
63. Vladislav Namestnikov TB (LW13)
64. Anders Lee NYI (C25)
65. Matt Murray PIT (G9)
66. Connor Hellebuyck WPG (G10)
67. Jonathan Marchessault LGK (C26)
68. Milan Lucic EDM (LW14)
69. Viktor Arvidsson NSH (LW15)
70. Nikolaj Ehlers WPG (LW16)
71. Nicklas Backstrom WSH (C27)
72. Devan Dubnyk MIN (G11)
73. John Klingberg DAL (D11)
74. Aaron Ekblad FLA (D12)
75. Cory Schneider NJ (G12)
76. Martin Jones SJ (G13)
77. Matthew Tkachuk CGY (LW17)
78. Reilly Smith LGK (RW9)
79. James Neal LGK (LW18)
80. Evander Kane BUF (LW19)
81. Jake Allen STL (G14)
82. Ryan Suter MIN (D13)
83. Max Domi ARI (C28)
84. Jeff Carter LA (RW10)
85. Nico Hischier NJ (C29)
86. William Nylander TOR (RW11)
87. Henrik Lundqvist NYR (G15)
88. Oliver Ekman-Larsson ARI (D14)
89. Kevin Shattenkirk NYR (D15)
90. John Gibson ANA (G16)
91. Frederik Andersen TOR (G17)
92. John Carlson WSH (D16)
93. Clayton Keller ARI (C30)
94. Leon Draisaitl EDM (C31)
95. T.J. Oshie WSH (RW12)
96. Ryan Kesler ANA (C32)
97. Zach Werenski CLS (D17)
98. Cam Talbot EDM (G18)
99. Cam Atkinson CLS (RW13)
100. Dustin Brown LA (LW20)
101. Alexander Steen STL (LW21)
102. Ryan Getzlaf AN (C33)
103. Mark Stone OTT (RW14)
104. Jordan Staal CAR (C34)
105. Ben Bishop DAL (G19)
106. Alexander Radulov DAL (RW15)
107. Jaden Schwartz STL (LW22)
108. Brock Boeser VAN (RW16)
109. Mats Zuccarello NYR (RW17)
110. Ondrej Palat TB (LW23)
111. Gabriel Landeskog COL (LW24)
112. Dylan Larkin DET (C35)
113. Seth Jones CLS (D18)
114. Kris Letang PIT (D19)
115. Kyle Turris NSH (C36)
116. Tom Wilson WSH (RW18)
117. Rickard Rakell ANA (C37)
118. Tyler Johnson TB (C38)
119. Mar-Andre Fleury LGK (G20)
120. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins EDM (LW25)
121. Mathew Barzal NYI (C39)
122. Charlie McAvoy BOS (D20)
123. David Perron LGK (LW26)
124. Sebastian Aho CAR (RW19)
125. Nazem Kadri TOR (C40)
126. Patric Hornqvist PIT (RW20)
127. Rasmus Ristolainen BUF (D21)
128. Mark Giordano CGY (D22)
129. Dougie Hamilton CGY (D23)
130. Brian Elliott PHI (G21)
131. Mike Smith CGY (G22)
132. Tyson Barrie COL (D24)
133. Paul Stastny STL (C41)
134. Danton Heinen BOS (LW27)
135. Colin Miller LGK (D25)
136. Mikhail Sergachev TB (D26)
137. Nolan Patrick PHI (C42)
138. Thomas Vanek VAN (LW28)
139. Josh Anderson CLS (RW21)
140. James Van Riemsdyk TOR (LW29)
141. Jimmy Howard DET (G23)
142. Mikko Rantanen COL (RW22)
143. Alexander Kerfoot COL (C43)
144. Mikael Granlund MIN (LW30)
145. Colton Parayko STL (D27)
146. Jordan Eberle NYI (RW23)
147. Torey Krug BOS (D28)
148. Oscar Klefbom EDM (D29)
149. Jimmy Vesey NYR (LW31)
150. Tomas Hertl SJ (LW32)


Here's a look at the previous edition of my Fantasy Hockey Keeper Rankings from April, 2017.

Alex Wiesner
January 1st, 2018
Archives
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<![CDATA[Fantasy Football Top 18's for 2018]]>Sat, 30 Dec 2017 01:28:30 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/fantasy-football-top-18s-for-2018Fantasy Football Top 18's for 2018

Below you will find my Top 18 players at the QB, RB, WR and TE positions for next season. A lot of things can, and will, change so don't hold me to these lists. If you want to discuss anything please post your thoughts at the bottom of the page.

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Carson Wentz
3. Russell Wilson
4. Tom Brady
5. Drew Brees (UFA)
6. Deshaun Watson
7. Matthew Stafford
8. Cam Newton
9. Jimmy Garoppolo (UFA)
10. Jared Goff
11. Derek Carr
12. Andrew Luck
13. Dak Prescott
14. Ben Roethlisberger
15. Matt Ryan
16. Case Keenum (UFA)
17. Kirk Cousins (UFA)
18. Philip Rivers

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Jim Matthews/USA Today
Who missed the cut (no particular order): Alex Smith, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield.


Running Backs

1. Todd Gurley II
2. Ezekiel Elliott
3. Melvin Gordon
4. Kareem Hunt
5. Le'Veon Bell (UFA)
6. David Johnson
7. Leonard Fournette
8. Christian McCaffrey
9. Alvin Kamara
10. Dalvin Cook
11. Carlos Hyde (UFA)
12. Devonta Freeman
13. Jordan Howard
14. Joe Mixon
15. LeSean McCoy
16. Mark Ingram II
17. Saquon Barkley
18. Mike Davis (RFA)

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John Cordes/AP
Who missed the cut (no particular order): Isaiah Crowell, C.J. Anderson, Lamar Miller, Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams, Chris Thompson, Jay Ajayi, Tevin Coleman, Tarik Cohen, Derrick Henry, Bilal Powell and Derrius Guice.


Wide Receivers

1. Odell Beckham Jr.
2. Antonio Brown
3. Mike Evans
4. DeAndre Hopkins
5. Julio Jones
6. Tyreek Hill
7. Michael Thomas
8. A.J. Green
9. JuJu Smith-Schuster
10. T.Y. Hilton
11. Adam Thielen
12. Michael Crabtree
13. Keenan Allen
14. Jarvis Landry
15. Chris Hogan
16. Brandin Cooks
17. Allen Robinson (UFA)
18. Davante Adams

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Matthew Emmons/USA Today
Who missed the cut (no particular order): Jordy Nelson, Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Demaryius Thomas, Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Devin Funchess, Amari Cooper, Marquise Goodwin, DeVante Parker, Stefon Diggs and Cooper Kupp.


Tight Ends

1. Travis Kelce
2. Rob Gronkowski
3. Zach Ertz
4. Jimmy Graham (UFA)
5. Evan Engram
6. Jordan Reed
7. Greg Olsen
8. Delanie Walker
9. Tyler Eifert (UFA)
10. Kyle Rudolph
11. Cameron Brate (RFA)
12. Austin Hooper
13. Jason Witten
14. Jared Cook
15. Hunter Henry
16. Jack Doyle
17. O.J. Howard
18. Coby Fleener

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Gary Landers/AP
Who missed the cut (no particular order): Eric Ebron, Charles Clay, David Njoku and Julius Thomas.


FLEX (only RB, WR & TE)

1. Todd Gurley II
2. Ezekiel Elliott
3. Odell Beckham Jr.
4. Antonio Brown
5. Melvin Gordon
6. Mike Evans
7. DeAndre Hopkins
8. Kareem Hunt
9. Le'Veon Bell (UFA)
10. Julio Jones
11. Tyreek Hill
12. Michael Tomas
13. David Johnson
14. A.J. Green
15. Leonard Fournette
16. Christian McCaffrey
17. Alvin Kamara
18. Travis Kelce

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Derick E. Hingle/USA Today
UFA - Unrestricted Free Agent
RFA - Restricted Free Agent

Alex Wiesner
December 29th, 2017
Archives
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<![CDATA[Holly Corbett's 2017-18 Fourth Quarter NFL Power Rankings]]>Wed, 27 Dec 2017 20:25:00 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/holly-corbetts-2017-18-fourth-quarter-nfl-power-rankings

Holly Corbett's
NFL Power Rankings


With one week to go...

Fourth Quarter Power Rankings

32. Cleveland Browns (0-15) --
I've enjoyed making fun of Cleveland all year, but going 0-16 would just make me sad. Those players have kids and families that look up to them.

31. Indianapolis Colts (3-12) -3
I hope Andrew Luck comes back next season.
And Jim Irsay doesn't.

 
30. New York Giants (2-13) --
Josh Rosen wants to play for you. Don't screw it up.
 
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) -2
Coaching changes are coming.

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Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP
28. New York Jets (5-10) -5
Robby Anderson has been a nice surprise for New York. BUT HE'S NO ENES KANTER!!!
 
27. Denver Broncos (5-10) +2
I've never seen such poor Quarterback play between three different guys on the same team…in the same season.
 
26. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) -5
News broke recently that Marvin Lewis will not return to Cincinnati next season. Good for him. #SinkingShip
 
25. Houston Texans (4-11) -5
Things will change when Deshaun Watson comes back next season.
 
24. Chicago Bears (5-10) +1
There are 14 teams this season that allow an average of 21 points or less per game. 13 of those teams are going to the playoffs. The Bears are the one team that isn't. #FunFactsWithHolly
 
23. Green Bay Packers (7-8) +3
Aaron Rodgers covers up a lot of blemishes on that roster.
 
22. Arizona Cardinals (7-8) --
Baker Mayfield anyone?
 
21. Miami Dolphins (6-9) +3
Ryan Tannehill should thank Jay Cutler for increasing his value to the Dolphins. 
 
20. Oakland Raiders (6-9) -1
And the award for the most disappointing team goes to...the Rrrraaiiddderrrssssss.

19. San Francisco 49ers (5-10) +12
O-M-Jimmy-G 
#FranchiseQB
 
18. Washington Redskins (7-8) -3
Tell me again how the Redskins are a good team?!?!

17. Buffalo Bills (8-7) -1
Remember when they tried Nathan Peterman at QB? Buffalo DOES NOT deserve to make the playoffs.

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Stan Olszewski/S.F. Examiner
16. Dallas Cowboys (8-7) +1
Like the new Star Wars' movie, this team has left a lot of questions unanswered. 
 
15. Detroit Lions (8-7) -3
The Lions lost to the Bengals last week. THE BENGALS!!!!

14. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) -2
They'll be a dangerous team if they can make the playoffs. 

13. Tennessee Titans (8-7) -2

The Titans haven't won a playoff game since 2003. That statement will remain true by season's end. Sorry guys.
 
12. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) -3
I don't think this team is focused on football - too many personalities doing too many things. 

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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
11. Baltimore Ravens (9-6) +7
They have the most turnovers on defense and the best turnover differential in the NFL this season.
 
10. Atlanta Falcons (9-6) -2
How good is Matt Ryan really?
 
9. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) +5
They've outscored opponents 85-41 during their three game win streak. 
 
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) +2
The Jags are a cold weather team that plays in Florida. #OldSchool #PoundTheRock #SmashMouth 
 
7. Carolina Panthers (11-4) --
Put my faith in Cam Newton? 
No. 
Noooo.
Noooooooooo.
 
6. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) -5
Nick Foles is good, but he's not Carson Wentz good. 
 
5. Los Angeles Rams (11-4) --
I'd love to see the Rams make the Super Bowl this year. 

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) -1
It wasn't a catch according to the rules.
 
3. New Orleans Saints (11-4) +3
The Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram duo has been something special. 
 
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-3) +2
If Case Keenum doesn't turn the ball over the Vikings will have a chance to be the first team ever to play in a Super Bowl in their own city. 

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Mark Tenally/AP
1. New England Patriots (12-3) +1
Tom Brady is 40 years old. This is crazy because the average lifespan of a goat is 15-18 years. 

Holly Corbett
December 27th, 2017
Archives
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<![CDATA[2017-2018 NFL Weekly Sleeper Picks Recap]]>Mon, 25 Dec 2017 17:59:34 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/2017-2018-nfl-weekly-sleeper-picks-recapFantasy Football Weekly Sleeper Picks Recap
2017-2018

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<![CDATA[2017 Fantasy Football Sleeper Picks Week 16]]>Mon, 25 Dec 2017 17:51:56 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/2017-fantasy-football-sleeper-picks-week-16Fantasy Football Weekly Sleeper Picks
Week 16 Results

Alex Wiesner
Sleeper QB - Joe Flacco
17.3 pts

Sleeper RB - Jamaal Williams
5.8 pts

Sleeper WR - Tyrell Williams
10 pts

Sleeper TE - Kyle Rudolph
1.6 pts

Mark Merriam
Sleeper QB - Matthew Stafford
10.8 pts

Sleeper RB - Mark Ingram
15.6 pts

Sleeper WR - Adam Thielen
4.4 pts

Sleeper TE - Kyle Rudolph
1.6 pts

Kenneth Teape
Sleeper QB - Tyrod Taylor
12.8 pts

Sleeper RB - Alex Collins
9.6 pts

Sleeper WR - DeVante Parker
11.3 pts

Sleeper TE - Austin Hooper
4.8 pts

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<![CDATA[2018 MLB Farm System Rankings - Page 1]]>Fri, 22 Dec 2017 16:51:51 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/2018-mlb-farm-system-rankings-page-12018 MLB Farm System Rankings

30. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels, once again, rank dead last in my Farm System Rankings. Their issues stem from bad trades and poor drafts. At this point Los Angeles has just a handful of guys who are worth mentioning: Jordan "Jo" Adell, Matt Thaiss, Roberto Baldoquin and Griffin Canning. Of those four, only Thaiss appears ready for the Majors. Thaiss will eventually take over at First Base when the team calls him up. The Angels have a very good Major League lineup so there won't be much urgency to call up any prospects this season so long as their stars stay healthy. Los Angeles did manage to steal away Kevin Maitan from the Braves organization who were forced to release him after breaking international signing rules. Maitan is a Top 75 prospect in Baseball with Top 10 upside. The team also signed international sensation Shohei Ohtani in early December. Ohtani will likely open the season in Anaheim as a Starting Pitcher and DH. His presence in the organization will not affect how I feel about their poor minor league rosters.
 
29. Kansas City Royals
It's been a long time since the Royals have had such a poor farm system. The only reason the Royals aren't ranked last on this list is because they boast two Outfielders in their system, Billy Burns and Jorge Soler, who are vastly underrated. Both Outfielders are still figuring things out but I like them both and believe they will turn things around this year.
 
28. Baltimore Orioles
Like last year, Baltimore's top prospect is Catcher Chance Sisco. Sisco is ready for an everyday role as the team's Backstop right now and should be considered one of the best Catching prospects in all of Baseball. Another prospect to know is Outfielder D.J. Stewart. Stewart hit .278 last season in 126 Double A games in the Eastern League and finished the year with 21 home runs, 20 steals and an outstanding .378 OBP. Stewart could see time in the Majors this season if he starts his 2018 campaign where he left off in 2017. At the Major League level, the O's need help on the mound and could look to Hunter Harvey and David Hess as potential back-of-the-rotation Starters. One sleeper prospect to keep an eye on in the O's system (especially for Fantasy Baseball) is Outfielder/First Baseman Anthony Santander. At 23 years of age, Santander projects as a good power hitter who is mature and patient at the plate. 


27. New York Mets
The Mets have called up several prospects over the past two years and now have one of the weakest Farm Systems in all of Baseball. Of those prospects, Left Fielder Michael Conforto, Shortstop Amed Rosario, First Baseman Dominic Smith, Second Baseman Gavin Cecchini, Third Baseman Matt Reynolds and Utility Outfielder Brandon Nimmo appear ready to stay in New York for the long run. If those sluggers continue to improve, and if their Starting Pitchers can stay healthy, the Mets will turn into a dominant team within a year or two.


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Barton Silverman/The New York Times
26. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs moved several prospects last season as they geared up to defend their 2016 World Series title. After moving Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, the Cubs now have a Farm System led by Second Baseman David Bote and Pitcher Duane Underwood. Bote looks like a future Utility player while Underwood could eventually turn into a back-of-the-rotation Starter. Underwood relies on a high 90's fastball, a good curveball, changeup and cutter; but he still lacks control. We'll probably get to see Duane this season but no other Chicago prospect strikes me as intriguing at this point.
 
25. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners' system is led by Kyle Lewis, one of the best overall prospects in all of Baseball. Lewis projects to hit for power and average at the Big League level and could be an All Star caliber Right Fielder. Aside from Lewis, Seattle has a few players of note in the minors. First Base/Outfield prospect Eric Filia led the Arizona Fall League with a .408 average this past year. Julio Rodriguez signed with the team as an International Prospect in 2017; he could end up as the team's Right Fielder in the near future if he continues to develop. Seattle's Major League roster is loaded with talent so I don't expect that we'll see to many of their prospects in the Majors this year.


24. Boston Red Sox
With no elite prospects right now, Boston has to hope that the few youngsters they do have start to make strides in 2017. The Red Sox have several young pitching prospects who are a few years away from being impact players in Boston. That group is led by Jason "Jay" Groome and Tanner Houck. I watched Houck in college and was thoroughly impressed with his breaking pitches and ability to fight back when down in the count. Boston also has several young hitters who are still a few years away from being ready for the Majors. That group includes Bobby Dalbec, Michael Chavis and Sam Travis. Dalbec and Chavis are both above-average power hitters who could turn into All Stars one day, should they land in the right situation.


23. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have just one hitter, Chris Shaw, headlining their system this year. The team does have a group of young arms lead by Tyler Beede who looks like a future workhorse; but the team isn't as deep as years past. Shaw looks like the Giants long-term option in Left Field - a position the team had virtually no offense from in 2017. Shaw has great power so he should have no issue mashing 25-30 homers per year in the Bay. Beede looks like the team's future number two behind Madison Bumgarner. Behind Beede are Kyle Crick, Andrew Suarez and Sam Coonrod. Crick looks like he'll be a key piece of the team's bullpen in the near future while Suarez and Coonrod look ready to take over roles as Starters.

COROLLARY (1/15/2018): The Giants traded Kyle Crick and Bryan Reynolds, along with $500,000 of International bonus slot money, to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen. This trade doesn't affect their place in my Farm System Rankings even though I am a big fan of Crick.
 
22. Miami Marlins
Brian Anderson comes in as the Marlins top prospect this year in my opinion. Anderson appears ready to take over the Hot Corner right now and which should push the team to move Martin Prado at some point over the next few months. After Anderson, the Marlins boast several impressive arms that are just a few years away from making an impact at the Major League level. Of those arms, Tyler Kolek, Braxton Garrett, Trevor Rogers and Merandy Gonzalez could be in the team's rotation as early as 2019 if they continue to develop in the minors this season. Derek Jeter has his work cut out for him moving forward but I have complete faith in his ability to get the job done. Jeter’s already been able to move Dee Gordon for Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert and Christopher Torres from Seattle. All three have Major League upside with Neidert coming over as the prize prospect of the trio. Jeter also maneuvered a trade to get Giancarlo Stanton's big money contract off the books by shipping him to the Yankees on December 9th.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona has a pair of Middle Infielders who are just about ready for the Majors in Jake Reinheimer and Domingo Leyba. Both guys are good hitters who have a knack for barreling up the ball; however, each may be stuck in the minors for another season as Chris Owings, Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed have created a logjam up the middle. Prospect Outfielder Victor Reyes hit .316 in the Arizona Fall League and led the league with 12 steals. Reyes could make the Big League roster later this Summer. The D-Backs also have a logjam on the mound. That means top Pitching prospects Anthony Banda, Jon Duplantier and Taylor Clarke may have to wait another year before they get a role as a full-time Starter. I'm also a fan of Christian Walker who was claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks last season. Walker has tremendous upside and showed it last year in Triple A hitting .309 with 32 homers in 133 games in the Pacific Coast League (where he won MVP honors). 


20. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have some fascinating prospects in their Farm System right now led by Outfielder Willie Calhoun, Outfielder Leody Taveras, First Baseman Ronald Guzman and Pitcher Yohander Mendez. Calhoun was brought over in the Yu Darvish trade late last season. At 23 years old, Calhoun shows promise as a power hitter who has the ability to hit for a high average. Calhoun will have to move from Second Base to the Outfield this year in order to get regular at bats in Texas. Ronald Guzman could join Calhoun in Texas this season if the Rangers give him the First Base job out of Spring Training. Guzman has Eric Hosmer qualities but will probably end up being more like Pittsburgh's Josh Bell. Leody Taveras is still a few years away from joining the Rangers but he's considered a five-tool prospect with high upside.


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Max Faulkner/Star Telegram
19. Detroit Tigers
After going all-in with their rebuild last season, the Tigers now have several young prospects worth mentioning. Offensively the Tigers have high hopes for Outfielder Christian Stewart and Second Baseman Kody Eaves. Christian Stewart showed off his power last season mashing 28 home runs in 136 AA games. Similarly, Eaves has shown off his power in the minors, recording four straight seasons with double digit homers. Stewart will have a chance to take over in Left Field or as a Designated Hitter in 2017, Eaves will take over for Ian Kinsler now that the team has traded him. Detroit also picked up Victor Reyes first overall in the Rule 5 Draft (from the Yankees). On the mound Detroit is about to introduce a new wave of Tiger Pitchers. Franklin Perez, Matt Manning, Beau Burrows, Grayson Long and Alex Faedo are all on their way to The Motor City. Of those five, Perez is the most-ready while Manning has the highest upside. If all goes as planned, the Tigers could enter 2019 (not 2018) with a 1-2-3 rotation of Michael Fulmer, Matt Manning and Franklin Perez.
 
18. Washington Nationals
The Nationals enter 2018 with several prospects on the cusp of making the Major League roster. That group is led by Outfielder Victor Robles. Robles could easily be one of the best leadoff hitters in the Majors as he has terrific on-base-skills and elite speed. Washington has three Pitchers ready for the Bigs in Erick Fedde, Seth Romero and Austin Voth. Romero profiles as a late-inning Reliever with a high 90's heater and great slider. Fedde and Voth could be the Nats' fourth and fifth Starters as early as this year. In the long run Washington can look to Outfielder Juan Soto as their next up-and-coming star. Soto has an uncanny ability to hit the ball all over the park with a compact swing and quick hands. 
 
17. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards have several high-upside players in their system right now. Carson Kelly is the heir-apparent to Yadier Molina behind the plate; however, Molina's contract extension may force the team to move Kelly soon. Behind Kelly sits hitting prospects Delvin Perez (the 23rd pick in the 2016 Draft), Harrison Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Tyler O'Neill and Jonathan Machado. O'Neill has the highest upside of the group with good power and a knack for making hard contact. The Red Birds also have a few arms in their system ready to make a major impact in St. Louis. Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson could see time in the Majors this year; both have the potential to turn into workhorses on the mound. The team has made some questionable decisions over the past few years but I believe there's some potential in their system. Now it's up to General Manager Mike Girsch to figure out a way to make it all work.
 
16. Houston Astros
After calling up several of their young prospects over the past two years, Houston's minor league teams aren't loaded with near as much talent. The Astros do however have one of the best hitting prospects in Baseball in Kyle Tucker. Tucker looks like a future All Star and someone who could step into Houston's lineup and put up a 20HR/20SB season right now. Houston’s two best pitching prospects are Forrest Whitley and JB Bukauskas. Whitley is a 6' 7" RHP who relies on a mid-90's fastball, an above-average curve, a good slider and a solid changeup. Bukauskas is a 6' 00" RHP who was taken 15th overall in the 2017 Draft. JB features a mid-90's fastball and arguably the best slider in the 2017 Draft. If all goes as planned, we should see both Whitley and Bukauskas in September, 2019. Aside from those three, Houston has just mid-level-replacements in their system right now. Guys like Colin Moran, Garrett Stubbs and Jason Martin are all serviceable but all three are better off staying in the upper levels of the minors in 2018.

COROLLARY (1/14/2018): The Astros traded both Colin Moran and Jason Martin - along with Joe Musgove and Michael Feliz - to Pittsburgh for Gerrit Cole.
 
15. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League this past November. Outfield prospect Yonathan Daza swiped 11 bags in the Arizona Fall League (second most in the league). Daza also hit .318, one of the highest averages during the short season. Double AA First Baseman Brian Mindell led the AFL in walks, with 16. Aside from those two, Colorado also boasts elite prospects like Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon and Noel Cuevas. Rodgers is good enough to take over at Shortstop for Trevor Story right now but a move to Second Base may be in the plans for the Middle Infielder. McMahon profiles as an above average Third Baseman who may have to switch to First Base if he hopes to sniff the Majors at some point in the near future. Cuevas could see some time in Colorado in 2018, as a fourth Outfielder. The Rockies also have a notable name behind the plate in Tom Murphy who played well in Triple A last season before getting a short stint with the Big League club late in the year. As for Colorado's pitching prospects, the team has Riley Pint and Yency Almonte atop their list. Pint is a Starter who could earn a Major League promotion as early as 2019. Almonte will probably see some time in Colorado this season as a Spot-Starter or late-inning Reliever.

 
14. Minnesota Twins
With Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton now full-time members of their Major League roster, Minnesota has to hang their hat on a new crop of prospects led by LHP Stephen Gonsalves and Shortstop Nick Gordon. After them lies a group of young hitters in Shortstop Royce Lewis, Outfielders Fielder Zack Granite and LaMonte Wade and Catcher Mitch Garver. All four could be in Minnesota in 2019. Minnesota also has a few underrated arms in Starters Kohl Stewart, Fernando Romero and Relievers J.T. Chargois, Jake Reed and Tyler Jay.


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Seth Stohs/Twins Daily
13. Cleveland Indians
After winning 100 regular season games last year the Cleveland Indians have a Big League roster set to compete for the foreseeable future. That should benefit a Farm System with a ton of young talent as they will be in no rush to get them to the Majors immediately. That said, the Indians do have two prospects who are likely to make an impact this year in Francisco Mejia and Bobby Bradley. Mejia can DH or play behind the plate for the Tribe. He projects as a high average hitter with terrific gap power and a disciplined approach. Bradley is a power hitting First Baseman who reminds me a little of Carlos Santana. After those two, Cleveland has Outfielder Will Benson, Outfielder Greg Allen and Shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang just about ready for the Majors, although I'd like to see them all in the minors for at least another year. In terms of pitching prospects Cleveland has Ryan Merritt who's ready to join the Tribe right now. Merritt profiles as a number five Starter who could eat innings. I think Tristan McKenzie has the highest upside of all of their young Pitchers and someone who projects as a high strikeout guy.

12. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have done a great job allocating their resources to improve their Farm System over the past few years. Now the team has several high-end prospects with nowhere to play them. Outfielders Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips are both ready for everyday roles but will have to wait until General Manager David Stearns moves Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana and/or Keon Broxton. The team also has Corey Ray, the fifth overall pick in last year's Draft. Ray is an advanced player but is still over-aggressive at times and could use a few more years of experience in the minors. Milwaukee also seems to have their future Second Baseman in Keston Hiura who projects as a .300 hitter at the Big League level. On the mound Milwaukee has two young arms one year away from being back-of-the-rotation Starters in Luis Ortiz and Corbin Burnes. One name who could surprise scouts and players alike is Cody Ponce. At 6' 6" Ponce relies on a low-90's heater, a good cutter, curve and change. Another player hidden in the depths of their system worth keeping an eye on is Larry Ernesto. I wrote about Ernesto coming out of the Dominican Republic last May, "Ernesto is a thin, switch-hitting, Outfielder with good speed; but he is a long way away from being an impact prospect. Ernesto is also better from the right side of the plate. Footage of him batting as a lefty, showed he has a problem dropping the bat head, and his hands, while swinging. It's something that can be fixed but it could take some time." If Ernesto can makes those adjustments he could become an impact prospect this year.
 
11. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have done a great job over the past few seasons revamping their Farm System. Toronto now has several players who are just about ready to make some noise in 'the six' including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Anthony Alford.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the Blue Jays top prospect and one of the best in all of Baseball. The son of Hall of Fame slugger Vladimir Guerrero is on his way to being an impact player at the Major League level thanks to his power at the dish and elite bat speed. Anthony Alford saw a little time in Toronto last season but suffered a wrist injury and failed to promote back to the Major League club before the year was over. I believe Alford will start the 2018 season in the minors but a late season call-up feels inevitable.

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Lynne Sladky/AP
Toronto has several young Infielders worth keeping an eye on including Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichitte, Richard Urena, Max Pentecost and Logan Warmoth. There are also several young arms in the their system ready to make an impact at the Major League level right now. Sean Reid-Foley and Taylor Guerrieri are two of my favorite young Pitchers while Eric Pardinho has major upside coming out of Brazil.

The Top 10 -->

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<![CDATA[2018 MLB Farm System Rankings - Page 2]]>Fri, 22 Dec 2017 16:18:01 GMThttp://mrfantasyfreak.com/blog/2018-mlb-farm-system-rankings-page-22018 MLB Farm System Rankings

10. Pittsburgh Pirates
From the Farm System that's brought you Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte and Josh Bell, comes a foursome of prospects who are ready to take over the Steel City. Austin Meadows, Kevin Newman, Mitch Keller and Nick Kingham are all on the cusp of being part of what will be a very competitive Pirates' roster. Austin Meadows is capable of being an everyday Outfielder right now but will have to wait until the team moves one of their regular Outfielders. Newman projects as the future Shortstop of the organization. Newman hit .283 in 40 Triple A games last season and although he lacks power, he should be able to hit for a high average at the bottom of Pittsburgh's lineup in the near future. Keller and Kingham could step into the Pirates rotation this year and be one of the better 4-5 duos in the National League Central. The Pirates have Shane Baz in the low levels of the minors after taking him 12th overall in the 2017 Draft.


COROLLARY (1/14/2018): The Pirates dealt Gerrit Cole to Houston for Colin Moran, Jason Martin, Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz. This increases the value of Pittsburgh's Farm System but not enough for me to move them any higher in my rankings.

COROLLARY (1/15/2018): The Pirates traded away Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco for Kyle Crick, Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 of International bonus slot money. This trade does not affect Pittsburgh's place in my Rankings.

9. Cincinnati Reds
As a team the Reds posted a 5.17 ERA last season, the second highest ERA in the Majors (Detroit had a 5.36 ERA). The team has a few Pitchers in their system just about ready to make a difference at the Major League level including Hunter Greene, Tyle Mahle and Keury Mella. Greene was taken with the second overall pick in the 2017 Draft and has the highest ceiling of any Pitcher in their system with a fastball that's reached 102 mph. Although he's just 18 years old right now, he could see some time in the Majors as early as 2019. Mahle and Mella profile as potential 3-4 Starters in Cincinnati and will probably join Robert Stephenson in The Queen City this year. Offensively the Reds have one prospect who is exceptional in every aspect of the game, Nick Senzel. The Third Baseman has good power, okay speed and a great approach that should allow him to hit for a high average once he gets to the Bigs (which I really hope is this year).


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Casey Page/Billings Gazette
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers find themselves in my number eight spot this year after coming in at 12 entering last season. Los Angeles has two elite pitching prospects in Walker Buehler and Yadier Alvarez. Buehler has four pitches that are currently, or will be, plus pitches. Alvarez has been a favorite of mine for a few years now and should be able to crack the Big League rotation later on in 2018. The team also has Julio Urias in their system although he doesn't qualify as a prospect, he's still just 21 years old. The Dodgers have a few high-upside hitters in their system like Alex Verdugo and Yusniel Diaz. Verdugo hit .314 in 114 Triple A games last year. Diaz managed to hit .333 in 31 Double A games last season. Diaz projects as a high-average hitter but he'll need to add some size before he starts to hit for power. In 2017 we got to see a little bit of Kyle Farmer in Los Angeles as he played 20 games during the regular season and five in the playoffs. The young Catcher was able to produce at a high level in 92 games split between AA and AAA hitting .317 with 10 homers and a .375 OBP. Farmer will eventually be the Dodgers every day Catcher but that may not happen until 2019.
 
7. Oakland Athletics
The A's have one of the best Farm Systems in Baseball right now thanks to Billy Beane and David Forst making several moves over the past few years. Those moves will allow the team to show off Franklin Barreto, Renato Nunez, Dustin Fowler and Jorge Mateo this year. Franklin Barreto should be a part of Oakland's every day lineup in 2018 as either a Shortstop, Second Baseman or Utility Player. Barreto shows promise as a power hitter with an electric approach. Renato Nunez came through the minors as a Third Baseman but he may be shifted to the Outfield as the team seems to have settled on Matt Chapman at Third Base and Matt Olson at First. Jorge Mateo who could turn into one of the better base stealers in Baseball should he refine his approach at the plate. Dustin Fowler is recovering from an open rupture of the right patellar tendon that he suffered in his Major League debut last season. Should he come back at 100%, Fowler will probably make the case to be the A's every day Center or Right Fielder. If all goes right, at some point in 2018 or 2019, the A's could have a lineup consisting of: 

1. Dustin Fowler (Center Field)
2. Matt Chapman (Third Base)
3. Matt Olson (First Base)
4. Khris Davis (Left Field)
5. Jed Lowrie (Designated Hitter)
6. Renato Nunez (Right Field)
7. Franklin Barreto (Second Base)
8. Jorge Mateo (Shortstop)
9. Sean Murphy (Catcher)

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Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
As for Oakland's future pitching staff, the team should look to James Kaprielian, A.J. Puk and Grant Holmes to eventually join Sean Manaea, Kendall Graveman, Andrew Triggs, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton as they'll all compete for five (or six) rotation spots.
 
6. Atlanta Braves
The reason I have Atlanta high on this list is due to their pitching prospects. Atlanta has several young arms who are just about ready to compete in the Major Leagues. Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Luiz Gohara, Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson and Jesse Biddle are all on the fast track to A-Town and should get their time to shine this year. It should be noted that the Braves were found to be in violation of several international signing rules this past off season. The fallout of that investigation has forced the team to release several international prospects including top prospects Kevin Maitan. Maitan was one of the best prospects in the 2016 class who has since signed with the Angels. Despite the investigation the Braves can still lay claim to some of the best prospects in all of Baseball including Ronald Acuna. Acuna lead the Arizona Fall League with 53 total bases and walked away with AFL MVP honors. Atlanta also has Alex Jackson in their system, a high-end Catcher/Outfielder with intriguing power.
 
5. San Diego Padres
After seeing Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Cory Spangenberg and Hunter Renfroe get promoted over the past few years, the Padres now have their sights set on developing several Pitchers in their system. Cal Quantrill, MacKenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon, Eric Lauer and Anderson Espinoza are the next wave of pitching talent that will eventually hit San Diego. Espinoza is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery so I don't think we'll see him in San Diego until 2019 at the earliest. Prior to his surgery he was one of the best prospects in the minors. Cal Quantrill was one of the best prospects in the 2016 Draft class, "Paul Quantrill's son has a bright future not only because he attended the University of Stanford, but because of his four-pitch repertoire. Quantrill has a low-to-mid-90's fastball with a good changeup and an average slider and curve. Of those three breaking pitches, the changeup is considered his best secondary offering. Cal underwent Tommy John surgery (2015) but should be ready to go right now. Quantrill went to the Padres with the eighth overall pick. It should also be noted that he became the first Freshman to start a season opener (2014) for the Cardinal since Mike Mussina did it back in 1998." The team also has MacKenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon and Eric Lauer who project as good Starters in the Majors but we may not see them until 2020. Of those three, Gore has the highest upside. Shortstop prospect Luis Urias managed to hit .315 in the Arizona Fall League. Urias played 17 games and struck out just five times while walking 14 times. Luis Urias is the future Shortstop of the organization although he may get moved to Second to make room for Fernando Tatis Jr. who many consider to be the better hitter. 
 
4. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays currently have three pitching prospects who rank among the best in the minors in Brent Honeywell, Jose De Leon and Yonny Chirinos. All three have the makeup of high-end Starters in the Majors and should get promoted to Tampa Bay before the end of 2018. Behind Honeywell, De Leon and Chirinos is another group of Pitchers who seem poised to take their places in the upper levels of the minors once they get to Tampa. That group is led by Brendan McKay and Curtis Taylor. Taylor was brought in during the Brad Boxberger trade this Winter. McKay was drafted fourth overall in the 2017 Draft. The team also has Ryan Yarbrough in Triple A but I don't believe we'll see him get promoted in 2018 (I think we'll see him in full-capacity in 2019). Among hitting prospects, the Rays have several notable names in their system including future Shortstop Willy Adames, future First Baseman Jake Bauers and future Outfielder Justin Williams. Williams projects as a power hitting Corner Outfielder although he has a tendency to chase bad pitches. Bauers and Adames look like everyday pros who have All Star potential. The team also brought in Christian Arroyo in the Evan Longoria trade on December 20th. Arroyo looks like he'll be the team's future Third Baseman.


3. New York Yankees
The Yankees come in at number three on this list for the second year in a row due to their strong depth and potential star power. Infielder Gleyber Torres is widely considered the best prospect in the minors (along with Shohei Ohtani).


Torres projects as a high average hitter with good speed, okay power and a knack for getting the job done. Torres could easily be the team's future Third Baseman; even though he reminds me of Houston Astros' Shortstop Carlos Correa. After Torres the team has hitters like Jake Cave, Miguel Andujar, Billy McKinney, Dermis Garcia and Esteven Florial, all with high ceilings. All five should stay in the minors this year but they do give the team intriguing trade pieces should they decide to purse a star next Summer.

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Kim Klement/USA Today
Justus Sheffield enters the year as the Yank's top pitching prospect. Sheffield, the son of Gary Sheffield, has turned himself into a high-end Pitcher in the minors. The team also has Chance Adams and Dillon Tate in their system, both players could see time in New York this season.

2. Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia fell one spot this year after entering 2017 as my number one ranked system. The team still has several high-upside players in their system including J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery; the franchise's future double play duo. The Phillies have several youngsters in the Majors right now so their loaded farm system will only continue to get better through experience. Roman Quinn has elite speed and projects to be a Billy Hamilton-type player. Dylan Cozens has immense power but has turned into a true three-outcome-slugger. Mickey Moniak has All Star potential but he'll need to continue to refine his approach and fill-out physically. Adam Haseley, like Moniack, is still a few years away from reaching the Majors but he too has potential. Sixto Sanchez, Tom Eshelman and Franklyn Kilome enter 2018 as the team's top pitching prospects. Sanchez has the highest upside of the three; although I believe all three have the ability to turn into major contributors in the Phils' rotation as early as 2019.
 
1. Chicago White Sox
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, competition breeds excellence. In Chicago, the White Sox have created great competition in their system over the past few years through a myriad of trades and signings. Eloy Jimenez has elite potential as a power hitting Outfielder. Michael Kopech enters 2018 as my number two pitching prospect in Baseball. Behind those two sit prospects like Luis Robert and Blake Rutherford, both have All Star potential. Micker Adolfo and Zack Collins could also see time on the South Side this year. Collins is the team's future Catcher. Adolfo could surprise some people by turning into a solid everyday Outfielder. I like Adolfo more than other scouts and have for a few years. Zack Burdi looks like the future Closer of the White Sox with Thyago Vieira as his set-up man. Dylan Cease, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Carson Fulmer will join Kopech as all four will try to compete with Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon and Dylan Covey for five (or six) rotation spots.


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Alex Wiesner
December 22nd, 2017
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