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:
- Matt Manning
SP, Age: 19, DOB: 1/28/1998
Mr. Manning was a 2016 first round draft pick and in his first full season in minor league ball split time between A- ball (33.1 innings pitched) and A ball (17.2 innings pitched). The 1.89 A- ball ERA speaks for itself. He was ready for A ball. Don’t let his 5.60 A ball ERA fool you though, as his 2.59 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) at that level was actually better than it was (2.71) when in A- ball. He has the talent level to be a MLB ace starting pitcher.
3 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Franklin Perez
SP, Age: 19, DOB: 12/6/1997
Mr. Perez has only pitched for the Houston Astros, as he came over to the Tigers in the Justin Verlander trade. He pitched 54.1 innings in A+ ball in 2017 and posted a solid ERA of 2.98 with a good accompanying FIP of 3.34. The success continued in 32 AA ball innings pitched with a 3.09 ERA and 3.69 FIP. When you look at those AA ball numbers and you consider his age relative to the league he is playing in you have to walk away impressed by his performance. The rebuild phase has begun at the major league level and Perez is making the parent club know of his presence.
2 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Beau Burrows
SP, Age: 21, DOB: 9/18/1996
Mr. Burrows was 20 years old during almost all of his time in AA ball (76.1 innings pitched) this season. He was very young for the league he pitched in. His ERA may only have been 4.72 while there, but his FIP (3.41) was much better. I considered making him a 3 star prospect.
- Daz Cameron
OF, Age: 20, DOB: 1/15/1997
Mr. Cameron also came over from the Astros in the Justin Verlander trade. With only 11 plate appearances while on the Tigers A ball team we will focus solely on analyzing his Astros A ball team numbers. He had 511 plate appearances while there and hit for a .271 batting average. His power began to emerge as he hit 14 home runs with a .195 ISO. I consider a hitter with a .200 to .299 ISO to be a solid power hitter, so, he came up just short of that. He also managed to steal 32 bases, although he was caught stealing 12 times. What fantasy owners should not overlook, in addition to these stats, is his 21.1% K%. That was a big improvement from what he did in 2016 and he did it while posting a 8.8% walk percentage (average).
- Kyle Funkhouser
SP, Age: 23, DOB: 3/16/1994
Here we have a prospect that pitched well in A ball (31.1 innings pitched) and A+ ball (31.1 innings pitched). In A+ ball he had a 1.72 ERA to go along with a 2.23 FIP. His 27.9% K% was excellent at that level and his 4.9% walk percentage was great.
- Dawel Lugo
3B/SS, Age: 22, DOB: 12/31/1994
Here we have another new Tigers minor leaguer. Prior to joining the Tigers organization this season he had 369 plate appearances in 2017 in AA ball with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a .282 batting average with solid play while there. In 188 AA ball plate appearances while in the Tigers minor league system Mr. Lugo only had a .269 batting average, but his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) was a lower than usual .275.
1 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Christin Stewart
OF, Age: 23, DOB: 12/10/1993
Mr. Stewart had his second-straight season of 28 or more home runs. This time he hit those 28 in 555 AA ball plate appearances with a .245 ISO. He managed to keep his K% to 24.9%, which in this day and age, isn’t a horrible number I suppose. He also posted a 10.1% walk percentage (above average).
- Joe Jimenez
RP, Age: 22, DOB: 1/17/1995
This prospect is all about the potential future saves. His 19 inning stint at the major league level this season was ugly to say the least. He has been dominant over his minor league career as a prospect that can put up strikeout numbers that fantasy baseball owners drool over.
- Pedro Martinez Jr.
3B, Age: 17
You may know his dad. He was a dominant MLB pitcher. Well, this prospect doesn’t pitch. He plays the hot corner. He is a talented youngster. Now we just need to see him play professionally at the minor league level.
- Isaac Paredes
SS, Age: 18, DOB: 2/18/1999
Mr. Paredes became a Tigers minor leaguer when he arrived in the Justin Wilson trade. He had 133 plate appearances for the Tigers A ball team and only hit for a .217 batting average. However, don’t let that fool you as he had an unlucky .214 BABIP. In his 384 plate appearances as a Chicago Cubs A ball player this past season he had a .264 batting average with a much more the norm .294 BABIP. He posted a nice K% to BB% profile as well. He produced well despite being rather young for his level of play. That is a positive.
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