The full season leagues will start play in the 2016 season this week, and with that in mind, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking a look at some of the relevant information with each league. While we always hope that you'll come to us when you're looking for fantasy writing and analysis to help you in your leagues, we also want to help you get a better understanding of what we're looking at so that you can do some of this analysis should you need it quickly. This time around, I'll be looking into the Florida State League.
Founded in 1919, the Florida State League (FSL) is one of three Class A-Advanced leagues in Minor League Baseball. You may also see it referred to as High A or Class A+ - all three are used interchangeably. There are twelve teams in the FSL, split evenly between the North and South divisions. It is generally regarded as a pitcher-friendly league, and for good reason - it has the lowest runs per game of any league in 2013 and 2015 (and from 2008 through 2012, as well), and nine of its twelve ballparks are below the fiftieth percentile in run scoring among all leagues. If you follow that last link, you can see the worst offenders - Brevard County, Bradenton, and Lakeland are truly awful run-scoring environments.
This lack of run scoring must be considered when evaluating any player in the league. It is always perilous to scout the stat line, as there are always mitigating circumstances (e.g., a pitcher is working on a specific pitch, a batter is experimenting with a toe tap, quality of fields, quality of umpires) - and the FSL may well have the most drastic impact of any league in the Minors.
Last year's champion: Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays).
Instead of breaking down the rosters, I'll share some prospects that bear keeping an eye on. Any players that appeared on the Fake Teams Top-100 will be notated with their ranking in parentheses.
Bradenton Mauraders (PIT) - RHP Yeudy Garcia, RHP Luis Heredia, SS Kevin Newman
Brevard County Manatees (MIL) - OF Clint Coulter, RHP Cody Ponce
Charlotte Stone Crabs (TBR) - RHP Brent Honeywell (64), RHP Brandon Koch, OF Justin Williams
Clearwater Threshers (PHI) - RHP Tom Eshelman, 2B Scott Kingery, OF Carlos Tocci
Daytona Tortugas (CIN) - SS Alex Blandino, RHP Tyler Mahle, RHP Keury Mella, RHP Wyatt Strahan, SS Blake Trahan
Dunedin Blue Jays (TBJ) - OF Anthony Alford (78), C Max Pentecost (92), OF D.J. Davis, RHP Conner Greene, SS Richard Urena
Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) - SS Nick Gordon (44), LHP Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Tyler Jay, RHP Kohl Stewart
Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) - 2B/3B Brian Anderson
Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) - OF Mike Gerber, RHP Joe Jimenez, 3B Zach Shepherd, OF Christin Stewart
Palm Beach Cardinals (STL) - RHP Jack Flaherty (85), LHP Austin Gomber
St. Lucie Mets (NYM) - OF Wuilmer Becerra, RHP Chris Flexen, RHP Marcos Molina, SS Amed Rosario
Tampa Yankees (NYY) - SS Jorge Mateo (45), 3B Miguel Andujar, LHP Ian Clarkin, RHP James Kaprielian