Prospect Rankings: Schedule & Tool Grades Guide
The end of the 2018 MLB season marks the beginning of an active offseason for most fantasy leagues, and the beginning of rankings season. Already, owners likely are re-assessing their rosters, exploring potential trades, or preparing for prospect drafts. To help prepare fantasy owners for the hot stove, The Dynasty Guru will begin its rankings push early this year! Over the next three months, we will explore the top fantasy prospects by position. The extensive rankings push will culminate with our most extensive prospect rankings yet, the top 500 fantasy prospects!
Jesse Roche's 2019 Prospect Series
Fantasy Tool Grades Guide
Publicly-available scouting reports and past production make up a player’s “grades” for each of his skills. Those grades help anticipate a player’s ceiling, which, in turn, helps assess value. For fantasy purposes, only a few grades matter.
Fantasy Hitting Tools
Hit Tool. The fantasy hit tool is a mixture of contact (batting average) and plate discipline (walk percentage/on-base percentage). In a 16-team dynasty league, the average batting average and on-base percentage is approximately .265 and .335, respectively. A well-disciplined player’s fantasy hit tool plays up a grade higher than otherwise expected. A change to a hit tool grade increases or decreases those averages by approximately .015 (i.e., an above-average hitter produces a batting average and on-base percentage of approximately .280 and .350, respectively).
Power Tool. The fantasy power tool weighs realized or in-game power against potential or raw power. In a 16-team dynasty league, the league-average isolated power is approximately .175, which translates to approximately 20 home runs per season. A change to a power tool grade increases or decreases by approximately .025 for isolated power.
Speed Bonus. The speed bonus only applies to players anticipated to accumulated stolen bases. Each incremental bonus accounts for approximately 10 stolen bases. For example, a player with a speed bonus of 5 likely will accumulate approximately 10-15 stolen bases.
Risk. Risk considers a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, fielding, level, opportunity, industry reputation, age, and injury history. In fantasy, fielding is only relevant to the extent it facilitates or hinders opportunity and eligibility.
Fantasy Pitching Tools
Repertoire. Most pitchers have at least three pitches to attack opposing hitters. Repertoire weighs the quality of these three pitches. A pitcher with average repertoire may have two above-average pitches and an average pitch, or one plus pitch and two average pitches, and so on.
Command & Control. Even if a pitcher possesses an elite arsenal, it is meaningless if a pitcher cannot command and control those pitches. Command relates to the quality of a strike or the ability to locate pitches within the strike zone. Control is the ability to throw a strike and is easier to measure using walk rate. In a 16-team dynasty league, the average walks per 9 innings is 3.09, which translates to approximately an 8% walk rate.
Depth Bonus. The depth bonus only applies to pitchers with four average or better pitches. Depth of repertoire allows a pitcher to work through a lineup multiple times by sequencing hitters differently each time.
Risk. Risk considers a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, level, opportunity, industry reputation, age, and injury history.