Let’s start by stating the obvious. There’s a lot of young talent in the majors. The top of this list is littered with recent top prospects and players who are poised to be fantasy stars for the better part of the next decade. We’ve seen the emergence of Xander Bogaerts, Corey Seager, Gregory Polanco, and many more. We saw the early arrival of Nomar Mazara, one of the few high-impact prospects who was set to show us what he could do in 2016 (and boy has he).
The flip side of this is that not everything can be on the rise. This isn’t one of Barney Stinson’s mix tapes. The landscape of the minor leagues is very bleak right now compared to what we’ve been accustomed to over the last five years, and it’s going to cause some value displacement. In fact, as opposed to previous years where there have been multiple prospects in the top 50 or 60 of this list, the sole minor leaguer to crack the top 70 on this list is future superhuman Yoan Moncada. And the next wave of prospects behind him include a few teenagers who have only played in A ball. So minor league investment is questionable—especially with a relatively poor incoming draft class. Speaking of them, this list came out much later than I anticipated, so I included 2016 draftees as an early birthday present.
By now you know the drill with the background and disclaimers. Blah blah, 14-16 team mixed leagues, blah blah, this is a fantasy list, blah blah, keep forever with farm system, blah blah, one catcher, blah blah, park/team factors included. I don’t need to repeat myself. You also know that donations are very much appreciated and can be made here (or at the top-right corner of the site). But you didn’t come here for the intro, you came here for the camaraderie and the exquisite web design.
Oh, and the list. Your brand new #Dynasty500 awaits:
Culmination is defined as “the end or final result of something.” This is the culmination of the tireless work of a staff of nearly 15 people, having ranked over 700 players at various positions over the course of the last month. It’s a team that’s stronger than any team we’ve had at the site since it launched (of course, that used to just be me, so it’s not a fair fight anyway) and I’m extremely strong to have played a role in putting it together.
With that said, if you have any issues with this list, I shall be the focus point of your fury. While the rankings you’ve read over the last month are an aggregation of the valuations of a large team, this list is mine and mine alone. It’s the one thing at this site that still is. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t solicit feedback and take it into account. Of course, some is more constructive than others (I’m looking at you, Dom Smith).
Finally, we sincerely hope that you have enjoyed the countless hours of hard work that went into these rankings and continue to support The Dynasty Guru by showing your appreciation through this link or via the splendid ‘donate’ button located on the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.
That’s enough text. You’re not here for the text. You’re here for the list. So here’s the list:
It’s a new year. Your league’s keeper deadline is not far away. Top prospect lists are being shared and debated. Mock drafts are upon us. Everyone else in your league is finally done with fantasy football. All of these factors combine to mean the dynasty hot stove season is in full swing.
For this series I’m going to look at a couple players at each position whose trade value has peaked this offseason. In some cases, it’s possible– even likely– that the player could see his trade value continue to climb. In other cases, this may be the most valuable the player will ever be. In either case, I am focusing on players who should be able to return more to you in a trade during this offseason than they are likely to provide on a roster spot for 2016. For each player, I’ll be looking at the June 2015 midseason TDG Top 500 as a window into where the player’s value was 6 months ago, what they’ve done to improve their value since then, and what I’m calling their ‘Volatility Factor.’ The volatility factor tries to measure how stable of an investment this player is right now– is he likely to lose value, hold it, or continue to improve?
Gary Sanchez June 2015 TDG Top 500 rank: 341 How He Improved: After losing a lot of his prospect luster after spending what felt like forever in the Yankees farm system, Sanchez saw his value tumble over the past 2 years as prospect hounds started questioning the makeup and the ability to stick at his position. When he started 2015 in AA again for the third time in as many years, many owners were ready to give up. A midseason promotion to AAA and a stellar performance in the Arizona Fall League have brought back the shine. Enough experts are now confident that he’ll stick at catcher, and the power remains alluring. The questions around Sanchez were always whether he could put it together enough to fulfill his promise. Those questions seem to have been answered, and Sanchez is likely to start 2015 as the Yankees’ backup catcher behind Brian McCann.Continue reading →
It was just a few years ago Bundy was a consensus best arm in the minor leagues. If he wasn’t the first Minor League arm picked up in dynasty leagues in 2012/2013, he probably should have been. Since 2013, Bundy has pitched all of 63 innings. He heads into 2016 out of options, and has to be in the big leagues or will be exposed to waivers. He’s still got huge upside, but carries more risk than the average SP with injury concerns plus questions about the Orioles’ ability to develop arms.
Regular TDG readers or TINO Podcast listeners will be familiar with the concept of what I’ll paraphrase as “weird formats.” Those same readers will be aware, then, that not everyone enjoys the weird format.
To me, the weird format is what separates our great game of dynasty fantasy baseball from the plebeian redraft leagues and nominally strategic DFS games. The weird format is a natural evolution within the closed ecosystem of a league, a microcosmic metaphor for human society and culture. It is in the weird format that we see dynasty baseball holding a mirror back on our society and saying “This is your vision of utopia. Given all the options before you for harmony, this is what you ended up with. Look upon my works, ye mighty.”
Change is hard. We accept the status quo, even if we see flaws in the way things are. Trying to enact change can cause anxiety, fear of the unknown, or interpersonal strife. This is true in all walks of life, fantasy leagues included. Leagues that have been around for a while will inevitably evolve, but unfortunately the process is rarely painless. Leagues might move to a new site, implement new rules, add or remove teams, or close loopholes, and making changes to your fantasy league can lead to long arguments or hurt feelings. When managed incorrectly, little changes can blow up into huge problems that threaten to destabilize the entire league.
Fantasy leagues are microcosms of the same sort of group dynamics we all interact with daily. There are fields of study dedicated to change management, and how to disrupt organizations or cultures without destroying them. If you’re a commissioner trying to coordinate or manage a change to your league, or if you’re in a league currently going through changes and things aren’t running smoothly, the field of change management can provide some strategies to help improve your league without your attempts blowing up in your face. As Winston Churchill once said- “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”
Even if your league allows for major decisions to be made unilaterally by the commissioner, or by a small group of managers, it’s always important to ensure everyone in the league is given adequate opportunity to buy in to any change. If they don’t buy in on a change, other managers in your league might feel resentful, deceived, or distrustful of the league’s future.
Faithful TDG readers, as the 2015 fantasy season is now squarely in the rear view mirror and we’re approaching the fiery center of the hot stove, it becomes time again to reflect upon what has transpired and attempt to discern what is to come. As we’ve all learned and experienced, dynasty leagues truly have no off-season, and dynasty coverage should not as well.
However, the inherent problem with this is that we need help. We are looking for a group of new writers to join our band of merry men as we march through the remainder of the “off-season”, into our rankings and beyond. For us, this process has been a treasure trove. The last time we put out the call for new writers, we got an extremely talented group, a number of which have moved onto writing at other sites. Greg Wellemeyer, George Bissell and J.J. Jansons are now writing at Baseball Prospectus, a mere 12 months after starting here at TDG (and they’re doing a fantastic job). During the previous search, Jeff Quinton and Wilson Karaman, both also writers at Baseball Prospectus, were just two of the submissions we received. We also found Nick Doran, who is one of our lead writers here at TDG and others who have gone on to write at sites like Rotoworld and Razzball. So if you’re interested in writing about fantasy baseball, this is a great place to get exposure.