Current Events: Is Now The Perfect Time to Trade Mookie Betts?

I am a Red Sox fan and Mookie Betts is in the majors. I should be rejoicing.

But while I’m certainly happy to play along with “Feats of Mookie” on Twitter and to follow Betts’ every MLB plate appearance, I have to admit I’ve been a bit distracted by another thought over the last few days:

Isn’t now the perfect time to deal Mookie Betts?

His stock has never been higher, and it very well might never be higher. The expectations for him are off the charts, and one look at the MiLB season he’s had tells you why. He’s in a major market, he has speed, he has a terrific name and in some leagues, he still carries MI eligibility. It’s a sexy package.

But all of that ignores the very real fantasy deficiencies that plague Betts’ game. He’s not going to hit for much power right now. He’s fast, but he’s not a 70-grade runner or a 40-steal guy. And in many leagues, he’s only eligible in the outfield. That skill set still makes for a good fantasy prospect, yes. But it doesn’t make for an elite one.

Beyond Betts’ specific profile, there are plenty of reasons to try and trade hotshot prospects the moment they reach the majors anyway. Savvy owners looking to flip prospects who don’t fit their teams or who they feel are generally overrated can reap pretty significant rewards if they’re willing to deal at the apex of prospect value.  Continue reading

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Breakout Prospects: Binford, Thompson, Ramsey, Taylor, Severino and Vargas

Identifying breakout prospects early is an absolutely vital key to success in dynasty leagues. The best way to build up an elite minor league roster is to acquire the best prospects cheaply before any of your leaguemates realize the youngsters are future stars. You can’t wait for the famous Top 100 Prospects lists to be published in the Spring. Don’t wait until your next draft to grab these players. You need to snare these guys before someone else picks them up from the free agent pool. Today we will take a look at a group of unheralded minor leaguers who are still available in many leagues.

I have written a couple of columns about breakout prospects this season twice previously (Here and Here). Today’s edition will feature players who will be participating in the 2014 Futures Game. Many of the players in that game are bigtime prospects and are already taken in your league, but some of them are guys who were not really on the prospect radar prior to this season and are likely still available in your league. I will focus here on some players who have exploded onto the scene recently. Their exposure in the upcoming Futures Game will give their fantasy trade value a big boost, so get them now before the game is played… Continue reading

Eleven Bold Predictions Revisisted: How’m I doin’?

With the halfway point of the regular season for most teams rapidly approach I figured I’d take this opportunity to check in on some players of pre-season interest to me and see how the first half has treated them. For reference you can find my initial comments on each prediction here. Let’s see how things are shaping up:

1. LaTroy Hawkins will lead the Rockies in Saves

So far, so good. Hawkins has inexplicably held onto the closer’s role all season, managing to log all 14 Colorado saves to date. Those 14 saves, incidentally, are the least number of team saves in the National League. Hawkins has posted a strikeout rate under four-per-nine. His strikeout rate is better than just one other Major League reliever with at least twenty innings on the season, and he pitches in the worst ballpark on planet Earth in which to allow contact. Hawkins’ “success” is more about the collective failure of the rest of the Rockies’ bullpen, as nobody – including sexy pre-season pick Rex Brothers – has stepped up and forced the issue. For all intents and purposes it sure looks like Hawkins will maintain his standing at least until the trading deadline, which is a pretty telling commentary on the direction of Colorado’s season. Verdict: Thumb’s Up

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Prospect Watch: Deep Diving

Last year I introduced the Deep Diving series to highlight some names that were a bit below the surface when it came to prospects. These weren’t necessarily guys you’d want to run out and grab, so much as they were players to keep tabs on, so you would know what they’re about when other people are still learning how to say their names. In that very first installment, I wrote about Jesse Hahn — then a High-A starter for the Rays who was starting to put things together. He’s in the majors now and producing quite well, and while that’s not guarantee for anyone else on the list, it was a chance for yours truly to brag.

Chance Sisco – C – Baltimore Orioles

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#TDGX Transactions Report: All of the Joe Panik-Related Puns

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

[None]

MAJOR LEAGUE FA PICKUPS

Luke Chatelain adds Joe Panik for $9

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Trader’s Corner: Macho Machado Man

I’m on the road all week, so I’ll get right to this week’s trades (there’s a lot). As always, send your pending and completed trade inquiries in to traderscornertdg@gmail.com and I’ll post each trade as a poll the following week. This week, let’s start with what I thought was a solid buy on Manny Machado. Machado is coming back from a significant injury and is also one of the youngest players in the majors. I think the reaction to his poor season opened the door for dynasty players looking to acquire a nice piece for the left side of their infield. Here are this week’s trades…

Trade #1

15 team 6×6 League

Minor league players cost 0.3M to keep protected. Once a player accrues 50 IP or 150 AB, their arbitration clock starts, which is for a total of 6 years. First 3 years are on a fixed scale (0.3, 0.5, 1.0), and then the remaining years are calculated based on the previous year’s stats, with a minimum of $1.0.

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The Dynasty Guru Experts’ League Standings Update — #TDGX

Regular readers of this website know that we started a new dynasty league this year composed of expert fantasy baseball writers from all over the Internet, including all of the big names like Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, ESPN and CBS Sports. The main reason our fearless leader Bret Sayre created the league is so that you, our loyal readers, can see us in action in a highly competitive dynasty format and hopefully pick up some knowledge and strategy that can help you win your leagues. Our goal is to be very transparent with our thought processes and explain to you every move we make. We have been talking about the league in many articles throughout the Spring and Summer here at TDG, and some of the team owners have written about the league and their teams on other websites such as FakeTeams and ROTOscouting. We have been using the hashtag #TDGX to discuss the league on Twitter, so be sure to follow the action there too and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

We planned to make the league website hosted on CBS Sports viewable to the public but so far we have been stymied. If anyone knows how we can make that happen please advise in the comments below. Since you cannot actually go to our league site and browse the standings and the rosters (at least not yet) I will be posting periodic updates here. If there is anything else you would like to see just ask and I will do my best to include it in the next update. Continue reading

Breakout or Fakeout: the Todd Frazier Files

Frazier somewhat burst onto the scene in 2012, with a very strong 121 wRC+ season that included 19 homers in just 465 plate appearances. He subsequently entered 2013 as a popular “breakout” pick on draft day, and promptly disappointed buyers with an uneven .234/.314/.407 line ranked just 17th among third basemen in standard 5×5 leagues, meaning he was producing backup value in anything short of a deep 18+ league. This season has been a much different story, however: he’s been the best third baseman tear-to-date and the 5th best player overall in the fantasy game over the past month, and his aggregate line of .279/.349/.517 has been good for an outstanding 139 wRC+. So what’s changed from last year to fuel this breakout, and how sustainable are his results to date?

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Breakout Prospects: Winker, Norris, Bell, Hader, Coulter and Lorenzen

Today we will look at some hot prospects who are tearing up the minor leagues. Now that guys like George Springer, Gregory Polanco, Andrew Heaney, Jonathon Singleton, Eddie Butler, Oscar Taveras and other top prospects have been promoted to the majors there are a lot of fantasy teams that have open slots on their minor league rosters. Here are some guys you should consider to fill those spots. These guys were not on many top 100 prospect lists prior to the season, but all of them are shooting up the rankings this Summer. If you are looking to get the jump on your foes in a deep league now would be a great time to snag these breakout youngsters. I imagine all the elite prospects are already taken in most dynasty leagues, so let’s get a head start on the next batch of future stars…

Jesse Winker: Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds

A supplemental 1st round pick in 2012, Winker has failed to get much love from the prospect industry and I think people have missed the boat on him. He gets dinged because of a perceived lack of athleticism that could limit his utility defensively. He may not be a great fielder, but I don’t see a future first baseman. He can play left field at least as well as a lot of major leaguers I have seen in recent years. But I don’t really care about his fielding because this guy can hit baseballs so well that he would be a nice fantasy commodity even if he were limited to playing as a DH. He is not a true power hitter, but he does have more pop than people have given him credit for. He hit 16 home runs last year and already has 13 this year. He is still only 20 years old, so even more power development is highly likely. He is an OBP machine and draws almost as many walks as strikeouts every year. He does one thing very well: barrel up the baseball with hard contact. The hitter-friendly Cal League has certainly helped boost his stellar 1.006 OPS this year, but he has hit at every level and there is no reason whatsoever to think that Winker is just a Cal League mirage. Winker just got promoted to AA Pensacola and is on track to make his major league debut next year. He is likely to be an above average contributor in all the fantasy baseball statistical categories, even stealing some bases. He will be one of those guys that doesn’t blow you away in any category but somehow ends up ranked in the top 50 hitters in your league every year. He is an easy top 40 fantasy prospect already and could go much higher. Continue reading

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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