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…
This is the cream of this year’s crop in the form of three shorstops with the offensive potential to be fantasy stars. Early reports on all three are stellar. Despite being the youngest of the trio, Rodgers gets the nod for first overall thanks to his plus power and the fantasy-friendly organization he plays for. Hard to go wrong with any of these three.
4. Andrew Benintendi, OF | Red Sox | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018
5. Ian Happ, 2B/OF | Cubs | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018
6. Kenta Maeda, RHP | FA | Age: 27 | ETA: 2016
7. Byung-ho Park, 1B/DH | Twins | Age: 29 | ETA: 2016
It’s no big deal if you’re picking outside of the top three this year thanks to a couple of good college bats and some major league ready imports. Depending on your roster and your competitive window, you may flip-flop the players in this group, but either way you’re looking at talent that should help your team relatively quickly. Benintendi raked in the Sally, Maeda looks like he might end up in a cozy west coast park, and Park offers the type of power upside fantasy players drool over. Jung-ho Kang’s success in 2015 should be enough to make sure Park doesn’t escape the top ten this year.
8. Kyle Tucker, OF | Astros | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
9. Carson Fulmer, RHP | White Sox | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
10. Eddy Julio Martinez, OF | Cubs | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017
11. Trent Clark, OF | Brewers | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019
12. Cornelius Randolph, 2B/OF | Phillies | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
This group starts to get a little more risky but still offers plenty of fantasy potential. Tucker’s power is his biggest draw, while Fulmer could be fast tracked to the majors, making him the safest pitching bet outside of Maeda. EJM is kind of an unknown, but the 20-year-old Cuban is already drawing comps to superstars thanks to his combination of power and speed. Clark and Randolph are personal favorites thanks to their pure hitting abilities and hitter friendly clubs, but both are also pretty far away from contributing.
13. Dillon Tate, RHP | Rangers | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
14. Yadier Alvarez, RHP | Dodgers | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019
15. Daz Cameron, OF | Astros | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
16. Yusniel Diaz, OF | Dodgers | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019
17. Garrett Whitley, OF | Rays | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
18. Tyler Jay, LHP | Twins | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
19. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., OF | Blue Jays | Age: 16 | ETA: 2020
It’s going to tempting to reach for Guerrero with the reports on his raw talent, but it’s only smart to recognize that he’s just a pup and has an extended ETA. Cameron has power and speed and shouldn’t last anywhere near as long as he did in the real draft. Alvarez and Tate are big upside plays for pitching, and Garrett Whitley looks like the type of five-tool prospect that we love in fantasy…and you shouldn’t need to pick at the top of the draft to land him.
20. Lucius Fox, SS | Giants | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
21. Kolby Allard, LHP | Braves | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
22. Josh Naylor, 1B | Marlins | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
23. Scott Kingery, 2B | Phillies | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018
24. Brady Aiken, LHP | Indians | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019
25. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B | Pirates | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019
Kingery is a hit/speed profile that works in fantasy at the middle infield slot. Allard could be a long term project, but he has frontline starter potential and the right organization to develop it. I like Naylor’s power later in drafts, but the defensive home, long ETA, and, well, the Marlins chip into his value.