The Dynasty Guru Podcast Episode 4: Third Base Rankings

The Dynasty Guru Podcast Episode 3 is live. Listen below, subscribe on iTunes or stream here. – Tom Trudeau, Nick Doran, and Tyler Baber discuss the consensus third base consensus rankings from the TheDynastyGuru.com.

Topics include:

  • Will one of Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman, or Kyle Seager jump up to the same tier as Josh Donaldson?
  • What to make of Miguel Sano
  • Vets vs Youth: Justin Turner and Adrian Beltre or Jose Ramirez, Nick Castellanos and Maikel Franco?
  • Third Base Prospects: Rafael Devers, Nick Senzel and beyond
  • The back half of the top 50:Hernan Perez, Ryon Healey, Jeimer Candelario and the ghost of David Wright
  • We don’t talk about Mike Moustakas

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Building a Balanced Team: Third Base & Shortstop

Over the last several weeks, we have identified catchers, first basemen, and second basemen who have the potential to contribute to three or more hitting categories. Today we continue our quest to build a balanced team and turn to the third basemen and shortstops. As a reminder on the methodology behind this series, I began this exercise by gathering data for each position over the past decade (plus a bonus year because why not?) to determine the average production for each hitting category. In order to eliminate outliers resulting from limited sample sizes, I used a 400-plate appearance qualifier for all positions with the exception of catcher, for which I set the threshold at 300 plate appearances. I also wanted to control for lost playing time resulting from unforeseeable injuries, so rather than calculate the average counting stat totals for each category, I calculated the ratio of plate appearances to each counting stat (e.g. 30 plate appearances per home run as opposed to an average of 20 home runs).

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

It’s the time of the year where we offer congratulations to those of you brave dynasty league owners that survived the offseason. The greatness that 2016 will surely offer is upon us and that means we’ll be spending the next six weeks moving our way through the positional landscape, offering thoughts on the respective values of roughly 700 players throughout the process.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy 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.

Players are ranked where they played 20 or more games at during the 2015 season at their highest position on the defensive spectrum, e.g. Chris Davis played 30 games in the outfield, meaning he’s an outfielder for our purposes. We can’t assume that a player will have eligibility at a position in the future (so no Hanley Ramirez at 1b for these rankings) or that a player will lose eligibility at a position in the future. This should clear things up for all non-Javier Baez/Jurickson Profar players, and we’ll do our best to explain where those players are ranked when the time comes. All DH types, such as Evan Gattis and David Ortiz, appear on the 1B rankings, as we will not be doing a UTIL rankings list.

As we move to the hot corner, we find a new hitter atop the mountain–despite a reigning league MVP holding the top spot last season :
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Randal Grichuk Prepares for Liftoff

Each year, the difference between winning your dynasty league and merely contending, is putting in the draft preparation to find the sleepers that your leaguemates just don’t value. One potential bargain with the potential for huge payout this year is St. Louis Cardinals OF Randal Grichuk.  Grichuk, a former first-rounder for the Angels in 2009, arrived in the St. Louis organization with Peter Bourjos for David Freese and Fernando Salas prior to the 2014 season. Despite launching 17 homers in just a half-season’s worth of at-bats last year, the 24-year-old may still be underrated in dynasty leagues because of his uncertain playing time and his struggles making contact consistently at the Major League level.

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I Love Prospects, I Hate Prospects!

It goes without saying that a good knowledge of prospects is mandatory for long-term success in dynasty leagues. No matter how good your team is right now you still need to plan for the future. If you can build up a solid core of the top prospects in baseball chances are your team is going to be good for a long time, right? That is true — but maybe not to the degree we all expect.

Let’s face it: prospecting is like rolling dice. Sometimes you get boxcars sometimes you get snake eyes. No matter how good you are at evaluating prospects you are going to be wrong a lot. You can study all the major Top 100 Prospects lists each offseason, watch tons of video and go to minor league games and still make the wrong decisions regarding which prospects to invest in.

Let’s take a look at the 21 players who appeared on one or more consensus top five overall prospects in baseball lists in the last five years (2011-2015). We will organize them into three groups depending on how they have fared since being ranked as uber-elite prospects: Continue reading

The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. 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.

The hot corner has lost some valuable commodities in recent years, as the like of Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion no longer qualify, and it’s yet to gain ascendant talent like Anthony Rendon. Still, The Bringer of Rain proved he was more than a one-time wonder with a second straight dominant season that pushed him to the top of the third base rankings, and there’s plenty of promising prospect talent behind him:

1) Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays  (Age 29, Previous Rank: 7)

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Team Doran Fires a Blazing Fastball at the #TDGX Draft, Part 2

This is going to be an exciting baseball season as a participant in The Dynasty Guru Experts League (#TDGX), which as you know by now is an awesome new league filled with industry experts from all the best baseball sites on the Internet. In my first column about this league I discussed my strategy for the draft and how the league structure made a major impact on my draft plan. In this column we will do the fun part and discuss all my picks and why I made them. So read Part 1 first and then these picks will make more sense.

The Invisible Hand of Drafting Doom

One thing I didn’t mention in Part 1 was Bret’s unique “Invisible Hand” draft slot bidding system. Teams were allowed to bid keeper slots for the right to “buy” a particular draft slot. So for example if you wanted to bid on the #1 draft slot to snag Mike Trout you could bid X number of keeper slots. If you won the bid you would have to drop that X number of extra players next Spring. So if you bid 10 keepers you would only be able to keep 25 players next Spring instead of the standard 35 keepers. I decided not to bid on any slots because I felt my team would be pretty solid and I didn’t want to have to drop any extra players. I like the idea of getting to grab some of those extra players that other teams will have to drop in next year’s draft.

I am glad I didn’t bid, but it wouldn’t have mattered because I would not have won any of the bids. The #1 slot sold for 15 keepers! I wouldn’t have bid more than 5. Even the 2nd through 5th slots cost between 6 and 15 keepers. Way too expensive for my tastes. All told there were 61 keepers spent on draft slots. That will be three full draft rounds worth of extra players available next year for me to choose from. I like it!

Since I didn’t place any bids, I randomly ended up with the 12th draft slot in the 20 team league and I was quite happy with that. I prefer to be in the middle of a snake draft rather than on either end. Being on the end creates the tendency to reach for a coveted player knowing he has no chance of coming back to you on your next pick. My goal was to follow my 4 Phase Plan while digging for maximum value and youth. Read on and let me know how well I succeeded (or failed).

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

Third base, like last year, has some heavy hitters at the top. In fact, the top-five at the position may be as strong as any other position on the diamond (including first base). However, once you get beyond that, it’s a number of players who either haven’t proven anything or have been breakout stars without the requisite prospect status to give that extra layer of comfort. Then you have the aging third basemen who are still hanging on to their value despite being one year closer to retirement. It’s a position of power, and that’s only going to get stronger as the two prospects who clock in highest on this list both have at least 70 power potential.

Now the 20 best third baseman in dynasty leagues, starting with one of the best hitters in the game today:

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It’s Never Too Late For a Bold Predictions Review: Bret’s Turn

As I begin to write this, it’s still October, which means the statute of limitations on a HEY LET’S REVIEW MY BOLD PREDICTIONS FROM BEFORE THE SEASON piece has not yet come to pass. So, HEY LET’S REVIEW MY BOLD PREDICTIONS FROM BEFORE THE SEASON!

The week prior to Opening Day, each previously current member of the Dynasty Guru staff wrote eleven bold predictions for the upcoming season. The still current members of the team have already written their reviews, so it’s my turn. It’s going to be a roller coaster of emotion here, as some of these predictions not only came true, but look pretty great in hindsight. Of course, there are also predictions which make me want to erase all references to myself and this site on the internet.

So get out your smiting sticks (or whatever the kids are smiting with these days) and let’s dig in. Oh, and grades because everyone loves grades:

1. Alex Gordon blows the doors open and hits over .320 with 27 homers and 15 steals, finishing in the top-5 of MVP voting in the American League.

What I Said: I’m a big Alex Gordon believer, you guys know this already – and I think this is the year he takes that step forward into superstardom. Well, superstardom on a national level, as in reality, he’s been worth 12.4 wins above replacement over the last two seasons.

What Happened: Not exactly. Gordon ended up hitting 20 homers with 11 steals, but paired it with a .265 average. He will not get a single MVP vote.

Grade: D

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Dynasty Dynamics: Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen and Others

Everyone knows the old adage that you can never have too much starting pitching, but sometimes it can be a little frustrating for fantasy owners when a team actually puts this to the test. Just ask anyone who’s still holding onto Drew Smyly or Tony Cingrani (at least until this most recent injury to Johnny Cueto). And in Atlanta, the Braves are shaping up to have six perfectly good options for a rotation that only holds five people, unless they do something stupid like a six-man rotation. So let’s take a quick look at the pitchers most affected by this. Since there’s about a zero percent chance of Mike Minor, Tim Hudson or Paul Maholm being pushed aside, we’re going to skip over them for now. And it’s really a shame as Hudson and Maholm have the lowest upside of any pitcher in their rotation for fantasy.

Brandon Beachy

The return of the Braves best starter during the first two months of the 2012 season is the impetus for the number crunch among their starting pitchers. But even though Beachy had a 2.00 ERA in 81 innings last year, he was actually significantly worse in 2012 than 2011 from an underlying skills perspective. In fact, Beachy had an xFIP nearly a run higher in 2012 (4.14 vs 3.16). At this point, it’s difficult to tell which the “real” Beachy is, but it’s not really necessary. Even if he’s the 2012 version who regresses to his underlying numbers, that’s still a plenty valuable pitcher for fantasy.

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