Written by: Dylan Matthews (@dmattprospects)
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Dynasty 365 just finished its start-up draft. Here’s the league format and quick breakdown of the prospects I selected throughout the draft process.
League Summary: 14 team league. 30 MLB roster spots, 30 MiLB roster spots, 10 IL roster spots
We reached out on Twitter to attract fantasy baseballers who wanted to tackle an uber-competitive league comprised with prospect fiends and baseball diehards. One of the most interesting things to observe in a dynasty start-up is when owners pull the trigger on top prospects. To put things in perspective, there was a trade for the first overall pick allowing one owner to leave round one with both Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Mookie Betts. The craziest part of the whole draft may have been Vlad Jr. going number one overall. For better or worse, it’s a bold move to say the least!
I need to do a quick venting session about my biggest regrets. There are a ton of prospects I’d love to own, but I had two guys I was going to make a point to grab. I fought myself on grabbing them too early, and instead I ended up dropped the ball on the two prospects listed below. I believe this pair is going to make me wish I reached out of my comfort zone even more.
Chris Paddack (I think this one is really going to hurt, my favorite for NLROY in 2019)
Julio Rodriguez (I’m going to lose sleep over him, I think he’ll be the top prospect in baseball in 1.5 years)
I missed on those two, but I believe I have a top notch crop of prospects. Let me know how I did after you go through the piece, or if you agree/disagree on any take!
Nico Hoerner (CHC – SS) –
Hoerner is a college bat who gets to develop in the Cubs hitting factory: where you enter unrefined and leave extremely talented and big league ready. Hoerner was drafted as a polished college bat and has already showed he can barrel balls consistently. From reports on the Twittersphere, it sounds like he may start in Double-A. Expect him to be the first player in his draft class to reach The Show, touting a nice AVG, 15-20 HR power (or more?) and 10-15 steals annually. Oh, and he’ll assume one of the Cubs’ middle infield spots. This is a high floor, high ceiling player. A great addition in any league size.
Awesome NICOOOOO Q&A here with @MLBastian: https://t.co/8XGbr0yfxZ pic.twitter.com/3VJ0Y6EDXX
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 23, 2019
Kristian Robinson (ARI – OF) –
He’s one of the best athletes in the minors. The swing is athletic and the sound off the barrel is electric. Assuming he adds size, the speed may go down, but you’re looking at a guy who could hit in the .270-.300 range with 25+ HRs and 10+ SBs. Those numbers might be conservative. He was Ray’s 2019 breakout prospect pick.
Bubba Thompson (TEX – OF) –
In typical Rangers fashion, Thompson was drafted as an elite, high school athlete who has never focused solely on baseball. The more he’s played, the better he’s gotten. Because of his rapid improvements, the ceiling remains a little blurry as the upside continues to grow. There’s a chance Thompson fits into the 30 HR, 15-20 SB category, which would make him an elite fantasy asset. The average shouldn’t be horrible either. You should be buying now before you finish reading this article. Seriously.
Elehuris Montero (STL – 3B) –
Great barrel control and an impressive hit tool. The ball explodes off Montero’s barrel, and there is more power to be tapped in to. Although some assume he’ll eventually transition to first base, the hit tool is going to carry Montero’s fantasy prowess. Expect Montero to reach Double-A this season and eye the bigs early in 2020. He should be rostered in leagues with ~150 prospects.
Shed Long (SEA – 2B) –
Electric bat speed with a nice hit tool. Long made noise early in Spring Training with lots of early success. Expect Long to be up relatively early this season contributing to Seattle. The power numbers won’t blow you away, but Long should contribute in other categories to make up for the lack of power. More of a floor-over-ceiling type of prospect.
Mariel Bautista (CIN – OF) –
Here’s to hoping that the Reds get more aggressive with this tooled-up prospect. Bautista has posted some gaudy numbers in Rookie Ball and is begging to be challenged at a higher level. Plus power/speed combo here. Hopefully this is his lowest buying price. Beware of the average taking a small hit as Bautista has had a laughable amount of success with two strikes in the low-minors.
Brennen Davis (CHC – OF) –
The hype train is building on Davis due to reports of a swing overhaul and turning into a beast of a human. Buy now before the stock gets too hot! Check out my piece on him also!
Bryce Bush (CHW 3B) –
Plus raw power and an organization who has pushed this former 33rd-round draft pick. Check out my article to see why you should invest in Bush now!
Miguel Vargas (LAD – 3B) –
Vargas is an interesting prospect to me because no one really knows how good he will be. I’ve heard a Nolan Arenado comp, and that obviously made my ears perk up. Keep following him this season. If the production continues, it’s probably smart to buy sooner rather than later. Vargas will obviously benefit from the Dodgers’ baseball factory for developing talent. Our Tyler Spicer wrote this piece on Vargas earlier this spring.
Lucius Fox (TB – SS) –
Fox is more of a real-life prospect compared to fantasy. But M-Rod has an interesting take on how defense allows prospects to gain a longer development leash, which certainly affects a fantasy outlook. Fox’s frame has room to grow, and the hit tool and power may both reach average to above average. Fox could play shortstop for a long time at the MLB level while contributing to categories such as AVG and SB in a big way.
Noelvi Marte (SEA – SS) –
The Mariners top target in the J2 market last summer. Marte hasn’t played professionally, but the raw tools are exciting. There is top-tier prospect tools in Marte, and it’s always nice to blend close ETA prospects with further-away ETA prospects like the Mariners’ teenager. Kick your feet up and watch the development take place. There has been at least one Miguel Cabrera comp thrown around for Marte…
Joe Gray (MIL – OF) –
Gray is certainly going to be a player who is defined by how much his hit tool progresses. The pop is for real and the speed is plus. He’s a major project whose rewards significantly outweigh the risk. The price to acquire Gray is next to nothing—for now. If the hit tool doesn’t progress, you can always cut ties and really not be any worse off than you started. The upside is exciting enough to acquire stock in.
Parker Meadows (DET – OF) –
Meadows obviously has great bloodlines as Austin Meadows (his brother) is about to kick off what I hope will be a breakout campaign with Tampa Bay. The younger Meadows, however, has a chance to be perhaps even more special. The outfielder is a 6’5 beast who has plus speed, plus power and is plus defensive skills. Right now, the hit tool is the only thing keeping Meadows from being one of the best prospects in baseball. Bet on the athlete, and the price is still cheap.
Bryan Reynolds (PIT – OF) –
I’m torn with what I have in Reynolds. The floor is seems safe, but as a gambling man, I don’t love floor-over-ceiling prospects. Reynolds doesn’t fit that mold for me, but he’s blessed with an above average hit tool and has had success throughout his minor league career. I’m hopeful Reynolds surprises me with sneaky upside. At worst, the outfielder is quality depth who was a cheap acquisition.
Forrest Whitley (HOU) –
I honestly think the first time Whitley steps on a big league mound, he’s already a top-tier starting pitcher in real life and in fantasy. Expect big things. Pending good health, he should contend for Cy Young Awards in the future. Whitley should be owned in all leagues, regardless if you have prospect slots or not.
Luis Patino (SD) –
One of my favorite arms in the minors. Patino is blessed with a plus fastball and plus breaking ball. The right-hander employs a huge leg kick which displays incredible athleticism and flexibility. If the changeup progresses, we have a legit SP2 on our hands.
J.B. Bukauskas (HOU) –
Spin rate, dominant MiLB numbers and the Astros organization. That’s basically all that needs to be said, but read my piece on why I rank Bukauskas above many well-known industry arms.
Deivi Garcia (NYY) –
The spin rate that Garcia is able to generate on his breaking ball is absurd. It would be one of the best spin rates in the MLB right now. Along with that, he has already reached Double-A at the young age of 19. His frame has some to be desired, but the stat line is great and the stuff is plus. Garcia’s stuff also plays up thanks to plus command. P365 staff writer John Stewart profiled Garcia earlier this preseason.
Josiah Gray (LAD) –
Currently, Gray is only blessed with a plus fastball. The slider and changeup both flash plus. I’d like to reference the Dodgers baseball factory here to bolster my obsession with this prospect. Gray is also a tremendous athlete, which should help him develop. Gray continues to exceed the expectations set on him, and now he’s in perhaps the best organization to develop talent in all of baseball.
Darwinzon Hernandez (BOS) –
Hernandez is another spin rate darling with strikeout numbers to back up the stuff. The southpaw is already equipped with a two pitch mix that would be elite out of the pen, but the Red Sox seem to be more interested in developing Hernandez as a starter (for now, anyways). This is great news. If the changeup comes to fruition, you are looking at a prospect whose ceiling is a better version of Eduardo Rodriguez. At worst, you’re getting a high K% reliever who has the stuff to close.
Brock Burke (TEX) –
There’s a lot of reliever risk with Burke, but the Rangers are going to do everything in their power to make Burke a starter. The fastball and slider combo Burke already possesses is elite, but the development of the third pitch is going to decide his fate as a starter. Monitor the command more than the control with Burke. Throwing quality strikes is a concern. At worst, you’re getting a lights-out reliever here.
Ethan Hankins (CLE) –
Not many arms in the minors have legit SP1 stuff. Hankins has that. Our John Stewart profiled the right-hander here.
Aaron Ashby (MIL) –
The top JUCO arm out of last summer’s draft. Ashby has a four-pitch mix with an above average fastball and a curveball that’s plus. His pro numbers after the draft last season weren’t as spectacular as other draftees’, but the high K/9 and low BB/9 are easy on the eyes. There’s a chance Ashby isn’t a ‘gloss over’ prospect by this time next season.
Michael Grove (LAD) –
This is my super-lazy (yet somewhat accurate) comp for Grove: Walker Buehler. Like Buehler, Grove was an electric arm in college who had an elbow injury (that led to Tommy John surgery) that affected his draft stock. As he comes back, expect the stuff to continue to improve. Grove is going to fly-up prospect lists. I recommend investing now. He can be owned in all dynasty leagues that roster 150-ish prospects.
Taylor Hearn (TEX) –
Always bet on the athlete–that’s the key with Hearn. The fastball comes easy and is plus, and the slider flashes plus. The third pitch is going to be the key here. With Hearn, the Rangers have another high upside lefty here who slots comfortably in the pen at worst.
Jonathan Hernandez (TEX) –
As a Rangers fan, I tend to monitor Rangers prospects a little closer than most prospectors. Hernandez dominated last season prior to his promotion to Double-A. Hernandez has an electric fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper-90s. Right now, the right-hander simply needs to learn how to pitch against better competition. Developing a more consistent second and third offering will dictate the path for Hernandez. I’m hopeful that the slider and curve come along and he develops into a high K/9 starter.
Blaine Knight (BAL) –
Knight was, to put it lightly, “an absolute monster” in college at Arkansas. Already a very refined arm to pair with a ceiling that is higher than you’d think. The fastball is already plus. With some weight added, the fastball could sit in the mid 90s. If the fastball ticks up to plus plus, expect Knight to catapult through the minors and sit firmly into a SP2-SP3 in fantasy lineups.
Dean Kremer (BAL) –
I’ve done a long profile on why I love Kremer and how you may be getting a stud. Be sure to read my piece and invest!
Jordan Yamamoto (MIA) –
The guys over at Prospects Live turned me into a Yamamoto fan. The right-hander does not have a plus fastball at all—sitting in the low 90s at best leaves a lot to be desired. But the strikeout numbers still stand out, particularly from a pitcher who doesn’t possess a plus fastball. The curveball is plus, which has allowed Yamamoto to dominate younger hitters. If the numbers he put up last year carry over to a full season of Double-A in 2019, I’ll be diving head first even deeper into the Yamamoto fan club.
Follow P365 staff writer Dylan Matthews on Twitter! @dmattprospects
Follow us on Twitter! @Prospects365
Featured image courtesy of MiLB.com