Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (5) | 2013 (9) | 2012 (17) | 2011 (26) | 2010 (30)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [70-92] AL West
AAA: [74-70] Pacific Coast League – Oklahoma City (2015: Fresno)
AA: [67-73] Texas League – Corpus Christi
A+: [78-62] California League – Lancaster
A: [70-69] Midwest League – Quad Cities
A(ss): [48-28] New York-Penn League – Tri-City

Graduated Prospects
George Springer, OF | Jon Singleton, 1B | Jake Marisnick, OF (from Marlins) | Collin McHugh, RHP

The Gist
This is a fun system for fantasy prospects and reminds me of the Rangers’ farm with a stud building block, toolsy outfielders, and a couple of nice arms to round things out. The Astros have talented young players surfacing on the major league team as well, with George Springer entering his sophomore season and Jake Marisnick in the mix for an outfield gig. I like Marisnick as a sleeper this year, as he’s always had that 20/20 type of profile and now finds himself in a better park for hitting. Jon Singleton needs some polish after hitting just .168 in his rookie year, but I’m still buying the 23-year-old in dynasties thanks to his power potential. Mike Foltynewicz and Rio Ruiz would have both been towards the top half of this list prior to being traded to Atlanta.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Carlos Correa, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
293 50 81 16 6 6 57 12.3% 15.4% 20 4 .325 .416 .510

Correa sits in the top ten overall of nearly every prospect list and with good reason. A broken fibula sidelined him in 2014, but he was hitting his way into a Double-A promotion prior to that. Double-A is likely where he’ll start 2015, and a September call-up to the big leagues is a possibility. Early 2016 is when we’re most likely going to see him stick in the majors though, at which point he’ll still be just 21 years old. Correa is a candidate to move off of shortstop to third, but his bat will play at either position. He’s a potential All-Star capable of .290+ averages and ~25 homers.

2. Brett Phillips, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
571 87 153 29 14 17 68 8.8% 16.8% 23 14 .310 .375 .529

Phillips is a center fielder with 20/20 upside who led the Midwest League in slugging percentage in 2014. He hadn’t displayed that type of power previously (zero homers prior to 2014), so it will be interesting to see if it continues to show up against the more advanced Double-A arms later this year. I’d expect him to put up some nice stats in the Cal League to start the season, which would probably be the wrong time to buy some shares in dynasty leagues.

3. Derek Fisher, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
176 31 48 5 3 2 18 9.7% 19.9% 17 4 .310 .386 .419

Fisher could become the power/speed combo outfielder that we love in fantasy. He broke his hamate prior to the 2014 draft and the Astros scooped him up at 37th overall, but he should go higher than that in dynasty first-year player drafts this year. All the tools are there to be a 20/20 outfielder, so it’s a matter of how they’ll play in games. The 21-year-old could see High-A Lancaster at some point this season which will likely give his offense a boost.

4. Mark Appel, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
3 7 6.91 19 18 0 83.1 109 68 64 11 2.6 8.4 .313

Appel was the 1.1 darling of the 2013 draft, but got shelled at High-A Lancaster to start the 2014 season. He fared much better at Corpus Christi in his final seven games – posting a 3.69 ERA (3.07 FIP) with 38 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched. He also only gave up two homers there, as opposed to the nine he gave up in the Cal League. It’s important to note that Appel had some mechanical tweaks to make and Lancaster is a launching pad in one of the most hitting-friendly leagues in baseball, so take the early season struggle with a grain of salt or Mrs. Dash or whatever it is you put on your freedom fries.

5. Vincent Velasquez, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
7 5 3.53 18 13 0 63.2 50 26 25 6 3.5 12.9 .216

While Appel pushes into #2 starter territory, Velasquez sits comfortably with #3 starter upside and shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s got Tommy John on the books already and missed some time this past year with a groin issue, so his development has been slowed a bit. But he’s got two plus pitches in his fastball/changeup and he survived a 55 inning stint at High-A Lancaster. Despite the missed time,  Velasquez could see the majors quickly thanks to above average command of his fastball. If he stays healthy, he could join Appel in the rotation at some point in 2016.

6. Teoscar Hernandez, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
553 84 142 37 9 21 85 9.2% 27.5% 33 9 .292 .362 .535

After a 23-game stay at Double-A in 2014, Hernandez will head back there to start this year. There’s some nice potential here for a power/speed combo, but there are also some contact issues with the near 28% strikeout rate. File him under “toolsy outfielder who needs some more polish”. There’s a decent gap between his ceiling and floor, as he could turn out to be a 15-homer/20+ steal guy just as easily as a fourth outfielder. Keep an eye on him this year as he gets another run at advanced Double-A pitching.

7. Colin Moran, 3B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
515 46 140 27 0 7 55 7.2% 14.8% 1 3 .296 .344 .397

Moran came to Houston in the Cosart trade with Miami and although his tools grade as just average across the board, that will still hold value in deeper formats. His arrival may have given the Astros the flexibility to move fellow third base prospect Rio Ruiz to Atlanta in the Evan Gattis deal, and there really isn’t much standing between the 22-year-old and the third base gig in 2016. He hit well in a 28-game stint at Corpus Christi but there are still questions about how much power he’ll get to in games. The big complaint in reports seems to be his makeup, which I don’t put too much stock into when selecting fantasy prospects.

8. Domingo Santana, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
513 63 131 27 2 16 81 12.5% 29.0% 6 4 .296 .384 .474

The good – Santana has plus power and profiles as a right fielder who could run into 25+ homers. The bad – his strikeout rate has kissed 29% in the minors in each of the past four years. The ugly – in an 18 plate appearance cup of coffee in the majors last year he struck out 14 times. Obviously the 22-year-old could use some more polishing in Triple-A to start 2015, but could also become an outfield option in Houston later this season. My Phils traded him to the Astros, so you just know he’s gonna blow up big time.

9. A.J. Reed, 1B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
285 43 72 20 1 12 54 10.5% 18.9% 2 0 .289 .375 .522

Reed has plus raw power with a patient approach and a solid hit tool. Like Davis, he’s spent time on the mound, but the Astros will develop his left-handed bat instead. Like other first base prospects, Reed’s bat will have to carry him to the majors, but he got off to a good start with 12 dingers in his first 285 pro plate appearances. The Astros selected Reed 42nd overall in the 2014 draft, but he should go higher than that in dynasty league first-year player drafts thanks to his offensive potential.

10. J.D. Davis, CI | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
302 38 78 16 1 13 52 9.3% 21.9% 5 0 .293 .371 .508

The Astros selected Davis 75th overall in the 2014 draft and his plus raw power brings him into the ranks of this fantasy list. It’s hard to say which corner he’ll end up playing, but right now he’s a third baseman who could eventually move to first. He’s a below average runner and there might not be enough contact to get to all of the power in games, but the 21-year-old put up solid numbers between the New York-Penn and Midwest Leagues in his pro debut. He has some experience on the mound, so if the bat fails he can become another reliever for us all to ignore.

Astros Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL T10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    You think Moran is early 2015, mid or late?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d guess late

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Thanks!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem!

  2. Mark says:
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    This is a good list. Got Reed at pick 65 in my league for some reason. How far away was tony kemp? Seems he can get on base, steal and hit just not a ton of upside and is blocked.

    Thanks Mike as always for studly work

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks! Seems like a good get on Reed there…

      You pretty much summed up Kemp…maybe top 15, def. top 20 though. With other options at both his positions he’s more a utility type I’d say.

  3. Swfcdan says:
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    FINALLY getting to the better farms for fantasy purpoises! :)

    Guessing you are doing them in reverse order going by rankings. Can you tell me when the Red Sox and Cubbies farms are coming out?

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Correa is the stand out sexy name here and I agree this guy could be really exciting, young A-Rod comps have been thrown out about this guy. Could you see him starting his career playing short for a few years (ala A-Rod) and do you think the speed will play in terms of 15+ steals? He looks like a tremendous athlete.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        10-15 steals could be doable, but you’re paying more for the power and average in his case. Yeah, moving off of short after a couple years makes sense. No reason he can’t start out there.

        • Swfcdan says:
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          @Mike: What do you make of Singey this year (Jon Singleton). Got him late in a 16 team draft this offseason, OBP league so thought he could provide some nice value if he bounces back. Could a Chris Carter type year be a possibility?

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            possibly…probably not this year, but there’s 30-homer power in his bat and it’s not a bad pick

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      There are four left and I think it goes Cubs, Sox, Twins, Pirates

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        sorry…it’s Cubs, Twins, Sox, Pirates

  4. Nick says:
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    Mike,

    Appreciate you doing all this work. I’m not a huge prospect guy, strongly prefer the security of big leaguers, but I do get suckered into the allure from time to time. I’m in a dynasty league that just started, and I took Urias in the minors draft. It’s a head to head points league, so pitchers are more valuable. Another owner wants him, and is willing to trade picks in the majors draft, which is what I want. He offered his 6th for Urias and my 8th. It’s a 10 team league. I said no because I thought I could get more. What’s your take on Urias? I don’t see a lot of point in trading him unless I can get a great deal. What kind of pick swap would make sense to you?

  5. MB says:
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    So would you hold back on drafting JD Davis in dynasty — over guys like TiQuan forbes, drew ward, taylor sparks– in case he does become a pitcher or do you just grab him because he may be able to hit and stay at 3B?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d probably just grab him and not worry about the pitching thing. It’s more of a fallback option. Personally, I might take Forbes over him though.

  6. mauledbypandas says:
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    “so take the early season struggle with a grain of salt or Mrs. Dash or whatever it is you put on your freedom fries.”

    Brilliant!

    Stros’ system sure does look stacked but I just don’t trust them to develop them for some reason. Correa is a beast in the making however.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha thanks!

      yup, some question marks after Correa for sure

  7. Jake from State Farm says:
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    Good stuff as always . Thanks Mike. Your pretty high on reed. He sounds like a nice grab. Where would you rank him compared to this years draft class plus international signees? Also quick trade question. Would you trade Tim Anderson for Wilmer Flores. I like Anderson a lot but I could stash Flores in my minors as insurance for Reyes this year. Do you think Flores will stick?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like Flores, but I probably wouldn’t trade Anderson for him.

      Reed I could see in the late 30s/early 40s among all the new signees.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        for reference, he went 36 in my 30-teamer and 99th in my 20-teamer (but with major leaguers and unowned prospects mixed in that draft)

  8. DobleHeaders says:
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    Taking into consideration whether a pitcher has had their TJ yet………becoming a relevant point after losing Harvey, Moore, Corbin, and Wheeler the last 2 years. Thanks for all of your analysis, Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime…thanks for reading!

  9. Bobby says:
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    Would you trade Sale and Abreu for Kershaw in a keeper league?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no, I’d want the Sale side

  10. Jimmy says:
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    Astros world series, baby

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      let’s do it!

  11. Serious Short Eyes says:
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    Since you’re looking at the Astros prospects here, what do you think about Wojo (Asher Wojciechowski)? It looks as though he’ll make the rotation–and, frankly (brucely), he seemed a more interesting replacement for Wheeler than Collmenter or Alfredo Simon…for whatever “interesting” is worth.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      If your league is deep enough that those are your three best options, I’d take a flyer on Wojo, sure.

  12. Alan says:
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    How close are doolittle and giles for you in dynasty? I own doolittle and can get giles for doolittle and a late 2nd rd pick next year’s draft. All in, i mean all in, for this year.

    Thanks man

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t really know what to expect from Doolittle this year, so I’d take Giles.

  13. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Thanks for all your hard work Mike. ESPN 5X5, 6 man keeper (keep forever), head to head; I’ve got a solid top 5 in Stanton, Cutch, Goldy, Rizzo, Arenado. With my 6th keeper I am going to roll the dice with Kris Bryant. We do have a utility spot (start any bat any position) but still leaves me with two 1b and two 3b (unless Bryant starts playing OF). Would you trade Goldy for Puig? I realize Goldy is higher ranked, but getting Puig would give me a little more roster flexibility. Puig is the top guy I could get; owners of the other top ranked guys won’t move them. Thoughts?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I’d stick with Goldy

  14. Thanks, Mike, for more essential reading.
    I’m sweating cannonballs over this one: In a keeper, I’ve been offered:

    (his) George Springer & Kolten Wong for (my) Addison Russell & Anthony Rendon.

    I’ve got a hole in the outfield that Springer could fill (and here’s hoping he becomes a .260 hitter) and I still have Todd Frazier at 3rd so I guess Rendon isn’t essential…but doesn’t Rendon have an MVP trophy in his future?

    And Addison Russell is one of my favorite prospects…but then Kolten Wong is one of my favorite major leaguers….

    Is there an easy answer? Thanks for any insight.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime. There’s no easy answer but I’d take the Rendon / Russell side

  15. goodfold2 says:
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    seriously, there’s both a jd and dj davis, and we are back into a system in which not one of these guys are available. reed and fisher both went 1st round in my 30 man league.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha, yeah it all starts to run together

  16. Mordacious Levator says:
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    that same 20 man league with 5 NA slots and 4 total bench slots, no more than 12-13 pitchers total. First thing, many owners in this league not in line with “competitive”, at least when it comes to prospects. Moncada was drafted 25th overall (meaning i could’ve had him with my 18th overall 1st round pick, had i not elected to keep 25 players predraft, banking on a guy that highly ranked being gone in first 7 picks for sure. Rodon simply wasn’t drafted, and 1 of the 2 teams ahead of me in waivers post draft grabbed him to. So when i grabbed both a-jax (the new one), and tapia i put out feelers for c.frazier (but literally heard nothing back. Meanwhile, somebody dropped Franco, so i jumped on him. now with this roster
    C -Zunino
    1B – Fielder
    2B -Gyorko
    SS – Andrus
    3B – Beltre
    LF – Choo
    CF – Ozuna
    RF – Stanton
    Util – Rios
    BN – Kennys/Franco/Leonys
    NA – Gallo/A-Jax/Tapia
    DL – Profar
    SP – Liriano/Quintana/D.Holland/Hammel/Greene
    BN -Darvish (still waiting on DL)
    RP – K-Rob/Melancon/Giles/Walden/Diekman/Fien/Cook
    NA – Urias/Bradley

    should i
    1. keep franco in active slot and stream the last slot when darvish gets hurt (both for SP and backup hitter when zunino/andrus/beltre/gyorko have off days)
    2. throw away a-jax and NA stash franco and have 2 slots to stream SP, or grab a 6th SP with intent to keep (c.anderson/house)
    3. keep a-jax over franco (since i also have gallo, maybe don’t need 2 top 20 prospects that are both 3B), stream one spot for hitting and grab 6th SP with intent to keep (or stream)
    we have a 35 innings per week min, so having 6 SP a decent amount of the time (even if one of them is only a streamer) is usually imperative.

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Mordacious Levator: also have medlen/s.simmons/chatwood in DL spots.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d do option 2

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @Mike: interesting, so just keep best ranked player, regardless of my roster’s strength’s (i.e. gallo). there will be good OF’ers out there, with frazier/a-jax and whenever yahoo gets around to it mazara/brinson and mcmahon/devers also. I just noticed, you do have franco higher than a-jax by a larger margin that i thought it was (16 spots on top 50 prospects list).

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yup, just take the best players. Gallo won’t be ready as quickly as Franco and there’s always the chance Maikel slides over to 1B as well

          • Mordacious Levator says:
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            @Mike: looked at BA’s top 100 with tools listed list (was trying to see about an offer i got of my walden/s.simmons for dahl/alfaro), and noticed they have A-Jax a bit higher than Franco (for fantasy stats and overall) with his hit/power/speed at 60/70/40 vs Franco’s 45/60/40. I’m guessing you just flat out don’t agree with these ratings in hit/power, as you have franco 16 spots higher and they have him 36 spots lower (56 to 20)? I probably have no interest in that deal either, as i simply have too many better people than alfaro for him to have any value to me.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              See I like the deal getting you Dahl and Alfaro.

              Yeah, I honestly don’t understand why Franco isn’t higher on some of these lists. He’s close, hits for power and he’s in a good park for what he does best. I love Jackson, but he’s a good two years further away.

            • Mordacious Levator says:
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              @Mordacious Levator: i’ve since compared to what BP thinks about a-jax/franco relative to the other guys. They still have alfaro high due to defense (shallow position yada yada), but a-jax and franco are both after 66th overall 68 and 96 repectively), much lower than dahl/tapia (they like him more than everybody except you). Of course they slot marco gonzales in and not even mention carmart (i doubt he’s hit enough innings to not qualify here)

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                Yeah, Martinez burned his eligibility last year with 89 innings. 96 for Franco is low IMO. I’m not just being a Philly homer I swear!

                • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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                  @Mike: so you know, the reason i don’t like alfaro, is that i already have urias/bradley/tapia/a-jax/gallo, and am waiting on franco’s NAing, when i’ll drop a-jax, per your idea. I’m assuming i’d stick with those 5 over alfaro. Dahl would crack those, but i’d be dropping tapia AND A-Jax even to do that.

                  • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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                    @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: actually, according to your rankings i’d have to drop bradley to slot in dahl, so i’d have tapia/dahl/gallo/urias/franco, but i think i want 2 pitchers and the rest hitters, as long as i have 2 top end type pitchers like bradley/urias.

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Makes sense…it’s a nasty five either way

                  • Mike

                    Mike says:
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                    Gotcha…there sure are a lot of good specs available there. I have Dahl and Franco best of that group

  17. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    12 team roto 3 keepers (we might be going to 4 tonight, with draft tomorrow, i don’t know why, not that i mind when you see the options), with net steals/ OPS/ XBH/net steals/ K’s for hitters and holds/ OBPA/ losses/ K to BB/ QS for pitchers. we start 5 OF. 1 extra IF.
    I already have Trout/McCutchen/Altuve and can add one more from Harper/Dickerson/Soler/Springer/Arrieta/Kluber/Carrasco. yes, this is my best team anywhere, last year (opening year) we drafted each division one at a time, 5 rounds in a row, and i was clearly first in NL WEST/ NL Central/ AL West, and last in the others. still got Altuve at end of 2nd round. We were gonna draft like that again, but we got like 4 or 5 new owners and some are confused as to drafting this way (it was done on a chat board of course), so we’ll do normal snake draft this time (i like the other way, people other than me that don’t have good ranking lists clearly are behind me strategically, it’s not like there’s a site format showing you who’s best ranked)

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: nevermind, i checked your 100 keepers list, wow, harper’s 3rd.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Yup, go with Harper

  18. Marley says:
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    Hey Mike, I’m in a 12 tm dynasty lge. Keep 25 of 36 players. An owner is really after Odor. He’s upped his offer to dee gordon and Paxton and will prolly throw in a draft pick as well. I’m jus really not trying to move the 21 yr old Odor. Am I crazy to not do this? I could copy and paste my roster if that helps. You’ve seen it before but 99% positive u wouldn’t be able to remember that!! Lol

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      you’re not crazy. If you like him keep him :)

  19. S>H says:
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    Mike in a head to head forever keeper league who gets the better of the deall Hunter Harvey and Forest Wall for JP Crawford and R.Devers.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Crawford side

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