Underrated players in the backend of the TDG 500
The title says it all. The TDG Top 500 is the gold standard of dynasty rankings, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on every player. Naturally there are some guys in the bottom 100 players who I’m higher on…here are four of them.
Matt Duffy, SS, TB – ranked 424
You’ll notice a theme in my posts. I love hitters who put the ball in play and don’t pop-up. Duffy also hits the ball reasonably hard and uses the entire field. There is no way to know how much the injury impacted his 2016 performance, but his plate discipline and batted ball numbers look nearly identical to his breakout 2015. I expect positive regression towards his 2015 numbers once healthy.
2017 Prediction: 450 PA, .285 / 10 HR / 15 SB
If Brandon Crawford is starting in your league, Duffy should be as well.
Jorge Polanco, SS, MIN – ranked 441
See above. Polanco combines an above average strikeout rate and absurd line drive and fly ball rates all while not popping up. His average exit velocity (87.4 mph) in 2016 landed in the Brandon Belt and Ian Kinsler range. In 144 games between AAA and MLB, Polanco hit 13 home runs and stole 9 bases.
2017 Prediction: 550 PA, .275 / 13 HR / 17 SB
Jorge Polanco has a real shot to 2017 as a top-20 shortstop, which would make him a must own middle infield option heading into 2018, considering he’s just 23 years old
Mike Fiers, SP, HOU – ranked 485
I mentioned this in the starting pitcher rankings. Over the last three seasons, Fiers has maintained a better contact rate, pop-up rate and K%-BB% than Danny Duffy. Since his move to the American League, he’s actually thrown more pitches in the strike zone and nearly doubled his change up usage while increasing his ground ball rate. I see a league average starting pitcher who’s run into some bad luck.
2017 Prediction: 26 starts, 155 IP / 150 K / 4.15 ERA
Carlos Rodon’s 2016 season is almost exactly what I expect from Mike Fiers in 2017, resulting in a bump up to around 350 in our 2018 TDG Top 500.
Adam Frazier, OF, PIT – unranked
This guy is going to fly up our rankings next year. Surprise, he doesn’t strike out nor pop-up. In 68 games at AAA in 2016, he walked more than he struck out and he stole 17 bases. After his promotion to Pittsburgh, he walked at a near league average rate, struck out far less than the league average and played second base, third base and outfield. As of this writing, he’s made five starts at shortstop this spring. It looks like Frazier is set to lead-off and be the every-day second baseman in Pittsburgh until Kang is back (if he’s back) and he’ll become eligible at every spot on the diamond except first base and catcher. This is the Joe Panik and Matt Carpenter starter’s kit and Frazier does have some pop in the bat.
2017 Prediction: 500 PA, .300 BA / 8 HR / 28 SB / 100 R
Go pick this guy up immediately.