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

From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

Shortstop is a position very much in flux these days, as once you move past the obvious names, you get a lot of players who have pretty serious flaws. On the other hand, the shortstops coming up through the minor leagues right now are the strongest crop we’ve seen in almost twenty years (the famed A-Rod, Jeter, Garciaparra, Tejada class). There are four guys right now who slide into those spots, and you’ll notice that they are all in the top-11 here. And what else is slowly happening over time is that the position is moving back towards one where you can get power, instead of just speed-based players. And this is all with a couple of big name players who are off the position for right now (but may end up back there soon) in Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado. Incredible.

Now the 20 best shortstops in dynasty leagues, starting with the player who eked out a very close race for number one between two NL West stars:

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Up the Middle: Loading Up on Shortstops

I recently finished reading Joe Morgan’s autobiography A Life in Baseball. I really enjoyed it as he’s one of my favorite players and the book was written in a very honest, straightforward manner. One of my favorite parts of the book was when he discussed the “diamond within the diamond” and how important good defensive play is to building a winning team, especially at the positions of catcher, middle infield, and centerfield. That book was written two decades ago about a player who played four decades ago, and yet that principle still holds true. No matter how solid prospects start out at the shortstop position, there are many factors along the way, including the defensive ability mentioned above, that can determine whether that player will actually end up at shortstop in the major leagues.

Due to the fact that shortstop is still a very defensive position along with second base, the two positions can supply loads of value if you can find a player who is an offensive stud there as well. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to write about middle infield in the first place. But there is also the catch that the guy who you’ve projected as your dynasty league shortstop of the future ends up as a corner infielder. So what do I do as a dynasty owner? I load up on shortstop prospects and play the numbers game. Continue reading

I’ll Ask Again: Is Byron Buxton The Best Fantasy Prospect In Baseball?

On June 4, I took stock of Byron Buxton’s phenomenal campaign in Single-A and asked our readers a simple question: was the Twins’ outfielder the best fantasy prospect in the game, and if not, who was?

After examining the extraordinary numbers Buxton had posted to that point in the season, I concluded that Buxton was surely a Top 10 name, but was not yet ready to give him the top spot. After all, the likes of Jurickson Profar, Oscar Taveras and Xander Bogaerts all loomed large, and each was significantly closer to the majors.

That opinion came back when Buxton was hitting “a modest” .333/.435/.545 with a wRC+ of 174 through 240 PA. Of course, the 19-year-old would go on to finish with a .341/.431/.559 line in 321 PA in Single-A, before hitting .326/.415/.472 in 253 PA in High-A. Continue reading