A key part to fielding a competitive team each season in dynasty fantasy baseball leagues, leagues like the ones here at dynastysportsempire.com, is to be very successful in finding the right prospects to fill your fantasy baseball roster and/or minor league system with. As your star and solid players age the time will come when their skills and production on the field diminish and you had better have a player waiting in the wings ready to become the consistent starter in place of that ageing veteran. If successful scouting and prospecting hasn’t been done then your dynasty league team surely will be headed into a longer than desired rebuild phase.
The purpose of this top 10 fantasy baseball dynasty league prospect series is to highlight the best prospects available in each MLB organization. Every prospect ranking system should have some sort of easy at-a-glance phrase that illustrates the expected MLB future fantasy baseball value of a prospect. I have opted to use the 5 star rating system.
5 STARS = Elite Future MLB Player. Decent or better chance of being a superstar fantasy baseball player. These are prospects that, barring injuries plaguing them, I expect to have a solid chance of having multiple MLB All-Star seasons. Many will become superstar players for a couple seasons. Some will become decade long MLB and fantasy baseball superstar players.
4 STARS = Great Future MLB Player. Decent or better chance of being an All-Star fantasy baseball player. These are prospects that I expect to have a solid chance of having at least one All-Star season at the MLB level. Many will have multiple All-Star seasons and be very valuable dynasty fantasy baseball players to have on your roster.
3 STARS = Good Future MLB Player. Decent or better chance of being a dependable fantasy baseball player. These are prospects I expect to have a solid chance of having many seasons as an everyday MLB player.
2 STARS = Common Future MLB Player. Decent or better chance of being a common fantasy baseball player. Prospect has enough known “tools” and/or “skills” to warrant some legitimate hope he will become a common or better everyday MLB level fantasy baseball player worthy of a roster spot. This is not a guarantee such a thing will happen as there is still much uncertainty with these prospects.
1 STAR = Maybe Common Future MLB Player. Marginal or better chance of being a common fantasy baseball player. Some will eventually become everyday MLB players as every season some prospects have breakout minor league seasons and become deserving of a higher prospect rating the following off-season. Often you will find many recent international signings listed here and many recent amateur draft picks as well.
0 STARS = Organizational Depth. Little chance of being a noteworthy fantasy baseball player.
Note: This is a snapshot in time. Prospects will continue to try to turn their “tools” into productive “skills.” They will make adjustments. Some will fade. Others will take that next step. I will do a short write-up on each player to give you a better overall impression of the prospect’s current and future value beyond his current rating. The statistics listed here are courtesy of fangraphs.com.
4 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Nick Senzel
3B, Age: 22, DOB: 6/29/1995
I considered giving Mr. Senzel 5 stars. I really do like him. This prospect can hit is way on base easily it seems. He also displays great plate discipline. Oh, and he has some power and stolen base ability to go along with that. Right now, he’s all about the base hit. If he adjusts at the plate to add more power to his game then his fantasy baseball ranking possibly moves up to that of a 5 star prospect!
- Hunter Greene
SP, Age: 18, DOB: 8/6/1999
Fantasy baseball ace starting pitchers aren’t easy to acquire, especially in dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Yes, there is risk with high school pitchers. Heck, pitchers in general are more risky fantasy baseball commodities than hitters are, in my opinion. While Greene also carries risk, the potential reward of fantasy baseball ace starting pitcher is just too much to pass up on. I’m excited to see how he performs in 2018! He’s another prospect that certainly has the potential to become a 5 star prospect!
3 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Taylor Trammell
OF, Age: 20, DOB: 9/13/1997
Mr. Trammell was the 35th overall pick of the 2016 June Amateur Draft and as a 19-year-old in A ball showcased that there is enough current “skills” to go along with his great “tools” to be excited about him in the present, and for fantasy baseball owners, the future. Sure, he struck out at a 21.5% rate in 2017, and while that is a concern, it also must be noted that he walked at a great 12.4% rate as well. His speed obviously helped him to a high .345 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), which in turn helped him to a .281 batting average. Speaking of speed…Mr. Trammell had 41 stolen bases in 53 attempts…and he did that while launching 13 balls into the outfield stands during 571 plate appearances. I’m excited about him, and you should be excited as well.
- Tyler Mahle
SP, Age: 23, DOB: 9/29/1994
He may not be flashy, stats wise, but he has been solid. This past season in AA ball (85 innings pitched) Mr. Mahle had a 1.59 ERA and 2.50 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). He was promoted to AAA ball and in 59.1 innings pitched produced a 2.73 ERA to go along with a 3.25 FIP. So, the Reds gave him a look at the major league level and, while he did have a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings pitched, the optimism of that number should be tempered a bit with his 4.01 FIP. What hurt him at the MLB level was his walks allowed took a huge increase. Over his entire minor league career walks had not been an issue for him. So, I’m not overly worried and I think he will find a way to be a solid fantasy baseball starting pitcher at the major league level for many years to come.
2 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Jesse Winker
OF, Age: 24, DOB: 8/17/1993
Mr. Winker is a prospect that gets on base at a nice rate, and can hit a decent amount of home runs. He doesn’t strike out a lot and walks at a very nice clip. He’s a guy that I’m not able to get overly excited about from a fantasy baseball perspective, but one that I think is a very good bet to be a productive major league bat for many seasons to come.
- Tony Santillan
SP, Age: 20, DOB: 4/15/1997
While a 3.38 ERA and 3.77 FIP won’t wow everyone, when you combine that with a 24% strikeout percentage (great) in A ball as a 20-year-old…well…you might want to consider at least letting out a mini-wow for Mr. Santillan. The concern with him is the walks he gives up (10.5% walk percentage in 2017). He needs to continue to work on lowering this number, otherwise, he might be headed for a prominent future major league bullpen spot as his ultimate destination.
1 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Tyler Stephenson
C, Age: 21, DOB: 8/16/1996
Mr. Stephenson put together a solid season in 348 A ball plate appearances where he had a .278 batting average and 6 home runs while only striking out 16.7% of the time (average…and I’m a tough grader here!) and walking 12.6% of the time (great). I’m interested to see in 2018 if he can keep the batting average and plate discipline at around the same level.
- Shed Long
2B, Age: 22, DOB: 8/22/1995
In 2017 Mr. Long had a .312 batting average in 279 A+ ball plate appearances that was fueled by a .368 BABIP. Then in AA ball he hand a .227 batting average that was hindered by a .271 BABIP in 160 plate appearances. He hit for power in A+ ball but his power lessened when in AA ball. The plate discipline numbers are nice. Basically, I’m just looking forward to seeing how he performs in 2018.
- Vladimir Gutierrez
SP, Age: 22, DOB: 9/18/1995
Mr. Guiterrez saw his first minor league experience in A+ ball last season. He pitched 103 innings and posted a 4.46 ERA. His 3.45 FIP paints a kinder picture though. His K% was average and his BB% was excellent. I’m looking forward with him as well as to how he will produce in 2018.
- Aristides Aquino
OF, Age: 23, DOB: 4/22/1994
The .216 batting average last season in AA ball (504 plate appearances) is not a badge of honor. The 17 home runs and Isolated Power (.181 ISO) have him making the list. He needs to improve and perform in 2018 to remain on this list.
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