Dynasty Baseball

Players We Are Targeting for 2022 & Beyond

Below is a list of 10 players that Gurus Ross Jensen and Brian Shanks are focused on adding to their dynasty rosters.

Some opening words from the Gurus…

Ross: For my list, I want to highlight some players that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in trade negotiations, but who I think will find another level, providing you with out-sized returns for relatively low asking prices. Heading into the 2022 season, I have personally put an emphasis on hunting down young starting pitching with discounted price tags to what I believe their true underlying value is.  As a result, my list kicks off with three young pitchers that I think could take big leaps forward in the upcoming season.

Brian: I suppose you could call this a smorgasbord of guys I want on my roster. These players are not gonna be Tatis-expensive but depending on the owner you are dealing with should come at a decent price. None have found their true value yet but all can help you get to that ever-important ‘ship. I have listed two position players that are ready to lead your squad and two pitchers that are ready to become aces. The final piece is someone that is only rostered in 85 percent of leagues on Fantrax, but could be a key piece filling out a bench role. In the words of The Chairman on Iron Chef America, “allez cuisine!”

Drew Rasmussen, SP, TBR

I was an owner of Rasmussen early last season.  He was solid in the bullpen, particularly in the K department, but locked out of high leverage positions.  The Rays acquired him mid-season and converted him back into a starter.  The results were quite impressive in 10 games started, with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.762 WHIP.  The numbers suggest Rasmussen played more in the strike zone as a starter, going more for weak contact than strikeouts (both his walks and strikeouts dropped dramatically in games he started).  Rasmussen already had a strong track record through college and the minor leagues and always flashed elite strikeout potential. Now entering the latter half of his 20’s, I am optimistic that his approach continues refining and he dials-up the strikeouts as he gains a greater feel for being a pro starter. (Ross Jensen)

Josiah Gray, SP, WAS

As a first year pro in 2021, two things happened to Gray that hadn’t happened to him since he was an 18 year-old freshman in college: he had a WHIP above 1.00 (1.358) and a strikeout-per-nine rate lower than 10 (9.7 – just barely).  I don’t expect a new trend to be established.  His 2021 struggles were particularly evident at home as opposed to road games (6.28 ERA at home vs. 4.28 away).  To improve, Gray will need to limit the free passes and find ways to induce more soft ground ball contact. I anticipate Gray will make the adjustments needed to bring his numbers closer to what he’s accustomed to. Despite his elite track record in the minors (career 2.41 ERA, 0.934 WHIP, and 10.4 K/9), fantasy owners seem to be fading Gray heading into 2022, which means he could be an affordable long-term option to pick up. (Ross Jensen)

Joe Ryan, SP, MIN

Despite lights-out minor league numbers highlighted by a career 0.867 WHIP and 12.5 K/9, Ryan has often been critiqued as a bullpen risk. The primary attack vector on Ryan was that he lacked a full starter’s repertoire. We can debate how essential it is for a starter to have 4 well-rounded pitches compared to one electric nightmare to complement his fastball, but Ryan went ahead and put that question to bed by developing *two* extra pitches, a curveball and a changeup, both which he regularly mixes in. Ryan’s 2021 ERA over 4 conceals a stellar WHIP of 0.788, a predictably high 10.1 K/9, and minuscule walk rates. Albeit in a small sample, Ryan is already showing he is capable of the same level of dominance at the big league level as he was in the minors. Ryan’s delivery is as deceptive as his surface numbers, but I can’t conceal my excitement. So outside of Minnesota, where is the hype? This is someone you don’t want to sleep on. (Ross Jensen)

Ty France, 1B/2B, SEA

I don’t know where it came from, but in the juiced-ball 2019 environment, Ty France had one of the best minor league seasons I have ever seen, nearly topping the hallowed .400 mark with a .399/.477/.770 overall slash. Those results didn’t immediately translate to big league success (as is typical with a player’s development). However, while most would say he already has experienced his big league breakout somewhere between 2020 and 2021 (with a combined .294/.368/.449 slash) I keep thinking back on that 2019 and believe there is another level left for France to unlock. At 27, he is just beginning to enter the average player’s peak seasons, and I want him on my fantasy teams to see what materializes. He no longer carries the sell-high tag he did during his 2019 rookie campaign and his numbers are solid enough for him to carry solid-enough value (heh), but considering he will likely be playing just first base moving forward and he hasn’t shown the same power as other options there, you can likely obtain him for cheap enough. If he unlocks the deeper potential I think he has, it will have been well worth the investment. (Ross Jensen)

Luis Garcia, 2B, WAS

Garcia has been on the fast-track since he began professional baseball as a 17 year-old.  Other than a hiccup facing much more advanced pitching as a 19 year-old in Double-A, he has pretty much risen to the occasion.  Garcia made his MLB debut at age 20, a pretty rare accomplishment for professional baseball players, and despite posting his best numbers in the minors before finishing in the pros, nobody seems to be talking about him.  Here’s what I see – a young man, still not yet 22, who is showing developing power (.599 SLG in Triple-A), improving plate discipline (.371 OBP), and who has a clear path for playing time with the Nationals to learn the nuances of the MLB level.  If anyone can have an Ozzie Albies-like ascension, it’s Luis Garcia. (Ross Jensen)

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, BAL

My love for Ryan Mountcastle runs deep. There are only a few guys that I have come across that no matter what the stats do or what people are talking about I will not be swayed. At every stop Mountcastle has either held his own or exceeded my expectations. A career .295 power bat in the minors with a 21 percent strikeout rate? Yes please. 2021 only reinforced what I thought Mouncastle could accomplish, with a .255 average and 33 bombskis at the young age of 24. The only thing that concerned me was the strikeout rate jumped to 30 percent. If the Orioles can field a semi-decent squad look for the RBIs to skyrocket. Granted, trading for this guy may come with a premium price. (Brian Shanks)

Luis Urias, 2B/SS/3B, MIL

Another player that I have complete adoration for. Luis Urias is gonna be a monster. He led the Brewers in runs (77), was 2nd in walks (63), RBIs (75), and hits (122), and came in 3rd in doubles (25) and home runs (23), all at the age of 24! I do believe in some players trying to change their launch angle to try and unlock some power but when a kid has a .308/.397/.431 career minor league slash line maybe leave him alone for a bit and let him figure it out. I honestly believe this is a future batting title champion.  The best thing about Urias is his positional eligibility. He will spend most of his time at 3rd but will be eligible at 2nd and shortstop as well. Now may be the only time to jump on Urias because after this year he will be a cornerstone on someone else’s team. (Brian Shanks)

Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE

Can we get this guy a sandwich? 6’5 and weighs a buck sixty-five? All kidding aside, McKenzie is firmly entrenched on my radar. His career K/9 is above 10 in the minors and pros and he has a career WHIP of 1.12. The ERA hasn’t been brilliant yet (4.58) but I fully expect for him to get that under control as he owned a great 2.70 ERA in his minor league career. At 24 year old, McKenzie already has 153 innings under his belt on a very young up-and-coming Guardians team stocked with talented defensive prospects coming up the ranks. I am all-in.  (Brian Shanks)

Bailey Ober, SP, MIN

Every now and then we draft someone, everyone else looks at us awkwardly and we can hear them researching from 100 miles away to figure out who said player is. Well Bailey Ober was that guy for me in 2020. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the minor league numbers that Ober put up in 2019 here they are:  8 Wins, 0.69 ERA, 100 Strikeouts, 0.81 WHIP, 11.44 K/9 in 78.2 innings pitched. Ober logged 92 innings in the pros in 2021 and had some good results, including a 4.19 ERA, while keeping up his strikeout totals. At 6’9, 260 lbs, Ober is built like a truck, so he is going to be able to handle the workload. This is a great buy now at a potentially low investment cost. (Brian Shanks)

Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, KCR

First off, I am not promising the world of Nicky Lopez, but he is most certainly someone I want to have on my team.  I believe he unlocked a little something in his bat last year, finishing with a slash line of .300/.365/.378 with 22 stolen bases in 565 at bats. The home runs were not there last year, as he only had 2, but that is not what we are looking for out of Lopez.  I do not think he is a perennial .300 hitter from here on out, but a .280 hitter with 5 home runs and 30 stolen bases is not something to scoff at. This is a player I want on my bench who can fill in at shortstop and 2nd base in a pinch while not hurting my team. Be very cautious with Lopez though, with Mondesi coming back from injury and Witt on the horizon. (Brian Shanks)

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The Dynasty Guru: @DynastyGuru

Ross Jensen: @rossjensen12

Brian Shanks: @brian59044

The Author

Ross Jensen

Ross Jensen

Ross has been a passionate fantasy baseball player and League Manager for over a decade. Ross's approach is to build league powers through hunting down talented minor leaguers and targeting players on the verge of breakout based on a variety of metrics, statistical analysis, and assumptions.

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