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: 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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A Ray of Sunshine in Philadelphia: Aaron Nola

Life hasn’t been easy for Philadelphia Phillies fans this year as they have seen their team lay claim to the worst record in baseball at 26-48.  This terrible season has been backed up by a run differential of -122 essentially stating, “Yes they do deserve to be this bad”.  All is not lost though as we have seen a great rookie campaign from former top prospect Maikel Franco and current top prospect J.P. Crawford has been excellent for the Reading Fightin’ Phils.  Without a doubt though the most impressive player in the Phillies organization has been last year’s 1st round selection Aaron Nola.

When the Phillies selected Aaron Nola 7th overall in 2014 I was one of the first people to criticize the pick.  I thought that it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for a team that was so far away from competing to select a quick rising college pitcher out of LSU when they could have taken a higher ceiling less polished arm like the injured righty Jeff Hoffman or three sport stud lefty Sean Newcomb.  Let’s just say that after watching Nola perform this season I have changed my tune.

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Finding Fantasy Value: 2015 MLB Draft Shortstops

Every year the MLB Draft happens always with little fanfare in comparison to its contemporaries the NFL and NBA.   There is no month long hype train on major outlets and rather than have the first round picks stats barrage you nonstop until draft day, a la Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, you actually have to search for the stats and vitals of first round baseball players.  While the MLB Network has done a good job pushing the draft more than ever before we often still don’t know what to make of some of these players and how relevant they may be down the road for fantasy.

With Harold Reynolds throwing hall-of-fame comps on every first round pick (I personally heard Tony Gwynn and Don Mattingly before putting the TV on mute) it can be even more muddied as to what we should realistically expect.  The aim for this article is to break down all seven shortstops that went in the top 30 picks and let you know whether they hold fantasy value.  I will be using a five tier scale of value with the options being none, low, moderate, high, and extreme.  Hopefully this makes planning for your personal fantasy team a bit easier without having to do all the digging.

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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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Riding the Prospect Rankings: Three to Sell

Prospect Ranking season kicked off last week when Baseball America released their Top 10 Red Sox prospects and today when Baseball Prospectus released their Phillies Top 10.  With ranking season dynasty players everywhere now have an objective numbering system to use in their trades.  The key as always is to anticipate and navigate the rankings process to achieve that holy grail of fantasy, the perfect buy low and sell high.  To this point only a handful of team rankings have been released so it is the opportunity to sell stock of a player whose value is falling, but it is also time to stock up on some players who may see their stock soar in the next few months.

A year ago the top player to ride the rankings on was Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.  He was coming off a year where he hit .320/.356/.569 across hi-A and AA, including 31 home runs.  He seemed like the perfect fantasy player with a high average, big time power, at a relatively weak position, and on a team with a gaping hole in the lineup.  Over the offseason his stock rose as fantasy players shook off the negatives because they related to his on base percentage and defense.  The hype reached an all-time high when Baseball America ranked him the #17 prospect in baseball.  With conventional wisdom saying that he was a better fantasy player than real life player some people believed he was one of the top fantasy prospects in the game and that he would arrive with impact in 2015.  It was the perfect time to move against the grain.  It turns out Franco wasn’t ready and he struggled in AAA as he worked through some of his approach and pitch recognition issues, before having an unspectacular major league debut in September.  The end result is that Franco is not a bad prospect set to fail, but rather the hype came too early and too strong based on ignoring the development still required.

The goal then is to find the next Franco, players whose hype is going to outpace reality.  Some keys we are looking for include red flags for adjustment periods both in the majors or at a new minor league level.  Here are three prospects who are very good prospects, but you may want to sell high this offseason if their hype reaches critical levels.

Michael Taylor – CF – Washington Nationals

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#TDGX Transaction Report: Lots of Non-Elite Prospects on the Move

You’ve been following TDGX. You love TDGX. We all love TDGX.  And every week here at The Dynasty Guru, I am going to be bringing you commentary from our flagship experts’ league, directly from the participants themselves.

The goal here is to give you insight into the moves made by our group of experts so that you can use this information the next time you need to make a trade or prominent FA move in your league. So let’s not mess around with too much longer of an introduction. We’re going to break this up into three sections: trades, major league additions, minor league additions.

TRADES

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau trade Stephen Piscotty and Luis Severino to Mike Newman for Dexter Fowler (7/27)

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Prospect Smackdown: Garin Cecchini vs Maikel Franco

In last week’s Prospect Smackdown, we examined two second base prospects with awesome names and varying skill sets.  Voters decided that they preferred Rougned Odor to Arismendy Alcantara, by a margin of 54 to 46 percent.

This week, we take a look at two hot corner fantasy prospects with questionable defensive futures, incomplete games, but serious fantasy potential.

Prospect Smackdown No. 9: Garin Cecchini vs. Maikel Franco

The Case for Cecchini

Quite simply, the case for Cecchini begins with his hit tool. Widely regarded as a plus tool, we’re at the point where we as a community need to begin regarding it as a plus-plus tool instead. When I’ve seen Cecchini, he’s taken a short, direct path to the ball, looked comfortable tracking offspeed pitches and hit the ball hard on a line, despite not generating a lot of loft with his swing. To me, Cecchini is a future perennial .290-plus hitter, fully capable of using the whole field and also able to turn on inside pitches when need be. He’s dominated at every stop in the minors, routinely posting OBPs north of .400 and walking in over 15 percent of his PA. While speed won’t be a major part of his game, Cecchini is also an incredibly savvy base runner who could challenge for 10 swipes a year in the majors despite average speed. Continue reading