Unexpected Aces: Keuchel, Beckett, Simon, Richards, McHugh and Chavez

We are now two full months into the 2014 season and several unheralded starting pitchers have been making headlines.  None of these guys were ranked highly this Spring and some of them weren’t ranked at all, but they are all ranked in the top 30 for the season thus far. Let’s examine them to see if they are true breakout stars or if they are merely mirages. Will they continue to put up ace-like numbers or will they implode while ruining your team’s stats? Read on to find out…

Dallas Keuchel —  Yahoo SP Rank #9
Fantasy Stats: 6-2 Record, 61 Ks in 70 innings, ERA 2.55, WHIP 0.98
Peripherals: SIERA 2.42, K%-BB% 18%, BABIP .275, LOB% 76.5%
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#TDGX Status Check: Building the Foundation for a Deep League Run

We’re almost exactly two months into the baseball season, and I’ve always liked to use the start of June as the jumping off point to make my first real soul-searching conclusions about the squad(s) I’m fielding. We’ve reached a stage of the season where a decent number of stats have gained a semblance of statistical significance, and we can start to separate some early season performance from the security blanket of small sample size. So with the spirit of self-evaluation in the thick air, let’s take a look under the hood of my TDGX squad. In Part I this week I’ll check in on how the team has performed to date, and then in Part II next week I’ll plot and scheme on what I should be looking to accomplish over the next phase of the season.

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Going Deep: Recap of a 20-team Dynasty MiLB Draft: Picks 41-50

Last week I covered the second half of the second round of a 20-team dynasty league’s minor league draft. To check that out, click here, and within that link is a link to a previous iteration of this exercise that full explains the league settings/structure. From there it’s just links within links until it becomes a fractal.

The picks are numbered 1-10 but keep in mind these are third round selections

1. Milwaukee – Cesar Puello (OF NYM)

Puello is fine. There’s just not a ton to get excited about. I think he caps out around a 2nd division outfielder, which is normally the type of guy I love (see: Arcia, Oswaldo) because they tend to be undervalued, but I guess I see him more towards the bottom of that tier than the top. I’m probably underrating Puello here. His tools are nice, but his future home park isn’t great. He should be a big leaguer in the not too distant future.

2. Colorado – Alex Reyes (SP STL)

I’m a bit surprised he lasted this long, though he hadn’t reached full season ball yet, so distance to the majors was likely a factor. The ceiling here is huge – a potential number two starter in both fantasy and real life – but the path is fraught with risk. Still, tremendous value at this point, and absolutely someone I considered with my second round pick as well.

3. San Diego – Lewis Thorpe(SP MIN)

Thorpe got blown up by some of my colleagues at BP, and there’s good reason based on the tools. I don’t think he’s a great fantasy add though, falling under the same theory that I’ve discussed with J2 prospects. He’s so far out and so raw, that even large steps forward would only get him to full season baseball by year’s end. There’s a good chance he doesn’t touch short-season baseball this year. We’re looking at a five year timetable and that’s just too much to waste a roster spot on.

4. Atlanta – Luiz Gohara (SP SEA)

Gohara should move faster than a guy like Thorpe but his ceiling isn’t nearly as high and he’s got plenty of risk given his age. It’s a fine get, but the body is ugly and could age poorly, and combined with limited upside, I’m not in love with the value. I don’t hate it, but it’s not ideal.

5. Oakland – Franklin Barreto (OF/SS TOR)

I don’t think he’s a shortstop long term, which harms the profile because the bat might not play well elsewhere, but the kid can straight up hit. The power might be limited due to Barreto’s frame, but again, this late in a draft like this getting a hitter as pure as he is can hardly be knocked.

6. Arizona – Jace Peterson (SS SD)

He’s already reached the majors, a bit of a surprise given the relative nascence of his game. He was a football player in college and always old for his level, which might explain why the Padres were comfortable jumping him straight to the majors. He’s fast but can’t hit for power and the hit tool is a big question mark. I’m fine with taking that chance this late in the draft though, as usable steals are a nice resource.

7. Baltimore – Devon Travis (2B DET)

I don’t like Travis at all and think too much hype was given this offseason. Once again this owner’s penchant for close to the big league prospects with limited overall profiles shines through. I don’t have much to say here because I don’t think there’s much to talk about. He’s more utility man than second division starter to me.

8. Chicago AL – Adalberto Mejia (SP SF)

This is another value I like this late in the draft. The difference between Mejia’s ceiling and some of the arms taken immediately before him isn’t that large and while there might be more risk, I trust San Francisco to develop arms better than most other orgs.

9. Chicago NL – Eric Jagielo (3B NYY)

Jagielo (Jah-guy-low) never did it for me. Maybe it’s the Notre Dame on him, maybe it’s the limited power profile but either way I’m not on it. There’s nothing that pops with Jagielo and ultimately I think the lack of power does him in because he doesn’t have the hit tool to make up for it (like Moran potentially does). He should be able to beat up on the lower minors a bit, but I’d expect production to flag at the Double-A level.

10. Toronto – Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez (SP TEX)

A player I considered all the way back in the second round and a guy I like even more than Mejia at the moment. Gonzalez lacks the ceiling that Mejia, et. al. provide but I think he’s a sure fire major league. He won’t miss bats at an elite level but he shouldn’t have too many problems with free passes either, and he can move relatively quickly.

#TDGX Transaction Report: Koji and Marcell Get #Hugs

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. Today we’re going to cover all of the transactions made post-draft, including a few trades–one involving an elite prospect and another involving a potential high-end starting pitcher.

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

J.P. Breen trades Marcell Ozuna, John Jaso, Zack Cozart and Edwin Diaz to Chris Crawford for Matt Wieters, Eddie Butler and a second rounder

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Trader’s Corner: Introducing The Mookie Scale

If there’s one player you might be able to get the world for right now, it’s Mookie Betts. Not only has he gone bat guano crazy in the minors this year, but he’s recently started playing the outfield, which has caused fantasy owners to go bat guano crazy in anticipation of his arrival. I fired up my Rotowire app over the weekend, and there was Betts staring back at me as the 12th overall prospect in their rankings. Here’s a recent convo with fellow TDGX owner Mauricio Rubio Jr. about this very subject.

At Trader’s Corner (which will run Tuesday mornings from now on) we’d like to hear about your trades involving Mookie Betts. It’s interesting to see what his market value is right now in dynasty leagues. That’s what we mean when we say the “Mookie Scale”. Send us your other pending and completed trades as well to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. I’ll reply to every email that comes in and post the trades as a poll right here in the column. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Don’t You Forget About Me: AL Prospect Edition

As a dynasty league player and MiLB fan, you probably gravitate toward what is shiny and new. It’s a natural impulse, and it’s one I have to fight myself all the time.

The following names might not inspire tremendous confidence in you, as you’ve seen them struggle and have become acutely aware of their mortaility over the past few seasons. But these names, buried deep the in the recesses of your mind, deserve a quick second look.

Let’s examine four players you’ve long forgotten in the AL this week, and we’ll take the same approach to four in the Senior Circuit next Monday.

Chelsor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals

Cuthbert has been on the fantasy radar since his breakout 2011 season, when he hit .267/.345/.397 as an 18-year-old in Single-A. Cuthbert followed up that campaign with a disastrous stint in High-A in 2012, then found success at the same level in 2013 before struggling with a promotion to Wilmington. He’s still not showing huge power, but Cuthbert is holding his own in Double-A as a 21-year-old, and he should creep his way back to fantasy relevancy as the season progresses. 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