Leave a comment

NL Impact Rookies

The recent tanking of a number of National League teams to build their farm system has been an exercise in patience for their fans.  The result is a glut of near MLB-ready players who should finally get their chance this year.  Not everyone will work out and handicapping the success is a dicey exercise, but it’s what I’ve chosen to do.  Yeah, apparently meteorology school was filled.

Enjoy the list as there are some fantastic names that should provide impact to your fantasy teams.

Ronald Acuna (ATL, OF) – Our number one prospect continues to rise on draft boards.  It will now cost you a seventh-round pick in a 15-team league.  Is it worth it?  We will clearly know the answer to that in September, but the risk associated with such a high pick for a kid who will likely start the year in the minors is indeed high.  What I am becoming convinced, is once he’s promoted, he could be scary good.   But when???  I’m going to guess, by May 1st

Projected Line: 475 AB, 12 HR, 22 SB, .280 BA

Ryan McMahon (COL, 1B) – When asked back in November who this year’s Cody Bellinger would be, I suggested Ryan McMahon.   He’s ready and has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues.  If Acuna stumbles at all, McMahon has an excellent chance to be the NL Rookie of the Year.  Of course, the signing of Cargo could be a fly in my plan.  If he’s demoted to start the season, it will indeed be maddening.

Projected Line: 550 AB, 30 HR, 2 SB, .265 BA

Lewis Brinson (MIA, OF) – Sometimes you question players that get traded three times before the age of 25, but I’ve been all-in on Lewis Brinson since his professional debut with the Rangers in 2012.  He’s tooled up for sure, but also expands the strike zone.  But, if he can post a high-BABIP, he could hit .260 and that might be all it takes for him to get over the hump.

Projected Line: 550 AB, 22 HR, 18 SB, .245 BA

Colin Moran (PIT, 3B) – While the return of Gerrit Cole was widely panned, I actually liked it.  I’m a big Joe Musgrove fan and once Colin Moran added leverage to his swing, he made my Top 100 list.  He can hit and with his new found power, has a chance to be an impact performer.  He’s my sleeper for ROY.

Projected Line: 550 AB, 22 HR, 80 RBI, .290 BA

Brian Anderson (MIA, 3B) –  There will be a ton of opportunity in South Florida this year and Brian Anderson should be able to take advantage.  He has plus power and should control the strike zone well enough to post a nice stat line for owners.  I’d be taking a flyer on him late in my drafts.

Projected Line: 550 AB, 26 HR, 85 RBI, .250 BA

Tyler Mahle (CIN, RHP) – Tyler Mahle doesn’t have top of the rotation stuff but instead sits 92-94 MPH with excellent control.  More importantly, he knows how to pitch and that combined with 25 plus starts, gives him a chance to post a nice stat line for his owners.

Projected Line:  160 IP,  140 K’s, 11 wins, 3.90 ERA

Walker Buehler (LAD, RHP) – As we stand today, Walker Buehler starts the year in the minors.  But, Dodgers starters never stay healthy and assuming Buehler does, he should get 20 to 25 starts in the big leagues.  He’s got big-time stuff with good mechanics and should be able to provide better than league-average stats for the year.

Projected Line:  130 IP, 130 K’s, 10 wins, 3.75 ERA

Brandon Woodruff (MIL, RHP) – With the injury to Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers will be looking for arms and Brandon Woodruff should be able to help.  He’s a big kid with good stuff and the ability to throw strikes.  He’s not Jimmy Nelson but should be able to win some games with league average ratios.

Projected Line:  140 IP, 120 K’s, 9 wins, 4.10 ERA

Luiz Gohara (ATL, LHP) – Luiz Gohara’s sprained ankle is a great excuse for the Braves to keep him in the minors in order to save service time.  The stuff is electric and the Braves need innings.  The combination should work out well for owners.

Projected Line:  110 IP, 100 K’s, 8 wins, 3.80 ERA

Jorge Alfaro (PHI, C) – Jorge Alfaro should finally get his chance.  He’s got double-plus raw power and a hose for an arm.  It’s a shame he swings at everything, but I guess you can’t have it all.

Projected Line: 400 AB, 17 HR, 50 RBI, .250 BA

Nick Senzel (CIN, 3B) – Nick Senzel doesn’t have the flashy tools of Acuna or Brinson, but is the better pure hitter with pretty good tools himself.  I’m guessing the Reds keep him in the minors until mid-June, but I think he hits as soon as he arrives.

Projected Line: 350 AB, 12 HR, 6 SB, .290 BA

Alex Reyes (STL, RHP) – The Cardinals have a history of taking young pitchers and starting them off in the bullpen.  They did it with Adam Wainwright back in the day and also Trevor Rosenthal, who then stuck in the pen.  I think Reyes starts the year in the bullpen and gets some saves in the process.  Long-term, I think he starts, but if he dominates in the pen…

Projected Line:  40 IP, 55 K’s, 11 saves, 3.50 ERA

Max Fried (ATL, LHP) – While the luster might be off his prospect star, Max Fried can still pitch and as a lefty should have a long major league career.  He could break camp with the team, but the Braves will likely hold him back until at least May before promoting him.

Projected Line:  110 IP, 90 K’s, 7 wins, 3.60 ERA

Players who need a break

Scott Kingery (PHI, 2B) – Scott Kingery broke out last year and should get the call sometime in the second half.  He’s got power and speed and makes enough contact to let both those tools play.

J.P. Crawford (PHI, SS) – I’m guessing Crawford and Kingery get the call around the same time.  Crawford is the better hitter but Kingery has the better fantasy tools.

Austin Meadows (PIT, OF) – I thought Austin Meadows would see time in Pittsburgh this year, but the acquisition of Corey Dickerson likely put an end to that until at least August.  There’s still a lot to like with Meadows and at this point, he might just need a chance to show what he can do.

Alex Verdugo (LAD, OF) – With the emergence of Matt Kemp (did I really just say that), Alex Verdugo’s path just got more difficult.  I love the hit tool and still think there is 20 home run power in the bat.   He just turns 22 in May, so there is no reason the Dodgers need to rush him.

Luis Urias (SD, SS) – Luis Urias is having a great spring and is impressing the Padres brass.  He can really hit but has only average power and speed.  He’s a nice complementary fantasy player in the mold of Dansby Swanson, or who I thought Swanson would be.

Carson Kelly (STL, C) – He’s stuck behind Yadier Molina, but Kelly can play.  The question is will he be given the chance?

Brett Phillips (MIL, OF) – Brett Phillips is blocked with a loaded outfield in Milwaukee, but an injury could give him a shot.  He also might be trade bait for a deal at the deadline.


Kolby Allard (ATL, LHP) – With 27 Double-A starts under his belt, Allard could see Atlanta in the second half.  While Gohara has the better stuff, Allard can really pitch and might have even better success, at least for this year.

Dillon Peters (MIA, LHP) – After posting a career minor league ERA of 2.40, Dillon Peters major league 5.17 ERA in six starts was a disappointment.  But, the Marlins need innings and while Peters doesn’t have high-end velocity, he has plus control and can really pitch.

Joey Lucchesi (SD, LHP) – In our write-up of Joey Lucchesi last June, we highlighted him as a player to watch and that, “you wouldn’t be settling if you missed out on drafting Gore, Quantrill,”  He can pitch with great control and enough velocity to be successful in the major leagues.

Leave a comment

2018 Rankings of Fantasy Relief Pitchers

Every season, fantasy owners chase saves.  It’s both the maddening part of fantasy baseball as well as the thrilling part, or at least some people tell me.  We have ranked each closer for the 2018 season as well as their backup and in many cases, the backup the backup.  The line this year as to closers with secure roles lands either at 20 or 21, depending on whether you believe Mark Melancon is fully recovered from his injuries woes of last year.

You can find the list here.


Leave a comment

AL Impact Rookies

Opening Day is only a few weeks away and fantasy drafts are upon us.  Everyone is looking for the next Mike Trout or Trea Turner that can bring them a championship.

While the American League rookie crop is not quite as strong as that of the National League, there are still a number of players that should be able to help you win your fantasy league.

Players that should get significant playing time

Shohei Ohtani (LAA, RHP) – Ohtani enters the season as the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year.  And why not.  With an off-season feeding frenzy that had every team bidding on the services of the former NPB standout, the stars seem to be aligning.  But before we hand over the hardware in March, there are concerns.  First is a tear in his elbow ligament that was found as part of his medical evaluation.  Second, is the six-man rotation that the Angels will use.  How many innings will Ohtani pitch?  It’s a concern.  Also, will he get enough at-bats to make him much more than a replacement offensive player?  Can he hit?  Lots of questions with I’m afraid, few answers at this point.  One thing is for sure though – he’s going to be fun to own, for the fascination alone.

Projected Line: 150 IP, 160 K’s, 13 wins, 3.55 ERA

Willie Calhoun (TEX, OF) – It might not be pretty in the outfield, but it won’t matter as Willie Calhoun can really hit.  While there’s a chance he breaks camp, the odds are he stays down on the farm to give the Rangers seven years of team control.  Remember, he has to make up time from his September call-up last year.  Therefore, I’m thinking mid-May.

Playing Time: 425 AB, 20 HR, 5 SB, .280 BA

Gleybar Torres (NYY, 2B) – While Torres is a natural shortstop, he will likely be the Yankees full-time second baseman by mid-May.  It’s all lined up for him and the only thing holding him back is some rust from not playing in the second half last year and possibly a service time play.  Yes, even the Yankees will play the seven-year vs. six-year game with Torres.

Projected Line: 450 AB, 14 HR, 16 SB, .265 BA

Dustin Fowler (OAK, OF) – DON’T forget about Dustin Fowler.  After a gruesome injury last season, assuming he’s healthy, he’ll get the bulk of the playing time in centerfield for the A’s.    With a little speed and a little pop, he’s my sleeper for AL Rookie of the year.

Projected Line:  500 AB, 10 HRs, 23 SB, .260 BA

Austin Hays (BAL, OF) – The Orioles generally don’t play the service time game, so I think Hays breaks camp in late March.  He could struggle early, but if the Orioles stay with him, a big if, I think he has a very nice season.

Projected Line: 450 AB, 19 HR, 3 SB, .265 BA

Francisco Mejia (CLE, C) – Mejia has the ceiling of a Top five catcher in fantasy baseball, perhaps even more.  But, with zero time above Double-A and an Indians history of managing minor leaguers service time (Lindor played two months in the minors in 2015, and Zimmer six weeks last year), I think a late-May call-up will be as early as we see him.  The good news…I think he’ll hit right out of the gate.

Projected Line:  300 AB, 13 HR, 5 SB, .290 BA

A.J. Puk (OAK, LHP) – If A.J. Puk were to break camp with the A’s, he might be their opening day starter.  However, there’s almost no chance of that with the easy money on a mid-June call-up.  The control is still not great, but the stuff misses bats.

Projected Line: 90 IP, 110 K’s, 5 wins, 4.05 ERA

Michael Kopech (CHW, RHP) – The success of Michael Kopech will be directly tied to his ability to throw strikes.  If he does, he’ll be an impact performer from the time he is promoted, if not, he could easily have an up-and-down year with a 4.50 plus ERA.  Long-term, the upside is a number one.

Projected Line: 100 IP, 115 K’s, 6 wins, 4.20 ERA

Willy Adames (TB, 2B) – Willy Adames is likely ready for the show, but unless he signs a team-friendly contract, he won’t see Tampa until mid-June.  However, he can hit with some speed and pop, so once he’s promoted, he should help your fantasy team, and the best part, it will likely be at second.

Projected Line:  325 AB, 10 HR, 8 SB, .270 BA

Jake Bauers (TB, OF) – There are a lot of needs in Tampa and as soon as Jake Bauers has served his time in the minor leagues, he should be up.  He has a plus hit-tool and some power.  I’m not sure where the stolen bases came from last year, but the overall package should help fantasy owners.

Project Line: 325 AB, 10 HR, 5 SB, .275 BA

Franklin Barreto (OAK, SS) – While Barreto is currently blocked, I don’t think that last the entire season.  Once he’s up, he has very friendly-fantasy tools

Projected Line:  350 AB, 7 HR, 16 SB, .270 BA

Jorge Mateo (OAK, OF) – Mateo will bring speed to the fantasy equation and should be up just when fantasy owners need a boost.  As everyone else is drafting the more famous names, take a late round flyer on Mateo and thank me later.

Projected Line:  350 AB, 4 HR, 20 SB, .260 BA

Anthony Alford (TOR, OF) – Alford has always been a favorite of mine as the tools are extremely fantasy-friendly.  However, he has a total 71 games above A-Ball, so the odds are very good he starts the year in the minors.  Plus, the Blue Jays brought in Granderson and Gricuck as placeholders until Alford, Bichette, and oh yeah, some kid named Vlad Jr. are ready.

Projected Line:  300 AB, 6 HR, 18 SB, .250 BA

Players who might not yet be ready for one reason or another

Kyle Tucker (HOU, OF) – While I’m concerned about Kyle Tucker’s hitch in his swing, I’m more worried about his playing time in 2018.  If Derek Fisher catches fire, I doubt we see much of him until 2019.  If he doesn’t, he’ll be promoted in June.  However, at this point, I’m going to say he’s a non-factor in 2018.

Eloy Jimenez (CHW, OF) – The White Sox are still a year away and with only 18 games above A-Ball, I don’t see Eloy Jimenez having an impact in 2018.  I do believe the math changes in 2019.

Miguel Andujar (NYY, 3B) – With the signing of Brandon Drury, Miguel Andujar is now blocked.  But, the skills are there and all he needs is a trade.  I think that happens in the second half.


Hunter Dozier (KC, 1B/3B) – Somebody has got to play in Kansas City and while Hunter Dozier’s shine has taken a hit, he still has a little pop in the bat.

Ryan O’Hearn (KC, 1B) – See Hunter Dozier.  Not as good of a player as Dozier but the rationale is the same.  Unfortunately, Dozier might get moved to first blocking O’Hearn.

Hunter Harvey (BAL, RHP) – It might be in relief, but if Harvey is healthy, he will get an opportunity to pitch.  For Dynasty League owners, use Dylan Bundy as your guide.  Remember, he was pretty good last year, particularly closing out the season.


Leave a comment

2018 Fantasy Starting Pitchers

P361 list our Fantasy Starting Pitchers here.  While our Top 15 might agree with the typical ADP, we quickly differ so that you can find value in all formats of your fantasy drafts.

Leave a comment

2018 Dynasty League Rookie Draft

It’s that time of the year, Dynasty League Drafts.  In my opinion, there isn’t a format that competes with a Dynasty League as you get to usually keep all of your players from year-to-year.  While the initial draft is critically important, each year’s rookie draft, some call it a Dynasty League re-draft is equally important.  I personally play in five Dynasty Leagues and spend dozens of hours preparing for them.  It’s time well spent as my drafts are 10 rounds deep where we draft a total of 150 players, most of them getting dropped before the season begins in the annual cut-down process.

My goal with this article is to give you at least the first two rounds of players as you prepare for that draft.  My guess is that your league-mates will not go this deep, so I’m hoping this will help you with at least your first five rounds.

As always, I look forward to your feedback.

Rank Name Comment
1 Shoeni Ohtani (LAA, RHP/DH) The logical number one pick but ONLY if you can compete in 2018 and 2019.  If not, trade the pick or go with Luis Robert.
2 Luis Robert (CHW, OF) Robert has the highest upside on this list with clear star potential.  The question as with Yoan Moncada before him, will he hit enough?  I think he will.
3 Royce Lewis (MIN, OF) I was low on Lewis when the Twins drafted him 1:1 last June.  I was wrong.  Every report I’ve received has been very encouraging.
4 Hunter Greene (CIN, RHP) Top flight skills combined with character could make Greene a special baseball player.  Yeah, he’ll likely have TJ Surgery at some point and there’s always that risk, but the kid could be special.
5 MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP) I don’t like his size, but pitching for the Padres combined with great stuff and athleticism could make him a star.
6 Kyle Wright (ATL, RHP) Wright could move very quickly with a 2019 major league debut definitely in the cards.  High floor with a chance to be a number two starting pitcher.
7 Brendan McKay (TB, LHP/1B) While all the hype is around Ohtani being a dual-player, McKay might have a better chance to accomplish.  If not, the upside is a number 3, low-2 starter.
8 Keston Hiura (MIL, 2B) If his arm troubles are behind him, Hiura has a chance to be a special hitter.  A really nice pick if you are drafting mid-pack.
9 Jordan Adell (LAA, SS) Very friendly fantasy tools but with most guys, will he hit enough?  At this point, I’m not sure.
10 J.B. Bukauskas (HOU, RHP) 6-feet right-handers don’t thrill me, but the stuff is great and the Astros just know how to develop players.
11 Pavin Smith (ARI, 1B) Plus hit-tool and plus power are very alluring and give the Diamondbacks a nice alternative when Goldy exits stage-right after the 2019 season.
12 Alex Faedo (DET, RHP) He didn’t get any time in professional ball after a long college season, but he has size and stuff that gives him a number two ceiling.
13 Heliot Ramos (SF, OF) Had a terrific debut in the AZL that saw him post a 1.049 OPS.  I don’t see that kind of upside, but he has the ceiling of a full-time major league outfield.
14 Nick Pratto (KC, 1B) He’s a long way off, but with the Royals moving off from Eric Hosmer, he’ll be the first baseman in Kansas City in 2021-22.
15 Brent Rooker (MIN, OF) He’s already 23-years-old but hit 11 home runs in 40-games in the FSL.  That’s really hard to do.  He could move very quickly and see Minnesota in 2019.
16 Nate Pearson (TOR, RHP) Big with big current stuff and some athleticism.  My love is starting to grow.
17 Adam Haseley (PHI, OF) Haseley was taken eighth overall and while he can hit, I’m not convinced on how much power and speed he will eventually have.
18 Jake Burger (CHW, 3B) Just another guy in the White Sox organization that can hit with power.
19 Evan White (Sea, 1B) Evan White has two plus tools – hit and defend.  The problem is he’s a first baseman and the jury is still out on how much power he will develop.  If it sounds a lot like Dom Smith, you’re thinking what I am.
20 D.L. Hall (BAL, LHP) Hall has a nice arm and throws from the correct side, but the Orioles history of developing pitchers who pitch for them is awful.  Buyer beware.
21 Jeren Kendall (LAD, OF) There is concern about Kendall’s contact rate but he has plus power and with some speed.  Plus, the Dodgers are on an impressive run of drafting and developing players.
22 Logan Warmoth (TOR, SS) Very simple swing that can also provide some power.  Nice pick by Toronto with the 22nd pick.
23 Shane Baz (PIT, RHP) Baz has good stuff, but I’m down on him because it will take 4-5 years to get through the system.  If you have patience, take him earlier.
24 Bubba Thompson (TEX, OF) A dual-sport athlete that is still learning to play baseball.  He could turn into Anthony Alford or maybe the other Bubba.  Not sure yet…
25 Tristen Lutz (MIL, OF) If you like double-plus raw, Lutz is your guy.  It will come with strikeouts and pressure on his batting average, but the power is for real.
26 Wander Franco (TB, SS) The Rays spent almost $4 million dollars for Franco last June.  He has double-plus speed and can hit, but you better be prepared to wait out his development path.  It could take YEARS…
27 Seth Romero (WAS, LHP) Has very good stuff but a past that suggest there could be some growing up to do.  If the Nationals can work with him, the stuff will play.
28 Blayne Enlow (MIN, RHP) He’s on nobody’s watch list.  Take him late and thank me later.
29 Austin Beck (OAK, OF) Beck was taken sixth and has premium bat speed.  But I’m concerned about the hit tool.
30 Brendon Little (CHC, LHP) I know several people who really like Little…guys I trust.  He’s only 6-feet, but has good stuff and can throw strikes
31 Everson Pereira (NYY, OF) The Yankees were at it again when they added Pereira last July.  Kid is a plus runner with good bat speed.  It’ll take a while, but there is definitely something there.
32 Eric Pardinho (TOR, RHP) Somebody told me that Brazilian 17-year-old Eric Pardinho would be a Top 10 pitcher in the minor leagues inside of two -years.  I haven’t seen him, but the hype might be starting.
33 Trevor Rogers (MIA ,LHP) He was taken 11th overall, but I’m not yet a believer.
34 Tanner Houck (BOS, RHP) Has a very nice fastball/slider combination but the delivery suggest a move to the bullpen.
35 Sam Carlson (Sea, RHP) Carlson is young and projectable with stuff that is already very good.  He was taken in the second round but could surprise quickly.
Leave a comment

2018 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings

Our 2018 Fantasy Outfield rankings are now available.  While you easy to think when you see Mike Trout at the top that outfield must be incredibly deep.  While it is, for about the first 15 to 20 players, things fall off quickly after that.  Our strong recommendation is to go early and often in the first several rounds to get those complete players that can help you build a solid foundation for your fantasy team.

Leave a comment

2018 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings

We list our 2018 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings with Trea Turner now clearly the best fantasy shortstop in the game. A group of young shortstops follows Turner proving that the position has completely turned over compared to just three years ago. Where is Tulo? I’ll let you find him…but it might take a while.

You can see the list here.


2018 Top 100 Prospects – The Full List

Top 100Our 2018 Top 100 Prospects is now available.  The list is once again strong but is trending to be a little younger than in recent years.  There are also some great names on the list for considering in your traditional drafts this year.  I encourage you to click on the player names as we’ve written a capsule on each and every player on the list.

As usual, I look forward to your feedback.

1 Comment

2018 Top 100 Prospects (26-50)

Top 100Our 2018 Top 100 Prospects is now available.  The list is once again strong but is trending to be a little younger than in recent years.  There are also some great names on the list for considering in your traditional drafts this year.  I encourage you to click on the player names as we’ve written a capsule on each and every player on the list.

As usual, I look forward to your feedback.

Leave a comment

2018 Fantasy Second Base Rankings

Our rankings of our 2018 Second Baseman are now available.  The list goes 60 deep and is led by the diminutive Jose Altuve who has exceeded all lofty expectations, even ours, to become one of the best players in the league as well as fantasy.  But Altuve can’t prop the entire position up by himself as keystone gets thin very quickly, particularly if you play in a league that values speed.