I Hate Relief Pitchers

Unfortunately, every single one of the dynasty leagues that I am a part of require ‘Relief Pitcher’ as a position that has to be filled on a given roster. As an extension of that, these leagues also all have ‘saves’ as a category and almost all of them now include holds. As a dynasty league owner, this requires a certain amount (hopefully very little) of attention to be paid to relievers. In shallower leagues, the major league relievers are the focus, but in deeper leagues where the top two or three guys of each bullpen are owned in some capacity, often times owners have to turn to the minor leagues to find the next batch of relievers that will step into high-leverage situations at the big league level in order to be remain competitive. It certainly is not advisable to look at relievers in the lower levels of the minors in the same manner that you can with other positions, because of the volatility of relief pitchers in general, and it is almost certainly not a good idea to invest with regularity in relievers at any level. They should be viewed purely as a necessary evil.
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Digging for Diamonds: Underowned Shortstop Prospects

Shortstop is certainly one of the most important positions to keep stocked as a dynasty league owner. I love shortstop prospects, almost to a fault. Other owners in leagues that I play in have joked that I should look into joining an all SS dynasty league because of my roster being continuously filled with them, particularly on the minor league side. There are many reasons why I do this, starting with the fact that many shortstop prospects will end up moving to other positions down the line and establish eligibility at other fantasy positions (like Addison Russell this year), and because the ones that do end up sticking at short can almost always be used as trade chips, even as minor leaguers, as they climb the ladder. This is especially true in deeper leagues, where there’s almost always somebody looking to upgrade from the (pre-2015) Zack Cosart experience. Once shortstop prospects reach Double-A, it’s often too late to grab them cheaply in dynasty leagues, so you’re often left scouring the lower levels in search of help. Even prospects just getting their first taste of full-season ball like Jorge Mateo, Amed Rosario and Ozhaino Albies are almost assuredly gone in your league.

Let’s take a look at three shortstop prospects that should be owned in more leagues than they currently are:
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Digging For Diamonds: Low Minors Hot Corner Options To Watch

Self-evaluation is of monumental importance to improving as a dynasty league owner. You should always be evaluating your process and making sure that you’re making quality decisions that balance the short and long-term health of your team. Recently, one area that I’ve been trying to improve upon is my overvaluation of non-elite prospects that are far away from contributing at the big league level that I ‘like’ and have on my team. It’s hard for many dynasty league owners to part with prospects that they ‘like’ or ‘have a good feeling about’ but in reality, most non-elite prospects should be viewed strictly as trade chips to help improve your big league roster. The other important part of understanding how to make deals involving these non-elite prospects is that you must have a proper understanding of replacement level in your league. In other words, if I trade ‘3B prospect X’ in a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade to improve my big league squad, what 3B prospect is available for me to add to replace him, if I need to replenish the third base prospect inventory on my team.

An example that I want to use is a player that I own on many teams, Rockies third baseman prospect Ryan McMahon, currently at Low-A Modesto. I happen to think that Ryan McMahon is going to be a good major league hitter, but he is far from a sure thing, and should be treated accordingly.
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Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft (Picks 41-50)

We’ve reached the penultimate installment breaking down an offseason minor league dynasty draft of a man who will soon be issuing a sandwich power ranking column that will draw the ire of just as many Facebookers as his normal MLB Power Rankings on Fox does, Craig Goldstein. Hopefully the players drafted are of interest to you in your league, and this information can be used as a resource for your future drafts. Part one featured the rundown of the rules, particularly of note that no in-season adds of minor leaguers are allowed in this league, which certainly makes for a more entertaining offseason draft:
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Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft (Picks 31-40)

We’ve reached part four of our recap of an offseason minor league dynasty draft of a man who bathes in prosciutto, Craig Goldstein. We’re also aware that it is no longer the offseason, but hopefully the players drafted are of interest to you in your league. Part one featured the rundown of the rules, particularly of note that no in-season adds of minor leaguers are allowed in this league, which certainly makes for a more challenging/entertaining offseason draft and leads to players being available like:

31. Los Angeles Angels  – Willy Adames (SS, Tampa Bay Rays)

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Strategy Session: Avoid Over-Investing in Prospects

Prospects are a vital commodity in dynasty leagues. If you want a team that is built for the long haul you will need to continually refresh your team with an influx of new talent. One obvious way to do this is to cultivate a crop of minor leaguers. You sow a field full of blue chip prospects then wait for them to ripen so you can harvest a bounty of young stars. This sounds great in theory but it should not be the primary way you build your team. It feels very satisfying when your prized elite prospect graduates to the major leagues and becomes a star who leads your team to the championship. In reality though this rarely happens. If you are relying on prospects to carry the future of your team you are in trouble.

Prospecting should be an ancillary part of building your team, not the primary part. Prospects are way too unreliable to bet your team’s future on them. We all love prospects. In fact, the allure of finding the ‘Next Big Thing” is often the reason why so many of us gravitated to dynasty leagues in the first place. Continue reading

Going Deep: Recap of a 20 Team Dynasty MiLB Draft Picks 1-10

For the last two years, Craig Goldstein – the internet’s leading authority on Clayton Kershaw’s facial hair, has reviewed his annual minor league draft from a 20 team dynasty league. Craig touched on the specifics of this league in the first installment, which notably includes that there are 300 minor league slots available (fifteen per team) and that the OF positions are not generic, they have to be filled LF/CF/RF. Also of note is that in this league there are no pickups of minor leaguers allowed in-season, leading to some enticing prospects being available that usually are not in a league of this size during a ‘normal’ minor league draft. However, prospects that are called up to the big leagues like Rusney Castillo are eligible to be picked up, so he does not appear below. This league’s draft was three rounds, and we’ll be recapping each ten picks in a separate post. The 2013 top ten featured some curious decisions at the time (Mike Zunino over Byron Buxton) that already look horrific and the 2014 draft featured two Rockies pitchers drafted in the top ten, believed to be the first (and most likely last) occurrence in the history of any fantasy baseball draft. Needless to say, a few things happen in this league that might not in yours, but hopefully you’re able to glean some useful information out of this exercise. This year’s draft included a Cuban being picked seventh overall, but probably not one that you’re thinking of:

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