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Prospects in Dynasty Startup Drafts

Recently, The Dynasty Guru released the Top 500 Dynasty League Players for OBP Leagues, the Top 500 Dynasty League Players, and the 2018 Top 200 Fantasy Prospects, representing the culmination of over 40 days of positional rankings.

Rankings are useful guides in practice, but drafts often complicate them. This article will analyze a crucial question for dynasty league owners: where do owners actually draft prospects?

This article will explore the results of two 40-round dynasty startup drafts, focusing exclusively on prospects. In each draft, owners selected both major league players and prospects. TDGx2 is a 20-team, 5-by-5, head-to-head, weekly league, with a 15-player minor league roster.* Meanwhile, SMCM is a 16-team, 6-by-6, head-to-head, daily league, with an unlimited minor league roster.** The results below detail the top 100 prospects drafted in both leagues.

Dynasty Startup Draft Top 100 Prospects

RankPlayerPositionAVGOverall AVGSMCMOverall SMCMTDGx2Overall TDGx2
1Ronald AcunaOF114.519120
2Vladimir Guerrero Jr.3B227224230
3Shohei OhtaniSP/DH3.541447335
4Victor RoblesOF4.548556440
5Fernando Tatis Jr.SS550341759
6Gleyber TorresSS754.5968541
7Eloy JimenezOF758.5865652
8Nick Senzel3B872.5764981
9Brendan RodgersSS980.566012101
10Francisco MejiaC9.578.51188869
11Kyle TuckerOF1081.510731090
12Willie CalhounOF13112.5151281197
13Lewis BrinsonOF13.51091210015118
14Ryan McMahon1B13.51161412313109
15Bo BichetteSS14.51121310516119
16Alex ReyesSP15.51261713714115
17Michael KopechSP18.51391814819130
18Forrest WhitleySP18.5142.52015817127
19Keston Hiura2B20147.51915621139
20Austin HaysOF21.5149.51613427165
21Walker BuehlerSP22157.52417820137
22Scott Kingery2B22.51582216923147
23Juan SotoOF24165.52618822143
24Luis RobertOF25165.52116129170
25Royce LewisSS27.5183.53021625151
26Luiz GoharaSP281792518431174
27Brent HoneywellSP292024027618128
28J.P. CrawfordSS29.5202.53525624149
29A.J. PukSP32200.52820136200
30Mitch KellerSP322042921235196
31Estevan FlorialOF33213.53424832179
32Sixto SanchezSP34.52092719342225
33Miguel Andujar3B35.5219.53323638203
34Jorge MateoSS36225.53826134190
35Leody TaverasOF362324429728167
36Jesse WinkerOF37230.53725937202
37Willy AdamesSS37237.54128633189
38Jorge AlfaroC392232317655270
39Taylor TrammellOF39.52365331826154
40MacKenzie GoreSP41.5233.53121752250
41Alec HansenSP41.5248.53625747240
42Kevin MaitanSS442505832830172
43Hunter GreeneSP44.52664329446238
44Austin MeadowsOF49.5276.55031149242
45Triston McKenzieSP502775632344231
46Franklin BarretoSS50284.54229158278
47Yordan AlvarezOF50.52823926562299
48Jack FlahertySP512785933043226
49Brendan McKay1B/SP52.52863223273340
50Jhailyn OrtizOF53.52935131256274
51Austin Riley3B54279.56934739212
52Anthony AlfordOF542866033148241
53Jo AdellOF54291.55532153262
54Alex VerdugoOF54.53014830661296
55Jake BauersOF55.5296.55732754266
56Heliot RamosOF562887135341223
57Jesus SanchezOF59.5313.55231367314
58Michael Chavis3B60.53017636845234
59Luis Urias2B61.5302.57335850247
60Michel BaezSP64.53216533864304
61A.J. MinterRP65.5323.56634265305
62Keibert RuizC65.53246834663302
63Carter KieboomSS66315.58138351248
64Colton Welker3B66.5325.57436459287
65Mike SorokaSP673336333571331
66Kolby AllardSP683297034866310
67Chance SiscoC68.5338.56233375344
68Colin Moran3B69.5352.54529994406
69Monte HarrisonOF70335.57135069321
70Kyle WrightSP753576734383371
71Ryan MountcastleSS76.53695432099418
72Dustin FowlerOF773627536579359
73Brett PhillipsOF77.5355.59843657275
74Nolan Jones3B793687736981367
75Jahmai JonesOF80370.59041470327
76Kyle LewisOF81373.58639776350
77Tyler MahleSP83.5381.58539582368
78Bobby Bradley1B853889342577351
79Jay GroomeSP87395.58941285379
80Chance AdamsSP87.5391.57837097413
81Franklin PerezSP87.5394.57937996410
82Christin StewartOF8839049309127471
83Brandon MarshOF88.5395.59943778354
84Adrian MorejonSP91.5408.59743586382
85Jon DuplantierSP9441084394104426
86Justus SheffieldSP94.5408.580381109436
87Charlie TilsonOF95.5406.547305144508
88Zack CollinsC97.540013551060290
89Pavin Smith1B98424.595429101420
90Alex FaedoSP9942082389116451
91Corbin BurnesSP99.5425.510444395408
92Cal QuantrillSP10042011345787383
93Danny JansenC10142311446288384
94Brandon WoodruffSP101.5431100438103424
95Nick GordonSS102428.511245692401
96Stephen GonsalvesSP10443794426114448
97Tyler O'NeillOF104.5436.592420117453
98Jose SiriOF105.5426.564337147516
99Garrett Hampson2B106434.512849584374
100Ian AndersonSP108439.588407128472

Dynasty Startup Thoughts

Elite Prospects, Elite Value

The elite prospects all went extremely early in both drafts. Ronald Acuna and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were first and second round picks, respectively. In dynasty leagues, owners universally overrate elite prospects. While such players occasionally develop into top fantasy players, already treating them as elite fantasy players and finished products is excessively optimistic.

Proximity is King

Prospects projected to make an impact this year received a substantial value boost. The following prospects will likely begin the year in the major leagues:

PlayerPositionDraft RankTop 200Difference
Willie CalhounOF1226+14
Ryan McMahon1B1429+15
J.P. CrawfordSS2841+13
Jesse WinkerOF3669+33
Jorge AlfaroC3887+49
A.J. MinterRP61URN/A
Chance SiscoC6791+24
Colin Moran3B68134+66

Each of these eight players received a considerable boost when compared to the top 200. I am responsible, in part, for the bump of Jesse Winker, drafting him in SMCM (Jesses must stick together!). Most importantly, the A.J. Minter hype machine is very real.

Part of the reason proximity gains more value in startup drafts is due to the scarcity of viable major league talent. In ongoing dynasty leagues, owners value proximity less and prospects more than in startup drafts, likely due to established rosters. Michael Wacha, for example, is someone who would get drafted over a top prospect in a startup draft, and traded for a top prospect in an ongoing dynasty league.

Catcher? I Hardly Know Her!

Owners overvalue catchers. Overall, six catchers went off the board in the top 100. Like Jorge Alfaro and Chance Sisco, above, Francisco Mejia (+11), Keibert Ruiz (+39), Zack Collins (+25), and Danny Jansen (+31) moved way up draft boards. Indeed, an owner in TDGx2 even selected Alex Jackson as the 40th prospect and 215th overall. The love for catchers is baffling. Catchers carry limited value in one-catcher leagues and only a rare few provide legitimate upside.

Wildcard, Bitches! Yeehaw!

Drafting Prospects

Charlie Tilson is an extreme outlier. Entirely absent from the outfield rankings, he is a poor fantasy investment. Tilson has absolutely no power and a recent history of significant leg injuries. Whether the elite speed still exists is questionable and, without the speed, he is useless. Further, the White Sox already optioned Tilson to Triple-A. Without immediate impact and very little upside, he should be a free agent outside the deepest of leagues.

Jesse’s Draftees

Who did I draft, you ask? In TDGx2, I selected Austin Hays, Mitch Keller, Justus Sheffield, and Jose Siri. In SMCM, I drafted Forrest Whitley, Jesse Winker, Willy Adames, Taylor Trammell, Triston McKenzie, Monte Harrison, Jahmai Jones, and Zack Collins.

*TDGx2 involves twenty TDG writers with on-base percentage and saves plus holds. Further, the league has a 25-player major league roster and drafted 310 prospects.

**SMCM involves four TDG writers with on-base percentage, slugging percentage, innings-pitched, and saves plus holds. In addition, the league has a 30-player major league roster and drafted 196 prospects.

The Author

Jesse Roche

Jesse Roche

Jesse is an attorney, currently residing in Greensboro. An avid fantasy baseball player, Jesse has experience in a diverse range of leagues, including head-to-head, rotisserie, points, and simulation. Jesse is a five-time website-wide champion at Benchwarmer Baseball and a repeat champion of a dynasty league with John Sickels at Minor League Ball. With a specific interest in baseball prospects, Jesse plans to provide in-depth analysis of up-and-coming stars accessible to all league sizes and types.

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  1. […] 2018 Baseball Prospect Rankings: TheDynastyGuru.com ranks the top 100 prospects for dynasty start-up drafts. […]

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