FANFOOD RULES: #11 Know Your Prospects

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As we head into June, the time for top prospects being called up grows nearer. Although these prospects have the ability to contribute immediately, front office personnel tend to leave their top prospects in the minors in order to push back their arbitration clock. While the fans and prospects themselves are undoubtedly perturbed by this practice, it gives fantasy owners an opportunity to pounce on a potential contributor. With the new CBA the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time will be considered super twos. If a team wants to prevent super two status they’ll probably have to wait until sometime in July to make the call-up.

 

If teams wait until late May to call up their prospects, they retain control over them for an extra year. If teams wait until the mid-June Super Two cutoff to call up their prospects, they can save themselves some money during the player’s prime years. That is not as important a consideration of whether or not to call up a player than say, big league readiness, but it’s a more significant consideration than most GM’s admit – after all, they’re basically taking money out of players’ pockets, so they don’t have much incentive to brag about it. But there’s no denying that the players below could help their teams immediately if they were called up, and it’s just a matter of time before it happens.

 

Chances are most of these players are already owned in your fantasy league, but if they’re still out there and you have room, I would suggest scooping one up.

 

There is a difference however between May, June or September call-ups. Only a club’s G.M. knows when a player is to be called up and of course injuries and slumping stars can help speed up the process. Here is some information on the Major League rosters.

 

The difference between the 40-man roster and the 25-man roster is more than just a number. The 40-man is composed of all the players in a Major League club’s organization who are signed to a major-league contract. These are the players who are able to be called up to the 25-man roster at any given time. Also on the 40-man are any players on the 15-day disabled list and minor league players who are signed to a major-league contract but are on an “optional assignment” to the minors. (Each player has three “options” to be sent to the minors once on the 40-man before they must be placed on waivers to be sent there.) Players who were on the 40-man but are placed on the 60-day disabled list are taken off the 40-man until the time on the DL is over. The same applies to players who are suspended. Because players on the 60-day DL are taken off the 40-man with no risk of losing the player, MLB teams often transfer injured players from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL so that they can add another player to the 40-man without having to designate a player for assignment. Designating for assignment is the removal of a player from the 40-man, whereby the team has 10 days to trade the player, release him, or send him to the minors.

 

On September 1st, the Major League team’s roster expands from the 25-man active roster to the entire 40-man roster. At this point, any player on the 40-man roster can play for the Major League team. We have already seen some top prospects getting the call, and more are on the way.

 

But lets be clear, you should never count on a top prospect call-up to carry your entire team to a championship, but adding one of them may contribute nicely for you in case of injury or player busts. Hitting on a rookie/prospect can really make the difference for your squad.

 

Don’t be the guy who waited too long.

 

For more information on top prospects, here are some great links for you to use:

 

FANFOOD FANTASY BASEBALL ’13 – Rookie/Prospects Page

 

Fangraphs Prospects Articles

 

The Fake Baseball Prospects Articles

 

Razzball Prospects Articles

 

Rotowire Top Minor Leaguers (subscription req’d)

 

Prospect361

 

Project Prospect

 

 

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Smoked Turkey Legs

 

This recipe includes both brining and smoking the turkey legs. The brining process is very important and I highly recommend that you do it. Don’t let the unfamiliar word scare you. It is simply a solution of salt and other flavoring that the turkey legs soak in for a few hours causing the flavors to get into the meat of the turkey and make them out of this world delicious.

 

INGREDIENTS

4-6 Turkey Legs
Turkey leg brine:

1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS red pepper flakes
2 TBS Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s works great if you can find it)
2 TBS Tabasco hot sauce
1 TBS poultry seasoning

 

PREPARATION

Place gallon of water and all dry ingredients into a very large pot on medium to high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling occurs the heat can be turned off and the brine can be left to cool to room temperature.

Once brine has cooled to room temperature, pour brine into a very large plastic container or two medium size plastic containers and place in fridge for further cooling.

The brine must reach 40 degrees F before adding meat to brine.

When brine chills to required temperature, add 4-6 turkey legs to brine.

Leave turkey legs in brine for 9 hours stirring around several times throughout the process.

After nine hours, remove turkey legs from brine and rinse well under cool water.

Getting Turkey Legs Ready to Smoke:

About 30 minutes before you are ready to smoke them, Coat the turkey legs with olive oil and sprinkle on a little cajun seasoning for good flavor. Try to get the seasoning up under the skin wherever possible as this is where the flavor will be the most tasty.

Once you are finished, leave the legs on the counter and go get the smoker ready. I like to prepare the smoker for about 240 degrees with a mix of oak and pecan. Sometimes I use mesquite or other fruit wood just depending on what I am in the mood for and what I have on hand.

Please note that I normally use a wood fired smoker but these can just as easily be done on propane, electric or charcoal as long as the temperature is right and you have smoke flowing, they will taste great.

Smoking the Turkey Legs:

Once the smoker is going and the temperature is at 240 degrees F or so, get the turkey legs and place them right on the grate leaving about 1 inch between them to allow the smoke to be able to flow freely all around the meat.

Occasionally.. about once every hour or so, I like to brush on some olive oil or you can use the spray olive oil to make it real easy. This will help to keep them moist and will help to crisp the skin while they smoke.

If you are using an electric, propane or charcoal smoker then I recommend that you keep replenishing the smoke for at least the first 2 hours.. I like to do it the entire time but I like the smoke to be very prominent.

If you like the smoke to be extremely subtle then you may want to go 2 hours and then finish with just heat.

The turkey legs will take about 3-4 hours to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Finishing Up:

Remove the turkey drumsticks from the smoker once they are at temperature and wrap them individually in heavy duty foil. They can be placed in the oven to keep them warm or eaten immediately if you so desire.

How to Re-Heat:

They heat up really well.. just pop them in the oven at about 275-300 degrees for 30 minutes or until they are as warm as you like them.

 

High Heat , , , ,

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