The Top 500 Dynasty League Players – July 2016 Update

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:

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The Top 500 Dynasty League Players

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:

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Early Pre-Season Peak Value: Hitters

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

Dylan Bundy and the Post-Top Prospect Problem

Dylan Bundy is no longer fun to read about. You can trace the history of ‘Dylan Bundy Reading Enjoyment’ in headlines over the past 3 years here at TDG: The Number One Prospect for 2014 Is… (April 2013), Early Injuries to Three Major Prospects (April 2013), Forgotten/Undervalued MiLB Players (October 2013), Dylan Bundy and TINSTAAP (June 2014). You can trace Dylan Bundy’s rise and fall in Bret’s top 500 over the past 3 years:  

Feb 2013 June 2013 Feb 2014 June 2014 Feb 2015 June 2015
Dylan Bundy’s TDG Top 500 Rank 83 167 138 146 134 180


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.

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Embrace The Weird Format to Make Your League More Interesting

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.”

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Managing Major Changes In Your Dynasty League

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.

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TDG is Looking For New Writers

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.

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Dynasty Dynamics: The State of the Draft Pick

There’s nothing both more overrated and more underrated than a dynasty league farm team, as it (like with most other things in life) all depends upon how you use it. If you sit around waiting for the players you identified to be great and continue to supplement with other prospects for whom you’ll wait, you’ll find that a farm system can be an impediment to success. If you view them as assets and are unafraid to trade them (even the very good ones) when the right situation presents itself, a farm system can instead be a fast forward button to contention.

These prospects are acquired in many different ways, but for those of you who don’t find yourself in the early-to-middle stages of a rebuild will likely find that a good portion of your future talent will arrive via the draft. And before these players arrived on your roster, you knew them by another name: a draft pick. Often the most liquid of fantasy assets, draft picks are almost universally available as equalizers in trades that start off without them, and understanding the basic value of those picks is a way to gain an advantage over your league mates.

For example, we collectively fawned over the depth available in last year’s dynasty drafts; a collection buoyed by the strength of the Rule 4 draft, but augmented nicely with some international talent (though not the top-shelf variety we’ve grown accustomed to, unless Yoan Moncada was available). So how do the next two draft classes shape up, and what price should we be putting on those draft picks?

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The Top 500 Overall Dynasty League Rankings – June 2015

In a perfect world, this update would have come out during the first week of June. But then again, last night I saw a ton of dinosaurs in 3-D, so let’s not blame the world here—it’s pretty freaking great. The truth is, as some of you already know, that I’ve been filling in this summer as Editor-in-Chief at Baseball Prospectus; and not surprisingly, that kind of thing takes up a lot of time. However, there’s no amount of busy that can keep me from updating the 500. And so here we are.

The last three months have seen a ton of movement on the list, and it’s come from multiple areas. First of all, the number of fantasy-relevant call ups have spiked and the upper prospect ranks have nearly been emptied—which also explains why there’s not a single prospect left in the top 60. On top of that, we’ve had many injuries since the February run. It started with Yu Darvish, Zack Wheeler, Jurickson Profar and Marcus Stroman back in spring training. It’s carried forward to Alex Cobb, David Wright, Devin Mesoraco and many, many more. This is all expected, of course, but it’s also been exaggerated this year.

As we move into heavy trade season in dynasty leagues, there’s a curiousness to values. A desire to destroy struggling veterans. A desire to deify the latest crop of young stars. And while a shift is certainly to be expected, a seismic one isn’t quite in the cards for most of these players. Robinson Cano has been terrible this year, but pretending that he jumpstarted his decline phase early and it’s going to continue to tumble further and further downhill from here is not an assumption that you’ll find here. He’s still clearly a top-100 player, and nearly a top-50 one. There are many more examples, but as you’ve noticed in previous years, the jumps up in the first in-season update are always much larger than the drops down. As they should be.

As always, we hope you enjoy the site and the content we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated, and help to keep this place alive.

Now that the shilling is over, the ranking shall begin. See you on the other side.

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The Top 500 Overall Dynasty League Rankings – February 2015

So, here it is. You’ve hung with us as we’ve moved across all of the positions–even through relievers–and we greatly appreciate it. The difference between this list and the ones you’ve seen over the last month is the same as last year, as the list is my own and the blame for the players who are too high or low cannot be shared across the great staff that we’ve put together here. I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on said great TDG team for all of the hard work that’s been put into this entire series. Especially, one Craig Goldstein, who had the unenviable task of coordinating the process this year–and believe me, I can call it unenviable because I did it last year. He is both a saint and a curmudgeon, but you already knew that. I’m really excited about what this team can accomplish during the season, as all of the new faces have been fantastic–so if you don’t know Matt Winkelman, Greg Wellemeyer, Jake Devereaux, George Bissell, JJ Jansons and Kazuto Yamakazi, you certainly will soon. Of course, you already know Ben Carsley and Nick Doran.

As always, we hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

With that said, you’ve been waiting long enough for this. Introductions are for list that need introductions. This is not one of those lists. Your top 500 awaits. Oh, and for the record, Yoan Moncada would be #101, Hector Olivera would be #192 and Andy Ibanez would be #338.

No more words, just the #Dynasty500:

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