2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsProspect Talk


The prospect mavens have been working hard over the past few months here at the TDG offices to bring you some of the best consensuses at least in our opinion rankings of the top and not-so-top prospects in the game that will hopefully give you a leg up on your competition that just looks at the MLB.com rankings (with all due respect of course.) If you`ve been with us for a while you will generally see the same rollout as past years, one week will focus on outfielders, next on shortstops, and so forth.

This year however we decided to break down our rankings into tiers and provide commentary for each tier as a whole with multiple Guru`s chiming in where they see fit. This will provide more than just a single voice to the readers while letting the authors offer their opinions on players they deem worthy enough to write about. Hopefully, it will be a fun, informative read and you will come away with an idea of how a certain player is looked at by the industry.

As always, our rankings are geared towards a 15-team OBP roto league with a three to five-year view on our team.

This week we`ll be looking at the first base base position.

Tier 3

10Ryan Clifford
11Tyler Locklear
12Blaze Jordan
13Victor Bericoto
14Dalton Rushing
15Deyvison De Los Santos
16Ivan Melendez
17Matt Mervis
18Nathan Martorella
19Luis Suisbel
20Haydn McGeary

This tier is where I start to get worried about first base prospects.  In the major leagues, first base is a great haven for catchers and corner outfielders who still provide pop but find themselves in search of a new position.  Also, established first basemen can grow old at the position, so while it’s true that a top prospect will find a way to push himself into a lineup, the next level may find themselves bouncing around, platooning at first or DH, or languishing in Triple-A waiting for their break. (My editor is thanking me for 100 bleak words without even mentioning a prospect by name.)   That said, all these players should see the majors at some level, and there’s no denying that Clifford, Locklear and Bericoto will bring power and may all be in organizations with a path to playing time.  These are the three I’m most interested in this group, with an honorable mention to Deyvision De Los Santos who as a Rule 5 selection has to remain in Cleveland or be offered back to Arizona. (Drew Klein)

Another very fun tier. Victor Bericoto is not getting the love he deserves after his 2023 season. His final 27 games at Double-A were spectacular and have set him up to jump in the rankings quickly at the start of the season. Deyvison De Los Santos was a Rule 5 pick for the Cleveland Guardians and should see some major league at-bats to start 2024. Luis Suisbel might be the most unknown in this tier, but not for long. He matched Lazarro Montes for much of 2023 and the big power bat can do it from both sides of the plate. He should become more of an established prospect this season (Daniel Labude).

Looking into this third tier, one of my favorite prospects stands at the top of it, Ryan Clifford. He hit 24 home runs in 2023 as a 19-year-old, with good patience at the plate, walking 12.5% of the time. Right now the big drag on his prospect status is his swing-and-miss issues, he struck out 27.4% of the time. During June and July, it appeared some of those issues had been corrected, with his strikeout rate dropping to below 23% during those two months. After being traded to the Mets, the strikeout rate skyrocketed to 36.4%. I like him to have a shot to move into the top 5 on this list by midseason, if he can keep his strikeout rate down around the numbers he had in June and July, before being traded (Brian Labude).

Tier 4

21Mark Vientos
22Moises Ballesteros
23Jhonkensy Noel
24Carlos De La Cruz
25Damiano Palmegiani
26Tre' Morgan
27Spencer Horowitz
28Creed Willems
29Luken Baker
30Trey Johnston

Mark Vientos is about to be saddled with the dreaded “4-A” label, describing a player who excels at Triple-A but not in the major leagues. I’m not sure he deserves it. In the past two years in Triple-A he posted .280/.358.519 and .306/.387.612 slash lines, and in 2022 he hit 24 home runs in Triple-A, which he followed up with 25 home runs across two levels in 2023.  I posit that the 233 plate appearances in the majors last year is a small sample size and that his minor league numbers and scouting grades all indicate better things to come. Show these ranks to the managers in your leagues and then throw out some low offers because Vientos is a low-risk high-reward prospect at this ranking.  Then, before you leave this bargain basement, take a look at Luken Baker’s stat line from Triple-A last year.  Thirty-three home runs and a .720 slugging average will play, and Goldschmidt won’t be around forever.  (Drew Klein)

In this tier watch out for Damiano Palmegiani. He can play third base as well as first, but what stands him apart from many is his high walk rates and power potential. If he can keep hitting the ball hard and in the air, he may get a taste of the big leagues in 2024 for the Blue Jays. Most likely at third base or DH, but with the chance to back up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., when he needs a day off (Daniel Labude).

In this tier Ballesteros, Noel, De La Cruz, and Palmegiani are the cream of the crop, so to speak. All four have big power, but Ballesteros brings much better bat-to-ball skills than the other three. His walk and strikeout rates are very good and almost at a one-to-one ratio. His walk rate in 2023 was 12.8% and his strikeout rate was 15.8% (Brian Labude).

Tre` Morgan is my guy to watch in this tier, he put up a .920 OPS at LSU this past season and in a short sample in Single-A displayed above-average swing decisions and the ability to make contact with an 86% zone contact rate and an 80% out-of-zone contact rate. Morgan`s power may never be great, but he does display enough to eventually reach 20 homers. Paired with his bat-to-ball ability and average or greater speed he may be a quick mover through a Tampa Bay system (Ryan).

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

Lead prospect analyst and managing editor for The Dynasty Guru.

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