The dynasty league first-year player draft is a unique winter ritual. It’s typically how dynasty owners get their hands on all of the unowned players who were previously ineligible to be claimed. Take all the 2014 draftees from June, mix with the top international signings from Cuba and elsewhere, sprinkle in the July 2nd international prospects, and you’ve got a whole new pool of players to draft from. With both comments and questions on the topic from previous articles, I think it’s worth looking closer at some of the top options in such a draft. And there is no better way to do that than with some good old-fashioned rankings.

Disclaimer – these are obviously my personal rankings. Who you take where may hinge on what your team’s competitive window looks like, your league setup, and who is available to draft. These are also similar to prospect rankings in the sense that they are fluid and dealing with a lot of unknowns. Only players who have signed or who I expect will sign before the season were considered. This list goes 20 players deep, or through the first round of a 20-team league.

Rk Player Pos Team Age Comments
1 Yoan Moncada INF FA 19 all 5 tools are plus; best Cuban since Puig/Soler?
2 Yasmany Tomas OF ARI 24 25+ HR potential but a risky approach
3 Rusney Castillo OF BOS 27 power/speed combo; will it surface in games?
4 Alex Jackson OF SEA 19 hits and hits for power; RF profile
5 Kyle Schwarber C/OF CHC 21 +PWR, +HIT; is he an everyday MLB catcher?
6 Carlos Rodon LHP CWS 22 ++ slider and close to MLB ready
7 Bradley Zimmer OF CLE 22 5-tool CF who hits from the left side
8 Michael Conforto OF NYM 21 + left-handed power; could reach majors quickly
9 Tyler Kolek RHP MIA 19 Texas power arm with an 80-grade heater
10 Nick Gordon SS MIN 19 not as fast as Dee, but better hit tool and pop
11 Adrian Rondon SS TB 16 top July signing; could stick at SS with +HIT already
12 Aaron Nola RHP PHI 21 3 good pitches with polish; close to MLB ready
13 Jeff Hoffman RHP TOR 21 TJ surgery in May; still frontline starter potential
14 Brandon Finnegan LHP KC 21 already tasted the majors as RP; future SP?
15 Hector Olivera 2B FA 29 oldest on the list, but could help a team now at 2B
16 Trea Turner SS WAS 21 ++ speed; future leadoff hitter
17 Monte Harrison OF MIL 19 athletic CF with power/arm to play RF too
18 Derek Hill OF DET 19 speedy CF with a leadoff profile
19 Touki Toussaint RHP ARI 18 ++ fastball and a big curve; 3+ years away
20 Tyler Beede RHP SF 21 solid arm; still working on control

T10 Prospect Index: AL | NL

  1. goodfold2 says:
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    useful list, and accurate to my league too, in first 4 picks rodon/moncada/tomas/schwarber went.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Glad it’s helpful

  2. Love it! Thanks.

    See anything good in Michael Gettys?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Gettys seems like an athletic/toolsy player who just needs to show he can hit. He was on the bubble for this list and will probably sit somewhere in the middle of the Padres top ten.

  3. griff says:
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    Hey Mike,
    Good work on this list. Have a question about my team in 12 team dynasty. I’m in a situation where I can only keep one of the following players: Dalton Pompey or Arismendy Alcantara. Either player would come into this season as a bench player for me, so immediate payoff is not a major issue, but it never hurts either. Which one do you like better long term?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! That’s a tough one. I’d lean Alcantara.

  4. Joe LoPiccolo says:
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    Hey guys,
    A little of topic but I have to submit my keepers at the end of the month and have a few questions?

    Keepers:
    Goldy
    Merchado
    Dickerson
    Brantly
    Martinez OF Detroit
    Hamilton
    Baez
    Bumgarner
    Kluber

    For the last spot I can choose either:
    Duda
    Polonco pit
    Arreita
    Arcia

    I have the first pick in the draft and will be taking kershaw best available.
    14 position players 2 catchers MI and DH
    9 pitchers have to start 2 relief pitchers
    Cats are:
    BA, HR, R, RBI, OPS, SB
    ERA, K, W, S, QS, WHIP

    It’s been a long drought and thus is the best team I have had in a while.
    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Duda/Arcia are 20+ homer guys with not so great averages. Polanco is more speed, maybe like 10-15 homers and 20 steals, but no lock to hit over .250 either. Since it’s a keeper, I’d protect Polanco or Arcia and take my chances in the draft on a corner. You may even be able to get Duda back relatively cheap.

      • james says:
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        @Mike:

        As a note, I am in a new dynasty, Polanco went in the 6th, I just took duda in the 13th, and Arcia is still on the board.

        So if you want them back, Polanco will go earlier, with duda (may be my own perception that put him in the 13th) a little later, and Arcia much later (we are at the end of the 13th, so could be sooner rather than later)

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          That’s helpful. Thanks James!

        • The Harrow says:
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          @james: 7 round dif between duda and polanco is more than a little difference. but that is very useful to know.

    • Hawk says:
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      Arrieta for me. You’re already protecting a TON of hitting. Arrieta has become the pitcher Baltimore touted him to be. Letting him go is a mistake.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Arrieta looks legit, but does he really need the arm? Bum, Klub, and taking Kershaw in the draft…

  5. Jay says:
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    Thanks for the list. I’ve seen a couple of these with no mention of Forrest Wall. Where would he, Willy Adames, and Michael Chavis place on this list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Adames isn’t eligible for a list like this since he signed in 2012. Wall and Chavis likely would be in the next group of ten with guys like Gettys and Pentecost.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Jay: wall just went 16th in my league’s draft.

  6. Dave says:
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    This is awesome

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I’m glad it’s helpful

  7. Kenneth says:
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    Of these 20, who has the highest ceiling?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Moncada

      • Kenneth says:
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        @Mike: Thanks. Assuming the Pirates sign Kang, where would he slot in?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Likely still outside the top 20. Evaluators seem skeptical how his KBL numbers translate to MLB and his ability play shortstop.

          • james says:
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            @Mike:

            Kang does hold the upside of being one of the 3-4 guys on this list likely to do anything this season… Albeit, it could be almost anything. It could be buying into the KBL before the stats look more real (like Abreu in Cuba) or if the KBL really is that much of a hitters league and a .350 average there is like a .350 average in high A ball (from a 27 year old who should be in AAA or the bigs by that age)

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Yeah, I mean Eric Thames hit .343 with 37 bombs and Felix Pie hit .326 with 17 homers there this year. Not saying he sucks, but it just seems kind of sketchy.

  8. j says:
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    3 videos adds on this page, its getting ridiculous, one is too much, let alone 3, i like this website, but I’m going to quit checking it, if this is how it is.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I hear ya. Thanks for reading though.

    • Baezaworldseries says:
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      @j: Gotta pay the bills somehow.

    • Adult Onset Dia Bit Us says:
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      @j: don’t adblockers block these things?

  9. Yescheese says:
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    Very useful tool Mike, good work. Our lists line up all the way to Zimmer, so I’m glad I’m not crazy! After that I’ve got Hoffman, Kolek, Harrison to round out the 10. Definitely love the fantasy prospect analysis this offseason. Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Appreciate the kind words.

      I’m glad they line up and this is useful :)

  10. Dave Zimmer says:
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    Awesome list. 2 questions if you don’t mind…

    Do you think Tomas is going to be a stats killer in an OBP league instead of avg?

    Unrelated to this list – what are your thoughts on Arrietta this year? True ace or will he come back to historical averages?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Tomas has strikeout concerns but plus power. Off the top of my head, maybe an OBP in the .310-.320 range? I would expect an adjustment this year with the chance for .260 AVG / 25-30 HR seasons down the road.

      I wouldn’t label Arrieta as an ace, but I would be very happy with him as my #2 starter in fantasy.

      • Dave Zimmer says:
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        @Mike:

        Awesome – now 2 more guys I have to target :-)

        Keep up the solid work, I love this site.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime…thanks!

  11. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    roughly where would kang SS go?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Probably late 20s/early 30s

  12. Chris says:
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    This is great – thanks!

    I know thy weren’t eligible for the list, but where would J2 guys like Devers, Jimenez Torres, Albies, and Barreto rank? All of them are available in my dynasty league.

    Also, does Rondon’s ceiling justify a keeper spot in a 12 team league with 25 keepers? I’m rebuilding but I don’t know if I can justify keeping a 17 year old.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks!

      I wouldn’t keep Rondon in that size league despite the ceiling.

      I’d rank the others Devers, Barreto, Torres, Albies, Jimenez – with Devers in front by a decent margin.

  13. goodfold2 says:
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    on to COL. any of these guys make top 10 and whereabouts?
    rafael ynoa CI/MI
    freeland LP
    wall MI
    castellani RP
    howard LP
    rogers OF
    padlo CI

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Wall and Freeland for sure and in the 4-7 range. Leaning no on the others.

  14. Joeg414 says:
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    Maybe the start of a 3month depate R.Castillo Or Solar 6x6mixed roto?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha! 3-month debates are awesome! *slams face into keyboard*

      I’d go Soler and it’s not all that close IMO.

  15. goodfold2 says:
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    so far you being much higher on mella, leads me to think he’ll be my get at 59th. I need pitching prospects badly. i doubt kolek/hoffman/touissant/beede/lopez(WAS)/newcomb/sanchez (LAA)/ are around there. I’ll probably later get that TEX RP you mentioned, just as i might be able to use him this year (Kela).
    for LA system, any of these crack top 10?
    holmes RP
    verdugo OF
    richy RP
    brigham RP

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      If you can get Mella at 59, that’s pretty solid. If Spender Adams (CWS) or Erik Fedde (WAS) are still around for some reason give them a look too.

      For LA, Holmes likely but not certain of the others.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: Fedde being at 4th in BA’s list, not so likely (of course Lopez is 3rd, so not him either), newcomb just went at 11th. the fact that SF’s BA list won’t be out till Jan 28th helps him me a lot, probably (assuming Mella’s moved up in other lists than yours)

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: adams also at 3rd in BA’s list for WSOX, so he’s unlikely.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ah, gotcha. Well Mella’s name has popped up a lot but he may still be behind Crick Beede and Susac on a lot of lists. He had an injury this year (minor rotator cuff) that might scare some away in your league.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: yeah, i’m betting he’s around 6th or so with SF.

  16. Chris says:
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    How much higher would Hoffman rank if he were completely healthy? How does his ceiling compare to that of Rodon?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Chris: good question, i don’t draft for so long i might end up with him.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Both #1/#2 upside. He would probably crack the top ten and nestle in next to Kolek.

  17. Swfcdan says:
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    Thanks big guy, right up my alley this.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime! Glad it’s useful

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Where do you see this Moncado guy signing and how soon?

        Also unrelated but still prospecty question, what numbers do you see Lindor putting up in his first few years in the bigs. Something like .280/10/30? Or is that too optimistic..trying to gauge his value in trade talks.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I have no idea. But Yanks/Boston/Braves/Nats have been linked. He is starting private workouts soon and once he is cleared I’d expect him to sign pretty quickly. I’m betting on before the 2015 season starts.

          Those numbers are doable for Lindor, but probably not in his first season or two.

  18. goodfold2 says:
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    BA’s CUBS list out today, don’t help me as all those guys are gone. any of these make top 10 (i’m anticipating having to eventually get into maybe finding which just outside top 10 guys are best at some point in my long as hell draft, but i’ll concentrate on top 10’s till it looks like i’ll have to go deeper).
    stinnett RP
    zagunis C
    sands LP
    steele LP

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Likely not those guys.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: CUBS system pretty strong, hard for rookies to crack it.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          for sure. I’ve got Bryant, Russell, Soler in T10 overall.

  19. Russ says:
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    I’ve got 8th pick in a first year draft, I’d love to get Jackson but I’m guessing he won’t be left on the board at that point. I’m thinking Zimmer might be more realistic, how far away would you say he is?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Writing up the Indians now, and it looks like late 2016/early 2017

      • Russ says:
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        @Mike: thanks, looking forward to reading that write up!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime…should be Wednesday

  20. Dave says:
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    How much will I regret trading Dahl, Clint Frazier, Trea Turner and Franklin Barreto for Addison Russell?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      On a scale of 1-10, maybe 5? You gave up a lot of pieces, but you also got the best piece in the deal IMO. More likely than not half those guys don’t reach their ceilings anyway. That’s just how it is with prospects.

  21. Jammer McSlam says:
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    Where would you rank Nomar Mazara and Dilson Herera on this list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      They’re not eligible for a list like this since they had been signed prior to this year. FWIW, Mazara is in my overall T50 at the moment.

  22. acidjazz says:
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    Haha man I am so far out of the loop with baseball it’s got me a little nervous! I’ve been digging through your stuff catching up though so I appreciate the work man for reals! I’ll be defending my championship this year in my 20-team dynasty, had a lot of really old guys fill in last year and do way better than expected which is probably why I ended up winning (by 0.5 pts! roto). Have a solid core of young players to keep me going for a year ior two but need to be solid on these next drafts if I’m guna avoid the complete rebuild. Probably will end up happening but want to wait off on that as long as I can…

    Anways, thanks again Mike good stuff.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks for the kind words and congrats on your dynasty win!

  23. Benny says:
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    Like the props for Zimmer. Toolsy athletic guy.

    Excited about Moncada…What are thoughts on what kind of player he’ll be stats wise? Granted up to this point the guys kind of a ghost and not a ton is known about him.

    Maybe he settles in at 2B or 3B once he’s a steady big leaguer somewhere and hits .295-.305 21-26 HRs 30-35 SBs????

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks!

      I’ll be a little more conservative with .280, ~20HR/20SB. Almost like an Ian Desmond type of statline if things break right. Huge potential.

  24. goodfold2 says:
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    with ARI do any of these make it and whereabouts?
    reed LP
    wilson OF
    diaz SS
    railey OF
    jones RP

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      of that group, I could see Wilson and Railey in the 8-10 range. Just out of curiosity, who’s gone where in your dynasty draft so far? I’m interested to see how it compares to my rankings.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: we are on pick 23. started late saturday night. we have till end of Jan to finish (and even at a rate of around only 6-7 per day we’ll make it fine)
        1.rodon
        2. moncada
        3. tomas
        4. schwarber
        5. castillo
        6. jackson OF
        7. nola
        8.kang
        9.zimmer
        10. kolek
        11. gordon SS
        12. newcomb
        13. conforto
        14. turner
        15. finnegan
        16.wall
        17. hoffman
        18. lindgren
        19.freeland
        20. toussaint
        21.kievlehan
        22.bradley CI CLE

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Cool. Thanks man. Outside of being way lower on Kang and higher on Harrison, it looks like it pretty much matches up.

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            I’m way higher on Rondon too

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @Mike: hoping your being higher on mella works out for me too. 27 picks to go.

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                nice. good luck!

                • goodfold2 says:
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                  @Mike: the guy who took kang that highly needs pitching prospects more than any team in league, and i advised him to take the best pitcher, but he didn’t do it.

                  • Mike

                    Mike says:
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                    oof. To each his own. I would have waited on Kang though.

                  • goodfold2 says:
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                    @goodfold2: holmes at 23.

                    • goodfold2 says:
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                      @goodfold2: forgot, do fleck RP or sherfy RP make top 10? they are currently relief guys so i’m guessing not.

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      Not likely. I put a couple relievers in the LAA writeup, but that’s a pretty weak top ten and I usually shy away from relief prospects.

  25. goodfold2 says:
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    on to PIT. do any of these guys make cut and whereish?
    tucker SS
    joe OF
    keller RP
    supak RP
    luplow OF
    gushue C

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Tucker and Keller, both in the 6-10 range. Another loaded system that one.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: yeah, i didn’t think it would be one that 2 rookies would crack.

  26. Sherwood says:
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    IF Brady Aikens signed where would he fall on your list.?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I would think he’d be right up there with Rodon. Easy top ten.

  27. Yescheese says:
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    BP not as high on A Rondon or Monte Harrison. They’ve got a ton of pitching in their fantasy top 50 from the draft. I don’t get it! Why would I want, say , Tyler Beede, over Rondon or Harrison? His rapping skills?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha…does Beede rap?

      Somebody could make a similar argument with mine saying Wall and Chavis should be over Beede or that I am too aggressive with a J2 guy like Rondon. This is a deep pool of players and especially pitching wise.

      On a side note: I think it’s hard to make a “mistake” with a pick this year through the first 20-30 players. I might even be tempted trade down for multiple picks a little further on in the draft if I’m not in love with a guy at my spot.

      • Yescheese says:
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        @Mike: young beedah, check it!

        I agree it’s deep. When you look at potential high upside fantasy bats like wall, chavis, AJ Reed, Bobby Bradley, Alex Verdugo, Derek Fisher, Michael Gettys, Jacob Gatewood… And they aren’t even in the top 20 here. It just seems in today’s fantasy marketplace, I think we align. Give me the bat over the pitcher nearly every time.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha…young beedah!

          I agree.

          align…time…you a rapper too!

  28. Dave says:
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    Am I missing something on Casey Gillaspie? I’m pretty well aligned with you otherwise, but I have Gillaspie in my Top 15. College guy that had a pretty good debut in A-Ball. Haven’t seen anyone mention him…seems like his bat could be pretty valuable in Fantasy. No?

    The only beef I really have with your list is Derek Hill. I think that guy ends up a better real life guy than fantasy – replace him with Gillaspie and I’d say that’s a near perfect list.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Dave! I don’t think you’re missing anything with Gillaspie. He can hit and hit for power and would fall in the 20-30 range for me. He probably gets dinged for being 1B only which puts all the pressure on his bat to get him to the majors. At least that’s why I don’t rank him as highly as some of the other guys.

      I see what you’re saying on Hill. A chunk of his value is from his defense, and I wouldn’t keel over if you swapped those two. It’s a deep pool with lots of good options.

  29. Dave says:
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    Question for anyone interested in answering. I’m in a 16-team dynasty league with 25 active roster spots and 20 minor league spots. I’m in rebuild mode (trying to rebuild quickly) and have the #1 pick as well as a bundle of other picks I acquired throughout last season. It’s a 7-round draft. I have an offer on the table that I’m considering (any feedback would be appreciated as I work through the deal). NOTE: Moncada can only be drafted if he signs with a team before our draft (likely mid-March) and the above rankings are pretty close to what will be available to my league in the draft and a good representation of the first 20 picks or so:

    Which side wins this trade?

    Other team gets: Picks #1, 17, 18, 21, 32, and Hunter Harvey

    My team gets: Picks #2, 4, 34, 35, and Arismendy Alcantara

    Thanks in advance…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t like that he is getting more picks than you, but I would take Alky over Harvey and you should be able to get two nice players at 2 and 4.

  30. Dylan says:
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    Thoughts on Yoan Lopez? Where would he slot in if at all?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Top 30…but probably in the 20-30 range. There is a ton of pitching to choose from really.

  31. RobbyRobDu says:
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    Yoan Lopez just went 28th after I took Kang 27th (got Zimmer/Turner at 13/14)…both are probably worth the risk there, however I would take Harrison, Wall, Adams, Reetz (start 2 C)…well a lot of guys over Lopez…he has RP written all over him IMHO and why take a spot up waiting to see…

    Great read, I love Rondon’s upside, where would you slot some of the other J2 guys if at all just curious?

    Also really liking Adams and looking into Blandino, Braxton D, and Jake Gatewood…I see you like Adams’ athleticism and projectability…any feelings either way on the other two?

    Thanks in advance!

    • RobbyRobDu says:
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      @RobbyRobDu:

      Edit: I wanted Harrison at 28 but despite having I believe 5 guys from Wisconsin I STILL think I can squeeze him in at 42…wishful thinking? WE’LL SEE!!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I agree, there are so many options this year (especially pitching) that you don’t have to reach for Lopez. He’s got a starter’s arsenal, but whether he makes the switch or not is TBD, so you gotta look at it like drafting an MLB-ready reliever with potential to start. Where a player like that falls in everybody’s dynasty drafts kind of depends on the league.

      Other J2 guys of note are Lara (MIL) and Hernandez (SEA). I didn’t include Lara on my MIL T10 and in hindsight probably should have. His position is a big question mark (he won’t stay a SS) but he’s got big power. Still prefer Rondon to both of them though.

      All three of the other bats were top five in their team’s rankings.
      https://razzball.com/2015-nl-top-ten-prospects-index/

      Of the three, I like Blandino the most because he has a shorter road to the majors. Davidson after him and then Gatewood third due to some serious questions about his approach. Still has big time power though and will play on the left side of the infield.

      I bet you can get Harrison at 42 ;) Good luck!

      • RobbyRobDu says:
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        @Mike:

        I am hoping the international players push Harrison down there…though he is ranked highly on a lot of lists, I won’t cry if I can’t gdt him as I have a glut of talented young OF/OF prospects with speed and some power.

        Thanks for all the help!

        I haven’t seen any mention of Dermis Garcia…MLB.com has him #1 of the J2 guys and with burgeonijg plus power and a chance he could stick at short…the A-Rod/Dunston comps are exciting…plus working out with Tejada and Carlos Guillen can’t hurt…Yankees need a SS prospect and though maybe far off, he seems exciting, even if he has to move to 3B…thoughts?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime man. Dermis is a solid choice of the J2s also. I would personally take him after Rondon, Hernandez and Lara, but everything you mentioned is true. Nice power and should stick to left side of the infield. I like to bet on the guys who are more well rounded and have better hit tools already. They can always grow into more power and have a better chance of getting to it in games if their approach is better. Of course, all of these guys are 16-17 years old, so a lot can happen along the way.

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