I’m all about the win-now. This means I will rarely own a top prospect, because I’ll trade them for short term MLB value and/or I just won’t spend the dough on those guys, because I can look a bit deeper for translatable prospects that don’t have as much associated hype. Therefore, I’m not going to whine about not owning and emphasizing the obvious: Oscar Tavares, George Springer, Gregory Polanco or even Jackie Bradley Jr. Instead I’ll draft sure-thing offense so long as they’re healthy (Michael Morse and Yasmani Grandal), and then go with upside starters/or solid veterans like Marco Estrada, Alex Wood, Corey Kluber, Tyson Ross, Kyle Lohse and Tim Hudson (all were available around the same time as these prospects in deep leagues). I literally own all of these guys, and the following ESPN’ers <10% owned as of 4/14:

2) Abraham Almonte (1%) – Still batting leadoff, A.A. (too soon?) has 15/15 in him and he’s displayed well enough on-base skills in the minors to hopefully stay atop of the lineup. If he does, I love the associated counting stats. He’s currently “on pace” for about 75-15-70-15, but he’s somewhat struggled as of late.

4) Justin Ruggiano (.8%) – My spring-fling I guess, I thought he was going to go 70-25-70-20 this year. He’s had some ankle issues thus far and Bonfiacio is going crazy. I still think he can go 50-16-55-13 but ah well.

3) Oswaldo Arcia (.5%) – He’s not going to hit better than .250 with the K-rate, but I’d guess something closer to a 27% K-rate and 7% BB-rate meaning contact let’s say 73% of the time. If he stays healthy enough for 425 AB, that means 425 AB x 73% Contact Rate x 41% Flyball Rate x 15% Homerun per Flyball Rate = 21 to 22 HR. There’s a 30 HR season in his bat as soon as next year.

1) J.B. Shuck (.4%) – Mad contact skills & discipline, he really is a .300+ hitter and the Josh Hamilton injury opens up a spot for him until late May, maybe longer. I can see Shuck providing his annual projected value in the amount of time it takes for Hamilton to return. I wouldn’t necessarily say Kole Calhoun is struggling, but there’s a chance he gets moved down to a more run inducing spot opening the leadoff role for Shuck more consistently.

And now for 3 guys that I think could translate well this year despite not being tagged as a top 40 prospect. They’re ordered by possible plate appearances this year, but ranked by my zeal:

3) Steven Souza (.1%) – SteSou is not on any top 100 list I don’t think. He’s already 25, but he could provide value this year. He’s up already due to the Denard Span concussion for MLB depth. Jayson Werth is currently day-to-day due to his groin and Nate McLouth was recently d2d due to his knees so SteSou can find himself some AB’s impending. He went .300-15HR-20SB with a .54 BB/K ratio last year, but that was as a 24 year old in AA. If Span/Werth/Bryce Harper misses significant time, McLouth will still be needed as the 4th OF so Souza can go 5/5,10/10 or even 15/15 based on the amount of plate appearances.

2) Stephen Piscotty (0.0%) – I’m reading more and more that he might be up prior to Oscar Tavares, based on the fact that he’s a righty. We’ll see. A crazy elite .441 BABIP is driving Piscotty’s early success this year, but an impressive 1.00 BB/K ratio in AA as a 22 year old last year was inspiring. He’s my Garin Cecchini of the OF. He’s not going to be a 25/20 guy, but he could be a solid 15/10 #2 hitter as of 2015 with great surface stats…your Matt Carpenter, but slightly better, albeit without the position scarcity.

1) Joc Pederson (0.0%) – what I don’t like a bout Souza, I really like about Pederson. He’s only 22 and already raking in AAA (3HR-3SB w/ a 1.11 BB/K ratio and a .371/.511/.714 in 45 plate appearances! I think he’ll be a top-10 prospect by mid-season. When delving into a prospect, beyond discipline and contact rate, I want to look at BABIP potential and consistency/growth across levels. His power and speed combination should ensure .325+ BABIP’s and look at this prior to his age 22, AAA season this year:

2012 (20): A+: 18HR-26SB w/ a .63 BB/K ratio and a .313/.396/.516 line

2013 (21): AA: 22HR-31SB w/ a .61 BB/K ratio and a .278/.381/.497

If you’re in a shallow dynasty league and you own a guy like Polanco/Taveras/Springer, trade them for win-now guys and pick up guys like Piscotty & Pederson if they’re available.


Dano’s on twitter @Rotobanter

  1. endershadow says:

    Also Calhoun is out 4-6 weeks.

  2. Matt P says:

    Hmm interesting point of view, but owning those guys is such a fun part of dynasty leagues… even though I don’t own them in any haha but I can see your point, picking up the lower ranked guys and seeing them blow up is probably more satisfying than seeing a Buxton blow up bc you 1- had to give up so much for Buxton in the first place and 2- it’s not like you had any skill in picking him

    I pulled off three trades this week in my dynasty league, interested in your thoughts:

    The guy who had Machado drafted Kris Bryant in our prospect draft so I gave up Sale and Cashner for Machado. Too steep of a price there? Kinda regretting but it was hard to pass up a guy who might end up being a perennial top 10 pick for years to come…

    Then I had two SS in Segura and Andrus, so swiped Segura for Teheran.

    And lastly I lost Avisail to season ending injury and am working with Morse as my 3rd OF with Oswaldo on DL, which is fine but I’m looking for some better stability and landed J Upton for D Price and Avisail.

    I gave up a lot of pitching but I still have Tanaka, Cingrani, Alex Wood, Martin Perez, Cosart, Pineda, Mejia, Erlin, Teheran and Holland and Carlos Martinez who should help me out later this year hopefully.

    Even have Zimmer/Stephenson/Wisler in minors.

    Long post, but love this dynasty stuff haha, thanks for any input! Looking forward to more columns. Some deep dynasty sleepers would be fun, my last pick in our draft was Trey Ball (16 teams, 10 player minor league system).

  3. Korey says:

    Great article Dano. I was able to pick HP Oswald and stash him in my AL only redraft league.

    My AL only OF was already full with Adam Jones, Will Myers, and Tori Hunter when Springer was called up. I don’t have room to play him in the Utility spot because I have Pujols and Abreu. I was offered Yordano Ventura for Springer and Teixeira (no room for him anyway). Sounds fair doesn’t it? Or hold?

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