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Romancing Deep Dynasty Prospects: June 2018

Throughout a season there’s always a prospect or ten that suit my fancy in dynasty. In deep leagues you might find them useful for pick ups and watch lists. I’m a sucker for love, and so I’ll share it. Let me introduce you to the players who have stolen my heart, or at least caught my eye. You just follow your heart, and find yourself someone to love. Maybe more than one; it’s 2018, you do you.

The majority of these prospects are for deeper leagues (16+ teams), but all are at least worth monitoring. Some should be owned in all leagues, but the hype hasn’t caught up to their performances yet.

Prospects to Acquire

The players you need to add

Myles Straw, 23, OF, AAA (Houston Astros)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 |AA29413511.9%14.3%.064
2018 | AAA20040.0%15%.150

Myles Straw was Ian Hudson’s pick for Top Podspect on a recent podcast. Unfortunately, Keaton won that particular round with his pick, but I was intrigued and decided to take a deeper dive. Turns out Myles Straw is the kind of speed-centric player I actually like.

Generally, I’m speed-averse, but Myles has shown strong plate skills throughout his minor league career. Thus, while speed is the most valuable asset that Myles may provide at the major league level, his strong walk rates ensure that he won’t be completely reliant on his legs to get on base.

There’s quite a  logjam of talent in Houston at the moment, so there’s no immediate playing time for the young outfielder. However, he may get a shot if there are multiple injuries at the major league level.

Nathaniel Lowe, 22, 1B, A+ (Tampa Bay Rays)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A+22010011.4%15.0%.232
2018 | AA474014.9%8.5%.359

I’ve had my eye on Mr. Lowe for most of this season, but I’ve been skeptical. After all, it feels like it’s been quite some time since we’ve had a Rays’ prospect with real power. That power is also new a development, as he posted ISOs closer to .100 the previous two seasons.

From what I’ve seen of Lowe he has a tendency to roll over on balls low and away. Grounding out quite often, he’s owned close to a 50% ground-ball rate. However, he’s shown a boost in ISO, and is close enough to the Show, that he’s worth an add in deep leagues.

Host of the Dynasty Childs’ podcast, Ian Hudson, has noted that Tampa has been more aggressive with their promotions than in prior years. It also feels like Tampa is willing to try just about anything these days. Finally, when he connects with a pitch he most certainly owns a swing that makes you say “whoa.”

Source Jason Woodell

Ryan McKenna, 21, OF, A+ (Baltimore Orioles)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A+3018512.315.0%.179

Mckenna, like all these prospects, is a mixed bag. Right now his stock is rising because he is absolutely owning High-A, while being a year and a half younger than the rest of his competition. He brings a bit of speed, power, and strong strikeout and walk ratios at the plate. A promotion to Double-A seems in order after over 300 plate appearances.

For a prospect with a .179 ISO, he certainly doesn’t hit a ton of fly balls or home runs. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t still developing his swing, and that an uptick in FB% isn’t in his future. Fly-ball rate aside, it’s important to take notice of a player who appears to graduate from his level a year and a half before his peers. Go get him.

Alex Kirilloff, 20, OF, A (Minnesota Twins)

Year | LevelPA HRSBBB%K%ISO
2016232704.7%13.8%.148
20172811318.5%16.7%.274

This young outfielder was the most recent winner of the Top Podspect, chosen by none other than Ian Hudson. Krilloff is a former first-round pick who missed 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. However, he’s returned and doesn’t appear to have missed a beat, development wise.

He’s a more than a year younger than his league mates, but currently owns the 5th highest OPS in the Midwest League. Fangraphs has slapped a 60 future raw power on Krilloff, and that certainly seems to be transferring over into in-game power as he’s smashed 13 home runs to go along with a .274 ISO.

I worry about his plate discipline a bit for higher levels, so make sure to keep an eye on that as he advances. Kirilloff’s pedigree and strong start are quickly increasing his value. Depending on your contention cycle he could actually be a piece worth selling soon, but for now, buy.

Gavin Lux, 20, 2B/SS, A+ (Los Angelos Dodgers)

Level | YearPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | 20182658712.1%19.6%.203

Gavin Lux has been impressive thus far in his first season at High-A.  In his 265 plate appearances, he’s increased his fly-ball rate and decreased his ground-ball rate. The result has been a big swing that has generated power at the tune of a .203 ISO.

The first round pick is flashing offensive tools that are fun to dream on. Lux’s defensive tools, however, are more nightmarish than dream-like. Thus far this year he has made 14 errors, and so a position change could be in the future. Earlier in his career he played second base and seemed to handle it better.

His profile for the majors will play fine at second base. Lux was starting to make some headlines prior to a recent hamstring injury. Already a top 100 prospect on most lists, go grab him now before his stock rises too much more.


Prospects to Desire

Prospects for your watch list

Jonathan Arauz, 19, 2B, A+ (Houston Astros)

Year| LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A2374712.7%16.0%.172
2018 | A+40102.5%17.5%.077

The Astros’ middle infielder has been praised for his bat to ball skills, but hasn’t really hit for average until this year. Last year was a bit of a struggle for Arauz, as he was initially suspended 50 games for methamphetamine use. Then he bounced between A and Low-A without much success at either level.

2018 has been a different story for Arauz. Hitting for average, power, and showing patience at the plate, he was recently promoted to High-A.  The increase in power is intriguing, particularly at second base.

Gif Created from 2080 YouTube Video

The other thing I really like about Arauz is his ability to hit the ball in the air. Even prior to showing power this year, the Astros’ second base prospect managed to keep his ground-ball rate near or under 40%.  I like that quite a bit, and while the numbers don’t look pretty at High-A yet, I’m buying.

Juan Yepez, 20, 1B, A+ (St. Louis Cardinals)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A106149.4%13.2%.181
2018 | A+75210.0%22.7%.135

Acquired by the Cardinals when they traded Matt Adams to the Braves, the international signee tore through A-Ball this year slashing .415/.462/.596. The slash line came with a tremendous improvement in his approach at the plate. Yepez had some experience at A-ball, having played there since 2016.

While the numbers for High-A are underwhelming, he is two and half years younger than the average player for his league. Yepez has been scouted as a power-first bat with potential for contact issues. Things coming together at A-Ball are encouraging, and make Yepez someone for your watch list.

Keep an eye on his numbers in the second half, as I’d expect his plate discipline to improve, and for his average to climb. He’s currently rocking a .200 BABIP, that’s likely to improve.

Telmito Agustin, 21, OF, A+ (Washington Nationals)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A+97434.1%14.4%.273

A stocky outfielder who has often been dismissed as a fourth outfielder without much hit tool. However, since last season Telmito has started flashing some power. In 2017 his ISO jumped to .170 in A-Ball, and currently sits monstrous .273.  The growth in power looks real at this point, and with the way the Nationals are developing players these days, he’s worth keeping an eye on.

The walk rate is concerning, as I’m not a fan of contact-centric players, but I’m making an exception for Telmito. I’m rooting for the stocky player who’s put on some muscle. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes his way to Double-A this year. Keep him on your watch list, and grab him before he’s promoted if possible.

Luis Rengifo, 21, 2B, AA (Los Angelos Angels) 

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A+19022214.2%11.6%.143
2018 | AA99268.1%8.1%.239

Still only 21 years of age, this middle infielder has already bounced between three teams. Most recently Rengifo was traded from the Rays to the Angels in the CJ Cron deal. Once arriving with the Angels the newly acquired infielder made quick work of High-A slashing .323/.426/.466 and swiping 22 bags.

Forty-one games were apparently enough for the Angles, as they aggressively promoted Rengifo to Double-A. Thus far in 81 fewer plate appearances, he’s already matched his HR total (2) from High-A, maintained elite contact levels, managed 4.12 pitches-per plater appearance, and raised his ISO all the way to .239.

Rengifo borders on a must add in deep dynasty leagues, and my only skepticism comes on his reliance on speed and contact. That .239 ISO comes with four triples, seven doubles, and a 53% ground ball rate. He does hit the ball all around the field, but still, I’d like to see him lift ball a bit more like he did this Spring Training against his current team.

MLB

Abraham Toro-Hernadez, 21, 3B, A+ (Houston Astros)

Year | LevelPAHRSBBB%K%ISO
2018 | A+2859512.6%18.2%.194

While his teammate, Arauz, may have more pedigree and scouts who are high on him, I am loving Abraham’s minor league numbers. In 2017 his power was on display posting ISOs near .250. Make no mistake, Toro-Hernandez is an absolute lottery ticket. For me, he’s also the most intriguing.

Like a large number of players I am high on, this corner infielder has got some major swing and miss tendencies. Although he hasn’t posted a K% higher than 20% yet in the minors, I do worry that it will rise as he continues to develop.

Still, if he can continue to maintain or even improve his strong patience at the plate, well then that there’s the foundation for an extraordinarily cheap power source. Cheap and strong is the way I like them.

The Author

Patrick Magnus

Patrick Magnus

Baseball Dad, husband, TDG podcast talking head, educator, Vermonter, Shenzhener, and completely baseball obsessed.
Living, working, and writing in Shenzhen, China. Hear my thoughts on the TDG Podcast, and follow me on Twitter @TheGreenMagnus

1 Comment

  1. jeff
    June 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Patrick,

    This is my first year playing dynasty fantasy baseball and having a blast, even if the team I took over is terrible. The rebuild will be long, but fun.

    In our league, we can have up to 50 minor leaguers each, so all the top dozen or so prospects in each major league team is under control. That’s why I really like articles like yours about under-the-radar prospects. And, I’ve just added Rengifo and Agustin.

    But I need to clear out some minor league roster spots in anticipation of the trade deadline and then our draft. I wanted to get your thoughts on which if any of the following guys would you drop:

    I have a bunch of catchers: Kninzer, Ronaldo Hernandez and Austin Allen are keepers but also have Campusano, Clementina, Seby Zavala and Sam McMillan. Any of the last 4 droppable?

    Among infielders, in addition to Rengifo, I have Drew Ellis, Darick Hall, Rylan Bannon, Roberto Ramos, Kevin Smith, David Fletcher, Jonathan Arauz, Ritchie Martin, Nathanial Lowe, Luis Garcia and Vidal Brujan.

    Among OFers, I have Brian Miller, Calvin Mitchell, TJ Friedl, Jason Martin, Jordan Luplow, Austin Dean, Corey Ray, Joel Booker and DJ Peters.

    Pitchers include Zack Burdi, Eric Swanson, Thomas Pannone, Jonathan Loaisiga (very proud of this free agent pick-up!), Dillon Maples, Austin Gomber, Keegin Akin, Sandy Baez, Corey Oswalt, TJ Zeuch, Eli Morgan, Jonathan Hernandez, Jordan Romano, Michael Baumann, Brian Howard, Jose Castillo and David Peterson.

    thanks,

    jeff

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