We’re more than halfway through the minor league previews, and this Nationals list was the first one I really had a hard time whittling down to fifteen names. It’s not that it’s packed with studs, it’s more that there’s lots of interesting upside. You’ve got your no brainers like Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner of course, but we also saw a big breakout with Victor Robles. There seems to be a focus on speed, toolsy outfielders with good defensive skills, and up-the-middle talent. It’s all good stuff for fantasy players, and since even your great-grandmother has heard of Giolito, I find the lower levels of this system to be a lot more interesting to talk about. Don’t believe me? She has a cross-stitching of his curveball grip. Stepping away from the farm, 2016 will be the sophomore campaign of Michael Taylor, whose power and speed will probably come cheap in drafts this year. He doesn’t have to rack up that many more hits to make his average palatable as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Hey, I managed to write the whole intro without mentioning Bryce Harper! D’oh!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Twins are a fun system to look at. They have the elite guys like Buxton and Berrios, but now we have the breakout Max Kepler and the international signee Byung-ho Park. Outside of the Aaron Hicks trade to New York, the Park signing was the biggest news of the Minnesota offseason. The Twins had some surprising success in 2015, thanks in part to the arrival of their young slugger Miguel Sano. 2016 will see even more prospect talent surface in Minnesota though, and things could gel together quickly. It’s probably do or die time for Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia, but there’s a lot of young talent to work with this year at Target Field.Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the great things about playing in a dynasty league is the active offseason. Since most of the players on a roster are kept, the draft is usually just a handful of rounds and consists of other teams’ trash and fresh signees. That means offseason trading can get pretty intense as owners attempt to improve their roster, whittle down their keepers, or accumulate higher draft picks. Razznasty has been no different, and there have been a ton of trades since our offseason opened in November. The league started last year. It’s a 16-team/keep 30 of 40 dynasty league made up exclusively of Razzball readers and writers. I won’t go into every trade in detail, but rather comment on a few of the bigger ones in this post. You can, however, view every trade made this offseason here.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indians have a balanced system with good bats, good arms, and fantasy upside at all levels. At the tippy top there’s Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier. Both should arrive in the next two years and the one you like better depends on whether you’re more of a speed freak or a power geek. You really can’t go wrong with either at this point. 2015 was the debut of Francisco Lindor, who exceeded expectations with his bat and was as advertised with his slick fielding at short. Given how hard it is to find offense at the position, it will be interesting to see how strongly fantasy players believe in his rookie year numbers and how high he’ll go in 2016 redrafts. I’m guessing pretty high. The Tribe had, in my humble opinion, a great 2015 draft and walked away with good players at great values. Their low minors is well stocked and it was honestly difficult to choose which players to profile down there.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I got you something for Chrimbus! It’s a jar of tartar sauce. Oh, you don’t like it? Then how about some Baltimore Orioles pitching prospects instead? That tartar sauce is looking a lot better now, you ungrateful reader. Pitching prospects break all the time, but the Orioles seem especially good at it. Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey still have a lot of upside, and of course they will still be perched atop most Orioles lists, but both will also need to prove healthy to regain their lost fantasy value. I own a share of Bundy myself, so I feel your pain out there. Harvey is just a big bowl of I don’t know. Get past those two risky arms, and there are two hitting prospects I like a lot…power lolita Jomar Reyes and 2015 breakout Trey Mancini. If you need more instant gratification, Baltimore is currently in the process of signing Korean import Hyun-soo Kim. Praise Rang! So while this system isn’t a treasure trove of impact fantasy talent, there’s at least enough here to pass the time while you wait in line to see Winter Man. Remember – keep your Chrimbus bush trimmed and wet for Winter Man and he’ll bring you that pasta bear you’ve had your eye on.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tampa Bay’s farm system isn’t the best on the block for shallow league players, but there are a bunch of interesting fantasy pieces here to sift through if you play in a deeper dynasty format. The biggest news from the 2015 season was the explosion of left hander Blake Snell. He earned all kinds of accolades with his performance and now he’s set up to join the rotation in 2016. The Rays have good pitching depth again this year, and they’ll get Alex Cobb back at some point as well. Outfielder Steven Souza was a trendy sleeper prospect in 2015, but injury and strikeouts limited his value in his rookie year. He could be a decent buy low in dynasty leagues since the power and speed that made him interesting in the first place are still there.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Diamondbacks have shipped out their most recent top picks, improving the MLB rotation but at the same time leaving the farm a little thin at the top. I would have definitely considered Dansby Swanson in the first tier, and Touki Toussaint would have been my top prospect among the more distant ETAs. What’s done is done, and there are still some solid if not elite pieces in this system. The shine wore off of Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley a bit, but they are still strong options and should contribute to the rotation shortly. Meanwhile Brandon Drury and Peter O’Brien could have some value with their bats. Cuban import Yasmany Tomas made his much anticipated debut in 2015, and while the 25-year-old did hit nine homers, fantasy owners would like to see more of his raw pop surface in his sophomore season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Even after the trade of Manuel Margot to the Padres, the Red Sox still feature three prospects with big fantasy potential – Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, and 2015 draftee Andrew Benintendi. Cuban import Rusney Castillo was an adventure last year, and I’d imagine dynasty leaguers are faced with a choice between selling low or holding this offseason. Jackie Bradley is another question mark, but showed flashes and is still just 25 years old entering 2016. At the very least, his plus defense should give him a long leash. Blake Swihart graduated, and has a fantasy-friendly profile behind the plate thanks to his offense. Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens made their debuts as well, and should be solid options in the middle of the rotation. In short, there’s still plenty of upside on the major league club and a top-heavy farm ready to feed it over the next two or three years.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’ll step away from the minor league previews for a sec and take a look at some of the new additions to the player pool for dynasty leaguers. This is assuming, of course, that your league doesn’t allow them to be picked up in season and they’re already gone. Dynasty first-year player drafts are always fun. It’s the best way to inject your team with some new life outside of negotiating trades or getting lucky on the wire. In super deep leagues, this top 25 will just be a taste of the first round, but in most formats 25 names should get your feet wet in the second round as well. It’s important to realize that with all prospects there’s a bunch of risk involved. That’s even more of a factor in this type of list, since there just hasn’t been as much exposure to these prospects yet. Last, but not least, this list is tweaked to help your fantasy squad, and won’t necessarily follow the same path as traditional prospect lists or draft boards. It also has some of my personal fantasy philosophy built into it, so don’t get too upset if your favorite prep arm isn’t as high as you’d like him to be. Without any more rambling, here are the top 25 dynasty league signees for 2016 fantasy baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Seattle’s farm produced two interesting players for the 2016 fantasy baseball season. I like Ketel Marte as a late-round flyer at a shallow middle infield position. He can hit and steal, and should be a good source of runs if he bats in front of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz as he’s currently projected. Then there’s Carson Smith, who I imagine a lot of fantasy owners will be drafting as the closer in waiting if he hasn’t already taken the reins by opening day. The first thing I noticed when putting together this preview is the plethora of outfield prospects in the Mariners’ system, as well as the lack of impact talent from the 2015 draft (they didn’t pick in the first round). It’s a bit dicey gambling on hitters that may call Seattle their home one day, so this has never been my go-to system for fantasy prospects. Of course the flip side of that is that their pitching prospects have a little more room to breathe.Please, blog, may I have some more?