Prospect Smackdown: Joey Gallo vs. Miguel Sano

Do you like high strikeout rates, questionable hit tools and “hold on to your butts”-level power? If so, please enjoy the following prospect smackdown.

Prospect Smackdown No. 11: Joey Gallo vs. Miguel Sano

The Case for Gallo

A year ago at this time, it was almost unfathomable that Gallo could legitimately rank ahead of Sano on any list. While Gallo managed to hit 38 homers in Single-A in 2013, he struck out in 37 percent of his at-bats and posted an overall line of just .245/.334/.610. There was a real concern that Gallo wouldn’t make enough contact as he moved up the system to let his 80-grade power play.

But in 246 plate appearances at High-A this year, Gallo impressed greatly by increasing his walk rate and decreasing his strikeout rate while still hitting for tremendous power. He hit .323/.463/.735 in 246 PA, good for an incredible wRC+ of 218. That led the 20-year-old Gallo to a midseason promotion to Frisco, where he’s still hitting for impressive power but where some of his strikeout concerns have once again reared their ugly head.

Still, Gallo’s produced wonderfully this year and bridged the gap between Single-A and Double-A in just a few months. We’re looking at a potential late 2015/early 2016 ETA for Gallo now, and every time he proves he can hit for power at a higher level, he moves further up dynasty league rankings. Continue reading

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The Dynasty Guru Experts League — July Update #TDGX

As you know by now, all of the writers here at TDG have been playing in an epic 20-team dynasty league with fantasy baseball writers from all over the Internet. Matching wits with some of the best players in the country has proven to be quite a challenge and a ton of fun — exactly the way a fantasy league should be. There are several teams still in the hunt for the inaugural championship, while others are building for next year and beyond. Below you will find the complete standings as well as plenty of enlightening comments from the team owners themselves.

I will summarize the league setup here, but for a more in-depth overview of how it all got started read this: Welcome to The Dynasty Guru Experts’ League. The league is a dynasty league of course, with 30 man rosters Continue reading

Breakout or Fakeout: Evaluating July’s Surprisingly Hot Hitters

The month of July has seen some surprising names rise to the top of the Hot Hitter Charts. Over the last month these 5 hitters have really opened some eyes with their sticks. Can they keep it up? Most of these guys have been around for awhile. Have they truly arrived as star players or are they just mediocre hitters on a hot streak? Let’s separate the true breakouts from the fakeouts…

Kole Calhoun — Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels

Calhoun came into the season as a trendy sleeper pick. He was coming off a nice 2013 where he put up a .282/.347/.462 slash line for an .808 OPS in 195 major league ABs, but his .354/.431/.617 megastats in the minors that year was what really got the pundits excited. Going into 2014 he was expected to be an everyday player Continue reading

Digging for Diamonds: Prospect Profiling

Heading into the season I had my list of favorite prospects. Not necessarily guys that were top 20 material, but guys I thought for one reason or another would be undervalued in league drafts and was excited to lay claim to in whatever leagues I could. It’s a random list in the sense that it’s personal, but I figured it’d be a worthwhile exercise to check in on a couple of ‘em to see how the season has gone, as well as offer suggestions on some emerging players who fit the mold and make for quality targets in your dynasty league.

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Trader’s Corner: Seeing Is Believing

I just took over a dynasty team. There are 30 teams in the league with 65-man rosters, so it’s deep. The team has some major league assets but there isn’t much going on in the farm. The trade deadline is in three weeks, and I can clear some cap space between now and then while getting some quality prospects in return if I play my cards right. The problem is that in a league this size, a “quality prospect” isn’t necessarily going to be a top 50 or even top 100 name. This is where it gets tricky for me when evaluating trades. I can go on the leaderboards and look up the stats on the players I don’t know, but that’s dangerous territory.

Since I don’t have much free time to visit every major league affiliate in America, my “eyes” need to be the first hand reports of the people who do see the games. Folks like fellow TDGX members Nathaniel Stoltz at Fangraphs and Mike Newman’s team at the new ROTOscouting.com are really invaluable tools to me in a league like this. I can see stats, but they can see the player in the flesh. Deep league dynasty players who are dabbling in lesser known prospects need to utilize actual scouting reports and information from the ballpark.

As always, send in your pending and completed trades to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. I will respond to each email and post the trades as polls here on the site. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Trade Targets: 4 Starting Pitchers to Go After and 1 to Avoid

This is a great time of year to make some trades. The All Star break is a natural time for people to evaluate their teams. Many team owners have now realized they are out of contention and may be willing to sell off some of their assets. Other owners who are in contention will want to beef up their squads before the upcoming trade deadline. For all of these reasons late July is historically a time when trading activity heats up. It is one of the best opportunities of the entire year to improve your team. Make sure you get in on the action!

Let’s take a look at some starting pitchers who can be expected to put up better stats in the 2nd half than they did in the 1st half. You should be able to obtain these guys at a bargain price compared to their future production…

Wade Miley — Arizona Diamondbacks

Miley’s season line of 5 Wins, 118 Ks, 4.18 ERA and WHIP of 1.24 isn’t very good. He is playing for one of the worst teams in baseball and they are unlikely to get better any time soon. Continue reading

Preparing for the Second Half Closer Carousel

Every year a couple Major League teams in contention, complete with Major League analytics and player evaluation departments, inevitably decide that in order to put themselves over the top and into the post-season the one thing they absolutely, positively cannot do without is a Proven Closer to nail down the ninth inning. So in the interest of keeping up with the times, let’s take a look at a couple of the potential heirs apparent in the event that some closers currently speculated to be on the block do end up changing laundry over the next couple weeks.

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