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Previous entries in this series:

Remember this from last year? We do. That’s why we decided to do it again.

Here’s the intro from the 2014 round of U25 rankings:

For this exercise, we're each going to rank our top 30 U25 fantasy players by division before we collaborate on a top-150 list once this portion of the project is complete. For each division, we'll give you our individual rankings and then discuss any major discrepancies in our rankings, talk about some sleepers we wanted to rank higher and take cheap shots at each other along the way. It will be like the TINO podcast, but for your eyes, complete with an imaginary Bret Sayre breaking up our fights.

You get the idea, then. Players have to be born after April 1st, 1989 to qualify. Here’s the linked to last year’s U25 AL West Rankings.

Ben's Rankings

Craig's Rankings

1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA

1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA

2. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU

2. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU

3. George Springer, OF, HOU

3. George Springer, OF, HOU

4. Sonny Gray, SP, OAK

4. Sonny Gray, SP, OAK

5. Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX

5. Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX

6. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU

6. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU

7. Nomar Mazara, OF, TEX

7. Nomar Mazara, OF, TEX

8. Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA

8. Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA

9. Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, OAK

9. Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX

10. Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX

10. Martin Perez, SP, TEX

11. Martin Perez, SP, TEX

11. Mark Appel, SP, HOU

12. Nick Williams, OF, TEX

12. Lance McCullers, Jr., SP, HOU

13. Jurickson Profar, INF, TEX

13. Nick Williams, OF, TEX

14. Lance McCullers Jr., SP, HOU

14. Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX

15. Chi Chi Gonzalez, SP, TEX

15. Andrew Heaney, SP, LAA

16. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, HOU

16. Brett Lawrie, 2B, OAK

17. Mark Appel, SP, HOU

17. Vincent Velasquez, SP, HOU

18. Tyler Skaggs, SP, LAA

18. Chi Chi Gonzalez, SP, TEX

19. D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, SEA

19. Jake Thompson, SP, TEX

20. Andrew Heaney, SP, LAA

20. Matt Olson, 1B, OAK

21. Vincent Velasquez, SP, HOU

21. Luis Ortiz, SP, TEX

22. Brett Phillips, OF, HOU

22. Brett Phillips, OF, HOU

23. Jake Thompson, SP, TEX

23. Tyler Skaggs, SP, LAA

24. Ketel Marte, INF, SEA

24. Marcus Semien, SS, OAK

25. Marcus Semien, INF, OAK

25. D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, SEA

26. Jorge Alfaro, C, TEX

26. Jesse Hahn, SP, OAK

27. Franklin Barreto, SS/OF, OAK

27. Lewis Brinson, OF, TEX

28. Lewis Brinson, OF, TEX

28. Derek Fisher, OF, HOU

29. Derek Fisher, OF, HOU

29. Franklin Barreto, SS, OAK

30. Alex Jackson, OF, SEA

30. A.J. Reed, 1B, HOU

Disagreement One: Jonathan Singleton, 1B, HOU

Craig’s Take: I know, it’s way too early to bury the guy. It’s more about the bar he has to clear to be valuable here, and that I’d rather take a risk on some lower minors guys who might be stars. I’m understanding of the notion that they probably won’t be, and Singleton is much closer to contributing, but I’d rather swing for the fences at first base. While he appeared to be a high-average guy early in his career, he’s turned into a power guy, which is fine given the position, but I’m not confident the in-game power gets to the point where there won’t be better options for Houston, or anyone else, really.

Ben’s Take: I have no problem not wanting Singleton at no. 16, but not having him on the list at all seems a bit crazy to me. I understand he doesn’t have sky-high upside, but what do, say, Matt Olson and A.J. Reed have to offer that Singleton doesn’t? Singleton has had his fair share of blemishes as he’s come up and I’m not confident that he’ll be a great hitter for average, but the dude hit 27 homers between Triple-A and the majors last year, is knocking on the doorstep again by hitting .278/.384/.525 in Fresno and is still just 23. To me, your ranking suggests you don’t believe he’ll ever stick in the majors, and I’m not ready to go there yet.

Craig’s Take: I think he can stick in the majors but if I don’t think he’ll separate himself from the current iteration of Ike Davis then… what is he worth in fantasy? Reed and Olson offer more fantasy value, in my opinion. Reed is leading the minors in OPS and Olson, while not hitting for average, is doing pretty much everything else. I’m not advocating for quitting on Singleton entirely, but I am ready to move on until he does something worthwhile. It wasn’t just that he struggled in a small sample at the major league level, but rather the manner in which he was exposed. I’ve seen nerds hanging from flagpoles who were treated with more tenderness than major league pitchers showed Singleton.

Ben’s Take: Ranking Singleton behind guys with similar skill sets farther away from the majors is very much giving up on Singleton, IMHO. But at the end of the day, I think we just evaluate him differently, which doesn’t always make for the most compelling argument here. That fits in nicely with the rest of this series.

Imaginary Bret: I just saw Jurassic World, and did you know they let you pick your seats at the movies now?

Disagreement Two: Luis Ortiz, SP

Ben’s Take: Let’s take this in a different direction than a typical “disagreement,” because I don’t have a problem with where you ranked Ortiz. I did have a problem ranking pretty much the entire back-half of this list, as there are a ton of fairly interchangeable high-upside hitters and close-to-the-majors pitchers. I’ll say that I think 21 is about as high as I’d possibly go on a Single-A pitcher in a division this stacked with MiLB talent, but I guess I’m just wondering what makes you like Ortiz so much. I think people will be surprised by your ranking.

Craig’s Take: He’s an advanced prep arm who hits 95 mph and features a plus slider. The only guys behind him that I’d question are Phillips (one spot back) and Fisher (seven spots back). Alfaro missed for me because of the ankle injury and all that dev time down the drain, but he’d be on otherwise. Alex Jackson continues to be eons away and I don’t see him hitting his upside as worth it. I don’t know that this is as much about how amazing Ortiz is (though I think he’s quite good) and that I just think he’s a surefire major leaguer with the chance to miss a lot of bats. I know he’s in the lower minors but I think there’s a lot of safety there.

Imaginary Bret: You two are being fairly nice to each other. This is how you can tell the series must end.

Ben’s One Player He Wanted to Rank Higher: Brad Miller

In my mind, Miller is a young middle infielder with decent fantasy potential who just hasn’t broken out yet. I don’t really believe this is the case anymore, but he’s just stuck as such a fantasy property in my head. Here was my thought process when I looked up Miller’s stats today: “Oh hey Miller should probably be on this list let’s just see how he’s performi … oh, oh god.” For the record, his line is .224/.310/.385. As a numbers guy, I can tell you that’s The Bad Line. I’ve had this exact disappointing discovery phase with Miller no less than a dozen times since he’s been promoted, and I’m over it. I don’t think he’ll ever hit enough to fully utilize his decent power and speed combo, and I have no reason to believe the Mariners will aid him in his development.

Craig’s One Player He Wanted to Rank Higher: Nomar Mazara

I know this isn’t really interesting, but for a moment I had him directly behind Gallo. I’ve long been a Mazara supporter, and even took him before Gallo in the original TDGX draft. You probably think I regret that decision, and I probably should, but I don’t. I know Gallo is the flavor of the year and hits tape measure home runs, but I still think that Mazara is the better player in the long run. He’s cruising through Double-A at 19 years old, and while he didn’t show much power in the first two months, he’s crushed six home runs in 20 June games, and carries a .285/.367/.451 slash line on the season. He’s even hit lefties for a .792 OPS so far this year. He is limited to four categories as a fantasy producer, as he’s not going to run, but I believe there are .290/30/100 seasons in his future and that he can start producing at a starting outfielder level as soon as 2017. While it’s reckless to put anyone, even someone with the profile I’m describing, above an above-average producer already in the majors like Altuve… I can’t say I wasn’t tempted.

Craig, say something nice about Ben: If he tried, I bet Ben could catch a foul ball while holding a baby.

Ben, say something nice about Craig: Being friends with Craig is less painful than being a Red Sox fan. This year.

Thank you for reading

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JohnnyFive
6/24
As a Mariners fan, this article was particularly depressing.
TheArtfulDodger
6/24
I really like Edwin Diaz if that helps.
jfranco77
6/24
If you were starting a dynasty team from scratch... Trout, or both Correa and Springer? I... I think the answer might not actually be Trout.
MattVeasey
6/24
Where is Bryce Harper?
TheArtfulDodger
6/24
not in the AL West.
BenC22
6/24
Not a believer.
MattVeasey
6/24
My apologies...AL West....DUH...
bretsayre
6/24
Assigned seating, dinosaurs, and free refills. Doesn't get much better than that.