Breakout Prospects: Berrios, Nimmo, Williams and Renfroe

Time for another look at some fresh names that are thriving in the minor leagues. This week we will examine several players who made it onto the Midseason Top 50 lists published by Baseball Prospectus and/or Baseball America this week despite not being considered consensus Top 100 prospects prior to the season. There were several other players who met the same criteria but I have already written about them in prior columns (links below).

Jose Berrios — Starting Pitcher, Minnesota Twins

The 2012 1st round pick from Puerto Rico put up a solid season in Low A ball last year with a 3.99 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 103 innings along with 40 walks, although in the second half he lost a lot of steam that degraded his stuff and depressed his overall season stats compared to his stellar first half rates. But it was good enough to get him ranked this Spring at #75 on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects, #93 by FanGraphs, #90 by MLB.com and #102 by The Dynasty Guru, but he wasn’t ranked by Baseball America or ESPN. He kicked his game up a notch here this year in the High A Florida State League where he put up a 1.96 ERA with a fantastic 109:23 K:BB ratio in 96 innings. He was promoted to Double A last week and managed to give up 5 runs in 5 innings in his first start, although he only gave up 3 hits. That bump from High A to AA is considered the biggest jump in baseball, so we could find out really quickly just how good the 22 year old Berrios really is. He gets a lot of velocity from his smallish frame. His fastball averages about 94 mph. He also sports a plus slider, a good curveball and a solid changeup.  About a month ago I traded Berrios to ESPN’s Chris Crawford for Michael Lorenzen in the #TDGX experts’ league, so of course Berrios has been on an epic hot streak ever since. Yikes. My trade doesn’t look quite as good as it did at the time, although Lorenzen also made the BP top 50 list just a few slots behind Berrios so I am still happy with the deal. Verdict: Top 40 Prospect. Potential #3 starter. Continue reading

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Buy or Sell: Springer, Hardy, Martin, & Howard

As we start to approach trading deadline season owners will have some hard choices to make about how they choose to attack the homestretch. Let’s take a look at a handful of players who’ve provided mixed messages over the first half of the season and see if we can’t figure out where their respective value fits in to the grand scheme of things, shall we?

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Where Have All The Second Basemen Gone?

With Arismendy Alcantara’s call up and likely demotion right in front of us, I thought it would be interesting to focus on the state of the second-sackers in MLB right now. It’s probably worse than you’re ready for. The 2014 league average second baseman is turning in a .251/.311/.365 slash line right now, which is somehow worse than 2013’s .257/.316/.376 line.

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#TDGX Transaction Report: Endy Times, Man.

You’ve been following TDGX. You love TDGX. We all love TDGX.  And every week here at The Dynasty Guru, I am going to be bringing you commentary from our flagship experts’ league, directly from the participants themselves.

The goal here is to give you insight into the moves made by our group of experts so that you can use this information the next time you need to make a trade or prominent FA move in your league. So let’s not mess around with too much longer of an introduction. We’re going to break this up into three sections: trades, major league additions, minor league additions.

TRADES

Alex Kantecki trades Matt Garza to Wilson Karaman for Sean Manaea and Drew Pomeranz

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Trader’s Corner: #TDGR

Trader’s Corner is back after a brief vacation. Did you know that there is a DynastyGuru readers’ league that mirrors TDGX? The format is exactly the same, including the Invisible Hand bid process for the initial draft. This week, we received two big trades to post from that league. It’s a 20-team dynasty with 40-man rosters…

Trade 1- Team 1 is in 18th place (rebuilding), Team 2 is in 10th place (2-year window).

Trade 2- Team 1 is in 7th place. Team 2 is in 19th and rebuilding.

Feel free to send in your pending and completed trades to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. I’ll reply to as many emails as possible and post each trade as a poll for our readers. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Struggling Stars: Votto, Bruce, Hosmer, Kemp and Santana

This week I will take a look at some good hitters who were highly drafted in your league but are killing their owners. Putting one of your star hitters on the bench is a hard decision to make and it is too important to get it wrong. We don’t want to let emotions and sentiment steer us off track. Don’t allow anger over a player’s slump to trick you into benching a good performer, and don’t let fondness for a favorite player trick you into keeping him in your lineup long after he should have been sacked. Halfway through the season the sample sizes have now grown plenty large enough for us to evaluate our rosters with a discerning eye.

Joey Votto — 1B Reds

The Canadian’s 2014 slash line of .259/.396/.417 pales in comparison to his career .311/.418/.533 record. Votto won’t admit he is playing hurt, but the grimaces and limps during his plate appearances prove otherwise. He missed nearly a month on the disabled list in an effort to allow the muscle strain in his knee to heal. It clearly didn’t work. He is playing in pain and it has severely sapped his power. His OBP is holding steady but his overall performance is drastically degraded. This is not a short term problem and it is going to dog him for the rest of the season. The only way to heal is extended rest and the Reds have said that Votto will continue to play through the injury. The good news is that this type of injury will probably heal itself over the long winter and he will be back to normal in time for the 2015 campaign. Verdict: Damaged Goods. If you are in contention to win your league this year you might want to trade him now. If you are rebuilding you might want to trade for him while his price is depressed. Continue reading

Prospect World Cup

With the World Cup going on amidst a particularly busy period in the sporting world (Baseball, World Cup, Wimbledon, Tour de France, etc) we (I) thought it’d be fun to play on a topical matter and look at an intersection of baseball and soccer.  So without further ado…

The best prospects from each of the remaining world cup countries:

Brazil: Luiz Gohara, SP, Seattle Mariners

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