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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Post-Hype Prospect Alert: Nick Castellanos

Ah, post-hype prospects: one of the best opportunities for dynasty owners to get a leg up on their competition. You know these guys, they often come to the big leagues too soon and take a few years to get accustomed to Major League pitching. After two or three of those so-so years, owners in search of The Next Big Thing in dynasty leagues often leave behind top prospects. Nick Castellanos definitely falls in that bucket. Despite being just five months older than Maikel Franco and two months younger than uber-prospect Kris Bryant, Castellanos came into the year having been all but written off in many dynasty leagues. Even in redraft leagues, owners weren’t expecting much growth, as he was getting drafted as the 20th third baseman off the board according to NFBC’s ADP.

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Building a Balanced Team: Conclusion

Over the last several weeks, we have identified catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, and outfielders who have the potential to contribute to three or more hitting categories. Today, we’ll compare our evaluations of each position to determine relative values and scarcity. 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).

After calculating the baseline for each category and year, I tallied the number of players who met three or more category thresholds as a measure of positional scarcity. I then calculated the average for each category and position over the 11-year period to reduce the noise and determine the baselines we will use to identify multi-category contributors in our draft.  Once the 11-year baselines were calculated, I converted the ratios back to counting stats based on 600 plate appearances (450 for catchers) so that we could easily compare each position. Finally, since not all positions will produce the same value, I calculated the composite z-score for each, which reflects the sum of standard deviations each position falls above or below each of the categorical averages over the 11-year period. Since most five-category players are properly valued in drafts and dynasty leagues, this value will help us prioritize the positions we should target when attempting to build a balanced roster.

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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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Why Kyle Schwarber should give up Catching

If the season were to end today the Chicago Cubs would be heading to the playoffs for a wildcard showdown with their division rival Pittsburgh Pirates.  As it stands right now the Cubs own the fourth best record in the National League at 35-29 and boast a +16 run differential.  The Cubs are not a pretender they are in fact a good team and one that should keep any club that has to face them in the playoffs up at night.  Recently another one of their stud prospects Kyle Schwarber made his way up to the big league club and is in the midst of a six-game audition.  With a home run, triple, four-singles, five runs, and four RBI in just 10 at-bats I think they should change his position and keep him up.

In baseball it has been proven time and time again that it is in your best interest to be strong defensively especially up the middle.  Sacrificing offense at catcher, shortstop, and center field in favor of a stellar glove has been happening for about 100 years now and with good results.  As we have begun to realize the catcher position may actually be the most important of all from a defensive standpoint since they are required to call the game and frame the pitches which makes them for all intents and purposes the on the field leader in preventing opposing offenses from scoring.

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Keep An Eye on Drew Robinson

Three of the game’s most feared sluggers are from Las Vegas. The astonishing Kris Bryant, the otherworldly Bryce Harper, and the future of the Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo. These ball mashers are well-known in the baseball world. These baseball monsters playing their way into sports section headlines. These guys are can’t-miss fantasy assets.

Drew Robinson is also from the City of Casino. But unlike the aforementioned three, he is not a heralded young star nor he is an owner of tantalizing 80 raw power. Unlike Gallo, his teammate with AA Frisco who took Greg Maddux’s daughter to prom, Robinson is from the darker, labor side of the city. Still, even though he is less appealing as a prospect, one can see a future big league regular in him.

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How to Value Yoan Moncada in a Dynasty League

On February 23rd, a mere four days ago, the Boston Red Sox struck what was to many an unexpected deal with the latest Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada for 31.5 million dollars.  It was known that the Red Sox would be in the running for Moncada but the need was simply not there in the same way as it was for the Yankees and Dodgers.  The Dodgers refused to sign him until after July 2nd but were reportedly willing to go as high as 35 million and the Yankees felt anything past 27 million was too rich for their blood.

In getting Moncada the Red Sox keep him from a division rival and in my opinion this move vaults their farm system which was lacking impact talent at the top into the top three in all of baseball.  The Yankees roster on the other hand continues to get older as their last four major free agent hitter signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Headley have all been over 30 years old at the time of signing.  The path to playing time would have been clearer had he ended up elsewhere but he is still worth chasing in all dynasty leagues.

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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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Prospect Perspective: Nolan Arenado and Nick Castellanos are Still Elite Prospects

When a young player has been in the major leagues for awhile it seems like they are older than they really are. It is uncommon for a player to break into the major leagues at the age of 20 or 21 but it does happen. There are usually a couple players who do it each year. Oftentimes those players struggle quite a bit their first year or two in the majors, Mike Trout being the exception that proves the rule. Guys like Nolan Arenado, Nick Castellanos, Manny Machado, and even Yasiel Puig and Freddie Freeman are much younger than people think they are. It is easy to forget that these guys are still younger than many or most top prospects. Many baseball fans and fantasy team owners fall into the trap of believing that a player who has been in the majors for awhile “is who he is” and fail to consider the context of the player’s situation. The reality is that all of the players on the list below are still kids who are a long way from reaching their peak performance. You can expect significant performance increases from every player on this list over the next several years, even the ones who are already stars.

The definition of a prospect as defined by the baseball scouting industry is a hitter who has not reached 130 ABs or a pitcher who has not yet thrown 50 innings in the major leagues, but that definition is misleading. That may be the cut-off for Rookie of the Year eligibility, but a 22 year old doesn’t cease being a prospect just because he has seen a modicum of major league time. Continue reading