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:
- Fernando Tatis Jr.
SS, Age: 18, DOB: 1/2/1999
As a dynasty league team owner it’s hard not getting excited about an 18-year-old in A ball hitting 21 balls out of the park (.239 ISO…which is Isolated Power) and stealing 29 bases (although, he did get caught 15 times) while hitting for a .281 batting average in 518 plate appearances. Sure, his strikeout percentage was 23.9%, which is a bit high obviously, but his walk percentage was a great 14.5% as well! He was VERY young for the league he was playing in, so these stats should be all the more impressive. I thought long and hard about giving him a 5 star prospect rating.
- MacKenzie Gore
SP, Age: 18, DOB: 2/24/1999
The 2017 June Amateur Draft 3rd overall pick pitched 21.1 innings in Rookie ball in 2017 and had a 1.27 ERA to go along with a 2.14 FIP. His K% was an insanely good 40.5% and his BB% was 8.3% (poor). This is another prospect that has 5 star prospect rating upside to him.
3 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Adrian Morejon
SP, Age: 18, DOB: 2/27/1999
Here we have another 18-year-old that played in A ball in 2017. While there he posted a 4.23 ERA and 4.29 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). His strikeout percentage was only 19.2% (below average) and his 10.8% walk percentage was beyond awful. So, why is he ranked this high you ask? Well, two reasons. 1. He sort of held his own in A ball at an age (18) that is very young for the league in his 27.2 innings pitched while there. 2. In A- ball (35.1 innings pitched) he had a K% of 24% (great), BB% of 2.1% (excellent) and ERA / FIP of 3.57 / 3.00 at an age that is quite young for that league as well. Those are numbers to get excited about.
- Anderson Espinoza
SP, Age: 19, DOB: 3/9/1998
Due to recovery from Tommy John surgery Mr. Espinoza is expected to miss the 2018 season. In this day and age many pitchers do come back from Tommy John injuries, but we still need to wait and see if that will be the case with him and how his arm is upon return. Prior to the injury he certainly was a 5 star prospect, and with a successful recovery he certainly can regain that rating. However, until that happens, I just couldn’t justify placing him as a 5 star prospect.
- Cal Quantrill
SP, Age: 22, DOB: 2/10/1995
Mr. Quantrill had a successful 2017 in A+ ball (73.2 innings pitched) with a 24.1 K% (great) and 7.6 BB% (average) that helped him to a 3.67 ERA and 3.87 FIP. He also pitched 42.1 innings in AA ball. Unfortunately his K% dipped to 17.6% (below average) and his BB% increased to 8.3% (poor) while there. Not surprisingly then his ERA (4.04) and FIP (4.38) were higher at that level. Perhaps I have him too low, but I keep coming back to a 3 star prospect rating with him. He has the tools to move up this list to a 4 star or even 5 star prospect rating in the future.
2 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Franchy Cordero
OF, Age: 23, DOB: 9/2/1994
In his first taste of the major leagues Mr. Cordero only had a .228 batting average in 99 plate appearances last season. He was much more successful, in a larger sample size, in AAA ball in 2017 with a .326 batting average, 17 home runs (.277 ISO) and 15 stolen bases (caught 4 times). The batting average was inflated some with a high .431 Batting Average On Balls In Play (BABIP). His 28.2% K% (awful) and 5.5% BB% (poor) profile in AAA ball gives me pause. However, he succeeded enough at the level to give me hope he can adjust to the major leagues sooner or later.
- Michel Baez
SP, Age: 21, DOB: 1/21/1996
I need to start off by saying that I typically expect a 21-year-old prospect to pitch well in A ball to make a top-10 prospect list. Mr. Baez in 58.2 innings pitched at the level had a 2.45 ERA and 2.99 FIP to go along with a 36.4% K% (beyond excellent) and 3.6% BB% (excellent). I am truly excited to see how he performs in 2018.
- Hudson Potts
3B, Age: 18, DOB: 10/28/1998
Here we have another 18-year-old succeeding in A ball. In 522 plate appearances he slugged 20 home runs (.185 ISO) while hitting for a .253 batting average.
1 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Jacob Nix
SP, Age: 21, DOB: 1/9/1996
Ignore his 4.23 (A+ ball) and 5.53 (AA ball) ERA numbers and focus on his 3.94 (A+ ball) and 2.92 (AA ball) FIP statistics. In short, he pitched better last season in A+ ball (66.2 innings pitched) and AA ball (27.2 innings pitched) than his ERA gives him credit for. He got a lot of bad luck in 2017, especially in AA ball. While I am not excited about his 18.2% (A+ ball) and 17.3% (AA ball) strikeout percentages (below average), I am happy to see his 3.6% (A+ ball) and 7.1% (AA ball) walk percentages (excellent and average). Mr. Nix might fly under the radar on many prospect lists this offseason, but don’t allow him to fly under your radar.
- Luis Urias
2B, Age: 20, DOB: 6/3/1997
At the young age of 20, Mr. Urias succeeded in his first shot at AA ball pitching in his 526 plate appearances there in 2017. He doesn’t hit for power and he doesn’t steal many bases, but he does get on base. He had a .296 batting average this season and in 531 A+ ball 2016 plate appearances he had a .330 batting average. In 2015 while in A ball (224 plate appearances) he had a .290 batting average).
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