Preseason Fantasy Prospect Rankings: 5-1

5. Dylan Bundy

Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles // File photo courtesy of

Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles // File photo courtesy of

Team: Baltimore
Position: RHP
Positive: Has true #1 starter upside; potential for 4 plus pitches; fastball is elite; will sit mid to high 90’s and can touch triple digits; change up has advanced dramatically; curve ball shows well above average potential; cutter is an elite pitch as well; tremendous work ethic and makeup; easy delivery should keep him healthy
Negative: Really not much; does need to be a little more consistent with his breaking ball; will be pitching in the A.L. Beast
What To Expect: It’s still unclear if the O’s will give Bundy a legitimate shot at winning a rotation spot this spring, but rest assured, wether he makes it or not, it won’t be long before he’s up with the club for good. He is the rare combination of power and polish. With the potential for 4 plus pitches and the ability to command all of them, there is really no telling how good this guy can be. And, depending on matchups, he may be a good option right away due to his strikeout ability. Expect more from him in 2014, where he should begin to excercise his dominance. In his prime he  should contend for multiple CY Young’s. If you already own him in a dynasty league, congrats. If not, sorry.

4. Billy Hamilton

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds // File Photo courtesy of

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds // File Photo courtesy of

Team: Cincinnati
Position: SS/CF
Positive: BREAKING NEWS!!!! Hamilton can fly. Steals will be in abundance; speed will also bring lots of XBH’S as well as runs; depending on your type of league, he can win you the steals category almost by himself
Negative: Will provide very little power; single digit HR’s; is improving in center field but will need to continue in order for a call up; Choo trade effectively blocks him for 2013
What To Expect: The fastest human ever to grace a baseball diamond has fantasy owners chomping at the bit for him to make his Geat American Ballpark debut. But, Reds fans and fantasy owners alike will likely have to wait till 2014 to see him. Whenever he does get the call, it’s no secret where his value lies. If you’re in a Roto or Categories league, he can almost single handledly win you the steals category. As long as he can make consistent contact and get on base at a reasonable clip, he should lead the league in steals every year. And as stated earlier, that’s speed will allow him to hit a lot of XBH’s, and will lead to a lot of runs hitting in front of that powerful lineup.

3. Oscar Taveras 

Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals // File Photo courtesy of

Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals // File Photo courtesy of

Team: St. Louis
Position: OF
Positive: Very good hitter; elite bat speed; violent but controlled swing allows him to make hard contact-even on pitches well outside the zone; could be a .300 hitter/30 HR guy at maturity; good but not great speed; should provide double digit steals each year; very close to being major league ready
Negative: Needs to improve his defensive routes in order for a call up; St. Louis outfield is pretty crowded at the moment
What To Expect: The Domincan slugger will likely head to AAA to begin the 2013 season, where he’ll probably spend the first month or two sharpening his defensive routes in cemter field. That is really all he needs to improve on at this point. By all accounts his bat is major league-ready. Looking ahead to the major league roster, obviously all three outfield spots are booked at the moment, but if Taveras can prove he can handle center field then he may very well force the team’s hand in order to get his bat in the lineup. You can probably expect him up by mid season regardless of what happens in the first couple months in AAA. He profiles has a nearly the total fantasy package. His swing should allow him to hit for high averages as well as plenty of power. And that could very well take place in small samples in 2013, but will be on full display come 2014 when the St. Louis outfield clears up.

2. Wil Myers

Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays // File Phot courtesy of

Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays // File Photo courtesy of

Team: Tampa Bay
Position: OF
Positive: Profiles as a middle of the order bat; should hit for high averages; solid approach at the plate will help in OBP leagues; good raw power; could hit 25 HR/year at maturity; big league ready
Negative: Average runner; double digit steals may be possible early on in career, but he’ll likely lose some speed as he matures
What To Expect: In one of the many winter blockbusters, Myers and several other prospects were shipped off to Tampa Bay for James Shields and Wade Davis. The move may have dissapointed some Rays fans, but the truth is they should be very excited about the exciting young outfielder they just acquired. Myers is ready for the bright lights and the big stage, but the Rays will likely keep in AAA in order to delay his free agent clock. When he does arrive, there will be growing pains as there are with all young players, but there will be signs of the power yet to come. Because of the playing time he’ll likely receive, he could be an asset in the power department right away, but he’ll likely struggle overall and may hurt you some in batting average. Down the line, he should fit right into the middle of the Rays’ lineup and should look good hitting right behind Evan Longoria. Don’t be surprised if he has several .300/30 seasons

1. Jurickson Profar

Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers

Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers // File Photo courtesy of

Team: Texas
Position: SS
Positive: Essentially the total fantasy package; won’t be elite at anything, but will be good at everything; tremendous bat speed; very fluid swing; should always hit for high averages; could potentially hit 20+ HR/year at maturity; should steal 20-30 bases/year; all from an up the middle defensive position; lineup will bring lots of runs and home ballpark is a plus
Negative: What’s not to like?
What To Expect: The Rangers have already stated that Profar will begin next season in AAA, but that is likely has more ro do with wanting to delay his free agent clock than it does with them not wanting to move Ian Kinsler. Profar has already shown he’s ready for the Big’s and it won’t be too long before the Rangers will be calling him up for good. He’ll man the keystone position until Andrew’s leaves for free agency, but then he’ll become the long term short stop for the Rangers–and your dynasty team. He is as sure a bet as there is in prospect land to become a star. If you own him, congratulations. You likely will have one of the most valuable dynasty players for years to come
About This Empire Soldier: Lawrence Marino, President and Founder of Dynasty Sports Empire LLC, Dynasty Sports Empire Podcast Netowrk and a host of other fantasy related ventures is a New Jersey native with ties to just about everything in and around Boston sports. A die hard Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics fan, Lawrence has learned what it’s like to live through the toughest of sports times. He loves to spend time with his wife and family, father of 2 beautiful girls and spends most of his summer on the beach in Belmar, NJ.

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