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There’s always a handful of player every season that are past their “rookie limits”, but they’re still kind of prospects. For many dynasty leaguers, like myself, these players are of keen interest. If you’re in a league where no minor leaguers past their limits can be stashed in minor league roster spots, then these guys are almost droppable. You watch the spring training box scores, scouting reports, and tweets, praying for news of a starting job. You don’t care if it takes injuries, suspensions, or jail time to the players ahead on the depth chart. If they don’t make the club out of spring then they’re burning a hole on your bench. What other option do you have besides dropping or holding? Might be the worst case scenario depending upon your league size, and setup regarding salary. Players like this can really put you in a pickle, and there’s a few hanging around this spring that could get you caught between first and second. Don’t get caught, get caught up, and hold or sell before it’s too late.

 

Joey Gallo, 3B Rangers: In my dreams I often envision a future where Adrian Beltre is retired and Joey Gallo slugs 30+ homers a year for the Arlington 9. The stirkeouts are still a problem, so he’s more than likely never going to be a great points league player. The power however is very real. Moonshots will be the norm once he sees 400+ at bats a season, particularly in a place like Arlington. He’s continued to do what he does best this spring; slug homers, strikeout, and make you wonder if he makes the team. I have a different dream where the Rockies trade for Gallo and make him their first baseman. **John Lennon Voice** Imagine all the homers!!!

Cody Reed, LHP Reds: It was tough sledding the first go through the majors for the talented young lefty. Homers, walks, and bad breaks ballooned his ERA to an insane 7.36. Fast forward to March, and he’s had up and down starts this spring, but is still 100% in play for a starting gig. If he fails to make the rotation he’ll for sure find a role in the pen, but that limits his value in a whole bunch of leagues. He does have the K upside to be an elite reliever though. Hey, I just described every pitcher on the Reds roster! I’ve always been a Reed believer, and I pray he gets a real shot this season.

Dilson Herrera, 2B Reds: Why do the Reds have so many of these guys? Limited to DH duties so far in the spring, Herrera was assigned to minor league camp this week. For now Herrera will start the season in AAA, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, we all saw the Peraza on the wall. There’s a lot of questions as to whether Herrera was all hype in the Mets system, or if there’s a legit player there.

A.J. Reed, 1B Astros: Of course now Reed chooses to breakout. After the Astros go out and sign Yuli Gurriel to play his position, after they sign a couple more bats, and load up their squad. Of course it’s now. I’m sorry Reedlievers, Reed’s not getting a starting gig no matter how well he plays. We’ll need a Alex Guerrero type performance from Gurriel, or a bad injury. That said, it’s good to see Reed pushing for playing time after the 2016 debacle. The power is still there, and he’s only a year removed from being Andrew Benintendi hyped, right?

Blake Swihart, C/OF Red Sox: He’s making a case for a roster spot with the bat, but more than likely will be the odd man out, as he’s the only Boston catcher with minor league options. He was once compared to Buster Posey, and it wasn’t that many years ago. Injuries, and some growing pains ensued, now he’s a sleeper. Swihart went really early in The Dynasty Guru 99 Draft and Hold I’m in, so he obviously has his believers (Swilevers?). He’s one I’d hold onto, just in case on the off chance he’s a stud.

Jake Thompson, RHP Phillies: Looks like the odd man out in the Phillies rotation. Had a fluke injury on a fall this offseason, which delayed his start. Not a high ceiling player, because the K’s will always be low, but he might be a solid quality start option with good ratios. Should make an impact at some point late this season.

Mallex Smith, OF Rays: I loved the trade to Tampa, looks like he’ll finally get an opportunity for some real at bats. I know the Rays love their platoons, and such, but Smith looks to have the type of high-end talent that could earn him an everyday gig. He has elite speed, solid contact ability, and more pop than you think. He can make some magical plays in the outfield, though they are often followed by some unfocused ones. Has the type of dynamic top of the order skillset that makes me go gaga.

Austin Hedges, C Padres: Looks to be the everyday catcher for the Friars, now that he’s returned from an injury earlier this spring. A very solid hit tool, with surprising power could make Hedges an overnight sensation if he hits. Or if he dates Twista. Might be the sleeper catcher we should be drafting now that Tom Murphy is walking amongst the undead.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb

   
  1. Fausto

    FaustoCarmona says:
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    which 2 of these are you keeping roto no salaries?
    Lester
    Salazar
    Hendricks
    Britton
    Osuna

    im leaning Britton/Osuna and just fill in SP’s.

    thanks

  2. Baggiejohn says:
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    Hey, Ralph. Just watching you prospect talking on Nickel Press TV. Good to put a face and voice to a name. This is my favourite time of the Season – still got 4 Drafts to do and none of my teams suck yet!

    Thanks to all the great advice – hope you have a good year

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Baggiejohn: Thanks a lot for checking out all my endeavors! We actually moved the show over to Fantrax this week. I had a lull this week, only one draft last Tuesday but the next week I get nutty again.

  3. Randy says:
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    Great stuff Ralph, this stuff helps out a ton!

    My question is in a keeper format where you keep 3 players next year at the round you draft them this year, so who has the best chance to be anywhere from a top 20 to a top 75 player entering 2018?? I am leaning towards Bellinger, Senzel, Moncada, Hader, Brinson, and Berrios. Thoughts? Thank you!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Randy: Yeah Benintendi too, Austin Meadows, and Glasnow if he figures out how to throw strikes.

  4. David says:
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    Good stuff Ralph. 14 team 5×5 roto. Which do you think is the better value, Kluber as a 7th rounder or Salazar as a 21st? Three keepers and the other 2 are Goldy as a 1st and Villar as a 15th. Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: I’d go with Salazar in the 21st, and third of the price makes it a no brainer for me.

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Maybe another guy that fits here – would love to hear your prospector take on Byron Buxton this year! What sort of line do you expect from him?

    He was originally on my avoid, but he’s carrying a nice cool 16% K rate (compared to more than twice that last spring).

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Yeah, I figure Buxton is so locked in as a top 10 round player, there was no reason to go over him. I’m guardedly optimistic, we know the type of talent he possesses. It’s a matter of him putting it together and staying healthy.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: makes sense for sure. What are you bidding on him in 12 teamers?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Depends what the budget is, and what the leagues like in terms of other managers, values, minors setup, keepers etc.

  6. MP says:
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    Ralph – Love your stuff.

    AJ Reed has 122 career ABs making him still a rookie technically? Isnt the limit 130?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MP: He was on the active roster for over 45 consecutive days, he’s no longer rookie eligible.

  7. Tyree says:
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    Hey,

    Dynasty league trade.

    I Ann giving up Bennie Baseball, in return getting dansby Swanson and Giolitto. Would you make that deal?

    Thx!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tyree: It’s a fair deal, but I’d hold on Benintendi, unless I had a stacked OF and needed a SS. My concern is with Giolito, funny thing is a year ago you make that trade all day.

  8. DoubleHeaders says:
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    Hey Ralph, in my humble opinion, your work has been fantastic and thorough this year and it’s much appreciated. Razzballers, I know this is not cool but I’ve had to back out of my RCL draft today and tomorrow due to a family issue. If you’re looking to draft tomorrow at 2 CST or tonight at 5 CST, there should be an opening. Sorry to everyone about this! Have a great Sunday.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @DoubleHeaders: Give me the league ID and I’ll tweet it out. Good luck with the family stuff!

      • DoubleHeaders says:
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        Take on [email protected] is the league that drafts tomorrow and Sponge Worthy Anti Dentites is the league that drafts this evening. Sorry for the inconvinience and thanks.

  9. Miketron says:
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    Berrios? He is past his limits in many of my leagues. How do you think he fairs this year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: I’m really unsure of Berrios, but unlike most of these guys I think he makes the rotation. He’s been a completely different pitcher at the big league level. All his elite control, and weak contact induced just vanished. I’m not giving up though.

  10. Tweak says:
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    Great stuff Ralph. Possible diamonds in the rough here.

    I’m all over Reed, but I have to be since I paid for him going into last season in dynasty. I’ve got Brad Miller, Healy and Pujols to hold down the 1B fort until Reed figures it out. In case he doesn’t, I got Bellinger in our draft this year. As I continue this rebuild, it’s all about da youts with guys like Beni, Grichuk, Buxton and Kepler in my OF and guys like Frazier, Albies, Acuna and Senzel on the way. Thanks a bunch to you and Halp for the insight on those picks.

    Who of your list above do you think has the best chance at a bright future? Thompson is a good arm, but reminds me of Joe Musgrove (all control). Mallex looks a lot like the guy he was traded to ensure a roster spot for – Inciarte. Gallo in Colorado? Yes, please.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tweak: Nice, future is bright in that squad.

      Thompson might be the least interesting guy on the list, even Musgrove misses more bats.

      It’s probably Gallo if he figures it out. Smith, could be Inciarte, which may not be a bad thing. I think he can be a dynamic player in the right setup. Reed and Swihart can too.

  11. Martin Harris says:
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    10 team nl only roto auction $260 budget dynasty league value goes up $5 each year. Who would you rather have $23 yelich or $12 dahl

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Martin Harris: In dynasty at the price point I’d want Dahl, but the price on Yelich is justified if you’re looking to compete now.

  12. Geno says:
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    What’s your opinion on Max Kepler. H2H Dynasty I own Joc Pederson for 4 years and have an offer of Kepler, who’s signed for 3 years along with Kopech to put in a ML slot. Kopech I especially love and feel it’s a good offer but I’m not sure what Keplers upside is and worry about Joc having a big breakout.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Geno: I prefer Joc a little, but they are both potential breakout guys. Kepler’s hit tool is better than Joc’s, but Joc has more power, they might run the same, though Joc ran more in the minors.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    So, I see Jorge Alfaro come up on my War Room as a guy that will be drafted within the next 25 picks in my NFBC league, and I look at what you’ve said about him this offseason. You seem to be on an island of hate vs. the rest of the prospect world for Alfaro.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Grey: He hits sooooo many grounders. He had 15 homers and he played most of his games last year in Reading. I just don’t see how he produces enough to justify owning him in any redraft style. He was demoted last week too upon returning from the WBC. Is Swihart there? I assume Hedges is gone.

      Check out Alfaro’s batted ball. http://mlbfarm.com/player.php?player_id=595751

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Swihart and Hedges are gone…. Looks to me like a 15-17 HR, .250 hitter… That’s a top 15 catcher overall with everyday ABs, don’t need to do much at catcher… Have you see how good Yasmani Grandal looks? He’s garbage at any other position… In big picture, I agree, Alfaro doesn’t look like much, but at catcher…

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Grey: Grandal works counts and takes walks too. Alfaro has the same issues Franco and Nick Williams have they swing at everything. Wouldn’t a 15-17 homer guy hit 30 in Reading? Don’t disagree that his position helps.

          How about Austin Barnes? He’ll see more at bats and has approach, little speed too.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Not saying he is Grandal — no one is the great OBPwulf, but I meant for fantasy 17 HRs, .250 really isn’t that bad… Why will Barnes play?

            • Syllogism says:
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              @Grey:

              Is it my imagination, or do they tend to sit Grandal vs LHP. And Grandal seemed on the edge of fragile last year. I’m a Grandal fan, but I can see a case for grabbing Barnes. Also, Barnes plays 2B and OF. If he hits anything like he has in the minors, there’s probably utility ABs for him.

              I can’t answer for Ralphy-Boy, but that’s my take on it.

              I have Cervelli in my dynasty/keeper league. I’m hoping to grab Barnes.

  14. Slimbo says:
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    hey man

    in a deep league rebuild

    which 4 would you keep from this bunch?

    Contreras, Lamb, Baez, Jose peraza, Gurriel, Conforto, Margot, Profar, O Neil, Jp crawford, M Fulmer, Rodon, Espinoza

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Slimbo: Margot, Baez, O’Neill, Espinoza. If you kept Peraza or Crawford over any of them I’d be good with it.

  15. LenFuego says:
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    12 team 7 keeper 5×5 auction league.

    6 of my keepers are locked up. For the last keeper, please rank these keeper candidates in order:

    Marcus Semien $2
    Logan Forsythe $1
    Kyle Seager $17
    Jeff Samardzija $6

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @LenFuego: Seager, Forsythe, Semien, Shark.

  16. Another Dan says:
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    Valuable stuff again Ralph. In a couple of leagues where I have Murphy, I might be looking at Hedges.

    Reed and Gallo already on my watch list.

    In a keeper would you rather keep Kepler or Renfroe? Not competing this year, so essentially who would be the best player in a couple of years?

    Best wishes,

    Dan

  17. Fungazi says:
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    If you were starting a new keeper today, what pick would you take your boy Benintendi at?

    12 team standard cats + TB & BB

  18. GC says:
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    Any thoughts/intel on Domingo Acevedo?

  19. Surfer dude says:
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    Hi, h2h pts, need to drop 1 of these 3 in a limited keeper league: Kris Bryant, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Correa – thanks

  20. dom says:
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    what resource would you recommend for a 5×5 obp league rankings? the steamer auction values have Harper 2nd, are you drafting Harper second overall in 5×5 obp h2h?

  21. Syllogism says:
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    Hi Ralph.

    I’ve been a Grey-lurker so far, but I’m liking your stuff and I’m branchin’ out.

    – Dynasty league in its second year. This year we keep 24 and draft 6. Next year, keep more, draft fewer, until a few years down the pike, no draft.
    – 20 team, AL and NL, Yahoo eligibility.
    – weekly head-to-head, one point for winning a week
    – in_year FAAB of $100, 4 transaction limit per week, 60 limit for year
    – unlimited daily roster moves
    – Hitting: R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, XBH
    – Pitching: W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB
    – 12 hitters and 12 pitchers score per day
    – C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, LF, CF, RF, OF, Uti
    – SPx 5, RP,x 3, Px 4, BNx 6,(DL x4, NAx 4) (minimum 40 innings per week)

    While most “keeps” are obvious on my team, I need to cut eight of 32 (17 hitters, 15 pitchers). I list all players for team shape-context:
    – Hitters: Cabrera (Miggy), Bogaerts, Braun, Villar, Longoria, Eaton, Zobrist, Morales, Beltran, Castellanos, Cervelli**, Span**, Utley**, Saunders**, Chisenhall**, Reyes (Jose), Wendle**
    – Pitchers: Scherzer, JA Happ, Iwakuma, Fister**, Anibal Sanchez**, Vargas, Tyler Jay**, Raul Alcantara**, McCarthy**, Collmenter, Wade Davis, Oh, Hudson, Addison Reed, Ziegler

    ** The eleven players that I think are “on the bubble” players:
    – Cervelli, Span, Utley, Saunders, Chisenhall, Wendle, Fister, Sanchez, Jay, Alcantara, McCarthy

    Comments/Recommendations on which eight to punt?

    Roster freeze deadline day is March 22nd.

    Thanks.

  22. Nightpandas says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    I am looking for a couple of guys I can draft in my 15 team only keep 11 that I can use either as trade bait or may actually be useful this year. I can afford to carry a guy that may not play most of the year but nobody will likely grab 2018 +guys. Last year I drafted Mazara and that worked well. Looking at 2017 impact best available I show:

    Meadows, Margot, Renfroe, Rosario

    Also currently entering draft with all 10 picks in first 5 rounds and have no LF CF SS and am low on speed.

    • Nightpandas says:
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      @Nightpandas: should say OBP and not “only”

      • Nightpandas says:
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        @Nightpandas: Brinson and Frazier as well

  23. booya says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Which 2 would you want from this group?

    Nellie Rodriguez
    Joan Gregorio
    Chris Stratton
    Rafael Bautista
    Wilmer Difo

    Thanks!

  24. Landisimo3 says:
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    Hey Ralph! 12 team roto/dynasty … Just got offered His Josh Bell + Kipnis for My LeMahieu …. My team is a bit pitcher heavy … What’ya think? Thanks as always!

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