At this time last year, Bret and the gang created the Dynasty Guru Experts’ League (TDGX) and I was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural season. The twist heading into last year’s initial draft was the Invisible Hand method of determining the draft order. It’s been covered before on this site, but in a nutshell each team placed blind bids on draft slots with keepers as their currency. I sacrificed 15 of my 35 keepers to draft from the #1 slot. I believe the next highest bid was 13 keepers, so I have no regrets as far as the number I sacrificed. How this decision has shaped my roster is a different story and it’s why I wanted to come back to post on this a year later.
In the initial draft, it was about taking the best players available, and whether they were in the major or minor leagues wasn’t as big a factor – value was value. With Trout in hand, the team could go win now or win later, since the main building block was the best player in baseball at 22 years old. Win now was a daunting task in a 20-team league, and if my team wasn’t strong enough to take the crown in 2014, the idea of throwing back half the roster prior to this year would only make it more daunting. For this reason I decided that building around a young MLB core but making a more concerted effort to win in say 2016 or 2017 might be the smarter play. Selling off an older piece like Pujols in order to acquire a younger bat like Soler is one example of a move that fit this strategy/change in direction.
We spent the better part of a month running through our consensus rankings and while it may seem like we discussed every relevant player for dynasty leagues, there are plenty of players we left out that are worth monitoring. Unless you’re in an extraordinarily deep league, you can build your entire draft board with our rankings but I’m going to spend the next few weeks talking about some players that you should add to your scout team or watch list as we wait out the arrival of Opening Day.
Maintaining a group of players you’re keeping an eye on, even if you don’t think they are draftable or ownable at present, is an important part of being a dynasty league owner. Being diligent about keeping a scout team allows you to get to the big league promotions and fast-rising prospects more quickly and cheaply than your league mates.
There are two classes of players I like to track heading in to a season. The first are high-floor/low-ceiling prospects that are on the verge of major league playing time. Expectations are often low for this kind of player because they rarely place on well-publicized prospect rankings. Opportunity is an important part of fantasy relevance and being prepared to evaluate a prospect’s first taste of the major leagues can provide an early buying opportunity. You’re unlikely to find a franchise cornerstone in this group but you can discover the kind of back-of-the-roster depth that is critical in dynasty leagues.
People no longer spend offseason staring out the window and waiting for baseball. Nowadays, we spend winter talking about projection systems, top prospect rankings, guys in BSOHL, and which breakout players from the previous season will come back down to earth.
Danny Santana has been a lightning rod of those discussions this winter. The 24-year-old shortstop is coming off a stellar rookie campaign where he hit .319/.353/.472 and 7 long balls in 430 PA while swiping 20 bases in 24 attempts in order to land at the 31st spot in our consensus shortstops rankings and 442nd in Bret’s top 500 overall rankings.
As you know by now, the industrious team of writers here at The Dynasty Guru put together a complete set of rankings for players at every position. If you haven’t seen them yet you should definitely check them out HERE! These rankings were built especially for use in dynasty leagues. Of course player values in dynasty leagues are dramatically different than in re-draft leagues but all the lists on other fantasy baseball sites were made for yearly leagues. We created our dynasty rankings as consensus lists compiling the opinions of all the TDG writers into the ultimate ranking system for dynasty leagues anywhere on the Net.
For any pitcher to succeed at the big league level they need to be adept at getting batters out and minimizing the damage of those that get on base. This seems simple enough but getting batters out at the major league level is really hard. It helps the pitcher immensely if he can induce easy outs and keep his mistakes to a minimum.
Three of the most useful skills for a pitcher to have in order to accomplish these things are not walking batters, being able to strike people out, and being able to induce ground balls. New York Mets prospect Steven Matz he has proven adept at all three of these skills yet continues to fly under the radar in most leagues. It is about time people heard about Matz and started putting him on their rosters.
Andrew Miller blossomed into one of the premier relief pitchers in all of baseball during his nearly four-year stint with the Boston Red Sox and their patience was rewarded when they convinced their division rivals, the Baltimore Orioles, to give up Eduardo Rodriguez, a 21-year old left-handed pitching prospect, who had posted a 3-7 record with a 4.79 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 16 starts at Double-A leading up to the trade, in exchange for a two-month rental of Miller’s services.
So, here it is. You’ve hung with us as we’ve moved across all of the positions–even through relievers–and we greatly appreciate it. The difference between this list and the ones you’ve seen over the last month is the same as last year, as the list is my own and the blame for the players who are too high or low cannot be shared across the great staff that we’ve put together here. I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on said great TDG team for all of the hard work that’s been put into this entire series. Especially, one Craig Goldstein, who had the unenviable task of coordinating the process this year–and believe me, I can call it unenviable because I did it last year. He is both a saint and a curmudgeon, but you already knew that. I’m really excited about what this team can accomplish during the season, as all of the new faces have been fantastic–so if you don’t know Matt Winkelman, Greg Wellemeyer, Jake Devereaux, George Bissell, JJ Jansons and Kazuto Yamakazi, you certainly will soon. Of course, you already know Ben Carsley and Nick Doran.
As always, 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.
With that said, you’ve been waiting long enough for this. Introductions are for list that need introductions. This is not one of those lists. Your top 500 awaits. Oh, and for the record, Yoan Moncada would be #101, Hector Olivera would be #192 and Andy Ibanez would be #338.
No more words, just the #Dynasty500: