Mike Newman is a former college baseball player who became enamored with scouting during his playing career. Once it concluded, he began coaching at a local Miami, Florida high school, scouting players in his spare time and passing that information along to cold weather schools looking for talent. He took a hiatus from baseball to start a family, but began attending games after moving to Savannah, Georgia. With a stadium just a few block away from his home, the pull was too much to resist. In 2008, Mike began taking notes at the park and publishing reports online.
Five years later and Mike has enjoyed a long stint writing at FanGraphs and guest appearances on SirusXM’s Fantasy Baseball Channel. In addition, his own sites including Scouting The Sally and ROTOscouting have enjoyed success serving a niche prospect market.
What most readers do not know is Mike has also played fantasy baseball for more than 20 years. He won the Ottoneu Experts League in his first season after taking over a bottom feeder and followed it up with a second place finish in 2013. More recently, he joined “The Big Show”, Reality Fantasy Baseball’s most competitive league.
Brad Kullman has spent a career spanning three decades in Major League Baseball, most recently as a Major League professional scout with the Chicago Cubs. In more than ten years as an assistant to the general manager with the Cincinnati Reds, he supervised the professional scouting staff and spearheaded several R&D initiatives in player evaluation and scouting.
During the 2003 season, Brad was named interim general manager of the Reds, a post he would hold for the next four months. Despite just over 48 hours remaining before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, he aggressively engineered four trades in the next two days, and would go on to execute a total of eight deals over the next month, mostly strategically paring expiring contracts. These moves not only netted the Reds future staff ace Aaron Harang, but also reversed a significant budget deficit that had led to a primary focus on signability in the amateur draft. These trades enabled the Reds to draft and sign pitcher Homer Bailey and outfielder Jay Bruce inthe next two years and laid the groundwork for their return to playoff contention.
Pre-dating his professional career, Brad created an auction keeper NL-only fantasy baseball league back in 1989 which is still going strong today. He has had a front row seat to witness the evolution of both professional and fantasy baseball from the days of anxiously awaiting the box scores in the morning paper. The Columbus, Ohio resident recently left Major League Baseball in order to spend more time with his family.
Ben Flajole started in the marketing department for the Mariners (among his roles was DJ and, yes, players DO choose their walk-up music), Ben Flajole went south to the Bay Area and worked in scouting for the Giants. Following his time with the Giants, he headed to Arizona to work for the Padres in player development. Ben was also formerly a summer ball coach, with seven former players drafted. He can be seen appreciating the gem of a stadium that is Safeco Field.
In addition to the Mariners, the Seattle native and resident is a big Seahawks and Washington Huskies fan. He holds a M.A. in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing his MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Fabian McNally began blogging back when Blogspot was cutting-edge and all you needed was your mom’s basement, a love for OBP and skepticism of the mainstream media. What began at Minor Yankee Blog and then eventually took him to appearances on the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog and The Hardball Times was an obsession with identifying stars before they were stars. Fabian counts Robinson Cano and Tyler Clippard as two of his biggest hits and is hopeful that 2014 is the year the whole there’s not that much separating Dioner Navarro and Joe Mauer thing is blooped over the outstretched glove of the 2B and into CF. Fabian has also spent time working for Octagon Sports, the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner, filing documents, researching the return on investment of International Free Agent signing bonuses, announcing the latter rounds of the 2008 MLB Draft and everything in-between.
In his non-baseball time, Fabian is an attorney by day and a voracious consumer of the NBA, WWE, pop culture and any all forms of workout supplements promising lean gains by whatever free time is leftover from the practice of law. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. where he spends most Sundays swallowing his Yankee pride and impartially taking in Nationals games with his fiancée.
Chris Blessing got his start writing six years ago, contributing occasionally at the now defunct Metsgeek. Then, Chris became the first writer not named Mike Newman to contribute at Mike’s previous website Scouting the Sally, contributing game reports, scouting reports and a few well written puff pieces. When Mike moved onto FanGraphs, he eventually transitioned to one of the baseball’s best kept secrets on the internet, Bullpen Banter. Chris covered prospects in the Appalachian League, Midwest League, South Atlantic League & Southern League for Bullpen Banter, unearthing guys such as Gregory Polanco, Kyle Crick, Arismendy Alcantara, Joc Pederson & Rafael Montero months before mainstream media personalities were willing to wager big on any of them.
In his free time, Chris enjoys acting in local theatre productions, playing co-ed softball, coaching a Mock Trial High School Competition team and visiting breweries. He currently resides in Dalton, Georgia, the Carpet Capital of the World, a stones throw from Chattanooga, the home of the Lookouts (AA-Dodgers).
David Kaleida has been playing fantasy baseball since before there was an internet, joining his first league in 1992. He may play any number of leagues per year, but has been in a NL dynasty league since 1998 and an AL dynasty league since 2005. So many seasons of playing have given him multiple opportunities to experience winning, rebuilding, and the tricky times in between.
A long time Pittsburgh fan, David started writing about baseball four years ago after he was challenged by a friend to put his ideas out there for larger consumption. David lives in Atlanta with his lovely wife. In addition to watching baseball, David enjoys beer, bourbon and a good blues band.
Jeff Reese has spent much of his life following baseball and has had some tangible involvement since he was six years old. Jeff’s playing career stalled at the PONY level, but he spent the next 12 years umpiring at various levels, joining the Mon Valley Umpire Association when he was 18 years old. He started writing at Bullpen Banter a year after its establishment, growing ever more engulfed in the scouting side of baseball from that point. Jeff has also spent some time writing about amateur prospects at the former SB Nation blog MLB Bonus Baby.
Interests outside of baseball are highly varied, ranging from Austrian Economics to hockey to learning Latin – independent study for its own sake. He admires Thomas Jefferson, Murray Rothbard, and Bob Dylan.
Bob Usselman is an avid Midwest League amateur scout and former sports reporter who enjoys spending time at the ballpark (Midwest League, Northwoods Summer Collegiate League, AL/NL Central) with his wife and three children. A New England native and current resident of Madison, WI, he is an accomplished sales professional for a Fortune 500 company and a long-time member of Tory Hernandez’ 24-team flagship dynasty league in Reality Fantasy Baseball. In addition to reporting and sales, Usselman is a former college soccer coach and high school English teacher.
Brian Molter has been playing fantasy baseball since standings had to be calculated by hand using the weekly USA Today baseball statistics page. He joined his first dynasty league five years ago and has been hooked ever since. He typically manages 4-5 dynasty and redraft teams each season, and spends countless hours each week pouring over fantasy baseball and prospect web sites. He has been a subscriber to ROTOScouting since inception and is excited to be a contributor. He is a proud Syracuse University graduate, and his passion for fantasy baseball is matched only by his love of SU basketball. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children. He is a lifelong Red Sox fan, and he hopes to run The Boston Marathon in 2015.
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Top-100 Scouting Reports
- Aaron Sanchez Is he the Blue Jays future closer or frontline starter?
- Alex Meyer Is he a rotation savior for the Twins?
- Andrew Heaney Is he the future #2 starter in Miami?
- Braden Shipley How quickly will he reach Arizona?
- Christian Bethancourt How long until he unseats Evan Gattis in Atlanta?
- David Dahl Is he Colorado’s center fielder of the future?
- Domingo Santana Is he the next in line to be called up by the Astros?
- Dominic Smith Is he the Mets answer at first base?
- Gregory Polanco Is he the best prospect in baseball?
- J.P. Crawford Is he the heir apparent to Jimmy Rollins in Philly?
- Jimmy Nelson Is he ready to replace Marco Estrada in Milwaukee?
- Joey Gallo Is he a future 40 home run slugger?
- Jorge Alfaro Is he the Rangers catcher of the future?
- Kris Bryant Is he the best power hitting prospect in baseball?
- Lucas Giolito Is he the future ace of Washington’s staff?
- Maikel Franco Is he ready to step in as the team’s third baseman?
- Mike Foltynewicz Is he an impact starter for Houston?
- Nick Kingham Is he a future anchor of the Pirates rotation?
- Oscar Taveras Is he really a hitting machine?
- Pierce Johnson Is he in the next wave of Cubs starting pitchers?
- Robert Stephenson Is his electric right arm worthy of the hype?
- Taijuan Walker Is he the Mariners future ace after King Felix?
- Why Stop With The Top-100? Read ALL of ROTOscouting’s scouting reports!