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.
3 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Chris Shaw
1B/OF, Age: 23, DOB: 10/20/1993
Mr. Shaw spent time in AA and AAA ball in 2017. He’s right on the MLB doorstep. He hit 24 home runs with a .292 batting average while posting solid power hitter ISO numbers. His K% was close to 30% in AAA ball, and that is a minor concern. The question is “when?” and not “if?” he will get his shot to prove himself at the major league level.
1 STAR PROSPECTS:
- Heliot Ramos
OF, Age: 18, DOB: 9/7/1999
Mr. Ramos, the Giants first round draft pick this summer, has “tools” that can be honed into “skills” over the coming seasons. He had 151 plate appearances in Rookie ball and slugged 6 home runs (.297 ISO) while hitting for a .348 batting average that was greatly assisted by a .500 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). He also was successful on 10 of his 12 stolen base attempts. It was a perfect start to his minor league career.
- Christian Arroyo
3B/SS, Age: 22, DOB: 5/30/1995
Injuries hurt Mr. Arroyo in 2017 and limited him to only 237 plate appearances in AAA ball (102) and at the MLB level (135). It was a tale of two seasons for him as he dominated (.396 batting average) in AAA ball and seemingly struggled at the MLB level (.192 batting average). However, a very high .427 BABIP helped him in AAA ball to that awesome high batting average and a very low .231 BABIP hindered his batting average at the MLB level. He will get his chances at the MLB level in 2018 to prove his worth.
- Bryan Reynolds
OF, Age: 22, DOB: 1/27/1995
Mr. Reynolds was in A+ ball in 2017. He hit .312 with 10 home runs in 541 plate appearances. Not enough power for me to get excited about.
- Jacob Gonzalez
3B, Age: 19, DOB: 6/26/1998
Don’t let Mr. Gonzalez’s .119 ISO and only 1 home run in his first 194 plate appearances (Rookie ball) at the minor league level fool you. There is lots of power in his bat. If this 2017 second round draft pick is going to succeed he will have to figure out how to consistently tap into that power during games. This ranking is a swing for the fence ranking that is purely dependent on him tapping into his power in games as he matures as a hitter.
- Sandro Fabian
OF, Age: 19, DOB: 3/6/1998
As a 19-year-old he had a solid season in A ball and that is a positive when you consider age of the prospect relative to the league he is playing in. He had a .277 batting average in 504 plate appearances. He only struck out at a 17.5% clip, and while that is a positive, it must be noted that he only had a 2% walk percentage.
- Andrew Suarez
SP, Age: 25, DOB: 9/11/1992
Mr. Suarez handled AA ball (67 innings pitched) just fine (2.96 ERA, 2.97 FIP) in 2017. He also pitched decently in 88.2 AA ball innings (3.55 ERA, 3.96 FIP). I can’t get excited about him, but I have to give him the credit he deserves.
- Tyler Beede
SP, Age: 24, DOB: 5/23/1993
Mr. Beede pitched 109 innings in AAA ball this season and compiled a 4.79 ERA and 5.02 FIP. It wasn’t a good season for the 2014 first round pick as his strikeout numbers dropped by a lot from what he produced in 2016.
- Steven Duggar
OF, Age: 23, DOB: 11/4/1993
One word sums up this season for Mr. Duggar: injury. He had 133 plate appearances in A+ ball and 54 in AAA ball. I don’t see power numbers and I don’t see stolen base numbers and as such I don’t see a future player that I can get excited about for fantasy baseball purposes.
- Austin Slater
OF, Age: 24, DOB: 12/13/1992
Mr. Slater had 127 plate appearances at the MLB level in 2017 and had a .282 batting average. His minor league profile is that of a very good batting average hitter who doesn’t hit for a lot of power and who isn’t much of a threat as a base thief. Is he a hitter who will be on major league rosters for many seasons to come? I would say that is quite likely with his ability to get on base. Is he a fantasy baseball asset? That I’m not too optimistic will be the case.
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