If you play in dynasty format fantasy baseball leagues here at dynastysportsempire.com or elsewhere, you likely already know the value of having a healthy and deep minor league system. Keeping up on literally thousands of minor league players is darn near impossible for the average fantasy baseball owner. I like to think of myself as your funnel to sift through all the minor league talent and display for you the names you should know about.
Coming this offseason I plan to announce my top 10 dynasty fantasy baseball minor league prospects for each MLB organization. In the meantime, at multiple points during the season, I will be doing a notes article like this on each MLB organization’s minor league system that highlights multiple players that are doing well and that for sure should be on your radar as a dynasty league fantasy baseball owner.
Today we look at some of the Boston Red Sox minor league hitters and pitchers that are having positive seasons and that also have the talent level that is potentially worthy of a dynasty league roster spot (depending on how deep your roster size is).
Rafael Devers: (AA: Portland Sea Dogs):
Mr. Devers has had a great start to the 2017 season. In 124 plate appearances in his first taste of AA ball Mr. Devers has already hit 7 home runs and has paired that power with an impressive .333 batting average. Sure, the batting average is likely to come down some as his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is a high .370, but still, he’s hitting the ball well and with authority, as his .270 ISO (Isolated Power) illustrates so well. We just might be seeing this great prospect discovering how to fully tap into his powerful swing. What’s truly impressive is he is doing all of this while only striking out at an 18.5% clip (average) and also while walking at a 10.5% clip (above average). If you have done even just a little bit of research on who the top prospects in fantasy baseball are prior to reading this article, well, then you already know that Mr. Devers is one of those elite prospects. It’s awesome seeing him realize his potential in the early goings of 2017 in AA ball.
Michael Chavis: (A+: Salem Red Sox):
Mr. Chavis is a former first round draft pick that had lost a lot of his luster since he was drafted with his performance from Rookie ball all the way through a very short stint in A+ ball (27 plate appearances) in 2016. Could things be changing with his prospect status now? It’s early, but in his first 120 A+ ball plate appearances of 2017 Mr. Chavis has combined a .337 batting average with 7 home runs. Sure, his BABIP (.378) is likely going to come down a bunch, but the tantalizing question is has he really tapped into his raw power and can we expect, maybe not a beastly .308 ISO (Isolated Power) going forward but, maybe a solid power bat (.200 or more ISO)? He will need to be watched to see if he can maintain the power stroke. Another thing that needs to be watched is his K%. This has hindered him a bit in years past, but this season it is 19.2% (below average). If he is producing this kind of power consistently with a respectable batting average with it then I really could care less that I have his K% classified as below average. What’s also awesome to see is his 11.7% BB% (above average). In short, I really like the plate discipline numbers from a bat producing elite power right now.
Josh Ockimey: (A+: Salem Red Sox):
This guy has power in his bat. In 499 A ball plate appearances in 2016 Mr. Ockimey launched 19 home runs into the stands with a .199 ISO. Well, he also hit .226…and that’s a problem. This season he has 152 plate appearances with 4 home runs (.183 ISO) and a .317 batting average. That batting average is going to come down because his .405 BABIP is unsustainable. Even though he strikes out a lot (25%, which is poor), he also walks a lot (15.8%, which is excellent). This guy is kind of a three true outcomes hitter (strikeout, walk or home run).
Dedgar Jimenez: (A+: Salem Red Sox):
This prospect player mention is a little off the beaten path, but I simply can’t not mention him. The guy has 38 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched (6 games started in 7 games pitched). In 39.2 innings pitched in A+ ball in 2016 Mr. Jimenez only had 14 strikeouts. Of course, we can’t forget the 81 strikeouts he had in 97 innings pitched in A ball in 2016, so, it isn’t a complete surprise he is striking guys out…but this is a bit of an unexpected bump in strikeout production. Sure, his ERA is an ugly 4.67, but his FIP is a nice 2.96. He also sports an excellent 3.80 K/BB ratio. This is a guy to watch. Is he emerging as a roster-worthy player in dynasty leagues? I’m not willing to go that far yet, but he is certainly a guy to keep track of.
Tyler Hill: (A: Greenville Drive):
Yes, we remain off the beaten path with this player mention. That said, if he can maintain his current power (4 HR and .181 ISO) that he has displayed over his first 134 A ball plate appearances, and increase his batting average some from the .250 it sits at currently, well, we have a guy that’s worth watching closely. He has displayed great plate discipline over the course of his minor league career, and as an added bonus, has stolen 14 bases in 16 attempts this season. However, I wouldn’t just blindly expect the stolen base success to last, as last season in A- ball he only had 11 stolen bases in 22 attempts.
Darwinzon Hernandez: (A: Greenville Drive):
Over his first 8 games started (36.2 innings pitched) in A ball Mr. Hernandez has a 2.45 ERA with an impressive 49 strikeouts. That is a beyond excellent 31.6% K%. The problem is that he pairs a beyond awful 12.9% BB% with it. This is partly the reason that he has a 3.85 FIP, which while still good, is much higher than his current ERA. He, at the very least, is a player worth keeping an eye on.