How’s your season going so far?
Settling into the habits and rhythms you’ll need to succeed?
I sure hope you’re doing a little better than me scrambling to manage 15 leagues. Definitely shaving that number wherever I can between now and next spring. I am enjoying the feeling of constant motion that makes dynasty baseball my favorite format, but that’s exactly what I’m doing so far this year: flipping from roster to roster to keep up with my daily lineups, filing claim lists as early as I can begin knowing I’ll have to rework anything later, just throwing constant work at the problem, is what I’m saying. I’ve always been a proponent of working smart. Gonna have to work pretty hard to thrive no matter what you do, but you can at least try to enhance your efficiency as you go along. That’s what I hope to offer here each week: a quick read that feels much more like working smarter than working hard. Let’s dive in.
“Hey Mr. Rumsfield!” (in the voice of young Corey Feldman)
Heads up if you play on Fantrax, where 6’5” 225 lb TJ Rumfield is listed as a third baseman for the Phillies, who drafted him in the 12th round of the 2021 draft before shipping him to New York over the off-season. He’s more likely to land at first base or DH long term, but this guy can thump, and he has good plate discipline despite losing some reps throughout his trek to the pros, transferring from Texas Tech to Virginia in college to find playing time and then losing 2020 to the pandemic. I’m adding him in the deep-minors, 20-team SGL dynasty league this weekend and will try to find room for him even in shallower formats just in case this is the start of something big. He’s slashing .412/.487/.735 in eight games with two homers and two steals.
Kansas City made big waves in player development last season, especially in AA where Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez bounced back from big downturned in strikeout rate and plate-approach. SS Maikel Garcia might be next on this list. He doesn’t have the power of the prior two, but he’s much faster, swiping six bags in ten games this season as a 22-year-old. He’s walking at a 21.3 percent clip and striking out 14.9 percent of the time. He’s slugging just .432 despite a .378 batting average, so he’ll need to make more impact to keep pitchers from simply pounding the zone against him. In his favor, he’s a plus defender already, which buys him time to keep growing as a human and learning as a hitter.
Boston SS David Hamilton (AA) was stealing bases faster than the grounds crew could replace them last year as a Milwaukee prospect, and he’s back at it in Boston. The 24-year-old left handed hitter has two home runs and eight stolen bases in eight games, slashing .343/.429/.571 with a 14.3%/16.7% BB/K rate. He doesn’t have a ready-made position if he keeps hitting like this, but the club acquired him via trade for a reason, so I’m not sure he’s as blocked as he appears to be at first glance.
Boston SS Cedanne Rafaela (A+) took center stage in some dynasty circles during Sunday’s faab run thanks to his hot start in a small ballpark. He’s got five homers and four steals in ten games, slashing .391/.429/.826 with an 18.4 percent strikeout rate. We’ve got a $200 budget in the Razz30 ($0 bids allowed), and my $31 for the ninja turtle’s services lost out by two bucks. His line is a bit inflated by the 296 foot right field corner in the ballpark, but Rafaela can play solid defense just about anywhere on the diamond and features plus athleticism and twitch that generates power uncommon to 5’8” hitters.
Keep an eye on Tampa OF Alexander Ovalles (A+), who has nine walks and five strikeouts in seven games. The Rays identified Ovalles as a piece they wanted from Texas, and he’s rewarding them with a .444/.630/.889 as a 21-year-old, a little young for his level.
Seattle OF Robert Perez (A) played 19 games in AAA as a 19 year old in 2019. I can’t really track why that happened, but I’m looking into it after Perez hit three homers Friday night, giving him five in ten games. He’s 21 years old, so he’s got plenty of time, and I’ve got a lot to learn about him yet. He slashed .282/.359/.456 in 98 games in A ball last year, so I’m just confused all around here. Why push him so far in 2019 and then slam the brakes when he should’ve graduated the level last year? I’ve got questions!
Cincinnati RHP Joe Boyle rules the High-A level so far this year, tossing eight hitless innings and recording 17 strikeouts along the way. He has allowed five walks in those eight innings, so it’s not all positive, but the guy throws a Henry Roengardner fastball around 101, so it’s easy to understand why low-minors hitters might just watch it go by and hope it’s a ball from time to time. The Reds have been developing arms well these past few seasons, and Boyle presents them a variety of paths. He’s a 2020 draftee who is 22 years old, so they’ve got some time to decide whether they want the slow road of Boyle trying to become a starter or the quick-reward of seeing how his stuff plays in a relief role against more experienced hitters. I’m excited to track this one.
Not really prospect news, but Victor Robles got dropped in my 15-team dynasty this week. Donkey Teeth snapped him up for about a third of his full-season budget ($341). I bid a little less than $200, but in the aftermath, seeing how heavily I’d been outbid, I was thinking about how far I might’ve gone if I’d known I needed to. What my FAAB ceiling for a dropped but struggling talent like him? This league doesn’t allow $0 bids, so if I got much higher than $350, I’d have to pinch pennies the rest of the way. I quickly decided I wouldn’t care. Go get your guys. I’ve been writing about Robles in this space all off-season, but I was thinking I’d be $100 over in the 190-range. Who cares? I’ve sold players off for FAAB before and could do it again if I had to. Pretty sure I misplayed this one. Robles is already showing a pulse as the newest member of team Teeth.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.