The guidelines that built this team are pretty fluid, but in a general sense, a player must have significantly enhanced his dynasty profile to qualify.
Orioles C Samuel Basallo has slowed down some since a steamy start but is still slashing .299/.340/.489 with four home runs and two steals as an 18-year-old in Low-A. He looks solid behind the plate, too, especially for a 6’3” teenager.
Honorable Mentions: Dodgers C Thayron Liranzo. One way to identify a player like this is the ratio of relevance to league-size is changing in a hurry on the fly. Though I’ve added him elsewhere, I’ve mostly ignored Liranzo in my 15-teamer with 20 milb spots per team. This week, I saw his name in some tweets. On May 21, he hit his 10th and 11th home runs on the season. He’s slashing .310/.444/.690 in the month of May with 14 walks and 18 strikeouts in 16 games. Still just a catching prospect in Low-A, but he’ll be off the board in most leagues before long.
I struggled a little with this spot. It’s just not as obvious as some others, which is pretty common for the last stop on the defensive spectrum.
Shortly before publication time, I settled on Mets 1B Mark Vientos, who may not wind up playing much first base given the polar bear over there but has quickly found his way to the middle of that lineup.
HM: Mariners 1B Tyler Locklear is creeping toward the back of a Top 100 near you in the wake of a solid all-around season in High-A as a 22-year-old with ten home runs, five steals, solid plate skills and a triple slash line of .302/.401/.577. Might also have some subconscious name value for the 80’s and 90’s kids.
I decided to cheat a little here so I could fit Reds 2B Matt McLain into the article. He’s been playing shortstop for Cincinnati but covered the keystone a lot while sharing the field with baseball’s best prospect.
HM: Mariners 2B Jose Caballero: Hard to argue against a guy who comes from the wilderness to claim a starting gig and then produce usable rotisserie stats. Second base isn’t a position overflowing with impact fantasy prospects. Could make a case for Taylor Walls.
I don’t know what more to say about Reds SS Elly De La Cruz. He reminds me a bit of Usain Bolt in the sense that he could run backwards faster than everyone else runs forward. Just a couple tiers beyond what we can realistically expect from even peak human physiology.
HM: Twins SS Royce Lewis and Red Sox SS David Hamilton. I’m not sure either guy here has really been climbing lists, but I have my popcorn ready. Hamilton hit another two home runs Tuesday and now has 11 homers and 23 steals in 40 games. Can do some napkin math there and see the skeleton of a 44 HR, 92 SB season. The team’s starting shortstop Enrique Hernandez is producing a 74 wRC+ after posting a 75 last year.
Rays 3B Junior Caminero: I think we can just clear out and let Caminero have this to himself. I suspect he’s moved the needle more than any minor league player these first couple months thanks to 11 home runs in 33 High-A games as a 19 year old. His swing also packs an aesthetic punch you can almost feel through the screen, reminiscent of Ronald Acuña and Jackson Chourio.
Mariners OF Jonathan Clase turned 21 on May 23. He’s struggled with strikeout issues but has 29 steals and 11 home runs in 38 games across High-A and Double-A. As much as I like him, he’s a sell for me if someone is feeling aggressive about his chances. He’s the kind of guy a lot of builders might be targeting this time of year.
Rockies OF Yanquiel Fernandez has passed Zac Veen for me in the Rockies org rankings. We simply don’t get any fantasy points for guys looking good in batting practice, and Fernandez is the hottest hitter in High-A as a 20-year-old, slugging a Morel-ian .935 over his past 14 games.
21-year-old Giants OF Luis Matos tumbled a long way down the spreadsheets before finding his way again in 2023 and now he’s slugging .593 with a 3.6 percent strikeout rate through six Triple-A games.
Athletics OF Esteury Ruiz is hitting .284 with a 109 wRC+ and 25 stolen bases through 50 games, yet he graduates prospect status still feeling a little underrated to me.
Angels OF Mickey Moniak graduated as a “prospect” last year but is fast becoming a universally rostered fantasy player. I like his story partly because he credits journaling with turning his career around. During some teacher meeting stuff this week, I had to read an article from Harvard Business Review about how self-reflection is bad, actually, because it gets in the way of actions that make money. The author’s name was “Eurich.” You. Rich. Can’t make this stuff up folks.
HM: You’ll need some patience to wait around for Brewers OF Luis Lara to help you in the standings. Or you could flip him. I’ve already seen him traded in the Razz30, so if you’ve got some extremely online people in your leagues, this kid might already have some currency. He’s got twice as many walks as strikeouts as an 18-year-old in Low-A. That along with his seven steals in 19 games is going to send him soaring up the stats-only lists month over month.
Guardians RHP Gavin Williams, baseball’s best minor league pitcher, is through five Triple-A starts with a 0.97 WHIP and 26.5 percent strikeout-minus-walk rate.
Mariners RHP Bryce Miller probably deserves better than an honorable mention, and if I’m doing five outfielders with an honorable mention, shouldn‘t I do six or seven starting pitchers and three relievers? I guess I could. That’s not I’d been mapping out though. Didn’t even occur to me until now. One starter and one reliever, went the thinking, and now time has run short on me. Maybe I’ll just put a bunch in the honorable mentions section. Let me know if you’re thinking of a starter that should go here. Or anyone who has a good case for this list at any spot.
HM: Reds LHP Andrew Abbott, Athletics RHP Mason Miller, Cubs LHP Jordan Wicks, Blue Jays RHP Adam Kloffenstein, Rays LHP Jacob Lopez, Dodgers RHP Kyle Hurt, Giants LHP Carson Whisenhunt, Padres RHP Jairo Iriarte. Feels like this could go on forever, which sort of artificially deflates the value of each breakout pitcher until they’re actually succeeding in the majors, so guys like Spencer Strider or Bryce Miller are fairly easy to acquire until he’s suddenly not.
Probably the easiest call on the board. No need for second place. If you were lucky enough to land Orioles RHP Yennier Cano, you know. Might be the purest joy in our game: a free relief pickup who can do no wrong.
Thanks for reading!
Hey Itch! That’s a really cool article!
In a 5×5 rebuild, is Brandon Pfaadt a target or nah?
AJ Smith-Shawver has been in my feeds a lot lately, even as a possible call-up should Shuster falter or Soroka need more time. And what do you think of Emmet Sheehan of the Dodgers? K rate is silly and he seems like a guy who could go from AA to the Dodgers pen any time now if need be.
Ill throw my hat in the ring for AJ Smith-Shawver as a helium pick. He’s a dude i own nowhere whose name I now hear every 5 minutes it seems like.
Glad to see Hamilton’s name come up here as i just scored him last night in trade for Creed Willems who i scoured the wire for in my exceptionally deep 30 teamer (and who i do like). Thank you for the affirmation.
What’s your level of optimism Miranda makes it back and stays? I read an interview in which he sounded awfully upset and he sure aint hitting down there.
Ah, one more: I’ve been dutifully holding Sixto for a few thousand years since his boo boo. Again, optimism level he makes it back and is an impact starter? Or impact reliever? I know im asking for some real voodoo to even suggest you or anyone could have any idea. But im trying to gauge whether now would be a good time to try to trade him for…something.
guessing d.harris a drop for y.fernandez in 16 team dynasty with max 14 prospect stash slots? these pop up guys nabbing early suddenly you have the chourio/mervis/chaparro/iriarte’s of the world. all of those i have for my 14 (the others: espino, b.miller’s (both), e.perez (before everybody was in on him from here) j.walker, soderstrom, delauter, collier, n.marte)
Yeah I’d drop Harris there. He was a pop up guy once upon a time fwiw.
5×5 dynasty trade
Royce Lewis and Gavin Williams for
Michael Harris… Which side wins?
in a few weeks this might be lewis for harris is too expensive for the lewis owner by himself. i’d jump that one quick.
I’ll take the Williams/Lewis side.
Fine tuning my roster and a few questions about my 16 team league. Playing for this year and somehow have Jackson Chourio, Elly de la Cruz, and Junier Caminero.
Would you do either of the following trades:
Elly for Royce Lewis and Hunter Greene
Dylan Floro for Matt Mclain (note that I have Semien, Nico (though he’s my 2B), Amed Rosario, and Neto already, along with Elly in the minors).
Also, would you drop any of Emmanuel Rivera, Edward Olivares, or Max Kepler for David Henderson?
I wouldn’t do those trades. Elly especially goes nowhere if I have him today.
I would drop any of those guys if they weren’t critical parts of my lineup.
Itch! need some help… i have gavin stone and can easily get bobby miller with my 4th pick in the waiver wire.. but how long of a leash do both have? do i skip on bobby and hope they send him down (maybe they send down gavin) or just wait for Mr. Nasty, Gain Williams?
Yeah if you’re choosing one and Gavin Williams is an option, he’s the choice for me
Thanks! Yeah I mean idk how long either Stone or Bobby will be up but feels like Gavin Williams would be up for good no?
Is Hamilton worth stashing? Do you think they’ll bring him up soon? It’s crazy they haven’t brought him up yet.
They have to bring him up soon, right?
Can’t have a guy going 40/90 in Triple-A with nobody at his position in the majors, right?
Itch, are you worried about playing time? Bos still has mondesi and story to bring back into the MI. Where would Hamilton play?
Where can I check out that Harvard Business Review? Sounds interesting!
Itch, ty for the awesome content, wed and sun are my two favorite days!
10 team league, 7 milb spots per team.
I have tiedemann and lawler at 2 of my spots. would you swap tiedemann for klof?
also, would you swap lawler for westberg or caminero?
my other milb spots are Gavin w, J wood, Chourio, J walker, Dru Jones
When they are arriving is less of a factor than future upside, my roster is loaded with top talent thanks to you and your predecessor(s).
In a league that size, yeah I’d swap Ricky T out for KLoff and Lawlar out for Caminero.
Couldn’t agree more on Ruiz still being underrated. I feel like peak Dee Gordon got a lot more hype than this, and Ruiz is on pace to put up an Uber-Dee season…
Good call on Gordon. Dude was a 2nd round pick in 15-team redraft leagues for half a decade.
and doubt he ever had a triple slash at ruiz’s right now (or i missed that. checked, had a .776 once, mostly far lower than that though). ruiz was dropped in some dynasties (i’m saying 16+) last year after less than 40 at bats. sillyness. i forgot anybody paid that previously as i never did or would’ve. of course i’m not paying top 40 for a RP either, which is now commonly done.
Itch this is awesome as usual … you told me the other day your arrow was starting to point down so to speak on a few of my Farm/Stash guys…. Aranda , Norby, possibly Grissom .. are you replacing any of them w/ Yanquiel, Locklear, or Caballero? (Those are the 3 available from this above)….. ** 12 teamer keep 10 & farm/stash 12** .. Thank you always!
If you need infield help at all, I’d drop any of those three for Caballero.
I think I’d hold the AAA guys over Fernandez but would drop Aranda for Locklear if you’re just seeking topside with the spot.
Awesome stuff, Itch.
Would you drop Cole Young for Fernandez (COL)? I’ve been teetering on this move for about five days.
Also, a grip of my SP’s are injured in the 20-team dynasty and I suddenly need SP. I’m also short a back-up 1B/UTL. Would you move Endy and Pfaadt + for Pablo Lopez and Manzardo? I know it depends on the plus, but think small-ish.
And while we’re talking about Endy, who do you prefer long-term, Endy or MJ Melendez?
And lastly, has Carlos Jorge made an impression on you yet? What kind of a dude could he be?
Thanks, homie! Always look forward to your stuff.
Young is much safer as a baseball prospect, but I think Fernandez will have more value around most leagues and has better upside.
Yeah I’d do that trade, depending on the plus.
I’ll take Endy long term over MJ.
Jorge makes a pretty loud impression. We’re hoping for a 20/20 type with decent batting average.
Of the SP Honorable Mentions, I like Abbott, Miller, and Lopez. Not sure about the other starting pitchers you, uh, mentioned.
You can always click on the names and see what’s been said on the site about them. I’ve written about everyone here recently except for Kyle Hurt.
Drew Waters tearing it in AAA…do we see him soon and do think he will finally produce?
Yeah I think we’ll see him soon.
I’m intrigued but wouldn’t be too optimistic.