2014 Has Been a Disastrous Year for Elite Prospects

We had a bumper crop of elite prospects to play with this Spring. We had visions of new players joining our rosters and playing like the next Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig. The consensus Top 12 prospects this year were as good as we have ever seen. The excitement was at a fever pitch for prospect hounds like us, but the season ended up being a tremendous letdown. Some of it was due to injuries, while most of it was due to flat out poor performance. It just goes to show that patience is key when it comes to prospects — even the elite “can’t miss” prospects often struggle when they reach the majors.

For this discussion let’s focus on what I consider to be the consensus top 12. These are the guys that were ranked at the top of nearly every major list that was published last offseason. We will go down the list and review each prospect. The theme of the day is disappointment. Every guy on this list except for one or two had a disappointing season for one reason or another…

1. Byron Buxton, OF Twins

Buxton has been touted as the next Mike Trout, an all around superstar 5 tool talent. His season has been absolutely destroyed by injuries. He sprained his wrist early in Spring Training and was forced to sit out until May, then he played 5 games and re-injured the wrist again. He had to sit out another two months. He played 30 games at High A Fort Myers but didn’t perform as well as he did last year. His .718 OPS wasn’t too impressive but you could still see the talent and tools in action and see a future superstar. On August 13th he got promoted to AA and what happens? He got hurt in his very first game. He suffered a bad concussion during a diving collision in the outfield. Buxton is still an elite talent and a future star but this season was a total bust. Continue reading

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TDGX: Update on GoldRubio

It hasn’t been a banner year thus far for Team Goldrubio. It didn’t start easily, with the losses of Jarrod Parker, Matt Latos and Casey Janssen, three of the lynchpins to our entire pitching staff, and we’ve suffered more injuries (as have many others) to date. Carlos Beltran’s combination of poor play and missed time meant extra at-bats for Aaron Hicks who is on the DL presumably with a case of injured dignity. Mike Olt’s power made up for his inability to make contact for about three weeks and then that experiment went south in a hurry. We traded our injured Jarrod Parker for a soon-to-be-injured Francisco Liriano, and have also had to deal with Clay Buchholz’s strained ERA.

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Ben’s 2014 It’s All Good Team

Last week, I took a look at my all-disappointment team; a group of 15 players who have murdered my fantasy hopes and dreams in plenty of leagues this year.

This week, I’ll attempt to be more positive, even though it is once again Monday morning, which is, as always, the worst. Once again, this is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of the best players this season — rather, this represents some of my personal success stories as the season nears the halfway point.

I encourage you to share some of your own biggest hits in the comments below.

C: Evan Gattis, ATL
1B: Justin Morneau, COL
2B: Jose Altuve, HOU
3B: Anthony Rendon, WAS
SS: Xander Bogaerts, BOS

Thank god for several of the players listed above — without them, I’d be in even deeper trouble in many leagues than I am now. I’ve never been a big Gattis believer, but he fell to me in several drafts in shallower leagues and I figured I’d roll the dice and pray he received ~450-plus PA. Not only is Gattis right on pace to meet that mark, but he’s hitting .297/.348/.589, which is pretty much best-case scenario. Continue reading

Trade Targets: Myers, Kluber, Bailey, Bogaerts and Salazar

This week I will take a look at some players who you should try to target in trade negotiations.  The two best times to trade for a player are at the end of a slump when his price has bottomed out,  and just before he goes on a hot streak that shoots his trade value skyward. The players below can be expected to provide future production that exceeds their current trade value, so now is the time to get them while you can!

Wil Myers — 24 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 20 RBI, 1 Steal, .238 AVG (Rank among all hitters: Yahoo #130, CBS points #127, ESPN #140) Continue reading

Nick Doran’s Eleven Bold Predictions

Its time to have fun with some predictions. Some of my predictions are bold and some are BOLD but none of them are crazy. All of these things have a decent chance of actually happening, at least in my mind anyway. I can’t wait to brag about my psychic prognostication skills come October.

I am stepping out on a thin limb here with my first bold prediction because this rare feat has been done only one time in the history of baseball…

1. Billy Hamilton will steal 100 bases while scoring less than 100 Runs.

Take a look at Vince Coleman’s strange 1986 batting line:

PA — 670
R  — 94
H — 139
2B — 13
3B — 8
HR — 0
RBI — 29
SB — 107
CS — 14
BA — 0.232
OBP — 0.301
SLG — 0.280
OPS — 0.581
OPS+ — 62

That is all sorts of ugly. Coleman got a lot of fanfare that season because of his antics on the basepaths, but he was just plain terrible batting in front of Tom Herr, Jack Clark, Andy Van Slyke, Terry Pendleton, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith. The two are often compared, but Billy Hamilton is likely to be a much better all-around player than Vince Coleman both offensively and defensively. Hamilton won’t hit many home runs but he will get a lot more doubles and will hit for a much better slash line than Coleman, who finished his career with a very poor .668 OPS. My bold prediction is Hamilton will match Coleman’s dubious feat his rookie year but will get much better as time goes by.

2. Joey Votto will be the National League MVP. Continue reading

Ben’s Eleven Bold Predictions for 2014

This is my second year posting predictions at The Dynasty Guru, and this time I approach the task with even more dread than a year ago. Internet baseball predictions have a way of biting their creator in the ass more often than not, and that’s a fate I was fully willing to accept last season.

Then a funny thing happened: most of my 2013 predictions were correct. Sure, I had some real clunkers – feel free to skim over anything I wrote about Jesus Montero – but I went seven-for-11 in predictions last season, which is about five predictions better than I thought I’d do. Yes, that was a humblebrag on a fantasy baseball website. Get over it.

All this means, of course, that I’m destined to put up an oh-for this year, but such is life. Here goes nothing:

1. The former first-round starting pitcher with the most fantasy value this year won’t be Archie Bradley, Mark Appel or Kyle Zimmer: it will be Trevor Bauer, who will reclaim his rotation spot right out of Spring Training. Bauer may not be the dominant ace-level starter some projected out of college, but he’ll post a K/9 of 8.00 and an ERA south of 4.00 on his way toward becoming a mid-rotation starter for a long time. It’ll be a big victory for the Indians, who badly need rotation stability in the wake of losing Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez this offseason. Continue reading

Ten Burning Questions From the First Five Rounds of #TDGX

As you surely know by now, 20 of us are currently drafting teams in The Dynasty Guru Experts League. The festivities can be followed on Twitter at #TDGX. So in lieu of talking about my team today, which I will get to in due time, I reached out with ten specific questions to ten specific owners–getting them to talk about things that have helped shape the first five rounds of the draft. Whether it’s strategy or particular picks, there was no shortage of things that I wanted to know from the first 100 picks, and the answers did not disappoint. Thank you to all of the owners who provided the insight below.

1) Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau, Bloomberg Sports & MLB AM

Q: Did you guys set out with the strategy of taking all very young players up top and would it have been different if you had not picked at the #2 spot? Did you have particular players in mind for each of those picks? When do you think your team can reasonably be contenders?

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