The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Second Baseman, Nos. 1-20

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

As we move around the infield, we arrive at the keystone, where a new name is atop the rankings. We have a few newcomers to the top 20 in general, but for the most part, it’s a small reshuffling of familiar faces. There’s not a lot of impact talent here, and while there’s some depth in terms of upside into the mid-teens, it falls off fairly quickly after that. As usual with this position, there will be a few early selections and then a ton of options later in the game.

1) Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 8)

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League First Baseman, Nos. 21-50

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

We’ll continue our first base list with a big time breakout candidate:

21) Kennys Vargas, Minnesota Twins (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League First Baseman, Nos. 1-20

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

We continue our assault on positional rankings with the highly productive, defensively challenged first basemen. As usual, the minor league representatives on this list are rather tame, but the position will remain deep as players slide down the defensive spectrum and settle in for a life of scooping errant throws and dodging Nick Punto head-first slides. As predicted last year, Joe Mauer and Miguel Cabrera get added to the list, but we did unexpectedly lose Chris Davis to third base.

Let’s get the 2015 first base rankings rolling with a repeat No. 1:

1) Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 1)

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Dynasty Deals: Best Pitchers Over 35

My last post brought you 10 hitters over the age of 35 that made for valuable targets in your dynasty leagues. This week I am doing the same with pitchers. Pitching is by nature a more volatile skill than hitting so the names on this list do not bring with them the same star power as the hitters. Interestingly enough the average age of our best pitchers over 35 was 38.5 vs 36.2 for our hitters—pitchers that figure it out do this for a long time.

Pitchers tend to really figure it out and hit their stride in their mid to late 20’s and in their early 30’s they start to decline. Depending on what makes that particular pitcher effective the decline may be gradual or it may be sudden. These pitchers below have one or many of these three qualities:

• Skill-set that allows them to continue to have success as they age
• Excellent durability
• Opportunity-either in the rotation or in high leverage relief

Here are your ten best pitchers over 35 to target in dynasty leagues based off of skill and price to acquire.

LaTroy Hawkins-Entering his age 42 season: 2015 will be the 21st consecutive season in which LaTroy Hawkins is a professional baseball player. Hawkins will be only the 104th player to ever play 21 plus major league seasons. He stated on MLB.TV in December that this would be his last year in the bigs. Until Hawkins calls it quits he is one of only thirty players in the MLB whose job it is to close out games. The numbers aren’t pretty but with only Adam Ottavino lurking behind him Hawkins doesn’t face much competition. Interestingly enough Hawkins saw his highest fastball velocity since 2009 last year. Maybe there is something to the idea of old man strength. Look for another season of 20+ saves.

Bartolo Colon-Entering his age 41 season: At 41 years old Bartolo Colon is playing his best baseball since 2005 when he was a member of the Anaheim Angels. Colon has become quite the control freak in his advanced age posting his best ever BB% at 3.6%. Someone clearly forgot to tell Colon you weren’t supposed to get better in your 40’s. Over the last four seasons Colon has also brought his innings pitched up nearly every season breaking 200 IP last year for the first time in nine years. Colon throws over 80% fastballs and mixes in a slider and changeup. While his pitches aren’t dominant he knows where to place them and continues to post decent ratios and counting stats. We hate to look at the win stat in sabermetric analysis but it is valuable for fantasy—over the last two season Colon has won 18 and 15 games. Colon is worth a roster spot as a back end starter in dynasty leagues especially if he can get to 150 SO again.

R.A. Dickey-Entering his age 40 season: Dickey has posted four seasons of over 200 IP and all of them have come after the age of 36. Knuckle ball pitchers are the oddest ducks in the baseball world since they don’t really adhere to any traditional notions about pitching. Dickey has been maddening over the last three seasons with his HR/FB averaging 11.5% but we can all live with it since he has struck out an average of 193 batters over the same time span. You never know what you are going to get from Dickey from an ERA standpoint but his WHIP is generally tolerable. Dickey provides near elite strikeout numbers for next to nothing so if you have five other solid starters you can take a chance on him. Dickey has also posted win totals over 14 in each of his last three seasons and the Jays offense looks to be the best its been in years during 2015.

 

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Searching for Value with Latin American Pitchers: AL East

In most years the place to shop for Latin American pitchers is the AL East.  With 4 of the 5 teams heavily invested in Latin America there are always low money signings under the radar or big money signings hiding behind their more illustrious peers.  Unfortunately 2014 is a bit more of a down year for the AL East in the underrated Latin pitching market than 2013 was, but given the international signings by the Red Sox and Yankees, there should be more buying opportunities in the future.

A Glimpse at the Blue Jays:

Last year was the year to raid the Blue Jays farm system for Latin arms in deep dynasty leagues, 2015 brings you the opportunity to get them closer to the majors.  Though on a side note; the Blue Jays farm system has been a consistent source of high upside low minors pitchers over the years, they are always worth an extra look for pop up guys.

Miguel Castro – RHP
2014 Stats: 80.2 IP 2.68 ERA 50 H 30 BB 78 K
Castro is everything you dream about in a pop up prospect.  Last year rumors came out that he had touched 103 in the DWL, before coming stateside to the GCL.  In 2014 he took his electric fastball through a destruction of the North West League before having 30.1 productive innings of full season ball, culminating with time in Hi-A.  There is a ton of projection here as the fastball is mostly 93-95 with the ability to touch higher.  He shows feel for secondary pitches but is mostly living off of his fastball.  Castro is primed for a launch into insane amount of hype in 2015 as he is now on the prospect radar of more casual fans.  There is a lot of risk that he ends up in the bullpen long term (though the outcome there is still likely special if you are in a league that values relievers), but if you are scared of being burned by a move in the future there is still plenty of time to bail with a profit.  In the end there is front line potential and huge risk, but it is definitely something you can dream big on. Continue reading

A Look At The Winter Leagues – NL Central

For the past few weeks, I’ve been profiling players participating in the winter leagues.  The regular seasons of the Dominican, Venezuelan, and Mexican Winter Leagues are in the books but they’re still playing in Puerto Rico and Australia and I’m still here grinding out the Central and West divisions.  In case you missed the first couple in this series where I looked at players from the NL East and AL East, check those out.  While there, you can read a bit about the intention of these columns, which is getting hard to reiterate even though I’m just halfway through.  Summary: small sample sizes, couldn’t tell you a thing about any of the teams or parks, don’t draw any conclusions from winter performances alone.

Without further ado, here are some interesting players from the NL Central who spent time in the Caribbean this winter:

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2014 NPB Draft Review

On Thursday October 23rd, the annual NPB first draft took place. It’s been 2 months since the event, but not much of information in the language you can understand is available, I take a look at it here at TDG.

Among many things about the NPB draft that would look strange to our eyes, one of them is the fact that they do it right in the middle of the postseason. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker addressed more details back in 2009.

This year, 104 players got their names called. You can see the entire coverage on the Pacific League guys and the Central League guys, courtesy of the great Yakyubaka.com. Some of them have upsides to be big leaguers in the future. If you’re in a deep-deep dynasty league, they’re probably worth keeping your eye on.

Tomohiro Anraku, RHP

Rakuten Eagles, 1st round

L/R, 6’2″, 187 lbs, DOB: 11/4/1996

The Stuff: low-mid 90s FB, mid 70s SL, upper 60 CV

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