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Tier Jumpers

One of my favorite things about dynasty leagues is nabbing that little publicized hitter before he goes crazy and dominates the arms at his level.  Once that happens, the premium to acquire a Victor Robles, for example, can border on the absurd.  Today we will look at a few players poised to see an increase in value, and have had relatively little fanfare to this point.  We won’t be looking at any 2016 draftees or J2’s, and, with one exception, none of these players are likely to find their way onto top 100 lists.  Today we have something for everyone: from risky rookie ball players to unheralded AAA sluggers looking to crack a big league squad.

OF Jesus Sanchez, Tampa Bay Rays

First up we have Jesus Sanchez.  He is my pick as the next player to experience an Eloy-esque jump in value.  Ok, that sounds like clickbait, but he is my favorite player on this list and probably belongs in an article of players residing in a higher tier.  His results speak for themselves, as the 2014 J2 signee slugged .549 this season with an ISO of .220 to go along with a very manageable 19% K rate.  All this before celebrating his 19th birthday in the fall.  He also did not have any concerns with his splits, hitting over .300 against both lefties and righties.  He has 5 average or better tools, but he will make his mark with the bat.  Exactly how much speed he possesses is also the subject of debate, but that does little to dampen my enthusiasm.  While he’s still far away, snagging Sanchez off the waiver wire now may be a good idea.

1B Lewin Diaz, Minnesota Twins

Lewin Diaz and his monster raw power is also on my radar for 2017. The power, which borders on elite, is a carrying tool which could help him reach the high offensive expectations that come with being a first baseman. Diaz is years away however, having just completed his third crack at rookie ball, which puts his MLB debut somewhere in the 2020 season at the earliest.  Still, there’s plenty to be excited about. Diaz, despite huge, only has a 18.5% career strikeout rate to date, and has the potential to hit 30 bombs a year with a decent average.  He also took strides versus lefties, slashing .305/.339/.576 against them this season, albeit in a small sample size of only 59 at bats.  His bat must do all the heavy lifting to keep him in the lineup, and while I don’t typically roster 1B-only prospects, Diaz is the type that warrants an exception.  Buy now and watch his value climb.

OF Seuly Matias, Kansas City Royals

For those looking to continue the ceiling over certainty theme, Seuly Matias is your guy.  His season stats look pedestrian, which will depress his current price, and it will still take some time for Matias to turn his talent into production on the field.  For this type of pickup, it may depend on where you are in the win cycle, given his ETA.  A high profile J2 signing in 2015, Matias brings an above average to plus skill set across the board. He is likely a RF in the long term, even though his shaky fielding this season was a hair better in center than the other OF spots.  What makes him interesting for us, though, is the potential plus power in his bat.  When you combine that with his reported average speed and a likely average-to-above bat, Matias has the potential to be an above average regular.  The Royals coaching staff has shown an affinity for teaching patience in the past, giving hope the raw Matias can learn to take walks and become a complete offensive threat.  Every minor league roster should have at least one lottery ticket like Matias in the fold, even if it will be a century or two before they reach the big leagues.

OF/1B Jordan Patterson, Colorado Rockies

Shifting gears to players closer to the show, Jordan Patterson could be an everyday player in Coors Field.  For many of us, that is more than enough to have him on the radar.  While he doesn’t have a standout tool, he can do a bit of everything at the plate and in the field.  Patterson plays 1B, LF, and RF and has a great opportunity to log 400+ at bats next season.  Mark Reynolds is a free agent, and for all the talk of a potential move to 1B for Cargo, he has yet to play there in a game.  2017 is also his walk year, and while you never know what the Rockies are going to do, I think it is telling that they only have two financial commitments beyond 2017 that aren’t related to arbitration…Parra and Ottavino.  Their long needed youth movement may finally happen.  This fact alone is enough for me to buy shares of Rockies minor leaguers.  With Patterson, I am buying the potential opportunity and Coors field.  Even if he doesn’t fix his troubles with lefties, he would still be on the strong side of a platoon.

OF Steven Duggar, San Francisco Giants

I have big plans for Steven Duggar, and I think he will cooperate.  A 6th round pick of the Giants in 2015, he made it to AA after only 578 plate appearances.  Interestingly, mlb.com had him as their 123rd ranked player in their list of draft eligible prospects for that year, reinforcing the type of highly regarded pedigree I covet.  His minor league triple slash checks in at .299/.389/.423, which is enough to intrigue anyone.  With at least plus speed and a plus arm which will help keep him on the field while his hitting develops, Duggar has the looks of a solid leadoff hitter. While it’s unclear whether he ends up at CF or RF, he could stick in center with improvement. His reads and jumps on steals are another aspect of his game he’ll need to improve, though, after a season where he was only successful on 55% of his stolen base attempts.  With coaching, he can correct those flaws in his game and develop into something close to a healthy version of Dexter Fowler.

If all these guys are already owned in your league, kudos to you for playing in an awesomely deep league.  Maybe this is a good time to target some of these players in trade and send feeler offers.  If offseason trading isn’t your thing or if the depth of your leagues goes well beyond this short list, I’d be happy to dive further into prospect waters next time around.

The Author




  1. […] names some prospect hitters who are ready to dominate in 2017…so grab them before they go […]

  2. John Stapleton
    November 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Patterson versus McMahon for the Rockies. If rebuilding does happen, Patterson would be first in line for 1B, however, McMahon despite having a not so good year in 2016 is higher on the prospect list. What’s your thoughts?

  3. November 22, 2016 at 3:09 am

    McMahon has the higher ceiling for sure, but I feel he needs to repeat AA before progressing up the the ladder. He had some funky reverse splits this season that depressed his overall line, but that 30+% K rate needs to come way down before reaching Coors. Patterson will have to hit the ground running for the Rockies to reconsider their 1B plans. I would also cut McMahon some slack for being young relative to his level, and see what he can do next time around. He is another great buy low player.

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