Our Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups can be found here.
Below are 10 players that I wanted to find a way to get into my Top 50 mid-season list. Don’t look at these players as number 51 to 60 but instead they are guys that I really like but just fell short. As usually, it’s a combination of uber-talented kids intermixed with players who are very close to the majors. Remember, when constructing a Dynasty Team or any fantasy team, you must balance your squad with high upside, high risk talent with players that have higher floors but you can count on to contribute. I take that same position when constructing my prospect list.
Ryan McMahon (COL, 1B/3B)
While the swing can get long, there is plenty of power with Ryan McMahon and he’s really showing that in the PCL. While you can always say…it’s the PCL, for Colorado players, it might not matter as Coors is a similar hitting paradise. He’s now playing all over the dirt (first, third, and second). He might be trade fodder in a few weeks but the Rockies really like him and his plus makeup. I will say he becomes less attractive if he’s moved. Do you trade high on him now in case that happens? I wouldn’t but it’s definitely something to consider.
Kevin Maitan (ATL, SS)
The Kevin Maitan hype train is still fully alive and we finally have a stat line to validate that he’s at least real. He still has the 80 raw and the chance to hit, although strikeouts will likely always be part of the equation. Remember, he’s still only 17-years-old with only has a handful of games in rookie ball under his belt, so the risk remains sky high.
Raimel Tapia (COL, OF)
Raimel Tapia is still not demostrating the player he will be. He has excellent bat speed that should eventually translate into 20 plus home runs with plenty of stolen bases early in his career. His approach is uber-aggressive but he knows how to make hard contact. I think in the end, he has the ceiling for 20/20 and a .260 batting average, although in OBP leagues, he could be a liability.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD, SS)
The Padres system is very deep and Fernando Tatis Jr. could wind up on the top of the list before too long. He has plus power, is a good runner and knows how to barrel the ball. Sure, he’ll strikeout a lot, but his understanding of the strike zone should allow him to hit .250 to .260 with a .320 OBP and plenty of home runs and stolen bases.
Juan Soto (WAS, OF)
There’s a lot of hype around Juan Soto and I’ve decided to dip a toe in the water. While he can really hit, I’m not sure how much power and speed there will be. Those who are high on him believe he’ll develop 20 home run power. I’m not convinced, but there’s a chance he’ll hit .300 and that alone makes him a top prospect.
Tyler Mahle (CIN, RHP)
For a guy with two no-hitters under his belt, Tyler Mahle continues to fly under the radar in prospect circles. Not for me as I own him in 5 of 5 Dynasty Leagues. He’s now in Triple-A after pitching extremely well in Double-A and should see Cincinnati in 2018. He has good stuff, pounds the strike zone and never walks anybody. He’s not an ace but should be a nice mid-rotation pitcher on your fantasy team.
Dylan Cease (CHC, RHP)
We all know about the Chicago positional players that have gone on to be stars in the big leagues, er, well…were stars last year… Anyway, they have yet to develop a pitcher but that could change with hard throwing right-hander Dylan Cease. He has a power arsenal that consists of an 80-grade fastball that sits in the upper nineties, hitting triple-digits with regularity. He complements the fastball with an improving curve ball that he’s now able to throw for strikes. If you’ve not heard of him, jump on board.
Kyle Lewis (SEA, OF)
Kyle Lewis…remember him? Winner of the 2016 Golden Spikes award and the number seven overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Many have forgotten about him because he blew out his ACL and has missed nearly a year of development time. He’s finally back and given what he did in college, should be able to move through the minor leagues quickly.
Mike Soroka (ATL, RHP)
The Braves are stacked with dynamic positional players as well as hard throwing pitchers in their system. Mike Soroka has been falling through the cracks as he doesn’t throw in the upper nineties or have that devastating breaking pitch. What he does is throw strikes and get guys out. In fact, you can argue that he’s been the best Braves pitcher in the minor leagues for two years running.
Willie Calhoun (DH)
In other prospect list, Willie Calhoun will lose some helium because he has yet to find a defensive position. I doubt it’s second base, which is where he plays most of time now. However, he can hit and hit with pop and from a fantasy standpoint, that’s all we care about. He could get moved to a team that needs a first baseman (don’t even know if he can play there but Brad Pitt said in Moneyball that it was easy…) or more likely the American League where you simply put him at designated hitter.
We’ve updated our Top 50 prospects for 2017. They can be found here.
Our Week 12 waiver wire pickups are now available. You can find them here.
The 2017 MLB Draft is in the books and after all the fanfare, it was an ok draft. There isn’t a transformational player like Bryce Harper or Kris Bryant in the draft, but instead there are a number of players, particularly at the top that could become solid major leaguers, with some of them having all-star potential.
While I have yet to see all of these players, for those of you with early Dynasty League drafts, this could be a good cheat sheet for how I would set my early preference list.
Hunter Greene (CIN, RHP) – Taken number two overall by the Reds. Greene is the most talented player in the draft. He can hit triple-digits on the mound with an incredibly easy delivery but is also a fine shortstop prospect. From all accounts, the Reds will develop him as a pitcher but if he blows out his arm, a fallback as a positional player is not bad. The worry of course is that he will in fact blow out his arm as history has not been kind to teenagers who throw with that velocity. Finally, if you didn’t see the family expose created by the MLB Network on Greene, it’s a must watch. If it’s even half accurate, the makeup and character are off-the-charts.
Kyle Wright (ATL, RHP) – Taken number five overall by the Braves. Great value pick for the Braves. Wright was my top college pitcher on the board with his combination of stuff, size and present pitchability. He’s so advanced that he could see the big leagues as early as 2018 but with a 2019 ETA more likely.
Royce Lewis (MIN, SS) – Taken number one overall by the Twins. It’s hard to get excited about a Twins pick. I would have taken Hunter Greene but instead they decided to go with one of the best athletic bats in the draft in Royce Lewis. He’s been comp’d to Byron Buxton-lite but with potentially a better hit-tool. I’m not sure what that means, but that’s what I was told.
Brendan McKay (TB, 1B/LHP) – Taken number four by the Rays. McKay is the most interesting pick of the draft. He was announced as a first baseman on draft night but he’ll likely both pitch and play first in the minors. If it works, he’ll break not only the major league salary structure but the fantasy world. Should you get collect stats at first base or pitcher? I would argue…both.
MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP) – Gore will be best known early in his career as the guy with the funny leg kick. But, he’s extremely athletic, and you have to be with that crazy delivery, with a fastball that he can run up to the mid-90’s with great secondary pitches. He could move quickly through the system and challenge for a job in 2020.
Pavin Smith (ARI, 1B) – Taken number seven by the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks went very safe with their first pick with the high floor, lower-ceiling of Pavin Smith. He can really hit, rarely strikes out, but scouts are mixed about his power potential.
Keston Hiura (MIL, 2B) – Taken number nine by the Brewers. Arguably Hiura had the best hit-tool in the draft. The problem is that he likely needs TJ Surgery and could miss considerably playing time early in his career. However, assuming he comes back healthy, he could be one of the big steals of the draft.
Jake Burger (CHW, OF) – Taken number eleven by the White Sox. Burger has big raw power with the ability to make enough contact to get to the power. While he played third base in college, the White Sox will likely move him to left field or possibly to first.
Adam Haseley (PHI, OF) – Taken number eight by the Phillies. Haseley is a very athletic player who took a major step forward in 2017 at Virginia were he hit 14 home runs and walked twice as much as he struck out. While he only stole 10 bases, he’s a plus runner so the combination could play very well in fantasy.
Austin Beck (OAK, OF) – Taken number six by the Athletics. Beck is a tooled-up high schooler who is a plus runner with great bat speed. The big question will he be able to hit enough. While you can say that about most players taken in the draft, Beck has the athleticism that should set him apart.
D.L. Hall (BAL, LHP) – Taken at number 21 by the Orioles. Hall has really good stuff and somehow dropped to the Orioles at 21. I do recognize the poor history the Orioles have had with developing pitchers, so there is clearly concern. But the combination of stuff and left-handiness is pretty interesting.
David Peterson (NYM, LHP) – Taken at number 20 by the Mets. I’ll say it again – invest in Mets pitchers. While Peterson doesn’t have the power arsenal of many others taken in the first round, he’s an extreme ground ball pitcher with plus control. He could move very quickly through the system with a Dallas Keuchel type of ceiling. But remember, there’s a fine line between Keuchel being great and being bad…see 2015 to 2016 to 2017.
Three others…sleeper if you will.
Evan White (SEA, 1B) – Very athletic, premium hit tool and a plus defender at first. The concern is the power. If it sounds like Dominic Smith, you are thinking along the same lines I am.
Logan Warmoth (TOR, 2B) – Had an excellent junior season at North Carolina by posting a .958 OPS with 10 home runs and 18 stolen bases. While he struck out 47 times in 63 games, he really barrels the ball and I believe he could become a solid regular contributor at the big league level.
Jordan Adell (LAA, OF) – While he went 10th overall to the Angels, Adell will be a project. He’s a premium athlete who’s a double-plus runner with plus raw power. However, he’s sushi raw and will need a lot of work.